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ASUO President Fulfills Duties

The Dirty beat me to a write up of this story, mostly because I drank too much tequila (Tarantula, not Patron, unfortunately) last night, and didn’t check my inbox before bed. Anyway, as obligated by the ASUO Constitution 5.17;

“The President shall establish and publish his or her own criteria for fulfillment of duties within one month of taking office. The President shall also perform all duties as required by this Constitution. Articles of impeachment may be brought against the President by a 3/4 vote of the seated Student Senate. Upon such vote, the Constitution Court shall try the case and reach a decision by majority vote. Articles of impeachment brought before the Constitution Court shall clearly set forth the grounds for removal from office.”

Sam sent this to me (and “Frohnmeyer” apparently):

The following letter contains my goals for the year, beyond fulfilling my constitutionally mandated tasks such as timely appointments and fair and efficient operation of the ASUO.

Dear President Frohnmeyer,

I want to first thank you and Mr. Hubin for making time to meet with my chief of staff Athan, Vice-President Johnny, and myself. Our conversation was very helpful, and hopefully we can maintain a very positive and effective working relationship throughout the year. As I stated in our meeting, I believe that having a friendly line of communication between the ASUO executive and your office will enable my staff and I to work on concrete and feasible goals, while avoiding unnecessary public muckraking. Speaking freely, the “us vs. them” mentality that was presented to Johnny and I from prior executives seems to have been born out of convenient public posturing in which an easily blamable institution (central administration) was used to benefit the ASUO. Yet in reality this unhealthy relationship only served the personalities of a few student politicians in an attempt to play off paranoid fears of the student body, and push blame unto someone else. Since entering this world of student government, I have been dis-heartened by the overwhelming “political” nature of the position I now hold. I want to personally tell you that it is my wish to move as far away from this dis-honest past as possible. Both through my conduct and ASUO reforms, I hope transform the office of Student Body President. That being said, I would like to outline my goals for the year in a more concrete manner then was allowed by our introductory meeting.

There are a few realms I hope to specifically work on, which go beyond the basic job description tasks of my position. First, I made a concerted attempt to keep my platform full of tangible goals. These different campaign promises will all positively benefit the entire student body, and hopefully are all realizable.

24/5 hours for the Knight Library next year is a good example of this. I believe that the hard work of Mark Watson and others at the library, as well as myself and Tom Bode, will pay off and you will find this over-realized proposal suitable for your approval. There was one issue with regards to collective bargaining and the contracting of a private security service. I feel very confident that this issue has been carefully examined by Human Resources, and they have given the proposal the thumbs up.

Another platform issue is the text message warning system. You gave me some contacts on this, and I am excited to work with whoever in Administration to accomplish this by the end of next year. We have done extensive research on the topic, and my staff will be making the appropriate meetings in the next few weeks to assess both where we are at, and what needs to be done to move forward.

Also, working with Francis Dyke and Lynn Giordiano on negotiating a more suitable contract with LTD is an important aim of my administration. We hope to both increase the service during regular hours, as well as figure out the feasibility of late night service. This might not be possible with LTD, but we are open to creative problem solving. Once we are more clear on what the realistic possibilities are with late-night service, I will elaborate further.

One other goal of this year might prove to be somewhat controversial, and has been the source of contention in the past. The OSPRIG contract is currently at approximately $117,000. The complete lack of transparency and responsible accounting of this contract is troubling. Last year Portland State University found that OSPRIG was violating the student constitution and voided their $125,000 contract. On many campuses state-wide this has been the case. Unless there is a strong shift in OSPRIG’s practices this year, we will look to shift the organization from the ACFC to the PFC, where stringent on-campus account monitoring is mandated. If this proves to be impossible, we will push to redirect these funds.

We are also looking to create a Bookstore Foundation, which will be somewhat of an endowment aimed at lowering the burden of textbook costs on students. The returns from interest on this account will be used to increase the book awards program, which pays for the cost of course-books for randomly selected students. Also we are looking to creatively implement another model which we feel should be looked at meticulously to make sure the guidelines outlines in the Clark Document are maintained. The idea is to create a sort of voucher program, in which students upon returning textbooks for re-sale, would be given a gift certificate to be used when purchasing textbooks the following term. The value of a voucher would depend on the value of the textbook, condition, and other normal factors. The basic goal would be to give students increased money when they return their books. Because the Clark Document restricts cash gifts, we feel this might be a sort of “loophole”. We have presented this to the Book Store General Manager, and he has been very optimistic. I am certain this plan is not yet ready for implementation. We need to have many meetings with general council, the bookstore board of directors, and hopefully the proposal can evolve into a legally feasible, and generally effective idea. Because only the returns from interest each year would be used, in X number of years, the impact of such a fund could be tremendous. Finding numerous donors is also a goal, yet first the logistical framework of this foundation must be established.

I am also looking to run the largest voter registration drive in the history of the UofO. Working closely with OSA, the student vote coalition, and other on campus orgninzations, we have decided that our goal will be 10,000 students registered to vote before the mid-October deadline. We have come up with many different creative strategies to realize this goal, some of which will require assistance from central administration, the Athletic Department, and other faculty members. For example, we are hoping that your office will help the ASUO in reaching an understanding with all University Professors in allowing representatives to do “class raps”. These are when members of my voter registration team hand out registration cards as students enter the classroom and collect them promptly at the beginning of a class period. This does not need to be a mandatory thing for all classes, we are simply hoping that most professors will be understanding to this important campaign. Members of my staff will be creating a master schedule of classes fall term in order to create an effecient timeline for our volunteers. I will make sure that my volunteers do not simply show up to classes without pre-approval from the professors, and this schedule will make it easier to calculate and determine which classes can facilitate this. We are also partnering with the IFC(Inter Fraternal Council), and the PHC(Pan Hellenic Council), to do a voter registration competition between all the houses. They have tenatively agreed to implement this competition into their year long inter-house tournament. Further, when members of a certain house volunteer with the ASUO doing voter registration, we will be allocating them community service hours which are part of any house’s requirement. Also, we are looking to partner with University Housing to educate Resident Assistant’s in order to register as many incoming freshmen in this manner. We would also like to make a video with the Oregon Mascot and possibly any athelete’s or coaches, telling the viewer to register to vote, and possibly show this video at a football game on the jumbo monitor, as well as the ASUO website. These are all only ideas at this point, and as the summer progresses, we will work with the respective departments and orginizations to figure out which of these are actually possible. Any and all help administration can give would be much appreciated in this area.

We would also like to increase the presence of politicians on campus prior to elections. This must include city, state, and federal candidates, in order to reduce what is being called “top down voting”. Young voters are increasingly only voting for President, or Governor, or both. In order to increase the civic nature of our students and to garner lobbying power in Salem, our student body must vote all the way down the ballot. I will seek to host a debate between Jeff Merkley and Gordon Smith, ideally moderated by any of the following: University President, University Senate President, ASUO President. Additionally, I have been talking with Ralph Nader’s campaign manager, and we are in the process of creating a proposal for Nader to speak on campus. Hopefully the increased presence and large voter registration drive can foster a more civic community on campus.

Beyond these platform goals, we are looking to extensively reform the ASUO Constitution. The main areas we are looking to renovate include the Constitutional Court, the Elections Board, the Review Recognition Committee, and also the Over-realized Funds process. The process for constituional changes is approval from both the court and senate, and finally a campus wide student vote in the form of a ballot measure.

The Constitutional Court is clearly an undemocratic branch of our government, and this is where most of the reform efforts will be placed. I will detail in a short list the main changes we are looking to make, yet the final changes may not include and are not limited to the following:

1. Require any by-law changes of the court to be voted on by the student senate, with veto power afforded to the executive. Currently the Court can change, remove, or create any of it’s by-laws, which is completely un-democratic and removes any sort of check’s and balances.

2. Increase Court membership from 5 to 7 justices. The turnover rate is very high, exampled by the fact that I had 4 appointments to a 5 member court. While this may seem nice, this amount of power is seemingly inappropriate and with 7 members we are hoping to reduce this effect.

3. Establish Precedent. We would like to mandate that after any ruling, the author of the majority opinion must write up a one paragraph abstract or summary of the ruling. This must be approved by the court in a majority vote, and then must be published along with the ruling and on the Con Court Website. The problem being addressed here is the lack of institutional memory of the court. We will in no way be holding justices to follow precendnt. I simply would like the court to understand what has happened in the past.

4. Create a more tangible timeline for rulings. Currently, the court “shall endevor” to rule on greviences within 10 days. We would like to firm this committment. We are still working on this specific reform, but one idea is to mandate a response from the court every day following the tenth day as to why a ruling has not been made.

5. Increase Non-fulfillment deadlines to 45 days for filling appointments. This is somewhat self-explinatory, in that quality is more important then expediency of appointments. Also, we would like to give the court a greater scope of punitive damage it can look to.

5. In congruence with the previous change, we would like to create a process by which ASUO members are removed from office due to external greviences. There is an impeachment process in the senate, however greviences can come out of nowhere and the court can simply choose to remove a president if they so choose. I believe that the court has never blundered more so then with the case involving Sarah Hamilton, where she was removed from office of Senate Presidency for simply once or twice sending out agendas 24 hours instead of 48 hours prior to a senate meeting. We must reform removal from office, and by creating a more sound, consistent, and fair method or process, we can do just that.

6. We would like to mandate that justices disclose how they cast their vote.

7. Write the Review Recognition Committee (hereafter called RRC) into the constitution. The goal is to make this committee similar in structure to a budgetary committee, with the following members: ASUO Vice-President, Programs Coordinator, Student Senate Seat 11 (undeclared major), programs representative, and executive apointee. The two representative members would recieve stipends, and be required to attend all meetings. Further, we would like to write in more specific guidelines for both new and exsisting groups. We would like to make the process for becoming recognized more efficient and expedient. However, we also want to increase accountability, and part of the RRC’s job will be to review currently recognized groups. In short, we want to cut the red tape at both ends of the process, increasing recognition and accountability.

8. Write the Over-realized Process into the Constitution. This process, for lack of better words, has become a way for senators to hand out money to programs and constituencies of their choosing, and the fact that this allocation process takes places right after elections doesn’t help at all. We hope to formally mandate a standing committee made up of academic senators and others who will follow more clear guidelines in the allocation of such funds. Further, it is this administrations desire to mandate a minimum of 50% of the Over-realized funds to be used to buy down the incidental fee.

Hopefully we can administer as many of these changes as possible. There will certaintly be further constitutional amendments that will be included in our final package which are not listed above. These simply make up the core of what my administration believes to be the most important and necessary changes.

I feel that if I can accomplish these goals, I will certaintly be able to hang my hat with pride a year from now.

Sam Dotters-Katz

  1. […] President Sam Dotters-Katz recently publicized an ambitious agenda for his presidency in

  2. Vincent says:

    Oh, shut up.

  3. Sakaki says:

    See, that’s the difference. I may be hired as private security. And if that happens, there will be less transients because they will be LYING ON A FLOOR DEAD FROM BEING BEATEN WITH A NIGHTSTICK!

  4. Cheerio says:

    Vish won’t need the streets when the Library goes 24 hours.

    Knight Library Motel: Where transients benefit from the incidental fee, too!

  5. CJ Ciaramella says:

    By the way, stop putting you stupid-ass posters in our distribution boxes, Zach. We don’t spend hours slaving away in the office to put out a magazine so you can cover it up with your shitty, zeroxed manifestos.

  6. huh? says:

    zach- if you ran the student government, everyone would be living on the streets like you

  7. orwellduk says:

    Knight library is in the worst category for buildings on campus needing seismic reinforcement(who cares if you are 24/7 smart if the roof caves in)? The campus has accumulated 150 mill in maintenance backlog(and Mac court is not facing the seismic issues that Knight library is). That 150 does not even include the UO athletic departments accumulated deferred (someone do a goddamn story on this or I am going to keep smoking cigarettes)maintenance. Ospiggy lacks transparency? Yeah well PHIT LLC (the shady entity building nikeworldeugene annex athlete segregation lounge)and UO Foundation do too. 86ing ospiggy amounts to selective enforcement if the lack of transparency surrounding Johnson hall/UO foundation is ignored. If the admin wants to be secretive and wasteful why shouldn’t osppiggy burn duck bucks for global whining? As long as I am on a tirade how about ASUO forming a special “Roboduck bioethics visioning committee” Why ? The answer lies in Alberto’s “weird science”projects. Read two articles to see what Nike is putting in the “track town usa” Kool aid: Wired magazine, The Ultimate Running Machine
    New York Times, In Pursuit of Doped Excellence by Michael Sokolove

  8. Niedermeyer says:

    I’m Edward Walter Niedermeyer, and I approve this message.

  9. human nature says:

    haha, “a long history of being a gulley lover”. Anything but.

  10. orwellduk says:

    Something about this stomp out OSPIGG frenzy seems to have an aftermath that says if you cant beat em join em. Fighting text prices is like fighting prices at the gas pump. Turning out student voters is as productive as sending student leaders to one of Al gore’s global whining rock concerts. How can public policy ground truthing take place on campus soon. A weekly cigarette smoking appreciation hour is necessary. Place it at a highly offensive location. Start smoking if you must-I did to welcome all the athletes and media jerks.

  11. orwellduk says:

    Well, my first reaction is that he spelled Frohnmayer wrong. At least that does not look as goofy as the Weaklys story about “BEJING” this week. The sports arms race is winning in the war with the academics, it seems, and the results are increasingly apparent.

  12. Concerned Student says:

    Human nature, you have a long history of being a gulley lover, so you’ll get no audience here ya scum

  13. human nature says:

    I like he attempts to move away from the “us vs. them” mentality, but in the same breath manages to reinforce it.

  14. Sean Jin says:

    Ah, ok, cool.

  15. Michelle Haley says:

    Sean, I wasn’t trying to use the blog as free advertising space. There are some people that probably want to read the whole letter, and since it was only sent to senate members, and the ODE just pulled quotes, I wanted to make it available to anyone that wanted it.

  16. Sean Jin says:

    Way too long to read. I think we all have hopes for ASUO next year, and this looks great, but the OC shouldn’t be a plug for that.

  17. Sudsy says:

    The ASUO always goes after the OC! When will they stop?

  18. Timothy says:

    7. Write the Review Recognition Committee (hereafter called RRC) into the constitution. The goal is to make this committee similar in structure to a budgetary committee, with the following members: ASUO Vice-President, Programs Coordinator, Student Senate Seat 11 (undeclared major), programs representative, and executive apointee. The two representative members would recieve stipends, and be required to attend all meetings. Further, we would like to write in more specific guidelines for both new and exsisting groups. We would like to make the process for becoming recognized more efficient and expedient. However, we also want to increase accountability, and part of the RRC

  19. Chris Holman says:

    Interesting. It will be fun to see what happens this year.

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