Monthly Archives: March 2009
If you were unaware of the Linfield Anthropology Museum, nestled adjacent to the elevator doors on the first floor of Walker Hall, you have been deprived in your Linfield experience.
Throughout the years, students and professors have designed exhibits on many diverse subjects in the small room, including Barbie, beer, the Turkish bazaar, rural China, the looming problem of water shortages and diseases, the Linfield sesquicentennial and now: Packrats.
Packrats for Posterity is now in the final stages of development by the students of Keni Sturgeon, adjunct professor of anthropology, as part of their Museums: Exhibiting Cultures course.
“People have been collecting for centuries, and collections have ranged from works of art to species of animal [zoos],” Sturgeon said. “The new exhibition at the Linfield Anthropology Museum, Packrats for Posterity, explores several different types of collections: archaeology, teaching, art from other cultures, commemorative memorabilia, tourist art and personal objects collected by our students.”
The museum’s collections are stored in a tiny room on the second floor of Walker Hall, which also serves as a part-time office. From the delicate and unique collection of bolo ties from the Southwest to the glass root beer bottle found deep underground last summer, every object acquired by the LAM during the years came to them from someone connected to the college in one way or another.
“They help us to tell the story of our community, our college and its people,” Sturgeon said.
Packrats for Posterity opens April 2 at noon, and will be on display through the end of August.
The design for the next exhibit will be created by Sturgeon’s class this spring as well, and will feature Cameroonian culture and art, making use of the LAM’s Paul and Clara Gebauer collection, opening in September of this year.
“Working on the museum has been a very tedious and rewarding project,” sophomore Barrett Dahl said. “A lot of work goes into making an exhibit and a lot of people are involved. Overall, it’s been a very fun experience, and we’re happy to create something for the Linfield community to enjoy. We hope that more people will come to the exhibits in the future.”
A group of Linfield students joined approximately 9,000 other conservatives from across the nation in Washington, D.C., for the 36th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, February 26-28.
Because this is the first year the Republican club organized a trip to the conference, it drew names from a hat of people interested in going for fairness, senior Josh Planton said. The six spots were filled by seniors Chris Schuldt, Keldy Winters and Planton, juniors Ashlee Carter and Clinton Moore and freshman Rachel Mills.
The conference was a mixture of panels, workshops and speeches from political figures and conservative media moguls, such as Ron Paul, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele and Mike Huckabee, Planton said.
He said there were panel discussions about traditional issues such as the Second Amendment, tax reform, education and new issues such as online poker, which the government is trying to tax and make transferring funds online more difficult.
“My favorite workshop was the leadership workshop where we learned some techniques that other schools use and some tips on running for a cabinet position,” Carter said.
This year was an important year to attend the conference because the Republican Party lost the election as well as seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, Planton said.
Nick Buccola, assistant professor of political science and adviser of the trip, said attending the conference was a valuable experience for students because it allowed them to share their political ideas with their peers from across the nation.
Planton said he enjoyed the conference because it demonstrated the unification of the party as well as its diversity.
“The conservative movement can’t be captured in one definition,” he said.
Moore said he also appreciated the array of causes political figures and conservatives supported at the conference.
“I enjoyed going around the exhibit hall and talking to people about their respective causes because everyone there was so passionate about what they believe in,” he said.
Carter said the conference showed the dedication and passion of the Republican Party after it lost the presidential election.
“This experience showed me how dedicated and passionate the Republican Party is even after the outcome of the presidential election,” Carter said.
She said she especially enjoyed seeing the historical monuments of our country and hopes to attend the event next year.
Although this is the first time Linfield students have participated in the conference, they are ready to plan next year’s trip, Buccola said.
Review staff writer
“Hope in a Time of Crisis: Rauschenbusch’s Christianity Revisited,” the 17th annual Frazee Symposium, focused on Walter Rauschenbusch’s ideas about the social gospel and how these ideas may be applied to circumstances in the world today.
The two-night presentation featured Al Staggs, as Walter Rauschenbusch, and Paul Raushenbush.
“We see today, in our current context in the world and the sort of things we are facing, that we’re not all that distant from the things that were happening at the turn of the 20th century,” Dave Massey, chaplain and assistant professor of religious studies, said.
On March 9, Staggs presented a one-person play portraying Rauschenbusch. Walter Rauschenbusch served as pastor of the Second German Baptist Church in a troubled area of New York from 1886-1897, and was a professor at Rochester Theological Seminary, where Massey attended.
Staggs emphasized the connection Rauschenbusch made between social sin and personal sin, recognizing that difficult economic conditions could drive desperate people to do things they would normally find unacceptable.
He also emphasized that both the church and all people had a responsibility to assist each other in times of need.
“Rauschenbusch wasn’t just flat out against capitalism,” Massey said. “He was ‘anti’ any system that was void of justice.”
On March 10, Paul Raushenbush, Walter Rauschenbusch’s great-grandson, lectured about how his great-grandfather’s work should affect peoples attitudes toward the current economic situation.
“The economic crisis is a wake-up to remind us that we are not spiritually or materially alone in the world, and we never were,” Raushenbush said.
He also spoke about the presence of the Kingdom of God on Earth. He said it isn’t necessary to wait to experience God on Earth, but that we need to work together to improve our world.
“The way God treats us depends on how we treat each other,” Raushenbush said, commenting that it’s not acceptable to be pious in church, but selfish in life.
After Raushenbush’s lecture, a panel with Nick Buccola, assistant professor of political science, Jeff Peterson, associate professor of sociology, senior Lizzie Martinez, Chaplain’s team member, and Janet Elfers, peace programs director at Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, commented on his message.
Peterson commented on the irony of Rauschenbusch’s ideas about the interdependence of people as compared with individualism in America.
“We as a society can still say we blame individual land owners . . . in the face of a system that tries to get them into these large homes,” Peterson said.
Buccola compared Rauschenbusch to Frederick Douglas who encouraged action in society to create change, similar to Rauschenbusch.
Massey said the Frazee Symposium is one of the largest endowed lectureships at Linfield, and it is named after Gordon Frazee, who served as a professor of religious studies for more than 30 years and as Chaplain and Dean of Students at Linfield.
As the economy plummets, more students have become dependent on financial aid and grants. Anxiety to maintain their GPAs is one of the main causes for students to pressure professors into reconsidering grades.
“I’ve noticed an increased set of circumstances where students are pleading with me to reconsider a grade or [asking] for something else they can do to augment the grade so they can stay in school,” Visiting Professor Seth Tichenor said. “Students have always asked me to reconsider grades for academic standards, but now it seems to be for financial reasons just as much as academic.”
If students fall below a 2.0 GPA, they are put on probation and have one semester to improve their performance. If they are unable to do so, they are suspended from the college, Director of Financial Aid Crisanne Werner said.
Students honored with merit grants must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher to have their grants renewed once they become juniors.
“Students who have these scholarships don’t typically lose them,” she said.
According to Jennifer Ballard, director of institutional research, 90-95 percent of first-year students from the class that entered Linfield in 2004 finished fall semester with a 2.0 or higher GPA. All subsequent groups of first-semester students finished with similar percentages. The percentage provides an idea about the number of students who did not maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher.
For those that don’t, the strain to get themselves off probation is a high priority.
“[As a professor], you are no longer capable of thinking solely in academic terms,” Tichenor said. “If you know a student is in a potentially life-changing financial crisis, simply because of a bad semester, it causes you to think twice about the grade you’re giving.”
Registrar Eileen Bourassa has been in situations when professors have come to her because they have been put in similar circumstances. She said she tells them about tough love.
“We’ve all heard of tough love, and that’s what we have to deal with,” she said. “This is the real world: You get what you earn.”
She emphasized the various other ways students can receive assistance with their studies, such as the programs Academic Advising offers.
With students dwelling in the anxiety of maintaining their financial aid, the amount of money the college has to offer becomes an issue.
The endowment has declined, according to Bruce Wyatt, vice president of college relations.
Linfield is authorized to spend 4.5 percent of the endowment, he said. Linfield manages the endowment by following a 12-quarter system. The 4.5 percent is not based on each quarterly figure, but on the average from 12 quarters, or three years. This provides stability and planning opportunities should the endowment decrease.
On June 20, 2008, the endowment was $71 million. As of Dec. 31, it was at $54 million, Wyatt said.
“Although our endowment has dropped quite a bit, the college will have more to spend next year because of the 12-quarter system,” he said.
This management style allows the Office of Financial Aid, which is presently informing prospective students about their grant packages, to award more money than it has in previous years.
“This college has been around for 150 years,” Wyatt said. “Are we concerned about finances today? Yes, of course. But are we in trouble? No, we will come out of this.”
The Oregon Opportunity Grant recently decreased, eliminating $80 from each of the 400 Linfield students utilizing the fund, Wyatt said. Linfield President Thomas Hellie sent a message out to each student stating they would not be responsible the difference. So far, $25,000 has been generated by Linfield faculty, staff and alumni to pay the amount.
“Our first commitment is affordability and accessibility,” he said.
With finances in turmoil for many families of Linfield student, scholarships and grants are even more essential. Maintaining the grades to sustain awards is a key factor in college rigor.
“I think recessions like we’re in right now are times when people get nervous about all sorts of things,” Professor of Philosophy Marvin Henberg said. “Grades are one of them. But just because the economy drops off you can’t assume it’s not worth it to get a college education.”
Henberg emphasized the importance of maintaining standards when grading.
“To me a grade is like first place in a race,” he said. “You cheapen the race if you give first place to everyone.”
Tichenor brought up the the necessity of a college degree and the costliness of obtaining one.
“It honestly bothers me that 21- and 22-year-old [students] have to go into tens of thousands of dollars of debt just to get basic certification to participate in professional middle-class life,” he said.
She sits in her office chair, happiness and excitement radiating from every pore. She seems as though she doesn’t know how to articulate what she’s feeling, which is understandable. She’s in a bubbly mood while answering questions; she couldn’t quite sit still.
As she answers the questions, you can see the brightness and alertness behind her eyes. One would think she would be tired from a night of celebrating; it turns out she went to bed after doing math homework, calling it an early night. And who can blame her? She deserves some rest.
Junior Ashlee Carter, in the closest Associated Students of Linfield College presidential election in the last decade, beat junior Duncan Reid by only two votes.
Carter earned 47.4 percent of the vote, 398 votes, while Reid earned 47.3 percent, 396 votes. Forty-five voters, 5.4 percent, abstained.
“I was in the gym, waiting for a call,” Carter said. “Around 7:15, I was starting to wonder. Then, between like 7:25 and 7:28, I saw the whole group coming toward me, and I just lost it. Chris [Schuldt] announced it to the whole gym. I was shocked by the results.”
Considering she won by the narrowest margin, it might have been those last-minute votes that did it for her.
“[Mike] Sladich was in the gym, and he was telling me how he was sorry that he didn’t have time to vote earlier,” Carter said. “It was two minutes to 7, and I had him vote on my iPhone.”
Carter said that she is glad she visited every residence hall during her campaigning.
“That might have made all the difference,” she said.
On another note, though, junior Chris Norman swept the polls again, receiving 78.5 percent of the vote, 659 votes, earning him the title of vice president-elect. Freshman Sean Boedeker earned 13.1 percent, 110 votes. Seventy voters, 8.4 percent, abstained.
“It feels good to know that the students made a decision, and I was their choice,” Norman said. “People have been congratulating me all day, and it feels great.”
In total, 839 students voted, which is a decrease from last year’s general elections, where 861 students casted their ballots.
“Though it was lower than last year’s, I couldn’t be happier about it,” ASLC Secretary sophomore Heather Snyder said. “A senator came up and told me about some students who were going to vote, though, but then decided against it because they said their votes didn’t matter. I bet there are a lot of people who are kicking themselves because they didn’t vote, thinking that whole ‘my vote doesn’t matter,’ when it did.”
She said several students did vote at the computers stationed at the informational booths, which was a positive thing. Also, the new style of debates, aptly titled “Fireside Chats,” went well.
“It was kind of a cool perspective,” Snyder said. “I was glad Dan did it; he really tried to get answers out of them. He asked them questions right out of their platforms.”
She said the process could improve, just like anything else, but advises the next ASLC secretary to publicize the event more.
As for Carter and Norman, their journey has just begun. The first item of business on their agenda is to appoint their new cabinet members next week. They both hope to have the entire process completed before Spring Break.
Carter specifically has several things she said she wanted to complete before the end of the school year, including meeting with Linfield Campus Safety, dining services and Facilities Service.
“I made a lot of promises, and I have to start working on them,” she said.