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EMU referendum

10/13/2011: VP Robin Holmes and the UO administration want to renovate the EMU. Great. But they want to do it to suit their own tastes, not those of the student’s. Well. OK, they are paying for it, they get to choose.  Except they are not – they want the students to pay off the bonds, $100 $300 a year each, for 30 years. OK, well, you got the power, you make the rules. That’s life, suck it up.

But now they also want the students to smile while they toe the line. So the administration is trying to swing an election so that it will look like the students have voluntarily agree to the administration’s plan to spend the student’s money to build the student union building that the administration wants. If I understand this correctly VP Holmes’ office is breaking the rules that the students have set to keep a level playing field for elections. From an ODE Op-Ed from ASUO President Ben Eckstein and others:

Last spring, the University moved forward with plans to renovate and expand the EMU and the Student Recreation Center. These projects — as exciting and well-intentioned as they may be — would also come at a significant cost to students. The projects could be funded by new student fees totaling $100 per term for a period of 30 years.

The decisions being made about our student union and recreation center are important ones, and they will affect the cost and quality of our education. These decisions pertain to our campus and our student facilities (the ones that we pay for with our tuition and fees), and it is vital that students have a say in these matters….

That said, we find it troubling that this same administration has already launched a partisan campaign encouraging students to vote yes on the renovation while downplaying the fact that the cost will be an additional $100 per term for each student for the next 30 years. It seems the University has taken a clear stance on what they believe students should do, but we believe that this referendum is an opportunity for students to make their own decision.

Now that’s an education in politics – too bad it’s such an expensive one. More in this ODE story by Rockne Andrew Roll.

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