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Archive for March, 2011

ASUO Elections Finale: Ben and Katie Victorious

March 31st, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

Ben Eckstein has ben elected ASUO President for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Detailed results are available here. New ones are here, see update.

Three committee seats and one Senate seat which will require a general election next week.

The Ben and Katie slate won every other race it contested.

All ballot measures were approved.

More to follow.

UPDATE: ASUO Elections Coordinator Will Price informed the Commentator that there were some errors in the original results sheet. Only Senate Seat 13 (Business) will require a general election.

Grievance Watch, round three (plus some info on email spam)

March 31st, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

The Elections Board has put out their opinion on one of the grievances, filed by Students United against Ben & Katie for launching their website prior to the start date of elections. The ruling states that Ben & Katie must refrain from campaigning from 12:00pm today until 3:00pm today.

Ben & Katie Campaign Manager Ben Bowman replied with this email to the Constitution Court at 10:49am:

Constitutional Court,

As we will submit shortly in an appeal, the Election Board lacks the authority to enforce the sanction discussed in the their decision, and therefore, this decision should be immediately overturned.

However, given the time-sensitive nature of this ruling (as the election ends today), we ask for an immediate stay of the decision as we submit our arguments. Given the exigent circumstances, we request that the Court stay the Elections Board ruling until it can review our appeal and deliver a decision.

Thank you,

Ben Bowman

Students United Communications Director Ben Ordonez replied to the Constitution Court at 11:56am:

Honorable Justices of the ASUO Constitution Court,

I have been notified by Ben Bowman, acting in his official capacity as a representative of the Ben & Katie 2011 ASUO Elections campaign, that he will be appealing the ASUO Elections Board Decision (1E.B).

As per 2011 ASUO Elections rules, the Court has already reviewed the content of the original grievance, which was filed by Ben Ordonez on March 27, 2011. The court declined rule and promptly referred said grievance back to the ASUO Elections board for decision.

As Ben Bowman has acknowledged “the time-sensitive nature of this ruling (as the election ends today)” in his message to the Court that was delivered by e-mail at 10:49am on Thursday, March 31, 2011.

I recognize the right, as enumerated in the 2011 ASUO Elections Packet, of any official ASUO campaign entity to appeal a decision issued by the ASUO Elections Board to the Constitution Court. I do not question the right to a proper appeals process that is in accordance with 2011 ASUO Elections Packet and the GTN.

However, I urge the Court to act in a timely manner. Mr. Bowman has already explicitly stated that he, and therefore also the Ben & Katie campaign, does not recognize the right of the Elections board to enforce any official ruling it may issue. This is clearly stated in his message to the Court that was delivered by e-mail at 10:49am on Thursday, March 31, 2011 in which he states the following: “the Election Board lacks the authority to enforce the sanction discussed in the their decision, and therefore, this decision should be immediately overturned.”

The ASUO Election board ruled that the Ben & Katie campaign shall be prohibited from campaigning from 12pm-3pm on Thursday, March 31, 2011. If the Court chooses not to act, Mr. Bowman has indicated that he will disregard the ASUO Elections Board decision. If the Court chooses to act, but not by 12pm on Thursday, March 31, 2011, Mr. Bowman has successfully negated the punitive action taken by the ASUO Elections Board.

Again, I urge to court to consider the appeal filed Mr. Bowman in a manner that is both timely and appropriate. As the election will be ending today, Mr. Bowman and the Ben & Katie campaign will have escaped an official punishment for rules violations that was legitimately ruled upon by the ASUO Elections board, demonstrated that the ASUO Elections board is powerless to enforce its own rules, and set a dangerous precedent that allows delay tactics in order to render official regulatory ASUO bodies impotent if the Court does not act in a timely manner.

I thank the Court for its time in reading this message.

With Sincerity and Respect,

Benjamin Ordonez

Constitution Court Associate Justice Megan Benevento replied to all at 12:30pm:

Mr. Bowman and who it may concern,

Until the Constitutional Court receives a formal appeal, the ruling of the Elections Board stands. We are adamant that if the ruling of the Elections Board is disregarded then there will be consequences which will be imposed in your appeal.

We recognize that elections are time-sensitive and thus encourage you to submit your appeal expediently.

Thank you,

Megan Benevento
Associate Justice
ASUO Constitutional Court

Basically, Ben and Katie are saying that the Elections Board has no right to enforce its own rules. This also came up during the 2009 ASUO Election, when the Elections Board tried to kick the Oregon Action Team off the ballot and Vice President of Student Affairs Robin Holmes intervened to force them back on the ballot. I’m curious to see what happens with the appeal here.

In other grievance news, Ben Bowman on behalf of the Ben & Katie campaign has filed a grievance against Students United for handing out free campaign paraphernalia in housing. Apparently they were also offering a raffle for a $25 iTunes gift card. That grievance can be found here.

Finally, the Ben & Katie campaign is allegedly out spamming again. The deptcomp people are not pleased and are referring emails to abuse[at]uoregon[dot]edu. According to an email from one of the Information Services people on the listserv, “Action is being taken to address this issue.”

ASUO Elections – Day 4

March 31st, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

ASUO Elections Coordinator Will Price had no comment regarding the Elections Board decision against Ben and Katie, the slate led by Ben Eckstein and Katie Taylor. Commentator Editor-in-Chief Lyzi Diamond will have the full details of the board’s decision shortly.

At approximately 2:15 PM local time,  Lindy Mabuya, candidate for Senate Seat 3 (PFC) was spotted by a Commentator staffer walking along University Street towards the Student Recreation Center clearly displaying a Ben and Katie campaign t-shirt, in violation of the Elections Board’s ruling.

Stephen Murphy, independent candidate for President, was seen near the EMU amphitheater distributing flyers which said “Do you love black people? Stephen Murphy loves black people.”

Kevin Cronin, notable as petitioner in In Re ACFC Member Andrew Quinlan (27 C.C. 2010/2011), sent a mass email out to “undisclosed recipients” this morning urging them to vote for Ben and Katie candidates and in favor of all ballot measures.

Photos from the week’s insanity will be up in a little bit. Two and a half hours to go!

Disclaimer: Stephen Murphy is a contributor to the Oregon Commentator.

March Madness (UPDATED)

March 31st, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

This headline is a reference to the ACFC’s budget process and the fact that its final stages are dragging on like the last thirty seconds of a closely contested basketball game.

During last night’s Senate meeting, after the (abjectly pointless) discussion of grade inflation and the approval of a host of special requests, a recess was requested and approved. Upon commencing this recess, a large contingent of Senators, including (but not limited to) Sens. Max Barkley, Janet Brooks, Ian Fielding, Kaitlyn Lange, Brian Powell, and Bri Woodside-Gomez left the room and did not return. The meeting was adjourned for lack of quorum.

Since there was not a vote held to override the veto of the ACFC budget, and the Senate’s budget timeline has expired, it is unclear at this moment what the status of the ACFC budget is. I’ll be investigating today.

For those of you keeping track, the meeting lasted just over an hour and a half, with $950 allocated from Surplus. Fielding’s resignation becomes effective on Friday, which will be the eighth of this year. Not including those departing after the recess, the absence list included Sens. Blake Sedgley, Kerry Snodgrass and Evan Thomas.

UPDATE – I just received a copy of the Constitution Court’s opinion (31 C.C. 2010/2011) regarding the petition Brooks submitted yesterday. (Referenced in “ACFC Budget Fun ContinuesOC Blog 30 March 2011). According to the Court, if the Senate does not either override the veto or approve a budget that ASUO President Amelie Rousseau will sign by midnight tonight, then the Court will “determine the next steps to be taken,” which may include granting budget writing authority to the Executive. Since 24 hours notice is required to call a Senate Meeting, this may well be the end of this one.

UPDATE: Senate President Zachary Stark-MacMillen has told the Commentator that the Senate will not meet tonight.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article contained ambiguous language regarding Concourt’s opinion in 31 C.C. (2010/2011). The Commentator regrets the error, which has since been corrected.

Senate Shenanigans (UPDATE)

March 30th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

Senate is meeting tonight to attempt to override ACFC budget veto and a bunch of other garbage. No coveritlive, though I’ll be livetweeting at

UPDATE: Cover It Live is here.

ACFC Budget Fun Continues (UPDATED)

March 30th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

I was going to write a lovely story about how ACFC’s budget was passed without an OSPIRG contract last night during a special Senate meeting (by a vote of 9-8) but intervening circumstances have intervened. Besides, you’ve read the same quotes from the same people about the same aspects of the PIRG time and time again. I can say it was an interesting meeting for sure, if for no other reason than that almost no one was there. The only audience members besides myself and Mr. Bains were ASUO Finance Coordinator Colleen Soles and an unidentified blonde middle-aged woman.

According to an email from Sen. Janet Brooks to the Constitution Court, ASUO President Amelie Rousseau vetoed the budget this morning. Brooks argues to the court that because the Senate budget was passed by the final deadline of March 29 dictated by the Court in an email to Senators accompanying their decision in 30 C.C. (2010-2011). Brooks continues to say that Rousseau did not veto the budget by the March 29 deadline, and thus the budget as passed by the Senate last night should be considered valid.

The Senate will attempt to override the veto this evening during their regularly scheduled meeting, but if the vote goes as the last one did, there will not be enough votes to override.

If that occurs, it is unknown what will happen next. Presumably, Concourt will give Rousseau the authority to write a budget, which will almost certainly include some sort of OSIPRG Contract.

UPDATE – The following email chain was accidentally send to the the entire “concourtdecision” listserv:

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Andrae Washington <[email protected]>

Date: Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Subject: concourtdecision: Re: URGENT: ACFC Veto

To: Nicholas B Schultz <[email protected]>

Cc: [email protected]

You can address it. I think the senate can present the budget to the state. Alternatively, if the deadline is passed and the senate takes no action whatsoever then the budget will go directly to the hands of University administration. I don’t see anyway the President can grab the budget in time. The Senate has vetoed twice and the senate has overridden the decision. The deference provided to the Senate in the Clark document makes it clear that they are the legislative branch in charge of the budget. The President only get the budget-in my opinion–when the Senate evidence inaction. Since the Senate has made itself clear the budget veto is valid. However, in the absence of anything further actions the budget likely stays as is and goes to University Admin.

In all honestly I am going to be overwhelmed with ROTC stuff so, just make sure you edit the opinion well and you can send it out yourself. To announce a decision you send your email to [email protected].

Good luck,


On Mar 30, 2011, at 4:38 PM, Nicholas B Schultz wrote:

Hey Andrae,

Yeah I can write the opinion.  I agree with most of your points…we did say the deadline was 3/31 so they have time to override the veto until midnight.  Should I address what will happen after that time frame, based on what the justices say?  Or should i just say they have until the 31st and uphold the legitimacy of the President’s veto


On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 16:34:38 -0700, Andrae Washington wrote:

Hey Nick,

I emailed before I was done. How about you write this opinion. We likely have it out tonight. I will edit it quickly once you are done. In my reading of the ASUO constitution the Senate can submit the budget directly the oregon board of higher education. They also maintain a veto override, so they still have tomorrow to hold another meeting. We set their deadline as the 31st. The 29th was too hold a ACFC vote. Now that the Prez has vetoed again they have till 12am on the 31st to override the veto. This is all laid out in the GTN and the Clark document,

On Mar 30, 2011, at 3:54 PM, Andrae Washington wrote:

FROM: Andrae Washington

DATE: March 30, 2011 3:17:15 PM PDT

TO: Jerrett C. Glass


it goes back to senate for veto override

On Mar 30, 2011, at 3:10 PM, Jerrett C. Glass wrote:


How I see it 5.6 still applies, the president vetoed the budget meaning the deadline is not met. I don’t see an alternative to giving Amelie power of the budget unless we ignore 5.6 or some other twisting of the words of the GTN. Does anyone else come out with a different outcome?


Grievance Watch, round two

March 30th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

Another grievance has been filed, this time by the Ben & Katie campaign (red shirts) against Students United (purple shirts).

The grievance is in reference to an email that was sent out by Melissa Abel, who is the president of the Panhellenic Council, to all fraternity and sorority presidents asking them to endorse Sinjin and Kaitlyn for ASUO Exec.

That grievance can be found here. The grievances mentioned in my previous post about grievances can be found here, here, here, here and here.

Candidates’ Debate Displays Issues, Insanity

March 30th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

EUGENE – The dim lights in the LLC Performance Hall kept all but the ten people seated at the front of the room cast in darkness. From the viewers left, Curtis Haley, Nick Warren, Nick Dreyer, Sen. Kaitlyn Lange, Sinjin Carey, Katie Taylor, Ben Eckstein, Stephen Murphy, Sophia Lawhead and Cimmeron Gillespie were arrayed in a long thin line in the front of the room, ready to address the issues of the day in the 2011 ASUO Primary Candidate’s Debate.

Candidates had the opportunity to present their platforms to students and answer questions from the elections board, students, and the media.

Some platforms were less than expected. Haley and Warren used their time to encourage the ASUO to create a more difficult process for getting on the ballot. “The fact that I am speaking right now is a travesty,” said Haley.

Dreyer declined to comment on his platform, or answer any questions during the debate, with each utterance of “pass” being accompanied by an accentuating strum of a guitar from his brightly dressed herald, whom the Commentator could not identify.

Lange, speaking for her and Carey’s Students United slate, explained that their campaign was based on “tradition” and wanted to see a more unified, more sustainable student body.

Ecketein, speaking on behalf of the Ben and Katie slate (of which Taylor is also a member) focused on “making education affordable.”

Murphy discussed the need for a more welcoming, inclusive campus environment. He also, repeatedly during the event, express support for OSPIRG and for the policies of current ASUO President Amelie Rousseau.

Lawhead explained her plan to, upon election, auction the office of ASUO Vice President and promptly resign, leaving the highest bidder as ASUO President.

Gillespie stated that “Tuition is too damn high!” He went on to outline his plan to reduce tuition by eliminating the university’s administrative positions, including the university presidency.

While the event included much serious discussion of issues, there were some heated moments. Lawhead, who was usually flippant in her remarks, took a turn for the serious when a question concerning the future of the Department of Public Safety came up. Lawhead demanded a quick solution to the question and stated that “I think its absolutely ridiculous that anyone should feel threatened on this campus.” Gillespie accused her of tacitly supporting an armed police agency on campus, an assertion that Lawhead angrily denied.

It seemed clear by the events’ end who was serious about the position they sought and who was not. This view was punctuated when, in response to a question about candidates’ plans if not elected, Dreyer asked an audience member for a cigarette, then left the room, followed closely by his herald.

Candidates’ reactions to the debate were mixed. Lange said she “was disappointed that there wasn’t an actual debate between the two serious candidates. I thought it could have been more engaging.”

Carey was “a little disappointed that some of the joke candidates took up a lot of the time.”

Lawhead explained to the Commentator that she felt her performance “left them all satisfied.”

Murphy said “I’d like to think I did alright.”

When asked for comment, Dreyer told the Commentator to “fuck yourself.”

Neither Gillespie, nor a representative of Ben and Katie could be reached for comment.

Disclaimer: Dreyer, Lawhead and Murphy are employees of the Oregon Commentator. Dreyer currently serves as Art Director, Lawhead as Layout Director, and Murphy as a Contributor.

Second Special Senate Showdown

March 29th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

Click here to follow the ACFC’s last stand

LIVE: Candidate Debate

March 29th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

Follow the Debate Here

ASUO Elections – Day 2 (UPDATED)

March 29th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

ASUO Elections Coordinator Will Price has not yet returned phone calls regarding the Elections Board’s handling of pending grievances.

Rainfall seemed to only slightly damper campaign activities today. Student’s United’s Brian Allen, currently ASUO Outreach Coordinator, was seen sporting a multi-color umbrella hat earlier today.

According to the Oregon Daily Emerald‘s blog, Publisher Ryan Frank contacted officials from both Students United, who had been stamping copies of the ODE with pro-SU messages, and Ben and Katie, whose filers were found in copies of the ODE yesterday. Both campaigns were apologetic, denied official knowledge of the activities and promised to take steps to prevent them in the future. Editor-in-Chief Nora Simon discussed the situation, and outlined the paper’s plans to provide fair, unbiased elections coverage.

A full news story will be  posted tonight after the Candidate Debate. A Recap of tonight’s special Senate Meeting will also be posted later either tonight or early tomorrow.

UPDATE: The Commentator, was able to contact Price, who said he would forward information on the grievances filed thus far tonight. He also stated that the Elections Board will be deciding the grievances tomorrow.

Grievance Watch

March 29th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

[For your reference, the elections packet with rules and effective dates can be found here. The ASUO-produced voter guide can be found here.]

Grievances be flyin’.

In addition to the grievance from Sen. Ian Fielding that Rockne mentioned below, there have been five grievances filed by the Students United (purple shirts) campaign thus far: four against Ben and Katie (red shirts) and one against Curtis Haley and Nick Warren.

The one against Curtis and Nick is for their name — Students Untied — for its closeness to the name Students United. The Students United campaign claim the similarity in name was intentional, given that Haley and Warren filed for election 13 days after Sinjin Carey and Kaitlyn Lange.

Then, there are four against Ben and Katie:

  • One for launching their website before the first day of spring term;
  • one for announcing their candidacy at an Alpha Phi Omega meeting on February 24, 2011, as well as soliciting on a listserv;
  • one for stuffing fliers inside copies of the Monday, March 28 issue of the Oregon Daily Emerald;
  • and one buying prior to the election and redirecting the traffic to

That last one is actually kind of hilarious. But I digress.

From what I understand, there has been limited contact between Elections Coordinator Will Price and the Students United campaign. I will post up the text of the grievances as an update to this post later today.

ASUO Elections – Day 1 (UPDATED)

March 28th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

According to ASUO Elections Coordinator Will Price, a number of grievances have already been submitted to the Elections Board regarding campaign activities. Price was unable to indicate the number of or subject matter in the grievances filed thus far, but indicated that he would be able to do so at a later date. The Commentator will be following up.

Meanwhile, the two main slates, Students United and Ben and Katie were out in force today, talking to students and trying to pull in votes. Lined up on opposite sides of the intersection at 13th and University, candidates form both slates made their pitches. Independent candidate Cims Gillespie was also sighted.

“I’ve met a lot of interesting people,” said Lindy Mabuya, who is running for Senate Seat 3 (PFC) on the Ben and Katie slate.

ASUO Programs Administrator Sinjin Carey, running for ASUO President on the Students United State, shared a similar sentiment. “It’s been a really busy day, a really exciting day.”

Tomorrow evening will see the Executive Candidates hash it out in a public debate at 7P.M. in the LLC Performance Hall. Naturally, I’ll be there.

UPDATE: Sen. Ian Fielding forwarded a copy of the grievance he filed with the Constitution Court against OSPIRG and Ben and Katie to the Commentator. Fielding alleges that OSPIRG’s co-campaigning with Ben and Katie, including their sharing of campaign space and OSPIRG petitioners campaigning for the Ben and Katie Slate. The final paragraph of Fielding’s grievance reads:

I urge the court to immediately order OSPIRG to stop actively campaigning for Ben Eckstein and Katie Taylor’s campaign. Due to the egregious nature of this violation, and the many others they have committed, I also recommend some other form of penalty be applied such as the disqualification of their executive ticket.

Additionally, filers printed by an OSPIRG affiliated organization endorsing the Ben and Katie slate, and including the endorsements of a number of campus figures, including ASUO President Amelie Rousseau, were found in some copy’s of yesterday’s Oregon Daily Emerald. Sources close to the Commentator indicated that these flyers were placed their by Ben and Kate staffers, though this could not be confirmed.

Clusterfuck: Accomplished.

March 28th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

An Excel spreadsheet distributed by an ASUO campaign may have serious consequences for students both involved and not involved with the election, the Commentator learned today.

Members of the Ben & Katie campaign (red shirts) have been sending out emails to UO listservs and text messages to individual students and faculty/staff starting as far back as Saturday. Some of these actions are against elections rules, but based on previous elections, will probably go un-prosecuted.

One of the emails that was received by the Deptcomp listserv (Computing Department) contained something much more concerning than just a “vote for me” pitch: an attached Excel spreadsheet with over 24,000 uoregon email addresses.

According to the Deptcomp listserv, a representative from Information Services is gathering information to lodge a formal complaint with the Office of Student Affairs or Student Life.

In my time at the University of Oregon, a candidate has never been kicked off the ballot — and not for lack of the Elections Board trying. It will be interesting to see where this goes from here.

On a side note, I hear Students United (purple shirts) is filing somewhere in the ballpark of nine grievances. And I’m sure there will be plenty more to come.

ASUO Elections Issue now online!

March 28th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

The ASUO Election issue is now online! Check it out for ballot measure endorsements, candidate interviews and other articles that will make your spine tingle and your toes numb. Or something. You can download it by clicking the link in the sidebar, or clicking here.

The Expansion Issue is also in the sidebar for your viewing pleasure, or you can download it here.

And I’ll be posting the full text of our ballot endorsements today, but suffice to say that you sould VOTE NO ON EVERYTHING, ESPECIALLY OSPIRG.