News briefs

The State Board of Higher Education approved two graduate certificates at Portland State: student affairs in higher education and teaching adult learners.

Higher ed board approves two PSU graduate certificates

The State Board of Higher Education approved two graduate certificates at Portland State: student affairs in higher education and teaching adult learners.

The certificate in student affairs requires 18 credits; three required four-credit classes, one elective four-credit class and a two-credit “capstone” class. The certificate focuses on “the historical, theoretical, philosophical and legal foundations of the student affairs profession…particularly as they support students from diverse backgrounds,” according to an Oregon University System meeting agenda.

No other schools in the university system have a certificate in student affairs.

The certificate in teaching adult learners has the same credit requirements as the student affairs certificate. The certificate is based in the “need to understand the theoretical frameworks for adult learning and development and to use appropriate instructional strategies for the ever-growing range of diverse learners in our higher education institutions,” according to the agenda.

There is also no other certificate in teaching adult learners in the Oregon University System.

-David Holley

Guitar Hero tournament May 19

EB Games is hosting a winner-takes-all Guitar Hero tournament at the Broadway Building on May 19 at 1 p.m. There is a $3 entry fee for the expert class and $1 fee for intermediate players.

The winner of each class will take home the cash prize of the total buy-in pot. An Xbox 360 will be the consul used in the event.

The event is being sponsored and organized by Portland State’s video gamers club. More information about this club and their events can be found at

-Robert Seitzinger

Senate passes ‘cyberbully’ bill

School districts in Oregon already have rules against schoolyard bullies who strike out with their fists, or gossips who use rumors as figurative weapons.

Now, under a bill the House approved 56-0 Monday, districts would have to add policies against “cyberbullies,” who target classmates over the internet.

The bill defines cyberbullying as the use of an electronic communication device to harass, intimidate or bully.

A few Oregon districts have such policies, but statewide legislation is becoming increasingly common. In Washington state, for example, Governor Christine Gregoire is expected to sign a bill requiring schools to control cyberbullying.

But neither Oregon nor Washington has banned malicious posts and videos created when students are off school property, a free speech question that could resurface as the Oregon bill moves to the Senate.

The Oregon bill would apply only to posts “on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop.”

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Beaverton, said whether schools can regulate cyberbullies when they aren’t on school property touches on freedom-of-speech issues.

Any infringement on student speech rights could be contested by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union.

But, Bonamici, a lawyer and parent of teenager, said off-hours postings can also create disturbances at school, and affect school operations and students’ education. That’s enough, some cyberbullying advocates have said, to warrant giving schools authority to discipline students for online postings made at all hours.

-Julia Silverman, Associated Press