ASOSU house wraps up winter term
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 02:03
Last night, the Associated Students of Oregon State University house of representatives pushed through the “Tuition Equity Resolution” in order to show support before the state Senate’s vote on tuition equity this upcoming Tuesday.
Aside from hearing the first readings of a package of legislation that will abolish and create new committees and structures within ASOSU, the members passed a bill to increase SafeRide’s funding.
The “Tuition Equity Resolution” is a senate bill stating, “ASOSU supports the passage of Tuition Equity by the 2013 Oregon State Legislature” and that “ASOSU will be actively committee to supporting and advocating for the passage of tuition equity in the 2013 legislative session.”
Currently, Oregon is the only state on the West Coast that does not grant residency tuition for undocumented students even though they have graduated from Oregon high schools. Fourteen states have passed tuition equity and will abolish this rule within the state.
“Tuition equity speaks to a basic human right,” said representative Nick Rosoff. “That right is education . . . I urge us to pass this today.”
Rosoff said he campaigned in The Dalles and Hillsboro, main areas of residency for the constituencies of this legislation, and found 60 to 90 percent support in those areas. Rosoff, along with a group of other students, handed in 1,000 pledge cards of support for the passing of tuition equity and said there is no more ground for the same defense this year.
The resolution was in its first reading but the house decided to forgo standing rules that would not require a second reading of the bill and passed the resolution 10-1.
The second piece of legislation passed by the house was the “Bill to Prevent Wage Compression for SafeRide Employees.” The bill addresses the fact that SafeRide drivers and dispatchers do not currently receive a pay grade above the minimum wage outlined in areas of the ASOSU statutes for student employees.
The legislation would amend the ASOSU statutes to specifically say “A stipend will be granted to additional support staff, including drivers and dispatchers for the SafeRide program.”
The bill will be go into effect in the next ASOSU legislation and, according to ASOSU student organizing advocate Drew Desilet, will be a total cost of $4,900. After discussion and the announcement of ASOSU coming severely under budget this year the house passed the legislation.
The final order of business before the house adjourned for winter term was the introduction of a package of bills by representative Michael Robb. These bills will not be heard again until spring term.
According to Robb, the bills will create more of a transparency within the representation of ASOSU, and therefore the student body, in other committees across the university’s campus.
Tuesday night’s meeting opened with the task force directors’ report from the directors of queer affairs, community affairs and environmental affairs.
Kiah McConnell, director of queer affairs, announced her main efforts currently will be the planning for PRIDE Week in May.
Ricky Zipp, news reporter