I am very upset about the article “OSPIRG: It was a great idea.” I gathered three main concerns that the author, Ira Kortum, has with OSPIRG: Students do not receive any benefit from having an OSPIRG chapter, OSPIRG does not create a sense of community on campus and OSPIRG does not have a consistent presence on campus year round.
PSU students receive invaluable benefit from OSPIRG by getting involved. OSPIRG gives students the chance to put to use the knowledge from the lecture hall on real world issues. Through trainings and hands-on work, OSPIRG interns and volunteers learn how to run campaigns and win. For instance, OSPIRG students across the state worked with now Governor Kulongoski in developing his plan to clean the Willamette River, helped register 12,000 students to vote and volunteered hundreds of hours for the hungry and homeless. And that was last term alone.
OSPIRG does many things to help create a sense of community on campus. We work with ASPSU on Youth Vote, UISHE and AISES on our Save Hells Canyon Campaign, the sustainability coordinator Michele Crim on PSU Recycles! and the coalition of student groups working to put on a spring conference here at PSU. As chapter chair, I make a point to invite different student leaders to our core meeting every week.
Finally, OSPIRG does have a large presence on campus year-round. From helping run the Youth Vote drive, to volunteering at soup kitchens once a week, to getting out in the rain to participate in river cleanups, OSPIRG gives PSU students the opportunity to get involved in the issues they care most about. Our posters have always been everywhere, and we have always had many large events. The faculty agrees; OSPIRG is the group to contact for volunteer opportunities.
OSPIRG chapter chair
junior, music performance