NEWS BRIEFS March 1, 2011

Students testify against U of O’s “New Partnership”: Today, members of the Oregon Student Association will testify at a public hearing in Salem against Senate Bill 559, also known as the University of Oregon’s “New Partnership.”

Students testify against U of O’s “New Partnership”

Today, members of the Oregon Student Association will testify at a public hearing in Salem against Senate Bill 559, also known as the University of Oregon’s “New Partnership.”

SB559 would establish U of O as an independent public university governed by its own board of directors.  It would also grant the university $800 million in bonds that U of O would match dollar-for-dollar. OSA is against the bill because, if passed, it would reduce legislative oversight. The organization also claims that the endowment is “high risk,” according to a press release.

The hearing will begin at 1 p.m. at the Oregon State Capitol, hearing room B.


All-campus budget forum today

Portland State is hosting an all-campus budget forum today to answer questions and listen to concerns about PSU’s budget process.

Additional public meetings will be held April 18 through April 22, after the budget team has developed final recommendations.

The forum will begin at 10 a.m. in the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom.


Oregon crime rate decreasing

Though Oregon’s crime rate has been decreasing—it’s the lowest it has been since the 1960s—a recent Portland State survey revealed that more than half of Oregonians believe that its crime rate has increased.

According to a press release, PSU’s Criminal Justice Policy Research Institution compiled the study’s findings, which was conducted last summer. The institute surveyed 1,569 Oregonians over the age of 18.

Of the individuals that took part in the study, 52 percent believed that crime rates had increased over the last year. Only 10 percent believed it had decreased.

Those who believed crime rates increased tended to be more conservative, had a family income of less than $50,000 a year, had less education than a bachelor’s degree and were dissatisfied with the criminal justice system, according to the press release.


Universal Pictures looking for university to host premier of “Your Highness”

Eventful Inc. and Universal Pictures recently launched a campaign to give college students the opportunity to host the red carpet world premier of “Your Highness” at their campus.  

According to Eventful, Inc. Director of Communications Christopher Lehman, the winning college will also host an exclusive after-party, which will be attended by the film’s stars: James Franco, Danny McBridge, Zooey Deschanel and Natalie Portman.

Five runner-up colleges will receive free advance screenings of the film.

Students have until March 20 to vote for their school. For more information, visit


ASPSU to host town hall meeting on restructuring

ASPSU will host a town hall meeting on higher education reform on Thursday, March 3 to raise awareness about how restructuring will affect students.

The meeting will begin at 4 p.m. in 236 Smith Memorial Student Union with a presentation on the current restructuring bills being heard in Salem. The presentation will be followed with a question-and-answer session.

For more information, contact ASPSU at 503-725-3454.


United States deputy secretary to speak at PSU

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will speak at Portland State on Thursday about her “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative, and how the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is strengthening the connection between farmers and consumers.

According to a press release, the Obama administration is seeking to strengthen local and regional food industries to support rural communities. The initiative aims to bridge the gap between agricultural communities and urban markets.

At a recent presentation, Merrigan said that consumer demand for locally grown food is expected to increase from $4 billion in 2002 to $7 billion in 2012, according to the press release.

For more information on the initiative, visit

The presentation will begin at 3 p.m. in PSU’s Vanport Room, located in 338 Smith Memorial Student Union.