ASUO, OSPIRG, and Riverfront Research

3/7/2011: Two significant things have been happening in student government. First despite a lot of pressure, and support from ASUO Pres Amelie Rousseau, they have refused to resume funding for OSPIRG. This has been a student government fight for years. The basic argument is that it sent too much money off campus and did not benefit students. Lyzi Diamond story in the Commentator, here:

These programs pull from a pool of mandatory student fees to send money off campus to lobby/advocate/whatever for political causes. Whether or not I agree with the particular cause is not important. It’s about the management of my student fee and the student fee of many other students.

Second, ASUO voted to spend $56,238 to hire an outside lawyer to advise them on how to stop the current ORI proposal for the Riverfront Research Park. Correction from a commentor: These are two separate issues. The $56k in over-reazlied funds are for educational events and a student led master plan visioning process for the riverfront property. Those funds cannot be used, according to ASUO policy, for consultants such as lawyers. The request to seek outside legal council is a separate issue.

Franklin Bains story here. They don’t trust UO General Counsel Randy Geller’s advice on this – who would? As the story notes:

“Had the university listened to community concerns, other viable building sites in the Riverfront Research Park could have been vetted early on, controversy could have been avoided,” the editorial read, “and construction would now be well under way.”

But that would involve consulting people and admitting mistakes. Non-starter.

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