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Archive for May, 2010

SENATE IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Senate May 26, 2010, first of the new Senate

Promised Commentary

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

I said I’d make some commentary on Rousseau’s executive staff hires, and I will. But first, read Tomchak’s article about the fact that ROBERT D’ANDREA IS AMELIE’S BOYFRIEND. Hate to say I told you so . . .

So, ultimately, I don’t have too many problems with Amelie’s choices of staff hires. You know, except for Robert. The only concern I have is the appointments of Kelsey Jarone and Alexis White to Gender and Sexual Diversity Advocate and Multicultural Advocate, respectively. Both of these individuals are up for a position on the Programs Finance Committee, the group that determines funding for ASUO student groups. If one of them receives that PFC position (Programs Representative, for those playing along at home), not only would it create a conflict of interest, but it would likely be too time consuming of a position to maintain both. Students are allowed to hold one elected and one appointed position, but since both positions would be appointed, they would probably have to choose. On the other hand, one position was appointed by the ASUO Executive and the other would be appointed by the Programs Council, so I’m not sure on the logistics of that.

Kamal Ararso, Finance Coordinator, was chair of the Programs Finance Committee this last year and secured PFC’s budget benchmark at .81%. This means that the total budget of the PFC only increased .81% from the year prior, as opposed to the 5.34% benchmark for the 08-09 PFC. I certainly considered this a victory, and Kamal’s diligence and mathematical and budget competence will lend well to the position.

Sinjin Carey, one of Amelie’s campaign managers, should be a good Programs Administrator. He has experience with programs and seems to be very detail oriented, so he will probably do well in that position. It’s a hard job — just ask Emma Kallaway.

I don’t know most of the other hires. Do any of you have any thoughts?

WTF Siren?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

So today there was a copy of the Siren flopping about on the office floor and I picked it up to spit my gum out and instead started perusing through it. Not saying I enjoyed it much, but on page 30 a DO-IT-YOURSELF cutout appeared….

This specifically.

So being the curious cat I am, I built it and ended up with this…

So now I have one question… WTF SIREN?

What is it? It looks like it’s supposed to hold index cards but why, of all awesome cutouts you could have done, would you do this crap? Someone told me it was a tampon holder. I still don’t know. Can someone please tell me WTF this is?

I’m specifically talking to you, Siren…

Rousseau Announces Exec Staff

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Amelie’s executive staff:

Accessibility Advocate: unfilled as of yet
Elections Coordinator: William Price
Environmental Advocate: Nathan Howard
Events Coordinator: Molly Bennison
Finance Coordinator: Kamal Ararso
Gender & Sexual Diversity Advocate: Kelsey Jarone
Graduate and Non-traditional Student Advocate: Kyle Smith
Housing Advocate: Amanda Hilts
Legislative Affairs: Sara Marcotte-Levy
Multicultural Advocate: Alexis White
Outreach Coordinator: Brian Allen
Political Director: Robert D’Andrea
Programs Administrator: Sinjin Carey
Programs Liaison: Abby Fergeuson
University Liaison: Braden Wolf

I gotta run to the bank, commentary will come later.

Orgies and A Prison Sentence

Monday, May 24th, 2010

His name is Ma Yaohai. He is a slim 53 old man with glasses and lives with his mother in China. Sounds like a dork right? Wrong. Professional bad ass in my opinion. Why you may ask? On Thursday, Ma got sentenced to jail for three and a half years for something most of us could only dream of…. ORGIES!!

That’s Right! This guy…..

IS A LOVE MACHINE!

Doesn’t look like it, but this guy has planned and taken part in 18 orgies and has even created his own internet chat room for swingers. What I really love about Ma, is that during this whole ordeal he constantly told the Chinese government to suck on his love whistle, even blurting out in his own trial, “How can I disturb social order? What happens in my house is a private matter.”

For those of you in the uninformed proletariat, China has for decades tried to manage and control the population. Going so far as to create “moral laws” aimed at preventing the perversion of their citizens. The law the Chinese government is prosecuting Ma under is a leftover law at preventing people from having sex outside of marriage, specifically against “Hooliganism.” Which of course made me giggle, because my mom used to call me a hooligan back in middle school.

Mr. Ma plans on fighting the ruling with as much rigor and fervor as he takes into one of his orgies and I for one am rooting for him. What someone does inside the privacy of their own home is no ones business but there own, even if it is in a two bedroom house with your Alzheimer inflicted mother. (as in the case of Mr. Ma, Weird right?) So in support of Mr. Ma, I’m asking everyone to go out and do something perverted that would piss of the Chinese government. Have an orgy, Watch some porn, Threesome, four-some, dropping goos in public. Hell, I’ll even count just having sex with someone you care about as support for Mr. Ma.

Keep on fighting on Mr. Ma… one orgy at a time.

photo Source: Global Times

LCC Goes Smoke-Free

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Lane Community College has chosen to ban smoking on their main campus, save for four designated smoking stations on the perimeter. The University of Oregon has also been exploring a tobacco-free campus, but have not yet come to a decision on whether, when and how to implement. According to surveys on the LCC campus, the smoking ban has had overwhelming support, but there are some students that are still frustrated with the decision. From the Register-Guard:

Jessica Rainbow, a business major, said the college initially argued that the ban was needed to prevent litter and only changed to a health argument later. She said the move will be hard on students who smoke because they’re already under enough pressure with schoolwork and rising tuition costs.

“There’s just so much stress,” Rainbow said, adding that smoking breaks during her pre-calculus class help her relax and concentrate. “Now I just have to hold it in and hope I don’t freak out on someone.”

“We felt like there was really the need for some accommodation of limited, designated smoking spots on the perimeter,” [Kate Barry, vice president for academic and student affairs at LCC] said. “But that would still mean the people in the core campus were not coming into contact with secondhand smoke.”

Even so, smokers used terms such as “discrimination” and “segregation” in their reactions to the change. They also worry about safety because of all the traffic in the parking lots, and say the smoking areas will be too distant for students who only have a short break between classes.

A survey conducted last year at the University of Oregon by the Smoke-Free Task Force also showed that a large majority of students were in support of mitigating smoking on campus, but the support was focused more towards designated smoking areas rather than a total smoke-free campus. You can find the Smoke-Free Task Force’s report to UO Vice President of Finance and Administration Francis Dyke here.

As the situation stands right now, the logistical questions are too great to really implement any change at the UO. I am of the personal belief that the first step should be to enforce the rules that exist currently — most specifically, City of Eugene ordinance states that there shall be no smoking within 25 feet of an entrance to a public building, and that is most definitely not enforced at the UO.

Incidentally, CJ Ciaramella and I started a student group called the Coalition of On-Campus Smokers (COCS), a group of individuals who are concerned about a smoke-free campus and are looking to implement more practical solutions to the litter problem that on-campus smoking creates. We will be having our third smoke-in and cigarette cleanup on Thursday, May 27 at 1pm in the EMU Amphitheater to protest the decision on the LCC campus. Bring things to smoke — cigars, hookah, cigarettes, pipes, whatever you feel. Let your voice be heard, even if it’s scratchy.

Pacifica.

Friday, May 21st, 2010

This is probably the only thing I’m going to write on this blog about the Pacifica Forum or those affiliated for the rest of the time I’m a part of the OC.

I am a firm believer that if you leave the Pacifica Forum protesters alone, they’ll continue to meet on campus in a small room, and nobody will even know they exist. Like before. Pacifica Forum protesters talk about how having the Pacifica Forum on campus will bring those with similar views to the UO, but until the protesters made a big fuss, most people didn’t know that PF even existed on our campus. The large-scale media attention that followed served to create the whole notion that individuals would flock to the UO campus because they sympathized with PF’s views. The protesters actually created more of the problem that they were — and still are — trying to mitigate.

Additionally, isn’t Orval Etter like, really really old? Isn’t he the only reason that PF are continuing to meet on campus? Not to be rude/mean/insensitive, but when Mr. Etter is no longer with us, won’t PF no longer meet on campus? And isn’t that likely to happen kind of soon?

Anyway, I really think talking about this is bringing more attention to the issue. The Ol’ Dirty opinion desk wrote an open letter to Pacifica Forum protesters yesterday, and I thought it was spot on:

But after six months of protesting, it’s time to face the facts — the Forum isn’t leaving the University or disbanding anytime soon. The Forum has the right to meet on University property because its founder, Orval Etter, is a professor emeritus. The Forum’s right to free speech is protected by the First Amendment, even though the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the Forum a hate group.


[T]ry finding a new cause to protest. The Forum is a small, isolated group that isn’t growing a following and isn’t going to change its ways. Protesting the Forum is starting to seem like a lost cause, for a while at least, and there are thousands of other causes begging for awareness. Try directing your efforts to larger-scale projects that will reach a larger audience and engage more of the University community.

There is good work to be done, and lots of screwed up things to be protested. Move on, friends.

ASUO Senate May 19, 2010

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

SENATE MEETING MAY 19TH! LAST MEETING OF THE 09-10 SENATE!

An open letter to Greg Dewar.

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Dear Greg Dewar,

Please come write for the Commentator. Your talents are wasted at the Ol’ Dirty.

Sincerely,
Lyzi Diamond

P.S. This is why:

Last week, the Emerald published a letter urging for more coverage of the fraternity and sorority community. Here are the top 10 reasons why the opinion desk (which includes two former fraternity members) thinks the fraternity and sorority community shouldn’t feel entitled to coverage:

1. Community service shouldn’t be about self-promotion; it’s its own reward. Oh, and when it’s the reason you exist, it’s not news.
2. They get our athletes in trouble by leaving MacBooks lying around.
3. They’re already the majority of voters in ASUO elections.
4. Where you going, Pledge?
5. The T-shirts.
6. PBR isn’t a substitute for water.
7. Because it’s too hard to make real friends.
8. Shirtless is not a lifestyle
9. They’re not that cool, “brah.”
10. Would they really want us to delve that deeply into their inner workings?

[UPDATE]
P.P.S. I don’t hate fraternities or sororities. Our fearless leader is a fraternity man. I just admire Greg’s balls to put that in the ODE.

Follow The Money

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

The best advice I’ve received thus far about ASUO reporting is to follow the money. That’s always where the story is, and this week will be no different.

Most student groups have line item budgets, which allows for greater transparency, as they can only write purchase orders if the thing they are buying fits into their line item. This is to prevent student groups from abusing their funding, like by using money allocated for Printing and Publishing to go on a trip to San Francisco. If student groups need to reallocate funding, they can go to Senate to do so.

Senate usually doesn’t pay too much attention to line item transfers. When they don’t have to dole out money, they generally leave it up to the group to decide what will work best. This is a problem, especially at the end of the year, as groups start to move money they didn’t use to pay for things they never really needed.

Tonight, it’ll be the ASUO Executive’s turn. They are looking to reallocate over $24,000 from an unused GTF pay line item to fund a bunch of new projects. These new projects (with proposed reallocations) are as follows:

Return to Surplus: $3000
So, y’know, student groups can use it this week and next week. There’s also a large request coming tonight for the Ad Team as well as a couple other large requests tomorrow and next week. The $3000 from the Executive might be helpful for those requests, should Senate choose to fund them.

Reader Board: $5000
The ASUO Executive wants to buy a large LCD screen to hang outside the ASUO to display a campus calendar, special events, etc.

Campus Map: $4000
The ASUO Executive and the UO Administration are going in on another campus map in the center of campus.

MEChA Nationals: $750
MEChA needs a little more money to go to their national conference, and the ASUO Executive doesn’t want to “burden Senate,” so they’re using some of the money from this GTF pay line item to pay for vans from Eugene to Seattle.

EMU Security Cameras: $8000
This money is actually coming from another fund called Programs and Assessments, which is attached to the ASUO and is used to pay for various positions, houses major and minor equipment funds, etc. There is another request from P&A tonight that also covers the security cameras. Basically, the EMU and the ASUO have teamed up to buy security cameras for the outside of the EMU that will be transferred when the building gets renovated.

Window/Logo: $1000
This money will go to either pay Facilities Services if the ASUO gets charged for logo removal or will instead go to putting up a new logo should they ever decide on one that doesn’t look like a mushroom cloud.

Sustainability Coordinator: $10,000
This is the part I have a real problem with. From the special request:

It is now clear that the best way to address sustainable groups and projects is to hire a professional organizer that can help students. This will build a cohesive work [sic], efficient spending, and better further planning for big ideas. If we find the 10,000 from this request the Student Affairs will help to find another 20,000 and then we will have to fundraise the remaining amount once the final budget is created. Please fund this very important initiative.

Now, I haven’t spoken with anyone at all about this request yet, but I think this is absolutely absurd. You want to fund a paying position for someone to manage a bunch of other student groups who are charged with sustainability efforts? The Designated Driver Shuttle and Assault Prevention Shuttle are charged with the safety of students, potentially the most important effort by the ASUO, and they are totally student run and operated. Are you telling me that the nine environmental/sustainability student groups, an Environmental Advocate on the executive staff, AND the Survival Center can’t manage these projects? This seems like a waste of money, and something that could get continually funded in the future simply because it was created at this meeting.

All in all, it should be a fairly ridiculous meeting, especially since it’s the last meeting of this year’s Senate before the new Senate takes over next week. If you want to follow along, Alex Tomchak Scott and I (and potentially others) will be on the CoverItLive feed starting tonight at 7pm PST. The link will be on the blog, and I’ll write a follow-up post after.

New Positions

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

ASUO Executives-elect Amelie Rousseau and Maneesh Arora have not been wasting any time — I have heard they are trying to get a full staff hired by the end of this school year. Those of you who read the Ol’ Dirty may have seen their display advert for these positions. Every executive has the option to add and change the staff positions as they see fit, often creating new jobs or redefining old ones. Rousseau does a little bit of both here.

She made a number of interesting choices, but I would like to focus on one in particular — Political Director. People have been asking me for a couple weeks now how I feel about Rousseau and Arora hiring current ASUO Programs Administrator Conrad Hulen to be their Chief of Staff. They claim that this is an odd hire because as of the last couple of years, the new executives hire their campaign manager, or someone close to the campaign to be the Chief of Staff. To those people, I say that that hiring Hulen doesn’t really matter. The Chief of Staff position, with the creation of Political Director, is politically unimportant. Hulen will quite literally manage the staff — nothing more, nothing less.

The Political Director position, on the other hand, is meant to fill the role that Chief of Staff used to fill — namely, setting the agenda for the administration and getting other programs and strategic allies on board. My prediction, along with ASUO politicos and skeptics, is that Amelie’s boyfriend and former Ol’ Dirty opinion editor/news editor/ASUO reporter Robert D’Andrea will receive this position. And let me tell you, the man knows how to play the system. He’s been watching it for years now and knows what’s gonna work to reach his goals.

And that’s the scary part. Seventy five percent of senators are brand new. Usually at the beginning of the year the executive is new too, and the two groups grow and mature together. This year, it’s going to be a little different. Rousseau and Arora have been coached by D’Andrea all throughout the process so far and, if everything happens as it has been appearing to, will continue to be coached throughout the year, creating an imbalance of power simply by pure experience. Sure, Robert has never worked directly for the ASUO. But with all that experience watching, does it really matter?

I really do think the ASUO can be effective. Laugh if you want, but with good intentions and reasonable dialogue, the ASUO really can enhance the cultural and physical development of this university in a way that represents students. With this kind of political bullshit, however, that goal is not so easily reached. We’ll have to see what issues the administration chooses to push before I can definitively say that. Let’s just say that when Robert does become the Political Director — the conductor of the Rousseau-Arora train — I will not be surprised.

EMU Director Emeritus Adell McMillan dies at 76

Monday, May 17th, 2010

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned I was reading A Common Ground, a book about the first 50 years of the Erb Memorial Union written by EMU Director Emeritus Adell McMillan. Ms. McMillan passed away on May 8, due to complications from a stroke. From her obituary:

She earned a B.A. in Social Science from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA and an M.S. in Recreation Management from the University of Oregon. Adell began her career in the college union and student activities field in 1955 as Program Director of the Erb Memorial Union and served as its Associate Director before becoming Director in 1975. Retiring in 1991, she was an active community volunteer. Adell was a Board Member and two-time Past President of the United Way of Lane County, member and Past President of the City Club of Eugene, former City of Eugene Planning Commission member for two terms, Past President of the Association of College Unions International where she was a Butts-Whiting award recipient, member of the Eugene Library Foundation Board of Directors, member of the Eugene Opera Board, and founding member and steering committee member of Women in Philanthropy, and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. Additionally, she was a member of Zonta International and Past President of Zonta Club of Eugene where she was awarded the Eva B. Collins Award for Community Service. She served as a delegate to Zonta’s conferences in Victoria, B.C. and Hong Kong, and also served as Treasurer of Zonta District 8.

A highly accomplished woman, talented scholar, and long time student inspirer, Ms. McMillan will certainly be missed. Her memorial service will be at the EMU Ballroom on May 24, 2010. The doors will open at 3:30 p.m. with the celebration to begin at 4:00 p.m. There will be a reception in the Adell McMillan Art Gallery immediately after and the entire event to conclude about 6:30 p.m. I will be there paying my respects, maybe I will see some of you there as well.

Buy American

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Today a friend sent me this link, and as a true blooded American I couldn’t agree more with its message…

Buy American, Buy Pabst…

Sudsquatch is Today

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Last minute reminder, today is Sudsquatch from 5-8. Carl’s Junior and Monster will be giving out stuff to people with tickets, which are 5 dollars. Proceeds go to the Red Cross and you get to hear music, all the while lounging in the sun. For 5 bucks, why not?

If anything else you get to see my beautiful face…

ASUO Senate Meeting May 12, 2010

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

ASUO SENATE MAY 12, 2010!!!!