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Archive for March, 2011

The most horrible time of the year.

March 28th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

For those not in the know, ASUO elections started today. In about an hour and a half I’ll be putting online our ASUO Elections issue, with interviews, ballot endorsements (VOTE NO ON EVERYTHING) and other goodies.

My ASUO elections season started with opening today’s Ol’ Dirty and having two fliers fall out: a Ben & Katie flyer (red shirts, bright yellow flier) and a pro-OSPIRG flier (hot pink). I thought to myself, “Is the Emerald endorsing Ben & Katie?” I then thought better of myself.

It’s really just as well, though, as it was the only election-related item even remotely connected to the paper, save for a couple letters to the editor regarding ballot measures. That is to say that on the first day of ASUO elections, there is no article about ASUO elections.

Keep it classy, Emerald.

I haven’t yet been down to 13th and University, so I can’t attest to that craziness, but Emerald copy editor Thomas Kyle-Milward just informed me that four grievances have already been filed. Apparently Ben & Katie (red shirts) allegedly started campaigning two days early, calling people to ask them to vote. This is the pro-OSPIRG slate, so all communications from the PIRG are also likely from this campaign.

There are seven executive candidates:

Only two of them seem to be serious. And real casual, ballot measure #6 just says “Constitutional Amendment:”

I bet it’ll pass anyway. That’s how much people care about ASUO elections. Either way, we at the Commentator are excited, and extensive coverage will be provided by Mr. Rockne Andrew Roll and a cast of others.

Let the games begin.

Way, way too late: Expansion Issue Online!

March 24th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

The Expansion Issue, the newest from our cavalcade of awesome, is now online. In it you will find:

  • Info on new buildings going up around campus, including the East Campus Residence Hall and a new EMU,
  • A quick analysis of President Lariviere’s New Partnership proposal,
  • A brief history of the riverfront and why everyone’s all uppity about it,
  • A treatise on parking at the UO,
  • Updates on automatic admissions,
  • and much much more!

Download it by clicking here or following the link to the right. And stay tuned — the ASUO Elections Issue is just around the corner!

Lariviere agrees to meet with Oregon Commentator

March 22nd, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

I have a coffee meeting with President Lariviere on April 7th.

If you have anything you’d like me to say/ask, either leave a comment here or email me at editor[at]oregoncommentator[dot]com.

Oregon news round-up

March 19th, 2011 by Ben Maras

Too lazy / perpetually hung over to keep up with what’s going on in our wonderful state over spring break? Let the OC do it for you. Here’s the first installment of news briefs from around the state (that we haven’t covered already).

UO News

– GQ magazine named fans of the Oregon ducks basketball team as being some of the worst in the nation, citing “numerous violations of the ‘Code of ConDUCKt.'” The Ducks came in at number 14, ranked as just slightly more annoying than fans of the LA Lakers.

“With a firm dedication to taking taunts too far, the Oregon Duck faithful have a storied history of degeneracy that can be traced all the way back to the days when someone beaned legendary coach John Wooden with a half-eaten apple.”

Storied history of degeneracy, or promoting healthy dietary choices for our most esteemed visiting members? You decide.

– A group of UO students alerted local media and stormed the beaches of the Jaqua Center yesterday, asserting their right as UO students to use lavish but otherwise unexciting services reserved for student athletes. The end.

– The Oregon Ducks football team has been chosen as grand marshal of the 2011 Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade. Organizers cited “has brought unprecedented pride, spirit, and enthusiasm to the state of Oregon and the Northwest.”

Oregon State House Moves To Protect Concealed Carry Holders

March 18th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

Oregon Concealed Handgun License holders may have further protections from public records requests, the Oregon State House of Representatives voted yesterday.

House Bill 2787, proposed by Reps. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer, Newberg, St. Paul) and Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) by request of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, will only allow the names and registration information of CHL holders to be released for criminal justice purposes or pursuant to court order. The vote passed the Oregon House 42-18, with all but one of the nay votes from Democrats.

Under current law, a CHL holder’s application [link courtesy Oregonian] is open to public scrutiny. The application includes information on previous criminal activity, drug use and military history.

Some representatives are not pleased about the impending legislation, including our favorite Portland representative Mitch Greenlick. From the Oregonian:

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, voted against the bill, saying later that he thought it too restrictive. The proposal allows disclosure only by court order, license holder consent, or for criminal justice purposes.

“Handguns are what people use to kill people. I want to make sure citizens have a right to know if there is a threat,” Greenlick said.

According to a press release from Rep. Thatcher, however, the bill has support from the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, the Oregon Firearms Federation and the National Rifle Association’s Oregon consultant. And, you know, 42 of the 60 members of the Oregon House of Representatives, including 13 Democrats.

From Rep. Thatcher’s press release:

“The Oregon House has just taken the first step in protecting the safety and privacy of the Oregon men and women who hold Concealed Handgun Licenses,” note Rod Harder, National Rifle Association Oregon Consultant. “We sincerely hope that the Oregon Senate and the Governor will make the same commitment to our law abiding citizens.

Kevin Starrett, Executive Director of the Oregon Firearms Federation added, “while this is just a step towards correcting a serious breach of privacy for Oregon’s most law abiding gun owners, it is an important advance in the process.”

From here, the bill moves on to the Oregon Senate, where, if passed, must be signed into law by Governor Kitzhaber.

Here’s how the Eugene/Springfield Representatives voted:
Terry Beyer (D-Springfield 12): YES
Val Hoyle (D-Eugene 14): YES
Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene 13): YES
Phil Barnhart (D-Eugene 11): NO
Paul Holvey (D-Eugene 8): NO

About those Dutch Mafia stickers…

March 17th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

Picture borrowed from

Picture borrowed from

Thanksgiving Eve in Eugene this year was marred by a shootout at a Dutch Bros coffee stand. While one (alleged) robber, Sirius Combs was shot dead, another, allegedly Brandon Lee Plunk fled the scene. The trial began on Tuesday with the defense alluding that the robbery was not in fact a robbery, but rather a drug deal. According to the defense, Plunk had been told by Combs that Combs was picking up money which was owed to him.

When asked if he had framed Combs, the barista responded that he had “absolutely not.”

Plunks integrity was brought into question when Plunk was shown telling police that he was not with Combs that evening and then footage from a Wendy’s showed the two men eating together.

The bartista, who brought his .40-caliber Glock to work testified “I recognized I was in a vulnerable position all by myself.”

According to the Register Guard, while Combs was in the kiosk with the barista and distracted the barista “quickly pulled his own gun, from his waistband holster, put a round in the chamber, and began firing at Combs.”

(Perhaps this is a silly question, but if the barista had a gun in a waistband holster and said robber was in close proximity wouldn’t the  robber have noticed?)

St. Patrick’s Day Forecast

March 17th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

Hopefully drunk.

See below for inspiration:

The Ongoing OSPIRG Saga

March 16th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

Since my last report (Veto Upheld, That Is All: ASUO Senate Recap 07 March 2011), much has changed.

The Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee met Sunday for a little over a half hour. During this hearing, the committee announced that it had cut $84,264 from the Lane Transit District contract during renegotiations on Friday. The committee decided, during the meeting, to allocate $38,000 to the athletic department and $3,600 to Sexual Assault Support Services. The remaining $42,664 went unallocated, reducing the ACFC Budget to $3,964,991.00, an increase of 6.32 percent over this year’s levels.

In a memo sent to the Executive and Senate, the committee explained “The ACFC had decided ultimately to not fund OSPIRG. The reasons for this where mixed. Some members felt it was unethical to mandate a fee for a public interest research group without implementing an-opt out fee. Other members felt the money could be better spent. The group would reconsider this allocation if various funding mechanisms were pursued further.”

The Senate attempted to meet Monday night to pass the new budget, but could not make quorum. Many believed that this, combined with the timeline desired by Robin Holmes and others in the administration, would allow ASUO President Amelie Rousseau to submit her own budget to the administration.

However, the Constitution Court ruled today that the administration’s desired deadline was not binding, and that Senate had until March 31 to submit a budget. “The Court is unpersuaded by the fact that University administration would like the budget by March 18, March 29 or any other date. University Administration has to adhere to the ASUO Constitution just like all other branches of the ASUO,” said Chief Justice Andrae Washington in the Court’s Per Curium opinion. The Court went on to explain that the two days the Senate is bound to act on the ACFC’s new recommendation within will not begin until March 25.

So now, instead of perhaps receiving the gift of a contract directly from Rousseau, OSPIRG will apparently have to go at least one more round with the Senate during the first week of Spring Term.

HAHA- girls in the library shouldn’t have their boobs hanging out

March 14th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

This guy had the best response to the aforementioned racist UCLA video

p.s. Thanks to the both of you (Wallace and the guy above) for giving us all something to laugh about during finals week.

“Hi, in America we don’t talk on our cell phones in the library”

March 14th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

You would think that people would be smart enough not to post racist videos on the internet, or to at least know that prefacing something with “I’m not the most politically correct person, so don’t take this offensively” doesn’t exonerate what you’re about to say- but people are stupid.

The alleged student in the video above, Alexandra Wallace (I found evidence in her enrollment at UCLA but after half an hour of searching could not find the original source of the video or anything solidly linking her to it) not only exhibited a lack of cultural sensitivity but also a level of ignorance that is almost hilarious.

While I have never been to UCLA, here in Oregon non-American’s aren’t the only people who talk on their phones in the library. Here at UO, this is mainly curtailed by the lack of cell-service in the library but that’s not the case at OSU and you can ask anyone at OSU and they’ll tell you that everyone talks in the library, all the time, even in the quiet sections.

Perhaps what’s most amusing is that Wallace talks about how her mama raised her to be a “nice polite American girl.” I wasn’t aware that polite and racism were synonyms, silly me and I’m absolutely sure that her parents are very proud of her for making the above video. In fact, right now they’re probably holding a dinner party in her honor and showing all their friends.

Wallace offered offhanded condolences to those affected by the tsunami while noting that they should take their phone calls elsewhere. Yes, talking in the library can be rude but in the wake of everything that has happened this weekend I would presume getting a hold of family is hard and if these students manage to get a hold of their family while studying in the library they damn well deserve to talk to their family. Yeah, maybe they should move outside, but they’re probably caught up in the moment and quite frankly, I would be too.

Final exams can be stressful and people shouldn’t be talking in the library but neither is an excuse for racism.

Note: As the original source has been allegedly deleted, this video could have been taken out of context (it could for example be a part of a film project or a joke). I have attempted to contact Ms. Wallace to clear up this matter and will update you if I get anymore information.


Stanford Athletic Academic Resource Center distributed list of easy courses to athletes

March 11th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

The Stanford Daily reports that student athletes at the university received a list of easy classes, unavailable to the rest of the student population.

Classes on the list include “Analysis of Human Movement,” “Social Dances of North America III,” “Sleep and Dreams,” “Financial Literacy,” and “Acting for Non-Majors.”

Titled “courses of interest,” the list was distributed by the Athletic Academic Resource Center. Advisers in other departments at the University said they were unaware such a list existed.

Stanford has long mandated equal scholastic footing among all undergraduates, including athletes. Many of its student athletes, in fact, have distinguished themselves in the classroom, notably football stars Andrew Luck, who has a 3.5 GPA, and Owen Marecic, who plans to graduate this year with a degree in human biology. The university’s hard-line approach has rankled some coaches over the years who have watched talented recruits go elsewhere because they didn’t measure up to Stanford’s academic standards.

But some faculty and students say the list may have offered an academic advantage for the athletes who requested it — especially since the general population was unaware it was even available. The Athletic Academic Resource Center didn’t advertise the list or post it on its website. But athletes have been known to ask for it.

That sort of thing doesn’t happen at the UO, right?

Of course not.

Extra credit: Editor of the Stanford Daily defends the article.

ASUO presidential candidate Cimmeron Gillespie refuses to speak to the Commentator

March 11th, 2011 by Alex Tomchak Scott

Here was his reaction when I requested an interview for the upcoming ASUO elections issue. The “they” in question is the Commentator:

They supported the Pacifica Forum last year, so I can’t acknowledge them. They’re apologists for fascists … I will not partake in any interview with them.

There was a sentence where the ellipsis is, but my notebook didn’t catch it. Gillespie is running for ASUO president.

Keep Portland Weird?

March 9th, 2011 by Lyzi Diamond

Jonathon M. Seidl at The Blaze writes about a man who broke into a home in Portland and called the police for fear of the homeowner having a gun:

Lt. Kelli Sheffer says the intruder told police he had just broken into a home Monday evening when the owner arrived – and the caller was worried the homeowner might have a gun.

Accompanied by his two German Shepherds, the homeowner found the intruder and asked what he was doing in the house. That’s when the stranger locked himself in a bathroom and phoned police.

The homeowner called police with his account.

Sheffer says 24-year-old Timothy James Chapek, of Portland, was booked into jail for investigation of first-degree criminal trespass.

The phone call (it’s really funny):

Veto Upheld, That Is All: ASUO Senate Recap, 07 March 2011

March 9th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

ASUO President Amelie Rousseau explains her veto of the ACFC's budget to the Senate Tuesday night. Photo by Rockne Andrew Roll

Sen. Kaitlyn Lange (right), flanked by Sen. Molly Bacon, debates the proposed override of President. Amelie Rousseau's veto of the ACFC budget. Photo by Rockne Andrew Roll


EUGENE – Members of five student groups waited in the back of the EMU Walnut Room for their turn to make their pitch. Some of these groups were almost brand new, some had seen this body many times before. But last night had to have been strange for all of them. Usually, the hearing and allocation of special requests is an integral part of the Senate’s duties, a co-equal task to its many others. But this was a special night.

Firstly, they were meeting on a Tuesday, an unusual step by any stretch of the imagination. Second, the very short agenda held no officer updates, no committee reports and no old business or discussion. Only one item lay under the header “new business,” the item that defined this meeting: “Override of Executive ACFC Budget Veto.”

When the time came, ASUO President Amelie Rousseau was brief. “I want to talk about what our plan is.” Rousseau explained that she, along with the Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee, would be attempting to renegotiate the Lane Transit District contract to make room in the ACFC’s budget for a contract with OSPIRG. These efforts would continue through March 15, according to Rousseau, who explained “If it doesn’t work and we get to March 15, fine, we’ll go with the budget we have.”

Sen. Kaitlyn Lange was not happy with the veto, saying she took it “personal” and that renegotiating the LTD contract had risks. Lange went on to say that the veto did not value the hard work done by ACFC members, and if she were sitting on the body and the veto were upheld, she would resign. She passed this suggestion to ACFC members, saying, “If I were you, I would have a good spring term and leave.”

The discussion, which was slated to begin at 10 P. M. ran for 10 minutes until Sen. Brian Powell moved to call the question. A number of seconds flew through the air and the vote by acclimation was narrowly in favor.

The room held its collective breath again as Sen. Zachary Stark-MacMillan called the roll, much as the scene was two weeks ago when the same group held almost the same vote. This time, the results were rather different.

Twelve votes in favor of overriding, eight against. A majority, but not the two thirds needed to override. The veto stuck.

The meeting was not over, though five senators promptly headed for the exits. Two of the special requests had been shuffled to the end of the meeting and still had to be dealt with. This was done in short order, and the proceedings ended a half hour ahead of schedule. All that was left was the aftermath.

For some, that was a state of shock. Two votes had changed from two weeks ago. Not all found this shift suprising, however. Former ASUO Political Director Robert D’Andrea told the Commentator, “That was our count going in.”

One vote that changed, Sen. Kate Bidwell, explained her change of heart by saying, “Over the past two weeks, I’ve really tried to focus in on what I think is the most effective decision for this organization.” Sen. Grace Hochstatter, the other member whose vote changed, was unavailable for comment.

For others, the aftermath was celebratory. “I’m really excited, I think that this is the next step to making sure we can have a better contract for students, because hopefully we always have more services for the same amount of money” said Rousseau.

For a few people, the biggest repercussion of the vote was more work. “We’re going to talk to the Executive and we’ll be a part of the conversation with LTD this Friday. We’ll probably put forth a budget, although at this point, [Rousseau] does have the decision making power,” said Sen. Ian Fielding, ACFC vice chair.

Fielding went on to explain that if a final budget is not approved by the Senate, signed by the Executive, and submitted to the university administration by a certain deadline, the Executive can, according to the Green Tape Notebook, submit its own budget to the administration. Fielding explained that, due to the logistics of reworking the budgets and scheduling hearings to approve them, this would likely be the case.

For at least one person, the aftermath focused on something beyond the vote and the budget itself. Former Sen. Demic Tipitino, in an interview with the Commentator, claimed that Stark-MacMillan had not submitted the budget to the Executive within the timeline specified by the GTN. Tipitino told the Commentator that, while he was considering filing a grievance, he was under the impression that someone else had already done so. The Commentator was unable to confirm whether or not a grievance had been filed.

Alex Tomchak Scott contributed reporting to this article.

News, Stats, and Opinion after the jump. (more…)

Succinct Senate Special Session Starting Soon

March 8th, 2011 by Rockne Andrew Roll

How’s that for a headline!

Teh ASUO Senate is meeting tonight in an emergency session to pump out some special requests and deal with President Amelie Rousseau’s veto of the ACFC budget. Should be a blast.

Follow along here.