Throughout the years, the Vanguard has sought to report the news and represent a campus with ongoing progression and cultural shifts. The following is a list of some major headlines about the cultural climate at the time they were contributed. We take you on this retrospective endeavor to showcase our pride in the progressive culture fostered here at Portland State.
Then: Sex Lessons Sterile
Local school board votes 5–4 to block the showing of sex education films.
Now: Not only does Portland Public Schools recognize the importance of sex education, but the city has become one of the more sex-positive communities in the country. Last year Lincoln High School’s the Cardinal Times reported that Lincoln was visited by Teen Council. Teen Council is a group of teenagers who visit schools and teach students about sex education. Lincoln’s health teachers continue to update and revise the health curriculum to meet Oregon health standards.
Then: Black Student Union Aids High School Students
Members of Portland State’s Black Student Union help Washington High School in forming their own BSU.
Now: A BSU presence is stronger than ever. Not only at the university level, but in almost every local high school as well. “Lincoln, Jefferson and Grant high schools in the Portland Public Schools have black student unions,” according to a 2015 Willamette Week article.
Then: Vanguard Awarded Top Rating
The Portland State Vanguard won its fourth All-American rating from the Associated Collegiate Press.
Now: *Pats self on back.* In 2014 the Vanguard was deemed the top student newspaper in Oregon and continues to win awards in general excellence every year. We will continue to work towards excellence in reporting the news and promoting a campus-wide culture of pride.
Then: Level of College Alcoholism Rises
Study finds “One-third of all college students in the country are problem drinkers.”
Now: Not much has changed—one-third still sounds about right. Binge drinking along with sleep deprivation and financial insecurity has become a standard component of the college experience.
Then: Israeli Invasion Moves Students to March
In protest against Israeli invasion of Lebanon, students march and chant “Israel out of Lebanon now.”
Now: The student-founded SUPER, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, has gained strong membership from PSU students. This comes as the Associated Students of PSU recently voted to divest from corporations profiting from Israeli occupation. Boycott divestment and sanction strategies continue to gain traction in combating practices of occupation and apartheid.
Then: Chemistry Profs Bring Lab to High School
The National Science Foundation presents a $541,000 grant to the PSU Chemistry Department. A project called “The role of the laboratory in teaching and learning chemistry” is aimed at changing the way chemistry is taught in high schools.
Now: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences here at PSU proudly boasts a chemistry department that immerses students in a world class collaborative educational experience. By sparking students’ interest at the high school level, the chemistry department has managed to make science sexy.
Then: Classes Focus on Environment
The National Science Foundation awards PSU a $121,511 grant to establish a Pacific Northwest environmental studies program.
Now: PSU has become one of the most prominent institutions for those seeking an environmentally-conscious education. PSU now proudly offers two undergraduate tracks: Environmental Science and Environmental Studies.
Then: PSU Hosts Nuclear Weapons Forum
In the wake of 9/11, this forum includes topics of foreign policy, nuclear weapons and involvement in Afghanistan.
Now: This is a story that is still frighteningly relevant. The United States still seeks to maintain its status as having the world’s strongest military. In the recent Iran nuclear deal, economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted in exchange for the reduction of their uranium stockpile. The Obama administration has secured enough votes to pass the Iran deal, although fear of a nuclear Iran is still a legitimate concern.
Then: Students Fight Toxic Waste
OSPIRG, the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group, organizes a campaign to clean up the Willamette, which was named the second most polluted river in the west.
Now: A $750 million plan is proposed to clean up Portland Harbor. The plan would monitor toxic sites along the 10-mile stretch from the Broadway Bridge to the Columbia Slough.
The underwhelming plan is estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency to dredge out less than 10 percent of the polluted area. On some of the hotter days, Portlanders deal with the decision of whether or not they should swim in the Willamette. Often, against our better judgment, we still find ourselves splashing around in the sludge.
In this 70-year review of the Vanguard, Portlanders have not changed that much. Though the cultural, local and world issues that drove the PSU campus have evolved, the students are not so different. While the issues of today sometimes seem far more serious than in the past, the Vanguard archives show past classes had the same desire to change the status quo as our class does today.