Homelessness at PSU not the real problem

My heart goes out to Mario Campbell: his "learning experience at PSU" is "distracted" by a few homeless people in the library and Smith and Cramer Hall. On the contrary, Mr. Campbell, what better learning experience could you have? You can see for yourself the plight of these unfortunates. Now that’s a real education, Mr. Campbell. Where’s your compassion, Mr. Conservative? Rather than grousing about what he considers to be riff-raff, perhaps Mr. Campbell will join me in demanding a tax increase earmarked to provide proper care and shelter for the homeless so they won’t have to offend him at school. Or perhaps Mr. Campbell will support Dr. Barbara Dudley’s Oregon Working Families Party to help bring about "universal health care … a living wage … and well funded quality education." Or perhaps Mr. Campbell should enroll at a private school that is "not here to accommodate the homeless people of Portland." PSU would be better off without him and the "many other conservatives that feel the same way" he does. I, for one, have never been bothered by homeless people taking shelter in the PSU library; I’ve been saddened. However, my learning experience at PSU has been distracted by the cretins who chatter away on their cell phones in the library. They’re the ones who really "stink."

Peter H., SALC Student
Portland, Oregon

Healthcare for tots

Mayor Potter, while your campaign to increase school funding in the Portland area is admirable, your priorities are out of place. Every child in Portland is guaranteed an education by state law. Portland’s children are not guaranteed access to healthcare. There are more than 117,000 children without health insurance in Oregon. According to the Multnomah County Health Department, more than 11.2 percent of our children have no healthcare insurance in this county alone. Healthcare insurance is necessary to ensure the success of all of Portland’s children. How can we expect children to succeed in school when they experience prolonged suffering from preventable diseases? How can we expect children to succeed in school with dental pain? How can we expect children to succeed in school when they can neither see the chalkboard nor read the books in front of them? As a voter and resident of the city of Portland, I cannot support an initiative to provide additional funding to our school system while a significant portion of children in these schools suffer due to the lack of healthcare. Applying the proposed tax monies to the healthcare of Portland’s children will have a positive impact on them and on our community as a whole. Mayor Potter, I encourage you to rethink your campaign and redirect your efforts to improving the lives of thousands of Portland’s children by granting them access to healthcare. Just as solutions for education funding cannot wait for the legislature, neither can solutions for healthcare for our children.

Donna Harris
Portland, Oregon

Abortion rights

I read with interest your Vanguard story on the anti-abortion group, the so-called "Students for Life," who demand to be treated by the PSU campus community with all due politeness and respect for their views, which on the surface seems reasonable enough. However, it should be noted that a U.S. Health Department statistic released a couple of years ago stated that about 65 percent of all U.S. women between the ages of 18 and 60 years old have had at least one abortion. That number includes many married women who have made the decision that they simply cannot afford to have their third, fourth, or fifth child.

It is important to realize that this anti-choice group believes deeply and passionately that all of the above mentioned women who have had abortions are murderers. They furthermore are working furiously to make criminals out of any woman who has an abortion in the future and send them and their doctor to prison for murder.

This is something to think about the next time one of these anti-choice zealots tries to hand you one of their slick handout brochures and expects you to be civil to them in return!

Bonnie Marchand
Portland, Oregon