I am writing with concern with your coverage of the Student Fee Committee deliberations last Friday. While the story was “accurate” in the sense that it portrayed the decision that was made by the SFC, it erroneously omitted a great deal of our process that led to Friday’s decision concerning the ASPSU budget, specifically with the Oregon Student Association (OSA).

The SFC responds

I am writing with concern with your coverage of the Student Fee Committee deliberations last Friday. While the story was “accurate” in the sense that it portrayed the decision that was made by the SFC, it erroneously omitted a great deal of our process that led to Friday’s decision concerning the ASPSU budget, specifically with the Oregon Student Association (OSA).

The SFC allocates close to $12 million to student groups and programs, and we do so using very strict guidelines that are approved by the president of the university every year. It is frustrating that the Vanguard did not convey our actual process in allocating funds. The ASPSU had met with us prior during the week to discuss their budget and to answer over a dozen questions we had already sent them with our concerns. It was at this hearing that we were able to gather information about their budget, as well as receive the proposal they had made to the OSA.

Myself, as well as other SFC members, upon receiving the proposal to change the structure of the OSA, looked at it very seriously. Being a former board member of the OSA, I am quite familiar with the structure of the OSA, and it was my opinion that the proposal submitted to the OSA board was a sound one. This is the reason I believe all of the SFC members voted unanimously to place the OSA funding into an account they can access when they make the proposed changes.

Decisions to fund any group at any level are not made lightly. It was with SFC member concerns regarding the model of OSA, along with the request of President Soto, to place their funding into a reserve. I am disappointed that the Vanguard chose to report on one step of our multi-step process in allocation to paint us as a rash and unthoughtful committee. While reporting on gallery member outbursts and human reactions may help you distribute papers, it does a disservice to students who rely on the SFC for their funding.

It is the SFC’s responsibility to ensure that student fee money paid by Portland State students is being spent in the most responsible way, with the greatest returns to the PSU student community. No committee members, including myself, voiced any concern with the work that the OSA has done for students and will continue to do. The SFC shared concerns with President Soto that their antiquated model could use some changes to ensure that students at PSU remain represented by their work. As for allegations of the “power grab” that we are all co-conspirators to, I simply ask that students read the proposal and judge for themselves what the proposed changes will do to the organization.

The SFC is a professional committee made up of committed student leaders who have spent countless hours poring over student budgets and helping student organizations acquire the funding to continue their groups. We are dedicated to a fair and equitable process in funding, and any article that implies otherwise is patently false. I encourage students, both involved with the fee allocation process and those not, to please feel comfortable to come meet with committee members if they have any questions about our process. We are your representatives and we continue to make all our decisions in the best interest of all students at PSU.

Amanda NewbergSFC Chair

Higher ed board members respond to SFC decision

Sitting on the board of the Oregon University System (OUS) as student representatives during the 2007 legislative session has shown us that a unified voice fighting for higher education was the key to our success in greatly increasing funding for our public universities, keeping tuition increases down, and greatly expanding grant aid. It was because OSA was able to work with OUS as a united, statewide voice for Oregon students that we could win this real change for students.

The SFC’s [“OSA dealt ultimatum: vote yes or lose funds,” Jan. 18] recent decision has greatly endangered Oregon students. By giving more power to large schools, we risk losing the statewide coalition of both large and regional universities that has meant our success for over 30 years. Furthermore, it is only fair that the OSA Board have the opportunity to look at this proposal more in depth to find the best way to address the concerns it raised. We ask the SFC to reconsider their decision at their Monday meeting. Our access to an affordable, quality college education depends on it.

Hannah FisherDirector, Oregon State Board of Higher EducationPortland State University

Audriana MendozaDirector, Oregon State Board of Higher EducationEastern Oregon University

Thanks for writing about porn

It’s nice of you to cover the Adult Entertainment Expo and AVN Awards, but you’re entirely wrong about the awards being industry-only [“This story is about porn and no, we’re not joking,” Jan. 22]. I have been a judge for the past eight years, and fans have always been allowed to purchase tickets and attend. The floor plan is different (as in, worse) now that it’s at Mandalay Bay, but the reason AVN moved there was to accommodate more fans. And, while some may question the appropriateness of your covering this topic-but as a graduate of PSU who works within the adult entertainment industry, let me say that it’s nice that my alma mater has finally covered something of actual interest to me and my career.


I like watching the Blazers

I don’t know, but after reading Mr. Hellman’s glimpse into the future [“Double Take,” Jan. 22], my impression is that he hasn’t seen many games, if any, this year. Early on they weren’t playing as a cohesive team. More recently, they have been very enjoyable to watch. I will be happy with the experience of seeing that no matter where they finish in the WC.


Blazers will finish strong

I would hardly say 3-3 on the current road trip is a disappointment. Seven road games in 11 days, beginning with five in seven days, is no walk in the park even for a talented veteran team.

Contrary to Nathan’s opinion, the Blazers’ winning half of the remainder of their games would have to be considered a huge leap, resulting in a 47-win season and most likely a six or seven seed. For the third youngest team in NBA history, there would be nothing average about 47 wins. The only other teams as young as the Blazers won 15 and 16 games in their entire seasons.

After Oden went down, we were written off as a high lottery team. Now we’re playing excellent, selfless basketball resulting in quality wins. The Blazers are doing what Nate has been working for-playing the right way. Consistently playing the right way with competitive talent means we’ll be right there in a lot of games. We’ve got the guys to finish strong. This team isn’t going anywhere.


Person who hates the library

Personally, I say we could do without the library entirely. PSU is so close to the Multnomah County main branch, which is far better in every way. No serious academic would consider PSU’s library acceptable for a university library. So to PSU I say either get rid of the library and donate its contents to the Multnomah County main branch or put a little less money into worthless majors like Queer Studies and make the Millar Library worthwhile.


I drive and I need a place to park

I will continue to drive to school because it saves me at least an hour a day, time that I can be doing something productive instead of sitting next to a urine-soaked bum. [In response to “Getting to school,” Jan. 18.]

In addition, TriMet has had more and more crime on it in recent months, leading me to believe that not only is driving far faster and easier, it’s also much safer. Add to this that I come to campus when I wish and leave when I wish. The real story that you’re missing is that PSU has refused to work on getting more parking for students. Personally, I blame it on all the hippie bullshit about sustainability and such because it’s things like that which deter reasonable increases in parking.