Civic Engagement Week is February 23 to 28, 2015!

Community * Leadership * Reciprocity * Collaboration * Social Change * Appreciation

Civic Engagement is about demonstrating care for people, our communities, and the environment and place we share; it is working towards creating a better quality of life for all. Students can make a difference through community service, leadership, learning about social issues, and advocating for change.

Join the Center for Civic Engagement for a series of events to build community, learn from local nonprofits, and to celebrate and appreciate what OSU students and local agencies are doing to better campus and our greater Corvallis community. Explore the many aspects of civic engagement and how you can make a difference!

Civic Engagement Week 8.5x11 - FINAL

Wednesday February 25, 1-3:30pm, Grace Center Service Project, Check-in SEC 206

Wednesday February 25, 5-7pm, Recyclemania Craft ‘N Care, MU Java Stop

Thursday February 26, 4-5:30pm, Dialogue with Corvallis Community Partners and Nonprofit Agencies, SEC 254

Saturday February 28, 8:30am-4pm, Day Tripper Service Day to Santiam State Forest/Fishermen’s Bend Recreation Site, Check-in SEC 206

All Week, February 23-28: Celebrating and appreciating what the OSU community and local agencies are doing to improve the quality of life in the greater Corvallis area (chalking around campus, social media posts, etc.). This includes YOU sharing gratitude with those around you who are working for positive social change. If you want to use social media to share appreciation, please use the hashtag #OSUCEWeek2015.

Learn more and register for projects here:

Accommodations related to ability may be made by calling 541-737-3041 or emailing


Content courtesy Emily Bowling, OSU Center for Civic Engagement

The Difference, Power and Discrimination program here at OSU is hosting a workshop with Dr. Paul Gorski, Associate Professor from New Century College, George Mason University, on creating equity in the classroom for low-income students. Registration is now open.

Class in the Classroom: Creating Equitable Learning Environments for Low-Income Students

Thursday, March 5, 2015

1:00-4:00 PM

MU 208

Register by contacting Julie Howard at Requests for accommodation may be made by calling 541-737-2804 at least one week in advance.

Additional information can be found at the OSU Difference, Power and Discrimination program website.

Several OSU students have come to our office requesting assistance with threatening IRS calls. Please read the letter below from OSU Public Safety and Human Resources for additional information about this phone scam, and please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Public Safety/Oregon State Police at 541-737-3010 with any concerns about these calls.


Dear Oregon State Students, Faculty and Staff,

It has come to our attention that a number of OSU students continue to be the targets of a phone scam. The students who have received these calls are told that they owe taxes to the Internal Revenue Service and must pay immediately or face consequences.  We have learned that other universities have reported the same scam, as well.  We suspect that callers may use printed student phone directories to make calls.

The scam begins when students receive a call that, according to their caller ID, is the Corvallis Police Department. The numbers that have been called from/referenced for call back are: (703) 565-2205 and (541) 766-6924, the latter of which is the direct line to Corvallis Dispatch.

Corvallis PD is aware of this scam and the inappropriate use of their phone number. The agency wants to ensure that OSU students or any others who may be the target of such a scam know that law enforcement:

  • Does not call citizens seeking payment for tax bills – either state or federal taxes. Nor does any other legitimate law enforcement agency.
  • Does not call individuals and demand money from citizens under any circumstances

Additionally, the Department of Public Safety warns that individuals claiming to collect debt may try to instill fear in potential victims to persuade them to forward money.

If you receive such a call, use the link below to report the call to the Oregon Department of Justice:

If you actually become a victim of such a scam, please report the incident as soon as possible to your local law enforcement agency such as your police department or county sheriff’s office. If you have further questions, please contact the OSU Department of Public Safety and OSU-Corvallis office of OSP by calling 541-737-3010.

Please share this important information with others you know to help ensure that as many people as possible are protected from illegal telephone fraud.
David M. Blake PhD, SPHR
Assistant Vice President for Human Resources
Oregon State University

Denson Chatfield Jr
Director of Public Safety
Oregon State University

Are you interested in having a voice on campus? Are there accessibility needs that you feel aren’t being met? If so, the ASOSU Director of Accessibility Affairs is forming a task force of students who want to advocate for accessibility on campus. Meetings will be held every other Monday at 4:30pm in Snell 149, or, contact Jonathan Goatcher at for more information.

Are you interested in learning about social justice here at OSU? The Intercultural Student Services office, in cooperation with other offices within the Division of Student Affairs, has started registration for Winter term social justice retreats. Both are detailed below. Please visit the ISS Retreats page for further information.

There will also be an information session for students to learn more about the retreats on Thursday, November 20th from 12:00 to 1:00 pm in MU 208.


Racial Aikido Retreat

Racial Aikido seeks to empower Students of Color at predominantly White institutions (PWI) using the principles of aikido to recognize, respond, and replenish. Originally created at the University of Vermont, Racial Aikido acknowledges that People of Color may be ill prepared to deal with issues of race and racism as it affects them personally. Racial Aikido promotes tools for People of Color to maintain a positive self-image and be able to respond to overt and covert racism. By the conclusion of the retreat students will have a better understanding of White privilege, in-group and internalized oppression, identity development models, and be more self-aware of their multiple identities. Students will learn by active participation how to recognize racism, respond to racism in a self-affirming and positive manner that is appropriate for the situation, and replenish by taking care of their needs in order to maintain a healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual self. This year’s retreat will be the weekend of January 9-11, 2015 at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR.


Examining White Identity in a Multicultural World Retreat

The Examining White Identity (EWI) retreat focuses on White identity development, White privilege, and oppression in both personal and institutional contexts, and introduces strategies to dismantle oppressive systems. We will look atways that understanding these issues will help us address White privilege and oppression in ourselves and with other White people and become better allies for social justice.  This year’s retreat will be the weekend of January 9-11, 2015 at the B’nai B’rith Camp near Lincoln City, OR.


If you have any questions about either of these retreats, or need to request accommodations, please contact Miguel Arellano at or 541-737-9857


To learn more about the retreats or to apply for a retreat please go to Web address:

In response to the racist incidents that took place last week on campus, several campus constituencies have organized four dialogue spaces for students, staff, and faculty. Please consider attending one of the dialogues and forwarding this information to others who may be interested. Join us to stand united against hate and ignorance. Thank you.


Student-Led #ITooAmOSU Roundtable

Wednesday, March 12, 2:15 pm

Native American Longhouse (NAL)

A space for intentional dialogue about the recent hate incidents on campus, immediately following the student-led march.  Please join the start of the march at 1:00pm at the Pride Center.

Sponsored by Black Cultural Center (BCC)

Contact info:


#ITooAmOSU in our Halls, Discussion Forum

Wednesday, March 12, 6:00-8:00 pm

Marketplace West Dining Center, Large East Conference Room

A space for on-campus residents and supporters to discuss the current environment of inclusion in our halls and pathways for building an even more inclusive community.

Sponsored by the Residence Halls Association (RHA) and UHDS Diversity Initiatives and Programs (UHDS DIP)

Contact info:


Women of Color Dialogue Space

Thursday, March 13, 3:00-5:00 pm

Kerr Administration Building, Basement Level, B008, Career Services Classroom

A space for dialogue regarding experiences of Women of Color on campus. Information about the new Women of Color Coalition will be discussed.

Sponsored by Intercultural Student Services (ISS) and UHDS Diversity Initiatives and Programs (UHDS DIP)

Contact info:


#ITooAmOSU Dialogue for Anti-Racist Allies

Friday, March 14, 3:30-5 pm

Marketplace West Dining Center, Large East Conference Room

A space for dialogue regarding opportunities for White-identified anti-racist allies to support education and action about racial identity and racism on campus.

Sponsored by Student Leadership and Involvement (SLI) and Intercultural Student Services (ISS)

Contact info:


Want more info? Visit I Too Am OSU on Facebook or check out #ITooAmOSU on Twitter.

The other day I went to a game night among friends. Among the games available was a recent edition of “Operation”. For those unfamiliar with the game, the basic premise of the game is that players have to remove small objects with tweezers from wells without touching the sides. Each object is supposed to represent an ailment. For example: ‘Water on the knee’ is represented by a bucket, a pulled muscle is represented by a rubber band and so on. While we set up the game I was surprised to find a small bird that was to be placed in the well associated with the head. The ailment was called “Bird Brained”. Bird Brained: ditsy, insane, nonsensical, light headed, etc. At first I was taken aback and then found myself very offended.


Operation Game Box
Operation Game


The idea that the mental disorders associated with insanity could be operated on surgically goes back to a very dark time in U.S. history in terms of health practices. In 1935 it was common practice to drill hole into the heads of patients experiencing psychotic or depressive symptoms. Many thought this would help release demons. Antonio Egas Moniz, who came up with the procedure was given a Noble Prize for his work in 1949. Success of a procedure was measured by how much the patient “calmed down”.  Walter Freeman is the one who made similar procedures famous in the U.S. in fact, he was the one that modified the procedure and coined the term ‘lobotomy’. However, his version involved separating the entire pre-frontal cortex from the rest of the brain by inserting a surgical device behind the eye after the patient had been knocked unconscious by electroshock. (However, being the talented showman that he was he would often insert devices into both eye sockets simultaneously)  He performed lobotomies on as many as 2,500 people. This came at a time when the nation was desperate to find solutions to mental illness. So, when Freeman’s patients seemed to no longer be exhibiting symptoms (in addition to not exhibiting a great many other things, like personality) many other doctors took up the procedure. Between the “insane” asylums, shock therapy and anti-psychotic medications available at the time and now lobotomy, there were very few safe treatment options for those suffering from these illnesses.

By the time that lobotomies were outlawed in the U.S. in 1967 it is estimated that about 50,000 people had been subject to one or more lobotomies. At this time the procedure had been outlawed in Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union for many years because it was “contrary to the principles of humanity.”

That game that I played is just one example of the way that such ideas have persisted into the 21st century, the idea that if the brain is not conforming, it must be operated on. Similarly, people with sexual orientations other than heterosexual were also treated as though they had severe mental illness, and still are to a certain extent. Many would say that we have moved on past that. However, in all reality it’s only been about 47 years since that procedure ceased to be performed. Meaning I could have a doctor that studied during this dark period of time. How has that affected their views?  I think to a certain degree medicine and therapy is still hindered by these past ideas. One situation that seems to keep popping up is that because of my disorder I may not know what is best for me. This can manifest in conversations with friends and family, even care providers. For example:

“Doctor, I don’t like the way my meds make me feel…it’s like I don’t have emotions, I feel like a zombie.”

“Have the symptoms been reduced?”

“Well, yes, but…”

At this point the conversation is over. Chemical lobotomy.

With that harsh point made, I would like to make it clear that I have had some very good doctors. Excellent doctors who cared for my recovery in a wholesome way and I owe them a large debt in terms of that end. However, I have many friends that have not had good doctors, doctors that diagnose without enough information and prescribe with even less. The problem seems to me to reside in a huge power differential. The doctor has years of schooling and is probably constantly able-minded. The patient on the other hand is probably very scared, conditionally able minded and typically has no or little background in the field of mental health. Society tells us that people with mental disorders are not able to manage themselves and do not know what is best, therefore it is the job of the Able Minded to come in a rescue us from our plight. This philosophy is very disempowering for those that would seek wellness. On top of that I can speak from experience in saying that it is very hard to advocate for yourself while wrestling with these disorders. When I first went in to seek medical attention I was very vulnerable to my care providers and I am grateful that they sought out my best interest through medication and non-medication methods. I know of those that have given up on doctors due to negative experiences and are now self-medicating, or not medicating at all with varying levels of success.

I think that doctors have to potential to be powerful allies for those of us who struggle with illnesses such as these. However, I feel the strong need to suggest a revision of prerogative on behalf of these care providers. For them to examine whether they are here to “save us” of if they are here to supply us with the tools to secure our own release.

“The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” –Steve Biko

-Erich Zann (pen name)

Erich is the pen name of our guest student blogger who can be contacted by e-mail at:

Disclaimer: The views expressed by guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the views of Disability Access Services or those of Oregon State University.

The United States Census Bureau has released updated statistics on the population of people with disabilities in the U.S. According to the new figures, 56.7 million Americans (18.7% of the population) have some type of disability. Of this number, an estimated 38.3 million (12.6%) have a disability characterized as “severe.”

The findings, which are contained in a study based on the Bureau’s 2010 Survey of Income and Program Participation, also provide estimates on the prevalence of different types of disability:

• vision impairment: 8.1 million (3.3%)
• hearing impairment: 8 million (3.1%)
• difficulty walking or climbing stairs: 30.6 million (12.6%), including people who use wheelchairs (3.6 million) and canes, crutches, or walkers (11.6 million)
• difficulty lifting or grasping: 19.9 million (8.2%)
• cognitive, mental, or emotional impairments: 15.2 million (6.3%)

The Bureau’s report, “Americans with Disabilities: 2010,” also covers distribution by age and gender and provides estimates on various economic factors, including employment rate, income levels, program participation, and health insurance coverage. The report and related information are available on the Census Bureau’s website.

Additional telling stats relate to unemployment rates and income:

• unemployed: 59% of people aged 21 to 64 with a disability, of those with “severe” disabilities the unemployment rate rises to 72%
• median income: $23532 for people aged 21 to 64 with a disability, compared to $32688 for those with no disability
• poverty: 29% of people aged 15 to 64 with “severe” disabilities, 18% of people with non-severe disabilities

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Written by: Gabriel Merrell, OSU Office of Equity and Inclusion