Beginning in the mid-1980s, ASOSU Government became interested in creating a legal advocacy center for students. Students wanted to bring in an attorney who could support their programs and initiatives, as well as offer advice and support. After lobbying and gaining support for the position, in 1988, they officially created and established the ASOSU Office of Legal Advocacy.
In its first decade, the Office, was a practice dedicated to helping students with legal issues outside of the university. These attorneys focused on landlord-tenant issues, consumer problems, credit issues, personal injuries and car accidents, traffic violations, wills, divorces, and names changes for students. They also offered legal advice and consulted with to ASOSU student government.
However, students still felt there was an unmet need; students had no way of being represented when the other party to their dispute was Oregon State University itself. Student government addressed this problem and in the year 2000, directed the Office of Legal Advocacy to hire a Student Advocate whose focus was to provide support and guidance to OSU students when they faced a problem with the university or one of its administrative units. In October 2000, the ASOSU government hired Patricia Lacy to become the first Student Advocate within the ASOSU Office of Legal Advocacy.
Student staff in the office developed the original mission for the office. The goal of the office was to provide guidance and related assistance to registered students that have problems with administrative offices, academic departments and programs at Oregon State University. The role of the Advocate is to lobby for students' rights within the university's administrative framework and provide broad-based advocacy for students' rights campus-wide.
Key to the function of the office from its inception have been student interns. Student interns under the leadership of the student advocate, student interns, developed the tradition of the Office. Student interns in the office offer a critical student point of view that allows the office to stay student focused and student centered. The office was created by students for students, and student employees in the office are central to that focus.
Over the next decade, the Office expanded its role in the office through outreach, and partnerships with other institutions on campus. In 2010, the office changed in name to the Office of Advocacy in an effort to distinguish the difference between us and legal services. In the spring of 2015, the office moved into the newly created Student Experience Center. Today, the original purposes and goals of the office are still central to its practice. The office continues to support student’s voices and advocate on their behalf.
We believe in the Oregon State University Student Bill of Rights, the result of a collaboration between the Office of Advocacy and the ASOSU government, and endorsed by university President Ed Ray and the President of the Faculty Senate.
01 ...express differing opinions and dissent on campus.
02 ...associate and assemble to collectively express, promote and defend common interests.
03 ...exercise the practice of religion free from discrimination.
04 ...academic advising that is accurate and can be relied upon for progress towards graduation.
05 ...have their voice heard in all university policymaking decisions that impact students.
06 ...a campus free of discrimination and harassment based on one’s race, color, gender identity or expression, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, parental status, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information or veteran status.
07 ...complete a course of study should the university discontinue a course of study.
08 ...due process in all university disciplinary processes.
09 ...an equal opportunity to learn and to participate and benefit from the academic community.
10 ...meet with and engage with course instructors and professors during their office hours.
11 ...the protection of student educational records and confidential information.
12 ...be graded in accordance with the course syllabus and the quality of their work.
Signed on May 9, 2017, by OSU President Ed Ray, 2016-17 ASOSU President Rachel Grisham and Faculty Senate President-Elect Jon Dorbolo.