Proposal directs large increases toward Senate leadersASPSU is planning to significantly increase its budget allocation for next school year and already has big ideas for how to distribute it. Brandon Harris, executive chief of staff of ASPSU, said the 2012–13 budget should see a raise of just over $40,000, putting the total ASPSU allotment close to $222,300.
Oregon capital punishment suspended until 2015On Nov. 22, Governor John Kitzhaber issued a temporary halt to the use of capital punishment in Oregon. This decision comes just two weeks before the scheduled execution of Oregon State Penitentiary death row inmate Gary Haugen. In the last 49 years, only two people have been executed in Oregon. Both executions took place during Kitzhaber’s first administration, in 1996 and 1997, and both men had volunteered to die by waiving their remaining appeals.
Students want better protocolOn Nov. 16, after nearly two months of unexplained itching and rashes, sophomore Stephen Martin, a sociology and Black studies major, discovered bed bugs and their excrement in the mattress of his second floor Montgomery Court sleeper. Three days later, Martin’s next-door neighbor, biology and environmental science sophomore Tina Schroyer, woke up to bites on her upper arms and ankles. By Monday, Nov. 21, three more second-floor Montgomery Court residents had been bitten in their sleep, two of whom live much farther down the hall from Martin.
Many volunteer opportunities available during the holiday seasonThe holidays are a time for family, friends, warm meals, gifts—a break from the daily hassles of life. However, not everyone in the Portland metropolitan area is so fortunate; many are homeless and in desperate need of food and shelter during the winter months. During the holidays, there is a particular need for able-bodied volunteers at local nonprofit organizations to provide for the less fortunate. There are faith-based organizations such as the Portland Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army and the Father’s Heart Street Ministry. Secular organizations include Outside In, the Red Cross, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Hands On Greater Portland. The holiday season is a great opportunity to lend a hand to such organizations and the people they serve.
Longtime DJ died of cancer on Thanksgiving dayStaff and volunteers at Portland State’s student-run radio station are reeling from the death of longtime KPSU DJ Judith Gennett, who died of cancer on Thanksgiving morning. Friends and colleagues at KPSU say they will celebrate Gennett’s memory the best way that they know how—through music. On Saturday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. KPSU will broadcast a memorial radio program for Gennett at kpsu.org and 98.1 FM. Gennett’s involvement in college and community radio dates back to 1995, and she had been involved with KPSU since 2002.
Next occupation space to be determined this weekendThe Occupy Portland movement continues to promote its message, even after facing police intervention and eviction. The group, which was evicted from their Lownsdale and Chapman Squares encampment last month, now plans to occupy a new space somewhere in Portland beginning next week. According to media releases from Occupy Portland, the general assembly approved plans to move to a new occupation space. The location is to be decided after their town hall meeting at the First Unitarian Church on 1011 SW 13th Ave. and is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 3.
PSU will monitor data from panel installation near campusOn Tuesday, Nov. 29, crews began construction on TriMet’s first solar-energy project at South Terminus, the southern substation at the end of the Yellow and Green MAX lines. The project centers on the installation of 253 solar panels, produced by SolarWorld in Hillsboro, at South Terminus as well as on the neighboring signal-communications building at Southwest Jackson Street near the PSU campus. Construction is expected to last about a month and cost approximately $366,000. The funding for TriMet’s solar project came from money left over from the MAX Green Line project as well as TriMet’s partnership with Portland General Electric. Additional support, in the form of rebates from the Energy Trust of Oregon, is expected to cover 35 percent of the solar project’s costs.
His last day in office will be Dec. 28, followed by 6 months’ sabbaticalFollowing a recommendation by Oregon University System Chancellor George Pernsteiner, the State Board of Higher Education moved yesterday in a public session to terminate UO President Dr. Richard Lariviere’s contract with 30 days notice. Lariviere’s contract was set to expire on June 30, 2012; his last day in office will now be Dec. 28, followed by six months’ forced sabbatical. The State Board of Higher Education—comprised of 12 volunteer, governor-appointed directors—voted unanimously to fire Lariviere. An interim president for the University of Oregon has not yet been selected.
Saudi Arabia provides majority of international students at PSUThe Oregon University System released its Fall 2011 enrollment fact sheet for the seven OUS institutions, which shows a 12.2 percent increase in the number of international students enrolled. The number of international students is at an all-time high of 6,387 students, 1,923 of which are from Portland State. The University of Oregon boasts the largest number of international students of all the OUS campuses with 2,116 students.
OUS relying on internal policies for campus safetyThe Oregon University System will not appeal a court decision that allows guns on campuses. The decision overturned decades of prohibition, but upheld a 1995 Oregon law intended to prevent cities from creating their own gun laws, giving that power instead to the state legislature. The OUS was challenged by gun rights advocates over its decision to disallow firearms being carried on campus even with a concealed weapons permit. While the court decision represented a victory for gun rights advocates, the OUS intends to rely on internal policies to continue to promote the safety of students, according to Diane Saunders, director of communication for the OUS.
Today’s meeting could keep youth transit program aliveToday, Mayor Sam Adams, Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith and TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane will meet to determine the fate of Trimet’s YouthPass program, which allows Portland Public Schools students currently enrolled in high school to ride public transportation for free during the school year. Since the state legislature decided that the program’s major source of funding, Business Energy Tax Credits, would no longer be allowed to finance student transit costs, the future of TriMet’s YouthPass program has been uncertain.