Chris Bocchicchio, former ASUO Senator,@@http://sustainability.uoregon.edu/news/asuo-senate-approves-riverfront-resolution@@ filed a grievance Tuesday afternoon requesting ASUO Vice President Katie Taylor’s removal from office.@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Katie+Taylor@@
Bocchicchio stated in the grievance that Taylor’s marriage to former OSPIRG chair Charles Denson @@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Charles+Denson@@is a conflict of interest and could impact the way she makes decisions in office.
“Her connection with OSPIRG is so intimate, and the fact that she hid it makes this very severe,” he said.
The biggest concern stated in the document was the tie-breaking vote Taylor made in the ASUO Senate last November over the Executive’s benchmark recommendations, one of which concerned OSPIRG. The vote confirmed a 97-percent recommended budget increase for OSPIRG, which was approved by the ACFC earlier this month.
Bocchicchio cited Oregon State Law, saying Taylor’s tie-breaking vote in a budget hearing for Denson’s organization was a violation, even if it wasn’t a direct stipend.
ASUO Sen. Jeremy Hedlund@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Jeremy+Hedlund@@, who cast a vote in favor of the Executive’s benchmark last November, disagrees with this point. He explained that a conflict of interest is directly tied to financial decisions, and Denson never received any money from her vote.
“He was never salaried and didn’t have a stipend,” Hedlund said. “Neither of them benefited from OSPIRG getting more money.”
Hedlund also highlighted the fact that Taylor’s vote was representative of the opinion of the Executive.
“Executive and a lot of Senate ran on a pro-OSPIRG platform,” Hedlund said. “Students knew the Executive was in favor of increasing funding for OSPIRG.”
Bocchicchio stated that none of this would have happened if she had come forward with the information at the beginning of her term.
“This Executive was all about being transparent,” Bocchicchio said. “They are not representing students but representing their personal interests.”
ASUO Sen. Kaitlyn Lange @@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Kaitlyn+Lange@@tried to call for Taylor’s removal last month, to no avail. According to Lange, Constitution Court will not remove someone from office unless there is more than one infraction. She hopes this will show them that other student leaders are concerned with her actions.
“There are legitimate reasons to remove her,” Lange said. “We need to be working on getting a vice president students deserve.”
According to the Green Tape Notebook,@@http://asuo.uoregon.edu/docsmanuals.php?a=39@@ Taylor has a week to respond to the grievance, and she intends to do just that. She stated that her relationship was not a conflict of interest.
Taylor also felt the people asking for her recall are abusing the Con Court system.
“I think it is disturbing and enlightening that both of the people asking for my recall are former or current employees of Division of Student Affairs,” Taylor said. “I also think it it sad these people are wasting Con Court’s time for personal or political gain.”
She also spoke to her efforts to fight for students.
“I would like to know what either of these people have done for students,” Taylor said. “I am working for students’ best interests.”