Letters to the editor

Higher One a bad deal for students

The main issue that some of us in ASPSU have with the Higher Oneproposal (see “This is your new student ID,” 9-13-04) is thatstudents were not involved in this process at all. Many studentswill only find out about this when they get their card in the mail.Woe to those who think it’s a credit card and cut it up, as it willcost you $20-$30 plus a week to get a new one in the mail.

This is more then just an ID and library card. It’s the accesscard for the Stott Center, student housing and secure areas. It’s adebit card that works like a Mastercard, making it an invitingtarget for the ne’er-do-wells at PSU.

Read the Vanguard crime reports. The theft rate here isastronomical.

It may be true the bank account features are optional, but itappears that Higher One strongly encourages activating it becausethe only way they make money on the deal is when you spend, spend,spend with the debit card. Plus, Higher One is awarding prizes tostudents for spending financial aid on off-campusentertainment.

This card is overkill. It’s a good deal for the Business Office,which gets to outsource to a website and an east coast phonenumber. It’s a bad deal for us students.

Aaron O’Donnell
ASPSU senator

Bush is the real flip-flopper

I’ve seen Bush and Cheney switch their cards more than any otherpresident/vice president in history (“Focus on flip-flops couldlead to Republican floundering,”7-28-04). Remember when Cheney saidthe states should be in control of marriage, and the constitutionshould remain unblemished? Then when Bush spoke, Cheney switchedhis testimony to “let’s change the constitution.”

Also, the flip-flop of the year. WMD’s, then ousting a tyrantleader, then liberating a nation that was better off before, NOW,it’s a medium ground for fighting terrorism.

What a joke Bush is.

Mike Sims

Vote Kerry to end fear-based politics

The Vanguard editorial (“End the campaign of fear,” 9-13-04)addresses the Cheney conceit/allegation that a vote for Kerry is avote for terrorism. As your editorial rightly notes, this isbullshit (paraphrasing slightly).

In the eyes of much of the world, the terrorist campaign beingwaged by ‘state terrorism’ is that where the world’s onlysuperpower invades another country, unprovoked, in order toreestablish cheap oil profits for Anglo corporations, but liesabout the reasons for the war, insisting that terrorists must beresponded to.

With these considerations in mind, PSU Green Party is both gladto see the Vanguard earning its name by condemning the Cheney-Dr.Strangelove verbal gymnastics of the fall campaign and PSU GreenParty has endorsed John Kerry for president.

We recognize that the two-party system is corrupt, and that arevolution (Gandhi or Lenin brands) is needed, but, for the sake ofthose suffering in Iraq (10,000 Iraqi deaths are not ‘honored’ as’heroes’ each night on the nightly U.S. TV news) and inAfghanistan, we think the priority this election is to kick theBush-Cheney corporate profiteers out of Washington, D.C., once andfor all.

Lew Church
PSU Green Party

Leave oil market alone

The idea of jacking up the price of oil through a government taxas a way of controlling our consumption (“Oil policies running onempty,” 8-11-04) could have unforeseen consequences. Any tax thatcould control consumption of oil could also dampen our economy.Many things could dampen or help our economy, but either way I am afirm believer in the natural Darwinist approach to the marketplace.

As you poignantly observed, from a “metaphysical standpoint, ‘wecan control our own destiny’ is pretty shaky when applied to anysubject.” Don’t think for a minute that real forces of nature,environment and marketplace can be ever truly overcome by falsegovernment intervention. Maybe for a minute or a decade. But overtime it’s the real forces of supply and demand that rule the priceof anything, and everything.

Let the chips fall where they may. There will be a point whenthe price of oil, on its own, will force a new consumer market forcheaper alternatives to oil. That point in time will come upquicker than we might want. Don’t mess with the natural market. Ina metaphysical standpoint, the real price of oil or the reality ofany subject is going to be the ultimate truth.

Massachusetts, Mass.

Faculty-bookstore cooperation can save students money

Jason Damron’s column (“Things to do…,” 9-13-04) neglected theimportance of the book buyback program at the PSU Bookstore. If thePSU Bookstore has a course request from the instructor before examweek and we need copies of the book at the time you are selling itback, we will pay 50 percent of the new book price. One of themajor problems the Bookstore faces that costs students a lot ofmoney is the fact that we seldom have those course requests in handbefore buyback. For example, at the end of Spring Term we hadreceived a paltry 15% of the Fall Term course requests from facultybefore exam week. This resulted in students receiving much less fortheir books than they could have. Every student should ask theirprofessors if they have ordered for the next term before exam week.Otherwise students will receive a lower wholesale price for theirbooks when they sell them back.

Students definitely need to actively strategize but they alsohave a voice. If students ask faculty to submit course requestsbefore exam week the Bookstore can offer more money at buyback andput more lower-

cost used copies on the shelves for the next term. Workingtogether we can at least mitigate some of the increased costs ofhigher education.

Ken Brown
General Manager – PSU Bookstore

Douglas who?

I’m in a major student group, and have never seen DouglasSamuels (“An open door to students,” 9-4-04). I see him in thepaper a lot, but have never talked or seen him in the last fouryears. Who is Douglas Samuels, really?