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ASUO Sustainability Center Decision Floating Like An Ominous Turd

Last night Prez Beckstein attempted to transfer a reported $40,516 from the Exec budget to the Sustainability Center, setting a dangerous precedent of favoritism among programs and allowing the ASUO Exec to, in the words of Senator Lange, “pick and choose who to bring up through the ranks while ignoring the process.” The lovely Lyzi Diamond first called it back in October 2010.

Ex-Commie and ASUO legend in the making Emily Schiola explains it all in the ODE:

The ASUO Executive’s request to transfer money from their budget to the budget of the Sustainability Center sparked a discussion of process last night at the ASUO Senate meeting and ultimately brought a failed vote.

According to certain members of the Programs Finance Committee, the center has a questionable past.

In September 2008, the ASUO Internship Class being taught by the Oregon Student Association’s campus coordinator chose to instead hire a Graduate Teaching Fellow to teach the class under the directive of then-ASUO President Sam Dotters-Katz.

In 2010, Emma Kallaway decided to eliminate the GTF position and give the class back to the OSA. She then allocated the money that was previously used for the GTF to the coordinator of the center.

Since the center was not yet a program, they had to be given money from the Executive’s budget.

Now the center is officially a program, and ASUO President Ben Eckstein is requesting to move budget money into the center’s own budget so it will no longer be placed in the Executive Budget.

What appeared to be a simple act of housekeeping quickly turned into a question of process. Many senators showed concern that the Sustainability Center wasn’t created through the proper channels.

Sen. Kaitlyn Lange was concerned that this program was only created because they used their friends in the Executive to bypass the system.

“I feel like the Exec can pick and choose who to bring up through the ranks while ignoring the (Programs Finance Committee) process,” she said.

Her feelings were echoed by Sen. Benjamin Rudin.

“It isn’t fair that programs can jump the queue,” he said. “(Executive) is making winners and losers.”

While some senators saw this as an excuse to keep the Executive more accountable, others viewed is a straightforward money transfer.

“How does voting no on this put a stop to things like this in the future?” Sen. Ben Bowmanasked. “The Sustainability Center has been a success, and it wouldn’t be here today if that hadn’t happened.”

Lange countered by arguing if the money is transferred and never discussed again, the way the center was created might be overlooked and could happen again.

A wary-looking Eckstein again made the point that this transfer would make it so transferring the money is a way to match up what is being spent on the center.

The tension in the room mounted, and the Senate became increasingly divided when a vote was finally called, deciding not to transfer the money at this time.


We’ll have to wait until next Wednesday to see if the transfer passes the senate.

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