The beginning of the end

TriMet’s answer to budget shortfall promises future budget shortfalls

News came down in June that TriMet’s board had finalized a plan to close a sizable budget gap with fare hikes, service cuts and a death warrant for the Free Rail Zone. Since announcing its intentions earlier this year, TriMet has suffered Portlanders’ contempt and overwhelming disapproval of the agency’s proposals.

Game over

Do video games and porn make teen boys losers?

Years ago I was a teenage boy. Mostly I did not enjoy it. High school was a drag, and I made passing grades by the skin of my teeth. Since I was ugly and devoted to a style of dress that accentuated my awkward build, girls weren’t a reality. The few friends I had were as charmless as I was. Weekends were about bad music, Mountain Dew and whatever comic books I could afford on a fixed income.

Capstone controversy

PSU senior capstone requirement draws student criticism, questions

The Portland State 2012 spring term course catalog has more than 70 listings for UNST 421, better known as the senior capstone. These six-credit courses cover a vast array of topics, like tutoring adult English language learners, writing grants for wildlife preservations in Africa, meditation for personal growth and social responsibility and mentoring Native American youth. Most capstones take one term to complete and are required for nearly all undergraduate degrees at PSU.

School of Social Work gets new dean

Award-winning professor, ultramarathon runner David Springer ready for career at PSU

When David Springer received his doctorate in social work from Florida State University in 1997, he became a wanted man. Kevin Corcoran, professor in Portland State’s School of Social Work, remembers something of a bidding war between universities who wanted to hire Springer. “When you bring a guy like Springer to your college,” he said, “you improve your reputation.” Corcoran, who has taught at PSU for 20 years, added, “We wanted him then, but we knew we couldn’t afford him.”

Students helping students

PSU graduate students provide conflict resolution and mediation assistance on campus

Interpersonal relationships play a large role in university life and life in general. While some relationships are relatively uneventful, others can generate a lot of stress and anxiety. Others may even escalate to levels of hostility and antagonism. Portland State students who find themselves in difficult positions with friends or fellow peers may want to seek assistance—but where do they go?

Refugee advocate Baher Butti to discuss Iraqi refugee experience

Middle East Studies Center lecture series continues Feb. 9

Baher Butti—refugee advocate, community activist and founder of the Iraqi Society of Oregon—will speak Thursday, Feb. 9 at Portland State as part of a lecture series hosted by the Middle East Studies Center. Butti’s presentation will address the role history and archetypes play in shaping the collective personality of Iraqis and how this personality comes to bear on the Iraqi refugee experience.

Consider the Sandbox

PSU’s experimental collaborative study space

Students stepping into the Millar Library for the first time since the end of fall term will undoubtedly notice the library’s newest addition: the Sandbox. Portland State’s new collaborative technology space, the Sandbox, is a component of the redesigned Learning Ground that opened in the fall. It is an enclosed space that connects to the bustling computer lab on the first floor. The Sandbox opened Jan. 10 and features adjustable tables, floor-to-ceiling magnetic whiteboards and LCD displays that are for use with laptops and tablets.

Roosevelt High School the focus of MLK service day event

One thousand students celebrate a national day of service

According to Oregon Campus Compact’s final count, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service event held on Monday, Jan. 16, united 1,000 student volunteers from nine Portland area colleges at Roosevelt High School. According to an article in The Oregonian, Emily Gilliland, the ORCC’s executive director, said the event at Roosevelt was the largest student mobilization in the country on what is considered to be a national day of service.

IPSU pays tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

A week of events celebrates Dr. King’s dream

This week, Portland State’s Multicultural Center, along with the help of various PSU organizations, is hosting a series of events commemorating the work of Martin Luther King Jr. All events are free and open to PSU students. Jon Joiner, director of the MCC and chairman of the MLK planning committee, said the events are designed to “take stock of how far we, as a society, have come since his death.”

Joiner said that the MLK Tribute Week is about reflection and commitment, and a way for “taking a mirror to ourselves and asking what would King think of our progress and the challenges ahead.”

Students pledge to spend holiday in service

Youth across Portland honor Dr. King’s dream by volunteering at local high school

An army of 1,200 student volunteers from nine colleges throughout the Portland area is convening at Roosevelt High School on Monday, Jan. 16. For many college students, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is considered a day off. Those who honor the civil rights leader’s birthday by performing volunteer service consider it “a day on.” According to a press release by Oregon Campus Compacts, together, the volunteers at Roosevelt will contribute 4,800 hours of service with an estimated impact of $70,000.

The OCC press release states that Roosevelt is one of Oregon’s most ethnically diverse high schools. As recently as 2009, it was also one of the state’s poorest performing schools. A three-year federal grant of $7.7 million was awarded to Roosevelt in 2010 to rescue the school from closure and help turn it around. The grant money seems to have addressed many of the school’s needs.

TriMet’s solar power project

PSU will monitor data from panel installation near campus

On Tuesday, Nov. 29, crews began construction on TriMet’s first solar-energy project at South Terminus, the southern substation at the end of the Yellow and Green MAX lines. The project centers on the installation of 253 solar panels, produced by SolarWorld in Hillsboro, at South Terminus as well as on the neighboring signal-communications building at Southwest Jackson Street near the PSU campus. Construction is expected to last about a month and cost approximately $366,000.

The funding for TriMet’s solar project came from money left over from the MAX Green Line project as well as TriMet’s partnership with Portland General Electric. Additional support, in the form of rebates from the Energy Trust of Oregon, is expected to cover 35 percent of the solar project’s costs.