Southern Oregon University

Campus Organizer: Morgan Bechtold-Enge -

OSPIRG SOU students working to protect Crater Lake

Current Campaigns:

Protect the Bees
As you might know, millions of bees are dying of. Bee keepers are reporting that they're losing on average 30 percent of their bee colonies each year, and that's a huge problem because bees pollinate many of our favorite foods like strawberries, avocados, chocolate and everything in between. You could say that no bees means no food. There are a lot of factors contributing to bee colony collapse, but one particularly pervasive problem is the use of neonicotinoids or neonics, a type of pesticide used primarily in largescale agriculture. This term we're working to pressure the EPA to place a moratorium on these bee killing pesticides by demonstrating to them that we have massive public support. We'll be running this campaign in fall here on campus as well as on campuses across the country to make sure the EPA does the right thing.

Save Antibiotics:
Did you know that we're quickly headed towards an antibiotic resistant era? The rate of antibiotic resistant infections in recent years has increased dramatically. In fact, the CDC reports that on average 2 million people are getting sick and 23,000 people are dying each year from antibiotic resistant infections. By the year 2050 they predict that more people will die from antibiotic resistant infections than from cancer. That's a huge problem because we rely on antibiotics to allow us to heal from everything from ear infections and cuts to serious childhood illnesses and chemo therapy. One of the biggest factors contributing to antibiotic resistance is the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms; 70 percent of antibiotics sold in the US are given to healthy factory farm animals. That's why OSPIRG is working to get restaurants that buy meats from factory farms to commit to purchasing meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics. And our strategy is working! Recently, we've hepled convince Subway, McDonalds and KFC to make the switch. We believe that if we can cause an industry wide shift we will be able to preserve our life saving medicines for when we really need them.

Hunger and Homelessness:
Oregon has the highest rate of child hunger in the nation, 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 the Ashland and SOU Campus Food Banks to raise money and run food drives so that we can feed our neighbors. Recently for our hunger and homelessness campaign, we helped to increase food security on campus and in our community be gathering over 500 lbs of food for our campus food pantry and for the Ashland Emergency Foodbank. We also worked closely with AEFB, Jackson County Fuel Committee and the Governor's Food Drive.

100% Renewable Energy:
In order to move America towards a 100% clean energy future, we need to continue to move 100% renewable energy into the mainstream. A key part of that effort will be working on college and university campuses. College and university campuses are home to important thought leaders, researchers, and most importantly, to students. College and university campuses have a long history of leading the charge on some of America's most important social movements. One of our biggest recent accomplishments was helping to pass the Coal to Clean bill, HB 4036. This legislation not only makes us the first state in the country to commit to going coal free, but it also increases our renewable energy portfolio standards to 50 percent by 2040 and has provisions that help us establish community solar, which will make solar a more viable alternative for consumers in our state. Here on campus we gathered over 500 petitions, generate activist phone calls to our elected officials and went up to Salem to ask them to vote the right way.

Latest News

Southern Oregon University’s Oregon Student Public Research Group (OSPIRG) is back in full swing with new and existing missions including the existing “Save the Bees”... More ›
More on Higher One's card Oregonian personal finance columnist Brent Hunsberger wrote about Higher One's fees in 2010 and how Portland State University and Southern Oregon... More ›
“If the rate of disinvestment continues at the rate it has been, most universities will be private within 10 years or less”. This was predicted by Thomas Letchworth, a... More ›