Eugene biennial: “Snow glad y’all made it!” through weather and travel problems
Thank you for coming to Eugene, everyone, and for persevering through the inclement weather. I am very grateful to all the SEA members, University of Oregon colleagues, and local Eugene partners who made the conference a success. The weather posed many challenges both for travelers and for our hosts. The staff at the Erb Memorial Union had our meeting spaces ready for us even though they had not been at work on Wednesday, and opened late on Thursday. The staff of the Hotel Eugene had been scrambling due to renovation work that was announced to them by their new corporate owners only about ten days prior to our event. This forced us to reassign four of the meeting rooms, which in turn led me to rush through an amended conference program. Although we were disrupted some by the noise, everyone dealt with it graciously, and the food prepared by the Hotel Eugene kitchen was excellent.
The reception Friday night at the Oregon Wine Lab was a highlight of the event, and I’m grateful to Cassie Szczepanski for opening the winery in the back of the tasting room, which gave us plenty of space after all for our large group.
A few of you have written to ask about refunds of the conference registration fee. I think it would be fair to refund the registration payments to SEA members who tried to travel to Eugene but did not make it due to weather-related travel delays. A number of people flew as far as Denver or Los Angeles, for example, only to find their next flight cancelled, and no reservations available for subsequent flights to Eugene. The first snowstorm in Eugene, on Monday morning Feb. 25th, had already created a backlog of passengers. If you thus qualify for a refund, please send me the cardholder name by which the payment was made, the amount paid, and if possible the date of the transaction and the transaction code. This information is needed to order a refund from the UO business office.
Prof. Gordon Sayre, English and Folklore, University of Oregon
March 6, 2019