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Opt out of Black Friday

blog1 (1) By: Xylia Lydgate

Get trampled or feel alive? I know what I’ll be doing on Black Friday this year, and it won’t be shopping. Read more to find out why.

On the day after Thanksgiving last year, REI closed all 143 of its retail locations, headquarters and distribution centers on the infamous American holiday, “Black Friday.” Instead of extending its hours and offering big discounts, the outdoor retailer encouraged its employees and customers to spend their day off enjoying the outdoors. REI sparked one of the most successful outdoor movements that year with over 1.4 million people choosing to opt outside.

In response to this, the Campus Rec Outdoor Program is launching its own outdoor photo contest from Monday, Nov. 14 through Friday, Nov. 25 (Black Friday). The purpose is to support the Opt Outside movement and encourage people to share their favorite outdoor moments on social media using the #optoutside and tagging @psu_odp.

Plus, there’s no better place to Opt Outside than in Oregon. With hundreds of hidden gems, waterfalls and mountainous views, I wouldn’t want to spend my Black Friday any other way. If you haven’t taken a moment to go outside and breathe, are you really living?

Join the movement with us by sharing where you like to enjoy the outdoors. Here are a few places to get you started: Boardman Tree FarmRamona Falls Spencer Butte.

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Millenials Learned Nothing From John Hughes

 

img_4856 by Steph Holton

I’m a millennial and I don’t know how to date.

But I’m also a film minor who puts way too much stock in the “art imitates life” concept, and I want to know who the onscreen-dating-dynamic of the ‘80s was imitating! Because apparently dating now is in no way as simple as when John Hughes was directing Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald.

Characters in “The Breakfast Club” didn’t have to navigate Tinder (or Match or Bumble or any of the numerous others), and dating in the movies almost always happens within the more or less reliable confines of high school where participants have considerably fewer responsibilities than college students. As students at PSU, most of us not only have school, but work and extra-curriculars, not to mention family and friends to fit into our schedules. And then to top that off with attempting to find someone to give you warm fuzzies – worrying about ‘the right way’ to go about doing so? Is anyone else floundering out there? We don’t ask each other to “go steady.” Hell, we can’t even change our Facebook relationship statuses because that’s so 2010.

So what are the rules?

What I’ve finally come to realize in this millennial world of ours is that even though we’re doing things differently (the trademark of our wonderfully weird, often frustrating, brilliantly innovative generation), there were never any rules. I’ve come to realize that even though we don’t swap letterman jackets anymore, there’s still no right way or perfect time to ‘become official,’ or meet the parents, or hit any other relationship milestone. Every relationship is unique, and no matter how you met or what the current culture may deem the right way to go about it, it ultimately comes down to the feelings of the individuals involved, and that’s something that transcends generations.

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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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Getting my Shroom on and you can too

By Emma Eberhart

One of my favorite things about being an out-of-state student at Portland State is the fact that I am making a brand new city my own. Exploring this uncharted territory was difficult at first, until I realized the key was right at my fingertips: Facebook.

The social-media network made it easy to map out this new world by means of adding new friends, finding interesting events, inspecting local calendars, and liking various Portland-associated pages.

Below are five, upcoming public events in Portland that I found on my Facebook ‘s recommended, popular, and/or suggested events page that some of y’all might be interested in:

  1. “2016 Fall Mushroom Show”

Sunday, October 30, noon, World Forestry Center, 4033 SW Canyon Rd., $3 for students. It’s about shrooms of all sorts with vendors, samples, books, and experts.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1826157264296217/

  1. “2016 Women in Science Mixer at OMSI”

Monday, November 2,, $5 for students (admission can be waived for those in need) required RSVP. OMSI is at the base of the eastern side of the Tilikum Bridge.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1759084991000263/

  1. “Imperialism, War, & the Fight for a Socialist Future”

Thursday, November 3, 7 p.m., on campus and is free! (Their lectures are usually in Smith, but the exact room is TBD so check in on the link) It is definitely a timely lecture considering that this election has revealed a lot of discontent with our two-party system.

https://www.facebook.com/events/596041493912661/

  1. “Portland – Fill Your Pantry”

Sunday, November 6, 11 a.m., Rigler Elementary, 5401 NE Prescott, local apples, honey, chicken and so much more sold in bulk or pre-ordered online.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1759527647667617

  1. “Portland Green Festival Expo”

December 9-11, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King, free admission to tons of vendors, speakers, and veggie food options.

https://www.facebook.com/events/803395863125279/

I hope this very brief list of events helps to get you thinking about becoming a more active member in our Portland community.

 

 

 

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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.