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Prepare for winter driving  November 20th, 2012

If you are headed for cold weather fun or just over a mountain pass for break, scope out your route on or call 800-977-ODOT (6368) before you leave. The site is updated by the Oregon Department of Transportation and allows you see the road cameras and weather conditions for most of the main highways in the state before you drive them. If you are planning to travel out of Oregon for Thanksgiving or Winter Break, there are similar road camera sites for Washington, California, Idaho, and Nevada.

Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.  Items such as an extra ice scraper, extra gloves, blanket, boots, a small hand shovel, an extra pair of socks, and a flashlight should always be included, as well as a bag of sand or even a bag of kitty litter. Also keep some food and water, just in case.

If you don’t have snow tires, carry chains and know how to use them.

Heather Holton, Resident Director of Callahan Hall


Tip: Don’t drive sleepy. Get some rest before you get behind the wheel. Check out this article on “Surviving the day after an all-nighter” from WebMD and recognize what your body is going through. Better to arrive late, than never.



Student staff member of the year: Katy Ahlvin  May 31st, 2012

Katy Ahlvin poses with her family just after being presented the Student Staff of the Year award on May 22.

Name:  Katy Ahlvin

Major:  Anthropology

Class:  Senior

Student Job:  Food Service Worker

Years of Service: 8 years

Job Duties:

Katy is responsible for opening our pizza concept on the weekends including making sauces, preparing pizzas and specials, and making sure that we are providing a safe and consistent product.  During the week she works the service line, providing great customer service to our students and staff.  During weeks that we are shut down, she comes in and helps with deep cleaning and reorganization of the concept


Katy is exceptional in reliability.  She is always at work when scheduled, covers shifts for other students when they need time off, and often fills in when the concept lead needs to attend trainings or meetings.  On the weekends, she is responsible for opening the concept and always arrives on time.  She makes sure that we are serving a safe and consistent product to our students and staff by monitoring product, temperatures and quality. When we are short staffed, Katy is the first to volunteer to stay and always make sure to set the next shift up for success by making sure all tasks are completed.


Katy sets a great example for her peers.  She does a great job in all areas of the concept.  When things are slow she looks for tasks that can be completed ahead of time for the next shift.  While working 20 hours a week, Katy has maintained a 3.92 GPA and is finishing up her Senior Thesis that focuses on her time abroad in which she worked with youth on developmental skills.


Katy has made it a point to learn every position in the dining center.  She often hops in and helps in areas when she sees they are short staffed, and her versatility has made her useful in all areas of the business.  She is a leader amongst her peers, often creating an environment with the team of friendly competition to help increase sales on slow nights.  Earlier this year, we held a student meeting to share with our students that we would need to make cut backs due to sales being lower than anticipated.  After attending the meeting, Katy took it upon herself to talk to her peers, and put together a 7 page initiative on ways that we could increase sales, motivate the students to increase sales and keep moral high during these tough times.  She researched business initiatives, added graphics, and put together a working document that we are currently utilizing in our facility.  Her ideas to keep moral up were creative and successful, and her graphics suggested ways to reach our international students who struggle with the language barrier.  Her initiative helped increase sales, and create a great culture with our team.


Katy is a leader amongst her peers, a partner to her concept lead, and a valuable asset to the building.  She comes in to work each day with a smile on her face and a can do attitude.  When we are short staffed, she jumps in where needed and faces the struggles with a positive approach.  She is the first to help a new student learn a process and has trained students, staff, and members of the management team.  If unsure of a process or procedure, she asks for help, and makes sure to share her learning’s with her peers.  She does a great job of including everyone in the process and respecting the diversity our team.

Contribution to Employer:

Over the past eight years, Katy has been an exceptional member of our team.  She has had to maintain 20 hours a week to help pay her way through college.  She always gives 110% of herself in all that she does and her work ethic is exceptional.

This past year, her senior year, our business has seen struggles, changes in management, and a different flow of business.  Each step of the way, Katy has been part of team, leading by example, and helping to create a positive and dynamic environment.  She spent time talking to her peers about her ideas, and asked customer what they would like to see offered in our business.  She goes above and beyond and we appreciate what she has brought to the team.


Take action if you suspect alcohol poisoning!  February 1st, 2012

Signs and symptoms:

C. cold

U. unconscious

S. slow breating

P. pale

Appropriate action:

1. Stay calm and assess the situation;

2. Call 911 and stay with the victim;

3. Roll the victim onto their side and maintain position until emergency aid arrives.

Tips to reduce risks from alcohol:

  • Plan ahead and set a responsible limit and stick to it. Aim to keep blood alcohol level (BAL) .055%-.066% or less.
  • Try drinks that contain less or no alcohol.
  • Eat before you drink.
  • Slow down. It takes about 20 minutes for you to feel the effects of a single drink.
  • Measure. Know how much alcohol there is in your drink and keep track of the total number of drinks you are consuming.
  • Drink water before, during and after drinking alcohol.
  • Check your mood. Alcohol intensifies mood. Avoid drinking if you feel angry or depressed.
  • Avoid drinking games.

Reducing risk with alcohol and sex

  • Unwanted or unprotected sex often occurs under the influence of alcohol.
  • On dates or at parties, be selective about when and how you drink.
  • Alcohol does NOT improve sexual performance or enjoyment. Nor does it make you more attractive, funnier or a better dancer.
  • Look out for your friends.
  • The best intention to use condoms or other latex protection is inhibited by alcohol.
  • Depending on how much alcohol someone has consumed, they may not be able to give consent. Sober sex is safer sex.


Information from IMPACT Substance Abuse Prevention Program. For more information, contact the Health Promotion Department at 541-737-7552.

Moving Past White Guilt  May 19th, 2011

My name is Bree Mead and I am a sixth year graduating senior from Novato, California. I have been here so long because I am double majoring. I have an Art History degree already completed with a focus in Mesoamerican Art Studies, along with a Spanish minor and I am just finishing up my Fine Arts degree with a focus in Printmaking. I have officially been a Community Relations Facilitator for OSU since early April 2011 and it has really altered my life. I have been reading on social justice and diversity and also attended the first ever Exploring White Identity in a Multicultural World Retreat (EWI), the sister to Racial Aikido for students of color. It is a retreat for white people to learn and understand their own white privilege and oppression. In addition, I recently completed the Building Inclusive Communities (BIC) workshop to better educate myself on oppression & privilege.

These emotional experiences have been the most valuable to me in my growth as a white person in this world we live in. Read the rest of this entry »

White Identity  May 5th, 2011

Through the last two years of working on understanding social justice and diversity I have had many battles within myself. I have worked hard to gain a better understanding of my white identity and how I may be perceived in our society. Yet, there is still something that I can’t understand or agree with that many white identified individuals have said. Many people who are White have said that they don’t believe they have a culture or there is no white culture. I’m shocked every time I hear someone say this to me as they believe they have no culture what so ever. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Whole Grains?  April 21st, 2011

In the recent release of the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines , Americans are encouraged to eat more whole grains and eat at least half of your grains from whole grain sources. This encouragement is reinforced in the marketplace where you can find statements and health claims on products containing whole grains such as “contains 16 g whole grains per serving; eat 48 grams or more per day” or “a diet rich in fiber may reduced the risk of heart disease”.  What does all of this mean?  Why the emphasis on whole grains? First, let’s begin with some definitions and facts. Read the rest of this entry »

Owning Privilege  April 7th, 2011

Whenever someone makes a mistake or does something wrong that might affect others, the world expects us to take responsibility for it and own up to it. In a sense, this is very similar to the way privilege works. In our world, there are millions of beneficiaries of societal constructs which define who will be the advantaged and disadvantaged group in society. This is something that is out of the control of most, but is reinforced by institutions and society as a whole.  Although it is not intentional, it is imperative that we analyze where we fit in, and recognize the areas that we are the beneficiaries. By recognizing advantage, you are owning it, and can then learn how to use it to make this community more inclusive. Read the rest of this entry »

Mid-Year Transitions  March 9th, 2011

Dead week already!!?? Is it just me, or does anyone feel like it went by too fast? Many things happened, many things didn’t happen, but one thing that is for sure, transitions in the middle of the school year, at least for me, have not been the best. I like order and knowing what to expect, so when change occurs in the middle of the school year it tends to throw me off.  As a fifth year senior, however, I have learned how to deal with change in my life and I hope you all do too.  As many of you know, or don’t know one of the biggest transitions for me was coming here to Oregon State.  I can still remember how lonely I felt even though I was surrounded by thousands of people. Read the rest of this entry »

Disparities in Education  February 11th, 2011

I am taking a writing intensive course with an emphasis in African-American culture. All of the reading and writing reflections I do are centered on documents written by African-Americans. This past weekend, I was given an assignment that consisted of discussing the ways in which Jim Crow laws affected the lives of White and African-American individuals. As I was working my way through the assignment, I couldn’t help but reminisce about my childhood. This assignment reminded me of how it was growing up in Compton, California and the many things I was exposed to and I saw as normal. Years later, when my family moved to Beaverton, Oregon, I realized that I had been deprived from many opportunities that would help me succeed in school and life. Doing this homework assignment allowed me to answer questions I had about why things were so different between both communities and helped me accept the fact that our country was founded on racism. It gave me the explanation I needed to understand that what I had experienced were the results of the racist foundations of this country.

I grew up in an environment where hearing gunshots, helicopters around the house, getting the house broken into, and sharing my textbooks was normal. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to be in certain neighborhoods at any time. That there was no point in calling the police because by the time they arrived it would have been to late for them to do anything anyways. That was my reality.  At school you were either African-American or Mexican. If your book was not written on and had all the pages on it, you were one of the lucky ones. There was no such thing as a sheltered course (a class that is for English as a Second Language student and is given at a slower paced than a regular course as there is in Beaverton, OR.); we were put in the same classes as everyone else and a bilingual instructor was present to help those learning English understand the curriculum. I never visited a university only Compton Community College. That was my reality at the time.

Upon arriving to Oregon I realized that my school in California was very behind academically. The education I was now receiving challenged my ideas, it taught me to question and not accept everything as true. The school I attended in Oregon trusted me as a student and knew I was there to get an education and, therefore, didn’t treat me like a criminal behind locked gates as they did in California. I was given semi-new or new books, a variety of class options, and teachers that cared and helped me truly learn the material. I was taken on college visits, and constantly asked where I was planning to apply for college, questions that I had never been asked and, therefore, hadn’t considered.  Upon arriving to Oregon State and learning about social justice issues and further analyzing Jim Crow segregation, I realized that the reason my education in Compton schools was so different from schools in Beaverton was because the systems that were put in place many years ago which allowed for “separate but equal” to be acceptable. The ideology of separate but equal allowed for racial disparities to occur, but as one can see in my case, separation was achieved and is still seen in various parts of this country, but equality has not quite come around just yet. There is a lot of work that this country still needs to do and I think it needs to start through education. I like to think I am doing my part by getting educated and sharing what I have learned with others. I like to think that you don’t really know something until you are able to teach it, and it is only then that you know you have truly learned it.

Melissa Rico

Community Relations Facilitator-Westside

The comments shared by the Community Relations Facilitator program are strictly the point of view from the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of UHDS. If this article has inspired a desire to dialogue, the author, or another CRF and/or any Resident Assistant, Resident Director or CoOp Director would be happy to participate. Please contact Nina Gassoway ( to assist in making arrangements.

Welcome from Dining  October 4th, 2010

As we are ending the second week of classes, I would like to formally welcome you or welcome you back to campus on behalf of the UHDS Dining staff.   We’ve been busy over the summer working on a variety of projects to help make your dining experiences in the dining centers and Bing’s Café great ones.  I’d like to share a few highlights of what is new for 2010-11. Read the rest of this entry »