Daily Archives: October 22, 2012
Senior Jacob Olson and eight fellow members of the Linfield Computer Sciences Club (LCSC) competed in a computer game of capture the flag Oct. 19. The goal of the competition was simple: hack a computer security system and score points by capturing flags hidden within the system.
Although Olson and the rest of the team didn’t perform as well as they had hoped, they understand that what they are doing is still a work in progress.
Olson started LCSC last year. Its goal is to explore the growing field of computer hacking and security.
“In computers, there are multiple fields of study, and security is one of the largest growing,” Olson said. “What we are doing in this competition is simulating both the offensive and defensive side of computer security.”
The Capture the Flag competition is part of a larger program known as the NCL Fall Pilot. It is put on by former members of the NSA, CIA and FBI. The program consists of 13 online courses that teach basic computer security techniques.
This program teaches techniques used by criminal hackers. Learning their illicit methods will eventually teach computer operators how to defend against the many forms of hacking.
For Olson and the other members of LCSC, the competition gives them a chance to gauge their skills after just one year.
“Most of the students that are at the competition are students that come from schools with security programs,” he said. “Linfield didn’t have any kind of system like this until last spring.”
The nine-member club that Olson began has grown to a club of about 20 students. Although the students do a lot of the work independently and are self-taught, they receive support from many different sources.
“The faculty is pushing to get a security class started due to the work that we did with the club,” Olson said. “They have put a lot of effort into expanding the field both with classes and by allowing us to upgrade our equipment.”
The club has made contact and received help from security professionals. For the most part, though, this is a student-led project.
“As of right now, it is really us pushing ourselves to where we want to be with our skills as computer security students,” Olson said.
For the Review
The second presidential debate attracted a small group of students for a viewing in Graf Hall on Oct. 16. After a less than impressive first debate, the candidates came to the Town Hall Debate prepared, composed and ready to defend themselves.
Newspapers and other media sources focused not on who won the debate, but on the attack modes of both of the candidates. President Obama and Gov. Romney clashed on stage with different ideas that led to tension and some broken rules.
CNN news anchor Candy Crowley moderated the rematch, and 82 undecided voters from the New York area acted as a panel, asking questions of the candidates.
Obama was assertive, used eye contact and rebutted untrue facts, clearly having learned from the first debate to change his body language. Romney was better prepared as well. However, both men continued to interrupt the moderator.
A college student posed the first question, asking how each man could reassure him of finding employment after he graduated.
Both candidates talked about the affordability of education. Romney said he wants to keep the Pell Grant Program going and boost loan programs. He also promised 12 million new jobs if elected. Obama plans to build manufacturing jobs in America again, along with providing incentive for companies to produce in the U.S.
Controlling energy was a topic the candidates argued back and forth on. Obama said he wants to further the use of solar, biofuel and wind power. He wants to open up new areas for drilling, while establishing environmentally sound energy sources in America. Romney wants the U.S. to be energy independent with more drilling and utilization of the Canada Pipeline.
“Obama will keep us from using oil, coal and gas,” Romney said.
The men had their chance to appeal to women voters with a question about inequalities in the workplace. The candidates tied education accessibility to more opportunities for women. Romney stressed that a strong economy is necessary for women to have better work options. Obama said he has and will enforce the laws and expand financial aid for women.
Romney and Obama frequently jumped on chances to correct one another. Obama backed himself by pointing out that Romney had switched his opinions on certain issues.
Despite that Romney wants to take away funding for Planned Parenthood, he corrected Obama by saying, “I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care or not. Every woman should have access to contraceptives.”
The candidates debated the issue of immigration, highlighting the laws in Arizona and the need for legality.
“We welcome legal immigrants,” Romney said. “There are four million people who are waiting in line to get here legally. Those who’ve come here illegally take their place. So I will not grant amnesty to those who’ve come here illegally.”
Obama emphasized Romney’s idea of “self-deportation.” Romney pointed out that Obama didn’t deal with an immigration plan. Obama refuted the statement by explaining how he has worked to, “make it easier, simpler and cheaper for people who are waiting in line, obeying the law, to make sure that they can come here and contribute to our country.”
On the topic of Libya and the recent assassination of a U.S. ambassador in Benghazi, Romney condemned Obama for taking poor action in the affairs and for his failure to provide security resources after the attack.
“I’m the president. And I’m always responsible. And that’s why nobody is more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I am,” Obama said. “I’m the one who greets the coffins when they get home.”
Additionally, the men discussed weapon bans, tax cuts, China and outsourcing jobs.
“We have to make America the most attractive place for entrepreneurs, for people who want to expand a business,” Romney said. “That’s what brings jobs in.”
The candidates got a chance to clear up misconceptions about each of their campaigns and candidacy. Romney went directly to addressing that he cares about 100 percent of the people in America, while Obama capitalized on the opportunity to use the 47 percent incident to his advantage.
The third and final presidential debate will be Oct. 22.
The homeless people of McMinnville are no strangers to many Linfield students. Several Wildcats do their best to say hello or offer money, food or other supplies. The homeless are a part of the community that are most often overlooked, but as winter nears and the weather turns colder, some students may be wondering where these people can turn to for shelter and warmth.
Shelters and rescue missions provide meals, a place to stay and resources to help troubled individuals get back on their feet. But most do not know the rules and restrictions that go along with the assistance that is offered at such establishments.
Two homeless men named Steve and Daryl can usually be found on the front stoop of the True Vine Christian Fellowship church on Fourth Street in McMinnville. They choose to sleep there instead of a shelter, rain or shine, for a list of reasons.
“We have nowhere to get off the street that’s legal. Being legally able to sit here is really quite nice,” Steve said.
The True Vine Christian Fellowship church is the only location in town that allows them to stay there.
Another factor in their decision to steer clear of the shelter are the rules that are enforced on all receiving help.
“The reason why it didn’t work for me is because I have a bad memory, and I kept taking my cigarettes out of my pocket. And the people that are there to monitor the place, that’s breaking the rules. You aren’t supposed to take your cigarettes out of your pocket until you’re outside. I can’t remember those rules, so I had to go,” Steve said.
He continued to explain that if a homeless person were trying to enter a rescue mission, they are not allowed to be in a romantic relationship unless they can show legal documents proving that they are married.
It is also required that each person arrive at the shelter at a specific time every night, attend meals at a set time, search for a job every day and attend drug and alcohol meetings if necessary.
The homeless are not allowed to bring in soda and must agree to random Breathalyzer tests. They must take a urine analysis test upon entering the rescue mission program that allows them 30 days of shelter, food and other resources until they must leave.
Ellen Allen, a volunteer at the Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission, confirmed that all of these rules apply to those seeking the mission’s assistance.
“There’s nothing in the rules that says you cannot have an outside life,” Allen said.
She believes it is necessary for the mission’s participants to follow the rules in order for everything to run smoothly. Allen, along with many other volunteers at the mission, is truly concerned for the well being of the homeless population in McMinnville.
“They’re treated like they’re dirty and that’s not right,” Allen said.
In Allen’s opinion, the reason that not every individual complies with the mission’s rules is often stubbornness.
“When it comes to men, they are more set in their ways. They want to do what they want to do, when they want,” Allen said.
In contrast to Allen’s thoughts, Steve and Daryl are still convinced that the rescue mission’s policies are not realistic for everyone.
“We’re not young, looking for work, and (we are) not walking and talking like them. We’re not pretending to be Christian,” Steve said.
When it comes to Steve and Daryl, staying true to themselves is more important than a warm bed.
Kate Straube/Photo editor
When Linfield English Professor Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt introduced the evening’s speaker Oct. 16 in the Austin Reading Room, she said that it was no easy task. Explaining the many accomplishments of Amitava Kumar would take at least 10 minutes.
Students of all interests attended the following lecture, which focused on literature after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
“Kumar paints a story for the listener,” freshman Ellen Massey said. “He uses social satire to show how we, as a society, judge and stereotype people.”
Born in India, Kumar has focused his career on writing and cultural studies. His goal of the night’s talk was to shed light on the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, as reflected in art and literature.
“Literature and art are always changing in response to global actions,” Kumar said.
An example that he brought up was the Feb. 2012 book by Daisy Rockwell, “The Little Book of Terror.” In this book, Rockwell paints portraits of well-known terrorists in order to give light to them as individuals.
“These are pictures of individuals who are individuals,” Kumar said in the forward to “The Little Book of Terror.”
A topic that Kumar covered in his lecture was interrogations, including the process and how the public views them, following the attacks of Sept. 11.
Kumar explained the difficulty surrounding interrogations, as well as the ethical dilemmas involved and why their use is growing.
“Why is so much being spent on the most gullible people, not going out and getting the people [who] are actually in the process of planning attacks?” Kumar asked. “In small ways, the war on terror has encircled itself on us. How may of us have met a terrorist?”
He stressed the changes that have occurred in the U.S. since the attacks of Sept. 11. Not only is it the inconvenience of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers making you take off your shoes, but that one race is more likely to be stopped, questioned and detained, has become apparent.
Kumar brought up the scenario in which a white person goes to a bar, gets drunk, gets into a bar fight and kills someone. This would not be seen the same if this person was Middle Eastern; in fact, it could be seen as an “act of terror.”
“Kumar’s discussion pointed out the struggles of those who could be associated with cultures connected to terrorism,” freshman Amy Dodge said. “If someone from those cultures did something wrong, it’d be seen as 10 times worse than it would if anyone else had done it.
“He also pointed out that the police are trying to search out anyone who could potentially be linked to terrorism to act as if they’re doing something productive to stop terrorism and make the population feel more at ease.”
Without question, the attacks of Sept. 11 and the War on Terror have made a mark on how people feel about different ethnic groups.
Kumar connected to his audience, shedding light on invalid stereotypes and prejudices.
Maddie Bergman/Staff writer
This year’s Alternative Spring Break programs will be in Tacoma, Wash., building affordable homes with Habitat for Humanity; in Westcliffe, Col., volunteering with Mission: Wolf to restore native wolf habitats; and in Seattle, Wash., to develop an understanding of different ways to work with youth.
While most students imagine Spring Break as a time for relaxation and a week of non-stressful events, other students at Linfield imagine a week of volunteering, giving back to the community and doing their best to help others everywhere. Alternative Spring Break helps students accomplish this.
Alternative Spring Break is a week-long service-learning immersion program that focuses on a specific social issue in a community, said Ashlee Carlson, Change Corps director of Alternative Spring Break.
Carlson oversees the 2013 Alternative Spring Break programs and provides a larger structure for the leaders to work within. She also participated in Alternative Spring Break her freshman year, spending time in Tacoma, Wash., volunteering with the Habitat for Humanity program. She returned to Tacoma as a leader her sophomore year.
Change Corps is a team of student leaders that provides volunteer opportunities in the larger community to help students become active citizens.
However, they are technically not a club on campus. They work through the Office of Community Engagement & Service to provide service opportunities for students to participate in. In the past, students have been able to partake in Linfield nights at the soup kitchen and Alternative Spring Break programs.
“I help the Change Corps service coordinators plan their programs by looking at logistical details for their Alternative Spring Break, such as service hours, itineraries, community partners and meeting facilitation,” Carlson said in an email.
Any Linfield student can participate in the program, but spots are limited to the organization’s capacity to host volunteers. Generally, eight to 12 students, including two student leaders and two Linfield staff or faculty advisers, are allowed in each program.
Students are selected through a blind application process. They fill out an online application, which is not associated with their name for the selection process. Alternative Spring Break leaders, with the aid of Change Corps members, go through the applications and select participants based on each program’s need. They intend to create a diverse group with students from all different majors, years and experience levels.
The three main programs that Change Corps focuses on are poverty, the environment and youth issues in a community.
“We strive to have each student serve 30 to 35 hours during their Alternative Spring Break program while also giving them the chance to bond with their group and the community,” Carlson said.
Throughout the program, students participate in reflection, which is a key component to the service-learning programs.
“It helps students take what they have done and learned on the program to think about how it has affected their personal life, as well as the lives of those they are serving,” Carlson said.
Students are also encouraged to have fun during Alternative Spring Break. There is built-in time to do activities other than volunteering, such as bowling, going to the beach or hiking.
“Alternative Spring Break forces you to step outside of your comfort zone to experience something new and serve in the community or with social issues that you are passionate about,” Carlson said. “In many cases, [it] is only the beginning and most participants will come away with a deeper sense of connection to the social issues and the community.”
For more information students can go to www.linfield.edu/serve/students/asb.html.