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Archive for November, 2011

ASUO Senate Meeting 11-9-2011

November 9th, 2011 by Emily Schiola

EMU Referendum Postponed

November 9th, 2011 by Emily Schiola

On Thursday, our fearless leader Ben Eckstein announced that the referendum on the renovation of the EMU will be postponed until spring term.

In a letter written to the ODE today, Eckstein explained his hesitation was due to various concerns from student groups on campus and the lack of student input on part of the design of the EMU.

He explained that it is important to him that students are able to take the lead on this project and doesn’t believe that can be done at this time. By postponing the vote, he is hoping students will be more educated on the changes and decide to speak their opinions.

Another concern of the student body president is the possibility of mid-year tuition increases. If those should be put in place he wants to give the students time to figure out just how much they would be willing to pay for the EMU expansions.

It all comes down to five more months to decide whether or not to redo the EMU.

So what does this mean for an average student? Well, there are three kinds of people who will be affected differently.

First, there are those who have been diligently reading updates on the EMU referendum and anxiously awaiting the vote. Sorry to tell you, you are just going to have to wait to vote. The good news for you is you have more time to obsess over what color you want your group’s office to be.

Second, there are those who didn’t even know it was happening until reading about the postponement. You all have the opprotunity to either become someone from the first category or continue to be someone in the third category. The good news for you is you until spring term to decide!

Lastly, there are those who didn’t care to begin with and won’t care now. These are the kinds of people who don’t read campus publications and don’t even know how to vote. The good news for  you is, your life will be exactly the same.

What does this mean for Ben Eckstein?

He pissed even more people off with this one, but a lot of people still don’t really care. Basically his legacy will be changing a date. Big stuff.

What does this mean for the Oregon Commentator?

Now we can finally begin our take over of the EMU, one voter at a time. . .


Shame on EM-You: People unhappy with referendum postponement

November 8th, 2011 by Emily Schiola

It would appear that there are on students on campus who are not as stoked about the EMU Referendum postponement as Ben Eckstein.

In fact, one student, Benjamin Ordonez, filed a request to have the president impeached. Ordonez was the campaign manager for Eckstein’s opposition last year, Students United and he is pissed.

In his request for Eckstein’s removal, Ordonez stated that he feels as if Eckstein “violated not only specific provisions of the ASUO Constitution, but core principals that make up the very fabric of our democratic process.”

He stated in his request that he is worried that at this rate, the student president will be given too much control and the voice of the student body will be stifled.

Ordonez wishes to see the original referendum date restored and Eckstein booted from office.

Orodnez is not the only one who is heated about Exec’s decision. Club Sports Executive Committee sent a letter to various student groups who are housed in the EMU urging them to speak out against the postponement.

According to the letter, Club Sports does not believe that there is enough room in the EMU for all the student groups that have requested space.

They believe the renovations should take place as soon as possible in order to allow for everyone who needs room.

Also, they informed the students that even though we will not be moving forward with the renovations, there is still an architect on retainer, just waiting to be utilized. This will raise the initial cost.

The EMU Board of Directors is equally dissatisfied with the decision. In a letter written to the ASUO Executive, the Board reveled that they were not consulted before Eckstein made his decision.

The letter said, “Throughout this process, the ASUO Executive has called out Student Affairs for a lack of student inclusion, but so far the only ones cutting students out of the process is the ASUO Executive.”

The letter also said that there was limited proof to support Eckstein’s claim that students were not informed enough to vote on this issue. “It assumes that the student body was not capable of informing themselves before the vote,” the Board said.

Also, because of this postponement the EMU rennovation project will lose 10 to 20 million dollars. All for the sake of waiting a few months.

All in all, it would seem that Ben Eckstein and the Exec board screwed up royally. It seems like this decision might have just cost us a president and potentially a new EMU.

OUS misses deadline to appeal gun ruling, announces decision to not appeal a week later

November 8th, 2011 by Ethan Bendau

Nearly a week after the passing of the Nov. 2 deadline for an appeal on the September ruling by the Oregon Court of Appeals that invalidated an administrative ban of firearms by the Oregon University System, OUS Chancellor George Pernsteiner has announced that they will not seek to appeal the ruling.

After the initial ban in September, University of Oregon president Richard Lariviere sent an email expressing veiled disapproval, but remained unclear about any attempt to appeal the case. ASUO President Ben Eckstein voiced his desire at the time to appeal the “flawed” and “dangerous decision.” Yet no plans to appeal ever surfaced, as Pernsteiner claimed that, “We do not want to go through a long and costly process that may produce the same outcome.”

In wake of the announcement, OUS Director of Communications Di Saunders noted that, “Instead we are putting our efforts into looking at polices already in place to limit gun use on campus.” The current focus for the OUS is ensuring that guns are kept out of certain buildings, already including dorms and sports arenas, but could be extended to classrooms and other buildings.

The announcement comes as no surprise to anyone who realizes that missing a deadline means you’re shit out of luck either way. My guess is that George knew an appeal was hopeless and hoped he could get by with his balls intact when no one noticed him pussy out on everybody. Either that, or he was a little wary of aggressively trying to take away the rights of citizens who choose to defend their liberties with lethal force. It will be a sad day when game day at Autzen will no longer allow the longstanding tradition of Puddles shooting off a round into the opposing team’s marching band section for every Oregon point scored.

Sorry, Dan

November 6th, 2011 by Kellie B.

Dan Savage visited the University of Oregon for a few days last week, gathering content for an upcoming MTV show/special/saturnalia on college dating, sex, and relationships. During the taping of a Nov. 2 Q&A session in the Ford Alumni Center Savage was “glitterbombed” by a member of a group calling themselves “The Dan Savage Welcoming Committee.” This committee, which should maybe reconsider the truthfulness of their moniker, called the “It Gets Better” project founder a “transphobe,” “racist and misogynist and a rape-apologist, too!” before fleeing the room.

At this time no charges have been filed and Savage has not made a comment, but we here at the Commentator would like to take a moment to thank these brave protesters who possessed the clarity and courage to take offense with one of the most vocal gay-rights activists in the nation. It is truly a story one could only here at the U of O, and it is what gives us the reputation as a group of rational, mature young adults and not self-righteous children who confuse “activism” and “justice” with “picketing” and “successfully causing a scene.” Go ducks!

Occupy Eviction

November 5th, 2011 by Kellie B.

The University of Oregon announced yesterday that it has asked the Occupy Eugene camp situated along the Millrace to vacate by the end of the weekend. DPS will be monitoring the move. Many are speculating as to where the next shantytown of democracy will sprout up, but possible locations include the Saturday Market drum circle, Knight library bathrooms, or their ex-girlfriend Tammy’s garage.

Falling Down On the Job — A “Bike-Friendly” University’s Attempt at Campus Planning

November 3rd, 2011 by Ashley

Sometimes, in the midst of such prominent debacles as the “arming DPS” argument, the STFU contention, and the “raises disproportionately given to administrators over faculty” snafu, we become blind to the smaller, everyday failings that regularly come to pass on the UO campus. It’s the little things that make life worth boggling over: like, for instance, the impressive display of poor planning that currently resides outside PLC.

For those of you who know nothing about the English/Economics/Cinema Studies/nine-story hodgepodge building, the relevant information is thus: the front of PLC has two small fences positioned at its forefront which function (like every other grounded object in Eugene) as great bike racks. Given their position beside one of the University’s largest lecture halls, these fences have been used as such for many years, and without incident. However, this practice has recently been dubbed unacceptable, and public safety has declared that all bikes attached to these fences will be impounded. It’s all right, though, because they have graciously offered up an alternative mode of bike lock-up.


Again, it must be noted that there are starving children in Africa, and all things considered this is a small issue. However, one should also consider that this is a small, constant reminder of a larger administrative problem. Transportation is, for the vast majority of students, a daily concern, and the University’s shortcomings in regard to it are apparent. How many student editorials have been written about the lack of parking on campus, or the need for more, and more secure, bike lock-ups? In some ways the University has responded well, but in others–such as knocking out entire parking lots with the bureaucratic equivalent of a halfhearted shrug–attention to the issue has been lacking. In this case, the fact that the bike rack in question was delivered in this shape and manner is arguably worse than if nothing had been put in place at all. Getting rid of space for students to park isn’t new; getting rid of it and then replacing it with with an all but intentionally half-assed stand-in really seems to illustrate how many shits campus planners seem to give.

Thankfully, it would at least seem that some pedal-possessing rebels aren’t taking this injustice lying down.

Cycle on, freedom fighters. Cycle on.

South Africa celebrating record breaking rhino poaching year.

November 3rd, 2011 by Spencer Madison

The BBC reports that although an impressive 333 rhinos were poached illegally last year, this year enterprising criminals have already killed an all-time record topping 341 of the critically endangered creatures. Whether or not they will continue darting them and sawing off their horns for black market export is yet to be determined, but it would be safe to assume that given the profitability of the deed and their desire to make 2011 a real record holder, it will go on. Rhino horn is used for a lot of pseudo-science nonsense, be it bullshit medical cures in Vietnam, trendy ornamental daggers in Yemen, or simply using it instead of a damn Aspirin in Chinese Traditional Medicine. Still, the demand for what is basically just fingernails continues to skyrocket. While South Africa may have the largest black and white rhino population on Earth, rhinos are slow to reproduce and populations tend to respond poorly to being left to bleed to death. South Africa’s government has started a study to find out whether or not legalizing the trade could help bring down poaching… you know, by making the killings not technically poaching. This solution should really help save not rhinos, but South Africa’s credibility in the face of being completely unable to protect one of the greatest parts of their country’s biodiversity and basically the only tourism draw they will likely ever have.

ASUO Senate Meeting 11-2-2011

November 2nd, 2011 by Emily Schiola

Evolution has nothing to do with science.

November 1st, 2011 by Shaggy 2 Dope

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’s first 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.

Fonz Pond

I’ll tackle Wendel’s other article a little later. Shaggy out.

State might not give Cliff Harris special treatment… Gasp!

November 1st, 2011 by Spencer Madison

Oregon Ducks cornerback Cliff Harris has apparently learned absolutely nothing from an 18-month suspension from driving, as evidenced by getting caught driving without a seat-belt, insurance, or a valid Oregon drivers license. While most people in this situation would be facing serious legal problems, one of our star athletes merely “could” lose his license for another 30 days.

Considering this is the 4th suspension in a 24 month period, can we just take away this retard’s license for a little longer than a month? I enjoyed the part where his family said they would contest the citations even though he was caught completely red handed. Coach Chip Kelley said that he would remain suspended from football play while they “gathered information”, a suspension which shouldn’t last much longer than when they need to field one of their star players. I realized that the majority of college football players are probably well rounded individuals, but the ones we tend to hear about are pampered racehorses who would only get suspended a few games for burning down city hall.

I realize that throwing a ball for a living is really really hard, but if you can’t balance that with your studies (without free breaks) and without breaking the law flagrantly (Jeremiah Masoli, anyone?) you shouldn’t remain on the team, even if you can run across a field really fast (Hey, LaMichael’s girlfriend!). Hell, I wish I could get a scholarship for playing Xbox. I could play Madden while not doing my homework, because my teachers totally understand bro. And, you know, maybe I accidentally commit a hate crime, but I was really sorry about it so it’s all good.

Party Patrol: Cashing in on your kegger

November 1st, 2011 by Emily Schiola

Starting February 4th, a “social host” ordinance will be going into effect. This means that if the police are called to a party, the owners or renters of the house will be fined if there are people under 21 attending. The first time it is a fine of $250 and a warning. If it happens again within three years the fine is raised to $500 plus the cost of the law enforcement officers that were called. The third time it happens within 3 years, the fine will reach $1,000.

The Lane County Board of Commissioners, due to concerned homeowners, drew up this ordinance. It appears that community members who live near campus are being greatly affected by underage parties. The committee responsible for putting the “social host” ordinance into motion calls themselves “party patrols.” This group consists of residents of homes near campus.

The whole idea behind “party patrols” is to cut down on student binge drinking. Along with a host fine, the fine for noise ordinances and minors in possession will be increased starting January 4th. Michael Kinnison, neighborhood services program manager, brought these and 14 other ideas to the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

“There need to be significant consequences for negative behavior,” he said. “And law enforcement needs to be part of the solution.”

According to the “party patrols,” these laws are not meant to target all student residents, just repeat offenders.