A Neighborhood Watch leader follows a suspicious character in the neighborhood and after being assaulted, and having his skull repeatedly bashed into the concrete, shoots and kills the assailant. Most people reading that would probably respond differently than the way some have responded to the media circus and lynching of George Zimmerman. What about this situation is worthy of the hype and uproar that has been thrust upon us for the last year? Nothing! The same situation happened elsewhere only it was a black Neighborhood Watch person and white assailants and surprise surprise, no uproar.
The Stand Your Ground law has been paraded about as another villain in this event, yet it had nothing to do with the event. Unfortunately, not even our supposed constitutional scholar president is able to understand a very simple law. Stand Your Ground says that if you are legally allowed to be somewhere and someone threatens your life you are able to defend yourself without first retreating. In other words if I pull a knife or gun on you while you are walking down the street you can use deadly force (read gun) to defend yourself. You do not have to turn and run. You can stand your ground, hence the name of the law. Now in the Zimmerman case, his head was being bashed into concrete. Retreating is not an option at that point. This was purely self defense. He was not able to retreat once his life became endangered. Mr. Martin was not unarmed, he was using the concrete as a weapon.
The ugly part of this was the race baiting that went on by those in the media and the White House. “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon.” I seriously doubt that a child of a president would be thugged out, smoking weed, and getting suspended from school for criminal activity. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson just showed their ability to profit off a tragedy as usual. Why is it that this was considered a white on black crime when Zimmerman is half Peruvian? Oh but Barack Obama is black even though he is half white. In the eyes of some race is the only issue and no matter what it must have played a role. It was the fact that Martin was black, not that he looked like a thug in an area that had seen a spike in break ins, that got him followed.
Now onto the head shake aspect. It is sad to see how many people suck at the teat of celebrities that they blindly accept and follow what ever their favorite celebrities spout. Zimmerman is an evil bastard and Trayvon Martin was a poor innocent thug. No one stopped to question why this case was being pushed over numerous other cases where a black youth was killed. They just continued on with the talking points of the hypocrites who think it is wrong for you and I to defend ourselves while they have armed security guards to protect them.
Last Wednesday, the UO Senate’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee (IAC) held a meeting at which AAD for Finance Eric Roedl was scheduled to give the IAC information about the athletic department’s budget and some projections about the next 6 years.
The UO Senate voted last week to require the Athletic Department to start paying back some of its subsidies, like that of the Matthew Knight Arena property, so this meeting had attracted myself from the Oregon Commentator, and two Daily Emerald reporters.
Right away there was tension in the air. This was the last IAC meeting of the school year and the AD still hadn’t released minutes from the previous meeting. Glen Waddell was met with an awkward silence when he asked about the delay in preparing the minutes.
“I’ve been really busy and haven’t gotten around to it,” the stenographer said.
Bill Harbaugh then asked IAC co-chair Andy Karduna if he had followed up on the request to the AD for the syllabus for the College of Education FHS 110 class that the athletics department requires all new players to take.
Karduna replied that he hadn’t, and had no plans to ever do so.
I had been under the impression that the IAC meeting was open to the public, as it was – until AAD Roedl realized that the media was present. And so began the discussion of whether or not to allow the media to stay during the presentation of revenue projections.
Some members of the IAC referred to the projections as “confidential… sensitive information”. When asked why projections would be “sensitive information”, those believing it to be sensitive did not want to discuss specifics because the reporters were still in the room.
“Let me tell you about the state of the Emerald right now. A article regarding UO Faculty was written and the UO administration got fired up. They then chewed out the Editor-in-Chief of the Emerald, who has been described by various employees of the Emerald as being tyrannical. The EiC proceeded to blame the online and print news editors, as well as the reporter who wrote the story. The issue was that the writer didn’t incorporate the administration’s side of the story in the article. The managing editor, who is responsible for approving the stories, was then subjected to harsh and unfair criticism by the EiC. The managing editor, fed up with the lack of leadership at the top, put in her two-week notice a few days later. The EiC then “dismissed” (fired) her on the spot. Both the online and print news editors, who have written some of the Emerald’s most read stories in the last two years, then resigned. As of yesterday, after being fed up with management and the way things are being run, the author of the original article resigned. The news desk is now down to two people. On top of this, the EiC is seriously considering hiring a former friend he worked with at Lane’s newspaper as managing editor. This individual worked for the Emerald during the summer and PLAGIARIZED stories. He is the leading candidate for the job despite two other current Emerald staffers who have applied. Welcome to the chaos of Revolution 2012.”
“Oregon’s public records law is internally contradictory and ambiguous,” Senior Assistant to the President, Dave Hubin says.
Did you know that the UO has a faculty Senate? They meet once a month and even have committees devoted to certain aspects of governance. All meetings, including those of Senate and its committees, are open to students. I attended one yesterday– it was all very new and scary to me. Wondering how their efficacy compares to the ASUO Senate?
At a Senate Transparency Committee (STC) meeting, Economics Professor Bill Harbaugh (head of the committee, who’da thunk it?), lined out some important questions for Dave Hubin at an STC meeting. Some of them were addressed.
The first: Why is Public Records Officer Lisa Thornton no longer attending the STC meetings?
Members urged that Thornton’s position necessitates her participation in matters of transparency.
Hubin explained that the Public Records Office is of least authority since Richard Lariviere charged him with overseeing the Office, having it report directly to the Senior Assistant.
“Because it reports directly to me, it makes sense for me to represent the Public Records Office in this venue,” Hubin said.
“I think it’s great you come to these meetings, but if you are representing the Public Records Officer, you need to be prepared to answer detailed questions,” Harbaugh said.
Every week, students like you and me congregate in the Walnut Room under the title of ASUO Senate. Every week, they make decisions that most of us probably don’t care about. Every year, I’ve paid little to no attention to this shit. But this year, I am condemned to attending these Senate meetings and relaying the information unto you. It was pretty boring at first, but things got heated and interesting with the censure of Constitution Court Justice Cedar Cosner. So here goes my first ASUO Senate meeting:
Matthew Miyamoto is acting as Chair until the election of a President or something. He calls the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. This was followed by introductions and silly one-word recaps of summer. The agenda was approved.
Ben Bowman announces the Emerald‘s Launch Party, which starts at 8:00 p.m. Apparently there is a VIP party at 6:00 p.m. which includes a free meal? You’re not invited; he only invited the Senate and then the audience.
Justice Shultz came in and discussed the new rules for Constitution Court. They can probably be found somewhere, but apparently the “the most startling changes will be with [how] resolutions [are passed].” Senator Bacon expressed concern of the composition of Academic Senators with respect to categorization of senators and how that effects the acknowledgement of constituents. The number of Senate seats has something to do with this.
More announcements. Oh my fucking god, can’t these announcements be emailed?
UO economics professor William T. Harbaugh, the immortal being behind the beloved, anonymous, whistleblower blog UO MATTERS, was awarded the First Freedom Award by the Society of Professional Journalists of Oregon and Southwest Washington this past Saturday.
The SPJ’s First Freedom award is given annually to an individual who has upheld the principles of the First Amendment. Harbaugh has long been a beacon of the First Amendment, most notably when he illegally published the Oregon Public Records Manual on his official uoregon website. The upheaval this precipitated compelled the attorney general’s office to make the manual available on the internet for the first time ever.
Harbaugh’s recognition is long overdue and largely understated. Y’all should know that the UO Matters blog is updated several times a day, and his posts are usually these quick, fuck-you-exposés about UO athletics and administration that require a kind of efficiency and genuine concern that we will never (maybe a few years ago we came close) have. Knowing he’s out teaching economics and doing this in his spare time both worries and impresses us. UO Matters is invaluable to the entire, “engaged” university community, but is especially invaluable to drunk, disoriented student journalists like ourselves. We’re the ones constantly referring to UO Matters for direction and content, so finding the Commentator website listed under UO Matters’ “Resources” is an honor and probably some sort of mistake.
Bill, you are the resource. As renowned sultans of hate speech, there aren’t too many people we love to love. And let’s just say that you might be one of those people.
So here’s to you, Harbaugh. And for the record, UO Matters will forever be bookmarked on my Firefox browser.
Publisher Emeritus Ross Coyle (pictured) and Editor-in-Chief Sophia Lawhead have been in a sham marriage for two years. They have never so much as been photographed together.
Look, it didn’t occur to us until now that this would be an issue, but our editor-in-chief and publisher emeritus have been married for two years.
Better financial aid packages are available to married students and, though Publisher Emeritus Ross Coyle’s schooling was paid for because he is a member of the US Army Reserve, Editor-in-Chief Sophia Lawhead would not have had the money to attend the University of Oregon if her sham marriage to Coyle didn’t up her financial aid.
Coyle has said he thought the marriage would be a romantic union when he entered into it. Lawhead admits she perpetuated that illusion.
The Commentator is unapologetic about this situation. It’s a matter of class. Some of us have rich parents who can pay our way through school. Others need to defraud the government. It’s all in the game.
Lawhead said her relationship with Coyle “has not had any impact” on the Commentator’s affairs.
“This year, I have been more removed from the Oregon Commentator than I ever have,” Lawhead said.
We wouldn’t have even mentioned it except that it seems this kind of thing is such a big deal to everybody.
In the midst of monsoon Hailey (I named it, you’re welcome) we might all be wondering “Why did I choose to come to Oregon for school?” There are thousands of Universities in this country, and even more in the world, so why would we choose a school where we have to wear scuba gear to class? Why would I go to school in a place where I sincerely worry about tripping and drowning every time I cross the street?
Here’s why: University of Oregon is a great school. Recently ranked in the top 100 “best values” in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, UO is recognized for “its high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, abundant financial aid, a low sticker price and overall great value.”
We go to UO, because it apparently rocks. Out of over 500 schools evaluated, it was chosen as one of the top 100. It was also in the top 108 of over 4,000 schools for “very high research activity,” according to the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
Lastly, UO is one of only two schools in the Pacific Northwest in the Association of American Universities.
At this point, you might be wondering who built this great pedestal on which we rest upon. Who worked so hard to make us better than the average university? Richard Lariviere, folks.
12 Horrible Christmas Gifts To Help Say, “I Hate You” Though, we’re still not sure why these are bad ideas. I mean, we got #4 for the Ol’ Dirty. Also, really, I can think of worse things: a life’s subscription to the Ol’ Dirty, used underwear, rotten moldy apples….these people are just not very creative.
In both old, and bad, news: Natural Light “beer” has become the first beer in space. The people at Natural Light launched a can into the heavens on November 17, reportedly inspired by some assholes on Facebook. The can rocketed into the sky up to “90,000ft+” before returning to the Earth, playing a proverbial game of “Just the Tip” with our atmosphere.
What’s going to be shot up next? Who knows. Probably a fucking Kardashian. Hopefully someone has some cans of OG Four Loko stashed, that is the only thing that will make extraterrestrials run from Earth in fear.
Best part (2:26) “What up aliens? Where the party at, we brought the beer!”
Governor Kitzhaber calling bullshit on Lariviere, saying it’s about “trust,” and standing behind the state board. From his letter:
First, let me say that the situation involving the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and Dr. Richard Lariviere has nothing to do with an “ongoing difference of opinion over the future of the University of Oregon,” as Dr. Lariviere suggested in an email sent out to faculty and students last Tuesday.
There have been a number of well-publicized incidents involving Dr. Lariviere that have eroded trust and confidence with the Board of Higher Education.
Dr. Lariviere unilaterally granted substantial salary increases to his administrators and faculty. Unlike every other university president in the state, he disregarded my specific direction on holding tight and delaying discussion about retention and equity pay increases until the next biennium to allow for a consistent, system-wide policy on salaries.
The UO Deans calling it as they see it, urging for reconsideration:
We are unanimous in giving the president an A+ for his vision, his leadership and his unwavering commitment to public higher education. We are confident that an evaluation of his performance based on appropriate metrics would lead to a similar grade. We can only conclude that the state board and the governor gave him an F in “plays well with state bureaucracies.”
President Lariviere was hired by the board and supported by the UO community because he promised to lead us in finding a new model for excellence in higher education in Oregon. The UO community challenges the board, the governor and our president to forge a new path so that we can continue to build a great university for the benefit of all Oregonians.
An email sent out by Julie Palanuk today at 2:17 PM shares the University Senate’s plan to fight for Lariviere’s reinstatement, and they’re not going down without a fight:
Dear UO community:
The Senate Executive Committee met yesterday and formulated the following plan for the upcoming week:
1) YESTERDAY (WEDNESDAY): The Senate Executive Committee issued the petition on reinstating President Lariviere that many of you have seen and signed. As of 11:50 pm this evening, 2,890 people have signed the petition.
We also strongly encourage community members to write letters to the Governor, State Board and local legislators.
2) FRIDAY: The Senate Executive Committee will issue a strongly worded public statement on behalf of the university community denouncing the State Board decision with an explanation of why the decision is so detrimental to our university.
3) MONDAY: The State Board will hold a hastily scheduled meeting in Portland solely on President Lariviere’s contract. It is expected that the Board will follow the lead of the Governor and Chancellor and terminate his contract.
The Senate President Robert Kyr will be allowed to speak at that meeting. We are asking as many faculty, students and staff as possible to attend the meeting to show support for President Lariviere. We have been told that the meeting will likely commence at 3 pm (check State Board web site on Friday for an official announcement; http://www.ous.edu/state_board) and will be held in PSU’s Academic & Student Recreation Center, Suite 515 (1800 SW 6th Avenue, Portland).
The Senate Exec will help set up carpools if anyone has space in his/her vehicle or if someone needs a ride. Please contact N. Tublitz at email@example.com.
4) TUESDAY: The Senate and CAS Department Heads will sponsor a teach-in/rally here on campus. Senate President Kyr will report on the State Board meeting. Several faculty from across campus will also speak. There might also be a march. This will be the first campuswide community gathering since the President’s firing. Time is likely to be noon to 2 pm. Location TBA.
5) WEDNESDAY: 2:45 pm University Senate meeting for the purpose of calling a Statutory Faculty meeting.
3:00-5:00 pm Statutory Faculty meeting. All community members are invited to attend. Governor Kitzhaber, Chancellor Pernsteiner and State Board Chairman Donegan are to be invited and will be given an opportunity to speak. Following their presentations, there will be an extended question and answer period.
At around 4:30 pm there will be two motions presented to the Statutory Faculty for adoption. The first will be a motion in support of retaining President Lariviere. The second will be a motion of no confidence in the Chancellor and the State Board. The location of the Senate and Statutory Faculty meetings will be determined and announced as soon as possible.
Updates on these activities will be posted on the University Senate website (http://senate.uoregon.edu/). Additional events will be scheduled depending on the outcome of the events in the next week.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have contributed to this important effort.
Senate President Robert Kyr and the Senate Exec Committee
“There may also be a march.” This is Eugene. Of course there will be a march.
According to an official statement by the OUS released earlier today, the board will be “[voting] in a public meeting on Monday, November 28, 2011 regarding the status of the employment agreement of Dr. Richard Lariviere as president of the University of Oregon.” In layman’s terms? They’re going to be voting on whether to fire him that day or not.
The blog We Love Our Pres, created yesterday in support of President Lariviere’s reinstatement, has posted the letter in full, which can be read here. Obviously, they’re not happy about it.
They’re not the only ones, either. In the twenty hours since Lariviere sent out the catalytic email announcing that his contract would not be renewed, support for the President has come flooding in the way only Eugene knows how to flood.
Thirty-six department and program heads of the UO College of Arts and Sciences signed a letter to the board and other state leaders to “express their unequivocal support” of Lariviere and to urge “he be retained.”
Leaders of the University Senate, which includes faculty, students and staff, met in an emergency session Wednesday.afternoon [sic] to plan action over the next week or two They [sic] immediately started a petition for Lariviere’s reinstatement — collecting 1,600 signatures in the first two hours — and shared information on Facebook and Twitter.
“The very people who obviously are directly connected with the president have had no voice, no voice in this matter,” said Robert Kyr, University Senate president.
“This is a terrible decision for the university and the State of Oregon that promotes mediocrity rather than rewarding visionary leadership,” said Julia Mee, the [Alumni Association's] board president. “We urge the board and governor to immediately reverse their decision and reinstate him.
Portland Business Journal highlighted supporters even higher up the chain, with State Senator Floyd Prozanski (or, apparently “Senator Duck” as he likes to be called) coming to Lariviere’s defense:
“I didn’t fully agree with all of the perspective that he brought as president but I honored the man for being able to stand up and say what he believes in,” Prozanski said. “If he’s being canned because he showed some independence, that is wrong. We should be able to have this dialogue between reasonable people, especially in higher education.”
Even the esteemed academics Chip Kelly and Phil Knight provided their individual takes on the matter; Kelly told The Oregonian that he was “really surprised” to hear the news, while Daddy Knight got a bit more creative:
It deeply saddens me that some people in power in our state continue to drive Oregon into a death spiral with their embrace of mediocrity. [This is an] astonishingly bad decision…It’s yet another application of Oregon’s Assisted Suicide law. For the Chancellor and the State Board of Higher Education, a “team player” is someone who falls in line with their acceptance of mediocrity, and the one who strives for excellence does not fit in.
Lariviere is even getting support from people who arguably see him as The Enemy. The United Academics of the University of Oregon, the chief organization behind attempts at faculty unionization at the UO and no friend to Lariviere, said even they would prefer Lariviere over the devil they don’t know:
No one in United Academics expected that President Lariviere would be an ally in the move toward collective bargaining at the University of Oregon. On the contrary, we expected a tough and vigorous negotiation with him. But we would much rather negotiate with a president who understands our priorities and goals for the university’s future than with one who does not.
They went on to note that, “President Lariviere’s termination serves as a reminder that in the absence of a binding contract, faculty, researchers, and teaching staff will remain confined to a limited and ineffectual role in shaping the university’s future.”
Lastly, The Register Guard reports that UO students have taken their own special brand of action: “Students started a Facebook page, Lariviere for UO president, that had more than 800 likes by 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and was drawing messages of support from business people and UO employees.”
So there you have it. Faculty, the University Senate, the Alumni Association, senators, football coaches, billionaires, the AAUP, and a smattering of the student body want to keep Lariviere around, and are gnashing their teeth at the equally gnash-y OUS. It may all come to a head next week with the board’s vote and, shockingly enough, this shit might end up getting crazier.
As for the man himself?
“[After this] There is a very good likelihood I’ll be teaching Sanskrit,” Lariviere told The Oregonian. “That is a prospect that has a lot of appeal.”
The University Senate’s petition to reinstate Lariviere can be found here. The Lariviere for President facebook page, if you’re really that interested, can be found here.
Update: UO Matters has an interesting roadmap of reactions and motivations here.
Shaggy 2 Dope is the Oregon Commentator’s science blogger. A guest contributor who is not a student, Shaggy enjoys music, professional wrestling, playing with his children, and anti-social acts of violence. He writes every week in response to JoAnna Wendel’s Oregon Daily Emerald science column.
Hello friends. I’m sorry it’s been so long since we last spoke. I realize that my nemesis, Oregon Daily Emerald columnist JoAnna Wendel, has published two articles since I issued a public challenge to her and I have not responded. I intend to. I’d say that being a multi-platinum recording artist, record label-founder and all-around renaissance man is demanding, but that’s no excuse. I’ll try to be on time next week, but here are my thoughts on Wendel’s work this week.
Wendel’sfirst column alleges that a new “species” of human has evolved. “Collegius baconus” is supposedly its name and Wendel says it has evolved in visible time, and that she’s surprised. Well, of course a scientist would be surprised.
What they don’t realize is that evolution is one of life’s little miracles, like looking into your son’s eyes after he gets into his first hockey fight or the little yellow powder that makes Funyuns so salty. “It’s just salt dude!” they’ll tell you. Maybe they’ll say, “Evolution is a natural process,” or, “Your son displays early signs of psychosis.” But no, scientists, who, as I have already elaborated, are all motherfuckers, are always trying to leech the magic out of miracles like evolution.
They are making me so pissed.
Everyone knows evolution has nothing to do with scientists. If scientists had their way, we probably never would have heard of evolution. Evolution: it’s something human beings have known about since the beginning of time. If we’d left it up to scientists, they’d probably tell us evolution is caused by “chemical imbalances of the brain” or “too much drinking” — just a few of the outrageously false explanations the medical scientists with which which I’m forced to talk try to come up with — and they’d be wrong.
Evolution is a miracle. It has nothing to do with science. You can’t explain it, just like you can’t explain what’s inside Fonz Pond.
As many as 5,000 lucky students social security numbers made a sexy special appearance when a glitch in a student loan company’s website showed users other peoples information instead of their own for a good seven minutes before they pulled the plug to do damage control for the next 48 hours. The real victim here is, of course, the loan company who’s reputation was damaged by whistle blowers who carelessly sought the acceptance of their peers by pointing out the mistakes that the company probably didn’t even do.
I mean, come on guys, it’s not like social security numbers even do anything. They’re just the bar code imprinted on your spine by the Illuminati at birth, and everybody knows that, so why make the Direct Loan Program feel like the bad guys? It’s the students fault, anyways, for not having enough money to learn things, and then getting all mad because their private information was released, and it’s like come on guys, you signed a user agreement we can accidentally leak this shit all we want brah. The company was also confronted with claims that their site wasn’t “user friendly enough”, but they were told to go to Hell. The rest of the article is pretty super boring and I wouldn’t try reading it, but people were all mad about shit and stuff went down and I think they promised it to never ever do it again, swear on my mother.