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A Soft Weapon

OSPIRG apparently made an appearance in a PPM 201 class last week and their claims about the organization were less than trustworthy.

When asked why they were defunded the OSPIRG representative replied, “A group of students said we shouldn’t be able to support things that were not entirely on campus, but now the ASUO supports reinstating OSPIRG.”

Let’s start with the obvious fact that the “group of students” that wasn’t in support of OSPIRG last year was the ASUO, the elected representatives of the student body. The Geology Club can be called a “group of students”. The ASUO is arguably the most important, if not the most powerful, student organization on campus. To downplay their opinion from last year by qualifying them with the nondescript term “group of students” is intentionally misleading.

Second, the fact that the OSPIRG rep admits that the money is “not entirely on campus” says it all. The entire contention against OSPIRG is not the fact that they may or may not be doing good things. It’s merely a question of whether or not mandatory tuition fees should go towards things that do not benefit you as a student. It’s not that opponents of OSPIRG “hate environmentalism” (or whatever propaganda they tell you), we simply hate paying for office space in Portland and paying for gas for trips to Salem.

Last, I find it entirely too telling that the OSPIRG rep said that “the ASUO supports reinstating OSPIRG”. While there very well may be some support for the group within the ASUO, there is just as much (if not more) opposition to the group. In any case, saying that the entire ASUO supports OSPIRG is an outright lie.

Further, the effect that lie has on students who may not be quite informed gives them the perception that OSPIRG is a normal, incorporated piece of the University of Oregon. Like their lawless usage of the famous “O” symbol, OSPIRG is trying to use the ASUO to brand themselves as “part of the team”.

If I was a member of the ASUO I’d be pissed the group was using my name as an endorsement of their product. As a student, I’m angry they’re spewing propaganda at my peers without batting an eye.

(The student responsible for this information wished to remain anonymous)

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