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Archive for October, 2012

College Red vs. College Blue

Monday, October 29th, 2012

This Thursday November 1st, the College Republicans and the College Democrats will be holding a debate. A number of topics will be discussed, including energy policy, economic recovery, health care, marriage equality and women’s economic rights.

ASUO Academic Affairs Director Harlan Mechling has told me that the event has been picking up steam. What’s more, the presidents of either group both hold positions in the ASUO, so things may get a little spicy.

Again the debate will take place this Thursday at 6:30 pm in McKenzie 129.

Public Records [2.0]: A fairytale come true

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Once upon a time, in a land very near and dear, the University of Oregon:

On January 1st, 2011, former Editor-in-Chief CJ Ciaramella emailed a request for ASUO Senators’ email correspondence (i.e., those emails sent to and from senate@uoregon.edu or asuosenate@lists.uoregon.edu) to Public Records Officer Liz Denecke. As reading this previous post will inform you, Denecke responded via email to CJ’s request saying that in order to fulfill such a request, it would cost him a whopping $428.36– “about half” being used to cover the costs “producing the documents”  and “the other half […] for redaction, and that cost is estimated conservatively and will likely cost more than the estimate.” Denecke’s explanation continues, stating that such emails “will be student records, subject to the protection of student privacy laws. That will require a great deal of redaction and you may end up with documents that do not tell you what you want to know.” Denecke would later tell Ciaramella over the phone that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the students in this case, calling for intensive redaction of student names (i.e., the ASUO Senators’ names) and anything unrelated to ASUO business. Hence such expensive estimated compensation for the production of this Public Records Request. Because of this, Ciaramella abandoned the pursuit, deeming it stonewalled.

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Oregon Ballot Measures Explained in 3 Sentences Each

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Measure 77: Authorizes Governor to declare catastrophic disaster and reallocate funds to disaster relief(requires legislative approval), as well as amends constitution to make it easier to call a legislative session in those circumstances. Pros: Allows for quicker aid and support if disaster occurs, and attempts to counteract government stalemate due to existing laws. Cons: Potentially expensive knee-jerk spending, gives the government more power than some would want.

Measure 78: Amends Constitutional language and makes grammatical and spelling changes. Pros: More accurate state Constitution, use of gender-neutral pronouns, gives us another ballot measure to vote on. Cons: How is our state so lame that this is a ballot measure during a Presidential election year?

Measure 79: Amends Constitution to prohibit taxes or fees on real estate transfers. Pros: Potentially blocks ‘double taxation’ due to existing property taxes, helps rural farmers keep family farms, limits Constitutional power of the Legislature. Cons: Could be considered special tax exemption for the real estate sector, limits Constitutionally granted power of the Legislature, partially already the law.

Measure 80: Allows personal consumption of marijuana and expands commercial uses of hemp. Pros: Tax dollars for the state, less wasted government money on marijuana-related crimes, sensible drug policy, LEGAL WEED! Cons: Marijuana more accessible, Taco Bell will need to hire more workers.

Measure 81: Prohibits commercial, non-tribal fishing with gillnets in inland waters. Pros: Allows for the preservation of our native salmon population, helps give recreational fisherman their ‘fair share’. Cons: Fishing jobs lost, unfair regulation of commerce.

Measure 82: Amends Constitution to authorize privately owned casinos. Pros: Percentage of proceeds go directly to the state, ends the unconstitutional monopoly by native tribes on casinos. Cons: Oregon Tribes have had legal right to casinos and will lose profit, ‘gambling related problems’ will be more present in Oregon

Measure 83: Attempting to allow a specific private casino in Oregon; See Pros and Cons of Measure 82

Measure 84: Phases out inheritance tax and all taxes on intra-family property transfers. Pros: Allows for family owned businesses to stay successful and avoid overbearing tax burden, stops ‘double taxation’ on profits. Cons: High-income families getting special tax break, lost tax revenue.

Measure 85: Constitutional amendment to allocate corporate income tax “kicker” refund to K-12 public education. Pros: Supports public education, averages $100-200 million per every three years for K-12. Cons: (No oppositional statements listed in Voters’ Pamphlet) Corporations are overpaying taxes, potential job losses.

EMU open until 3:00 A.M.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

As a trial run for finals week, the EMU will be open until 3:00 A.M. tonight and tomorrow night. Study up!

The Beer Barons of UO Housing are back!

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Just kidding. EMU Pub Night is now occurring weekly. The Buzz is serving beer on tap and certain domestic labels out of the bottle from 5pm-10pm every Thursday. All ages are welcome but bring your identification if you wish to drink booze!

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Three graduate students enjoy pints of Falling Sky brew.

Breaking News!

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Pink is a color. Students line up in the EMU amphitheater to learn more.

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LIVE at Senate 10/17/12

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

So, the live blogging issue has been fixed. The shit hits the fan at 7:00 p.m.

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“Kiss-in” speaks out against discrimination

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

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A “Kiss-in” is scheduled for 1:55 sharp this afternoon. At the moment, many are already gathering in the EMU amphitheater. All are encouraged to come put their handprints in paint on a banner advertising Pride Week as a symbol of solidarity and as a stance against the continuing hostility experienced on and around campus by the LGBTQ community.

Business as usual

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

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This man holds a cross that reads, “Are you ready?” referring, of course, to the sugar-high of elephant ears and sweet smell of kettle corn. The ASUO Street Fair(e) is underway and the popcorn enthusiasts are back to tell us that we are Godless, fetus-killin’, drug-addled heathens. Grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy.

$1.5 million spent on MACademics

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

According to this juicy UO Matters post , McArthur Court was built in 1926 and paid for yearly by students until 1932. However, through some shifty Frohnmayer paperwork, Academics is helping Athletics pay 1/4 of the 30-year cost of the land under the Matthew Knight Arena, $467,538 per year (3 payments so far), “for the right to try and use an old basketball arena […] for academic purposes.”

UO Matters in a comment below the original post: “The issue is that we are paying exorbitant rates to the athletic department for a piece of land that we are not using for academic purposes…”

Well, “Das Frohn” for you.

8 cent prints up for review

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Library Systems Department took control of the three campus labs on September 1st, leading to the inclusion of these labs on Pharos, the pay-to-print system. This means that printing now costs 8 cents everywhere on campus instead of just Knight Library. I asked Nancy Slight-Gibney about the cost of printing and the process of determining the price that students pay. She responded in an email:

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Oregon Hall air quality

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

By the way, the progress on air quality in Oregon Hall has continued to be stagnant (haha). But, seriously, glad I don’t work there. UO Matters has some updates.

Governers oppose 82, competition, equal-opportunity

Monday, October 8th, 2012

In reading this Register-Guard article and this one by The Associated Press, I find the arguments against Measures 82 and 83 to be silly.

Tim Raphael, Governor Kitzhaber’s spokesman, told The Oregonian that authorizing a non-tribal casino would break the agreement made with Native American tribes. Casinos are illegal in Oregon, however tribes are allowed to operate casino on Native American land under federal law. The agreement: just one casino per tribe, and no competition.

“They kept their end of the bargain,” Raphael explained to The Oregonian. “It’s wrong to break our agreement.”

Former Governors Vic Atiyeh, Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski have also publicly opposed the measures.

 

A casino may not be the best thing to happen to the Portland area, but the last time I checked,

  • competition is good for capitalism
  • all demographics of people are entitled to a business
  • people should be free to throw their money away

Oregon Votes 2012 – constitutional language, chronic smoke, and casinos

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

I hope everyone is perusing their voter guides! I’ve been waiting for my pamphlet to come in the mail, but I just realized that OregonVotes.org has this not-so-awesome, clunky PDF download page here. All the info you need on candidates and measures is available there– you just have to download each page individually. There are some fun measures up for ballot including amendments to regulations on marijuana (that’s hemp and cannabis separately), constitutional language, commercial fishing, privately-owned casinos and, everybody’s favorite: taxes!

ASUO Senate 10/03/12 Recap

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Meeting was called to order around 7:04 p.m. After introductions, a representative of DPS had an announcement.

He said that the department wants to do a better job this year– at keeping the student body updated, not necessarily at protecting and serving. He talked about the name change from Department of Public Safety to University of Oregon Police Department. “This is a name change only,” he said, which is kind of true, if we are speaking in a temporally fixed context. I suppose as long as he doesn’t say this again, ever, you can’t call him a liar. There are eleven officers on “staff” (I’m pretty sure he used that word) at the moment and more will be hired in the coming months. Arming officers is intended to happen this year, given that the rest of the UO community does not oppose. “Know your rights” literature will be dispersed soon, as well.

The Mills International Center will be hosting “The Meet” Thursday Oct. 4th,  5-7 p.m. All are invited for food, fun and meeting students from all over the world.

The Emerald used a good hunk of time talking about how they’re different now.  Emerald Media Group, they would like to be called, but I will stick with Ol’ Dirty.

Public forum time. Senator Emeritus Nolan comes up with some pledge for the senators to sign, promising to keep the LGBT community in mind and not discriminate. I can’t think of a way to make fun of her that doesn’t involve sarcasm, so I will just state my view: while probably well-intended, all this pledge does is portray the LGBT community as an “other,” (precisely what the pledge aims to rectify).

Announcement from Harlan: EMU open until 3 a.m. during dead week. Fuck yeah!

LGBT dance, Homecoming Parade, Street Faire and Mallard Madness all coming up soon.

As we move on to special requests, I note that the Emerald correspondent keeps winking at me and making kissy faces.

Special requests: Women in Law (or something like that) transferred funds between line items. ASUO Executive expedited their Finance Retreat, moved trip to EMU for ease. Senate wisely used this time to discuss the amount in surplus. $790 until next week or something. Nobody knows. Oregon Ballroom Dance had a request for something. It was postponed indefinitely because of low funds in surplus. Vietnamese Student Association requested a small remainder of funds needed for next weeks event. The motion to approve passed.

Then there was a Summer Senate update. Shit was difficult to hear and when it settled down, all Miyamoto was talking about was the new polo t-shirts that Senate got.

This was followed by committee nominations. This is always funny because it’s like in a 200 level Spanish class when the teacher starts looking for volunteers.

The Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force was formed. Ben Bowman was able to bring up his character again. Senator Ewing’s LA cap was really cute. And Senator Mubaya’s family mascot is a lion.

My Twitter feed was frozen on tweet #128 and I wasn’t able to continue updating. There must be a limit or something. The end.