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Archive for January, 2010

That Which Springs from Ignorance, Part 2

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Here is Phylicia Haggerty’s reply to ASUO Sen. Tyler Griffin’s previous email:

“Tyler,

I appreciate you writing me back. To clarify a few things 1) I am not ignorant and 2) I never said ASUO members have never been discriminated against. I did say that most of you are probably not taking this situation seriously because based on who the Pacifica forum is gearing hatred towards most of you would not classify. I think it was very unprofessional for you to say and I quote “how dare me” and that I should be ashamed of what I said. I think it is truly sad that some of the ASUO members have to thought twice about an issue that is blatantly wrong. I think it is ironic that from what I said in my e-mail that you would have the audacity to claim that you are scared of me. It is too bad that this issue probably will not be resolved until someone gets hurt. I do apologize for saying that nothing has been done about this issue because I know most of you do understand and that you are trying to find a solution. I will not be contacting you on any other circumstances and I do appreciate your time because I know you are very busy. I did contact Student Affairs and I have falsely accused ASUO Senate members in that the policy decision making is not left up to you completely in that the President makes final decisions. Thank you again for your time.

Phylicia Haggerty”

At this point in time, since Griffin hasn’t responded to Haggerty (or hasn’t forwarded us his response) we might as well take a swing at this one. Let’s start with her first e-mail, one which is astoundingly hilarious in its authors minute grasp of rational thought, or a basic concept of the U.S. Constitution.

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Rumors report EMU to receive massive overhaul [Update]

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Rumors have been circulated to us that EMU Director Dusty Miller has signed a contract within the last week to renovate the entire EMU. Sources could not confirm who the selected contractor was or when they’d start only, “They will remodel the whole EMU within 10 months.”

We’re not sure if that means “in the next 10 months” or “over a period of 10 months” but if these rumors turn out to be true, we’d like to let Mr. Miller know that room 319 is in desperate need of a jacuzzi and a plasma screen tv. Oh, and a stripper pole.

Don’t forget the stripper pole.

[Update] It seems that Miller has contracted someone to look into whether or not to renovate the EMU. If the building does get an upgrade, it would receive it by 2015. Much too late for me to enjoy the stripper pole or the jacuzzi.

That Which Springs from Ignorance

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Today we were forwarded an e-mail correspondence between Phylicia Haggerty, a University of Oregon student, and ASUO Senator Tyler Griffin. I warn you, its contents are disturbing, for it shows the true nature of the misguidance many students have about the Pacifica Forum situation. I have my own opinions about the contents of this e-mail, but I dare not write them here, lest I take away from the incredibly intelligent, well-spoken and well-informed e-mail response Sen. Griffin replied to Haggerty with.

I hope Griffin doesn’t mind that I’ve posted this here, but I believe that such attacks on the members of the ASUO, who have been a highly deliberative body on the subject to this point, should not be subject to such ignorant attacks from members of our student body. I hope students can better inform themselves by better understanding the depth and consideration all members of the ASUO have taken on this point. All I can say is that I openly applaud Griffin for his expressed opinions within his reply. Good for you, Tyler.

From Phylicia Haggerty to Sen. Tyler Griffin:

To The Members of Our Student Senate,

I am a senior at the University of Oregon and I am very concerned for my safety. I am not understanding why the Pacifica Forum situation has not been resolved. I am getting ready to graduate in June with two degrees from this institution, which up until a week ago I was very proud to be a duck.

I have written a letter to Student affairs along with the president of this institution because I feel as though you all are clearly not responsible to make the right decision. I wish you could all sit back and take this situation personally, but you cant because your not the one being hated against. I know what you all look like and as far as I am concerned I believe there is only one person who looks like they would be hated against by this forum so I would not expect you to take this personally. I have already called the Oregonian and if you do not think this news will get out of the University of Oregon spot light you have another thing coming. If this hate group were a bunch of students of color you would have resolved this already.

Freedom of speech? Really is that all you can back your decision on. I bet that students will use their freedom of speech to take this higher than all of you. The first amendment is only applicable when it does no harm to others. Trust me, I have studied plenty of Supreme Court cases. I am very saddened that this has happened and nothing has been done about it. Being a person of color on this campus is already difficult and then to have a hate group promoting students to hate us is even worse. I hope this e-mail finds you well, but I am very frustrated and hurt that I do not feel safe to walk to class, and the fact that nothing has been done about it is beyond unbelievable. If you do not think that the diversity on this campus will decrease due to this decision you need to think again.

That is of course you probably have no concern to keep this “diverse” campus “diverse”. I urge you to sleep on your decision and attempt to take it personally before next weeks meeting. Thank you for your time.

Now, from Griffin back to Haggerty:

Phylicia,

I am sorry you feel hurt, and unsafe, and think that we are morally bankrupt people for not voting for this resolution, but..

You make me feel unsafe. And, yes at this time, because of this email you sent, I feel ashamed to be a duck. Knowing that my peers at this university are so ignorant and naïve to make such accusations of our ASUO Senators, elected by student body.

And, how dare you say we on the body have not been discriminated against! You should truly be ashamed for saying this. You trivialize the nature hate, as you are using the same rhetoric that you wish to silence.

I would encourage you to think, in more depth, what are the possible implications of your extremely false accusations.

Feel free to contact me at any point.

Senator Tyler Griffin (seat six)
EMU Board
Rules Committee Chair.

A Soldier Unarmed

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Officials in the NBA are again criticizing their players–or rather, their players’ sponsors–for their “perpetuation of gun culture”. In a recent Nike ad, Kobe Bryant is quoted as making a reference to gun violence. Even funnier? That the AP story covering it decided to explain to readers what the chamber of a gun is.

Bryant’s blurb says: “I’ll do whatever it takes to win games. I don’t leave anything in the chamber.”

The chamber in a gun is the compartment that holds the bullet before it is fired.

Apparently NBA Commissioner David Stern has already “criticized the ad”. The AP is trying to make some big story out of this as this comes just days after Gilbert Arenas’ suspension for bringing a gun to his locker room. For some reason, it looks like the NBA and its fans are starting to believe that guns are a major problem for NBA players.

What is most interesting to me, however, is the manner in which the situation is being handled. The city of Cleveland declined to have a massive 10-story mural of LeBron James put on a building with the words “Prepare for Combat” below him. The advertisement, most likely for Nike’s Pro Combat line, is based on the premise of the “athlete as a warrior”–a theme most commonly found in football. Indeed, you can’t even watch an episode of ESPN’s NFL Live without hearing “in the trenches” “this guy is a warrior” “he’s ready for battle” or any other myriad of football cliches related to war. But the cliches don’t just stop at football, they extend to other sports–like basketball–as well. The point being, why is there a difference between how football and basketball are treated with regards to meaningless metaphors? (I still find it shocking Cleveland turned down anything LeBron wanted to do)

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The 1%-ers

Friday, January 29th, 2010

“Me and Jenny was like peas and carrots.”

As I read through the hard copy of our latest issue, I noticed something that Distribution Manager Kiefer VerSteegh pointed out to me earlier in the week, “There’s a lot of anti-Obama stuff in here.”

Now there should be some clarification on the subject. Indeed, if one follows classic voter theory, Obama would probably not be many of our staff’s first choice. Seeing a few articles ridiculing him, therefore, is not such an unexpected thing. The point should be made, however, that in recent years the Commentator has strayed from national politics as its focus, instead relying on local–sometimes campus only–politics as its realm of study.

What I’ve been discussing around the office the last few days is my own growing attitude towards national politics. That is to say, my growing negative attitude. It can be summed up in the recent debacle around South Carolina’s Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer’s mis-step involving a reference of welfare users to stray animals. Bauer clumsily tried to explain the need for a new welfare system (a conservative mainstay that involves job training, de-funding or inexplicably, both) with a folksy reference to the feeding of stray animals. Jon Stewart, among others, had a field day with Bauer’s comments even though it doesn’t take half a brain to understand what he was trying to say (or that he said it poorly).

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Celebrities Endorse Anti-Pacifica Resolution

Friday, January 29th, 2010

(From left to right) Carrie-Anne Moss, Stefan Urquelle, McLovin, James Blunt and Colin Farrell present a senate resolution

The King’s Road

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Proposed State of Oregon Senate Bill 1018 has a noble cause–stopping drunk driving. Unfortunately, it also carries with it the essence of the nanny state. The bill would allow for police departments all over Oregon to set up roadblocks to catch drunk drivers.

SECTION 1. (1) As used in this section, “sobriety checkpoint” means a roadblock established for the purpose of apprehending persons who are driving while under the influence of intoxicants in violation of ORS 813.010.

Of course, anyone who’s been caught by the EPD in an end-of-the-quarter ticket sting knows that roadblocks like the ones proposed in the bill will inevitably act as a means of guaranteed tax generation. And you best believe that most of the tickets issued won’t be for “issues pertaining to sobriety”. Nay, these roadblocks act as way to nickel-and-dime ordinary citizens (or at the very least, harass them). And what better way to do it? Why have actively patrolling police officers, wasting gas and time when you can just pay a few sheriffs to hang out, let the money come to them and check to make sure everyone has their papers in order?

These laws are the precursors to systems like that of Britain, in which–I kid you not–the roads have “average speed” cameras. They don’t just take a picture of your license plate as you drive by, they actually make you average at or below a set speed between a certain distance.

I’m not sure what the state legislation is thinking on this one. Maybe they were tired of us not paying the toll for driving on the King’s road.

Cheba Hut Block Party Jan. 30th

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Full Disclosure: Unfortunately the OC had a problem with our printer and our issue won’t be out until tomorrow morning. In the meantime, since Cheba Hut paid for an ad for their event on Saturday, we figured we’d throw them a little plug here on the ol’ blog since we’re not well-acquainted enough with this fancy-pants Internet to figure out how to put it on the sidebar.

Cheba Hut, over on 11th and High, is having a big block party type of affair this Saturday the 30th. They’re going to have a raffle and live music, including local Ninkasi-sponsored act Cambio alongside two other bands. The music starts sometime around mid-day, and there will also be a Ranch Dressing-chugging contest to win $100 and free subs for a year.

Sudsy will be there, that’s for sure.

Sens. Schultz, Whitecalf to propose new resolution for Pacifica Forum

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

As last night’s resolution failed to pass the Rules Committee, Senate Vice-President has drafted a new resolution for next week’s Senate meeting.

In general, the premise behind the new resolution is a questioning of the rules that allow non-student groups like the Pacifica Forum to be held on campus, free of charge, when hosted by emeritus alumni (as is the case with the PF).

Section II.
2.1  Be it resolved that, the ASUO Senate stands in solidarity with a large segment of the student body in asking that the University Administration review the policies that grant non-student groups access to University rooms and resources, free of charge.
2.2  Be it further resolved that, the ASUO supports the Administration’s recent decision to move the Pacifica Forum to a campus location outside of the EMU.
2.3    Be it further resolved that, the ASUO Student Senate encourages the University Administration to mediate the situation and ensure that students feel safe on campus.

Basically, if the UO Administration decides to make the Pacifica Forum a contracted group (making them pay for their space) they would fall under the University of Oregon’s anti-hate policies. In fact, the resolution makes mention of this fact (sort of).

1.5  Whereas, the ASUO supports the Affirmation of Community Standards of the University of Oregon which seeks to “Reject bigotry, discrimination, violence, or intimidation of any kind.”

For anti-Pacifica protesters, this is the proper avenue to explore as a means of removing the Pacifica Forum off campus. You know, instead yelling asinine things like, “Fuck free speech!”

Hey everyone! Look at how good I look!

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Cattermole noticed this picture today in the Emerald. Take a look at what website our beloved ASUO Senate is looking at during their meeting.

Last Night’s Senate

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

First of all, thank you ASUO for the $6,379. We look forward to continue printing at our current rate. With that being said, last nights senate could only be described as a clusterfuck. It was only fitting that the meeting opened with the senate introducing themselves by naming their favorite cartoons.

The ASUO voted down the proposed resolution that would ask the Pacifica Forum to remove themselves from campus. Before the senate discussed the issue there was a thirty minutes allowed for the public to speak out on their position for the resolution. Fro the most part the speakers were carryovers from the last senate meeting including Michael Williams of the AHTF and Cimmeron Gillespie of the Student Insurgent. All and all it was pretty normal until a speaker from the BSU came up and emphatically declared to the “7 white faces who removed themselves from the resolution would be terrified if there was a black supremacist group on campus.” After that was said, the looks on the senators faces were priceless, like they knew she was right.

The resolution was presented by Sen. Schultz, Cimmeron Gillespie, ASUO VP Getachew, and ASUO President Kallaway. All four of the presenters emphasized that this was an issue of students safety and how they are appalled that students do not feel safe on campus. The senate then began deliberation and shit hit the fan. The audience was quick to call out anyone who opposed their view, practially making last weeks Pacifica Forum meeting look tame. Cries of “Shutup” “Bullshit” and “You’re wrong” flooded the room during Sen. Tiptino and Sen. Sheldon’s speeches.

ASUO senate president Nick Gower had to tell the audience to respect the speakers several times during the discussion. Sen. Tyler Griffin took his time to talk to tell the crowd to give the speakers respect. Several senators exclaimed that they did not feel that the room was no longer a safe place and others talked of how they no longer felt that the atmosphere of the room was conducive of making an important decision.

All in all it was a very confusing discussion period. The senate seemingly contradicted each other several times, leaving protesters confused and angered.

Sen. Schultz proclaimed that if the resolution did not pass he would come back again and again with similar resolutions. If that’s the case I’m curious if the senate meetings will ever be a place of rational and respected discussion again, if it ever was.

For those keeping score at home.
3 times white male privilege was brought up.
1 N-bomb
4 people crying
15 minute speech by Sen. Hilts setting the high for this year.

In the words of Sen. Weintraub, “You can’t fight hate with hate.”

ASUO Senate Jan. 27th

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Masoli and Embry Theft Coverage

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

This past Tuesday the Ol’ Dirty ran a story reporting that Duck’s QB Jeremiah Masoli and WR Garrett Embry were linked to a theft at the SAE fraternity house. Reportedly stolen was two laptops and a “valuable” guitar. I only added the quotes over “valuable” because every news station reporting this is also doing it. The scoop that the ODE received was from a SAE member late Sunday night, the Tuesday paper edition read as such.

“Hello” one of the messages said. “Wake up. It’s the story of a lifetime. Jeremiah Masoli and Garrett Embry just stole all my friends possessions. We need a story run on this. Do you understand?”

This is where the story gets good. What many did not read is something that was omitted from the original story, and it’s racist.

That is right, “fucking hoodrats.” While we are no journalism students here at the Commentator I would just like to say if we ever received a message from a frat boy at midnight on a Sunday describing the suspects as “fucking hoodrats” we would be a little hesitant to run the story. The theft allegations are lacking definitive clarity, Max Wolfard the SAE member who reported the story claimed he ran down Garret Embry after chasing him a few blocks. Hello Chip Kelly, hand this man a scholarship! Our defensive back core is  getting weaker with TJ Ward leaving.

In an even more interesting twist, Oregonlive.com is reporting that Chuck Hare has video of Masoli at Taylor’s about the time that the theft was reported. How funny would it be if Taylor’s put to waste the frat’s allegations, unintentional comedy at it finest perhaps?

While we can not say what really happened for sure.  KMTR is reporting the two football players are not considered suspects in the theft.

For anyone who is bored, we suggest reading the comment sections  on the  ODE‘s website and on Deadspin.

Register-Guard covers Commentator, forgets to do any real journalism

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

I gave a review copy of By the Barrel: 25 Years of the Oregon Commentator to the Register-Guard when it came out a few months ago. I was mailing a package today when Ken, one of the postal clerks, told me that he’d read a blurb about the book in the paper recently. Needless to say, this was news to us here at the Commentator, where no one was contacted or interviewed for the story.

I’ll save you the “pithy” details, but writer Randi Bjornstad ends her review with a comment that, I should clarify, is right on target:

“[Scott] Camp’s pithy bottom line sort of sums it up. Depending on your personal philosophy, “By the Barrel” will put you somewhere on the continuum between outrage and hero worship.

In any case, glad you’re keeping your standards the way you like them, RG.

Maybe pick up the phone next time.

Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

O’Keefe keepin’ his pimp-hand strong. In jail.

It seems that James O’Keefe, the pimp in the ACORN prostitution scandal, has been arrested for trying to tap the phones of a Democratic Senator from Louisiana.

Of course, as I reported in our Holiday Issue, I’ve seen O’Keefe speak in person. Oddly enough, he spoke during an “Ethics in Journalism” portion of the seminar. The consensus between Drew, Guy and I was that O’Keefe had a loose concept of journalistic integrity. That or he chose to ignore it. Either way, he advocated asinine concepts like, “Start insane student groups that your student government wouldn’t want to fund. Then report them to your students when they do fund something like ‘Students for Beastiality’ ” as the Dartmouth Review did in the 80′s. Other gems of wisdom from the disgraced O’Keefe? “Kill your Dean’s dog. That’s a headline!”

Obviously O’Keefe was never respected for his moral compass. Even the nature of his ACORN scandal was still more along the lines of manufacture than of investigation. Now, with O’Keefe facing criminal charges it’s hard to wonder how anyone took him seriously in the first place.

Especially with those ridiculous glasses.