Public invited to give input on budget issuesOn Thursday, Jan. 12, TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane hosted TriMet’s first town hall meeting via Twitter. Overall it had a low turnout with only 33 participants of TriMet’s 7,426 Twitter followers. However, according to Mary Fetsch, TriMet’s chief media relations officer, the Twitter town hall was a new avenue for getting public feedback.
Loss of glacial mass could have serious geological and ecological effects on surrounding areasA recent study conducted by Dr. Andrew Fountain, a Portland State geology professor, shows that global climate change has affected local glaciers. According to the study, Mount Adams, located 31 miles from Mount St. Helens in the Southeast Washington Cascade Range, is experiencing severe changes due to the warming of the planet.
Dartmouth student’s death leaves community ‘devastated’More than a week after a Dartmouth student was found dead in Barcelona, Spain, while participating in a study abroad program run by Portland State, authorities and officials from the two universities still have not determined the cause of his death.
University will save money by placing student leaders outside of federal and state labor lawsOn Jan. 15, the Student Fee Committee held deliberations for the 2012-13 student publications’ budget proposals in a meeting attended by Dean of Student Life Michele Toppe. The SFC proposed the reclassification of student positions at Portland State publications, which includes the Vanguard, the Rearguard, Portland Spectator, KPSU, PSU–TV, Pathos and The Portland Review.
Public forum provides a place to voice concernsOn Thursday, Jan. 12, Portland State hosted a public-safety forum. The event, which was open to the public, provided a venue for discussion of campus public safety between staff, faculty and students. The forum resulted in several troubling questions raised by the university community. Sitting on the university panel was Jessica Amo, assistant director of the Women’s Resource Center; Dr. Marcy Hunt-Morse, director of Counseling and Psychological Services; Phillip Zerzan, director of Campus Public Safety Office; and Charles Lopez, executive director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Michele Toppe, dean of student life, mediated the discussion.
Proposal cuts contract paving for the next 5 yearsThe Portland Bureau of Transportation may include a provision in their five-year budget forecast to cut contracts for street re-paving. While the proposal would cut contract street paving, PBOT would continue to do “in-house” paving. Contract paving is done for particularly large projects and the city is required by law, because of the budget, to put it out to bid to private contractors.
In two days, ASPSU registers 985 students to vote.On Jan. 9, ASPSU, with support from the Oregon Students Association, The Bus Project and Basic Rights Oregon, coordinated a two-day voter-registration drive with a goal of registering 700 students at Portland State University. By their deadline, Jan. 10, ASPSU had registered 985 students. ASPSU and their supporters wanted to ensure a student voice in the special election taking place for Congressional District 1. District 1’s voter registration deadline was Jan. 10.
Finding help 6 months after the closure of Ombuds OfficeConflict resolution is rarely an easy task. Prior to June 2011, if students had an academic issue, a difficulty with a colleague or supervisor or a more serious problem, they would have been able to walk into the Ombuds Office for help. Since the office’s closure, access to resources has been rerouted. Student-related issues are now handled by the Office of the Dean of Student Life. Issues involving faculty and employees have been channeled to Human Resources and Academic Affairs.
A week of events celebrates Dr. King’s dreamThis week, Portland State’s Multicultural Center, along with the help of various PSU organizations, is hosting a series of events commemorating the work of Martin Luther King Jr. All events are free and open to PSU students. Jon Joiner, director of the MCC and chairman of the MLK planning committee, said the events are designed to “take stock of how far we, as a society, have come since his death.” Joiner said that the MLK Tribute Week is about reflection and commitment, and a way for “taking a mirror to ourselves and asking what would King think of our progress and the challenges ahead.”
Fresh and local produce, cheese available through the end of FebruaryAfter a grand opening on Saturday, Jan. 7 that drew more than 2,000 shoppers, the first-ever Portland Farmers’ Market winter outlet appears likely to enjoy a successful debut season. The winter market—held at Shemanski Park, just five blocks north of the regular-season PSU market, on the park blocks between Southwest Main and Salmon Streets—is scheduled to run for eight consecutive Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market’s final day will be Feb. 25, leaving a three-week gap before the PSU market starts up again on March 17.
Community markets receive state and federal grantsThe state of Oregon is working to eliminate “food deserts”—areas of Portland that lack access to supermarkets and quality food products. Various grants awarded by both state and federal governments have allowed independently run markets to open up in these populated food deserts.