Community Justice

By: Sharon Nellist

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The ASPSU voting  period ends today at 7:00 p.m.

On April 22 the student Judicial Review Board made a decision to re-start the 2015 ASPSU Election – and we all know why.

It came to light that one of the candidates for ASPSU president, Tony Funchess, was convicted of sodomy and attempted rape.

Funchess resigned as multicultural affairs director on April 22 but stated that he would still run for president.

Members of our community were heavily opposed to his decision and started a Facebook community  called Step down, Tony and petitioned for Funchess’ resignation in the election.

The candidates this second time around came forward April 30 – and Funchess is certainly absent from the ballot. In fact, it looks entirely different.

Do you think that ASPSU leaders handled the situation properly? Do you think the changes that they have made are for better or worse?

I am still reading through the 2015 Round 2 Voting Pamphlet, but I am certain that I will be submitting my ballot tonight. Nothing will improve or change if we do not speak up and VOTE!

“Man, I Wish I Knew This When I Started!”

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    Here are some academic tricks I’ve learned at Portland State. I hope these hints help you become a stellar Viking scholar:   

Calendar Your Studies. Enter ALL assignment and exam deadlines into your calendar or organizer. Planning ahead saves cramming later!

Don’t be a perfectionist.  I don’t advocate skipping readings, but when an exam is upon you, there may be more benefit in reviewing your notes, lecture slides, and other class materials than in every precious word in the readings.

Be succinct on essay tests and class presentations.  Being long-winded won’t help your grade, but your grade will drop with unfinished essay exams.  An instructor will cut you off in class if you go over time on presentations.

Demand rigor in your education:  Ask everyone who the best professors are. Can’t hear student comments in class?  Ask the professor to repeat them. If your professor is doing something wrong or inaccurate with grading, points, or on the syllabus, approach them about the matter.  You will usually get satisfaction.

You have a right not to be distracted in class by your classmates’ smart phone and Facebook fetishes.  Complain to your prof after class or during office hours; they will respond.  And don’t BE that in-class surfing addict. It’s distracting and rude to fellow students. Go in the hallway.

For now, avoid online PSU classes like STDs.  Nonverbal communication is 66 percent of all communication, and online classes remove almost all live teacher-student contact and student-to-student contact. Plus, PSU charges you an extra $160 in “online learning fees” for the privilege. Learn more in my Vanguard story “Clicking for Classes” here.

Need a quiet study spot?  The Quiet Study Lounge on the 4th floor of Smith features the soft, rustling leaves of Park Blocks trees, cushy furniture, and seriously quiet students.  Another seriously quiet spot is the 7th floor mini-library in the Urban Center Building.

Concerned about negotiating this university?  Consider taking the well-run College Success courses (UNST 199 and UNST 399).

Local hangout hint:  25-cent coffee all the time at Big Town Hero, 1923 SW 6th Ave., between College and Hall.

         Also, check out my Vanguard article on the “Top 20 Big Words You Need In College” for more help!

Social Networking or Social Awkwardness?

“It’s not official until it’s on Facebook.” That statement is somewhat, semi-, kinda true.

Social networking has been the “grapevine” of this generation. Information is so visible—we know whose birthday it is, who’s in a “complicated” relationship, and where everyone is by simply logging into our social network accounts.

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But is it social networking or social awkwardness? It’s both. Evidently, the Internet can be used as an efficient tool to communicate. But what are we exactly communicating? Our Internet alter egos or personas? I find myself hanging out with friends and at least one has to take a photo or “check-in” to show the world we are having the time of our lives.

This past year I have run into a few friends whom I talk to or follow on several social networks at school. They usually completely avoid me in person and when I eagerly went over to them to strike up a conversation, I was shot down with one of those conversation stoppers: “Hi.” “Yeah.” “Gotta go.” Is this what conversations have come to? I mean, it is always convenient to converse and even argue behind a computer screen. But social networks never convey facial expressions and body language.

I’m old-fashioned and would rather have a genuine conversation in person than none at all.

Love waits til the end of the term

In high school, if a guy liked you, he came up and asked you out for coffee or lunch. In college, it’s more likely that he’ll send you a friend request on Facebook. What’s interesting is the timing of it all. At the end of each term I get bombarded with friend requests from guys in my classes. Some were guys I talked to throughout the course, and others I had no idea were in my class. Either way, it’s interesting that the requests come in on the last day of class.

Some of my friends who also attend PSU have come across the same situation. They can’t tell if a guy in their class likes them, until the end of the term when they get asked out on a Facebook message or in-class on the very last day. My friend, Ryan Smith, explains it this way, “It’s like they’re trying to save face. If they get shot down at the beginning of the term, then it just makes the rest of the term awkward, but if they wait until the very last day, they have nothing to lose because they will probably never see you again.”

What do you think about this dating fad?