The University is a public good

Welcome to the second issue of the newsletter. In this one I give an update on the University of Oregon tuition situation, as well as providing information on some campus anti-racist organizing, and plenty of events for this week. The U of O will be featured heavily, but also expect the focus to move to other areas of town shortly. If you appreciate this newsletter, please share it with members of your organization, comrades, friends, colleagues, or anyone else you think would get use out of it, and encourage them to sign up. As always, feedback is welcome.

A symbol of hatred

Last Wednesday marked 100 years since the University of Oregon unveiled “The Pioneer” statue in the middle of campus. The UO Native American Student Union marked the anniversary with a protest to bring to light its racist and colonialist history. At this protest there were folks from various parts of the student organizer community. It was not a large event, but it was a good showing of solidarity and there were a good amount of signatures collected.

The president of the Oregon Historical Society praised the “Anglo-Saxon” heritage during the statues dedication in 1919. UO Historians are compiling research on monuments, such as the Pioneer statue, to provide in a recommendation to President Schill.

Native American students have told the University how the statue is threatening to them. The statue depicts the settler colonialism history of the state and the racism that still exists. They made the intentions pretty clear in the unveiling of the statue. Yet when the University was asked for a response to the statue they still practiced both-sideism. Saying they “appreciate” how their are different views held about the statue.

BOT approves tuition hike

Faculty, students, staff, and community joined together at the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday to speak out against the proposed budget cuts and tuition raise. There was heartfelt testimony and solid evidence brought against the University’s narrative. The end of day, the Board of Trustees voted to approve the tuition raise of up to 9.68%.

This was the largest showing I have seen for a Board of Trustees meeting in the last couple years. The University students and workers are the most organized they have been in a while, thanks in part to the restarted Campus Labor Council, which consists of the labor unions and the student union. Organizers urged people to continue the fight to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, who reviews tuition raises over 5%. These tuition raises have become untenable, it will be important to follow through and keep the pressure on the University of Oregon administration.

The Week Ahead