President & VP

Carissa O'Donnell 

President

(she/her)

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Carissa O'Donnell

Dakota Canzano

Vice President

(she/her)

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Dakota Canzano

The ASOSU President oversees the overall operations of the ASOSU, including budgeting and representation of the ASOSU to various stakeholders. The ASOSU President as well as the ASOSU Vice President oversee the Executive Branch of the ASOSU, which is composed of 21 members.

Official Statements

May 17th 2024 

Subject: Board of Trustees report by ASOSU President O’Donnell

When a student chooses Oregon State University, they are choosing a place to spread their roots and grow. It is only when we have grown all we can and require more area to grow that we realize how deeply rooted we are to this community. I say we because, like the other students graduating this year, I am navigating what leaving a place I feel so connected to means. This mixed emotion is also comforting; as I launch into this new chapter of my life, I know that I can always come back to this community, because no matter where I end up, I am forever a part of beaver nation. 

The student experience at OSU is meant to curate lifelong beavers so that, like the graduating class of 2024 will soon do, we leave to spread the values of this community in larger ones. Beyond enrollment numbers, retention means fostering a vibrant and committed Beaver Nation. We want every member to feel a deep connection: a place they can always return to with a sense of belonging and support. 

This is my last board report to you all, as my term as ASOSU President concludes June first. The incoming ASOSU President, Audrey Schlotter, is also here to deliver the report of her efforts since we last spoke. I am excited for the relationship and change you will all build together.  

Through these reports I have had the opportunity to connect with you all and to share with you updates that I hope place perspective on the decisions you make. ASOSU will forever represent fee-paying students on the Corvallis Campus, and, like you all, we will forever have their best interest at heart. This is much easier to do with the collaboration and support from university administrators and leadership, as we understand that change is a team effort. Another avenue of shared governance relates to student representation within university boards and organizations. I have appointed students to positions within the  

  •  Faculty Senate,   

  • beaver caucus board of directors,   

  • University Budgets Committee,   

  • Student health advisory board,   

  • Diversity Action Plan Stakeholder Sessions,   

  • OSU AI Taskforce  

  • President and Provost leadership council, and other advisory boards while myself participating on the:   

  • University President’s cabinet  

  •  OSU Policy Advisory Board   

  • Freedom of Speech and Academic freedom taskforce 

  • Pouring rights selection committee  

  • Student Affairs leadership Council   

  • University Budget Committee  

  • Provost Senior Leadership Team  

  • Wilamette criminal justice council (thank you Chief Anderson)  

  • And Athletics advisory committee  

In my role as an OSU homecoming court Ambassador, I had the opportunity to connect with members on the OSU alumni association’s board and more recently the OSU foundation’s board of trustees; as an honors college student I will later today defend my thesis and interact with members of the Honors college board of regents.  

These appointments and opportunities for student engagement and representation not only provide the student perspective and voice in decision-making environment but foster a beneficial relationship in which we can all work together to benefit one another and, in doing so, benefit the University as a whole. 

ASOSU was also extremely involved in the Oregon Legislature this year, participating in University lobby day, the Oregon Students Association Lobby day, and other short-session related advocacy efforts. We have brought elected officials to campus to speak with students, and are currently running a voter registration drive to prepare students for the upcoming elections. ASOSU also sponsored a lobbying campaign in Washington D.C., and we were able to connect 12 students with most members of the Oregon Delegation. We met with lobbying firms, broadening our understanding of advocacy, and explored the city through visits to museums and historic sites. It was the experience of a lifetime to advocate alongside such inspiring students.  

I see my role as the voice of the students, and I would be remise if I did not share the conversations happening outside of these walls pertaining to the decisions made within them.    

As you are all no doubt aware, protests and encampments organized by students and community members in opposition to university ties to the Israeli government and the genocide in Gaza have surfaced at universities across the country. It is a unique time to be a student, I feel the pain that lays so heavy in many’s hearts, I feel the frustration of not being able to do more, and when pain is so heavy and when we don’t know how to do more, we do what we can. I ask that you, within your governing authority, do the same.  

Last Wednesday the ASOSU senate heard over 50 public comments in a gallery composed of over 200 individuals. The meeting was four and a half hours long, and the dialogue was challenging. 

I ask for grace, for compassion, and for assistance as we navigate doing what we can.  

As the Board of trustees, you have a duty of care to your students just as much as the University, and I understand that this can often be a difficult balancing act, especially in times like this. But you are in these roles because you have been identified as members capable of embracing the difficult, and your role identifies you as changemakers within this institution.  

I firmly believe that Students know best what change is necessary, and that there are ways to support students right now through embracing the values and priorities of this university.  

I trust that we have developed a relationship that is of substance enough for you to hear me when I say: I am urging you, on behalf of the student body, to engage with students peacefully; to give them grace when considering any response; to respect, regardless of your position on the issue, the gravity of their stance and the reasoning behind it; and bearing all of that in mind, to meaningfully revisit our investment policy.  

I ask that you take thoughtful action on what is synopsized as only “an issue” and that you truly embrace this opportunity to place yourselves in the position of an incredibly disenfranchised and vulnerable community when making any decisions pertinent to our wellbeing.  

I also ask that you reflect on your experiences in higher education, and the sensation of wanting to make change, of wanting to do more. What were the most influential moments that made you feel heard? How can you recreate those moments for students today by ensuring they feel heard? 

My journey wouldn't have been complete without learning from each of you. While I've cherished my conversations and collaboration efforts with university leadership, I recognize that there are times when someone else's voice can amplify a cause more effectively. This isn't a reflection on me, but a testament to the power of diverse perspectives. This year, I have challenged myself to actively create space and encourage diverse input from within the student body, but there can never be enough development on this front.  I ask that the university administration, board of trustees, and the succeeding ASOSU administration actively create space where everyone feels empowered to share their experiences and guide our work. Let's open this space beyond traditional roles, and truly listen to the voices that need to be heard most. This is how we can build a more inclusive and impactful future together.  

My final comments rest in appreciation. Our main request from the board this year was greater engagement in the OSU community, and it has been wonderful to see so many of you at campus events, especially trustee manning at our all-staff meeting this past week. I believe This engagement is important, as experience yields the greatest guidance to your decision-making. I want to thank you all for your collaboration, mentorship, and commitment to this university. The dedication of this board and university administration has truly inspired me. I will carry these experiences, and the invaluable lessons I've learned in this role, with me indefinitely. 

 I am excited for Audrey to immerse in the experiences this position has to offer, and I am confident that she will impress us all. Again, thank you. 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Subject: ASOSU President Statement Accompanying Passed ASOSU Senate Resolution SR 83.02 

Since November 15, 2023, the ASOSU Senate has been discussing a resolution authored by a student group, OSU Student Workers, and their ask to raise the student minimum wage to 16.65/hr. These discussions have taken place at weekly ASOSU Senate meetings as well as in numerous Senate Committee meetings and informal student discussions. After four weeks of discussion, the resolution was passed on December 8th, 2023. The deliberation in the Senate revolved around the feasibility of increased wages and student needs, and how to address both. There was much consideration, and ASOSU witnessed a significant amount of student participation and gallery comment on the matter. If you are interested in viewing the Senate meeting minutes to learn more, these can be accessed anytime at asosu.oregonstate.edu.  

ASOSU Senate resolutions are defined as non-binding acts of the Senate intended to express the opinion of OSU students and/or the Student Government. In this case, we are advancing this resolution and requesting this ask be analyzed and implemented to the best of the University’s ability. The relationship between ASOSU and incidental fee-funded units provides a unique opportunity to submit and implement budgeting requests; we are currently navigating how to balance this fiduciary responsibility with student requests and desire to keep the incidental fee as low as possible. ASOSU is working on the most feasible and equitable avenue that balances student living wages with minimal increments to the student incidental fee. In the coming FY25, as incidental fee funded unit budgets currently stand, the lowest wage an incidental fee funded unit employee will receive is $16.38/hr. Therefore, ASOSU is currently evaluating a potential $.27 increase in student fee funded wages to accommodate the resolution.  

Knowing every unit, department, and employer on campus has different requirements and factors at play, we ask that you review the resolution and recognize the intrinsic plea from student employees: that their financial needs are not being met and higher wages are needed. If you are in a governing or leadership position within the university, I will always ask you use your position to help us better support students in any capacity you can. Today, this capacity revolves around raising wages and closing the discrepancy between incidental fee-funded student employee wages and other department employment positions.  

Thank you and please reach out with any questions.  

Carissa O’Donnell, ASOSU President  

December 1, 2023

ASOSU is every student on the Corvallis campus; as the Corvallis Campus Student Government we are passionate about the idea of holistic representation and justifiable distribution of student funds. 

Over the last three weeks, a non-binding resolution came before the ASOSU Senate, promoting the establishment of a $16.65 minimum living wage for student workers across OSU. While ASOSU is in fervent support of raising student wages (as demonstrated by current and past advocacy efforts, past resolutions, and current budget priorities), we also feel that it is critical to work toward equitable wage increases that can be realized for all student employees. Due to the nature of ASOSU's role in setting the student incidental fee, a very realistic outcome of a wage increase under the objectives of this resolution would be an increase only to student employees who work in fee-funded units. Senators stated that they could not justify increasing every student’s fee in the name of increased student wages without looking toward solutions that would enable wage increases for ALL student workers, not just those in fee-funded units. Equipped with this information, the ASOSU Senate believed this resolution would not achieve the intended purpose and therefore it did not pass. We heard and are acting on the underlying message from students: the current pay structure is not reflective of their needs. This process has given us insight into the request from students and the deliverables they expect from their student government, and we ask you continue to hold us accountable as we progress.   

Upon the introduction of the resolution, we began meeting with the University President, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Vice President for University Human Resources, incidental fee-funded budget managers, and the ASOSU Student Fee Committee Chair, as well as spoken with applied economics professors and engaged with impacted students to evaluate our options moving forward. We are confident that we can make a change that will benefit all students.   

We thank the students that brought this before the ASOSU and for their time and commitment to the matter. Although the ASOSU Senate has adopted a different pathway toward achieving this goal, your voice was heard and is being amplified to University leadership. The ASOSU has and will continue to work in bridging the wage gap between incidental fee-funded student workers and those who fall outside of our incidental fee setting process with the initiative to bring up the collective of Oregon State students.   

As always, thank you and Go Beavs,  

Carissa O’Donnell, ASOSU President  

Dakota Canzano, ASOSU Vice President and President of the ASOSU Senate