Saul Ettlin

just finished reading Justice McPherson’s letter to the editor (Vanguard Feb. 27) in which he levels serious charges against President Cunningham, and I felt compelled to respond.

It’s clear that Mr. McPherson is not interested in continuing to have Portland State University provide wide opportunity as an access school and it sounds as if he’s eager to raise the GPA without a moment to include student voice or be concerned with who loses.

More troubling, as a student of community development, Mr. McPherson should have a keen sense of America’s historical legacy that has systematically created barriers that have and continue to impede sectors of our society, particularly when it comes to minority and low-income people.

One wonders if Mr. McPherson has attended or even been inside the walls of a relatively segregated, poor inner city school. If he had, he might have seen that there’s more to educational structures and learning than simply a student’s ability to “rise to the challenge.”

Although it is regrettable that Mr. McPherson felt hurt or lessened, I believe that PSU is lucky to have a student body president who can see past the GPA as measure of a student’s ability to succeed, who is committed to accessibility and diversity and who is willing to fight for student’s voice in the process.


Saul Ettlin

senior, community development