ASOSU House representatives tread through two meetings
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 00:01
Two new pieces of legislation made their way into the House Tuesday night, defining stances more concretely as ASOSU moves closer to the Oregon legislative session. In response to Tuesday night’s town hall meeting, Senators Terra Setzler and Dylan Hinrichs presented the “Resolution for Student Involvement in First Year Experience.”
The resolution addresses student concerns of their lack of involvement in the planning of the first-year experience with the administration. The main concerns came from members of Greek life and co-op communities. Members of ASOSU are asking for the creation of a forum where communication can be facilitated between ASOSU on behalf of the student body and the university.
The resolution also states, “if a plan is completed, [may] it be delayed until at least the 2014-15 school [year] to give student groups, incoming students and the university as a whole time to prepare for the change.”
Representative LJ Duey was able to clarify questions from last night’s town hall meeting. According to Duey, all incoming freshman are well informed of these changes, and the rules of the plan allow any student who is out of high school for one year to be exempt from the rule.
The second piece of legislation received interest from Representative Matthew Palm in regards to tuition increases at Oregon State and state funding of higher education.
The “Resolution to Oppose Tuition Hikes and Call on the State of Oregon to Reform Budget Priorities” requests the state of Oregon to approve the budget requested by the Oregon University System, as well as calling upon the state of Oregon to pass all recommendations of the Commission of Public Safety presented to Governor John Kitzhaber.
“This is really important because we are at a crossroads,” Palm said. “[As students] we have real power to make real demands for real change, and its time for them [state legislators] to deliver.”
Palm went on to say the last year of student voting organization in the state, which registered more student voters in Oregon than ever before, gives students this power.
Each piece of legislation had its first reading and will be up for vote in next week’s House meeting.
After the House adjourned some members stayed for the Ways and Means Committee meeting to pass the ASOSU budget for the 2013-14 school year.
The major changes being made are related to cuts in the graduate affairs position and administrative logistics advocate position coming to a total of about $106,000. Proposed increases to the budget include: Oregon Students Association, SafeRide, ASOSU’s Washington D.C. lobby trip in May and to the Human Services Resource Center.
Representative Michael Robb was hesitant to vote for these changes as a package due to lack of specific information regarding the D.C. trip.
“It seems like an arbitrary increase,” Robb said. “I haven’t seen any hard data, and this is a lot of money.”
Robb also clarified he was in agreement with the other changes, but because they’re being voted on in a package he would have to vote no.
After the proposed amendments were voted on and passed by the committee the budget was passed in its totality. Final decisions will be made by the Student and Incidental Fee Committee, and hearings begin Jan. 28.
Ricky Zipp, news reporter