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Safe Zone offers inclusive space for all students

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Holiday potlucks, a wall of encouragement, Friday movie nights— Chemeketa’s student Safe Zone might be the closest thing to a dorm commons on Salem’s campus.

The Safe Zone is a multi-purpose space for students, providing academic, social and emotional support for the college community. Perhaps most importantly, the Safe Zone provides a place of acceptance for our diverse student body—including our LGBTQ+ community and anyone facing personal hardships or struggling to find acceptance.

“One thing that we see all too often is that things that are outside of the schools control affect student success far more than anything else,” said one student visitor. “This space has really become a place students can use to escape that which might otherwise negatively affect their success.”

This includes student concerns regarding the Presidential election. “The staff remain politically neutral but supportive to what the students are saying and expressing,” the student said.

While the goals of the Safe Zone are serious, the atmosphere in the space is light-hearted and comfortable.

“A new person came in the other day. They were quiet and mostly listened, but they laughed a lot. We’re pretty funny,” said Riss, a second year student pursuing a transfer degree.

Another student agreed, saying the Safe Zone is a good place to relax and get to know people. “A friend dragged me in here and I never left,” he said.

If you or anyone you know feels isolated or fearful of judgement, please consider visiting the Safe Zone.


The Safe Zone & Student Resource Center

Resources available to all students—

  • Support from student leaders, including connections to college resources
  • Computer and no-cost printing for college assignments
  • Microwave and fridge

Bldg. 2, Rm. 229 (Salem campus)
Monday, 8 am-5 pm
Tuesday-Friday 8 am-7 pm

* Some names redacted to protect the anonymity of students.


Disaster Behavioral Health workshop at Eola Feb. 8 & 9

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Experiencing or witnessing a disaster can seize the emotional well-being of survivors and first-responders in a paralyzing grip. What is a disturbing headline for people removed from the incident can be a life-changing trauma for participants. Regrettably events like the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, the flooding in Turner, the wildfires across Oregon, or the Oso mudslide in Washington State press upon us the cold truth that we should not expect to be exempt from danger.

We can learn from people who have been forced to think about the unthinkable. Chemeketa’s Threat Management Resources program is sponsoring a two-day workshop to prepare us to recover and support the healing of others affected by tragedy –

Disaster Behavioral Health
Leading and Moving Forward
February 8-9, 2017
Northwest Wine Studies Center
Chemeketa Eola

Featured speakers include Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis, a Sandy Hook Elementary teacher and Kristina Anderson, who survived the Virginia Tech shooting.

Presentations will include –

  • Learning from Umpqua Community College
  • Psychological first aid
  • Disaster aftermath, grief and emotional impact
  • Belief systems and disaster: spirituality, faith and belief
  • Cross-cultural considerations and unique populations
  • Resources for collaboration

Chemeketa’s Rebecca Bolante, director of Threat Management Resources suggests the content of the workshop will benefit professionals working in –

  • School counselling
  • Risk management
  • Psychology
  • First response
  • College counselling
  • Emergency planning
  • Disaster relief
  • Religious organizations

Participation costs $395 and 15 continuing education units are available. To register or get more information, call 503.399.8179. Learn more about Chemeketa Threat Management Resources on its website.


Urton family establishes re-entry scholarship

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Urton family establishes scholarshipTed and Jan Urton have established a scholarship fund with the Chemeketa Foundation to support educating students who are ex-criminal offenders. They contributed $25,000 to launch the Urton Family Re-entry scholarship fund.

This is not their first act of generosity. The Urtons worked in South Korea as Peace Corps volunteers and adopted their first child there. They subsequently adopted two more children upon their return to Oregon.  One of them, Zachary, came to live with the Urtons when he was two. By middle school Zachary was in trouble with the law and was incarcerated in state juvenile detention facilities.  When he turned 18, Zachary finished up his juvenile sentence in adult jail and was released.

He was not prepared to succeed outside. Jan Urton describes a beloved son seldom able to stay out of trouble. Now 35, Zachary has spent almost 17 years of his life behind bars.

“His longest stretch out was 4 years,” said Jan.

Zachary is one of 14,655 inmates in an Oregon corrections facility. The average number of inmates released each month is 434. In Oregon, 26% of released offenders are convicted of a new felony within three years according to data supplied by the Oregon Department of Corrections.

The Urtons suggest there are many structural and societal challenges that make it difficult for ex-offenders to succeed outside.  It’s hard to find a job or a place to live. Sometimes the terms of their release makes it tough for them to have a normal life. There are undiagnosed drug dependency and mental health issues that can come into play. The Urton’s personal experience led them to fund the scholarship.

“We asked ourselves,” said Ted, “what is the primary source of hope in a community? It’s the community college. A Chemeketa education can get these people back on the path of hope.”

The Urtons urge anyone interested in contributing to the re-entry scholarship to contact the Chemeketa Foundation at 503.365.4747.

“If one or two people can get out and make it because of this scholarship, that would be very gratifying,” says Ted.


Food for Fines collects donations each term

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

From now until Friday, December 9, Chemeketa’s Library is sponsoring Food for Fines to benefit the Chemeketa Food Pantry.

This event invites students, staff and community members to exchange one food item for $1 in fines up to $10. This includes CCRLS fines, but not items that are lost or damaged

Simply bring your donations to the library to participate.

“Just before the holidays and cold weather, it is nice to have more food in the Chemeketa Pantry for those in need,” says Teresa Bell, co-organizer of the event.

Food for Fines is also held during winter and spring terms each year. Donations can be made to the Chemeketa Food Pantry at the Salem and Yamhill Valley campuses year-round.

Most wanted items

  • Boxed meals (mac and cheese, Hamburger Helper)
  • Canned soup and instant noodles
  • Canned chicken or tuna
  • Baby formula, food and diapers
  • Shampoo and toilet paper
  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • Powdered or canned milk
  • Rice and beans
  • Cereal

LGBTQ+ advocate speaks Nov.30

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa remains a place of inclusiveness for people and ideas and extends a warm welcome to guest speaker and civil rights lawyer Lake Perriguey.

On Wednesday, November 30, Lake will present “Busting the Binary and Gender Fluidity — It’s not Y2K” and lead a discussion about gender identity and equal protection, among other issues and groundbreaking cases affecting the LGBTQ+ community.

Lake chose a legal career after an arrest protesting laws that discriminated against gay and lesbian people.

After attending Lewis and Clark Law School, he has represented queer and transpeople in family law cases and in work, government and public accommodation discrimination cases, including the first person in the United States to be legally recognized as nonbinary.

Busting the Binary and Gender Fluidity — It’s not Y2K
Featuring guest speaker Lake Perriguey
Wednesday, November 30, 2-3 pm
Bldg. 2, Student Center (Salem)


Culture Fair is Nov. 16

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Chemeketa’s students come from many different countries, backgrounds and cultures. During International Programs and International Club’s annual Culture Fair, these students have the opportunity to share parts of their cultures with the entire college and Salem community.

Students representing Mexico, Guatemala, Fiji, Vietnam, Japan, Ukraine/Eastern Europe and Navajo cultures welcome you to learn about art, music, clothing, dance and customs from around the world. Expand your worldview and welcome these students to Chemeketa.

Culture Fair
Wednesday, November 16
11:30 am-3:30 pm
Student Center, Bldg. 2 (Salem)
Free & open to the public

Meet our Students

laura-2

Laura Moreno
Studying Business Management
Joins us from Mexico

Laura started at Chemeketa studying English as a Second Language on a tourist visa. She the atmosphere and classes at Chemeketa so much that she returned to Mexico to get her student visa so that she could study here full-time. She completed ESL classes in the fall of 2015 and is now working toward her ASOT in Business. Laura works as a student leader in both Marketing and Student Recruitment and International Programs and is a council member of the International Club.

When did you start at Chemeketa? Summer 2014
What do you like about hosting a table at Culture Fair? The opportunity to share my culture with other students.
Would you recommend hosting to other students? Yes, it’s a fun and great experience to see how the students get interested in learning about where you come from and the differences between your culture and theirs.

 

alpha-2Alpha Jalloh
Studying Computer Science
Joins us from Liberia

Alpha is part of a large family. He and his brother came to the U.S. to pursue dreams of an American education. Alpha is working on his ASOT in Computer Science. He works as a tutor in the computer lab to help pay for his education.

When did you start at Chemeketa? Spring 2015
What do you like about hosting a table at Culture Fair? It gave me a chance to talk about my culture and country. Not many Americans know a lot about Liberia, so I got to educate them about that part of Africa
Would you recommend hosting to other students? Yes! It is a great way to inform others about who you are and where you come from.

 

sueAhn “Sue” Vu
Studying Health and Wellness
Joins us from Vietnam

Sue was an exchange student for one year at North Salem High School. She really loved the welcoming quality of the Salem community, so she decided to begin her post-secondary studies at Chemeketa. She will complete her AAOT this spring and transfer to PSU to study Health and Wellness. Sue works in the International Programs office and is a council member of the International Club.

When did you start at Chemeketa? Fall 2015
Why are you looking forward to hosting a table at Culture Fair? It’s a great opportunity to share my culture with others.
Would you recommend hosting to other students? Yes, absolutely. It is a really fun activity for all students, whether to share your own culture or learn about a new culture.


Horticulture student saving our rhodys

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

horticulture student saving rhodysRhododendrons and Oregon go together like springtime and hope. Unfortunately rhodys also go with a beautiful but nasty pest: the azalea lace bug. Chemeketa horticulture student Barry Finley co-authored an article in Digger, the trade publication of the Oregon Nursery Association, about biological alternatives to pesticides for controlling lace bugs.

Lace bugs suck the chlorophyll out of the leaves then excrete their fecal deposits. Nobody wants to see that happen to their shrubs. The conventional practice for controlling this mess is insecticides but that has the drawback of harming beneficial insects, and they are often applied close to people and pets. A natural predator of lace bugs would diminish the risks of using chemicals.

Finley, who is also an intern at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center, participated in testing the use of green lacewings to manage lacebugs. Their conclusion is that lacewings are a promising alternative and they intend to do more research.


Chemeketa hosting college and career fair Oct. 24

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Salem area students and their families are invited to attend the annual college and career fair at Chemeketa Community College on Monday, October 24. This event is presented by The Inspire Foundation.

To be held from 6 to 8 pm in Building 7 on the Salem campus, the college and career fair is a free event with free parking.

This event, which has taken place for more than 25 years, welcomed more than 2,000 visitors in 2015. Chemeketa and more than 80 other colleges and industries will be on display to showcase their offerings to students and their families.

Workshops on applying for college, searching for scholarships and applying for financial aid will be offered. The Inspire Foundation, Salem-Keizer Public Schools and Chemeketa will offer door prizes for elementary, middle and high school students. Currently enrolled Salem-Keizer high school seniors will have a chance to win one of several educational scholarships.

To learn more about the event, contact Kathy Moore at kathy@salemchamber.org or 503.581.1466 x 316.

 


What is next for the Oregon Promise

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Oregon Promise Chemeketa 2016They called the legislation Oregon Promise. The headlines trumpeted, “Free community college tuition.” Chemeketa staff wondered how this opportunity will affect enrollment. How will the Oregon Promise students do in college-level classes?

Now the promise is real. We have learned a lot and there is still more to be revealed.

Chemeketa welcomed over 1,070 recipients of the Oregon Promise grant fall term. Oregon Promise students are probably the reason why Chemeketa enrolled nearly 300 more students than usual directly from high school this fall.

We have hired two new advisors to help our Oregon Promise students succeed. Rebeka Phelps comes to us from PCC where she worked in academic advising and study skills.

Jose Ceja-Garibay is a Chemeketa success story. Jose was part of the first cohort of Chemeketa Scholars and a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) student. Jose has worked in our Academic Development department since graduating. Their enthusiasm for their work is palpable.

“We’re looking at something brand new,” said Rebeka, “and going in a direction that has never been done before.”

Jose added, “I’ve always loved how Chemeketa is a community and we want the Oregon Promise students to feel that connection and be well-informed so they succeed.”

Rebeka and Jose plan to implement innovative communication channels like Snapchat, a dedicated Facebook presence and responding to notifications from faculty when students are struggling.

What’s next?

Our OP students have to meet criteria to maintain their eligibility –

  1. Register for at least half-time (6 credits) fall term 2016
  2. Remain enrolled at least half-time for three consecutive terms each year
  3. Complete and maintain 2.0 GPA
  4. Pass at least 67% of attempted credits
  5. Complete and pass Chemeketa’s First Year Experience class Creating College Success in their first year
  6. Work toward completion of a certificate or a degree

The Legislature will consider renewing Oregon Promise funding for the 2017-18 academic year during the upcoming session.

 


“Still Talking” in gallery through Oct. 28

By Chemeketa Public Affairs

Quilts are the medium in the current exhibit in Chemeketa’s Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery.

“Still Talking” features the work of Salem artists Bonnie Hull and Kay Worthington.

Hull and Worthington have been friends for years. “Still Talking” focuses on this long-term friendship and their continued conversations through the art of quilting.

The gallery is located downstairs in Building 3 on the Salem Campus. For gallery hours, visit the gallery’s web page.