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ODE Says What We’ve All Been Thinking

Today’s Oregon Daily Emerald derided the ASUO Senate’s formation of an “ad-hoc” committee to “discuss” UO President Richard Lariviere’s $800 Million bond proposal and plan to restructure the University. While the editorial makes very valid points, it surprised me by being, to use an almost overly harsh word, naïve. For example:

“However, the difference between this committee and [ACFC, PFC, etcetera] is that the four members will talk about how they are going to talk to administrators, which is only one issue.”

This kind of procedural haggling is the bread and butter of the Senate. It’s why they get up in the morning. It should be no surprise that, when addressing something as monstrous as Lariviere’s Big Thing (to add an affectionate nickname), they’d want to form a committee to tinker with the minutia, especially considering the inevitability of the full Senate tinkering with whatever the committee comes up with.

The Editorial acknowledges this fact, but goes on to question another basic truth.

“They should do what they can to be one functioning body – or at least capable of coming to some sort of reasonable conclusion without having to jump through hoops.”

The answer is simple: because burning through twelve million bucks a year simply isn’t excitement enough. The “jumping through hoops” is the fun part; we can’t take that away from those poor Senators. But what’s more:

“This brings up a question: Is our Senate incapable of having a basic discussion?”

A simple phone call to anyone who has ever been to a Senate meeting would give you the answer this question: yes.

However, if you edit their last sentence strategically, it can at least look like the ODE came to the more important logical conclusion of all this.

The ASUO must remain relatively cohesive to most appropriately represent the student body. Branching out into ‘ad-hoc’ committees is just a waste of time.”

There you go. Well done.

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