Daily Archives: October 1, 2010

Council meets to generate fresh ideas

The newly formed Linfield Sustainability Council held its first meeting Sept. 29.
The council was formed last year to help allocate funds given in the Student Sustainability & Renewable Energy Fund.
In addition to the Sept. 29 meeting, it will hold two more during the next two months to discuss the ways in which the funds will be used to help sustainability and an eco-friendly environment at Linfield.
In 2009, a petition was created by various students to raise the campus activity fee by $10 in order to support sustainability at Linfield.
Students created the petition to give them more control over the funds, which were originally controlled by faculty,
Associated Students of Linfield College President senior Colin Jones said in an e-mail.
Jones said in an e-mail he felt that it did not make sense to have staff members controlling funds that were granted by students and put toward student activities.
“The Sustainability
Council now considers grants from students and other members of the Linfield Community to fund projects related to broadly defined sustainability,” he said in the e-mail.
Jones is the head of the council and senior Sarah Valentine, ASLC community outreach and environmental education coordinator, takes the lead on council activities and meetings.
Valentine has been organizing a series of workshops aimed at educating students about the sustainability funds, and training them on how to use the money to best serve Linfield.
The workshop that was held on Sept. 29 was the first of three that will take place this semester.
“[It was a] brainstorming session to get people’s ideas flowing about possible projects,” Jones said in an e-mail.
Proposed ideas included expanding compost and recycling options on campus, encouraging the use of reusable water bottles and developing the Garden Club’s community garden.
The next two workshops will be at 4 p.m. Oct. 10. and Nov. 17. Locations for these meetings have not been decided yet.
When asked about rumors that the Sustainability Council has replaced Linfield’s Environmental activist group, Greenfield, Jones was quick to point out the falsehood of such rumors.
No direct connection lies between the council and Greenfield, and in fact, Jones said, there is really no formal connection between any of the campus’s environmental groups and Greenfield.
“Some of the students who participate in Greenfield also worked on some of these initiatives, but a number of students who have never been to a Greenfield meeting were also integral in making these things happen,” Jones said in an e-mail.
If interested in becoming involved with the council and the sustainability funds they, Jones encourages students to come to a workshop during the next two months or to contact Valentine at svalent@linfield.edu for more information.

Matthew Sunderland/Senior reporter
Matthew Sunderland can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Guest speaker describes guide dog training

Jennie Gretz, a representative of Guide Dogs for the Blind, teaches about the training and education of Guide Dogs for the Blind on Sept. 29 in the Fred Meyer Lounge as part of Learning Support Service’s celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act. LSS held the Hands-on Informational Event in Walker Hall’s foyer, and will host “Not Until You Know My Story,” a play about differences, will be performed at 8 p.m. Oct. 1 in Ice Auditorium. Joel Ray/Freelancer

Students, faculty and staff gathered Sept. 29 in Fred Meyer Lounge to listen to Jeannie Gretz talk about Guide Dogs for the Blind, an organization that teaches the blind and trains guide dogs.
The event was one of three that took place during the week and was put on in honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in September.
Cheri White, assistant director of learning support services, introduced Gretz by giving a short description of how the intelligent dogs assist the blind.
“People put their lives in the hands of a harness on and a dog,” White said. “They expect them to keep them safe and alive without being harmed.”
Gretz described the two Guide Dogs for the Blind campuses.
One is in Boring, Ore., and the other is located in San Rafael, Calif.
Each campus houses blind students and trains guide dogs for students who are in need of assistance.
The first campus was established in 1942 to serve veterans blinded in World War II.
“The first thing I want to tell everyone that is so important is that our dogs are for people who are sight-impaired,” Gretz said. “There is no charge for the dog, the training or staying at one of our beautiful campuses.”
Each dog is a golden retriever, a Labrador retriever or a mix of both breeds.
The dogs are trained to learn intelligent obedience beginning when they are young puppies.
A volunteer, called a “puppy raiser,” takes a dog from the organization starting when they are 8 weeks old.
The dog learns basic obedience from the family.
There are many guidelines that the volunteer has to follow in order to shape a well-rounded pup to be sent off to one of the campuses when they are 3 or 4 months old.
After completing training, most dogs go to someone who has “been in the dark” for far too long, Gertz said.
Some dogs don’t meet the qualifications even after training; those dogs become obedient pets.
An audience member asked Gretz how anyone could give the puppy up for training.
Gretz said that the answer is at graduation, when the dog is finally paired with someone in need.
She described the event as tear-filled and said that seeing that person receive “walking eyes” is a reward all in itself.
During the entire speech, Gretz’s 5-year-old Labrador, Haley, relaxed on the floor.
Haley was helping a woman in Kansas, but because of certain guidelines that Haley could no longer meet, she was given to the Gretz family in Oregon.
Gretz said she started out as a volunteer dog-walker and tour guide at the Oregon campus. She now speaks to the public about Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Gretz’s eyes watered as she told a heart-warming story about one of the dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind that helped a man walk down the stairs in the Twin Towers during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
As the man and the dog made their way down, firefighters passed them on their way up to douse the flames and help others. Each firefighter pet the dog as he or she passed.
For most of them, it was a last act of love, as many of them perished soon after.
“They really are angel dogs,” Gretz said.

Lauren Ostrom/Freelancer
Lauren Ostrom can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Candidates address agriculture at forum

Democratic candidate Susan Sokol Blosser (left) and incumbent Republican Representative Jim Weidner (right) talk with William Newman II (center), the moderator of the forum. Katie Paysinger/Senior photographer

Candidates running for the Oregon House of Representatives of District 24 met Sept. 28 to answer questions about agricultural policy under their administrations. Only one Linfield student joined the citizens of Yamhill County attending the event.
Democratic candidate Susan Sokol Blosser and Republican incumbent Rep. Jim Wiedner fielded questions from the attendees, including one from Linfield senior Katherine Kann.
The question and answer session was preceded by a meet and greet.
Kann attended on behalf of Greenfield, a club dedicated to promoting sustainability.
She was in attendance with Linfield alumna Rose Hollingsworth, class of ’10. Both women said they were supporters of Sokol Blosser.
“I think that localization is an important path to creating a more sustainable living existence on our planet,” Kann said, explaining that she came to discover what the candidates’ stance was on the subject.
The candidates also fielded questions on farming and agricultural policy. Only 24 questions were asked.
Of those 24, nearly a third were about small farms, making it the most popular topic.
Other questions included questions concerning farm subsidies, genetically modified foods and Grand Island’s new potential quarry.
Labeling herself a representative of Linfield students, Kann asked about the food industry’s role in sustainability and climate change.
Three groups with an interest in Oregon’s farming communities, Slow Food Oregon’s Yamhill County chapter, Friends of Family Farmers and Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust collaborated to create the forum.
The event ran from 6 — 8:30 p.m. and was held in the McMinnville Community Center. William Newman II, the representative and co-founder of OSALT, moderated the event.
“People have concerns that have to do with food and farming,” Newman said. “An informed electorate can make better choices.”
According to its website, OSALT is dedicated to preserving the skills and mindsets necessary to keep small farming alive from generation to generation.
Michele Knause, who attended for Friends of Family Farmers, said that her organization counted on the Food & Farm Forum bringing attention to issues about local farms and farmers.
“We’re hoping that the people who attended were able to draw attention to these issues by the questions they asked and that the candidate found out what people find important about food and agriculture,” she said.
Family Farms aims to create unity among independent and family-owned farms, as well as people interested in sustainability and nutrition, according to the organization’s website.
“I thought it was fairly effective, but the questions were difficult to respond to in such a short time,” said Rob Tracy, a former member of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources and Conservation Agency. “The responses were fairly generic.”
The candidates had two minutes to answer the questions.
The conservation agency’s website states that its role is to prevent degradation of the nation’s soil quality and avoid a repeat of the dustbowl effect from the 1930s.

Joshua Ensler/News editor
Joshua Ensler can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Homecoming changes reduce competition

The Associated Students of Linfield College is revamping Homecoming Week this year in an attempt to get more students involved and out showing their Wildcat pride, ASLC President senior Colin Jones said.
This year, there will be two days of competition instead of last year’s five days, Jones said.
He said that this new Homecoming curriculum is based less on competition than in past years because ASLC is hoping to bring more students together.
“Providing new events will help integrate a wider portion of the student body,” Jones said.
He also mentioned that competition has a natural way of separating students, which is what Jones and the other ASLC members are trying to avoid.
Jones said that the Song and Banner and the Mr. and Mrs. Linfield competitions are in the Homecoming schedule this year because they are traditional events. However, other competition events of the past, such as a tug of war, will be replaced with a barbecue, pep rally, live band and dance.
One student felt otherwise about the removal of competition.
“I think that Homecoming is about school spirit, so I feel like it has to be a competition,” a Linfield junior, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “It makes it more exciting.”
Jones said that the Spazmatics will perform live at 8 p.m. Oct. 15 on the IM field.
The Spazmatics are an ’80s-style cover band. Since many of the alumni grew up listening to ’80s music and many Linfield students are fans of “Glee,” it should be a great way to unite alumni and students, Jones said.
Participation forms for the two competitions are due Oct. 11 before 5 p.m. in the ASLC office on the third floor of Riley Student Center.

Chelsea Bowen/Opinion editor
Chelsea Bowen can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.

A group is only as strong as its least busy member

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it seems as if more and more students are making the trek to Nicholson Library to meet up with fellow classmates to work on group projects.
I, for one, have never been assigned so many group projects in my life, and from multiple courses I have in college.
I’m not saying group projects are counterproductive; in fact, some students enjoy taking part in collaborative work. The benefit is that the work can be divided up equally. We can pick the section we want to do and everyone’s skills can be used to their full potential. Not to mention, a significant amount of stress is lifted from our already weighted shoulders.
Let’s be realistic. We are college students. How many of us have time outside of our already crazy, busy schedules to meet with our groups and figure out the logistics of a project? Many of us have an extensive course load, homework, sports, extracurricular activities, jobs, off-campus obligations, etc. It is hard enough finding a time when you are available, let alone a time when everyone in the group is, as well. Plus, we are almost never given enough class time to work on the project.
What happens when one member of the group does not pull his or her weight on the project? Obviously, the rest of the group suffers and either has to compensate for that member or risk receiving an undesirable grade. Even with group evaluations, the other members still have to make up for that person’s lack of work, which creates stress for the whole group.
Speaking of grades, group projects always seem to be worth more points than individual assignments. This works out if the group does well on the project but not if it doesn’t. So, as a consequence, these points do not accurately reflect a student’s overall individual grade because no single person is in control of the entire project.
Now keep in mind that not all group projects are a pain or are conducted in the same way; some professors are understanding about a group’s circumstances. But sure would be nice if we were assigned a lot less of them for each course and had more than a few days to do them, right?
Oh, group projects. You will be the death of me.
Jessica Prokop/Culture editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.