Dreading Spring Term

Marilynn  By Marilynn Sandoval

Finally, spring break is ending and the last term of school is upon us. That’s the term all graduating seniors look forward to and all freshmen can’t believe is here already. So as we are enjoying our last few days at the beach, eating our last home cooked meals with our parents, getting our last full nights of sleep or binging on Netflix for the last time, here’ s a reminder of what you have to look forward to on the first days of spring term.

  1. Getting to school and searching for parking on the first week, when students are actually making an effort to show up to class to ensure their spot in class.
  1. Syllabus week = the best week you will have all term, because let’s face it we will all be lacking sleep by the third week in.
  1. Washing those sweatpants you wore all winter term to get them ready for spring. Or perhaps buying a new pair to show that you sort of care about the way you look.
  1. Saying goodbye to your money when it goes to food, coffee and those sugary energy drinks we can’t seem to function without.
  1. Most importantly, the week you will tell yourself that you will be on top of your stuff and that procrastination isn’t going to happen. However, this will be thrown out the window by the end of week two.

Well, that is all I have for you now. So go enjoy the rest of your break. I hope you made it a memorable one, because summer isn’t for another two and a half months

New tuition rates help only in-state students

Marilynn

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 http://bit.ly/1M5FkyY.

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.

Two jobs, 14 credits and no time

By: Marilynn Sandoval

Time, it seems to be one of those things you never have enough of – especially if you’re a full-time, out-of-state student with two jobs, like me.clock

College is definitely not cheap. I am taking 14 credits this term, and for an undergraduate Oregon resident, tuition is on average $2,030. For an out-of-state student, tuition is on average $6,860. That’s more than $4,800 of a difference I have to somehow pay. Thank you, financial aid!

Yes, I realize that I could have chosen a school closer to my hometown to save money. However, I wanted to explore different places, and I fell in love with Portland. It also doesn’t help that living in Portland is somewhat expensive.

So what is my solution to this problem? Work two different jobs before and after classes. That doesn’t really leave me with a whole lot of time to study and to just stop, breathe and relax. However, I am thankful one of my jobs is right on campus and I work with a staff that understands. They emphasize how important school is and want us to succeed.

I know I am not alone in feeling the struggle of working two or more jobs to help pay for school and other expenses. What are your tips for balancing your time between work and school?

My Insight into CLSB

By: Marilynn Sandoval

I’ve become a huge fan of the new Collaborative Life Sciences Building on the South Waterfront. Sure, the transportation there might not be ideal for some folks. But the new labs, lecture halls, research space and restaurants are really nice.

Photo provided by: Portland State University

Photo provided by: Portland State University

I’m a science major, and I started at PSU the same year they began construction in 2011. I didn’t know if they’d be done on time for me to experience having classes in the new building, but they must have had amazing people working on it, because it opened this fall. I’m sure we have broken in this building quite fast. Almost every seat in the 400-student lecture hall is filled from class to class.

The most exciting part about this building is that we get to interact with students from OSU and OHSU. As my chemistry professor put it, “You never know who you can run into in this building.” I hope to experience the new labs and research space and meet more students from other schools next term.

I also enjoy taking the streetcar there for free. You just have to play a game of puzzle trying to fit everyone after class has ended. I’m there around lunchtime, so I’m grateful when my stomach is growling and there is a Starbucks located just right in front of the classroom. Oh, and there is an Elephants Delicatessen, too!

However, one thing the building is missing is a spot to print papers quickly. If anyone does know about a printing spot in there, please share your knowledge! I’m still trying to figure out the building myself.

Has anyone else been able to explore the new building? If so, what did you think about it?

Tips for Living in the Dorms

By: Amanda Katz and Marilynn Sandoval

Ahh at last, the time when every incoming freshman student counts the days until they move out of their parents’ home and into a college dorm. Keeping in touch with their future roommates, who may be from other states and countries. Trying to figure out who will bring what and what their taste and preferences are.

Well, we have some tips for you incoming freshman. Having lived in the dorms for a combined three years at PSU, we have learned a few things.

1. Keep your doors open during Viking Days so you can meet new people!

2. Walk through each floor saying “hi” to others with their doors open. Hey, you could meet your new best friend!

3. Bring these essentials: cleaning supplies, laundry hamper, power strips and a side table.

4. Get involved with activities during Viking Days and throughout the school year. They are fun and there is free food at almost every single one! Here’s the schedule: http://bit.ly/ZaXCdy

5. Invite students you don’t know from your floor to hang out with you.

6. Be nice to your Resident Assistant; they are there to help you, not hurt you.

7. Don’t bring: toaster ovens (not allowed), extra clothes (if you don’t wear it often don’t bring it), gigantic stereos (leave them at home unless you’re a DJ), things that hang off a ceiling (not allowed).

8. Ondine students: Bring bed risers, so you can lift your bed off the floor. You can find these at your local stores such as Target, Walmart and TJMaxx

Broadway students: Save space by lifting your bed up from the lowest setting to the highest setting (ask your RA if you have questions on how) and putting drawers and other storage underneath.

9. Roll up t-shirts in your drawer to space save.

10. Lastly, bring posters, photos, and wall art to liven up your walls.

Hopefully these few quick tips will help all you freshman looking forward to the moment you have “freedom.”

So, our fellow dorm-life students, are there any other tips you would give to first-time students living in a dorm? Would you recommend living in a dorm or not?

How to rent a $160 textbook for $47

By: Marilynn Sandoval

At last, summer term classes are almost wrapping up. One thing that has always bothered me, and I’m sure other students as well, is the price of college textbooks,  especially when summer classes are extremely short and we use these books for only a few weeks.

This summer I have a required textbook that costs about $160 to buy new and about $87 to rent. As you can see, this is quite an expensive book. Looking through Amazon, Chegg, and other miscellaneous websites can sometimes be helpful in finding a cheaper book, but that requires waiting for the textbook to arrive to your home.

Here’s a neat money-saving trick I found: Portland State Bookstore, owned by Neebo Inc., has a best price promise guarantee. In other words, if we show the bookstore a lower price frobooksssm either a local bookstore or online accredited retailer, they pledge to beat the price by 10 percent. I did this and was able to rent  my $160 book for $47, and I didn’t have to wait for my copy in the mail.

I completely suggest this method if you want to save some cash! Do you guys have any other ways to save money on books that you would like to share?