College Campus Safety 101 (An Info Graphic)

Your college years should be a time to grow and learn within the confines of a safe and accepting environment. You have the right to feel safe and secure in your academic community and campus crime is not to be taken lightly. A little advanced preparation and awareness can go a long way to help prevent crime happening to you.

This printable how-to guide for campus safety we found on simplisafe.com offers simple tips that could go a long way to help prevent the unthinkable happening to you.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the The UO Police Department (UOPD) and remember they are on call 24/7. There are yellow emergency call boxes around campus that students may use should you ever feel unsafe. Familiarize yourself with the locations of these systems and use them should a situation arise. For your convenience please find attached a map of Emergency Phone Locations

Also, we advise plugging 541-346-2919 in your emergency contacts on your phone. This is the number to The University of Oregon campus escort service should you ever find yourself in need of a safe ride or escort to where you need to go.

In non-emergency situations you can call your campus security office. If you’re a University of Oregon student the non-emergency number to save is 541-346-2919. If you’re on campus then dial 6-2919.

 

Eight Benefits Available to U of O Students (You May Not Know About)

There’s no shortage to the excellent benefits and resources U of O has to offer its students: terrific career services department, state of the art facilities, an unparalleled staff, the Ducks (go Ducks!). Still, you may be unaware of some of these less obvious resources.

Zipcar Student Rates

Zipcar has partnered up with University of Oregon to provide affordable prices to the student population, allowing you to join for only $15. Head to our Zipcar post for more info!

LTD Rides for Free

That’s right, flash your student ID badge and you can ride any LTD bus for free. Click here for info regarding their routes and time tables.

Discounted Rates for Enterprise Car Share

Not only is the one-time $20 fee waived if you’re a student, your annual membership is a discounted $35! Visit Enterprise’s Car Share page for a map of available cars and pick up locations.

10% off Whole Foods Purchase

Did you know that as a student you can save 10% of your entire purchase every Tuesday throughout the academic year at Whole Foods? Not a deal to miss!

Deals on Mattresses from American Mattress Manufacturing

A new mattress can be a costly endeavor; American Mattress Manufacturing helps by offering discounts on mattresses and full sets.

Save Money on Software and Hardware

Most major software and tech companies—Adobe, Apple, Autocad, Microsoft—will offer student discounts on software and hardware; in some cases even allow students to use software for free.

Expand Your Mind Without Paying A Cent

Both the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural & Cultural History are free to students! Just bring your student ID with you and you’re good to go!

Get Your Swing on for Less

Like others on this list, Laurelwood Golf Course offers discounted rates to University of Oregon students!

Who knew a student ID could save you so much money? Be sure to follow our blog for the latest in tips and hacks for student living in Eugene!

Seven Ways to Feel Like You’re Getting Away (Without Having to Go Very Far)

Don’t know about you, but we’re pretty happy Spring is here! It could not have gotten here soon enough and you’re probably eager to get away and take a break.  If travel is not in your budget this spring, fret not. Here are seven “must-do” local activities this spring. Consider this your Spring in Eugene “bucket” list!

✓ Pack a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon strolling through Hendrick’s Park

With 80 acres of stunning gardens and incredible views, Hendricks Park is a must for any nature lover. It’s the oldest park in Eugene and it’s never quite as noticeable (or incredible) as when you’re walking beneath the branches of 200-year old fir trees.

✓ Take a quick roadtrip to Florence, Oregon

Florence may be a bit of a drive at 60 miles west of Eugene, but it’s absolutely worth it for the stunning beach! Grab some friends and enjoy surfing, biking, fishing, dune buggy riding, and kayaking. When you’re done, why not spend some time and explore Florence’s unique charms?

✓ Spend some time people watching at Amazon Park

With so much to do in this 99-acre park, there is ample opportunity for people watching as you unwind, relax and take in the scene. There’s tennis courts, soccer fields, a skate-park, baseball diamonds, ball fields, a community garden, concerts, picnic tables, recreation centers, bike paths, a dog park, and exercise stations. It also contains Eugene’s only outdoor pool in its recreation facilities.

✓ Embracing your wild side at the Cascades Raptor Center

No, not those kind of raptors… though that would be cool.

The Cascades Raptor Center houses one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest collections of birds of prey (over 50 species)! Eagles, Hawks, and Owls are just some of the usual suspects you’ll find in the center’s aviaries.

Tending to these beautiful creatures is a lot of work, so if you’re an animal lover looking for a way to become involved and make a difference why not volunteer and lend a hand?

✓ Enjoy a concert at WOW Hall

With shows ongoing throughout the year, there is no doubt you’ll find something to rock out to at WOW hall! Be sure to check out their Events Calendar!

✓ Hike up and enjoying the view at Spencer Butte

Spencer’s Butte is a favorite destination for students, couples, even families to recharge and reconnect with nature. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better spot to spend a day. You can typically expect to spend anywhere from 1-6 hours to reach Spencer Butte’s summit depending on which trail and pace you wish to take.

The Main Trail is a 700 foot climb over 1.08 miles, whereas the West Route is a 700 foot climb over 0.6 miles. How you decide to head up is up to you. Mountain bikes are not permitted but dogs are so bring your furry buddy with you just as long as you keep them on a leash.

✓ Find your moment of zen at Cougar Hot Springs

Located 50 miles east of Eugene is Cougar Hot Springs, a local favorite to get in some relaxation in the water. Take a dip in one five pools in springs that range from 85° to 112°! For just $6 you can enjoy an entire day! Heads up- swimsuits are optional.

Of course, there’s always the local staples of museums, movie theaters, cafes, parks, great shopping, and restaurants to enjoy.  So get out there and enjoy our city!

 

How did the U of O Duck Become so Famous?

Ducks

Unless you’re living under a rock, you have probably seen the famous U of O Duck mascot just about everywhere on campus! It’s hard to miss him, but how much do you really know about him?

In 1876, when the University of Oregon was founded, an unusual mascot that went by the nickname “Webfoots” emerged when a local sports editor by the name of L.H. Gregory coined the phrase.  The nickname was to remain for around 60 years until it took on a very different form.

The Duck mascot first took shape in the 1930s in the form of a white duck, a duck by the name of Puddles. Puddles made many appearances at big games and became a huge hit throughout campus and in the community.

Inspired by the popularity of cartoons in the 1940s, the mascot took on its first cartoon form. Over time, however, this form became more and more inspired by perhaps the most famous cartoon duck of all time, Donald Duck.

EvolutionofDuck

In what now may be considered a very fortunate and quite unique deal, an agreement was reached with Disney to continue using the likeness of Donald Duck. This manner of agreement would be near impossible to reach in present day, but a stroke of luck had Oregon Athletic Director Leo Harris sit down with Walt Disney himself to cement the verbal deal. It was later set down to paper and now U of O has the only Disney approved mascot of any sports team around!

Did you now that  The Duck is that it has never been displayed on a team helmet? The U of O helmets have either been blank, displayed a number, an interlocking U & O, or just the Oregon O.

Though the mascot may have once been “Webfoot”, these days the U of O Duck goes by many names such as Donald Duck, The Fighting Duck, and simply The Duck. Needless to say, no one has called it Puddles in a long time.

We’re proud of our Fighting Duck and look forward to seeing it proudly displayed on all our local teams for many more years to come. Go Ducks!!!

Give it the Old College Try With These Back-to-School Tips

Photo Source - Scholar Advisor

Yeah, we know; heading back to college after summer break can be tough. You’re probably still enjoying your time off and avoiding thinking about classes and registration, right?

The truth is, it’s better to be prepared and to start thinking about it now rather than be blindsided later on. So whether you’re a returning student or a brand new enrollee, consider these Back-To-School tips to make your life easier down the road!

1. Registration and Paperwork are done, right?

This is a biggie so we’ll go ahead and make it number one. Be sure to fill out all necessary paperwork for your classes, meal plan, parking permits, and any other steps required to be a functioning student. There won’t be much of a back-to-school if you aren’t enrolled in any classes, after all.

2. Establish Healthy Habits

These are helpful to stick to all year round, but doubly so when heading back to class after a long break. Make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep a day and drink plenty of water. Try to get exercise when you can and rest when you’re sick. Stick with these tips and you’ll be in good shape.

Roommates

3. Get to know your roomie

You two are going to be living together for a while! Get to know one another, establish rules for cohabitation, and treat each other with mutual respect. You’ll have enough on your mind without having to worry about roommate troubles.

4. Be Safe

We could devote a whole post just to this (and we have) but the important thing to take away is to always be aware of your surroundings and careful when traveling at night. The buddy system is your friend!

5. Warm Up Your Brain Before College

Heading back to class, you’ll be expected to do a lot of critical thinking, assignments, and test taking. Like any good muscle, you should warm up your brain before putting it to work. Lead up to your term start by engaging in some brain activities, such as sudoku or crossword puzzles.

Stick to these tips and you’ll be ready to face anything your classes have in store for you!

Even the Score with UO $CORE

UO$CORE

 

How much do you spend on electricity a month? What about water? Is it higher than you’d like to be spending? What if we told you that you could be helped with your bills and do your part to help the greater good in the process? That’s exactly the case with UO $CORE, a student run program to help students save money on their utility bills for environmentally-responsible practices.

$CORE stands for “Student and Community Outreach for Renter efficiency” and was started in 2012 by James Walton, a senior business major who secured a grant from Eugene Water and Electric Board to create the program. Through $CORE, student staff perform free audits and install upgrades in older, off-campus student rental housing while also helping student tenants by providing information, materials, and skills to help lower their carbon footprint and utility bills.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how $CORE can help you save money then you should register for a free energy assessment!

Energy Assessment

What does this assessment include? Simply put, two Energy Evaluators will come to your house and assess your energy needs. Over the course of an hour they will install low use devices such as CFL lightbulbs and weather stripping, while also give you some information on how to lower your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Not only will your bills be lower and your house better for the environment, you’ll even get a free pizza from TrackTown Pizza if more than half the household is present!

CFLBulbs
Say hello to your new best friend.

Tips for Reducing Energy Use

$CORE’s Facebook page is constantly updated with handy tips to reduce your utility bills and carbon footprint. We’ve selected a few here to share.

  • Wrap your water tank with jacket insulation to save up to 10% on water heating costs.
  • Install low-flow showerheads.
  • When cooking on a stovetop, match the pan size to the heating surface to prevent heat loss to the surrounding air.
  • Put your computer and monitor to sleep mode (or off) when you’re not using them.
  • Replace your bulbs with Energy Star® efficient light bulbs.
  • Keep your freezer full to minimize energy used. For maximum savings fill the freezer with gallons of water.

A quick session with UO $CORE and you’ll have lower bills, a diminished carbon footprint, and free pizza!!! That’s what we call a win-win!

photo credit: CFL bulbs via photopin (license)

Eugene On The Cheap – Top Activities and Events That Won’t Break Your Wallet

 

Who says you have to spend a lot of money to have a good time? Eugene is full of fantastic activities and events that don’t require you to break the bank in order to enjoy yourself. The next time you’re bored and looking for something to do why not consider some of these options? Your wallet will thank you!

Art

Museum of Natural and Cultural History
The Museum of Natural and Cultural history is an incomparable look into Oregon’s distant past, a good 300 million years of history in the making.

Oregon Air and Space Museum
The Oregon Air and Space Museum offers a collection of various aircrafts and artifacts chronicling the history of air and space travel.

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
From photography to sculpture to painting to manuscripts you can find it all at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Parks and Hikes

Hendricks Park
This park is ideal for anyone with an interest in hiking, bird watching, picnicking, or simply looking to relax in nature.

Alton Baker Park
Walking your dog, fishing, BMX, exercise stations, and disc golf are just a few of the options available to you at Alton Baker Park.

Skinner’s Butte Park
The Columns of Skinner’s Butte offer a 50′ high rock wall that climbers can scale.It’s also a pretty fantastic spot for a picnic or to ride your bike.

Owen Rose Garden
The Owen Rose Garden organizes year-round Thursday work sessions where you can help manage these beautiful parks and get on some hands on experience in pruning, planting, and general rose care.

Amazon Park
Amazon Park offers tennis courts, soccer fields, a skate-park, baseball diamonds, ball fields, a community garden, picnic tables, recreation centers, bike paths, a dog park, and exercise stations.

Spencer’s Butte
Spencer’s Butte is a favorite destination for students, couples, even families to recharge and reconnect with nature.

Time To Get Your Culture On

Hult Center for the Performing Arts

Photo Source: Hult Center for the Performing Arts via Facebook

Eugene is a renowned destination for the culture seeker. From the University of Oregon to its beautiful parks and historic architecture, a day spent in Eugene is bound to leave to visitors inspired.

Nowhere is that more true than at these must-visit locations:

Museum of Natural and Cultural History

Breathe in that Pre-Historic Oregonian air! The Museum of Natural and Cultural history is an incomparable look into Oregon’s distant past, a good 300 million years of history in the making.

Witness the saber tooth salmon, the giant sloth, the buzz saw sharks, or head on over to the Glen Starlin Native Plant Courtyard, a research collection of over 120 of Oregon’s native plants.

Oregon Air and Space Museum

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the Oregon Air and Space Museum! Explore its collection of various aircrafts and artifacts chronicling the history of air and space travel. We recommend taking a guided tour to get a first-hand account of aeronautical history from a former aviator as they lead you through the museum.

Be sure to visit during the Oregon Air and Space Museum’s special events, which include air fairs, dinner speakers, fly-ins, and more!

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Nothing inspires the mind quite as much as a first hand look at the masterworks of some of history’s most influential artists. From photography to sculpture to painting to manuscripts you can find it all at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art also offers various ways to get involved with regularly hosted workshops and events throughout the year.

Hult Center for The Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Downtown Eugene’s art district, the Hult Center for the Performing Arts is a one-stop shop for stage shows and concerts. Fans of the ballet and The Book of Mormon alike will find themselves at home here. After the show, be sure to check out the permanent art collection on display throughout the venue. When we say there’s something for everyone at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, we mean it.

Oregon Contemporary Theatre

Theatre in the truest sense of the word! Behold hilarious comedies, tear-wrenching dramas, and toe-tapping musicals all in a one of Eugene’s top playhouses.

Looking to take some theatre or playwriting classes? The Oregon Contemporary Theatre has you covered. For the bolder among you looking to steal the spotlight, the Oregon Contemporary Theatre hosts annual auditions to join their roster.  They also have a vibrant volunteer program and great opportunities for practicum students and interns.

Cascades Raptor Center

No, not those kind of raptors.

The Cascades Raptor Center houses one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest collections of birds of prey (over 50 species)! Eagles, Hawks, and Owls are just some of the usual suspects you’ll find in the center’s aviaries.

Tending to these beautiful creatures is a lot of work, so if you’re an animal lover looking for a way to become involved and make a difference why not volunteer and lend a hand?

Smith Family Bookstore

For an avid reader there’s a unique thrill in finding a long sought-after book. The Smith Family Bookstore is the ideal hunting ground for anyone desperately searching for that elusive signed copy of Confederacy of Dunces. They even buy and resell course textbooks so be sure to check-in at the start of the term to give your wallet a little breathing room.

With two branches in Eugene (University of Oregon campus and one downtown) you’ll have countless, countless books to choose from.

Eugene Public Library

You may be asking yourself “did they really just suggest the public library?” You’re absolutely right we did. Eugene residents get a free library card granting access to books, TV shows, movies, magazines, audio books, CDs and even video games! Treat yourself to some of the classics without spending a dime or cluttering your bookshelves.

Did you know that with Overdrive or similar apps you can be renting digital books for free just by having a library card? That’s right, you don’t even have to leave the house anymore.

When you’re done soaking in the vast teachings of the past, head on over to Sizzle Pie for a slice. Not a bad way to spend a day.

A Hike Up Spencer’s Butte

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Feeling in a rut?  Roommates got you down?  Too much studying and need to get away?   Spencer’s Butte is a favorite destination for students, couples, even families to recharge and reconnect with nature. You’ve probably seen it if you’ve spent any time at all in downtown Eugene… it’s kind of hard to miss, after all.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better spot to spend a day. Trust us, we’ve looked. You can typically expect to spend anywhere from 1-6 hours to reach Spencer Butte’s summit depending on which trail and pace you wish to take.

The Main Trail is a 700 foot climb over 1.08 miles, whereas the West Route is a 700 foot climb over 0.6 miles. How you decide to head up is up to you. Mountain bikes are not permitted but dogs are so bring your furry buddy with you just as long as you keep them on a leash.

If you’re thinking of taking up the trail consider these tips:

Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Car

Unless you’re in the market for a broken car window and a stolen iPhone avoid leaving valuables in the car.

Wear Hiking Boots

Sneakers won’t cut it, you need boots with a proper traction for hiking. Trails could be rendered slick by the weather and you’ll want the grip hiking boots provide.

Wear a Hat

After an hour or two in the sun you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t bring a hat with you. Shade’s always welcome when trekking uphill.

Wear Sunblock

Always. Wear. Sunblock. Even if it’s overcast. Nothing worse than coming home peeling and raw from a big day out.

Use The Bathroom Before Heading Up the Trail

Yeah… nobody wants to have to deal with that halfway up the trail.

Bring Snakebite/Itchiness Kit

Pack a snakebite kit should the absolute worst happen, as well as something to deal with itchiness. And while we’re on the subject of itchiness…

Leaves of Three? Leave it Be

Be aware of the presence of Poison Oak throughout the hiking trail. We probably don’t need to say it but… don’t touch ’em.

Stay Hydrated

Bring a refillable bottle of water with you to stay hydrated on the trail.

Hike In a Group

Not only is it more fun, it’s safer too! Help each other out and avoid perilous situations.

Leave The Area Better Than You Found It

Toss your trash in a bin! If you see someone else’s trash littered why not pick it up and toss it too? And of course do not damage the natural elements of the hike: trees, boulders, flowers, etc.

Take Pictures

We mean it, the view up on Spencer Butte’s one of a kind. Take some pictures to brag the next time someone asks you how you spent your weekend.

 

photo credit: David and his new D5000 via photopin (license)

5 Safety Tips for College Campuses

Crime is an unfortunate byproduct of our time. Everybody encounters it in some way, shape, or form. Though experiencing some form of crime is inevitable , there are helpful habits that you can adopt today to minimize your exposure to nefarious elements.

Avoid Walking Alone At Night

No matter how safe you think a city is you should strongly avoid walking alone after dark. Minimize your risk by staying in a group and using the buddy system. Have your friends escort you when possible (and do the same for them).

If however no one’s available then consider using your campus escort service for a safe ride home. In the case of University of Oregon the number is 541-346-2919.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Don’t walk around with headphones on or with your attention focused solely on your phone. By not paying attention to your surroundings you may find yourself the target to some unscrupulous characters or an inattentive driver.

Awareness also means being cognizant of your location Avoiding visiting areas you’re unfamiliar with at night and use a map app to know where you’re heading by day.

Keep Your Doors Locked

It doesn’t matter if it’s the door to your apartment, your car, or your dorm room – keep it locked! Thought it won’t always stop an intruder it will certainly make their job much more difficult.

Of course, all the locks in the world count for very little if you open them. Be conscientious of who you’re allowing into your apartment. If you don’t know them don’t let them in.

Save Your Campus Security Number

First and foremost, in case of an emergency the number you should dial is 911.

In non-emergency situations you can call your campus security office. If you’re a University of Oregon student the non-emergency number to save is 541-346-2919. If you’re on campus then dial 6-2919.

Know Where Campus Emergency Systems Are

University campuses utilize emergency help systems known as e-boxes/callboxes to request immediate assistance. Familiarize yourself with the locations of these systems and use them should a situation arise. For your convenience please find attached a map of Emergency Phone Locations.

 

If all else fails you can always try learning self defense. Be safe out there!

For some more safety tips visit our Essential Tips for Cyclists in Eugene page.

 

 

photo credit: Light in a dark alley. via photopin (license)