Tag Archives: Graduation

On Trend: Dressing for Formal Occasions


-Rache’ll Brown

Spring may be known for the beautiful weather and colorful flowers, but in my book it is also defined by another event: formal season. From sorority and fraternity formals, to  weddings, graduations, and more, May to September seems to be jam-packed with events that require dressing to the nines. In some cases, formal events can be tricky. How much is too much? What is too casual? But fear not, I’m here to help!  Take these tips to be appropriate at any upcoming event that may hold a dressier tone.

To start, scope out the event to figure out what would be deemed appropriate. I like to ask other guests I know what they will be wearing, or just use prior experience to gauge the situation. Next, depending on the event, follow a little style guide that fits the occasion. For weddings, don’t wear everyday clothes. This is a special occasion, and attendees’ outfits should reflect that. For ladies, a nice sundress with sandals or wedges is suitable, and slacks and a dress shirt are perfect for men. Don’t go too flashy unless the invitation says black-tie, and don’t be that person who wears jeans to a wedding. That’s just rude.

As for formals, think back to high school homecoming: short and playful dresses are the way to go; leave the floor length princess dresses behind. I try to stay away from black, especially in spring, but I also don’t seek out over-the-top prints. Classic, simple pieces will always be in style, and accessorizing will take a look a long way.

Most importantly, an outfit should make the wearer feel confident and comfortable. I won’t fuss over heels if they are too high and I can’t walk in them—I look a thousand times better owning a pair of flats than teetering around in stilts. I look for clothes that suit my body type and make me feel amazing because it’s not worth being trendy if I feel self-conscious. In any situation, dressing appropriately is extremely important, but wearing an outfit that just screams you is key.

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Fighting Senioritis

-Casey Klekas

As my college experience nears its end, I’ve come down with a bad case of senioritis. This ailment has caused my creative faculties to dry up at a time when I need them more than ever. I feel like it’s the fourth quarter and I don’t have the energy to finish strong. I’ve found a few ways to combat this condition so as to relight my imagination before it burns out completely.

The best defense against senioritis, I think, is to take time to read for pleasure. I always carry a book with me–one that isn’t on a syllabus–just in case I have a free moment when I need to recharge rather than zone out. This goes double for writers. Being a good reader is essential for being a good writer. I find that when I’ve spent the whole day buried in unabsorbing texts with big words that have little relevance to my daily routine, it’s hard to make the transition to writing well.

I know that whenever I’ve been reading a lot of a particular author, I tend to write much like his or her style. Sometimes I do this deliberately. For example, when I need to write a short essay, I warm up by reading George Orwell. When I feel my writing style has become dull or flat, I’ll flip through a random passage of Nabokov to refresh my love of the English language. I’ve heard several of my favorite authors, including Hunter S. Thompson, say that they learned to write by copying whole texts from the writers they most admired (in his case, it was Fitzgerald and Mailer). If this seems excessive, then just read them carefully.

When reading, if you’re not buzzing with caffeine shakes, you should be sitting straight in a not-too-comfortable chair, in a well-lit, quiet room. I don’t think the same needs to be said for writing because sometimes it’s easier for me to write if there is a white noise overlaid with music in the background.

Whatever the case for reading and writing, the best antidote to senioritis is to recharge your imagination. Boredom is a very serious disease. It stifles creativity and it must be overcome if one wants to create anything interesting. So, now that finals week has come and gone, don’t spend your very short periods of free time zoning out on YouTube or Netflix. Pick up a good book, and keep your creativity candle lit and your imaginative skills burning.

My University of Oregon Bucket List: Things to Do Before You Graduate

-Jamie Hershman

While I may only be in my second year here at the UO, there are many things to cross off my college bucket list before my four years are up. In case you can’t remember everything you should try to complete before you graduate, here’s a little reminder as to all the places to go, things to do, and people to see.

Definitely if you’re feeling rebellious, you should start your bucket list at the Jaqua Center. It’s off-limits to us non-athletic regular folk, and you know you want to break the rules just a little bit. I say swim in the pool outside the Jaqua at least once really late on a Friday night or early on a Saturday morning. Another item to cross off the list is to make it up to the second floor of the Jaqua; who knows what’s actually up there? It is such an unsolved mystery to the majority of the student body. Aren’t you just a little bit curious?

In terms of academia, there are a few accomplishments you should achieve before leaving college. Try and make the Dean’s List at least once. This requires you to receive a term GPA of a 3.75 or higher, but you’ll feel especially intellectual after a term on the Dean’s List and never want to be off the list again. Besides getting great grades, take a class that isn’t related to your major or general education requirements. Find a class that interests you and learn about a topic that will make you more all-around intelligent.

For the Eugene tourist in you, some places are a must-see. You have to try Voodoo Doughnuts. Even if you’re not much of a doughnut person, the doughnut flavors are just so out-there and unique that you have to see it for your own eyes. Maybe you will even be brave enough to try the bacon maple bar. And when you’re downtown at Voodoo, you should also stop by the Saturday Market to see the local crafts and food vendors. For your sporty side, I recommend hiking Spencer’s Butte on a nice day in spring term. Lastly, it is a must to travel to Portland one weekend (for all you out-of-staters). It is such a cool city that’s only about two hours from campus—you can’t leave Oregon without seeing one of the most liberal cities on the west coast.

As an automatic Duck fan, you have to go see a football game at Autzen stadium. Even if you don’t understand football, it is much more about the experience than anything else. We have so much pride for our team and the student section is packed with so much cheer that it’s hard not to get into the game. Maybe you can even get a picture with Puddles! Can I get a ‘sco ducks?

While there are probably many more things you can list off, these are just some of the main things on my list. See how many you’ve already accomplished and which ones you are waiting to do. There’s only so much time before your four years are up, so make the most of it!

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Social Media vs. Bob Jones University

-Jamie Hershman

On April 24, Chris Peterman, a senior at Bob Jones University (BJU) was suspended nine days before his scheduled graduation because of his activity on Twitter and Facebook. He created a Facebook page titled “Do Right BJU” in an effort to create a safe space for victims of sexual abuse as a support network, as well as a place for outreach. Peterson’s personal motivation for creating the page was driven by his witnessing a church cover-up of sexual abuse.

Peterman organized a protest back in September to spread awareness but the dean of the private Protestant university told him to shut it down. Peterman did not, citing that his rights are protected under the First Amendment and the dean backed off. BJU even said they were planning on making a sexual abuse committee soon after the protest.

But things changed when Peterman returned for his final semester in January. He had to attend weekly counseling meetings and was intensely questioned about his Facebook page. The dean also went as far as to question Peterman’s friends about his social media use. Peterman’s online activity was being watched by the university.

At the beginning of April, he tweeted just before a church service that “this thing is 2hrs long?! What could they possibly talk about for so long!”. The school immediately came after him for tweeting during the service, punishing him with demerits that could ultimately affect his ability to graduate.

Just three weeks before his graduation, Peterman was once again called into the dean’s office after having watched an episode of Glee at an off-campus location. While watching TV is prohibited on-campus, that was not the reason for the dean’s questioning. The dean’s rationalization was that Peterman was watching a TV show that has homosexual relationships as well as debauchery behavior. Because of this, Peterman was given even more demerits and was almost prohibited from graduating.

The final straw came when Peterman posted lyrics to a Christian country song as his Facebook status. He received demerits for this and was officially over the allotted number of demerits that a student could have in order to graduate.

Peterman contacted local media and appealed that he should not be suspended for his watching of Glee off-campus; and, while the appeals board accepted his appeal (therefore allowing him to graduate), the dean was angered and forced Peterman off-campus. Peterman was practically dragged off campus by BJU police forces and was told that he would be arrested if he tried to return.

Ultimately, Peterman cannot graduate in his final semester at BJU. But, it wasn’t so much about all the social media activities that Peterman was suspended for; it was about his speaking out about sexual abuse on a Christian campus.

This incident does not generalize all schools with a religious focus as being strict with freedom of speech, but it does show the lengths that one school will go to throw a student under the bus and save their reputation, which, in the end, did not save their reputation at all.

Social media is about the user and is a free-forum for expression. After being censored by his university, Peterman had a right to get the media involved and appropriately did so. There is no excuse for what BJU did to Peterman, and they should be exposed for banning one student who showed an interest in peaceful activism.

More information at check out the story at CNN.com

Kanye West: The Black Elton John

– Jacob O’Gara

At the risk of sounding pompously contrarian, I’m going to express a sentiment that verges on sacrilegious: Kanye West should get out of the rap game. Meaning he should stop rapping; if by “rap game” one gathers that I mean the genre of hip-hop as whole, then no, he should stay.

He started out as a producer wunderkind—working under Jay-Z and producing one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, The Blueprint, for him—and that’s where he should have stayed. The College Dropout and parts of Late Registration were great, but they’ve been overshadowed by the tepid Graduation and West’s cringe-inducing work as a featured artist.

Besides some creative rhyming, what has Kanye West as a featured artist given hip-hop, other than sophomoric junk like “You should go to school, Bueller”?

Not much.

Unless you consider half-hearted and half-baked lines like the one just cited (from his verse on Drake’s “Forever” posse cut); in that case, he has given us a lot.

It seems as if he used up all his creativity and passion on his first two albums, and now he’s operating as a hip-hop hack, just as P. Diddy operated in the late 1990s, dropping in on other artists’ tracks, outshining them with his star power, and then delivering some milquetoast verses. Fortunately for him, and for us, there is some hope for West’s career: his foray into pop music, 808s & Heartbreak.

With this album, the zeal and imagination that electrified his first two is on full display, though West uses those energies in a different direction. Dealing with themes like death and heartbreak, West constructed probably his most technically masterful album; every beat is chiller than a gold chain on an Eskimo, and the much-criticized “singing with Auto-Tune” technique just straight works with the subject matter.

808s & Heartbreaks is an experimental album gone horribly right, a bona fide pop album that elevated West from hip-hop king to full-fledged pop music superstar. Of course, the only recourse West had was to self-immolate in a verbal wildfire of inane and vapid lyrics.

West can save his career by following the path 808s & Heartbreak shined a light on: become the black Elton John. Besides demonstrating the ability to pull off outlandish and flashy garb, like Sir John, West has shown us that he is capable of writing and performing pop ballads, those kind of songs that aren’t really hip-hop or electronica or whatever; they belong in that nebulous category of music known as “pop.”

In that realm, he can spare us from lyrical travesties and spare himself from further humiliation. He can expand what it means to be a pop star, making it more “street,” in other words. He can break down barriers and transcend the genre of hip-hop. His ego’s too big not to let a chance like that pass by.