Obnoxiously Selfish PIRG
For us average students, I looked into all this SFC/OSPIRG crap and this is what I came up with: I pay $131 per term in student fees. I am one of at least 20,000 students who does not give a shit about student fee activities (government, clubs, rec, sports, etc) outside of eating breakfast in Smith sometimes and occasionally reading the Vanguard. I respect the role of student fees in higher education, but the SFC has lost its integrity and I urge the 20,000 students who don’t use SFC funds to contact President Bernstine.

OSPIRG, a third-party activist liberal partisan lobbying organization, is the ONLY organization at PSU that doesn’t use PSU accounting departments. Now, at the company I work at, if the VP of Sales did not submit expenditures for an entire year to the accounting department, the CFO and CEO would have the VP of Sales, and probably most of his staff, fired for theft and incompetence. OSPIRG must be fired for screwing this up for SEVERAL YEARS IN A ROW. Instead, they whine "but we’re trying real hard" and the SFC gives them tens of thousands of student money. This week, the SFC rewarded OSPIRG with a $12,000 increase in funding! Devaney and her children actually wanted $120,000 instead. OSPIRG is worth about $100 of actual work. SFC: Get a clue.

Alex Retina

Vanguard coverage inflammatory
I’m so sick of reading your partisan articles. As a student senator, a student group coordinator, and a member of various other committees, I’m tired of everyone pretending they KNOW the entire situation. No one has a monopoly on truth, least of all the fucking Vanguard. I’m not pretending to be an expert on anything (other than my own life), but the articles and letters about OSPIRG funding and the unfairness of the SFC process are getting old. While I’ll keep my opinions regarding OSPIRG and funding private, I’ve never once seen a critic of the process in the ASPSU office working to understand or change it. Further, the SFC, contrary to popular opinion, consists of more than Tracy Earll. She has one vote, just like the other members. The Vanguard has consistently called the "zero-funding" process "defunding," presumably to draw in its dwindling readership. The process is designed to allow STUDENT GROUPS to make cuts to their budgets, rather than the SFC. I’m not aware of a process that serves student groups better. Want to point the finger of bias? Start with yourselves.

Ryan A. Schowen
Student Senator

OSPIRG dues not membership dues
OSPIRG’s final allocation was as low as it was, in large part, because of the SFC Guidelines that says no student group’s budget can be composed of more than 50 percent membership dues. Membership dues are fees that a student group pays to an outside organization that they want to be a part of. Chapter dues are different. OSPIRG does not pay membership dues because we are NOT giving money to an outside organization; we ARE the organization. We pay chapter dues because the PSU OSPIRG chapter is part of a statewide student run organization. Each chapter pays a "due" or an "expense" so that we can share costs with other chapters. When we pay staff with student fees, they are working for the Student OSPIRG, not the State OSPIRG. It is truly unjust that such an important decision was made on false information. This has got to stop.

Courtney Morse

OSPIRG should give money back
OSPIRG Vice-Chair Amy Connolly said, " …it (the $46,803 finally allocated to the group) is definitely not sufficient to be a successful organization"["$46,803," 2-17-05].

Well Amy, I suggest that in the face of such futility you return all allocated funds. If you cannot do something with them, why put the money to waste?

Perhaps one less interruption in my day, one less request for money, one less group that offers no return for the vast majority yet feels entitled to the funding it wastes to begin with. No one gave you proper notice ahead of time about your funding being in jeopardy? The purpose of doing an audit of Banner is to find out if you HAVE been using it, not to nudge you into doing so. Apparently we can cut the funding, but can we cut the noise?

Now if we can just get rid of that financial black hole that is Viking Football. Worst case scenario there, neighbors of West Hall can get a good night’s sleep.

Chris Boatright

Funding for wrestling disproves SFC rationale
[Student Fee Committee member] Kaveh [Heravi] says that OSPIRG allocations are a consistent amount for students served, but there is proof that OSPIRG is being treated differently than other groups on campus.

For instance, the wrestling club. The wrestling team was allocated over $90,000 this year. This team has only 30 men on the roster and has not benefited the campus having lost nearly every match this winter. The team is not highly supported by the campus with only a few hundred spectators each term. This group does not serve students on campus except for those on the team. The money that they have been allocated is mostly used off campus for travel and the rest is used to pay for professional staff. This is in no way a put down on the wrestling team but proof that OSPIRG is certainly being treated unfair when the SFC says that OSPIRG does not serve the campus and that money for the group goes off campus. OSPIRG has just as many students involved in the group, pays for professional staff, and OSPIRG actually does benefits the campus. This past term OSPIRG saved students on campus thousands of dollars by reducing the price of text books. OSPIRG also offers wonderful internship opportunities for students to get involved with as well. Wrestling was not given a hard time though when it came to their budget though, and OSPIRG had to fight for every dollar.

Noelle Eaton

Respect campus preachers freedom of speech
As an alumni and a regular visitor of the PSU campus for 45 years, I am appalled, disgusted, and virtually terrified by the policy of PSU’s treatment of some soap box preachers on campus. The universe knows that I detest those who try to shove religion or politics down my throat, but I can live with that. Since when has PSU decided that it has the right to restrict freedom of speech in any form? Has the insanity of homeland security taken over my beloved alma mater? Today, why did I witness PSU engage in evicting one single preacher sitting upon a garden wall while expressing himself? Why does this sicken me more than the idiotic harangues of the preacher? Why doesn’t anybody think about losing our precious freedom of speech, especially in a university?

Arthur Honeyman

Writing lacks clarity
Only once was it mentioned what OSPIRG does, and it wasn’t explained until the second graf (I assume to avoid a wordy lede) ["$46,803," 2-17-05]. "Lower textbook costs and preserving Oregon forests" do not seem like goals that coincide with each other. Is this a lobbyist organization? I understand I’m not being fair, as I’m not a local, but shouldn’t there be at least one graf, at the bottom, that addresses OSPIRG’s actual function? That aside, is $100,000+ so much for a group to ask? There seems to be little context. Otherwise, it seems a very well researched and well-written piece. Kudos.

Jake Dorsey
Editor, Washington State University Daily Evergreen

Inside perspective on OSPIRG funding
I was actually on the committee in 02-03 that cut back OSPIRG’s funding. Quite simply here is the answer as to why they aren’t being funded ["OSPIRG: one last try," 2-10-05]. When one student group wants to circumvent the guidelines that have been established for everyone, that is where the problem lies. It has been explained over and over to them that they need to be held accountable for what they spend just like everybody else does. The committee has had many issues with OSPIRG not being able to account for how they spend their funds. I really don’t see how that is such a hard question to answer. The bottom line is simple. No one on the committee disagrees with what they do or with what their main goal is or has been. But when you break the rules, you will suffer the consequences, just like any other student group would. I just don’t understand why OSPIRG seems so confused about rules that 80 or so other groups seem to get.

Sam Frahm