SOU students want to be heard

Last year SOU students faced a big loss when the Higher Education Coordinating Commission ignored student input and approved a 12 percent tuition increase, despite countless testimonies from students stating that increase would drown them in debt or price them out of their education entirely.

It’s evident the process needs more structure to ensure students have an equal say in the process, where the needs and experiences of everyone are considered. The Student Voice and Transparency Act would make the tuition-setting process more fair and timely for students. The criteria institutions would be required to follow are very similar to the governor's recommendations that universities followed last year.

Institutions proved they have the ability to follow the criteria; now we need to hold them accountable to their commitment to include students.

I urge the members of the state House and Senate Higher Education committees to approve House Bill 4141. I urge Sen. Alan Deboer and Rep. Pam Marsh to support this bill should it come to the floor. Southern Oregon University students and constituents need your support and vote!

Daryl Maplethorpe, ASSOU student body president

Ashland

How has DeBoer represented women?

After I read here how Alan DeBoer played both sides on the Measure 101 health care funding plan, I wondered how he’d voted in Oregon’s Senate on other issues I care about.

There’s an independent, nonpartisan website called VoteSmart.org, where I typed in DeBoer’s name and found out.

I found out that DeBoer voted against House Bill 3391, requiring health insurance plans to cover the full range of reproductive health services, including contraceptives.

He also voted against Senate Bill 558, which ensures that all low-income children in Oregon have health coverage, including children in rural areas or who are homeless.

He was one of only nine senators who voted against SB 95, which establishes penalties and reporting procedures to prevent financial exploitation of disabled or elderly people.

And he was one of only six senators who voted against SB 828, which requires giant companies like Walmart with 500-plus employees to provide work schedules at least a week in advance so workers can plan for child care, medical appointments, transportation and other needs.

I never saw anything about how he voted on these issues in the newsletters DeBoer emailed out to us. Luckily, it was easy to get the facts at VoteSmart.org.

Pauline Black

Ashland