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Hats off to pampering

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

As students, we tend to wear an assortment of hats, each representing the variety of responsibilities we shoulder daily.  This includes student, leader, networker, teammate, organizer, employee, freelancer, etc.  Our list of responsibilities is ever increasing, as employer demands are constantly changing and the need for additional skills outside of traditional coursework is highly desired. In the midst of this evolving set of commitments, we often forget to take time out of our busy lives to care of ourselves.

If you’re like me, it’s hard to even imagine prioritizing something as simple as taking a bubblebath when there are so many other demands in life. Despite my busy lifestyle, I am slowly attempting to rearrange my priorities to incorporate self-care (pampering) activities, since it is an important aspect of stress management, which in turn is essential for academic success.

It is amazing how beneficial a massage, soak in the tub, and other forms of pampering can be to revitalize us inside and out. Here are some pampering suggestions:

  • Take a scented bubble bath
  • Schedule a manicure and pedicure
  • Cleanse facial pores with a clay mask
  • Get a massage

Wearing lots of hats is definitely a balancing act, which is why prioritizing and scheduling at least some pampering activities is crucial. Self-care allows us the time we need to de-stress and revitalize so we can feel our best, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Alternatively, students are encouraged to visit PSU’s Mind Spa , a space on campus for students to relax and rejuvenate, and where some of these services are available for free.

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ORGANIZE! And I’m not talking about clutter.

img_4878 By Emma Eberhart

In the wake of last week’s presidential election, now is the time to organize for social justice. Organize, in this context, means coordinating with others to take action or plan events for a better and more just America.

Below are links to some local Portland groups that have been around awhile, or are just starting up, and anyone can join. Click on their name and it will take you to their Facebook page!

  1. Portland Rising Tide
  2. Rose City Antifa
  3. Marilyn Buck Abolitionist Collective
  4. Portland Tenants United
  5. Socialist Alternative Portland
  6. Portland State International Socialist Organization
  7. Don’t Shoot Portland
  8. Anyone’s Resistance

A united front is the only way that we will successfully stand against Trump and stand for an inclusive America – one that does not allow for racism, misogyny, and homophobia to exist without resistance.

Check out these local groups and how they are taking steps to combat bigotry here in Portland.

*Featured Image is from Anyone’s Resistance Facebook*

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Quenching the Thirst for Leadership

img_4875 By: Beth Manney

In fall term I had the pleasure of being part of Emerging Leaders PSU. Our group met almost every Friday in October-November and was focused on delivering lessons on leadership skills to a talented group of students. I admit the program was not what I expected. I did a lot of leadership activities in high school: running a club centered on coping with stress and mental illness; managing/coaching our school’s Mock Trial team; leading a rebellion against the blatant disgustingness of the cafeteria food. Well, not so much that last one. Where were you, Michelle Obama?! I’d been thirsting for more leadership opportunities like a hound, so I’d thought the program would be about flexing those already-existing skills and getting funneled into a position at PSU.

Not quite. We participated in presentations and demonstrations that taught us about conflict and time management and how to improve your work environment. Honestly I had learned most of the material on my own already in a more learn-it-the-hard-way fashion. However, I did indeed learn skills that I now apply to my current workplaces, such as different ways to understand others’ strategies of communicating and performing.

There are two more levels, at least, of the Emerging Leaders program at PSU. Each level must be completed to proceed to the next. I’m sure PSU offers more opportunities for leadership-seekers to quench their thirst. If you’re interested in learning more about how to be a great leader, definitely sign up. The mentors in the program are seriously amazing, and some of them are students, too. I do believe that Emerging Leaders will help me succeed. I never cease to be awed at the fabulous programs PSU offers. Check out what’s waiting for you. Try something you haven’t as of yet. Put those feelers out there like an overcaffeinated octopus.

 

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Stay Unified

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-6-11-12-pm By: Melissa Pyle

After the results of our November 8th election I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Where do we go from here?” Immediately I was afraid; I was afraid that all the hateful things Donald Trump spoke about could become a reality. I wept at the reality that my country will be in the control of this man, someone who could so easily discriminated on so many people. I was afraid for the federal grants I receive that allow me to attend school and I got angry thinking about the possibility of them getting taken away or reduced which would not allow me to attend school. I was afraid for my rights over my own body as a woman and I got incredibly angry thinking about someone else making my reproductive choices for me. I went back and forth for a while getting angrier and more afraid until all I could do was sob. I was crying not only for myself but for all my brother’s and sister’s that felt like our lives changed that Tuesday and not for the better but for the worse. I felt helpless but then I realized, it’s going to take a lot more than one person to get me to lose sight of my values. My actions and beliefs are strongly rooted in equality, inclusion, and integrity and that will never change no matter the circumstances. As a white cis-woman I recognize my privilege and I will not hesitate to use it against hate and bigotry. I refuse to live divided and I will support those that feel the most vulnerable by our President-elect. Together we are unified and we are strengthened by our hope for a better country. In the great words of Ted Kennedy, “What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.”

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8 PSU Resources All Students Should Use Before Graduating

img_4865  By: Andrew D. Jankowski

1. SLS
Student Legal Services is an amazing service that puts students in need of legal help –for whatever reason: roommate/landlord, employer, personal safety, business advice –in touch with a legal expert. There is a 95% chance you will leave learning something about your legal rights, even in day-to-day life. 

2. The Cultural Resource Centers & Clubs
PSU’s cultural centers host a wide range of programming that’s both accessible to people wanting to expand their diversity experience, and engaging for their target audiences. La Casa Latina Student Center, the Multicultural Student Center, the Native American Student & Community Center, the Queer Resource Center, the Women’s Resource Center, the Pan-African Commons, and the Pacific Islander, Asian & Asian American Student Center are among our most visible centers for cultural exchange (with the last two opening this academic year!).

3. The Art Galleries
Full disclosure: I am the publicity coordinator for the Littman + White Galleries, two contemporary art galleries in the Smith Memorial Student Union exhibiting rising and established artists. In addition to the Littman + White Galleries, there’s also the Autzen Gallery in Neuberger Hall, the Broadway Gallery in Lincoln Hall, the Garage Projects at Station Place Garage on NW Lovejoy Court, and the Art Building’s MK Gallery, AB Lobby Gallery, and Sugar Cube Gallery.

4. University Success
University Success is a pair of study centers in the PSU on-campus housing, in the Ondine and King Albert Residence Halls. Open on Sunday and late nights, University Success offers additional help if you are struggling in a particular class.

5. The Writing Center
You can get PROFESSIONAL WRITERS to look at your papers, your resumes, your class projects, your cover letter, whatever you need!

6. The Gym
The gym/rec center has relatively new equipment, a pool and hot tub, and numerous athletic courts, along with athletic and fitness programs and classes.

7. 5th Ave Cinema
Free classic and contemporary cinema every week?! They’ve got something for the film buff and the blockbuster lover. And I heard that the seats might be new, or something? I like popcorn.

8. Victor’s
It’s magical, and my most fondly reminisced about college memory. The food’s whatever, but it’s the dining experience that you remember forever.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!
P.S.: Happy Halloween! 

Resources Here, Resources There, but Not Everywhere

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By Melissa Pyle

As a student at Portland State, I have often found myself impressed at the available resources on campus that support students outside of our academic needs. For example, there is the Food Pantry to combat food insecurity, the Recreation Center to support an active lifestyle, or even SHAC which provides free and low-cost services supporting health and wellness. However, recently I was appalled to find a lack of resources in a very important and necessary place, the women’s bathroom.

A scenario some of us may be familiar with involves going to the bathroom and immediately being notified of an unexpected monthly visitor. Generally, I would pop a few quarters into a conveniently placed metal machine and graciously grab my supplies and then go about my day stress free. Unfortunately, when this happened to me I was in the Smith Memorial Student Union and instead of finding the trusted “tampon machine” there was just a sign. The sign, pictured above, read, “Feminine hygiene products are available for purchase from the University Market on the first floor of Smith Memorial Student Union and after hours at the Plaid Pantry.” PSU is better than this and should be supporting menstruation more inclusively and not suggesting they walk to an alternative location to purchase the supplies they need. I reached out to the Executive Administrative Coordinator of Finance & Administration who manages Facilities and Maintenance in Smith Memorial Student Union for a comment and they expressed, “we have just started to research best practices and create a campus standard around hygiene products in restrooms.”

As a cis-gendered woman, I know that menstruation is just a fact of life. I, along with many others with a uterus, experience a menstrual cycle, it is not gross, it is not shameful, it is natural and healthy. Providing menstrual supplies in all of the bathrooms around campus would be tangible representation of the supportive resources that PSU provides. PSU Camions of Care is a student club that is filling this gap. They not only provide menstrual supplies to low-income and/or homeless students, they also advocate for menstrual focused institutional change. Would you join me in supporting PSU Camions of Care and their November campaign, “No Shame November” and sign a petition in support of the administration providing menstrual supplies in all the bathrooms around campus? Let me know in the comments section if you are interested in being a part of this movement.

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Love from Afar

If my past self was able to peer into a scrying mirror like some sort of five-foot-two orange-haired Albus Dumbledore, I don’t think I would have ever foreseen being in a long-distance relationship. At least I can be confident about that, I would say, so assuredly. Nope, went my entire molecular structure a couple months later.

I can honestly say my partner, riding shotgun in the vehicle of life, is the only one I’d ever be able to do this with. My Ohio counterpart and I have been dating for almost a year and four months, and been friends for longer. We are so alike, but have our differences where it counts, and we balance each other out. One of the biggest things that brought us together is Portland State. About a couple months into our friendship, it was time for my college quest and I had my eyes set on only PSU. As I told Jakob more and more about the school, he grew as fascinated as I was—we share a lot of the same values about sustainability, nature, and giving back. PSU was like the answer to everything we’d been searching for. It became part of the dream of being together—I was set to move to Portland in September 2016, and he’d follow a year after. It’s been hard finding students that can relate to my situation, especially since I’m only going part time this year.

Once Jakob is at PSU I know we will both find things to get involved in together and activities we can wholeheartedly support the other in. I’m so happy our shared love for this amazing university has brought us even closer together in anticipation for our future. Watch out, world, we’re ready to gross you out with our sappy love.

Need some tips on maintaining a great and healthy LDR? Hit me up!