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Rosenberg’s letter to Con Court

Jonathan Rosenberg sent this letter out yesterday in response to the grievance filed by Brown.

Dear Constitution Court,

The meeting of June 13, 2007 was an emergency senate meeting called by student senators to make way for new appointments to the ASUO Senate, consider surplus funding requests, and formulate summer senate. As a result of this meeting, four appointees were confirmed to senate, thus enabling the senate to make quorum for summer session. Because this meeting took place during finals week, the staff member who normally took minutes during senate meetings was unable to attend the meeting. This staff member called me within a reasonable period of time and informed me that she would be unable to take minutes for the June 13th meeting. I unsuccessfully attempted to find someone who could act as a replacement. The controversy over June 13th began when I inattentively forgot to appoint a senator to take minutes for that meeting.

I do not dispute the overall content of the grievance filed against me. I take full responsibility for not appointing someone to take minutes during the meeting of June 13, 2007. However, for the purpose of good record keeping, I would like to correct several critical errors contained within the grievance.

First, my term of office expired on June 14th of this year, exactly one day after the meeting at issue. This neither changes the fact that I neglected to appoint someone to take minutes, nor does it absolve me of responsibility for having continued the meeting in error. It is only to point out that all information concerning my actions after June 14th is irrelevant to this grievance – I had absolutely no power or accountability to make changes following that date.

Second, the grievance incorrectly states (at the top of the attached minutes) that the minutes were “submitted… by former Senator Jonathan Rosenberg.” Given that I was not in office when the minutes for the June 13 meeting were submitted, I take no responsibility for the submission of those minutes. They were submitted by another senator. While I did in fact write the incomplete minutes which are attached to the grievance, they were never intended to be submitted in that format. It should be noted that the “blank” lines you see in the minutes were intended to be filled in by other senators. I had no idea these minutes would be submitted as is. I fully expected them to be modified to the best recollection of other senators who were present.

Third, it must be made clear that the minutes which were submitted on June 15 were not crafted by the ASUO Executive. While I did speak with the executive over the phone about their recollections of the meeting, they in no way contributed to the attached minutes. Not only were their recollections inadequate for the minutes, but they made it very clear to me that the minutes were a senate issue. I was promptly referred to the then Summer Senate Chair.

Fourth, it is important to note that legal counsel advised the ASUO Senate that taking minutes from recollection was an option (this is according to a conversation I had with an ASUO official; I was not present at the meeting with legal counsel). While recollection is no doubt a very poor way to take minutes, it was the only option student senators had short of calling a post-finals week meeting. This important point is omitted within the grievance.

Furthermore, the grievance gives the impression that voting records for the meeting were not kept. This is incorrect. I submit to the court my certification that voting records for both funding allocations and appointments and confirmations were kept and subsequently filed in the bottom right-hand drawer of the former senate desk. Incidental Fee Allocation Memos were submitted according to those voting records. The voting records should still be available assuming they have not been reorganized from their former “pile.”

I do not dispute that the minutes submitted for the June 13 meeting are incomplete. I do not dispute that I hold responsibility for not appointing someone to take minutes for the June 13 meeting. But I would warn the Constitution Court that the pretenses for invalidating the June 13 meeting may be political in nature. If the June 13 meeting is invalidated, the four senators who were appointed and confirmed on June 13 would have to be re-confirmed. The funding for Oregon Marching band would also have to be invalidated. Furthermore, the actions of summer senate would not be valid, and all decisions made during the June 13th meeting up to the time you make your ruling would also have to be ruled invalid. I respectfully ask that you fully consider the implications of your decision. I also ask that you examine all possible resolutions to this grievance, especially those which would not invalidate the nature and content of senate business since June 13. Keeping in mind these possible repercussions, I question why this grievance was not filed when I had recently departed office.

Finally, I ask the court to consider what limitations there are or should be (if any) on grievances filed against individuals who are no longer involved in programs. The Green Tape Notebook does not seem to indicate what or who a grievance can be filed against, except to outline procedures for grievances against program members. So I ask you the question: are private students subject to grievances?
Respectfully Submitted,

Jonathan Rosenberg

  1. Rosenberg says:

    Hey Ted, I’ve accepted responsibility for the entire fiasco. I do not dispute the grievance’s charges against me. I have no obligation beyond that to explain to you anything. I am not in office, and I have a right to my opinion, which is stated in the grievance. The editorial did its work on me and so did the article (an article which the Emerald did not contact me for). I’d like to move on from this entire thing which happened four months ago. We all know that it was caused by my negligence. And that’s all that we need to know. Frankly, I don’t care much what decision the court comes to. Now let me go about my classes and get school over with.

    I hope you’re had a good summer, and hopefully we’ll run into each other.

  2. Niedermeyer says:

    The only real argument I’m seeing here is “I would warn the Constitution Court that the pretenses for invalidating the June 13 meeting may be political in nature.”

    Except that this is the ASUO and everything is political in nature. The only question left to ask is why shouldn’t the June 13 meeting be struck down? What is the political benefit to you, Jon, in ignoring a clear violation of OPML? Is it because you think that the Senate won’t approve OMB funding again? Is it because you think the senators who were appointed in that meeting are super fantastic, but they might not be re-appointed?

    I’m not afraid to say what I think, so here goes… first, the OMB funding will go through no matter what. Second, most of the senators who were appointed on 6/13 are pretty mediocre, and wouldn’t be missed much if they were not reconfirmed. Third, people who advocate breaking the law simply to protect their own reputation, or their own summer senate presidency (you know who you are) are beneath contempt. The last election seemed to actually be about the issues, and yet here we are, only a few months later, and the issues that resonated with voters are being forgotten in the rush to add a few (useless) bullet points to their resumes.

    It seems like it’s time again for people to re-examine why they really want to be involved in public service…

  3. Whatadumbass says:


    My real name is Will, short for William and “Whatadumbass” refers solely to me, not you.

    “Whatadumbass” is a term I generally hear from people as I walk away from them.

    Better now?

  4. Jacque says:

    I love the ASUO.

  5. Rosenberg says:

    I really don’t like responding to anonymous posts. But you put me in a position where I had to respond.

  6. Rosenberg says:

    Whatadubmass, do you want to tell who you are? Or do you prefer to post anonymously for a particular reason?

    I asked the staff member who takes minutes to try and find a replacement, and she told me she would try her best (hence: I attempted to find a replacement). My error was assuming she would find a replacement (thus, I assumed there would be a replacement). There was not a replacement.

  7. Whatadumbass says:

    Hmmm, something’s not clicking in the old brain:

    “This staff member called me within a reasonable period of time and informed me that she would be unable to take minutes for the June 13th meeting. I unsuccessfully attempted to find someone who could act as a replacement. The controversy over June 13th began when I inattentively forgot to appoint a senator to take minutes for that meeting.”

    Doesn’t quite compare with Jon’s post here on June 15th:

    “Hey Ted,

    The lack of minutes was unexpected. We normally have someone at every meeting present to take minutes. When this person cannot show, they are charged with finding a replacement. I assumed there would be a replacement, so I

  8. Timothy says:

    “Minutes by recollection are okay” sounds like the kind of bullshit Melinda Grier would dream up.

  9. Jared says:

    Re-read that again, Miles. I wrote, “the Student Senate Vice President”.

  10. Miles says:

    So, let’s see…this means that a) Juliana Guzman should have been responsible or that b) Chii-San Sun Owen would be responsible.

    Either way, someone in the ASUO Exec office screwed the pooch, and it’s now walking funny.

  11. Jared says:

    As much as I want to, I can’t stay away from the drama – I had to weigh in. According to the Rules of the ASUO Student Senate Section 3.2(i), it states that the Student Senate Vice President is “responsible for the maintenance of meeting minutes and audio tape records”, and not the Student Senate President.
    Nonetheless, it is disappointing that no Senator looked up during the meeting and said, “Hey, nobody is writing this down”.

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