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The Scoop On Why Donnie Flew the Coop

After a 15 minute discussion about whether or not to have a discussion, followed by recess, and then another discussion – with three motions made to get the heck out of there in the mean time, two rescinded – the ASUO Senate finally decided to have a discussion about the resignation of Senate Vice President Donnie Kim.

In the middle of it all, Sen. Dan Feldman asked, “is this an impeachment trial, what is this?” But let me regress to the beginning.

During his committee update, Senator Ombudsman Patrick Boye said that Kim had resigned, but he was asked to add this item to New Business at the end of the meeting. He never said who asked him to do this. Boye was running the meeting because Senate President Athan Papailou had told senators he would be an hour late and VP Kim had resigned.

Sen. Lee Warnecke tried to squelch the conflict before it erupted.

“I don’t think we need to talk about it amongst us … I think this was an internal problem … I’m not entirely sure of the reason,” he said.

Senator Lauren Zavrel, the chair of the Personnel Committee, said that she had relevant information but was not comfortable saying it with out Papailou present. “I have reason to believe that there is a valid reason to have a discussion about this,” she said. Senator Nate Gulley and Diego Hernandez both claimed they knew nothing and each felt they deserved to know. Throughout the meeting, both Gulley and Hernandez tried to force as much conversation about the situation as possible. “We are a public body and we are accountable, all of us … it’s a public matter,” Gulley said. Just like them to make it personal.

“This isn’t Watergate … I don’t think it’s a big deal … a member of this body decided he didn’t want to do the work anymore and he resigned,” Warnecke said.

Sen. Zavrel then suggested the body take a recess and wait for Athan to continue.

Note: This all began under less than an hour after the meeting began. It was looking to be the most efficient meeting of the year – I was worried that I had skipped the forth quarter of the Trail Blazers vs. Celtics game. Thankfully, Senate came through, as usual.

Senators dispersed into their own small circles during recess. I noticed that Sen. Jones and Sen. Zavrel came back to the board room together from down the opposite hall. As soon as the recess ended, Jones quickly motioned to adjourn. The “nays” won, led by Gulley, who asked, “what was that about.”

Boye seemed to be pushing for an end to the discussion, and a motion to table it until next week came. As the senate came to a vote, Papailou walked into the board room. I’m sure there was some rule broken in this quick moment, but the motion was quickly rescinded on the basis that Papailou arrived.

At this point, Zavrel said she could put it all in an e-mail and send it to senators. Gulley disagreed and said they should not wait for the resigned senator to talk about this. Zavrel finally spoke. The Personnel Committee met in December and created scores, grades, for each senator.

“Papailou came with concerns how the scores were laid out … he disagreed with the scores of the VP, which were above average,” she said. “I suggested the personnel committee meet again so that we could accept feedback for any of those scores. I suggested that we have a meeting … to which Athan agreed. At that point in time, Athan also confided information in me about Donnie’s performance … I don’t want to go into any quotes on that cuz it would be best in committee meeting.”

On Monday, Athan sent out an e-mail to the senate saying he would not be at the meeting until 8 p.m. and that Kim would be running the meeting and would be in charge for handling the paperwork for the meeting leading up to it. Sen. Zavrel said Kim thought this was an aggressive attempt at something. (?!?) She said Sen. Jones told her that it was not Kim’s duties. Papailou believes it was. Either way, this is a slight technicality and whether it garners a case against the senate president, I don’t know.

“It became evident over the past week that there was underlined conflict between the president and the vice president,” Zavrel finished.

In the middle of this, Boye told the senate he had received a text message from Kim, who said he gave permission for Sen. Jones to speak for him.

After some babble from the South side of the table, Sen. Warnecke said, “Let’s put some sense to it, it’s not a bad thing that the president saw the work of the vice president and didn’t like that … you can either step up and do the work or do what Donnie did.” But then Sen. Hernandez cut him off. Finally, Jones, who was meticulous with her words and actions all night, spoke.

“Kim and I are close … we kind had an open door information sharing policy … I talked to Donnie as soon as I got the email. Donnie has authorized me to speak on his behalf. Donnie said that he has felt a near constant pressure to vote a certain way, a pressure brought on by our president … for slate affiliation,” she said. She mentioned “a number of threatening phone calls from (former senate president) Sara Hamilton.” Hamilton later told the Commentator these are false accusations. Jones said Kim didn’t know he’d have to do the Senate President responsibilities for the meetings.

“Donnie’s resignation is due to him not wanting to deal with political pressure from a person whose job it is to be neutral,” Jones said. It also came out in the meeting that Kim had told Senators he felt Athan was not aggressive enough and too neutral during the meetings. Yet, the accusations brought out by Jones now are that Papailou is too aggressive and not neutral, outside of the meetings. This is when Sen. Feldman asked if it was an impeachment trial.

At this point, the conversation turned to politics and I stopped taking notes – I do enough of that in class. The speculations by certain senators were that Papailou is a dirty politician and is the cause of Kim’s resignation. This was affirmed yesterday by Kim, who told this to the ODE who printed the story today:

He said he resigned for “personal reasons,” but added, “I’m also tired of backdoor politics. I’m tired of being told what to think and how to think on that body.” …

“From the very beginning of this student government process I have been back-stabbed and politicked to death,” he said.

Kim’s other comments in the ODE paint a poor picture of Papailou’s character. Keeping my own feelings out of it, it paints a false picture to the everyday, unknowing student.

In conclusion, certain senators have said Kim’s effort as vice president was often sluggish. Judging by the history of the senate, there could very easily be ulterior motives for Kim’s resignation. But it comes down to one of our student leaders decided he didn’t want to do the job anymore and quit immediately in a way that he knew would spark controversy against another member of the body with whom he had noted professional and maybe personal differences.

No individual can be blamed for dirty or backdoor politics here. The body as a whole, however, can be lambasted for such games year in and year out. I guess you could call it, “institutional backdooring.” Finally, Campaign For Change has all but been dismantled at this point. I think Papailou was just doing what he could to save the initial goals of the slate that ran as a cohesive unit. Since then, personal goals and games played for leverage have destroyed it all.

Must be getting close to elections season.

  1. […] to file grievances against the Senate if he was voted down. Hernandez followed suit by bringing up some controversy from last year. He had to be interrupted by Senate President McCafferty for being too “sarcastic” […]

  2. Vincent says:

    Thank goodness you decided to post again to clear all that up.

  3. Athan's a douchefuck says:

    I know nothing of Donnie and Athan when it comes to the ASUO and I don’t really care. I do know both of them socially. Donnie is a great guy and Athan is a self absorbed asshole, that’s all I’m saying.

  4. Jake says:

    OSA insider? Does this mean we can start talking about “Fight Club” again?

  5. OSA insider says:

    kate is running

  6. Niedermeyer says:

    Hey Douchefuck, I’m guessing that the “large sense of entitlement” is a product of the fact that Athan and Sara held “open auditions” for their slate last year, and as a result they got more than a few candidates who knew fuck all about the ASUO, and had to be told what to do every step of the way. Obviously it’s Athan (and Sara’s) fault for assembling a coalition that had to be spoonfed, but that doesn’t mean they should be backstabbed for their trouble just because their petulant “slate” doesn’t have the decency to actually uphold the mandate they were elected on.

    Trying to make Athan look bad on the count of “backdoor politics” is pretty hilarious when the attack is coming from people who Athan helped get elected on a reform ticket, but are now planning to run against him on the programs ticket. If Donnie doesn’t like Athan “telling him what to do,” he should just wait until his new boss Kate Jones is running the show… not only does she have an ego that won’t quit, she has already proven how loyal she is to those who help her out. You’ve made your bed Donnie, have fun sleeping in it.

  7. Timothy says:

    Are you certain?

  8. Vincent. says:

    Nay sir, it has not.

  9. Vincent. says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but “Athan’s a douchefuck” has convinced me with his wit and wisdom. Indeed, the Socratic Method has never seen such a champion.

  10. Athan's a douchefuck says:

    Athan is a disrespectful punk with a large sense of entitlement. This is why Donnie left, because Athan is an asshole.

  11. Ossie says:

    It’s not that he didn’t want to lead the meeting, it’s that he felt he shouldn’t have to do the prior paperwork for the meeting.

  12. Blaser says:

    Since when was it not the duty of the Vice President to lead the meetings when the President is absent? Am I missing something here?

  13. Niedermeyer says:

    I have a really hard time believing that the “Campaign for Change” slate is so tightly controlled from the top that its members are resigning because of overwhelming pressure for conformity. In my mind, the problem with CFC is that it won on a mandate for reform, and yet much of the rank and file of its Senators seem more than happy to keep up the ASUO business as usual (at best) and backstab the people and ideas which put CFC together (at worst). Maybe it’s the CFC’s fault for capitalizing on dissatisfaction with the ASUO without having a comprehensive reform agenda and Senate candidates who were actually committed to said reforms, but hey, at least they tried. If the ASUO reform movement is going to stay alive it needs to find candidates who are actually committed to the difficult task of reform, and not run at the first sign of adversity.

  14. ASUO Alumni says:

    And I thought ASUO drama only happened when I attended UO! It seems as if someone was not doing their jobs properly, maybe even the president confronted him behind the scenes. Kim probably knew he was in trouble, and instead facing the consequences or starting to actually perform his duties, decided to go out with flare. I mean, what better way to cover your own ass than go out blaming someone else? When was being delegates extra duties such a problem? Isn’t that what you are paid $100 EXTRA of STUDENT DOLLARS to do as vice president?

  15. Timothy says:

    Donnie are you okay, are you okay Donnie?

  16. Ossie says:

    got it, thanks. By the way, ODE, Kim has one ‘m’.

  17. P says:

    Just a clarification: Sara Hamilton was Senate PRESIDENT, not VP.

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