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Fiscal Conservativism Does Not Equate To Racism

The intent of our blog interview series is NOT to ambush candidates, however something in our last interview struck a nerve for me which is impossible to ignore, especially in light of the recent unpleasantness. In a comment under his interview, Nick Schultz writes “Too bad there won’t be a victory for hard-core conservative minded people, such as your self. Perhaps you could find some fascist to run for PFC and cut programs from multi-cultural groups.” This echoes Gulley’s charges of “racism,” and frankly I can’t stomach this any longer. This needs to be discussed, because it is poison.

Fiscal conservatives in the ASUO are not racists. I have been to nearly every Senate meeting this year (search our blog archive) and I have never heard a Senator advocate for targeting “multi-cultural groups.” I have also spoken in private with every Senator that Gulley attacks, and never once have they betrayed hate in their hearts for anyone.

Demanding accountability for how funds are spent, and showing concern for the level of the fee is not racist, it’s responsible. The people who do the most damage to the campus climate are those who put a dollar amount on racism. The suggestion that if a certain group gets X dollars then ASUO is cool, but that if the group gets less than X dollars, the ASUO is racist, is poisonous and just plain wrong. It makes responsible governance and social harmony incompatible… and for what? More pizza? Another speaker?

As the head of a group that got an 11% decrease, I can say it will not affect our ability to fulfill our mission statement, nor will it decrease our ability to serve campus. If we are more or less successful from year to year, it is because we have more or fewer people who believe in the value of what we do, not because of the dollar amount of our budget. And yet, other groups blackmail elected officials with the spectre of racial divisions and disrespect for the dead (as in the LGBTQA case this year), for a few bucks. And the officials are the assholes when they resist this pressure? This makes them racist? People need to seriously check themselves, because there is nothing noble about this strategy. It’s petty, it’s venal, and the ASUO cannot effectively do its job if its members are going to be called racists as their reward for ensuring that the I-fee is spent responsibly.

  1. […] ago he advocated for a zero percent benchmark budget for student programs. And as we all know, fiscal conservatism is racism according to the bunker mentality that pervades the ethnic studies […]

  2. Doomscheissah says:

    Depends on who is wearing the clear plastic skirt, Jared.

  3. its jrod says:

    its jared. so whos transparent?

  4. Timothy says:

    My parents saw it in the theatre, said it was nothing special.

  5. A Student says:

    I believe that criticizing one

  6. Madeline says:

    This is the first time I

  7. A Student says:

    Transparent: I’ve helped the situation by explaining my point of view. But this blog isn’t about what has one done, its about discussion and debate. That’s all I’m doing, and frankly, I think that’s all anyone is doing on here.
    Transparent II: You are exactly right: Anyone could have done something about it this year, but nobody did. I just mentioned Sara, Jon, and Athan, in addition to Doom’s thoughts. Look, the Senators who are running, for sitting on the incidental fee allocating body (Senate) all year, have nothing really to show for it in terms of keeping the fee low.
    T: Thank you.

  8. T says:

    Whoever it is, he or she grasps the concept of punctuating things properly. For that, I applaud him/her/Madeline Wiggen.

  9. Transparent II says:

    No shit Transparent! It’s Madeline Wiggen. She’s the most emotional student government exec member yet and she’s just POed because she was right and now has to rub it in everyone’s face. The truth is: ANYONE could have done something bout this year but Sara, Jon, Athan, and Avital are getting the brunt of the attack. Way to be mature guys!

  10. Transparent says:

    Who could ‘A Student’ be? Possibly someone from this years exec? What have you done to help the situation?

  11. A Student says:

    To be honest, I don’t expect Sara and Athan or Jonathan and Avital to do it either. Neither Sara, Athan, nor Jonathan have showed any real progress while on Senate in trying to limit the fee, outside of setting a low benchmark, which, as you can see by my earlier posts, was flawed anyway.
    I guess we are all, utterly and completly, screwed. Good thing I’m graduating soon.

  12. Doomscheissah says:

    Don’t expect Emily and San to do that. They’re too in bed with the PAC-8 progressives-communists on this one.

  13. A Student says:

    First, thank you for admitting what you did above – it takes courage, and not everyone has that.
    Look, what I’m saying is, if you had these specific concerns about contracts and departments, most notably PARS, OSPIRG, and LTD, you can’t expect PFC to read your mind and make changes appropriatley. Sure, you said that “we should look at them seperatley” (which I agree with), but you don’t go into any specifics beyond that. You can’t expect people to know your thoughts, you need to address them in a clear and appropriate manner. But I’m sure as a law student, they teach you all about communication, I hope…
    Next, I didn’t make the equation of money = support, and I’m not sure who did. But I agree with you again, that groups are expected to fundraise, large amounts even, especially when there are CSL increases are high and benchmarks are low. Club sports does it too, as does many programs (Hawaii club, for example, fundraises THOUSANDS of dollars). But fundraising can only do so much. A group with a budget so small sometimes does not have the means necessary to fundraise large sums of money. They result to selling cupcakes for a quarter, or some other tactic. Trust me, these groups want to fundraise, desperatley, but they can’t at the level that Senate expects them to. Things need to change, whether its with Catering, Scheduling, or heck even removing the bake sale ban that is on the law school (you know what I’m talking about…) in order to give groups the resources to fundraise more efficiently – if not through a dollar amount, then through some other functions.
    Last, you asked for my suggestion, but I’ll give you two: I’ve already mentioned a couple, but here are some more for you. First, I agree with the charge of the appropriations committee, and I hope that they allocate that money that will benefit the most students for a long time to come. If they could find a way to even buy down the fee or reimburse students, that would be even better. Second, look at the example by the Exec this year. They managed to get $106,000 knocked off of the fee; its $2 per student per term, which isn’t much, but I’ll tell you what it is: It’s a start, and it’s hope. If Jared and Juliana can knock off over $100,000 from one budget this year, other budgets could be examined too. Just an idea…

  14. Jacque says:

    “A Student”
    I can tell you for certain that in all 3 meetings in which we discussed the benchmark the minutes are all that accurate (one isn’t even up). There was a lot more debate but in general just looking at the comments that are on record I think I am down as stating “we should look at them seperately” and “groups shouldn’t be worried just yet” (and I know that there was ALOT more that came from that statement that is not recorded…) and you know why? Because far be it from me to tell the PFC how to allocate money… that is there job and if they wanted to give money to contracts rather than programs that is their deal. Do I regret not giving them more guidance yea I guess. Did I not make it to a contract meeting thats right because I was out of town. Yup, I voted for the final budget and didn’t really comment much because it was clear that the PFC was not going to have the time or desire to redo the entire budget as I would have wanted them to. In terms of giving them guidance we rarely see them within the meetings so speaking with them outside is what we do. I did tell them what I would have liked to see maybe not as vocally as you would like…but hey maybe posting anonymously makes you the expert…

    Moreover, the equation of money = support is completely false. I am personally involved in many programs that took a hit this year or didn’t get the increase that they might deserve and I can tell you that without the money we will still function because we are really good at finding ways to increase revenue and cut costs like so many departments seem unwilling to do. Yes, I would have seen departments and contracts take the brunt of the hit but hey PFC allocated what they allocated following the benchmark as best they could although had it not been for the change in the Career Center they STILL would have barely made a 5% benchmark.

    Programs are difficult because we actually VISIBLY see them roll over about 50,000 EVERY YEAR. it is unfortunate but for waht ever reason they are getting money that they are not using because we have the entire fee to be responsible for. If that is the case then we need to reallocate it somewhere else… that is just my opinion.

    When a body is sitting on almost a million dollars in unspent money it does not speak well for it. Something has to be done about it so “A Student” what is your suggestion?

  15. A Student says:

    Jacque: As far as I can tell, you made no mention of those concerns during the benchmark hearing, according to the minutes (not sure if that’s gonna work, but I’m giving it a shot). As for discussions with various PFC members, I can’t say that you didn’t. But still, my point remains that the best place to voice those concerns is at the budget hearing, where both the PFC and the groups could hear it loud and clear and act appropriately.

  16. Jacque says:

    Studnet: They knew how I felt. I told them at the benchmark and in outside discussions with various PFC members…

  17. Betz says:

    Setting a dollar amount on racism cheapens all of the progress made against it

  18. Andy says:

    So is my first amendment right now subject to the “justice” of the ASUO?

  19. A Student says:

    Well, Jacque, I’m sure you voiced your concerns about those contracts and departments at their PFC budget hearing, right?

  20. Jacque says:

    Ted: Thank you for your posting. I think it is important to alsso draw a distinction between Senate setting a low benchmark and PFC making cuts in programs. I know that I for one advocated that contracts and departments be heavily scruitinized. SO the please indicate to me how it makes sense for the rec center to get funding for 2 new, salaried, positions. OSPRIG to get more money when they initially were level funded and most of their money goes OFF campus (regardless of the cool projects they work on and things that they may contribute to campus) and why LTD got an increase when we aren’t even sure how many students use their services. While every single one of these programs provide great benefits to the student body as a whole this doesn not mean that they should not be scruitinzed to the same level as programs. Progams make for unfortunately easy targets because their roll over is easily and clearly documented from year to year. Every group that recieved a decrease recieved one because they did NOT spend all of their money. The groups that recieved even the slightest increase recieved it based on documented spending habits; however, no group recieved that large of an increase (there were some new stipends allocated which I would question as well…) If this equates to racial animus I am gonna need someone to explain how that is the case…I know I can be a little slow on the up keep sometimes…

  21. Evan says:

    Damn you, Timothy! My “Campus Recyclers for Truth: Campaign to Sabotage Nick Schultz’s Bid for Senate” was just getting started on that other thread.

  22. Nick Schultz says:

    I hold my opinions….regardless of this factual dispute. i hope that I was able to clarify a few points; namely that I am not affiliated with Senator Gulley’s sentiments. End of story.

  23. Doomscheissah says:

    I would like to make a point from a previous thread. As a former College Republican, the only thing that the CRs have connections with the ASUO on is that they are renting student space, in the form of paying rent to the EMU.

    They receive no money from the ASUO.

  24. Nick Schultz says:

    I think there is some validity to your point. I only hope that more students vote this year. I wish Ted Nedermeyer the best of luck during this election. My only point, is that I do not share Senator Gulley’s view that fiscal conservatives are racist. I do not agree with your analysis of progressives, but the election returns will demonstrate the truth (for either direction). Thank you for your kind response and, as I said, good luck to every affiliated with the Oregon Commentator.

  25. Doomscheissah says:

    >that the student body is seeking a progressive attitude in the upcoming election.

    Uhm…they already had it for the past three years…PSST? SAL? The JJ Slate? The people are tired of “Progressive”, because Progressives are just funding their own interests, rather than actually dealing with something.

    People are looking for something different, not something from the PAC-8 (or PAC-9, in some cases) crowd.

  26. Nick Schultz says:

    Ted…I respect your claims for fiscal conservation. While I do have my personal opinions regarding the function of the PFC, I do not condone the idea that racists occupy the ASUO Senate. I believe that the ASUO Senators are attempting to maintain a balanced budget, and they do rely on program cuts to accomplish this task. I do not agree with this mindset, since I feel that other alternatives are available. I am not, however, agreeing with Senator Gulley’s remarks. However, I do think that the ASUO is not operating efficiently and I do feel that fiscal conservatism has its limits. As for the interview, I did get ambushed, even if that were not your intention. In the end, my opinions fell upon deaf ears. This failure was magnified by a series of vicious comments regarding my character. Lastly, i do not accuse of fiscal conservatives of being fascist or racist. When I was implied to be a communist, because of my progressive ideas, I aimed to illustrate a point: that the student body is seeking a progressive attitude in the upcoming election. I have no doubt that this election will prove my point correct. I thank the Oregon Commentator for the opportunity to share my views, but i do feel that certain remarks were made which were unecessary. Thank you for allowing me to clarify this point.

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