skip page navigationOregon State University

« | »

Be Unified. Be Orange.

Posted March 20th, 2013 by Stephanie Jenkins

By Andrea Bourgeois


Before this assignment, I didn’t understand what the “Be Orange” campaign meant because I assumed Being Orange had one specific meaning, and what that was I really wasn’t sure. You can imagine how this confusion frustrated me while I tried to brainstorm an approach to a thoughtful response. After a few failed attempts, I decided to grab my camera and take a walk around campus hoping that what I saw will spark some ideas. What I found was honestly more than what I thought I was looking for because what I found was my Orange moment. It’s hard to say in words what this is exactly because it completely defines the three years that I’ve been a student here. In a broad sense, however, I found a unique form of unity that describes who we are as Beavers which was portrayed in each photo I took that day. Each photo depicted a different kind of unity found at OSU and each kind of unity I found is explained below, along with its photo.


 It’s not the message in chalk itself that explains what being orange means, it’s the idea behind the message.  This picture emphasizes OSU’s broad community through the unity of meetings and informative lectures from different clubs and organizations on campus.  A club or an organization emphasizes unity through similar interests, which is an excellent way to bring people together who share these interests.  I took a picture of this in particular because of the meaning behind clubs on campus.  These extracurricular activities were put together by students who wish to share their common likes and interests with other students on campus.  This means that these clubs and groups were made for one sole purpose, to bring people together, meaning they value unity.  It’s not easy putting together a club or organization on campus; I’ve had my share of this in High School.  The fact that they put their time and effort into uniting other OSU members and the fact that other OSU members are passionate enough to give their time and participate shows a kind of care and connection OSU members have with one another.  These clubs can range anywhere from a sport to a love for a movie or book, but they all unite through this bond over what it means to be in a club.

Not only do clubs help student connect, they also give a sense of support.  We’re all experiencing the OSU life together and it’s important to have a community that reflects this.  A club can mean many things; to some it means their support system.  A club is indeed a mini community because they share a common space conceptually and literally.

Without looking at this picture, I’m sure that most of us know Oregon State has been around for quite a while now.  This seal only reinforces that statement.  It’s hard to believe that we’re not the only students, staff, and associates of OSU since it’s hard to picture Oregon State in any other time but the present.  This picture symbolizes Oregon States history and how the school has grown.  This is because of what a seal represents, a symbol that implies another idea or meaning.  To us then, this emblem represents the school overall, how we view Oregon State as a school today.  To the associates of the past and future however, their experiences were and are probably going to be a bit different than ours, so the seal is going to have a different meaning. Overall though, this seal brings all of us Beavers together since it represents one main idea, and in this case that’s Oregon State.  Even after we’re long gone and OSU is a memory of our past, this emblem will still unify the Beavers of the past, present and future because it represents this community as a whole.

Oregon State is known for it’s many advances towards public safety, this picture included.  It’s awesome that we’re striving to be a healthier campus since there are so many health issues in the world today.  This sidewalk sign however, may be a bit deceiving since OSU does promote healthy lifestyles, and biking is a big part of that. Before this sign was sketched onto the sidewalks leading into the MU quad, there was a huge safety issue concerning bikers and pedestrians both.  Since it is such a popular area to pass through during the passing periods, there just didn’t seem to be enough room for bikers and pedestrians to share the sidewalk safely, so OSU came up with this solution to keep everyone safe and essentially happy.  How does this unify OSU as a whole though?  Implementing these signs means that we’re trying to make OSU a safer campus, and in following this rule and all rules put in place, we’re respecting each other’s safety.  This in turn brings us together because it means that we care for one another and that each of us will go out of our way to make sure that we are being safe.

This photo is more directed towards the students of Oregon State seeing as we all came here for one reason, to get a degree.  The Valley Library represents academic success through its endless row of book and spacious tables for studying.  This can also be said for almost every building on campus.  These buildings and classrooms are here to help each one of us succeed in our academic endeavors because they provide an open learning environment.  This then unifies the students through success.  It’s upsetting to see a fellow student fail here at OSU because we’re all striving towards the same goal and we all have an equal opportunity to reach that goal.  To succeed as an individual means success as a whole and in this case as OSU.  It’s awesome that we have such a high success rate because it means we care about our future and this brings us together as students because we’re striving for the same thing(s).

 The library puts out a tub full of “Choose Civility” buttons every so often with different messages on them; “lower your music”, “assume the best”, “keep shared spaces clean” and so on.  These buttons represent a pledge taken by all OSU associates who wear one.  It means that they identify with a higher set of actions that set their OSU morals to a “good civilian” level.  This photo parallels the “Please Walk Bikes” photo in the sense that they both unify Oregon State through courteousness.  This is because of the respectful nature found within each saying on the buttons. I find that the buttons remind us that we’re not the only ones who use this space and they help keep our campus looking happy and beautiful through the messages they put out.  Those who choose to wear a button are unified through the underlying message they serve, again being courteous.  Civility is a trait that we all should encompass because it shows that we not only respect the environment (being OSU) but that we respect each other enough to perform those little actions that have us go out of our way to keep everyone that much happier.

 No matter what college campus you visit, you’re always going to find some form of unity through the athletics department.  These two photos not only represent football and basketball but every college sport, club sport, intramural team and everything in between.  It’s awesome that everyone who associates with Oregon State can find some common ground within these sports because finding a common ground within a big community like this is rare.  Yes, there is more of an emphasis on certain sports than others and yes, at times it does seem as if those certain sports are all that matter but most of us didn’t decided to be apart of this community because of those sports.  Most of us came here to either get an education or work to support our families and ourselves.  Sports just happen to be one aspect of Oregon State and it’s an aspect that was worth mentioning since it does bring so many people together.  Overall, I find that this is because a sports team is representing the greater population of fans during the game.  We get a sense of dignity from watching our team play against another team for the “winners” title. To some, it matters who wins and who loses, but to others the most important aspect is the fact that they’re out there in the first place, representing a greater whole.  Whatever the case may be, most of us identify with our sports teams because they bring us together and give us a sense of pride.

I’ve also included a picture of the volleyball courts outside of Dixon because when I say sports, I mean ALL sports and sport teams here at OSU.

These photos give a broad sense as to what it means to be apart of this unified community and what I found that day on campus. It’s amazing with how diverse this community is we all came here to be apart of OSU and this lifestyle for one reason or another. And beneath all of this, we decided to stay and be apart of this community because we found something within Oregon State that shed a positive light on us in some way. This light means something different to everyone, but in general it portrays the unification we share as a university. There’s a reason why we have only one mascot, one school fight song, one set of school colors. We define each of these symbols as meaningful aspects of OSU, which in turn defines us and who we are as a whole. The Be Orange campaign brought to light what I find valuable about being a Beaver and I’m confident in saying I know what it means to Be Orange.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply