Senate approves SFC budget

The ASPSU senate approved the Student Fee Committee (SFC) budget for the 2003-04 school year, yesterday at their weekly meeting.

The motion to approve the budget as presented by the SFC to the senate with the attached recommendation to include the OSPIRG referendum/initiative passed 14 to 2, with one abstention.

Before the motion was passed, Sen. Nathan Pawlicki tried to present information showing how such an action might violate the ASPSU constitution, as well as the Oregon and United States constitutions.

The information Pawlicki tried to present was passed over, despite his efforts to be heard.

In other discussions before the SFC budget was passed, the senate debated whether to include the OSPIRG referendum/initiative as a recommendation to the administration, or to send the budget back to the SFC for revision.

Most felt the need to pass the budget along to university president Daniel Bernstine as soon as possible, so he, in turn, can present the budget to the state by the approaching deadline.

Sen. Cassidy Blackburn expressed his desire to return the budget to the SFC so the OSPIRG referendum would be included with the whole budget presentation given to Bernstine.

Other senators, particularly Sen. Jesse Shapiro, were worried that if this course of action was taken, the other groups dependant upon student fees would be denied funding if the budget’s approval process took too long.

After the motion to approve the budget with the inclusion of the OSPIRG referendum/initiative as only a recommendation passed, Blackburn quipped, “OSPIRG just got defunded right there.”

He expressed disappointment with the outcome, although he voted in favor of the motion.

In other business, Sen. Maude Bowman brought up concerns she had regarding a survey entitled “ASPSU Student Senate Survey for the Ondine Building” that had been passed out to Ondine residents.

The survey was written by Sen. Dimitris Desyllas, who was not present, and addressed concerns about the changes in student housing.

Blackburn mentioned that people could “feasibly” be kicked out of the Ondine this July when the university takes over control of the building from College Housing Northwest.

Bowman felt that the wording in the survey was perpetuation of rumor and propaganda.

Bowman also expressed concerns that the survey had included such provocative language in order to get people worked up about the issues surrounding student housing.

“These questions (on the survey) are written with all of the objective impartiality of a Jack Chick tract,” Sen. Justice McPherson said.

“Starting a riot is not a model of effective democracy.”

The senate will make a decision about the survey at a later meeting.

In other news, the senate passed the approval of the diversabilities project 14 to zero, with three abstentions. The project was given $1,500 by the finance committee.