The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

Altman’s Resignation and ensuing rant.

Here is Altman’s resignation letter, being all ballsy and shit:

Dear Senators and ASUO,

Having the opportunity to work with such bright and motivated people in the ASUO has been a highlight of my time at the University. Unfortunately, I must conclude my service for the ASUO Senate and Programming Finance Committee.
After much thought and internal struggle, resignation from Senate Seat 3 has become unavoidable. As a financially independent student, there is a necessity to maintain a job other than my Senate seat. Working a minimum of 25 hours a week for Senate and PFC has made it impossible for me to work enough hours at my other job to meet my financial needs.
My commitment to the ASUO has grown since I was elected last Spring, but it would be unfair for me to maintain my Senate Seat when I know that I cannot give more of my time to the position. I hope that whomever is appointed to Senate Seat 3 can dedicate themselves to Senate and PFC for the amazing amount of time that is demanded.

I would like to mention, also, that I do not approve of increasing stipends to better compensate ASUO members. Serving the University should not be encouraged monetarily, as students are not yet professionals. Because we are initially students, I also think that the hours necessary for being a part of the ASUO could be decreased through furthered efficiency in meetings, and a reevaluation of committee responsibilities.
From the perspective of PFC, for example, I feel that the Controllers do most of the budgeting work for the Programs, and the executive recommendations are commonly the best option for Program i-fee allocations. Because of this, I feel that Executive Recommendations could be the initially allocated amount, which would create necessity for Budget Hearings only when the PFC recalls a group, or when the group would like to appeal the Executive Recommendation. This would eliminate Budget Hearings that are unnecessary (inefficient).

Thank you for the educational experience, and I wish you the best of luck through Budget Hearings, and in to Spring term.

Erin Altman

What you’re saying, Erin, is that as elected officials you should shirk your responsibilities and let the ASUO Executive — nay, the ASUO Finance Coordinator (the one who sets the executive recommendation), an APPOINTED INDIVIDUAL — make budgetary decisions. You are saying the finance committees should bend to the will of the ASUO executive and not make any of their own decisions based on individual research.

From what I’ve seen thus far, the PFC hasn’t done any individual research. As such, I can see why you would say the exec recs are the way to go — it seems you don’t know any better.

Every budget hearing is necessary because you, as PFC members, are supposed to know the ins and outs of every budget. If you didn’t have hearings, you wouldn’t have a chance to talk to programs about what they’re spending and why they’re spending it. You wouldn’t be the safeguard between my money and people spending it poorly. Honestly, you haven’t been doing much of that yet anyway (save for the Insurgent and I applaud you for that), but regardless. You are supposed to know more about the budgets of these programs than the programs themselves — that’s why you are assigned tags. You’re supposed to talk to the representatives, get a feel for what they want to do, and help them do it. The one making the executive recommendations (Finance Coordinator Colleen Soles*) is one person who can’t possibly get to know every program individually, and allocates based on a model.

This year, the PFC decided, instead of doing the due diligence and creating a model for themselves, to adopt the Executive’s funding model without fully understanding what it meant and its implications. You, as PFC, can allocate money however you see fit. I would hope that would come in the form of making rational decisions based on fundraising and amount spent, but even if not, it is important that you, as elected officials, are making the decisions.

Don’t bend to the will of the Executive. Do your due diligence and give programs the money they deserve and can actually use.

*Although, let’s be honest, it’s more likely Amelie herself.

  1. Rockne Andrew Roll says:

    Leaving myself logged in at the Commentator office? SO FOOLISH!!!!

  2. Lyzi Diamond says:

    I’m not necessarily saying that resigning for school/work commitments is wrong — I did it, too. I’m just saying her budgetary suggestion doesn’t jive with me.

  3. Archer says:

    I think it really is hard for students who have the double life of work and school. As an outsider to the whole process I think ASUO is a full time commitment but always seems to be advertised as a club. In my brief time barely following ASUO there seem to be a LOT of resignations for similar reasons. I think it would be wrong to pass that off as student faults and instead find fault with how the ASUO runs. I think it will be an important challenge in the next few years to find ways to make the ASUO more flexible for students– Though I couldn’t predict what that would require.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.