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Senate Report 4/25/07:

Senate bounced back from last weeks bitter, contentious meeting by holding a cordial but useless meeting last night. The confrontational spirit which made last Wednesday the most fun I’ve ever had in five hours was blessedly gone, and Senators seemed to be sporting a hangover which gave the meeting a bumbling, awkward feel. For Senate meeting aficionados like myself, it was a return to the old “nobody knows the rules, and nobody cares” Senate that we all know and love. Good times.

The meeting kicked off with special requests from the Oregon Investment Group and Zeta Phi Beta, Inc. The Oregon Investment Group is a non-ASUO recognized student investment group, which wanted money to pay for an RV trip to the Berkshire-Hathaway annual stockholder meeting. Their presentation was lacking in some details, but Senators Kosassa, Guerra and Gulley made it clear that as a non-recognized group, the OIG wouldn’t be receiving surplus money. First of all, it was hilarious to see the Senators who typically vote aye on special requests without asking any questions suddenly becoming the champions of fiscal responsibility. Second, this has come up in the past, yet nobody seemed to remember that the ASUO Exec can create a special account so that non-ASUO groups can spend ASUO money. Finally, nobody asked how this would benefit the student body as a whole. It sounded like a fun plan for a trip for the students of OIG, but they never explained how it would benefit anybody outside of their group… because nobody asked them. The proposal failed, which it should have, but not for the reasons it should have. It’s sad that the least fiscally responsible Senators would take a strong stand against this allocation, without even asking whether or not students would benefit from it. Who’s surprised though? Senate also heard and approved a request from Zeta Phi Beta for about $8,000 for their Step Show.

The majority of the discussion, confusion and hilarity of the evening came during discussion of the Appropriations packages. These packages were assembled in the Appropriations committee, out of some 35 proposals for spending the $800,000 overrealized fund. Senators realized early on that comparing two packages of unrelated expenditures was ridiculous and inefficient, but then again there should have probably been some discussion of this when they passed the rules in SB23. Of course they were unnecessarily rushing a decision then, and they seem poised to do the same again. Appropriations chairman Jacob Daniels expressed his frustration at the process they had been following, quipping “this bill has ruined my life.” The proposals were tabled and sent back to the Appropriations Committee to be reworked, despite the fact that Daniels will be resigning after Sundays approporiations meeting. Whatever, it’s only $800,000… it’s not really so important that it be spent well, it’s just important that this Senate spend the money, so that they can come back two campus in 20 years, in the words of Senator Erica Anderson, and be able to say “look, we did that.” Because, everyone on Senate can agree that what students need most is a monument to this Senate’s ability to spend $700,000 of misappropriated money in the most self-aggrandizing, resume-boosting, ego-satisfying way. Hey Senate, I don’t think it’s too late to spend it all on a golden statue of Steve Morizumi…

  1. Jacque says:

    I just wanted to give props to the Women of the Oregon Chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. they have done some amazing things this year through their organization and the Black Women of Achievement. Their program last week regarding the history of traditionally black fraternaties and soririties was really a great program. 😀 As for the OIG request it was shady, no offense to Mr. Pinson, but he served on Senate he should already know the rules…

  2. Madeline says:

    We provide co-sponsorships, but it’s only accessible to ASUO recognized entities or events put on by the University. The funds are never transferred between programs (the only transfers that can occur through the i-fee are from surplus ), but rather a cost is covered. There’s no “special account” as far as I know.

    I don’t disagree with you about the requests from the recognized groups, I simply wanted to clarify the Exec budget piece I think Senate was prudent in their decisions regarding the UOIG and Zeta Phi Beta. Besides, I’m not much of an internet debater.

  3. Niedermeyer says:

    I was under the impression that under certain circumstances, the Executive can open accounts for parties who don’t have or can’t use an ASUO account. I think Ty Schwoeffermann was involved in such a situation a while back, but I’d need a minute to find examples that I am more familiar with. Have you heard of situations like this?

    Again, the OIG presentation was totally unconvincing. I was merely trying to encourage Senators to ask groups to explain the wider benefits to the student body of special requests expenditures. Zeta Phi Beta did exactly that in their presentation, and didn’t have to be asked. That’s all.

  4. Madeline says:

    To what account are you referring, Ted?

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