NPR firings over Occupy protests raise questionsThis October, two freelance contributors to NPR were fired for their involvement in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Lisa Simeone worked as a freelance host for Soundprint, a documentary program distributed by NPR but not produced by it. Simeone provided her take on featured documentaries on the show for 15 years and never had a problem with personal politics affecting her work before.
Washington court battle highlights need for emergency contraceptiveFor many women, the availability of good contraception is not in question. From Planned Parenthood option to generic hormone birth control, it is both easy and affordable for women to find a method of preventing unwanted pregnancies that works for them. The Plan B pill acts as an emergency contraceptive in the event that these methods fail or are unavailable. The medication is one alternative many women are thankful to have.
PSU students coming to the aid of their ownPortland State students are rallying around a common cause: to help one another. The PSU food pantry is working on awareness and commitment. One of the most important things the university can do is to meet the needs of students; ASPSU’s food pantry does that. But no matter how much potential it has as a resource, it’s poorly utilized, seldom available and cheapened by incentives for donations.
Class cancellation puts business behind on product salesWhat if a language class could also prepare students for the working world? For students proficient in the German language there’s one that can. Seeing the connection between the students’ interest in German and their interest in business, the German department combines both the knowledge of the German language and the desire to get involved in the business world through its business German class, titled “German for the Working World.”
Why mainstream media really sucksAl Gore says he invented the Internet? Congress declares pizza a vegetable? Federal judge rules that cigarettes have free speech? Europe says water doesn’t prevent dehydration? Based on these headlines, the average American might conclude that a significant portion of the world has suddenly contracted whatever intelligence-sapping disease seems to be plaguing certain Republican presidential candidates. The problem is that these headlines, and the “reporting” that accompanies them, are saturated with intentional exaggerations and gross misrepresentations of information that serve no other purposes beside attracting audiences and manipulating public opinion.
Mandatory fees got you down? Get your money’s worth!If college is one thing, it’s expensive. The majority of us will graduate with some accumulated debt no matter how much we try to avoid it. With the cost of tuition, books, housing and food, every additional cost tacked on is another headache. It seems a lot of students hold grievances with the mandatory health service fee in particular. For those of us who already have insurance, this added program may appear pointless. But if you look a little closer, this fee includes a lot of valuable student kickbacks.
Taking longer to graduate is popular at PSUIs this your fifth year in college? Or even sixth? Strangely enough, Portland State students take longer to graduate than the usual college student does. Even full-time students who do not change their major tend to hang around as students for longer than four years. There does not seem to be any one reason for this that encompasses every student who takes longer than four years to get a degree. Some may have taken time off from school or are not enrolled full time. Others faced obstacles such as classes that are only offered during spring term. Others still spent a year or two abroad.
Where will the movement go next?The inevitable has finally happened. After weeks of camping out in the rain in makeshift tents and yurts, the protesters have finally been made to go home, for those who have one. After Mayor Adam’s eviction announcement that occupiers must vacate the area come Sunday at midnight, the movement was met with a huge swell of support. Though Saturday night found thousands joined together for one last hurrah, Portland police had every last protester out by the end of Sunday. If you drive Main Street passing the Lownsdale and Chapman Squares, it’s a sorry sight. A few scattered police officers stalk the recently erected fences that now cage the empty parks. The once-grassy area is now dead and muddy, and there are cleaning crews sweeping around to gather the last pieces of debris.
Oxfam representatives should seek donors elsewhereLike little green bees, Oxfam representatives congregate on the Portland State campus and swarm around students, asking for donations to support aid for a South African famine. Of the many clipboard-wielding charitable organizations begging for your money, Oxfam is perhaps the most noticeable. Oxfam consists of 15 different organizations working in 98 countries “with partners and allies around the world to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice,” according to oxfam.org Oxfam stresses that respect for human rights is the key to lifting poverty. While ending poverty seems to be Oxfam’s ultimate goal, the organization also aids in climate change, agriculture, gender justice, education, health, trade (not the free kind, mind you) and establishing natural and sustainable resources.
NaNoWriMo takes hold in PortlandWriting a good book takes a lot of work. But during National Novel Writing Month, many literature enthusiasts devote themselves to writing a novel—all in November. The focus is the word count. With the goal of 50,000 words in mind (or sometimes another goal of the participant’s choice), participants often spend every spare moment writing. Although there are loopholes, such as getting an extra word every time a main character is mentioned by giving the main character a two-part name, it takes a lot of effort to get 50,000 words written. While some participants spend a month dedicated to writing an entire novel just for fun, others deem their literary work worthy of publication after the month is over.
Adam Rahmlow fails to deliver as student body president“My highest hope as a public servant is that people judge me on what I do, in office,” said ASPSU President Adam Rahmlow in May, after details of his arrest months earlier surfaced. “I’ll do the best job that anybody could, and I promise to be open to criticism—you have to be. That’s just healthy.” Rahmlow, who had also faced allegations of breaking campaign rules, was already on the receiving end of some intense criticism. Some people were unsure whether he could adequately represent them or if he could be taken seriously. Others shrugged it off as a mistake. But they took him at his word: they would judge him by his actions. Six months later, Rahmlow has shown himself to be a less-than-ideal student body president. He’s more for parties than policy. ASPSU has voted to give itself a raise.