Looking back, moving forward: the biggest news stories of 2017-18

Originally Posted on Emerald Media via UWIRE

This year was full of change for the University of Oregon. It’s impossible to sum up a whole year, but here’s a look back on some of the biggest stories that impacted the campus community.

Tuition increased and differential tuition was introduced in Lundquist College of Business

This year, the Board of Trustees voted to increase tuition, support differential tuition for the Lundquist College of Business and reduce differential tuition for the Clark Honors College at its meeting last March.

Students were faced with increases in tuition totaling to $270 annually for residents and $810 annually for non residents.

The estimated revenue from the increase is approximately $1.4 million annually. President Michael Schill plans to allocate 20 percent of that, or $280,000, towards need-based financial aid.

These increases were met with some opposition from students who shared their testimonials at the meeting last March.

University of Oregon administration said these increases come after a $16.7 million budget deficit.

Campus is forecasted to grow by 3000 students over the course of eight years to make up for the budget deficit, along with lobbying for state funding and further budget cuts. You can read more about that here.

The Board also reduced differential tuition for the Clark Honors College by 35.6 percent from $4,194 per year to $2,700 per year.

The Board implemented differential tuition for the Lundquist College of Business adding $20 per credit hour. Of the increased tuition, 20 percent will be allocated to financial aid within the school.

Former ASUO president Amy Schenk passed a resolution through the senate to create a task force focused on evaluating how the university grants differential tuition.

Schenk said the task force will discuss differential tuition and the “moral questions” surrounding it. The task force will make recommendations to President Schill by Nov 15.

Red Wagon Creamery closed amid scandal

Red Wagon Creamery owner Stuart Phillips, pictured with UO president Michael Schill and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. (Red Wagon Instagram)

When students returned from winter break and walked through the EMU, something was missing. Red Wagon Creamery, the Eugene start-up ice cream shop which had received national media coverage for its creative flavors, was no longer in the EMU.

The Emerald learned from UO that Red Wagon’s lease had been terminated due to a sale and failure to pay rent on time. But it quickly became apparent that there was more to the story.

Through interviews with employees and analysis of public records, the Emerald learned that Red Wagon, a darling of Eugene’s up-and-coming food scene, was a business in disarray.

Red Wagon was being sued by creditors, former-employees complained of unpaid wages, the owners owed back taxes, and multiple women, all employees of Red Wagon, accused owner Stuart Phillips of sexual harassment.

At the time the Emerald story ran, Red Wagon’s downtown location was still operating. It has since closed.

The Emerald found records of lawsuits against the owners, wage and hour complaints filed with the Bureau of Labor and Industries, and an internal sexual harassment complaint. The complaint was filed by a then-19-year-old employee who said that owner Stuart Phillips told her she had “nice, big tits,” and that they should make a porno of her bathing in ice cream.

In an interview with the Emerald, Phillips admitted to making an “inappropriate comment,” but denied other sexual harassment allegations.

This story was awarded first place for “best news story” by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association Awards in May 2018. 

Multiple robberies near UO

A map of all the reported robberies near campus. (Adam Eberhardt/Emerald)

In March, a string of armed robberies and muggings shocked campus. Robbers targeted two different Subway restaurants, Tom’s Market on 19th and Agate, Home on Hilyard on East 24th Ave. and Dutch Bros on West 11th.

Between March 15 and 19, there were four incidents that involved students. The robbers stole whatever the students had in their pockets, and in one case three assailants pushed a student up against a car and tried to cut the straps off the student’s backpack, according to a UOPD alert.

Some students were threatened with a gun, while some were physically assaulted. UOPD has not alerted the community of any more incidents.

As a result of the robberies, UOPD held free, 90 minute self-defense classes in the first two weeks of April and added two routes to its campus shuttle program. UOPD also advised students not to walk alone and to avoid dark areas.

Construction all over campus

This year, construction workers, bulldozers and a massive crane crowded campus to construct new buildings.

Construction began on the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact March 2 on Franklin Blvd. behind the Lokey Science complex. The campus project was announced October 2016 and is scheduled to open in 2020.

The University will gain a 3,200 square foot Black Cultural Center by fall 2019 located on East 15 Ave and Villard Street.

Construction began on the Tykeson Hall College and Career Building between Johnson hall and Chapman hall last December.

The residence hall, Kalapuya Ilihi held its first class of first year students this year.

Changes in community businesses

The restaurant Papa’s Soul Food closed its doors last October after 15 years in the Eugene community.

Standing on benches and singing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond at 2 a.m., a tradition commonly known as “Closing Max’s,” will no longer be the same. The popular campus bar banned standing on the benches in February following an incident in which a patron was knocked unconscious by a pint glass.

A new ASUO slate steps up in student government

After a lively election race between Ducks Together and United UO, Ducks Together won by a landslide. Maria Gallegos will be the 2018/19 ASUO President. The Ducks Together slate is a slate comprised entirely of queer people and people of color.

Deaths in the UO community

The Emerald mourned the loss of four UO community members this year, including School of Journalism and Communication Professor Tom Wheeler in February.

Matt Carroll, a junior economics who was studying economics and a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity died in February. Nicole Panet-Raymond, a sophomore studying at the Robert D. Clark Honors college died after falling into a tree well at Mt. Bachelor in March. Dylan Pietrs, a 21-year-old studying business administration, died at Shasta Lake and the cause of his death is still under investigation.

The post Looking back, moving forward: the biggest news stories of 2017-18 appeared first on Emerald Media.

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