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Back to the Books: Free student resources

The average University of Oregon student graduates with almost $25,000 in debt, so it’s never too early to start saving (or, at the very least, avoiding overdraft fees on your bank statement).

We don’t have the secret to financial wellbeing, but you won’t have to venture far beyond 13th Avenue to snag free stuff. The surrounding Eugene community is well aware of the college student’s wallet woes, and the incidental fee you pay along with your tuition gets recycled into free resources by the ASUO. Here’s a sampling of places where you can get freebies with just a flash of your student ID card.


Student Food Pantry, 1329 E. 19th Ave.

Starting Oct. 1, the Student Food Pantry can help restock your fridge. Hosted by the Episcopal Campus Ministry, the pantry is located in the garage next to the ECM House on East 19th Avenue between Onyx and Emerald Streets. On Thursdays from 4-6 p.m., the pantry is open to university students. A volunteer will act as your “shopping assistant” through the pantry, which is organized according to the food pyramid. Options include a variety of canned goods, fresh vegetables, bread, rice, pasta and dairy products.


Safe Ride: 541-346-7433, ext. 2 

Put this into your phone favorites. Safe Ride, a student-operated shuttle service, can give you a free ride within a three-mile radius of campus. Call them anytime between 6 p.m. and 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. on the weekends. It’s only available to students, faculty and staff of the university. You must be in a group of three or fewer people. It’s a good idea to call and leave a voicemail before 6 p.m.; volunteers usually give around 60 rides per night. Make sure you don’t keep your ride waiting more than five minutes beyond your scheduled time, or you might lose it.

DDS: 541-346-7433, ext. 1 

If Safe Ride’s booked, or if you’re too broke to call a cab after a night of libations, the Designated Driver Shuttle —DDS for short — is your best bet. Though both are funded by the ASUO, DDS operates on a slightly shifted timetable compared to Safe Ride (10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every day of the week), and it’s first-come, first-serve. Once you call, you’ll be given a time range for a ride, usually about 20-40 minutes.


Museum of Natural and Cultural History History, 1680 E. 15th Ave.
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, 1430 Johnson Ln.

These museums are perfect for some rainy day entertainment or to fill time between classes. Visit the Museum of Natural and Cultural History behind the law school and see the hundreds of thousands of fossils, archaeological objects and biological specimens the museum has been collecting since the late 1800s. Or visit the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in front of the Knight Library and view the massive collections, diverse exhibits and internationally recognized masterpieces temporarily displayed at the museum. The Schnitzer recently acquired a collection of post-war Japanese prints that will be on display during fall term.


The Teaching and Learning Center, 68 PLC 

Need someone to proofread your paper before you turn it in? The Teaching and Learning Center offers several free tutoring programs to UO students. Drop-in workshops cover grammar basics and essay revisions. Struggling with a math or physics assignment? TLC also offers math workshops. Most of the programs are taught by students, so if you’re confident in any subject and interested in becoming a tutor, you can apply online.

**Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Emerald’s “Back to the Books” edition, which is currently available in locations throughout Eugene.**

**A previous version of this article stated that some resources available to students are funded through tuition; they are actually funded through the incidental fee.**

Follow Noah McGraw on Twitter: @McNoahMcGraw

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Noah McGraw

Noah McGraw

Noah is the 2016-17 Senior News Editor at the Emerald. His earliest journalistic influences were Tom Wolfe, Eric Schlosser and Batman. He loves '70s comics, '80s action movies and '90s music.