Daily Archives: October 9, 2010

Running back wins big at online poker

It would take the average Linfield student 8,750 hours to make $70,000.
Working a minimum-wage work study job one hour a day, five days a week would take that same person roughly 400 months, or 44 years, to earn that amount.
But for one student, it took a focused, intense and ultimately satisfying 10 hours of online poker play.
Senior Simon Lamson, a running back for the football team, has been a member of the Full Tilt Poker community for close to two years.
It wasn’t until last summer that he reaped any serious financial benefits.
“I played a few tournaments during the spring maybe once a month, but I didn’t start playing consistently until the start of the summer when I had all my free time,” Lamson said. “I’d say from June until September [that] I made $8,000.”
He also worked full time for Linfield’s conference and events planning.
But with steady cash flowing in from his hobby, the job was more of a way to occupy the day, making the hours fly by until night’s tournament.
Once the summer wound down, and the twin demands of football and school rolled around, the tournaments and games became less frequent.
Lamson was lucky to squeeze one tournament in every two weeks he said. But on Sept. 26, he found himself with a free afternoon.
“I wanted to play in this tournament. I had $200 extra in my bankroll and used it for the buy-in. The total pot was $750,000, so I knew it wouldn’t be that hard to at least win back my buy-in,” he said. “Play got under way at 3 p.m., and the first couple hours weren’t anything special.
The tournament began with 3,500 people, and play was slow until there were 1,500 remaining, he said.
“I was winging it,” he said. “I was up and down with my chip stack, winning pretty average pot sizes.”
His profits shot up from that point.
“The chip average was at 9,000, I had just won two big hands and jumped up to about 25,000,” Lamson said. “From then on, I was in the top 10 until the end of the tournament.”
During the next three hours, players began to fall by the wayside, their chip stacks exhausted and the tension heightened.
By then, Lamson’s three roommates had joined him around the computer screen, intent on the action.
Lamson’s eyes were set on making the final table.
“The top nine make the final table, and ninth place was $10,000 grand,” he said.
As Lamson continued to focus on making the final table, and, as his roommates cheered him on, it became clear to him that he was on the way to making more money in one night than any one of them had made during their entire lives.
It was 11:30 p.m. when screams erupted from Lamson’s living room. He made it to the final nine, which guaranteed him $10,000, and only eight other people stood between him and the winner’s purse of $120,000.
In tournaments this size, there is a break every three hours. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Once I took that break it started to set in — how much money I was actually dealing with. I was fourth in chip stack, but I honestly wasn’t thinking about the money. I was kind of just going with the flow,” Lamson said.
After the break, fortified with a bottle of Vitamin Water, Lamson got back to business.
“I felt like I could realistically make about $20,000, but that $50,000 plus mark just didn’t seem real,” he said. “When I knocked the final pro player out for fifth place, I felt like I could maybe win it,” he said.
Gradually, he moved up to fourth, with a guarantee of $40,000; then third, with a guarantee of $50,000. It was a surreal experience for not only Lamson but also his roommates.
“I’ve never been a part of anything like that, and when we found out how much money was actually at stake, it was like we were all playing in the tournament,” senior Bryce Comfort, his roommate, said.
“Plus, I needed some new headphones, and I heard he had recently bought a pair for himself and one other person who supported him through his last tournament cash,” he said.
One more person dropped out, leaving Lamson in the top three and a guaranteed $50,000.
After 10 hands, the players made a deal to divide the pot based on chip ratio.
“When it was finally over, I didn’t know what to think. I immediately started planning what to do with it but in more of a business sense,” he said. “I never looked at it as if I had a random $70,000, I knew it was important that I did something beneficial with it,” he said.
He will receive payments by check through bank wire transfers until the total paid off.
As for what he’s going to do with the money?
“I’m giving $40,000 back to my parents to pay for school, and sitting on the rest — probably in a high-interest savings account,” he said. “Oh, and maybe finally buy matching socks and new shoes.”

Chris Slezak/Freelancer
Chris Slezak can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Committee finds project objectives

The majority of discussion during the Oct. 4 Associated Students of Linfield College Senate meeting concerned the Campus Improvement Committee.
The group, one of four since ASLC’s committee restructuring, is tasked with fielding and addressing student concerns about the greater campus.
Committee chair senior Katie Kann heard many of those concerns during the Senate meeting. Kann said she was impressed by the outspoken underclassmen.
“It’s that kind of initiative that’s changing the dynamic of this school, and it’s a really positive thing,” she said.
Senators brought up several issues, including lighting on the path to Albertsons, water bottles, campus sculptures, window screens and bike racks.
After the Senate meeting adjourned, Kann gathered her committee to discuss possible focal projects, and they decided on four.
One project the committee will take on is increasing the number of bike racks on campus, as at least six senators mentioned their limited number.
“The issue about bike racks turned out to be a lot more important to students than I think any Cabinet member knew,” junior Katie Patterson, ASLC vice president, said about the discussion.
Sophomore Libby Sturges will spearhead the bike rack initiative.
Sophomores Nora Burnfield and Ayla Wood are working to create a community bulletin board.
The board will be an outlet for community members and businesses to post information about local events.
Having this space will foster town-and-gown relations, Kann said.
“It seems hypocritical for us to say we’re part of this McMinnville community when we don’t have an avenue for people in the McMinnville community to share what’s going on with the Linfield campus,” she said.
Junior Kate Koten will work on developing Linfield’s recycling program. For example, Kann said that Koten will attempt to pair each trash can with a recycling bin.
The committee’s final project, obtaining permanent functioning screens for residence halls, falls to freshman Haritareddy Lakireddy.
The project came out of a Grover Hall senator’s complaint about bugs entering residence halls through defective screens.
Area Director for Activities Josh Merrick said during the meeting that portable, expandable screens are available inside the Residence Life office, but the college is not going to purchase more permanent screens unless an initiative comes from Senate.
Kann said her committee is also looking into installing motion sensor lights in campus restrooms, although the project has temporarily been put on hold.
“It seems silly that lights should be left on,” she said. “There’s no reason to be using that energy.”
Overall, Kann said she anticipates that her committee will accomplish a lot this year.
“I don’t like being told that I can’t do something, and I don’t think the students should be satisfied being told they can’t do something,” she said. “There comes a point when you just have to stand up and take on the responsibility to do the work and make this change occur.”

Kelley Hungerford/Editor-in-chief
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at linfieldrevieweditor@gmail.com.

Trip fosters religious discovery, tolerance

Linfield students will visit Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Trappist abbey, on a Spiritual Discovery Trip, co-sponsored by the Chaplain’s Office and Linfield Activities Board, on Oct. 9.
The Trappist Abbey is regularly visited during the trips because of its location in the Yamhill Valley and an existing relationship between the college and a contact at the abbey who assists with classes at Linfield.
The abbey trip also addresses a widespread unfamiliarity with monastic life.
“Most people have heard of monks but don’t have a sense of their life. The trip blows away their preconceived notions of monastic life,” David Massey, chaplain and assistant professor of religious studies, said. “While the monks live a life of seclusion, they’re very engaged in the world.”
Massey said Spiritual Discovery Trips such as this aim to promote the understanding of diverse religious traditions among students.
“The more experience we have in other traditions, the more we understand them and can break down and the better we can understand our own traditions,” Massey said.
The trips have a long tradition at Linfield, although current students may not be familiar with them.
“We started doing the trips about eight years ago,” Massey said. “They seem new because last year we had struggles getting them lined up. But this year, we’re back on track.”
Following the trip to the Trappist Abbey, the next Spiritual Discovery Trip will head to the Muslim Educational Trust in Portland on Oct. 30.
Past destinations have included Jewish synagogues, Islamic mosques, Sikh temples, Hindu temples and African-American pentecostal services.
“A lot of the strife in the world is in some manner related to religion, often because we don’t understand religions,” Massey said.
With the understanding of other religious traditions comes the discovery of common interests, values and goals despite doctrinal differences and the ability to recognize common humanity and value the spiritual yearning of others, Massey said.
“It allows us to appreciate our differences — to be true to who [we] are but open to dialogue and finding common ground,” he said.
In the past, Massey recalled, students told him they were going to take Lent, a 40-day period for penance, seriously by spending time in prayer and fasting.
Their decision was made after witnessing Muslim students’ commitments to the same discipline during the holy month of Ramadan.
“They became clearer in their own discipleship and practices by witnessing this,” Massey said. “They didn’t have to agree, but value and respect [other traditions].”
He also stressed the importance of religion at school.
“At Linfield we don’t ask you to hang up your religion at the door,” Massey said. “We want you to be anchored in your traditions and true to yourself. We ask you to be respectful and have this [sort of value].”
Spiritual Discovery Trips are free. Students can sign up for them in the Campus Information Center or contact the Chaplain’s office for more information.

Gabi Nygaard/Staff reporter
Gabi Nygaard can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Grant brings compost bins to Linfield

Compost bins sit in the Linfield Community Garden south of Renshaw Hall. The bins exist thanks to the efforts by senior Katie Kann and junior Rachel Codd. They hope to expand campus composting efforts by putting 5-gallon buckets in the suburbs for residents to put their waste in. Katie Paysinger/Senior photographer

Compost bin for students to drop their kitchen and assorted wastes are now available in the Linfield Community Garden next to Renshaw Hall.
Student composting on campus began when senior Katie Kann and junior Rachel Codd applied for a sustainability grant in the fall of 2009.
The two received the grant in December 2009 and purchased the compost tumbler in February 2010.
“The whole reason why I’m doing this is to get people educated and involved,” Kann said.
Students can put coffee grounds, fruit, egg shells, vegetables, hair and lint in the compost bins.
Dairy products, meat bones and oil should not be placed in the bins.
Once the material fills the compost bins, it will be transported to the compost tumbler, which is located next to the garden shed.
The material will be mixed with dead plants and animal manure.
The compost tumbler is turned every other day and the material in the tumbler recycles and transforms into compost in two weeks.
“The heat and the turning do the trick” Kann said.
She is taking it upon herself to fill and turn the compost tumbler.
The composted material will be spread in the campus garden, from which any Linfield student, faculty and staff member can harvest produce.
“This garden is an example of that working,” Kann said, referring to the success of the composting process and how it has positively affected the growth of the garden.
Kann and Codd said they are working on getting the campus apartment complexes buckets with lids so that students can place their compost material inside them.
Once the 5-gallon buckets are full, students can transfer composted material into the garden bins.
Student composting not only makes Linfield a greener campus, but it keeps
material that could be composted out of the all ready over flowing landfills Kann said.
“Ideally all the food waste here would be composted, but that’s in the future” Codd said.
Contact Kann at kkann@linfield.edu for more information about composting or to learn how to receive a 5-gallon bucket for at-home compost storage.

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

Grade-point average causes job termination

After organizing her third successful Cat Cab, which took place Sept. 23, sophomore Alyssa Hood was asked to attend a clandestine meeting Sept. 27.
Hood said she sat down with Director of Student Activities Dan Fergueson; senior Colin Jones, Associated Students of Linfield College president; and senior Nicole Bond, vice president of programming for the Linfield Activities Board.
Bond informed her that at the close of the meeting she would be released from her position as LAB musical entertainment chair, Hood said.
The reason, she said, was that her grade-point average was too low. It was three-hundredths of a point shy of the GPA required for ASLC employment.
“When we are hiring, we look at someone’s cumulative grade- point average,” Bond said. “It’s a standard. You have to have a 2.5 grade-point average.”
Fergueson, Bond said, verifies GPAs; she said she does not receive anyone’s specific GPA.
“He tells me if people are above or below — that’s all we care about,” Bond said. “We have to cut if off somewhere. When you apply for LAB, we check your grade-point average. If it’s below 2.5, you don’t get a position.”
Article III of the ASLC Bylaws states that at the time of election or appointment, candidates for any stipend-receiving position must have a cumulative grade-point average of 2.5.
“The grade-point average requirement was passed by the general student population when those bylaws were enacted,” Fergueson said.
On the surface, the ASLC hiring standards appear to be cut and dried with no existence of any gray area, yet Bond, in an April 15 e-mail to Hood, offered her the position knowing that her GPA was below the requirement.
“We have a minimum grade-point average requirement of 2.5. We were able to look at grades for everyone that we would like to hire and know that you had a rough time with a class last semester so you are just below it,” Bond wrote in the e-mail. “I am aware that you fall slightly below this level.”
Hood accepted the position. She completed the training and became the LAB Musical Events Chair for fall 2010 — despite Article III of the ASLC Bylaws.
She said she was fully aware that her employment was “at will,” as defined by the ASLC Employment Policy.
What remains unclear, she said, is what caused the three-week delay.
“They knew [my GPA] before they hired me,” Hood said. “They waited so long when they could have re-checked it during the summer, but they didn’t. They let me go on my merry way making plans and sending e-mails.”
Bond sent out a campus-wide e-mail detailing the employment vacancy in what Hood said was between hours and days following the Sept. 27 meeting.
“People were asking before I had a chance to tell anybody that I’d been fired,” Hood said.
Those who questioned her wondered if she was looking for a co-chair.
Hood said Bond didn’t tell the other LAB chairs, either, and that she had to explain to them that she had been fired.
“I’m performing the duties of the job until I hire someone new,” Bond said.
All pertinent e-mails, files and information were turned over to Bond in an organized manner, Hood said.
“I put them all on her computer, and I did a run-through with her about who needs to be e-mailed and when, what’s going on with this and that,” Hood said. “It isn’t as if I gave her a jumbled mess to deal with.”
Yet band managers and contacts still e-mail Hood.
She said they ask her about contracts and why they have yet to receive them or if the plans that have been set up have changed or not.
Hood said she answers the e-mails, addresses the employment change and forwards their inquiries to Bond with notes about important information such as due dates.
“Nicole is busy with her programming, and now she’s got my job,” Hood said. “How is she going to hire and train a new person? That places all the weight of everything on her. I don’t know why she would do this to herself. It seems a bit ridiculous to me.”
ASLC employees are instructed to follow the employee policy, Fergueson said. It spells out how disciplinary actions should be taken.
“That’s what happens in business: Someone gets fired and the other workers have to pick up the slack,” Fergueson said. “It’s a real-world application that students are learning.”
There is somewhat of an appeals process within ASLC — akin to the real world.
“A couple years ago, there was somebody who wanted to run for an ASLC position and they did not have the grade-point average,” Bond said. “They went to Senate for an exemption to the rule. That’s been done before.”
Hood said she was not made aware of her options.
“It just didn’t seem like there was going to be any way to try to fix it,” Hood said. “They were just done with me and that was it.”
Whether Bond will continue with the entertainment planning Hood has already completed remains to be seen, Hood said.
“I’ve already worked almost everything out to where all she needs to do is sign and send a contract back,” she said. “I gave her all the stuff that I had planned and ready to go, and it doesn’t even seem like she’s going with that.”
Bond has ignored Hood’s text messages and phone calls, Hood said.
“It seems like they don’t want any help from me in training a new person or helping hand over the position,” Hood said. “I am just completely pushed out of the picture. It’s not like I stole anything or
did something dishonorable where I shouldn’t be associated anymore. It’s as if I’m a leper or something. You don’t meet the standards, goodbye; see you — off to Leper Island with you.”
Still, Hood is willing to help, she said, but she is not sure who would want to jump into the middle of things and attempt to pick up where she left off.
“[The position] will be filled,” Bond said. “We’re not worried about that. We have interested applicants.”
No one has been hired to replace Hood as musical entertainment chair. The position opening is advertised campus-wide on LAB bulletin boards. Bond is accepting résumés and cover letters until 5 p.m. Oct. 11.
“If applicants are nervous about their grade-point average in applying, if they think that they might be in danger of getting below a 2.5, I would probably encourage them not to apply and to focus on their grades,” Bond said.
Hood said a smoother departure would have suited her better.
She said Bond determined that her studies required more of her attention even though the semester was only three weeks underway.
“That felt kind of rude just to assume that I am a poor student for that reason alone and that there couldn’t have possibly been anything else going on,” Hood said. “They did not ask me what my personal reasons were for doing so poorly in one class last year. Instead I’m portrayed as a no-good, terrible, rotten student.”
Hood’s question concerning why she maintained the position for three weeks into this semester remains unanswered, she said.
She also said she doesn’t know why Bond offered her the position if she knew that her GPA was below a 2.5.
“I could have been let go, and they could have found a new person before we got into this and before I invested so much time in doing the job,” Hood said.

Septembre Russell/Copy chief
Septembre Russell can be reached at linfieldreviewcopy@gmail.com.