Letter to the Editor

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Hello, my name is Ryan Freire. I just finished reading the minutes from the last student government meeting and was shocked that they were unwilling to support the student newspaper.

Given the amount of money and support that goes to non-LCC student-run lobbying groups from the student activity fee, I felt I had to chime in on their commentary about it being unethical to use student government funds to support The Torch.

For perspective, at least seven executives, senators, and staff members in that meeting are strongly involved with Oregon Student Association. OSA received roughly $50,000 from the student activity fee this year, and student government approved $18,477 extra for them over the course of the year, to send themselves and others to OSA-run conferences, and to buy refreshments for them at their phone banking and voter drives. The very logic they used about double-dipping the student activity fee falls apart in the face of that. OSA and ASLCC did no fundraising to send people to these events or fund these pizza parties, the entirety of the money came from the student activity fee. On top of which LCC pays roughly twice the amount per student that OSU does in order for membership with this organization, and OSU doesn’t even believe it’s a good deal and are poised to drop their membership.

OSPIRG is another issue, they received a touch below $60,000 from our student activity fee over the last year. Where have they been? What’s the last win that organization chalked up for Lane students and why are we funding these two groups to the tune of nearly $100,000 a year while the food pantry and clothes stash run on a shoestring budget and donations?

These groups have been milking the students of LCC for funding which leaves this campus to subsidize their work on larger universities. They do this by pushing their interns to run for office and then using that position to vote themselves more money. Right now LCC is the only community college to have an on-site Campus Organizer, a position usually reserved for larger colleges. Their organization also directly put the Oregon Community College Student Association out of business. If you read the current ASLCC bylaws you can see the effect of that organization’s presence on campus, requiring staff members to take committee positions for OSA rather than ASLCC that also require travel.

I hope that the Torch is able to regroup next year, and am certain that they’ll be able to have a more productive relationship with the incoming student government than the last one.

– Ryan Freire, LCC student