The Associated Students of Oregon State University, OSU’s student government, have been working with university administration to help maintain student employment and to lower student fees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASOSU can be contacted remotely through their website over spring term, as they comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s suggested guidelines for social distancing.
Rachel Josephson, president of ASOSU, said in a statement over email, “One thing that [Vice President] Kylie, [Student Fee Committee] Chair Safi, and myself have been working hard on is facilitating a reduction in student fees for spring term. The student fee-funded units have been amazing at their fast responses and have been working on extremely fast timelines to help serve students by way of a student fee reduction.”
According to Josephson, ASOSU aims to make sure the administration’s decisions benefit the student body.
“Our two main priorities are to ensure that students are on course with their academics and that their employment is a high priority of the university. Every conversation we are in with administration emphasizes this,” Halli Barios, fifth-year biology student, said, in a statement over email. “I would add that should a student feel that this is not occurring or have concerns, to please let us know as we will do our best to amplify their voice and carry these conversations to the university level.”
ASOSU aims to maintain as many of their services for students as possible while social distancing.
Kylie Boenisch, a fourth-year environmental engineering student and vice president of ASOSU, said in a statement over email, “With regards to our day-to-day operations, ASOSU is responding to COVID-19 per the university's guidance and is actively working on delivering services remotely spring term with a focus on maintaining OSU's community during this unprecedented time. We are encouraging our staff to reimagine programming, and to be creative in providing support and community for all students through this trying time.”
Boenisch advocated for mutual aid within the OSU community during the pandemic.
“I encourage us all to follow guidance from the state and the CDC to maintain social distance. I also want to note that beaver nation is a family, that we are here for you, and that the power of collective compassion, understanding and care for our fellow humans is paramount,” Boenisch said over email.
ASOSU encourages students to analyze their own personal situations and to think critically about how ASOSU’s services could help them.
“As Chief of Staff, I encourage all students to find what success for them looks like at this time in terms of academics, graduation, etc., and should they have any issues, to be aware of their bill of rights and reach out to us as we as ASOSU are always here to aid and support them,” Barrios said.
ASOSU is holding public meetings over Zoom at 6 p.m. on March 31 and April 1 to vote on adjusted student fees for spring term. OSU community members can join the Zoom meeting at the link: https://asosu.oregonstate.edu/covid-19.