Today the Emerald hosted an ASUO debate featuring the vice presidents and presidents from I’m with UO, One Oregon and Duck Squad.
Candidates from each slate had the opportunity to discuss their platform and respond to questions about their campaign.
Here are some highlights of the debate:
Safe Ride, DDS and Uber
Two of the slates, I’m with UO and Duck Squad, do not see Uber as a good alternative for campus safety. On the other hand, One Oregon sees Uber as an effective way to relieve some of the burdens from Safe Ride and DDS.
Duck Squad wants to expand Safe Ride and DDS to improve campus safety for those with lower incomes.
“I wanted to make sure that Safe Ride and DDS expanded to students who couldn’t afford to live so close to the heart of campus due to financial reasons, and we realize that this is something that other campaigns have done,” said Samara Mokaya, Duck Squad presidential candidate. “The thing that is different with our campaign is that we are organizers. The things we say we’re going to do, we actually do them.”
Mokaya says that implementing services like Uber will not make campus safer for people who cannot afford $10 every time they need to get home.
“In order to make things safe for students, we also need to make them feasible,” Mokaya said.
I’m with UO also supports the expansion of Safe Ride and DDS.
“Our campaign believes that getting home safely at night is a basic student right,” said Quinn Haaga, I’m with UO presidential candidate. “Our plan would be to put pressure on administration to help fund these services.”
One Oregon‘s presidential candidate Zachary Rentschler says that Uber will lessen the number of students who need service from Safe Ride and DDS.
“In order to make Safe Ride and DDS work we have to bring back late night bus services and we have to bring other alternatives such as Uber so that Safe Ride and DDS have the capability to go and answer the rides they have quickly,” Rentschler said.
In response to Rentschler, Haaga vocalized that she does not support additional student spending for transportation services.
“I’m confused how encouraging students to pay more money for things such as bus services and Uber is good for the students rather than prioritizing services such as Safe Ride and DDS that the [incidental-fee] is paying for,” Haaga said.
One Oregon‘s campaign spending
One Oregon has been scrutinized for the amount spent on its campaign. One Oregon has spent over $15,000, which is more than double the amount spent by Duck Squad and I’m with UO combined.
Senator Max Burns accused One Oregon of buying the election.
Rentschler did not comment on campaign spending caps, but did comment on his campaign’s own finances.
“We have no idea how much the other campaigns are fundraising so we never stopped fundraising and we never will stop fundraising because there is no way of knowing where other people are at going into elections,” Rentschler said.
All campaigns see a need for better tuition transparency.
Haaga says that forcing administration to be transparent is one of the best ways to hold it accountable. Mokaya agreed.
Rentschler says administration buries facts in reports, and that the ASUO is patient enough to go through those reports, find what’s buried and let the campus community know.
Here’s the live coverage from the Emerald‘s annual ASUO elections debate:
Listen to the highlights of the debate here: