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Shame on EM-You: People unhappy with referendum postponement

It would appear that there are on students on campus who are not as stoked about the EMU Referendum postponement as Ben Eckstein.

In fact, one student, Benjamin Ordonez, filed a request to have the president impeached. Ordonez was the campaign manager for Eckstein’s opposition last year, Students United and he is pissed.

In his request for Eckstein’s removal, Ordonez stated that he feels as if Eckstein “violated not only specific provisions of the ASUO Constitution, but core principals that make up the very fabric of our democratic process.”

He stated in his request that he is worried that at this rate, the student president will be given too much control and the voice of the student body will be stifled.

Ordonez wishes to see the original referendum date restored and Eckstein booted from office.

Orodnez is not the only one who is heated about Exec’s decision. Club Sports Executive Committee sent a letter to various student groups who are housed in the EMU urging them to speak out against the postponement.

According to the letter, Club Sports does not believe that there is enough room in the EMU for all the student groups that have requested space.

They believe the renovations should take place as soon as possible in order to allow for everyone who needs room.

Also, they informed the students that even though we will not be moving forward with the renovations, there is still an architect on retainer, just waiting to be utilized. This will raise the initial cost.

The EMU Board of Directors is equally dissatisfied with the decision. In a letter written to the ASUO Executive, the Board reveled that they were not consulted before Eckstein made his decision.

The letter said, “Throughout this process, the ASUO Executive has called out Student Affairs for a lack of student inclusion, but so far the only ones cutting students out of the process is the ASUO Executive.”

The letter also said that there was limited proof to support Eckstein’s claim that students were not informed enough to vote on this issue. “It assumes that the student body was not capable of informing themselves before the vote,” the Board said.

Also, because of this postponement the EMU rennovation project will lose 10 to 20 million dollars. All for the sake of waiting a few months.

All in all, it would seem that Ben Eckstein and the Exec board screwed up royally. It seems like this decision might have just cost us a president and potentially a new EMU.

  1. Angry Dad says:

    What issue? Ben Eckstein cost the university 10-20 million dollars, all because OSPIRG wasn’t going to get a bigger office or the entire first floor of the EMU.

    Sorry, but Mr. Eckstein not only needs to be impeached, but also taken out into the amphitheatre and beaten senseless.

  2. Thief says:


    While it’s awesome that you can copy-paste talking points and I applaud your ability to Google your own name, mind having a discussion about the issue here like a real human?

  3. Ben Ordonez says:

    An e-mail was sent out from the Office of the ASUO President on the morning of Sunday, November 6, 2011. It addressed ASUO Pres. Eckstein’s reasons for canceling the Fall EMU Referendum. He stated that the decision to postpone the election was made “by Monday night” which had to have meant the prior Monday, Oct 31, 2011. Pres. Eckstein’s document also states that the decision to postpone was made by “consensus of the entire ASUO Executive Staff.” This is a problem.
    If the entire ASUO Exec Staff was involved in decisions pertaining to ASUO Elections, then there have been some serious ASUO Elections Rules violations.

    ASUO Elections Rules: Section 2.1 “In accordance with the ASUO Constitution, the ASUO Elections Board and the ASUO Elections Coordinator are responsible for administering the ASUO Elections.”

    ASUO Elections Rules: Section 2.3 “The Elections Board and ASUO Elections Coordinator shall remain absolutely impartial in its administration of the elections, and shall take all necessary actions to insure that the elections rules are faithfully observed.”

    ASUO Elections Rules: Section 2.4 “The ASUO Elections Board and the ASUO Elections Coordinator shall take all necessary actions to prevent violations and or to cause existing violations to cease. Individuals may file complaints of Elections Rules violations. The procedures for filing and hearing such complaints are outlined under §7.”

    It appears that the entire ASUO Exec Staff had a significant influence on the decision to cancel the November EMU vote. By working as a consensus body with the entire Exec Staff (including their superiors who hired them), the ASUO Elections Board and Coordinator gave up absolute impartiality. The facts contained within this official e-mail sent out by ASUO Pres. Ben Eckstein clearly show that multiple ASUO Rules violations have occurred. Elections Coordinator Cedar Cosner himself may be at fault for allowing an ASUO Election to be influenced by both his peers on Exec Staff and his boss, Pres. Ben Eckstein.

    ASUO Pres. Ben Eckstein has abused the power of his office by tampering with an official ASUO student Elections process. This type of biased and unchecked influence undermines the legitimacy of our entire institution.

  4. UO Matters says:

    The only reason the UO administration agreed to let students have a vote on this was that Ben Eckstein went to the Oregon University Board meeting in Portland and convinced the state board chair not to let UO sell bonds that would cost students $300 a year in new fees without a vote by students approving the project.

    So, in my book Eckstein has got a lot of credibility on this issue, and when he says the administration still hasn’t produced credible plans, I believe him.

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