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OSPIRG Seeks Funding

According to a Daily Emerald story today by Emily Gillespie, OSPIRG is seeking to refund themselves for the upcoming 2010-11 school year. This should come as no surprise to students, as the group’s entire motives as of late have been to get themselves some sweet student funding (think little yellow flyers).

Jeremy Blanchard, an ASUO senator, apparently has no idea why or how OSPIRG was defunded last year:

Blanchard, whose knowledge of OSPIRG was previously limited to second-hand knowledge, is simply advocating that OSPIRG get fair and unbiased consideration when it comes to refunding it next year.

“Viewpoint neutral. That’s the idea; everyone always strives for that and that’s where our power comes from,” he said.

Of course, OSPIRG wasn’t defunded for any ulterior political motives. Nay, last year’s ASUO executive was fiscally conservative, and in an effort to create effecient spending of student funds (and to lessen the loads on student wallets) they simply asked OSPIRG for transparency on how they spent their money.

When OSPIRG couldn’t prove that they returned all their money to campus (like other fee-funded institutions like the Rec Center, Health Center etc) they were defunded.

What is surprising, however, is the amound of money that OSPIRG is asking for and how they’ve gone about asking for it.

Senator Alex McCafferty summed it up:

“A lot of it has to do with the current budget — it’s tight and isn’t conducive to adding a budget of that magnitude,” McCafferty said.

He added that the group has asked for the exact same budget as last year, seemingly with “no new information.”

“So far what I see is the same argument, the same proposal — the exact same budget request,” McCafferty said. “It didn’t fly last year and I don’t think it’s going to fly this year.”

Of course, what OSPIRG has failed to do is prove, once again, is how their $117,000 budget returns to campus. Apparently they didn’t get the memo that they were defunded last year because of that little fact. Although you’ve got to admire them for submitting the same budget with no added transparency.

It takes some serious balls to be that stupid.

  1. Vincent says:

    I have nothing against OSPIRG

  2. JMB says:

    The whole Powershift business in mind my is a good argument AGAINST funding OSPIRG. The conference itself got funding because it was an event taking place ON campus to ostensibly benefit students, and lo and behold it still managed to happen without UO student fees paying for stipends and office staff in Portland. So apparently such events can be organized and funded on an individual basis without the need to pay OSPIRG blanket money.

  3. Betz says:

    Where exactly is this mysterious 30-page document? Can someone just make some photocopies and post the damn thing on the internet, instead of the weird, gestappo-esque “come to my office if you want to see it” argument?

    Requests for “sweet student funding” ARE dirty … that is, when the group doing the requesting has been defunded in the past for being an unscrupulous and shady organization whose sole survival is based upon said sweet funding.

    I have nothing against OSPIRG’s mission – instead, trying to make the world a better place is a very noble one. My qualms are with the way that they operate their organization. It is evident, based on past experiences, that they go out of their way to make it as difficult and opaque as possible for someone to find out what their business is up to – be that requesting budgets, obtaining documents, getting contact information, etc. These do not sound like the habits of a trustworthy organization. OSPIRG has lost my trust – not because of their mission or ideas, but because of they way they run their group.

    Releasing a line-item budget is a step in the right direction … but they have a lot more steps to take if they want to regain my trust.

    Still haven’t gotten an answer as to why STUDENT money is being sent off-campus … one step forward, two steps back …

  4. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Even if OSPIRG is trying to turn over a new leaf, the point is that the goodwill that may have at one time existed (more likely that OSPIRG was just ignored) is gone. That it took people pointing out how OSPIRG refused to provide financial clarity, refused to present an argument about how it helps UO students with UO student money, and basically just whined about being asked for such things (not to mention going out and paying people to ask students if they believe in student rights…when the point was to get OSPIRG back on campus)….well, it’s pathetic.

    Even if we count Powershift as some HUGE success…it’s one good thing against numerous bad things. Point being, OSPIRG is the equivalent of an abusive husband who spends years beating his wife, taking her money and then…when she threatens to go to the cops and kicks him out of the house…he tries to make all nice with some flowers and pretty words.

  5. nike urbanism duk says:

    Yeah Firefly, a huge success. You blow hard global whiners just cooled the local climate. Thanks for sticking it to the UO students with your huge Powershaft ! Also, it is spelled OSPIGG not OSPIRG you porker.

  6. Fireflies says:

    “Sweet student funding” … the lifeblood of virtually ally student organizations. It seems dishonest that the OC folks would try to make a student organization’s desire for student funding sound dirty or mocking.

    Just in case you missed it, Powershift was a HUGE success … and OSPIRG has been publicly acknowledged as being INSTRUMENTAL in bringing Powershift to UO. The corporate versions of Powershift West often cost $1,000 a head for the same type of programming. UO students received DAYS of seminar activities for $20. The Powershift event even brought additional recognition to UO as an environmentally conscious university, something of great value to UO marketing efforts and future student funds. And although OC would like to deny it, student funds that sent OSPIRG members to DC laid the groundwork for Powershift coming to UO.

    Now OSPIRG has presented a 30 page line item budget to show exactly where the money is going. So much for your lack of transparency argument (which actually seemed somewhat anti-libertarian)! Pettiness is often a greater threat to an ideology than opposing viewpoints are 😉

    I think your article pretty much sums it up … “It takes some serious balls to be that stupid” except rather than talking about OSPIRG, it should be talking about you Dane!

  7. Ian says:

    Zachary: If you have a copy of their proposed budget, please post it online. Thanks.

  8. Vincent says:

    the only tangible benefit they can point to is a stream walk

    And sometimes, they don’t even get the right stream. Not only does OSPIRG waste student dollars, it wastes Oregon taxpayer dollars (and the time of employees of the Department of Environmental Quality), too. I’ll have to tell you the story sometime.

  9. Orev says:

    They can have their money, from our cold, dead hands.

  10. JMB says:

    The PIGGY is back at the trough, feed the PIGGY with your hard-earned student fees!

    McCafferty was dead-on the other week when he opposed funding Powershift because it was a thinly-veiled pretext to try and get OSPIRG funded next year.

  11. Timothy says:

    One reason OSPIRG moved to the contract rather than student-group model when ballot measure funding was declared illegal was exactly this kind of shenanigan. That happened not too long after Southworth, but the point of a contracted group is provision of some service to the student body. The LTD and the ODE — easily the most recognizable contract groups — are pretty obviously providing a service. OSPIRG, on the other hand, nebulously claims to have internships and that kind of nonsense, but as has been mentioned previously the only tangible benefit they can point to is a stream walk. With volunteers.

    As a contracted organization, they never should have been allowed to keep the space in the Survival Center, they should have been charged rent for any space they had in the EMU, and they should have been required to explain the service they provided to the UO campus community. It’s a pretty big win that the ASUO finally wised up and did the right thing.

  12. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Part of the problem is that the OUS collects and distributes funds like this.

    The other part of the problem is that OSPIG sucks.

  13. Miles Rost says:

    I think I speak for the rest of the world when we say that their “statewide budget” disqualifies them from ANY and ALL UO funding.

    The money that goes to campus should STAY on the damn campus. If Senator McMillan cannot get this little fact through his plaque-laden skull, then maybe he should resign his commission and drink himself into further stupidity.

  14. Dane says:

    “entire state-wide budget”

    Care to explain why our money from campus goes statewide?

    Additionally, care to explain why Alex McCafferty seems to have the exact opposite view of the situation?

  15. zstarmac says:

    OSPIRG has submitted a line-item budget. They submitted a 30 page document that describes their entire state-wide budget with descriptions of campaigns and job descriptions, as well as a very detailed spreadsheet describing where every penny of UO student money would go.
    I have read their budget and I assure you it goes above and beyond in terms of transparency. If anyone would like to meet with me and see their budget, I’d be happy to talk and share it with you.
    I have office hours in the ASUO office 3-4 on Mondays and Wednesdays, and 11-12 on Tuesdays. Or you can email me at [email protected] and make an appointment.
    Zachary Stark-MacMillan
    ASUO Student Senator – Seat 16 (General Science)

  16. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Stupid OSPIG, Trix are for Kids.

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