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The Passion of Athan Papailiou

Last night’s ASUO Senate meeting was the kind that makes me embarrassed to be associated, however tangentially, with student government. At the heart of the meeting was the confirmation of Athan Papailiou to Senate Seat 9, and the “discussion” dragged on for hours, complete with mudslinging and crying (seriously).

Papailiou was appointed to the seat by ASUO Exec Sam Dotter-Katz. He had previously served several years on Senate, one as Senate President. But despite his qualifications, Papailiou had one fatal flaw: The student unions hate him because he is fiscally conservative.

By the time of his hearing, the Boardroom was filled with representatives from the various unions, such as our old friend Diego Hernandez, and they were all there with the expressed purpose of sandbagging Papailiou.

The confirmation hearing started out appropriately when Sen. Gower accused Papailiou of threatening to file grievances against the Senate if he was voted down. Hernandez followed suit by bringing up some controversy from last year. He had to be interrupted by Senate President McCafferty for being too “sarcastic” (read: douchebaggey).

One by one, the other student union members proclaimed with quavering voices how “threatening” Papailiou was to student programs, how minorities were being “silenced.” They were trotting out all their classic catchphrases, such as “safe space” and “institutional oppression.” Sen. Carina Miller broke down in tears towards the end of the hearing, saying how hard it was to be one of the only people of color on the Senate and how she didn’t feel “safe.”

(Sen. Rajabzadeh commented shortly afterwords about how she, as a woman of color, never felt unsafe on Senate, but this was quickly lost in the ensuing drama and grandstanding.)

But frankly, that’s all B.S. The real reason Papailiou was attacked was because two years ago he advocated for a zero percent benchmark budget increase for student programs. And as we all know, fiscal conservatism is racism according to the bunker mentality that pervades the ethnic studies crowd.

When it was finally called to question, the vote came down 5-8-3, with Senators Scandalios, Nix, Gray, Rajabzadeh and Reid voting for Papailiou.

Senate has been surprisingly civil this year, but last night’s meeting was a return to form. Several Senators wondered aloud how the body was going to be able to function after what happened. By the way, my confirmation hearing was not held, and, after last night, I am reconsidering my decision to apply. Not because I fear being railroaded by the MCC et al, but because I don’t think I could hold down the bile.

P.S. You can get up to the minute news during Senate meetings through our Twitter account. ODE reporter Alex Tomchak Scott also twitters during meetings.

P.P.S. Jonathan Rosenburg was appointed to Constitution Court.

  1. […] The blood was largely that of Athan Papailiou, a minor myth in campus politics as the greatest apostle of fiscal conservatism. I have never spoken to him face-to-face, though we have talked at length over the phone, but my impression is that most of what people within student government say about him–both friends and enemies–is myth. To the programs friendly, Athan is a demon. Kari Herinckx, who ran against ASUO President Sam Dotters-Katz last spring, encouraged Senators to vote against Papailiou because they were “citizens of humanity first.” To his allies, Athan is an almost Christlike figure. The Oregon Commentator, for example, sees him that way. […]

  2. nike urbanism duk says:

    Call this the ASUO Pap smear.

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