800-pound gorilla

"They did the right thing by the law, they did the right thing by Oregonians.”

?”Barbara Coombs Lee, CEO of Compassion & Choices in Portland, on the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Oregon’s assisted suicide law.

This week the Supreme Court sided with Oregon voters in a 6-3 decision, which upheld an Oregon doctor’s ability to use prescription medication to end a terminal patient’s life. The decision was a loss for the Bush administration, which had sought to use Federal Drug laws to trump the assisted-suicide measure, approved twice by the state’s voters.

What it means for you: C’mon baby, don’t fear the reaper.


Portland State’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the union that represents about two-thirds of PSU’s professors, inked a deal with university administrators granting faculty an 8 percent raise over two years.

The agreement gives PSU professors, whose pay averages among the lowest 10 percent in the nation, a much needed salary hike after the thawing of a 2003 salary freeze.

What it means for you: Better pay won’t just mean more Cristal and some new spinners for their Escalades, PSU’s best profs will be less likely to scurry off to higher paying jobs elsewhere, with millions in research dollars in tow.


PSU’s Student Fees Committee this week granted the left leaning student activist group, OSPIRG, $124,507 in funds for continuing operations, ending a three-year struggle for the group. This is in light of a rash of requesting big reductions in budget requests, using a technique called “zero funding,” from other student groups including the student government.

What it means for you: You know those folks with the yellow parkas and the binders who, “Just want a moment of your time”? Yeah, better get used to them.


Props to ASPSU’s Jessica Lyness, for her tireless efforts organizing Rock for Relief, a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The event in Shattuck Hall last Saturday raised over $1,000 for disaster relief organization Northwest Medical Teams. The night also featured tunes from Louisiana transplant jazz band Devin Phillips and New Orleans Straight Ahead, as well as local acts John Weinland, Loch Lomond and Norfolk and Western.

What it means for you: Rock for Relief didn’t just raise money for Northwest Medical Teams, it formed a relationship that could lead to more collaborations in the future.


Weird news of the week:

Two University of Michigan graduates won $10,000 in the World Series of beer pong. The popular drinking game, which mixes the implements of ping-pong and drunkenness, has become widely popular throughout the U.S.

What this means to you: That a college education can pay off after all.