VOLUME6868| |ISSUE ISSUE369 VOLUME 68 | ISSUE 33 | MAY 6, 2014 VOLUME
OCTOBER MAY 27, 2014 8, 2013
Friends of Graphic Design and 12 other student groups have been recategorized as Department Sponsored Organizations, bringing their funding into question NEWS
ARTS & CULTURE
Leaders of Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today platform disqualified for spamming PSU emails. pg. 4
The road to censorship is paved with trigger warnings in higher education classroom settings. pg. 10
Portlandâ€™s Experimental Film Festival is back for its third year of showcasing artist-driven experimental media. pg. 14
PSU track and field returns from the Big Sky Outdoor Championships with more victories than expected. pg.20
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Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
Leaders of ASPSU campaign disqualified from election for misuse of PSU emails Colleen Leary
The Judicial Review Board, an organ of the Associated Students of Portland State University which serves as the Elections Committee during elections, made a decision on Friday that disqualified members of the Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today platform from the student government election. Presidential candidate Marcus Sis, vice presidential candidate Erica Fuller, Student Fee Committee candidate Khalid Alballaa and campaign manager Landru Parker have all received major infractions that eliminated them from the election. All remaining members of the Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today platform have received minor infractions that did not automatically disqualify their candidacy. The infractions are in response to a mass email sent
to PSU addresses in order to solicit votes. This decision came just hours before student voting closed at 7 p.m. on Friday. “Obviously it’s a big hit on the entire [platform]. They are clearly a group of very hard working students,” said ASPSU advisor Candace Avalos. “I’ve watched them create a very special bond together. They feel very passionately about what they do.” Members of Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today declined to comment. Sis said in a text message, “A comment from us would be inappropriate (in our view) when this situation is still fluid, especially with the way this is affecting some of our teammates right now.” Take Back PSU! presidential candidate Eric Noll filed a grievance against the Students for a Better Tomorrow,
Today slate regarding the mass email that was sent to all pdx.edu email addresses. In an Elections Committee hearing on Thursday, Noll argued that this action was in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy of PSU. According to a report published by the Elections Committee, the Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today platform accessed the emails through their PSU Gmail accounts. The message was sent to this list through a service called MailChimp. Student, faculty and department email addresses received the platform’s message. This included PSU President Wim Wiewel. In the Elections Committee’s written decision, Parker is described as pointing out that students have the option to opt out of this vulnerability when they register for their Odin accounts.
For this reason, Parker claimed the platform’s actions were justified. “I buy the fact that the Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today were under the impression that this was okay,” said Elections Committee member Adam Wunische, “but I think they had an idea that this might have been a bad thing.” Sis and Fuller are said to have claimed that they were unaware of the specifics of this campaign strategy and its violation of the Acceptable Use Policy. The Elections Committee based its decision to disqualify them on a need for accountability among campaign leadership. In the committee’s analysis, they concluded that ultimate responsibility would fall on the platform’s leadership. “What we got generally at the very beginning [of the hearing], [Alballaa] and
Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today vice presidential candidate Erica Fuller and presidential candidate Marcus Sis (pictured), along with Landru Parker and Khalid Alballaa, were disqualified for sending an unauthorized mass email to PSU students. Miles Sanguinetti/PSU VANGUARD
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
[Parker] were claiming they were absolutely the only ones who knew this was going on,” Wunische said. “As the hearing progressed it came out that more and more people knew about it. “Eventually we got the point [in the hearing] where everybody knew that the email was going to be used as a strategy, but nobody knew this is how they were getting the email addresses. They were just telling people it was the student directory.” According to the written decision, members of the platform had planned to send out a second email. The committee’s final decision states, “The Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today slate had created a separate list with names that they thought were international students based on the spelling of names. The plan was to send them a separate message focusing on international students, but once the infraction was filed, this message was not sent.” “Had the election been handled professionally we would not have had a major infraction,” said Elections Committee Chief Justice Victoria Hutfilz. According to the decision, PSU’s Office of Information Technology had several conversations with members of Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today regarding these email lists. OIT Associate Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer Chuck Lanham said that he made clear to Alballaa that the use of the email list is a violation of the Acceptable Use Policy and can be traced.
Avalos discussed a consultation with OIT that preceded Thursday’s hearing. “Bottom line, the decision came out that ‘yes, it was a violation.’ That’s a decision that not the [Elections Committee] made, but that OIT made—that this is violating their Acceptable Use Policy.” The published conclusion of the hearing reads, “We cannot allow such a gross disadvantage to exist between two slates, specifically when that disadvantage was created by a method that was both disingenuous and against university policy.” The document also states, “The fact that this even occurred in the first place was either due to an impressive display of apathy or intentional ignorance. Both of which do not clear the members of blame. “This conduct was an embarrassment to the Elections Committee, ASPSU, and the university as a whole,” it continues. “I certainly wasn’t too sure about using that strong of language, but the decision was a very heavy-handed one and I wanted to make sure everyone knew why that was the case,” Wunische said. “[The candidates] mined thousands of email addresses for the purpose of spamming for their campaign,” Wunische added. “During the hearing we kind of got the attitude from [the candidates] that it wasn’t a big deal.” “The [Acceptable Use Policy] is easily accessible,” Wunische added. “It’s in perfectly plain See Infraction on page 6
Food For Thought Cafe to remain closed Business plan a key component to potential restart next year Bailey Broxson
The Student Organization Application and Recognition committee held a final conduct hearing regarding Food For Thought’s closure on May 19. After a review by the Oregon University System auditor and a Portland State investigation regarding the cafe’s cash handling, adherence to code of conduct and other policies and procedures, SOAR decided to uphold the decision for the unrecognition of Food For Thought as a state-funded and student-operated service. It will remain closed for the rest of the academic year. However, while the space in the basement of Smith Memorial Student Union will remain unused for the time being, there is still hope for the reopening of Food For Thought. The Student Fee Committee forgave $43,000 of Food For Thought’s deficit, effectively zeroing the cafe’s operating budget for next year and giving them the opportunity for a fresh start. Domanic Thomas, assistant dean of Student Life and director of Conduct & Community Standards, joined Food For Thought’s conduct meeting to provide a working draft of a report detailing the cafe’s violations and the overage forgiveness request. Stated in the conduct summary review, SOAR gave conditions for possible rerecognition of the cafe as a student-operated service. “To be recognized by SOAR, we have to put together an advisory board that would be tasked in creating a business plan,” said Aimee Shattuck, director of Student Activities and Leadership Programs. The proposed advisory board would consist of student,
Miles Sanguinetti/PSU VANGUARD
faculty, staff and community members, but a majority of the students on the board would have to be students who had not been previously employed by Food For Thought. While the process of choosing the members is still in the works, Shattuck suggested approving each adviser through recommendation of Angela Hamilton, the coordinator of Student Operated Services, as well as former Food For Thought employees Haley White and Leona Kinderman. “I am working with students on an outreach plan for overall interest in the future of the cafe, but will also include an open call for nominations to the advisory board,” Hamilton said.
Shattuck said that their goal is to reach out for collective university help, find experts in cash handling and sustainable business practice and try to have a diverse array of students on the board. “Participation on the advisory board is voluntary,” Hamilton said. “Additional working groups will probably be needed to accomplish certain tasks throughout the summer, but everything will come back to the board regarding decision making and creating the business plan.” The plan would ultimately be approved by Shattuck, Thomas, the Smith Advisory Board and the SFC. “The time frame for completion of these aspects is
complex and dependent on the willingness of students to adhere to proper procedures and the support and supervision of SALP and the SFC,” Thomas said. While there are a lot of things to accomplish before reopening, the collective members are dedicated to reinstating Food For Thought as a student resource. “It would be really hard, but people are super committed. If we managed our expectations it would be possible,” Shattuck said, alluding to a simplification of the staffing plan and menu. While there were discussions at Food For Thought’s May 7 panel of providing other services at the cafe, it was determined that this would become too com-
plex and hinder its reopening. The advisory board would solely be tasked with addressing checks and balances in order to avoid another closure. Discussions at the panels have produced a goal to reopen a space similar to Food For Thought, but with more structure and involvement with the student boards. The past relationship between Food For Thought and SOAR has been strained in regards to lack of communication, but with a new start Shattuck is determined to bridge that gap. “Rather than us coming up with our own ideas and then pitching them to one another, we should be creating ideas together, starting
with a common purpose and working on those together,” Shattuck said. “We can make it even better.” “It is important not to limit our thinking about the future of the cafe based solely on what it has been in the past,” Hamilton said. “In fact, because of the sanctions from Student Conduct and the need to address concerns of exclusivity coming from the student community, many of us will need to come to terms with changes to what has been ‘our place’ on campus. “We have a chance to look at the cafe’s roots, original intentions to serve as a point of experiential learning on campus, and a vibrant community space for all students.”
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
Cleantech Challenge teams move on to semifinal pitching round Kennedy Martin
Th e P o rt l a n d S tat e Cleantech Challenge, a competition that gives PSU students a chance to help create a clean, energy efficient environment, hit its first round application deadline at 5 p.m. on May 16. Going into its second year running, the annual Cleantech Challenge encourages PSU students to take their ideas and turn them into working prototypes over the summer. Undergraduates, graduates, postdocs and faculty are eligible to compete for a total prize pool of $40,000. “Although the Cleantech Challenge is currently exclusive to PSU, we hope to take it statewide within the next two years,” said Quinn Read, project manager for the Center for Entrepreneurship. For a project to be considered cleantech, it must fit the definition posted on the competition’s official website, which says that “any product, process or service that affects the resource-constrained environment in a positive way including energy generation, conservation, reduction of resource use, waste reduction, or water, soil and air pollution mitigation or renewal. The innovations can be green consumer products, greening of supply chains, industrial, commercial, municipal processes or technologies, microproducts and nanotechnology or anything that contributes to a healthier planet.” “As you can see, cleantech is a pretty broad term,” Read said. “Their pitch can be anything from a local service to a consumer product. It’s fun to see competitors get creative with it.” Anne Phillip, a PSU alumna with a B.A. in biology and member of the previous
year’s winning team, gave her advice to this year’s competitors. “I think creating a road map for what you want to accomplish by the end of the competition is really important. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of all of the knowledge available from people you interact with during the competition. That being said, keep your own goals clear in your mind and don’t be too swayed by other people’s advice.” After attending information sessions in late April, prospective teams pitched their ideas by the May 16 deadline. Teams chosen to advance in the competition were notified and attended a mandatory pitch coaching, hosted by the PSU Business Accelerator on May 23. “Being involved in the Cleantech Challenge is part of the Business Accelerator’s effort to connect small start-up businesses with investors,” said Matt Foreman, program assistant at the Business Accelerator. “We provide a venue for the early stages of the competition and host the pitch mentoring sessions.” In a semifinal pitching round, 14 teams will present their fine-tuned ideas and concepts to a panel of judges in a public event on May 29. Each team will have a total of 10 minutes in front of the audience—five to present and another five to answer questions. From there the teams will be pared down yet again, leaving only five or six to move on in the competition. Advancing teams will be announced May 30. Moving into June, teams finalize their contracts and will receive grants of $2,500. Teams then have 90 days over the course of the summer
to build final prototypes or products before showing off their projects to the judges one last time. This final round will take place at the Oregon BEST FEST, the Northwest’s premier cleantech innovation conference, giving competitors yet another opportunity to make important acquaintances and connections within the cleantech community. The 2013 Cleantech Challenge (the first annual event) was won by a team led by Phillip. Their idea to build a home aquaponics system combined hydroponics (growing plants in water) and aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) to produce sustainable food that requires less water and fertilizer than traditional methods. Their final product, a modular aquaponics system, led to the start of Phillip’s company Möbius Microfarms. Taking business to the next level, Möbius Microfarms recently installed its first commercial system in Northeast Portland’s popular Mediterranean restaurant Tabla Bistro. “The Cleantech Challenge was a very rewarding experience on many levels. It was amazing to receive funding to be able to create a prototype. But, perhaps most beneficial was the business education that was woven into the infrastructure of the program,” Phillip said. “I learned how to construct and test business models and consider my target audience. These skills have ultimately been incredibly useful as I moved forward from the Cleantech Challenge to launch my business.” For more information on the Cleantech Challenge visit the official website, pdx.edu/ clean-challenge
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
Tabla Bistro owner Adam Berger (Left) and Anne Phillip pose in front of the restaurant’s aquaponics system.
Infraction Continued from page 4 language that these email addresses can’t be used for spamming. I think it was a really simple task for them to be able to find that. “Students for a Better Tomorrow, Today—especially [SFC candidate] Devon Backstrom—emailed the Elections Committee on multiple occasions to see if a certain action or strategy was within the regulations. We’ve been able to let him know what our opinions were so those things never became an issue. It would have been as simple as that.” Hutfilz concluded the hearing by saying, “All of this could have been avoided with a simple email.” The candidates who have received major infractions
have been removed from the ballot. This year, 1,484 students cast votes in the election. Any votes that went toward the disqualified candidates will be discounted. Voter turnout this year is nearly three times greater than last year’s election. Throughout this year’s election process, ASPSU has emphasized gaining stronger student involvement. Discounting votes has the potential to affect student voter morale, Wunische said. “This is what made our decision so difficult,” Wunische added in an email. “I think a [student] government gains legitimacy in two ways. The first, obviously, is being selected by and gaining power through the students by way of elections.
“The second way is through accountability. [Student] governments that can’t police themselves or maintain a basic level of ethical behavior are as illegitimate as one that wasn’t elected.” “I hope this sets some guidelines for our expectations in the future and for the betterment of the school itself,” Hutfilz said. “I hope it ensures [ASPSU candidates’] professional relationship with the school.” The Elections Committee will meet today to review several more reports of minor infractions submitted throughout the campaign. Final election results will be announced today at 3 p.m. at the Simon Benson House. For ASPSU election results, visit psuvanguard.com.
PSU and Gov. Kitzhaber to address GMOs Karisa Cleary
In April, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announced his appointed 13-member task force to create a report on genetically modified organisms. This report may possibly come into play in legislation in 2015. The task force is compiled of a variety of different agriculture leaders from around Oregon who will each bring their own viewpoints to the meetings. Portland State’s Jennifer Allen, director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, is acting as co-convener for this task force alongside Daniel Arp, Oregon State University’s dean of agricultural sciences. Another PSU affiliate, the Oregon Consensus from the Hatfield School of Government, will serve as the facilitator for this task force led by Peter Harkema and Jesse Conover, project managers. The role of the co-conveners and facilitator is simply to provide a reflection of the task force members’ perspectives on GMO-related issues in the most unbiased way possible. As information is gathered throughout these meetings, Allen talked more about the overarching purpose of this project. “The purpose of this group is really to help us compre-
hend and describe the whole landscape of issues related to genetic engineering and agriculture,” Allen said. “It’s not intended [for us] as a group to come up with any recommendations.” Harkema explained the role of Oregon Consensus as facilitator. “In our role [we’re] the neutral forum for the conversation and we’re facilitating the conversation,” Harkema said. “We’re responsible for drafting the report that will summarize the work of the task force and be provided for the governor.” Allen said that she was honored to be chosen as coconvener. “They wanted someone who would be respected by the people on the task force, as well as someone who would help make sure the process was as constructive as possible.” The role of the task force members is to provide their viewpoints on the issues, which are then recorded in an unbiased manner by the co-conveners and compiled
into the final report. Thus far, the team has had two meetings—one organizational meeting in order to solidify future meeting dates, and the second was a discussion involving environmental issues, which included soils, chemicals, pest management, and so on. The upcoming meetings will cover four more topics. These include economic and social issues, consumer and grower information and choice (labeling, promotion, etc.), coexistence (between GM foods and non-GM foods in store), and existing legal and policy issues. Once these meetings are finished, the report will be kept and potentially used for informational purposes in future legislative sessions. “The task force will be finished in approximately November,” Harkema said. “The draft report will later be available for public comment. Once it is finalized it will go to the governor. Our hope and expectation is that the report will be a useful tool in legislation.”
PSU to hold budget-oriented town hall forum Coby Hutzler
Today, Portland State officials will be holding a town hall budget forum that will explore PSU’s 2014–15 budget. Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to attend. The forum will take place
in the Smith Memorial Student Union ballroom from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served and audience members will be permitted to pose questions to PSU officials.
PSU officials will discuss how the university performed with regards to the budget for the 2014 fiscal year. Monica Rimai, PSU’s vice president for Finance and Administration, will
explain the fiscal year 2015 budget, and Sona Andrews, PSU’s provost and vice president for Acadmic Affairs, will discuss the portion of the budget related to the Office of Academic Affairs.
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
Unsure and OK Navigating sex as a young person
by Adam LaMascus
Teenagers have no idea who they are sexually, and that’s OK. This isn’t just teenagers though. It applies to anybody who is new to the sexual scene. I’m going to really show my nerd credibilities here and say that sex is like the spice from the Dune series, which is to say it’s powerful, it’s important and it’s different for every person and occasion. Due to this, it is really impossible to know yourself sexually until you’ve got a decent amount of experience under your belt. A few decades worth, actually.
BRENDAN MULLIGAN/PSU VANGUARD
“You are trying to find yourself as a person and as a sexual being right when you are expected to be transitioning into an adult.” 8
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
A person’s sexual tastes change a lot in the beginning, but also later on. If you read Dan Savage’s column, for example, you will find dozens of letters to the effect of “My spouse of 30 years and I are still in love, but their tastes have changed, and we don’t know what to do!” As the old saying goes: The only constant is change. That isn’t a bad thing, even if it can sometimes cause complications and make people feel awkward. First, it is vital to remember that what you think you want and like now will change. To that end, it’s important to always strive to be GGG. What is that? Well, it’s an acronym that Dan Savage came up with that stands for “Good, Giving and Game.” It is important to try to be good at sex (more on that later), giving and supportive for your partner, and game to try new things. I’m not saying that you have to say yes to everything—far from it. I am saying that being open-minded and non-judgmental will help you discover a lot of things you never thought you’d enjoy. Anyway, being new to sex, especially when you are a teenager, is stressful. You are trying to find yourself as a person and as a sexual being right when you are expected to be transitioning into an adult. Furthermore, you don’t really know what you like because you haven’t actually tried much. As I said above, that’s OK. Don’t stress out about it. One of the biggest stress factors in sex for many people is being good at it, and since it’s the first G in GGG, I thought I’d touch on this. To put it bluntly, people are almost always kind of mediocre when they are new at sex, just as most people are kind of mediocre whenever they try something new. As I said before, that’s fine and to be expected. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE disregard the “advice” that gossip rags like Cosmopolitan Magazine offer. The advice is usually stupid and un-arousing at best, and actively hazardous at worst. Cracked.com has an older article about Cosmo “sex tips” that can get you hospitalized. I recommend reading that because it is funny, and it also provides excellent examples of how shockingly stupid the sex tips in wastes of paper like that magazine are. These are the bits of advice I would offer to people still discovering themselves sexually: 1. Always be safe. I mean both in terms of physical location and also in using condoms and other forms of birth control/ STI preventers. 2. Relax. Seriously, it’s amazing how much better sex gets when people are not nervous and stressed out. 3. Listen to your partner. Ask them what they want and what feels good. Listening to your partner’s feedback is really the quickest way to improve. 4. Talk to your partner. Giving constructive, honest and kind feedback is the quickest way to help your partner improve. 5. Keep an open mind and be willing to try new things. Also, never hesitate to discuss any nervousness you may have about a new thing: Honest, caring and kind communication is fantastic. 6. Start slow. Much like you didn’t try to drive a Formula-1 race car the day you got your drivers license, don’t jump straight into dungeon rape scenarios when you start out being kinky. Whatever it is you are doing, start out slow and communicate throughout. Keep these simple little suggestions in mind, and you should have a more enjoyable and fulfilling path as you come into your own. Wishing you a happy, long and fulfilling sexual development.
New words for family Three Rights
by Zachary Miska There is something that is often disconnected between the terms we use to describe family relationships and the reality of what our relationships actually are. In theory, your family includes the people with whom you are closest. To try to boil it down to something somewhat quantifiable, I would like to suggest that the people with whom you are closest are the people that you interact with the most. Not to say that this has to be continual. For example, old friends who do not see each other for years may yet be close friends because of the years that they did spend together. Our parents, who raised us, are close to us because of the comprehensive interaction (e.g. loving touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts). By the same reasoning, siblings tend to become like old friends since they interacted with each other from a very young age. But while the ideal situation is that our parents continue to love each other deeply and stay together, and that our siblings remain close as well, this is not the reality for many people. Divorce affects countless lives. Some people have lost siblings or another dear family member. Sometimes the loss is not the death of the person but the death of the relationship. On the other hand, we might form a close relationship with a roommate or some other friend such that we feel closer to them than we have felt to our blood relations. And through programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, we might find someone who is more of a parent to us than our biological parents. But we do not honor friends and mentors as family by counting them equal to our blood relatives. Furthermore, we do not honor other close relationships as family by giving them equal permanence to family. Typically, once one is in a family they cannot ever cease to be a part of it, only become separated by time or distance. Similarly, should we still refer to people who are not actively involved in a family role by a term which implies that they fulfill their family role? For example, if your biological father is out of your life most of the time, and an uncle is more of a father to you than your biological father, would it not be better to refer to the uncle as your father? Since we refer to our biological parents as mom and dad, if one or both of them are absent or abusive, we inherit that idea of what a father or mother is. We then carry for the rest of our lives the definition of mom or dad that we received from our
biological parents. But perhaps, instead, when we find someone who is a good father or a good mother to us, we should think of them as if they were our real parent. It might help to heal the sins that our biological parents visited upon us. Can we rewrite our family history? Or perhaps graft ourselves onto a new family? In our present language and culture, the words mother and father mean one thing to someone who was cared for well by their biological parents and another thing to someone who was not. I want to ask if there should be a new word for these family relationships. Can or should we change our language so that we have words that describe the relationship we have with other people we might like to consider as family? If someone I call a friend teaches me many things and invests in my life, is such a person merely a friend? Must I go through some formal paperwork and be adopted to become family? What if they are more like a sibling to me? What if this person and I are closer than anyone I traditionally refer to as family? Should I not consider them to be family since we each have our own families? Is marriage the only way to make two adults into family?
For that matter, in this age of becoming gender neutral and accepting the equality of sexual orientations, are there still traditional roles between couples? If a man stays home and takes care of the kids while the woman works a day job, we might say, to the emasculation of the man, that she wears the pants in that home. For couples who are not following traditional gender norms, it might not be kind to them to judge what role each of them should have for a proper relationship. But if the roles still exist, it would be useful to have gender-neutral terms to describe the roles or even how the relationship functions between the couple. New words for these relationships may be enriching to our language. It would be nice if we had terms to describe who is a father to us, who is a mother to us, who is a sister to us or who is a brother to us. We can describe it by saying, “He is a brother to me,” but this lacks the possessive. I have a mom, I have a dad and I have a sister. When one can say that they “have” something and it can include a part of them, such as their arm, head, eyes, etc. It shows the closeness of the relationship. Perhaps the solution is not to change our language but to instead open up our culture so that close friends may become family. Like a kind of adoption of adults. Something that is binding.
RACHAEL BENTZ/PSU VANGUARD
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
Trigger this Why it’s necessary to leave trigger warnings out of higher education
The Front Row
by Breana Harris Comedian Louis CK once said, “Offending people is a necessary and healthy act. Every time you say something that’s offensive to another person, you just caused a discussion. You just forced them to have to think.” Thinking and having discussions seem like activities perfectly suited to college. That’s probably why there has been heated response to Jennifer Medina’s May 18 article in The New York Times entitled “Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm.” Medina reported on the rising trend of student organizations and governments at colleges across the country calling for mandatory “trigger warnings” on course syllabi, which would warn students that they may be exposed to upsetting material in everything from textbooks to classic literature. The concept of trigger warnings started out on the Internet, where it is mostly harmless if bloggers want to cater to what Los Angeles Times columnist Jonah Goldberg brilliantly calls “boutique anxieties.” But the fact that we are actually discussing the slapping of warning labels on material in college is horrifying to me. This idea has been formally proposed at the University of California Santa Barbara, where there is a large veteran population. In some contexts, it makes sense to warn students who have genuine Post-Tramautic Stress Disorder because of wartime experiences or severe physical or sexual assault history that they may be exposed to upsetting things in class. But how many students does that actually apply to? And how many of them are signing up for classes where specifically offending material is presented? This is a call for actions that seriously pave the road to censorship and would only benefit a small number of students who could be approached on an individual basis. And let’s face it, most trigger warnings are not about the seriously traumatized among us. They’re about people who get big attention boners from pretending the world is victimizing them or people who want their fragile life-view affirmed by an institute of higher education. Do you think I’m being harsh? Check out the draft guide for trigger warnings from Ohio’s Oberlin College, which includes things like heterosexism, colonialism and “issues of privilege and oppression.” The guide instructs college professors to “realize that all forms of violence are traumatic, and that your students have lives before and outside your classroom, experiences you may not expect or understand.” Well aren’t you guys just special, delicate snowflakes. Your professors might have Ph.D.s but they could never be enlightened enough to understand your suffering.
CORINNA SCOTT/PSU VANGUARD
Of course, attacking Oberlin’s draft guide is like kicking a dead horse when it’s down because they have already rescinded it. As Goldberg puts it, they probably realized they were leaving teachers with absolutely nothing to talk about. Trigger warning: all of history. In case you’re wondering, I am a lifelong liberal and feminist, and I wholeheartedly believe in equality. Unfortunately, liberalism seems to have been hijacked by this extreme, absurdist culture where there is no room for freedom of expression, open dialogue or the challenging of world views that most of these college students adopted as teenagers. Many conservatives refer to college as a “liberal indoctrination factory.” Most of us have the inclination to roll our eyes and feel some kind of second-hand embarrassment for anyone who would say such a thing to cover up for their own lack of education or knowledge about the world. Then you hear about student groups that want to label The Merchant of Venice for anti-Semitism and The Great Gatsby for misogyny and you think, well…thanks for giving fuel to the right wing’s fire. Luckily, I haven’t heard much discussion of actual trigger warnings at Portland State, but I have noticed a distinct lack of allowance for history. I have been in classes at PSU where literary works from decades past have been attacked for containing racial slurs by students who were upset at having to read them. I have been admonished for defending female characters who were offensive because they wore dresses and wanted to get married, like the majority of female characters in the past thousand years of the written word. I do worry that students don’t understand that a work can be valuable even if it reflects
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the archaic views of the past instead of fitting inside a perfectly politically correct 2014 box of things that don’t horrify you. Spoiler alert: The world is still not perfect. If you are too offended by misogyny to be exposed to it in a classroom then I suggest never leaving the house. Same goes for most of the negative things that these fragile flowers can’t handle. Instead of protesting and challenging ideas and actions that upset us or facing our traumatic experiences head on, this generation wants everyone else to accommodate their space so they can pretend the bad things don’t exist. As Danielle Henderson of The Stranger said, “It’s strange to go through life assuming every space is suitable for you, and if it isn’t then you can do something to change it so that it is. That’s just fundamentally untrue, and a new level of privilege I can’t even comprehend.” I don’t get a big attention boner from telling you my traumatic experiences in life, but rest assured, I do have them. I have been in rooms where jokes made me uncomfortable because of things I’ve dealt with in the past. But do I want to change what people joke about? No. They have the freedom to say what they want, and I know jokes don’t reflect how someone really feels about a topic. I’ve been in classrooms where someone said something I considered really ignorant and harmful based on my own experience. Do I get upset and leave? No. That’s a perfect opportunity for a discussion in which different points of view can be shared. I think one of the commenter’s on Goldberg’s column said it best when they quoted Denis Leary, another comedian, “Life sucks. Get a helmet.”
If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying The Illuminator by Mike Bivins
Guest editorial illustration from Juliana Johnson & Kate Gaimbrone’s graphic design 210 students
Courtesy of ASHLEY VAUGHN
Steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs are so pervasive and common in professional sports that we occasionally forget about them. In fact they are so common that I am of the opinion that they should just be legalized entirely. Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong and Mark McGwire are just a few of the popular American athletes that have been linked to performance-enhancing drugs over the years. They are some of the most recognizable names in sports, yet they found it necessary to, for lack of a better word, cheat. But why, oh why, are they cheating? As the old sports adage goes, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” This might seem like a terrible excuse, but there have always been cheaters over the years. Before the advent of advanced pharmaceuticals, baseball players went to elaborate lengths to gain the upper hand on the opponent. Indeed, pitchers are, to this day, still using these techniques to gain the upper hand. A 2013 report by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports detailed how the majority of pitchers are using sunscreen to get a better grip on the ball. Pitchers have also always looked for items such as files to damage the ball and make its trajectory towards the home plate more unpredictable for the batter. Pitchers are known for cheating, yet we do not see a ritual shakedown of the pitcher before the game to better ensure that the game is being played with integrity. No, with this, the gravy train could not chug on as easily. Put one check mark into the “cheat” column. There is also Sammy Sosa and his infamous corked bat. This bat cast a shadow over his entire career. What was Sammy given for this flagrant violation of the integrity of the game? Sammy was suspended for a mere eight days. With only a slap on the wrist to be had as punishment, is it any surprise when players bend the rules? Do I even have to mention the disgraced Lance Armstrong? He has so many tracks from transfusions that you could label him a frequent flyer to the plasma clinic. We vilify them, drag them to congressional hearings and place them under intense scrutiny, yet the entire operation chugs on. Business as usual. All the while players are cheating, and we (as well as those who would prefer the spotlight be cast elsewhere) are waiting for the next person to slip up and take the spotlight, with random Olympic-style blood testing nowhere in sight. Without these advanced blood tests, all one has to do is get fake pee and a Whizzinator, and you are good. Some sports raise drug testing to a slightly higher standard.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has enacted a random drug testing program for mixed martial artists. These officials can show up at any time in the days leading up to a fight and request a test on the spot. However, these government officials are not infallible. This was the case a few years back when a Nevada State Athletic Commission officer was required to watch Ultimate Fighting Champion light-heavyweight contender Thiago Silva pee into a cup. Silva was able to successfully shame the officer into turning around while Silva urinated into the cup. Surprise surprise, he was subsequently popped for performance-enhancing drugs. What about the officer? Who knows, and who cares; the gravy train chugs on. There is also the case of Team Hammerhouse fighter Kevin “The Monster” Randleman. Randleman is a former NCAA Division 1 national champion in wrestling from Ohio State, as well as a former UFC heavyweight champion. He once failed a post-fight drug test by submitting fake pee to the Nevada State Athletic Commission leading up to his fight with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Randleman lost this fight. However, the fact that the fight was allowed to happen at all was unsafe. Why wasn’t Randleman’s pee tested beforehand? Even though Randleman lost, what would have happened if he seriously hurt his opponent? The opposite camp would have a legitimate gripe in that the urine sample should have been analyzed before the fight. Of course, this would have put a damper on ticket sales. Every once in a while an athlete has to be made an example of to appease the sports fans in what is akin to a ritual sacrifice. The gods and the fans must be appeased. Most recently, Alex Rodriguez has been nailed to the cross and made an example of. Yet the game of baseball marches on. Sports march on, yet we all know in the back of our minds that the games are tainted. When obscene amounts of money are on the line, people will do anything to win. Why pretend like they will ever stop? Why are we even obsessed with “the integrity of the game?” What integrity? Sports, as far as I can tell, have never had integrity. We should stop busying ourselves with such pointless preoccupations. If players want to cheat, let them. Nothing we have done up until now has done a damn thing to deter cheating, and nothing will. As long as millions of dollars are on the line, we might as well just sit back and enjoy the PED-fueled fun that we have been knowingly enjoying all these years.
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Friends of Graphic Design and 12 other student groups have been recategorized Brandon staley
When Romeo Salazar ran for treasurer of Friends of Graphic Design, a student-run group that supports, discusses and explores issues related to graphic arts and design, he campaigned on the platform that he would net the group more funding.
American Society of civil engineers members Sam Sanford, Travis Glick, Lisa Casey, Corey Theisen and Morgan Andrews (left to right) with their concrete canoe. CHRISTOPHER SOHLER/PSU VANGUARD
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Salazar got the job, and just weeks ago the Organization Budget Council, a student committee that determines how money generated from student fees is dispersed, approved Friends of Graphic Design for the funding bump. Their annual budget was about to triple. “It was a major accomplishment,” Salazar said. The elation was short lived, though. Not long after the OBC approved the group’s increased budget, Salazar received word that the Student Organization Application and Recognition committee, which defines and sets requirements for student groups, had decided differently. Friends of Graphic Design was changed from a Recognized Student Organization to a Department Sponsored Organization, a new category of student group making its debut this year. That meant the group’s budget wasn’t going to triple. Rather, there wasn’t going to be a budget at all. Recognized Student Organizations receive their funding from student fees allocated by the OBC. Department Sponsored Organizations, on the other hand, rely on academic departments and fundraising to finance their activities. Suddenly, the burden of funding Friends of Graphic Design had been relieved for the OBC, only to be placed squarely on the shoulders of the School of Art and Design. “It was completely out of left field,” Salazar said. “It shocked everyone.”
Friends of Graphic Design isn’t the only student group facing recategorization. Thirteen groups in total were designated Department Sponsored Organizations after an annual audit by advisers in Student Activities and Leadership Programs. At press time, six groups are challenging the decision. SALP recognizes five types of student groups: Recognized Student Organizations, Student Operated Services, Affiliated, Forming and now Department Sponsored Organizations. Of the five groups, only Recognized Student Organizations receive funding from the OBC. Courtney Bailey, a SALP adviser for arts, advocacy and political student groups, and adviser to Friends of Graphic Design, said the Department Sponsored Organization category looks to clarify how student fee money can be spent. Bailey said the new category emphasizes that student fee money should be spent on events and programs open to all students, not just those within a specific department or major. Groups should also pose little or no physical, financial or reputational risk. Recognized Student Organizations that did not meet these criteria were identified by their respective SALP advisers and their statuses were realigned. Bailey said Department Sponsored Organizations are still eligible to receive Student Travel and Speaker Board grants.
d as Department Sponsored Organizations, bringing their funding into question brendan mulligan and alan hernandez-aguilar/PSU VANGUARD
The groups selected to become Department Sponsored Organizations were able to appeal the decision before the SOAR committee at a May 9 meeting. Another meeting was scheduled to announce the result of the appeals on May 16, but was delayed.
An unlucky number Salazar, the Friends of Graphic Design treasurer, said the appeals meeting felt like an ambush. “The fact of the matter is that they had our adviser, who we should be able to depend on for our best interests, basically judge that we don’t fit the requirements of a [Recognized Student Organization] anymore,” Salazar said. “I went in there feeling confident about my arguments. I left feeling completely destroyed.”
Salazar said he believes Friends of Graphic Design was changed to a Department Sponsored Organization because the SOAR committee lacked an understanding of what the group actually does. This sentiment is shared by members of other affected groups. Morgan Andrews, a captain of the Concrete Canoe team with the Portland State chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, said the SOAR committee thought her group required a faculty adviser to be able to hold their events. “We view our faculty adviser as more of a resource for knowledge,” she said. Andrews said the SOAR committee felt the club catered to a very specific type of student, and therefore should not receive funding from student fees. Andrews
said she noticed similarities in the selected groups. “They all happen to be [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] groups,” Andrews said, “which is unfortunate because all of these science, math and sometimes art groups are targeted as niche groups that only cater to a certain group of students, but then that eliminates that whole group of clubs.” Salazar said graphic design students have always felt as though they were being pushed out of the university. “We all go to that dinky art building over there, and we’ve always felt like we’ve been disconnected,” Salazar said. “Now that our involvement with SALP is possibly damaged, it feels like we’re basically just going to be stuck in the art department, like we’re no longer going to reach out.” Chelsey Allen, vice presi-
We are completely caught by surprise late in the budget process, with no resources to backfill. ~ ETHAN SELTZER, interim director of the School of Art and Design
dent of the PSU chapter of the Supply and Logistics Management Association, said she did not agree with the new categorization. Allen said she worried about the impact the new category would have on student involvement. “The recognition eliminates OBC funding for student groups, which limits the amount of events that can be held to get students involved on campus,” Allen said.
Budget woes Ethan Seltzer, interim director of the School of Art and Design, said the committee’s decision came as a surprise. Seltzer said his department, which could soon be responsible for funding not only Friends of Graphic Design but the III-Dimensional Arts Association as well, had not been contacted prior to the SOAR committee making their decision. “We are completely caught by surprise late in the budget process, with no resources to backfill,” Seltzer said. Seltzer said the assumption that the School of Art and Design is intimately associated with every aspect of Friends of Graphic Design is completely unfounded. “I’m not involved with planning their events, I’m not involved in conducting their events,” Seltzer said. “I don’t even know what their events are. It’s a student group. We don’t sit around and plan events for the Friends of Graphic Design, they do it and they let us know what they’re going to do.”
Seltzer said the School of Art and Design has not budgeted for any student groups next year. He said his department does not fund student groups with department resources and never has, and that the School of Art and Design does not have the resources to do so, even if they wanted to. Katie Jundt, associate director of SALP, said the decision to add the Department Sponsored Organization category began years ago. She said SALP headed the initial research into how the category would be defined by collecting information from other universities. “It seemed like we were really getting to the point where we needed to define what truly belonged under a department and what was best served under SALP,” Jundt said, adding that SALP group advisers were faced with a difficult task. She said advisers were asked to fill out worksheets regarding their student groups’ activities and liabilities. The worksheets informed the placement of the groups. Jundt said the job of SALP advisers is twofold: to advocate for student groups and to uphold university policy. “We like to think that those can work together, but in instances like this it’s difficult because advisers want their groups to do well, succeed, get funding and all those types of things,” Jundt said. “But when they have to go off a worksheet, their hands are kind of tied.” Jundt said she thinks the reason departments and stu-
dent groups are upset about the Department Sponsored Organization category is because it came after the university’s budget cycle. She said departments submit their budgets in the fall, around October or November, but that they didn’t know about the change until late winter term. “I think a lot of people were taken off guard about how they would support the groups if they don’t have the budget for it,” Jundt said. “I will be the first to admit, though, that I think we definitely could have done a better job reaching out the academic departments, as well as students who were potentially going to fit into that category.” Aimee Shattuck, director of SALP, said the SOAR committee decided to table the decision on recognizing the Department Sponsored Organizations so they could have more time to talk to the academic departments. “I think that was, on SALP, a missed opportunity to have more of that conversation,” Shattuck said. “I think it’s just, for us, not totally understanding how the academic departments worked and who to talk to. We should have reached out more.” According to Salazar, though, the damage already done might prove to be irreparable. “If it comes down to it, and we are no longer a student organization, it is possible that we will cut ourselves off completely from SALP,” Salazar said. “We don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy anymore.”
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
ARTS & CULTURE
EFF Portland Experimental Film Fest to kick off third year with filmmaker Throwdowns Jeoffry Ray
Portland’s Experimental Film Festival is back for its third year. This year, viewers will have the chance to witness films made with magnets, filmmaker throwdowns and a NSFW sideshow. The Experimental Film Fest Portland runs this weekend, from May 28 to June 1. The film festival will feature a variety of screenings, showcased at the Clinton Street Theatre, the Hollywood Theatre and Disjecta art gallery. Screenings include a Friday night local showcase, a Saturday afternoon family-friendly screening and a Sunday curation of films made through natural processes. Additionally, a collection of local filmmakers will battle it out over the weekend in a bracket-style showcase to be judged by visiting artists. “We’ve kind of fallen into this curatorial pattern: Our
first night tends to be work that is accessible, dynamic,” said Hannah Piper Burns, festival co-director. Burns plans each year’s screenings and activities, along with co-director Ben Popp. “It’s our amped screening. It’s the work that gets people juiced. Friday, we have our local screening and our late-night screening. This year, Friday is sort of our tilt-a-whirl.” In some ways, the festival itself is every bit as experimental as the films it screens. Burns said that she and Popp adopt a “throw everything against the wall” approach for programming ideas. “We both consider the first five years of this thing the lab,” Burns said. “Some things are going to be more successful than others. It’s a big negotiation because we have our ideals, and we have what we can work with. One
thing that’s evolved for us is that we’re working with established venues in a more significant way than before.” Burns pointed to a longstanding relationship with the Southeast-based Clinton Street Theatre, where most of the programming will screen. “They are amazing,” she said. “We love them and we’re always hoping to give back to them. We do a monthly event that’s an open event called Stew. There aren’t really any other open experimental screenings for free. They really provide a service to the community, and they’re a community treasure as far as I’m concerned.” In addition to an opening night at the Hollywood Theatre, the festival will also host several events at Disjecta gallery on North Interstate Avenue. Thursday will include a night of performances at the
gallery, as well as a round of the festival’s ongoing EFFPortland Throwdown. “It’s a huge place for us,” she said. “We’ve worked at galleryHOMELAND and Place, but this is great for us. It’s such a large space, and so adaptable for us. It also allows us to have our performances in that space. It’s all Thursday, and it’s going to be total chaos.” The EFFPortland Throwdown, which runs Thursday through Saturday, will feature an invited group of local filmmakers who are putting works together for a bracket competition. Burns explained that the Throwdown is a nod to the festival’s progenitor film festival, PDXFest. For PDXFest, the organizers invited out-of-town artists to participate in a similar competition. “There was a lot of smack talking,” Burns said. “There
Film stills from A Few Things I Might Do, an experimental work by filmmaker Matthew Mulligan, showing on Friday.
courtesy of Matthew Mulligan
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were some suggestions we should try to bring that back in some form. There are some ways we’re trying to engage the local community and bring them in in different ways. We picked eight artists in town, which are the coaches, and they picked artists, which are their represented artists. They’ve been talking smack on Facebook for months.” Several from the Portland State community will be involved in the Throwdown. On the coaches’ side, PSU masters of fine arts candidates Pam Minty and Chris Freeman have selected representative artists. On the artists’ side, time-based media professor Julie Perini and art student Riley King will be putting films into the mix. “We’ve got a strong mix of seasoned locals and then we’ve got some of the kids,” Burns said. “We don’t really know what it’s going to look like. It could be super chaotic. But it will be really fun. We take the media and the quality of the films very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously. We try to have fun. It’s nice to have no control over things in a way.” Perini, who has been involved in the film festival in various capacities over the past two years, spoke about her role in the competition, along with coach Jodi Darby. “It’s new this year, they’re trying it out,” Perini said. “They all picked an artist in town to be their little fighter. [Darby] picked me, which I was pretty excited about. She’s gonna throw me in the ring, that’s how that worked out.” In addition to the Throwdown, Perini will also host a Thursday program on cam-
eraless filmmaking, and a curated collection of films made with natural processes, along with filmmaker Caryn Cline. “They’re all films made with natural processes,” Perini said. “One involves 16 millimeter films that have somehow been manipulated with water. We’ve shown that program all over the Southwest. She’s curated these groups of films with me, and she’s also going to help do a workshop.” Perini noted that the film festival attracts all sorts of people, with a particular draw to those from various artistic backgrounds. She also pointed out that it’s not just Portland in attendance. “People come from all over the country,” she said. “In terms of the audience, you get a lot of people who are into film, and people who are into all kinds of visual art.” Burns explained that she and Popp take particular effort to reach beyond the city. In addition to inviting artists from across the country, the directors also attempt to arrange programming to help out-of-towners gain viewership. They also try to get visiting artists acquainted with Portland’s flavor. “We try to balance things by giving a lot to the locals, and also giving the out-oftowners a taste of Portland,” she said. “We try to get weird, and give them a good time. That kind of enhances what we call our summercamp vibe. It’s so important to get people in, so we have a chance to talk to each other. It’s not just all about Portland. There’s a whole big world out there, and we’re trying to bring it here.”
ARTS & CULTURE
BFA students’ work showcased in ‘Loose Associations’ Jeremy King
The Portland State School of Art and Design will present Loose Associations, a thesis exhibition featuring 13 graduating 2013–2014 BFA students, from May 27 to June 28. Loose Associations will be exhibited in PSU’s art galleries through June 10, after which the exhibition will run in the Littman and White galleries until June 28. Each graduating artist was given a studio in which to work, enabling them to further pursue their own personal vision and artistic interpretation of various themes, utilizing whatever medium they saw fit. “Many in the program, myself included, make work across disciplines, and I believe this is a trend that is growing among emerging artists,” said Anastasia Tuazon, a BFA graduate participating in the exhibition. “This year has really allowed us to explore our own artistic practice and conceptual focus in a self-directed way.” “I started out working with sculpture, but then found myself expanding to installation, video and performance art,” said Kayleigh Nelson, one of this year’s BFA students whose thesis piece “Human Noise” will be featured in the exhibition. “I work with the themes of home and comfort a lot, and for my thesis I am attempting to create a sensory language to express the subjective experience of my home. In this, I examine the limits of verbal communication in expressing such things.” Chacha Sands, another participating student, will be presenting the thesis piece “Kwir,” as a reference to the pronunciation of the word queer in the dictionary. “My work has been an exploration into the identity and selfidentity of queerness and how that relates to and interacts with the world around me,” Sands said. “My work [presents] gestures of self—self-defining, self-exploration—and I am queer, and thus my work is about my queerness.” “My thesis exhibition, titled ‘MI$$ AMERIKUH’…is an installation that represents a year of my research and conceptual exploration, and it would be difficult to call it sculpture, photography or any other set medium,” Tuazon said. “I kind of like that, to be honest.” Tuazon said the installation, which includes photos and an essay, offers an open-ended critique of Western cultural values like freedom and individuality. Tuazon hopes viewers will be engaged in a political and critical way. Throughout a yearlong residency, students were given numerous opportunities to interface with established artists and present their work to the public, which served as valuable opportunities to learn and garner recognition from renowned individuals in the field. These opportunities also helped broaden their understanding of art’s place in culture and the manner in which it is perceived and consumed within the public space. “Being an undergrad, I recently opened up an alternative space called Composition in Northwest Portland, and I think
BFA student Anastasia Tuazon installs her MI$$ AMERIKUH, Loose Associations exhibit in the MK gallery.
Corinna scott/PSU VANGUARD
that has helped me understand the direct influence art has on the public and our culture, because whatever I decide to program into the space—experimental music shows, fiction readings, contemporary dance performances, etc.—is what people will see,” Nelson said. “Contemporary art is sometimes described as being just ahead of our understanding of it,” Nelson said. “Contemporary art can sometimes look impossible to understand, and that is sometimes the intention, but it usually is going against or growing from the movements of art before it.” “Culture is saturated with art and creativity whether people realize it or not,” Sands said. “They have actually never existed separate from one another.” While each graduate’s work remains uniquely individual in expression, design and thematic exploration, this small group of artists fostered the formation of an intimate and creative communal space, providing each other with constructive criticism and insightful discussion that served to nurture and inform each graduate’s artistic voice. “We created a wonderful community. At times it was distracting because everyone became such good friends,” Nelson said. “We all came into this program with themes we were interested in and mediums we traditionally work with, so even though there was a lot of discussion and critique in our community, I would say our creating didn’t stray too far from what we had initially intended.”
The Portland State School of Art and Design presents LOOSE ASSOCIATIONS May 27–June 10 AB Lobby Gallery Annelise Reinhardt Kohlberger, Joel Stotesbery
MK Gallery Kayleigh Nelson, Anastasia Tuazon
Autzen Gallery Amanda Buckman, Carrie Clore, Eve Jakabosky, Chacha Sands
Neuberger Hall Display Cases (2nd floor corridors) Maureen Gates, Kayleigh Nelson, Anastasia Tuazon
May 27–June 28 Littman Gallery Eilish Connor, Maureen Gates, Heather Palmer, Thomas Putman
White Gallery Shane Adair
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
ARTS & CULTURE
African Cultural Night An exchange of culture, arts, cuisine Jeoffry Ray
The school year is well on its way to closing out, and student organizations are pulling all the stops to celebrate. The Association of African Students is right in step, bringing together a night of continental-sized cultural highlights, including song, dance and cuisine. The association will host their annual African Cultural Night on Saturday, May 31. The event will take place in the Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom, where artists and musicians will perform and restaurants will offer up Ethiopian and Somali cuisine. Dancers and rap artists will showcase their work, and a student-led fashion show will feature designs and cultural touches from their selected countries in Africa. Association President Wienta Mebrahtu, a junior studying community development,
pointed to an array of performers and artists who will be in attendance. She noted the Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, an area troupe dedicated to promoting cultural awareness, which will perform at the Cultural Night. Founded by Rolia ManyongaiJones, Kúkátónón has performed at a variety of events, including Trail Blazers games and educational events. “She is the instructor for these girls, several that come to perform,” Mebrahtu said. “They are a pretty inventive group, performing all around Oregon. They’re usually sold out, and support children who want to learn African dance. They emphasize confidence through dance.” Additionally, the association will bring in Chatta Addy, a drummer that focuses on traditional African beats. In addition to his work with the
Shi Dah drumming group, Addy also takes his work to schools for various educational programs. Also performing will be two rap artists, Kirby and Robe. Mebrahtu noted that both artists have performed for several years at Portland State, in addition to performances at other colleges throughout the state. “Both are young and talented, they’ve performed at [Oregon State University] and [the University of Oregon] the last two years for their African night,” Mebrahtu said. “They’re pretty well known among African collegiate school groups. This will be their third year at PSU to perform.” Mebrahtu pointed to recent collaboration with African student associations at nearby schools as one of many goals currently embraced by
her own association. In addition, the group strives to work with other similarly-aligned student groups to promote cultural awareness and open up the conversation. “[The association] has definitely seen a lot of growth when it comes to community participation and being actively involved,” she said. “That’s been our goal, to genuinely connect with people through the events that we host. We have local non-profit committees come out and speak. We’ve teamed up with some students here, and also have members that are actively involved in the African Women’s Coalition.” Food will also be available, offered by local restaurants Safari and Enat Kitchen. Mebrahtu explained that Safari is a newer restaurant serving Somali cuisine. She
pointed to a longer-standing relationship with the North Portland Enat Kitchen, which serves Ethiopian cuisine. “They are Ethiopian food. They’re pretty much the best Ethiopian restaurant you can find in Portland,” she said. “We have a pretty good connection with them. Both restaurants give really good portions of food when serving our events.” In addition to their annual African Cultural Night, the association hosts a variety of events, including talks and a regular tea social. Mebrahtu also explained that they hope to work more with lo-
cal elementary and high schools to involve younger students in a shared multicultural experience. “We’re working with a lot of the local elementary schools in Portland,” she said. “A lot of our members are actively involved in groups that are formed in elementary schools and high schools. A lot of our members are involved in the immediate African community. One of our goals is to inspire other young Africans to be involved as they look toward college and finish high school.”
african cultural Night 2014 Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom 1825 S.W. Broadway Saturday, May 31 at 5 p.m. Free admission
Tino Jaldi, Amina Kheir, Shankaron Mohamed, Samira Yusuf, Ruth Binyam (left to right), members of the Association of African Students plan for the Africa Night Fashion Show.
JEOFFRY RAY/PSU VANGUARD
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
ARTS & CULTURE
Exploring the legacy of Nelson Mandela The Black Studies Department will host a Nelson Mandela Workshop and Retrospective tomorrow Elizabeth Hendrickson
The Black Studies Department at Portland State will be exploring the legacy of Nelson Mandela with the Nelson Mandela Retrospective and Workshop. The workshop, which is open to PSU students and members of the community, will take place tomorrow from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. “What we are looking to do is to celebrate and learn from Nelson Mandela’s legacy in the area of leadership, social justice and conflict resolution,” said PSU professor Joseph Smith-Buani who organized the workshop.
“These are the issues that bring the academic community together with others.” Smith-Buani said there has been a sentiment around PSU of wanting to celebrate Mandela’s life, which pushed the idea for the workshop forward. “This is the best time to begin the dialogue to show the way that we, the older generation and the new generation, can appreciate the little principles of his ideas of leadership, of conflict resolution, of reconciliation and also of an understand-
ing of co-existence of human society,” said Kofi Agorsah, a professor at PSU and the department chair of the Black Studies Department. “We think that we should begin to bring these to students who are the future leaders, the future decision makers and future conflict resolutionists.” The workshop is an all day event consisting of four panels, each focusing on one of the main principles of Mandela’s philosophies: leadership, social justice, conflict resolution, as well as a
panel on Portland’s activism role. For students at PSU, the workshop is available to register online for two credits. Students must attend the four panels, write a summary and a reflection and will have one assigned reading relating to Mandela. “For me, as a participant in this exercise, it’s an eyeopening diversification kind of experience, and I’m glad I’m a part of it,” said Smith-Buani. “We’re collaborating with other departments, and that collaboration is good, not just for PSU, but for the commu-
The bust of Nelson Mandela in SouthBank, London, erected under the Greater London Council administration of Ken Livingstone in 1985.
nity; we are bringing the community to the university.” Agorsah explained that all students could find their area of interest in the study of Mandela. “Students in history will understand the historical significance; students in black studies will understand the black experience through Mandela,” Agorsah said. “Students in sociology will understand the social behaviors of Mandela, students in legal studies, law, and criminal justice [students] will also see for themselves that Mandela’s
weekly missive Folks, PSU ALERT: T HI S IS THE LAST SANCTIONED KPSU EVENT OF T HE 2013–14 SEASON We are throwing another social hour at Valentine’s this Saturday. With all the talk about a lack of support for hip-hop in this city we wanted to celebrate the coming end of the school year by letting our best hip-hop DJ’s shine. The hip-hop community within KPSU has really grown over the past year. With TJ Love’s Rip Shop Radio continuing to kill it in downloads, Matt
prison experience is how he turned a negative into a positive. Students doing mathematics will understand the kind of philosophical calculations he would have made in all those years in prison, and what those numbers weigh when he came out and realized that he had been there for 27 years, when for him it was like he had been there for 50 years.” More information about the Nelson Mandela Retrospective and Workshop can be found at www.pdx.edu/events/ nelson-mandela-retrospectiveand-workshop.
By Blake Hickman Assistant Promotions Director
Nelkin’s Liquid Beat continuing to be as awesome as his record label (Liquid Beat Records, check out Hot 16’s 1983 if you wanna peep the best local hip-hop EP of the year), and a bunch of new youngin’s ready to kill it—KPSU is all about hiphop. That’s why we wanna celebrate the coming end of school hip-hop style. Word! Please join us at Valentine’s (232 S.W. Ankeny St., Portland, OR 97204) as we celebrate the last official KPSU event of the school year. This time around at Valentine’s we’ll be kickin’ it old school with our own KPSU DJ’s throwing down
fierce hip-hop jamz all night long. More than that, all our DJ’s sets will be broadcast across the globe on kpsu.org with our brand spankin’ new Mobile Broadcast Unit. Don’t miss special live editions of Area Codes with DJ Blackbeard, Rip Shop Radio hosted by Valentine’s favorite Tee Love, and more! So come support hiphop, KPSU and our friends at Valentine’s all at the same time. Come, bring friends, invite your friends. Let’s enjoy each other while we’re all still here. F’REEL.
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Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
EVENT CALENDAR Wednesday, May 28 Thursday, May 29 Intercultural Coffee Hour 3:30–5:30 p.m. Smith Memorial Student Union Multicultural Center (228) 1825 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Every Wednesday the Multicultural Center offers students from any and all cultural backgrounds the chance to gather in one place and begin conversation that could lead to the formation of friendships and a better understanding of cultural differences, as well as similarities. The best part? There is coffee! FREE
Portland Job Fair 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Warner Pacific College 2219 S.E. 68th Ave., Portland, OR 97215 The Portland Job Fair and Warner Pacific College is an opportunity for adults who are seeking employment to bring their resumes and meet with potential employers. Come meet a wide range of employers, enjoy some helpful job hunting workshops, and take steps to move your life forward. FREE
‘Waiting for Light’ Screening and Resource Fair Noon–6:30 p.m. Portland Community College Cascade Campus 705 N. Killingsworth St., Portland, OR 97217 Portland Community College invites you to help them promote sexual assault awareness by coming to their resource fair and sticking around afterward for a screening of the film Waiting for Light, which documents sex trafficking in Portland. FREE
PSU Sustainability Celebration 4–6 p.m. Smith Memorial Student Union, Ballroom (355) 1825 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Portland State administration, staff, faculty, students and community members are coming together to celebrate sustainability within the university and community. This event will feature live jazz music, refreshments and guest speaker Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. FREE
How to Ace Your Interview: Tips from Employers 5:30–7:30 p.m. Smith Memorial Student Union, room 327 1825 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 A panel of employers from various industries will be on campus to offer you the chance to hear what they are looking for in an employee, as well as to ask any questions you have about how to succeed at job interviews. Following the event, students will be allowed the chance to network with the employers who are present. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at http://psuaa.ticketleap. com/ how-to-ace-yourinterview/dates/May-292014_at_0600PM
Friday, May 30 20th Annual Latina Luncheon Noon–2 p.m. Native American Student and Community Center 710 S.W. Jackson St., Portland, OR 97201 Las Mujeres will facilitate a luncheon, hosted at the NASCC, to celebrate commu-
nity leaders who work hard to create positive changes in the lives of Latinas and women of color in our community. Seats are free, but limited, those who wish to attend should RSVP and reserve their seat by visiting http:// www.eventbrite.com/e/20thannual-latina-luncheon-tickets-11373752199 FREE
Festival of Flowers 8 a.m. (through June 10) Pioneer Courthouse Square 701 S.W. 6th Ave., Portland, OR 97204 The Festival of Flowers is an annual event in Pioneer Square that any gardener or flower enthusiast can enjoy. Thousands of flowers are arranged in the square to create a beautiful, graphic display. Flowers will be available to purchase for those who want to get their gardens started in anticipation of the summer season. FREE
Softball Tournament 5–10 p.m. Stott Field 930 S.W. Hall St., Portland, OR 97201 Bring a team or come to join one for this one day softball tournament which
will feature ten player versus ten player games. Registration per team is $10 and registration for those who show up as a single player is $5. Those who wish to participate should register by noon on tournament day.
Saturday, May 31 Africa Night 2014 5–6 p.m. Smith Memorial Student Union, Ballroom (355) 1825 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR 97201 Help PSU’s Association of African Students celebrate the 34th annual Africa Night. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy getting to know a little bit about various African cultures. FREE
you are free to meet the PSU crew at the corner of Northwest Davis Street and Ninth Avenue. For more information on the parade route, visit www.rosefestival.org. FREE
Sunday, June 1 2014 Archaeology Roadshow 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. OMSI Auditorium 1945 S.W. Water Ave., Portland, OR 97201 Do you have some antiques that you think may have a history? Bring them to the 2014 Archaeology Roadshow, where experts can help you identify what you are holding. You can also enjoy over 20 exhibits and a kids dig. This event is free and open to the public, but OMSI admission is not included. FREE
Starlight Parade 2014 8 p.m. Downtown Portland It’s Rose Festival time once again and that means the parades begin. One of the best of them is the Starlight Parade, which runs in the evening with brilliantly lit up floats. PSU is always a participant and if you are graduating and would like to join the parade,
PSU FREE OPEN TO PUBLIC 21 & OVER BRENDAN MULLIGAN/PSU VANGUARD
The Expressive Power of Games 6–8 p.m. on Saturday, May 31 Native American Student and Community Center 710 S.W. Jackson St., Portland, OR 97201 Brenda Romero, award-winning game designer, artist, writer and creative director, invites you to join her for a talk about the expressive power of games of all kinds. From board games to video games to the olympic games, games have always been a large part of any culture. Following the talk, the Portland Indie Game Squad will talk about some exciting projects happening in Portland and how to become involved in the local game industry. FREE ©John Romero
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
“What would you rather do during the E. coli scare? You could calmly boil some water or blow your entire paycheck on bottled water.”
Gemini May 21â€“Jun. 20
Leo Jul. 23â€“Aug. 22
Libra Sept. 23â€“Oct. 22
Sagittarius Nov. 22â€“Dec. 21
Cancer Jun. 21â€“Jul. 22
Virgo Aug. 23â€“Sept. 22
Scorpio Oct. 23â€“Nov. 21
Capricorn Dec. 22â€“Jan. 19
A big decision has been occupying your thoughts this week and you just donâ€™t know what to do. Get some insight from friends and family. Theyâ€™ll help you make a balanced choice and youâ€™ll feel much more at ease afterwards.
Things may be rough, but it wonâ€™t get better until you do something about it. Stop looking in the horoscope pages for the solution. The only think you can do is suck it up and get your shit together, Leo. No one else is going to do it for you.
Cancer, youâ€™re sad about a thing. Thatâ€™s okay. Remember to take some time out for yourself and treat it. Yourself, that is. Then come back swinging and clobber your enemies (homework), your vices (chocolate milk), and success is sure to be yours.
The road before you may be long but itâ€™s also important to remember that the road behind you has been no small feat. Take care to congratulate yourself on what you have accomplished, Libra. A little gratitude and self-appreciation can go a long way.
Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news, but youâ€™re in for a shitstorm this week. The worst part is, thereâ€™s no escaping it. All you can really do is batten down the hatches and dig in deep. Good luck, kid.
Youâ€™ve been feeling a bit on edge this week and it just doesnâ€™t seem like itâ€™s going to let up. Take a deep breath, dear Scorpio, and have a look at the bigger picture. Youâ€™ll come to realize that things arenâ€™t as bad as they seem, and youâ€™ve been through worse.
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Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
PSU Track and Field
PORTLAND NEW YORK
Top Performers: Maximiliano Urruto, 2 goals
2 NCAA West Preliminary 1 Thur.–Sat. 5/29-5/31 | Fayetteville, AR MLS
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PORTLAND @ CHIVAS USA
Top Performers: Danny Southwick, 20/30 280yds, 5 TD
WED. 5/28 7:30 p.m. | KPDX FOX 12 AFL
PORTLAND @ SPOKANE FRI. 5/30 7:00 p.m. |KXTG AM 750
‘Shock and awe’ at the Big Sky Championships Alex Moore
FINAL ROUND FOR FORMER PSU GOLFER BRITNEY YADA—GOOD ENOUGH FOR HER FIRST PROFESSIONAL WIN ON THE CACTUS TOUR.
Portland State’s track and field squad didn’t have the pieces this season to win a Big Sky Conference Championship as a team. With that said, the last thing the Vikings were going to do was lie down in one of the biggest meets of the season for their athletes. Instead, head coach Ronnye Harrison and the remainder of his coaching staff gave the team two words, a mantra that the Vikings hoped would set the tone at a conference championship where not many expected much out of them. “Our theme was shock and awe,” assistant coach Johnathan Marcus said. “We had a lot of surprising things happen, a lot of unique things happen and a lot of first-time things happened. Our athletes achieved [shock and awe].” Even if this Vikings squad didn’t see the sort of results they have become accustomed to in previous years on the women’s side, PSU
saw some individual performances that delivered the level of shock and awe that the coaching staff was talking about on the way in. It started with two Big Sky Champions: senior Sarah Dean and junior Jazmin Ratcliff. Dean won the 1,500 meter race in a landslide over her competitors, beating second place by over three seconds. “She’s the first ever distance runner to win a Big Sky title in Portland State history. Shock and awe,” Marcus said. Rafcliff finished first in two events. As an individual she won the 100 meter hurdles, an event she has excelled in over her entire career as a Viking. Ratcliff also currently holds the Big Sky Conference record for the event, a record she set in the preliminary round of the conference championships. Ratcliff also helped the PSU 4x100 relay team win the conference title with a school
record time of 45.11 seconds. The junior sprinter was the only returning relay member for the Vikings, which made the inexperienced squad’s win that much more surprising and gratifying. “All of those things. Shock and awe,” Marcus said. “That was the mission. We knew going in we didn’t have a team that was going to win, because we intentionally red-shirted some people, including some distance runners, because it was a tough elevation for the distance folk. But leaving the meet we were very happy with the outcome.” The women finished the meet with 89 points, earning them fourth place. The men finished with 29.5 points, earning them tenth place. For the men, their point total was their best overall since 2010, when they finished with 30 points.
Junior Sheldon Prince led the men with a third place finish in the 400 meters. Sophomore Michael Kubisiak and freshman Gifton Okoronkwo both added to the men’s final point total with seventh place finishes, in the 100 meters and triple jump respectively. For most of the Vikings the season is over. But for some, the opportunity to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championship relies on their performance at the NCAA West Preliminary in Fayetteville, Arkansas. That group includes Dean and Ratcliff. The action in Arkansas takes place Thursday through Saturday. Marcus hopes the Vikings will continue their theme of the season in Arkansas. “It has been a really fun season, and everyone is looking forward to more shock and awe at the regional championships.”
Jazmin Ratcliff returned from Arizona with two conference titles.
CHRISTOPHER SOHLER/PSU VANGUARD
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
Vikings spring football game in the rain Did the defense dominate or the offense struggle? Joel Gunderson
It was sloppy. It was messy. It was watch-through-yourfingers action. But most importantly, it was still spring, so everything is OK. On May 18, the Vikings concluded spring practice with their annual spring game, played at Hillsboro Stadium. Played with four 15-minute running clocks, the Vikings introduced a few new wrinkles on offense, but primarily, this was the defensive showcase that fans have been looking for. “Offensively we did some nice things and made some plays, but when it came down to it, the defense figured out how to shut things down,” said head coach Nigel Burton, who had to have been pleased. Burton’s background is on defense, having spent the majority of his two stops prior to Portland State coaching that side of the ball. While the performance may have been nice for the coaches to see after years of subpar Vikings defenses, it wasn’t much for the crowd, who sat through the pouring rain with little offense to keep their attention. Burton, chuckling at the score, couldn’t help but enjoy the play of his defense—especially the secondary—which had multiple pass breakups. “Everybody says ‘when are we going to play championship defense consistently?’ On defense, we’ve gotten better and showed flashes. Now that we played great defense, people are asking for more points,” he said after the game. If offense was lacking, star power wasn’t. On hand as captains were former greats
The vikings prepare for the spring game with a practice at Stott Field.
Miles Sanguinetti/PSU VANGUARD
Neil Lomax, recent Super Bowl champion DeShawn Shead, and Denver Broncos standout Julius Thomas. All three were on hand— as well as former Duck DeAnthony Thomas—providing fans the opportunity to grab an autograph and pose for pictures. Despite the rain and lack of cohesiveness from the offenses, most fans left happy, and intrigued, by
what the upcoming season will bring. The white team wrapped up a 10–7 win, led by sophomore quarterback Paris Penn, despite gaining only 197 yards on 49 plays. Almost half of their yards came on a Penn touchdown scramble in the first quarter from 73 yards out. Kieran McDonagh, who started nine games for PSU
last season, quarterbacked the green team. They moved the ball well despite the conditions, but couldn’t put the ball in the end zone for most of the day. His 25-yard pass to Trevor Dye in the second quarter was the only score for the green team, who finished with 230 yards on 53 plays. Despite the low score, Burton focused on the positives
as his team breaks for summer—a time to improve in the weight room and through team oriented drills. “I’m proud of them, of the way they stepped up and made plays, particularly in the secondary. Now we have to carry that into the  season,” he said. One thing is for certain: In the regular season, they’re not likely to face the
kind of downpour they did Sunday, and they won’t be facing their own defense, which appears to be vastly improved. The Vikings open the season August 30 in Corvallis. They will be looking to add to the list of Division 1-AA teams to upset the Beavers at home and give Burton a big win against his former team.
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
Horse Races, Nasal Strips and Crowns, OH MY The Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing continues Tobin Shields
California Chrome has raised a lot of attention since his win at the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Maryland. Chrome is the first horse in six years to win the first two of the three races in the Triple Crown series, which gives him the opportunity to be the first horse in 36 years to win all three. That is, of course, if he can take a final victory at the Belmont Stakes June 7. The last Triple Crown
winner, Affirmed, ran in 1978, and since then only 10 horses have even been close to breaking the streak. However, this drought doesn’t seem to be entirely bad luck. The Triple Crown is harder than ever to win. When Affirmed was racing back in 1978, a total of 23 horses were racing— while this year, a total of 32 horses were in the field. This inundation of new racers makes winning all
three events seem like a near impossibility. While California Chrome is a fan favorite and has significant support from the horse racing community, the horse and his team have stirred up quite the controversy. Between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, it was brought to the attention of the Triple Crown committee that he had been wearing a form of nasal strips during his races.
While there’s no exact rule prohibiting this while racing, the committee does not allow the use of any modifications that may enhance the horse’s ability while racing (other than the sanctioned items such as blinders, horse shoes, etc). While there is research that indicates nasal strips decrease airway resistance in horses and may decrease the amount of bleeding associated with exerciseinduced pulmonary hemor-
rhage, there’s no evidence that the strips enable a horse to run faster. Because of this, the committee has officially added nasal strips to the list of acceptable items allowed during a race. Thank goodness. A lot of people are unhappy with this ruling and believe that it has indeed enhanced his racing performance. Chrome had only won a few races early on in the season; since he began wearing the strips, he’s won his last six races.
California Chrome at the finish of the 139th Preakness Stakes. ©Jay Baker
Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com
However, there was something else that changed as well. Chrome switched riders from Alberto Delgado to Victor Espinoza. In Chrome’s first few races, Delgado repeatedly got him in trouble and prevented him from winning. Espinoza, above all, has used Chrome’s athletic ability (a quick, nimble acceleration and a willingness to use it multiple times in the same race) to stay in the clear and let Chrome run the way that he was bred to. Even though Chrome has experienced some bad press, it has by no means damaged his overall value as a horse. Chrome was bred for the cost of $10,000. After winning the Kentucky Derby, Chrome’s team was offered $6 million to sell the horse. Declining the offer, his team believes that he is worth much more than that, especially after winning his second race. “If you could ever win these big races, for a stallion prospect, you know he could be worth $30 million,” Chrome’s team told The New York Times. “When you really think about it, what they get in stud fees, and have a full [breeding] book for the next 10–15 years.” Even if Chrome does take the Triple Crown prize, the winner only receives a relatively meager $1.4 million. However, if Chrome does complete the sweep, that expected $30 million may increase even further. Watch Chrome at the Belmont stakes on June 7 to see if he can do what no other horse has been able to do in the last 36 years.
Vikings basketball adds PAC-12 transfer
Calaen Robinson latest addition to Viks Matt Rauch
The future is looking bright for the Vikings men’s basketball team. Announced this month by head coach Tyler Geving, the team signed junior transfer Calaen Robinson from Arizona State University. Though he will have to redshirt during this upcoming season, there is no doubt that he will have a major impact on the team’s performance during the 2015–16 season. The 6-foot-2-inch, 190pound point guard didn’t see much playing time as a reserve for the Sun Devils. Backing up starting point guard Jahii Carson last season, GoViks.com wrote, “Robinson played for the Sun Devils, competing in 20 games, averaging 1.6 points and 1.1 assists in 6.2 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 11 points with four assists against Miami of Ohio, and had seven points and five assists against Grambling State.” Though these numbers aren’t anything to get excited about, there’s a lot of hidden potential here. During his senior year in high school playing for the Corona Del Sol Aztecs, Robinson led his team to a 32–1 record and a Division 1 high school state championship while averaging 18.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.2 assits and 2.4 steals per game. ESPN ranked Robinson as the 19th best point guard in the country coming out of high school.
The Vikings hope Calaen Robinson will be a core part of the 2015 backcourt.
SPORTS To Whom it May Concern Dear Portland State Athletic Department: I have a question. Where do you hang your hat? We are not a university that fills their rafters with championship banners, or even our bleachers with butts. We have had some wonderful athletes who made impacts in the NFL and NBA, but we won’t be known as a go-to school for making the big leagues anytime soon. We will never be North Carolina, University of Southern California or even University of Oregon when it comes to athletic fame. Most Portland State sports fans would be thrilled to have Oregon State’s status, notoriety and fans, but the Beavers, just like the Ducks, exist on a higher level than the Vikings can compete with. One place PSU can compete is in the classroom. Over the last few years, coaches and academic advisers from the athletic department have put their focus on the student in student-athlete, and the results are in. The NCAA recently released their annual Academic Progress Rate and PSU received high marks across the board. Special praise needs to go to the men’s basketball and cross country teams. Men’s cross country scored a perfect mark of 1,000 and the basketball team a 994. Both these numbers set their teams in the top 10 percent nationally, meaning that academically they are one of the best 35 programs in the country in their respective sports. Coach Tyler Geving, entering his fifth year at the helm of men’s basketball, started his tenure with a team under APR sanctions for poor classroom performance. He has seemingly turned this team around completely. They are the only Big Sky and state of Oregon Division 1 men’s basketball team to be ranked in the top 10 percent. Overall this year, PSU athletics averaged a score of 976, up 10 points from last year’s report. Other notable scores came from women’s cross country (990), and men’s indoor and outdoor track (989). Being known as an institution that focuses on its athletes’ classroom accomplishments is a fine position to be in. Parents want their children to succeed in school, and no offense intended, athletes of the caliber of PSU’s need practical knowledge that they won’t get from playing in the big game, but can get from a college course. Those experiences in sport are not to be dismissed either. I wish I could know the pressure of having to hit a game-winning shot on the opponent’s home floor. I wish I could know the highs of a comeback win or the lows of a heart-wrenching defeat. Those are defining moments for anyone, and whether one succeeds or fails, they are gaining something from that process. As someone who closely follows many PSU teams, I have certainly been guilty of focusing too much on wins and losses. We take those numbers as the only measurement of team achievement. If a team is not getting more wins than last year, the season is considered a failure. I’d like to think that we should be judging our athletes on a broader spectrum, taking into consideration not only their physical play, but mental maturity, academic progress, contributions to the community and overall ability to function as an adult human. Every person who walks through a PSU classroom door has a goal in mind. Most of us are here to earn a degree that leads to a career. This is true for the majority of student-athletes as well. So let’s celebrate their achievements, let’s cheer when they do something spectacular on their field of play, and let’s recognize that the academic wins are just as important as the ones that go in the record book. Let PSU be known as the big school that gets it done academically. Sincerely, Jay Pengelly Vanguard Sports Desk
Courtesy of Portland State Athletics
If Geving can get Robinson to produce for the Vikings like he did in high school, then there’s no doubt that he’ll be a great addition to Vikings basketball. Even though the Vikings will have to wait until the 2015–16 season to see if this move pays off, it should prove to be well worth it. After next season, star guards Gary Winston and DaShaun Wiggins will be graduating. This will be a perfect time to bring in a hungry
and talented player such as Robinson. With the signing of Robinson, as well as forwards Collin Spickerman and Braxton Tucker, Geving and the Vikings are building on the momentum from the end of last season, putting together a roster that should be able to excel for the foreseeable future. Sustainability is one of the things that PSU is known for. It’s great to see a plan came together for sustainable success at the Stott Center.
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Vanguard | MAY 27, 2014 | psuvanguard.com