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Archive for December, 2011

Occupy Eugene to be evicted by January 11, God willing…

December 16th, 2011 by Kellie B.

…But not before wasting $300,000 of the city’s money. The Occupy Eugene camp underneath the Washington-Jefferson bridge has now become essentially a transient village, abandoning all the lofty demands of the several months ago to focus on the single issue of homelessness.

Last Wednesday the city council voted 5-3 to extend Occupy’s camping exemption to January 11 and spend up to $300,000 to pay for Occupy-related police expenses and fund several homeless initiatives, such as $100,000 earmarked for “wet-bed” facilities and warming centers similar to the Egan Warming Center. They were locked 4-4 until ol’ polecat Mayor Kitty Piercy cast the deciding vote. Councilors Farr, Clark, and Poling opposed the extension and funding on the grounds that “most of the funding would come from funds meant for parks maintenance, pothole repairs, and gang prevention efforts.” Also, the fact the city council continues to cater to the whims of a single group of questionable “activists” is embarrassing for everyone. (If it’s this easy to get exemptions and cash for whatever policies one desires, what is the OC waiting for? Occupy Rennie’s until all beer is free forever!)

Councilor Poling expressed his (and our) frustration at the voting outcome, telling the Register-Guard, “It’s time that we actually stepped up and did what we have to do to reclaim that park, reclaim the city and reclaim what we, as a council, should be doing, and not be guided by somebody else.”

The council did hold firm on the city mandate that outlaws fires in public parks, which the Occupiers requested in order to warm themselves during these bitter Eugene nights. Occupy organizer John Monroe accused the councilors of being “uncaring,” but a rational human could also accuse them of having “reasonable forethought” and being “park-fire-averse.”

The Occupiers themselves seem split on the ruling. KEZI reported that Occupy Eugene feels the city is “wasting money” on them, saying that the problem is the city council’s view that the camp is comprised mostly of homeless who need funding for a smooth transition out of the park and back to rustling around in your dumpster at 5 AM.

“This is not a homeless camp,” Occupier Alley Valkyrie told KEZI, “until they get themselves out of the mentality that this is a homeless camp, we’re just stuck in this lost-in-translation place,” backing this up with, “I am not homeless. I am at this camp.”

This stands in contrast to, well, all evidence, and the words of their own spokespeople. In a press conference this past Monday the speakers from Occupy emphasized that “the camp is home to hundreds of homeless people who are finding ways to sober up, catch up on sleep and contribute to the intentional community.” Sounds like UO students the morning after a post-finals celebratory binge.

The “official” Occupy Eugene website called the city council’s ruling a “milestone” to be celebrated, but were “disheartened” by the council’s decision to use some of the $300,000 to pay the police for their services. Right. It’s not like there have been 296 police calls to the park this year (as of December 11th) compared to 139 in 2010. That guy who almost got his fucking leg chopped off with an axe? Well, “everything that happens here, happens everywhere in society,” according to Occupy Eugene spokesperson Mike Elliot.

Yeah, we at the OC have totally been there, man.

As Jim West advised Dr. Arliss Loveless in the cinema classic Wild Wild West, “it’s time for you to stop all this foolishness.”

Occupy Eugene: you’ve made some waves, had some marches, and nearly chopped some legs. You have $100,000 for some nice, wet beds and new warming centers. Homelessness is not a problem that is ever going to be “solved,” at least not until our mental health and addiction treatment system is “fixed” (but no one gives a fuck about that, right?) Quit while you’re ahead.

And City Council, yeah, you: it’s a nice gesture to throw money at the problem, but the police costs are really just going straight down the toilet. Woman up, Piercy, and let the police clear out what used to be OUR CITY’S park. Once the police start making arrests and writing tickets the Occupiers will scatter faster than freshmen at a busted party.

As the Register-Guard observed:

A 22-year-old man who called himself “Skeeter” said he would leave the camp rather than risk a citation.

“How can I pay for a ticket? I don’t have any money,” he said, adding that he’d likely just leave Eugene.

Making the connections, yet?

Artist rendition of Occupier "Skeeter"


Only time will tell if, come January 11, the council holds firm in their decision to evict the camp. Until then, its up to Santa to take care of business:



State calls for hiring freeze, UO to participate over 7% funding

December 16th, 2011 by Ashley

As you may already know, this week Governor Kitzhaber called for a hiring freeze for all state agencies, suspending all but “essential hiring” without really clarifying what that means. He also requested that such agencies stop enrolling employees in a variety of state programs, from the Oregon Health Plan to state-sponsored senior and child care. Supposedly, the freeze is in response to a tax revenue shortfall, as the state attempts to verify if the money to run all these programs even exists. (Though, as UO Matters has noted, that didn’t stop the governor’s office from posting a new job opening the day after calling for the freeze.)

If there’s one thing that the Lariviere debacle has taught us, it is that the 7% of the UO’s funding that the state pitches in entitles it to full control over the university’s business dealings. According to the Register-Guard, the UO, along with the rest of Oregon’s public universities, will go along with the hiring freeze–despite the fact that the governor’s office has said exactly nothing about how it should affect the university system. From the Register-Guard article:

UO spokesman Phil Weiler said the university had not received any official notice or direction from the university system on Wednesday but expected to get that after Pernsteiner’s meeting with university presidents today. He said the UO would abide by whatever directions are issued.

Di Saunders, spokeswoman for the always credible OUS, noted that, “We feel it’s very, very important to follow the governor’s mandate with the hiring freeze.”

For what reason, it seems, even the Register-Guard can’t hash out:

“The UO, with its growing student population, has been a strong jobs generator for Lane County throughout the recession, often showing hundreds of job openings on its website. Shutting down that growth could hurt employment opportunities locally…Another issue that some universities wrestle with is the fact that state revenue only provides a small slice of the overall budget. Some on the UO campus believe it’s unfair for the state to exercise such broad control over UO spending, given such a small investment.

So, let me see if I have this straight. In order to account for a drop in tax revenue that compromises the state budget, the governor has called for a public hiring freeze. To make sure that the University of Oregon doesn’t spend that 7% of its funding that the state gives it, it is being told to comply with the hiring freeze. This compliance will be at the expense of the local employment rate, which could cause a further decrease in tax revenue.

Uh. Okay then.

EMU Planning Pub Night

December 15th, 2011 by Biff Wellington
Tis’ the season for University secrets! The EMU is graciously letting me peak under its planning tree and take a look at an early present to the 21 and over student body. There has been talk of initiating a monthly or bi-monthly EMU Pub Night (depending on its success) is in the works as we waste away at our parents houses for winter break. The plans that are yet to be approved by Student Affairs would include both The Buzz and The Break (in the basement of the EMU) to be converted temporarily into an alcohol serving, local music promoting bonanza! The goal of the project is to implement the plans within the first two months of the winter term and future events would be determined by the success of the first.

So what should you expect?

1. Two or more live bands playing in each The Buzz and The Break.
2. Alcohol to be sold (not 100% whether this will be by local vendors or of the domestic variety).
3. A centralized place on campus to booze down!
4. Possibility of having the event be a regular occurrence.

Now, what I would like is to hear what suggestions I can pass up to the planning committee so they have solid input from the people who would be attending these events. Tell me your concerns, your complaints, what you would like to see, or anything else that could help turn these plans into a reality.

First is the Worst: Natty Light

December 11th, 2011 by Kellie B.

In both old, and bad, news: Natural Light “beer” has become the first beer in space. The people at Natural Light launched a can into the heavens on November 17, reportedly inspired by some assholes on Facebook. The can rocketed into the sky up to “90,000ft+” before returning to the Earth, playing a proverbial game of “Just the Tip” with our atmosphere.

What’s going to be shot up next? Who knows. Probably a fucking Kardashian. Hopefully someone has some cans of OG Four Loko stashed, that is the only thing that will make extraterrestrials run from Earth in fear.

Best part (2:26) “What up aliens? Where the party at, we brought the beer!”


Interim president named

December 9th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

Berdahl for $200 Alex.

Love letter from said interim:

Dear faculty, staff, and students:

I am pleased to report to you that the Oregon State Board of Higher Education has asked me to serve as the interim president of the University of Oregon and that I have accepted their invitation.  I do so with a mixture of excitement, sadness, determination, and gratitude.

I am excited to return to the UO, where I came as a young faculty member and spent important years of my intellectual growth in the presence of wonderful and stimulating colleagues, some of whom remain on the faculty or engaged in the ongoing life of the University.  Although the UO is a much different institution, and a substantially better university than I left twenty-five years ago, I still feel that I am truly coming home.

However, I am saddened by the circumstances that have led to my assuming this position.  I believe that the UO has made important progress on all fronts under the leadership of Richard Lariviere and I have made it clear that, whatever its reasons, I believe the Board of Higher Education made a serious and damaging mistake in terminating his presidency at the UO.

I am also moved by a determination to carry forward the important agenda President Lariviere has outlined for the campus: taking important steps toward the development of genuinely independent governing board for the campus, continuing to assure alumni and supporters of the University that investing in this institution will yield substantial dividends for the State of Oregon, and working with Oregon leaders to restructure and improve all levels of education for Oregonians.  I have said repeatedly that the quality of the University of Oregon is better recognized outside of Oregon than within it.  We must work to persuade Oregonians of the treasure they have in the UO and why it deserves their support.

Clearly, securing a highly qualified permanent president who shares our visions of innovation and academic distinction will be among the top priorities for my term as interim president.  The University’s next president will have unprecedented opportunities to work with other higher education leaders and Oregon lawmakers in setting an ambitious course for the future, expanding the UO’s impact throughout the state and the world.  I intend to assist in recruiting the next president in whatever way I can.

Finally, I am filled with gratitude to the faculty and staff for the confidence you have expressed in me.  It will be difficult to meet the high expectations you have set for me or to provide the quality of leadership provided by President Lariviere, but I commit to you that I will do my best.  I look forward to working with you all as we move forward together.


Robert M. Berdahl

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

December 8th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

Email from President Lariviere:

Dear faculty, staff and students,

Words cannot convey all that I feel as my time as president comes to an end. It is an honor to be your colleague. In many ways, my job was as simple as holding a mirror to the institution — letting your great work speak for itself.

The outpouring of support you have shown has moved me deeply. You will continue to build on our momentum to make this university greater still. The leadership demonstrated on this campus these past few weeks gives me great optimism for that future.

Finally, please know how much Jan and I love this place. We have become part of you and part of this community, and you have become part of us.

From the bottom of my heart,


Here at the Commentator we will be using all of our available resources (which include a Sudsy suit and $3.28 in the couch cushions) to convince Lariviere to sing “So Long, Farewell.” Dear President Lariviere if you are reading this and would like to upload a video of you singing, please email the link to editor(at) And if you could get Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Dr. Paul Shang to sing with you that would be all the better.

Ethical note: I’m bs-ing about the $3.28, who the hell is brave enough to search the Commentator couch? Lyzi, Lyzi, LaMichael, anyone?

I still love LaMichael!

December 8th, 2011 by Hailey

As the Ol’ Dirty Emerald will tell you, LaMichael James is not listed as a Heisman finalist this year, but as anyone else will tell you, he’s still great. While he may not be a Heisman finalist this year he sure was last year, and for countless reasons he is still fucking awesome. Have you ever won a Heisman, Ol’ Dirty? Didn’t think so, maybe you should spend less time hating and more time working on your football skills. Then we can talk.


James has countless achievements to be proud of, including being the first unanimous All-American in the history of our school, ever. He’s also one of only three players in UO history who have ever been named to the All-American team in two different seasons, the only other running back being Mel Renfro back in the ’60s.


While James was named to be all-purpose player instead of running back, that’s still damn impressive. I’m no expert, but from what it sounds like, he is useful to the all-American team in many ways. LaMichael was also one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award. I don’t know what that means, and I don’t really care, but I know it’s the award that LaMichael was the first ever UO student to win last year.


I would do more reseach, but I’m busy gathering information and talking to sources about where LaMichael lives and what his favorite color of roses are. So, Ol’ Dirty, go ahead and whine about how LaMichael isn’t getting the Heisman this year, but I only have one thing to say to that and it’s that I still love him. Seriously, LaMichael, if you’re reading this call me ;* (541) 346-3721



December 7th, 2011 by Kellie B.

So far we’ve got one candidate, Robert Berdahl, endorsed by the University Senate committee. Seems like an alright guy, he’s worked here before as the Dean of CAS from ’81-’86, is the former president of the Association of American Universities, and has a Facebook (so hip!)

However, with Herman Cain’s recent decision to rescind his own candidacy, could we have another option on the horizon? A new flavor, if you will?

There are doubts about the OUS’s approval of Berdahl. According to the Ol’ Dirty, in a meeting this past Wednesday OUS officials expressed concern that he “lacked a clear understanding of the University’s needs and problems,” mostly likely due to his 2-day work week for the past month. But c’mon, the man is 73, he’s probably got a lot of time tied up in getting out of chairs. But, Gov. Kitzhaber, after meeting with Berdahl today, came away “impressed.” UO Matter’s “multiple sources” have confirmed Berdahl’s appointment as interim President and predict that it will be officially announced this Friday, but with the way shits been flying around here who knows.

Meanwhile, the University faculty gathered fora statutory meeting today in Mac Court, a more subdued meeting without the star-power of Chancellor Pernsteiner, ratified their new Constitution. Three main changes were adopted:


1) A guarantee to the faculty of a review of all administrative policies.

2) New senate procedures which allow online voting from the Statutory Faculty Assembly.

3) A reconsideration of student presence at University Senate committees, which means “an ongoing conversation with the ASUO.”


You want us to cover even more ASUO committee shenanigans? That sound you just heard was our OC collective brains being blow clear and away.

At least Kyr had a good sentiment, “Words are cheap — action is what we need.” Lets hope we really see some.


I still think Senate was a little hasty endorsing Berdahl…

New EMU? Nahhhh

December 6th, 2011 by Kellie B.

After a week long vote ending last Friday, UO students gave a big “no thanks” to a new EMU/SRC remodel, and to a $100 i-fee increase.

Beckstein thought that, due to the 9 percent tuition increase this year, students found the idea of shelling out even more cash a little disagreeable. Or, at least, those students who even knew the vote was being held.

The ASUO President was optimistic about the fate of the renovation, stating that a rework of the plan was “feasible.”

Student Affairs VP Robin Holmes was in her fortress of solitude and could not be reached for comment.

Occupy Soup Kitchens

December 5th, 2011 by Kellie B.

I smell roses

December 4th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

Or maybe that’s meatloaf…


Why are your grandparents always so happy?

December 2nd, 2011 by Hailey

Ah, dead week. So bittersweet, killing yourself studying but knowing that in a short week and a half this term will finally be over and you can head back to whatever foreign land you came from to have your parents shower you in presents, food, and menorahs. Maybe you’re from the Bay Area and you’re stoked to get back to “Norcal” as almost everyone is. Maybe you’re my spoiled co-worker and your parents are taking you to Hawaii for three weeks. Maybe you’re me and all you have to look forward to is a two-hour drive and a family that is suspiciously lack-luster around the holidays, I don’t know. Whatever you’re doing over the month long break, I would put money on the fact that you’re going to see some old people, whether they are the old people who birthed the old people who birthed you or they’re just some old people who exist in your line of sight, it’s gonna happen, and when it does, I hope you think of one thing:

Those old people are probably getting laid more than you are. A recent study said that couples over 65 reported being “very happy” with their life, contingent on the fact that they have sex more than once a month. Do you have sex more than once a month? Your hand doesn’t count, and neither do your sisters. Brace yourself though, because I have more big news, more than half of 75 to 85-year-olds have reported having sex more than two or three times a month, and that’s after their sexual frequency declined over the years.  Twenty-three percent report having sex more than once a week. Using my keen deductive reasoning skills, this tells me that the wrinkly grandparents of the baby boomer generation that “just don’t understand why I can’t settle down and get a degree in a real major” are a bunch of big ol’ sluts. On the same note, I can’t wait to be old and finally get laid by somebody other than my sister. Happy Holidays, and don’t eat too many of your grandmas cookies, because who knows if she washed her hands after touching your grandpas junk!