After recent weeks of racial discrimination and protests, the ASUO is taking steps to unify the student body. The move to create a resolution would give the ASUO a clear standing on where they stand and put pressure on administration to act when in incidents of racism occur.
The resolution was first created and proposed by Senator Pablo Alvarez who wanted the ASUO to take a definitive stance against acts of racism. Some of the resolution’s points would call on UO administration to clearly demonstrate to the student body that the university’s administration is making it a top priority to hire faculty of color and retain students of color. ASUO wants the university to set a national precedent, showing that concerns of racial discrimination should be a top priority.
Alvarez further emphasized, in the resolution, the blackface incident that occurred over the Halloween weekend that involved a UO professor. The resolution discussed the administration’s slow response to releasing details on the professor alleged to have donned blackface.
“Acknowledge this racist practice as more than an isolated incident,” the resolution stated. “To acknowledge it for the past and present institution of racism which students of color face on a daily basis at the University of Oregon.”
The resolution was tabled for two weeks in order for senator Alvarez to seek input from student groups around campus. The resolution has further need for revision but the senate has finalized few items.
Max Burns, senate president, spoke about the need to incorporate the student body when deciding on resolutions such as these.
“There hasn’t been any progress on the senate side,” Burns said. “A lot of senators felt uncomfortable about not incorporating the broader campus community and so we asked Senator Alvarez to take the resolution to them.”
The impact of the resolution, if passed, would be only symbolic in its purpose. It would act as a means for unifying the student body and creating a more inclusive university. Vickie Gimm, ASUO senator, spoke about the purpose of passing resolutions.
“The resolution as it is stands is just to have it serve as a statement for senate,” Gimm said. “We can only put pressure on something. We can only make a statement. Resolutions can also make policy changes in senate by laws or the way senate functions year to year.”
The resolution has some further progress to make before it can pass. There will be no action on it for the next two weeks. But the need to pass a resolution as symbolic as this would be in its best interest to pass sooner than later.
“If they wait too long it might not even be effective,” Gimm said. “It might be useless.”