Portland State will be participating in PSU Day at the Oregon State Capitol on March 5, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Salem, Oregon. Members of the PSU community will travel to the capitol to advocate for funding and support from Oregon legislators.
PSU Director of Communications Scott Gallagher said this is an opportunity to advocate for the needs of the university and ask legislators for funding.
“We go down there and say, ‘Here’s what we’re doing, here’s why we’re important, here’s why the state needs us, so please fund us,’” Gallagher said.
“We have staff, faculty, students, alumni and stakeholders go around and talk to legislators, and say, ‘We’re here, and we’re trying our best, but we need your help,’” he added.
Gallagher said the university expects 150–200 people to participate in this year’s events.
Conversations in Salem will include advocacy for the Legislature to replenish funding of PSU’s general fund.
“We’re trying to get the Legislature to fund us at 2007 levels, as they’ve done to other to state agencies, and we think they should do the same for higher education,” Gallagher said.
Participants will also advocate for Oregon Legislature’s continued prioritization of funding for Neuberger Hall renovations. Funds for PSU’s infrastructure, including renovations, come out of PSU’s capital fund, which is separate from the general fund.
“Neuberger is in great need of renovation, so we have to advocate for that,” Gallagher said.
He said Gov. John Kitzhaber had approved a budget of $60 million for Neuberger renovations. Given recent changes in the Oregon Legislature, Gallagher emphasized a need to ensure this funding is still a priority for the state government.
“Neuberger is one of our most used buildings,” Gallagher said. “We have to make sure that stays the priority in capital funding.”
Free lunch and round trip transportation from PSU will be provided for volunteers who sign up. The deadline to sign up is Feb. 27.
Volunteers who sign up by the deadline will participate in an orientation on Feb. 28.