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Archives: December, 2013

Be Bright Orange  December 16th, 2013

Be Orange. Be Bright Orange.

Riley McCoy

By definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Bright is an adjective commonly connected with the following descriptions: radiating or reflecting, radiating with happiness, beautiful, lively, intelligent, auspicious, and illustrious. To be labeled as bright, you are also being associated with those same descriptions that are considered admirable qualities to most. Using these descriptions as subcategories, I hope bring to light what exactly it means to “Be Orange”.

Before I took this ethics class, the idea of reflecting or reflection to me was its physical properties. The disfigured image of the moon at night shining on a lake, A bike reflector, or even a mirror all bring the word reflect into my mind. But rethinking how to self-reflect was a skill I learned this term that I changed me. Self-mindfulness taught me how to think, feel, and live in the present moment more efficiently. As the term began, the daily task was a struggle; but the struggle transformed into my favorite “Homework” each day. While practicing mindfulness ceased to fixate on the worries bouncing around in my head and instead focused on my breathing, washed the dishes, or played the guitar. Reflecting continues to ease my stress, fine my focus, and increase my happiness. As a construction Engineering Management major, I constantly focus on difficult classes that Oregon State has designed in order to make our engineering degree stand out in the crowd filled with engineers across the world. OSU’s high expectations for us require a lot of self-dedication and sacrifice in order to maintain academic excellence. Learning to take care of myself allows me to excel mentally, physically, and scholastically.

Happiness is another concept that frequently came up to topic throughout our term to ethics. As stated in class, 60 percent of happiness is based off of personal perception. Being happy is something that is based off of personal perception and I believe OSU strives to have a happy university. They incorporate many student amenities to maintain student happiness. Dixon is the campus workout center that allows a variety of activities for all different students to do. Rock climbing, basketball courts, a pool, weights, aerobic machines, and even an indoor track all provide students a place to work out. I personally find Dixons services extremely helpful and go there almost every single day. Being able to use physical activity is a management technique I use to eliminate stress from classes. Oregon State believes in activities students and so they make it a requirement that every student take a Physical Activity Class (PAC) that allows their students to stay active. The mind spa is also available yet much less popular on campus. As a class assignment, we were required to visit the spa to see all the activities offered. I come from a family that has had generations of unhealthy and overweight people. A combination of poor life style habits like smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking have resulted in my grandpa, two uncles and one aunt all suffering from heart attacks. My grandpa had 3 heart surgeries and lung cancer from his years of treating his body terrible. My family’s past has provided me with the motivation to live a healthy lifestyle and Oregon State provides with the tools to do so.

To be beautiful can apply to so many scenarios but one way that Oregon State incorporates their beauty is how they keep the campus. OSU is an extremely pretty campus. The layout and architectural detail of the buildings are accented by the seasons as the trees on campus change. Going to school at such a beautiful place draws in the attention of out-of-state students as well as international students. Oregon State’s beauty also comes from its diversity. One of the schools goals from its strategic plan is to promote a culture of collaboration across campus. International students, out of state students, in state students, transfer students, and nontraditional students make up their diverse population of students. I, myself am a transfer student from the University of Montana. Born and raised in Oregon, I left the state as a freshman to gain a new experience and challenge my comfort zone. My love for the outdoors drove me to the beautiful state of Montana where I could hunt, fish, hike, bike and snowboard. Ultimately I decided to return to Oregon and attend OSU for engineering. Corvallis feels just like the town of Missoula and offers many of the outdoor active things that I enjoy so much to do. Personally, I believe college is the time when I should force myself to try as many things as I can. I am lucky enough to attend a school that fulfills most of my desires.

Intelligence is found at Oregon State in the academic excellence that is asked out of every student. The university prides itself on producing students who thrive and wear there OSU degree proudly. As an engineer I take extra pride in achieving a degree from OSU. Nationally Oregon State is renowned for the great engineers that they produce. Graduating with my degree is something I hold very valuable to me. I will be the first person in my family to graduate with an engineering degree and the first grandchild to graduate despite being one of the youngest. My family is very important to me and I share most of their same values. My grandpa was a principle/superintendent of Central Point, the southern Oregon town I am from. My aunt and cousin are both elementary school principals and my grandma was a teacher for over 40 years as well, so saying I come from a family of educators is an understatement. To us intelligence comes in the form teaching and caring for those who are being taught.

The word auspicious has additional value to me besides its definition. Growing up my dad constantly said, “You are a very auspicious son.” He repeated this statement more times than I can recall. He did so to instill confidence in me while challenging me to educate myself by learning a vast vocabulary. Oregon State takes people and transforms them into auspicious adults who are more than capable to flourishing after college. A degree from Oregon State suggests that your future will likely be successful; which is definition of auspicious verbatim.

Saying you are an Oregon State student proudly is the goal of the university on a large scale. While their strategic plan gets more precise with specific goals, OSU vows to continue their efforts in producing students who improve the brand name that is incorporated with being a beaver, being part of the Oregon State family, and being Bright Orange.

Be Diverse. Be Orange.  December 16th, 2013

Submitted by Keaton Kirkpatrick

The OSU community at large would define the act of “being orange” as retaining those values that reflect the spirit of our school, and the character of our faculty, staff, and students. “Being orange” involves primarily being tolerant and accepting: embracing the differences in the Beaver community and recognizing those differences as strengths. I also think that “being orange” is commonly described as having an undying school spirit, especially regarding sports. This value is important to those within the OSU community because it helps build camaraderie and a sense of connection within our little sub-culture. With being orange comes a communal responsibility to help out fellow Beavers regardless of sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, or race, and to understand that we are all here in the pursuit of higher education and thus are essentially all working towards the same goal. When an individual chooses to strengthen the OSU community by engaging in thoughtful interactions with his or her peers, we all benefit as a result. As we are all active (and paying) members of this university any improvements to the community in general is a positive thing for all people involved.

            One of the reasons that I chose Oregon State in the first place was the fact that the values exemplified at the university coincided closely with my own. For example, I am a proponent of human equality and the values of tolerance and diversity widely believed to be associated with “being orange” fit nicely with what I hope to gain from my experience here at Oregon State. My educational goals extend beyond just obtaining a degree at the end of four years, in preparation for law school after my undergrad studies I am trying to absorb and retain as much information as possible. I am interested in actually expanding my breadth and depth of knowledge, instead of just going through the motions for four years and coming out on the other side with a degree. I would like the value of being “orange” to also refer to academic focus and ambition in that if I am in an environment where the people around me are focused on school, it would prompt me to be focused on my studies as well. As far as interacting with people in the OSU Community, I would love to see everyone embrace the ideals of tolerance and acceptance, for I believe that an environment that allows people to be proud of themselves is an environment that breeds creativity and ambition.

            Being Orange is more than just maintaining an attitude of tolerance, being orange entails taking meaningful action to promote an atmosphere of diversity and foster a positive environment for all members of the OSU community. Members of any community have a responsibility to care for each other and make decisions based on the appropriate contextual morality. In the context of a university, contextual morality would define moral actions as those that do not hinder anyone’s goals (academic or otherwise) and that do not infringe upon any rights of any students. Since we have been accepted to the university, and paid our tuition, we are then endowed with certain rights that pertain to this idea of contextual morality. My idea of what being “orange” differs from Kant’s ideas of morality in that the idea of a universal maxim does not necessarily apply. For example, a moral act within the context of a university would include appreciating the struggles that are unique to students and acting accordingly, such as being less disruptive during dead week and finals week. This act of kindness is moral and relevant because of the context in which the act is committed in (the context of a university).

Be Kind. Be Orange  December 15th, 2013

Submitted by Lindsey Naylor



Powered By Orange


What does it mean to “Be Orange”?

When I asked Oregon State students this question, I received quite a few different answers. But the answers mostly centered around these concepts:

  • Being committed to and loyal to Oregon State University and what it represents to the students and the community
  • Following and supporting Oregon State University Sports teams
  • Being a dedicated Oregon State University student











In the media, Oregon State University is known primarily for our football team. Secondly, we are known for our academics. However, someone who isn’t affiliated with Oregon State will have no knowledge of the ethics and values that are important within our community.


Reser Stadium


The leaders of Oregon State University have created a list of core values that we need to demonstrate in order to build a successful community. The values are accountability, diversity, integrity, respect, and social responsibility. If we were to truly incorporate all of these values into our daily lives, our community would be an incredible place. However, even though this is a great plan, if no one is participating, nothing is going to change. I think the most important thing that we can focus on at OSU is the way we interact with each other.

I would like to see Oregon State become known for the way we treat each other; I want “orange” to mean kindness. By kindness, I mean putting others before yourself and keeping an eye out for someone who needs a hand. In the future, if I ask someone what it means to be “orange”, I want them to say something like, “looking out for each another” or “helping someone in need”.


Be Kind



So, how can we create a kind, accepting, non-discriminating community at OSU? 

The best way to spread a message in today’s society is through social media. What we need to do is get a group of people who are passionate for this cause to create memes, write in their blogs, and post on their facebooks and twitter accounts. That way, all of their friends that go to Oregon State can be aware of what we’re trying to accomplish and they can get involved.

The message that we want to get across is that being kind to others doesn’t have to be a huge effort, but can make a huge difference. People in the OSU community can make small changes in their daily routine to be kind to everyone they come into contact with throughout the day.

Examples of small ways to be kind to others:

  • Stopping your car to let a pedestrian cross the road when they aren’t at a crosswalk
  • Paying for the coffee of the customer behind you at a coffee shop
  • Be actively looking everywhere you go for people who could use a hand
  • Giving a “pat on the back” to someone else who does something kind
  • Smile at people when you pass them on the sidewalk
  • Opening a door for the person walking behind you

The more people we can get to embrace being kind to others, the further and faster our message will spread.





Be Unified. Be Orange.  December 15th, 2013

Submitted by Samuel Schimke,

At first glance, the notion of “being orange” may sound confusing to a random person. What does this mean? Does this mean acquiring an awfully overdone spray tan? While that may be the meaning for some, the concept of being orange is different to the people who make up the population at Oregon State University. At OSU, being orange means being a part of a unique community. Being a college population, members of the orange community share common traits, virtues, and goals that are not common among other more generic communities. The citizens of the OSU population are encouraged by their community to carry out these actions and values. How we the citizens carry out these conditions reflects the ethical and moral standing of the orange community as a whole. In order to engage these qualities in an active and positive way, there are a few skills and values that must be upheld by each member here at OSU, such as knowledge, responsibility, and moral goodness.

First off, in order to portray the values that OSU upholds, we must be equipped with the knowledge involved with these values. Well what does this really mean? Well simply put, it relates to the understanding of any type of subject matter related such as facts, description, and ethical concepts. The knowledge of subject matter is most easily learned through being taught, but most importantly experiencing the concepts first hand. In order to uphold the virtues portrayed by the orange community, it is of great importance to have the knowledge and experience necessary so that we do not act irrationally on the matter.

When we have attained adequate knowledge of the necessary concepts, we next have the option to act on them with responsibility. In a general sense, responsibility can be described as an obligation toward someone or something, as well as a degree of accountability of your action/inaction. By being orange, we naturally become responsible for upholding such ethical traits that are upheld by the college as a whole. However each individual portrays themselves within the orange community directly reflects the values and virtues that represent OSU. We have a responsibility to not act in a way that will reflect the orange community in a negative manner.

Lastly, we must interpret the meaning of being “good” coming from a moral standpoint. We all have a mental picture in our heads of what a good person looks like. But what does it really mean? It turns out that it is not so easily defined but is rather subjective, depending on ones situational circumstances or personal perspective. The OSU community shares commonalities on what is good versus what isn’t, and these values may or may not be shared by outsiders as well. These commonalities shared by the orange community as a whole are what make up our moral fabric.

Now that there is a solid foundation laid out for understanding what it means to be orange, the only thing left is to actually define what it means to be orange. The interesting thing about this concept is that there is no definite definition. What it means to be orange is a subjective concept, and depends on the opinion and perspective of the person describing it. There are a few important virtues and values that really stand out to me when I think of what it means to be orange, and these are what I would like to share with you, in no particular order.

In the community as a whole, we as orange people share the common trait of honesty. Being a college community, this virtue is especially important as it relates to academic honesty. The policies implemented into our academic curriculum uphold the value in being a graduate of this university. This ensures that we all are responsible for our own coursework that we complete, which upholds more value as a citizen of a different community after leaving this one. On another note, we are honest not only in our academic endeavors, but to each other as well. For example, just the other day I had been eating at one of the restaurants on campus when I accidentally left an expensive jacket of mine alone at a table upon leaving. It wasn’t until hours later that I realized I had left it there. While anyone could have easily came up and scored a nice, free jacket, I was delighted to find that someone had turned the jacket in to the restaurant, enabling me to reunite with it. This strikes me as a unique trait of the orange community as I may have never seen my jacket again if it had been in some other community.

As an individual citizen of the OSU community, we share a common trait that is independence. Now this sounds slightly contradicting at first. The definition of independence is built upon the concept of self-reliance, as well as making our own choices without the influence of others. How are we supposed to be influenced by our community if we are independent? The answer lies somewhere in the middle. While it’s true that we must take some influence from the college’s values, it is equally true that we must create new values and ideals for the community through our own independence. It is through the independence of all the students and faculty where new and innovative ideas and creations arise from within, and it’s these ideas that continue to shape and re-shape our moral persona.

I don’t think that the orange community would be as widely recognized and revered as it is today if it weren’t for the compassion that we show towards others. Many of the clubs within the university reflect this virtue, such as the Global Medical Brigades club, Public Health Brigades Club, and many more. The work done by these organizations within OSU display our compassion not only to the members within our community, but compassion towards foreign civilizations across the entire world that are in need of our help. To me, I feel that any able bodied community such as our university has a moral obligation to give compassion and aid to others who are in need where it is possible. The organizations within OSU that work to give aid to these less fortunate groups of people shows me that we are doing our part in helping the betterment of the world on a global scale rather than just within a confined area. People all across the world know the name of our university and associate us with the compassion and help we have given, and I feel it is an important responsibility for us to continue this work.

One thing everyone loves about being orange is the enthusiasm across campus about being engaged within it. Anywhere you go on campus, there are signs, banners, and statues celebrating what it is to be a Beaver. For example, the “what’s your orange moment?” banners across campus. As well as this, the enthusiasm shown and spread through the sporting events such as football and basketball. Everyone loves to gear up in their orange gear and get hyped about OSU spirit. I believe these propagandistic aspects of our campus are imperative to our ethical and moral fabric as a whole. These banners and events make us closer together, it gives us a way to bond with one another. From this we form a sense of unity, a real sense of community. Common ground is found by everyone within these activities, helping to bring us from a group of strangers to a functioning and collaborating group as a whole.

Above all else, what do I love the most about being orange? Being a member of this special community brings on motivation for the pursuing of excellence and the pride in hard work. As we all know, it is often extremely difficult to find motivation within yourself to get out of bed every day with the intention of working diligently to better yourself and achieve greatness, in whatever aspect of life you may choose. The end rewards of consistent hard work, such as financial success and stability, are dreamed of by just about anyone, but actually getting there isn’t always so easy. In the orange community, we are constantly surrounded by literally thousands of others who are working constantly to achieve the same goals as yourself. This plays a role as a major motivational factor when it comes to actually pursuing that excellence. If it weren’t for the help and support of the faculty members, as well as the friendly competition among my peers, there is no way I could have gotten this far into my academic career. I’ve heard a quote been said before, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” – Unknown. I like this quote because I think it highlights the notion of never being content with your current career/educational status. The constant striving for more knowledge, more excellence, is what allows each and every one of us to achieve things greater than we ever could have imagined. Being a member of such a large university means that you will almost certainly never be the “smartest” person in the room. We are constantly challenged by others around us, but this is what makes us better at the things that we do.

These are the qualities that I personally believe to be unique and important when I consider what it means to be orange. These values and virtues bring knowledge, as well as a sense of responsibility, and moral goodness to our community. We as citizens of the orange community bring on these qualities to the university, and the university simultaneously brings them on to us. Constantly we are encouraged and challenged to be the best person we can be, whether it be morally or professionally. As I have previously highlighted, it takes a group of individuals and their ideas to make up a successful community. Instead of simply taking in and following my thoughts, I now want you to consider what you feel is important to being orange. What qualities and values are important to you? What traits do you impose on us as members of OSU? Remember, what you do and how you act directly reflects what it means to be orange, so get out there and be the best person you can be.

Be Positive. Be Orange.  December 15th, 2013

Rya Elms-Giudici

Be orange. What exactly does this entail? Are there specific criteria we each must meet in order to be accepted into the university and thus be considered orange?  At first I thought of orange as a straight forward trait such as being good, being motivated or being well. Sure these are all things that are valued in our community and therefore can be considered orange. But each student will attribute their own values and beliefs which they believe represents the community of Oregon State.  That six letter word (orange) that represents a color to many, but a way of life to us. That’s the beauty of it though, each student or professor will all see different positive aspects represented in the community that will shape our understanding of what it means to be orange.

The key word here is positive, positivity, positiveness, no matter how you use the word the meaning remains a powerful and important one. To be positive encompasses all traits that are reflected within Oregon State, such as kindness, acceptance, love, and motivation.  As students and teachers we strive to find motivation towards our academic and personal goals, which brings about the most positive outcome.

We study so that we will receive a positive grade, we workout so that we will have positive health benefits.  We work hard in sports so that we will win, we join a community (a club, a team, a sorority or a job) so that we can not only better ourselves either financially or academically but so that we feel part of something that will bring about a positive experience for us and overall create a positive experience of our time at the university.

The five core values that the Oregon State strategic plan lays out is: Accountability, diversity, integrity, respect and social responsibility. These five traits are all positive and seek to bring about a positive outcome through interactions. Two phrases that stood out in the universities strategic plan were “ We practice honesty, freedom, truth and integrity in all that we do” and “We treat each other with civility, dignity and respect”.  Theses are positive criteria that are outlined to help guide Oregon State in achieving the best positive outcomes and experiences for those attending this university.  Practicing honesty and freedom in everything we do leaves little room for negativity. Treating everyone you come into contact with respect and dignity allows for a place of positivity.  The university is large but students come together with common values of love, kindness and respect that help achieve their goals and make life long connections that will stay with them through their professional and personal careers.

In this community the university has so many aspects that are here to help each other, from academic advising, counseling services, a workout facility, yoga classes, personal sports trainers to student health.  The main goal of these facilities and faculty is to provide support that will increase both positive outcomes in our academic careers and personal lives.  Most students’ goals when entering college are to work hard towards a career goal and have fun along the way.  When we take a step back however and look at all the little things throughout the day that make a positive reaction or atmosphere within the university it is powerful.  The positive things that we see or experience affects how we perceive the school and how well we are motivated towards our goals. For instance the Christmas lights decorating Kelly were put up to create a more cheerful and festive atmosphere for students while they are studying.  The on campus coffee shops sell a 16 oz. coffee for the price of 12 oz. during finals week to give students a little more caffeine to help with finals.  Free cookies and tea are passed out in the library during finals week to encourage and reward students for studying. I want orange to mean all of these things. Positivity. And the echo that simple acts of kindness can create through the university. I imagine the values of the university that create Orange as positive as a medicine cabinet.  A medicine cabinet is where we go to get a ban aid if we are hurt, or take some vitamin if we are sick.  There are only things that make us feel better or improve us in a medicine cabinet. Just as in Oregon states medicine cabinet there are only things that bring about positivity and change for the better. Boosting our overall moral.  Encouraging us to do better. Focusing us to exhibit love and kindness to everyone around us.  And increasing our overall pride to be a part of an experience and community that values being positive and creating positive outcomes that will reflect throughout the 1 photo 2

Be Compassionate. Be Orange.  December 15th, 2013



Final Reflection

Karen Balionis

PHL 205

How would you define “being orange”? To Oregon State University being orange includes five core values:

  1. Accountability
  2. Diversity
  3. Integrity
  4. Respect
  5. Social Responsibility

Each student enrolled through OSU and each staff member that works for OSU are held to these five values, but what do they really mean?

When we say we are accountable we’re saying we are held to our responsibilities and can be trusted with whatever we do. We will meet deadlines on time, we will meet all requirements and even exceed them, we will be entrusted with documents and information from companies.

Not only are we accountable, but also we are diverse. Oregon State really taught us what it meant to be diverse because of all the different cultures they bring to the university. Having a great exchange student program, you’ll see all sorts of students from China to Saudi Arabia in every class. Being diverse means looking past the gender, race, color, religion, and so on and being able to communicate with people based on their knowledge and willingness to learn. This isn’t a university where being from a different background makes you stand out. We are all people and we are all here for an education.

That brings us to integrity. Integrity is having strong moral principles and being honest. Integrity is going to class everyday and turning in our homework on time and putting in that extra effort. Being a Beaver, and being orange, means we’re hardworking and we do our own work. The projects and tests we take are our own work and not the student next to us.

Then we have respect, respect for our professors, students, staff, everyone and everything. We respect our campus, and our athletics. We are proud to be Beavers. You can see all the respect with everyone wearing orange or Oregon State gear. You can also see the respect we have by how clean our campus is and all the recycling and compost we do.

Not only is keeping our campus clean being respectful, it’s also part of our social responsibility. The people involved with Oregon State are all apart of a community and we all are apart of this responsibility. Also it’s our social responsibility to show everyone the five core values of Oregon State and let everyone know exactly what it means to be orange.

Those five core values (accountability, diversity, integrity, respect, and social responsibility) are how others define being orange, but I define it a little differently. Not only do I believe in those five values, but I also believe in compassion, self-care, and community.

When I say compassion, I mean compassion for others. Being orange means you’re always giving a helping hand. When someone is in trouble you don’t turn your head and ignore the problem, but you step up and help. If someone were to drop their books, you would help to pick them up off the ground. Even doing the smallest gestures such as holding the door open for others or giving someone directions, we’re Beavers and we are here to help one another.

Then there’s self-care we need to acknowledge to be orange. Some times students get so wrapped up in their college course work, social atmosphere or work schedules that they forget about the most important thing, their health. Now days it’s so easy to eat unhealthy, and to be inactive to where we forget about our self-care. We all need to take a little time for us and for our health, whether it’s going to the gym for half an hour every other day or taking a break from homework to just do nothing. There’s enough time every day that we don’t need to just stress about school, work or social activities.

Orange is a community, a community of students, staff and alumni. Being a community means we come together in tough times and support one another when we need it. We may not know all each other, but we can all help one another whether it’s in academics or social settings. We don’t just need a crisis to bring the community together, we just need to know we have support for the smallest of things.

Oregon State University defines being orange with their five core values, accountability, diversity, integrity, respect and social responsibility. I go a little further in defining orange. I say being orange also includes being compassionate to others, taking some time for self-care, and being apart of the community. How would you define being orange?

Be Yourself: Be Orange  December 15th, 2013

Be Yourself: Be Orange

            One of the perks associated with attending Oregon State University is being a part of the OSU community. Being part of the OSU community means you are connected to OSU in one way or another, whether you are a student or faculty member at OSU, or whether you are just a resident of Corvallis who attends OSU sporting events. The simple act of being a member of the OSU community also means that you have the ability to earn the title of an Orange individual.

Being Orange means something different to everyone who is associated OSU, because OSU harbors diversity by offering around 200 different degree choices, which makes it easy for you to be yourself.  Due to the fact that OSU has such a wide range of classes available, there is a very good chance that by the time we graduate we will have taken a distinct series of courses that no one else has taken.  This means the knowledge we take from OSU will be truly to us.

Therefore in order to earn the coveted title of Orange we must embrace our uniqueness and use it, along with all the skills we learn from our association with OSU as tools to help better our world.  Personally playing a role in helping the OSU community represent it’s core values is one way an individual can contribute to earning themselves this title.  As a student at OSU, I belong to the OSU community and one of my roles is to be the best student/person I can possibly be, while representing OSU through my academic success and my personal success in life.

One of Oregon State University’s goals is to improve human health and wellness.  Due to the fact that I am studying Exercise and Sports Science, specifically Fitness and Nutrition, and the fact that I plan on working in the health and wellness field upon graduation from OSU, I feel I personally will be able to improve the health and wellness of people around me.  I will do this by simply embracing my uniqueness and being myself.  For as long as I can remember I have always had a desire to help others, and I have always had a very strong passion for both fitness and nutrition. Hence, by simply uniting my desire to help others with my passion for fitness and nutrition, I will be helping improve human health and wellness in my own unique way. The actions of personally representing one of OSU’s goals, while at the same time being myself will contribute to me being able to proudly label myself as Orange.

Another one of Oregon State University’s goals is to become a better and a more recognized educational institution. Therefore if you are a member of the OSU community and want to earn yourself the title of Orange you can do so by helping OSU achieve this goal.  Since I became Orange, I truly have the desire to achieve the best that I can academically.  With the choices and guidance provided by OSU I have felt both academically challenged and motivated to achieve at the highest level.  I have grown tremendously as a student and as a person since my journey began.

In order to “pay it forward” I feel it is my duty and responsibility to further the recognition of OSU, because OSU has played a huge role in molding me into the Orange and unique person that I am today.  I plan on helping OSU achieve this goal by being an honorable and contributing member of society and by acting in a ethical and appropriate manner wherever my life path takes me, all the while representing OSU to the best of my ability.  By doing this people around me will be able to see first hand that people who graduate from Oregon State University truly are top-notch individuals.   This is turn will help nurture and support the continued growth and enrichment of OSU and future students, faculty and the community in which it thrives.

In my mind, being Orange means more that just personally representing the core values of Oregon State University, it also means being a unique, well-rounded, knowledgeable individual who acts ethically.  This means taking our education seriously and gaining knowledge while attending OSU, which is done by participating in our classes and acquiring some form of knowledge from every class we take.  With this knowledge that we have obtained we must go out and apply it for the betterment of ourselves and others around us.

Be Good? Be Orange.  December 15th, 2013

When I am asked what it means to “be Orange”, I think “what does it mean to be from any other school”? We like to think of ourselves as this separate entity, that we’re all unique, but in reality we are just a number. We go through school to get a degree not because we want to better society or become “educated”, but because it is necessary for our survival in today’s society. If you look at the OSU strategic plan, I will list what they expect us to be:

Accountability. We are committed stewards of the loyalty and good will of our alumni and friends and of the human, fiscal, and physical resources entrusted to us.
Diversity. We recognize that diversity and excellence go hand-in-hand, enhancing our teaching, scholarship, and service as well as our ability to welcome, respect, and interact with other people.
Integrity. We practice honesty, freedom, truth, and integrity in all that we do.
Respect. We treat each other with civility, dignity, and respect.
Social responsibility. We contribute to society’s intellectual, cultural, spiritual, and economic progress and well-being to the maximum possible extent.

But when you look at us, the student, are we? Was OSU accountable for the snowstorm that closed campus during finals yet left Dixon rec open while the library was closed? Or was it the city of Corvallis who was at fault for not being prepared for this “winter Armageddon”? If we are so diverse, how come I only see Caucasian students on campus and not African American students? And we are so open to embrace diversity, why is it we put all the international students in the INTO building towards the edge of campus instead of putting them in dorms where the can learn to assimilate with citizens of America? If we value integrity so much, then how come we are constantly looked down upon when we protest our discontent with aspects of how the school system operates? And do we really have freedom at school, are we not forced to take baccore classes instead of taking classes that would actually apply to our major? Do we really treat each other with respect here at OSU when student’s opinions are constantly undervalued in the face of the administration? Do we truly respect one another when you get students from U of O throwing snowballs at cars passing through campus; U of O could have been any school. Are we really contributing to the betterment of society when we’re paying so much to become “educated”? Do we care about society when only the select few get to go to college because there family can afford it? Do we care that our students have to go into debt just to get ahead in life? The answer is simply no, but as with everything in life, nothing is as simple as it first appears.

We like to hold each other accountable for actions, but when held under the gun, we simply turn a blind eye. OSU turned its back on its students when the weather got extremely bad this year. They closed campus during finals which could have been for numerous reasons, but the fact still remains. What perplexed me the most is they kept Dixon open instead of the library, which seemed awfully strange. Instead of getting a formal apology from the school, we got a “thank you for your patience”. OSU in some part does take responsibility for the students that drop out by wanting to achieve an 100% attention rate (it’s at 83.5% right now, which seems surprisingly high) but you can’t help but wonder if that is because they want more students “educated” or if they want the extra revenue?

Diversity at OSU is a complete joke in both education and welcoming international as well as ethnic students to our campus. Teachers at OSU are put in the situation where they can either choose their students or their research, but not both. They are not obligated to give a damn about the student and when they do they are forced to go out of their way to do so. There is no diversity in teaching, it’s all the same. We sit in large lecture halls where the teacher talks to the group, then we have a recitation once a week to see if we learned anything. It’s literally the same for every class and there’s no diversity in that. But perhaps the worst aspect of our diversity is our “welcoming” culture for international and ethnic students. The international students are brought into this new country and instead of assimilating with our culture and really taking in America, they are confined to the INTO dorm at the edge of campus, away from everyone else. Here they are encouraged to make friends with their own nationality and are encouraged to use the resources provided at the INTO building rather than the resources the other students have access to. Given they still have a choice on whether or not they choose to do so, but it is much easier than going about campus on their own trying to assimilate; it’s almost sickening that OSU has all these resources for the international students at the INTO building, but don’t bother to help them if they want to live in the dorms with the American students. And I’ll be the first to say it, where the Hell are the African American students? All I see is Caucasian students on campus and I could get into the issue of inequality throughout America, but that’s a whole other topic.

Integrity is great to have but something we do not. We as students are herded like cattle through college doing whatever we’re told because there is no other way. If we argue with the administration over an issue in policy, we will most certainly lose. If we have a complaint about a teacher they (administration) have us fill out a survey for all teachers where what we write is often disregarded. This in a sense, makes these surveys a marketing ploy. The students are happy because we think our voice actually matters but at the end of the day it’s all smoke and mirrors, meant for the college to look like it actually gives a Damn about its students.

As for respect, college has bred an atmosphere of “be the best or die” where it’s a common occurrence for students to think that they weren’t cut out for college. College is too competitive now where if you don’t get the top grades, you won’t get the best scholarships or the best chance of getting into the major you want. Pro-school is dependent on GPA and that’s a lot of pressure for one person. And grades are mostly dependent on tests, which are more of “how much can you memorize” rather than “what do you actually know”? The tests don’t really test our knowledge on a subject but are rather the quickest way to evaluate a student. That’s why I’ve enjoyed this class so much for the fact that out of respect for the student, we don’t take tests. Instead we are evaluated on our ability to comprehend our readings through writing, which is how we should be evaluated on our work. We learn through group work and discussion, instead of sitting in a lecture hall taking notes. The office hours for this class have been some of the best in any class I’ve had, even if I haven’t gone to any. Most teachers you have to schedule an appointment with just to get the help you need, as the college feels it is necessary to stuff as many students as possible into one room and thus give a teacher to deal with for office hours; it’s especially bad for math, where I once waited on hour to get help because his room was completely filled. Like I said before, we are herded around like cattle and that one on one time with the teacher is virtually gone in College. And moving the bookstore next to Reser stadium, is that respectful to the students? The academics section hasn’t improved all that much and now instead of being in the center of campus, where all students can access it, it’s at the edge of campus. The only improvement to the bookstore is the merchandise section, where we can buy all the overpriced beaver gear that we can’t even get a discount on just for being a student.

As of right now, OSU is not fulfilling its objective of social responsibility. Are the students that come out of college today really better than those that came out 20 years ago? Do we know Latin, have we read the odyssey, and do we have the leadership skills necessary to take action for the betterment of society. Maybe, but more likely than not, if a student becomes what OSU wants it (the person) to become, they have to go out of their way to do so. Our education is worthless compared to our parent’s education and the worst part is, it costs a lot more. Sure we might have nicer buildings than we did, but they got the help they needed when they went. Sure they didn’t of the CAPS center or Waldo, but they didn’t really need that back then. College was less stressful as they had time decide what they wanted to do and they had time to take care of their well-being.   They went to college because they wanted to, not because they felt they had to. Sure I could drop out of college and work minimum-wage, nobody’s forcing me to go to college, but I know if that were to happen I would be completely miserable. Minimum-wage is not living wage and at most I might be making 30k a year and if I got extremely lucky, 80k a year. For my first 5 or so years, I would most likely be making 9 bucks an hour, which would net me around 15-17k a year. On this wage I would not be able to have a family and never be able to afford to tend a university. A university costs 20k a year while at its cheapest costs about 10k without financial aid. My math class cost 800 bucks and my poetry class cost 300! Really? As it stands now, the university is ridiculously expensive.

All this said, I believe we do have good people going to OSU. I blame the institution itself and not the people who serve and attend the university. Most of the teachers I have met have genuinely care about my education and have shown the same frustration with the people who run OSU as I have. Most of the students are friendly and I’ve made some good friends since I arrived here. I feel the biggest problem that has happened with College in general is that it is no longer an institution for education but rather now treated as a business. The school has a quota of students to fill and as a consequence we are treated as numbers; we can easily be replaced if we can’t afford college, which isn’t how it should be. And now there is a division among the colleges themselves. You have community college, the cheapest, public universities, very pricy, then private colleges, very expensive but apparently the “best” education. Each college is competing for the best students and as such any new building we see is most likely the result of trying to be “better” than another school. Like the new College of Business building, is that because we have more business majors at OSU or because we want to attract more business majors to OSU that would’ve gone to U of O (which has a better business program) otherwise? Who knows? All I was hoping to accomplish with this post was to offer a unique perspective on the institution people refuse to believe has been corrupted. Given I have not looked through the entirety of the OSU budget plan so take my words with a grain of salt, but I truly believe college should be much cheaper than it is. I wish I could say being Orange was a source of pride for me, but as an ethicist I am bound to say the truth (or at least what I believe to be the truth) no matter how far from popular opinion it may be.

“Be Ambitious, Be Orange”-Adam Godfrey  December 15th, 2013

Oregon State is a great academic school and because of that has developed a strong reputation for itself. Reputation, I believe, is built on by your moral compass and by the actions influenced my your moral compass. Oregon States reputation all starts with the students and staff blazing new trails and have the ambition and focus to achieve their goals. When I asked my friends what “being Orange” meant to them, each friend shot back with their own interpretation of the understanding of what it means.  Most of the answers received is that “being Orange” means to be committed and/or driven, hardworking, and to have school spirit. They based most of their reasoning on message they got from the Oregon State commercials. “Being Orange” seems to have a different or a somewhat different variation of what it means to each student and professor on campus.

I have a different understanding of what “Be Orange” means to me. Walking around campus, library, MU, and many other places, I see people are always hard at work doing something. There is a strong feeling of ambition and determination here on campus, and to me, this is what “be Orange” means to me, to have ambition. Without strong ambition and determination on campus, I believe Oregon State would not have the reputation that it has now. Ambition is a very important moral value to have because that is what will help you to reach your goals. Oregon States “Be Orange” campaign is there to help us build our moral compass and to keep each student and teacher with the ambition and determination to finish their goals.

Walking around campus, especially during finals and midterms week, is when I see the motto “be Orange” really stood out. This is when the value of ambition is prevalent. But I see ambition on campus all year round. I see “Orange” in the barometer and when I hear about research and positive things that are happening at Oregon State.

The way I try to “Be Orange” is by trying my hardest in all that I do. I try to bring ambition and motivation in to all aspects of my life in order to achieve my long and short-term goals.  To me, “Be Orange” is a great motto because there is so many definitions of what it can be, but it can also help to motivate people and guide them in their schoolwork and overall day-to day life. Because the motto of “Be Orange” can have multiple definitions, it means that it can influence a person life based on what their definition of “be Orange” means to them.

“Being Orange” is being ambitious; it is having the drive and motivation to reach personal short and long term.  It is having the courage and strength to stick to your goals and see them through. The best way to promote “Be Orange” is by exposing it and its multiple definitions to incoming freshman. This would help them to develop a moral compass and to welcome aspects of growing, instead of fearing it. But exposing it to freshman only is not enough, it is important to promote “Be Orange” in all activites/research labs, sporting events, etc. in order to reiterate the meaning. I walk around campus and I see “Be Orange” occasionally, but it would be a good idea to have “Be Ambitious, Be Orange” and “Be You, Be Orange” and any other moral values that you could put into the phrase in order to reiterate that “Be Orange” can have multiple meanings. It is important to develop a strong moral compass to help guide you through life, and “Be Orange” is a great motto to help develop those moral values.

Be Honorable. Be Orange.  December 15th, 2013

“Orange” is a representation of the values that represent Oregon State University, these values are that the administration here at Oregon State want all of its students to embody. These values range from accountability and diversity to integrity. Many of these values are lined out in the OSU Strategic Plan that was put in place by the President in 2004. This plan lays out what accomplishments that OSU wants to do along with the values that the administration wants to instill in its students. These values that are laid out in the Strategic Plan are accountability, diversity, integrity, respect, and social responsibility. Every student is a part of the Oregon State’s community and is a citizen of Oregon State, however the values that are stated in the Strategic Plan are values that state what the required values that one needs to be an exemplary citizen of Oregon State.

While Oregon State as a whole have a definition of “Orange” values students have other values that they also identify with. Many students talked about defining “Orange” as a value of pride. Pride is a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct. Pride can be expressed by confidence in oneself or by overconfidence in oneself and his or her abilities. The reason that they give Oregon State this value is for the fact that we stick behind our sports teams even if they are losing. In other words they stated that as students they have pride in our school and what it stands for these values are the ones stated above in the strategic plan. Many people that I asked that gave me values when I asked them why they picked this value they refer to our athletics teams. This is what some believe “Orange” stands for however I want “Orange” to stand for something besides this.

The two main values that I want “Orange” to mean are honor and integrity. One of these values is already in the Strategic Plan and I wanted to emphasize this values importance and the other I wanted to show the importance of this in personal and work relationships between people. The reason that I want this is that if students have honor and integrity they will be desired because out in the work place for the fact that they will have the honor to be trustworthy to others and have the integrity to ask help with problems along with having the integrity to finish their work. Integrity is adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character. Integrity can be demonstrated by one’s ability to adhere to their own principles even when others around him or her are trying to convince them to do otherwise. One example could be not giving into peer pressure.  The reason I believe it is a good value because it requires work and thought to be a person of integrity. This work and thought require a person to take time and be mindful so that they can assess their values so that they can put their values to use when the time arises. Honor is honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions. Honor can be shown by simple acts such as not cheating on a test and telling the truth. As a value honor is very simple to do in many cases on a basic level but when a person exemplifies honor they go beyond what is asked of them. Honor requires a person to asses themself and to be true to their beliefs. The reason that I find these values to be extremely valuable to ethics is that they require one to think and asses themselves to see who they are and what values they stand for.

An effective way to introduce and communicate my message of integrity and honesty is to introduce it early by incorporating these values into the first year experience. The reason for this is that people are very impressionable with their first impressions and if students are started with these values they will carry them on for their entire time at Oregon State. This method can be compared to the anti-tobacco message that is given to kids in elementary school. If you introduce a concept early enough people will pick it up and incorporate it into a part of themselves and that is my idea of incorporating it into a part of the new first year experience which is part of the introduction of freshmen to Oregon State then it will be more effective in incorporating it if this were to happen. This method is like the old proverb of striking while the iron is hot.

The implementation of this plan would be most effective by putting a part of Orientation week that all new and incoming freshmen are a part of. This way a majority of freshmen will participate in the event. However this alone will not be enough to have it stick in their minds. Only covering this once will be ineffective in the long term because freshmen like most people will forget about it. And that is why to make this program the most effective there will need to be reinforcement sessions during the school year. Now these reinforcement sessions will not be possible in large groups because of classes and commitments that freshmen will have during the term. My solution for this is to train the Residents Assistance to then teach the freshmen. There are two Resident Assistance per floor in most halls with around 40 for each Resident Assistant. This way there will be smaller groups which will facilitate learning. It is feasible to do this once per term any more would put too much pressure and commitment upon both the Resident Assistance and the freshmen in the terms of time. This is the basic outline for implementation for me it can be tweaked and reworked so that it will be more effective.