Photo from Visit Corvallis.
Mrs. Ellis Runs For City Council
Mrs. Charlyn Ellis, who teaches Honors and Regular American Lit, English Skills II, and Honors Intro to Lit; is running unopposed on November 8th for Ward 5’s representative to the Corvallis City Council. Ward 5 extends from the north edge of OSU to Grant Avenue. Notably, this district contains Corvallis High School. The main issue she’s running on is the growing number of OSU students in the neighborhood she lives in. In fact, 83% of OSU students live off-campus, 23 percentage points higher than the national average for full-time college students at public universities, according to The College Board. Ellis laments that Benton County “does not have a long-term planner” to plan where the increased student population – enrollment surpassed 30,000 for the first time in 2014 – will live. She argues that OSU student housing is so expensive that many students live off-campus, particularly in her neighborhood. But Ellis doesn’t just sit around and complain; she has created a plan for where OSU should build more student housing: the OSU land behind Adams Elementary School. She does not think the city should play a role in the funding for this project, however, noting that OSU does not pay Corvallis city taxes and has been able to build many other buildings without city funding. She feels she is a good representative of her ward because her “views are not much different” than other people’s, but she is “just a little louder” in expressing them.
Although Ellis is quick to admit that her campaign is largely in the interests of her ward, she also acknowledges the effect her position may or may not have on her students. “I may assign shorter essays” she jokes, noting that she will have to read through much more paperwork while on the city council. However, she is quick to point out that this position will not interfere with her teaching duties; she says that her time on the City Council will come out of her volunteering time, rather than her teaching and lesson planning time.
Her main message to her students is, “Go to city council meetings; you’d be amazed by the power that high school students have”.