Senate President in the last stretch of his position
ASUO Senate President Max Burns will serve only two more terms before his departure from the University of Oregon early next year. Burns discussed some upcoming issues that the Senate hopes to tackle before he leaves his position in March 2017.
Burns, a transfer student from Central Oregon Community College, came to UO in 2013 as a music major. Now his major is public policy and management with a focus in non-profit administration. During his first year at UO Burns was elected to an ASUO senate position.
Burns has taken a position in the Peace Corps and may end up traveling to Ukraine as a result. The job entails a 27-month commitment with three months devoted to training and 24 months of on-site work.
Burns doesn’t believe his upcoming job with the Peace Corps will negatively impact ASUO or its operations prior to him leaving.
“Until a position is filled, the vice president of Senate, Ednaly [Jimenez-Gomez], will fill that role,” Burns said. “Once the position is elected for the spring term then whoever that is will take over. My time will conclude once the budget season is completed.”
Burns is focusing on this upcoming term, but he recalled some of the past ASUO accomplishments that have led him to where he is now. He says one of his biggest accomplishments, with collaboration from other ASUO members, was addressing the issue of mandatory housing for first year students.
The mandatory on-campus housing policy will require students to live on campus their freshman year, resulting in increased costs for students because of the competition between the university and other housing complexes. ASUO passed a measure to have University Housing reconsider this policy and make it more affordable. Despite this resolution being passed, University Housing is still planning on moving forward with the mandatory live on campus policy, without the support of ASUO.
Moving his focus to the future, Burns discussed the budget shortfall that ASUO is tackling now.
“In terms of the way the budgeting process works is; we make an assumption on enrollment and then budget accordingly,” Burns said. “If enrollment numbers aren’t what we anticipate then we have to make up that loss. Currently we have to deal with a substantially large shortfall in our allocation process.”
Burns wants to focus on incorporating the student body to become more involved in student government and other student-run organizations this year.
“Becoming involved is extremely easy at the ASUO with how many student organizations we have,” Burns said. “Leadership is not always about a title and authority. Being able to build a community and creating a niche on campus for anyone is important and any student can have the power to do that.”
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