VANGUARD EDITORIAL: Care like an Egyptian

Over the past few weeks, the people of Egypt have exercised their collective voice and brought about great change in their country.

Over the past few weeks, the people of Egypt have exercised their collective voice and brought about great change in their country. And with every step they took toward political change in their lives, people around the world expressed support. But here on the Portland State campus, one wouldn’t know it.

Hosni Mubarak, the now-former president of Egypt, held power for over 30 years. During his regime, the country suffered startling unemployment rates, a high cost of living and a list of abuses ranging from police brutality to government corruption. For years, dissent and opposition had been brewing among the Egyptian people.

Things took a turn for the worse as stricter curfews were instituted and Internet service was denied to the Egyptian people. Prior to this, social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook were also blocked. But the people didn’t need social networking to make their voices heard—soon protesters filled the streets of Cairo, setting in motion the events that ultimately led to Mubarak stepping down on Feb. 11 and handing over control of the country to the military.

While the people of Egypt took to the streets, protesting and actively challenging the power structure of their own country, support for their cause was seen around the globe. On various college campuses throughout the United States, rallies and demonstrations conveyed a variety of views and opinions and raised awareness in the communities surrounding our nation’s universities.

One week before Mubarak stepped down as president of Egypt, students from San Diego’s City College surrounded the Federal Building to show their support for the people of Egypt.

Last week, in Durango, Colo., students and faculty from Fort Lewis College held a rally in support of the ongoing changes in Egypt, even after Mubarak resigned.

However, no activity regarding the events in Egypt seems to have occurred at PSU—a campus where students have been easily mobilized to rally against topics ranging from the mere proposal of university restructuring to the forced use of the HigherOne Card. PSU also boasts a history of high-profile anti-war and civil rights protests in the ’60s and ’70s.

More recently, small red and white flags covered the South Park Blocks in 2008 to represent the American soldiers and civilians that had lost their lives in Iraq since the the beginning of the war. It was a statement that encouraged passersby to contemplate the reality of the war.

PSU hasn’t been short on commentary upon current events in the past. It is unsettling to find silence regarding such major events as those taking place in Egypt. Little regarding the current state of affairs in Egypt has been expressed on campus. The South Park Blocks have seen no rallies or demonstrations either for or against giving support. Aside from a last-minute panel discussion on the day of Mubarak’s resignation, little has been done to bring awareness of the issue to the PSU community.

The Vanguard would like to voice its support to the people of Egypt as they go through these difficult, exciting and changing times. We hope that such developments will result in a positive future for Egypt. ?

Virginia Vickery Editor-in-Chief Corie Charnley News Editor  

Nicholas Kula Arts & Culture Editor Richard Oxley Opinion Editor

Robert Britt Sports Editor Kristin Pugmire Copy Chief