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Archive for the 'Pacifica Forum' Category

Something’s Happening

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Some things have been going on during the last couple of months.

1. University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere released a white paper outlining his idea for a restructure of University funding and management. The proposal includes a $1.6 billion endowment for the university, a portion of which would be financed by state bonds. The legislature is not pleased, but it certainly has folks talking.

2. The UO got grilled hard by the Oregon Senate Business and Transportation Committee about the $227 million arena project, the process for which did not involve an open bidding process, as would most large scale university projects. The committee also tapped into the Bellotti Buyout. The essence of the Willamette Week article linked to above:

“The university does not inspire confidence,” says committee chairman Sen. Rick Metsger (D-Welches). “What you get from this project is either they don’t know what they’re doing or they don’t want the public to know. Neither is good.”

The process for building the arena is actually pretty convoluted and complicated, and many people are displeased with the progress.

3. The State of Oregon has a pretty unsustainable budget, to the tune of $563 million that will come in across the board cuts to all state entities. Including a $4.7 million cut to the University of Oregon.

4. The University Senate confirmed large-scale campus speech policy changes, with the addition of a Freedom of Inquiry Policy and Facilities Use Policy. This is a real victory for administrators, who wanted to deal with the Pacifica Forum issue but not be seen as only promoting certain kinds of speech or, y’know, violating the First Amendment. The new facilities use policy dictates that only university recognized groups — not individuals — can access space for free. “Non-university entities” can still have space, but they have to pay for it. You can read the Register-Guard’s opinion here.

5. The UO created an Office of Public Records to deal with public records requests as Lariviere tries to deal with the aftermath of the Mike Bellotti deal and an athletic program on the fringes of his reach. They’re hiring a public records officer, if you’re looking for a job.

6. Tuition is going up again. No, seriously.

7. Phil Knight’s private company, Phit LLC, wants to construct additional football facilities to the Len Casanova Athletic Center. But they want to do it in a way that sidesteps the public bidding process by having this private company lease the land from the university, construct on it, and then donate the finished project back to the University of Oregon. The state approves.

8. Jeremiah Masoli got kicked off the UO football team for getting pulled over with a suspended license and marijuana in his car after rolling a stop sign. Masoli was a good quarterback. He just keeps getting himself into trouble.

9. Colorado joined the Pac-10. Texas said no. People are concerned with the implications of where the university’s priorities lay. I just like the math and the excitement of it all. GO DUCKS!

And that brings us to today. Those were some things that happened.

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.

No snarky commentary needed.

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Alright, kids. Have fun with this one (emphasis added to maximize hilarity):

Eugene police arrested a woman Friday at the Pacifica Forum meeting on campus, while others were given citations after protesters deployed a stink bomb to disrupt the meeting.

. . .

The Emerald was unable to confirm how many protesters received citations on Friday. DPS spokesperson Sgt. Adam Lillengreen declined to comment, saying the report first had to be released at its scheduled time later today. Protesters who were given citations are not allowed back onto University property for 18 months.

. . .

Black Tea Society spokesperson Damage, who declined to give his legal name out of safety concerns, refused to give names of the other protesters who received citations. Damage also said he thought six Black Tea Society members were issued citations on Friday.

Let the shitshow begin.

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

According to Cimmeron Gillespie, who I just ran into in the hallway, the Pacifica Forum is no longer meeting at the downtown Baker Center. They will be having their next meeting this Friday at Agate Hall on 18th and Agate – namely, on campus.

Let the shitshow begin, I suppose.

UO Senate passes anti-Pacifica resolution, I yawn

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Just received an email from the UO Senate President (not to be confused with the ASUO Senate, which is comprised of students) announcing the passing of an anti-Pacifica Forum resolution. In essence, here’s what it was all about.

The University Senate denounces in the strongest possible terms the hateful speech that is frequently expressed at the Pacifica Forum and deplores the pseudo-debates that Pacifica Forum portrays as serious intellectual inquiry, and the University Senate will publicize this stand widely throughout the University community.

Now that that’s out of the way, does anyone want to talk about how water bottles are bad? Or maybe about Duck athletes getting into trouble? I’m bored.

Remembering Southworth…NOT!

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

As though the issue of hate speech on campus hasn’t been covered enough.

ASUCSD president Utsav Gupta pulled funding to 33 campus media outlets on February 20, following coinciding with perfectly with the dying Pacifica Forum outrage.

Apparently, “Jigaboo Jones,” a local radio shock-jock, organized a party he called the “Compton Cookout” with the help of several fraternity members. Jones, in his own off-color way of celebrating Black History Month, used the ghetto for the party’s theme. The facebook ad encouraged attendees to dress ghetto style, telling men to roll with their “Jersey’s, stuntin’ up in ya White T” and  women to “have short, nappy hair.” No fraternity houses hosted the party, although several members of the UCSD Greek community helped organize it.

Days after the party, outrage of the offensive stereotypes swept UCSD. And in politics, you cry to state litigators instead of mom and dad. Legislative pressure prompted UCSD authorities to launch an “aggressive investigation” (Why hello, Joe McCarthy) of the students involved in promoting the party.

UCSD publication “The Koala,” known for patently racist and provocative content, aired a public statement on SRTV objecting to the investigations. The statement used the words the words “ungrateful n—-rs” among other racial slurs, according to Adam Kissel of FIRE.

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As the Forum Turns

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

It’s been more than two months since our campus experienced a sudden wave of passion during a Dec. 11 meeting of the Pacifica Forum and actually decided to give it some attention; a stark contrast to last year when this very magazine was covering the Forum and no one cared.

What has ensued is a disaster of epic proportions. It began with protesters meeting and shouting down speaker for their “pro-Nazi” views. The issue then became about safety, with an attack directed toward a student group directly after. Finally, it has evolved into something so hideous, so disgusting it’s almost unbearable to write about. Yes, the Pacifica Forum has become a soap opera.

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The Other Side of the Pacifica Forum Coin

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

For weeks now we’ve been debating back and forth about the Pacifica Forum, and the subsequent maneuvering its protesters have done to try to make the discussion about “student safety”. It came to a head last week when the ASUO Senate Rules Committee passed a resolution that politely asked the Pacifica Forum to fuck off.

It seems that through a highly convoluted series of events, the Student Insurgent has coincidentally “intercepted” a message from Billy Rojas, which has been denied as being a fake. Even if the e-mail is real, it’s long and boring and I don’t really need to go over its contents. The best part is that the Black Tea Society has decided to call on anti-Pacifica supporters from all over the state to protest the next Pacifica meeting on the 12th because of the e-mail.

Here’s where it gets juicy. The Black Tea Society intends to bring militants to the University of Oregon campus in order to protest the Pacifica Forum. That’s right… militants.

“Militants wishing to participate in this action should arrive in front of Agate Hall on the University of Oregon campus, this Friday February 12th at 4:30pm”

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Pacifica Forum for Dummies

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Dear everyone who stopped caring,
Remember how much we’ve been reading about Pacifica Forum for the last month (partly my fault)? I have a pop quiz for you, just to see if you were paying attention.

QUESTION:
PACIFICA FORUM IS…:
A)     A Neo-Nazi Group
B)      Responsible for vandalizing LGBTQA
C)      A Free Speech Group
D)     Against feminism, homosexuality, and ethnic equality.
E)      A White Supremacist Group
F)      Responsible for the anti-Semitic note
G)     Loving, respectful, intelligent people
H)     All of the above

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Resolutions, Resignations and Robert’s Rules of Order

Friday, February 5th, 2010

As the Pacifica Forum resolution finally passed Rules Committee on Wednesday, so too did it bring quite the controversy with it–and this time, no Nazis were present. Towards the end of the evening a bomb was dropped on the Senate (an odd happening in the same night the new ASUO logo had been debated) as tensions over a point of order rose to such that Senate Vice President Nicholas Schultz called for Senate President Nick Gower to resign by shouting, “Step down! Step down!”

The controversy started when Gower did not follow the speakers list–an ordered list for members to abide by–and instead called on Senator Lindsay Reichardt, out of turn. Schultz accused Gower of abuse of power, and called to question Gower’s action. Sens. McCafferty and Gower told Schultz he was not allowed to question that specific action of the Chair (Gower). Schultz, along with ASUO President Emma Kallaway, left the meeting for approximately 40 minutes and came back with a book of Robert’s Rules of Order–the governing rules the ASUO abides by.

From here, the situation escalated into a term I’m trying to coin here lately (patent pending)–a McDisasterfuck. Schultz had figured out that Gower and McCafferty were wrong, and that if two or more Senators called to question the actions of the Chair (Gower) then they could indeed discuss it.

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Learning from the Pacifica Forum

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Earlier this week I had the great fortune of sitting down with both Vice President Robin Holmes and President Richard Lariviere. At the time these meetings were scheduled two weeks ago, there remained an array of unanswered questions in regard to the Pacifica issue, including and not limited to: much misinformation about the stances of the University, misunderstanding regarding the legal rights and causality regarding the Forum, a multitude of smear tactics and intolerance displayed by both sides, misquotation and misrepresentation of our university administration.

Since two weeks ago, much has happened. A Student Senate resolution was declined, a protest was outraged, and a hideous act of vandalism was induced. I was worried, perhaps erroneously, that these events could have clouded the judgment of our institution like they have clouded judgment of many protesters and student body (much of the student body still thinks “Pacifica Forum” is a “Neo-Nazi Group,” hence the populace of the “Anti-Pacifica” Facebook group).

I am humbled and relieved at the remarkable objectivity and forward thinking of our administration. I now know that it was unfair of me to equate the mental capacity of our university officials with the riotous aggrandized assertions of some undergraduate protests; I irrationally feared that the UO would get swept away in the deep rooted emotion of many of the students, a very alluring mentality.

I may say with confidence now that my fear has been put to rest.

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Spray Paint

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

This swastika was spray painted on the carpet of the LGBTQA on Sunday

There has been a candlelight vigil. There has been a march. As DPS continues to investigate the spray painting of a swastika in the office of the LGBTQA, we still have yet to find any answers. And, looking at the happenings going on in the Daily Emerald columns and their comments section, many people are jumping to rather rash conclusions.

Members of the LGBTQA have already tied the swastika directly to the Pacifica Forum, as seen in today’s Emerald, “LGBTQA Co-Director Alex Esparza linked the Forum’s rhetoric to the incident and criticized the ASUO’s decision. ‘I would like to see a student government that takes a stand against acts of hate like this,’ he said as EMU staff were removing the pieces of carpet upon which the symbol was painted.”

This is a slippery slope, legally speaking, as the organizers of the Forum exercise no control over what speakers say.  So even if a speaker got up and incited the crowd to immediately go break into the LGBTQA with spray paint only the speaker would be guilty of incitement.

Of course, now from the other side (quoting here from the Emerald‘s comments section) there has been much discussion as to whether or not the LGBTQA, “may have painted it on their own office floor.” Again, this is a serious allegation, one of political violence as a means to an end.

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Read This

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

An outsider’s view of the McDisasterfuck that is the PF.

FIRE Article

Saving Pacifica

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Drew’s editorial from the last issue lately, and the more I think about it, the more I think the premise of his argument is a viable, actionable plan. If you haven’t read it, the argument revolves around a plan that would involve students–including those protesting the Pacifica Forum–into the actual Forum as debaters.

The Pacifica Forum was started in 1994 as a way to debate two sides (or three) of an issue. As the years have gone on, speakers at the Pacifica Forum have started to push the envelope of topics discussed. Here, we should make an important distinction: The Pacifica Forum has no members per se, but an open call for its organizers. Indeed, the premise of a Forum is just that–an open discussion or debate. Instead, its protesters have been acting as if the Pacifica Forum is one, solid group with a single mindset.

Contrary to what many may think, the Pacifica Forum is not all Nazis. Instead, the organizers of the Forum have invited Nazis and debated back and forth with them about certain topics–the swastika, the Sieg Heil etc. The problem lately, however, is that the two sides of the debate haven’t been far apart enough in their arguments. Instead of a debater that is far to one side and another that is far to the other, the debaters at the Pacifica Forum have been far to one side with the other somewhere in the middle.

This is where our beloved protesters come in. Although protests were initially meant to be “silent” they have strayed far and away from that premise. Effectively, the anti-Pacifica people want their voices heard. What Drew proposed–and what I think is an exceedingly good idea–is that those protesters join the debate on the other side of the table, as speakers. Instead of holding signs and shouting, or waiting for your turn to speak at the microphone, why not sit on the other end of the table as a third party, a third side to the debate about Nazism or what have you?

I find it harder and harder to find any support within myself for the anti-Pacifica protesters. The Forum itself is not perpetuating Nazism–idiots like Jimmy Marr and Anelauskas are. Why not stand up, take charge, and take back the Forum for yourselves?

Amidst this conflict, somebody told me, “The proper reaction to bad speech is not less speech. The proper reaction is more speech.”

If only this campus could grasp that concept.

Senate Resolution, Once Again

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Sens. Schultz and Tipitino have proposed yet another change to the Pacifica Forum resolution. In an e-mail sent today, Schultz said:

Dear Senate,

I have worked extensively with several of you, especially Senator Tipitino. Enclosed is a copy of an amended resolution. Demic and I intend to make the following changes to the resolution prior to sending it to Rules Committee. Please look it over and think about it before Wednesday.

To be sure, the situation is beginning to get out of hand.

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