Friday, June 2, 2017

The Choking Grip of China: My Preferred Version

Chinese civilization began as early as 10,000 B.C., and even today is a major center of cultural identity. In the past 20 years, the People’s Republic of China has quickly risen from an entry-level world power to a full-on economic world powerhouse. The People’s Republic of China’s economy has a tremendous impact on the economy of our own nation and on the global economy as a whole, with the highest gross domestic product (GDP) and purchasing power parities (PPP) of any state in the world (as a reference point, countries are more commonly referred to as states internationally).

In its efforts to become a fully developed country and have greater international ranking, the Chinese government has trapped within its borders several autonomous regions and independent states in order to have greater access to arable land, tourist destinations, and international markets. Throughout these efforts to expand, the People’s Republic of China has been cited with multiple allegations of human rights violations regarding their actions in the tensions regarding these regions (Human Rights Watch Report), but the Chinese government claims these allegations are illegitimate. The Chinese government also cites illegitimate claims towards these autonomous regions in hopes of gaining international backing for their occupation of these autonomous regions (Human Rights Watch Report). As a whole, these regions are better off as sovereign nations, without continued occupation by the Chinese military. Despite the rest of the world’s reticence of getting involved with this issue, the Chinese government must be induced to relinquish its hold on neighboring countries and autonomous regions.

According to the World Factbook, a compilation of portfolios of countries put together by the Central Intelligence Agency, with a population of almost 1.5 billion people, the People’s Republic of China has the largest population of any single country in the world. With a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of $14,300 and a population growth rate of just 0.45 percent, the People’s Republic of China has the outward appearance of being at the brink of becoming a developed country (World Factbook: China). When one looks closer at these numbers, however, the appearance is less promising. Over 6.1 percent of the country’s population lives under the country’s poverty line of $400 (World Factbook: China). The country has a dependency ratio of 36.6 percent, meaning that 36.6 percent of the population is under the age of 14 or over the age of 65 (World Factbook: China). While the literacy rate, or the percentage of people over 15 who can read and write, is on par with many developed countries at 96.4 percent overall, the literacy rate of males is 3.7 percent higher than the literacy of females (World Factbook: China). As of 2015, 4.5 percent of the Chinese population did not have access to clean water, and 23.5 percent of the population did not have access to adequate sanitation facilities (World Factbook: China).

As the People’s Republic of China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, they have been placed on tier two of the human trafficking watchlist (World Factbook: China). More people are convicted and executed on drug charges in the People’s Republic of China than in any other country in the world (World Factbook: China). Recently, the People’s Republic of China topped the United States as the country with the highest amount of carbon dioxide emissions due to consumption of energy (World Bank: China). The People’s Republic of China is an atheist country, and political oppression groups are forbidden in the People’s Republic of China. According to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), over a dozen government agencies monitor the flow of information within, into, and out of the People’s Republic of China. Foreign journalists are required to obtain permission before reporting in the country as a means of preventing the coverage of potentially politically sensitive material (China Media Censorship). These facts indicate a need for further international presence in the country to ensure all citizens of the People’s Republic of China have their basic human rights, as laid out by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, respected.

Currently, the Chinese government considers Taiwan its 23rd province. Government officials from the Chinese and Taiwanese governments are currently in heated debate over if Taiwan is a renegade province, or if Taiwan is a sovereign state (John Fuh-Sheng Hsieh 30). As the Chinese government has greater political standing, however, the international community has been intimidated into not accepting Taiwan as a state (World Factbook: China, World Factbook: Taiwan). The average life expectancy in Taiwan is 4.57 years higher than in the People’s Republic of China (World Factbook: China, World Factbook: Taiwan). While the People’s Republic of China’s literacy rate is high, the literacy rate of Taiwan is 98.5 percent, with only a 2.4 percent gender gap in the literacy rate to the People’s Republic of China’s 3.7 percent (World Factbook: China, World Factbook: Taiwan). Taiwan has a dependency ratio of 26 percent, over 10 percent lower than the dependency ratio of the People’s Republic of China (World Factbook: Taiwan). World Factbook reported in 2015 that only 1.5 percent of the Taiwanese population lived under the poverty line, and the gross domestic product per capita of Taiwan is 47,500 U.S. dollars, over three times the GDP per capita of the People’s Republic of China. The Taiwanese government is considered a multiparty democracy, and according to Alan W. Wachman, author of “Taiwan: Parent, Province, or Blackballed State?” “Tangible legal and institutional consequences flow from a determination of Taiwan’s international status”(185).

The People’s Republic of China’s claims that Taiwan has been a part of China since “ancient times” are not supported by any legitimate historical record. Willem Van Kemenade writes, “Beside a dominant trend toward unity, Chinese tradition has known long periods of national division. A standard work on Chinese history records that China, in the 3,097 years of its recorded history, has experienced 1,963 years of unity and 1,134 years of division. This is no argument against the reunification of China and Taiwan, but it does plead against overly hasty reunification under the coercion of a Communist dictatorship that is not everlasting. Official Chinese Communist party documents, murals, engravings, and inscriptions repeat ad nauseam that ‘Taiwan has been an inalienable part of China since time immemorial.’ This is an assertion, common in non-Western historiography, that history is not what happened but what should have happened” (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Inc. 143).

Similar to Taiwan, Hong Kong is also in a unique situation with the People’s Republic of China. Due to Hong Kong’s emergence a major international city and international port site, the People’s Republic of China considers Hong Kong a necessary asset for further economic growth (Tsang 216). Hong Kong alone handles more trade than rest of the supposed People’s Republic of China put together, and the contacts and relations Hong Kong businesses have with the rest of the world are an invaluable resource for the People’s Republic of China (Tsang 216). Roughly 79.2 percent of Hong Kong’s population has access to the internet, whereas only 46 percent of the population of the People’s Republic of China has access to the internet (World Factbook: China, World Factbook: Hong Kong). The government type of Hong Kong is considered a limited democracy. The life expectancy of someone from Hong Kong is 7.45 years higher than someone living in the People’s Republic of China, at 82.86 years (World Factbook: Hong Kong). The school life expectancy in Hong Kong is 16 years, while the school life expectancy in the People’s Republic of China is only 13 years (World Factbook: China, World Factbook: Hong Kong). Hong Kong has an infant mortality rate of 2.73 deaths per thousand live births, while the People’s Republic of China has an infant mortality rate of 12.44 deaths per thousand live births (World Factbook: China, World Factbook: Hong Kong). Hong Kong also has a slightly lower general mortality rate at 7.07 deaths for every thousand of the population, while the People’s Republic of China has a general mortality rate of 7.53 deaths per thousand of the population (World Factbook: China, World Factbook: Hong Kong).

According to The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China’s Commision on Poverty, while 15.2 percent of the population is estimated to live below Hong Kong’s poverty lines, the poverty lines are astronomically higher than that of the People’s Republic of China- ranging from 3,600 U.S. dollars to 15,800 U.S. dollars, depending on the size of one’s family. World Factbook reports an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent in the People’s Republic of China, but reports an unemployment rate of only 2.9 percent in Hong Kong. These numbers indicate that Hong Kong is a healthier and more economically stable place to live than the People’s Republic of China. International business is a major part of of Hong Kong’s economy, and Hong Kong already has the international government and business contacts and relationships needed to be a successful state in this globalized economy.

By most internationally agreed upon standards, Mongolia is, and rightly so, classified as a developing country. With a birth rate of 20.25 births per thousand of the population, an infant mortality rate of 22.44 deaths per thousand live births, and 26.87 percent of the population lying between the ages of zero and 14, Mongolia’s population is in the midst of a population structure shift that is typical of developing countries, as the country attains greater access to education and is beginning to have better access to adequate sanitation, but does not yet have consistent or safe access to methods of contraception (World Factbook: Mongolia). Mongolia has a general mortality rate of 6.35 deaths per thousand of the population, extremely low in comparison to the People’s Republic of China’s figure of 7.53 deaths per thousand of the population (World Factbook: China, World Factbook: Mongolia). Literacy rates and school life expectancies in Mongolia are higher than those of the People’s Republic of China and of most developing countries, with a literacy rate of 98.4 percent and a school life expectancy of 15 years (World Factbook: Mongolia).

The economic situation in Mongolia is, admittedly, abysmal. Sandwiched between Russia and the People’s Republic of China, Mongolia is a small, landlocked country with little arable land and little international appeal. While the mining of construction materials and services now make up a majority of the country’s economic endeavors, nomadic herding and sustenance farming remain the livelihood of a large percent of the population. Trade with the People’s Republic of China comprises 95.3 percent of Mongolia’s imports and 41.5 percent of Mongolia’s exports(World Factbook: Mongolia). Mongolia has an intense distrust of the People’s Republic of China, and as such is attempting to build up rapport and trade negotiations with other countries, such as Russia and the United States. Mongolia itself is of little importance to the rest of the world, and the Mongolian government is aware of this, but the Mongolian government also realizes that the best way of ensuring the continuation of its political and economic freedom is by securing alliances with developed countries beyond its neighbors (Index of Economic Freedom).

Of all regions in dispute with the People’s Republic of China, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR, Xijang) by far makes international headlines the most frequently. This infamy of this dispute is due in no small part to the Chinese government’s poor handling of the Dalai Lama and his followers. When outside sources question the legitimacy of the People’s Republic of China’s claim to Tibet, the government states that Tibet has been a part of China for over eight-hundred years, but this claim is not supported by facts. According to Michael van Walt, a lawyer, author, and professor, “Because China denies Tibetans inside Tibet the right to speak freely, it isn't possible to say exactly what their goals are - but their opposition to China's current rule is clear. Protesters in Tibet repeatedly call for the protection of Tibetan identity, for freedom, for human rights and for the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Some call for "Rangzen" (independence from China)” (Free Tibet).

Statistics for the situation in the Tibet Autonomous Region have not been made available to the general public by the Chinese government at this time, but the situation is currently being investigated on an international level. In its efforts to assert control over the region, the Chinese government has forcibly taken over the infrastructure and decision-making in the Buddhism religion via exiling the Dalai Lama, putting pressure on other countries to not allow him to speak, limiting contact with the Dalai Lama, refusing to talk freely with the Dalai Lama, and ignoring the Dalai Lama’s choice of a Panchen Lama (second in command to the Dalai Lama, second most holy one) and instead choosing their own (Goldstein 1). These actions are blatant infringements of the right to religious freedom, and the Chinese government has intimidated the rest of the world into not acting on the situation.

After these major claims of sovereignty and human rights infringements, there are many smaller international disputes. These disputes primarily involve the Diaoyu/Senkaku, Paracel, and Spratly island chains, all spread throughout the South China sea. The Diaoyu/Senkaku islands are claimed by the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Japan. The Paracel islands are claimed by the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and South Vietnam. The Spratly islands are claimed by the People’s Republic of China, South Vietnam, The Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. These issues seem small at the beginning, but as one looks closer the situation becomes more blatantly foreboding (Council on Foreign Relations). China has created artificial islands, runways, support buildings, loading piers, and potentially even placed satellite communication antennae on these tiny islands and the small coral reefs in the surrounding waters (Council on Foreign Relations).

Though the Chinese government claims these actions are purely for civilian use, the United States government and many of the People’s Republic of China’s neighbors are wary, as this development and ability to deploy aircraft, missiles, and missile defense systems extends its operation ranges south and east by as much as 620 miles (Council on Foreign Relations). These territories hold, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. These waters are also fished in by many countries. While this may not be an issue we as Americans ever hear about on the our national news stations, it is nonetheless an issue that must be addressed posthaste. These waters are not simply a buffer for the safety of neighboring countries, they are also the habitat of many fragile ecosystems and endangered species.The situations regarding the ownership of these island chains must be addressed before the situation and tension get out of hand, and someone is injured, or even killed, in the heat of this difficult and multifaceted issue.

Many would claim the motives of the People’s Republic of China are not purely for personal gain. The Chinese government, for instance, would quickly point out that Tibet still had a feudal form of government prior to their “reunification” with the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and would be quick to point out the advancements in Tibet’s economy and standard of living improvements for the “average” Tibetan. The Chinese government would be quick to point accusatory fingers at the Mongolian government for the economic crisis in the country. Taiwanese citizens would be considered ungrateful and traitorous citizens of the People’s Republic of China. But there is more to these stories than the People’s Republic of China would have the world, and even their own citizens, believe. The citizens of the People’s Republic of China and its assorted neighbors live in a situation where their basic human rights are frequently, and blatantly, violated (Human Rights Watch Report). As of now, the Chinese government remains extremely hostile towards criticism, and thousands of protesters have been imprisoned, tortured, and even killed at the hands of the Chinese government in its attempts to silence its people’s cries for outside help. The Chinese government is making every effort to silence the voices of its people and intimidate the rest of the world into believing it’s supposed historical rights and vows of innocence.

These regions and states all have the potential for greatness. This greatness cannot be fully realized, however, whilst they remain under the thumb of the People’s Republic of China. Without international backing and support for their cause, however, the people of these regions and states continue to suffer as they are repeatedly denied their basic human rights. The People’s Republic of China has been led to believe that if they push back against international pressure, the international community will continue to turn a blind eye towards the government’s alleged human rights violations, illegitimate information, blatant treaty infringements, and destruction of the climate. This beast that is the government of the People’s Republic of China must be induced to relinquish its hold on neighboring countries and autonomous regions before we find ourselves all bowing to the might of the People’s Republic of China.


American Government. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook. Updated July 2015 by CIA. Online document. 04 May 2016

Amnesty International Charity Limited. China: 2015/2016. Published 2015. 22 April 2016.

Champion De Crespigny, Richard Rafe. China This Century. Oxford University within Hong Kong, 1992. 02 May 2016.

Council on Foreign Relations. China. February 2016. Online Document. 22 April 2016.

Dreyer, June Teufel. China’s Political System, Modernization and Tradition. 2012, Illinois. 02 May 2016.

Free Tibet. Van Walt, Michael. 2013. Online Article. 22 April 2016.

Goldstein, Melvyn C. .The Snow Lion and the Dragon: China, Tibet, and the Dalai Lama. 1997 University of California. 02 May 2016.

Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch Board. World Report 2015: China. HRW 2015. Online document. 22 April 2016

Index of Economic Freedom. Mongolia. 2016. Online Document. 22 April 2016.

Kolodner, Eric. Religious Rights in China: A Comparison of International Human Rights Law and Chinese Domestic Legislation. Human Rights Quarterly. 1994. Online document. 22 April 2016.

Lee, Wei -Chin. Taiwan in Perspective: International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology. Brill: Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. 2000. Read 02 May 2016.

Smith Jr., Warren W. . Tibet’s Last Stand? The Tibetan Uprising of 2008 and China’s Response. 2010, United Kingdom. 02 May 2016

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Of the People’s Republic of China. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Of the People’s Republic of China’s Commision on Poverty. 2013. Online Document. 22 April 2016

Tsang, Steve and Tauris, I.B. . Hong Kong: An Appointment with China. London, UK, 1997. 02 May 2016.

Van Kemenade, Willem. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan Inc.: The Dynamics of a New Empire. 1996 Amsterdam, 1998 New York. 02 May 2016

Van Pragg, Walt and Van, Michael C. . The Legal Status of Tibet. cultural Issue 12.1. Published 1988. Online article, originally periodical article. 22 April 2016.

World Bank Board. China. 2015. Online Document. 22 April 2016.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cinco de Mayo: More Than a Day of Drinking

When most Americans think of Cinco de Mayo, the majority envision plastic-beaded jewelry, scantily-clad women, and an extreme excess of alcohol. Music, laughing, and talking fill the air and the scene is set in chaotic and colorful disarray. But this image, while vibrant and full of life, is not how Cinco de Mayo is supposed to be celebrated.

For those who aren’t already aware, Cinco de Mayo is not the Mexican Independence Day (which is Sept. 16). Cinco day Mayo is the day the Mexican people remember when General Ignacio Zaragoza led the Mexican Army into a victory against the French armies in the Battle of Puebla on May 5 of 1862.

“The war with France actually has a lot of significance to American history; the Civil War was going on simultaneously. France would have sided with the confederates in the Civil War, and had they not been sidetracked by the war in Mexico, the Civil War could very easily have had a very different outcome,” said Javier Cervantes, Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at LBCC

In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not widely celebrated. All children have the day off of school, but the day is only a national holiday in the state of Puebla, where the battle was won. The festivities are most prevalent and widespread in Puebla. The neighboring state of Veracruz also has a full holiday on May 5, and there are various military-themed parades across Mexico, but the festivities are nowhere near as ostentatious, raucous, and flamboyant as those in most of the United States.

“I feel like Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that is just used in America as an excuse to drink, like Saint Patrick’s day is. It would be like another country using the alamo or our independence day as another drinking day,” said Moriah Hoskins, an LBCC student of Hispanic descent.

If you would like to celebrate in a way that is culturally accurate or learn more, visit LBCC’s Diversity Day on Wednesday, May 10; which will be in the courtyard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature performers, music, food, club and community tables, and more.

“Cinco de Mayo celebrations are a signature event at Diversity Day, it’s one of the most fun days of the year,” said Cervantes.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Lights, Camera, Action!

As Marissa Fieland reaches the final bars of the song, tears fill the eyes of everyone around her. Her posture and poise is perfect as she reaches the last notes, her voice never wavering. The room is silent for a few seconds, before bursting into thunderous applause. A tremendously talented individual, Fieland breathes new life into music and awakens the inner child of everyone around her. Not only is she talented, Fieland is a hard worker, and incredibly down to earth.

A senior at West Albany High School, Fieland has been a vital part of the school’s music and performing arts programs for over three years.

Fieland plans to continue with music. Having been accepted into the Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and the University of Oregon, Fieland will be attending the New England Conservatory, where she was awarded a $23,000 scholarship.

“What I’m specifically studying is vocal performance; I hate that title, though. I like to tell people I’m studying opera. I feel like opera like the title 'Vocal Performance' is more flashy and implies pop singing or something, which I’m not doing,” said Fieland.

Music is an integral part of Fieland’s life, and always has been.

“It’s (music) one of the only things that can actually satisfy me. It’s also the one thing that can exhilarate me and relax me at the same time, I guess that’s more of the performing music, though,” said Fieland. “One thing I’m particularly fond of is how with music you can hear a recording of a song and hear it one way, but the next day you can listen to the same recording of the same song and it feels like a different recording because you hear it differently based on your mood. I think that’s one of the coolest things because that means there’s always new about it that you didn’t realize existed, you’re constantly living in the moment I guess,”

In the future, Fieland hopes to pursue music professionally.

“I plan to audition for operas in hopes of getting paying roles,” said Fieland. “Eventually, I want to teach at a music conservatory or college.”

In addition, Fieland wants people to understand what opera is -- and isn’t.

“Most people think it’s just a genre of music, but technically an opera is pretty much like a musical, it has a plot and characters, but all the lines that are delivered are sung. And they’re sung specifically in either a belcanto or baroque style, depending on whether or not the opera was written by a romantic composer or a classical composer like Mozart,” said Fieland. “ They’re (opera singers) not just high singing with a symphony behind it; there are characters, a theme and a moral learned.”

At a Glance:

Marissa Fieland is an 18 year old senior at West Albany High School who will begin studying vocal performance at the New England Conservatory in the fall. Fieland recently played the Fairy Godmother in West Albany High School's spring musical, "Cinderella."

Friday, April 28, 2017

Carrie Fisher: Princess, Rebel, and Brave Comic Voice

As a fan of Carrie Fisher since childhood, I was excited to read this book initially, because Fisher had led an extremely interesting life and had an awesome sense of humor. As I delved into the first sections, however, I found myself wholeheartedly disappointed.

If you have a subscription to the New York Times, then you have probably already read this book, or at least most of it. The book consists only of articles on Fisher published by The New York Times between July 13, 1977, and January 5, 2017.

I, however, disagree. There was no transition between the articles. The articles were in order from most recently published to least recently, and as the articles became more and more spread apart, this left the story feeling more and more disjointed. As the story was merely the articles of many different people, there were several different voices and opinions of the same person, and no voice ever leaves you with a feeling of clarity.

The biggest downfall, however, was that the story had no forward, prologue, prelude, after thoughts, epilogue, or final words to tie the stories and time frames together. You as the reader merely see many different variances of Carrie Fisher through the eyes of several very different people.

Don’t get me wrong. The articles were great on their own, each well-written and poignant, but they lacked a solid fluidity of voice, idea, or pace altogether. I love Carrie Fisher, and I love to read, but this book just isn’t worth the $2.99 price tag.

Published by the New York Times at the end March 2017 via the Nook and Kindle stores, this book, much to my surprise, had very few reviews or ratings. There were no customer reviews on the book in the Nook store, and only one customer review available in the Kindle store. The reviewer did not leave their name, but Amazon verified they had purchased the book before giving it a rating of five out of five stars and a brief comment, saying “Very interesting series of articles made into a book.” In fact, this is the only review I was able to find on any sight: the book just wasn’t something to write home about.

Amazon advertises the book as, "a selection of stories, reviews and interviews from The New York Times archives chronicling the life of Carrie Fisher."

If you want to remember Carrie Fisher or get to know her a little more personally, read her books. Carrie Fisher wrote several books before her death, and not only are they refreshingly blunt about life as a celebrity and life with mental illness, they are also well-written and funny, unlike this memoir by the New York Times.

At a Glance:
-Title: Carrie Fisher: Princess, Rebel, and Brave Comic Voice
-What is it: Memoir of Carrie Fisher
-Who is it by: The New York Times
-Summary: The book is a compilation of articles by various writers of the New York Times that all go over the life of Carrie Fisher
-Rating: Two out of five stars
-Number of Pages: 121
-Cost: $2.99 in the Kindle and Nook stores
- What others said: Five out of five stars

Saturday, April 8, 2017

LBCC Mourns Loss of Student Veteran Tom Tyger

Last week LBCC and the Willamette Valley lost a beloved member of the community.

“Our community is suffering: he was an amazing member of the community, and he inspired everyone his life touched,” said John Maine, member of the LBCC Veterans Club.

On April 5, Tom Dakota Tyger was found in his home after taking his own life.

Tyger, 21, served his country with pride, and according to his family and friends, made everyone he was close to proud of him. Upon leaving the military, Tyger continued striving to make a difference in his community; this time at the community college.

Tyger was an active student in the LBCC community and was known to enjoy school. He was well-known and respected by his teachers. Tyger had an interest in political sciences and the liberal arts, but was taking a wide variety of general education courses. During his time at LBCC, Tyger was a member of the Veterans Club, the LBCC Active Minds club, and Student Life and Leadership. While at LBCC, Tyger enjoyed physical activity, especially lifting weights, and the gym became his sanctuary.

These three groups have come together with others who knew Tyger to plan a memorial and remembrance service, which will be held at LBCC on Thursday, April 13. The service will be held at 4:30 p.m., and more information will be released as soon as final arrangements are made.

A memorial site has been set up on the east side of the Forum building, where students, staff and faculty can leave notes, flowers, pictures and other remembrance items for the family.

If you would like to help with the service, contact John Maine or Lina deMorais in the Veteran’s Center.

Tyger’s parents would like to thank the LBCC and Albany communities for loving him and showing him so much support.

To help students, staff, and faculty through this loss, counseling is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Advising Center in Takena Hall, and additional counseling is available in the Veterans Center, with more information coming later as they work out an exact schedule. Additional counseling and grief support will be provided at the end of the memorial.

LBCC’s Advising Center offers short-term counseling, but does not provide long-term therapy.

“We are not set up to do long-term therapy, so we refer and work with our community providers,” said Lisa Hoogesteger, a well-being counselor at LBCC.

While booking an appointment in the advising center is generally preferred, the counselors are aware that sometimes, especially, with situations such as this, people need to come in right away to talk. This is, according to Hoogesteger, perfectly acceptable, and the counselors will do their best to meet with people on the fly.

Free coffee will be available in the Hot Shot Cafe for those who want to sit down and talk about Tyger.

A day of weightlifting in honor of Tyger is also in the works, with more details to follow.

Members of the LBCC Active Minds club will also be passing out pamphlets and brochures with contact information for crisis hotlines. The Active Minds club is a nonprofit organization that encourages students to speak about mental health, both to help educate the community and to encourage people to seek help.

“We were lucky to have the time we had with him, but I wish we had more,” said Maine. “I challenge everyone to show compassion towards those around them and be an ear for people.”

Maine was not the only one to share this sentiment.

“Try to not only be sympathetic of situations, but empathetic as well. Being able to relate to people is a lot more powerful,” said Justen Noll, leader of the LBCC Active Minds club. “Be mindful of your fellow classmates; I think mindfulness is very important to practice. Be aware of what you say and listen to others, if they need to talk, lend yourself as an open ear.”

Tyger is survived by parents Tim, Terra, and Wendy Tyger; sisters Sadie Campbell, Cierra Tyger, and Nevaeh Tyger; and brother Levi Gutierrez, as well as Levi’s wife, Autumn Rollin, and their two children, Levi Jr. and Kayden Gutierrez.

At a Glance

If you, or anyone you know, is in need of further support or needs someone to talk to, call any of the emergency numbers below. In addition, take the time to read “How to Help Someone Who Is Suicidal,” provided by the Mayo Clinic.

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Linn County Mental Health: 1-800-560-5535
  • Benton County Mental Health: 1-888-232-7192
  • Community Outreach Crisis Intervention: 541-758-3000
  • Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266
  • National Crisis Textline: Text Connect to 741741
  • Support After Suicide: 541-905-9787

Here's a link to the story on the Commuter webpage:LBCC Mourns Loss of Student Veteran Tom Tyger