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Couch surfing means more than a borrowed bed 

President, Associated Students of Cuesta College

I was somewhat disappointed with Colin Rigley’s article on couch surfing (“Surf’s up for couch surfing,” June 25). The article did nothing to make known the CouchSurfing mission, which states: “CouchSurfing seeks to internationally network people and places, create educational exchanges, raise collective consciousness, spread tolerance, and facilitate cultural understanding.”

It’s not about a free place to stay; it’s about human interaction and goodwill. I can’t count the number of amazing experiences I’ve had, or amazing people I’ve met through Couchsurfing. It was unfortunate to see the mention of “creepy” and “couch surfing” in the same sentence. I’ve been CouchSurfing for three years now, starting when I lived in Japan, and have hosted a variety of surfers. I’ve had nothing short of fantastic experiences every time I’ve participated—in Japan, Portland, San Diego, Washington, and now here.  CouchSurfing does a good job of policing itself, and weeding out the “creepers”. A little discretion goes a long way.
For a small town whose majority probably knows little to nothing about CouchSurfing, I hate to think that the breadth of their perception is now based on his article. It wasn’t a bad article, just not representative of what CouchSurfing is. As I state on my CouchSurfing profile, “If everyone took the generosity embodied in the CS spirit and spread it, our world would be an even better place.”

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