SOU Mt Ashland Volunteer

Raiders to volunteer at Mt. Ashland Ski Area

NEWS RELEASE

(Ashland, Ore.) — As many as 200 Southern Oregon University students, employees and their families will ring in the new school year with a day of environmental stewardship. The entire SOU community was invited to volunteer on the slopes of local non-profit ski area Mt. Ashland on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Those who volunteer will include helping with erosion mitigation, trail brush trimming and removal of trash from the slopes before the snow flies.

“Volunteering at Mt. Ashland is a great way for students to kick off the new school year,” said Jill Smedstad, SOU’s environmental and community engagement coordinator. “They get to give back to their community and discover this amazing resource right in their backyard.”

“One of the goals of the Sustainability Resource Center at SOU is to inspire active citizenship, and we’re thrilled that so many students, employees and alumni are spending their Saturday volunteering together at Mt. Ashland,” she said.

This “day of service” represents SOU’s largest off-campus day of environmental service. Mt. Ashland will provide a gift certificate to each student who participates. Transportation, lunch and t-shirts will be provided by SOU for all who volunteer. Buses will arrive at the mountain at 10 a.m. and depart at 2 p.m., after a lunch catered by Mt. Ashland.

“Over the past few years the day of service has been a huge success, so we were elated that SOU wanted to come back again this fall,” said Hiram Towle, general manager at Mt. Ashland. “The students all work very hard and get an amazing amount of work accomplished. We are grateful for our partnership with the university, and we could not be happier to have them here again to take part in caring for their local ski area and the Ashland watershed.”

Mt. Ashland is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ski area owned and operated by the Mt. Ashland Association under a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service.

-SOU/Mt. Ashland-

SOU Drive Less Challenge

SOU and the Oregon Drive Less Challenge

Members of Southern Oregon University community are invited to join the Oregon Drive Less Challenge, an initiative aimed at encouraging the use of alternative transportation modes.

The challenge began Oct. 1 and continues through Oct. 15, with both weekly prizes and grand prizes that include three $500 cash cards and a $1,000 gift card for a Bike Friday folding bicycle. Those who wish to take part in the challenge can sign up at DriveLessConnect.com.

In order to be eligible, alternate methods of transportation (such as biking, riding the bus, carpooling and telework) must be used between the Oct. 1 and 15.
Log the trips taken on DriveLessConnect.com to be eligible for prizes.

Many alternate travel options are available for the SOU community.

Those who live and commute from elsewhere in the Rogue Valley can purchase $15 student bus passes that are valid for the entire term,  rather than regular, month-long passes for $56. The student passes are accepted the week before each term and continue until the first week of the next term.

To purchase a full-term bus pass, students may download the TouchPass Transit app on their mobile devices and sign up by using their SOU email addresses. They must then go to Enrollment Services in Britt Hall and ask to apply for a student bus pass. There is a one-time subscription fee of $15, and the passes are $15 per term.

Once signed up, pass-holders may download the One Bus Away app on their mobile devices to get live departure and arrival times.

Ashland is also a bicycle-friendly town for those who live close to campus, and it is possible to rent a bike for $50 from the Student Recreation Center. Included in the bike rental fee is a bike lock, helmet and maintenance. All rented bikes must be returned at the end of the term.

If there are any questions about the Oregon Drive Less Challenge or how to use alternate methods of transportation, email ECOS, the Sustainability Resource Center at ecos@sou.edu.

Story by Bryn Mosier, SOU Marketing and Communications Intern

SOU open enrollment

Open enrollment has begun – and is mandatory

The once-a-year opportunity for benefits-eligible SOU employees to make changes to insurance and other benefits began today and continues through the end of October.

Open enrollment is a mandatory two-step process. It requires each employee to re-enroll, cancel or change their medical, dental and vision coverage, including the addition or removal of eligible dependents. Changes can also be made to flexible spending accounts and to other optional benefits.

The second step is for employees to complete the Health Engagement Model (HEM) questionnaire located on their current 2018 medical plan provider’s website. The HEM is confidential and provides a $17.50 monthly incentive for employees who complete it. Spouses or domestic partners will not be asked to complete the HEM. Employees who opted out of or declined medical coverage for 2018 but are choosing coverage for 2019 will need to call PEBB at (503) 373-1102 for an access code that allows them to complete the HEM.

Open enrollment may be completed through the PEBB Member Portal or by visiting SOU Human Resource Services (Churchill Hall, Room 159) to request a paper form.

Elections made during open enrollment will take effect Jan. 1, and new premiums will be seen on December paychecks. Those who complete both steps of the open enrollment process can make changes to their elections until Jan. 31.

Those who do not complete both open enrollment steps may see an increased deductible and other group coverage surcharges.

Information about open enrollment is available on the SOU open enrollment website. Dates and times of benefits and insurance provider presentations, and open enrollment computer lab help sessions will be announced soon. Those with questions may contact hrs@sou.edu or 541-552-6167.

PEBB began an eligibility review of all enrolled dependents last fall, and that effort is continuing. Members are contacted directly and asked for proof of their dependents’ eligibility.

Information about the dependent eligibility review is available on the SOU Health Benefit Legislative Updates page, under the dependent eligibility review section.

SOU Janelle Wilson

SOU Student Life manager joins university’s Board of Trustees

NEWS RELEASE

(Ashland, Ore.) — Janelle Wilson, who has served since 2005 in various Student Life positions at Southern Oregon University, has been appointed by Gov. Kate Brown and confirmed today by the Oregon Senate to serve on the university’s Board of Trustees.

Wilson succeeds Joanna Steinman as the university’s non-faculty staff member on the 15-person board. Her two-year appointment is a voting position.

“I am honored to continue my service to SOU as a trustee of university’s governing board,” Wilson said. “I look forward to supporting the strategies and vision that will ensure the continued success of our university and students.”

Wilson has served since 2015 as the university’s associate director of student life for social justice and service. She served from 2005 to 2015 as coordinator of the Queer Resource Center and has taught various courses as an adjunct instructor.

“We are pleased to welcome Janelle to SOU’s Board of Trustees,” said Lyn Hennion, the board’s chair. “Her long and distinguished background in student affairs and social justice is valued highly and complements our board’s areas of expertise. The board looks forward to the great work we will all do together.”

Steinman, a graduate program specialist for the provost’s office, served a pair of two-year terms that ended earlier this year but she agreed to remain on the board until her successor was confirmed.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Joanna for her service and dedication to the university,” Hennion said. “We appreciate her many contributions to SOU over two consecutive terms as an inaugural trustee.”

Wilson has been heavily involved in the university and the community throughout her career at SOU. She is a founder and member of the university’s Bias Response Team, has served on numerous other committees and panels, and has led or participated in many presentations and trainings.

Her roles in the community include service as a board member of the Pride Foundation Leadership Action Team, co-organizer of the Southern Oregon Pride Parade, volunteer with the Ashland Independent Film Festival and SOU representative on the Rogue Valley Transportation District’s citizen advisory committee for master planning.

Wilson received her bachelor’s degree in multicultural and gender studies at California State University-Chico and her master’s degree in women’s studies in religion at Claremont Graduate University.

-SOU-

 

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.

-SOU-

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.