I have to hand it to ‘em. This year, the Ol’ Dirty Emerald has truly lived up to the name we’ve given them. They’ve been getting dirty. And I mean real filthy. There was this, and now there’s this—heavy ODE assailment on the Oregon Students Association’s (OSA) involvement in the ASUO.
Well this time around they’ve got a gaggle of former ASUO members who have come out of the woodwork to accuse the OSA of giving hush-hush endorsements to ASUO executive candidates. These prize candidates, coincidentally, usually end up winning the elections. Apparently this has been going on for years.
In a fucking stretch of a comparison, the former ASUO gaggle has romantically dubbed this process “Fight Club.” Look, if we’re going to compare this shady bullshit to a David Fincher film, it had better be to Se7en. Why? Because the thought of all of this makes me want to chop off Gwenyth Paltrow’s head and wrap it in a package.
According to Sam Dotters-Katz, the OSA, or an outside organization, picks out “a student leader as their preferred ASUO presidential candidate well before elections, and aids that individual with campaign trainings, resources and potentially other forms of assistance.”
Yeah yeah alright. My favorite testimony though, comes from former ASUO Senator/Fight Club Member Sara Hamilton:
“When I was an intern and was selected to run on a slate that outside organizations supported, I was asked to meet in the basement of a bank on a Saturday morning,” Hamilton said. “I have no idea what organizations they were affiliated with. They told us that outside volunteers would be brought to campus during the weeks of the campaign to help us out.”
Okay that’s kinda Fight Club. But I wish she elaborated on how she made her way into the basement of a bank. I also wish she had elaborated on how banks have basements and how they’re available for student advocacy organizations to hold secret meetings in.
Anyway, in the ODE there was another nice anecdote from another member of the former ASUO gaggle about an overheard conversation in an elevator. She said she heard a United States Student Association (USSA, parent of OSA) coordinator from an Arizona campus apologize to an ASUO presidential candidate for the organization not choosing her. That sorry ASUO presidential candidate in the elevator lost the election that year.
Ultimately, the OSA is accused of this ASUO election/ASUO executive meddling to ensure they are funded the upcoming year.
After that though, the ODE article’s thesis dilutes itself like usual. There are contrary statements from other OSA-loyal gaggle members that try to assure that the OSA remains strictly non-partisan during elections.
So I’m taking this Logic & Inquiry class. And before we get into any conclusions, I want to practice my reasoning by laying out the factual OSA premises for you.
1. The Oregon Student Association (OSA) is an outside organization, a statewide advocacy and organizing non-profit that:
- a.Lobbies in “student interests”
- b. Organizes “student campaigns” on college campuses
- c. Supplies students with “materials, field packets, formal publications” in order to campaign
- d. Provides student “training & leadership development”
2. An OSA representative teaches the ASUO internship class
3. The OSA is funded by the I-Fee.
These, in addition to the former ASUO/Fight Club gaggle testimonies, clearly suggest corrupt OSA influence and involvement in the ASUO. But emphasis should be added to “suggest.”
Are the effects of the OSA’s influence and involvement actually measurable, accountable?
Is anything going to come of this?
Why is this important then?
Well, the ODE has been hard at work with a compelling series of articles about an almost certainly inappropriate relationship between the ASUO and the OSA. It’s important because this is really promising student journalism. Great job, Emily.
Really? That’s it?
Yes. Welcome to the ASUO. The slimy, unaccountable, unchanging thicket of politically driven students (and non-students! <3 OSA, OSPIRG, etc.) that use student I-Fee money to pay the salaries and pursue the far-flung interests of lobbyists not affiliated with the UO. All we can do is talk shit on the OC blog. So start talkin’