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Archive for April, 2005

Kill Bill Vol. 3

April 4th, 2005 by jeremy

My new favorite news story


April 1st, 2005 by Tyler

Interview with executive candidates Evan and David.

“I believe a paycheck is a lot more important than a scholarship write-off. When you go out to work in the real world, you will be given a paycheck, they wont be paying off your bills for you. So, we need to preserve that freedom.” — David

OC: First of all, could you guys summarize your platform for me?

Evan: Sure. Our overriding theme is, of course, integrity integrity with budgets, integrity with people. Were also going to be running on a platform of education, communication and relations.

David: When it comes to communication we want to further utilize the Internet as a way to find out about the budget. Currently, its hard for any student to get a hold of the ASUO or PFC budget, and what we want to do is put that online, so students can be informed about what their money is going for. Furthermore, we want to post a detailed breakdown of where every dollar of the budget is going how much is going to the Assault Prevention Shuttle, how much is going to the Commentator so everyone can be informed about what theyre paying for. Next we want to put our executive recommendations online ahead of time so everyone–not only the program groups–but all students have the chance to view our executive recommendations.

Evan: And by doing that we feel as if we can solve some of the current problems within the PFC. Second on our platform is education. And for the 2005-2007 state budget it says there is a $200 million surplus, and we need about $50 million to get a tuition freeze. By getting a tuition freeze we can save students about $400 a year. Also, were going to be working toward an equal scholarship grant and things like that.

David: Also on our platform are relations. We want to reach outside the ASUO to work with student groups such as the Residents Hall Association and various groups on campus and bring them into the ASUO, so we can create a student government based on what the student population is and not on what the student government thinks it is.

OC. Okay. What changes need to be made to make the ASUO more accountable to students?

David: Well, first were going to enforce the current rules and regulations. The first thing to accountability is making sure that the president and vice president hold their executive staff accountable.

Evan: As for past events and the ASUO not being held accountable, such as the Sunriver retreat with [student leaders] drinking and things like that, and then regular students having to pay for that because [student leaders] didnt actually pay back the money. What we intend to do is have contracts ahead of time so if students do make a mistake and break a rule the punishment will be more clear. On our website, theres a link and it shows how the Residents Hall Association has handled similar incidents.

David: And lastly, what we want to do is go out and talk to the students. A lot of students, after the Sunriver retreat, were very frustrated, as people saw from reading the Daily Emerald or the Oregon Commentator, because their money was being abused. But the ASUO did not respond. Were going to actively pursue students in every forum possible, so we know what their thoughts are, because, once again, they elected us and we need to be respectful of their wishes. Were going to be very responsive to their concerns.

OC: Okay. What is your take on the debate over the restructuring of the stipend model?

Evan: The stipends being reduced?

OC: Well, theyre working on a new model. The PFC wants to turn the stipends into mini-scholarships that will help pay off fees and tuition.

David: Its interesting to look at how the stipend model came down. This was a recommendation done by President Frohnmayer this last summer. He said they wanted the whole stipend model to be reassessed. But we want to look at the ASUO as an entity unto itself and separate ourselves and not take our lead from the administration. But we do value what the administration has to offer. However, things regarding stipends should be handled by students. The current concern right now is that the PFC doesnt have a budget. Its long overdue because they did not have a clear objective about how much money they wanted to spend. They didnt have a clear plan about how they were going to reach their budget benchmark. For now theyre going to repeal budgets and cut stipends for minority groups such as the LGBTQA and the Black Student Union, and they havent really looked at Well, we gave all these increases, why cant we reassess what we increased. This would save some groups from getting totally cut. The Students for Choice, for instance, are going to lose all four stipended positions. Those stipends are $50 a month a $200-a-week student budget. And this [stipend cut] will all but annihilate their program because they wont be able to pay people. I believe a paycheck is a lot more important than a scholarship write-off. When you go out to work in the real world, you will be given a paycheck, they wont be paying off your bills for you. So, we need to preserve that freedom.

OC: All right. What do you see as the biggest problem in student government right now?

David: Theres really an apathy toward the ASUO. Because past administrations have not been accountable and not held their promises, students do not want to get involved in the ASUO because they believe that the ASUO does not represent their views or their beliefs. The only way we can get students involved is the students believe its a worthwhile organization, and that starts with adding integrity back in the ASUO.

OC: Whats your background? What are your qualifications and why would you be best for this job?

Evan: I currently represent 3,200 students in the Residents Hall Association, and we give money to organizations like ISA. I also have to work with other members nationally as well as student senators and past student senators. So I have to work with these people in order to find out whats wrong with campus in order to make it better in future years.

David: Im an accounting major. Ive had vast experience in the accounting field. I managed over $100,000 for a national church. I currently work for the Assault Prevention Shuttle, which is an ASUO-funded organization. Im also a member of the UO marching band and involved in the Religious Directors Organization. So I really know whats happening on the ground level and how the student fees that the ASUO handles affects the students. When were looking at dealing with a five million dollar budget for the ASUO, my accounting background will play a great role. I also have experience managing a staff of twenty-five people. And thats what Ill have to do as vice president of the ASUO. Ive had to make some tough calls [as a manager], and Ive had to ask people to leave my organization because they have not followed the directions or the guidelines of the organization, and I will bring that kind of integrity back to the ASUO.