First ever Johnson Hall Correspondents event criticizes the university with jokes and laughter
In the video, Staab poses as a UO Ambassador giving a campus tour to potential students, or “recruits,” and points out the on-going construction around campus, failing residence halls, shortage of campus parking and the university’s lack of prioritizing academic funding.
“The library here at the University of Oregon, Go Ducks, is one of the biggest resources. And because education is our top priority, every year we find it fair to cut their budget,” Staab said in the video. “Because who needs books when you got balls?”
Staab, a member of the UO Stand Up Society, said the video was a cumulative work of his experiences at the university.
“I would be honored to get backlash. That means I have done my job,” Staab said.
UO Students for Tuition Transparency came together last Winter when Schill proposed a 4.76 percent and 4.46 percent, for instate and out-of-state student respectively, to the Board of Trustees amid the opposition from student government and campus community.
The group collected more than 350 stories from students who were struggling to pay their tuition last winter term, but its effort fell on deaf ears when Board of Trustees passed Schill’s proposal on March 4.
UO Students for Tuition Transparency member, Lauren Young, said the group is far from finished. She said students need to understand the decision-making process in order to make a difference.
“I didn’t know what [Tuitions and Fees Advisory Board] or [Board of Trustees] were before,” Young said. “So we want to be the resource for students about tuition on this campus.”
Young said the event was an alternative way to inform students on the decision-making process on campus. It was not a platform for hate speech, rather, an open space to shed light on the otherwise heavy and dry topic such as tuition.
“The event will definitely pack a punch,” Young said. “It will provide an open discussion between students and administration about tuition. And although, at the end of the day, they are just jokes, but this is a good way to understand the issue.”
Many of them mocked the university and its system at the event, including Cailin Wolff.
Wolff impersonated UO President Michael Schill by dressing in an oversized wrinkly white collar shirt and black baggy dress pants.
“Hi, my name is Michael Schill and I’m your university president. Pause for applause, pause for applause,” Wolff said. “Ah, Johnson Hall Correspondents event–It is not everyday I am able to hear directly from students about their needs. I mean I could, but sound sad.”
Performer Will Komoda took another approach with his performance. Komoda criticized the university for not updating its financial documents, which all appeared to be “under construction” or “being updated.”
“It might seem like there’s nothing here,” Komoda said as he addressed the university’s website, ”But I was told by a reliable source that, mathematically, they call this imaginary number.”
UO Students for Tuition Transparency member Connor Kwiecien said the group reached out to administration inviting them to the event, but to no avail.
UO Students for Tuition Transparency is not the only group who is advocating for tuition transparency on campus. Member of Multicultural Center, Vickie Gimm, is calling students to attend the hearing of Higher Education Coordinating Commission, where “Tuition & Fees Advisory Board will be making up excuses for raising tuition and justifying ruining [students’] lives,“ she said in the Facebook event.
The hearing will be in Oregon State Capitol on May 24 at 9 a.m.
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