As I look around the Linfield campus, something is becoming more and more clear. As a whole, the Linfield community could benefit from reprioritizing and trying new communication techniques.
This term, there have been a few instances of extreme miscommunication that caused an uproar among all members of the Linfield community and beyond.
This miscommunication does not only affect the students, faculty and other staff, but also the surrounding McMinnville community and one that is often overlooked, our families.
We must not forget that issues are at least two-sided and don’t always have a right and a wrong. Every event can be looked at from many angles.
One event that had its roots in miscommunication is still fresh in all of our minds. The claim that Medical Clemency no longer exists ripped through our campus during the last two weeks.
This proved to be false, but could it not have been avoided if there were better systems of communication set in place?
I know that the tendency of many students about the Medical Clemency rumors was to blame College Public Safety, Residence Life or countless other people on campus, but let’s take a step back for a minute and look at the bigger picture. How can we keep this or similar rumors from happening in the future?
The answer is both simple and complicated. If everyone at Linfield worked on being forthcoming with information, then I feel that positive opinions on campus would skyrocket.
The blame for a rumor cannot be placed on one individual or group on campus. And there is not only one group that needs to work on communication.
As students, I know that we want to blame people in seats of “power” on campus, but that will never solve anything. It will just make things worse. Here is what we can all do to make things better.
We need to work on ways to have our voices heard. There is already a system in place for that. Every week, a group of student senators meet in T.J. Day Hall with the Associated Students of Linfield College Cabinet to, among other things, solve issues that are brought up by students. If there is something that is bothering you on campus, email someone on Senate or the ASLC vice president. Your voice will be heard and the Senate will act.
It is important that Linfield staff be open with students and foster an environment for communication to take place. Although it seems as if students do not care and will not read the emails that are sent to us, we will listen.
In addition, staff must be preemptive when dealing with student concerns. For example, the Medical Clemency rumors must have reached someone’s ears before The Linfield Review asked for an interview or the ASLC president asked for a meeting. If you hear something that sounds false and alarming, please try to be open with us about what is going on and stop a rumor from getting worse.
Let’s use the “explosion” about Medical Clemency as a catalyst for finding a new way to communicate with each other about important issues. One thing that we must remember is that whatever the outcome is, we must all work together as staff, faculty, students, parents, “townies” and anyone else who is involved.
Everyone can do their part to make this campus even better than it already is, and it is pretty great.
Julian Adoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.