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Be Driven. Be Orange.  December 16th, 2013

Submitted by Emily Fisher

When someone is told to “Be Orange”, that person may be a little confused. What does it mean to “Be Orange”? Even as students here at Oregon State University, many of us still don’t have an idea of what “Being Orange” actually means. What current students, as well as former and future students of this university will learn is that “Being Orange” is unique to all of us. Hearing the phrase has different meaning to every member of the OSU community.

There are some values within this motto that have been unchanging, as they’ve been around for a few generations. When I asked my parents who are OSU alumni what “Being Orange” meant or does mean to them, my father answered, “It means to be proud. Wearing orange shows you’re proud of your school and that you want to represent it as best you can”. My mother’s response was similar. She said, “To me, it means being supportive. As a student of the university, one must show support for the school as well as fellow students and peers”. The values of support and pride are emphasized in their definitions of what it means to “Be Orange” and are still present today, as they are also apparent in current student’s definitions, such as my sister’s and friend’s. My sister responded saying, “Being orange means being spirited and showing support for Oregon State in all dimensions of the university”. One of my close friends said it means, “Having pride in our school which brings us all together. Being orange brings people from different backgrounds together”. Another said, “Being orange means being unified. It unifies the school, because together we are proud to be Beavers”. To the students of OSU, unity and togetherness are values that can also be represented through “Being Orange”.

I, too, believe “Being Orange” signifies these values, but more importantly, I define “Being Orange” as being driven. By trying my hardest in everything I’m a part of here at OSU, from academics to intramural sports teams, I am living “orange”. Drive and determination go hand-in-hand with one of the current core values of the university, integrity. When other students and I are honest and hardworking in our actions and in the work we complete, it shows our integrity. It is also evident that we are driven to be the best students we can be. We can easily recognize when students are “Being Orange”. As they head to the library, or stay there studying for hours on end, when they apply for internships, go to extra sessions and office hours, or even when they volunteer, students show their drive and desire to be among the top students who will then be faced with better opportunities. Being driven to be a good student results in having drive for other things in our lives, such as gaining acceptance to a prestigious school or landing a desirable job in a competitive field.

Another existing core value of Oregon State’s is accountability. As students, staff, faculty, or anyone else who is apart of the OSU community, we are accountable for all that we do, good or bad. This aids in “Being Orange” because driven individuals take accountability for their work. Both students and professors are held accountable for the final grades the student receives. The professors must be driven to teach students the material in the most effective way, and the students must be driven to study and learn the material. They both are then held accountable for whatever grade the student ends the term with. Either they were “orange” and were driven to do the best they could, or they had no drive and didn’t try to succeed.

I believe if “Being Orange” means what I think it does, which is being driven and determined, anyone affiliated with Oregon State University will be seen as educated and superior individuals. People all over the United States admire those who are hardworking and who show integrity in their work. These are skills and values that employers look for in people they hope to hire. For example, let’s say there was a job opening at a high-end business firm and both an Oregon State University graduate and a University of Oregon graduate applied and attended interviews for the job. If the employer knew of the university’s motto, “Be Orange”, he/she would understand that the OSU graduate came from a good school and obtained a high level of education because of their drive to succeed and to stand among the top students at the university. This would then give the OSU graduate the upper hand in being hired for the job because they demonstrate these desired skills and values. This example can be applied to many other facets in life because being driven can take you down any road as long as you’re willing to get there.

Be Driven. Be Orange.  March 20th, 2013


Submitted by Madison Miller

Be Driven. Be Orange.

The cost of college; a topic many of us dread. Price has been the focus of education in recent years, with discussions throughout the country about some of the highest tuition prices and debt amounts in the nations history. According to the College Board, the average cost of public college for the 2012-2013 academic year was $22,261. For private colleges, the average cost was $43,289. With tuition continuing to increase, it is scary to think how much an education may cost in 20 years. The issue of college prices is not going to go away. In a society based heavily on achievement and ranking, a college education is arguably expected from our generation. To justify these accumulating tuition bills and seemingly unending debt, our education must be invaluable in comparison. Our classes need to be about more than grades, but about developing drive, the motivation to take positive action in our lives.
At Oregon State University, being orange comes with a sense of pride. We are proud to call ourselves Beavers and be affiliated with the University, but we need more than pride to represent our University. To me, “Being Orange” means to be driven. To be a community of people who are dedicated to work together for a common goal and to create leaders in the community, classroom and beyond. Leaders are people who represent the good, honest way by considering other people in their actions. Leaders act as examples, making other people want to follow in their steps. Our place of education should be dedicated to helping us grow in wisdom so we can become better leaders. Wisdom is being able to apply what one learns through experience and knowledge, and act thoughtfully, rather than impulsively. When a University is committed to helping students not only find their purpose, but also grow and become confident in their abilities to carry it out, then the cost of the education becomes worth the price. An education becomes expensive when it is focused on achieving higher grades not higher wisdom. Education should be more than a letter on a transcript and more than the price we pay. We should be finding purpose through the wisdom we are gaining.
To “be” is to embody or identify with. We embody what it means to be orange; meaning our very lives represent being driven. Being orange is something everyone who is a part of Oregon State (students, staff, faculty, community members) is a part of. We can best represent our University by being a generation who is driven. It does not matter how small or how little recognition one gets from taking action, it is that they are taking action to begin with, demonstrating their desire to be someone who is engaged in the world around them by making a conscious decision to invest their time, money and lives in something they care about. We often associate making a difference with these huge world wide recognized achievements like being a CEO, starting a nonprofit or rising to the top ranks of your occupation. Our University needs to be invested in changing this way of thinking. An emphasis should be on action, not reward. We should work for the advancement of our communities, not advancement of self. What matters is that we are engaged, that we are committed to being a part of something bigger than ourselves. We should all be determined to constantly be moving, growing and thriving in our lives, careers, and relationships. As a society, we have lost the drive to take action in order to help our communities or work places, instead our drive has transformed into the desire to make money. Money is great and we are given the material things in this world to enjoy. But when our purpose is found in money and the possessions we own, we are not living up to our full potential. Every one of us is going to die, and when that time comes, we will lose everything we own. I have a feeling that on our death beds, we won’t be thinking about the money we made or did not make, but how we spent our time, what we did to make a difference.
Our university should be committed to making sure students have goals for their lives and teaching students they are worth more than the number on their paycheck. Part of doing this is helping students figure out what they are passionate about, what drives them. Passion is something we do for joy, something that we are willing to stand behind, fight for and boast about. Helping students to develop skills and an awareness of their interests is where passion begins. If they have the passion they have the ability. Students need to understand and believe they are capable!
Being driven is essential to life beyond the University. Life is not easy and we need to be equipped with the skills to press on when life gets hard. Continuously setting goals for ones self is a huge step in the right direction. As humans we are called to action. Even at the most basic level as babies, it is programmed in us to move. It is because of this need inside of us to take action that we walk. Education is more than taking classes and getting good grades, it’s about learning to takes risks and to go out and participate in ones community. Generation after generation, technology is advancing and it sometimes seems that each generation is getting lazier. But that is not going to be us; we are not going to be by standards, we are going to make things happen!
Being driven is so important for many reasons. It tells employers we will get the job done and are committed to improving the places we work for. It demonstrates a desire in us to be better friends and employers at things like demonstrating listening skills, the ability to see beyond our own opinions and being able work with other people. Drive demonstrates we are determined to make things work and for change to happen when it is needed. Drive is what is keeping alive the desire to cure cancer. Our baccalaureate credits have become something so mundane. They are intended to help us become well rounded students, but are they really accomplishing that? I want to get something out of the time I spend in a classroom. A class doesn’t mean there always needs to be sitting. A class like ethics 205 is more of what we should be seeing in our baccalaureate requirements. Classes where we can engage in meaningful matters like what we want for our lives and the type of people we want to be known as, classes where we are exposed to things going on in the community. In ethics 205, we went outside the classroom to see things like a dance mob and a petition event. Simply leaving the classroom is an example of taking action. We went out and we saw examples of people taking action behind something they were passionate about. What would it be like to have a class where students can go out and be an active member in the community, where they could find ways to be compassionate—to do things for other people out of a genuine desire to help. I think we also need to invest our time in better advising our students early on by giving them more information on majors and what certain careers actually entail. Oregon State needs to be a University that helps mold its students into a body of people that go out in the world and take action. I think most of us want to make a difference, sometimes we just don’t know how. We don’t get told enough that we are capable, and that leaves many of us paralyzed in terms of how we spend our lives. Our University needs to stop this trend. We need to go back and re-teach students that their lives and education are about more than a good grade point average or making money. As students, we need to believe that we can make a difference; that fear of failure is not enough to hold us back from taking action. We need to develop drive. I want us to leave Oregon State with more than a desired career path, but a real desire to take action whether that is in our workplace or our extended communities. How amazing would it be for us to be spread out across the country and even the world as we embody what it means to be people who are driven, who are committed to engaging with the people around them and their communities! For other people to see in our actions what it means to “Be Orange.”