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Plus, our readers also want Grant High School students heard on the mural controversy, say this is year to change how we eat, and think a state bank could rebuild bridges

Concordia University is closing after spring 2020, leaving me with a half-finished master of arts degree in teaching and over $13,000 of student debt.

The announcement came abruptly Monday, Feb. 10, with no plan to teach-out current students — leaving many, myself included, scrambling for a Plan B.

This is not my first time at the private college closure rodeo. I graduated from Marylhurst University in 2017. Then I watched my friends founder, and professors lose their jobs when Marylhurst closed its doors in a similarly harsh fashion in 2018.

Experiencing two private universities mishandle their budgets, refuse to offer legitimate teach-out programs, and take money from students they know will not graduate, is two too many in my short academic career.

I'm left asking whether teaching programs in the area will accept my credits and allow me to graduate on the same timeline. Any university I transfer to will need to offer an evening program, which is what drew me to Concordia, because I cannot afford to quit my job. And I feel weary of another private school slamming its door in my face.

It is unacceptable that anyone studying to be a teacher in Oregon is left in this bind.

Oregon universities: Step up. Support Concordia students. Offer equitable, flexible programs for working people. And please be transparent with students and staff about the stability of your institution. Now, excuse me while I dig up my transcripts from one crumbled institution and another that's not far behind.

Auriana Cook

Southeast Portland

Listen to students about Grant High murals

When asked what their reaction to the murals was, 105 students at Grant High School ("Mural, Mural on the Wall," Feb. 13 Tribune) had no emotional reaction. Does that mean they were white or might it mean that students haven't been educated about the true history?

Why do administrators even think they need a lawyer since the murals are both historically incorrect and offensive to students who know their history?

William T. Fletcher, the first principal at Grant High, is long gone, he can be honored in another way. He won't mind.

The voices of Native Americans have long gone unheard. Honor the students by respectively hearing their plea.

Claudine Paris

Northwest Portland

This is year to change how we eat

The new year brought the customary resolutions: reduce social media, reduce weight and, this year, reduce animal food consumption.

One-third of consumers already report reducing their consumption of animal foods. Hundreds of school, college, hospital and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Even fast-food chains such as Chipotle, Denny's, Panera Bread, Subway, Taco Bell and White Castle are rolling out plant-based options.

A dozen start-ups, led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are creating healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate, convenient, delicious plant-based meat and dairy products. Meat industry giants Tyson Foods, Cargill and Canada's Maple Leaf Foods have invested heavily in plant-based meat development. So have a number of Microsoft, Google, Twitter and PayPal pioneers.

According to Plant-Based Foods Association, plant-based food sales have grown by 20% in the past year, 10 times the growth rate of all foods. Sales of plant-based cheeses, creamers, butter, yogurts and ice creams are exploding at a 50% growth rate. Plant-based milks now account for 15% of the milk market.

The plant-based new year resolution requires no sweat or deprivation — just some fun exploration of your favorite supermarket and food websites.

Charlie Richter

Southeast Portland

A state bank could rebuild bridges

Why don't the lawmakers consider combining the railroad bridge with the Columbia River Crossing bridge.?This would reduce the cost for each, and increase the traffic on the double-decker.? Then leave the Interstate 5 bridge for? brave souls, until it can be replaced.

In my father's day, the interest that money paid to banks for the St. Johns bridge cost taxpayers three times as much as it cost to build it, although the bank didn't provide any labor or materials.? If Oregon had a state bank, like North Dakota has, the interest money could be recycled into other public projects instead of into bankers' pockets.?

(Former Secretary of State) Bill Bradbury would have created a state bank had he been elected governor.? This would solve the problem of banks too big to fail, or regulate, because a state bank is too small to fail because it is so easy to regulate. Make it easier to regulate by loaning only for state projects like bridges, freeways and county court houses. Because the state reuses the interest money, these projects are a great deal easier on the taxpayer.??

Sharon Joy

Northwest Portland


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