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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

*ANNOYED GRUMBLE*

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?

photo

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 VPSA@uoregon.edu.”

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)uoregon.edu 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.”


New Issue Online, Off the Record!

March 14th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

We are very pleased to bring you the 4th issue of the Oregon Commentator’s 30th year publishing! Click here for Off the Record! The issue should be on stands by Monday.


Win a Sudsy T-shirt!

March 4th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

Want to win one of these??

sudsy_tees

Where in the world is the Oregon Commentator? Do you know where we moved the distribution box missing from the picture below?

Email your responses to WINTHINGS(at)OREGONCOMMENTATOR.COM and win a free Sudsy t-shirt!

Disclaimer: Sudsy t-shirt must be picked up on campus.

13th & Uni

The Commentator has fallen victim to dismal segregation and hilarious categorization. The photo above demonstrates how bigotry can have a serious effect on a journal of opinion. The Commentator distribution box just couldn’t take it anymore and ran away to another location. Can you find it?

And anyway, who’s decision was it to put the Emerald next to the Register Guard and the Weekly? The latter two clearly contain news of some manifestation.


McDermed Lacking Pertinent Information

February 27th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

It is clear that the University of Oregon Police Department do not care what the students want.

Interim Police Chief Carolyn McDermed, Captain Pete Deshpande and Kelly McIver are putting on a series of sham forums in order to coo us into thinking our voices are heard.

Even Kelly McIver admitted to the lack of student input on Tuesday during the second public forum regarding the armament of UO police officers. An audience member, citing a Register Guard article, stated:

“In 2011, students voted against arming police in a campus referendum.”

Hearing this, McIver, the Communications Director, said “There wasn’t much advertising.”

Nobody in the room was able (or willing) to confirm whether there had been a campus referendum or not.

  IMG_0009(1)

Read the rest of this entry »


OSPIRG Still Trying To Steal Our Money

February 25th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

Somehow OSPIRG continues to crawl about our campus “advocating” causes it could otherwise accomplish or address itself.

“Do you care about Crater Lake?”

No. I care that the insane amount of money I spend at this school goes toward practical, achievable things (or even causes, if you will). It’s great that our (NOTE: a very vague and presumptuous possessive adjective) interests as students are being “advocated” for by people with good intentions, but that’s not enough. If the students behind OSPIRG want it to be a group so badly, it needs to fit the same criteria that other student groups are subject to.

Senate Ombudsperson Ben Rudin (who, contrary to popular reports, does not double-park in handicap spaces nor does he boot sick puppies from the sidewalk) was quoted in the Ol’ Dirty link above, explaining, “The fact that I agree with most of what they advocate does not make one iota of difference, legally. The fact that their viewpoints are popular does not make one iota of difference, either. Factoring in either of those is a flagrant violation of viewpoint neutrality.”

If the students behind OSPIRG really care about a certain set of issues, and want to spend the students’ collective I-fee on changing things for the better, they must address their structure (read: become a transparent group, not a PIRG), center their focus, and enact said change on the campus from whence the funds came. Lord Phil knows we’ve got enough problems right here on campus.

Hold on, I’m not done yet. If Ombudsperson Rudin didn’t say it good enough the first time, he left a comment under that Ol’ Dirty article that really hits the nail on OSPIRG’s head:

It’s a legit consideration when deciding how to contribute your own money, not other people’s.

“To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical” – Thomas Jefferson. I think he should have included women, but otherwise the statement is dead on.


Chief McDermed Contradicted by Community Icon Officer Randy Ellis

February 24th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

The arming of UOPD is problematic in a number of ways. As the Register Guard points out, the East 13th Avenue police substation of EPD is in danger of losing funding– something the businesses and residents of the area don’t want.

Wait, area businesses and residents are in favor of EPD’s presence on East 13th Avenue? Not necessarily. What they favor is the man behind the badge, officer Randy Ellis.

As the RG reports, EPD’s only remaining substation is run by Ellis. The experienced officer has been patrolling the area between Kincaid and High for about 20 years. Back in the early 1990s, 13th Avenue was a drug-addled, trick-turning, vagrant-fest. Ellis turned that all around with his intimate foot patrol.

Ellis, quoted by the RG:

“As far as I’m concerned, technology is overrated,” Ellis said. “I don’t like it. You don’t talk to people.”

This bears a striking contrast to the perspective of Interim Police Chief McDermed when asked about patrol time spent walking/biking versus driving: “Our cars are our offices.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Neat Infographic, Education Stats

February 24th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

Alex Campbell, a researcher in Seattle, WA, has asked me to share her infographic titled Unprepared For College. Although most of the stats below don’t surprise me, I have to admit some are pretty incredible. It’s too true that our education system is in dire need of reform.

Read the rest of this entry »


Eugene Public Meetings [week of Feb.24]

February 23rd, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

Someone cares about the Oregon Commentator as much as they care about Eugene: they sent us the Public Meetings Calendar. Shout out to Chuck! How thoughtful!


UOPD Interview with Photos

February 21st, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

About 15 people gathered in the EMU Walnut Room Tuesday for coffee and discussion of the arming of UOPD. Interview here. Below, a photo essay by Oregon Commentator photographer Jazmin Avalos.

DSC_1141

Read the rest of this entry »


Favoritism and Plagiarism in the Ol’ Dirty?

February 21st, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

I don’t use Facebook and haven’t perused the UO Confessions page, but this link was sent to me: I’ll let this speak for itself.

“Let me tell you about the state of the Emerald right now. A article regarding UO Faculty was written and the UO administration got fired up. They then chewed out the Editor-in-Chief of the Emerald, who has been described by various employees of the Emerald as being tyrannical. The EiC proceeded to blame the online and print news editors, as well as the reporter who wrote the story. The issue was that the writer didn’t incorporate the administration’s side of the story in the article. The managing editor, who is responsible for approving the stories, was then subjected to harsh and unfair criticism by the EiC. The managing editor, fed up with the lack of leadership at the top, put in her two-week notice a few days later. The EiC then “dismissed” (fired) her on the spot. Both the online and print news editors, who have written some of the Emerald’s most read stories in the last two years, then resigned. As of yesterday, after being fed up with management and the way things are being run, the author of the original article resigned. The news desk is now down to two people. On top of this, the EiC is seriously considering hiring a former friend he worked with at Lane’s newspaper as managing editor. This individual worked for the Emerald during the summer and PLAGIARIZED stories. He is the leading candidate for the job despite two other current Emerald staffers who have applied. Welcome to the chaos of Revolution 2012.”

 


New Issue Online!

February 20th, 2013 by Nick Ekblad

Click here for The Really Late Issue. Sorry, I don’t have WordPress mastered, so the image and link at the top right corner of your screen is NOT updated.