Town hall, Senate discuss student rights
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 01:01
ASOSU’s town hall meeting was intended to field responses from the student body about the new student initiative. Instead it became an informative session about plans the students who were in attendance knew apparently nothing about.
The main topic under discussion was the university’s introduction of the first-year experience, which requires first-year students to live on campus in residence halls. The motivation for the initiative was to help increase retention amongst younger students and to provide academic support.
Once the initial information was given, questions immediately came from the students in attendance from the Greek community. Issues regarding the ability of Greek organizations to recruit freshman, seeing college experiences beyond academic accomplishments but also as social accomplishments and the issue of going to college and now being forced to comply with more rules.
Michael Stohr, a member of Alpha Tau Omega, was the most vocal of the students in attendance. Stohr raised issues about the speed in which this initiative is being put into place and the lack of student input into the process.
“I know 2,000 students who will not be supporting this initiativ,” Stohr said.
Stressing that on-campus housing representatives were not the totality of all students’ opinions, especially considering the large portion of the student population the Greek community makes up.
When questions of how students could get involved Senators Terra Setzler, Tyler Hogan and Dylan Hinrichs encouraged students to attend ASOSU meetings and their opinions can become officially documented. Hogan also pointed out that ASOSU has taken hard stances before when they felt the student body was not in support of university plans.
The second portion of the meeting covered the new city ordinances that have been approved by Corvallis Neighborhood Livability Committee. Eight motions regarding neighborhood livability and three motions regarding neighborhood planning were passed.
The recommendations which will be made to the Corvallis City Council brought the most questions from students regarding: increased fines relating towards alcohol code violations, special response notices becoming mandatory on first visits, the social host initiative now extending to all tenants and extending the jurisdiction of the OSU Student Code of Conduct to off campus behavior.
Setzler said these initiatives were passed as a package instead of being passed individually and will now move to the OSU Corvallis Steering Committee. If the second committee passes the initiatives it will then be placed into the city council to be voted in and go into effect if passed.
After the meeting was concluded to an unhappy crowd, ASOSU members rushed to the Memorial Union for Tuesday night’s Senate meeting.
The bulk of time was taken up by the approval of title changes within ASOSU positions, town hall updates and summaries and a report from the director of multicultural affairs, Agustin Vega-Peters.
The only new business was the first reading of a new piece of legislation presented by Senator Thomas Bancroft, the “Tuition Equity Resolution.” The bill addresses that “all high school graduates in Oregon, regardless of documentation status, are to be eligible for in state tuition at all seven public universities in Oregon.”
Next week will be read a second time. Then the Senate will vote on it.
Ricky Zipp, news reporter