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OSPIRG Again Denied Contract by ACFC

OSPIRG state board treasure Katie Taylor with state board chairman Charles Denson.

OSPIRG state board treasurer Katie Taylor, with state board chair Charles Denson, makes OSPIRG's case to ACFC Tuesday night. Photo by Rockne Andrew Roll.

EUGENE – After more than two hours of consideration and spirited, often pointed debate, the Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee’s result was effectually the same as before the meeting even began as the committee voted to not fund a contract with OSPIRG for the 2011-2012 academic year Tuesday night.

While it was widely speculated that ACFC would not change its mind about fully funding OSPIRG at the level requested by the group and recommended by the Executive, there was still hope of a compromise, embodied in Clark Kissiah’s proposal of a $45,000 contract. “I think this is an agreeable, middle-of-the-road solution,” Kissiah said.

Others also vocalized support for the compromise measure. Sen. Kristina Harding said “I agree with the lower number instead of full funding.”

Sens. Ian Fielding and Brianna Woodside-Gomez, with committee members Clark Kissiah, Brian Williams, and Andrew Quinlan, and ASUO Legislative Affairs Coordinator Molly Bennison. Photo by Ross Coyle

Sen. Max Barkley also chimed in on this proposal, saying “ I don’t think full funding is necessary.” These opinions did not sway the committee, which voted against the compromise solution by a vote of zero to four with one abstention.

OSPIRG supporters made an impassioned case for funding, and the audience was dominated by “I Love My PIRG” t-shirts. OSPIRG State Board Treasurer Katie Taylor said that “We have gone out of our way to show that lots and lots of students support OSPIRG.” Taylor said of her experience in OSPIRG, “In the classroom, I didn’t learn how to fix the health care crisis.”

Others relayed negative experiences with the group. Sen. Kaitlyn Lange said, “My personal experience with OSPIRG was being stalked on campus.” Lange continued to say, “I don’t believe this presence on campus is welcomed by a lot of people.”

Questions of viewpoint neutrality were brought up early in the meeting. “It seems to every one… [ACFC] have their minds made up… I’m just concerned with viewpoint neutrality,” said ASUO Environmental Advocate Nathan Howard. ASUO Legislative Affairs Coordinator Ben Bowman said very early in the meeting that, “The outcome of tonight’s hearing has already been determined.”

ACFC Vice-Chair Sen. Ian Fielding responded to these charges by saying “It’s not true that I never even gave them a chance… I want to understand both sides of the issue.”

After the meeting, which resulted in a four to zero vote for zero funding, with Kissiah abstaining, ACFC Chair Sen. Bri Woodside-Gomez responded to the Bowman’s accusations by saying, “I think that’s bullshit that he even accused that. Our decision tonight was completely open minded.”

ACFC’s complete budget will next be considered by the Senate Wednesday, March 2.

  1. Rockne Andrew Roll says:


    They all left before I could document how sad they were. Sorry.

  2. Colin says:

    Say what you want, but Brianna kicked ass and took names. Best speech of the whole meeting.

  3. CJ says:

    Came for pictures of SADPIRG. I am disappoint.

  4. Andrew says:

    Exec Staff clearly has no understanding of viewpoint neutrality. Viewpoint neutrality does not mean someone should have no viewpoint about a group deserving student funds. Go read Southworth and shut the fuck up.

  5. Miles Rost says:

    Good on the ACFC, and someone needs to take Ben Bowman and toss a beer can at his head.

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