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Pilot year of First CLAS is a success

First CLAS participants junior Katherine Takaoka and freshman Katricia Stewart rely on one another for support as they tightrope across a thin wire more than 40 feet in the air. This was part of the ropes course at Camp Yamhill, an activity they participated in during the First CLAS program in order to work on trust and team building. Photo courtesy of Colin Jones

This year, 30 students at Linfield involved in a new organization called First Community Leadership Action Service (CLAS) participated in a week of activities and service projects.

Sophomore Jaimie McDonald, one of the student group leaders said, “First CLAS is a freshman pre-orientation community service immersion program focused on leadership and sustainability.”

The freshmen involved, who came to school a week early, split their time between team building exercises and community service projects led by upperclassmen. The freshmen learned valuable lessons about sustainability, self care, composting and leadership, while developing friendships before most of the students even arrived.

“We’re a support system for when they get here,” said sophomore Dana Hellie, one of the student group leaders.

Besides simply learning lessons, the freshmen received hands-on experience working for community service organizations, such as the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Miller Woods and Yamhill Community Action Partnership.

“We each led a group of 10, took them to a service site and led them in reflections,” McDonald said. Through volunteer work, the First CLAS freshmen were able to explore McMinnville and Portland, while doing good for the community.

First CLAS isn’t all about work. They make time for play as well. McDonald said her favorite memory was when the group spent time at Camp Yamhill. They all got a chance to climb up a 35-foot pole, jump off the top and try to catch a trapeze bar, while attached to a harness. McDonald said they “really clicked as a team.” This exercise allowed them all to work together, trust in one another and help each other to conquer their fears, she said.

On the last day of First CLAS, the group took a trip to the beach to enjoy a day of unwinding with new friends. During this last day, leader and student relationships vanished.

“[Now] we’re just friends,” said Hellie. Now that the week of First CLAS is over, McDonald said that their job is “to hang out with freshmen.”

If you are interested in becoming a First CLAS leader next year, there is an application and interview process involved in becoming a leader. Applications come out in April 2012.

Meghan O’Rourke/Opinion editor
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Speaker gives pointers on life lessons

Dr. Will Keim, who has spoken to more than two million college students across the nation, summarized life lessons into 10 points to Linfield’s class of 2015 during “Welcome to the Time of Your Life” on Aug. 28 in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

Keim’s first point was for students to be scholars who value education.

His second suggestion was to serve both the Linfield and McMinnville communities. He said that serving one’s community, puts one’s own problems into perspective.

Third, Keim encouraged students to make friends of different races, colors, sexes and sexual orientations. He urged the audience to let go of prejudices.

Another lesson was to “do what you say, and say what you mean.” Keim said people would get much further in life if they accepted responsibility for their actions and were truthful to themselves and others.

His fifth suggestion was to be healthy. Keim made it clear to students that it’s okay to refrain from sex. But he said that if students do decide to engage in sexual activities, to protect themselves with contraception.

He also urged students to be spiritual. He told students how beneficial it is to believe in something greater than themselves.

Another point was to be free from dependence on alcohol and other drugs. Keim said that students can’t make good choices for other people, but he urged the audience to be good bystanders and look out for each other.

His eighth lesson involved students’ relationships with their parents. Keim said that not every child is blessed with wonderful parents. So, he urged those individuals to try to move forward with their lives by taking advantage of resources at school.

Keim’s ninth piece of advice was to find something you love to do and do it well. He said that no interest is frivolous.

His final point was to “set the banquet for the feast you’re going to eat for the rest of your life.” Keim explained that as a college freshman, one quarter of life is already over. He said that Linfield can provide everything students need to create their own life masterpieces.

Freshman Kaira Liston said that Keim’s presentation was “fun, but shocking because Dr. Keim is in ministry.”

Emily Isaac/ Opinion editor
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Guest lecturer shares key to collegiate happiness

Guest lecturer, Johnathan Haidt, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, gives advice to incoming students about finding collegiate happiness during Convocation on Aug. 26 at the Ted Wilson Gymnasium. Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor

The 2011-12 Convocation address featured advice on how to find happiness and meaning from a college experience Aug. 26 in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium.

Johnathan Haidt, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia explored the topic of happiness, focusing on the common summer reading book “Hector and the Search for Happiness” by Francois Lelord. He also referred to his own book “The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.”

Haidt referred back to advice he received from his father, Harold Haidt, upon arrival to his
first year of college.

“The most important thing you’ll learn, you won’t learn in the classroom,” Haidt said.

Later, Haidt modified this advice to create a new motto.

“The most important thing you’ll learn, you won’t learn in the classroom. But the things you learn in the classroom can enrich the lessons life teaches you elsewhere,” he said.

Haidt looked to the past for ideas of happiness, pulling from historical figures, such as Shakespeare and Socrates. He shared ideas from his book, such as, “life is not all about you” and
“happiness comes from between.”

“I found the advice on not needing to love yourself to love others the most important,” freshman Pono Kalua said. “[The topic] was good. It related a lot to my life, and it was inspiring.”

Freshman Megan Beach said she thought it is important to prepare for the future.

“Don’t live every day as your last or the most important,” she said.

Throughout Haidt’s speech, he also expressed the importance of gaining experience during college. He said that college is the place to take risks.

“If you can’t fail here, you can’t fail anywhere,” he said.

Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
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Seniors paint Linfield tradition

The senior bench sits between Pioneer and Riley halls, waiting for this year’s makeover.

Four seniors will carry on Linfield’s tradition of gathering during the night to paint the senior bench before Spring Commencement.

Seniors Adriana Daoust, Jennifer Worcester, Arminda Gandara and Kaycee Hallstrom volunteered to represent the Class of ’11 by decorating the bench, Hallstrom, the group’s committee chair, said.

“We know that we want it to be something different from other years and that we will include the school colors,” Hallstrom said.

Hallstrom said that all seniors received an email inviting them to help paint the bench.

Director of College Activities Dan Fergueson said painting the bench has been a school tradition long before he started working at Linfield 12 years ago. He said it represents different themes and memories that are important to each class.

“It gives the folks in the senior class an easy way to leave their mark,” he said.

Fergueson said the Class of ’02 dedicated the bench to the tragic events of 9/11, while other classes painted light-hearted themes, such as Dr. Seuss quotes or signatures from graduates. He also said that it’s typical for seniors to paint the bench late at night before Commencement.

“They stay true to form by putting it off until the last minute,” he said. “It’s one last chance for them to procrastinate on a project before they graduate.”
Fergueson said he recalled a particular year in which this procrastination led to some humorous difficulties.

“About four or five years ago, they painted the bench the night before Commencement, and it didn’t dry in time for the ceremony,” he said. “I was helping with rounds in the wee hours of the morning, and I remember seeing their cars circled around the bench with the headlights shining it on so that they could see to paint.”

Joanna PeTerson/Managing editor

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Softball comes home with national title

Freshman pitcher Shelby VandeBergh celebrates her team’s May 24 return to campus with congratulatory hugs. The Wildcats secured the national title that morning when they defeated the Christopher Newport University Captains 6-2.


Community members hold up a homemade poster while waiting in anticipation for the Linfield softball team’s arrival May 24. People from McMinnville and Linfield cheered the Wildcats as they returned to Linfield from Salem, Va. The ’Cats rolled up to the celebration with a police escort surrounding their coach bus.

Linfield students, faculty, fans and a motorcade escort welcomed the National Champion softball team back to campus after back-to-back wins over the Christopher Newport University Captains in Salem, Va., on May 24.

After losing 4-0 to the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots on May 21, the ’Cats had to battle their way through the elimination bracket, winning three loser-out games to face Christopher Newport in two championship games.

“We played nervous against Texas-Tyler,” head coach Jackson Vaughan said, “but we still felt like we were the best team there. It would be tough, but there was still a chance.”

The ’Cats would get another chance at Texas-Tyler, but not before taking down Eastern Connecticut State University 9-1 on May 22 and the State University of New York College at Cortland 12-1 on May 23.

In the second of three games the ’Cats played May 23, they avenged their loss to Texas-Tyler, beating the Patriots 7-1.

The third game was the first of the two games that decided the national champion. Senior pitcher Claire Velaski and junior pitcher Lauren Harvey each gave up just two hits in the 6-0 shutout of Christopher Newport. Sophomore third baseman Karleigh Prestianni blasted a home run and contributed three RBI to boost the offense.

The ’Cats faced off one last time against Christopher Newport on May 24.

The ’Cats got on the board first when they scored one run in the opening frame, but after five and a half innings of play the score was tied at two, and the game was delayed because of lightning.

When play resumed, Prestianni opened what would be a four-run inning for the ’Cats with a solo home run. Harvey held the Captains scoreless in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure the 6-2 win and national title.

“[The feeling] is unreal; there is nothing like it. After that last out it was just a rush of adrenaline and euphoria,” junior outfielder Jaydee
Baxter said.

“This was our goal from the very first time we met this year, so to go and be ranked number one and have that pressure all year and then to win it is amazing,” Vaughan said.

The ’Cats finished the season with a 51-3 record and six players were named to the all-tournament team including Velaski, Harvey, Prestianni, Baxter, senior shortstop Emily Keagbine, junior catcher Emilee Lepp and junior first baseman
Staci Doucette.

“I guess it hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Doucette said. “I think we’re all still a little shocked but it’s definitely exciting and it was a cool experience.”

Rae Smith/for the review

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