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Sam Homola has 14 articles published.

Free art event to alleviate stress for students

in Campus Life by
Artists at the Express Yourself

The Speech 219 class was given an end of the term assignment administered by Adjunct Speech Communication faculty member Dustin Cosby, regarding a project to benefit students. Participants in the class created a multiple day event from March 6 to March 8 in the student center that had given several students a chance to relax, according to class member Pamela Bordenave.

The Express Yourself event was created to help students take their mind off of finals week by creating multiple types of art that represented each student’s own self. Activities such as coloring sheets, paintings and clay sculptures were presented during the event for others to admire.

Kaitlyn Osborne, a student part of the small communications class, admired the express yourself event as a way to “get brain juices flowing.” Many students can be stressed with the feeling of everything from each class being due at the same time.

The idea of everyone being artistic in their own way makes this event so special.“The Express Yourself event has been very successful,” Becky Attaway stated. Attaway also appreciated the artistic approach the class took when figuring out how to help students.

The parameters of this project used to be more broad with students finding ways to help the community but Cosby stated that “different groups address different needs” and he decided that this year would be “more focused for UCC”.

The Small Group Discussion class (Sp 219) is available to take in the spring term of 2017.


No need to fear, the end of slow wifi is near

in Campus Life by
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Slow wifi speed has been an issue for UCC students and staff. According to Stephouse, a business that specializes in creating wireless networks, the average speed in the U.S. is around 11 and one-half mbps (megabits per second).A free online internet speed test provided by Ookla last week showed that the download speed on UCC’s guest network was around three mbps, almost as slow as dsl (digital subscriber line).

Students and faculty are asking why it is so slow. Kathy Thomason, a network administrator for UCC, says that the UCC guest wifi network is purposely throttled (slowing down a network’s bandwidth to prevent bandwidth hogging). Thomason also confirmed that UCC is in the process of buying new firewalls due to the current five year old firewalls limiting the guest network’s speed to 450 mbps.

She also confirmed that UCC will be purchasing new Ruckus brand access points (devices that allow wireless devices to be able to connect to wired networks). These new access points will use mesh technology that “automatically allocates (bandwidth) depending on the number of devices connected”, Thomason said.

Thomason estimated that the entire cost of UCC’s upgraded network will be over $100,000 and continued to say it will be in effect by this upcoming summer term.

While students wait for the upgraded network, questions still remain as to why the guest network is so slow. According to Securedge Networks, a company that designs wifi networks for multiple schools, there are five common reasons for a school’s wifi network being slow.

First, networks can be slow due to roaming issues. While students go through different parts of campus, their devices can have issues connecting from one access point to another. Securedge stated that “the physical environment, the types of devices being used, the types of applications being used and who the end-users are” are the four important factors affecting roaming.

Another reason for poor internet speeds can be an outdated design. If schools do not update their routers and modems for several years, the network speed on wireless devices can be very slow.

Some wifi networks can slow down due a failure to optimize with mobile devices such as smartphones and laptops. Could this possibly be why many students just use their mobile data at school?

Also, some wifi networks can possibly have too little or too many access points (APs).“ Deploy too many APs and you can cause too much interference, too few and you don’t have enough coverage,” Securedge stated.

Many wifi networks can have unsatisfactory speeds due to devices not being compatible with a school’s network. “Every device has different capabilities and different requirements to work properly,” Securedge stated.

Everyday life hacks for college students

in Campus Life by
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    Access to the workout room is $35 per term. Jason Bamburg / The Mainstream

A college student’s life can both be very stressful as well as busy. From making sure you are prepared for a test to hoping you don’t forget to eat breakfast the next day, there is a lot on a student’s plate, but “life hacks” can make a student’s life a little more easy.

One of the most effective life hacks includes using different colored pens and highlighters while taking notes. Because color is more appealing to humans versus black and white, colored notes are easier to remember. An article published by the National Institute of Health, “The Influence of Colour on Memory Performance”, states that “Colours can influence the level of attention and also give rise to emotional arousal which contributes to control processes that will later enhance memory performance.”

Another very useful life hack is to take more naps. It may sound silly, but a fifteen to thirty minute nap can help boost memory, focus and even creativity. Harvey B. Simon, editor of Harvard Health Publications, wrote an article discussing the effect that sleep has on memory,  stating that “research suggests that even a brief nap may help boost learning, memory and creative problem solving.”

One of the best money saving life hacks found at UCC is the gym. A normal gym membership can cost thirty dollars a month! UCC’s cost for a membership is only thirty five dollars a term.

Students that do not have a credit or debit card, can use one of those “credit card” gift cards for free trials on movie, TV, and music streaming services such as, Netflix, Hulu, and Apple Music. These cards can also be used at UCC’s bookstore!

Lastly, a hack that helps your grades. If you are having trouble with a certain class, use the tutors that UCC offers. Any student can go to the Success Center in the library and instantly get matched with a tutor when needed. No appointment is required. The Success Center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Fridays, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

New 2017-18 sports programs green-lighted

in Sports by
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    Craig Jackson, UCC’s Athletic Director Provided by Craig Jackson

It is now official: in the fall term of 2017-18, the Riverhawks will add six new sports programs for students to participate in. These new sports will include wrestling, cross country and obstacle racing for men and women.

Craig Jackson, UCC’s new athletic director, is expanding the college’s sports programs partly to help increase enrollment.

Jackson is looking at these new teams from an “enrollment perspective,” meaning that “six teams add 85 students to UCC.”

With the potential extra students, UCC will receive more funding, making more programs for all students to enjoy. If these new programs are successful, students can hopefully expect even more athletic programs in the future.

All of these new programs will offer athletic scholarships for students with a variety of different award amounts going towards tuition.

Right now, UCC is working on developing a cross-country and obstacle racing track before the new season starts.

The wrestling program will be using Oregon State University’s old wrestling mats that were generously donated. Athletes from the OSU wrestling team also assisted in getting the mats ready for transport.  The wrestling practice will probably be held in the UCC gym, and Jackson will be arranging a practice schedule to accommodate volleyball, basketball and wrestling.

Many students are very excited at the prospect of  either participating or watching the new programs.  Tyler Jose, a student at UCC, is “excited to see how they (the new programs) do.” Jose speculates that attendance will “start off small, but as the season goes on, more students will attend.” He would love to see more programs at UCC in the future including football, but for now, suggests students and staff sit back, relax and cheer on the Riverhawk’s new teams in 2017.

UCC will be competing against other teams in their very first season. How will these teams do? What will their records be? Will they make the playoffs? Can we expect them to stay at UCC for a long time? All of these questions will be answered in due time, but for now, if any students are interested in these new programs, they can go to UCC’s website and on the athletics page, click the “Play for the Riverhawks” link.

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