Be Orange March 26th, 2013
What it means to Be Orange
To me, being a part of Oregon State University means being a part of a community, both on campus, in the city of Corvallis, as well as the international stage. A community is a group of people that have something in common, whether it is their occupation, residency, status, such as current education status, hobbies, and the like. To Be Orange reflects the value of community care, which means to have the ability to be aware and conscious of community members around you and to be able to respect them. These cares are in consideration for the community, and as I said, communities such as neighboring towns, states, and countries. For the Be Orange campaign, it is any community that is affiliated or affected by OSU. Great examples of the OSU community include, but are not limited to, the OSU Cascades Campus in Bend, the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, or even the OSU ROTC program here in Corvallis. Each example represents OSU, therefore are a part of OSU’s community.
As stated by the Office of the Dean of Student Life website, awareness
“is knowing what’s going on around you. This includes in the world, at the university and within your immediate vicinity. Awareness prepares you to make well-informed decisions. Self-awareness is recognizing your own needs, desires and your purpose in attending OSU.”
To be aware of one’s self, what’s going on in the world, and what is going on at our university can help make a person more rounded and alert of situations in their community. One example of being aware with regards to community care can be shown through research that happens both on campus and that represent the campus, no matter the department the research occurs in. Dialogue that occurs between the researcher and the community shows that the researcher wants the community to be aware of what’s going on, and in essence, become more rounded individuals. Oregon State is always trying to get word out there about what they are doing as a community, for my community, to represent my community; what it is to Be Orange. To be aware is to be conscious, to be conscious is to think, to think is to learn, and to learn is to grow. Therefore, when a person is aware, they are learning and are growing, which is another aspect of the Shared Student Values here at OSU. Growth is why we are here at OSU, to learn and to prepare ourselves for the outside world and to become contributing members of society.
Honesty and trustworthiness are another aspect of what it means to Be Orange. According to the Office of the Dean of Student Life, honesty and trustworthiness
“go hand in hand. Honesty is telling the truth. Trustworthiness is establishing a reputation for honesty. Together, these are the foundations of our academic and social associations. In the academic arena, it is paramount that you do your own work and credit others when appropriate. In the social realm, honesty and trustworthiness create the space for strong and lasting relationships.”
One thing that drew me to go to college was the lasting relationships people have with folks they met at school. My uncle went here and still sees his fraternity brothers all the time. This lasting bond is something that I value and cherish, because it makes me feel included, a part of something, and united with fellow community members. In order to gain this relationship, a person has to be honest and trustworthy, or else the relationship is based off lies, and is not as satisfying.
Another example of value of community care is the social responsibility the university has for fellow community members. According to the office of Human Resources: Learning and Organizational Development website, social responsibility is defined by the way “[w]e contribute to society’s intellectual, cultural, spiritual, and economic progress and well-being to the maximum possible extent.” In essence, it is the positive impact OSU has on the community, with an addition of flavor in the execution.
As I’ve stated before, the top values that I use when defining Be Orange is community and community care, honesty and trustworthy, awareness, and social responsibility. These are important to me because they provide a purpose, or telos, for the community as a whole, as well as the individuals within the community. The purpose for me personally, is to gain knowledge and understanding of those around for future use. The ability to do so with honesty and trustworthy shows that I am credible, which can get a person far in life.
Overall, each value works together to bring about a community and an overarching aspect of honesty and trustworthiness. Each value requires an individual to think, whether consciously or subconsciously, about the community and the positive and negative consequences their actions have within the community. The worth of each value, to me, means something different to each member of the community. For a faculty member, the social responsibility towards their students is going to be different than that of the garbage man: a faculty member’s career choice is to better the future lives of their students, whereas a garbage man’s duty is to clean the town. Both are important when talking about the success of a community; however one is highly sought for, whereas the other is not.
To clarify, this is not to say that these careers options have different moral worth; if a person is doing their duty to the best of their ability, their moral worth is positive, whereas a person who is not working to the best of their ability achieves negative worth when talking about moral and ethical standards. In a sense, it doesn’t depend on the career, but the amount of energy that is put into the job, that defines the moral compass of career choice.
Because of the skills I have acquired, I appreciate Oregon State University, and their Be Orange campaign, for it represents who I am in a community, and what I want to achieve in the future. Whether I become a professor or a garbage woman, because I will get my degree here, it will show my future employers how responsible I am when it comes to community care, how I am aware of my surroundings, the honesty and trustworthiness that Oregon State University has empowered me with, and the social responsibility I have towards my growing community. Oregon State University has given me the tools to be prosperous in the future; that is a goal of mine, to be successful and my values can help me with the process of becoming a successful woman.