CREIGHTON LEADS WAY ON COMMUNICATION

October 08, 2001 11:00 pm

Eastern Oregon University President Phil Creighton spent some time Wednesday afternoon talking with students about the new $30 per term energy fee. Since the announced higher charges from Oregon Trail Electric Co-op and Avista Corporation, the university is having to deal with major cost increases. In order to keep from cutting jobs on campus, EOU, like the rest of Oregons university campuses, has had to impose the charge.

Unfortunately for Creighton, about one percent of the students attending the university took time to show up for the meeting. It would appear that university students mirror the rest of the nation when it comes to getting involved in discussing important issues. We wonder how many of those not attending the session have complained to friends or others about the charge? And yet they didnt use the opportunity to meet with the university president.

We applaud Creighton for his willingness to sit down and discuss the energy fee and other issues with students. Communications is so important today and yet too many public leaders are unwilling to open up a dialogue with others. Creighton is a master at opening himself to discussing issues with both students at EOU and the citizens of Union County. From the start of his tenure, Creighton has gone out of his way to be available to anyone who wants to discuss matters related to the school.

Other leaders in the community should take a lesson from Creighton and hold monthly or quarterly meetings with constituents. Perhaps one meeting time could be arranged in the La Grande area to get leaders from the county, city, school district, hospital and other visible organizations together so citizens could make the rounds to ask questions and share their comments and concerns. The boards chair and the top paid officer of each organization could attend. Coffee and refreshments could be served to lure citizens to the meetings and help create a relaxed atmosphere.

Appearing at public forums is fine, but these same leaders should also spend a day every quarter going door to door throughout the community asking for input from citizens.

JUST WHO'S BEST?

Its just as well that the Seattle Mariners ended their season Sunday by winning 116 games, and not the 117 they hoped for. The higher mark would have surpassed the 1906 Chicago Cubs mark of 116 wins in a season.

The Mariners may have boasted they were a superior team to the Cubs. But would that have been true? Chicago ended its season 116-36. The Cubs winning margin was 76.3 percent. The Mariners played 162 games, and its winning margin at 117 games would have been 72.2 percent. By losing its final game, the Mariners spared the sports world the agony of having to debate which team was truly the greatest Seattle or Chicago.