Letter to the Community

For some of us, it is another year at Portland State University as we tread our way towards a degree. But for others, this is the beginning of a spectacular adventure. Whether you are a beginning freshman, returning after a break, transferring from another school, or continuing your education at PSU, we hope this special issue of the Vanguard will help you find your way with a little more ease.

This back-to-school issue, the Survival Guide, is intended to orient students to their campus, community and sometimes home. In this issue, you will find valuable information about important people on campus, help in understanding the financial aid system, all the places around town that will reward you for being a Portland State student, and more. You will be introduced to new writers at the Vanguard through their coverage and commentary, in addition to recognizing some familiar voices.

During the summer, the Vanguard went through its usual staffing changes, with nearly every editorial or managerial position filled by former writers, photographers and production staff. What does this mean to you, PSU? This means you can expect some slight variances from the Vanguard of 2000-2001.

Our first job was to create, as a team, a mission statement that reflects our goals as a staff. This year, that mission is to “provide the Portland State University community with coverage and commentary that strives to be accurate, diverse, and relevant.”

We hope that in the coming year we will have the opportunity to cover events, issues, and members of the community that are important and relevant to YOU. However, we cannot do that without your help. We encourage letters to the editor, guest opinion pieces, press releases, and news tips from all members of the community. Our phone number is 503-725-4531, we are located in the sub-basement of Smith Memorial Center in room S26, and you can find every writer’s e-mail address with any story they write. You can also find us on our Web site, www.dailyvanguard.com.

In addition to a new mission statement and Web site, you may also notice a change in our daily content. We have spread our content out throughout the week, in order to provide you with a more diverse paper every day. What was formerly known as popArts, published every Friday, will now be known as our Arts and Culture section and will be printed Tuesdays through Thursdays. We hope this will allow you to better utilize this section for your weekday and weekend plans.

It is also important that our paper represents aspects of the entire community. In addition to students, staff, faculty, administration, and so many more from the janitorial staff to the president’s office create the learning community in which we live. That means we will make a concerted effort to keep you alert to what the unions are doing on campus, what special projects professors are engaged in, new programs and new faces on campus. So I am making a special call to those sometimes older, sometimes wiser members of our community that may feel their issues are not being covered in the Vanguard: talk to us! Let us know about your ventures, conflicts, amazing students, and the like.

Because Portland State does not have a journalism department or journalism degree, the Vanguard represents an incredible learning experience for anyone interested in working in the field, or just exploring their options. Our staff this year is eclectic and diverse, and nowhere will you see it reflected more than in the content of the coming year. However, we are not done growing. We are always accepting applications for writers, photographers, copy editors, production and more.

We are a student run, independent newspaper. The majority of our funding comes from ad sales. We receive funding from student fees to cover our printing costs, which gives us an incredible respect for our community responsibility. We are not, however, censored by the university or the administration. We use our best judgment, experience and high ethical standards (not to mention our advisor) to make difficult decisions about content. We are very serious about our jobs and our responsibility, and we will continue to weigh heavily issues that are controversial or sensitive. We will not, however, stop covering them.

As we prepare to step into the next hectic term, the Vanguard staff wishes you a fabulous year and thanks you in advance for your feedback and readership.

Erin Lloyd
Editor, Vanguard