Monthly Archives: November 2011

CPS finds deceased student in residence hall

Elliot Alexander

A 22-year-old, male, Linfield student was found deceased in his residence hall at about 9 p.m. Nov. 18.

The body of junior Elliot Alexander, a McMinnville resident, was found inside his single room in Mahaffey Hall.

The discovery was made after Linfield College Public Safety was asked to make a welfare check, said Robert Cepeda, chief/director of CPS in an email.

An email sent at 11:16 p.m. Nov. 18 by Susan Hopp, vice president of Student Affairs and Athletics and dean of students, said that at this time “there is no indication of foul play.” However, the McMinnville Police Department is conducting “a standard investigation.”

Ron Noble, chief of the McMinnville Police Department said that nothing looked obviously suspicious. The preliminary investigation found no evidence of foul play or that it was a suicide. The cause of death is unknown.

Elliot Alexander’s father, Michael Alexander of McMinnville said that Elliot was just finishing up his first semester of junior year as a political science major.

Michael Alexander said that there is every indication that Elliot Alexander died of natural causes. He was found sitting at his desk, and there was no evidence of foul play.

“Elliot enjoyed Linfield. He tended to be reserved, but once you got to know him, he opened up. He had a quiet generosity about him and was wonderful with children. Even though he found young children to be trying, you would never know it because he did so well with them,” Michael Alexander said.

“Elliot was enjoying his work and looking forward to his senior year when he could take more electives. He was beginning to think in other ways, about maybe attending graduate school. He was a good man, not just a good student or kid, a good man. I’m sorry for those who did not get a chance to meet him.”

Because the family and next of kin were still being notified at the time, Alexander’s name was not released to the Linfield community until an email update was sent by Hopp at 11:42 p.m.

A male, sophomore student who lives on the same floor as Alexander, and wishes to remain anonymous, was present during the discovery.

“I heard voices outside, and they sounded older, so I peeked out of my room to see what was going on. There was an older man and woman halfway down the hall or so. Someone from [CPS] was talking to them…I wasn’t sure what was going on at first. When I saw the ambulance, fire trucks and police outside, I figured something bad had happened. After about five or six minutes I went out in the hall to see if they were gone. I saw maybe four or five [CPS officers] and I think police officers by Elliot’s door. They noticed me and told me to go downstairs.”

Alexander’s body will likely be examined by the Oregon State Medical Examiner in the next few days. However, Noble estimated that the toxicology results from the examination will be released in a couple weeks, he said.

Geoff Porter, class of ’11, said that he had several classes with Alexander and worked on a paper with him during their time in Mass Media in Politics last spring.

“He was a really nice guy, very bright and had a lot to say in class,” Porter said.

The Counseling Center staff and the Chaplain will be available in Riley 201 at 10 a.m. Nov. 19 for students, faculty and staff. And, a service of remembrance will be scheduled after Thanksgiving break, Hopp said in the email.

If students have any questions for the McMinnville Police Department about this case or any other incidents in the future, they can ask them 24/7 via email at, Noble said.

Jessica Prokop/
Jessica Prokop can be reached at

Senate meeting 11/14

Turkeying it up with Linfield students

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and many are about to gather with their families to eat and spend time together. Here are some activities Linfield students will be partaking in this year.

“Every Thanksgiving my brother and I curl up and watch the Macy’s Day Parade. From the time we get up, we are eating, non stop eating. There is food all over the house! We also put on the first Christmas music of the year. After dinner, we all curl up with whatever book we’re reading, or my mom is usually knitting, and try to fight our food coma before we all play cards.”

-Anna Statz, junior


“We bake pumpkin pies together.”

-Christine Fujiki, sophomore


“We usually go see my Nana and Papa in Arizona.”

-Chelsea Ploof, sophomore


“Ever since I was a little kid I remember sleeping in just long enough before rushing out of bed to watch the Macy’s parade. I’ve never missed it.”

-Heather McDaniel, freshman


“I usually go up to my grandma’s and sometimes go hunting with my uncles.”

-Sam Gauksheim, sophomore


“We go around the table and say what we each are thankful for. Also, in my family, we cook the turkey upside down.”

-Paloma Dale, senior


“On Thanksgiving, my family gets the Christmas lights together and starts to put them on the house. My mom and I usually say what we want and then my dad and brother hang them up.”

-Holli Brouillette, freshman


“We all stick our Christmas lists on the fridge, so that everyone can go look at them discretely later.”

-Sammi Palmer, freshman


“My family has a Thanksgiving book where everyone writes what they are thankful for.”

-Morgan Seymour, freshman


“My mom and I always wake up early and get the turkey in the oven and spend all day baking.”

-Katy Brosig, sophomore


 “The funniest tradition we have is that each person brings a dish for dinner and names their dish after some controversial figure in the media. The turkey has been named “George Bush” before.”

-Katherine Thomas, sophomore


“Thanksgiving is the only time of year when my whole family is together—for Christmas. Everyone breaks off to smaller family gatherings, but at Thanksgiving, everyone is together and the chaos that ensues is delightful.”

-Sarah Korn, senior


Ivanna Tucker/ Features editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at


How a twin on campus impacts the college experience

Siblings tend to bond easily because they experience most of their lives together. A greater connection, however, is made when your sibling is born around the same time as you. As a twin, you grow up and connect on a deeper level because of the small age difference. Having a twin provides a different experience for a student when it comes to every day life.

Sophomore Dillon Casados has a twin brother that does not attend Linfield and was able to learn about himself through the experience.

“Being in college by myself has definitely helped me figure out a few things about myself that I otherwise don’t think I would have figured out if he attended the same school,” said Casados.

By being in a different state, Casados has not been able to communicate with his twin as much because they are busy and have different schedules.

Being referred to as a “twin” all his life made the transition to college more difficult for Casados because he had to do it on his own. He decided that he would then make the effort to meet and talk to everyone that he could.

“When I came to college I didn’t have another person that looked just like me for people to put their attention toward me,” said Casados. “It’s made things such as socializing in college harder for me, which is good because I’m learning how to socialize on my own rather than people approaching me as [one of] ‘the twins’.”

Sophomore Courtney Alley has a fraternal twin sister that attends University of Idaho. Throughout her youth, Alley and her sister would do the typical twin behaviors such as following each other around and talking at the same time. Over time, they developed their own characters.

“Since college started, I’ve noticed I’ve needed her more than I thought I did,” said Alley. “During my freshman year, I had some things happen to me and I felt like the only person I could really talk to about it was her.”

As a junior, Ashley Burgess has been able to realize how having a twin that isn’t at the same school has allowed her to grow as an individual.

Her twin brother, Austin, attends Oregon State University, so she is still near him but still has distance.

“I think the coolest thing while growing up was having that special connection that only twins have. Call it what you want, but Austin and I always knew when the other was hurt even if we weren’t in the same town,” said Burgess.

Since he is about an hour away, she is able to go visit him when she is homesick, unlike other twins that are separate who do not have that opportunity.

Even though Burgess has been able to define who she is by not having her twin at the same school, it has presented her with challenges and rewards as well.

“I don’t have my comfort zone of having him right next to me, but it has also inspired me to find out what makes me, me,” said Burgess. “With that said, having a twin, especially one so close, has also given me the confidence to chase after my dreams.”

Freshmen Dana Gibbons and Amanda Gibbons are identical twins that are sharing their college experience together by attending the same school.

From a young age, they did the same activities such as gymnastics and playing the viola.

Dana is known to be the more outgoing one, while Amanda is more shy.

They are taking the same classes, and they are also roommates.

“It’s nice to always have someone that is there for you,” said Dana.

The Gibbon sisters attended school together because they didn’t feel ready to go to different places. Originally they were going to attend separate schools, but in the end, they both decided to go to the same school.

“If Dana weren’t here, it would probably force me to be more outgoing,” said Amanda.

Now that they are here, Dana and Amanda appreciate that they are here for each other, especially, in those moments that they become homesick.

“It’s like I never left home. My sister is a big part of home,” said Amanda.

Ivanna Tucker/ Features editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at


Linfield alum, veteran honored with study room

Mike Barrow, a Linfield alumnus and Vietnam veteran was honored with a study room in Nicholson Library on Nov. 12. Throughout the ceremony, friends of Barrow, such as Brian Petterson (above), spoke of the huge impact Barrow had on him and Linfield. Joel Ray/Photo editor

A Linfield alumnus and Vietnam veteran was honored for his life and accomplishments with a study room in Nicholson Library. Friends, family, college teammates and fellow alumni gathered to tell stories and remember Mike Barrow on Nov. 12 in the library.

Barrow graduated from Linfield in 1968 and entered the military in Vietnam, where he was killed during combat in 1969.

Barrow was described by his friends and family as an outgoing, competitive person and a “rascal.” He lettered in both football and baseball at Linfield, playing as a successful quarterback throughout his college years in 1963 through 1968.

Friends of Barrow stood up to speak about his memory and share anecdotes. His laughter and his big heart were frequently highlighted by his loved ones.

His sister, Mary Gail Barrow, told a story from their childhood about how his competitiveness went all the way back to grade school when they played softball at recess.

One friend, Brian Peterson, stood to speak of the great impact that Barrow’s friendship had on him. He showed his ring, which was inscribed with the words “Remember Mike.”

“He was a Delta, I was a Theta. You wouldn’t think that we would bond, but we did. I was a center, he was a quarterback. The bond’s still going on,” he said.

Tom Taylor, Barrow’s roommate in college, met Barrow outside of the spotlight and attention of sports.

“Mike had a zest for life that I haven’t seen since,” he said.

Pete Degenis, another close college friend of Barrow, was one of many who mentioned his large character despite his small stature.

Odis Avritt, a fellow Delta Psi Delta, spoke of Barrow’s leadership.

“Mike was kind of our leader. Everyone knows freshmen were hazed. So, as freshmen, we would go aside and figure out how we were going to get those older Deltas,” Avritt said.

Avritt talked about how he tried to talk Barrows out of going overseas. Barrows told him, “I’ve made my peace, and I will go and do what it is that I need to do.”

“He wasn’t very big, but he had the heart of a lion,” Avritt said.

Barrow met a girl in college, fell in love and proposed. Barrow left for war, but Janet Gerfen never stopped loving him, even after she went on to marry and have children.

Gerfen’s daughter, Stephanie Baird, spoke of her mother’s undying love for Barrow.

“My mom wore Michael’s engagement ring on another finger until the day she passed away, three years ago.”

There are pictures and mementos in the study room in Nicholson Library. It is the hope of many that Linfield students will see the pictures and imagine what it was like to be a student at Linfield during another time. And of course, students will be able to see the great role model that Mike Barrows was.

Kelsey Sutton/
Copy chief
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