33 Responses to UO rips out cheap dorms to make room for Uncle Phil’s Athletic Village gentrification

  1. John H. says:

    Those dorms were old. Good thing they are being torn down for new buildings.

    • honest Uncle Bernie says:

      A downside is that these dorms that are being replaced were cheap, even if they are crappy by today’s standards. A lot of prospective UO students are probably put off by having to pay high fees for the new dorms. It seems to me UO is already oriented too much to the upper middle class (and the upper class out of state types). I doubt that UO is giving anywhere near the breaks on dorm fees that would be needed to prevent price increases to those who can’t really afford them. Of course, there are always student loans they can sign up for ….

      • John H. says:

        The Upside is these new dorms are modern and streamlined for modern education needs like strong wifi & modern living facilities. New stiff isn’t cheap. Someone has Tom pay for the supplies, labor, insurance, upkeep.

      • John H.. says:

        I went to Community College first 2 yrs and transferred to finish my BA the last 2. I focused on my studies. Not financial disparities. I decided if I studied hard enough, those things would take care of themselves. They did.

  2. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    This could be an interesting topic, but let’s have more than a detailless allegation.

  3. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    And on a related matter, the new dorm at Agate and 15th looks pretty ugly to me on the Agate side. Could have used a Phil architect? And, it’s created a new traffic jam at critical times, every half hour or so. Traffic lights or a pedestrian declogger like the pretty effective one a block north? UO should have thought about this earlier.

    • Anas clypeata says:

      Cars not being able to move is a feature, not a bug. If the pedestrians are moving, there is not a traffic problem.

      • honest Uncle Bernie says:

        Maybe in your world. I know some people would love to bring traffic to a halt in Eugene. Been there and done that in bigger cities. I don’t suggest you run for mayor or city councilor on that platform.

  4. XDH says:

    I for one welcome all of this new undergraduate housing! I was at a conference at UW in 2015 and the Seattle dorms we stayed in we awesome compared to the $h!thole places in Eugene shown being torn down in the photo. I for one do not care if PK is pfunding these or knot. We desperately need new dorm housing to attract students, regardless of UoM’s cheap-shot headlines.

    • uomatters says:

      Phil Knight is not funding these, though fancy new dorms were part of Tracktown’s pitch to the IAAF – at one point UO was going to let the IAAF use them free though I believe Kevin Reed put a stop to that. UO is paying for them by selling bonds, which will be repaid with higher rental rates for students. Obviously some students want all the new amenities, others can’t really afford them. For the student view see https://www.dailyemerald.com/news/unthank-hall-brings-newer-more-expensive-housing-options-to-campus/article_7ad5b63c-2211-11ec-aa7d-2faaf2939b73.html

      • XDH says:

        Honestly, I do not care what pot of money these renovations are coming from. As I said, the way to recruit undergrads is excellent facilities, such as super sweet dorms, Glad UO is finally on that bandwagon!

        • uomatters says:

          the way to recruit *rich* undergrads

        • Tug o' the Forelock says:

          My undergrad days were spent at a top 10 liberal arts college, and my dorm room was a small featureless room in an ugly featureless building. The attraction was the education, not the amenities. But that was back in the day, and I guess “kids today” need more shiny things?

          • just different says:

            “Kids today” have grown up in much larger houses, almost always with their own rooms. They don’t want to share with a roommate or feel like they’re living in a Soviet orphanage if they’re paying $30K+ for college. It’s a matter of staying competitive.

            • honest Uncle Bernie says:

              As long as they’re OK with paying for the new luxury facilities, it will work. That $30K+ is going to become $40K+ for in-state, or very close; and near $60K for out of state. That’s why UO has become mostly a place for the upper middle class, plus the upper class from out of state. I continue to think there’s a market for the more average (in terms of socioeconomic status) students. After all, it’s still called a “public university.” If it beomes a place only for the rich, the talk about “diversity” just turns into hot air.

              • Anonymous says:

                Among the places I stayed at while just barely affording school were, the cheapest and oldest dorm on campus with 2 roommates (one slept in a Murphy bed in the so-called “living room”, a WW2 era four plex (looked like a Monopoly game hotel). And a garret room where I had just enough room to have a single bed and a desk, just like Raskolnikov. I worked 4 part time jobs for Engineering, Hydraulics Lab, TA and Landscape Architcture. I still graduated with fairly significant debt. As a University in a poor state, UO should make at least SOME room for that type of student.

                • just different says:

                  I lived in hovels, worked multiple jobs, and walked uphill in the snow both ways too when I was an undergraduate. And it sucked and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I’d rather see better financial aid than worse housing for the lower-income students.

                • uomatters says:

                  When I was an undergrad at Columbia the subway cost 50 cents so I had to walk to Studio 54 and then back after dancing disco all night.

              • Not public says:

                When less than 10% of budget comes from state it is no longer a “public university”.

                • uomatters says:

                  Last I looked direct state appropriations through the PUSF were 15.5% of UO’s Education & General Fund, and rising. https://trustees.uoregon.edu/sites/trustees1.uoregon.edu/files/2021-09/meeting-materials-full-bot-september-2021-v2.pdf

                • Not public says:

                  Well, 15.5% – guess that makes us public then.

                • uomatters says:

                  It’s a touchy issue. That 15.5% is operating funds for “academic and general” purposes. It ignores the money the state gives us for buildings, student aid, federal funding, etc. For years UO would say it was 6% – which was true if you included housing and the bloated Duck budget in the denominator, which is not common practice in higher ed funding. This chicanery went on for a few years after we got our own Board, which was originaly tasked with finding private support for operations and making us more like UVa, for example. But eventually they seem to have realized that their constant complaining and belittling the public contribution was not making the state’s voters any more generous, so they switched to acknowledging the state contribution and lobbying to increase it. This has worked out pretty well, and along with constant tuition increases has kept UO’s operating budget in pretty good shape. Meanwhile private philanthropy – Knight Campus, Tykeson, etc – has done lots for particular projects, but so far as I can see has not even come close to providing the kind of operating support that we and the legislature were told would be forthcoming, as part of the SB270 lobbying.

                • Public says:

                  I never understood this “not public” UO argument. If the UO is not owned by the public, then who owns it? Schil? The flunky board? Uncle Phil? The professors? The students? The janitors? The parents? The alumni? No, the UO is public and owned by the people of Oregon. If the 6% or 15% argument had any merit, then the fee-supported DMV wouldn’t be public either, and totally unaccountable.

            • Home is where the heart is says:

              Given that the largest cost of attending UO for students today is the cost of housing, wouldn’t ‘staying competitive’ also involve keeping those costs down?


              We could struggle a lot less about tuition hikes & wages if UO used its bond leverage to construct affordable housing in the east campus area and rented it to students and employees. Schill gets a house, why not the rest of us?

  5. John H. says:

    Some folks just want to look at the world through the most cynical of lenses, I don’t. I volunteer to help organizations and work on improving myself. Have a good day everyone.

  6. Dogmatic Ratios says:

    Everyone is acting as if there is no climate crisis: the university, the private developers, the city, the state, the federal government, wall street, the corporations … They don’t care that construction has a giant carbon footprint. They don’t understand that old functioning buildings are cheap to retrofit, and tearing them down is wasteful of the climate investment they represent. And, obviously, we shouldn’t be building anything we don’t need — the new Hayward shrink-wrapped track, the new dorms, Autzen stadium, Knight Arena, and ‘updated’ schools, sports centers, reservoirs — how are any of these necessary? How do they help anyone? How do they help the planet?

  7. Mike says:

    As someone who worked my way thru school, this is a bad policy. It’s also way better for the environment and generally less expensive to rehab older buildings. It isn’t, however, the Eugene way of doing things. I often wonder the financial ties between the decision makers and the construction companies are more the driving force here.

  8. moss defender says:

    There are still about 75 homes in the neighborhood owned by UO (the freakin deathstar) so IT could be forced to fix them up and let students occupy them…..instead of intentionally mismanaging them and keeping them empty. That includes UO obeying some laws so it is automatically a non starter.

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