On Campus Issues

“Polynesian Pipelines” Upcoming Talk

Coming up this next week:
“Polynesian Pipelines: Culture, Community, and Sport”
On Monday, April 11
6:30-7:30pm in the MPR
“As Samoans and other Pacific Islanders have continued their entry into the high profile world of American football, many within and outside of these communities have commented on what they see as Polynesian dominance in the sport.  In this process, sport has become a new site for community recognition, and a focal point for resilient cultural practice.  Drawing on her research on the development of American football in Samoa, as well as her years living and teaching in Hawai’i, Dr.Uperesa will discuss how sport has served as a focal point for community agendas, desires, and connection across the Pacific even as the stakes and pressures involved continue to rise. 
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The Right to Live: Homelessness and the Privilege of Existence in the United States

Liz Stevens is a Senior here at Pacific University. She’s an Anthropology and Politics & Government double major, and plans to go on to work in public policy and social justice fields after she finishes her formal education. She’s a non-traditional student who has moved a lot, loves books, Netflix, and video games, and misses having a real kitchen to bake in.


The question of the right to live, to exist as a valued person in this world, usually only brings one issue to mind in this country—that of abortion. But all issues of bodily autonomy, reproductive rights, and fetal rights aside, there is another group that we repeatedly deny the very right to exist: the homeless.

Homelessness is an ongoing issue in this country, one that dates back to colonial days. While most individuals might identify homelessness as a social problem, few would have any idea of how to address it other than ‘make those people get jobs.’ (more…)

Social Justice Retreat Application

Do you have an interest in social justice, creating an inclusive campus climate, and becoming a social justice leader on campus? If so, you are encouraged to apply to be a participant in an upcoming social justice leadership retreat that will be held January 29 to January 31, 2015 (location TBD, possibly on the Oregon Coast). The retreat is designed to (a) examine structures of privilege (race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.) and their effect on our campus, (b) provide individuals with the skills to be effective allies and social justice leaders, and (c) provide students with the opportunity to discuss and identify ways to foster social justice on campus. 

Organized by a broad range of faculty and staff (Social Science Professors, Center for Civic Engagement, Center for Peace and Spirituality, Graduate and Undergraduate Student Activities, and Alumni Relations) this retreat ultimately strives to create an affiliation of diverse members the Pacific University community (including undergraduate and graduate students) that will be engaged in discussions throughout the year about social justice at Pacific. If you are interested in the retreat, please use the following link to complete an application: https://pacificu.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_5pDMxDEB5SdVkt7

The initial review of applications will begin Friday, November 20th, and applications received after that date will be reviewed on a rolling basis until we’ve reached capacity.

Drinking Game becomes Racial

Seven white college students sit around a dorm room at their private university playing King’s Cup when a Jack is pulled. The rule of choice? End every sentence with the N-word. Everyone nods and the game goes on with laughing, screaming, and the vulgar word flying around every ten seconds. There weren’t any African Americans in the room, so it doesn’t count, right?

Wrong. When this happened to me at the beginning of first semester, I didn’t know what to do so I did nothing. I did not want to say anything in fear of my new friends saying, “So what? It’s not like they’re here.” Even as a minority myself, I could not bring myself to say anything even though I knew I should. I felt exactly what any sane student would: Uncomfortable and afraid of being challenged, teased, and laughed at. I mean, why should I stick up for them if they’re not in the room?

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