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Rumor Mill: New EMU

So I’ve been holding off on writing about the new EMU, cos I can’t seem to get anybody on the record explicitly about it (yet). I can write about one thing, though, because it has been discussed in public meetings: student group spaces.

Currently, many ASUO fee-funded programs have their own offices, including the Oregon Commentator, the Black Student Union, the Designated Driver Shuttle, etc. Every plan I’ve seen for the new EMU includes collaborative student spaces: complete with a desk, a computer, and a locker for personal affects. Basically, student groups will be placed in cubicles, with big desks and collaborative spaces that any student can use.

This distinct lack of student group space presents a problem at very least for us — we need our full office to produce a magazine. Every week we are in the office, working away all day trying to get the issue edited and laid out. We print over and over again, we put the pages on the ground to look at. Without this space, our issues would look a lot less sharp than they do (and they’re not terribly sharp to begin with, so just imagine the horror).

Even outside of the Commentator, other student groups utilize the shit out of their spaces. As a former Designated Driver Shuttle employee, I can tell you that a collaborative space in that environment would be detrimental to the program. I can only imagine that many other student groups would agree.

I understand that the EMU as it stands currently does not provide many spaces for students not in student groups (see: most students). That is definitely a problem, as the student union is supposed to serve all students. But a good friend of mine pointed out to me yesterday that the output of student programs often serves to benefit the lives of the rest of the student population. In the case of most programs, I would say that this is fairly true. Assault Prevention Shuttle, for one. Child Care Subsidy for another. Will a lack of a distinct office hinder the ability of these programs to do their jobs? Maybe, maybe not. That remains to be seen.

I’ve been saying for a while that the fight for student group space in the new EMU is going to be horrendous. But it’s going to be a lot worse if there isn’t even any student group space to fight for.

  1. Miles Rost says:

    Lyzi, do you have any documents regarding the design and/or the information regarding the “new EMU”? I’d like to see if I could (as a former EMU board member) get a few words in to the yahoos in charge at the U.

    I’m interested, specifically, in what the student spaces (aka cubicles) would look like.

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