Outside the Valley Library, students walk through the rain on Oct 9.
Outside the Valley Library, students walk through the rain on Oct 9.
Aisling Gazzo, OMN Photographer

Oregonians vs. umbrellas: What do OSU students think?

The sun rises in the east. What goes up must come down. Two plus two equals four. Real Oregonians don’t use umbrellas. We hold these truths to be self-evident, don’t we?

Even if you’ve only been in Oregon for a week or two, you’ve likely run into a local who will quote the adage to you. Or you pull out an umbrella and watch the side-eyes roll in. As it would turn out, there might be a little bit of truth to the saying.

In a set of polls released by The Oregonian in 2017, 70% of native Oregonians (those born and raised in Oregon) said they never brought an umbrella if rain was expected while only 59% of newcomers (those who lived in Oregon, but had not grown up here) said they never did.

Students at Oregon State University campus generally agreed. 

“I don’t feel like I see a lot of umbrella users on the streets and stuff. I feel like the ones that I do, I assume they’re not from Oregon,” said Holly Thompson, a third-year Graphic Design major at OSU.

All agreed that the stereotype had at least some accuracy. Even the rare Oregonian who would be caught with an umbrella. 

“It’s very true, but I don’t follow it,” said Brandon Wied, a native Oregonian and third-year mechanical and manufacturing engineering dual major.

Even those outside the OSU campus had something similar to say.

“People who know Oregon weather know that most of the time an umbrella is unnecessary and a hassle,” said Katelyn Straw, a third-year history major at Lewis and Clark College in Portland “The only people who carry umbrellas are recent transplants or tourists.”

“I feel like it’s (the stereotype) pretty accurate,” said Isabella Jupiter, a third-year Biochemistry major at Reed College in Portland..”I notice that a lot of my Oregonian friends don’t use anything at all.”

But what makes Oregonians so adverse to umbrellas?

The reasons tend to vary, but one of the most common (according to responders) is going umbrella-less leaves the hands free.

“It’s just another thing to carry and it doesn’t even rain that hard,” said Ellie Counts, third-year graphic design major at OSU.“Just wear a jacket or hat and suck it up. Where am I supposed to put a large wet umbrella when I get to class?”

Others have a far simpler reason.

“I also like the rain. I chose to come here partly because of the rain, so I like having it just be on me.” Thompson said.

For some, fear can play into the decision.

“One of my fears is that I am caught in the rain, the wind starts to blow violently, and I am using an umbrella,” said Hannah Luu, a third-year biochemistry and molecular biology major at OSU. “I have seen way too many people’s umbrellas flip inside out because of the wind.” 

Regardless of if you’re for or against umbrellas, know that you’re not alone.

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