Green Bracelets. Green T-shirts. Cancer banner.
I never thought I would be coordinating a cancer walk with three of my best friends and colleagues. I truly believe it when people say college opens many doors. It all started with an email two months ago from my Student Leaders of Service advisor. I have helped many times with on-campus, volunteer events, but I knew this one was different because it was outside my comfort zone. But right then and there, I snatched the opportunity to become one of the outreach coordinators. Two months later, I am sitting at an information table for the cancer walk as I post this blog.
The CureSearch Walk for Children’s Cancer will be taking place at Sellwood Riverfront Park on August 10, 2013. Our goal is not only raise the awareness for pediatric cancer, but to raise the number in attendance and support. My Community development manager, Mallory Zarate, has been advising and giving us the resources needed to reach the target markets of PSU students and the Portland community.
They say, Portland is one of the best metropolitan cities to live with one of the highest happiness index. What is better than living in a happy, sustainable city while obtaining your education? I can honestly say I love PSU, from the authentic culture, to the community development program, to the great people I have met.
I know I’m not the only one with Viking pride, so I decided to ask some of my peers what they thought about PSU!
“I love that PSU is so diverse. It gave me the opportunity to learn and grow through various individuals and their different cultural beliefs as well as share my own cultural knowledge of being Hawaiian.”
- Ka’ila See, Health Studies/Health Science Major
Portland is known for the “hipster” look; our clothes are either outrageous or we have no fashion sense at all. I don’t know if it’s the weather or my limited student budget, but I will fully admit I never really put too much thought into my outfits. But I have become more enthusiastic about a particular type of shopping, known as thrifting.
It is almost like a hobby, a simple thrill to find clothes cheaper than at a typical department store. The items could be new or secondhand. Sometimes I’m able to find deals for brand name clothing (not that it really matters) — as long as it’s catchy, vintage-y, different, it is worth it for a third or even a fourth of its original price.
As a second-year, non-transfer student, I am required to take the sophomore inquiry courses here at PSU. I have heard both the positives and negatives of the University Studies requirements. Students in the program are required to take a year-long freshman inquiry (FRINQ) on themes ranging from Race and Social Justice to Design & Society (pdx.edu/unst/freshman-inquiry-course-themes). Then, as a sophomore, you have to take three separately-themed inquiry classes (SINQ) and choose one theme for your junior cluster courses.
Personally, I have enjoyed both the freshman and sophomore inquiries. It has let me take classes outside of my realm and major/minor. As a freshman, I enrolled into the Sustainability FRINQ Read more
I turn my head to glance at the clock on the bright screen of my smart phone. It is a little past midnight. I think, “Okay, I’ll get exactly 7 hours, if I fall asleep. Right now.” Exhausted, I roll over again and attempt to find the most comfortable position. I even flip my pillow to the “cold side.”
I’ve found myself going through this episode throughout my life, but it has hit me especially hard during my college years. I’ve come to realize my thoughts are like a black hole at night: never-ending with no solutions.
During the day, I am stacked with classes from the morning till late afternoon, then a night class once a week. In between all this, I have an internship, student activities, and study time in the library. I even go to the gym at least a couple times a week, not just to get exercise, but to purposely drain myself.
My mind, which is annoyingly active, sprints through the usual topics before I fall asleep—family, friends, relationships, school. The topics that haunt me are the “what ifs” of life, the unpredictable future. Ugh, now my anxiety levels are going up.
I visualize myself planted in the middle of a Hawaiian beach, relaxed by the waves. Failed attempt. All right, time to count sheep.
Exasperated, I wake up to write in my personal blog.
Now, it’s 3 a.m.
My ultimate remedy for this problem?
Go to the kitchen to fix myself a 4th meal.
“That’s so Portland,” “Keep Portland Weird,” and “Portland is so hipster” are several phrases I hear from my peers, especially friends who do not reside in Portland. But I feel like to really experience Portland life, you have to live here and see it for yourself.
There are atypical scenes you will come across on the PSU campus and in Portland in general. I do not regard them as “weird” but merely a pleasant surprise that can make one’s day.
It was last year when I witnessed an unusual scene after leaving my Statistics final during Spring term. It was two fellows, one wearing a monkey mask, dancing by the streetcar stop near Subway. Their flamboyant van was blasting absurd beats and music—it immediately attracted students who were passing by. They danced the Macarena and used a street pole explicitly. People stopped, stared, laughed, and snapped photos. After a solid five minutes of spontaneous dancing, they got back into their van, waved, and then sped away.
At first, I was curious to see what their intent was, but I soon realized it was spontaneous and had no purpose. It reminded me of flash mobs, where groups of people come together to do something out of the ordinary simultaneously for a few minutes.
This particular scene conveys how the culture of Portland cannot be duplicated elsewhere. I’m proud to say that PSU embraces and welcomes an environment filled with various, cultural backgrounds, passions, opinions, and personalities all in one large, mixing pot. Whether it may be blatantly expressing yourself through your voice, or the random dancing act I witnessed, it is the epitome of what makes Portland, Portland.
What is your “weird” Portland story?
I was introduced to the student group Student Leaders for Service (SLS) through an Alternative Spring Break trip last year. SLS offers three Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips and any PSU student can apply for to be a part of one. I chose to serve the homeless population as well as other non-profit organizations in San Francisco. This remarkable experience has broadened my perspective and motivated me to stay connected to my community.
This year I am one of 25 members of SLS. The student-run group’s main objective is to be the liaison between students and community partners/organizations. I am currently interning at a local organization called SMART – Start Making a Reader Today. As a program intern, I am learning how to navigate the non-profits’ database, assist with volunteer applications, and compile research for grant writing. In the future, I will be more acquainted and equipped to work, “behind the scenes” with the logistics and administration of non-profits.
WIth my internship, SLS weekly meetings, and leadership training, I am understanding the importance of service-learning and social justice. I have this relentless urge to not only take action, but to spread the word and connect others as well.
To participate, you do not have to be a member or have any prior volunteering experience. SLS has started “First Fridays”: volunteer opportunities in community organizations on the first Friday of every month. Nov. 7th was our first successful day at the non-profit SCRAP. http://psuvanguard.com/news/students-pitch-in-for-afternoon-of-service/
Visit the SLS office in Smith Memorial Student Union Room 124 or connect to our sites to learn more:
Alternative Spring Break 2012 video clip: http://vimeo.com/41207825
What if you had all the time and money to travel wherever you liked? Where would you want to go?
I spend quite a lot of time daydreaming about traveling and experiencing a new culture. When I come across beautiful and extravagant scenery of various countries, I can’t help but imagine what the place would have to offer me. The knowledge and experience I would gain from the sightseeing, climate and people would be stories I would tell for years to come.
I am interested in studying or working abroad at some point before I graduate. The high cost and the lack of financial resources somewhat discourage me. But I attended the first Education Abroad Fair of the year on October 4th in the Smith Ballroom, and I grabbed numerous brochures about study abroad programs and international internships.
Community development is my field of study. I have decided that I want to get some hands-on experience working with disadvantaged populations. I have heard from one of my peers, the IE3 program has many global internships to offer (http://ie3global.ous.edu). The two internship locations I am most intrigued by are South Africa and Nicaragua. I would like to gain a better understanding about sustainable community development as well as global issues such as gender inequality, racism, and poverty in developing countries.
To learn more about education abroad, visit this site:
Or you can visit the study abroad office in East Hall, 632 SW Hall St.
• Tuesdays: 12-1pm
• Wednesdays: 1-2pm
• Fridays: 10-11am
It is that time of year, again. A new school year, new classes, and for me, a new place to live.
University Pointe, the new on-campus 16-floor apartment building, is finally open for lease to all students this fall. The apartments definitely surpassed my expectations of a typical apartment. My roommates and I chose the private four-bedroom and two-bathroom option. It is fully furnished, with lots of personal and community amenities. It is definitely an upgrade from my first-year shared room when I lived in the Broadway dormitory. With my own room and no RA, I enjoy my own independence and privacy. However, there are Community assistants and on-site staff to help whenever it is needed.
There is a controversy with the cost of the apartments. For my four-bedroom room, it is $599 per person. Compared to apartments in the surrounding Portland area, the cost averages around $300-600 per person (rent.com). Before I decided to live in the apartments, I considered these off-campus alternatives in Clackamas, Beaverton, and other areas in Portland. Ultimately, I chose University Pointe because it was conveniently on-campus, therefore, saving a few hundred bucks from not purchasing a parking permit or transit pass. In addition, the utilities are all included in the rent.
If you are looking for a place to live on or off campus, check out these sites: