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Archive for February, 2008

Inmate denied chance to read SI, for some reason complains

Friday, February 29th, 2008

In the editorial in the newest issue of the Student Insurgent – which is radically written in first person – it is mentioned that a prisoner “is being denied his right to receive our paper.” (For those of you who don’t know, the SI uses part of its student-funded budget to mail its issues to prisoners across the country. In the Fall, Ted Kaczynski wrote to the SI telling them to take him off its mailing list. See page 30) Kevin “Rashid” Johnson writes:

This is Rashid. While I’m on your mailing list the uniforms here have repeatedly refused to allow your newspaper in. I expect you all have used some of my art and maybe writings.
Anyway, enclosed is a recent cartoon I did which you can use.
Of Course any replies or suggestions are welcome. To ensure that I receive any letters please send them to the following… (more…)

It’s their Grand Ol’ Party; they’ll cry if they want to

Friday, February 29th, 2008

You would cry too, if this was happening to you. Via the Oregonian, the tale of the stunning implosion of the Oregon GOP:

“It’s a wake-up call,” says former state labor commissioner Jack Roberts. “We’ve been spending so much of our time arguing about who is more Republican, and the voters are electing people who aren’t Republican at all.”

A quick survey of the party’s status in Oregon tells the story: Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature. Democrats hold every statewide office. Democrats hold five of seven seats in Congress.

And the cherry on top? Last week it came to light that the Oregon GOP was a cool $300,000 in debt. I can only wonder what the atmosphere will be like at the Republican’s annual Dorchester Conference, which commences tonight. They must not be too worried, though, because I didn’t see any entry on the official agenda titled “OMFG, guys! What the hell are we going to do!”

Apropos of Nothing in Particular, of Course…

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Instapundit links to some criticism of attempts at another university (Columbia, specifically) to departmentalize something akin to an “Ethnic Studies” program (Native American Studies, specifically). In particular, critics point out statements made by advocates of the program that would seem to suggest that a Native American Studies Department at Columbia would be an explicitly political organization.

Ahem. Not that I’m suggesting that any of the concerns raised have any relevance whatsoever with current goings on at the University of Oregon.

Now, on the other hand, if there was a push at the U of O to departmentalize Ethnic Studies, I might be somewhat more worried. Since that isn’t the case, however, I can rest assured that an overtly politicized Ethnic Studies Department at this institution is nothing to fret about for the time being.

Update on “Take Back the Campus”

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

As I previously reported, there will be a meeting, now titled “Take Back the Campus”, held on Monday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in Willamette 100. The event, co-hosted by the ASUO and the Sustainability Coalition, will focus on student involvement on campus and recent actions by the university administration.

You can tell from the oddly proportioned “power to the people” fist on the right (the event’s logo) that the organizers mean business. Or at least have some vague concept of business. According to the Facebook event, the meeting “is not one night of complaining but a chance to come together and take action.” No, I’m pretty sure it will mostly be complaining. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; I’m just saying …

For a full list of the grievances cited by the event organizers, (more…)

RIP William F. Buckley.

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Well, I wish my first post here was for a happier occasion, but, as I noted in an off-topic comment below, conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr. has died. Whether or not you agreed with everything the man ever wrote (and I did not), it’s undeniable that he was a massively influential figure in the national debate, and a pretty classy one at that.

[edit]

More here.

PFC Vice-Chair Throws Down

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Check out the Commentary in today’s Daily Emerald.

Meili Yu, the Vice-Chair of the Programs Finance Committee quite verbally body slams Senator Diego Hernandez for his guest commentary last week in a fashion only possible by a ghettofab Asian-American. I have to say I’m proud of her as a friend. The last line seals the punch, and almost seems to be followed by a finger-waving, head-snap “Oh no you did-n’t”.

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Remember the mayor from Eastern Oregon who got in trouble for her saucy MySpace pics? Well, the citizens of the fair town of Arlington have recalled her by a narrow vote of 142-139. Ex-mayor Kontur-Gronquist says she has no plans to seek further office, but is she saddened by this whole hullabaloo? Hell no.

“I will be involved in the city and issues, of course,” she said. “You betcha. That is what I wanted to do in the first place. I regret nothing.”

That’s the spirit! Hey,  Eugene’s got a slot for mayor open this year (wink wink, nudge nudge).

P.S. Headline reference here.

Sustainability Coalition, ASUO to hold meeting on administration

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Next Monday at 7 p.m. (location to be confirmed) the Sustainability Coalition and the ASUO will hold a meeting to discuss recent controversial actions by the university administration, such as the closing the Holy Cow and the axing of the men’s wrestling program, among others.

The Sustainability Coalition is a loose confederacy of environmental groups on campus, such as the Survival Center, the Coalition Against Environmental Racism and, my personal favorite, Students for Reusable Bags. According to student Robert Kirkpatrick, who is currently involved in the Holy Cow Crusade, the coalition hopes to confront the “general prickishness of the administration” (i.e. it’s lack of student involvement, lack of accountability, etc.).

Suspect Special Elections

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

The ASUO Executive confirmed its 4th Elections board member last Wednesday. The Constitution actually states that board members have to be confirmed before November 1st, but the Exec blamed previous administrations for taking out that 4th board member and not following the rules. The current Exec’s excuse for not knowing about the required 4th board member in the rules was unclear (as in, why didn’t they read the rules before?)…but it basically gave them an opportunity to plug a 4th person into the election board at their discretion…curious. The timing of all of this is very curious.

Hopefully Andrew Jensen, the new Outreach Coordinator, will focus outside of the Greek and Housing areas and actually outreach to the large majority of students that don’t vote and aren’t normally involved in ASUO.

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Still Weirded Out by ASUO

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

It’s Saturday, and I’m still trying to figure out the weirdness of the last Senate meeting. It wasn’t loud, it wasn’t crazy…it was just weird. And there are a lot of things going on that the student body needs to be aware of.

Senate Surplus is currently at $138,550. Woohoo…spend away!

ADFC is projected at coming in with a NEGATIVE benchmark this budgeting season. I don’t think  Senate really understood because the reaction was largely nonchalant. While I’m not entirely clearly on what happens to the money that ADFC doesn’t use (I guess it rolls back and lowers the I-Fee?) the point is that an ASUO Finance Committee is NOT raising its money usage.

Apparently the SRC Advisory Board has determined unilaterally that it is an advisory body, and not a governing body, thus it doesn’t have to follow Oregon Public Meeting Laws. They are making their hearings private and only available to people that email the Board chair for pre-authorization. Apparently the Board chair doesn’t want ‘politically powerful’ or ‘strongly opinionated people’ at the meetings. Wow.

Weird moment of the meeting: Senator Billy Hatch made a motion to ‘Commend President Emily McLain for being a strong student representative”. The motion passed 14-0-1.

Senator Boye later presented cookies for everyone, which totally negated any political disagreements I’ve had with him.

In discussing the new arena project, some Senators and the Executive brought up the points that the priority of the University seemed to have shifted from Housing and Student Buildings to the Arena once the donation from Knight was passed through. Apparently the University is reporting the projected F-bond debt as being under the 7% they were allowed, but they are not saying how much. Noting that Professor Bill Harbaugh has also been hounding the Administration for information that should be public but isn’t being made public, Senator Gulley irrelevantly managed to slam Harbaugh, as well, calling him “Not the best champion of equality” and “Not very genuine”. Uh huh. Yeah.

Look what we did!

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

The Oregon Commentator presents its second issue of 2008, “Special Elections.” There is too much good stuff in it to mention – Billy Squire lyrics for instance – so just click on the cover already. Enjoy

Letter from Sen. Juan Diego Hernandez

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

The following is a letter to the editor by Sen. Diego Hernandez that will (probably) be printed tomorrow morning in the Emerald.   (more…)

Viewpoint Neutrality

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

It seems that the lifeblood of the ASUO is the language and hot-topic phrases debated each year by the student government. Last year it was “institutional racism” and this year it is “viewpoint neutrality.” Here is a good, concise explanation of viewpoint neutrality from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). As noted below by Neil Brown, two major court cases defined the role of viewpoint neutrality in the allocation of student fees at state colleges and universities.

Together, the rulings show clearly that (1) any student organization at a state school that is denied funding because of its views can sue claiming viewpoint discrimination; and (2) students may opt out of funding an objectionable group only if that state university does not distribute its money in a viewpoint neutral manner. (more…)

Castro Resigns, McCain Attacked

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Communism might not be over, but the man who has been in power for as long as most of our parents can remember said early this morning, “I will not aspire nor accept – I repeat I will not aspire or accept – the post of President of the Council of State and Commander in Chief.” That was, obviously, Fidel Castro.

The newly elected Cuban Parliament will meet this Sunday and will choose the new council of state, including the president. Since he grasped power in 1959, his brother Raul, who is years his junior, has been positioned to take over the presidency.

So what new foreign policy cackles has Castro — a rather irrelevant dictator by modern standards, frankly — raised in his last few months as el Presidente? Surprisingly, he’s raised a few.

Fidel and U.S.presidential hopeful John McCain have been in a back-and-forth verbal battle over Cuba’s involvement in the torture of U.S. POWs during the Vietnam War. Earlier this month Fidel wrote an article in the Granma, the newspaper of the Central Committe of the Cuban Communist Party, that denied McCain’s accusations, calling them unethical. Fidel attacked him further saying: “The commandments of the religion you practice prohibit lying.” McCain responded with the whole “to respond is to dignify, and I will not dignify” bit. He says this is a matter of record which is not up for debate. It seems odd that Fidel would choose to comment on these allegations now, but I wouldn’t put it past Hillary’s strategists, if she has anymore left that is.

Election meeting review

Monday, February 18th, 2008

As I reported on earlier, there was an informative meeting today on the upcoming student elections. The meeting was held in the Ben Linder Room of the EMU. In case you were wondering, Ben Linder was a happy, university peacenik who tried to bring his unicycling mirth to Nicaragua … and was subsequently killed by contras. Anywho, there’s a list of the info and insights gleaned from the meeting below the fold.

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