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Deschutes County Health Department talks about syphilis rates in Oregon

Art by Boroka Bordas

Due to the increase in syphilis rates in Oregon, specifically in the female population because of congenital syphilis (CS), the Deschutes County Health Department suggested a decrease in stigma toward sexual and reproductive health to create a more open educational enviroment as well as focusing on inequities found within the community.

Rates and Inequities

The rate of syphilis, including all levels (primary, secondary, early non-primary non-secondary syphilis) among people assigned female at birth increased over 900% from 2013 to 2020.

Congenital syphilis and early syphilis rates in people assigned female at birth from 2013-2020 by Oregon Health Authority

“The trends we’re seeing in STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) now, are really connected to social determinants of health [and] people who have inequities… It’s going to take a community to address some of those inequities that are impacting people’s health,” said Kathy Christensen, Public Health Supervisor of Deschutes County Health Department on Thursday, May 8th. 

Currently, more cases are showing up in the houseless and drug-using communities across the state due to inequities and a variety of barriers to health care such as inability to even apply to insurance due to not having an address or phone number to call. 

“People with inequities can be afraid to talk to providers because of previous bad experiences, so they’re less likely to go and seek help… it’s a horrible cycle,” said Public Health Nurse Amber Knapp, RN, BSN. Knapp works in the STD/HIV Program department of Deschutes County Health Services. 

“It’s not just houseless folks who are getting STDs. STDs do not choose… [There are] many other folks, as well,” Christensen said. 


Anyone engaging in oral, vaginal, or anal sexual activities can be at risk of syphilis. It’s spread through direct contact with a syphilitic sore, which does not always present in the same way, according to Christensen. 

These sores can be anywhere, and are usually (not always) painless. The areas Knapp referred to as examples were around or on the genitals, in the mouth, and some had been seen on the belly button.

“A lot of people don’t have symptoms, so that’s an issue [too]. People can have it for a long time and have no idea, unless they go in and get testing,” Knapp said.

The majority of syphilis cases are seen in people ages 20 and up. 

“[That] doesn’t mean we don’t have teens [with syphilis], in general, that’s just not the majority of cases,” Christensen said. 

Partners of people-at-risk are also, by association, at risk themselves. This happens a lot according to Christensen, where one partner gets treatment for syphilis and goes back to the other partner and experiences re-exposure. This is called “treatment-failure”. 

Knapp explained that part of her job and services that Deschutes County Health provides is what’s known as “partner notification”. In the event that a person does not feel comfortable telling their partner about their diagnosis, the county will reach out anonymously to let that partner know they’ve been exposed (to an STD/STI) and refer them to testing and treatment.   

Safe Sex and Prevention

Proper condom-use and screening are the best prevention methods for syphilis. In a lot of cases, people will only be tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia.

“The problem is a lot of people go in and ask for STD testing and they get gonorrhea and chlamydia [testing] and they think, ‘Oh, I was tested for everything,’… Syphilis and HIV are blood-draw tests. So, just having that education to know, ‘Oh, I was tested for all these things,’ [is helpful],” Knapp said.

Being tested too early after exposure to syphilis can lead to a negative test, explained Knapp. A persistent back-and-forth between a primary care physician and their patient is vital in prevention of STDs/STIs. 

Suggested screening locations are a primary care physician’s clinic, or if symptoms are present, a person can go to urgent care. In these places, Christensen advised to be prepared to advocate for yourself. 

“If you go to a Planned Parenthood or a public health clinic, [Planned Parenthood and the clinic is] going to be much more apt to ask for that kind of thing [testing],” Christensen said. 


The symptoms can be easy to miss, especially when someone doesn’t know what to look for. Knapp and Vincent Cancelliere, STD/HIV Prevention Coordinator at Deschutes County Health Services, explained some common symptoms in syphilis, and explained what to look for.

From three weeks to three months after exposure, a person can develop a “chancre” or sore which is what health care professionals refer to as primary syphilis. This sore is usually painless, but as it is an open sore, sometimes a person can develop a secondary infection which would make it painful, Knapp said.

“The difficult thing with a lot of these symptoms is that they go away and people don’t know what they are. Some providers do not catch it,” Cancelliere said.

After the initial sore goes away, approximately 25% of people develop secondary syphilis. This often presents as a rash, which can appear anywhere on the body, commonly on the torso, but will occasionally appear on the hands, Knapp explained.

“[The rash is] not usually itchy and you can get swollen lymph nodes, or hair loss, or white patches on the mouth,” said Public Health Nurse, Charlotte Jones, RN, BSN, of Deschutes County Health Services.

Knapp went on to say that sometimes people develop new sores, or lesions, in the groin area and those are typically uncomfortable. Sometimes the sores and rashes will eventually disappear on their own and that person could just stop having any problems. Sometimes the affected person can develop neural syphilis or tertiary syphilis.

“That’s why you should always get a full screening,” Cancelliere said.

Syphilis and Congenital Syphilis

Syphilis by itself can be unnoticable. Approximately one quarter of people who get syphilis actually progress onto secondary syphilis, which has symptoms that are primarily an aesthetic annoyance rather than a painful or itchy skin condition.

The problem is congenital syphilis (CS). According to the CD Summary published in May 2021, created by the Oregon Health Authority, 7% of CS cases in Oregon from 2014 to 2020 were stillborn. 3% died in the first 28 days of life. This amounts to a 10% fatality rate for CS in Oregon from 2014 to 2020. 

CS happens when a pregnant person with syphilis passes their infection to their baby during pregnancy. CS can cause miscarriage, low birth weight (No. 2 cause of infant mortality, or death, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), pre-term delivery, as well as neonatal death and stillbirth.

Infants who are born may develop bone deformities, anemia, neurologic problems, hepatosplenomegaly (swelling of liver and spleen), jaundice (stemming from liver conditions), and skin rashes. 

In October 2021, the Oregon Health Authority issued a health alert via the Health Alert Network that sought to notify public health professionals about the urgent rise in congenital syphilis cases in Oregon. 

“People can arm themselves with good information and advocate for themselves… Even if you don’t think for one second that you’re at risk for HIV or syphilis, it’s just good to know you don’t have it,” Christensen said.

OSU Cascades Multimedia Student Exhibition at COCC Pence Pinckney Gallery


OSU Cascades Students show off their photo and video projects at COCC’s own campus art gallery.

Tristan Hackbart, The Broadside

OSU Cascades Art, Media, and Technology Students show off their Photo and Video projects at COCC’s Pence Pinckney Art Gallery.

The projects on display include various photo projects and several multimedia projects, including a narrative short film, a stop motion animation, and a trippy hike through the woods.

Some Notable works include Jeremy Evans’ The Opossum, Shasta Ortweins’ Making Memories, and Alison Browns’ A Bug’s Life. The Exhibition will run from February 10th to March 4th, with hours for viewing available

Off-Script with Liam Gibler welcomes Renny Temple and Caren Kaye for Episode two.

Photo by Tristan Hackbart

Audience participation has become a staple of live performance. At concerts, crowds are encouraged to sing along; At clubs, anyone in the front row could become part of a comedian’s bit. 

But there was a time not too long ago, when that wasn’t the case. Shows were designed to be viewed by the audience, not generated with them. Even that word ‘show,’ expresses an old school perspective on performance. That the audience member should sit there passively, while the performer dictates their environment. 

Gradually, that idea was replaced with a new phrase for a new school of thought. ‘Experience.’ For a performance to be an experience it must transcend ‘for the people’ and instead be ‘with the people.’ For a performance to be an experience those on stage must leave behind control. And in doing so, find the courage to continue without it.

I feel blessed to have gotten to know, and to talk with, two truly courageous performers: Renny Temple and Caren Kaye.

Improv was in its infancy when War Babies started. Viola Spolin had designed a series of games for actors, and Renny and Caren were hooked. 

After Spolin’s workshop, Renny and Caren continued the games with soon to be War Babies. It wasn’t long before someone suggested taking the ideas to the stage. In part one of the podcast, we talk about the origins of War Babies and improv, as well as the rules to great improvisation. 

Extending the themes of improv to wellness is an emphasis in their class. Keeping true to Caren’s Psychology background, we discuss overcoming fear as performers, and what stuck with me from my four weeks with Improv for Life

Renny talks about playing the title role in The Life and Times of Eddie Roberts, then Caren tells stories about her Johnny Carson appearance, My Tutor, and Jane Fonda. 

Listening to Renny Temple and Caren Kaye is an experience in the true performative sense of the word. While editing this episode, I found myself laughing to jokes I knew were coming, and surprising myself with subtleties I had missed. Part two comes out at the end of next week.

Off-Script with Liam Gibler can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen or download them.

COCC plans to develop Campus Village land

Forested land
The Campus Village land is currently undeveloped (Photo by Tristan Hackbart/The Broadside).

For many years, Central Oregon Community College has owned three of four corners of the intersection between Mt. Washington Drive and Shevlin Park Road. This land, which sprawls from east of the Cascade Culinary Institute to NW Reserve Camp Court, has been deemed the Campus Village. 

To develop this land, COCC entered into an agreement with William Smith Properties, Inc. in 2010. Since then, minimal progress has been made on any developments. 

Recently, however, three projects have begun some phase of planning or development. These include a subdivision of homes, a multifamily housing complex and a 55+ living community. 

Though William Smith Properties, Inc. is the master developer of Campus Village, their role is to find and vet developers that want to build in Campus Village, said Dr. Laurie Chesley, COCC President. Thus, the company will not actually develop any land, but only coordinate projects for other developers.

Curtis Homes, LLC. is one such developer. They plan to develop a subdivision of homes near the southwest corner of the intersection between Mt. Washington Drive and Shevlin Park Road. Named Outcrop, this subdivision will involve a collection of homes, each with an additional dwelling unit on their property. 

These additional units could one day serve as student housing, said Jim Clinton, member of COCC’s Board of Directors and Real Estate Board. 

COCC’s Real Estate Board is a subgroup of the Board of Directors. It handles all of the development decisions for the Campus Village land, among other things.

The other developer that currently has a plan for land in the Campus Village area is Neighborly Ventures, Inc. This company will develop both a multifamily apartment complex and a 55+ living community, said Peter McCaffrey, Director of Leasing and Development at William Smith Properties, Inc. 

Despite both being present for Real Estate Board meetings, Dr. Chesley and Clinton gave The Broadside inaccurate information regarding what Neighborly Ventures, Inc. was going to develop. Dr. Chesley believed that Neighborly Ventures, Inc. was solely going to develop a 55+ living community, and Clinton believed the company was solely going to develop a multifamily apartment complex. 

Neighborly Ventures will develop both projects, not just one or the other, said McCaffrey. 

Dr. Chesley later said that her error was inadvertent and accidental.

Clinton later clarified that he did not mean to imply that the 55+ community was not going to be built, only that it seemed unlikely for it to be built in the next few years.

“Even the first apartment project is not under construction and in the current volatile situation, I wouldn’t be surprised if neither apartment complex was built,” wrote Clinton. His statement was indicative of the overall uncertainty surrounding the planned developments.

The multifamily apartment complex will be built roughly east of the Cascade Culinary Institute. It will have approximately 180 units, and be rented at market rate. According to McCaffrey, Neighborly Ventures, Inc. will be breaking ground some time this summer.

The 55+ living community will likely be built on the southeast corner of the intersection between Mt. Washington Drive and Shevlin Park Road. It is still in the planning and researching stage, said McCaffrey, so no timeline has been set for construction to begin. 

The land in the Campus Village was initially gifted to the college. COCC needed money, so they decided to work with William Smith Properties, Inc. to find potential buyers or leasers for the land.

“The goal for COCC is to create a long-term alternative revenue stream to help us meet the educational mission of the College and to help us to not be entirely dependent on traditional revenue streams, such as tuition and state aid,” wrote Dr. Chesley. 

Right now, the college has gotten approximately $500,000 from the sale of homes in Outcrop. The college will set aside this money in an interest-earning account.

“Frankly, it may sit there for a while,” said Dr. Chesley. 

The Board of Directors will decide how the money will be used. In the long term, it will likely be used to further the educational mission of the college. Dr. Chesley listed a new academic building or program as examples of uses that would enhance COCC’s educational mission.

“It’s shocking how much it costs to go to college,” said Clinton, a Board member. He would like to see the money be used to decrease the cost of attending college. 

Land development almost never comes without resistance. Someone who has worked closely with COCC, who will remain anonymous, believes that the multifamily apartment complex development is problematic. 

The source had two major objections to the multifamily apartment complex. First, they believed the development eliminated too many trees.

The source said it was understandable that the college would need money, but believed the development could have saved some trees. 

“Such a development will eliminate 90% of the tree cover on a pristine tract of natural landscape,” said the source. 

They believed the development will not fit with COCC’s cultural precedent that Dr. Pence established when COCC’s Bend campus was first built.

Dr. Pence, the first President of COCC, was very involved in the initial construction of the Bend campus. In Blazing a Trail: The 50-Year History of Central Oregon Community College, Pence was mentioned to walk through the construction zone and point out trees to save. The source thought the planned apartment complex disregarded this legacy.

“Just because [development] is inevitable doesn’t make it right,” said the source.

Second, the source believed an apartment complex that would likely be unaffordable for students and part-time faculty was an inappropriate use of college property. 

The average cost of rent in Bend is more than $1,500 per month. This fact makes a large proportion of housing in Bend unaffordable for both students and part-time faculty or staff. 

The source questioned whether developing housing adjacent to campus that students and part-time faculty could not realistically rent was a good idea. They would prefer housing developed on Campus Village land to be affordable for the people who are on campus every day.

According to Clinton, the college could insist that a developer build a certain type of project, for example a low income apartment complex. However, if that plan is outside of what the developer wants to build it will not get built, he said.

“I was hoping to see more of a housing project that would have a benefit for students and faculty,” said Clinton. “It would be nice to have an apartment complex that would have an impact on student housing.”

Despite this, the focus of the Real Estate Board, of which Clinton is a member, has been approving projects that will give the college a long-term income stream, not just student housing. 

Dr. Chesley said if the money earned from the development was to be used for childcare or student and faculty housing, it would take away from the educational mission of the college. 

“We don’t exist to do that work,” said Dr. Chesley.

COCC’s Spanish Language Summer Immersion returns

spanish teacher, photo provided by: momboleum

Central Oregon Community College (COCC) is set to host the Central Oregon Summer Spanish Immersion language and cultural program. The immersion program hasn’t been hosted in-person in two-years due to the pandemic. To be a part of this opportunity you must be at least 16 years of age, states COCC’s website. 

The program will begin Tuesday June 21 at 8 a.m. and end Friday June 24, at 5 p.m. It will be held on COCC’s Redmond campus in the Technology Education Center. 

It costs $599 to be a part of this summer program. Payment is due at the time of registration. If an employer or third party is paying for the cost of the program, the check or PO should be made out to COCC Community Education.

There will be Spanish instruction, Spanish culture, and Spanish interaction during those fours days. The program also includes:

  • 8 hours of Spanish instruction and facilitated conversation group activities (Four blended levels ranging from beginning to superior)
  • Up to 8 hours of Spanish-Culture Breakout/Electivo Sessions
  • 4 hours of facilitated conversation groups

There will also be happy hour activities which include:

  • Tuesday – No-host meet & greet at Wild Ride Brewing
  • Wednesday – Film screening and discussion
  • Thursday – Dreaming of Travel presentation and discussion
  • Friday – Cata de Vinos: Wines of Spain and Aperitivos – Pre-registration is required. Must be 21+

For more information about the event or to register go to the following link; Central Oregon Summer Spanish Immersion (COSSI) – Central Oregon Community College ( You can also call the number, 541-383-7240 or email

Anyone who needs transportation due to physical or mobility disability should contact Caitlyn Gardner at 541-383-7237. Anyone who needs any accommodations due to another disability should contact disability services at 541-383-7583.

Stress during finals: A Q&A with Professor Becky Heinrick 

Becky Heinrick

With finals being the primary focus of college students at Central Oregon Community College this past week, stress levels are rapidly rising. Stress Management professor Becky Heinrick gives some much needed insight on handling stress properly during this possibly overwhelming week. 

The Broadside: How long have you been teaching stress management? 

Becky Heinrick: I have been teaching stress management at COCC since 2009.

TB: During midterms, are there any patterns you notice in your students?

BH: I have more students reaching out to express their stress levels and apologize in advance if they seem distracted. We then talk about ways to slow our stress response down, specifically using the appraisal process and organization. 

TB: What are a few practical tips you have for students during final week to help limit their stress and control their stress responses?

BH: Prioritization and organization! What classes do you need a better midterm grade in? Which midterm is coming up first? Which one is of the most importance? Outline your schedule to keep you on track, but do not feel defeated if you fall off here and there. Just refocus and move from there. Also, take breaks! Walk away from studying here and there to give your mind a break and recharge. 

TB: What were a couple methods of studying that you used for stressful weeks, such as finals, when you were in college yourself? 

BH: Study groups. Talk things over, explain how you understand the material and let your group share their thoughts.. A lot of the time, we get a better understanding when we explain it ourselves. Say your understanding of the material out loud if even by yourself. Schedule time to master material one part at a time and then eventually put it all together. Ask your teacher for more clarification. If they are busy see the tutoring center. Create little rhymes or sayings to help with memory. For example, in my health class HDL cholesterol is good so we focus on the H meaning healthy. LDL cholesterol is not good so we focus on the L meaning lethal. Just simple little things that can help.

TB: If you could give students any further advice, what would it be?

BH: Do not procrastinate. Find humor. Exercise out your stress. Get enough sleep. Supply your brain with energy so do not skip meals. Believe in yourself. Practice having a higher internal locus on control. And use that appraisal process. A good thing to note is our mind and body function better when we are in homeostasis (balance) so limiting the effects of negative stress can be very beneficial.

The story of Drey Aguirre: Homelessness is a product of the systemic issues of today

Photo by Kayt Vallis

A girl has a child with a boy from high school at the age of 16. Her father; absent. Her mother; abusive.

The child of that high school girl now grows up in a family with an alcoholic, verbally abusive and adulterer father. He works to support the family. The mother has two other children. 

This family is unstably housed, thus moving consistently throughout the children’s lives, across California.

The father attempts suicide in the first child’s summer of senior year in high school after an argument with the mother. The mother finds her husband and calls 9-1-1. He survives. She decides to take that opportunity to leave with her children, choosing to continue moving consistently to keep a distance from her husband.

This first child of that family ends up homeless later in life. Not because of any perceived mistake or misjudgment on his behalf, but simply because he did not want to burden his mother any further than what she had been through already. 

He lived in men’s homes, rested on park benches, sought out places to survive, if only for a day.

Several years of unstable and unsafe housing later, his mother moved to Oregon with his younger sisters. He decided to live with them for a time. However, his mother was now married to another partner who was also abusive, so he struck out on his own again.

Eventually, he found work as a farmhand and soap-maker at the Bend Soap Company. He got to live and work on this farm. Perhaps not “homeless” in the classic sense with tents and sleeping bags, but homeless in that this place wasn’t “home.” 

People may think of homelessness as a person failing in life. A mistake a person made that led to them not having money or being evicted from their homes. It can be easier that way, to see the one “inciting incident” and decide that’s what did it. But, is that true?

This person was born from a mother without stellar examples for how a father was meant to be and a father who was abusive and had mental health conditions. Support systems were not in place for either of them. He never got to experience a healthy family structure.

He left his home because of good intentions. For his mother’s sake. Not because he gambled his money away, not because he had a drug problem, but because his mom had simply been through enough.

This person is Drey Aguirre, the newly elected president of the Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College (ASCOCC). He is currently in the process of getting certified to be a community health worker and working toward completing the nursing program at COCC.

Aguirre spoke to The Broadside and told his story. 

Aguirre is 33-years-old, has been homeless for 15 years and has experienced a broad spectrum of homeless life. From sleeping in cars, tents, to renting rooms for brief periods, to now living in a camping trailer on a friend’s property. 

“I barely have electricity,” Aguirre said. “I don’t have my basic necessities taken care of.” 

Aguirre spoke about how the utilities at COCC were integral in maintaining hygiene and spoke about the importance of hygiene, especially for people in the homeless community. Not only for job-seeking, but also for mental health. 

“It’s hard if [the homeless community] doesn’t have access to [hygiene facilities] or things like that, the motivation just drops and all these mental health issues start to arise,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre explained that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been invaluable for him regarding food resources. The biggest problem he faces is stable housing.

He lives on his friend’s property, which makes his friend his landlord. There’s a power dynamic imbalance between Aguirre and his landlord. Circumstances arose where Aguirre had to care for the property alone, attend school, and come straight back to the property. This went on for an extended period of time, without compensation. 

“It [was] hard on my mental health, because I’m already isolated,” Aguirre said. “I’m used to it, but it’s starting to affect me more… it messes with you, loneliness, depression, anxiety, all these different things start to come into play… I feel that we are all created to be in community with each other.”

Aguirre mentioned that he has been living there for 5 years and is just trying to find a better situation, but that it’s been one of the more difficult things in his life currently, trying to find this stable housing. 

As Aguirre spoke about his goals and his life, his focus continued to be on other people and finding ways he could help. From deciding to leave his family to lessen their burden as an 18-year-old, to today, with his efforts in advocacy and plans to change policies with hopes that other people won’t need to struggle the way he did.

“One of the reasons I’m [taking] this Community Health Worker class [is] because I am a student advocate, but I’m also an advocate for people. How can I help educate different organizations to change their policies to accept, learn, and be more culturally humble and competent? Especially [for] the LGBTQIA+ community, who are really underserved in healthcare. And, obviously, undocumented people and people of color [who] also have issues or struggle with it,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre said that he didn’t originally come to school with this goal in mind, but “opportunities to help” popped up and he couldn’t help but pursue them.

Photo by Kayt Vallis

In regards to ASCOCC, Aguirre wants to put a focus on mental health because of his family history. 

“I want to make sure students are heard and [ask], ‘What is going to help your success, your mental health, your growth?’,” Aguirre said.

While the fact that COCC is a small 2-year community college is true, Aguirre has a lot of goals he hopes to accomplish while he’s here.

“[We need] to keep moving forward. We’re going to hit barriers, let’s go through,” Aguirre said. 

The most important thing Aguirre hopes for people to take away from his story is that it’s not just him. There are countless other people going through different paths in life to end up homeless. There’s value in educating one’s self on homelessness and there’s value in pushing for understanding. 

“I want to make sure it’s not just ignored anymore. There are people in your community that are struggling. Don’t ignore them,” Aguirre said.

COCC’s Spring Term Student Showcase

An attendee of the Student Showcase admiring student presentations. Photo by Mel Smith.

Central Oregon Psychology Enthusiasts (COPE) Psychology Club held their annual Student Showcase this past Wednesday on the Bend Campus of Central Oregon Community College (COCC).

The Student Showcase is a campus wide event that occurs each term at the Bend upper campus quad. It is a community wide celebration for students and the various departments and clubs at COCC.

Ray Barram, a COPE leader and club volunteer, spoke on the intention of COPE’s Student Showcase. 

“It’s entirely student put on, with professors acting as guides. COPE acts as a connecting point, and then students take it on themselves to connect the community to the campus”, Barram said.

“I started just doing cleanup, and then as I took on more leadership I got into running it,” said Barram. “This term was 80% freshman/high school students in charge. They’re taking on leadership and I’m so proud of them.”

“I’m proud to have had such a role in an event centered on staff-to-student connection, and I know it’s in good hands for the years to come” shared Barram. 

The theme for the Student Showcase this term was “Nostalgia”, and each building resembled a different decade in time.

Oscar Tovar, a student leader of the Psychology Immersion Experience, spoke more about the intention of picking this theme in a previous interview, mentioned in an earlier article regarding de-stressing for finals.

Tovar had shared that the theme of “Nostalgia” was chosen to create an environment where celebrating each decade from the 1950’s onward could be possible. 

Tovar highlighted the theme of celebration and the inclusionary aspects of bringing COCC clubs, faculty, students and community members together for a fun and inclusive event.

The schedule of events for the Spring Student Showcase were advertised to include “Pet-A-Pup” therapy dogs, karaoke to commemorate the various genres across time, trivia related to each decade, various faculty giving presentations about thematic social, economic and cultural elements of the last few decades in U.S. history, and club tables set up for individuals to join and learn more about COCC resources.

The Showcase began at 4 p.m. this past Wednesday June 1, and went until 7 p.m.

There was a bouncy house for kids to play in, various student presentations showing their coursework and projects, and a student art exhibition in Pickney Theater inside of Pence. These were presented to highlight and honor student artists on campus. 

Sociology professor Tom Barry was the DJ for the event, playing music from the various decades for each building. 

There did not end up being Karaoke at the showcase, and it did rain on and off throughout the evening.

There were snacks for all attendees. The Clothing Connection, the COCC and OSU partnership shop which includes donated clothing for students to obtain free of charge, was open during the Student Showcase as well.

The next Student Showcase through COPE will occur during Fall term of 2022. 

Volunteers and new club members can join into the weekly COPE meetings that occur in Modoc Hall of COCC’s Bend campus.

Students are encouraged to join and participate whether they are involved in the psychology program or other academic interests at COCC. 

To be involved in COPE, students can contact Andrea Woodell at or Dr. Matthew Novak at to learn more about meeting dates and ways to participate.

Click here for more information:

Momo & Gina: Request


ASCOCC presidential election update

Photo courtesy of The Broadside Staff.

130 students voted in this year’s Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College (ASCOCC) presidential election, said Lindsay Buccafurni, Assistant Director of Student Life. 55% of those votes went to Dray Aguirre. 

Aguirre, a nursing student, said he decided to run for ASCOCC President because he wanted to represent student voices on all levels. He believes that every student can have ideas that lead to positive change, and wants to create a safe space for students to voice their thoughts. 

“I want to hear [students]. I want to hear what they have to say,” said Aguirre. Aguirre plans to listen to students’ ideas and learn what makes them participate.

Once he learns what students need, Aguirre hopes to convey these ideas to faculty and staff so they can better support student success. 

When Aguirre’s term begins, his first priority will be gender inclusive bathrooms. Aguirre said he knows there are some gender inclusive bathrooms, but there aren’t enough. He believes the Bend campus needs more gender inclusive bathrooms in heavily used buildings like Coats Campus Center.

According to Aguirre, he will also write a plan for his presidency with the help of other members of ASCOCC. During his presidency, Aguirre wants all cultural communities to feel represented. He will remain conscious of this goal while writing the plan.

“It’s a we thing, not a me thing,” said Aguirre. He wants every student to feel taken care of during his presidency.

A vehicle crash at Bend Parkway left two people with significant injuries

Submitted photo

After rear-ending a car, a 21-year-old man named Hunter Jones from La-Pine faced drunk driving, reckless endangering and assault. 

Jones, driving a Dodge pickup, was driving on the inside left lane of the northbound lane of Highway 20 when he crashed into a Jeep, causing the Jeep to hit two other vehicles. Witnesses reported the incident at approximately 3:39 p.m.

The southbound lanes were then closed for about an hour to allow first responders to respond safely.

The woman in the vehicle’s front seat and a child in the back were taken to the St. Charles hospital in Bend with significant injuries. The male driver was also taken, but with minor injuries. The pickup driver also received minor injuries.

The male driver of the pickup truck was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, five counts of reckless endangering and DUII.

Currently, police ask that anyone who witnessed the crash call the non-emergency dispatch at (541)693 6911.

COCC hosts 26th annual Storm the Stairs

Photo by Thad Zajdowicz

Central Oregon Community College will host the 26th annual Storm the Stairs run. It will be held at the Mazama Track at COCC on the Bend Campus on Thursday, June 2, at 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

The Storm the Stairs run is a two-mile, 465 stairs, run or walk that will take participants all over campus including through buildings. This run is supposed to be a fun event closing the end of another school year. The run is made for those with any level of athletic ability, and can be a very joyous time to enjoy the scenery that the college offers, states COCC’s website. 

“[The Storm the Stairs run] was started by Doug Booster, who used to be an instructor in the Health and Human Performance department. It was started 26 years ago,” said Joshua Motenko, assistant director of club and intramural sports.

This event is free for students, student ID required, and is $15 for anyone else wanting to participate, plus a $3.46 processing fee per registration. 

There will be food at this event, and a prize drawing following the race. Those who register will receive a confirmation email containing a link to get a free t-shirt. 

Those who participate will be supporting the COCC Club and Intramural Sports Department. 

To register for the event visit the following link: COCC Storm The Stairs – 2 miles, 465 stairs registration information at 

For any further information, contact Randal Seaton, club sports coordinator, at 541-383-7763 or Anyone who needs transportation due to physical or mobility disability should contact Caitlyn Gardner at 541-383-7237. Anyone who needs any accommodations due to another disability should contact disability services at 541-383-7583.