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Eugene Weekly : Lead Story : 10.6.11

EW’s Back to Campus 2011

No Car? No Problem Living in Eugene sans automobile

Late Night Eats Stuffing face by moonlight

Gourmet Locavorism Eating well at LCC

Q&A: Students on the street

Ducking In Joiners can be choosers

Bass-Ack-Wards The world of collegiate tournament fishing

 

On The Rocks performing at the EMU Amphitheater. Photo by Todd Cooper

Ducking In

Joiners can be choosers

By Shannon Finnell

There’s nothing like throwing yourself into a room full of strangers to distract yourself from school stress and sharpen your brain for another day of higher learning. The ASUO either recognizes, allocates funds to or helps facilitate more than 120 student organizations, so unless you’re a truly special snowflake, there’s probably something to enjoy.

The UO Outdoor Program is among the most active organizations, and it has the potential to keep a student very, very busy. In addition to its 150 to 200 “common adventure trips” per year, the OP holds skill clinics and classes, rents equipment and has its own mountain-(hu)man resource center with information on the wilderness and trip planning. The Bike Program helps fix bikes and teach maintenance, plus it has loaner commuter bikes for $15 per term plus deposit. Best of all, if nothing on the entire outdoor smorgasbord tickles the palate, the events are planned by trip initiators, which any student can become.

While On the Rocks’ performances on NBC’s Sing Off last year probably drew a lot of singers to UO’s a cappella groups, On the Rocks, Divisi and Mind the Gap have already held auditions, so you’re temporarily out of luck on that front. But even while you’ll have to catch the a cappella Friday performances until the next round of auditions, the UO Gospel ensembles are warming up and will hold auditions in January. With varying degrees of experience levels, the beginner’s choir requires a voice placement but not an audition. The most advanced choir, UO Gospel Singers, just returned from the Disney Gospel Choir Fest in Florida, where they won their second gold medal — Christianity not required.

The last couple of years saw the Alliance of Happy Atheists (AHA) gearing up to support their brethren on campus, exploding from a small core group exploring AHA’s tenets (happiness, skepticism and self-reliance, creating an open forum of understanding between religious and non-religious students) to 90 participants by their first official meeting.

On the dance floor, groups like UO Jam Squad and Oregon Ballroom Dance Club shake their booties. The ballroom club holds beginning and intermediate lessons followed by a social dance every Friday for $4. UO Jam Squad is a non-competitive hip hop dance group that gives dancers a chance to dance and perform without giving up the extra time it takes to compete.

Social justice advocates will be glad to know that the Coalition Against Environmental Racism meets every Tuesday during the academic year to educate students and foster activism. The group explains environmental racism as the way that “poor communities, but specifically communities of color, are disproportionately impacted by pollution, waste disposal, hazardous sites, resource depletion and natural disasters in the natural and built environment,” and how an unequal infrastructure reinforces those problems.

Whether today’s Ducks are artistic, adventurous or activist-ous (or maybe a little of each), the ASUO’s list of programs has at least a little inspiration for all.