MONMOUTH, Ore. -- Several of Western Oregon University's diversity-related groups will present events surrounding the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18.
* On the observed holiday, Jan. 16, WOU students and local community members are invited to make a difference by volunteering for a Marion-Polk Food Share service project. Volunteers will clean garden boxes and spread wood chips in preparation for springtime planting in a food-share garden. Transportation from the university will be provided for volunteers at 12:30 p.m. Monday, and the work session is slated for 1-4 p.m. Participants should expect to get dirty working outdoors and must submit a volunteer form before the event.
* On Tuesday, Jan. 17, WOU will host a 90-minute forum between students, faculty and staff and local law enforcement officers. The topics of the dialogue will be race, class and justice. The forum will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Willamette Room at the Werner University Center. It is free to attend.
* The MLK Jr. Celebration dinner will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18. Held in the Werner University Center, the event will feature keynote speaker Lasana Omar Hotep, an essayist, educator and entrepreneur whose engaging style challenges listeners to think critically about cultural identity and equality in education. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for general admission and can be purchased (cash only) at the Werner University Center front desk or in the Office of Disability Services.
* The final event of the MLK Jr. commemoration week will be a Thursday, Jan. 19 poetry slam co-sponsored by the WOU Black Student Union. At 4 p.m. at Caffe Allegro, students, faculty and members of the BSU can recite poetry and read their own works. Participants are invited to relax, listen and even jump in with their own creations. Students can sign up to share at the poetry slam with an online form.
For more information about MLK Jr. Celebration week, visit the diversity committee's list online.
About Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 and located in Monmouth, is Oregon's oldest public university. The university has received national recognition for its focus on student learning and success by the Education Trust, US. News and World Report, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, National Association of Academic Advisors, and Parade Magazine. In 2010 WOU was recognized by the Education Trust as being the top university in America at eliminating the Latino graduation gap. WOU is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
# # #
In anticipation of inclement weather this weekend, Western Oregon University will provide early access for on-campus residents to return to the residence halls from winter break as early as 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6.
Students who want to return to campus early should call the University Housing office at 503-838-8311 or email email@example.com to make arrangements.
The residence halls were originally planned to open Sunday, Jan. 8 at noon. Campus dining facilities will not re-open until Sunday at noon and students are advised to plan accordingly.
MONMOUTH, Ore. -- Western Oregon University President Rex Fuller authorized in December expansion of the school's Voyager Award program to support 36 Oregon members of the Marine Corps Reserves. The reservists learned last month that during their recent three-month training and six-month deployment to Honduras, they accrued no credits toward their G.I. Bill benefits.
"As a public university, our mission is to serve the people and the state of Oregon. Supporting these citizen-soldiers is a fitting action for WOU to take," said Fuller. "We take great pride in being a university that is open and supportive of all students, and serving those who serve our country is the least we can do."
The reservists were denied normal deployment benefits under the obscure Section 12304b of Title 10 of the U.S. Code. It allows the federal government to call reserves into active duty without giving them most of the expected benefits, including the G.I. Bill. Many of the reservists are enrolled in college courses and put their studies on hold in order to work alongside enlisted Marines in Honduras.
Fortunately, WOU's expanded Voyager Award scholarship program allows members of the National Guard or Reserves who are Oregon residents and meet the military service requirements to be eligible to receive up to four years of tuition assistance. The support is designed to complement the tuition assistance benefit earned by members of the Armed Forces.
"WOU is prepared to support the Oregon Reservist and National Guard service members who were denied benefits as a result of Section 12304b through WOU's Voyager Award," said Andrew Holbert, coordinator of WOU's Veterans Student Success Center. "We will maintain our commitment to our veterans and their endeavors to achieve a post-secondary education without a financial burden impeding their academic career. We strive to be the most military-friendly university in Oregon."
Expanding the Voyager Award program is only the most recent step WOU has taken to support those who serve the country. In September, WOU began waiving the application fee for veterans seeking undergraduate and graduate admissions.
About Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University (WOU), founded in 1856 and located in Monmouth, is Oregon's oldest public university. The university has received national recognition for excellence for its focus on student learning and success by the Education Trust, US. News and World Report, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, National Association of Academic Advisors, and Parade Magazine. In 2010 WOU was recognized by the Education Trust as being the top university in America at eliminating the Latino graduation gap. WOU is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
# # #
More information on the WOU Voyager program can be found at:
The WOU Veterans Success Center information can be found at: