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First-year programs aim to help freshmen  October 4th, 2013

[Septermber 29, 2013 — Corvallis Gazette-Times] – One of the first pieces of action in the Collaboration Corvallis project was announced, oddly enough, at a meeting of the Corvallis Economic Development Commission.

On Aug. 15, 2012, Oregon State University President Ed Ray told the commission that beginning in the fall of 2013, freshmen would be required to live on campus.

Ray cited research showing that students who live on campus perform better in school and noted that if more students live on campus, that would reduce congestion in nearby neighborhoods.

And so was born the “first-year experience.”

Roughly 80 percent of OSU freshmen lived on campus in the 2012-13 school year, with university officials predicting that number will reach 90 percent with the group that starts classes Monday.

The program has required some housing adjustments. Finley Hall, which was not fully used a year ago, is back on line and the university has converted some double rooms to triple rooms to meet the demand, said Dan Larson of University Housing and Dining Services.

Larson estimated capacity at about 4,650 students. OSU is expecting a similar number of freshmen in the fall of 2014.

A new residence hall with room for 300 students is under construction in the southwest part of campus, and when it opens in September 2014, the university will convert the triple rooms back to doubles, said Larson.

University officials, however, were adamant that the program extends beyond housing.

“It’s more than just a request to live on campus,” said Steve Clark, OSU vice president for marketing and university relations.

“The first-year experience initiative is a broad-reaching set of actions and enhancements,” said Susie Brubaker-Cole, associate provost for academic success and engagement.

Read the full article by James Day and see photos at

Corvallis Gazette-Times: OSU students move into dorms ahead of next week’s start of fall classes  October 3rd, 2013

[Septermber 25, 2013 — Corvallis Gazette-Times] – People carrying boxes, bags and the occasional couch into dormitories were a common sight Tuesday during the first of Oregon State University’s two official move-in days.

Approximately 3,750 students began the move — which continues today — and university officials estimate that between family and friends helping students move, an extra 5,000 people will be on campus both days.

Nearly 4,700 students will be living on campus this year, but about 20 percent of those students arrived early for various reasons, including those who had to take international flights.

A new policy taking effect this year requires freshmen to live on campus unless they can obtain an exemption, which is offered for reasons including being married, owning a residence, being a parent or living in an approved sorority, fraternity or co-operative house. Students from addresses within 30 miles of campus also can get an exemption to live at home.


Read the full article by Anthony Rimel and see photos at

Corvallis Gazette-Times: Chef Tila chases the ‘yum’  February 11th, 2013

[Corvallis Gazette-Times, Feb. 11, 2013] — Jet Tila of TV’s Food Network visits OSU and shares some stir-fry tips

The chef transferred the finished product — Chinese fried rice — from the wok to a bowl made from a pineapple shell.

“Does that look sexy?” he asked the audience. “Food must look sexy!”

Chef and Food Network television personality Jet Tila offered tips in Asian cooking and cracked jokes during an interactive demonstration Thursday at Oregon State University’s Marketplace West Dining Center. Tila shared his expertise and recipes with hundreds of people during the lunch and dinner hours as part of OSU’s celebration of the first day of the lunar calendar.

After fried rice, he began preparing spicy maple pork, a Thai dish.

“We’re going from China to Thailand in a snap,” he said.

While cooking in a temporary kitchen on a raised platform, Tila chattered about the proper cooking oil to use, techniques in chopping vegetables and the do’s and don’ts of Asian cooking.

Anyone can make good stir fry, Tila said, but there are certain rules they should follow.

“First rule of stir fry is this … everything in its place,” he said. “All that means in the culinary world is, get everything prepped and ready to go.”

Tila cut up the vegetables, including the ends of the bell pepper.

“I waste nothing because my grandmother would slap me on the hand,” he said.

He said the best investment any chef can make is one multiuse knife.

“I’m not a knife Madonna,” he said. “You just need one darn good chef’s knife.”

High-temperature, low-flavor oils are best for cooking in a wok, he said, and there is one hard and fast rule in Chinese cooking.

Read the full article by GT reporter Canda Fuqua. Photos by Jesse Skoubo.