The Ol’ Dirty’s Back to the Books issue is on stands today, and new campus and federal politics reporter Franklin Bains has stretched his legs with not one, not two, but three boring articles about the ASUO intended to introduce coverage of the topic. I’m going to summarize each article quickly:
1. Rousseau has big plans for first few weeks of fall term: ASUO President Amélie Rousseau wants to do more legislative work (see: get a job with the Oregon Student Association or United States Student Association after graduating). She’s going to try and go talk to Greeks, because she wants “to do a better job of reaching out to students who don’t usually get heard.” The ASUO is registering voters, like every year. Amélie appointed her boyfriend, Robert D’Andrea, to the highly controversial Political Director position that she created just for him, but he has since resigned, “saying that his presence detracted from the ASUO’s ability to deal with important issues.” [More on this later in the post.] She moved money designated for the 2009-10 budget for use in the 2010-11 budget, which no other student program has been allowed to do, ever. AND, finally, she is “attempting to implement a smoke-free campus to protect students and staff from the adverse effects of secondhand smoke.”
“It’s the right thing to do,” Rousseau said.
First of all, great justification, Amélie. Seriously, top notch.
The Oregon Commentator has long held the opinion that a smoke-free campus is an absurd and draconian response to the issues created by students being able to exercise their rights on campus. The City of Eugene and the state of Oregon both have laws surrounding smoking near doorways and places of business — sometimes individuals must smoke ten feet from the door, sometimes 25 feet — that are as of this point not enforced by the Department of Public Safety on this campus. To create a smoke-free campus at this point would be putting the cart before the horse and simply an attempt by President Rousseau to say that she actually did something while holding the position. There are other problems associated with a smoke-free campus, including student safety and, y’know, policing adults consuming tobacco products in the ambient air.
The Oregon Commentator and the Coalition of On-Campus Smokers regularly organize smoke-ins in the EMU Amphitheater. Look forward to announcements of a fall term smoke-in around week two or three.
2. Who’s who at the ASUO: Descriptions of ASUO President Amélie Rousseau, ASUO Vice President Maneesh Arora, Summer Senate Chair Kaitlyn Lange, ASUO Legislative Affairs Coordinator Sara Marcotte-Levy, and Former ASUO Political Director Robert D’Andrea. From that section:
After Rousseau created this executive post in May, she announced this month that Robert D’Andrea would be stepping down from his position. D’Andrea said his involvement detracted from the ASUO’s focus on campus issues because of the controversy surrounding his appointment. D’Andrea’s appointment drew some criticism from the ASUO Senate for appointing her boyfriend because of how it might affect the running of the ASUO. Rousseau insisted that D’Andrea’s appointment to the post was based on the years of experience he had at the Emerald as an ASUO reporter, news editor and opinion editor. D’Andrea worked as a campaign manager for Rousseau and Arora in the 2010 ASUO election. As political director, he would have assumed some of the strategic functions similar to the chief of staff, while also directing other members of staff in media communication . Nevertheless, he will still be involved with campus groups.
What this article neglects to mention is the fact that since becoming ASUO Political Director, Robert has assumed the position of chair of the Working Class Caucus in the United States Student Association. For those playing along at home, many a former ASUO politico has gone on to get a position in the Oregon Student Association, United States Student Association, Fund for Public Interest, or other similar political organizations that seek to fund themselves from student money and support. In fact, some say it has a hand in who gets elected each spring. Robert is no different, and assuming he is still a student come fall term, I’m sure we’ll see him continuing on in this position.
3. ASUO’s importance exists in representation of students: An article outlining the structure of the ASUO, its various finance committees, and who technically has power over whom.
The one comment on that article, by “Thom,” states:
This article explains the ASUO’s functions, but falls flat on explaining the importance of such functions to the everyday student. The ASUO is a disconnected group of children playing esoteric games with other people’s money.
Thank you, Thom. I couldn’t agree more.