SOU-Real Food-Linda Schott

SOU first in Oregon to accept “Real Food Challenge”

Southern Oregon University officially joined other universities across the country in working toward sustainable food practices when President Linda Schott signed the “SOU Real Food Campus Commitment” this morning.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all who will be doing this work on behalf of the university,” the president told a group of students and staff affiliated with SOU’s Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center (ECOS). “My job is the easy one, just signing this.”

SOU became the first Oregon university to join the “Real Food Challenge” by pledging to support ecologically sustainable, humane and socially equitable food systems. The university agreed that at least 20 percent of its food budget by 2023 will be spent on “real food” rather than unhealthy products or those produced by industrial farms.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Greg Perkinson, who co-signed the document with President Schott and student leaders of the project, congratulated the students for their perseverance in what has been a lengthy process. “There’s so much all of you do to make a difference,” he said.

SOU joined more than 40 U.S. universities and four university systems – including both the University of California and California State University systems – by participating in the student-led Real Food Challenge. The movement’s goal is to commit $1 billion of the annual food budgets of U.S. universities to real food.

The Real Food Challenge was founded in 2007 by a group of student activists, national food movement leaders and higher education sustainability experts. It is now a self-funded project of TSNE MissionWorks, a New England organization that partners with various nonprofits.

Jill Smedstad, the university’s environmental and community engagement coordinator, said Friday’s signing marked a transition from “the campaign mode to the implementation mode” of the Real Food Challenge.

SOU committed to establishing a transparent reporting system and filing an annual progress report to evaluate it food purchasing practices; to create a food systems working group that will develop a “real food policy” and multi-year action plan; and to increasing awareness of ecologically sustainable, humane and socially equitable food systems.

Progress toward the project’s long-term goals is expected to begin immediately. Within a month, the university will be expected to complete a baseline food survey. Food service providers, distributors and others will be notified within three months that future contract terms will need to align with SOU’s new real food policy and multi-year action plan.

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 townhall@jeffnet.org, 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.

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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.

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SOU Jim Hatton

SOU’s Friday Science Seminar returns with the “replication crisis”

NEWS RELEASE

(Ashland, Ore.) — The fall series of Southern Oregon University’s popular Friday Science Seminars will open Oct. 5 with a presentation by Jim Hatton, SOU’s mathematics program chair, on the so-called “replication crisis.”

Hatton will review causes and some proposed solutions to the crisis, which stems from social scientists’ frequent inability to reproduce important studies. Statistical methods commonly used by the scientists has been called into question.

The lecture will be in SOU’s Science Auditorium (Science Building, Room 151), from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, with light refreshments provided by the university’s STEM Division.

A 2016 poll of 1,500 scientists by the journal “Nature” found that 70 percent had failed to reproduce at least one other scientist’s experiment and 50 percent had failed to reproduce experiments of their own.

The inability to replicate studies could have serious consequences for scientific fields in which significant theories are based on experimental work that cannot be reproduced. Replication of experiments is an essential element of scientific research.

The replication crisis, which was identified in the early 2010s as awareness of the problem grew, has been a significant issue in the fields of social psychology and medicine, where several efforts have been made to replicate classic studies or experiments, and to determine the reliability of results.

Hatton teaches developmental mathematics and precalculus at SOU, and publishes his mathematics explorations and other thoughts on his blog, Math Thoughts. He received his bachelor’s degree from Rice University and his master’s degree in operations research from Stanford University.

SOU’s weekly Friday Science Seminars cover a variety of topics from academic, industrial, commercial and non-profit sectors in the fields of biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science.

Other lectures in the next month include “A Frame Semantic Approach to Metaphoric Meaning,” on Oct. 12 with SOU German language instructor Maggie Gemmell; “Assessment of Virulence Mechanisms used by Pathogenic Vibrio Species,” on Oct. 19 with Blake Ushijima, an Oregon State University postdoctoral researcher of coral disease; and “Fall into Chemistry,” on Oct. 26 with the SOU Chemistry Club.

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About Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University is a medium-sized campus that provides comprehensive educational opportunities with a strong focus on student success and intellectual creativity. Located in vibrant Ashland, Oregon, SOU remains committed to diversity and inclusion for all students on its environmentally sustainable campus. Connected learning programs taught by a host of exceptional faculty provide quality, innovative experiences for students. Visit sou.edu.

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.

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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 LGBTQ Pride

SOU earns top Campus Pride ranking for LGBTQ-friendliness

NEWS RELEASE
(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University has been recognized by Campus Pride for the sixth year in a row as one of the nation’s Top 30 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities.

Campus Pride is a nonprofit that supports and improves campus life for LGBTQ people on more than 1,400 U.S. campuses. The Campus Pride list is considered the most reliable list of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities.

SOU earned five out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index, which ranks universities in each of eight categories: policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, academic life, student life, housing and residence life, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment and retention efforts. SOU drew five-star rankings in six of the categories and four-and-a-half stars in the other two.

Thomas Arce, coordinator of SOU’s Queer Resource Center, said the recognition from Campus Pride is a testament to equity and inclusion efforts throughout the university.

“Southern Oregon University’s commitment to LGBTQ+ student success is unparalleled,” Arce said. “That includes living in the residence halls, accessing health and wellness resources, finding a community to befriend, studying queer and feminist scholars, and simply thriving in an inclusive and affirming campus environment, where it’s OK to be one’s authentic self.

“I’m grateful to be part of the many collaborative ventures with students, faculty and staff to make the LGBTQ+ experience at SOU prideful.”

SOU was also named as one the of the nation’s top LGBTQ-friendly universities by Affordable Colleges Online in 2018, with special recognition given to the Queer Resource Center and the university’s gender-inclusive housing.

The Campus Pride list of the top 30 LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities included three Oregon institutions: SOU, the University of Oregon and Portland State University. Only three other states – New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – had three colleges or universities on this year’s list.

Arce said that some of the activities and services that make SOU stand out as welcoming to LGBTQ students are the presence of sexual orientation and gender identity in the university’s non-discrimination policy; gender-inclusive housing options; the stand-alone Queer Resource Center; and LGBTQ-related academic offerings through the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program. SOU also participates in LGBTQ-specific college fairs and its counseling and health staff provide queer- and trans-friendly services.

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SOU Adams songbirdsongs Caballito Negro

Caballito Negro & Friends perform John Luther Adams’ “songbirdsongs”

NEWS RELEASE
(Ashland, Ore.) — Caballito Negro (flutist Tessa Brinckman and percussionist Terry Longshore) along with their guest artists, flutist Elizabeth McNutt and percussionists Chris Whyte and Jared Brown, will perform “songbirdsongs” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the SOU Music Recital Hall.

The concert is free for full-time students and SOU faculty,$5 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for regular admission.

“songbirdsongs,” an epic poem to wilderness, is a collection of indeterminate miniature pieces for piccolos, ocarinas and percussion, based on free translations of bird songs.

“These small songs are echoes of rare moments and places where the voices of birds have been clear and I have been quiet enough to hear,” Adams writes. “This music is not literal transcription. It is translation. These melodies and rhythms are not so much constructed artifacts as they are spontaneous affirmations.

“No one has yet explained why the free songs of birds are so simply beautiful. And what do they say? What are their meanings? We may never know. But beyond the realm of ideas and emotions, language and sense, we just may hear something of their essence.”

Adams is an American composer whose music is inspired by nature – especially the landscapes of Alaska, where he lived from 1978 to 2014. His orchestral work, “Become Ocean,” was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Caballito Negro performs intercultural work in a fearless, ecstatic blend of modern and traditional aesthetics. Inspired by Federico García Lorca’s poem, Canción de Jinete (1860), flutist Tessa Brinckman and percussionist Terry Longshore collaborate with many prominent, innovative artists, creating contemporary music that pushes the flute and percussion repertoire to new heights, and always in the spirit of duende. For more information go to caballitonegro.com

Flutist Elizabeth McNutt in on the faculty of the University of North Texas and is the director of the Sounds Modern series at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Chris Whyte is on the faculty of Portland State University and Western Oregon University, and is a member of the Portland Percussion Group. Jared Brown is the director of the Oregon Fringe Festival, and is an active composer and performer.

-OCA at SOU-

SOU Schneider Museum

Fall exhibitions at SOU’s Schneider Museum

NEWS RELEASE

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s Schneider Museum of Art has announced the opening of its Fall Exhibition, “Terrain: The Space Between from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.” The work is curated by SMA Director Scott Malbaurn, and includes work by Vija Celmins, Judy Pfaff and Ed Ruscha, on view in the museum’s Entry Gallery through Jan. 5.

The exhibition’s opening reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, at SOU’s Schneider Museum of Art.

“The Schneider Museum of Art continues to curate exciting exhibitions of some of the most important artists of our time,” said Jordan D. Schnitzer, President of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. “The artists on view encourage patrons to think about the space and time in our lives. This is our fifth exhibit at the Schneider and we look forward to continuing our partnership in the future.”

Exhibition Essay Excerpts by Elizabeth Walborn
Ed Ruscha, Judy Pfaff and Vija Celmins have vast differences in artistic styles, but they share a similar appreciation in the spaces between.

  • The space between the viewer, the black redaction marks and the landscape in Ruscha’s “Country Cityscapes: It’s Payback Time” (1991) leaves a question of what is blocked out – not only the words, but the scenery behind it. One is caught between wanting to know what is more important; what lies behind the large marks or the reasons behind marking the image.
  • In Pfaff’s “End of the Rain” (C) (2000), the space between the viewer and the blue house creates a feeling of driving along an abandoned country road and spying an old home across the lake.
  • The lack of space between the viewer and the waves in Celmins’ “Ocean with Cross #1” (2005) creates a loss of horizon and a direct plain of existence, leaving the spectator in a state of alarm.

About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland contemporary art gallery at age 14, starting his lifelong avocation as a collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. The collection now exceeds 13,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private collections. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions. The Foundation has organized over 160 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 100 museums.

Schnitzer is also president of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately-owned and Portland-based real estate investment company that owns and manages office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six Western states. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.

About the Schneider Museum of Art
The Schneider Museum of Art, part of the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU, is a vital force in the intellectual life of SOU that promotes an understanding of the visual arts within a liberal arts education. Serving both an academic and community audience, it builds a challenging environment that engages with the visual arts through exhibitions and programs supporting interdisciplinary study, research and discourse. Visit sma.sou.edu.

Pollinator Friendly

Cool School: SOU named nation’s top pollinator-friendly campus

NEWS RELEASE

(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University – which became the original Bee Campus USA three years ago – has been named the nation’s top pollinator-friendly college by the Sierra Club, as part of its annual “Cool Schools” rankings.

“Besides the fact that the campus boasts more than a dozen pollinator gardens, professors have taken students out to create bee habitats for the campus farm and to collect native flower seeds to sow the in arboretum,” the Sierra Club wrote of SOU.

The environmental group picked what it considered to be the top 14 schools out of 50 campuses across the country that have been certified for the Bee Campus USA list, administered by the Bee City USA organization. SOU topped a Sierra Club list that included both small and large institutions – including Georgia Tech (No. 2), University of Missouri, Columbia (No. 10), Auburn University (No. 11) and University of Central Florida (No. 14).

“Student engagement between the environmental science students and the Landscape Department at SOU has made it possible for us to change the culture surrounding the urban campus environment,” said Mike Oxendine, SOU’s landscaping superintendent.

“Where we once tended manicured lawns, we now tend pollinator gardens and wildlife habitat,” he said. “We are adapting to the changing climate by making the SOU campus landscape a resilient and safe place for pollinators and other forms of wildlife.”

SOU is now one of four Bee Campus USA schools in Oregon, but is the only one to make the Sierra Club list. The University of Oregon, Portland State University and Portland Community College are the state’s other Bee Campus USA institutions.

Colleges and universities may apply to become certified Bee Campuses after first forming leadership committees made up of faculty, staff and students. Those selected as Bee Campuses must commit to development of habitat plans, hosting of awareness events, development of courses or workshops that support pollinators, sponsorship and tracking of service-learning projects for students, posting of educational signs and maintaining a pollinator-related web presence. They must also apply each year for renewal of their certification.

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