Daily Archives: May 10, 2009

Greek community united by service, fun

Photo by Jeff Primozich

Photo by Jeff Primozich

Rachel Mills
For the Review

Members of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority danced themselves into victory in front of cheering Linfield fans during the Greek Week lip sync, the final event in a weeklong competition between the Greek organizations from May 4 to 7.
Senior Lacy Beth Peck, Phi Sigma Sigma president, said Greek Week included events that were designed to promote camaraderie among Greek organizations and to increase publicity around campus about Greek philanthropy and values.
“It gives people an idea about what Greek Life represents on Linfield’s campus,” she said.
Junior Devin Salinas, Theta Chi Fraternity president, said the week was intended to be a competition among Linfield fraternities and sororities.
“Each sorority paired up with a fraternity, and competed together in all the events,” Salinas said.
The pairs were: Theta Chi and Sigma Kappa Phi Sorority, Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Sigma Sigma, Kappa Sigma Fraternity and Alpha Phi Sorority, and Delta Psi Delta Fraternity with Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority.
The teams competed in a walk-a-thon May 4, in a variety of events during the Greek Games May 5, and performances at lip sync May 6. The winners were announced after lip sync. The final event, a softball game against the McMinnville Police Department, took place May 7.
Sophomore Sarah Spranger said she has been involved in Greek Life for two years. She currently serves as president of the Linfield Pan-Hellenic Council.
The LPC is the governing organization for all sorority activities, and the Inter-fraternal Council fulfills the same purpose for the fraternities.
“The walk-a-thon was a fundraiser for Henderson House,” Spranger said. “We collected lump sum or per-lap donations and the sorority/fraternity pair that raised the most money won the event.”
Spranger said that the walk-a-thon winner was Phi Sigma Sigma and Phi Kappa Alpha. In total, the event raised approximately $1300.
“It is the largest amount that the event has ever raised,” she said.
Senior Tal Edman, IFC secretary, said that the walk-a-thon is the most serious of the Greek Week events.
“The rest of the events are fun and goofy, but the walk-a-thon lets us do some community service, benefit a great organization and have fun at the same time,” Edman said.
Salinas said that the charitable efforts of Greek Week are important aspects of the events.
“Greek Week is about friendship, philanthropy and outreach,” he said. “Our goal is to benefit organizations such as Henderson House and to have fun while we do so.”
Field day, which took place May 5, was also a success, Edman said, but in an entirely different way.
“We had a variety of events, including a chariot race, a Twinkie-eating contest, an egg toss, a bat spin relay and orange necking,” he said.
Spranger said that the field day Greek Games were simply designed for fun.
“Lots of people came out to watch and cheer and support their brothers and sisters,” Spranger said. “It is good for the Greeks to come together and have fun as a group instead of as individual organizations.”
The prime event of the week took place May 6. Teams from the eight Greek organizations gave lip sync performances in Ice Auditorium.
“The lip sync is all about being wild and fun,” Edman said. “Some groups take it seriously and practice for weeks, but it’s really just a chance to act crazy in front of your friends.”
Peck said that the lip sync draws the most non-Greek observers.
Linfield students and community members donated two cans of food as admission to watch lip sync. Salinas said that canned goods would be donated to the Yamhill County Food Bank.
After the lip sync, members of LPC and IFC tallied the scores from the week. Based on their combined scores from the walk-a-thon, field day, and lip sync, members of Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Sigma Sigma were declared the Greek Week winners. The Alpha Phi/Kappa Sigma team were runners up.
Though the scoring was complete, two members from each organization participated in a final Greek Week event May 7 when they hit the softball field to play an informal scrimmage with the McMinnville Police Department.
“The game [wasn’t] worth any points,” Edman said. “It is important because it fosters good relationships between the Greeks and the police.”
Edman said the Greeks integrate with the police officers to put some members of each organization on each team. He said that this helps both groups see one another positively.
Salinas said that during Greek Week, the members focused on their fun activities and on their charitable efforts, but they also used the week as an opportunity to recruit new members.
“Often, people see how much fun we have and want to try if for themselves,” Salinas said. “Maybe those who aren’t Greek will join. We always like to get new members.”
Salinas said Greek Week gives the organizations a chance to reach out to the Linfield community and allows students to see what Greek Life is all about: camaraderie, philanthropy and fun.

Education fair disseminates information to campus

Septembre Russell
Copy editor

The Drug Use in the U.S. Project Education Fair was held in Fred Meyer Lounge on May 5. The fair was presented by the Drug Use in the U.S. class taught by Susan Chambers, adjunct professor of health and human performance, and was open to the public.
“This is the first year I’ve done this for this class,” Chambers said. “Usually the students do presentations in the classroom, and I just thought it would be an opportunity to get the information out because it’s some great information.”
The fair featured 20 displays, each with reports about different forms of drugs or drug-related subjects ranging from alcohol and marijuana to eating and exercise addictions. Chambers said she encouraged her students to focus on topics that weren’t covered extensively during class time. Some exhibits consisted of games or had elements of myth and fact, she said.
“I encouraged the students to make their displays as interactive as possible,” Chambers said.
Instead of enlightening students by dispersing important information, Chambers, along with Christina Ries, coordinator of health promotion and student wellness, students can receive information during the semester.
The Spring Health and Wellness Survey is conducted each year to collect information on students’ behaviors from alcohol to drug abuse to sleep
habits and some of their emotional feelings, Chambers said. The information is used to determine if there are any trends developing during the years in terms of student behaviors to identify changes in trends that might require more education, she said.
“We’re always trying to get a representative sample that matches the college,” Ries said.
The more people that take the survey, the more relatable the sample size is, which is more representative, Chambers said. The Spring 2009 Health and Wellness Survey closes May 15, and students can access it through e-mail. Students who participate in the survey could possibly win a Nintendo Wii.

Professor lectures on environmental ethics, worldviews

Photo by Alison Pate

Photo by Alison Pate

Katie Armes
Review staff writer

Michael P. Nelson discussed the importance of interdisciplinary work and the reliability of short-term studies in the Isle Royale project during his first lecture about environmental ethics May 4.
The Isle Royale project, now 50 years old, studied the relationship between moose and wolves on the island in Lake Superior.
Nelson, associate professor of environmental ethics and philosophy at Michigan State University, presented his beliefs about the relationship between a society’s worldview and its environmental ethics, as seen in the Ojibwa Native American tribe May 5.
Professor Marv Henberg, philosophy department chair, has an interest in environmental ethics and has contributed to one of Nelson’s books. Henberg will be leaving Linfield for a new position as the president of the College of Idaho in the fall.
“This is kind of my swan song at Linfield,” Henberg said. “I thought I could scratch my own itch for once.”
The populations of wolves and moose on Isle Royale are measured each winter. While ecologists expect populations of predators and their prey to follow the Lotka-Volterra model, where the predator population reaches its peak soon after the prey population starts to fall, the pattern isn’t clearly discernible on Isle Royale after the first five years of observation. Nelson said.
“This is the longest study of a predator-prey relationship in the world,” Nelson said. “We don’t have studies like this. We don’t pay attention to things this long.”
The wolves’ kill rates are also hard to predict. While short-term studies would indicate a constant rate, nearly 50 years of data collection reveal that the number of kills per wolf vary widely and depend on several factors.
“The short view of nature would kind of trick us,”
Nelson said.
As the Isle Royale team ethicist, Nelson also presented the option of genetically rescuing the wolves on the island. The wolves all descended from one female and only one or two males and are severely inbred.
Bringing in new wolves to allow some genetic variation is a controversial idea that has been opened for public discussion.
While Nelson’s first lecture focused on one specific study, his second, presented May 6, explained more generally how to determine if a society has a good environmental ethics.
The most common method to determine a community’s ethics is to observe its actions.
“I don’t think that I glimpse your moral commitment by stalking you for two weeks,” Nelson said.
Nelson proposed that a society’s worldview determines its environmental
ethics.
By reading stories and accounts of the Ojibwa tribe, Nelson determined that the Native Americans have an inclusive worldview, leading to their care for the
environment.
“Even really intimate relationships like marriage can exist between the human and non-human world,” Nelson said, “Everything has constant, familial references.”
The Ojibwas’ worldview didn’t necessarily prevent them from negatively effecting their environment, but it does demonstrate that they recognized the value of nature. The popular method, Nelson said, makes the mistake of equating ethics with actions, ignoring the importance of intentions.
Nelson said he believes America is confused about its environmental ethics.
“Our problem is not merely our actions, but our fundamental relationship with the world,” Nelson said.

Aliens take over McMinnville once again

Katie Paysinger
News editor
The 10th annual UFO Festival will take place May 15 and 16 at McMenamins Hotel Oregon. The UFO Costume Parade and Alien Pet Costume Contest will take place May 16.
The McMinnville Downtown Association is putting on the parade and pet costume in conjunction with McMenamins’ annual UFO Festival to draw more people to the downtown area, Ginger Williams, promotions and event coordinator for the association, said.
Adjunct professors of art and visual culture Totem Shriver and Cris Moss are teaching Spatial Exploration in two sections, each of which is building a float for the festival.
In addition to the parade and pet costume contest, Portland band Vivid Curve will perform and provide supplies for a workshop on how to build your own didgeridoo, a type of instrument traditionally constructed from Eucalyptus trees.
The festival normally conflicts with Linfield’s final exam schedule, but this year it happens
earlier than usual.
“We were thrilled when we found out it was going to work with Linfield’s schedule,” Williams said. “We’re really looking forward to having [the art classes] involved.”
Judging for floats will begin at 11:30 a.m. May 16, and the parade will begin its trek down Third Street at 1 p.m.

ITS combats Malware with system upgrades

Septembre Russell
Copy editor

“If you know where to go on the Internet, you can buy Social Security numbers and credit card numbers,” Chief Technology Officer Irv Wiswall said.
Before 2001, viruses were produced because their creators wanted to prove their ability and for bragging rights, Wiswall said. However, a shift occurred in the purpose for creating viruses after that year.
“The motivation is now money, which is a bigger motivation than bragging rights, and [virus production] is also proving successful as a money maker,” Wiswall said.
Today there are more people manufacturing viruses, he said. Because the primary incentive is money, the sophistication of the viruses is dramatically increasing. Different categories of viruses exist, such as Worms, Trojans and keystroke loggers, but they are collectively referred to as Malware.
“The Malware is getting better and better at how it works and not interfering with the operation of the computer,” Wiswall said.
A common Malware tool is what is called a Botnet, which is a shortened term for Robot Network. A Botnet is a piece of Malware that finds its way into a computer and assumes central control of one entity, Wiswall said. The common use for Botnet’s is for spam hosting. A Botnet herder, the person facilitating the Botnet, rents his or her services to spammers and sends spam to the computers under their control. The Bot herder profits a few cents for each message he or she sends, and should a computer become infected, he or she uses that computer to amass millions of dollars as thousands of messages are sent to thousands of computers.
“If they have a really good thing running on your computer, you’ll never notice,” Wiswall said. “Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, [Malware] often times doesn’t work quite the way the author intended, and it causes problems on your computer, you notice and you bring it to ITS and we help you deal with it.”
A particularly dangerous and common occurrence is Malware recording a person’s activities on his or her computer and then analyzing the results and reporting that information back to a central server, Wiswall said.
“And then they’re sold in bundles,” Assistant Director of ITS Michael Blanco said.
Victims of identity theft more than likely had Malware tracking their Internet activities, Wiswall said. It is possible that a keystroke logger may have been installed onto a computer and watched for patterns that correspond with names, Social Security and credit card numbers.
“It’s astonishing, the things that people are thinking about that are taking advantage of your behavior,” Wiswall said. “They’re using social engineering, which has become a major component of all these things, to invite people to infect
themselves.”
Pop-ups are a popular method by which Malware is welcomed in to the computer, and it happens frequently because they are an accepted form of advertising on the Internet, but sometimes pop-ups are not. Sometimes pop-ups are Malware waiting for someone to click on it, Blanco said.
“In September, when the school season was starting, [there] was a pop-up that warned people that they had done something and their computer was infected; if they clicked on it they’d just infected their machine because that [pop-up] was the infector,” Blanco said.
ITS became efficient at purging the Malware from campus computers, Blanco said, but by spring the program changed.
“It morphed and looked much more official,” Blanco said. “If you would click the little ‘X’ button to kill it, they’d switched it so the ‘X’ button installed it.”
The three most commonly affected areas among the Internet are pornography, gambling and kids’ gaming Web sites, Blanco said. Also susceptible to Malware infection is peer-to-peer file sharing, Wiswall said. When you’re sharing music,
usually in violation of copyright laws, Malware is often placed there. Downloading songs can invite Malware in, he said.
“The virus advancement does not affect Clean Access; this horror story is the reason we have Clean
Access,” Wiswall said. “While it doesn’t protect against people inviting Malware in, it does protect against other important methods of transmission. What Clean Access is doing is insisting that people’s computers be as up-to-date as possible.”
During January Term, the overall security model was upgraded on the computers within the labs managed by ITS, which include both Renshaw Hall labs and the lab inside of Miller Fine Arts Center, Wiswall said.
“The basic change we made is that when a student logs in they are just a user,” Blanco said. “They have a lower permissions level, which means certain key areas of the operating system are off-limits to them, and therefore if they click on something, [Malware] will have a much more difficult time deploying its payload because it can’t get to the places it wants to go.”
As security goes up, ease of usability goes down, Blanco said.
“Finding [a] balance point was difficult,” he said.
Before the upgrades, he said the software on the computers removed any changes made so that if someone accidentally infected the computer, the infection would be removed as well.
“We had to open up certain aspects of the machine so that people could do things they wanted and [that] we needed to do, like Windows updates and anti-virus updates,” Blanco said.
He said he believes usability has improved since the upgrades were
completed.
“From what we’ve seen, the machines have been running better overall,” Blanco said.