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Be Hardworking. Be Orange.

Posted April 1st, 2014 by Stephanie Jenkins

Submitted by: Ashley Hittner

            In the future, when I tell someone I am a graduate from Oregon State University (OSU), I want their first impression of my alma mater to be positive. More importantly, I want my future employer to see me as a hard worker and potentially as an awesome employee. To me, “Being Orange” is more than a color or a saying, I want it to be a legacy that follows me and my fellow peers throughout our lives in the professional and personal world.

My journey as a Beaver Believer started as a little sprout. When it came time to apply to college, the only college I ended up applying to was OSU. In fact, we should have had a building named after my family since everyone on my dad’s side has attended OSU. However, while growing up I always watched my family work hard. After graduating college, my dad opened up his own car washing business while working at a painting company. Over the next twenty years and two kids later, he opened up two more car washes for a total of three washes. His car washes are open 365 days a year and he attends to them every day. I watched first hand growing up with a dedicated father whom worked hard so my brother and I could have a head start at life.

Being Orange is multigenerational; I have adopted my dad’s work ethic while my time at OSU. I am constantly busy but my GPA is flourishing, I have been associated with many academic societies and work two jobs. I have been very satisfied with my time here at OSU but have also been disappointed with one aspect; I wish myself and other OSU students were rewarded for their hard work in academics. When I started at OSU in Fall 2010, the cost of tuition was $6,727 for in state residents (from: However, tuition has sky rocketed to a whopping $8,538 for in state residents (from To put this in better perspective, this is a 21 percent increase in tuition since 2010. How is this drastic increase in tuition supposed to promote hard work? I have seen my fair share of firsthand accounts of hard working students who have dropped out of school because of these massive hikes in tuition.

My response to OSU is let the hard working student have a tuition break. I love this school and want to see our alumni flourish, not waste away in college debt. My solution to the problem is simple; I want to be recognized and rewarded for my hard work and dedication I put forth with my schoolwork. One solution to the increase tuition hikes is for OSU to give students who have good grades a discount on tuition. This will give us incentive to do well in classes and make our campus more competitive.

My other solution has been adopted by other colleges such as Western Oregon University and that is to do a tuition promise. For example, the tuition that you pay your first year of college will be the same for the next four years (follow this link for more details For many students, knowing the price of college for the next four years is crucial; they will know how much money to budget for as well as how much they will be in debt.

Positive rewards the best rewards. They encourage us to prosper and grow as individuals and as a community. During my 2014 Winter term at OSU, I took a Philosophy 205 class which is the Introduction to Ethics. The professor had an amazing way of rewarding the students for their hard work. At times, the rewards seemed elementary but as simple as they were, they were the most powerful rewards. Much of the time, graded college assignments come with a solid grade, maybe some comments, and then it’s on to the next paper. However, this professor took a different approach; she added stickers to places in our papers where we had exceptional work, she rewarded us with surprises, and whenever we contributed an unique idea to class, she had a bag with small pieces of paper with a written reward on it such as cookies or an A on an assignment. She genuinely always acknowledged our hard work and unique ideas in a positive way to entice us keep participating. I would like to challenge the university to acknowledge our hard work as an entity.

As of today, OSU’s current astronomical increases in tuition are not beneficial to the many hardworking students on its campus. By providing monetary incentives to the hardworking students on campus, OSU can foster a better environment for learning. I want OSU to thrive and be known for having students of determination, intelligence, professionalism, and great work ethic. By demanding students to pay more and more each year, these objectives are less likely for the common student.

#workhardplayhard #TuitionFreezePlease #beorange

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One Response to “Be Hardworking. Be Orange.”

  1. bulloccl Says:

    I am glad to hear that you were able to get into the school that you wanted too. It sound like your father has made a major impression on you! I also would like to follow in my fathers direction. They are great role models.

    I think that the contribution that you made here about education is spot on. In a class, I learned that the cost for the current college students to have school paid by the government would only be 40 billon dollars (Just a number to keep in mind in the future).

    I think that Dr. Jenkins is a great professor as well. I think that there should be some changes that are able to encourage a different type of learning than the traditional way.

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