chronicles september

Get off Your Ass and Vote

Chelsea 2

By: Chelsea Ware

Every morning when I read the news while drinking tea I am bombarded with articles about the candidates running in the upcoming elections. What’s even more surprising than the latest candidate scandals is that not only do many millennials not actively follow elections, but they don’t vote either. I would probably be able to pay off my student debt in a month if I had a dollar for every time I heard a young person say that they don’t plan on voting because it doesn’t even count or matter. Worse yet, I hear people say that they don’t vote because they don’t know enough about the candidates.

But it does count and it does matter. Student debt, health care, gun control — these important factors are all influenced by whoever is elected into office. Our votes help make that possible. While the Electoral College does have a large role in the presidential election, so do we.

The majority of the time, electors in the Electoral College vote for the candidate who has received the most votes in their particular state. Additionally, some states even have laws requiring electors to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in the state they represent and other electors are mandated by pledges to a specific political party. While there have been times when electors have voted contrary to the popular vote in their state, it is not as common as electors voting in favor of the popular vote.

In the time it takes you to find something on Netflix, you can run a google search on the presidential candidates and what they stand for. In an age when many citizens in other countries are still fighting to voice their opinions, it is important that we appreciate the fact that we have the constitutional right to exercise ours. So please inform yourself and vote. I promise Netflix will still be there when you are finished.


Looking back on a year of fitness

selfieBy: Sam Bakkila

In the corner of my room, right in front of my over-crammed bookcase, I keep my black Nike tennis shoes. These shoes have followed me a long way: they’ve cushioned me on ten mile runs, supported me when I put 300 pounds on my shoulders in the gym, and even splashed into the Willamette with me during crew practice on one of the most scorching days of this unusually hot summer.

When I started as a graduate student at Portland State last fall, I knew that I would need to be proactive about finding time for recreation and fitness. I’m getting my master’s degree in English literature, and I am also teaching writing courses to undergraduates. Trying to be a student and an instructor at the same time can be demanding and I knew that there would be no time for play in my schedule unless I made it a priority.

When I was in college, I didn’t have the healthiest habits. I rarely got seven hours of sleep, and though I liked to exercise, I didn’t make time for it regularly enough to reap its benefits. I was always tired and stressed-out and relying on coffee to give me the energy to power through my day.

I decided that graduate school would be different. My first step was that I signed up to have a personal trainer at Campus Rec. I had never felt very comfortable lifting weights—at other gyms, it always seemed like everyone else there had been lifting for years and they were silently judging my rookie mistakes. Having access to very affordable personal training led by other PSU students in such a welcoming environment was a great opportunity for me.

Before I started, I had lower back pain from sitting with bad posture at my computer, and I didn’t have enough flexibility to even perform some of the most basic lifts. Now, I lace up my Nike’s practically everyday, and as I perform my favorite lifts I feel my new-found strength radiating from my muscles throughout my whole body.

My shoes are now worn and ready to be replaced, and I find myself feeling surprisingly sentimental about letting them go. In buying these shoes, which were a little bit of a splurge on my student budget, I decided that I deserved good support in pursuing my fitness endeavors. In using these shoes, I remembered how much I like to challenge myself to get a little bit stronger everyday. Today, these shoes and their wear and tear represent goals made and goals achieved.


A Major Change

Chronicles Grav

By Shezad Khan

The fact that I’ll be a graduate student in about a month has me thinking about my undergrad years and how I struggled with deciding on a major. As a new college student, I firmly believed that I was going to major in biology. Being a bio major was something I had “figured out” in high school. But as time went on, I changed my mind. I came to the realization that I wanted to major in English – a subject that I truly loved.

I recently listened to a couple of younger college students discuss their indecision about what they wanted to do. This seems universal; I hear it from friends, family members, and other students. Now that I’ve finished my undergrad, it always seems interesting how much people stress about their major.

It’s a clichéd piece of advice to tell people they have time to figure out what they want to do – but it’s true. I guess my main piece of advice for new students, or continuing students who are still undecided, is to not stress about it. I changed my major sophomore year, and I know people who have changed their majors three or four times before finding what they truly wanted. I think the key to deciding your major is your happiness. If what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy, then don’t do it.

Find a subject that you love, and go for it. No matter what anyone else says or thinks about it, stick to it. You’re going to be in college for quite some time, you may as well have a passion for it.

no 3

The Hidden Power in Saying No

Chelsea 2By: Chelsea Ware

This upcoming fall quarter will mark my last year at Portland State. The combination of summer classes ending and receiving graduation notices from PSU in my mailbox have been making me reflect on what I have learned during my time here.

The multitude of classes I have taken have allowed me to expand and develop in ways I didn’t expect. One of the biggest skills that I have gathered is how to say “no” to certain people and requests. I think that society, and women in particular, are to taught to please and say “yes” even when that little voice in our head is screaming for us not to. We put ourselves in situations that cause anxiety and stress just so we can try to avoid looking bad and disappointing other people.

However, you can never be productive if you take on a burdensome amount of commitments and responsibilities. You end up spreading yourself too thin and unable to get anything done well or on time. It’s simply not good for either party when one agrees to requests that they can’t or shouldn’t do.

It takes guts to say it, but when used wisely, “no” can be an instrument of honesty and autonomy while also acting as a shield against burnout and angst. The power and beauty of “no” lies in its ability to set limits that define how we respect and see ourselves. “No” keeps us true to our values and allows us to devote time to things that we sincerely care about.

So try it sometime! I’m sure you will feel your backbone and confidence get stronger.


New tuition rates help only in-state students


By Marilynn Sandoval

As I was reading the news, I came upon an article saying Portland State is lowering the planned fall tuition increase from 4.2 percent to 3.1 percent. I instantly started to read the article, because it obviously concerned me as a student. As I read, my happiness quickly faded.

Although reducing the increase is amazing and will end up being a huge help for some PSU students, it won’t help me.

Full-time, in-state students  will save $90 each term. That isn’t a lot, but it is something still to be grateful for. Other universities such as the University of Oregon and Oregon State University didn’t lower their increases at all..

However, as an out-of-state student, I won’t benefit. I will pay $180 more next year than last year. The tuition for non-residents will still be $4,236 more per term than an in-state student pays — a total of $12,708 more for the year. That doesn’t include any other fees I will encounter.

PSU also is using the state funding to hire more advisors, faculty and other services. Although it seems like nothing, more support will ultimately help students stay on track. This will actually benefit all students, resident or non-resident.

To learn more about how Oregon university presidents are advocating for higher education funding, read this article


Vacation, all I ever wanted…


By: Sharon Nellist

I was under the impression that summer break would imply some rest and relaxation.

Certainly not this summer…..

Even though my last undergraduate year at Portland State does not arrive for another 72 days, I already feel slightly overwhelmed with all the work I have this summer in preparation. As well as being on-call for temp work to save enough money to make it through the next year, interviewing for internships, constantly reviewing my schedule choice, and considering graduate school programs.

So when I have a brief moment or a spontaneous weekend of freedom, I look for nearby areas that will assimilate that all so glorious feeling of paradise.



A great little refuge is just a short 30-minute drive across the Washington border – a place called Lewisville Park. It has a clear river swimming hole nested in between towering pines and several wildlife hiking trails.



Moulton Falls is another place that I have my eye keenly on. Just another few miles east of Lewisville Park, it also has several hiking trails with a billowing white falls, an old wooden bridge, and 15-foot cliff just waiting for a brave soul to jump into the icy cool waters below.


Tell me about your paradise?


Weather the Weather

Chronicles Grav

by Shezad Khan

It’s been an insanely hot summer for Oregon so far. We had a couple of weeks with temperatures sitting steady in the mid-to-high-90s. Thankfully, weather forecasts are finally showing our daily highs sitting between the mid-70s and low-80s. This is a great relief for those of us who aren’t so keen on hot temperatures and the blistering sun. However, aside from the hot weather, we have another big problem: drought.

I can’t remember the last time we had any measurable rain. I feel like it’s been at least a month, if not longer. Sure, we may have had some sprinkling, but that’s not enough. The last time I checked, 20 of our 36 counties had officially claimed to be in drought. We desperately need some rain!

A topic like drought can be scary to think about, but there are ways to help out during these conditions. With Portland State being a sustainability-minded school, I’m surprised there hasn’t been any word from them on this issue. Visiting the campus facilities page results in no mention of Oregon’s water shortage.

Fortunately, the Oregon Department of Water has put up some helpful links on how to conserve water. They have put up PDFs on how to save water inside the home, outside the home, on farms and ranches, and within municipal systems. Check these links out to see how you can help!