Lowery announces resignation

Caine Lowery resigned from his position as an ASPSU senator at the senate’s March 12 meeting.

Lowery said that his resignation was not because the senate failed to pass a vote of no confidence towards student body president Kristin Wallace, but rather because her power remains unchecked.

“I cannot work in a system that is run by a person with no accountability,” Lowery said.

He also expressed concerns that Wallace did not show enough respect to the rest of the ASPSU staff members.

Before his resignation went into effect, Lowery presented the senate with a resolution condemning hate speech of any sort on the Portland State campus. Lowery’s resolution came out of previous discussions about the problems surrounding Daniel “Preacher Dan” Lee.

There was a great amount of support expressed towards the resolution, however some senators seemed hesitant to pass a resolution against hate speech because of Lowery’s presentation.

Sen. Justin Myers pointed out that by calling Lee names such as “Devil Dan”, Lowery is using hate speech himself. Despite these concerns, the senate passed the resolution 12 to 2, with one abstention.

In other business, Student Fee Committee (SFC) Chair Tracy Earll presented the senate with the SFC’s budget proposal for the 2003-04 school year.

She pointed out that the SFC has not increased student fees, especially in light of the rise in tuition.

The SFC budget must be approved by the senate, before going to University President Daniel Bernstine for final approval. Finally the budget must be approved by the Oregon University System board.

Despite pressing deadlines, Earll insisted the senate wait to vote.

“I wouldn’t expect you to vote on it today,” she said. “It’s too much information.”

The senate plans to address the SFC budget at their next meeting, this Wednesday. Some senators have expressed questions concerning the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group’s (OSPIRG) referendum over the senate e-mail server.

The OSPIRG referendum was approved by the student body during the recent ASPSU elections.

However, Earll wrote in an e-mail posting that “Bernstine has said that he will not approve the addition of the referendum.”

It has not yet been decided whether or not the referendum will be attached to the SFC budget as an addendum or not included at all, in which case OSPIRG will retain access to a $21,000 reserve.