OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

students

Study identifies high level of “food insecurity” among college students

 

The study this story is based on is available in ScholarsArchive@OSU: http://bit.ly/LCp10Y

 

CORVALLIS, Ore. – One of the few studies of its type has found that a startling 59 percent of college students at one Oregon university were “food insecure” at some point during the previous year, with possible implications for academic success, physical and emotional health and other issues.

Contrary to concerns about obesity and some students packing on “the freshman 15” in weight gain, another reality is that many students are not getting enough healthy food to eat as they struggle with high costs, limited income, and fewer food or social support systems than are available to other groups.

The findings were published recently in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, by researchers from Oregon State University, the Benton County Health Department, and Western Oregon University. Students at Western Oregon were surveyed as the basis for the study.

“Based on other research that’s been done, we expected some amount of food concerns among college students,” said Daniel López-Cevallos, associate director of research at OSU’s Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement. “But it was shocking to find food insecurity of this severity. Several recent trends may be combining to cause this.”

The researchers said a combination of rising college costs, more low-income and first-generation students attending college, and changing demographic trends are making this issue more significant than it may have been in the past.

“For past generations, students living on a lean budget might have just considered it part of the college experience, a transitory thing,” said Megan Patton-López, lead author of the study with Oregon’s Benton County Health Department.

“But rising costs of education are now affecting more people,” she said. “And for many of these students who are coming from low-income families and attending college for the first time, this may be a continuation of food insecurity they’ve known before. It becomes a way of life, and they don’t have as many resources to help them out.”

Most college students, with some exceptions, are not eligible for food stamps and many are often already carrying heavy debt loads. And the study found that even though many of them work one or more jobs, the financial demands are such that they still may not have enough money for healthy food at all times.

Food insecurity is defined as limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and the ability to acquire such food in acceptable ways. It has been associated with depression, stress, trouble learning in the classroom, and poor health. When similar issues have been addressed with elementary school students, improvements were seen in academic performance, behavior and retention of knowledge.

But these problems have received scarcely any attention in the 19-24 year old, young-adult demographic that predominates in college, the scientists said.

Among the findings of this study:

  • While about 14.9 percent of all households in the nation report food insecurity, the number of college students voicing similar concerns in this report was almost four times higher, at 59 percent.
  • In the past three decades the cost of higher education has steadily outpaced inflation, the cost of living and medical expenses.
  • Food insecurity during college years could affect cognitive, academic and psychosocial development.
  • Factors correlated with reports of food insecurity include fair to poor health, a lower grade point average, low income and employment.

Employment, by itself, is not adequate to resolve this problem, the researchers found. Students reporting food insecurity also worked an average of 18 hours a week – some as high as 42 – but the financial demands they faced more than offset that income.

These findings were based on a survey of 354 students at Western Oregon University, a mid-size public university in a small town near the state capitol in Salem, Ore. Students at Western Oregon supported and assisted in this research, and Doris Cancel-Tirado and Leticia Vazquez with Western Oregon co-authored the study.

The findings probably reflect similar concerns at colleges and universities across the nation, the researchers said, although more research is needed in many areas to determine the full scope of this problem.

“One thing that’s clear is that colleges and universities need to be having this conversation and learning more about the issues their students may be facing,” said López-Cevallos. “There may be steps to take locally that could help, and policies that could be considered nationally. But it does appear this is a very serious issue that has not received adequate attention, and we need to explore it further.”

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Daniel López-Cevallos, 541-737-3850

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Food assistance for students

Student food bank

Celebrate Veterans Day – then head back to class

CORVALLIS, Ore. – With improved educational benefits and after years of conflict in the Middle East, a flood of veterans are heading to college in numbers that surpass those of recent history.

Oregon State University has 1,025 students who are receiving veteran educational benefits, a new record and the most of any university in Oregon. They now account for about one out of every 25 students at OSU, and a range of programs are being created or expanded to help facilitate this stream of incoming veterans.

“I’ve talked to counterparts all over the country and this is clearly a national trend,” said Gus Bedwell, the OSU veteran resources coordinator. “OSU has always had quite a few veteran students, but right now we’re almost triple the number of five years ago. Other institutions are also seeing three to four times as many veterans as they used to.”

Part of the increase, officials say, is due to an expansion of educational benefits that were put in place in the early 2000s, including some that veteran dependents and spouses can use. A weak economy also made it an opportune time for veterans to attend college, just like many other students.

OSU has responded with renewed efforts to pave the way for returning veterans, programs to cut through federal bureaucracy, and make sure the students get both the personal and professional help they need.

Two new initiatives at OSU are an example. A Student Health Services Veterans Work Group is helping to ensure treatment of the full range of health concerns that veterans face, including access to some local services. And a Veterans Work Group focuses much of its efforts on academic and programmatic support. This group and other officials have trained advisers, worked to expedite the transfer of military transcripts to academia, and helped keep students informed during the recent government shutdown.

A website at http://oregonstate.edu/veterans/home/ helps guide veterans, and a veterans lounge in the OSU Memorial Union allows veterans an opportunity to meet and build their community in a casual setting.

“OSU has really made an effort to understand the obstacles veterans face and help work around them,” Bedwell said.

For instance, he said, the federal government is often slow at making veteran educational benefit payments. Officials know the money will come, but in the meantime it can cost students penalties, interest, and create “holds” that interfere with course registration. So the university created a mechanism to avoid these holds, allow regular progress with an educational program, and refund any penalties once the government payments are made. This program is called the “Goodwill Interest Waiver.”

The university’s nationally recognized program of distance education, E-Campus, is also a favorite with many veterans. They can take courses while living literally anywhere in the world and earn degrees in a wide range of fields.

OSU, with its origin as a land grant college, had a mandate under the Morrill Act of 1862 to “include military tactics” as part of its educational program, and the university has always been tuned to the needs of veterans.

It’s one of a limited number of schools that hosts all four branches of the Reserve Officers Training Corp, and its student center, the Memorial Union, was named to help honor veterans, many of them returned from World War I. OSU has earned the title of “Military Friendly School” by GI Jobs several years in a row.

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Source: 

Gus Bedwell, 541-737-7662

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Veterans Day Parade

Students in parade

Oregon State University to offer religious studies degree program

CORVALLIS, Ore. – More than 20 years after the religious studies degree program was eliminated, Oregon State University is bringing it back. OSU students will be able to declare religious studies as a major beginning with the upcoming winter term.

The religious studies degree will emphasize religious literacy, helping students understand how religion shapes the world and affects society, said Amy Koehlinger, an assistant professor in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion in the College of Liberal Arts at OSU.

“Religion is one of the most powerful social, economic and political forces in the world,” she said. “Given how fast globalization is occurring, religious literacy is becoming more and more important.”

Religious studies is the study of religion in an academic setting, with an emphasis on skills such as critical thinking, discernment, deliberation, responsibility, courage and civility. The program will emphasize how religion is used to make sense of the world, in good ways and in bad, Koehlinger said.

“A religious studies major gives students the opportunity to have a deep understanding of religion as a powerful social force,” she said. “Students are trained to think critically and neutrally, and with a lot of subtlety about religion.”

The religious studies program is housed in the School of History, Philosophy and Religion, but faculty members from throughout the College of Liberal Arts will teach courses for the new degree, Koehlinger said. The interdisciplinary approach to the study of religion will include courses in history, philosophy, anthropology, art, literature and film.

One area of emphasis is on the religions of Southeast Asia, including Budhhism, Hinduism and Islam. Associate Professor Stuart Sarbacker is an expert on the religions of India and Associate Professor Hung-Yok Ip is an expert on China.

Another area of emphasis is on religion and ethics as they relate to sexuality, friendship, forgiveness, end-of-life issues, the environment and medicine, said Courtney Campbell, the Hundere Professor in Religion and Culture at OSU.

The new program is well-suited to students who are interested in working internationally, in business, international relations or other fields; it’s also a good choice for students interested in graduate school in law, medicine or politics, Koehlinger said.

Students can earn a bachelor of arts, a bachelor of science or an honors bachelor of arts or science degree in religious studies. A minor in religious studies is also available. The new degrees were approved by the OSU Board of Trustees over the summer, with final approval from the state Higher Education Coordinating Committee, Campbell said.

The 2014 Ideas Matter lecture series sponsored by the Hundere Endowment for Religion and Culture will help showcase and celebrate the new major. The lecture series, titled “Healings and Hurtings: Religion, Self and the Body,” will focus on the connection between religion and the body.

Lectures are scheduled for Oct. 27, Nov. 5, Nov. 10 and Nov. 18. All events are free and open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Journey Room in the Memorial Union on the OSU campus in Corvallis. For a full listing of speakers and topics, visit http://bit.ly/ZtmVYj.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Amy Koehlinger, 541-737-3433 or amy.koehlinger@oregonstate.edu; Courtney Campbell, 541-737-6196 or ccampbell@oregonstate.edu

Visiting faculty members to read at Oregon State on Oct. 10

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Authors Nick Dybek and Inara Verzemnieks will read from their work on Friday, Oct. 10, at Oregon State University in Corvallis, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Valley Library. They are both visiting faculty members in OSU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing this year.

Verzemnieks is a former reporter at The Oregonian and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing. Her creative and journalistic work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Tin House, The Atlantic and Creative Nonfiction.

Her first memoir, which engages her family’s history and her own journey to reconnect with their homeland in Latvia, is forthcoming from Norton. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award and the Richard J. Margolis Award of the Blue Mountain Center.

Dybek’s novel, “When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man,” earned the 2013 Society of Midland Author Award and is described by The Economist as having “the momentum of a thrilling yarn, delivered as if by a scarred man by the consoling light of a fire.” Dybek is also the recipient of a Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award and a Maytag Fellowship, and his work has been featured in Granta New Voices.

The reading is part of the 2014-2015 Literary Northwest Series, sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film. The series brings Pacific Northwest writers to OSU and is made possible by support from the OSU Libraries and Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele and Grass Roots Books and Music.

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the rotunda at the Valley Library, 201 S.W. Waldo Place. A question-and-answer session and book signing will follow the reading.

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OSU to move in most new students Sept. 23-24

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University will host its two main days of new resident move-in on Tuesday, Sept. 23, and Wednesday, Sept. 24.

Increased traffic and congestion are expected on those days. Visitors to campus should expect limited parking and potential traffic delays as un-loading zones are set up around the residence halls.

More than 3,000 residents are expected to arrive Tuesday and Wednesday, many with family and friends in tow. Hundreds of campus and community volunteers will help with move-in.

In addition, many residents of the International Living-Learning Center will arrive Sunday, Sept. 21, in time for international orientation. That and a steady trickle of other early arrivals will mean that about 1,500 additional residents will already be in place before the main two move-in days.

New this year, will be the opening of Tebeau Hall on the east side of campus. The new residence hall is named for alumnus William “Bill” Tebeau (1925-2013), an Oregon engineer and teacher who was a pioneering student who persevered through numerous challenges to become the first African American man to graduate from Oregon State in 1948.

Tebeau’s family will be in attendance at a dedication ceremony for the hall at 2 p.m. Oct. 9. The community is welcome to attend the celebration at Tebeau Hall.

For more information on these events, contact University Housing & Dining Services at 541-737-4771 or housing@oregonstate.edu.

Source: 

Jennifer Viña 541-737-8187

OSU launches new online programs to decrease high-risk alcohol use, sexual assaults

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has introduced a new series of required online courses aimed at combating alcohol abuse and sexual assault.

The on-line programs will reach approximately 6,400 students, said Rob Reff, coordinator of substance abuse prevention programs within OSU’s Student Health Services Department.

Incoming first-year students to OSU’s Corvallis campus will be required to take AlcoholEdu, which is designed to help students make informed and healthy choices regarding alcohol and other drug use. It is not an anti-alcohol campaign, according to administrators, but rather an educational program giving students the tools they need in situations where drugs and alcohol are involved.

OSU is also requiring the sexual violence prevention course HAVEN for all incoming students – including those at OSU-Cascades and through Ecampus – in order to comply with the federal Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act that went into effect in March of 2014. This course helps educate students on sexual assault, consent, and how to be an active bystander.

 The OSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is requiring both programs for all its athletes.  

“OSU believes it is the responsibility of all students, faculty, and staff to create a community that encourages and promotes the well-being of our campus and the broader community,” Reff, said. “These two programs will provide all OSU students with an understanding of not only how to keep themselves safe but how to help fellow students.”

Students must complete these programs prior to arriving on campus for fall term 2014.  While at Oregon State, students will receive additional prevention and education on these topics from Student Health Services, University Housing and Dining Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and other departments.

Program administrators say these combined efforts will help students achieve academic success, health, and wellness while fostering a community of care for one another.

For more information: http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/welcome

 

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Robert Reff, 541-737-7564

OSU to observe Veterans Day as official holiday beginning in 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will begin observing Veterans Day as an official holiday beginning in 2015.

The decision was announced today by OSU President Edward J. Ray, after consultation with both the OSU Faculty Senate and the Associated Students of Oregon State University.

“I am proud that the university will begin honoring our veterans with the observance of this national holiday,” Ray said. “This is a meaningful decision. Last year, Oregon State had 1,025 students who received veteran educational benefits – the most of any university in Oregon – and it is important that we recognize and honor the many sacrifices that our nation’s veterans have made.”

Veterans now account for about one out of every 25 students at OSU. A range of programs have been initiated or expanded to help support the university’s student veterans.

Ray also announced that the university will begin its academic year earlier in 2015, with the first day of classes scheduled on Wednesday, Sept. 23, that year.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Steve Clark, 503-502-8217, steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

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Veterans Day Parade
OSU students, supporters at

2013 Veterans Day parade

Exhibit featuring graduating seniors’ artwork on display at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. — “So Long, Suckers,” an exhibit featuring the artwork of graduating seniors, will be on display in the Fairbanks Gallery at Oregon State University from June 2 through June 13.

A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 4. Exhibit awards, including the President’s Award for Excellence in Art, the Provost's Purchase Award and the College of Liberal Arts Dean's Purchase Award will be announced at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Seven graduating art students from different disciplines will participate in this year’s exhibit. They are:

  • Savannah Youngquist, silk-screen printing. Using her family and friends as influences for her work, she has been working with patterning using foods that remind her of her family members.
  • Allison Yano, ink drawings, painting and monotype printmaking. The driving force behind her work lies in the concept of spaces and their occupants and the forming of relationships between people and the impermanence of their presence.
  • Alice Marshall, three-dimensional drawings. She emphasizes the relationship between human and nature, exploring what happens when the intention is to preserve a part of the natural world.
  • Daniel Johnson, landscape painting. Working primarily in oil, he draws inspiration from his scenic hometown of Moab, Utah.
  • Alyssa Elkins is exploring the connections between the human and our natural environment. She is interested in the way we alter our world to better fit our needs and the ways in which the world reacts and changes itself to compensate for our adjustments.
  • Kusra Kapuler, sculpture and video addresses core human experiences. Focusing on emotions, reactions and thoughts, the work has different mediums. These include paper, bronze and fabric.
  • Darlayne Buys, who is exploring the discarded nature of objects and the obsessive or emotional associations we make with objects through a series of paintings of wedding dresses.

At the reception, scholarships for the upcoming year will be announced and senior of distinction certificates will be presented to outstanding seniors. Community-sponsored awards acknowledging outstanding artwork in the exhibit will also be presented. Blick Art Materials, the OSU Bookstore and Peak Sports are sponsors.

The Fairbanks Gallery, 220 S.W. 26th St., Corvallis, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Media Contact: 
Source: 

Douglas Russell, 541-737-5009, drussell@oregonstate.edu

Healthy Masculinities conference at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A conference on Healthy Masculinities will take place May 1-2 at Oregon State University in the Memorial Union. This year’s theme is “Genuine Masculinities: What is it to you?”

The two-day event includes panel discussion from university leaders, presentations by students, faculty and staff, and a free lunch on Friday for registered participants, where discussion will focus on how to translate conference findings into actionable items.

This year’s keynote speaker is Gabe Wright, a male rape survivor and creator of “The Guys Project: Bonding as Survivors and Allies.” His focus is on breaking down the social stigma of victimization by creating spaces for male survivors and their allies to overcome perceived threats to masculinity while at the same time, engaging men as allies to ending violence against women.

“I am thrilled for this year’s conference because I believe there is value in thinking critically about who I want to be as a man,” said organizer Tyler Reisnaur. “It is important to involve everyone in this discussion as we all are impacted and contribute to the social construction of masculinity.”

The conference is sponsored by Men’s Development and Engagement, an OSU group focused on encouraging OSU men to engage in a process of healthy gender identity development with the hope of creating a safe environment. It is open to the entire campus community and is part of the OSU Healthy Campus Initiative.

The event is free for OSU campus members, $40 for those unaffiliated with OSU. To register and for more information: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/mensdev.

Source: 

Tyler Reisnaur, MDE@oregonstate.edu

International students celebrate Spring Festival at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The annual International Spring Festival will be held as part of Mom’s & Families Weekend in the Memorial Union Quad on Sunday, May 4, from noon to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the International Students of OSU.

This year’s theme is “Stories Our Mama Told Us When We Were Young.”

Fifteen cultural student associations affiliated with ISOSU will share stories, myths and superstitions from their cultures. International groups will host booths where they recreate their own “living rooms of the world.” Performances on two stages in front of the Memorial Union will include Chinese lion dancers, African drummers Brazilian dancers, Takio drummers and more.

An OSU student fashion show will feature international culturally significant clothing. 

Food from around the world will also be highlighted, and in keeping with the theme will focus on homestyle dishes such as empanadas, sweet and savory crepes, potstickers and falafel.

This event provides the opportunity for the ISOSU and affiliates to demonstrate their culture to the OSU community, as well as to meet new people and have meaningful conversations while reminiscing about their childhoods.

International Students of OSU first formed in the late 1970s as a student organization. ISOSU hosts weekly programs in the International Resource Center in addition to 20 large annual cultural programs that share the history, traditions and stories of the people of the world.

For more information: http://oregonstate.edu/sli/isosu/

Media Contact: 

Valeria Ursu, Marketer ISOSU, ursuv@onid.oregonstate.edu

Source: 

Source: Eunae (Amy) Choi, ISOSU.Director@oregonstate.edu