Written statements, demands from the protesters at the Board of Trustees meeting.

After the meeting was adjourned without a decision, protesters followed the board members out of the Memorial Union and down Jefferson Avenue toward Kerr Administration Building.

A group of between 14-20 student protesters attended the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, March 17. They brought with them written statements about why they were there, as well as a list of demands which were read during the protests.

Written statements from the protesters at the Board of Trustees meeting

1. The university should not be run like a business, with grow-or-die mindset. The growth of upper administration drives increasing costs. We want cuts from the top-down, starting with the University’s highest-paid individuals. Lower level staff and faculty must not suffer cuts in order to prop up a bloated administration. Students must also be free from this burden.

2. As students and staff at OSU, we stand in opposition to any budget proposals that will increase tuition or shift this burden towards faculty and staff. Ed Ray specifically got a 6% pay increase this year, in the same breath of making the claim that the school is broke. At his current salary, it would take 60 years with many of our rates of pay to equal Ed Ray’s compensation. Is one year of Ed Ray’s life equal to one of our lifetimes?

3. The budget is a reflection of the board’s priorities, and it’s been made clear that we are not one of them. As it stands the budget fails to represent the people it affects. Most of the board members reside outside of corvallis, and are far removed from the consequences of their actions. They are not elected — they are imposed, and are completely unaccountable. We demand that this board answer to the people who constitute the core of the university: Faculty, lower staff, and students must be the central priority.

4. We are escalating our actions today because business as usual isn’t working; in past attempts to communicate through official channels our concerns have repeatedly gone unaddressed and unnoted. We have been met with outright indifference. This administration needs a wake-up call. These meetings are claimed to be public, but their scheduling inconveniences students who wish to attend. Today is the Friday before finals, when students have to study; the previous meeting was on inauguration day. This needs to stop. The board claims to be an avenue for the voice of the students, staff, faculty and community to be heard, but it is clear from these scheduling patterns that this is not the case. The board would like to fly under the radar of accountability and serve the interests of the trustees as discreetly as possible.

5. Increasing tuition will pile on an already massive burden of educational costs that sends students into the next chapter of their lives stunted by debt for seeking an education. Giving raises for those at the top, while punishing students with increasing tuition, is outrageous.

3 Demands for Accountable Action from the OSU Board of Trustees

1. Reject budget proposal including a rise in tuition and create an emergency budgetary committee to work specifically on reducing tuition and other costs to students.

I. These budget cuts must come out of administrative costs, not instructor/professor salaries or primary student services.

II. This council must be appointed by, and accountable to, affected parties, including students, staff, and faculty.

III. Future budgets should embody university values that prioritize the quality of the education being provided over the economic growth of the university and related bodies.

2. Board of Trustees meetings must be more accessible and accountable to affected parties (Students, faculty, staff, community members). Additionally, efforts must be made to shift decision-making power to groups of individuals affected by the decisions being made—inside and outside of the Board of Trustees.

I. Meetings must happen at times when students will reasonably be able to attend.

II. For those unable to attend, a report-back of some kind should be made available to summarize any decisions that were made.

III. Membership process for the Board of Trustees must promote accountability to those affected by board decisions through mechanisms such as election and report-backs.

3. Provide a sufficient base of resources across all areas of education.

I. Support departments that struggle with underfunding in order to sustain a well-rounded range of available programs.

4. Every OSU employee with a salary above $150,000 must take a voluntary pay cut.

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