Jeff Golden and Gomez

Oregon State Senate candidate town hall meeting Oct. 11 at SOU Music Recital Hall

Southern Oregon University and Jefferson Public Radio will host a town hall meeting with Oregon State Senate District 3 candidates Jessica Gomez and Jeff Golden at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, at the SOU Music Recital Hall.

Excerpts from the town hall meeting will be broadcast on the Jefferson Exchange on Oct. 12 at 9 a.m.

Golden, the Democratic candidate, and Gomez, the Republican candidate, are vying to replace Republican Sen. Alan DeBoer, who was elected in 2016 and is not running for reelection.

To submit question suggestions for the candidates email your questions to townhall@jeffnet.org.

For questions about the event please call JPR at (541) 552-6301. Tickets are available online by CLICKING HERE, at the OCA Box Office at (541) 552-6348 or at the Stevenson Union Information Desk. Tickets are free.

This story is reposted from Jefferson Public Radio

SOU News logo

SOU News: Fresh news and information

SOU News (news.sou.edu) is the university’s new home for all timely and relevant news and information about the campus where its readers teach, learn and work. It is intended to serve as a truly comprehensive, go-to site for updates on the university, its programs and people.

SOU News – produced by the university’s Marketing and Communications Department – is aimed at students, faculty and staff, as well as others in the community who have an interest in SOU. The website will be updated as often as multiple times daily, or whenever new content becomes available, so readers are encouraged to check back frequently.

An email with photos, summaries and links to the past week’s most popular or most important stories will be sent each Tuesday, beginning Oct. 2, to all employees and students.

SOU News will create its own stories from reader-submitted material, and will also aggregate relevant news from other sources on campus. Categories for the online “news portal” include Campus News (opportunities, events and general news), Academic Stories (about programs and scholars), Alumni Spotlight (stories of interesting, successful SOU alumni), Student Life (stories about students and events or activities geared toward them), SOU in the Arts (news from the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU) and Awards & Recognitions (acknowledgements of excellence for the university and its students and employees).

The website also includes an SOU in the News section – the latest stories about SOU that appear in external media anywhere in the world – and current feeds from the university’s main Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

SOU News is a hub for information about SOU, its noteworthy events and the remarkable accomplishments of its students, faculty, staff and alumni. If it’s news about SOU, you’ll find it here.

SOU Sustainability Council

SOU Sustainability Council Accepting Applications

Southern Oregon University’s Sustainability Council is accepting applications for the 2018-19 academic year. Students, staff and faculty all are welcome to apply.

Those who are interested in serving may visit the Sustainability Council website to learn more about the Council’s charter, mission and goals, and to access an application for membership.

This is an opportunity for members of the SOU community to have a positive impact on campus. Past Council projects include the Farm at SOU, Bee Campus USA, Tree Campus USA and the Climate Action Fund.

Learn more at https://inside.sou.edu/sustainable/membershiproster.html

SOU is committed to sustainable practices, environmental stewardship and research that advances understanding of local, regional and global environmental issues.

The university broadly defines sustainability as achieving increased well-being for humanity over time through the equitable and sustained use of critical natural capital.

The SOU definition includes sustainability goals set by the U.N. World Commission on Environment and Development (1987 Brundtland Commission), which indicated that sustainable development will “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The university also observes the “economic, social and environmental elements” that the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education incorporates into its definition of sustainability.

SOU Solar Power Industry

Outlook is sunny for solar at SOU

NEWS RELEASE
(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s solar power prospects will become considerably brighter this fall, with the installations of three new photovoltaic arrays and a 57 percent increase in generating capacity.

“It’s a unique and thrilling opportunity to have three solar arrays being installed this year, furthering SOU’s commitment to implementing sustainable solutions,” said Roxane Beigel-Coryell, SOU’s sustainability and recycling coordinator. “Increasing the university’s solar energy resources is a crucial step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support Ashland’s renewable energy generation goals.”

Expanding solar energy production on campus is one of the many strategies SOU is pursuing to reduce its environmental impacts and build a better university for the future. The university is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

After this fall’s solar projects are completed, SOU will have eight arrays on seven buildings with total capacity of 391.45 kilowatts. The anticipated solar energy generation will increase 57 percent to 535,665 kilowatt hours per year, from the current 340,700 kilowatt hours.

The first new solar installation is scheduled to take place on Thursday, when 68 photovoltaic panels are placed on the new Student Recreation Center’s storage building. The array, funded by the SRC and the university’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program, will have a 23.8 kilowatt capacity. Its output will be fed back into the electrical grid and credited to SOU’s accounts, reducing the university’s utility bills.

Next up will be a 180-panel installation on the Student Recreation Center, which is expected to start Oct. 1 and wrap up in November. That array, with a 63 kilowatt capacity, is funded by the combined SRC and Lithia Motors Pavilion construction project. The power it produces will be fed directly into the SRC, reducing the building’s utility bills.

The third project will be at the university’s Hannon Library, where 159 panels with a generating capacity of 55.65 kilowatts will be installed in the late fall and early winter. That array will be funded by the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University’s Green Fund, and the student government organization will be paid by the university for the electrical power that will be fed directly into the library.

“The solar (array) being installed on the library is especially exciting because it’s made possible through a unique funding model proposed by SOU students,” Beigel-Coryell said. “This project, funded by SOU students, will provide the university with more renewable energy generation while providing the student Green Fund with revenue each year to fund more sustainable projects on campus.

“We haven’t seen this particular funding structure used on any campuses yet and we hope to serve as a model for other schools to leverage available resources to implement renewable energy projects and provide revenue for sustainable solutions.”

SOU’s first solar installation was a 24-panel, 6 kilowatt array that was placed on Hannon Library in 2000 and it still generating electricity at 70 to 80 percent efficiency. The university also has arrays on the Higher Education Center in Medford (56 kilowatts), the Stevenson Union (31.59 kilowatts), and the McLoughlin (73.7 kilowatts) and Shasta (82.5 kilowatts) residence halls.

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SOU Golf Benefit

Lithia/Raider Club Golf Shootout nets fundraising record

The 28th annual Lithia/Raider Club Golf Shootout turned in another record outing last Thursday, bringing in over $450,000 to help SOU student-athletes.

The tournament, held at the Rogue Valley Country Club in Medford, featured 54 fivesomes and sponsors. A record 24 companies reached out as major sponsors this year, with each contributing $12,500 to the event.

The major sponsors included Lithia Motors, The Partners Group, CARFAX, Cars.com, Edmunds, Wells Fargo, US Bank Dealer Services, PermaPlate, Chrysler Capital, MAXDigital, JP Morgan Chase, Cox Auto, Toyota Financial, CDK Global, Enterprise, Axalta Coating Systems, TD Auto Finance, Assurant, Ally, American Credit Acceptance, Exxonmobile, ELeads1, Central States and Autopoint.

The event has doubled in funds raised for SOU Athletics since 2012, and has totaled nearly $2.5 million during that time frame.

Tournament results: http://bit.ly/2MHZZx0.

SOU Health and Wellness Center

SOU’s annual Employee Health and Wellness Fair coming Sept. 26

SOU’s annual Employee Health and Wellness Fair will be presented from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26, downstairs at the Stevenson Union. The fair includes the university’s yearly flu shot clinic.

Those who attend will be eligible for raffles, with various prizes provided by vendors at the event.

All employees are encouraged to participate in the once-per-year opportunity to connect with representatives of insurance plans through Providence, Moda, Willamette Dental, VSP (vision) and The Standard (life).

There will be investment and retirement planning specialists from TIAA-CREF, Fidelity and the Oregon Public Universities Retirement Plans. The OPURP representatives will answer questions about both the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), which is a 401(a) plan, and the TDI 403(b) plan.

Information will also be available about programs including Healthy Team Healthy U, Weight Watchers and the Cascade Centers employee assistance program (EAP); the Rogue Valley Transportation District; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and the Association of Professors, Southern Oregon University (APSOU).

The free flu shot clinic, for employees currently covered under an SOU medical insurance plan, will  be located in the front of the student union’s Arena Room.

SOU Student Recreation Center

Student Recreation Center grand opening

Campus Recreation has announced its grand opening celebration for Southern Oregon University’s new, state-of-the-art Student Recreation Center on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

The Campus Recreation team has been working with departments from across campus to fill the SRC with top quality equipment, engaging spaces and the tallest climbing wall in southern Oregon. The entire campus community is invited to join in the celebration of the outstanding new facility.

The grand opening will begin with opening remarks from President Linda Schott, Director of Campus Recreation Hugues Lecomte and Campus Recreation students. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will follow, and then everyone will be invited to transition into the SRC for tours, giveaways, games and activities.

The 58,000-square-foot facility includes two gymnasium courts lined for basketball, volleyball and pickleball; a two-lane, suspended indoor running track; locker rooms with showers; an all-gender changing room and bathrooms; a 44-foot-high climbing wall; a state-of-the-art fitness center; two fitness studios; offices and other amenities.

Date: Wednesday, September 26th
Start Time: 11:30 am
End Time: 2:30 pm
Venue: Student Recreation Center (SRC)

SOU Student Recreation Center

SOU accommodates smoke-weary public in recreation center schedule

NEWS RELEASE

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University is continuing to help community members find refuge from the area’s wildfire smoke, even during an upcoming maintenance period for the university’s Student Recreation Center.

The center’s annual closure for maintenance and training had been scheduled for 16 days next month, but has been reduced to 10 days to accommodate public use of its elevated, indoor walking and running track – a popular smoke-free haven over the past month. An average of 32 community members have used the track each evening since the university began offering free admission for two-hour windows each Sunday through Thursday. The facility’s popularity peaked at 73 users on Thursday.

The entire recreation center will be closed from Saturday through Monday of Labor Day weekend. The indoor track will resume its current public hours – from 6 to 8 p.m. daily, Sunday through Thursday – during the period between Labor Day and the maintenance closure (which will run from Monday, Sept. 10, through Wednesday, Sept. 19).

When it reopens following the closure on Thursday, Sept. 20, public hours for the indoor track will shift to 10 a.m. to noon daily, Monday through Saturday. There will be no public hours on Wednesday, Sept. 26, when the recreation center’s grand opening activities will be held.

SOU  President Linda Schott has also invited community members to use other air-conditioned facilities on campus to escape this summer’s wildfire smoke. Facilities and hours of availability are:

The Stevenson Union has a variety of spaces that are available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (SOU offers free Wi-Fi to visitors.)

  • Dankook: SU Room 314.Located on the 3rd level of the student union, this space features soft chairs and couches.
  • Game Room: SU Room 330.Located on the 3rd level, this space features soft furniture, video gaming, puzzles and board games.
  • Elmo’s seating: Elmo’s Dining is closed, but Einstein’s Bagels and Coffee is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This space on the union’s main floor features round tables, booths, and small conversation tables. There is one TV.
  • Diversions (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only): Located on the basement level of the union, this space features tables, chairs, soft furniture and cable TV.

The Hannon Library is open during the summer from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Saturdays.

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SOU Smoky Ashland

SOU offers opportunities for community members to get fresh air

NEWS RELEASE

Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University is making the best of a smoky situation, taking steps to protect students and employees from the area’s unhealthy air while offering a respite for community members in several air-conditioned facilities across campus.

“We’re lucky enough to be located in what we consider in many ways to be Oregon’s most attractive region,” SOU President Linda Schott said. “This is an opportunity for us to pay back this special community. Many of our students are gone for the summer, and we have several buildings where we are happy to welcome the public for various activities.”

Community members are invited, as long as this summer’s wildfire smoke lingers, to visit the university’s Hannon Library and Stevenson Union, and even get some exercise on the indoor walking and jogging track at the new Student Recreation Center. There will be no cost for any of the activities, but visitors are asked to abide by parking regulations in SOU’s lots.

Campus facilities and hours of public availability:

  1. The Stevenson Union will be open to community members looking for a break from poor outdoor air quality. These spaces are available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (SOU offers free Wi-Fi to visitors.)
  • Dankook: SU Room 314.Located on the 3rd level of the student union, this space features soft chairs and couches.
  • Game Room: SU Room 330.Located on the 3rd level of the Union, this space features soft furniture, video gaming, puzzles and board games.
  • Elmo’s Seating: Elmo’s Dining is closed, but Einstein’s Bagels and Coffee is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This space on the union’s main floor features round tables, booths, and small conversation tables. There is one TV.
  • Diversions (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only): Located on the basement level of the union, this space features tables, chairs, soft furniture and cable TV.
  1. The Hannon Library is open during the summer from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Saturdays.
  2. The Student Recreation Center has an elevated, indoor walking/running track that will be available to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. daily, Sunday through Thursday.

SOU employees have been advised to wear protective N95 or N100 face masks – which have been made available to them – if their work takes them outside. They will be encouraged to wear the masks anytime the air quality index rises above 200 at the state Department of Environmental Quality’s monitoring station at the Ashland Fire Department.
“We are very serious about helping all members of our campus community protect their health,” President Schott said.

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SOU Commencement 2018

Recognitions to lead off SOU commencement event

NEWS RELEASE
(Ashland, Ore.) — Seven alumni of Southern Oregon University will be honored – two with special posthumous recognitions and five with annual awards – as part of Saturday’s 2018 commencement activities. All of the awards will be presented at the Pre-Commencement Alumni Breakfast on Saturday morning.

Steven Nelson, who passed away this spring, will be posthumously recognized when a President’s Medal is presented to his family. Nelson, a financial advisor and former banker, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at SOU, and served nearly 20 years as a volunteer leader at Jefferson Public Radio and the JPR Foundation. His work contributed to JPR’s growth and expansion, restoration projects at the Cascade Theatre in Redding and the Holly Theatre in Medford, and the development of the radio station’s new home in the SOU Theater Building.

Edrik Gomez, who was a high-achieving SOU student when he died in a helicopter crash while on a firefighting crew at northern California’s Iron 44 blaze in 2008, will be honored posthumously when a Certificate of Achievement is presented to his mother. He was majoring in communication and political science, had a 3.72 grade point average and had been admitted into the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at the time of the accident that claimed nine firefighters’ lives. Gomez, who was from Coquille, was involved in SOU’s Multicultural Center, the Latino Student Union, and the Ecology and Sustainability Center.

Recipients of this year’s annual alumni awards are Jeff Brady, for Distinguished Alumni; Amanda MacGurn, for Young Alumni; Malcus Williams and Tim Williams, for the Stan Smith Alumni Service Award; and Betsy Bishop, for Excellence in Education.

Brady, who earned his SOU bachelor’s degree in communication in 1995, is a national desk correspondent in Philadelphia, focusing on energy issues for National Public Radio. He is credited with helping to demystify an industry that can seem complicated to many listeners and to establish NPR’s Environment and Energy Collaborative for reporters at NPR member stations around the country.

MacGurn, a 2006 French language and culture graduate at SOU, taught English in Costa Rica and Chile before joining the Peace Corps and ultimately earning her master’s degree in public health from Emory University. An internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led her to a full-time position in the health agency’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. MacGurn was deployed to West Africa four times during the Ebola outbreak, and continues to work in the region where her French skills are critical.

Malcus Williams, who died while on a call for the Ashland Police Department in March, played football and met his wife, Ona, while a student at SOU. He became a reserve officer and then was sworn in as a full-time Ashland Police officer during the 1996 flood. He completed his degree in criminology and criminal justice in 2008, while serving as a full-time officer, and served on the department as a school resource officer, firearms instructor, patrol officer, sergeant and Citizen’s Academy diversity instructor. He also served in the community as a youth sports coach.

Tim Williams was a forward on the nationally ranked SOU basketball team of the late 1990s before earning his bachelor’s degree in criminology in 1999, then moving on to earn his law degree at the University of Oregon School of Law in 2003. He is a partner in the firm of Dwyer Williams Dretke Attorneys, has been recognized as one of the best trial lawyers in the country, has held a variety of posts in the Oregon State Bar and has advocated justice for the economically disadvantaged. He has also served on the board of directors of the Ronald McDonald House of Central Oregon, the Sparrow Clubs of Central Oregon and other nonprofit organizations.

Bishop received her undergraduate degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., before earning her master’s degree in teaching at SOU in 1977. She taught 10 years at Monrovia High School in California, and has taught English and theatre at Ashland High School since moving back to Ashland in 1988. She has maintained a 25-year school and business partnership with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, has been recognized with four statewide teaching awards and earned two national awards in 2016.

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