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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.