It’s Party Time! Do You Know About the Social Host Ordinance?

Wild Party

 

4th of July is approaching and you’re no doubt already planning your own party and/or being invited to get-togethers with friends. Before you get too carried away with planning your BBQs and events, however, you should keep the Social Host Ordinance in mind.

Wait, the What?

The Social Host Ordinance (also known as The Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings) is a law that holds individuals responsible for organizing and hosting an unruly event. In other words, if your party gets out of hand, you’re criminally responsible for it.

What Constitutes a Disorderly Gathering?

That’s a fair question, after all one person’s disorderly gathering might be another person’s book club. Here are the telltale signs of a party that will land you in trouble:

  • Over-packed gatherings filling out onto the streets.
  • Under-age drinking.
  • Open alcohol container/consumption in public.
  • Noise pollution that affects neighbors.
  • Interfering with a police officer.
  • Drunk and disorderly conduct.

In other words, if it’s likely to result in a call to the police, it’s considered a disorderly gathering.

What about Fireworks?

Legal Fireworks are permitted to be used between June 23-July 6 and December 31-Jan 1. Your 4th of July party should be fine having them, but you won’t be allowed to use them the rest of the year.

What Can I Do to Avoid Getting in Trouble?

Below are some suggestions from the City of Eugene to keep your party safe and acceptable:

Keep a Guest List

Though it’s always tempting to adopt a “come one come all” attitude about your party, this typically ends with a party at max capacity pouring out onto the streets. By knowing ahead of time how many people you’re inviting you’ll limit the party’s capacity to escalate beyond reasonable levels.

Inform Your Neighbors

Let your neighbors know the date and time of your party beforehand. While you’re at it, give them your phone number and contact information should any concerns arise. This step will go along way to avoiding the police being called on your event (and also makes you a better neighbor).

21+ Only

Keep your party legal! If there’s going to be drinking make sure all guests are of the legal drinking age.

Monitor Noise Levels

Keep an eye (an ear?) on the noise levels of your party. Don’t blast your music to the point where people have to yell to one another and keep the hollering to a minimum.

Clean Up After Yourself

Your neighbors are less likely to have any issues with your (or involve the police) if your party is organized and clean.  Pick up after yourself when the event’s over.

Prevent Drunk Driving

Regardless of the Social Host Ordinance, this should be a rule for every party you host or are a part of. Do not allow your friends or you yourself drink and drive, or breaking the law will be the least of your concerns.

Be Polite to the Police

Look we get it, nobody wants the police showing up at their door, but it’s important to remember that they are doing their job. Be courteous and helpful should the authorities come with concerns about your party.

Call The Police if Needed

Call the police to your own party? When it’s getting out of hand or becoming dangerous, absolutely. If things reach the point where you yourself can’t control it, give the authorities a call.

That’s a good starting point on the Social Host Ordinance and should be enough to help you plan your upcoming summer parties. If you want to know more, you can read about the ordinance at Party Safe, Party Responsibly.  Have fun!

photo credit: Kids gone crazy 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.

Organizing and Cleaning Your Apartment Tips and Tricks

Apartment Cleaning Tips

Spring is just around the corner, and for many, that means Spring Break!  Before you hit the road, consider taking a little time to do some Spring Cleaning.  Messy apartments are just small messes that accumulate over time. Deal with messes as they’re made and cleaning will be easier in the long run. Consider these helpful tips to keep things looking great throughout the year.

Keep A Cleaning Schedule

You may have seen this tip in our Roommate Etiquette 101 post but it’s so useful we’re going to mention it again! Keeping a cleaning schedule not only ensures that your living space will look fantastic but also clears up any ambiguity of who cleans what. Too much time is wasted bickering over which mess is whose responsibility.

Wipe Down Your Counters

Wipe down your countertop surfaces every other day to ensure that any spills and residue are removed and that germs are disinfected.

Mop Your Floor

Now that you’re done wiping down the counters pass the mop on the floor to clean up any dirt that may have fallen below.

Clean Out The Fridge

It’s hard to look towards the future when you’re bringing along the expired foods of 2015. Give the fridge a good wipe down and toss out any food that’s gone bad.

Organize Your Bathroom Cabinets

Do you open your bathroom cabinets only to find shampoo and conditioner bottles collapsed on each other? How about snaking cords from dryers and razors? Try grouping your products by use (shampoos, conditioners, gels…) at least once a week. You’ll see how much easier it is to get ready in the morning.

Clean Your Toilets and Shower

This is no one’s favorite part of the cleaning cycle but it’s very important. Aim to clean your toilet and shower at least once every two weeks.

Get That Junk Off Your Table Surfaces

A coffee table can have some coasters on it, some remote controls, and even a coffee table book. What it shouldn’t have is mail piling up and random things that were never put away. Toss out what’s useless and put away what isn’t and you’ll see how much better it feels to have some open table space.

Pass The Vacuum

Dust gets everywhere, and it’s even more prevalent in common areas such as the living room. Pass the vacuum throughout the house at least once every two weeks (more often is advisable).

Launder Your Bed Sheets

Toss your bed sheets into the laundry at least once every two weeks. You’ll see the difference that sleeping in clean sheets makes.

Make Your Bed

Make your bed each day, if possible before leaving the house. There’s a psychological benefit to coming home to a made bed every day and you’ll start the day with something already accomplished

There, now you have a clean, organized apartment and some easy to follow schedules to guarantee it stays that way until you move out. Best of luck!

photo credit: Red Couch Project Set 10 (65 of 70) via photopin (license)

 

 

 

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)

10 Wellness Tips for Students

Exercise

Being a student is difficult enough without having to deal with illness and exhaustion.  In this cold season it’s more important than ever to take proper care of yourself.

1) Always Wash Your Hands

Make sure to wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season. A simple cleaning can help minimize your exposure to disease.

2) Drink 2 Liters of Water a Day

Drinking enough water is the corner stone of living a healthy lifestyle. The current recommendation is that the average person should drink at least 2 liters of water a day, so make sure you bring a bottle with you when you head out to class.

3) Get 7-9 Hours Sleep

Too often a full night’s sleep is put aside in favor of homework, socializing, or browsing the internet. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep and you’ll immediately feel the effects in the morning. It goes without saying that you should avoid all nighters whenever possible, or you’ll be feeling like a zombie the next day.

4) Don’t Eat or Drink Right Before Bed

Eating and drinking (caffeine, alcohol) will affect your internal clock and leave you with a not-so-restful sleep.  Leave at least a few hours between meals and heading to bed.

5) Find Time to Exercise

Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym to work out (although it’s great if you can). Walk or bike to class instead of driving to add some easy exercise to your life. You can also play a sport on the weekend with friends or through your school’s teams.

6) Eat Three Meals a Day

The benefits of eating three meals a day for your immune system and energy levels are huge. Always start the day with a good breakfast. If you don’t have time for a sit down lunch or dinner, bring a packed meal with you so you can have something to eat throughout the day.

7) If You’re Sick, Stay Home

We know there’s pressure to go to class even if you’re unwell, but the truth is you’re doing yourself and your classmates no favors by going to class sick. You’ll end up feeling worse and potentially pass the disease onto your colleagues.

8) Get a Flu Shot

A flu shot can be the very thing that prevents weeks of discomfort and illness. Check with the University Health Center on the U of O Campus.

9) Take A Break

Stress is a huge factor in fatigue and illness, so give yourself a break now and then! Take some time to see friends, play a video game, or read.

10) When In Doubt, See a Doctor

If you’re feeling unwell and your symptoms are not improving then no one can help quite as much as a doctor can. Your campus clinic or your personal doctor will be able to give you a checkup and suggest the necessary steps towards a full recovery.