Letter to the readers,
Last week, an anonymous source slid fliers with Tony Funchess’ mugshot from a 2011 parole violation under the doors of several Student Media organizations and posted them at various resource centers on campus. The fliers said Tony is a convicted rapist and questioned whether or not he should be ASPSU president.
This happened in the midst of an ASPSU election that has, thus far, not garnered much attention.
The News Editors and Editor-in-Chief of the Vanguard have been aware of Tony’s criminal history for some time and had been investigating it at length when the fliers were posted around campus. Tony himself has been relatively open about his past. As he said in last week’s interview, you can simply Google it.
Ultimately, the Vanguard coverage was in response to the fliers. We felt it was our duty to the student body to correct the misinformation the flier was spreading—one of the convictions was listed incorrectly. We also wanted to give Tony the opportunity to respond.
Many people are understandably upset about the situation. Someone started a Facebook group called “Step Down, Tony” that had 154 members at the time this went to print. Someone also started a petition demanding that Tony stop running for office and step down from his current role in ASPSU. On the other hand, many people stand by Tony and believe that he should not be judged for crimes that occurred 10 and 15 years ago—crimes for which he already served time in prison.
Regardless of how anyone at PSU feels—whether they stand with Tony or want him to step down—we’re all a part of this community. We all need to pay attention to what’s happening at our university, and we need to know who our leaders are. Student government makes decisions that affect all of us, whether students choose to engage with them or not.
Colleen Leary, Lisa Dunn, Turner Lobey