Besides President Laura Hinman and the rest of the ASUO Executive making moves to create a university concert called Mallard Madness, dealing with the social host ordinance, keeping the EMU open late during Dead Week and putting on the always popular Street Faire, the team has created projects all across the UO — some successful and some controversial.
After earning 53 percent of the votes in late April, the new student government slate, We Are Oregon, has preformed with urgency and has attempted to better the student experience on campus.
Some of the smaller projects, or developing projects, that the team is undertaking could have tremendous benefits to students. Currently, ASUO Executive team is currently planning to create a student resource center and a student activity center that will most likely make an appearance in the new EMU.
In addition, Hinman and her crew have passed resolutions in the University Senate to prioritize classroom and study space on campus, worked with local transportation organizations in order to offer students convenient options and held one of the most successful homecoming parades by opening up the participant list to any UO student or community member.
The Executive also worked with the Emerald to put on an Election Watch Party, completed plans to create a Leadership Academy for winter term and has completely redone the ASUO website.
However, these projects have not come without trouble and controversy.
In the months before fall term, rumors proved to be true that the UO administration and the ASUO Executive had hired RBI Strategies and Research, a firm specializing in strategic and management consulting. The firm stated it would generate 3,000 “Yes” votes, which would be enough to approve the EMU referendum.
Even though the project happened before the official start of school, students voiced their concerns about the firm, which lead to the contract being terminated.
More controversy surrounded the executive team and the EMU referendum once a grievance was filed against President Hinman. The non-fulfillment grievance was filed because Hinman did not hire an elections boards coordinator or an elections board by the Nov. 1 deadline. This created extra controversy during the EMU election campaign, which was run by the executive instead of the yet-to-be-formed elections board that was supposed to be in charge.
Mallard Madness also created a surge of controversy after the executive team allegedly circumvented the over-realized process in order to receive $142,000 to book Macklemore for a student concert in the Matthew Knight Arena. Student organizations gathered to express their concerns to the ASUO Senate, the governmental branch that approved the funding, and eventually led to an ASUO Constitution Court ruling that required the funds to be returned.
So far, it has been a busy year for the executive team, but they still have projects on queue. The team is working on lobbying legislature to pass the bill that would allow the UO to have an institutional board to help stabilize tuition, developing close communication with the Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force in order to complete the group’s individual goals and plan to bring speakers to the UO for legislative, non-traditional and environmental issues.
ASUO Public Relations Director Brian Bradley offered a list of the top three accomplishments that the executive is most proud of.
“We as an executive are trying to move through Laura and Nick’s term to no regrets, and this term we haven’t had any,” Bradley said. ”(Our top accomplishments) would have to be having the largest ASUO internship class to the date, …running an unbiased, informational EMU Referendum campaign and sustaining the largest executive staff the ASUO has seen in years.”