Student government deserves respect


As one of the few remaining ones elected last spring serving in the senate and having experienced the recent turn of events myself [Editorial, Nov. 17], I can understand the mixed emotions that students may have about the effectiveness of the senate and student government as a whole. However, I believe that it is also imperative to keep in mind not to entirely discount the leadership and the contributions that student leaders within ASPSU have genuinely and passionately given and continue to do so to PSU over these last months.


Regardless of this "unstable" phase that the senate and student government may be experiencing, ASPSU continues to stand tall in service for this school, unfailingly asking for the trust of our fellow students. Despite the rampant criticism and scrutiny that we encounter, we are not discouraged and we will not be discouraged.


As an elected senator, I am committed to my position and I am committed to serving you, students. I appreciate your concerns. I appreciate your frustrations. This is the kind of dialogue we need to change this school for the better. However, I (and I can attest other fellow ASPSU members feel the same way) also ask for your respect and your support during these times. I, most especially, invite those who continue to complain about the incompetence of student government to come by the ASPSU office and take initiative yourselves to make a difference. Think you can do better? Come and talk to us. Only with students’ support and respect can student government fully achieve its goals.


Christian Aniciete

Student Senator, ASPSU


Diversity shouldn’t supercede qualification


Diversity is fine, but experience and skill should not be considered secondary to minority status [“Hiring requirement to increase diversity,” Nov. 17].

Search teams should always attempt to place the BEST candidate for the job, not just cater to a minority agenda or PC platform.

To be honest…I find very few black or Hispanic engineers qualified in my industry. I have interviewed and hired several Indian and Pakistani engineers who were exceptional in their fields.


Michael Buchman

Consultant Engineer, Fall City, WA



Not a fan of Stover


Seems to me the most anti-social person at the convention was Stover E. Harger [“Furry hunting,” 11/21].


All that needs to be said, really.



Proposal Specialist, Leesburg, VA


Another non-fan of Stover


This is the first time that in going to a convention I have felt so attacked and unsafe [“Furry hunting,” Nov. 21]. A lot of attendees go to be able to be ourselves in a non-biased society, and to be so rudely attacked for doing so is inexcusable. I started going to ‘con because my friends said it was a great place to hang out and would fit my sci/fi fantasy likes, and the people I have met have treated me better than most I’ve met outside conventions, be they furry, fan, pirate, Klingon, or what have you.

We’re all like family: we support one another and accept each other for who we are. That part of OryCon was totally overlooked because of the journalist’s preconceived notions and hatred of all things sci/fi- fantasy. I’m hurt and disgusted. Harger, you owe a lot of people an apology. We accepted you with open arms and you damn near literally shit on us, and since we’re going by opinions here I have made mine of you…you are an angry, hateful person and in my opinion you shouldn’t be welcomed at any other gathering where people are involved until you evolve.


Nicole Wilson


Geeky and proud of it


As a PSU alumnus who regularly attends Orycon (and other sci/fi conventions in the Northwest) [“Furry hunting,” Nov. 21], I am very disappointed that Mr. Harger came to the convention with such obvious bias.

I have found a sense of community and of support within the confines of the ‘con that I have never been able to experience in the real world (including during my time at PSU). I have also had some of my most intellectually challenging conversations. To put it bluntly, I am able to use my big words and not get into trouble doing so.


What Mr. Harger experienced is so obviously not what I experience at these conventions–the ability to be accepted. Does science fiction or fantasy expand into my daily life? No. I doubt it does with too many of the other ‘con goers, either. This is why the convention provides us a release to be able to be accepted by others who understand our weird sense of humor. We leave refreshed and able to go back to our "normal" lives.


As far as focusing on furries, well, I don’t understand why it’s a big deal. Ironically, this is the first time in more than 10 years that they’ve had more than a casual reference to this subject matter anyway.

I would like to thank you for understanding that a community exists for each of us–regardless of what our interest is. (For me, sports just seem to be a simple waste of time.) I am proud to be a nerd, happy to be married to a geek and, at this point, disappointed to be an alum.


J. Ballen

PSU Alumnus


Furries are people too


While I am glad that Mr. Harger enjoyed the filking [“Furry hunting,” Nov. 21], I’m startled at his assessment that “most of the attendees were by themselves.” I spent 90% of the weekend with people, and the only times I spent "alone" I was moving from place to place to get to be with more people. I believe that for most it is like this. We’re a diverse lot. Most of us don’t move in packs by habit…but we do enjoy company.


As for Mr. Harger’s irrational fear of furries…I’m not a furry, but I thought the purple dog costume was incredible, and was delighted to see him at the filks. Most of the furries I know are gentle, loving, quirky souls who are as frightening as a puppy. Mr. Harger’s issue with furries says far more about Mr. Harger than it does about the furries or about Orycon.


Is the event “for everyone”? Nope. Many of the people who come to Orycon come because it is the one place they feel unconditionally accepted. Many come because they like the topics and the people and find it fun. Like most recreational events, there’s a significant percentage who just come to get drunk. And a whole bunch of us come because we like to sing together. What matters is that we come because we enjoy it, whatever niche we find. Many of us have been coming to Orycon for years, some for decades, because it feels like family of the best kind. Those who don’t feel it is for them don’t come back.


But we’re a forgiving lot. I suspect that if Mr. Harger returns next year to enjoy more filking, as long as he doesn’t spit on us we’re likely to welcome him. We’re like that.


Jennifer Rosenberg


Oh, for heavens sake!


    I spoke to you [Stover E. Harger, III] three times on the elevator and I was not the only one to extend the hand of friendship and acceptance to you [“Furry hunting,” Nov. 21]. Fandom (fanboys and girls? forsooth!) consists of people in a wide range of age (newborn to one foot in the grave) and abilities, and one of our strengths is, in fact, the great diversity and willingness to accept people cruelly cold-shouldered by the likes of your prejudice.

    One panel, just one panel, did you actually sit in on and review, and it was the one you went to in prejudice and disgust. And they didn’t tell you to get your act together, tease you or mock you. Like most of the fandom, they were too polite and too willing to accept you as you presented yourself.

Your analysis of the purple dog, based on one glance at the eyes was a masterpiece of imposing your values on a total stranger.

    What else did you miss? Most of everything, I think. You did not mention the Heather Alexander Concert or the dealer space. Your analysis of the art show was in line with your prejudices. Half the art show this year was not flat pix representational, but 3-D art, jewelry, and other media. The pictures included a large amount of dragons, flowers, landscapes. And men outside of fandom get their breast fix with a lot less artistry thrown in.

    And then your comments on Betty Bigelow, a woman of charm, character and genuine niceness, at least twice your age and with ten times your world experience, who treated you far better than you treated her. To her you owe a large apology.

Next time you hate something, don’t review it. You aren’t very objective and not being objective, cannot write an honest report.


Kier Salmon

Medical Interpreter, Portland, OR