ASOSU prepares for student fee-setting process

General ASOSU Graphic

Jada Krening, News Reporter

As week five comes to a close, the Associated Students of Oregon State University have focused their efforts on preparing for the student fee-setting process, extending previous initiatives and working to implement

student outreach. 

The ASOSU House of Representatives has been working on three projects, which reflect the congressional body’s three committees, according to ASOSU Speaker of the House Ian Walker.

The Ways and Means Committee is collaborating with the ASOSU Student Advisory Board and ASOSU elected leaders to decide the ASOSU Student Government budget, according to Walker. The Ways and Means Committee approved the recently proposed budget, which was also passed by the ASOSU Student Advisory Board. 

Walker said the Appropriations and Budgets Committee has begun work on a report of the student fee-setting process, which will provide a description of each student fee-funded unit on campus, the unit’s decision packages and the rationale behind each package. Once the report is completed, it will be released to the student body and both bodies of the

ASOSU Congress. 

“We are trying to go above and beyond this year to make the student fee-setting process as digestible as possible, as fiscal policies can get very complicated very quickly,” Walker said via email. “By being transparent with student fee-funded units about what information we want, as well as students’ priorities we are sworn to represent, we will hopefully be able to provide students with any and all information regarding the topic that is desired.”

The House Projects Committee is currently working to extend a resolution from last school year, JR-10.01, which is based on the state of Oregon Medical Amnesty laws, which protects intoxicated minors from prosecution when seeking medical assistance.

The Committee will create a task force to research policy-based advocacy that will work to implement medical amnesty laws in the OSU student code of conduct, according to Walker.

Autumn Cogdill, the current chair of the ASOSU House Projects Committee, said the purpose of JR-10.01 is to ensure student well-being is maintained across campus. Cogdill said that while the state of Oregon and most universities statewide grant medical amnesty to students in emergency situations involving drug and alcohol use, OSU only allows this privilege for victims of sexual violence. 

“If students under the influence don’t feel comfortable reaching out for help, lives could potentially be lost, and the well-being of the students in general is at risk,” Cogdill said via email. “It is our hope that by refining the resolution we can create a safe space on campus, regardless of what students may be

struggling with.”

Walker said one of the initial goals of the ASOSU House was to address initiatives they felt were not fully accomplished last school year, such as JR-10.01.

“While the medical amnesty resolution from 2018 brought attention to the subject, those of us returning to ASOSU from last year felt like we could do more for our peers,” Walker said via email. “We are addressing the subject again in hopes of creating a more responsible campus atmosphere.”

Additionally, Walker said another goal of the ASOSU House is to establish a connection with the student body at large, specifically by encouraging representatives to interact with students by working with the ASOSU executive branch, which focuses primarily on student outreach.

“I felt in the past that the main areas of connection between students and ASOSU all came from our executive branch,” Walker

said via email.

Similar to the House, the ASOSU Senate has recently been preparing for the Student Fee Committee process by meeting with budget managers from student fee-funded units on campus. According to Kylie Boenisch, ASOSU vice president, the purpose of preparing for the SFC process is to ensure that the Senate is prepared to vote on student fees in January 2020.

“It is crucial for Congress to be well-informed in the student fee-setting process so that fees are allocated where students, their constituents, best see fit,” Boenisch said via email. 

In the last Senate meeting, the body heard from Athletics and ASOSU about their services and needs for the upcoming fiscal year,

according to Boenisch. 

Boenisch also said one of the primary goals of the Senate this year is to promote the fact that any student has the ability to write legislation, as all students are a part of the ASOSU.

“The Senate is looking to continue outreach about this right of students, as writing legislation is an immensely powerful avenue for driving change on campus,” Boenisch said via email.

According to Boenisch, interested students can visit the “Connect with an ASOSU Legislator” webpage, which pairs students interested in writing legislation with an ASOSU Senator or Representative.

ASOSU will hold a joint session with the Senate and House of Representatives on Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union Horizon Room. A town hall, open to students, will be

held on Nov. 21.