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Congressman DeFazio speaks to class about government, higher education costs



Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio was on campus Thursday morning to give a talk to a political science class.

DeFazio, who has served the 4th district of Oregon for 26 years@@http://defazio.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&[email protected]@ and received his Master’s Degree from the University@@http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/cgi-bin/newmemberbio.cgi?lang=&member=OR04&[email protected]@, met with students enrolled in PS 201: Modern Government, giving a brief background of his political career before holding an hour-long Q and A with the class.

The subjects covered DeFazio’s work on the House Committee on Natural Resources@@http://naturalresources.house.gov/@@, the reconfiguring of congressional districts and the changing landscape of politics in the United States.

However, one subject seemed to stand out among the others: the high price of education.

“We’ve got a huge problem generally with the cost of public education,” DeFazio said. “The state has withdrawn support regularly over the years. We’re down to six percent of the budget at the U of O is paid for by the state.

“They want to run it, but they don’t want to pay for it,” he continued.

The reaction to DeFazio’s visit was mixed among students. University student and English major Kory Bowlin@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@ expressed discontent with politicians in general and the partisanship they represent.

“I was disappointed because I think we have Republicans and Democrats for a reason … I wish more politicians would be willing to work on compromising and finding solutions that would benefit everyone,” Bowlin said.

University political science professor Will Terry@@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=staff&d=person&b=name&[email protected]@, the course instructor, disagreed.

“I thought it was very positive, true to his character. I think he was very honest,” Terry said. “He spoke about the shortcomings of the current system and issues that we’re currently facing. I thought he was very forthright about that.”


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