Daily Archives: March 12, 2012

Leave TOMS out of your closets

After my pair of TOMS shoes wear out, I won’t be replacing them.  The toll they take on other countries’ economies isn’t worth the false sense of philanthropy that buying them can give.

I bought my first pair of TOMS when I was living in England, and the whole experience felt like I was joining an crucial movement. Everything from the font on the shoe box, to the poster display next to the shoe rack, sold the idea that I was becoming a philanthropist by buying this brand.

As I sat in a cushy chair, the store clerk helped me select the perfect shoe size, explaining the characteristics of a well-fit pair of TOMS.

It’s undeniable that TOMS markets its products well, packing boxes with pictures of children in third-world countries holding new foot-wear, a faded TOMS flag, your own pair of small, canvas shoes and the promise that you are changing the world.

In retrospect, I’m embarrassed of the image of myself—a middle class college student—sitting in an upscale store, getting fit for trendy shoes, living in the fantasy that I was a philanthropist.

In reality, many recipients of TOMS live in towns that are capable of producing their own shoes, and when companies like TOMS hand out free footwear, it reduces local transactions and business opportunities, negatively impacting the economies.

There is no doubt that some of the people who receive free pairs of TOMS don’t have money to buy shoes from local proprietors, and they probably appreciate the hand out, but supporting TOMS only treats the symptoms of impoverished lifestyles, rather than creating long-term solutions.

Effective aid has to include a committed and organized partnership with the recipient of the aid, such as setting up lasting systems and programs within a struggling community.

Even after much criticism on its lack of long-term planning, TOMS’ website doesn’t elaborate on its relationships with the shoe recipients. It just says that it only gives shoes to those who are truly in need.

It’s a nice gesture, but the impacts of this gift aren’t worth that short-term burst of good feelings.

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Joanna Peterson
/Managing editor
Joanna Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com

Health is not optional: Why is food choice?

Coming into college, students expect the dining situation to improve from high school. Though the food quality has improved slightly this year, healthy options and food variety are not there.

With Sodexo providing three locations for food on campus, students are well fed throughout the week. When it comes to the weekend, O’Riley’s closes and Catty shack’s hours are reduced. With the weekend being the key time for students to work on schoolwork, an additional dining facility with hours to accommodate the late working college student would be nice.

While Catty shack is open until midnight during the week, this option is not available to those who can’t get food off-campus. At other colleges, such as Oregon State University and Pacific University, dining services are open later than just midnight and do not close early on the weekend.

In addition to having more locations with longer hours, Linfield needs more fresh produce options. Although there is not always an abundance of fresh produce, Sodexo does a good job at providing what it can.

Sodexo prides itself on its use of local produce. Although this is a positive, offering more fresh produce options would give the students more healthy food options, regardless of where it comes from.

As well as having a wider variety of healthy food, we should have more than just Sodexo dining facilities and more variety in food types. Dillin consistently serves pizza, Mexican food, pasta, burgers and chicken strips. While this variety suits the small college student population, students get tired of the same thing over and over again.

With the limited choices that are offered, students eat junk food. The salad bar is one of the only ways to get fresh produce on any given day. The other option for fresh produce in Dillin and Catty is the basket of fruit the dining services provide.

Linfield has already started bringing in more produce, but not many students know about it. According to the Linfield Garden Club’s website, one of its long-term goals is to work with Sodexo. Although produce would only be available during certain seasons, it’s a start.

The Oregon Food Bank is constantly working with people on not only feeding those in need, but also by teaching them about ways to cook it and to be healthy. If some education behind the proper way of cooking this fresh produce was offered to them, students would not only be learning skills that they would use in college, but skills they can use all their lives.

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Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com

 

Occupy Wall Street movement needs direction

The Occupy Wall Street movement, now more of an international Occupy X movement, has been one of the most controversial and hottest topics of the last year.

This grass-roots movement has been both derided and cheered by many Americans and by citizens of countries worldwide.

It would be difficult to find someone who could define the long-term plans and goals of the movement.

The spontaneous, diffuse and passionate atmosphere of Occupy Wall Street has been both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The movement has garnered much media attention, but has ultimately done little in moving forward. This begs the question; has this movement been a success or a failure? In short, the answer is both.

The protesters of the movement have called for drastic political and economic changes. These range from economic issues such taxes that regulate the income discrepancy, ending private campaign financing, and the two party system while increasing government transparency.

These concerns are both valid and relevant to many Americans, many of whom have been frustrated with these governmental and economic aspects for some time. The fact that these concerns are being voiced in a way that has attracted the massive media attention that it has is the epitome of effectively expressing the values of the First Amendment.

Despite the massive attention and support this movement has gained, it has yet to achieve a focused and practical plan toward the widespread change it calls for.

This lack of organization and focus can ironically be best seen in Occupy Wall Street’s attempt at organizational and political focus.

A rough list of demands was released by occupywallstreet.org some months ago.

As of yet, the list of demands has been less than lackluster in alleviating these concerns. The demands call for trading tariffs so that domestic “mom and pop” stores and farming may be more competitively active in the economy while at the same time mandating free college education on top of trillions of dollars of spending in various ecological and infrastructure projects.

A better educational system is of the utmost importance, and the increased employment that the New Deal-inspired infrastructure push would achieve would do much for the job market. However, many of these would be more detrimental than helpful, especially in the sense that we can ill-afford more trillion-dollar plus spending in our present state of horrendous debt and deficit.

This is not to say that a number of these demands do not have substantial merit, but in any movement for social or political change, restraint is required.

This can be best achieved with at least some form of centralized or recognized leadership.

While many would say that creating any form of leadership would be a bastardization of the very values that the movement stands for, compromises have to be made in the face of reality.

Occupy Wall Street in many ways embodies the dissatisfaction and frustration that many Americans feel toward both the government and the economy, especially big business’ abuse of Capitalism and the rampant partisanship in government which has ground many reforms to a halt in Congress.

It is composed of citizens from all walks of life and has just as many agendas as it does varied individuals.

It is the single greatest exercise of democratic rights in the recent history of the United States.

But the movement needs to gain direction and achieve common ground to best bring about change.

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Nick Kintop
/Staff writer
Nick Kintop can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Study abroad is worth lengthy application

When I came to Linfield, one of my expectations was that I would study abroad before I left. It was always going to happen; I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon.

It’s not like I can blame anyone for making time pass faster than usual. International travel is, after all, something that needs to be planned far in advance, and spending a year or semester abroad is more than just travel. If there’s anyone who is at fault for not paying attention to the passing of time, it’s me.

As the kind of student who came to college wanting to explore everything before settling on a major, I found myself suddenly rushing last fall to decide whether I wanted French as a minor and a semester abroad, or a French major and a year in France. I chose the major, just in time to complete my application and turn it in to the International Programs Office.

As Spring Semester rolls on, students across campus are going through the same process as I am. There are forms to be filled out, signatures to be obtained and photocopies to be made.

Applicants have worked on their pre-orientation assignments since they were sent out on Feb. 14 and then again on Feb. 27, and the orientation itself took place on March 9 and 10.

The timing of the study abroad orientation was something that I heard a great deal of complaining about. It ran from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 10, causing students to wonder what on earth could possibly take up an entire Saturday.

While I do appreciate the orientation being on a weekend instead of during the week, I am also feeling pinched for time. In a world where any given day might contain more work than hours in which to do it, it sometimes seems crazy to want to do more.

I have also heard other study abroad applicants worry about the school applications and forms that are unique to each program.

Some of these are provided by IPO, while some are the responsibility of the student. It is sometimes hard to keep track of which is which.Perhaps a nice clear checklist would help in this case.

Despite all this, I think it is likely that IPO is getting all of this done early to avoid last-minute mishaps. It is better to have sorted out a problem months before you leave than to have it pop up in the last week.

This is a comfort to me whenever I’m feeling the stress of study abroad requirements. And the knowledge that I’m not the only one having problems with the application process is helping me deal with my anxiety.

I would encourage everyone who is going through the study abroad application process to look forward to next year. Sure, these forms, fees and assignments are obnoxious now, but there’s a reason why everyone says studying abroad is so amazing.

So, good luck to all of the study abroad applicants out there, and don’t let stress get the better of you.

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Sharon Gollery
/Culture editor
Sharon Gollery can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmai.com

Did Limbaugh go too far?

Would you like to be called a “slut” or a ‘prostitute’ on national radio by a talk-show host simply for standing up for your beliefs?

Conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh recently stirred up controversy when he called out Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke on-air for advocating for contraceptives to be covered by health insurance in front of a House committee.

Limbaugh attacked the 30-year-old law student on his radio show with comments such as, “She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”

The next day on his show, Limbaugh went as far as to say, “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, thus pay for you to have sex…we want you to post the videos online, so we can all watch.”

“He is always trying to push the envelope, but he went way too far this time,” said Haydn Nason, general manager for Linfield’s radio station, 90.3 KSLC. “I would never want anyone on my staff to say that.”

His comments outraged many people and even caused him to lose advertisers.

“He wasn’t thinking about externalities,” Nason said. “He’s lost more than 26 advertisements.”

As a result, Limbaugh issued an apology, but those angry at him weren’t buying it.

“I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices,” Limbaugh said.

However, Limbaugh couldn’t stick to a simple apology, defending himself by saying, “Rappers can say anything they want about women. It’s called art. And they win awards.”

Limbaugh’s comments can certainly be seen as demeaning to women. While some believe that people shouldn’t have sex before marriage, the fact of the matter is that many people do.

Don’t responsible women in relationships outside of wedlock deserve to be protected from pregnancy and STDs without being referred to as a “slut” or a “prostitute”?

By attacking Fluke, Limbaugh essentially attacked every college-age woman who wants to have safe sex.

These women are simply being realistic. They realize that if sex is a possibility, they want to be prepared.

If more women had access to birth control, abortion wouldn’t be as big of an issue, because unwanted pregnancy could be more easily prevented in the first place.

Birth control pills, for some women, aren’t just about preventing an unwanted pregnancy. Women with irregular menstrual cycles might go on a birth control pill in order to regulate it.

At the same time, Limbaugh may have a point under his poor choice of words. If contraceptives are covered in Obama’s health care plan, even Americans who don’t believe in the use of contraceptives will have to pay for them with their tax money.

While it would be beneficial for many women to have contraceptives covered by health insurance, it’s not fair to make the people who don’t believe in the use of contraceptives  to pay for it.

This is simply another issue that Americans will have to take into consideration when voting in the presidential elections this year.

-The Review Editorial Board

linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com