Daily Archives: April 15, 2011

Memorial removal upsets community

Flowers and candles adorn the same bench where the body of a McMinnville resident was discovered in front of Walker Hall on April 10.  Photo courtesy of Melissa Nalley

Police blocked off Walker Sesquicentennial Plaza on April 10 after discovering the body of Chad Alan Brown, 23, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Students and McMinnville community members are expressing outrage concerning the treatment of the suspected suicide case that occurred on campus April 10.

A McMinnville Police Department statement featured in a campus-wide email at 8:36 a.m. April 10 said: “McMinnville officers were dispatched to the area of Linfield College near Linfield Avenue and Pioneer Way to check on the welfare of a subject.”

The email said that when they arrived, officers found a deceased male who had suffered what was believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

However, the investigation is ongoing.

Friends and acquaintances of the victim, 2006 McMinnville High School graduate, Chad Alan Brown, 23, expressed anger about Linfield College Public Safety’s (CPS) removal of the memorial items that were left at the scene for Brown. They also voiced concern about a lack of sensitivity to the case through Facebook comments left on a picture of the first memorial, posted to a friend’s Facebook page.

Melissa Nalley, a 2007 McMinnville High School graduate, said in an email that she was at the site when CPS officers started bagging the items left on the bench where Brown was found, which included flowers she had bought and a poster that she created.

She said that she spoke with the officer who was bagging the items, and he told her it was for safekeeping and gave her the location of where they could be found. The items were given to Brown’s cousin Neil Young and his sister Lindsy Carmen Gjesvold, she said.

Nalley said that she has no idea what happened to the items that have been left since then.

“I feel his [Brown’s] friends and family were disrespected and most importantly, Chad [Brown] was disrespected,” Nalley said in an email. “This not only made campus security look bad, it made the entire student body look bad. Just because he wasn’t ‘affiliated with the school’ doesn’t mean that he means any less, he was a member of the community and there are a lot of people who love him.”

To address the memorial’s removal, several Facebook commenters expressed interest in taking the story to Fox News and to The News-Register in hopes that Linfield College will allow the memorials to take place on its property and to have the items remain intact for a longer period of time.

Flowers and candles adorn the same bench where the body of a McMinnville resident was discovered in front of Walker Hall on April 10. Photo courtesy of Melissa Nalley

When asked about the case, Robert Cepeda, director and chief of College Public Safety, said in an email that the appropriate person to speak with is Director of Communications Mardi Mileham.

Cepeda commented on the situation later, making some clarifications regarding the removal of memorial items.

He said that there has been communication about the memorial items between the police department, Brown’s family and CPS and that the police department is the liaison between CPS and Brown’s family.

Cepeda said that the items were collected as a result of many factors regarding the case, one of them being the sensitivity and impact that it has had on Linfield and members of the McMinnville community.

He also said that it was explained to individuals at the site why the items were being collected and that they would be given to Brown’s family members.

“Memorials can trigger negative reactions from people who have gone through similar experiences, and our first concern is always our students’ and staffs’ emotional and mental safety,” Mileham said.

“It is a difficult situation all the way around and our hearts go out to the family.”

A sign explaining that any items left will be collected and stored at CPS for safekeeping was posted behind the bench on April 12, Cepeda said.

“A life is precious and it saddens me to hear when an individual feels that the only option they have is to take their life,” he said.

A sign explains that College Public Safety will store any items left in memoriam. Braden Smith/Managing editor

Apart from the removal of memorial items, students conveyed concern and disapproval of the communication efforts made by the school.

Senior Garrett Garceau said that the actions taken by the school were not up to par and that there was too long of a delay between the gunshot, the discovery of Brown’s body and the initial release of information.

“Students don’t enjoy being notified that something happened by noticing police everywhere,” Garceau said.

Cepeda addressed this issue saying that an individual, who found Brown, contacted the McMinnville Police Department and officers were dispatched and communicated with CPS officers. At the time of the discovery, the CPS officer on patrol was engaged in another incident involving bicycle thefts and that police department protocol had to be followed before information could be released.

Garceau also said that only saying that the victim suffered a gunshot wound was too vague and that for hours students did not know where the wound was sustained and whether the victim survived or not.

“Linfield still hasn’t sent anything else,” he said. “I had to go to The News-Register to find out more information.”

Mileham and Cepeda said that one thing people need to understand is that the school takes timely notifications seriously, but because it was a police investigation, it took time for the situation to be assessed and the information to be released to the school because there is a protocol that police officers must follow to ensure that the evidence is not destroyed or mishandled. This meant that the school received limited information, but that the most important point made was that there was not a threat to campus.

“When we have an outside entity coming to campus and taking over a part of it, there are delays while waiting for information,” Cepeda said. “Fortunately, the McMinnville Police Department has thorough understanding and a good working relationship with Linfield.”

Garceau said that he has heard too many rumors about the incident and that Linfield needs to step it up and make the necessary clarifications.

“Information is key to cutting shock,” he said.

Regarding sensitivity to the case, Linfield only said that it is offering counseling, Garceau said.

The lack of concealment of the body distressed many students who saw it while taking a stroll or walking to Dillin Hall for brunch April 10.

Police cruisers attempt to shield the area where the body of a deceased 23-year-old was discovered April 10. Braden Smith/Managing editor

Garceau said he understood that there was an ongoing investigation and that there were attempts to conceal the body with an overhead tent and by police cars blocking the view from passers-by; but, officials at the crime scene should have taken more time to cover the body with curtains around the tent.

“Frankly, I’m not impressed at all,” Garceau said.

Cepeda and Mileham said that the police officers cannot immediately cover a body because doing so could compromise evidence and possibly hinder an investigation.

“We did have a discussion about other methodologies to employ in the future to contain an area,” Cepeda said.

Jessica Prokop/News editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

*Updated on 4/15 from the original 4/13 posting*

Survey to evaluate student involvement

Seniors and freshmen have the opportunity to tell Linfield about their experiences by completing a nationwide survey conducted by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research titled the National Survey of Student Engagement.

“The more we can learn about what students are experiencing, the more we can improve the experience,” Vice President for Enrollment Services Dan Preston said.

Students have until June 1 to complete the NSSE. Sophomores and juniors are not part of the surveyed group.

“There’s an increasing expectation that we assess what students are doing, how many are involved in certain types of activities and what that means for their educational experience,” Preston said.

Colleges and universities across the nation participate in the NSSE to learn about what Preston called high-impact educational practices that students partake in.

The survey allows colleges and universities to evaluate their students’ college experiences and use the information to improve their programs.

The survey accounts for items such as how many students study abroad, how many attend campus cultural events, etc.

Preston said the NSSE is a good source of information for Linfield because it shows change in student interest over time (Linfield participated in the study in 2005 and 2007) and compares with other schools. NSSE results are evaluated three ways: one, against schools Linfield chooses to be compared with; two, against schools comparable to Linfield; and three, against all colleges and universities that participated in the survey.

The survey comes at a critical time for Linfield because of new accreditation standards and processes that the school must adhere to.

The new accreditation system requires Linfield to develop themes and objectives (“Accreditation changes: Core themes are endorsed,” TLR, March 5) and be accountable for meeting them and evaluating their achievement on a yearly basis instead of every 10 years.

The data will help Linfield in terms of accreditation, budgeting and strategic planning, Director of Institutional Research Jennifer Ballard said.

Linfield will receive more information than ever before from the results because of other surveys the school has and plans to participate in. Freshmen took the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BSSE) in Colloquium in the fall. Ballard said the BSSE gauges student engagement in high school and anticipated engagement during their freshman year.

Because freshmen are now participating in the NSSE, “we’ll look at the contrast between what their expectations were of their first year and what actually happened,” Ballard said.

She said faculty will participate in the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), which measures what activities faculty members think students participate in at Linfield, in the fall.

“Then we have a picture that includes what entering students expect to experience, what faculty expect students to experience and what at least freshmen and seniors are experiencing, plus a snapshot versus other colleges,” Preston said about the combined results of the NSSE, BSSE and FSSE.

Ballard said students can find a link to the survey in an April 6 reminder email about the study.

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

Get to know the 2011-12 ASLC Cabinet


Position: Vice President of Business and Finance

Age: 19

Year: Sophomore

Major/Minor: Accounting/Economics

Hometown: Keizer, Ore.

Qualifications: Bryan’s qualification most related to this position is his experience as the Associated Students of Linfield College Business Manager for the 2010-11 academic year. He also has three years of experience as an accounts payable clerk at an accounting firm and served as the Senate Finance Committee Chair and a Residence Life Adviser.

Reasons for applying: Bryan said that he applied for the position because he wanted to gain more business experience and use his accounting skills within a nonprofit organization. He said he also wants the leadership experience and the opportunity to help change things and make them better.

Goals: One of Bryan’s goals is to ensure that his assistant understands all of the functions of business and better manage ASLC funds.
“I want students to know where their funds are going and promote the Activities Council so that they know that those funds are available,” Bryan said.

Words of Wisdom: “Get involved some way or somehow to get leadership experience before you graduate,” he said. “You will reap the benefits if you are involved.”

Interests: Bryan likes to go wakeboarding, golfing and camping. He also likes working, he said jokingly.
“I can 10-key at 10,000 key strokes per hour.”

Favorites: Bryan said his favorite colors are green and yellow, “Ducks all the way.” His favorite movies are “Meet the Fockers,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Hangover.” He also enjoys the television shows “Modern Family,” “The Office,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “Jersey Shore.” His favorite music genre is rock and roll.

~Compiled by Jessica Prokop/News editor

Chemist explores science ethics

Oregon Nobel Laureate, Dr. Sir Harold W. Kroto, discusses the importance of science during a symposium April 14 in Ice Auditorium. Katie Pitchford/Photo editor

Oregon Nobel Laureate, Dr. Sir Harold W. Kroto, discusses the importance of science during a symposium April 14 in Ice Auditorium. Katie Pitchford/Photo editor

Linfield College welcomed Sir Harold W. Kroto, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996, as he delivered his lecture “Science, Society and Education in the 21st Century,” April 14 and a science seminar earlier in the afternoon.

Kroto is now one of several prestigious individuals, including the groundbreaking Chemist Linus Pauling, who have enriched the Linfield community at an Oregon Nobel Laureate Symposium.

“The lecture-symposium was scheduled two years ago,” Director of Communications Mardi Mileham.

She mentioned that Kroto was selected to participate in the symposium by Dr. Fred Ross who retired from Linfield last spring.

Kroto is well-known for the co-discovery of the form of carbon now known as Buckminsterfullerene, or, “buckyballs” in 1985. This molecule is a spherical arrangement of 60 carbons in a pattern that resembles the stitching on soccer balls.

Up until its discovery, only two stable forms of carbon, graphite and diamond, were known to exist, Professor of Chemistry Thomas Reinert said.

He said this third stable form of carbon changed the way chemists thought about carbon and the bonds between atoms. Chemists learned that this form of carbon occurs in the universe, naturally. “It’s not just made up in a lab,” Reinert said.

Kroto discussed the importance of science and scientific education in his lecture that was interspersed with humorous remarks.

Kroto based his lecture on a quote that says science is the only thing we have to determine the truth to any degree of reliability.

“Science, for me, is a way of life,” Kroto said. He applied his scientific philosophy to several matters such as sustainability and indoctrination. Kroto stressed the importance of questioning everything and seeking evidence to support claims. He considers the acceptance of facts without evidence dangerous.

Kroto explained his “four out of five method.” He stated if you make an observation, make a hypothesis; if four out of five observations are in line with the hypothesis, you are “almost certainly right.”

Kroto’s current project is to try to teach science globally by using the Internet to share educational videos.

Professor of English Lit David Sumner commented on Kroto’s scientific emphasis saying that the sciences and humanities should work hand in hand. “A combination of the two is essential,” he said.

Senior Craig Geffre praised Kroto for his call to the researchers of natural sciences to be mindful of ethics and the outcome of their research. Kroto cited atomic bombs as examples of weapons that should not be further researched.

“Anthropologists and sociologists are careful in deliberating what the outcome of our research will be. I thought it was great that he emphasized ethics,” said Geffre.
For more information about Dr. Sir Harold Kroto and the discovery of buckminsterfullerene visit www.nobelprize.org.

Michele Wong/For the Review
Michele Wong can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Tutoring program revamped

Learning Support Services will continue developing a new program that aims to provide a more cohesive overview of academic resources for students.

The program uses five “lead” student tutors and was introduced this year but is still in the early stages of development.

“We’re not changing the essentials of tutoring. What we’re bringing is an opportunity for experienced tutors to gain some actual, hands-on experience which is good for any student,” LSS Coordinator Eileen Dowty said.

Essentially, the lead tutors provide resources for students who are in need of academic support. Their duties can be as involved as sitting down with students and assisting them in the development of study skills, or as simple as directing students to other academic resources.

“We have lead tutors that have some familiarity in almost all the subjects, so we can get you general study help or we can help you with your class if we’ve taken it before,” senior Austin Hocker, who is a lead tutor this year, said.

Generally, the subjects for which LSS receives the most tutor requests and the lead tutors spend the most time assisting with are math, science and business.

Departments with more of a writing emphasis have less tutor offerings save for lower level classes.

Because many departments hold separate tutoring sessions independent of LSS, Dowty stressed that the lead tutoring program is not meant to infringe upon any of the already available resources, but rather to make students aware that those resources exist.

“What were not trying to do is develop an empire to take over all tutoring. We want to be very respectful there,” she said.

“But maybe, through the lead tutors, we can enhance communication across campus.”

Senior Katie Paradis, who is also a lead tutor this year, emphasized that the program is all about connecting students to what they need academically.

“Our goal is to get the word out about these drop in hours. We just want students to feel free to come by if they have any questions, or they just need to talk through things or find a tutor, or even if they want to be a tutor,” she said.

Dowty said the program has not reached its full potential and is still in the opening stages.

“Our lead tutors are sifting through ideas, deciding what will work now and what can be saved for three years from now,” she said.

All students are welcome to attend lead tutors’ open hours, which are Sunday through Thursday from 8 to 9 p.m. in Walker 125.

Brittany Baker/Staff writer
Brittany Baker can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.