Daily Archives: October 18, 2011
Linfield team participates in suicide awareness walk
Linfield students walked in Portland to support suicide prevention during the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Walk on Oct. 15.
Tanya Tompkins, associate professor of psychology, said she has participated in the walk for the past two years.
“Last year we had over 35 walkers and surpassed our goal of raising $2,500 making us one of the top three fundraisers in the Greater Portland area,” Tompkins said.
However, this year Tompkins’ team wasn’t able to get the same type of support.
“Unfortunately, the team this year [was] myself and one other student. While we put up fliers and made announcements at meetings, the difference is that we didn’t have a team of students this fall who worked hard to get the word out and recruit walkers from all corners of the campus,” Tompkins said.
The walks are fundraisers that benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They are also designed to raise awareness of suicide and mental health issues and to provide an opportunity for those who have lost loved ones to suicide to honor the people who they lost.
~ Sharon Gollery/Culture editor
“Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say, ‘This is my community and it’s my responsibility to make it better,’” Dr. Jackson Miller, associate professor of communication arts, said in his lecture.
He concluded his lecture about the initiative and referendum system with this powerful quotation of former Oregon governor Tom McCall on Oct. 13.
In the lecture, Miller presented the historical milestone of the system, where he notes its strengths and weaknesses.
He also presented the system’s process, contemporary issues and potential 2012 initiatives.
The system was known as “Oregon System,” because Oregon was the first state in the U.S. to carry out election voting on initiatives in 1904.
Since then, many measures were proposed and voted on by Oregonians to bring changes to the community on a legislative level. Some of these measures included the banning or legalization of homosexual marriage and the use of medical marijuana.
However, these changes did not come easily.
Miller said people are more likely to vote to “maintain the status quo,” but he believed this direct democracy encourages citizens to be more aware of politics.
It also helps push issues that officials may be reluctant to discuss.
An example of these issues is the allowing of assisted suicide, where the officials hesitated to enact the passed measure and proceeded to put it back for voting as referendum before it was then passed again.
The process also has its weaknesses, however.
Miller said the process may give advocacy groups the ability to influence the political system and some measures passed can have the possibility of creating a lawsuit.
For example, when the measure on land-use laws was passed, a number of lawsuits were filed by descendants of landowners against the state government. The landowners’ descendants believed they had the right to reclaim the compensations to their ancestors.
There was much discussion about the system’s weaknesses that followed in the Q-and-A session, where Miller also admitted the system lacks some safeguard measures that other states have, like budget control or authentication of all signatures collected for each measure.
This was the reason why the lecture was held—to raise the awareness of the initiative system, which, as Miller mentioned, was not covered in the education system.
Miller said he hoped that the lecture would make the audience further discuss the topic and think about their power to shape the community.
As for Linfield students, Miller believed that they, like the rest of the Oregonians, are not well-informed enough about the system.
He advised that students, as individual voters, read as much as possible, such as written reports, editorials of different newspapers or voter’s guide by the league of women voters.
Cassie Wong/Staff writer
Cassie Wong can be reached at email@example.com.
“It’s up to you to effectively communicate the skills and proficiencies that will benefit your future,” a career development advocate said.
Freshmen were given the opportunity on Oct. 11 to learn about how to “achieve their dream job in realistic ways,” said Michael J. Hampton, the director of career development at Linfield.
Linfield freshmen are required to attend several of the “happiness” seminars for colloquium, learning lessons about living a happy life.
Hampton, who has been the director of career development at Linfield since July, said he enjoys the job process and wants students to as well. He said he advises students to be confident about who they are and what they’re about.
One exercise Hampton led students in required them to introduce themselves to one another, describing themselves with their most marketable skills.
Hampton, who has previously worked at Nike, had several tips for students to reach their dream jobs.
He advised students to connect with people in the community, such as Linfield staff, students and McMinnville merchants, who can provide opportunities to break into their desired career field.
“I learned about what an informal interview is,” freshman Marina Jablonski said. “An informal interview is when a person can ask employers questions about their career.”
Freshmen were given tips about informal interviews, such as doing research about the job beforehand, dressing appropriately and to never ask for a job.
“It was cool how you can be the interviewer instead of the interviewee,” freshman Alexis Heredia said.
Freshmen were also encouraged to major in an area they are genuinely interested in, rather than in something they think will impress employers.
“I learned that over 40 percent [of employers] want people they hire to have passion for the academic major they choose,” Jablonski said.
Hampton discussed how social networking websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, can be advantageous in finding a career.
He said that some employers even post job openings on their Twitter accounts.
“The social media part was interesting,” freshman Sarah Mason said.
There are also online assessments for students who are unsure about what career path to take. Websites, such as SIGI3 and Career Beam, can help students think about potential careers according to their interests and abilities.
Hampton assured students that it is okay to be unsure about what career to pursue.
“He made me feel okay about not knowing what to do with my life yet,” Mason said.
Meghan O’Rourke/Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise,” has inspired people for decades, and now, hung up on the wall in the Community Engagement and Service Center, it has inspired something completely new to Linfield’s campus.
A mentoring program has been in the works for a while now, but it wasn’t until Hilda Escalera, class of ’11 and the AmeriCorps Mentoring Coordinator, began working on it this year that it really took shape. That is when the RISE program began.
Standing for Reaching and Inspiring Students to Excel, RISE was in part named after “Still I Rise” is beginning its pilot year at Linfield and is focused on increasing college aspirations in the Yamhill County youth.
Select students will become mentors for eighth and ninth grade students at Dunaway Middle School, McMinnville High School and Dayton High School, many of which are first generation students and face socio-economic barriers.
“This program will show that Linfield students rise to the occasion, rise to going out into the community and serving,” Escalera said. “And we want the McMinnville students to also rise from whatever problems they are having. They may be thrown down, but they just need to rise from that.”
The program is still in its beginning stages, and so far, the selected students have only completed one information session and one training session. The next step is to match the new mentors with the eighth and ninth grade mentees.
The mentors will meet with their mentees for about one hour a week and focus on goal setting, career exploration, as well as providing emotional support and reaching out to the community.
Escalera said that much of what they will do together is similar to a big brother, big sister type of program, with the main focus being to encourage goals for college.
“According to 2009 data, McMinnville High School has 75 percent of students graduate, but only 26 percent take the SAT, so that means only 26 percent maybe go to college,” Escalera said.
These statistics show the need for students to be further motivated and pushed to work toward higher education.
Escalera said she hopes the youth of McMinnville will be able to find motivating relationships through the RISE program.
“There is just so much need out there, and some of the students just need that extra push,” she said. “Many of them need someone there to guide them, [the mentors will be] there as a role model, to say ‘Yes you can,’ to encourage them, and that’s our purpose. Even if it’s just one hour a week, it’s a consistency that many of them can’t often find.”
While the mission of the program is to encourage and empower the mentees, Escalera said that she believes it will have the same effect on those who become mentors.
With students going out into the community and learning about the complex problems that the youth face, she hopes that the mentors are able to become more socially aware and use their power to elicit change.
“This is an opportunity to create meaningful change and a way to empower students to maximize their growth,” she said. “Not only will the mentors be learning about others, but they will be learning about themselves.”
Escalera said that from the first information session, she was amazed by the number of students who showed interest and dedication to the program.
There are 42 students in the program, and Escalera said she sees incredible potential even in its first year.
“I think it’s a good thing that this is the pilot year because our mentors will now able to help set the precedence and they are going to help create this program in a sense,” she said. “That’s a very powerful experience. This program has a very bright future and I’m really excited to see how it develops.”
Andra Kovacs/News editor
Andra Kovacs can be reached at email@example.com.
This year, a McMinnville medical center helped raise breast cancer awareness by submitting videos to the Pink Glove Dance Competition.
More than 135 groups submitted videos to the competition. For the competitions, videos must include all participants wearing pink exam gloves and dancing to one of seven songs provided by Medline.
The original Pink Glove Dance video was filmed at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Portland, Ore., two years ago.
Since then, Medline has produced a sequel video and this competition.
Steve Singleton, a surgical materials coordinator at Willamette Valley Medical Center, directed the videos.
The staff asked him to film and produce the video since he had prior experience. Singleton said that the staff was inspired, which is why they wanted to make this video.
“Our inspiration was our community,” Singleton said. “One of the leads in administration asked me to do this. We saw the original and wanted to get away from just hospital scenes and tried to look at local places.”
The group filmed in familiar settings around McMinnville.
They filmed at 3rd Street, local vineyards, Roth’s, the police station, the fire station and many other local destinations.
“[People were] surprisingly supportive,” Singleton said. “The cops don’t normally like their pictures taken, and a woman in the office told us they might not want to participate. So we thought we might get some of the office workers to do it, but the policemen and women were happy to participate. We went to macho places, like the auto shop.[They were] reluctant but were glad they did it. Some were hard to get to stop dancing.”
Along with filming at local places, the group was successful in getting more than just the hospital staff involved and featured in the video.
The McMinnville dance team came to dance in the video, as well as the Pre-Nursing Club at Linfield College.
“One of the girls on the dance team is a cancer survivor, and it’s great that these young people get involved,” Singleton said.
The voting process continues until Oct. 21.
With more than three hours of footage, the group produced three videos to submit, and though the Oregon group is placed in the middle, it says that it is not giving up.
“We have about 16,000 votes, but Oregon makes those come backs,” Singleton said.
The top three videos will win sponsored donations to its choice of charity that supports breast cancer research.
“Even if we don’t get in the top three and win money, it was good that the community got together and did this,” Singleton said.
Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.