Last Wednesday, the OSPIRG University of Oregon chapter hosted “Concert for a Cause” at the EMU amphitheater to celebrate their main 2019 campaigns: Save the Bees, Wildlife Over Plastics and Zero Hunger, Zero Waste. This is the third concert they hosted this year as a new technique of advertising their campaigns.

“This concert was really to celebrate all of our success on all our campaigns and all the work we have done building grassroot support,” said the event’s coordinator and UO senior Marcella Buser. “It’s also about educating people and it’s just fun to have a concert like this. It’s a good way to raise visibility.”

Novacaine has performed for all of OSPIRG concerts so far, while the bands Humming Frog, Grunko and Honey were new hires to OSPIRG’s events. The event brought in over a hundred students, who trickled in over a period of three hours. They enjoyed the live music, visited the three campaigns’ booths, participated in raffles and took a free mason jar to fill with trail mix.

“We’ve got a large turnout and people love the activities and raffles and the music has been wonderful,” Buser said.

OSPIRG’s most prominent campaign, Wildlife Over Plastics, has slowly progressed bill banning Styrofoam takeout containers through the state courts. The Bill, called HB 2883, has already passed the Oregon House of Representatives and the Oregon Senate’s Environmental Committee.

Read more about HB 2883 here. The bill was presented to the state senate the same day OSPIRG’s concert was held. If the bill passes the senate, it’ll be placed on Governor Kate Brown’s desk. Alyssa Gilbert, OSPIRG’s UO chapter head, was anxious but optimistic about it getting passed, especially since Oregon recently passed a straw ban.

“We’ve been putting a lot of pressure on Senator Prozanski, who is the leader of [the senate’s environmental] committee, and he finally gave us a verbal confirmation of his support for it,” Gilbert said. “That means we have a really good chance!”

The Daily Emerald will continue to cover the bill’s progress through the coming months.

Science and Environmental Reporter

This is Becky’s first year writing for the Daily Emerald. She specializes in science and environmental reporting. She’s also written for Envision Magazine and the SOJC Communications Office. She’s created audio pieces for KWVA and KQED.