Daily Archives: February 21, 2009
Review staff writer
Professor of Religious Studies William Apel spoke in Rome about interfaith relations and his latest book, “Signs of Peace: The Interfaith Letters of Thomas Merton,” from Feb. 9 to 16.
The Global Baptist Peace Conference, “Roma 2009,” was attended by more than 400 people representing 50 different countries. While most people were Baptist, Catholics and Pentecostals, Muslims and independent church groups were also present.
The purpose of the conference was to give
citizens from regions of conflict around the world a chance to share their
experiences and ideas about nonviolence as a conflict resolution method.
“These are people who are very close to what’s going on,” Apel said. “They have an insight that sometimes government bureaucrats don’t have. These are people that are really on the line.”
Apel spoke specifically about Martin Luther King Jr.’s message and about incorporating nonviolence into a person’s lifestyle rather than simply using it as a strategy to resolve conflict. He also addressed the importance of understanding among people of different religions.
Apel used the example of the kinship between Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist writer, to emphasize how people from differing backgrounds can gain a greater appreciation for each other.
“For people from other parts of the world, it’s Martin Luther King Jr. who has something to say,” Apel said. “They take his teachings and really apply them to their settings.”
While the conference addressed various regional conflicts and the different ways they are handled, the conference had one primary message.
“You have to deal with violence within yourself before you deal with violence in others,” Apel said. “Everyone would agree that if there is to be more peace, then it has to begin with one’s self.”
Most of the conference focused on workshops rather than lectures, allowing participants to share personal stories and support each other. Many discussed violence against women and children and the plight of refugees.
“The conference allowed opportunities for dialogue as a paradigm where one would suspend one’s world view to understand what others are saying,” David Massey, Chaplin and professor of religious studies, said.
The emphasis on connecting with others allows the conference’s message to impact participants long after they have gone home. Apel, for example, now has contacts in Ethiopia, Holland, Sweden and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“The positive thing is that people will stay in contact with each other; it’s an ongoing process,” Apel said.
In addition to allowing people of different ethnicities to convene, the grassroots conference also made it possible for young people under the age of 30, from countries outside of Europe and North America, to attend. Part of the fees paid to attend the conference went toward funding 40 people who would have otherwise been unable to afford participation.
The largest snow storm in the area since January 1950 caused fall commencement, scheduled for Dec. 21, to be canceled Dec. 19.
Students who were scheduled to walk in the ceremony have the option to walk in the spring, where their names will be read despite of their attendance.
A committee comprised of President Thomas Hellie, Senior Adviser and Assistant to the President Fred Ross, Registrar Eileen Bourassa and college vice presidents ultimately made the decision to cancel the commencement after the National Weather Service announced that Sunday Dec. 21 would be the worst day of the storm.
Hellie said the decision to call the ceremony off was difficult to make.
“We felt, given the variability of the weather, that it was impossible to announce (the cancellation) too far in advance,” he said.
Hellie said the college received complaints that the ceremony was not called off early enough in order to spare family members from afar the difficulties of traveling, and that it was canceled too soon and the decision should have waited until Dec. 21 to monitor the weather.
Fall graduate Cassie Ungersma always planned to walk in the spring.
“(The cancellation) didn’t affect me personally, but I think it was a good idea because I had a lot of friends that were worried about family coming into town getting stuck,” she said.
Although the college canceled the commencement, it stayed open for final exams the following week.
“We asked professors to be creative on how they offered their exams,” Hellie said.
The college maileddiplomas to those who would have walked in the fall ceremony.
Editor in chief
O’Riley’s Cafe received a face lift during January Term that started the path toward other changes coming to Campus Dining Services.
Brad Sinn, director of facilities and auxiliary services, said planning to remodel the space began approximately 18 months ago.
“There was an awkward service area and huge kitchen,” Sinn said. “We needed more space.”
Walls were knocked out to provide a larger space for patrons to line up in the café and to facilitate service.
“The café now offers faster, more efficient service,” Masullo said.
The work on the café was completed by K2MG Interiors, Newberg, a non-union company hired by Sodexho, as a subcontractor, Bill Masullo, general manager of food services, said.
Freshman Sarah Wilder said she thinks the remodel makes O’Riley’s more group-friendly.
Masullo said all the food in the café is made from scratch at Dillin Hall and brought to O’Riley’s to compensate for the smaller kitchen space.
The change also came in the form of a new coffee service, Jazzman’s. The franchise is a product of Sodexho, Masullo said.
He said Jazzman’s has an expanded drink menu, more nutritional information and a professional marquee.
Freshman Lindsay Gehres said she enjoys the taste of the new coffee, but isn’t particularly fond of the limited food options.
Another development brewing is the installation of a Jazzman’s coffee cart inside Nicholson Library. The cart is planned to be stationed just inside the library entrance starting mid-March. It will feature coffee beverages and include a bakery case.
Because this is the first time dining services has expanded into the library, Masullo said, service will be experimental through the remainder of the semester.
Gehres said she thinks it is interesting that a coffee cart will be put inside the library, considering food and drinks are currently prohibited in the building.
Additionally, the sound of an espresso machine might cause disturbance for some library patrons, but may be the trade-off of having food and coffee available while studying.
“It’s going to be loud,” Masullo said.
The coffee cart will most likely operate in the late afternoon and early evenings.
ASLC Secretary sophomore Heather Snyder, who oversees the election process, said the move to an online system was one of her cabinet goals during her time in office.
With the lack of student turnout in the past, ASLC President senior Chris Schuldt said the online format should be a positive change and encourage student participation.
The new process will be streamlined and will take only three to four minutes to complete, which should increase student votes, Schuldt said.
Students will a receive an e-mail link in their inboxes Mar. 10 that will take them to the Survey
Monkey ballot where they can submit their votes. Despite students’ votes being in the database, Snyder stresses the importance that votes will remain confidential.
“We set up the account to see who voted,” she said. “It will say yes or no, not who you voted for.”
Snyder said it is very important for students to keep their inbox as empty as possible because high numbers of e-mails can cause the survey e-mail to bounce.
The first e-mail will serve as a test run to see which e-mail accounts reject the link so they can address the issue before the elections.
In previous years, students voted outside of Walker or Withnell Halls. This year there will still be information tables where students can review candidates’ information.
Snyder said that hesitation of preceding cabinets to make the move to the Internet was because of the complications that could potentially arise on election day.
“Moving to the Web, we had to be sure that it will work without complication,” Schuldt said. “Until (we were) comfortable, we’ve held off.”
Snyder credits Chief Technology Officer Irv Wiswall with helping the smooth transition so far.
“Irv has been such an amazing help with testing and setting up the account,” she said. “We could have never done it without him.”
Snyder said they are prepared if something goes wrong and that, if worse comes to worst, they will push the elections back if students are unable to vote.
“It has to be new some year,” she said.
The ASLC Web site will have a link to all of the candidate information and platforms.
The primary goal is to increase student voting with the ease of the new voting system.
Schuldt said students should vote because they are voting for those who will spend student body fees. He also said that it is important to have sound leadership as ASLC serves as its own corporation apart from the college.
Petitions for president and vice president are available outside of the ASLC office and must be submitted to the ASLC office by 5 p.m. today.
Editor in chief
Students and professors gathered for a discussion event on the topic of sustainability and environment solutions Feb. 16, sponsored by Greenfield.
The event at Linfield was one of many held across the nation under the name of “National Teach-In on Global Warming.” Last year was the first time the club held the event.
According to the National teach-in Web site, more than one million people participated in similar events this month. The Linfield teach-in featured panelists from different areas of study and organizations relating to aspects of sustainability.
Linfield faculty and staff on the panel included Associate Professor of Chemistry Brian Gilbert, Associate Professor of Economics Eric Schuck, Assistant Professor of Political Science Pat Cottrell, Assistant Professor of Sociology Rob Gardner, Superintendent of Environmental Services Tim Stewart, Administrative Services Manger Terry Wymore, Director of Capital Planning and Development John Hall and Bill Masullo, food services general manager.
“We wanted to have a diversity of perspectives,” junior Duncan Reid, president of Greenfield, said.
Members from the Yamhill County community involved included Darol Funk of Western Oregon Waste, Environmental Coordinator Emily Auckland, Green Builder/Cool Mac Member John Mead, community activist for Bumpercrop Alternative Fuel Josh Ferguson, and Katie and Casey Kullah from Oakhill Organics.
Panelists stressed the importance of realizing that global warming and sustainability are both topics that cross and affect all disciplines in different ways.
Gardner said that from a sociological standpoint one must redefine what is important on a personal level and understanding why we want the things we want.
From a political perspective, Cottrell said pressuring politicians to take action for sustainable energy is one of the most important things a citizen can do.
Audience members were invited to write their own questions, which were asked to the panelists. Afterward, attendees broke into groups with panelists who led discussions on various topics, including energy and conservation, food and agriculture, alternative transportation, politics of climate change and recycling and waste management.
During the weekend leading up to the teach-in, Greenfield held a concert featuring the Northern California band Acufunkture, a dance and a discussion group. Reid said funding from the Linfield Activities Board and the ASLC Activities Council made these events possible.
Greenfield’s next endeavor is a petition, presently circulating the student body, aiming to raise student body fees in order to create a renewable energy and sustainability fund. Club members got the idea by researching what similar colleges were doing. The fee would be $10 per student each semester and will support renewable energy options and grants for projects related to sustainability. Reid said the fund will help promote environmentally friendly ideas by providing students the resources needed to implement projects.
“Once we, the students, start this, it shows commitment and will open up avenues,” Reid said.
The grants would be open for both students and facility services, and the fund would be managed by the Department of Capital Planning and Development. If the petition is approved by the student Senate, the matter will be voted on within the coming ASLC election.