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Letter from Sen. Juan Diego Hernandez

The following is a letter to the editor by Sen. Diego Hernandez that will (probably) be printed tomorrow morning in the Emerald.  

Friday’s editorial about the Veterans and Family Student Association’s budget was more of something you would read from The Commentator. The editorial assumes that a 5.5 benchmark is “unusually high,” without taking into consideration the historical and political context of the past, the unpredicted high current service level increase and the six weeks spent this year deciding how much money programs, contracts and departments would get. A 5.5 benchmark is moderate considering what happen last year with a low benchmark.

To say that political and emotional pressures swayed Programs Finance Committee’s decision is like saying that we have a perfectly structured finance committee and that us being viewpoint neutral really enhances the cultural and physical development of campus. We might as well have robots or computers calculating budgets for each group. I recall PFC increasing OSPIRG’s budget because of political and emotional pressure, we had no way to quantify their services and they weren’t transparent in the least bit. Nick Meyers did violate standards, but if you were at most PFC hearings you would know that he never really had a set opinion or understood viewpoint neutrality, this guy is the epitome of flip flopping.

Most of the people who are saying that VFSA’s increase is unfair to other groups don’t really take into consideration the cultural and physical development that this group would and has provided to campus. VFSA has over 90 members and has been on campus for three years, yet some people call them a new group. VFSA provides support to student veterans and family members; they have phenomenal fundraising and spending, and they have presented programming like Iraq’s body count and just recently the Telling performances. The whole unfair argument is driven by people’s selfishness. There are senators with set decisions without even having attended the hearings or having heard or seen information from all sides.

Steven Wilsey’s remarks on Wednesday’s senate meeting were more political then anything, a decision was made by the majority of the committee and he obviously didn’t get what he wanted so he resigned to object the decision. The committee lost its autonomy thanks to Wilsey and Jacob Brennan; we might as well have senate do the budget hearings. Brennan and Meyers decided to recall VFSA for Friday without consulting Brandon Culbertson, Tri Vo, myself and maybe Mei Li Yu. I am appalled by this, speaking of being appalled Jacob Brennan said that he was appalled by senate’s behavior on Wednesday; this is coming from a guy who during the budget hearings said racist, sexist and homophobic remarks during the budget process.

The memo from Athan Papailiou and Patrick Boye is a joke, if they really cared that much they would have attended all the budget hearings and looked at all the circumstances behind the PFC decisions. I agree that the Career Center money should go back to students and giving a tiny piece of that money to VFSA is going back and serving students. My goal in senate is not to increase the incidental fee or decrease it or to just think about money, it is to serve the students, especially marginalized and oppressed students and to see how we can truly enhance the cultural and physical development and diversity of campus.

Diego Hernandez
ASUO Senate Seat 2

  1. daniels says:

    he should have used swear words

  2. Drew says:

    Run on sentences are a great way to prove points.

  3. Sean says:

    I hate the word arbitrary now.

  4. Vincent. says:

    I can believe it.

  5. Cheerio says:

    Rather than recognizing that the PFC allocation process is completely arbitrary and broken, Diego prefers mocking his fellow board members with personal attacks. I cannot believe this person represents the University of Oregon on a national level for the United States Student Association (USSA)…. how embarrassing (and arbitrary).

  6. BR says:

    I’m on #34 now. I still need help understanding Diego’s argument. Help! ?

  7. Ford says:

    True, true. For all we know, it may not even be possible to best Gulley at his own game. I spoke in haste.

  8. Niedermeyer says:

    C’mon Ford, practice what you preach… aren’t Gulley comparisons also the kind of accusations you shouldn’t throw around lightly?

  9. Ford says:

    I was at the meeting where Boye said “And don’t even get me started on the race issue.” It was disgusting. Accusations of racisms shouldn’t be thrown around lightly, and if he actually thinks that some of the senators are being racist, he should DO something about it rather than just make vague threats that coincide with his political objectives.

    I really don’t like him. It seems to me he has replaced Gully as least-classy Senator.

  10. Cheerio says:

    Why do student government leaders get paid a stipend to produce this kind of crap? There needs to recourse (or recall) for Diego…

  11. Not the first time says:

    You were off by a day! It was Jan 30 at the law school.

  12. BR says:

    I can’t stop reading this letter, just finished with try #23. I still can’t make sense of Diego’s argument. Anyone? Help?

  13. Jan says:

    I wasn’t aware that commas and periods were interchangeable. Fascinating!

  14. Ossie says:

    I still have a chance then. You have a date when that happened?

  15. Not the first time says:

    This was not the first time this year a senator called another senator racist. Patrick Boye called Kate Jones, Billy Hatch and Steven Wilsey racist for arguing against a NALSA surplus request a few weeks ago.

  16. Vincent. says:

    “We might as well have robots or computers calculating budgets for each group.”

    Now that you mention it… what a fantastic idea!

  17. BR says:

    It wasn’t printed today because the ODE has standards for writing, and specific journalism ethics prevent them from editing it beyond recognition (which in this case, would be basically required to make sense or even a coherent argument from the letter).

  18. Sean says:

    How’d you get a hold of that letter?

  19. Ossie says:

    Don’t worry, it’s going into the next issue too (cleaned up a little of course). Out Friday!

  20. Vincent. says:

    Well, it *is* posted on the blog…

  21. Niedermeyer says:

    Yeah, that letter is so bad, it belongs in the Commentator…

  22. Vincent. says:

    Was that letter written under the influence?

  23. Lorenzo says:

    Who is ashley rees?

  24. osa says:

    did ashley rees write this?

  25. Ossie says:

    By the way, who had Feb. 19 in the pool of First Time of the Year That a Senator Calls Another Senator Racist? I had Jan. 29. Slowpokes.

  26. Ossie says:

    Apparently the ODE didn’t have room in today’s paper. But there is a guest commentary by Sean Jin, VFSA never intended PFC nightmare

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