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OSA structure under review


Portland State University Student Body President Ryan Soto is withholding over $100,000 of his school’s contribution to the Oregon Students Association until it agrees to add a general assembly with proportional representation. In the proposal, OSU would have seven members in the assembly, U of O six, PSU five and the other school would have one – it comes out to one rep per 2,500 full-time students. Specific duties of the assembly will be negotiated. Soto’s proposal says the assembly would choose the board members – there would still be two members from each school – recommend lobbying issues and perhaps set membership dues.

ASUO President and OSA Board of Directors Chairman Emily McLain is against the proposal, wanting to keep the coalition form of the OSA where everyone has the same voice – though I believe there is some sadistic hierarchy within the OSA works (any word on fight club lately?).

From the Emerald:

Soto said it’s not fair that PSU, Oregon State University and the University of Oregon pay the majority of the total OSA dues but each of those three major institutions has the same amount of say as the smaller rural campuses that have far fewer students and provide less funding.

“We wanted to make sure we were looking at the model, trying to understand why we pay this much but we’re getting the same amount of voice that, say, Eastern (Oregon University) does,” Soto said.

The OC’s position, of course, is to get rid of the OSA entirely. Students need to have a voice in legislature, I just believe it is wrong for one organization to monopolize the student voice. Take the Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance, an OSA affiliate board, for example. How fair is it that Oregon students are forced to fund an organization that lobbies the legislature to allow gays to marry. Isn’t that an infringement of some students’ rights who morally object to those domestic partnerships? Speaking of the OSA affiliate boards, from the PSU Vanguard:

Representatives from both affiliate boards of OSA, the Oregon Students of Color Coalition and the Oregon Student Equal Rights Alliance, spoke at the meeting about problems they had with the proposal. They said they were concerned that they were not referenced in the proposal and not invited to the meeting where it was proposed.

Also those representatives questioned whether the general assembly membership, which would be appointed by each school’s student body president, would be made up of a diverse mix of people.

I’m going to talk to Soto over the weekend and should have an update on Monday.

  1. Vincent. says:

    I think you’ve got it backwards there, mate.

  2. Sean says:

    Yes, Ted, because money is the root of all evil, and the world will be better if we suck all the money out of everyone…in the name of the people?

  3. Niedermeyer says:

    Remember kids, leeches used to be considered a crucial tool of the healthcare profession… politics are just a few centuries behind the curve.

  4. K says:

    I find it disgusting that OSA is part of the exec budget. This is a clear conflict of interest as people like Brett impose a bias (their OSA salary) on fee paying students

  5. Timothy says:

    Melinda Grier is a well-known bastion of truth, after all.

    Also, son, you need to learn the difference between IS and SHOULD.

  6. Brett Rowlett says:

    Luckily for the others I was “whispering” the same information to the students that the university’s general counsel was. What do you mean OSA is not suppose to be part of the Executive? The OSA board members for the UO are the ASUO Exec President and his/her rep. The OSA budget is part of the Exec’s. The organizer works out of the Exec’s office. If you’d like to get into a pissing contest, I’d be more than happy to. But let’s try to get our facts correct first, shall we?

  7. Toby says:

    OSA is such a waste of money, they are supposed to be objective and not really part of the Executive, but I clearly can recall numerous times when I was on Senate and had Brett Rowlett trying to whisper in my ear telling me what I should so while he was the nuetral OSA rep on campus. Luckily for him that year he had plenty of other people stupid enough to listen to him.

  8. Brett Rowlett says:

    Hey Sakaki. I don’t work for OSA anymore. What’s your grip? You’re not even sure who to be pissed at, are ya? I love the OC blog!

  9. Timothy says:

    Sean – Mostly snarled and tried to eat each other.

  10. […] President Emily McLain mentioned the Oregon Students Association during her presentation. […]

  11. why? says:

    why does OSA get 100k from U of O to find out if college students want to fund higher ed? what a scam

  12. Sean says:

    Haha…I don’t know, what did the dinosaurs do?

  13. Timothy says:

    The ASUO knocks on the table now? They been spending a lot of time around the forensics kids?

  14. Sean says:

    *ASUO knock on table*

  15. Timothy says:

    Students should not be forced to fund lobbying efforts. Let them donate on their own if they want.

  16. Ford says:

    TIm: That may be a very good case against the OSA, though I’d bet the percentage that they keep up the state funding for UO is greater than the cost of the osa to students via the i fee. But I didn’t take issue with the OC’s stop-funding-it-cause-it’s-a-waste stance; I thought it was stupid that the OC seemed to be arguing in general against any sort of lobbying organizaiton that consolidates student (or any) voice.

  17. why? says:

    Why is OSA still around? No one in the ASUO has any balls. Where’s Toby Piering when we need him??? People seem to dismiss OSA’s grip of this campus, and too many other things until they get blown open in the press. Where’s Parker Howell when we need him???

  18. Timothy says:

    The OC as an institution proposes that off-campus organizations, especially those that don’t actually accomplish anything, ought not get huge piles of money.

    The I-fee is, what, $600 a year, which comprises roughly 10% (these numbers are from memory so cut me some slack, it’s 1am central) of the total tuition and fees paid by an in-state student per year. So riddle me this, if it’s so vitally fucking important to lobby against a one or two percent tuition increase, why wouldn’t OSA also want to see a large reduction in a significant fee line-item? Gee…I wonder….

    Also, is their budget still buried as a line-item in the Executive? When dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I was in school that’s how they kept it from going through an actual PFC process. Look, you want to reduce the cost of UO? Kill the $2MM or whatever it is for the ADFC and either persuade the Athletic Dept to donate the student tickets OR let the folks who want to go to games actually buy their own tickets. Cut out the money for OSA, OSPIRG, ASUO Executive, whatever. In fact, why not simply take the top 10 or top 20 I-fee expenses and reduce them all 50%? Hell, cut them to zero. Aside from the rec nobody will notice.

  19. OSA insider says:

    OSA helped me run for ASUO Exec; don’t get rid of them

  20. Sakaki says:

    My view is that the OC wants to get rid of the OSA because they are a waste of fucking money.

    And I frankly wouldn’t mind seeing Brett Rowlett or some of the others involved tossed out on their asses, and beaten with reeds.

  21. Ford says:

    “The OC

  22. OC insider says:

    Add Drew Cattermole to the list of ASUO Exec hopefuls as well …

  23. former PFC insider says:

    add Justin Tandigan to the list of ASUO Exec hopefuls

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