When the federal government works on legislation, sometimes the House doesn’t go along with what the Senate approves.
The same principle applies to student government as well.
The Associated Students of Oregon State University House voted 8-6 Wednesday night to reject a resolution favoring the OSU Divest campaign.
OSU Divest seeks to encourage the OSU Foundation, the university’s nonprofit fundraising arm, to stop investing in fossil fuel companies because of climate change issues.
The ASOSU House decision, which came in front of a standing-room-only crowd in a Memorial Union meeting room, does not end the campaign, but it breaks the chain of solid support that had been built with approval votes in the Faculty Senate and the ASOSU Senate.
“This doesn’t affect a thing,” said Andrew Futerman, the ASOSU director of environmental affairs, who gave a slide presentation in support of the resolution.
“The students support this. I’m extremely confident. I think the foundation will listen to us, and that’s what we want.”
ASOSU President Brett Deedon agreed.
“The executive branch will continue to work on the campaign with or without the House,” Deedon said.
House voters, led by Alex Schiedler, expressed concerns about the financial impact of OSU Divest and felt that the House should have followed through on a motion from a previous session that sought information from the foundation.
“All we want from the foundation is a statement on how this will affect them,” Schiedler said.
“What would 6 percent cost students at Oregon State?” Schiedler asked, citing the percentage of the foundation’s $600 million in assets that is invested in fossil fuels.
The discussion continued after the vote during the “gallery comments” portion of the agenda.
Students raised concerns about the limited amount of discussion and debate during Wednesday’s 39-minute meeting and also questioned whether the House could acquire the information from the foundation that it needed.
Representatives noted that the issue had been discussed at length at previous House sessions. Representatives and students also discussed the capital gains tax impact on the foundation if it divested.