A purr-fect match: Tips for student pet-owners

Brooke's cat Ulysses

Brooke’s cat Ulysses

By: Brooke Horn

When I moved here, I couldn’t bring Bandit with me.

I knew that a 400sqft studio in the city is no place for an energetic Black Lab, and that I would be able to adopt after the move. Bandit was more than happy to stay home with family and escape the traumatic experience of flying. After settling into Portland, I did a lot of research into pet adoption. For my fellow students who own pets, or are interested in owning pets, here are some of the best tips I’ve come across:

 

  1. Know the pet rules for where you live. According to PSU’s Housing & Residence Life FAQs, “The only animals allowed in on-campus housing are fish in a small tank (up to 10 gallons), cats, and service animals that are pre-approved by the Disability Resource Center (DRC).” For those of you who live off-campus, it’s important to know that most management companies will require you to have renter’s insurance (I decided to go with State Farm for $10/month), and most have a policies regarding weight and breed restrictions.
  1. The Oregon Humane Society is wonderful. Not only do they have great pets that desperately need good homes, they have a phenomenal list of resources for pet-owners. This list covers everything from which apartments are pet-friendly to sample pet references/resumes.
  2. Buy all of your pet supplies in advance, and make sure you really have the room in your home AND your schedule to devote to a pet. Pinterest has some great student-friendly ideas for DIY pet furniture that saves space!
  3. Spend some time researching your local veterinarians. Although they’re a little far from campus, the folks at Powell Veterinary Center have been kind to me, my pet, AND my wallet.

I finally met my purr-fect match through The Delicious Mickey Grrrl Fund – a small group of dedicated, friendly locals who match neglected pets with forever homes. They went above and beyond to make my adoption experience wonderful, and now I’m the proud pet-mama of Ulysses (pictured above).

Have an inspiring adoption story, a cute pet photo, or know of a good pet resource? Share it with us!

Tips for Living in the Dorms

By: Amanda Katz and Marilynn Sandoval

Ahh at last, the time when every incoming freshman student counts the days until they move out of their parents’ home and into a college dorm. Keeping in touch with their future roommates, who may be from other states and countries. Trying to figure out who will bring what and what their taste and preferences are.

Well, we have some tips for you incoming freshman. Having lived in the dorms for a combined three years at PSU, we have learned a few things.

1. Keep your doors open during Viking Days so you can meet new people!

2. Walk through each floor saying “hi” to others with their doors open. Hey, you could meet your new best friend!

3. Bring these essentials: cleaning supplies, laundry hamper, power strips and a side table.

4. Get involved with activities during Viking Days and throughout the school year. They are fun and there is free food at almost every single one! Here’s the schedule: http://bit.ly/ZaXCdy

5. Invite students you don’t know from your floor to hang out with you.

6. Be nice to your Resident Assistant; they are there to help you, not hurt you.

7. Don’t bring: toaster ovens (not allowed), extra clothes (if you don’t wear it often don’t bring it), gigantic stereos (leave them at home unless you’re a DJ), things that hang off a ceiling (not allowed).

8. Ondine students: Bring bed risers, so you can lift your bed off the floor. You can find these at your local stores such as Target, Walmart and TJMaxx

Broadway students: Save space by lifting your bed up from the lowest setting to the highest setting (ask your RA if you have questions on how) and putting drawers and other storage underneath.

9. Roll up t-shirts in your drawer to space save.

10. Lastly, bring posters, photos, and wall art to liven up your walls.

Hopefully these few quick tips will help all you freshman looking forward to the moment you have “freedom.”

So, our fellow dorm-life students, are there any other tips you would give to first-time students living in a dorm? Would you recommend living in a dorm or not?

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.

Cupcake Fiasco

Cupcake Fiasco

Isn’t that cupcake beautiful? It only took two trips to the store and three different people’s kitchenware to produce. When making a box cake mix takes this much effort, it’s extremely obvious that this is my first month having a kitchen.

It’s my first time living away from home, and my kitchen is not that of a chef’s. Even though I have had some difficulties, I have found that if you just ask a friend or a neighbor if they have cooking spray or a bowl big enough to mix in, generally someone will have something they can loan to you for the night.

Don’t be afraid to ask others for help, because otherwise you will have some difficulty making that new pasta recipe if you don’t even have a pot to boil water in.

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

A few weeks back, I was low on money and had to budget in order to eat at least once a day. Fortunately, I was helped out by my girlfriend, who kept me alive by buying me meals. I am truly grateful to her for taking care of me. As a student, I have many educational expenses. Books, tuition, and course fees mount up to a huge sum of money. More often than not, a majority of my financial aid and work study money goes to paying off my expenses. My parents earn enough to sustain themselves and cannot support me financially as much as they would want. I have managed fine, but I became careless this summer.

I have been at Portland State for the last three years, only moving back home after my freshman year. Since then,I have stayed in Portland for work and school. I had managed to get a work study position last summer and even took one course. This summer, I managed to do the same. However, I moved to Oregon City at the end of spring term and could only obtain a part-time work study position. I was low on cash and had to even take a small loan out for my added expenses.

I got careless and didn’t plan ahead. I should have looked for another work study position. Honestly, I wanted to take a break and have a relatively mellow summer. But with expenses and bills, I should have known better. However, I am happy to say that I am in full swing this term working and going to school, with a few side projects. A pint of sweat saves a gallon of blood.

Living in University Pointe

It is that time of year, again. A new school year, new classes, and for me, a new place to live.

University Pointe, the new on-campus 16-floor apartment building, is finally open for lease to all students this fall. The apartments definitely surpassed my expectations of a typical apartment. My roommates and I chose the private four-bedroom and two-bathroom option. It is fully furnished, with lots of personal and community amenities. It is definitely an upgrade from my first-year shared room when I lived in the Broadway dormitory. With my own room and no RA, I enjoy my own independence and privacy. However, there are Community assistants and on-site staff to help whenever it is needed.

There is a controversy with the cost of the apartments. For my four-bedroom room, it is $599 per person. Compared to apartments in the surrounding Portland area, the cost averages around $300-600 per person (rent.com). Before I decided to live in the apartments, I considered these off-campus alternatives in Clackamas, Beaverton, and other areas in Portland. Ultimately, I chose University Pointe because it was conveniently on-campus, therefore, saving a few hundred bucks from not purchasing a parking permit or transit pass. In addition, the utilities are all included in the rent.

If you are looking for a place to live on or off campus, check out these sites:

  • pdx.edu/housing/buildings
  • portland.craigslist.org/apa
  • rent.com
  • apartments.com
  • univpointe.com

A Night in the Life of a Resident Assistant

It’s 10 p.m. on a school night. Most of you will probably be home, studying, or finishing a night with friends, but for a few students on campus, their night is just beginning. These students are on-call Resident Assistants (R.As).

Do, beep, do, beep, do, do, do….The phone is ringing and I’ve just begun my night on-call. I pick up and the voice on the other end says, “Hey, I’m locked out of my room.”  I walk a few blocks in the rain to get to their building, the entire time my mind is on the fact that I still have to finish the last few pages of my essay due at 9 a.m.  I let them in and then continue on my rounds, checking to make sure that all the doors are locked, nothing’s amiss. Ew! What did I just touch? One of the handles is covered in a semi-opaque, slimy, sticky substance. Suppressing my gag reflex, I head to the nearest office to find a sink and some hand sanitizer. I go back to clean up the mess and hope to never find out what I just touched. Something tells me I don’t want to know the answer.

The night goes pretty smoothly as I finish both sets of rounds. There’s the call I seem to get every week complaining about the upstairs neighbors, so I write another information report.  All I hope for is no call from Campus Public Safety, as last time they called about a party with underage high schoolers, and the week before it ended up with somebody in the hospital. Those calls are always the worst. Finally, I fall asleep around 1 a.m., but it is of course too good to be true; the phone rings again at 4 a.m., waking me from a dead sleep. The alarm is set for 6:30 and I still have to finish that paper.