It’s week 10 at the University of Oregon — which means, for about 70 days this academic year, the Emerald published local news, culture, sports and opinions for students and faculty.
It’s hard to remember what happened, and it’s especially difficult to discern the important events: What was more important, President Schill’s $60,000 annual raise or that moth meme that was everywhere for a week?
To help students out, the Emerald compiled the greatest hits of what happened this term. Unfortunately, a lot happened that was devastating around town and across the globe, but don’t worry, some wonderful things happened as well, and we didn’t forget it.
The Emerald reported that hackers working for the Iranian government targeted more than 300 universities, including UO. According to a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice, the hackers sought login credentials for online academic library systems.
The letter stated that hackers targeted UO from 2014 to 2017 and acquired the usernames and passwords of 62 professors in that time frame. In February 2018, nine Iranians were charged for the hacking campaign, which, according to a sealed indictment, succeeded in taking 31.5 terabytes of data worth $3.4 billion.
The world’s largest bounce house came to Eugene as part of its nationwide tour. The Big Bounce America, which owns the bounce house, allowed adults and kids to jump around, navigate obstacles and play under foam, confetti and with inflatable pandas.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission gave UO’s unofficial off-campus bar, Taylor’s, a notice to cancel its liquor license. The notice listed 29 incidents, all within a year, of serious problems, including theft, fighting, drugging and sexual assault.
The bar’s owner, Ramzy Hattar, requested a hearing to demonstrate improvement and give reasons for the bar to keep its license. According to an OLCC spokesperson, the hearing will take place from June 3 to June 8, 2019: This year may be the last for Eugene’s nearly 100-year-old watering hole.
Ride-share services returned to Eugene, just in time for the wave of impending college students. In April 2017, the Eugene City Council approved a law to allow such companies to return, and Uber was the first applicant.
In 2014, Uber began operating in Eugene but didn’t get a license to do so, and in April 2015, the city filed a lawsuit against the company, causing Uber to leave until the recent legal update. Lyft didn’t initially apply but quickly got its permit so it could begin on Sept. 5, one day before Uber.
The Emerald reported that UO president Michael Schill received a $60,000 raise, boosting his base annual salary up to $720,000. After June 2020, his salary is set to rise another $18,000. His contract allows the board of trustees to award up to $200,000 in annual bonuses if he exceeds expectations in his presidential duties, and if he stays at UO through September 2021, he will automatically receive a $200,000 bonus.
Schill received a $76,000 bonus for “outstanding work performed during his first three years as president,” according to a board of trustees document. At the board meeting, Schill said he would donate the bonus as a scholarship for first-generation students.
Schill was a first-generation student himself and said the scholarship would be in the name of his mother, Ruth Schill, who supported him through college. “I can think of no better way to honor her memory than to establish a need-based scholarship,” he said at the trustee meeting.
Before Justice Brett Kavanaugh was a justice, he was testifying for himself against accusations of sexual assault. On Oct. 5, the Emerald reported that 19 UO law professors signed a letter, along with 2,400 others across the country, saying Kavanaugh should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
The letter didn’t include reasons regarding his allegations, rather criticizing his temperament during his hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I was struck by how he was treating the legislature,” UO law professor and signee of the letter Kristen Bell told the Emerald. ”In the courtroom, he wouldn’t tolerate a defendant talking back to him.”
The founder of conservative media outlet Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk, came to UO. Kirk tried to debate students on campus and film those debates, likely for videos on his website.
The author of “University of Nike: How Corporate Cash Bought American Higher Education,” spoke at local bookstore Tsunami Books. His book attempts to highlight Nike’s heavy-handed influence on UO. The New York Post wrote that the book “exposes how [Phil] Knight’s massive corporate donations to the University of Oregon’s athletics departments made him and his corporation the de facto leaders of the college.”
At the Tsunami Books event, and at a reading in Portland, attendants passed out handbills claiming some inaccuracies in the book, particularly about former UO President Dave Frohnmayer. UO wrote in a statement that, “given our focus on the university’s future, we will not engage in debate over Mr. Hunt’s book, which largely speculates about and rehashes historical events that have been covered elsewhere.”
Hundreds of people marched to the federal courthouse in Eugene after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. granted a request from the Trump administration to pause the Juliana v. United States of America case, which was set for trial that day. The case involves 21 individuals, ranging in age from 11 to 22 — including two UO students — who are suing the Trump administration, claiming that its neglect for the environment is denying them of their rights to life, liberty and property.
According to a court order written by district judge Ann Aiken, “Any new beginning trial date would be set, at the earliest, in January or February of 2019.”
Of course, the 2018 midterm elections took place on Nov. 6. Democratic Governor Kate Brown won re-election by about 110,000 votes, or 6 percentage points. Democrats in the state also won a supermajority in the state house and senate, meaning Democrats can pass bills involving tax revenue changes without bipartisan support.
Four statewide measures failed — measures to pre-emptively prohibit taxing groceries, to broaden the category of legislation that needs supermajority approval, to undue Oregon’s status as a sanctuary state and to stop the allowance of public funds to be used for abortions. One measure did pass that allows local governments to issue bonds for housing projects not completely owned by the government.
Nationally, Democrats won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, while Republicans held their majority in the Senate. At an election debriefing event at the UO law school, director of the Wayne Morse Center Margaret Hallock noted this shift, saying, “I am happy that Trump will not get anything passed that Nancy Pelosi will not sign off on.”
The City of Eugene approved the university’s conditional use permit to build on 77 acres of land north of Franklin Boulevard near the river. The news stirred controversy because many critics said locals weren’t able to give adequate input and the university could mishandle the land.
The university specified in its plan that it would build recreation fields in the area, and many community members, including UO professor of ecology Bitty Roy, said the university focuses too much on sports and not enough on the environmental sustainability or academics, such as landscape architecture and natural sciences.
“The lack of vision about the riverfront is upsetting because it is the most phenomenal thing we have on this campus,” Roy told the Emerald. “It could be used for the kinds of advertising that the UO is always talking about and never doing. Instead there is the continuing focus on sports. And I am not against sports and exercise, I’m just against them on the riverfront.”
On Nov. 13, e-cigarette company, Juul, said it would stop selling most of its flavor varieties of nicotine in stores. The act was in response to criticism that many people under 21 are becoming addicted to nicotine from smoking Juuls. Juul CEO Kevin burns told Fast Company, “We don’t want anyone who doesn’t smoke, or already use nicotine, to use Juul products.”
Juul will continue to sell mint, menthol and tobacco flavors in stores and anyone over 21 can still buy fruit flavors varieties online.
Michael Tobin, Sarah Northrop, Franklin Lewis, Emily Matlock, Zack Demars, Becca Robbins, Zach Price and Ryan Nguyen contributed reporting to this article.