Oregon State University President Ed Ray announced Monday that the Corvallis campus would be shuttered at the end of the 2014-’15 school year amidst concerns that the institution has been tone deaf to community issues. Days prior, Corvallis Police disclosed that militant parking advocacy groups had accumulated a cache of arms that included at least one armored tank and a number of Seaways fitted with turrets. Ray also disclosed that the university just bought the town of Lebanon and will relocate there; David Koresh, Jr. is overseeing the transition.
At the time of the press conference, Ray discounted allegations that student safety was the motivator for the move, saying, “Police were unequivocally on top of the terrorist parking extremists situation and at no time were any of our students or staff at risk.” However, The Advocate has learned that top university brass were not so sanguine as they would like the public to believe.
Only one day before the press conference, Ray requested contact information from the financial aid department for recent psychology graduates that had not yet gone into real estate or multilevel marketing sales careers. In the same memo making these requests, Ray disclosed, “The university is assessing its ability to quickly respond to massive psychological trauma.”
There is some corroboration for Ray’s version of events. State Senator Sara Gelser disclosed that the political will to keep the university funded was waning in the state capitol as allegations of a state institution gone rouge mounted. “Its [OSU’s] students had clearly overrun the school’s borders with their cars, living arrangements and taste for kombucha,” said Gelser, continuing, “It is easy to see how residents could feel intimidated by these aggressive acts, especially as they issue from an institution with its own nuclear reactor and Homeland Security-funded nuclear forensics program.”
In a phone interview, Corvallis City Councilor Mike Beilstein said, “Given the demands placed on city services it probably is best for the university to have bought its own city to be run however it sees fit.” Lebanon Mayor Paul Aziz in an enthusiastic press release gushed, “Today is a milestone for Lebanon, and we will add frats and sororities to our mix of independent business people offering homebrewed crystal feel-good products and Advocate columnist Johnny Beaver will stop picking on us.” Beaver, found making snow angels of black acrylic paint on the floor of The Advocate’s downtown loft space, declined to comment beyond repeatedly uttering the word “rosebud.”
UNHAPPINESS IS A WORN GUN
But then, there is the matter of yet another unearthed memo, this time from Ray to City Councilor Penny York, calling her a weenie.
Sources deep within City Hall tell The Advocate that the seemingly non sequitur council decisions concerning an open gun carry ban in Corvallis may have everything to do with why OSU is leaving town.
The council held 11 sessions on the subject of banning open gun carry and then passed something called the York Policy which states in part, “Verbal threats and insults regardless of the individual recipient’s or family’s beliefs, status, or origin are not acceptable in the City of Corvallis.” And then, in an odd turn of events, left the open carry of firearms entirely legal within the city.
Our sources at City Hall tell us this may ultimately have come down to a double-barrel answer to Ray’s memo, one side legal threat and the other side strapped-on gonna-get-you threat.
THE KEVIN DWYER THEORY
Corvallis Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Dwyer forwards another theory, saying, “It could be that Ray is simply tired of townies whining about gownies and their desire to live somewhere as the frocked ones account for much of the city’s current economic successes.” In a phone interview, Dwyer is actually more ebullient over Corvallis’ future economic prospects than one may expect, saying, “New and exciting transient populations had been emerging prior to the announcement that OSU would be leaving, and one can already see a social service sector arising.” Dwyer also reports that the Chamber of Commerce is developing a pamphlet on the subject.
By Rob Goffins