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Fight and have faith

NLO_2015-116Written by: Jasmin Landa

I have no words, but I am still typing. I have failed, but I still have my strength to lift me back up.

Time and time again I have so much to be grateful for, but at times of weakness I find myself complaining or crying for something that might have been, was just right or was all that I ever wanted. But then I sit back and think, am I willing to fight for what I want? Yes. Will I fail again? Of course! And finally, how much am I willing to work for what I want?

Life isn’t easy, nor are the decision that we make. But just as time heals, repairs and builds a stronger self-portrait, it can only do that when you fight and have faith that all things meant to be will be. You cannot resist it, force it, nor make it be, but rather let it be.

So I am ready to fight, love and be a part of this journey we call life, because I have been given another day to appreciate the little things and love all those who enter my life just as they are. Are you ready for what this day will hold for you, your future and the dreams you strive for? Because I am!

To bite my tongue

Ross barked up the wrong tree

In one of those eye-opening 101 classes here at PSU, I learned that the most successful dating sites ask about principles instead of interests – e.g. gay rights vs. likes to read. As someone who is dating a man on the other side of the political spectrum – partywise – I immediately had to ask him, “Why do you vote that way?” His response: “I’m not falling for that one.” To him, politics isn’t that important, which is fine. 

In contrast, I was told to bite my tongue in any political conversation that may occur when my family visits from out of town. Well naturally I ruffled my feathers, and found it bizarre I would even be asked such a favor. 

At a campus, in a city, in a country even that tends to be politically charged, can we just ignore politics – especially when family and partners are involved? 

The easy answer is yes. My boyfriend is smart and just lets me rant about politics if I need to and nods along. Obviously if something is truly important to you, then you should discuss it on a stance-by-stance basis. But I think we can – and should – all agree that party lines are never drawn clearly. 

And when it comes to disagreeing with family, it may be best to just never talk about politics. The older we get the harder it is to shift our positions. And honestly, you cannot change another’s position – as much as I’ve tried – just as much as they cannot change yours. 

The age-old dictum to never talk about money, religion, or politics still rings true. But now with social media it is easier to display your political opinions in an open way, while allowing friends, family, and followers to choose whether they wish to engage or politely ignore it. 

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No Car? No Problem

By: Chelsea Ware

Who wants to pay for campus parking and gas on top of high tuition prices and overpriced textbooks? I know that I sure don’t! Before I moved to Portland I would drive almost every day, but here I have realized that I no longer need my car. In fact, I enjoy not having my car with me. There are so many other options when it comes to getting around!

Portland State offers discounted three-month TriMet passes that allow students to ride the MAX, bus, and streetcar with ease. Additionally, the streetcar is free downtown for students even without the paid pass; all you need is your student ID.

On September 12th of this year, the Tilikum Crossing, also called the Bridge of the People, will open for use. At more than 1,700 feet in length, it is the longest car-free transit bridge in the U.S. The bridge will allow MAX trains, buses, streetcars, cyclists and pedestrians to efficiently cross the Willamette without congestion from cars. Additionally, MAX will soon have a new orange line that crosses the bridge and allows for access to more stops.

Car sharing services like Car2Go and Zipcar also make it easy for students who don’t have a car but want to go further than the city limit for a day trip or just for errands. A low one-time startup fee and no monthly payments make it a breeze to use the plethora of smart cars that Car2Go has parked around campus and the general Portland area. You are only charged for what you drive and you can park the car anywhere in Car2Go’s home territory when you are finished. Zipcar has a monthly fee (price depends on the plan you pick) but allows users more flexibility when it comes to choosing different sizes and models of cars. It’s great if you need a larger car for the day. The Zipcar parking lot next to Safeway by campus makes it easy to pick up and return the car, too.

Biking to and from school is also a great option. PSU makes it simple by offering bike rentals and parking. The PSU Bike Hub is a phenomenal  resource for students who might need bike repairs or to rent other forms of biking equipment.

What do you guys think of these car sharing services? Do you think it’s easier to live downtown without owning a car?

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Awaiting the Looming Changes in Campus Security

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By Chelsea Ware

June will bring many things: the end to an arduous spring quarter, warm weather, but most importantly it is when the PSU Board of Trustees will review and vote on an implementation plan for armed security on campus. In December of 2014, the PSU Board of Trustees voted 11 to 2 in favor of having an armed police force on campus and for the past 5 months they have been constructing the details of how the officers will operate.

Under the plan, PSU will hire 12 police officers to join campus security. The decision was also a result of Portland State University President Wim Weiwel’s Task Force on campus safety; a group composed of members of the PSU community who spent six months studying safety on campus. The President’s Task Force suggested that PSU should have armed officers due to PSU’s proximity to downtown, its steady growth of students, and lack of safety resources.

The deaths that have taken place in Baltimore, New York, and Ferguson have left many students feeling uneasy about PSU’s proposed security plan. However, board members have expressed their hope that PSU can work to cultivate a security department that reflects the Portland State values of diversity and accountability.

Do you think that having armed officers on campus will add to students’ safety? As someone who lives on campus, I know that I will be following the upcoming changes closely and I encourage you to also. Whether you are pro or against the upcoming changes, it is important that we all stay engaged during this process.

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If Chivalry is Dead, We’re Stuck at the Wake

Teddi Faller

Teddi Faller

The other day I read an article about “benevolent sexism”, which did a wonderful job of discussing the problems of chivalrous behavior by explaining rather than accusing – unlike this article celebrating its death, or this one blaming women for it.

Both men and women face incredible pressure to do things a certain way. Men pay for things, open doors, and have this expectation to protect their women. We accept this because that’s how we define “men”.

It’s easy for women to say we don’t care whether a guy always picks up the check, but I don’t think that women could ever understand why it bothers men so much; however, we can certainly be sympathetic.

These three common instances only help perpetuate everyday sexism, which hurts not only women but also men:

1. Men “have” to pay.
With more women in the workforce with equal qualifications and education, it’s becoming more likely that a woman could make more than her male partner. But this prevailing idea that the man must pay for everything hurts both parties – he can’t afford it, and she feels guilty because he won’t have her pay.

2. Men waiting on women.
The reasons men waiting on women can be borderline offensive – even though many women appreciate it – is better outlined in the first article mentioned than I could ever do.
For men, however, this “chivalrous” behavior is and was created by extrinsic pressures from other men to treat their “ladies” as delicate. Men who do these things are considered “better” than others. Those who don’t get nitpicked by their families, friends, her friends, and potentially the gal herself. However, the creation of chivalry is also a way to differentiate between classes – is a guy less worthy because he wasn’t taught chivalry? No.

3. The “stupid” husband/boyfriend
This is the most problematic because there is nothing empowering about tearing someone down – particularly when it’s targeting an entire gender. How many times have commercials for household items portrayed a confused, sloppy husband? While I’m sure these couples exist – hence the stereotype – always showing men who don’t know how to pack their child’s lunch or change a diaper, normalizes and internalizes the idea that only – cisgendered heterosexual – women can raise a child.

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Summer, you’re taking very long to get here!

10373989_844446705612551_3373063601715068845_nWritten By: Jasmin Landa

As slow as summer is approaching, so are my plans for that time-frame. But what I do know of my summer is that I will be spending a small portion of my time in a classroom.

Summer classes are a definite for my plans this summer not because I direly need the credits, but because I want a little cushion going into the next academic terms. And also, I am a double major and a double minor, and would like to graduate within four years. Summer session allows me to take courses that would otherwise be taken in a the regular academic terms, thus making my four-year degree goal possible.

For the most part, I want to keep my classes within the first three days of the week, allowing me to enjoy the summer weather, work a part-time job and enjoy a little bit of free-time before the school year begins.

Summer 2015 will be one to remember: My mind will be working hard in the classroom and I’ll be experiencing the wonderful adventures that summer will bring to me here in this beautiful city.

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Let the Spring Light Wipe out Hate

By Chelsea Ware

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“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”

― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Spring’s warm weather is almost here! I love spring at PSU because I can expect to enjoy sunny afternoons on the grass, music by the water front, and ice cream breaks in between classes. However, there is one aspect of warmer weather at PSU that I don’t look forward too, and that is the evangelical preachers in the park blocks. As someone who spends a lot of time of campus, I’ve come to see PSU as my home and find it jarring when I hear someone screaming intolerant, homophobic, anti-Semitic and vulgar comments so brazenly. Whenever I see the preachers in action, I usually also see a group of students crowded around them shouting back. While I too get tempted to join in and argue with the preachers, I make a firm point not too. I think that the best solution to deal with people who come to campus and bellow discriminatory views is to simply ignore them. I know it’s easier said than done, but one of the main reasons people like that come here is because they enjoy having the audience. Why do you think they mainly come when it’s warm out? They know that they will have the largest audience and be the most comfortable. They simply enjoy arguing with the students and feel a sense of power from starting drama on our campus. If they were actually interested in spreading the word and teachings of Jesus Christ (which is love, by the way) they would do it rain OR shine. They would donate to the ASPSU food pantry or help pick up litter. These are not logical Christians; therefore arguing with them will accomplish nothing. This is our campus, not theirs. To take it back we simply need to rise above their hatred by smiling and enjoying the good things that spring has to offer.