Oregon Athletic Band sees budget decrease, pending secured funding

ASUO Senator and former Senate President Lamar Wise heads the ASUO's Department Finance Committee. If the amendments pass, a new member could be added to this committee. (Nate Barrett/Emerald)

ASUO Senator and former Senate President Lamar Wise heads the ASUO's Department Finance Committee. If the amendments pass, a new member could be added to this committee. (Nate Barrett/Emerald)

Posted by Ian Campbell on Friday, Feb. 1 at 12:04 am.

During a four-hour Department Finance Committee budget hearing, the committee voted unanimously to decrease the Oregon Athletic Band’s budget by 13.5 percent.

This decrease is contingent on another campus source picking up the tab, essentially creating a reallocation, not a process where the Oregon Athletic Band funding would be cut completely.

Dr. Eric Wiltshire, director of the OAB, testifies during the OAB’s DFC budget meeting Thursday night. (Nate Barrett/Emerald)

The DFC voted to fund the OAB with a total of $124,282 — down from the $143,692 they receive from ASUO currently — which will be given to the organization in three lump sums over the 2013-2014 fiscal year. However, the budget that was passed by the DFC is not final. First it must be approved by the ASUO President and the University President.

“The ASUO is excited to work with OAB leadership to institutionalize their funding within the University budget. If we are unable to succeed in these efforts OAB will remain in the ASUO budget for the next fiscal year,” ASUO Executive representative Laura Hinman said.

In two weeks, if funding cannot be found from other sources like the Athletic Department or the administration then the OAB’s budget will be reexamined by the DFC.

The OAB has 14 days to repeal the decision if they choose.

The DFC met in Columbia 150 in order to be able to accommodate all 200+ members of the OAB for the budget meeting. (Nate Barrett/Emerald)

  • student

    I was very disappointed in the behavior of some of the members of the DFC. I felt they were asking “gotcha” questions, trying to score points off the OAB representatives–particularly when they asked Dr. Wiltshire if he thought he ran the band with integrity and pride–what the hell kind of question is THAT? They also showed complete ignorance of basic facts. Asking why the GGB didn’t go to the volleyball finals, and continuing to harp on this after Wiltshire explained that there were physically NO SEATS AVAILABLE on planes, like he could ~magically~ force some seats to appear on a plane (don’t we all wish we could?), made the guy look like an idiot. I don’t remember if it was the same guy or another one who said “If the football team gets Nike-designed and provided uniforms, you should too”–to which the answer is, “We already do.” Several other questions and statements were made that made it blatantly obvious that the DFC was just trying to ask gotcha questions, score points, and try to make the OAB look stupid, which hilariously blew up in their faces. Finally, at the end of the night, Hinman admitted that they wanted to “send a message” to Athletics, in which the band basically ended up as bait. Frankly, the only message I received from this meeting was that the DFC/ASUO are completely incompetent, have no idea what basic line items are in a budget, and there is no way anyone should trust them with a three year old’s allowance, much less thirteen million dollars.

  • sherrie

    I’m not a band member, but I was a student. I don’t understand how it is right or appropriate for the ASUO to assert that the OMB is only an athletic department organization. It is not. It almost seems like this “decision” the ASUO came to was an attempt to save face, after realizing that perhaps this was not a good idea. And, what does that say about the ASUO, that they don’t find it appropriate to fund the largest student organization on campus?

    Yes, the OMB is at athletic events, but they also do other events. They aren’t paid to be part of the program – they pay to be part of it. They do outreach work, volunteer, play other events. One of my favorite memories as a high schooler was getting a chance to see the OMB march in Autzen Stadium for a marching competition of high school students. They impressed me, and I wanted to be one of them. Because of them, I chose to go to the UofO.

    I would sure like to see where the money is going, if not to groups like the OMB. Wasn’t there an event just a few months ago in the news that the ASUO was puting on, that cost nearly as much as the band.. for one night? Is that an appropriate way to spend money? I say not.

    • student

      Someone should tell them that appropriating money like they did for that Mallard Madness concert without going through the proper procedures gets you in jail in the real world (unless you go work on Wall Street… so I guess they have fine careers ahead of them…)

    • guest

      If anyone thinks that was an “attempt to save face,” the AD-supported campaign of misinformation worked perfectly. It’s always been a phase out, it’s always been on the condition of other departments’ support. I really don’t see anything in the decision they made at the hearing that’s truly different from their intentions going in.

      • student

        Look through their minutes of past meetings. There was never any mention of “helping you institutionalize your funding” or any of that kind of placating crap they’ve been telling the band leadership. Its always “we shouldn’t have to pay one cent for that marching band stuff” and blabbering about “angry band parents”. They aren’t trying to help the band no matter what they say to the band’s faces. It’s all about what they are saying and doing behind what they think is closed doors but is actually public record.