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Follow The Money

The best advice I’ve received thus far about ASUO reporting is to follow the money. That’s always where the story is, and this week will be no different.

Most student groups have line item budgets, which allows for greater transparency, as they can only write purchase orders if the thing they are buying fits into their line item. This is to prevent student groups from abusing their funding, like by using money allocated for Printing and Publishing to go on a trip to San Francisco. If student groups need to reallocate funding, they can go to Senate to do so.

Senate usually doesn’t pay too much attention to line item transfers. When they don’t have to dole out money, they generally leave it up to the group to decide what will work best. This is a problem, especially at the end of the year, as groups start to move money they didn’t use to pay for things they never really needed.

Tonight, it’ll be the ASUO Executive’s turn. They are looking to reallocate over $24,000 from an unused GTF pay line item to fund a bunch of new projects. These new projects (with proposed reallocations) are as follows:

Return to Surplus: $3000
So, y’know, student groups can use it this week and next week. There’s also a large request coming tonight for the Ad Team as well as a couple other large requests tomorrow and next week. The $3000 from the Executive might be helpful for those requests, should Senate choose to fund them.

Reader Board: $5000
The ASUO Executive wants to buy a large LCD screen to hang outside the ASUO to display a campus calendar, special events, etc.

Campus Map: $4000
The ASUO Executive and the UO Administration are going in on another campus map in the center of campus.

MEChA Nationals: $750
MEChA needs a little more money to go to their national conference, and the ASUO Executive doesn’t want to “burden Senate,” so they’re using some of the money from this GTF pay line item to pay for vans from Eugene to Seattle.

EMU Security Cameras: $8000
This money is actually coming from another fund called Programs and Assessments, which is attached to the ASUO and is used to pay for various positions, houses major and minor equipment funds, etc. There is another request from P&A tonight that also covers the security cameras. Basically, the EMU and the ASUO have teamed up to buy security cameras for the outside of the EMU that will be transferred when the building gets renovated.

Window/Logo: $1000
This money will go to either pay Facilities Services if the ASUO gets charged for logo removal or will instead go to putting up a new logo should they ever decide on one that doesn’t look like a mushroom cloud.

Sustainability Coordinator: $10,000
This is the part I have a real problem with. From the special request:

It is now clear that the best way to address sustainable groups and projects is to hire a professional organizer that can help students. This will build a cohesive work [sic], efficient spending, and better further planning for big ideas. If we find the 10,000 from this request the Student Affairs will help to find another 20,000 and then we will have to fundraise the remaining amount once the final budget is created. Please fund this very important initiative.

Now, I haven’t spoken with anyone at all about this request yet, but I think this is absolutely absurd. You want to fund a paying position for someone to manage a bunch of other student groups who are charged with sustainability efforts? The Designated Driver Shuttle and Assault Prevention Shuttle are charged with the safety of students, potentially the most important effort by the ASUO, and they are totally student run and operated. Are you telling me that the nine environmental/sustainability student groups, an Environmental Advocate on the executive staff, AND the Survival Center can’t manage these projects? This seems like a waste of money, and something that could get continually funded in the future simply because it was created at this meeting.

All in all, it should be a fairly ridiculous meeting, especially since it’s the last meeting of this year’s Senate before the new Senate takes over next week. If you want to follow along, Alex Tomchak Scott and I (and potentially others) will be on the CoverItLive feed starting tonight at 7pm PST. The link will be on the blog, and I’ll write a follow-up post after.

  1. Betz says:

    @Cimmeron Buns:
    Don’t forget that the EMU actually DID get vandalized this year … remember the whole PF forum / Swastika debacle? Security cameras might have helped identify those responsible, and perhaps act as a deterrent to future vandalizations, break-ins, etc.

  2. Cimmeron Buns says:

    Cims is right, those 17 members need to have adult oversight, so they don’t get tased in the streets like they have been.

    I also would love a lsd readerboard. That way I could know where all the free pizza will be on campus. It might be the only way I’ll get my $600 worth next year!

    I also feel that the campus map will do great things. I just hope it is sustainable enough to get the approval of the sustainablity directors approval. On that note, remember to use lead free paint when painting over the windows of that esbestos filled hellhole.

    Security cameras would be really good idea. Now we can catch those jerks who sneak around there at night, hopefully someone will be watching them with their tasers ready!

    Best executive ever, great year guys…

  3. Betz says:

    I wouldn’t be so hesitant if the job description had some more clearly stated goals. The job description reported on was pretty vague on details. Hell, I hardly even know what ‘sustainability’ means on its own – much less within the context of someone who oversees EMU groups who already claim to have a focus on sustainability.

  4. Cims G says:

    PoI There are considerably more ‘environmentally’ oriented groups than 9. I think the Sustainability coalition boasted 17 regular member last year. I believe this positions goal is to try and create an office to put them all, coordinate their networking, make a website and some other stuff, also a one-time position.

    That is some of the stuff I overheard, so it could be off from the specifics of the positions. Daniel Rottenburg is gunning for it, I think.

  5. unsustainable urbanism duk says:

    I guess you did not realize what sustainability is yet. Agenda 21 and the UN. Do to the campus sustainability efforts what you did to OSPIGG……or this costly cult movement is gonna escalate and entrench more deeply. Sustainability efforts should be treated like Hitler’s marching corpse risen from the grave.

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