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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!

Royalty-free 3d computer generated business graphic of a group of businessmen in colorful shirts, carrying briefcases and holding their resumes up at a job interview. It is a full-color employement clipart picture on a white background.

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 
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Find Your Why

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By: Sam Bakkila

Now that the crunch time of the semester is upon us, I find myself repeating a piece of advice from PSU alum and motivational speaker Lou Radja.

He told Campus Rec employees, when we were starting our staff training at the beginning of the year: “When the why is strong, the how becomes easy.”

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Keynote Speaker Lou Radja

This piece of advice is simple yet profound. Our level of motivation, and how effectively we keep connected with that which inspires us, ultimately determines so much of our success. Now that the end of the term is here, and many of us are bogged down with exams and papers and projects that could have a substantial impact on our future, it’s time to take a step back, forget about the day-to-day frustrations, and reconnect with our ‘why’.

For me, I am a graduate student in English literature because I love reading and writing, and because I believe that a careful reading of texts will reveal the social and political stakes of writing. I exercise at Campus Rec, because I am happiest and healthiest when I have a chance to push myself to the limits. I work at Campus Rec because I want to help other students along in their path towards wellness. I teach in the Writing Department because I believe that helping students find their voice is among the most important things that a university can do.

I know that in ten years, I’m going to remember the days that I pushed myself and stayed connected with my ‘why’, the nights when I squeezed out two more pages of writing instead of putting on netflix, and the mornings when I woke up for a run in the freezing rain, not as the hardest days of graduate school, but as the best.

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Is your reliance on Digital Technology Costing you Career Opportunities?

Blogger Profile Picture  By: Sara Kirkpatrick

This past week I’ve attended a number of free campus workshops, all of which promoted face-to-face networking as a prime source to land jobs and internships.  As students, it is important to understand how to use digital media to accomplish these goals, it is equally important not to lose our basic face-to-face communication skills.

Practice your face-to-face communication:

  1. Treat your cellphone like an addiction- When spending time with peer(s), treat your cellphone like a cigarette; it’s a shameful addiction that we all have, and it is not socially accepted everywhere.
  1. Check your phone at the door- When hosting a dinner party, ask your guests to check their cellphones at the door, by placing them into a basket upon entry.
  1. No tech devices allowed- Host a “Y2K” event where no technology devices are permitted. Ask everyone to leave their cellphones and other mobile devices at home or in their car, prior to attending.
  1. First phone gets the check- When out to dinner, make a rule that whoever pulls out their phone first pays the check for everyone at the table.

As upcoming graduates in a competitive job market, we cannot afford to lack the knowledge on how to communicate without the use of technological devices.  Attend a campus workshop, and practice your face-to-face communication skills!

Upcoming free campus workshops: PSU Campus Events

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Rec for a Cause

selfieBy James Wilson

An awesome thing about the Rec Center is that it’s more than just that place to work out. The Rec Center staff organizes a lot of events, including things that give back to the community. One of those is the Campus Rec for a Cause initiative.

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One thing they recently did, and do every month, was a community cleanup walk. On Nov. 5 they specifically focused on cleaning up our campus of all the cigarette butts everywhere. This was in partnership with SHAC to spread awareness of our new Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy. Feel free to join us once a month to give back and enjoy a cleaner campus!

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You can find more info on the Rec for a Cause Initiative here and the Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy here.