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Thoughts From the Walk-Out

IMG_2069 by Steph Holton

“We want real diversity, not a police state university.” This was the first of many chants taken up by the group of walk-out participants stationed on the Millar Library steps last Tuesday afternoon. Members of PSUSU sported shirts reading #DisarmPSU because Black Lives Matter. One speaker announced, “We are here fighting oppression.” Another claimed that “the police are a tool of capitalism used to oppress people.” Roughly 150 students joined in the cheering and chanting, and a few dozen stood on the outskirts observing but not participating.

After learning that I don’t support the Disarm PSU movement, a member of PSUSU asked if I supported protesting the way the administration instated armed campus safety officers. Like most of the other students I have spoken to, I am frustrated by the way the administration seems to ignore student opinion. However, I think it’s easy to overlook the fact that arming CPSO was not a light decision. Some things to consider:

  1. Portland State University is a completely open, public university in the heart of downtown, which experiences the daily movement of 30,000 students. For all of the unique and completely rad aspects about this environment that we students love, it carries very real safety concerns.
  2. Our armed CPSO are fully trained and sworn police officers who have a sworn obligation to keep the public and their fellow officers safe. They carry guns only for the defense of themselves and others. Using weapons is considered only in the face of a lethal threat. No officer wants to pull the trigger.
  3. Arming CPSO does not impact student diversity. Fighting institutionalized racism is a necessity, but I believe the way to do this in our own community is to create bonds of mutual respect and trust between the student body and CPSO. CPSO was not established, and does not operate, for the purpose of discrimination.

But what do you think? One could debate this matter endlessly. Gun safety is a very real issue, but it is also very complex, and it’s entirely separate from our dissatisfaction as students with the procedures of the administration.

Photo May 09, 8 48 43 AM

Senior Capstone: 1 step closer to saying peace out, PSU

portfolio2 By Amanda Katz

Hey there!

Long time, no blog!

I had taken a break from blogging for a while to focus on my major, but now I’m back and better than ever.

This summer is looking to be a good one. I’m in the middle of applying for summer internships, I’m getting some really cool opportunities at work, and I’m taking my senior capstone. I’m going to be doing the GirlPower! Capstone with Sally Eck, it seems like a great way to give back and I get to work with some awesome young ladies in the process!

It’ll be so nice to take the time to get my capstone done. You see, I’m at the end of my fourth year with only 21 credits left: six for my capstone, three for an internship, and the other 12 will finish out my degree. PSU has such a wide variety of summer capstones available over the summer, making it easy to pick something you’re interested in. Also, it is extremely convenient that courses are available at a range of times and days. If it wasn’t for the option to take summer classes like my capstone, either my last term at Portland State would be extremely stressful, or I’d have to wait till winter term to graduate.

I’m ready to be done with school and start working, and being able to take summer classes is allowing me to achieve my goals at my rate and on my timeline. What are your plans for summer?

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Education Abroad

10373989_844446705612551_3373063601715068845_nIn a few short weeks, I will be embarking on my very first international educational experience at the University of Salamanca, Spain. I am all too excited for this wonderful opportunity, and one of the key tasks to accomplish before I leave is study about the area in which I will send a little over a month in.

Let’s take moment to appreciate Salamanca, Spain and its fun facts. Did you know:

  • Salamanca is best known as being a University city; more than 36.000 people, which is nearly 20 percent of the population, are students and a great part of the inhabitants are either directly or indirectly related to the university.
  • The University of Salamanca is one of the most important universities in Spain, dating back to 1218 which makes it the third oldest university in Europe.
  • Spain is home to the world´s largest tomato fight: La Tomatina, celebrated every year in the city of Valencia.
  • The University of Salamanca is one of the important architectural feats in the city. The university building was built by the Emperor Alfonso IX in the year 1218. It is also Spain’s oldest university and has about 36,000 students.

This will be a life changing experience that will affect my perspective and outlook on life. Take the trip with me through each blog post, and explore this beautiful country with me!

Bernie-Trump

Dirty Words

IMG_2069 by Steph Holton

The Oregon primary is fast approaching (May 17, to be exact), and the presidential candidates have thrown around a lot of political terminology that can be confusing or misleading. These words seem so obvious that they never get explicitly defined, leading to misconceptions across party lines and the actual stigmatization of certain descriptors that shape entire campaigns. I believe that this lack of clarification is a major roadblock in our quest to become informed voters, and the stigmatization of such important terms creates a chasm that halts discourse between parties. So, for myself, for my fellow student voters and for good pub conversation, I have decided to provide here a definition (each compiled and simplified from multiple web sources including Dictionary.com and Encyclopedia Britannica) of two of the most talked-about terms in the 2016 presidential race, which in different social circles have reached profanity-level reproach.

Capitalism is an economic system in which private ownership drives production for profit. Capitalism has several manifestations – free market, welfare, or state, to name a few – all of which exhibit different goals.

Socialism is likewise seen in many forms. Democratic socialism, being the focus of the current presidential race, is an economic and governing principle that supports production in terms of social ownership, alongside governing through political democracy.

The terms and ideologies of capitalism and socialism are both awash with nuances and possible secondary implications, all of which are dependent on the specific politician in question. “Capitalism” is not synonymous with “fascism,” and “socialism” cannot be simplified into “communism.” What I’m really trying to get at, though, is that nothing in this presidential race is as straightforward as “this vs. that,” and knowing where our candidates stand on the issues and even within their own ideologies is a crucial step in feeling confident about our votes come Election Day.

Get out and #ExplORE

School is fun, and so are the daily distractions we undertake to take a break from courses. Some of this distractions include, but are not limited to: social media, video games, working out, and….the outdoors!

Yes, there is such a beautiful place right outside that door frame!

I am not from Oregon, so every time I explore the state’s beautiful hiking trails and waterfalls, it’s an adventure. I encourage you to do the same!

Here are a few photos from my adventures! It’s out there, waiting for you!

 

SPring Break

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

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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.