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Trimming the Fat From the ASUO

I had a little chat with ASUO Executive Sam Dotters-Katz yesterday, and he filled me in on some of the ASUO summer happenings.

  • The UO administration denied the BWA and CALC over-realized requests that the ASUO Senate previously approved. If you were looking forward to that $64,000 hair show, you’ll just have to wait for some other time. The money will be rolled back into the over-realized fund. Dotters-Katz said there are ways to greatly benefit the student body without spending exorbitant amounts of money, citing a plan he is working on with the VFSA to install a satellite communications system that would allow family and friends to communicate with troops stationed overseas. The system would cost only $5,000.
  • Over the summer, Dotters-Katz trimmed roughly $50,000 from the incidental fee budget by firing the campus OSA coordinator and changing the Holden Leadership Center to a non-EMU program.
  • Most promising, Dotters-Katz said he plans to use the burgeoning over-realized fund to defray i-fee costs to students. The over-realized fund is already up to about $200,000 and is projected to reach almost two million dollars. “It’s my goal to use 75 percent of the over-realized fund to buy down the incidental fee by $1,250,000 if the fee is under or at $1.5 million,” he said. Dotters-Katz said he would have more concrete plans once “we have a better idea of what the number is going to look like.”

All in all, great work from Dotters-Katz and crew. Buying down the I-fee would be a huge step forward in fiscal responsibility. I hope they keep up this precedent throughout the coming school year.

  1. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Mentioning of fight club? Drink!

  2. Former PFC insider says:

    Lleras and McLain landed jobs with OSA after lobbying to increase its funding. Coincidence or corruption? Kari, SunOwen, Rees, Scott Lu, Petkun, and Hojem’s fight club orchestrated this corrupt wreckage!

  3. Unconcerned Student says:

    Iron Curtain = Emily Mclain and the weasels of doom

  4. Iron curtain says:

    “buying down” creates an artificial vacuum…. Rebates or recalculation of incoming student projections makes more sense.

  5. Concerned Student says:

    Tom Hojem… you ain’t gettin shit

  6. Niedermeyer says:

    The OSA contract is still in place. A single stipended position (through HLC) is plenty to help coordinate voter reg, and there’s already a stipended legislative affairs position in the ASUO to liase with OSA. This was a smart place to cut fat.

    The Overrealized request denials are more great news. Credit here goes to the Administration for showing principle when Emily McLain passed the buck on obviously flawed proposals. I’m especially heartened to hear of the death of CASL’s proposal. It was obviously a capital construction project (no matter how hard anyone spun it), which is one of the only no-nos for ORF requests. Besides, it was such a terrible use of student funds. Basically the plan was to spend about $100k on a house which the three co-directors of CASL would live in to “serve as an educational opportunity for students in the advancement of sustainable living.”

    It’s pretty appalling to consider that we nearly spent $100k on housing for three people (presumably rotating annually) in what amounts to a green Potemkin Village. It’s hard to imagine a more self-serving and condescending approach to the problem of climate change than telling students to buy you a house so that they (in their pitiful ignorance) can benefit from the exquisite “sustainability” of your lifestyle. You know what else is sustainable and allows you enjoy the many benefits of housing? Getting a fucking job.

    I hope the Administration is getting tired of the annual million-dollar plus amateur hour giveaway. It’s time for them to shut the party down for good, before it gets even more embarrassing. Many, many thanks to Sam for proving that the ASUO can in fact be reformed. I bet the vast majority of OC alums would be pretty (pleasantly) surprised to hear of these developments.

  7. Timothy says:

    It is also true that people take positions as things like “campus coordinator” with the OSA because they are talentless rubes who serve no useful purpose in the workforce.

    The OSA Contract, last I knew, was stuck under the ASUO Exec budget, which damn well comes out of the I-fee.

  8. Jacoby says:

    All wording aside, the fact remains the same: Tom is a douchebag and the OSA will continue to spend an exorbitant amount of student money with unclear results while fighting for smaller student fees.

  9. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Ah, false dichotomy. Awesome. Anyways, Dotters-Katz did not rehire someone for the position of OSA coordinator. He cut the position. “Fire” isn’t quite the correct word, although the results are the same. Mea culpa.

    Also, the OSA contract, as far as I know, is funded by the I-fee. The cutting of the coordinator position, along with changing the Holden Leadership Center, results in about $50,000 less student money being spent (gross, not net, as Tom mentioned).

    At least that’s my understanding.

  10. CM says:

    So…is Dotters-katz a liar or is the OC simply conducting a poor journalistic project?

  11. Tom Hojem says:

    Hi, C.J.

    I realize this won’t change the tenor of your post, but there are a couple of inaccuracies I would like to clear up.

    The more significant of the two is that I wasn’t fired. I was hired as OSA’s Legislative Director and left my position at the University of Oregon. Sam made the choice to not hire a new organizer and effectively eliminated the position. Again, I realize this doesn’t change your point you are trying to make, but I feel like these little details are eminently important.

    Additionally and less personally, the cutting of my position eliminated $32,000 from OSA’s contract, a good portion of which is being picked up by the hiring of a graduate student to run the internship program.

    I’ll reiterate: I know this won’t change your support for these changes but facts are important. If you ever need someone to fact check your sources, I’m available at tom@orstudents.org.

    thanks and good luck with fall term.

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