San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, middle, kneels during the national anthem before the team's NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) ORG XMIT: CACC105

The Kaepernick Controversy

IMG_2069 by Steph Holton

Whether you’re an avid 49ers fan, a casual NFL follower, or you’re completely oblivious to sports in general, Colin Kaepernick is now likely a familiar name. In protest to police brutality and racial inequality in the U.S., the NFL quarterback stayed seated during the national anthem at a recent pre-season game, and says he plans to continue protesting in this way throughout the season.

Unsurprisingly, backlash in the weeks since has been relentless. Accusations have been that Kaepernick’s actions are disrespectful and even illegal. Another common criticism is that the action ignores the sacrifice of veterans, but #VeteransforKaepernick has cropped up in support of his choice to sit or kneel during the anthem. On the other hand, encouragement has come from the many who say it is the quarterback’s right to exercise his freedoms in this way.

One thing is for certain – Kaepernick has sparked conversation about the nature of patriotism and right of protest. In response to the growing controversy, San Francisco Police Chief Michael Sellers said, “blanket statements disparaging the law enforcement profession are hurtful and do not help bring the country together, [however] police officers are here to protect the rights of every person, even if we disagree with their position.” Meanwhile, soccer player Megan Rapinoe, who also recently took a knee during the anthem as a nod to the San Francisco quarterback, said “Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties.”

Is this form of protest a stepping stone to change, or another act that further divides the nation? Colin Kaepernick’s decision to remain seated during the national anthem, while certainly controversial, is his right. Though while the country considers whether his actions are a disrespect to a long standing symbol of unity, the topic Kaepernick originally meant to bring to light has been largely overshadowed.

summer-planning-blog

September Sunshine + Networking = Opportunities

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Let the countdown for the final days of summer break commence. It’s official. Fall term is almost upon us; how are you spending your last days being textbook free?

If you’re a super planner like me, you’ve made a “final days of college freedom checklist,” which consists of: a binge-list of tv favorites on Netflix and HBOGO, dates with the friends who’ve managed to stick with you through the craziness of last term’s finals, visiting places that you fantasized about while studying/living in the library , and finally, last-minute networking events.

September networking is often overlooked, since the majority of us want to spend our time outdoors basking in the sunshine. Business devotees are no different, which is why the summer season offers so many networking opportunities, from mixers on the patio of Rogue Ale House to the September Camp Optimization meet-up.

Be sure to squeeze in a few of these upcoming networking events and get a jumpstart on your future careers:

Happy Networking!

chronicles u of c

Stop Praising the University of Chicago

edit 12By Jesse Turner

This week,  University of Chicago Dean of Students John Ellison sent a letter to incoming freshmen saying that the university does not support “so-called trigger warnings” and “safe spaces, where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.” This is not a welcoming or inclusive letter.

Trigger/content warnings are not meant to warn people that differing opinions are meant to be shared. I have never seen a trigger warning used in this manner, despite many people’s beliefs that my generation is so weak that we can’t handle hearing an opinion even slightly different than our own. On social media, I have come across trigger and content warnings informing the reader that the following content will discuss things like abuse, suicide, sexual assault, and police brutality. I have never seen the content warning, “I am about to share a conservative opinion.” So stop believing trigger warnings are useless and a sign of weakness.

One of my professors at PSU used a very helpful trigger warning in her syllabus. She informed us that in a class about death, we would specifically be discussing Death with Dignity, suicide, and dying in low-income and marginalized communities. In no way was she saying, “Here’s what we will discuss so don’t take this class.” She was saying, “Here’s exactly what we will discuss, so proceed with caution and take time to prepare and take care of yourselves.” That’s what trigger warnings are. They are a cautionary step, not the end to a conversation. Yes, freedom of speech and freedom of expression are both integral and important. But why does someone else’s freedom of speech mean that I have to listen to and read every story and conversation about rape and child abuse that comes across my timeline? Am I really stifling your freedom of expression because for my own sanity I don’t want to read another story about Brock Turner getting away with only 3 months in prison?

Not wanting to hear about sexual assault and abuse constantly doesn’t make you weak, it makes you healthy. Stop praising the University of Chicago for not caring about the mental health of their students and instead taking a hurtful and deeply misinformed approach to content warnings and safe spaces.

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“Nothing” Time

IMG_2069 by Steph Holton

The more dependent our generation becomes on technology and the more we expect everything to be instantaneous, the more I see and read about the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle by unplugging and even meditating every day. In health articles, this advice usually follows statements acknowledging the hefty responsibilities we all seem to have added to our plates. Said articles then go on to say that the more time we’ve committed to productivity of whatever kind, the more we need to carve out time to do nothing. And while I’m not here to say that advice is wrong – I certainly agree with the logic of it – I am here to say What time?

I’ve tried to do this, I really have. But I’ve found that stopping everything – pushing aside other activities in an attempt to be calmer – only gives me time to think about all the things I could be doing, and it leads to even more anxiety. But the big point, I think, is that we’re supposed to give our brains a break; we’re on hyper-drive all the time, because our brains don’t count after-work/school iPhone scrolling and Netflix watching as relaxing.

Yet as someone who really cannot sit and do nothing, I’ve still managed to find my meditation. I honestly believe that consistent exercise keeps me sane despite my insane schedule. Whether it’s hiking, or going for a run, or hitting one of my favorite Group X classes at Campus Rec, I always feel decompressed afterwards, and the prospect of making it to the gym always makes a tough day go a little better. So, I’ll be an advocate for those of us who want to live a healthy lifestyle but for whom nothing just isn’t in the cards. I think it’s okay to say “that’s not for me.” Just as long as you find your meditation.

Picture above: My own meditation, Saint Mary’s Lookout, Stevensville, MT; hike to 9,300 feet.

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Lead by Example

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

As a Portland State student, how do you become a better leader? If you’re like me, you read a lot of books, troll Twitter for trending bloggers, and attend a few conferences. Recently, I’ve come to realize that one of the best ways to grow is to engage with other students.

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A few weeks ago, fellow PSU student Bertonitti Tayetto reached out to me and asked if he could share his marketing internship in PSU Chronicles. Bertonitti is an Emerging Leaders intern at The Hello Foundation, a local company that provides speech and occupational therapy to school districts and private clients. To grow as a leader, Bertonitti is implementing the project Hello Everyone at the foundation. It is a clinic designed to specifically help college students with speech and occupational therapy, ranging from professional to daily social skills (clinic sessions starting at $125).

Bertonitti is conducting a student survey to launch his project. Please help out a fellow Viking by completely his Hello Everyone survey.

What really impressed me was Bertonitti’s passion for his internship and the job-related skills he is gaining (Google Analytics, interviewing, social media and project management).

The next time I am prepping for an internship interview, I will remember Bertonitti and use his Top 3 Interviewing Tips:

  • Research the company.
  • Wear clothing that makes you feel confident.
  • Speak with others about the company.

Way to go Bertonitti!

chronicles fat acceptance

What it’s like Being a Fat Girl

edit 12  By Jesse Turner

At almost 200 pounds, I am fat. I don’t call myself fat as an insult, I call myself fat because it is the reality of the way I look and the body I maneuver the world in. I am what feminist writer Roxane Gay calls “Lane Bryant Fat.” This means I am overweight but can still reasonably find clothes that fit me. However, as much as I have worked to accept the size that I am, I also call myself fat so I don’t have to hear other people call me fat. If I know I’m fat, I take the edge away from people who would use “fat” as an insult.

A lot of people would think I should not be OK with being overweight because I am not the “good kind of fat.” I don’t have a thyroid condition, and I am not actively working to lose weight. I like eating, and I don’t make a lot of time to exercise. When I get off work, I would rather take a nap than go to the gym.

Now, there are precautionary measures I take to make my thunderous size as minimally shocking to myself and others. I am sure to include pictures of my body on my Tinder so I don’t get the grimace from guys who didn’t realize I was fat when I first meet them. I only wear crop tops if I haven’t eaten in the last five hours so my stomach doesn’t especially stick out. I would hate to offend someone with something as unsightly as a stomach full of food. I psych myself up for at least 24 hours before I go out to bars, as being the “fat friend” requires especially steely nerves.

What I find weirdly troubling is that instead of using fat as an insult, I have noticed that some men like to point out my size, claim “thick girls” as their fetish, and expect me to take it as a compliment. Recently I had a guy online tell me “You’re very beautiful I’m sure you are told otherwise from…ostentatious people who don’t know what a real woman looks like.” First of all, real woman? I’m not a real woman, I’m actually a bundle of limbs sewn together and packed with straw. Second, I know you thought you were doing a good deed, but you’re not noble or brave because you find a fat girl attractive. Telling me that I should grateful for your compliments because most people would be insulting me is a slap in my fat face.

 

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I’ll take summer school anytime!

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

If you’re like me, summer term is a perfect opportunity to soak up some sun and get one step closer to achieving the dream of wearing the Portland State University emerald green cap and gown in 2017.

Summer at PSU is one of the most beautiful times of year to be on campus. Unlike other campuses, summer term at PSU isn’t a term to be dreaded, as there is no better feeling than strolling along the shaded Park Blocks, with its lawns, outdoor cafes, and Viking-inspired iced latte. If you’re lucky enough like me and find yourself taking a summer Saturday class, be sure to check out the Portland Farmer’s Market which takes place in the Park Blocks from 10am-2pm. PSU Food Trucks

PSU Park BlocksAs PSU students, enjoy summer classes, so grab your laptop, grab a pair of #FearlessPSU shades, and see you in the Park Blocks this term.