“Dorm Jealousy”

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By: Zaira Carranza

Since coming to Portland State University, I have made many friends that live in campus dorms. I can’t help but be a little jealous because living in the dorms would make my life way easier. One of my friend lives on the 10th floor of the Ondine. She has the most amazing view of Portland from her room. I always go visit her to take naps. She has one roommate and two suitemates whom she shares the bathroom and kitchenette with. The dorms are more spacious than I’d expected and you can decorate it as you please. My friend keeps hers very clean and minimalistic. Some of downsides of living in the dorms are being homesick and having to deal with roommates on stressful days. Other than that they are super convenient, and I can’t wait to one day experience dorm life.

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Is This Home?

Chronicles Grav

By Shezad Khan

This is my fifth year at Portland State, and my last year as an undergrad. It’s very common remaining for half a decade in one place is enough to make you sick. In March I received an email letting me now that I had been accepted into a Master of Arts in English Graduate Program. Obviously, I was incredibly excited and even a little proud of myself. Can you guess where I’ll be attending school for my years as a graduate student? How about somewhere else in the state or even a neighboring state? Maybe the east coast, or even out of the country!

Alas, the answer is that I’ve decided to stay right here, in Portland, to attend Portland State for another few years.

So what is about Portland State that is so enticing? I’ve met people from several different states and several different countries who moved to Oregon so they could go to school here. Maybe I should have taken the time to ask what influenced their decision. But since I don’t have their points-of-view, I will offer mine.

  • My family moved to Portland when I was just two-years-old. Although we moved out of the city itself, Portland will always be my home.
  • My first visit to Portland State was overwhelming. It seemed enormous. Although it looks a little smaller now that I’m used to it, it’s still a giant campus.
  • The diversity of students and staff is incredible. I came from a high school of about 3,000 kids, there was diversity there, sure, but nothing compared to the wonderful cultures that mix at PSU.
  • I’m always learning something new about the campus.
  • There is always some sort of event going on. I seriously need to take advantage of this one!
  • The staff that I’ve had the honor of working with and taking classes from are simply amazing.
  • Last, but definitely not least, I have met some of the coolest people at Portland State. With so many attending students, it’s hard not to make friends.

I’ve enjoyed my last five years at PSU, and I have no doubt that I’ll continue to enjoy it during my years in the Master’s Program, regardless of how long it takes.

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Wait… elections are happening?

By: Marilynn SandovalMarilynn

Did you know the ASPSU elections are going on? To be honest, I had no idea until I heard a group of people discussing running for office. In my time attending PSU, I have only voted once, and that was because someone I knew was running.

I like to complain about things that don’t get done on campus or changes that need to happen; yet I usually don’t participate in these elections. I would like to think that I’m not the only one who forgets they even happen. I assume the number of voters isn’t high.

So I decided to do some research on this year’s elections and vote. Yes, I said it, I’m going to vote this time around, and I think you should, too. Through my research, I found that this year’s elections are actually controversial and causing important debates. I would suggest you check out this article of the coverage of the elections this year [http://bit.ly/1HAM5H9]. I know some people who are running too, so that was definitely a nice surprise.

I won’t disclose my own personal votes, but I would suggest for you all to do some research and cast a vote this year. If you want a change to happen, put a little bit of work in. It wasn’t all that hard pushing some buttons and hitting submit.

Check ASPSU’s homepage to learn more about the candidates at http://bit.ly/1G3ZMyY and hurry because the poll closes at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23rd.

Cloudy Day

Embrace the Gray

 Chelsea 2

By: Chelsea Ware

It seems like every day, whether I’m in line for coffee, riding the streetcar or in class, I hear someone complain about the rain. “I’m just so sick of this gloomy weather” or “I wish we would get more sun.” This attitude towards the rain in the Pacific Northwest astounds me!

First of all, the abundance of rain we get keeps the foliage lush and leafy. Oregon and Washington have some of the most beautiful trails, forests, and outdoor scenery. This is largely due to the fact that it rains much of the year. It keeps everything clean, green, and growing.

Secondly, as a native Californian I love the rain because I understand how much of a precious resource it is. After the lowest snowfall ever recorded and no end to the drought in sight, many homeowners in California have resorted to spray painting their dehydrated withering front lawns green. Back home my parents have to time their showers so that they don’t overuse their water ration.

Lastly, the rain makes it perfect for studying at one of Portland’s many cozy coffee shops. I love to go with friends to the Mezz café at the Pearl District Whole Foods when it’s raining. Not only do they have delicious coffee, it’s also right next to Powell’s Bookstore. So next time it’s less than sunny outside and you feel like complaining about the weather, try to remember that the rain is vital to many of the things we get to enjoy in Portland.

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The Choices you make at the Fork in the Road

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By: Jasmin Landa

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you weren’t going to college right now?

Would you be working at a part-time job, traveling, or relaxing on a lawn chair thinking about the things you want to accomplish?

The reason I find that question so intriguing is that while the human mind has the capability to dream and have aspirations for the future, it is also very susceptible to thinking of the past and dwelling on it. But at the end of the day, we can only live in the present and go forward. We gain memories and experiences from our past, and they shape who we are, but life moves forward not back.

Even though your past has had a lot to do with shaping who you are, this does not mean that where you came from and what you have done in the past determines the person you want to become tomorrow. It only takes one decision to change, alter, or ameliorate the life that you had in the past. It’s not where you have been that’s important, but where it is you are going with the dreams and aspirations that are within you.

If accomplishing our ultimate dreams was an easy process, the words “hard work,” “trying,” “sacrificing” and words of encouragement would not be used as often as they are. Challenging people’s utmost potential and breaking boundaries creates leaders, innovators, and phenomenal people. So what would your life be if you weren’t doing what you are doing? Well, it’s a thought that has escaped my mind. Today is only here for 24 hours, and the seconds will soon become minutes, and time will soon fly by, so live the life that you chose as you are the painter of your own portrait.

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For the Sake of My Sanity, Please Change the PSU Payment Plan!

By: Chelsea WareChelsea 2

I am an out of state student and PSU has offered me many opportunities and experiences that I wouldn’t have if I went to school back home. I have fallen in love with Oregon and don’t plan on leaving when I graduate. That being said, being an out of state student has also been expensive. While loans and help from family make my education possible, it’s hard not to cringe every time my quarterly bill is posted.

The PSU payment plan has given me even more reason to cringe. Implemented fall quarter of 2014, the payment plan allows students to pay their tuition in three installments due on the 6th of each month. If a payment is missed, we are charged a $100 late fee. However, all students, not just those on the payment plan, must have a zero balance on their Banweb account on the 6th of each month. If they do not, they are automatically enrolled in the plan and charged the $100 fee. While I paid my tuition in full at the beginning of the term, I was charged the late fee because I didn’t know that I had a small bill from the student health clinic that had been posted the day before.

College is a privilege, and many students struggle to afford an education so that they can better their future. There are many international, out of state, low income and minority students who have unique funding structures that don’t mesh with PSU’s new plan. Some students I know didn’t get their financial aid before the 6th of the month, which happened to be only a few days into the term this winter. As a result they now have late fees to add to their already growing student debt.

PSU used to structure their payment system like many universities in Oregon do today. A 1-2% interest is added to outstanding payments each billing cycle. Therefore, the late fee is a reasonable amount compared to the student’s outstanding balance. I personally would like to see PSU go back to this system, what do you guys think?

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It’s that feeling…

By: Jasmin Landa

It’s that feeling when you put all your effort into a goal and the result comes back as both a surprise and a disappointment. It’s a feeling that brings you down and saddens you with all its might. It tells you your efforts weren’t good enough and makes it hard to keep moving forward with your head held high and a smile on your face.

I have felt disappointment numerous times, and it feels like there is a barrier that I can’t quite figure out how to break through. I have pushed, pulled and plotted ways to demolish this impediment, but solutions have remained a mystery.

I am definitely not perfect, but I have grown and have not forgotten the people and experiences that have formed my identity. I learn from my leaps in life and I cherish my triumphs. Yet, even with a real identity and the knowledge and wisdom I practice, I endure a lot of disappointment. It’s like a roller coaster: I get thrills, but sometimes it seems I am perpetually falling, and it constantly tests my faith.

When I get that feeling I try to see my life’s journey elevating to another triumph. I begin to realize how much faith can carry me up to my next point in life. Faith is a powerful weapon that gives strength to my internal and external being to keep proceeding forward. Without it, I would be a destitute soul who has given up and settled for what is.

So yes, disappointment is a part of my daily life, but only a small percentage of what influences me. My life is not a sweet symphony of perfection, but one in which I’ve learned, tripped and excelled. Disappointment is vital to my identity because without it, there is no need to find a way to succeed at another level or desire. I want to be the change I want to see in the world, and one day the world will change with me. For now, I will take every outcome or state of mind I’m in as an opportunity to be grateful that I can take this day and turn it into an opportunity.