SOU president urges campus to vote in upcoming election

SOU President Linda Schott has asked all members of the campus community to “practice democracy” by casting their ballots in the Nov. 6 General Election.

“Consider what’s best for you, your community, your state and your country, and then vote,” the president said. “I won’t tell you what to think or how to vote, but I do hope you will do both conscientiously.”

Ballots have been mailed to Oregon voters, and the state’s Voters Pamphlet is available online. The deadline for voter registration has passed, but those who are unsure if they’re eligible to vote can check their status on the Oregon Secretary of State’s website.

Similar services are offered by other states, including California’s voter status-check site.

The SOU president reminded out-of-state students in today’s all-campus email that they should discard ballots from their original state if they have more recently registered to vote in Oregon. If they haven’t registered in Oregon, they can still legally vote in their home state. But it is illegal to vote in more than one state.

“Part of our mission at SOU is to prepare our learners to be responsible citizens, engaged at the local, state and federal levels,” Schott said. “If you are a student, your ballot is the final exam for this course on representative government. If you are an employee at the university, you have an opportunity to model good citizenship.”

She pointed out that democracy itself has withstood the test of time, weathering several difficult periods through more than 240 years of U.S. history.

“Sometimes our personal beliefs and preferences are validated,” Schott said. “Even on the occasions when they aren’t, we are able to come back in future elections and help nudge the course of history onto a track that’s more to our liking.

“Regardless of your political perspective, vital issues and pivotal races are on the line in this year’s election. Cast your ballot and participate in this wonderful gift of democracy!”

SOU-Former Raider AD Monty Cartwright

Former SOU Athletic Director Monty Cartwright passes away at 74

Former Southern Oregon University Athletic Director Monty Cartwright, a 2010 SOU Sports Hall of Fame inductee, passed away Monday evening in Portland. Cartwright, one of the Raider athletic department’s most influential figures, was 74.

Cartwright, a native of Delano, Calif., first arrived in Ashland in 1984 and served as SOU’s head track and field coach from 1985-98, overseeing 43 NAIA All-America performances and seven national champions. He became the Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports in 1995 and held the post for six years.

During that time, SOU added three women’s sports and contributions to the student-athlete scholarship fund nearly quadrupled. Success followed for the Raiders, as the 1996-97 women’s basketball team advanced to the NAIA Division II semifinals, the football team twice appeared in the NAIA quarterfinals and the wrestling team captured the 2001 NAIA championship.

“Monty was an inspiration and mentor to so many of us in Raider Athletics and the department of Health and Physical Education,” SOU Director of Athletics Matt Sayre said. “He was a coach and educator in the best sense of those words.

“He embodied the best values of the profession he loved and cared deeply about the people he hired, coached and worked with,” Sayre said. “Monty showed us what wisdom, courage and character looked like every day of his life. I will always be grateful to him for that example.”

Cartwright was a professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education for 22 years. A 1967 graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, he earned a master’s degree in Physical Education from Idaho State University in 1972. Prior to SOU, he spent 10 years as the track and cross country coach at the College of the Canyons in Valencia, Calif., and two years as the head track coach at Montana State University. At SOU, he was also the head cross country coach for eight years.

His enthusiasm for life only grew stronger after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s mantle cell lymphoma at 58. He was a master track All-American, and in 2011 self-published his first book: “Aging, Health and the Athletic Mind Attitude: A game plan for aging and health challenges.”

He remained an avid writer and poet until his death.

“He was just so motivating and inspirational,” said Sally Jones, another member of the 2010 SOU Hall of Fame class and close friend. “His students, colleagues, friends and family all loved him very much. He touched so many people.”

He is survived by his wife, Juliana, SOU’s former nursing program director, and their three daughters: Dawn, Dyan and Michelle.

Plans for a memorial service will be announced later.

This story is reposted from

SOU-fraud-John J. Hall

SOU brings well-known speaker to campus for anti-fraud seminar

SOU will host an Oct. 25 fraud prevention seminar with certified public accountant, business consultant and well-known speaker John J. Hall. The event is free and open to all members of the campus community.

Hall, who has spoken to corporations and non-profit organizations around the world, will address “Fraud Deterrence and Prevention Skills for Manager and Staff.” The presentation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Meese Room (#305) of the Hannon Library. Those who wish to attend can RSVP at or by calling (541) 552-8528.

Hall warns his clients that their organizations are probably already being targeted for fraud. “Internet-based hackers, international organized crime organizations and even a small percentage of employees all see your assets and information as too tempting to ignore,” Hall says on his website.

“Managing business fraud risks requires your daily attention,” he says. “It’s a ‘cat and mouse’ endeavor where the smarter we get, the harder they have to work to get us.”

Hall offers three critical steps that any entity can take to protect itself:

  • Build a culture of honesty within the organization
  • Perform a fraud risk assessment and determine how to mitigate risks
  • Provide anti-fraud skills training

SOU implemented tightened internal controls and mandatory training for employees after the university was the victim of a fraud about a year and a half ago. A policy requiring ongoing risk assessments was applied across the organization.

This month’s seminar, presented by SOU Business Services, is intended to help participants prevent fraud on campus and in their own lives.

SOU steam plant

Pipeline explosion affects SOU, not students or employees

Tuesday night’s massive explosion of a ruptured natural gas pipeline near Prince George, Canada, will affect operations at SOU for at least the next few days, but students and employees should notice minimal if any issues.

SOU’s natural gas-fueled boilers – which produce steam to heat most of the buildings on campus, along with hot water for everything from showers to dishwashers – are being temporarily converted today to burn diesel fuel.

The university’s heating plant is an industrial-quantity consumer of natural gas, which means SOU gets the fuel at a discount. But it also means the university is subject to either voluntary or mandatory curtailments of its natural gas use, if there are disruptions to the supply line.

That happened in Wednesday’s early morning hours, when Avista Corporation contacted SOU’s Facilities Management and Planning Department with a request to voluntarily curtail natural gas use.

The university will do that by temporarily running its boilers on diesel fuel – which is not as clean-burning and is more expensive than natural gas. However, it is a backup system that prevents significant disruptions in situations such as this one.

With recent warm weather in southern Oregon, which is expected to continue at least into next week, minimal impacts to the campus community are expected. SOU will continue to use its boilers – fueled by diesel – to provide steam for campus-wide domestic hot water uses and nighttime heating.

Because of this fall’s mild weather, only a few buildings have required daytime steam to maintain comfortable temperatures – the Student Health and Wellness Center, Computing Services and the Art Building. SOU has voluntarily turned off steam to the Computing Services and Art buildings to reduce boiler use, while continuing to heat the Student Health and Wellness Center.

Avista has advised SOU to expect the natural gas disruption to last at least a couple days, and the university is planning on the curtailment lasting three to five days.

Homecoming Parade

Homecoming week begins at SOU

It’s homecoming week at Southern Oregon University, and the events and activities go way beyond football. There are parades – two of them – along with volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer games, and an all-comers 5K run and walk. For the nostalgic, there’s even dodgeball.

“This is a week that’s intended to bring us together as a university, in our celebration of school spirit and pride in the values we embrace,” President Linda Schott said this week in a message to campus.

She encouraged all students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to participate in homecoming activities, which begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday when the SOU volleyball team takes on Oregon Institute of Technology at the new Lithia Motors Pavilion. Intramural dodgeball will follow next-door in the new Student Recreation Center at 8:30 p.m.

The annual Homecoming Parade is Thursday’s highlight event, and the university has invited all alumni and community members to wear red and take part, either as spectators or by walking in the parade. Parade assembly will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Lithia Park bandshell, and participants will wind through downtown and along Siskiyou Boulevard to Raider Stadium. A Raider Rally and Fair will begin at the stadium at 5 p.m., featuring family-friendly events such as a hot dog feed, bubble soccer and other games.

The President’s 5K run and walk, a benefit event for the SOU Food Pantry, will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Friday at Raider Stadium. Those who wish to participate should bring a completed entry form and one or more nonperishable food items that will be given to students in need. There will be a hospitality area for finishers and those who attend men’s and women’s soccer matches, at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., against Northwest University of Washington.

The annual Rogue Valley Pride Celebration coincides this year with SOU Homecoming. SOU has a strong tradition of participation in the colorful celebration of inclusion, and members of the campus community have been encouraged to take part in the Pride Parade through downtown Ashland prior to SOU’s Homecoming football game. The Raiders – currently ranked No. 7 nationally in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics – will take on in-state rival Eastern Oregon University.

Homecoming week will wrap up with men’s and women’s soccer matches against Washington’s Evergreen State College at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by a homecoming dance at the Student Recreation Center.


SOU Town Hall Vote

Senate District 3 town hall comes to SOU on Thursday

(Ashland, Ore.) — Arguably Oregon’s hottest legislative race of the year will come to Southern Oregon University on Thursday, when Democrat Jeff Golden and Republican Jessica Gomez answer questions at a town hall meeting cosponsored by the university and Jefferson Public Radio.

A link to Rogue Valley Community Television’s video of the entire town hall is here.

The event, expected to last an hour, will begin at 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 at SOU’s Music Recital Hall. Questions for the Oregon Senate District 3 candidates can be submitted in advance at, and will be read at the town hall meeting by moderator Geoff Riley of JPR.

Tickets are free and limited to two per person. The event is expected to reach capacity, so those interested in attending are advised to get their tickets in advance. They can be ordered in advance at SOU’s Oregon Center for the Arts Box office.

A block of 150 tickets are being held for SOU students. They can pick them up from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Oregon Center for the Arts Box Office or from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Stevenson Union Information Booth.

Sponsorship of this week’s town hall aligns with SOU’s mission of preparing the university’s learners to be responsible, engaged citizens in the local, state and federal democratic processes. The event also is an excellent opportunity for community members to become better acquainted with the candidates and their stands on various issues.

Professional and student staffers from SOU’s Digital Media Center will record the town hall for video playback on Rogue Valley Community Television. The Digital Media Center has also recorded 12 forums with state and local candidates. Those videos have been added to RVTV’s programing rotation and are embedded on the website of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, which co-sponsored the series.

The Associated Students of Southern Oregon University – the student government at SOU – will host a voter registration table at the event.


SOU celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day

SOU observes Indigenous Peoples Day

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s second annual observation of Indigenous Peoples Day – and contributions and cultural significance of Native American populations – will take place on Monday, Oct. 8, beginning with a salmon bake celebration on the Stevenson Union courtyard.

The free salmon bake will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will feature drumming and a variety of speakers. SOU President Linda Schott will welcome the salmon bake participants and discuss the university’s commitment to equity and inclusion, and its respect for the cultural richness its Native American students bring to campus.

The president authorized the observance of Indigenous Peoples Day after student Lupe Sims and the Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Committee got unanimous support for the proposal from three governing boards on campus in early 2017. No classes are canceled for the now-annual observation, but the occasion is observed through special programming and events.

Monday’s salmon bake will include presentations from guest speakers Ed Little Crow, Felicia McNair, David West, Brent Florendo, Chauncey Peltier, Mark Colson, Rowena Jackson and Shaun Taylor-Corbett.

A free lecture and discussion, “Earth Protectors: Indigenous Solidarity with the Earth, North and South,” will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Stevenson Union’s Rogue River Room. It will focus on indigenous peoples’ struggles against extractive industries throughout the Americas.

SOU is one of several universities, four states and about 40 U.S. cities – including Ashland, Portland, Eugene and Corvallis in Oregon – that observe Indigenous Peoples Day.

It is typically celebrated on the second Monday of October, which the U.S. has observed as the federal Columbus Day holiday since 1937.

At least 17 states, including Oregon, do not recognize Columbus Day as a holiday. Oregon observed it as a “day of commemoration” – but not a legal holiday – until the 1985 Legislature added a holiday for Martin Luther King Day, combined Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays as Presidents’ Day and eliminated all “days of commemoration.”

SOU offers a Native American Studies Program that seeks to educate all students about the knowledge, experiences and rich cultural heritage of indigenous people. The university also has an active Native American student population, supports SOU’s Native American Student Union and sponsors Konaway Nika Tillicum – an eight-day, on-campus residential camp for Native American youth.


SOU Mt Ashland Volunteer

Raiders to volunteer at Mt. Ashland Ski Area


(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

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 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

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 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.