120 Club Sports athletes flood ASUO Senate meeting

One hundred and twenty club sport athletes, facing a denial of a request for $50,000 from ASUO, flooded a student government meeting on Wednesday night, lining the room shoulder-to-shoulder to voice opposition. After hours of emotional testimony, ASUO remained undecided in granting the money.

The money would be used to fund student athlete’s trips to national competitions. Although the request was initially passed in the senate, it was vetoed by ASUO president Quinn Haaga on the grounds that the ASUO is not supposed to give the same funds every year.

But UO Club Sports representatives argued that the EMU Finance Committee told all the organizations to keep their budgets as small as possible — and so Club Sports decided not to add the $50,000 to their yearly budget, citing the precedent set by the last four years that ASUO would grant them the money from surplus.

Some senators argued that denying the request would make Club Sports inaccessible to students who can’t afford to fund their own trip to nationals. Ultimately the decision to overturn the veto was voted down, and the matter was tabled until next week.

ASUO Internal Vice President Zach Lusby, representing the executive branch of ASUO, stated that ASUO has told Club Sports every year that they need to add this fee to their yearly budget.

At the meeting, senators echoed Lusby’s statements and argued that if an organization requires the same amount every year, it should be included in their yearly budget, and not requested annually.

Club Sports representatives stated that they are willing to work with the ASUO, and that they want to solve this problem, but implored ASUO not to punish the members of Club Sports for what they consider to be a misunderstanding.

ASUO senators expressed concern that if the funding is denied then Club Sports will become inaccessible to students who can’t afford to fund their own trip to nationals. “We either make it prohibitively expensive for some people in this room to participate in Club Sports or we make accommodations,” Senator Hao Tan said.

Kelsey Hill showed up to the meeting to defend club sports. “I plan all of the travel for my team and I know it’s expensive, I think that it’s so important that this passes. If it doesn’t, why did we work so hard all year?” she said in an interview with the Emerald.

The EMU finance committee had signed off on Club Sports’ decision to request the money from the ASUO Senate. The committee is in charge of making policy and budget decisions for clubs that fall under its discretion, and Club Sports is one of them.

Senator Vasilisa Smith voted against overturning the veto. “This informal precedent over the last four years is not how we’re supposed to be operating,” Senator Smith said.

The vote to overturn the veto was turned down 11-8, missing the two-thirds required by one vote. The issue was tabled until next week.

In addition to tabling UO Club Sport’s request, ASUO senators gave $113 to the Veterans and Family Student Association. $356,262.60 remains in the ASUO surplus budget.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the names of two ASUO senators. Their names are Vickie Gimm, not Vickie Grimm, and Jordan Allison, not Taylor Allison.

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Francisca "Frankie" Benitez

Francisca "Frankie" Benitez

Francisca "Frankie" Benitez is the Senior News Editor at the Emerald. She is a Senior at the UOSOJC and a lover of dogs and punk rock.

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