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!

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Holding on to summer’s downward facing dog

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

The fall leaves have officially fallen, and my summer tan-lines have slowly faded, but I am still determined to cling on to what’s left of my summer break activities. Gone are the days of karaoke Sundays, watching movie marathons, or attending an outdoor yoga class with my adorable French Bulldog (pictured on the right). Now, the majority of my days are yoga-dieselfilled with study sessions and research papers, with no chance of catching up on the latest paranormal romance novel.  Nonetheless, I am steadfast in my resolve to find a way to integrate at least one of my summer activities into my hectic fall term schedule.

Say hello to hot yoga – a style of yoga performed in hot and humid conditions, typically referred to as Bikram yoga. Hot yoga seemed like the perfect solution to my fleeting summer fun, since I can practice it early mornings at 5:30 a.m. without schedule conflicts. Over the last month, yoga has created a space for my body and mind to take a break from social and academic pressures. This healthy new-found habit of mine has not only alleviated stress, but more importantly it has improved my overall concentration.

An interesting study by The International Journal of Yoga showed that students who devoted seven weeks of regular practice doing poses, breathing, and meditation significantly reduced their stress levels. As a result, their academic performance increased. Amazing!

I highly recommend to all of you, my fellow PSU colleagues, to consider adding yoga into your fall schedule. Note, as students we receive free yoga classes through the Campus Rec Center! Check out the calendar  for more details.

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How to Talk to the Adults in Your Life About Tough Topics

edit 12  By Jesse Turner

I recently celebrated my sister’s birthday with much of my immediate and extended family. I have a very conservative family and given the current election, conservative political and social ideas are often a topic of conversation. It took roughly twenty minutes before Colin Kaepernick was brought up, and not in a positive way. As someone who is well-versed in ideological family conflicts, I am here to give you advice on talking to the older adults in your life about frightening new ideas like gender roles, feminism, and protesting.

I know you care about the adults in your life and you want to protect them from harmful, scary new ideas. But as the times change, so must the people. If you don’t talk to your parents about tough topics, they’ll seek the information elsewhere. Who do you want your parents talking to? Glenn Beck? Bill O’Reilly? I didn’t think so.

Always start by giving your parents the facts. Asking someone for their preferred gender pronouns when you meet them won’t hurt you. The United States will not burst into flames just because Colin Kaepernick exercised his constitutional right to kneel.  And no, Grandfather, the downfall of the American family did not begin because women were given the right to vote.

Next, address the many startling images the adults in your life may be seeing on television or on the internet. Tell them it’s really not OK to share that racist meme. Be sure to remain attentive and make sure they know you’re listening to their concerns. You may hear some of the following questions: “I don’t mind people being gay, but why do I have to see it all the time?” or “Why doesn’t Christopher Columbus get any respect anymore?” and the classic, “This is my country, why do I have to press 1 for English?” Now, you may want to respond to these questions with anger, but remember, they’re learning and you’re there to help them learn.

Do your part, and make talking with the conservative adults in your life a regular part of your day.

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Back to School at 19 vs 27

img_4865  By: Andrew D. Jankowski

When I started college at 19, I thought I knew exactly how the next decade of my life would pan out. I knew in four breezy years I’d have my English degree, and I’d learn the perfect balance between being a fiction writer and being an art photographer. I knew it.

As a kindergartener, I would stare across the water from my Vancouver, Washington bedroom window at what was probably Airport Way in Portland. I am legally blind, though I didn’t know it at the time, but when I looked out at night, those warm industrial lights shone like glittering yellow diamonds under murky violet water.

Higher education is one of the easiest ways to enter a new city. I moved to Portland in September 2008, days before the government took control of my bank, Washington Mutual. That sure made making my student payments awkward, let me tell ya. But as I spent the next four years riding out Great Recessional angst, I learned about Portland, Portland State University, and myself.

I’ve had a lot of Portland adventures. I’ve learned a lot about Portland State University’s criminally under-utilized resources. I’ve changed everything about the plan I made for myself at 19. I never imagined being a college dropout for four years. I never imagined giving up on, and falling back in love with, writing or photography. I never knew I’d carve out a mildly successful freelance career between my time in school. The only thing consistent about my plan is that I’m still at Portland State University and I’m still pursuing an English degree.

Now in the second year of what I call “college, part 2,” I still can’t believe I found the courage to return to college at 27. It’s still jarring to be in class with teenagers, who were probably in junior high-or-younger when I started and ended “college, part 1,” yet I find myself more at peace in school than I did as a late teenager. But I can probably trick one of them into helping me learn SnapChat, right?

Let Selfies Serve the City.

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with Allie Clark of NW Noggin at PSU’s Party in the Park Blocks 2016

 

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September Sunshine + Networking = Opportunities

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

Let the countdown for the final days of summer break commence. It’s official. Fall term is almost upon us; how are you spending your last days being textbook free?

If you’re a super planner like me, you’ve made a “final days of college freedom checklist,” which consists of: a binge-list of tv favorites on Netflix and HBOGO, dates with the friends who’ve managed to stick with you through the craziness of last term’s finals, visiting places that you fantasized about while studying/living in the library , and finally, last-minute networking events.

September networking is often overlooked, since the majority of us want to spend our time outdoors basking in the sunshine. Business devotees are no different, which is why the summer season offers so many networking opportunities, from mixers on the patio of Rogue Ale House to the September Camp Optimization meet-up.

Be sure to squeeze in a few of these upcoming networking events and get a jumpstart on your future careers:

Happy Networking!

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Lead by Example

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By: Sara Kirkpatrick 

As a Portland State student, how do you become a better leader? If you’re like me, you read a lot of books, troll Twitter for trending bloggers, and attend a few conferences. Recently, I’ve come to realize that one of the best ways to grow is to engage with other students.

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A few weeks ago, fellow PSU student Bertonitti Tayetto reached out to me and asked if he could share his marketing internship in PSU Chronicles. Bertonitti is an Emerging Leaders intern at The Hello Foundation, a local company that provides speech and occupational therapy to school districts and private clients. To grow as a leader, Bertonitti is implementing the project Hello Everyone at the foundation. It is a clinic designed to specifically help college students with speech and occupational therapy, ranging from professional to daily social skills (clinic sessions starting at $125).

Bertonitti is conducting a student survey to launch his project. Please help out a fellow Viking by completely his Hello Everyone survey.

What really impressed me was Bertonitti’s passion for his internship and the job-related skills he is gaining (Google Analytics, interviewing, social media and project management).

The next time I am prepping for an internship interview, I will remember Bertonitti and use his Top 3 Interviewing Tips:

  • Research the company.
  • Wear clothing that makes you feel confident.
  • Speak with others about the company.

Way to go Bertonitti!