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New Issue Online: The Tater Awards!

June 12th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

I present to you, the Tater Awards.

This is the last issue for the Oregon Commentator I will have worked on and my last post on this blog. I appreciate all the lovers, the haters, and everyone who made any aspect of my experience at the OC possible. I am very proud of the last five months and wish the students at the University of Oregon a happy summer. Cheers!

OC and Daily Emerald Expelled from IAC Meeting

May 27th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

What will Gottfredson hide this time?

May 22nd, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

The making of public records available is more of a guideline than a “law” to adhere to here at the University of Oregon. In January, Economics Professor Bill Harbaugh requested President Michael Gottfredson’s calendar via the Public Records Office. It took them two months to produce this PDF with redactions and cost Harbaugh $108.

In very related news, the state of Pennsylvania decided last month that the public is entitled to the calendars of public officials in their entirety. This is shocking to reporters here at the University of Oregon, as the Public Records Office and UO chief executives like to interpret Public Records Law according to their personal discretion, rather than according to a transparent and concise procedure. This is acknowledged as lawful by UO Administrators because, as stated by Dave Hubin, “Oregon’s public records law is internally contradictory and ambiguous,” justifying the personal discretion used by those involved in preparing said “public” documents.

As Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center states in his post on April 30, 2013 (see Pennsylvania link above), what applies to a state governor can be applied to chief executives of public universities. The post continues, stating,

“Pennsylvania law, like all state open-records laws, presumes that the public should have the maximum possible access and that any exceptions to access should be narrowly interpreted. That is, appropriately, what the Commonwealth Court did April 23 in Office of the Governor v. Scolforo.”

I have requested Gottfredson’s calendar since January 8, 2013, the cutoff date of the last request. Since this University of Oregon no longer claims to be “Oregon’s flagship university” and is en route to losing its research status granted by the Association of American Universities, I suppose the Administrators won’t really see any pressing need to save the UO brand by improving transparency. Research? Who needs that? That’s what OSU is for.

Go Ducks!


May 7th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

We are very very proud to release our highly revered HATE issue! Nobody is safe!We take no prisoners!

Click here to read about the illegality of OSPIRG and why it sucks! We also hate on the UO, Sobriety, California and many other abominable topics!


Con Court Leak Compromises ASUO Government

May 6th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

An email was just sent to our editorial staff anonymously. The author of the email alleges that there have been a number of instances where information regarding Constitution Court decisions had spread around the ASUO office prior to any sort of opinion being released. When the Court chose to remove Laura Hinman from office, she was apparently aware before it was official. Again before her reinstatement, she alluded to her former staff that the ruling would be overturned. Most recently, the decision by the Court to overturn the spring ASUO election was known to members of the United Oregon campaign over a day prior to the knowledge being made public. The anonymous author concluded, signing as A Very Concerned ASUO Representative:

I urge you to confront Chief Justice Nick Schultz over these allegations, as if the court is compromised, it threatens the stability of the ASUO government for as long as the leak remains.

Honestly, for something with so little stability already, it’s hard to want to care. However, confronting Schultz can’t hurt. Got anything to say, hombre?

UO Keeps Out the Riff Raff

May 4th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad


Just kidding, that’s at UC Davis.

Here at the UO, getting the records you want can be sort of a hassle. UO Matters has attained public records from both the UO and OSU and the difference in what each institution deems “public” or a “conflict of interest” is disturbing. The difference in pay is understandable. Because Go Ducks? We’re better than beavers right? We gotta keep out the riff raff.

UO Cheer tryouts: $5 …Ogling cheerleaders: Priceless

May 4th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

I know this is old news but, in case you haven’t heard, the UO Cheer squad hosted tryouts and invited the public to come watch for a 5 dollar entrance fee. Busted Coverage has the story (and pictures!).

UO Matters has the story, too. On that post you will find a screenshot of a bid war for a pair of Official Women’s Soccer shorts:
Disgusting. And Hilarious. The Busted Coverage gallery is the best though. Locker room pics!

But honestly am just saddened that the ASUO mailing lists didn’t forward any notice of the cheerleading tryouts. I would have forked over 5 dollars any day to get a close up view of the cheerleaders in action. Wait, I take that back. Most of them are too orange for me.

UO Cheer did have an advertisement on their official Twitter feed, though. I wonder what kind of fellows and how many of ‘em were lucky enough to get in there…

The Latest from New Hampshire: Police Do What They Want

May 3rd, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

I sure am glad to live on the West coast.

During a block party, a fight breaks out and riot police respond, non-lethals ablazing, spraying pepperballs into the crowd all willy-nilly. They then proceed to force everyone to “move along” in order to “secure the area”. After watching the all the different videos a few times, I decided that the video linked above puts it all together pretty well. However, this one has some extra goodies.

It seems like the cops were bored or behind on quota. Perhaps they even just wanted to push around some college kids at gunpoint. Let’s just hope that giving our officers guns doesn’t give them this kind of confidence.

Shoot the police.



April 18th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad


So much that we made this hate document!

Now is your chance to unleash your hatred at/for/via the Oregon Commentator! FREE SUDSY T-SHIRT FOR THE BEST HATE ESSAY

Well-grounded hate is quintessential because its ugly alternatives are blind acceptance or forced compromise. This current trend in society to discourage or even denounce hate in its essence spells danger for the United States. We must not only keep in mind but assert the importance of upholding the right to hate, just as we have the right to free speech. As irrational or discomforting as it may sound, everyone has the right to feel how they feel. As a former Commentator once said:

Sticking your head in the clouds and pretending the world is always a beautiful place may be appealing, but it is not reality.

Temple, Texas Cops Illegally Arrest Active Duty Soldier

April 18th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

Truly a blow to democracy. Check this video.



Active duty soldier (veteran of the Iraq and Afganistan wars) and Concealed Handgun Licence holder Christopher J. Grisham was unlawfully disarmed and arrested on March 16 while hiking with his son, who was earning his Eagle Scout rank. Now Temple  police have a lawsuit on their hands. Grisham has begun to raise money for his court case and his fellow gun rights-advocating Americans are not letting him down!

After two days of fundraising for his court case, he reached double his fundraising goal. Read about his fundraising campaign here. This is a prime example of illegal search and seizure by over-zealous police. This is CHL holding active duty soldier walking with his son. He wasn’t menacing. The police needlessly handcuffed and disarmed this man. I’m all for police protecting themselves, but I hope every cop in America is watching this and notes that Americans are INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY and will not have their guns taken away. As Grisham says on his blog,

No one should have to fear being illegally disarmed without warrant, especially someone who has never committed a crime in his life.

New Issue!

April 17th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

Click the link to your right or visit our archives to find our latest issue, Volume XXX Issue V! The print copy should be on stands by Monday!

Elections Bull 2013 Round 2

April 13th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad


Get ready for round two of ASUO elections.

There’s a reason I haven’t focused energy on elections business this year: It’s all bullshit (and I’m graduating, suckers). There is this hope, a pipe dream, that things will be fair and civil. But those possessing the wherewithall to execute a campaign either have a large enough following without you, or are so worried about their position that they grasp at straws and make asses of themselves.

Andrew Rogers filed a filed a grievance against United Oregon for giving away t-shirts or something. Then it was deemed that both parties had acted inappropriately so the whole shebang has been invalidated.

Well, it looks like we get to experience the shit show all over again. This happened last year. I say everyone just write in Sudsy O’Sullivan this time. Vote Sudsy in and Ol’ Timey Prospector is guaranteed a senate seat!

Sudsy tees are definitely not free, though, you ingrates.

In conclusion, the Constitution Court holds that the 2013 ASUO Election results are invalid. Therefore, the Court stays the results of the election and permanently enjoins enforcement of the primary election results. Accordingly, the Court orders the Election Board to schedule and administer a new election in whatever timeframe is deemed appropriate by the ASUO Elections Board. This matter is hereby remanded to the  ASUO Elections Board for implementation consistent with the opinion.


Meanwhile, the Dissenting opinion says:

Because Oregon election law does not specifically apply to the elections of student association officials, neither the United Oregon or Ducks for a Difference campaigns should be found in violation of state law for distributing t-shirts without charge. In addition, due to the undue academic burden that extending the 2013 ASUO Election would create, invalidating the election would not provide for the advancement of ASUO members’ interests and should therefore not be prescribed in this instance.

ASUO Flippity Floppity

April 5th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

Remember these things?


They’re coming back. On Wednesday April 3, 2013 the Associated Students of the University of Oregon did something utterly hilarious. They decided to spend $1,960 on another feel-good measure, but this time, it’s all flippity floppity. Almost $2,000 was authorized to be spent on– *DRUMROLL*– cigarette butt receptacles!

Wait, it gets better! They are being installed off campus! 

These receptacles were ripped out of the ground 7 months ago on the student’s dollar and now they are needed again, because our University still looks all trashy. Who is surprised? Not this Commentator.

Yes, totally unforeseen by the ASUO and supporters of the Healthy Campus Initiative was the fact that a toothless ban on smoking wasn’t going to stop smokers. All it did was alienate and inconvenience people. Their response was to take their smoking to the UO borderlands where half-smoked cigs fall to the ground or flow into the sewers.

So the ASUO Executive branch put forth a special request to the Senate on Wednesday, asking for $1,960 to be spent on designated cigarette butt receptacles to be installed at two major campus entrances. These receptacles are to be multi-purpose trash bins (or something) with signs. The requesters explained that the sign would depict not just cigarette butt disposal, but other trash as well (in order to discourage littering while not endorsing smoking).

The motion to fund this back-patting flippity flop passed like a hot potato. I can’t say I disagree that the University needs these smoking stations, as they will come to be with people congregating all about them, basking in the last few puffs of their cigarettes. But now when people enter the UO, they’ll see smokers and their butts littered around an all-to-obvious trash can and have to walk through all their smoke.

I guess that’s better than having a designated smoking area ON campus but AWAY from the main flow of traffic right? 

I would say I told you so. But I’d probably be told to Shut The Fuck Up.

Senate 4/3/2013

April 3rd, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

The Women’s Center, Jewish Student Union, Survival Center, Students for Global Health, NASU, ASUO Exec and Safe Ride will be making special requests at the ASUO Senate meeting tonight. Should be a good one. Click the link directly below to be taken to the live blog starting at 7pm.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tuition increase as proposed by Jim Bean and Brad Shelton

March 15th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

I received this email today at 12:35pm, opened it around 2pm and hopped over to the meeting in question:

Just a reminder of the meeting TODAY in Jacqua Auditorium.

“Students are invited to attend a meeting with University Administration to discuss tuition proposals for the 2013-2014 academic year. The meeting is set for Friday, March 15 from 2:00-3:00pm in the Jacqua Center Auditorium. Students are also welcome to provide written feedback anytime before 5:00pm on Monday, March 18th by sending it to”

Here are my notes:

I thought it was particularly funny that they hosted this in the Jock Box. The projected utility cost per year of the University of Oregon is 18 million dollars and going up one million every year. I chuckled to myself and then the wall behind all those bunched up letters changed colors.

University Provost Jim Bean said, “You shouldn’t have to take courses from professors who do not contribute to the research. You came here because we are a research university.”

There were about 40 people sitting in those comfy yellow racing seats including students, including students, GTFs and members of OSA and the ASUO. One member of the audience had his hand raised for a while and, when called on, remarked that he definitely did not come here because this was a research university. Many audience members snapped their fingers. I had to join them.

Apparently the University is facing major increases in operating expenses. One major factor is the recent spike in enrollment. They didn’t leave the “major factors” slide up very long, and Vice Provost Brad Shelton’s website hasn’t been updated in 18 months. I think everyone should email shelton(at) and ask him the major factors. I will ask for the slides.

Tuition is currently 178 dollars per credit per hour and proposed to be increased 8 dollars making it 186. Full-time tuition will increase from 8,010 to 8,370 dollars at a 4.5% increase.

Non-residential students currently pay 608 dollars per credit hour. Proposed increase of 21 making it 629 per credit hour. Full-time students have a 3.45% increase from 27,360 to 28305 dollars.

“We are behind on salary for tenure track faculty,” Shelton said.

Comparisons were made to west coast universities in the AAU. The University of Oregon is ranked 80th. One audience member asked why exactly tuition had to increase as a partial result to more students, given that more students means more tuition.

The conversation turned back to expenditure, specifically that on utility, and the newly built power station was described as green and efficient “relatively”, Bean said but didn’t go into specifics.

Unfortunately, the UO had to borrow money from itself to build it. Jim Bean talked about debt: “It’s very effective and efficient to borrow money from ourselves from one part of the University to another.”

Shelton said, “An internal bank allows us to borrow from one fund source to another source and save money.”

Citing a Register Guard article from 2011, and audience member said that raises were on the table all over the Office Administrators with most having raises of over 10% all the while touting their “shared sacrifice” creed.

Provost Bean replied, saying “There was an across the board Office Administrative raise last year but no upper Office Administrative raises.”

Vice Provost Shelton explained that there is no firewall between auxiliary and general funds. The overhead that athletics and housing pays to University’s education of students is high.

The tuition and fee advisory board appointment process: The ASUO President appoints a student, the Provost Bean chooses a student member at large unaffiliated with the ASUO, and one graduate student recommended by fellow graduate students. Bean appoints the faculty members.

Jim Bean, Brad Shelton and OSA students discussed the implications of backing OSA in Salem in support of tuition decrease.

“We are allowed to lobby for specific things, while Oregon University System can lobby toward other things. Melanie Rose, Chancellor at OUS is someone to talk to and Betsy Boyd with the Dean of Students is organizing something.

Shelton talked about “balance”, saying, “What you want is exceptionally high financial aid. Low tuition is a subsidy for wealthy families.” Also, “As we become more independent, it will go in the opposite direction, smaller increases.”

One audience member from University of California said that the UC system used the same strategy of increasing tuition and financial aid at same time, firing classified staff and hiring more tenured faculty, sending students up here to out of state colleges. He asked, is this a repeat?

Provost Bean said, “No.”

And finally, the quote of the day, Jim Bean says, “If people cared about education as much as they cared about prisons in this state, legislators would lobby for it.”