News

ASUO overspent estimated $400,000

Last year, the ASUO spent hundreds of thousands of dollars it didn’t have, officials in the student government recently learned.

The exact amount of the overspending is not yet known, ASUO President Emma Kallaway said, but sources estimated it at $400,000. The money was used to give students a $100 fee reduction during the spring of 2009.

An error when calculating the amount available to reduce the fee caused the problem, Kallaway said. Sources who requested anonymity because the information had not yet officially been released said a University employee who worked with the ASUO made the error. The person named is no longer employed by the University.

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Study: More students turn to law school in failing economy

An April study of prospective law students revealed a leading motive for attending law school: the failing economy.

The study, administrated by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, reported that 40 percent of the 1,040 students who took the February 2009 Law School Admission Test were motivated by today’s economic crisis to apply to law school. In addition, the registration for the Kaplan-administered LSATs has increased by more that 20 percent during the past year.

Since 2006, the University’s School of Law has seen the number of applicants rise by 113, with 2008’s enrollment around 531 students. The law school’s LL.M, or Master of Laws, class of 2010 will be the largest since the program’s initiation two years ago. The law school building itself can hold no more than its current students, so increased applications would mean more discretion when reviewing new applicants.






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Oregon lawyers form new bar association

University law students this year have the opportunity to join a new organization: the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Julia E. Markley, the group’s president and co-founder, said about 15 Oregon lawyers formed the group in May by after several of them attended a National Asian Pacific American Bar Association conference.

In July, the group became an official affiliate of NAPABA, which has been active since 1988. “There has finally been a critical mass of APA attorneys in Oregon,” says Markley. “Enough people were motivated to get the organization started.” She attributes the successful start-up to a combination of the growth in APA attorneys in Oregon and the significant growth of NAPABA.






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Kulongoski restores $13.4 million to public universities

Gov. Ted Kulongoski followed through with his plans to restore $13.4 million of general funds to the public universities system, vetoing a bill that would have transferred that amount from higher education funding to state agencies.

The reinstated funding will enable Oregon University System campuses to reduce the estimated 2009-10 tuition by 1 percent. Plans of the governor’s veto were announced in July, prior to the State Board of Higher Education’s meeting to discuss tuition hikes.

“I am deeply concerned that this provision would force the University system to raise tuition,” Kulongsoki wrote in a letter to the state Justice Department explaining his veto, ” which when combined with the underfunding of the Oregon Opportunity Grant program in the legislatively adopted budget, will operate to make higher education less accessible for many low-income and middle-income Oregonians.”






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Commencement date changes again

 The date for spring commencement in 2010 has again changed, marking the third time the event’s date moved. The main ceremony will now take place Monday, June 14, 2010, which a University administrator said will help ensure family members can find hotel rooms.

The ceremony was originally slated for June 12, but administrators moved it to June 5 to accommodate the 2010 NCAA Track and Field Championships, which will take place at Hayward Field on June 9–12. The change drew criticism from students, faculty and observers because it required students to walk in the ceremony before final exams for spring 2010.






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Classified workers enter contract negotiations, could strike next month

 Negotiations have officially begun between the Oregon University System and the union that represents classified staff at Oregon public universities over the employees’ contracts for next year. Some contract provisions have sparked protests that could result in a union strike.

The Service Employees International Union, which represents University employees who are not faculty or administrators, has held months of public rallies and meetings to protest provisions of a contract offer from OUS. Among the provisions to which the SEIU objects are a two-year freeze on raises, less funding for health coverage and a provision that gives OUS the power to furlough employees on the spot without prior notice.






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Eugene town hall generally positive for DeFazio

 Reports from across the country depict hostile receptions for members of Congress as they attempt to defend proposed health care legislation at town halls. In Eugene, however, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio received a warm welcome and hearty applause.

Eugene, the largest city in DeFazio’s district, lived up to its left-leaning reputation. Attendees at the meeting at the Eugene Hilton remained largely civil. Rather than call for the representative’s head, Eugeneans sent him a message of support.






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Kallaway: Haley grievance “malicious”

Student Body President Emma Kallaway responded to a rival’s attempt to use the ASUO grievance process to oust her with a scathing rebuttal delivered to the ASUO’s judicial body Tuesday. 

The grievance was filed by former EMU Board Chairperson Michelle Haley, who ran against Kallaway for the presidency, and Kallaway accused Haley of filing the grievance because of bitterness over the election results.

Kallaway wrote: “(T)his petition for review is a malicious attempt to remove Respondent after no wrongdoing, most likely as a result of Respondent defeating Petitioner in the 2009 ASUO General Election.”






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Friendism or no, president to appoint executioners

  A grievance filed by a political rival leaves ASUO President Emma Kallaway in the awkward position of having to effectively pick part of her own jury.

 If the ASUO Constitution Court finds against Kallaway in examining a grievance from senior Michelle Haley, who ran against her for president, Kallaway could lose her position as president. However, the five-member court has lost three members to graduation since last year, and the one who must fill those vacancies is the ASUO president, Kallaway herself.

The awkwardness of Kallaway’s position is intensified because one of Haley’s accusations questions Kallaway’s hiring processes, specifically in her choice of Ella Barrett as chief of staff. And Haley said Tuesday that she does not expect a fair hearing if the justices are Kallaway hires.






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Unions converse as classified staff await verdict

 The University hosted the 2009 AFL-CIO Summer School from Friday through Sunday for union members from all corners of the state. The event included motivational workshops, lectures and general activities aimed at raising awareness of union members’ rights as state employees.

The conference program describes it as a meeting for participants to “share insights and ideas in educational core courses and workshops and small group discussions, with lots of opportunities to connect with union members from around the state.” Of the estimated 170 attendees, 15 to 20 labor unions were represented at the conference.

Marcus Widenor, a professor at the University’s Labor Education and Research Center, was one of the event facilitators. “Out of the 28 or so annual Summer Schools we have put on, this has been the largest yet,” he said Saturday. “It’s great to see such a turnout, especially in a time of economic uneasiness.”






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Local Edwards to fill Oregon Senate seat

Rep. Chris Edwards has been selected to represent Eugene in the State Senate during the 2010 legislative session.

Edwards will replace Democrat Vicki Walker, who stepped down to take a position on the state parole board in July after seven years in the Senate. Edwards, also a Democrat, has represented West Eugene in the State House of Representatives since his election in 2006.

One of three candidates, Edwards was unanimously nominated by the Lane County Board of Commissioners at its Aug. 5 meeting. Edwards will fill Senate District 7 seat, which represents the majority of Eugene, including both the district that elected him to the House and the portion represented by Rep. Nancy Nathanson.






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CrimeNews

Weekend wrap-up

 Eugene Police Department Weekend Wrap-Up
From midnight Friday, August 7, to noon Sunday, August 9
17 Loud Noise incidents
17 Theft incidents
10 Disorderly Subject incidents
8 Burglary incidents
8 Theft incidents






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Haley grievance could oust Kallaway

Five months after she was beaten by Emma Kallaway in the race to become ASUO president, former EMU Board Chairperson Michelle Haley has filed a complaint aimed at toppling Kallaway’s administration. The two will now face the ASUO’s equivalent of a trial in the fall to determine whether Kallaway gets to keep her position.






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Missing senators stymie meeting plans

  Only four student senators showed up for their biweekly summer meeting Wednesday, too few to actually hold the meeting under ASUO rules.

The senators missing were Kristine Jensen, Nick Schultz and Demic Tipitino. Five would have needed to be present to hold the meeting.






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UO’s latest ‘Made in Oregon’ sign proposal stalls until Sept.

  The Portland Landmarks Commission rejected at a July 27 hearing the University’s proposal to change the text of Portland’s “Made in Oregon” sign, meaning the debate over the signage on the Portland White Stag building remains unresolved. The building has been home to the University’s Portland campus since 2008, with the institution holding an 18-year lease, but the city ultimately controls both the signs atop the building and adjacent water tower.

University officials have requested to change the historic “Made in Oregon” sign on the White Stag building to read a neutral “Oregon,” along with placing a neon University “O” logo on the water tower. Portland’s Bureau of Developmental Services and Landmarks Commission denied this combined request last week, wanting to tackle each sign separately and saying the changes will have a negative effect on the historic Old Town area.






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Staff rally against pay freezes, furloughs

Members and supporters of the union that represents classified employees at the University held an on-campus rally Thursday outside of Knight Library, protesting the contract proposed by the Oregon University System for the coming year.

The OUS has frozen promotions and raises for University service employees and will require them to take 24 furlough days each at a day’s notice. That means employees could be told to go home without warning if business is slow, according to a Service Employees International Union grievance.






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CrimeNews

Weekend wrap-up

Eugene Police Department Weekend Wrap-UpFrom midnight Friday, July 31, to noon Sunday, August 215 Loud Noise incidents26 Theft incidents7 Disorderly Subject incidents4 Assault incidents7 Burglary incidents The Weekend Police Blotter Incident: Suspicious conditionLocation: Maxwell and Prairie RoadsTime: Saturday, Aug. 1, 12:27 a.m.Description: A caller reported that a vehicle was chasing …

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Security lapse makes GPAs visible

The University has fixed a security breach in its DuckWeb system after a student used it to look at three other students’ degree audits.

The hole in DuckWeb’s security allowed Web users to view certain other students’ degree audits by changing digits in the URL for a printer-friendly version of their own audits, which contain information about a student’s grades and his or her progress toward a degree.

The student who discovered the breach was Daniel Bachhuber, a former Emerald employee, who then called the University to alert officials of the glitch July 22.






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Ore. Rep. floats mileage fee to replace gas tax

 

On July 23, Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer introduced legislation that would fund a pilot program demonstrating the potential viability of replacing a national gas tax with a national mileage fee to generate more money for the construction of highways.

 

Opponents say the mileage fee would increase taxes, but Blumenauer said the increase is critical to ensure that federal funds set aside for highways do not go into deficit.

The Vehicle Miles Traveled program would track each car’s mileage though a GPS installed in each vehicle and collect the number of miles traveled through an electronic reader every time a vehicle filled up the tank a gas station.

 






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Emerald hires publisher

The Emerald hired a publisher Wednesday to oversee the business side of its operation.

The new publisher will be Kellee Weinhold, who has graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University and has taught journalism at both the University of Oregon and the University of Illinois. 

 






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White Stag sign debate remains unresolved

Leslie Montgomery The debate over the signage on the Portland White Stag building remains unresolved after a Portland City Commission hearing with the University on Monday. The University owns the building, and has asked to change the historic “Made in Oregon” sign to simply read “Oregon,” along with a neon …

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CrimeNews

Eugene Police Department Weekend Wrap-Up

From midnight Friday, July 24, to noon Sunday, July 2621 Loud Noise incidents20 Theft incidents19 Disorderly Subject incidents5 Assault incidents5 Burglary incidents The Weekend Police Blotter Incident: Disoriented SubjectLocation: Harlow Road and Sunshine Acres DriveTime: Saturday, July 25, 12:36 a.m.Description: A disoriented woman was lying with her legs in the …

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Senators threaten Kallaway with grievance, allege rule-breaking

Opponents spent the last week sharpening their daggers for an attempt to oust the student body president through the ASUO’s grievance process, alleging that she had broken a rule that required her to publish a set of goals for her term in office. They said on Saturday, however, that they …

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A little cheese, a lot of chuckling

Media Credit “There’s something about children’s theater,” said James Engberg, co-artistic director of Mad Duckling Children’s Theater. “It’s anti-intellectual, it’s pure. There’s just so much energy; they’re absolutely just crackling with energy.” “The Old Man Who Loved Cheese,” the second and final production by the summer theater company, holds true …

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A window to the past

Go back in time 50 years. The Beatles and Elvis Presley are on the radio. America is beginning a controversial war in Vietnam. And Carson Hall is built on the University campus.  Fifty years later, in 2009, 24 University students are working as part of the maintenance crew renovating the …

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Workin’ at the car wash

Leslie Montgomery On 600 acres of savannah-like land an hour south of Eugene, Wildlife Safari is doing new and innovative things in an attempt at conservation through education. The newest addition to the wide range of activities offered at the drive-through park is an elephant car wash, where elephants do …

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Sen. Dodds resigns, is second to quit Senate this summer

Media Credit Another student senator resigned Wednesday, the second to leave this summer after being elected in April and finding the position too demanding. The latest is Sen. Ben Dodds, one of seven sitting senators who ran on the ideologically neutral Students First slate. Dodds cited his grades as the …

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EMU post office might be sent away

The EMU could soon lose its post office, according to a letter sent to the head of the local postal workers’ union. The US Postal Service is considering 740 locations for closure or consolidation because of declining mail volume. A letter from the post office’s district manager Kim Anderson to …

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