ASOSU election registration opens with new changes to seat availability

Adriana Gutierrez, Reporter

Students hoping to serve as representatives for the Associated Students of Oregon State University have a week left to register for candidacy.

Open positions include 15 undergraduate senate seats, three graduate senate seats, five at-large senate seats, Student Fee Committee Chair, ASOSU President and ASOSU Vice President. The deadline to register is Feb. 15. 

ASOSU Graduate Affairs Coordinator Abby Miller said that there have been significant changes to the number of seats available for election this year; undergraduate senate seats were reduced from 20 seats to 15, and graduate senate seats were reduced from five to three. 

An even bigger change is the removal of the House of Representatives, as voted on by ASOSU members of the 2022-23 academic year.

Last year OSU students voted to implement a new constitution that essentially dissolved the House of Representatives making Congress unicameral instead of bicameral,” Miller said. “The senate seat change came about due to the recent Judiciary Committee decision stating that we can’t allot seats to specific constituencies (in this case, undergraduate and graduate seats).” 

Current ASOSU President Matteo Paola said that this change has been long in the works. 

“ASOSU has been working for years to move to a unicameral legislature, in past years we have either fallen short of a requirement that 15% of the student body vote on the constitutional amendment or that two thirds who vote on it vote yes,” Paola said.

Last year, ASOSU received 17% voter turnout from the student body and a majority vote in-house.

“The idea is (that) a single-body legislature will reduce bureaucracy,” Paola said. “Currently, bills and resolutions have to first be passed by either the senate or the house…and then have to be passed by the other body.”

Paola said this process can take up to four weeks, or longer if amendments are made to the bill. Without a House of Representatives, the process will be reduced to one to two weeks. 

“It also reduces the number of positions that have to be compensated, which this year allowed us to support the same 4.75% cost of living adjustment for student wages that we requested every other fee funded unit to, without having to increase the fee level we charge students. In fact, ASOSU is asking for a 2% decrease overall,” Paola said. 

Applicants for candidacy must be students; undergraduate students must have earned at least six hours of credits in their most recently completed term and a minimum GPA of 2.00 whereas graduate students must have earned five hours of recent credits and a minimum GPA of 3.00.

Once the ASOSU elections committee reviews the applications submitted, all approved ballots will be released on Feb. 20, and will remain open until March 10. 

Was this article helpful?