Associated Students of Portland State University President Liela Forbes has resigned.
In an emailed statement just released to the student body, Forbes announced they would be stepping down for their “own well-being”. Their full statement follows:
To the Students of Portland State University,Welcome back to Spring term! I hope classes are going well for everyone. I am writing this letter to announce that I will be resigning from the office of ASPSU President, effective immediately. My reasons for doing this are primarily personal—my experiences at Portland State as a student have been increasingly challenging, and in evaluating what is best for my needs as an individual and what is best for the needs of ASPSU, I have determined that this is the important next step I need to take for my own well-being.When I decided to run for president, it was because I didn’t see the needs of the students being reflected in the available candidates. I didn’t want ASPSU to become stagnant or complacent in the ongoing conversations about student safety, fee autonomy, labor rights, and racial justice. It has been a genuine honor to be able to speak on these issues and have my peers believe in me and support me in doing this work. During this year, our administration was able to build on these values and create a diverse team of motivated students with a wide range of experiences and knowledge. We’ve worked on issues surrounding university investments and ethics, sexual assault policy, campus minimum wage, and even had a role in selecting the next university president.The things we do in ASPSU have a direct impact on the experiences of students on our campus. ASPSU is—and should remain—focused on empowering students in their role as stakeholders and making change happen where it needs to. I feel that we have been highly successful in this goal, and there is still more work to be done. While I am transitioning out of this role, I intend to continue doing work involving campus and statewide issues in the best interests of my peers.If there is any parting wisdom I can bestow, let it be this:We are at a critically important developmental period in human history. Do not let yourself be seduced into complacency. Challenge norms, challenge ideas, challenge the status quo, and challenge each other. We are the future of humanity, and the window for us to create a world we want to live in is closing quickly. Don’t be afraid to be radical. Don’t be afraid to push yourself and test your limits. Don’t be afraid to be kind. But most importantly, don’t be afraid to fight for what you believe in.Thank you to everyone who believed in me, and thank you to those of you who did not. Every involved student helped drive our positions as an administration and shape the narrative around student life and activism at Portland State.In Solidarity,Liela
The Vanguard will have more coverage on this news as it becomes available.