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Be developing. Be Orange.  March 21st, 2014

Submitted by Lauren Buster

The phrase, “Be Orange,” encompasses many values held by the OSU community.  To me,  the values of development and being orange are almost synonymous.  I see being orange defined by the Oregon State University Strategic Plan as implementing the values of diversity, respect, accountability, integrity, social responsibility.  I will explain why I believe that all of these values promote development in the community of Oregon State University.

Diversity is defined as the ability to welcome, respect, and interact with people who are different than us.  This is seen through OSU’s many diversity clubs and cultural centers, as well as study-abroad programs and cultural classes.  I believe that each of these things helps with development for OSU students.  Diversity clubs and cultural centers develop both a greater knowledge of other cultures. and personal pride in one’s own culture.  Study abroad programs promote the development of greater cultural understanding and grow independence.  Cultural classes also develop cultural knowledge and understanding.

Respect is defined as recognizing the worth and excellence of someone/something.  This is seen throughout campus in the way that classes are conducted, and diverse viewpoints and backgrounds are supported.  Every teacher I have had a class with has always had a great amount of respect for students’ questions and opinions, and the students have held that same amount of respect for teachers and classmates.  The respect in classrooms doesn’t simply stop at being understanding of differing views.  Teachers also demonstrate their respect towards students by seeing their potential and pushing them to be the best they can be.  I think that is a sign of respect that often goes unnoticed.  Without this, though, students would not see any development in the areas of hard-work, discipline, and learning.

Accountability is defined at OSU as being cooperatively loyal to and responsible for the community and all of the resources entrusted to us.  This is a multi-faceted value.  It deals with overall wellness of the people of OSU, and sustainability of natural and financial resources.  I believe that this closely relates to the value of social responsibility, too.  The overall wellness of OSU’s community is ensured in programs like Student Health Services, Counseling & Psychological Services, Orange Rewards, and Dixon Recreation Center.  These all promote development of physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, and financial well-being.  This university is known for being sustainable in a large variety of ways.  Being bike friendly, earning sustainability awards, and having many sustainability programs and events are among some of the ways OSU promotes sustainability.  The commitment to holding everyone responsible for our natural resources develops our concern for sustainability.

Integrity is defined by OSU as practicing honesty, freedom, and truth.  In academics, we have policies that ensure each of those things.  Whether that be policies of academic dishonesty or policies for students with disabilities.  Both of these things ensure that integrity is maintained in the classroom.  The fact that OSU has no tolerance for cheating makes it so that students must truthfully develop further knowledge in the field of the class they are taking.  Also, the policy for students with disabilities ensures that everyone has a fair chance at obtaining this development.

I see so much proof of Oregon State’s commitment to being Orange and developing not only in my life, but in the lives of students around me.  I look back at the person I was before coming to OSU compared to the person I am today, and I see so much maturity, advancement, and development in my life.  I see it academically, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.  I am proud to be orange and to be developing.

OSU Strategic Plan:

Be Original. Be Orange.  March 18th, 2014

Submitted by Jordan Hamilton

After reading through many Oregon State University (OSU) documents, such as the Oregon State University strategic plan, I have noticed several words that Oregon State University associates itself with, most notably accountability, diversity, integrity, respect, and social responsibility. Most of the documents I have encountered, regarding how Oregon State University refers to itself and its constituents, are all centered towards a collaborative group and are rarely directed towards the individual. While Oregon State University is a large institution and creating a positive university image is critical to the goals of the university, I would like to place more emphasis on the development of the individual, specifically on the creation of originality within the individual. After all, creating a morally diverse group begins with the individual doesn’t it?

Prior to my involvement in Oregon State University’s philosophy program, I had not challenged myself to think of why I believed in the values that I upheld to highest standard in my life. I knew that I associated myself with certain beliefs and practices; however, I had never considered why I associated myself with these beliefs. Upon completion of this ethics course I felt immense growth in myself in the way I question my actions and beliefs. This is the skill that I associate with “Being Orange”, the ability to challenge yourself, your beliefs, and your actions on an individual level. I refer to this value as originality.

The value that I associate with “Being Orange” is originality. In my ideal world I want to be a part of an institution and society that promotes originality, meaning that everybody has the freedom and obligation to challenge their beliefs on the most extreme level. By being able to perform this skill of questioning beliefs and values on the individual level, we, as an institution, have the potential to see the most growth and development towards the values that Oregon State University associates itself with, such as diversity, accountability, and social responsibility. Oregon State University has this idea of creating an eclectic group of people that can achieve great heights, yet as an institution it fails to challenge individuals to critically think about why individuals adopt the values they have. Without questioning personal values, I believe the individual does not know if they truly believe in the values and therefore cannot fully employ these values in the work they perform.

I want to see Oregon State University take more initiative to challenge its constituents on an individual level, rather than the large scale university level. This is where Oregon State University fails to uphold their vision. Moreover, I would like to challenge Oregon State University constituents, meaning all students, staff, future students, and alumni, to become more original and consider why they cherish the beliefs and values they do. After witnessing the results of challenging my own beliefs firsthand, I have seen the growth that can take place on the individual level and it is truly eye opening. This idea of originality is best shown in a quote from John F. Kavanaugh S.J. where he states, “Intrinsic personal value – the foundation of ethical value – starts when our individual life journeys begin. It ends only with the cessation of our existence.” With those words in mind, create your foundation of ethical value, so you can begin your life journey. Be Original, Be Orange, and challenge yourself on the individual level and you can more knowingly achieve the success you desire. This is the Oregon State University that I want to be a part of.