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Today's word on journalism

February 17, 2009

Why I miss my hate mail:

"It's an odd thing to admit, but in a perverse sort of way, I actually miss the wretched river, the rancid flow of puerile, nasty, sickeningly homophobic email I used to receive on a regular basis from the ultra-right and the Christian right and the Mormon right and the Bush-impaired whenever I would post a friendly, pointed column full of tangy liberal attitude. . . . . Oh, I miss all the lovely and positive email too, which outpaced the nasty stuff by a huge margin. But the hate mail was very special indeed, great fodder for live readings, for the reaction of horrified disbelief of anyone who saw it, for the charming reminder of just how ugly and violent and grammatically challenged the human animal can be."

--Mark Morford, columnist, (2/13/09)

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Utah State students will protest Friday at state capitol

By Megan Wiseman

January 20, 2009 | LOGAN -- Budget cuts to Utah State University are going to be a worry to students, faculty and alumni alike, says the executive vice president of ASUSU

If the Legislature passes its proposed plan of a 19 percent cut, which includes $30 million and more than 600 jobs cut over six months, the loss will affect not only students currently attending USU, Jackson Olsen said. Those who have already graduated will also feel the impact and will need to worry about the value of their degree.

To combat the Legislature's proposed budget cut, Olsen and ASUSU members have been working with others at the university to put together a rally at Capitol Hill Jan. 30. They hope to persuade the Legislature to pass Gov. Jon Huntsman's proposed plan, an 11 percent cut that would amount to $17 million and more than 300 jobs cut from USU in the next two years.

Olsen said the university had to go through the logistical steps of obtaining a permit from the State Capitol and the Utah Department of Public Safety to hold a protest. He said that it is important to show civil disobedience and to take these precautionary steps to show those at the Capitol that USU students are serious about their cause.

After getting the permits, the next steps were to get USU's presence formally recognized by the House and the Senate on the floor, and then create an agenda with a line up of speakers, Olsen said. The president of Snow College, Scott Wyatt, who is a former Aggie student body president, Salt Lake legislators Brian King and Christine Johnson, and North Logan legislator Jack Draxler are all scheduled to speak on Friday, he said.

Once this formal process was complete, Olsen said that the next step was to get students involved.

"The hard part is now getting the word out, finding people and getting them to commit to going," said Olsen.

To try and get as many students involved as possible a rally was held in the Hub on Wednesday, with President Stan Albrecht as the keynote speaker, as well as "dorm-storming" at night to get students in on-campus housing involved, petition signing, and a sign-making party scheduled for tonight at 9:30,

"We're hoping that anywhere from 300-1,000 students will show up in Salt Lake," said Olsen. "We want to have as large of a presence as we can. We hope that after the Legislature sees all the steps that our students have taken, they will embrace the Governor's proposal and abandon their own plan."

USU won't be the only university with students present on Friday. Every higher education institution, every college and university in Utah will have some presence at the rally, Olsen said. Even BYU and Westminster, which are private institutions and won't be affected by the budget cuts, have plans to attend and give their support, said Olsen.

Utah State has gained a lot of respect on Capitol Hill over the last couple years, said Olsen, by traveling down to the Legislature to fight for things such as research funding and tax-free textbooks. He hopes this respect will work in USU's favor, but despite the outcome of Friday's rally, he said the Legislature will at least still have respect for USU and its students.


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