Rained Out of Homecoming

IMG_2069 By Steph Holton

Did you get to see the amazing Vikings homecoming victory over the Grizzlies this year? No? Neither did I – not in person at least.

On the day of Homecoming, my friends and I were soaked from the downpour by the time we reached the stadium. But our school spirit endured. This is Portland after all; what’s a little rain going to hurt? The student section, we then discovered, is the only section in the entire stadium not protected from the rain. Most of the students there greeted this as a minor inconvenience in the beginning. However, the number of student fans dwindled with each timeout despite the fact that an entire section of the covered stadium was left empty. At about halftime, the wind came up and made persevering even more difficult. By the end of the game (which my friends and I saw only thanks to livestreaming) the student section was a sad shell of stadium seats, while the rest of the fans – perhaps a little chilly, but dry at any rate – sat and watched the Vikings rake in another great victory.

Now, I’m thrilled that we won – especially because it was homecoming, and especially because it was against the Montana Grizzlies. But my question is this: aren’t the students an invaluable part of the football team’s fan base? It’s been a fight to get students out to the games in recent years and now, when they’re finally excited to go, they’re allowed to be rained out. Could more effort be put in to better encourage a full student section at PSU sporting events?

You Don’t Know What You Got . . .

Student Insurance . . . plus SHAC is available, too.

Student Insurance . . . plus SHAC is available, too.

By: Theo Burke

As I graduate, besides memories and friends, I am leaving behind the awesome Portland State student health insurance. I’ve written about this before, now I’m experiencing the difference.

Since I don’t know what job is coming down the pike or what kind of health insurance it might carry, I’ve applied for individual insurance through Cover Oregon, the state exchange that sells private health plans (with federal subsidies to help pay the premiums) under the Affordable Care Act, or “ObamaCare.” The state exchange will alternatively sign you up automatically for the state’s Medicaid program (the Oregon Health Plan) if you qualify.

In the real world, I will have to think more about the deductible. A deductible is an amount you pay each year (usually $250 – $1000 or higher) before any benefits are paid by your health insurer.

At PSU, the deductible was $0.00.

My present doctors might not be covered by a new insurance company. At PSU, the Aetna provider network was vast.

I will have to worry more about whether alternative care is covered. At PSU, naturopathic doctors are treated the same as primary care doctors, and chiropractors are covered up to twelve visits per year.

Weirdly enough, when I heard from Cover Oregon recently, they put me in the Oregon Health Plan, even though I reported enough income to disqualify me from that program. Now I will have to figure out the Medicaid ”world,” which works much differently than the private insurers’ system, or else contest my placement in that program with Cover Oregon.

Students, the PSU plan won’t throw you such curve balls. You have an awesome, generous health plan, and you should take advantage of it before you graduate. As I’ve said before, you don’t know what you’ve got, until you lose it.

Call Campus Security? Maybe not.

HPIM2422

Another “phalanx response”, on Sunday, March 2, in Smith.

Over Christmas, as I returned to my car at 2 a.m., I was approached by four muscular campus security officers, in three patrol cars. It was a little scary.

Someone had called in a complaint about a man “trying to break into the library, wearing a hoody.”  I had returned some books to the Millar Library dropbox, and then carried the library’s delivered New York Times closer to the revolving doors as a courtesy, pausing to read some headlines first. I’m geeky like that.

After a check with dispatch that I was a bona fide student, the four officers let me on my way. I’ve since noticed this “phalanx of four” routine is common with Campus Public Safety Office (CPSO) responses:

  • HPIM2423Last week, I saw a solo CPSO officer patrolling the Broadway. Around the corner, I spotted three more campus security responding to an incident.
  • Later in the week, a young man was panhandling all of us in line for coffee in Smith. Someone apparently reported him, as later I spied one officer stationed by the coffee joint, two more interviewing him by the Information Desk, and a fourth officer by the front door on Broadway.

Clearly, CPSO is prepared for any escape in any direction! Their “I-formation” is as impressive as any our football Vikings might run.

I refrained from calling CPSO on the panhandler, as I also did last week when I saw an unstable young man kicking all of the gravel out of the tree beds in front of the Broadway. I imagined an overreaction from CPSO similar to my experience.

Is all this manpower necessary to keep us safe? A greater risk is created, I suggest, if some students avoid calling security in the first place, concerned about overkill. Money would also be saved if CPSO responded with two-man teams.

What do you think?  In April, the university will have a security discussion that will include the question of arming these officers with guns. Tell the university what you think here, or add a comment to this blogpost. You can bone up on the recent task force report on campus safety here.

Vikings in the Super Bowl

By: DeLon R. Lewis

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Julius Thomas

This Sunday, Feb. 2, will mark the first time in which two players from Portland State – DeShawn Shead and Julius Thomas – face off in the Super Bowl.

Shead is a member of the Seattle Seahawks’ infamous “Legion of Boom” defensive backfield, which includes NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidates Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. At PSU, Shead was named Most Outstanding Defensive Back three years in a row, 2008 through 2010.

Thomas, tight end for the Denver Broncos, I actually wrote a blog about Julius Thomas after the first game of the season: https://psuchronicles.com/2013/10/11/from-psu-to-the-nfl/

Whether or not you are a football fan, you should check out Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday to witness two Portland State football legends compete for the pinnacle of their careers. I am looking forward to this game to see my hometown Seattle Seahawks bring home our first Super Bowl trophy. Who do you think is going to win the Super Bowl, Shead’s Seahwaks, or Thomas’ Broncos?

Congratulations and good luck to Deshawn Shead, and Julius Thomas on their accomplishments! As always, GO VIKS!

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DeShawn Shead (right)

Portland State Football Interview

I got a chance to catch up with two of my very good friends on the Portland State football team after one of their practices before they defeated University of North Dakota. These two gentlemen, junior Vincent Johnson (left) and senior Bryant Long (right), took time out to answer some questions from me. In this interview we go over everything from their respective recruiting trips to their brotherhood in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. See these guys on the field for our last home game of the season against Sacramento State University at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Jeld-Wen Field. Are there any other athletes or student leaders you would like to see in a future interview? GO VIKS!

-Way2Cold

From PSU to the NFL

From the very first game of the 2013 season, it was evident that Denver Broncos tight end and former Portland State football/basketball star Julius Thomas is a likely Super Bowl contestant. Thomas was a 4th round draft pick in 2011. Mostly known for his basketball skills, this 6–5-inch athletic beast threw down a slam dunk on the goal posts after scoring his first touchdown of the season, showing he can handle the ball equally well on the court and the field. Thomas also had nine catches, 122 yards, and two touchdowns in a 51-48 win against the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday.

How could I forget to mention the man throwing him the ball is Peyton Manning, arguably the greatest quarterback to play the game? When you hear football experts say Thomas is a key weapon on the undefeated Broncos’ offense, you know this former Vik is getting his shot at having a great NFL career. Next time you happen to see a Denver Broncos game or highlights look for number 80 to make an exciting play!

Watching Thomas play truly is an inspiration to me as a Portland State Student. He shows that talent and hard work can bring us success in our careers after college. Good luck to the Denver Broncos and the Portland State Vikings football teams as they finish off the second half of their seasons. GO VIKS!!!!

– Way2Cold