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
He’s a pedophile and his victims were children. Why can’t you face it?
“We also wanted to give Tony the opportunity to respond.”
Why are you giving someone with a known history of violence towards women a platform and not the people who take issue with his actions?
He is a preferential sex offender who has seemingly expressed no remorse and refuses to acknowledge his victimization of young black girls (who the Vanguard has referred to as women).
If you care about having a fair discussion and unbiased coverage, allow survivors and allies space on your platform, don’t let this misogynist run the conversation.
Because that’s not how journalism works.
When Nigel Jaquiss revealed former Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt repeatedly abused a 14-year old girl during his tenure, they informed his attorney and gave him an opportunity to comment before publishing. It didn’t mean they condoned his actions, it meant they were being a responsible news organization.
It is not the Vanguard’s job to charge Funchess with rape, it is the courts’. And they did that. In 2005. They already did that, literally. Literally he’s a convicted rapist. That’s what the Vanguard reported. They reported that information to you.
Furthermore, you only know that he seems to express no remorse and refuses to acknowledge his victimization because………..THE VANGUARD INTERVIEWED HIM ABOUT IT. They provided you a piece of enlightening journalism that added nuance to an already touchy subject that helped you, as a subject of this University and local political system, contextualize recent events. They did that because that’s their job.
I cannot speak for not leaving space for victims or survivors–clearly this is a crucial and important step for changing the discourse and dialog around rape culture and the institutionalization of patriarchal power in the University system and western neoliberal power structures.
But furthermore, NOT ALL VICTIMS FEEL SAFE TALKING ABOUT THEIR RAPES TO THE PRESS. And not all victims WANT to. I’m not excusing the Vanguard from not providing an alternative position, but to claim that the Vanguard is NOT allowing survivors and allies a space is to flatten survivors and allies into mouthpieces for causes they may not wish to take upon themselves. I have yet to see the Vanguard actively silence anyone.
If anything, I found Funchess’ interview enlightening to expose his incredibly dangerous pathologizing of rape into consensual activity, or even more problematically, equivocating the struggle of racial equality with sexual assault. I thank the Vanguard for providing that.
^ Read this.
He raped children, how the fuck is how recently that happened relevant whatsofuckingever? he raped young black girls and you don’t give a fuck because you don’t give a fuck about black girls, you racist worthless fucking devils.
Tony is unrepentant and does not see his victims “as real victims” and neither do his supporters. Do you realize if he gets elected it will implicate his supports when this makes national headlines?
Tony is going to rape again because he doesn’t see his victims as victims and neither do any of his supporters. “They’re not really victims” literally came out of the mouth of one the senators yesterday. She claimed she was raped and that’s why it’s okay to say Tony isn’t really a “real predator” or a “real rapist” and that we should concede more power to him.
Anti-rapists were called “social justice warriors” and 13-year-old black girls who were raped were called “grown women” by the Vanguard. Get help.
lol ASPSU and now the PSU Vanguard actively supporting rape culture is so unsurprising if you’ve known anything about the vanguard’s terrible politics and shitty reporting abilities.
The fact that our campus has deputized campus security to rid our campus of sexual assault, and then to not care if a multiple time sexual assailant runs our student government is depressing! Wake up PSU! Your acts are conflicting!