With the first week of classes coming to an end, Portland State is returning to a semi-normal feel, especially with the return of in-person events like Party in the Park. The annual fair showcases tons of organizations, resources and clubs on campus. Many groups organized on campus, complete with social distancing and mask requirements to greet students, many of whom will be returning to on-campus full time. While it was raining, tons of tables and officers stayed through the entire event to make sure they reached as many students as possible. For those who didn’t get the chance to attend, here is information about different organizations on campus and how to get connected.
The following list is not exhaustive and includes highlights and information about different groups on campus. Many of these clubs, centers and organizations work together to host events and support students through their academic journey.
Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (Mecha)
Mecha, a student-led organization, was founded on the push to promote the advancement of Chicanx and Latinx populations. Their mission at PSU is to have more Chicanx and Latinx students in higher education. According to their website, their next event post-Party in the Park will be Painting with Mecha, on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 4:00–5:30 p.m. in SMSU 294, and digitally via Zoom for those wanting an alternative option (Meeting ID: 83690015921).
Queer Resource Center
PSU’s Queer Resource Center provides resources and support to queer and trans students, including anyone who falls under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. They’re currently looking for volunteers to help with affinity group facilitation, donation teams and the pen pal project. The Queer Resource Center has training orientation coming up Oct. 5–8. The sign up link can be found at https://bit.ly/qrcvolunteers with more information on their Instagram, @psuqrc.
Global Diversity and Inclusion
The Global Diversity and Inclusion team (GDI) is a group dedicated to the inclusive mission at PSU that covers diversity, discussion of resources and a general focus on making sure all students feel and are welcome at PSU. They tabled at Party in the Park and constantly have updates on their Instagram, @PSUDiversity, about social events and information. Currently, they are discussing the welcome back, information equity and racial justice and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Student Legal Services
Student Legal Services, SLS, offers free legal help to PSU students. As of Sept. 16, their reception desk is open for in-person operations, but their client appointments will be continuing via Zoom or over the phone, though they are accepting special requests for exemptions to this rule. Their website states their hours for reception are Monday–Friday from 9:00 a.m–5:00 p.m. and they are located at the Smith Memorial Student Union in M343. Updates are posted on their Instagram, @psu_sls.
The Campus Recreation Center is open and beginning the process of lifting COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, as guidance changes. Face masks are still required for all activities aside from swimming. Physical distancing of six feet is no longer required and the maximum occupancy limits have been lifted. On their website, there are still digital resources and information and sign ups for rec clubs. There are over 20 clubs currently listed, and you’re always able to submit an application to start a new one. More information can be found at their Instagram, @campusrec.
The Middle East, North African, and South Asia Initiative, better known as MENASA, is a cultural resource center program currently in the process of becoming the sixth cultural center at PSU. According to their Spring 2020 newsletter, the home of MENASA is now SMSU 238. In order to get better connected, you can check out their Instagram, @menasa_initiative.
The Pan-African Commons is based around cultivating cultural, personal, professional and developmental opportunities for students in the African Diaspora, with their focus include holding community space for African, Black American, Caribbean, Central and Southern American and other black identities across the globe. Their Instagram is @pacpdx and more information on them can be found via their PSU website.
International and Global Studies Student Association (IGSSA)
PSU’s International and Global Studies Student Association (IGSSA) is a community of students focusing on global interests. IGSSA tabled at Party in the Park, and is currently accepting Officer Election Applications via their Instagram’s Linktree. Their Instagram is @psu.igssa and more information on how to contact them can be found on their website.
PSU Food Pantry
The PSU Food Pantry is back in its old space, SMSU 47A, as of Sept. 27, and is allowing in-person shopping Monday through Thursday 1–6 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Getting an appointment is as easy as clicking the link in their Instagram bio, found at @psu_foodpantry. Currently, two shoppers are allowed in every 10 minutes, but this is subject to change based on demand and capacity. For more information on how to contact them, or donate, visit their website.
Pacific Islander, Asian and Asian American Student Center (PIAAA)
Portland State’s Pacific Islander, Asian and Asian American Student Center (PIAAA) is located in SMSU on the second floor (room 235), their latest work includes seeking out PSU student parents, or student caregivers, for a paid speaking opportunity. For more info on this opportunity and for information on what their plans are for the school year, their Instagram is @psupiaaa.
Disarm PSU is a collective of PSU students and faculty working towards a disarmed campus security. The organization has been active since 2014 and, as of 2021, Campus Public Safety began patrolling without firearms. To become a part of the organization, learn more or read about their progress visit their Instagram, @disarmpsunow, or visit their website.
PSU Veterans Resource Center
The PSU Veterans Resource Center is an organization dedicated to serving veterans, their dependents and active duty service members. They currently are in-person for drop-in hours, but otherwise the lounge and study space is by appointment only. To schedule an appointment visit their website, and, to follow their regular posting and information, their Instagram is @psu_vrc.
Disability Resource Center
The DRC (Disability Resource Center) is currently open via a virtual front desk. Their mission is to support students with disabilities in making campus life equitable and accessible. Their office hours are currently Monday through Friday both from 2 p.m.–5 p.m. in-person and 9 a.m.–5 p.m. via Zoom (Meeting ID: 379914326). Their full services can be found on their website or their Instagram, @portlandstatedrc.
La Casa Latina
La Casa Latina is part of the resource centers at PSU pushing support for all students who fall into Latinx diaspora. They recently had their open house with interviews of professors and their work with the Chicano/Latino Studies Program. They have events coming up in Oct. and more information can be found on their website or via their Instagram, @casalatina_psu.
Native American Student and Community Center
The NASCC is a cultural home for Native American, Alaskan Natives and Pacific Islanders on PSU campus. Currently, their Instagram (@psu_nascc) includes NASCC Student Employee Application submissions and the recently-hosted Oak Savanna salmon bake. More information on their next events and plans can be found via their website.