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Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

Who’s Cryin’ Now?

Note: The Oregon Commentator does not, and has never, paid anyone a stipend out of student incidental fees.

The PFC starts Spring Term off with a bang. Unlike me, most of you have a life that concerns itself with matters off-campus. But this latest dirt really bakes my cookies.
Yesterday’s ODE story here
Today’s continuation here

Convenient that when the OC was going through PFC problems (Quiroz, Cortez and Kieffer to name just three), all of these student groups were staunchly anti-OC and pro-PFC. The MCC, MEChA, LGBTQA, etc all showed up at our hearing to applaud the PFC stomping all over our First Amendment Rights, so long as it served an approved purpose. Now that the PFC isn’t financially beneficial to the poor baby student unions (and, ironically, being responsible to the rest of us):

“Native American Student Union Co-Director Natasha Joseph expressed concerns that the PFC did not follow through on a commitment to address the pay model. “Once again, you’ve lied and once again you’ve not done your jobs properly and it’s just kind of disgusting to sit here and hear all your excuses,” she said. “

That is so funny, because when Tyler said the same thing to the PFC last month, he was booed down by the same crowd making the above statement.

In summary, the Programs Finance Committee is having budget problems. To fix this problem and bring them back into the black, they had to cut from somewhere. Student incidental fee funded paid positions were first on the chopping block; rightfully so, if you ask me. Here’s why:

(1) All college student group positions should be volunteer, and used for resume purposes only. Luring leaders with large stipends does not improve the candidate pool; if anything, it contaminates the pool. Some people will do anything for a few bucks, including pretending to care about the Survivor Center. Real leaders work for their cause for free.

(2) Cutting student stipends should not be an issue of race, but nearly every student union addresses the problem with their old cry racism standby. The student groups affected by the cuts argue two things: that they are being targeted as “students of color,” and that the only way they pay for rent and food is with the stipends from their positions. From 3/28/05,

“Representatives of several multicultural groups voiced concerns to the PFC at a March 16 meeting that the pay cuts unfairly affect international students and students of color. Multicultural Center Co-Director Maria Hwang called the cuts a “major structural change,” adding that they would lead to the “gentrification of the (student) unions.” She said some student leaders depend on stipends for essentials like rent and food.”

I’d like to know how these people justify taking enough incidental fee money to pay their rent, and why they deserve incidental fee money on the grounds that they are “of color.” This “of color” justification just has to stop.

Gentrification? If she means “the restoration and upgrading of deteriorated urban property by middle-class or affluent people, often resulting in displacement of lower-income people,” then she’s way off base. News for you, Hwang: being non-white doesn’t make a person poor or lower class. Furthermore, the white community on this campus is sorely underrepresented by the precious student unions.

The international students have no place to complain about this situation: being an international student means accepting the fact that your financial resources, and employment opportunities while studying here, are limited. International students are here with the understanding that academics are the main occupation.

(3) Most student leaders paid by the incidental fee do almost nothing. Keep in mind that these individuals include those at the infamous ASUO retreat (Sarah Wells). Anyone with questions? I suggest that you take a random walk through the ASUO offices and check in on a few student group offices. Then ask yourself: do these people deserve to be paid?

(4) Getting a real job is highly profitable. Nearly everyone I know works for a living, and none of them receive incidental fees as stipends. My advice to those affected by student stipend cuts: Shit happens. Get a real job.

  1. Melissa says:

    So did I, Andy. So did I.

  2. Andy D says:

    Don’t worry Melissa, I cheered! :)~

  3. Timothy says:

    Dammit, I have finite vacation time and limited income…I’m shooting for Labor Day Weekend.

  4. Marla says:

    Yet, oddly, you haven’t been out to visit us in DC since you graduated : )

  5. Timothy says:

    Also, the OC did have a payroll line-item for one year in either 1985 or 1986. It was a total of $100.

  6. Timothy says:

    A-freakin’-men. Bret and I once sat down and talked about what our devotion to the OC likely cost us, opportunity cost wise. We figured it was someplace around $7800 per year. That assumes $6/hr of net income (not unreasonable, in Oregon) and 25 hours a week for 52 weeks of the year (also not unreasonable, with the ability to work extra hours during summer and breaks to make up for trips and what-not). Basically, working at the Commentator cost me $31,200 over four years. If I’d have been compensated $6/hr for my time at the OC, particularly the last two years of my tenure, I’d have had a lot more money for beer. But I wasn’t, and I don’t care, I’d do it again. It was an investment in myself, and I know a host of great, like-minded folks as a result. Friends, networking, excuses to go to DC, these are the things I got out of the Commentator in addition to the experience of actually doing something meaningful for four years.

    Piss off, MCC, and be willing to actually make a commitment and sacrifice for something you care about. Oh wait, you’re leftists, you only think that others should have to work hard.

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