Letter from the Editor | Exercise your right as a student: vote

General Editorial Graphic

Lauren Sluss, Editor-in-Chief

This week, our campus has the option to participate in something that has not occured in Associated Students of Oregon State University history: to participate in a recall vote.

This vote is to potentially remove ASOSU Graduate Representative Andrew Oswalt from his position. Oswalt, who has been in ASOSU since last year, has expressed beliefs which are exclusionary, racist and sexist.

Over this past month, I have seen first hand the effects Oswalt’s beliefs have had on the OSU community. I have seen students confused, upset and even outraged through their social media comments. I have seen dozens of students attend the ASOSU Congress joint session with the sole purpose of protesting Oswalt’s role as a representative.

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Students who are confused, upset or outraged now have the opportunity to make a constructive difference in their community: to vote.

This recall vote is not simply about removing someone from office, but rather it is a referendum on racism within our campus.

Oswalt’s recall vote requires two thirds of those who participate to vote in favor of recall in order to remove him. This is not the time to be placid or to assume that someone else will vote, so your vote doesn’t matter. This is the time to take action, to stand up against racism and hate on our campus.

Not only do students have the option to participate in the recall vote this week, but they have the opportunity to vote for next year’s student government representatives.   

I encourage each student to take time to learn about the people in your student government—the people you elected. Each student’s platform is available on the ASOSU website.

Last year, 12.5 percent of the student body participated in the ASOSU election. 12.5 percent of OSU students elected the leaders who are supposed reflect and have all student’s best interests in mind, Oswalt being one of them.

I have sometimes heard students who feel out of touch with the university, who feel as though the university doesn’t have their interests in mind. And yet, 12.5 percent of all students last year took time out of their days to exercise their right to be represented in the university.

We all, as students at this institution, not only have the option of electing representatives who reflect our interests and values, but we have the obligation to.

The voting will open at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Feb. 12 and be open through 10 p.m. on Feb. 16. Each student will receive their ballot in their email inbox Monday morning.