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.

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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.

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Coffee is to students, as textbooks are to classes.

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Our lives as college students are widely known for take-out meals, 10-page papers, all-nighters, epic parties, alcohol and, without a doubt, coffee — which must be served in mammoth-sized coffee cups!

Here are Three reasons why every Portland State University college student must supplement their current academic curriculum with a coffee regiment:

1. As the saying might go, “when in Portland, brew as the portlanders brew.”  As a #PSUStudent we are now identifiable as #Portlanders. According to a Men’s Health study, Portland, Oregon is ranked within the top four cities in the U.S. known for its coffee obsession.

2. When the dreaded college “dead-week apocalypse” strikes, students survive by just the smell of coffee alone. This survival strategy has been proven effective by a research study at Seoul National University, which examined the brains of sleep deprived rats who were diagnosed with high stress; it was discovered that those that were exposed to coffee aromas experienced changes in brain proteins tied to that stress.

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PSU COFFEE ENTHUSIAST SINCE 2013

3. There is just NO time to go to the gym when you’re a full-time student. So what if we skipped zumba and instead binged-watched all seasons of Grimm. Did you know coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet?  Those antioxidants keep our bodies healthy and decrease visits to the PSU SHAC.

From one coffee enthusiast to another, I believe that whoever said, “there are not enough hours in a day,” wasn’t roasting the right blend. What are your reasons for being an avid college coffee drinker? Post them in the comments below!

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The generation to end smoking?

IMG_2069 by Steph Holton

Spring has (finally) hit Portland. The sun is shining and I’m taking full advantage: I’ve got my Nikes on and my feet hit the pavement in rhythm to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” I think how nice it is to run in the fresh air after a winter spent doing treadmill workouts. Grinning to myself, I turn a corner onto the park blocks and, mid-breath, run through a cloud of second-hand smoke.

This is infuriating on multiple accounts, but the two that are most easily articulated are: 1) the smoker is no more than twenty years old, and 2) the Park Blocks are a part of PSU’s smoke-free campus.

As a non-smoker who has lost family members to cancer and emphysema, it’s easy for me to get angry, and sometimes it’s all too tempting to hit cigarettes right out of my peers’ hands. But I know that even though anger is often the catalyst for change, an end to smoking is going to require patience and open conversation. The campaign known as Truth (thetruth.com) is committed to making ours the generation that ends smoking, and it’s doing so by spreading, well, truth. Truth is continually exposing big tobacco and giving us the facts about the effects of smoking on the environment and society. For instance, did you know that a cat or dog whose owner smokes (around the pet or not) is twice as likely to get cancer?

We’re the products of the Information Age. And as such I believe that, armed with information, smokers and non-smokers can join together in the campaign to eradicate smoking. PSU has recently made the commitment to creating a healthier campus by banning smoking on all campus property, and the first contribution we can all make as Portland State students is to respect these tobacco-free zones (map below).

PSU - Smoke Free Map

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Where do you study best on campus?

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

For me, studying on campus consists of finding a cozy table in Smith Union, where I can set up my Mac and enjoy my favorite liquid inspiration: Chai Tea Latte. I have always positioned myself near a window in a somewhat noisy space. I am a visual learner, and now realize that I had been unconsciously exposing myself to unnecessary stresses and frustrations.

Are you a Visual, Auditory, or Tactile/Kinesthetic learner? As students, knowing this can not only help us to expand study strategies but also help us  determine the best study environments conducive to our own unique learning style.

I’ve done a little research and mapped out a few of the best spots on campus to study based on your learning style. If you’re not sure what your learning style is, no problem. Take the free Learning Style Assessment quiz: https://www.how-to-study.com/learning-style-assessment/.


Visual Learning Style
Visual learners study best in a quiet, clutter-free environment away from windows and movement.  I suggest the:

PSU Study RoomAuditory Learning Style: Auditory Learners study best in a place that is free from noisy distractions. If you cannot eliminate background noise, conceal it by quietly playing classical music or an environmental sound track. I suggest the same campus spots as I’ve listed above for visual learners.

Tactile/Kinesthetic Learning Style: Tactile/Kinesthetic Learners study best in a place where you can use as many of your senses as possible: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell. Study environments should allow movement, and bPSU Study Park Blockse large enough for you to get up and walk around. I suggest the:

Knowing your learning style is not meant to constrain, but to enhance – by helping you to work, learn and live more efficiently.

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Not Just a Pool

SelfPost and Photos By: James Wilson

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Many students are aware that the Rec Center has a pool, but one thing they may be unaware of is all the programs it offers. The Rec Center pool is more than just a place to do laps. The other day I got to shoot marketing photos of an aquatics swim clinic — I didn’t know until that day that the Rec Center offered lessons.

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They are small group sessions of five people and an instructor, so you get a lot of one-on-one help and instruction. The Rec Center even has beginner lessons. 

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The Rec Center is full of different programs. You’ll be amazed at the variety!

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Summer Internship: Here I Come

Blogger Profile PictureBy: Sara Kirkpatrick

Did you know a career fair is one of the best resources a career-seeker has for finding employment and internship opportunities? Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most unattended events among university students. Why you ask? The answer is simple; students today aren’t motivated to attend.

This morning I RSVP’d for our upcoming Business Career and Internship Fair next Thursday, Jan. 28. This event will be my first on-campus networking opportunity, giving me access to professionals in the industry. Inspired by my passion for finding a summer internship for 2016, I decided to prepare myself for the event by completing the following:

  • Resume updates
  • Creating a website portfolio
  • Designing student business cards

Resume jpeg #2Resumes should be tailored and designed to target your specific companies. In order to follow this advice given by so many instructors, I created two separate resumes: one that demonstrated my professionalism- and another to demonstrate my creativity. In addition, I launched a personal student website hosted on www.wix.com, in order to give future employers a glimpse of my coursework projects. I added both of these on a business card, which I ordered from www.vistaprint.com. Take a look at my personal examples to get motivated.

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I also encourage each of you to consider these preparations, as well as attend these upcoming campus workshops.

  • Resume Reviews, Monday, January 251:00-5:00 pm in SBA 240
  • Professional Image, Tuesday, January 26, 4:30-5:30 pm in SBA 130
  • Mock Interviews, Wednesday, January 27, 9:00 am-4:00 pm in SBA 260