CPSOs need training, not Tasers
I don’t think that CPSOs need Taser guns whatsoever ("No Tasers yet for CPSO," Oct. 29, 2004). The former officer that wrote the ageist response to the article claimed that, to gain a positive attitude, we should give the CPSOs Taser guns (these "tools" you speak of). Taser guns have been proven to be a deadly weapon, killing at least 37 victims so far. Portland Police misuse and overuse Taser guns enough as it is. We don’t need Campus Safety Officers (who have less training than the Portland cops) adding to the numbers. They are way too high as it is. Do the research. These so-called "non lethal" weapons can be very dangerous. Spend the money on training the CPSOs to be more effective with the tools that they have, instead of adding to the violent weapons.

Kayla Goldfarb

PSU Employees work hard and deserve pay raises
Stating the painfully obvious here – if PSU is going to grow, it needs to pay staff and faculty well (read: competitively), hire more of them and retain them in order to provide services to ever increasing numbers of students ("U of O, OSU dodge salary freeze," Nov. 12, 2004).

Does this audit address if it is just OSU and UO staff getting raises, or are raises also being paid at PSU, SOU, EOU, WOU and community colleges? How is PSU doing at hiring and retaining staff and faculty?

Brian Brubaker

Higher One contract alienates father, alum
As a parent of a current student, and one of two alumni in the household, I am outraged and insulted by this heavy-handed corporate sellout ("Higher One, PSU roll out new IDs," Nov. 16, 2004). What were you thinking, PSU-adults-who-are-supposed-to-be-a-positive-example-to-our-youth? Don’t bother calling for any more contributions to the Alumni Fund. Until you apologize to the students – and their parents – and make some major changes to the program, you will not be seeing any more money from us than it takes to get our son through his degree.

We had such a good experience at the New Student Orientation. This has really soured us. Shame on you, PSU administration for such immature behavior.

Tom Struck
Newberg, Ore.

Potential problems cashing financial aid checks
Contrary to printed concerns, ASPSU doesn’t claim that all banks will hold a check drawn off a check drawn off a Texas bank, and it basically has nothing to do with the routing number and "mismatch." Federal regulations allow all banks to hold checks with certain qualifiers. Your bank may choose to hold a Higher One/Horizon Capital check because it is out of state and may be a large amount. Your bank may hold it up to 11 business days (depending on which qualifiers it meets). Whether your bank chooses to place a hold on your deposit is usually dependant on your relationship with your bank (how long you’ve had your account open, how often you deposit checks that are later returned, etc).

Why this is important: Currently, all checks you receive from PSU are drawn off the State of Oregon. Banks may not hold these checks, as they are guaranteed funds.

Tracy Earll
Student Fee Committee chair

Privacy concerns not addressed by Higher One
Sean Glass’ letter to the editor ("Higher One will serve students well," Nov. 16, 2004) is misleading. He says the OneCard will enhance privacy, but the OneCard is invasive to student privacy. Higher One has my name, gender, address, phone number, photo, e-mail address, date of birth, ID number and financial aid information – all without my consent! What’s more, the OneCard can be used to make an extensive data profile of every student: where they shop, what library books they check out, etc. It’s called "dataveillance."

Glass claims his company’s fees are competitive in Portland’s market, but this is just wrong. Higher One’s fees are notably higher than those of the average local bank! ASPSU has documented this and you can check it out for yourself on its web site.

Glass claims that the university can save $500,000 a year by eliminating paper check disbursements. How did he arrive at this figure? At the student forums, Dee Wendler said that paper checks cost $8 apiece for the university to produce. With this in mind, if "every" student used to receive his or her financial aid by check, and "every" student decided to go with Higher One instead (respectively untrue and unlikely), the savings to the university would be about $122,000. The real savings will probably be a lot less.

What he says about the long lines is true – if you get the OneAccount, you will not have to stand in line to get your refund check. But you never had to – there has always been the option to get your aid refund directly deposited into your own local bank account.

I don’t like the way he does business.

Sascha Krader

Administration fails to safeguard student interests
Students will be hearing a lot from Higher One ("Walkout against Higher One planned," Nov. 19, 2004). We will get phone calls, we will get spammed and we will get junk mail.

I do not thank business affairs for their poor decision-making skills. I consider this option a serious lapse on PSU’s part. The administration has failed to guard private information students have shared with them, and failed to prevent students from being required to share personal and financial information with PSU’s business partners before we can receive funds for which we qualify.

I suggest delivering junk mail directly to PSU’s business affairs office and forwarding all Higher One spam to the business affairs email address.

Karla Iverson

While enjoying a Burrito Supreme(tm) from PSU’s Taco Bell, I read with amazement the front page article "Boycott organizers plan ‘day of action’ to protest new ID cards" in which Treasure Porth reported that OSPIRG, among other student organizations, is mobilizing a coordinated campaign to block our forthcoming student ID cards. I would like to point out how they are acting against our interests. First, the fact that this contract will bring in new revenue to PSU from a source other than taxes should have all of us leaping with joy. Second, since Higher One will be relieving PSU of the labor-intensive burden of financial aid disbursement, this contract will free up substantial administrative costs that can then be spent directly on education. Today, in a time of tight budgets, it is the very failure, in the past, to take advantage of such obvious public-private partnerships that has made taxpayers so reluctant to give us more money. This should be a no-brainer for most of us, and eventually it will be so for most of the boycotters as well. Since there are not enough teaching jobs in the humanities departments of the world to employ these people, eventually they will have to work for a living and not have time to protest every occasion somebody somewhere makes money.

Eric Shierman

Poor denied voting privileges
I was an ACT volunteer in Columbus, Ohio, on Election Day, and Chaelan MacTavish’s column ("E-fraud or e-vote?" Nov. 19, 2004) is exactly right. The poorer, Democratic-leaning precincts had fewer voting machines than the Republican precincts did, and therefore much longer lines and lots of people leaving. We all need to keep this from being hidden or forgotten about. An accurate recount is the only solution. People waited in line eight hours and more in the rain so their vote would count, so they would count. We owe it to them and to us to keep fighting.

Carolyn Sherman
Washington, DC

I’m a poor, disabled janitor who mailed John Kerry money to win this election, money that he evidently did not use. I’d like him to use it now to prove that this election was fraudulent. I’d also like to know what the hell the FBI is doing, or isn’t election fraud a federal crime in this country? Possibly the FBI is too incompetent or political to matter.

Mike Kinsela
Boise, Idaho

Youth’s failure to vote may doom abortion rights
I think that Jason Germany has hit the nail on the head ("I can’t trust you people with anything!’ Nov. 12, 2004). Many feel a sort of righteous indignation regarding the results of the election. Bush’s side got his freaky religious fundamentalists to the polls. Kerry’s side failed to get the apathetic youth out there voting.

Maybe the apathetic youth doesn’t understand the threat to their civil rights? Maybe the Girls Gone Wild girls don’t understand that it’s becoming more and more common for pharmacists to deny them birth control pills because of their own "personal beliefs" about premarital sex.

And once we get our shiny new Supreme Court, you probably won’t be able to get an abortion anymore.

Maybe P. Diddy had it wrong. Maybe it’s not VOTE OR DIE! Maybe it’s VOTE OR GET PREGNANT!

Mandi Valentine
Hollywood, Fl.

Registering guns not the solution
The Second Amendment is not about need ("A 10-gun salute to the end of the assault weapons ban," Nov. 19, 2004). Criminals will get guns anywhere they can, usually stolen. Anything the government gets involved in goes down hill rapidly, look

at income taxes. If the government started a registration of any sort, soon they would find a way to keep them out of the hands of most citizens, except certain privileged few. Witness NY carry permits. All we need to do is enforce the laws we have now. We keep turning criminals loose and they commit more crimes.

Ray Block

[Jason Germany], you, sir, are a Brady plant. You support the Second Amendment? Your own words betray you. The so-called assault weapons ban was nothing more than liberal smoke and mirrors.

Maybe you should read the National Firearms Act passed in the ’30s and the add on passed in the ’80s banning full-auto AK and Uzi firearms before you try to pass yourself off as a Second Amendment supporter. Everything you have stated is straight out of a Brady handout. To give you credit though, you’re bound to get an "A" in your school poli-science writing class.

Eldon Eddy