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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. Concerned student says:

    Bwahahaha that is the greatest post of all

  2. Jane says:

    When I was getting that same stuff I have to get through a senate meeting (especially when a certain pfc senator starts crying her eyes out) at taylors, I saw senator scandalios talking about running, or helping, carina miller’s executive campaign committee. But I couldn’t hear too many specifics because then scandalios decided to get violent. I left feeling unsafe. it was not a safe space. not the kind when your budget will get nickels and dimes… but he was a tornado. kind of like how he found his way with a committee chair last year.

    my friend was going to get leadership counseling at the hlc and overheard a campaign rumor that allison fox is stirring up trouble. after schultz’s mystery message, i dont know who im going to be voting for. so long as barrett gets her confirmation, we’ll be seeing more nancy grace tactics on the court. help me sudsie, youre my only hope.

  3. Leinies Lover ;) says:

    Finally, some people who know what their talking about on this comment board…I’ll bring the bp cups and balls…we’ll turn it into a good old fashioned party!

  4. Ross Coyle says:

    Hell yeah. I’d definitely get more involved in student gov then.

  5. Asuo says:

    somebody needs to bring a keg to senate meetings and some strippers too

  6. Thunderlove says:

    I can give you the love Betz……all night

  7. Betz says:

    Crap, my website isn’t working! Damn … now how will people know my movie preferences, how to make Coq au Vin, and other stupid crap I feel like posting when I’m bored?

  8. Betz says:

    I’m feeling the thunder, but the love … that’s whats missing.

  9. ThunderLove says:

    Did someone call for me?

  10. JMB says:

    All this talk about the senate not being a “safe space”, and certain senators (i.e. Miller) not “feeling safe” if Athan is there, is treading dangerously close to implicitly suggesting that they are afraid he will physically/sexually assault them.

  11. Michelle Haley says:

    I love the title of this post. My religion has be “Athanism” on Facebook for awhile now, actually.

  12. tedTheTiniestTurtle says:

    nope, youre totally wrong vincent. Look up computer programmer (easily outsourced) and then look up Software engineer,
    from dept o labor

    “Employment change. Employment of computer software engineers is projected to increase by 38 percent over the 2006 to 2016 period, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This occupation will generate about 324,000 new jobs, over the projections decade, one of the largest employment increases of any occupation”

  13. Vincent says:

    jobs for CS majors are one of the few ones that are actually on the rise

    Your skills will be less useful once your future employer figures out he can issue your paycheck in rupees.

  14. Asuo says:

    Yes Lee… Rosenberg is back he was approved by everyone except that ratskull Nick Gower

  15. tedTheTiniestTurtle says:

    In my post I was implying that I am a CS major and don’t feel judged for being a nerd. Of course we judge the hell outta other people. But CIS students have always seemed to judge each other on no other basis than skill. As opposed to sex orientation, race, religion , or social class.

    Also, your web site isn’t working.

  16. Ossie says:

    Nerds, always have to have their revenge.

  17. Betz says:

    TedTheTiniestTurtle: Deschutes hall may be nerd heaven, but as a CS student that practically lived in DES 100 during my last two years of college, we are not unjudgemental as you might think. In fact, I think we may even be more judgemental than others due to overbearing sense of superiority we get because of our employability. When all the other job markets are crashing, jobs for CS majors are one of the few ones that are actually on the rise. We know our worth, Mr. Turtle, and we laugh heartily – heartily! , I say – at the rest of the lowly plebs on campus.

  18. Will says:

    See, this is what happens when you young whippersnappers think that college is some kind of “experience” – it’s not. It’s a product.

    You are buying an educational product.

    Do you think you should be on the Board of Director’s of Starbucks just because you buy their coffee? What about the BoD of Toyota ’cause you own a Prius, or Wiley ’cause you buy their textbooks, or Abercrombie & Fitch ’cause you buy their overpriced crap? No, you don’t.

    The only thing student government teaches is how to be a major douche bag.

    Pay your tuition, get your education and then, and only then, will you be equipped to enter the job market – and be a douche bag in training.

  19. Old Fashion Lovers Anonymous says:

    By the sounds of it the senate does not actually concentrate on issues that represent the common good for all students, but instead the issues of special interest groups….(look up United Council of UW students for a more extreme example)…You want a president that isn’t biased, isn’t wrapped up in any of the organizations on campus, greek life… unions…repub… dem…and a hell of a commonsensical, passionate leader?…well then the man for you is Michael Broetzmann!!!

    Broetzmannn 09, the change Oregon needs….

  20. tedTheTiniestTurtle says:

    i would just quickly like to voice the “who the fuck cares” opinion. Student government is fine, I’ve only got one year left. Most of the student groups should be on campus. I believe the commentator takes student money (I might be wrong) the whiny “call everyone racists” can be dramatic but in 1-4 years they’ll be gone too. I was called a racist working on a ASUO campaign and it kinda felt like shit. Until a year later the next campaign had twice as many fake racism shenanigans. The fact is I think talking about can be alright, and most people will draw the right conclusions. Also, I don’t think theres any space on campus where I feel safe. Except Deshuttes Hall. I don’t feel judged there. Its nerd heaven.

  21. Lee says:

    So….Is Rosenburg back?

  22. Timothy says:

    Lack of institutional memory is one issue, typical governmental time inconsistency another. Being 18-22 year old fresh-out-of-high-school-and-just-read-Marx types without any real sense of proportion is probably the biggest challenge.

  23. Ross Coyle says:

    I want to sit in on a senate meeting they seem like a great source of entertainment.

  24. the senator you never hear from says:

    There was so much wrong with the last senate meeting that i can’t even begin to vent my frustration. I’m saddened and disheartened by the inconsistency of senators and their inability to think for themselves as free agents.

    I will say one thing though: the very same hate that people are trying to abolish from ASUO and senate is being festered and nurtured like a fire within their souls. For the first time on senate I felt like I was uncomfortable though the people who were trying to make senate a

  25. Jobetta says:


    I’m having flashbacks to my time as the ASUO reporter and any one of a number of meetings that were just as awful as this sounds. And by flashbacks, I mean a sense of terror caused by the feeling that life will end in the boardroom combined with an overwhelming desire to throw things.

  26. Delta Tau Delta Member says:

    someone call the us attourneys office and tell them Gower is unfit to work there due to lack or moral character!

  27. Miller for President says:

    Carina Miller put on a show Wednesday to defeat Athan’s appointment because: she knew his role on Senate would be the only thing in her way of becoming President.

    You know, when it comes right down to it, students on Senate need to look at themselves in the mirror and come to terms with being bad people. You’ll assume the role of political hags eventually, so why prolong the mental adjustment?

  28. Kai Davis says:


  29. Ossie says:

    Election time already?!? Let’s all pray for a candidate capable of leading the student body in the right direction, one with experience in making the thunder AND feeling the love.

  30. Gower says:

    Just so we’re clear, I had no vested interest in seeing Athan denied as an appointment:
    – I’m not a soldier of unions
    – Our voting records don’t differ diametrically (if anything, I am one of the more fiscally conservative senators)
    – I have no personal vendetta against Athan, I’ve only met him a handful of times

    And if you really believe Sam overheard the conversation between Athan and I via cell phone, you’re clearly blinded by your allegiances.

  31. Vincent says:


    Half of them are coming from the same IP address, so chances are they’re fakes.

  32. Former Senator says:

    Fascinating comment by The $conomist Says (January 16th, 11:22 am).

    I am very fond of the comment “To be expected” wrote this morning at 2:16 am. To supplement: Senators who find refuge in the power base of unions are often quick to promote their values, desires, and hopes of creating a more culturally sensitive campus. That goal is great- I support those initiatives. However, what those values represent is one’s perspective. On a body that is charged to serve 20,000 students, it is designed to have civil debate. Communication between elected officials is how smart decisions are designed. Why then does the Senate fight so hard to hinder this process? If you are pro I-fee growth, that is no excuse to not seat a Senator who is not. If you object to the process in which the Senator is chosen- voice your concerns, but if no rule was officially broken, you have no merit to voting such procedures down (go through the process of constitutional amendments to change rules). If you find that the appointee’s credentials are invalid, then THAT is when you have the authority to voice your concerns and reject appointment. By Senators voting against an appointee due to political positions is denying the diversity of the Senate.

    Perspectives can become so strong for some people that their ability to look past them and embrace others’ is clouded. It is unfortunate that those Senators who voted no and abstained were too cowardly to challenge their own beliefs by accepting the representation of students whose families are crushed by the economy and are questioning pulling out another year of loans, students who have to work extra hours to pay for their increasing fees and fall behind on their studies as a result, students who believe excessive spending for ineffective events is wasteful, and students who may simply feel that school should mean showing up to class and nothing else. If you do not believe in helping these students, at least let their voices heard on Senate.

    On a side note: I have been to many union programs and events throughout the years. As a person who does not identify as a member of some of these communities, I have often felt insecure and alienated by union members and leaders. I attended these events to gain cultural perspectives (hell, I paid for a share of the event, I might as well get something out of it). But, instead, I often felt like an outsider who was penetrating some unspoken boundary that should never be crossed by outsiders. When I attended certain union events, I was never greeted by its leaders.

    I hope the spirit of inclusion is a principle we all will share someday. Unfortunately, Wednesday night provided an example of how those who fight so hard for inclusion deny it so passionately from those they do not agree with.

  33. T says:

    I seriously do not know if some of these posts are jokes. Kudos if they are. Spot on parodies.

  34. The $conomist says:

    I want to address what I see as an increasing trend in the Senate. It is clear that things have been getting more and more heated in the last few weeks. More Senators are resigning, and obviously cooler heads are not prevailing. Why are things starting to move quicker and things getting more and more heated?

    I will tell you why:

    ASUO Elections officially began Wednesday night.

    Carina Miller is already public about running with Diego Hernandez, although if she is smart she will drop him like a bad habit.

    I believe her candidacy is problematic in the same way John Mccain’s was. What I mean by that is she is not running because she thinks she can do a good job, she is running out of personal and party ambition. She wanted to be the first Native Senate President, but was beat by Alex Mccafferty, who has proven to be anything but an effective and solid leader. Now she wants to be the first Native Student Body President. Being “the first” of somthing is only a virtue if you are going to be good at your job. Carina will be an awful president if elected. She only cares about he communities. When Prez Dotters-Katz says stupid magnanimous statements like “everybody students”, it’s obvious political rhetoric. But atleast he is doing things like the late night busses and the 24 hour library service. Carina would never focus on such things. She would be too busy complaining to the Administration why more profesors of color weren’t being hired. She wouldn’t care about students, just her students, her communities.

    As someone who used to spend a lot of time energy in the ASUO, I can say that nothing is more sickening then people like Carina Miller. Going into that Board Room and sobbing about a bunch of bullshit just to get elected to a position she only wants for her resume. What a fraud.


    EMMA KALLAWAY 09!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. MCC says:

    For those of you that politicize it otherwise, the 0 percent benchmark was an ATTACK on student programs. I wasnt there for it or anything but I heard from Lore and Lidoto that this was institutional racism. Plus we talked about it in my ethnic studies class last year during the elections. Zero = “I hate underrepresented communities”. I am so tired of explaining myself. It is exhausting. Oregon Commentator I hope you try explaining this one.

  36. Kai Davis says:

    I really wish people would stop posting anonymously. Go back to /b/ if you want to troll as someone else, but any ‘real’ Delta Tau Delta member would have the spine to post under their name.

  37. Sick of Liars says:

    *not true*

  38. Sick of Liars says:

    I really wish people in this forum would not impersonate members of Delta Tau Delta. Not only are “Delta Tau Delta Member’s” claims about Gower untrue, they are also not something any Delta Tau Delta member would say in a public or private setting about a fellow brother. Disgraceful.

  39. Vincent says:

    There are no white allies for us here.


  40. To be expected says:

    It is hardly surprising that Athan encountered massive resistance during his appointment. He has always fought for the rights of the every day student, many of whom do not even know they pay an incidental fee. If it were not for Athan, student union slates would have barreled through elections the past two years. Thanks to Athan, everyday students have been represented, and students’ wallets have had a break, albeit small.

    Every one pays the incidental fee, $11 million dollars split up among 20,000 students. However, only a small minority directly benefits from the majority of that money. That is power.

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Historically, whites have had that power, and it corrupted them. They have historically tried to maintain a hold of that power, at the expense of a great amount of suffering and heartache. We have to ask ourselves however: Are student unions immune from the seductiveness power? Of course not, we are all human, and we are all equal.
    That is the desired end game isn’t it?
    Isn’t it?

    Athan represented a formidable danger to the power of the Unions. In that Senate Room Wednesday night, along with the thousands of students he fights for, Athan was silenced.

  41. The $conomist says:

    With Athan out of our way, the gravy train will keep on pouring in with truckloads of student cash for us student groups to hoard.

  42. As the former co-director of the Native American Student Union, I find it appalling that University students want to violate my ethnicity, culture, race, and identify with their words of oppression and discrimination. This blog is no longer a safe space. There are no white allies for us here.

  43. Vincent says:

    What the fuck does “safe space” even fucking mean? Because as far as I can tell, it’s code for “an environment where no one challenges or criticizes me in any way.”

  44. Kai Davis says:

    Really, why isn’t the senate investigating itself for fostering ‘unsafe’ feelings?

  45. Tyler says:

    Sen. Gower is one of the few people who is unafraid to stand up to any sort of group think mentality. Of course some people would have a problem with that.

    Dear Delta Tau member, do you really think concealing the truth, kneeing people in the face, and anonymous shit talking represent fraternal values? I know a few Delta Tau Deltas, and I’m proud to say that you must be a rotten egg.

    That being said, I believe that what happened to Athan was very unfair. It was hardly a “safe space” for him.

  46. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Why the fuck did the ODE *just* email me saying this is

  47. Delta Tau Delta Member says:

    I heard Nick Gower put on a show. I live in his house and the general consensus is that Nick Gower is a liar and a sham. No one in our fraternity likes him. Geoff, a guy in our house, kneed him in the face once and made him bleed all over the place. Nick cried and told Greek life like a biotch tatle tale. There are always people trying to kick him out of our house. Liars never prosper nickolas, liars never prosper. Live up to the Delt values or get the the fuck out of our house Gower you piece of dog sheit.
    Also, most people think Gower was the one who ratted out Theta Chi. Fukin Rat. I hope they find out.

  48. Kai Davis says:

    Why the fuck did the ODE *just* email me saying this is ‘breaking news’? Way to continue to scoop them, OC. I wear my sudsy shirt with *pride*.

  49. Lee says:

    Is Rosenburg back?

  50. Lee says:

    That’s disappointing. Isn’t Noor the only 2nd year Senator serving? You’d think the Senate would have quickly moved to appoint a student with some form of institutional memory… Sounds like a flock of sheep without a shepherd…

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