Lane will host equal-rights symposium May 10; passes $1,050 funds request for event

Kneebody headlines the Oregon Jazz Festival in Building 6 on Jan 26. Members include: Adam Benjamin (left) on keyboards, Kaveh Rastegar on bass, Shane Endsley on trumpet and Nate Wood on drums. The Lane County Blood Mobile will open at 9 a.m. from Feb. 4 to 6 at Lane’s main campus.Photo: Chris Piepgrass


Kneebody headlines the Oregon Jazz Festival in Building 6 on Jan 26. Members include: Adam Benjamin (left) on keyboards, Kaveh Rastegar on bass, Shane Endsley on trumpet and Nate Wood on drums. The Lane County Blood Mobile will open at 9 a.m. from Feb. 4 to 6 at Lane’s main campus.
Photo: Chris Piepgrass

Lane will host this year’s Oregon Students of Equal Rights Alliance Symposium, leading Lane’s student government to pass a $1,050 funds request to secure space for the event.

The second annual gathering is a student leadership conference attended by students from around the state. The event consists of workshops and presentations centered around equality for all, specifically the LGBTQ community. The OSERA Symposium is held annually at the campus of an Oregon Student Association member school.

“It’s like a giant workshop to educate students on LGBTQ issues,” ASLCC campus community director John Price said.

This year’s OSERA Symposium is scheduled for May 10.

OSA Organizing Director Philip Shilts said the event is open to all students. Students who don’t identify as LGBT are also encouraged to attend.

“The purpose of the conference is really to try to build up leadership in the LGBT community. Of course, allies are important,” Shilts said.

The Associated Students of Lane Community College Senate took a first look at a $1,050 funds request for the event during its Jan. 22 meeting. The ASLCC keeps a line-item in its budget for conferences like the OSERA Symposium.

Because the funds request was greater than $500, ASLCC bylaws require the Senate to table the proposal until the following meeting.

ASLCC Gender and Sexuality Diversity Advocate Max Jensen said other student groups like the Gender and Sexuality Alliance and the Oregon Student Association may help contribute to the event as well.

“It’s going to be a great, big, queer symposium,” Jensen said.

Although balances weren’t readily available during the Jan. 22 ASLCC Senate meeting, student leaders indicated the funds request would likely pass.

“We have more than enough money for this,” ASLCC Treasurer Zach Wais said. “Let me clarify — we have money for this.”

However, Wais told student leaders during the Jan. 29 ASLCC Senate meeting that, because of declining enrollment, the request will likely leave the ASLCC budget with a deficit at the end of the year, leading student leaders to consider the ramifications such a large funds request would have on the ASLCC budget.

Wais said that the ASLCC budget will likely finish the year with a deficit, because declining enrollment shows the student government having approximately $80,000 less to spend this school year than orginally projected.

“We’re going to be in the red either way,” Wais said.

Wais said that he’s currently involved in discussions that would bring the student government additional sources of funding next year.

“They’ll be able to handle it,” Wais said.

ASLCC President Paul Zito said it was students this year who contributed their fees into this year’s budget, and that money should benefit them.

The funds request passed by a vote of 5-0, with two abstentions. Wais abstained on ethical grounds, while Senator Zach Wright abstained because of financial concerns.

“I think we should do more to raise funds. I’m not going to vote against it, because I think it’s a good idea,” Wright said.