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Be Compassionate, Be Orange  March 21st, 2014

In a university as large as Oregon State, it sometimes feels as though any one student is just a drop of water in an Oregon rainstorm. Everyone rushing from class to class, just trying to get through their own day; but what if everyone was to notice the struggles of their classmates, their community, or of their students? I believe that when anyone in our community pauses their own busy life to feel sympathy for another, or tries to help a stranger, they are acting on compassion. This sympathy and act can be as simple as picking up books after someone drops them, or can be as significant as donating countless hours to an organization that helps community members that are less fortunate.

As a psychology student I see the need for compassion in my studies and life every day. While other OSU students in a different major or community members may see being orange as a way to show school pride during sports or possibly meaning working hard on a degree to get a good future job. To me showing compassion for others is what it truly means to be orange.

The Oregon State strategic plan identifies the core value of respect, which can be simply defined as showing appreciation for someone. However, I think that just respecting the value of someone is not sufficient to create a caring atmosphere. I believe that creating a compassionate environment at OSU, where the struggles of life are met with sympathy and the desire to better the lives of others is a legacy that our current generation of community members should strive to fulfill. If the OSU community were to create a compassionate environment for everyone, I believe that everyone would benefit from it; there would be more acceptance for individuals who do not have the same life experiences as each other, there would be more of an open dialogue between students and community leaders, as well as less of a struggle for any one community member as it would be distributed among several other individuals who simply want to help another.

In closing, as a community we may not know everyone who currently is needing compassion, but we can always be compassionate to one another day in and day out, to create a caring atmosphere that will be our legacy for OSU generations to come.

Be Respectful. Be Orange  March 21st, 2014

Be Respectful. Be Orange

Submitted by Megan Hall

What does it mean to be Orange? Being Orange can have many different definitions depending on who you ask. “Being Orange” in its simplest terms can be described as upholding to Oregon state Universities core values which are: Accountability, Diversity, Integrity, Respect, and Social Responsibility (listed in OSU’s strategic plan). These words can have many different meanings to the students, faculty and the Corvallis community, therefore I believe it is important to define these words as I see them.

Accountability: taking responsibility for our actions and the results of your actions.

Diversity: having variety in all aspects of life including race, religion, age, sex, opinions, and ideas.

Integrity: honesty, upholding true to one’s self.

Respect: showing appreciation for the worth of someone or something.

Social Responsibility: acting in a way that benefits the society as a whole.

I see demonstrations of these core values every day on campus through advertisements, school programs, sports, community outreach programs, and actions of students and faculty. The value I see the least and truly believe needs the most improvement is respect. I don’t necessarily believe people are disrespectful to others, thought I have seen that as well, but I see a lot of people being disrespectful to themselves. I often hear other students talk badly about themselves or listen to the bad choices they have made involving their person life and or their school career and it demonstrates how little respect they actually have for themselves. It makes me wonder, if they do not respect themselves, how can they possibility be living up to the core values of the very school they go to? How can they be Orange?

Being Orange to me means being respectful to all of you come intact within our school, the community, and to yourself. I believe that learning how to be respectful to yourself and others will enhance the educational experience and atmosphere that will increase the success Oregon State University students achieve while attending. Respect is integrated into the other four values listed in the OSU’s strategic plan and believe it is important for us as a school and a community to start respecting ourselves.

Respecting yourself takes a great deal of patience and involves self-compassion. You have to understand that you will make mistakes in life and be able to learn from the outcomes of those mistakes, instead of allowing those mistakes to control you and lead to more mistakes. We need to understand that

Be Proud. Be Orange  March 19th, 2014

Submitted by Tyler Day

Some people may ask, what does it mean to be orange? While there are many different answers to the question, I believe one must be proud in order to be orange. Some may feel that orange is just any ordinary color. However, when you look closer, you see the pride these students have for their school. One look at the student section in any sport will tell you what I see. These students have pride and passion in their school, and their yelling and cheering is just evidence that they do. Why would someone paint him or herself orange or wear bright orange? Around Corvallis the answer is usually because of OSU. Here at OSU not only do we have pride in our sports, even though we may not be the best at all of them, but we also have pride in our academics. Even if I see orange outside of school, I feel the pride of being a part of the OSU community because it is a great place to be and grow.
The other day I saw a kid walking through campus with a packet in hand, and he was smiling ear-to-ear shaking that packet. Now we can assume that he did well on a paper or test, and that happiness flying through the air really spreads a positive vibe throughout. That is what I would love to see, because I would love to see there be more pride going around about the academics. When a lot of people think of college, they usually think of frat parties, and (around here) football. I think that more pride and attention should be towards education, since we are here to get a degree and ready ourselves for the world outside of the classroom. However, when I say people should put more pride in their school work I am not saying everyone should go around the campus bragging about the A they got on their physics test. It wouldn’t be the best idea if everyone were egoistic, because then that could lead to putting other students or schools down. I believe in some utilitarianism actions, which is to find what does the largest amount of good, and that is to not only be prideful in ones work, but also find pride in others. I don’t think it’s a good idea to put others down for not being the best at what they do. Instead people should show pride in how their community breaks through educational barriers or growth in academics. Showing pride in one’s fellow students is just as showing growth in one’s self. And I believe OSU does just that. I feel like the pride that OSU shows, in not only their athletics, but also in their academics really shows that we as a school have real pride, and that it why I think that being orange is also being full of pride.

Be Compassionate. Be Orange.  March 18th, 2014

Submitted by Sarah Howey

Within the Oregon State University community there are several values that are identified with the campus and beaver life. These include such values as: accountability, diversity, integrity, respect and social responsibility (“Strategic Plan”). These are indeed appropriate values to have when incorporating the entirety of the students within the university. By having these common goals and ideals to that the students can aspire to achieve, it makes the entirety of the university unified.

I personally believe in the values that have been previously listed. However, there is one value that I think is the primary value that represents the OSU community and that is compassion. Though, with this being said, the values that are identified in the OSU Strategic Plan are the backbone to this value of compassion. One cannot have compassion without having integrity or respect. I feel that Oregon State has those qualities. We embrace them during our time on campus and it is my hope that we continue to embody those values after graduation. OSU students practice compassion through our progressive studies in being energy efficient and creating new ways of being environmentally friendly. Examples include minimizing parking spaces to encourage students and faculty to bike, walk or take the bus. Another example is the system of renewable energy in Dixon; having the treadmills wired to produce energy that is reused for campus operations.

To be compassionate, based on my personal definition, is to practice thoughtfulness towards others. In terms of OSU, this means actively being conscious of the environment and being stewards of the earth. Being compassionate is being respectful to those around you, whether human or animal. “OSU’s agricultural programs have received national top-tier rankings from the Chronicle of Higher Education for research, with wildlife science and conservation biology ranking 1st, fisheries science 2nd, botany and plant pathology and forest resources at 5th, and agricultural and resource economics 7th” (“Oregon State ranks 8th best worldwide in agriculture and forestry”). Other scientific research towards our common goals of energy efficiency and compassion towards all life includes the Oregon Sea Grant, which enabled the community to harness power from the ocean waves and wind (“Power from Ocean Waves and Wind”).

Pride is an Aristotelian virtue and I believe that being compassionate encompasses pride. Aristotle states that pride is a man who is and thinks of himself doing great things; in addition, being a Beaver is something worthy of having pride. Pride is having honor and love and loyalty for something that is of importance and within this community, sustainability is considered to be of great importance. We have to embody compassion first, before we can begin to understand and make progressive movements towards sustainability and energy efficiency. I understand why the values of accountability, diversity, integrity, respect and social responsibility are incorporated into the ideals of the university. We have to accept our impact in this world and accept that we all have a role to play in improving the lives of all. In order to do this, we have to accept diversity, practice integrity and respect. We all have a social responsibility to the earth and to each other. But most of all we have to be compassionate to all: we are Beaver Nation!

“Oregon State ranks 8th best worldwide in agriculture and forestry.” College of Agriculture Sciences. Oregon State University, n.d. Web. 10 Mar 2014.


“Power from Ocean Waves and Wind.” Oregon Sea Grant. Oregon State University, n.d. Web. 10 Mar 2014.


“Strategic Plan.” Leadership. Oregon State University, n.d. Web. March 10 2014.



Actions Speak Louder Than Words  March 18th, 2014

In a large college community, often times people forget what they’re really at school for. I sure did. My first term of college was not filled with studying and homework; it was filled with socializing and trying to make friends. For other people, it was filled with football games and kegs of beer. And for many, it was filled with books, and studying, and late nights at the library. All of these things are what shape one’s view on what it means to “be orange.” Our experiences here are always different. These experiences shape our beliefs and our views on what being “orange” actually is. I asked around to my peers in my residence hall about what they thought it might mean to “be orange,” and I got a lot of answers that included phrases somewhere along the lines of “school spirit.” That’s all fine and dandy, but I believe there’s a lot more to being “orange,” to being a part of this community.

I take pride in my school and my community for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with sports or academic standing. I believe in being compassionate in all things, and my goal for my time at Oregon State is to become a person who exhibits compassion in everything I do. My goal is to be a reflection upon this community that brings nothing but pride. While there are many statistics and Core Values and reasons that the Oregon State website gives students to become a Beaver, no one ever mentions the good things that the students in our community do. There are so many exhibitions of kindness and compassion and I truly believe these things would draw a student to our campus more than most things. When I visited campus for the first time during my decision making process, all I saw was smiling faces and people working together to make this campus a better place, that’s what drew me in. Everyone I talked to said how nice everyone here is, they weren’t wrong.

I think that the most effective way to communicate this message is through actions. My dad has told me for as long as I can remember, that actions speak louder than words, and all throughout my life, I’ve been given this same advice by many, many different people. It doesn’t matter what we say, in the end, what matters is what we do with our time here, the way that we use the skills that we have, and the resources we are given. Oregon State is one of the most unique places I have ever had the opportunity to live in, and I have seen so much love and compassion all throughout campus. For example, during the snow days this past year, multiple people posted on Facebook offering help to anyone who was stuck in the snow with their cars, or needed help shoveling snow from their areas. Just these small acts of kindness are an incredible reflection of compassion upon our community.

I’ve seen so many examples of compassion and kindness in my time here, and regardless of the small amount of people who decide to try and spread negativity on our campus; I believe that the positivity truly outweighs the negativity. Being orange is being compassionate to yourself, so that you can be compassionate to others. It is helping yourself in hopes that you will help others.  I believe that this campus and the people in this community are truly something special. It has taken me a long time to find a place that accepts me for who I am, and others for who they are, no matter what. Of course there are flaws, everywhere has flaws, everyone has flaws, but being “orange” means accepting those flaws, loving them, and spreading compassion in spite of them.

Even Grumpy Cat isn’t immune to compassion  March 20th, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mr Rogers!

Be Compassionate. Be Orange.  March 20th, 2013

Submitted by Jaclyn Hill

Oregon State University has a new logo, a fierce beaver that is said to represent the key characteristics of Oregon State, as laid out by the athletics department: heritage, strong, victorious, united, innovative, tenacious, dedicated, integrity. As this rebranding was supported and funded by the athletic department, it may be assumed that this rebranding stands to represent the athletics department of the university alone. However, Director of Equipment Operations, Steve McCoy says, “This represents the whole school. Logos, color combos, everything. We don’t want the team to look good. We want the university to look good.” And it is clear that the university agrees, as the new logo proudly flies over the Memorial Union and is on the front page of the school website, among other places.
Furthermore, the school branding requirements say that a brand is, “A consistent visual identity supports a strong brand for Oregon State University by creating a unified look in print and electronic communications. People notice visuals before they’ve read a word. That’s why it’s so important for visuals to immediately identify our communications as coming from Oregon State.”
This generalized pairing of Oregon State and the new branding is problematic because the school assumes that its logo, designed by people other than the student body, stands to represent the qualities required to be a successful member of the Oregon State community. The new logo does not, however, adequately represent the values of Oregon State and what it means to be Orange. It is based heavily on the values associated with athletics—about winning at all costs, being fierce, fighting. Instead, however, the students at Oregon State stand in unity with one another to solve problems, both within the university and outside of it. The learning and growth that takes place at Oregon State is about the process, the acquirement of knowledge and morality—not about the win at the end of the game. Therefore, the school needs to step aside its interpretation of the logo and allow students to take the leading role in deciding what the branding says about the university. By doing this, the university will support compassion because it will recognize the individual human factors that establish what Oregon State and Being Orange means. Compassion is truly what it means to Be Orange.
To Be Orange is to be compassionate. Compassion involves promoting the well-being and happiness of yourself, others, and the environment. The university has echoes of this within their mission statement, promoting the health and well being of the self and the environment, but actually becoming Orange means much more. It requires true understanding of the moral value of compassion. This means that decisions made each day bear in mind the positive or negative response that they will have on the people and the environment. The environment is included as a necessary part of our world that needs compassion for multiple reasons. First, the environment allows the continuation of life for humans, including air to breath, animals and plants to eat, and space to live. Therefore, preserving the environment means allowing life for fellow humans to continue. In addition, however, the environment requires compassion as an entity all its own for the inherent positive qualities it possesses, regardless of what it “gives” to humankind.
In this way, morality is determined by the extent to which a person is compassionate in their actions in the Orange community. Oregon State University offers its own ecosystem of diverse people, surroundings, forms of knowledge, and behaviors. Therefore, practicing and becoming proficient at skills of compassion within the community of Oregon State offers the ability to act as an “Orange” person in areas outside the university, include careers. A degree from Oregon State University shows a person has acquired skills of compassion within the setting of the school, and is therefore able to perform compassion in a variety of situations after he or she graduates or departs from the physical Oregon State community. Because Being Orange is being compassionate, students at Oregon State can transfer their skills of compassion into other environments and when surrounded with people not associated with the Orange community.
Compassion includes a wide variety of thoughts and behaviors. First, it requires knowledge a range of information and skills of what is required to be compassionate. Knowledge is a range of information and skills learned over time, both formally and informally. Learning happens through processes and outcomes, in class, in social interactions, and in other daily activities that occur on campus each day. This knowledge means understanding which actions foster positive outcomes for yourself, others, and the environment. For the self, this may mean positive self-image and self-talk. For others, this may involve moral imagination—the ability to place yourself in another’s position in order to understand a situation from their perspective. For the environment, this requires knowledge of sustainability, a main component already present in the university’s mission statement.
Because Being Orange means to be compassionate, the Orange community is defined as any members contributing or interacting with the university—making them able to learn and display compassion while at Oregon State and in the world beyond. This means that students, faculty, alumni, and other associates can, and should, Be Orange. The “Be” element of this suggests that a person simply exists, or lives, as Orange upon membership of the community. Therefore, the university, when working to the full extent of its mission to create an Orange community, will foster a responsibility for students and others to be compassionate. Responsibility is the duty a person feels to act in accordance with the moral principles of his or her community. Being Orange means existing with the responsibility of compassion. The university would benefit greatly from allowing, and encouraging, the Orange community to define what its logo stands for, and what its values represent.

Be Reciprocal. Be Orange.  March 15th, 2013

Submitted by Haley Chapman

Being Orange: A Reciprocal Exchange

            When I close my eyes and envision the values I want to see demonstrated in the Oregon State University culture, I struggle to match my envisioned values with reality. I want Oregon State to help me grow beyond just academics, I want them to help me grow into my character as well . Sadly, I believe the structure we have here at OSU is solely focused on academic development, which means I am not living out to my character’s full potential. I believe that the university should place just as high as a priority on character development as academic achievement. When students come to college they are on their own for the first time. They lack parental guidance and have no limits on freedom. We are dropped into a new culture and expected to know how to responsibly behave, and yet we have no idea how we will respond to such unlimited freedom. I see college as a preparation tool for life, but it is used as a stepping stone for intelligence. We are here to learn about our fields of study and gain intellect, but I want OSU to push us to experience  and engage, so we can gain knowledge. In general, I want OSU to encourage its students to be better people, not just better students. As students, we support OSU through engaging in its culture and by being orange, but I want OSU to reciprocate this idea. I want being orange to be an interdependent exchange between both the students and the college. I want Oregon State to reflect the values we have towards it, which are compassion, engagement and knowledge.

By this time in our lives, we are expected to know who we are and accept who we are. But at 21 years of age, the majority of us still feel baffled. So many of us students feel trapped in confusion as to who we are, what we stand for, and why anyone would love us. The majority of students here at Oregon State desperately need to be forced to reflect on who they are and appreciate themselves. We study so we earn good grades. We are nice so we have friends. But, when do we ever take time to sit and appreciate our existence? Never, and that is because there is no intrinsic value placed on self love. I want us to be able to develop our characters over the four years here at Oregon State, so that when we graduate we will have more than just a diploma, we will have knowledge. Knowledge about who we are and what we want. Our diploma says we have the intelligence to succeed but it lacks the assurance of knowledge. This shows that if we support OSU, it should support us back by loving us like we love it. Oregon State should institutionalize a class that helps develop our character and help us flourish into compassionate individuals.

The first step to helping us grow is to encourage us to love who we are. I want Oregon State to facilitate us to open our eyes to love ourselves. To simply tell us that we are unique and special, and mean it. However, I have yet to see those values incorporated into a syllabus. I want students to feel proud of who they are and be optimistic towards their futures. We have baccalaureate requirements that force us to learn about diversity, cognitive skills, and perspectives, but yet we lack a requirement to learn about who we are as individuals. By taking self assessments, questionnaires, and experimental self discovery assignments, we could begin to unravel a greater understanding of ourselves. How can we grow if we don’t know what to work on? How can we have self efficacy if we do not know what we are capable of? Our baccalaureate courses structure us to learn about other cultures, other fields, in general, other people. My question is, why do we not have a requirement to learn more about ourselves? Why not have a baccalaureate prerequisite about appreciating who we are as individuals? A class that pushes students to in turn love who they are. I feel that it is the universities obligation to prepare us for life, not a career. Elementary school prepares us for middle school, middle school prepares us for high school, high school prepares us for college, and college prepares us for life. There is sadly such a lack of understanding on this principle. So many people believe that college is all about preparing us for a career, but it is so much more than that. We are basically learning how to parent ourselves and I think it is the universities role to help us with that experience. It is such a simple idea, but it could have an incredible impact on the wellbeing of us students. Imagine the self empowerment one would feel after attending lectures designed for them to learn about themselves so they can eventually love themselves. When someone loves their self,  I am referring to them accepting who they are and having a proud sense of self efficacy. I believe that by loving oneself, one would be able to love others and grow compassion, which I feel is what being orange is all about. And if the university wants us to exemplify being orange, then I feel they should, as an institution, exemplify it as well.

To me, being orange means associating oneself with Oregon State and engaging in its culture. You can exemplify being orange by being a cheering fan at a football game, teaching a class to a room full of students, or simply studying in the Valley Library. All faculty is a part of the orange culture, along with janitors, students, and fans. You don’t have to be an enrolled student to feel the power of orange, you just have to engage yourself. You can engage yourself by compassionately listening to those around you, by being ethically aware of your actions, or simply by supporting those in the orange culture. Engaging in the orange culture means being an active participant in the community. It can be as simple as proudly wearing that OSU logo or as complex as organizing a club on campus. Being orange means showing compassion for Oregon State and anyone who associates with it. If you want to be orange, then love your professors as much as your fellow classmates, go to sports events, join a club, and appreciate the culture surrounding you.

Being orange means you do not hesitate to hold open the door for the person behind you or lend a pencil to a helpless colleague. It means you understand the limits of your knowledge and are open and courteous to the opinions of others. Being orange means communicating with those around you with respect, compassion, and fairness. It is the combination of both respecting your morals and the morals of those around you. Above all, being orange means engagement. Engagement with yourself, with others, and with Oregon State University’s culture.

I want Oregon State to befriend us, push us, and encourage us to live lives full of compassion. In order to do that, Oregon State needs to consider incorporating the idea of self compassion and compassion for others, as one of the core goals for students. They need to realize that we are in need of guidance for self discovery and that they should uphold their responsibility to facilitate such growth. By incorporating a self compassion baccalaureate requirement, we would be pushed to learn about ourselves and how to love and take care of our hearts, minds, and souls.

We need a college that values knowledge more than intelligence, for knowledge is based off intelligence and experience. I also want the concept of being orange to be a reciprocal exchange. I feel that a strong relationship needs to go both ways and in this case, OSU needs to appreciate its students as much as its students appreciate it. We show our support by proudly wearing orange and black and attending OSU sporting events, but how does Oregon State display its affection towards us students? Oregon State needs to exemplify being orange by displaying the same compassion and support we give them. They can engage in our lives by simply incorporating a character development plan into the curriculum. This would prove to us students that they value us and want to help prepare us for life’s challenges by strengthening our characters. In summary, I want Oregon State University to actively participate in the “being orange” philosophy by honoring the values of compassion, engagement and knowledge.