Blog Page 162

Student body leader makes unconventional choices

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Paul Zito started in his role as student body president June 1 after running unopposed with Vice President Anayeli Jimenez.
Paul Zito started in his role as student body president June 1 after running unopposed with Vice President Anayeli Jimenez.
Paul Zito started in his role as student body president
June 1 after running unopposed with Vice President Anayeli
Jimenez.

ASLCC President Paul Zito donned a bra, floral dress and leggings on the first day of Fall term — a milestone for an individual endeavoring into a more comfortable identity.

Zito’s morning started with a nervous dash from his house to his car. He then realized he wouldn’t be able to hide all day and made a point to stop at a gas station.

“I went in and bought cigarettes and coffee and the lady called me ‘love,’ and it was wonderful,” Zito said. “That like set the tone for the day. I don’t know if you call it passing or whatever but she didn’t throw me out of her store and she called me a cute name.”

In his ninth term at Lane and third year in Oregon, he said he feels less risk of ostracization and physical harm expressing his feelings of gender nonconformity in Eugene than in his hometown of Greybull, Wyo.

Zito identifies as transgendered. He has not had surgery to change his gender and hasn’t worn feminine clothing in public in the past. He said he doesn’t know how often he will in the future.

“I finally let people know that when I’m feeling extra feminine and I have a dress on, I prefer the name Shae,” Zito said. “I think that it’s kind of been a part of me forever, so it will be something that will kind of pop out as I’m feeling that way on the gender spectrum.”

His natural inclination toward an unconventional identity is a tendency that shows up in his leadership style, not just his gender. Unlike other presidents, who’ve pushed ASLCC bylaw reform and college affordability, Zito’s two main campaigns as president are opening an on-campus food pantry — the location of which was recently approved by FOOD for Lane County — and financial aid reform.

“Right now, they (the financial aid department) can make any policy or procedural changes they want and just not tell a soul,” Zito said. “I want them to have to operate within the governance structure of our college so that they have to present something to a council, move it to college council and then the Board of Education has to vote on it. It’s the way everyone else operates and there’s no reason why they should be operating outside of that.”

Zito said there is room for individualism within governmental structure.

“I relate to the way of allowing people to find their own path and in order to do that you have to be willing to do battle with bureaucracy to shape those spaces for people,” Zito said.

Political Science Co-op coordinator Steve Candee said Zito’s off-center attitude is refreshing and relatable for students who otherwise may not be interested in student government.

“He’s very inclusive in terms of his approach to student government and trying to do the right thing — the fair thing for everybody,” Candee said.

Candee said he thinks Zito understands the representative nature of his position and cares about representing students and their interests.

ASLCC has collected 1,500 Oregon Student Association surveys to assess the importance of particular issues to students.

Zito said he doubts that varied gender expression will have a serious backlash on his career here.

“Later on, am I going to have problems if I run for public office?” Zito said. “Maybe. I think it’s a new age, and it leaves room for some maneuvering there.”

Zito receives a warning Sept. 30 from a Lane Public Safety officer for parking on the grass near parking lot F. Zito said he parked there because no parking was available.
Zito receives a warning Sept. 30 from a Lane Public Safety officer for parking on the grass near parking lot F. Zito said he parked there because no parking was available.

Public safety briefs (4902)

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Public-Safety-Brief

Democracy Inaction!

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Credit: Char Houweling
Credit: Char Houweling

The federal government has shut down, taking away services many citizens, including Lane students, rely upon for their basic needs. Lane students may not currently see an impact, but if Congress continues to be divided in their willingness to provide funding, it’s only a matter of time until the effects are felt by students on our campus, according to Lane President Mary Spilde.

Congress’ sole constitutional duty is to pass spending bills that fund the federal government. On Oct. 1 Republicans refused to pass any spending bill void of provisions to defund or disrupt Obamacare.

A government shutdown takes away the government’s legal authority to spend money on what legislators consider non-essential services.

Financial aid will continue to flow, for now.

“Financial aid was already dispersed. So at least for this term, we’re okay with that,” Spilde said.

Veterans are currently experiencing an even longer delay than usual in the processing of their disability claims. Over 3.5 million citizens, who have either served or have spouses who have served, face receiving no compensation or pension payments in November.

“However, in the event of a prolonged shutdown, claims processing and payments in these programs would be suspended when available funding is exhausted,” according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Field Guide to the Government Shutdown.

Oregon’s WIC program – the federally funded, state-run program that provides nutritional and health care benefits to single mothers of young children – is continuing to run, but we wonder how long that can continue. WIC will cease providing benefits in North Carolina, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, despite federal attempts at continuing funding to WIC programs nationwide.

At Section 8, a program that supplies rental assistance to low-income families, applications will not be processed and public housing funding, while currently proclaimed safe for the month of October by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, is also in jeopardy if the shutdown persists.

“However, PHAs (Public Housing Agencies) are advised that HUD may be unable to make additional HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) and administrative fee disbursements beyond the October payment in the event of a prolonged government shutdown,” according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s government shutdown contingency plan.

Head Start is a program that provides developmental and educational services to low-income families and also faces a potential lack of funding.

“The Head Start program that we have here at Lane is still operating. I mean that’s with federal money, they’ve got enough to see that through,” Spilde said. “So, I think it’s more a question of how long it will last.”

The government shutdown will affect those relying on federal assistance the most and those receiving it need to speak up for themselves. Congress is still getting paid, thanks to the 27th Amendment to the Constitution.

The IRS is still collecting the tax money that pays congressional salaries. If Congress puts first the needs of the people who are paying their salaries, its members will restore government benefits.

Tell your representatives this shutdown is unacceptable. If you don’t think they’ll listen to you – and who would blame you, after all – then send this message through student government and other student organizations such as the Oregon Student Association and National Student Association that represent you.

Dental Program and HIV Alliance try to improve care sytem

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Lane’s dental program and the HIV Alliance will spend a $21,569 grant to outfit Chemeketa Community College’s satellite clinic with dental chairs and equipment.

The satellite clinic – at the Oregon Institute of Technology on Chemeketa’s campus – is intended to give Lane’s dental students an opportunity to work in a rural area that would otherwise go unnoticed, said Bree Nicolello, public relations coordinator for the non-profit HIV Alliance.

Nicolello said that the DentaQuest Foundation grant will go towards dental chairs and basic dental equipment like mirrors, cotton pliers, hatchet, and spatulas.

Sharon Hagan, program coordinator at Lane’s Dental Hygiene program said that the clinic will help all patients and that they must go through a screening process to get an appointment.

“We are happy to have our Dental Hygiene programs working together to provide needed services for this underserved population,” Hagan said.

o provide a low-cost, comprehensive dental service,” Nicolello said. “Last year, 750 patients were helped within central and southern Oregon. There are about 700-800 patients per year.”

Hagan adds that their prices have stayed at a low price which makes it affordable for low-income patients.

Mary Ann Kozlowski, manager of public relations for the DentaQuest foundation, said that DentaQuest provides grants for oral health issues. Rather than drilling and filling, she said that there are other ways of filling dental cavities.

Kozlowski said that the health care system is broken and that it needs to improve care delivery. Physicians and pediatricians can check mouths early and catch anything at an early stage, then act upon it by getting the patient the right doctor’s information at a local clinic.

Amy Hackenschmidt is a case manager who helps patients in rural areas get medicine and get to their appointments by using her personal car. If the doctor is uncomfortable treating the patient because they feel unqualified to, then Hackenschmidt finds a doctor who is an AIDS qualified doctor.

Stolen Suzuki eludes new owner’s notice

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Lane student Eric Givens watches with law enforcement officers as his Suzuki motorcycle is towed from campus parking lot L on Oct. 2. He paid $5,400 for a ride that turned out to be stolen.
Photo: Stephanie Orndorff
Lane student Eric Givens watches with law enforcement officers as his Suzuki motorcycle is towed from campus parking lot L on Oct. 2. He paid $5,400 for a ride that turned out to be stolen.Photo: Stephanie Orndorff
Lane student Eric Givens watches with law enforcement officers as his Suzuki motorcycle is towed from campus parking lot L on Oct. 2. He paid $5,400 for a ride that turned out to be stolen.
Photo: Stephanie Orndorff

A Lane student’s illegally parked motorcycle was towed from the South side of Building 16 Oct. 2 after a public safety officer determined it had been stolen.

Third-year criminal justice major Eric Givens said he purchased the Suzuki GSXR 600 from a private seller for $5,400 in June 2012.

“That was the average price of all the other ones that were on Craigslist,” Givens said. “So it seemed normal to me.”

He said the motorcycle did not come up as stolen when he registered it or got insurance because one of the agencies involved did not report it as stolen. Police are currently investigating to determine the agency responsible for the error.

Lane Public Safety Officer Chantelle Thomas was inclined to find out if the motorcycle had been stolen because of an advanced auto theft technique class she attended less than one week prior.

“So many (motorcycles) are stolen in this area, so I checked the VIN (vehicle identification number) plate,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the license plates had not been changed since it was reported stolen from Vancouver, Wash.

She said it can be difficult to pinpoint when a vehicle was stolen because after five years the system automatically purges and data is re-entered. The motorcycle was re-entered into the law enforcement data system this past February and most likely stolen in 2008.

Givens said the future of his motorcycle is uncertain until the agency responsibility for the error has been determined.

“I could be just out of luck and they take the bike, and I get nothing back, or they’ll give me the bike back, or they’ll write me a check for value of the bike plus everything I put on it,” he said.

Lane County Sheriff’s Deputy D.J. Mann said it’s rare that a person unknowingly possesses a stolen vehicle.

“They might say they didn’t know, but this seems pretty legit,” Mann said.

Givens said this experience has provided insight he will be able to use in his future career as a U.S. Marshal.

“It teaches me that things don’t always appear as the facts say,” Givens said. “Because apparently I am in possession of a stolen vehicle although I clearly didn’t steal it and I did everything right.”