Not Yours

Noowong_Headshot By Anchitta Noowong

With the spotlight being on Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh case and the current president who openly bragged about touching and kissing others without their consent, this short film is made to express the seriousness and reality of the issue. I went out on the streets of Portland as well as social media asking women to share their experiences. ‘Not Yours‘ is a short documentary on sexual assault and harassment.

Bursting The Political Bubble

Version 2 By: Anna Sobczyk

Liberalism is a disease—a shirt design that wouldn’t turn heads in my small hometown in Idaho. I was raised in a conservative community of 950 people and my graduating class was 15. When I decided to go to college in Portland, I effectively jumped from one political bubble to another. This division between urban and rural ideologies hit home during an Honors class discussion on LGBTQ rights. A fellow student spoke up and said that conservatives didn’t understand the reason behind these rights because they “came from a place of privilege.”

For a moment, I struggled to process this statement. Immediately, the farmers back home who work relentlessly from sunup to sundown during harvest came to my mind. They are, hands down, some of the hardest workers in a thankless job, and far from privileged. In addition, rural areas just don’t boast the amount of high-income jobs that a city does. These people may be conservative, but it isn’t coming from a place of financial privilege.

Ironically, I distinctly remember political discussions back home where people thought of Democrats and liberals as privileged. These conservatives looked at how Democrats wanted to raise taxes through the roof, how liberals “wanted everything for free,” and figured they had the money to pay into the system. All they had to do was look at the wide variety of Hollywood A-listers who have voiced support of the Democratic party—think Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, Madonna—and see people worth millions of dollars supporting candidates that want to hike taxes up on the majority of people making less than six figures.

This political “bubble” effect is dangerously blinding and makes it easy to lose perspective. As someone who has lived in the two extremes, I find it odd that both sides seem to think their opposite opinions stem from thinking the other has had life handed to them in one form or another with money or opportunity. Liberals and conservatives—rich and poor—can be found in every nook and cranny of this country. Therefore, the reason for such contention between them isn’t a matter of privilege; it is the misunderstandings that arise from either side thinking they are undeniably right that cause most attempts at communication to fall on deaf ears.

Adult Size Peer Pressure

By: Sharon Jackson

With the dawn of warmer weather and foliage, comes exceptionally friendly people and their clipboards. I cannot count on one hand how many times I have been asked, “Are you registered to vote?” on the way to Portland State. In fact, while waiting for the Max train at Pioneer Square the other morning, I heard that very question faintly in my ear; I then turned to see a petite woman with a mellow demeanor smiling and holding a sign that said – “H.E.M.P 2014, Help End Marijuana Prohibition.”

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Since I am registered to vote in the state of Oregon, I replied “Yes,” and then she asked me if I “have signed to Legalize?” “Legalize what,” I said. “Legalize cannabis in Oregon,” she proudly proclaimed. I smiled and politely declined telling her I don’t know where I stand just yet.

The train pulled up and we both got on board. She continued to ask other patrons, in the same faint voice and smile, holding her sign. Every single person that she asked nodded with delight and agreed to sign her clipboard. It reminded me of high school peer pressure to be one of the “cool kids.” A man even yelled to the entire train – “Hey! You all should sign this, it’s going to save the world!”

And this encounter is what prompted my continuous pondering of the matter – WHAT is all the hype and WHY is it that we should sign to “LEGALIZE?”

Where do you stand?

 

Election Year Anxiety

Confession time: It’s campaign season, and I am stressing. And guys, it’s not even the results I’m worried about (well, OK, not only the results).

My first election as a registered voter was in 2008, my freshman year of college. I caucused in my home state, Hawaii, and was totally excited to experience a big election on a college campus — until I met my roommate. As I hung my Obama/Biden posters, she declared her love for the GOP (and her boyfriend made racist jokes about my man Barack on the regular). As you might imagine, by Election Day the atmosphere in our tiny dorm room was tense.

Now, as the 2012 presidential race enters the home stretch, I’m feeling that anxiety all over again.

When I watched the first debate at PSU on Oct. 3rd, I saw a few familiar faces around the room, and I started to wonder: Who are they voting for? Should I ask? I’d like to think I could have a rational political discussion with any of my classmates, but that isn’t always what happens. I’m proud of my convictions, but defending them to someone with different beliefs often leads to heated confrontations or awkward social situations — and nobody likes that.

So what should I do? I can’t just stop talking to everyone who disagrees with me until Nov. 2nd.  How do you deal with election year awkwardness?