The OC Blog Back Issues Our Mission Contact Us Masthead
Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

OSPIRG bravely fights “sediment of apathy” [Updated, 03/11]

Well, OSPIRG has officially been cut from the ASUO budget, but don’t think those goons are giving up. Since they couldn’t sway the student government (even though they were given four opportunities to do so), OSPIRG is taking its message to “the people.”

You may notice (in fact, you will be forced to notice) the dweebs on campus trying to get you to sign a petition for something called the “student voice campaign.” OSPIRG, masquerading as the “coalition for student voice,” is trying to collect enough signatures to put a ballot measure up for vote. The measure reads:

Should the ASUO fund student-directed programs that address issues that affect both students and all Oregonians, using methods such as: research; press conferences; letter writing drives; demonstrations; public forums; advocating to the City Council, Legislature, Congress, and corporations; and hiring professional staff to work to amplify and empower student voice both on and off-campus in places like Salem and Washington DC?

I just wish for once in its insipid history OSPIRG could be honest with students. It’s pathetic that they have to couch their campaign in smarmy platitudes about “student voice” – worse that they can’t even bear to mention OSPIRG itself. If you get confronted by one of these clipboard-wielding mouth-breathers, write down your feelings on their signature sheet. That’s what I do.

Also, Eugene’s crappiest metal band, The Athiarchists, played a concert in support of OSPIRG. That should tell you enough.

There’s a delightfully nonsensical letter from wordsmith Jesse Hough after the jump.

As I mentioned, Jesse Hough sent this letter out to the programs listserv. The especially stupid parts are in bold:

Dear Programs,

Our voice as a student movement has been weakened. The ASUO Executive and other bodies of the ASUO have taken many actions that limit our ability to have voice on large issues that affect students and beyond. The Executive have [sic] said, “We think that the ASUO should be more concerned with getting football tickets to students than making the world a better place.” What a sad day that our student government values football tickets over making the world a better place beyond campus or that they have to be pitted against each other at all. Given the UO’s motto “Minds Move Mountains” we find this sediment of apathy as disrespectful to the mission of the UO and individual’s hard work in programs to make the UO and the world a better place.

The Coalition for Student Voice seeks to put together a steering committee of people from diverse backgrounds who believe students should have a voice beyond campus. Therefore, I ask YOU to please come to the LONGHOUSE (Behind the Law School) @ 6PM TUESDAY NIGHT to learn about this growing movement for more student voice and power. PLEASE BRING YOUR INPUT AND VOICE.

This meeting will serve as an opportunity for people to come together and talk about what our message should be and how to proceed into the spring.

There will be cookies too!

To make a stand against this disempowering message from the ASUO, we are working to put an initiative on the ballot that asks the students what they think about having student voice beyond our campus. In times with issues that are going to greatly affect our future like racial and sexual equality, foreign wars, global climate change and economic meltdown, student [sic] deserve a voice beyond campus borders.

ASUO Executive Sam Dotters-Katz responded in an email, part of which reads:

It is insulting that OSPIRG Staff continue to act surprised when questions regarding the organizations transparency are raised, when they engage in such deceitful politics.
If Mr. Reagan wants to put up a ballot measure judging student body opinion on funding OSPIRG, why doesn’t the language clearly say that? I would in no way be opposed to such a ballot measure, in fact, it would be very appropriate and helpful to more effectively gauge student support, or lack thereof.
I strongly urge you to attend the meeting at 6 pm. tonight in the Longhouse. The possible consequences of this are tremendous, and what OSPIRG is doing is unfair, unethical, and frankly just pathetic.


The Emerald is reporting that the ballot measure has been withdrawn, citing surprise over the controversy.

  1. Orev says:

    Wouldn’t Athan just be their campaign manager?

    Miller and Gower…they must not have talked about their platform yet, since they haven’t broken their ticket up yet.

  2. Matt says:

    “I would totally vote for the Athiarchist slate.”

    Oh god, so would I. I’ve been trying to get both Athan and Anarchists into one unified ASUO ticket for at least a year. It’s a sure shot, mark my words.

    ps. Carina Miller + Nick Gower is almost as schizophrenic.

  3. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Jeez, guys. Nothing personal. Being the crappiest metal band in Eugene still makes you better than 95 percent of the other local bands.

    /I actually really like metal. (And not that “American death metal” shit like Lamb of God.)

    //I hate Taylor’s. And Jack Johnson. And popped collars.

    ///How’d you know I used to play rugby? And what’s happening on Tuesday?

    ///I would totally vote for the Athiarchist slate.

  4. Lyzi says:

    Thoughts on the Clark Document:

    I have spent the last couple months trying to find the revised copy of the Clark Document (the signing was fall term, President Dotters-Katz was present). Even today, I was in the ASUO office trying to find someone, anyone, who would or could show me a copy of it. None of the professional staff had any idea, and when I went to ask Sam, he said he wasn’t sure what was changing or if anything was going to change. He briefly mentioned the fact that he was trying to put in something about a lower incidental fee, but he basically told me that he doesn’t have a definitive answer in regards to the Clark Document changes.

    I find this to be troublesome. This document was signed in November, and not only is it still “not yet available” (qtd. from the Green Tape Notebook), nobody can give me an answer as to what changes will be made.

    Someone? Anyone?

  5. Rockne Andrew Roll says:

    I knew I hated metal. Good God you’re a fucking tool.

  6. Betz says:

    “I am a writer, I enjoy writing, and despite everyone telling me not to respond to things like this, I have fun with it.”

    Well, you do what you love, so good for you … I know I enjoyed reading your rant, too!

    Hate to run, but I gotta go drive my karma further into the ground.

    P.S. Not much of a Judas Priest listener, but I do like me some Iron Maiden, and would have to say that they are defenitely more metal than Zepplin or Bon Jovi … I would say Jovi is more pop-rock than metal.

  7. Stephen says:

    I was actually fairly entertained seeing something different, regardless of what the cause was for, I respect 2 people playing music for free in the dark and rain, and I do not like heavy metal at all whatsoever, but I got their CD and listened to it, a very good message indeed, and after reading the words, damn, when can I see this happen again?

    By the way Andy, I would have to say Judas Priest or Iron Maiden could go up there with Zeppelin, maybe drop Jovy down a few notches

  8. Andy says:

    Last time I checked GISM Bon Jovy really wasn’t considered a metal band, and if you are going to go there, how about Led Zeppelin, they were way more metal than Bon Jovy ever could have tried to be.

  9. Jan says:

    “Trust me, I would much rather live with my mom in a trailer park working at Taco Bell than in a dorm or fraternity with my parents credit card, working towards a dead end degree that will not even get me a job.”

    An anarchist metal band working at Taco Bell? Dude.. what happens when you have to exchange goods for, like, money? Talk about an ideological crisis.

    Also, a degree isn’t about getting a job. It’s about learning why you will hate your job once you get it.

  10. Matt says:

    I am so lost. I read through that defense of Athiarchist/Antiarchist/whatever like 3 times and I’m still not quite sure what is going on. I can’t quite understand why Taco Bell is germane here, either.

    But I guess I’m probably just one of these Jack Johnson listening conformists that just “does not understand.”

    “If you wanna be non-conformist, all you have to do is dress exactly like us and listen to only our music.” –South Park

  11. Your fat white mom says:

    IN response to music critic.

    I’m sure you are the authority of good music. Your fat white mom would be proud. As for bringing MECHA into the mix, why, what does race have to do with music? You might be surprised to be surrounded by a lot of white looking people that have Latino roots. I hope they beat you up at the next show. I’ll be there, will you?

  12. Gsim says:

    Antiarchist – In answer to your last question: I shake first, try to calm her down a bit with a good shake. Remind her who is the boss. However, if the shaking was ineffective I’d go straight to the fisticuffs.

    Relationships are all about precedent, let one thing go and then your women will be all “I wanna vote” and “equal pay for equal work” and “I’m not a sex object.” Real annoying, I’ve seen it before. Its the whole spare the rod, spoil the child deal. You gotta stay on top of it.

    p.s. There is no such thing as a good metal band. Besides Bon Jovi. They are tits.

  13. Antiarchist says:

    Press Release:

    Eugene OR- The band Antiarchist has formed a massive student government slate at the University of Oregon. Led by Michael Fink and Quinn Williams. Every seat on the Antiarchist slate has been filled by metal rockers! The Antiarchist slate is expected to destroy the Schultz campaign by engulfing trueblue members with superior intellectual skills. The Anti campaign is expected to win the Greek/Union/OSPIRG votes.

    Remember when you on duckweb and it’s voting time,

    Vote for a good campaign, Antiarchist 2009

  14. Vincent says:

    You’re just precious.

    You should write a column for us.

  15. Athiarchist says:

    Your opinion is your opinion, that is what started all of this, and that is really what you college KIDS do not understand, and it is why ever since we started doing this we have raised a middle finger to all of you. It is why when we end up down at Taylor’s we end up getting in a fight with some pop collar and his under dressed underage girlfriend with a fake ID. Trust me, I would much rather live with my mom in a trailer park working at Taco Bell than in a dorm or fraternity with my parents credit card, working towards a dead end degree that will not even get me a job. In fact insulting my late mother is a little below the belt, she was not fat, and was a great person. And just for saying that, I would hope that YOU would get cancer so you can understand what it is like to lose someone like that. In fact I believe in no God, no government, only karma and that you eventually end up being treated the way you treat everyone else. That’s why you will see that I used no cussing or threats in this reply. All we have is music, and it is all we live for, you all WISH you had something like that. If all you took was 5 minutes to listen and figure out you would see that we are both good people, with the best of intentions. We will play a benefit show for whatever, whenever, wherever just for this reason.

    This is not about us, this is not about Dave Matthews Jack Johnson listening closed minded people not giving anything a chance, I.E. The reason why the world will never change because you all represent the future generation. I honestly could care less about what you think, but I obviously got a rise out of a few people, any press is good press right? I mean as much as you hate it if someone says Athiarchists to you, you know exactly who they are, and that is what we set out to do. We are “the crappiest metal band in town” according to CJ Ciaramella, and we are proud of that!! I am a writer, I enjoy writing, and despite everyone telling me not to respond to things like this, I have fun with it.

    Athi-Archist is Atheist and Anarchist

    Also, well see you next Tuesday probably, maybe you can bring the whole rugby team with you and kick our asses, it would be just like a high school reunion!!!

    And there you go! You just read the whole thing again, you do care about what I have to say, what are you going to do next? Insult more of my dead family/friends, kick the dead dog? Drive your karma even further into the ground? Or just put on your favorite sad My Chemical Romance CD and think about how much your parents don’t love you, and how much pressure is on you to succeed in a world where you could wake up tomorrow and it all could be gone.

    There is a reason why I say fuck the world, and this is why, you can keep talking all you want, but this is my last message, ill see you at Taylors, with the rest of the metal community, including “two fat white chicks in their late-teens holding ugly little babies.” You ever had your ass kicked by two fat white chicks holding babies? Would you ever strike a woman? I guess that ones hard to tell seeing as you would insult a single mother, entertaining their children with what they choose to do.

  16. Ross Coyle says:

    I have yet to see someone from OSPIRG explain how they’ve saved us money besides lower textbook prices. I really, really want to hear how they’ve saved us money but every time I ask, it seems to slip their minds!

  17. Vincent says:

    …your highly uneducated opinion of our art

    That might not be the best charge to be throwing around these parts.

    do you see anyone in OSPIRG making money off of the organization?

    Why, yes. They’re the lawyers and lobbyists who, up until now, got a nice little paycheck filled with our student money and who, if all the little OSPIRG kids get their way, will continue to get our student money in the future.

  18. Matt says:

    Does Athiarchist = Athan + Anarchist?

  19. Music Critic says:

    I saw your concert, and here are my thoughts:

    1. If you are calling the people in the “crowd” fans, then congrats, your fans include two fat white chicks in their late-teens holding ugly little babies.
    2.your music wasn’t metal, it was shit, SHIT.
    3. You did the show for free bcause OSPIRG ain’t got shit, you idiot.
    4. No one would payyou if they had a fukin nickel to spare.
    5. I hope you come back and play during the MECHA national conference, I hear the mechistas love your crappy music.
    6.Just because your fat mom lives in the trailer next to yours at springfields worst trailer park and tells you your music is nice, doesn’t mean it’s true.

  20. ThunderLove says:

    1. You are not Holden Caufield
    2. Bill Maher’s wife is banging,thanks for the compliment. Image below
    3. If you do it for free and it’s not for a good cause, i.e. OSPRIG. It doesn’t count as you having the biggest heart. Which would be very unhealthy to have the biggest heart on campus.
    4. this makes you sound stupid
    “You are just the same as everyone else, afraid of change, when was the last time a metal band played in front of the EMU, and were not even a metal band, ”
    If change is more metal bands in front of the EMU i don’t want it.
    5. You music sucks
    P.S. we don’t listen to music from people like you.

  21. Athiarchist says:

    It actually means a lot to us that you spelled the name right, but were just out there fighting the good fight, we might be Eugene’s crappiest metal band in your eyes, but at least we have the biggest hearts and were out there raising awareness for free, in the rain, in the dark. And I dare you to challenge the fact that we are good people with an army behind us of people who feel the same way and would challenge your highly uneducated opinion of our art.

    We did have a crowd of interested students, according to Tristan Coolen who took pictures and thought it necessary to blog about it online. There was virtually no promotion or organization, it consisted of a phone call and we were on our way.

    You are just the same as everyone else, afraid of change, when was the last time a metal band played in front of the EMU, and were not even a metal band, 2 piece hardcore thrash metal band please, with an actual message and meaning behind our music.

    So are you saying you represent the majority of the students at the University Mr. wannabe Bill Maher Jr.?

    Or is this strictly just your opinion from your pedestal so high that you can refer to people as “dweebs on campus” like you are still in high school. You get what you want, multi-million dollar sports complexes any day of the week that come out of more than just the students pockets. These people are just out trying to change the direction of the world, do you see anyone in OSPIRG making money off of the organization? They are out there working for free, from their hearts, you should at least respect that.

    P.S. We write songs about people like you

  22. Betz says:

    Just goes to show you that “sustainability” advocates don’t really know what they’re talking about. I think this is a definition by contradiction… so, anything that’s not sustainable will end. This means that something that is sustainable will not end … no wait, thats wrong, it will just “‘last longer”…. how the one does not imply or contradict the other, I don’t know.

    *Dr’s Note: Sustainability is not for everyone. Please consult a medical professional before trying sustainability. If your definition of sustainability lasts longer than four hours, consult a physician.

  23. Jake says:

    On Jesse Hough’s wordsmithing:

    “Sustainability to me is acting in a way that allows you to act longer. Now, that

  24. Betz says:

    I agree with Vincent … I think the only point of the ballot is to be able to get some kind of statistical merit when they return next year for funding (and they will).

  25. Sakaki says:

    Then it’s simple, Sam needs to look at the petition as filed and stamp it as being inadequate and a violation of the Clark Document. Gets rid of OSPIRG for the rest of the year, and possibly permanently.

  26. Vincent says:

    I think Betz had it right upthread. One of the major complaints against OSPIRG through the years has been that they’ve been sending money off-campus.

    Could this simply be a way for them to be able to say “See? Such-and-such percent of students have explicitly said they want us to spend money off-campus!” when they try to make their inevitable return next year?

    If the rules are preventing them from acting in the way they’ve become accustomed… why not find a sneaky way to change the rules?

  27. Jan says:

    The Clark Document outlines the legalities of funding. The version as of 2002 can be found at:

    Page 53 talks about ballot measures:

    “There shall be no direct allocation or introduction of fees through use of the referendum process. However, in some cases, it may be appropriate for the ASUO to use ballot measures to assess the level of student support for a program. In execution of authority delegated to the ASUO to recommend Incidental Fee levels, the appropriate branch of the ASUO will review initiative language before it is presented to the student body for direct vote. This review shall determine compliance with the ASUO Constitution and rules promulgated under it, the Clark Document, and compliance with the statutory standard

  28. Sakaki says:


    If you have a Oregon Statute or some sort of code that could be used to throw it in their faces, I’d be happy to hear it.

    If anything, it would be good to go down there and get some people to shadow these guys and ward off the students who may even think about signing these petitions.

    It’s legal.

  29. Timothy says:

    Interestingly, funding can’t be disbursed via ballot measure legally, so I’m not sure what they’re trying to accomplish. Not like OSPIRG has ever cared much about legality, but still.

  30. […] Athiarchists (Thanks Commentator!) put on a late-night heavy metal concert in the EMU Amphitheater, Mar. 4, 2009, drawing a crowd of […]

  31. C.T. Behemoth says:

    This is so stupid.

    Why can’t ASUO just apply next year and have a line-item budget?

    Whoever they’re paying to do this is pretty aggressive there at the EMU too. I walked by and the guy there approached two girls and then followed them almost to Buzz…basically harassing them. When he finally gave up, they kept talking about how creepy he was. Actually, it seems like they’ve hired the right kind of people.

  32. nike urbanism duk says:

    Put some wording in about not spending student money to change the temperature of the planet. That may help keep the pig buried.

  33. I want to know when the exec ever said that it was more important to send students to football games than change the world for good.

    If anything that quote sounds like what Hough imagines Sam speaks like.

  34. Jan says:

    A campus media outlet which preaches apathy and wonderful? Hot damn!

  35. Former PFC insider says:

    A campus media outlet which preaches apathy, wonderful. Why should we be disheartened by you?

  36. Jan says:

    * linguistically, at least.

  37. Jan says:

    “Sediment of apathy.” Fucking classic.

    If they had spent some of that money on a copy editor instead of sending it to lobbyists, maybe their missives would make more sense.

  38. Alex Peters says:

    I am so glad you posted about this already, I was going to email you if you hadn’t. I just got hit up to sign this petition. The dialogue went something like this.

    “Blah blah blah, so student’s can have a say in whether or not they want their money spent off campus, blah blah blah.”
    “Oh, you mean for programs like OSPIRG?”
    “Yeah! Exactly!”
    “No, I’m going to sign anything for OSPIRG.”
    ” Well… it’s not for OSPIRG”

  39. Betz says:

    From my understanding, all the ballot measure is asking is whether or not it is in the best interests of students to spend ASUO-collected money on or off campus (the whole “address issues that affect students on and off campus”). Personally, I would say NO: keep student money on campus where it belongs.

  40. Matt Petryni says:

    funds any* god damn it.

  41. Matt Petryni says:

    Okay, so let me get this straight: If the OSPIRG ballot measure passes, it doesn’t necessarily save OSPIRG, as they are not specifically mentioned in the measure at all. Best case scenario: they can try to make the useless ballot measure a part of future ACFC argument (or whatever committee handles them after the Next Great ASUO Reorganization).

    But, if it fails, as students are more than likely to vote down anything OSPIRG, it means that the students are demanding the ASUO cease and desist from any activity that “hires professional staff,” “empowers the student voice both on and off-campus,” and “fund student-directed program that addresses issues [which affect students and Oregonians]”???? What the fuck?

    So either give OSPIRG a useless bargaining chip or kill the entire ASUO. That’s the choice here.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.