University of Oregon

Our chapter meetings are every Tuesday at 7pm in Chapman 207.

 

Chapter Chair: Casey Scofeld, casey.scofield@yahoo.com

Campus Organizer: Jacob Wyant, jacob@ospirgstudents.org

 

OSPIRG is a statewide student-directed and student-funded non-profit that works on issues that effect all Oregonians. OSPIRG has been on the campus of the University of Oregon since 1971 when students worked together to bring about a new way of addressing important political issues. The organization was influenced by the idea that there are more probems than we should tolerate and more solutions than we implement.

 

OSPIRG is effective because we teach students the skills they need to get their voices heard on campus and in Salem and Washington D.C.  Join us to gain skills and learn more about organizing models, lobbying, and media relations. 

 

Winter 2016

Solar and Clean Energy Campaign

This term for our lead campaign we are working to fight global warming by passing renewable energy legislation. Climate change is a huge threat- globally we’re already experiencing more severe storms, ocean acidification and drought. Here in Oregon last summer we had giant wild fires. We know that the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for our warming planet and we need to transition to renewable energy. Last year we worked to get the Governor to commit to getting 10% solar in Oregon by 2025. We ran a big vote on campus during student elections to sign on the student body and won by 89%! With that support we then met with Governor Brown and lobbied her directly.

 

Now this term we’re working this term to convince our state lawmakers to pass legislation that would be the BIGGEST renewable energy bill EVER in Oregon. It would commit our state to 50 percent renewable energy by 2040 doubling our renewable energy, increase solar, and remove 100(!) percent of coal from our energy mix. This is landmark legislation that would make Oregon a leader in the country on renewable energy. This bill has to get passed by the end of February, and students will play a huge role in the advocacy effort. To get our voices heard we’re going to be collecting public comments, making activist calls, getting in the news and finally we’re going to head up to Salem to for a giant lobby day to lobby our elected officials and make sure they vote the right way. 
  
Get Big $ Out of Politics Campaign

We're working to reclaim our democracy through fairer elections. Elections are supposed to be one person – one vote. Unfortunately, mega-donors and corporations are drowning out the voices of ordinary voters like you and me. As a result, instead of listening to their constituents on issues like the environment or public health, politicians favor the donors who funded their campaigns. So we're fighting to empower the voices of regular Americans by campaigning for a system that matches small contributions to candidates who don’t take money from large or corporate donors. We’re already seeing this system work in places like New York City, and we could definitely do this here in Oregon! Last term we hosted a big townhall forum with the mayor. This term we will be lobbying our elected officials, hosting debate watching parties, and release a report to the media.
 
Hunger and Homelessness Campaign

Oregon has the highest rate of child hunger, at about 30%. We think that we can make a direct impact on this issue by partnering with local food banks to make sure our neighbors have access to good and healthy food. So, we’ll be working with groups like Food for Lane County to raise money and run food drives so that we can feed our neighbors. For example, year we had an awesome Trick-or-Can event on Halloween and collected 2,000 pounds of food in just 2 hours!
 
Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics Campaign 

Right now we’re working to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. The overuse of antibiotics creates superbugs, which cause illnesses that can’t be cured. Yet 70% of the antibiotics sold in the US are given to livestock, often to animals that aren’t even sick. Last year 2 million people become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria and 23,000 people died. So OSPIRG is organizing the public to push for change. Last year we helped get McDonalds to go antibiotic free nationally, and last term we helped convince Subway! We know its possible to convince big chains to switch by showing them millennial consumers support this. So now we’re continuing the effort by pushing KFC to be the next restaurant to switch. Since they care what millennials like you and me think, we’re going to be collecting petitions on campus and outside KFC stores, holding educational events on campus, and getting the issue on social media.

  

Save the Bees Campaign

I’m not sure if you know this, but bees pollinate nearly seventy percent of the world’s food and they are facing mass die-offs. Without bees, we could lose major sources of food, including a variety of fruits and vegetables. Even coffee, chocolate and 30%  food we eat every day could be gone if we lose our bees. There are a number of explanations for the dramatic loss in bee populations.  Certainly global warming and loss of biodiversity are taking a toll.  But a critical problem affecting the bees, and the one we’re most focused on solving right now, is that bees are increasingly exposed to a relatively new class of pesticides called neonics.  o save the bees we need to phase out and then ban the use of neonics. So we’re collecting petitions to the EPA, holding educational events on campus, and working to get professors, dining halls, and other groups on campus to help pressure the EPA to act.   


Fall 2015 Campaigns

Protect Crater Lake:

Our lead campaign this term is to protect Crater Lake. Oregonians love Crater Lake, but year after year logging companies push to clear-cut old-growth forest right outside the boundaries of Crater Lake National Park. This threatens the wildlife, waterways, and ecosystem within the park. So this fall we’re working on a campaign to permanently protect 500,000 acres of wilderness around Crater Lake National Park. 

 

Democracy/Get Big $ Out of Politics:

We're working to reclaim our democracy through fairer elections. Elections are supposed to be one person – one vote. Unfortunately, mega-donors and corporations are drowning out the voices of ordinary voters like you and me. As a result, instead of listening to their constituents on issues like the environment or public health, politicians favor the donors who funded their campaigns. So we're fighting to empower the voices of regular Americans by campaigning for a system that matches small contributions to candidates who don’t take money from large or corporate donors. We’re already seeing this system work in places like New York City, and we could definitely do this here in Oregon!


Solar:

Everyone knows global warming is a huge problem- but we can’t wait to take action! We have the potential to get way more energy in Oregon from solar. And not only is solar power cheap and renewable, but it creates jobs, improves air quality, and reduces the impact of global warming. We had a lot of success last year when we won a ballot measure on campus to sign on the student body to asking Governor Brown to commit Oregon to 10% solar energy by 2025, and then brought that support to Salem to lobby her directly. Now we are working to get the city of Eugene to start leading the way and make an immediate impact with solar policies of its own.


Hunger and Homelessness:

Oregon has the highest rate of child hunger, at about 30%. We think that we can make a direct impact on this issue by partnering with local food banks to make sure our neighbors have access to good and healthy food. So, we’ll be working with groups like Food for Lane County to raise money and run food drives so that we can feed our neighbors.


Water Conservation

Oregon is experiencing one of our worst droughts ever! But there is a lot we can do on campus to do our part to reduce our water consumption. We will be hosting a huge dorm water saving competition, as well as doing a lot to educate students on campus about tips on saving water. 

 The best way to get involved with one of our campaigns is by becoming an OSPIRG intern! You can apply here.

Latest News

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