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Portland State's current marketing campaign is to say that the school is all for 'sustainability' despite being ranked, academically, as a 4th tier school by US News (with the highest dropout rate in Oregon public colleges). PSU has launched its own brand of 'sustainable' beer, subsidizes a losing football program, and had Miss America as commencement speaker -- with short shrift to academics and social justice.
PSU's $350,000 per year university president, Wim Wievel, announced this week that PSU with a local micro brewery, will promote "PSU Beer" as a way to emphasize the sustainable values, allegedly, of the college. This, while Reed students are being targeted by Obama's feds for allegedly using too much hard drugs (unlike alcohol, which is legal). Reed students recently organized a protest against the 23,000 Mexican people killed in Cardenas's drug war so far. The drug war -- besides having the US with the most people in prison in the world, per capita -- also seems to be, after 8 years, a main focus of the Afghan War, since 90% of the world's heroin production comes out of Kandahar.

But back to PSU Beer: Portland State usually fails to mention "social sustainability" or social justice when greenwashing via the PSU Marketing Dept., as with this new PSU Beer gambit. For example, Wievel this school year, replaced Pepsi on campus with Coke, despite activist students supporting the Coke-Vitamin Water Boycott for labor righs in Colombia. PSU Progressive Student Union has brought three Coke Boycott speakers to talk at PSU from Colombia from SINALTRAINAL, the food and beverage workers union, so far: Juan Carlos Galvis, Luis Cardona and William Mendoza. Juan talked both on KBOO and he and us met with the Oregonian Editorial Board re labor rights in Colombia.

In addition, early this decade, former PSU university president, Dan Bernstine, a big football fan he said (sports lose money at PSU and are subsidized by student fees to the tune of $4,000,000 per year) -- Bernstine named a PSU undergrad from Gresham, Katie Harmon, as commencement speaker, when she won Miss America. Bersntine said it "has nothing to do with the beauty pageant -- I chose Katie cause she's a good person." The beauty pagaent, did, however, feature a required swimsuit competiton as part of its program.

Beer, football and beauty queens as 'prioties'.

Because of high tuition costs in Oregon public colleges, former ASPSU president Courtney Morse, after being student body president, dropped out of PSU (per Willamette Week story) as the costs were too high and the PSU degree not so useful, per se. Courtney later was the OSA organizer on campus at PSU -- Oregon Student Association.

As for football, PSU did fire losing ex-NFL coach, Jerry Glanville, this year, finally. Granville, in Oregonian, was quoted as saying that "he loves the smell of napalm in the morning" and supports the GIs and the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wanted his football players to have that killer spirit when they played opposing teams, etc.

Wievel, the current university president, last year refused to allow the Student Fee Committee to cut back on school athletic subsidization, saying he was using his veto over those cuts to preseve football as an institution at PSU.

One of Transit Riders Union's best organizers in 2009, Jason Barbour, took a class and tried organizing activist students at PSU in 2009, but later applied and was accepted at a college in Spokane, where he plans to transfer in fall, 2010, from Portland Community College.

Ironically, PSU is a public four year college in a blue city in a blue state (ie, not in Arizona!).


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