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James T. Kloppenberg, chair of the History Department at Harvard University and author of “Reading Obama,” visited Linfield as a part of the Edith Green Endowed Lecture Series on May 16. Peter Berkowitz, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, joined him in the lecture as a critic of his book. Unlike past lectures in the series, Kloppenberg and Berkowitz presented in an author-meets-critic format to offer differing perspectives on President Obama’s ideals and motives during his campaign.
Kloppenberg opened the discussion with a summary of his book “Reading Obama.” Using Obama’s educational and professional background, as well as his writings, novels, and speeches, Kloppenberg identified the sources of Obama’s views on American government.
Berkowitz said that Kloppenberg offered an idealized view of Obama’s policy. Berkowitz argued that Obama was two-faced during his campaign and was both progressive and moderate as a tactic of election
After the discussion, audience members were allowed a question and answer portion. Questions ranged from Obama’s motives to whether race is a factor in his popularity.
Sophomore Aaron Good said that a lot could be taken from this lecture.
“What we can take away from this discussion is that we should stop trying to analyze Obama soley based on outcomes. It is important to consider political philosophy and their relation to outcomes,” Good said.
The Edith Green Endowed Lecture Series is sponsored by an endowed fund to honor Edith Green, congresswoman and Linfield College board of trustees member. The lecture series has previousy featured single-person lectures, but Kloppenberg chose a panel format.
This year’s lecture was hosted by Nick Buccola, assistant professor of political science. He said the author-meets-critic format was good to see.
“I really think that watching two people disagree without being disagreeable is a good thing for students to see, for us all to see,” he said.
Marissa Cole/News Editor
Marissa Cole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curtis Shepard, the director of children, youth and family at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, participated in a public question and answer session with senior Jesse Aerni, the previous president of the Fusion Club on May 17 in honor of International Day Against Homophobia.
Shepard’s program is designed to assist the thousands of homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in L.A.
He said much of his work is focused on moving LGBT youth out of foster care. Many of the gay youth in placement homes face abuse and discrimination from foster families. Shepard attributed this mistreatment to homophobia.
“Families check the box saying, ‘Yes, I will take a gay/lesbian child.’ But when push comes to shove, it becomes, ‘Oh no, no, this is not what I signed up for,” Shepard said.
LGBT foster children are constantly moved in and out of homes, missing educational and bonding opportunities. Hundreds become emancipated at age 18 and are likely to become chronically homeless.
“We want these kids to be celebrated, not just tolerated in these homes,” Shepard said. “We create a sort of wraparound support system, surrounding the kid with love and support while finding a permanent and loving home for them.”
Shepard encouraged Linfield students and faculty to make Linfield a safe environment for everyone.
“You can subtly do things to signal students and make Linfield seem like a welcoming place,” he said.
Shepard also said that students shouldn’t be silent about equal rights based on sexuality.
“Speak up,” he said. “If you hear a derogatory slur like, ‘that’s gay,’ say that it’s not okay. Go to a Gay Straight Alliance meeting. It’s a big risk for students, but you can show support without labeling yourself as gay.”
Members of the staff, such as Gudrun Hommel, associate professor of German, said they found the lecture to be beneficial.
“I think it’s about time that we address this issue,” Hommel said. “I have students who have talked to me about not feeling safe here. I am sympathetic and supportive of these students. For me, it was helpful to hear suggestions about how we can signal that this is a safe environment.”
Shepard donated his earnings from the night’s lecture to fund a similar speaker for next year. Hommel said she hopes for better advertisement to ensure a greater turnout for the next lecture.
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After being proposed to Senate on May 9, the Associated Students of Linfield College’s $375,000 Budget for the 2011-12 academic year underwent several changes at the May 16 Senate meeting.
The changes that were made were a $3,000 cut from the Capital and Equipment Fund, a $2,000 cut from Intramural sports and a $500 cut from General Management (GM). The combined $5,500 was moved to the Student Center’s budget. By the end of the changes, GM had $72,652.21 left, IM sports had $13,000 left and the Capital and Equipment Fund had $19,000 left. However, the Student Center received a total of $24,119.05.
ASLC Business Manger sophomore Tylor Edison said that after being proposed, the budget went to Senate’s Club Support and Finance Committee. The committee decided to submit a change to the budget for $3,000 to be moved from the new Capital and Equipment Fund to the Student Center.
“If senators want to talk budget that’s great,” ASLC President junior Rachel Coffey said. “Students should know where their fees are going.”
Coffey said that everyone who submitted a budget received cuts but that there was a natural 7 percent increase in student body fees overall.
“I wish we had taken out work study when looking at it [the budget] because once you take out work study, you get a better perspective,” Coffey said.
Junior Katie Patterson proposed the $2,000 cut from the IM sports fund as an amendment for the original motion to cut $3,000 from the Capital and Equipment Fund. Her argument for the Student Center’s increased budget was that all year students have voiced that they want a student union; however, the Student Center is already available to them so it only makes sense to revamp it. This would require additional funding since the Student Center budget originally received less money this year than last year.
“It’s hard to say who needs the money because we want to improve all areas,” Coffey said. “If students want a new center that’s great, but any time you give money you have to take away from somewhere.”
Another argument made during Senate for IM sports’ budget cut was that this year’s budget will still have money left over by the end of the academic year.
“I don’t think that it was a good choice to take from IM sports because most of the money that didn’t get used was for work study that didn’t get filled out,” Edison said in an email. “I think that there could be a potential problem next year if everyone takes advantage of these paid positions.”
Coffey said that the old Cabinet member is supposed to assist the new member when designing budgets because the new person doesn’t know how things will work based off of the previous year.
“It wouldn’t be impossible for IM sports to receive extra funds if they run out of money and it’s an emergency, but it’s not ideal and we don’t like to be in the negative,” Coffey said.
Coffey said that the Capital and Equipment Fund was created so that clubs could acquire the equipment that they need since the Activities Council does not grant such things. Coffey said that she and sophomore Thomas Bryan, ASLC vice president of business and finance wanted to ensure a way for clubs to receive this money since certain clubs need more than others, such as Lacrosse. Other clubs that fall under this fund are the Linfield Ultimate Players Association (LUPA), Rugby Club, Tennis Club and Water Polo.
“Budgeting this year was interesting being on the other side of things, and it was a good experience; but, I wasn’t expecting Senate to run that long,” Coffey said. “It was the first time in a few years that there was a long debate and new proposal given at Senate.”
Apart from additional monies allocated to the Student Center, the Republican Club was de-chartered during the meeting so its allocated $60 went back into the Club Fund.
This year, Coffey said she opted to raise club funds by $10. She said she realizes that it isn’t a large amount, but in the past clubs were given $100 each. However, allocating club funds becomes problematic when one has to take into account that not all clubs are spending their funds, Coffey said.
“Everyone has all of these great ideas, and then there are budget cuts and you have to pick and choose,” she said. “But, I have a lot of faith in all of my Cabinet members, and I look forward to the great things that they will do next year.”
Jessica Prokop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Area Director for Clubs and Activities Josh Merrick was not expecting to receive the Dave Hansen Senate Outstanding Service Award, which the Associated Students of Linfield College Senate awarded him at its meeting May 16.
“I was thinking they were going to vote for Susan [Hopp], so I was pleasantly surprised,” Merrick said. “It was very sweet.”
Senators bestow this honor on students, faculty and staff members who have gone “above and beyond the call of duty,” Director of College Activities Dan Fergueson said.
ASLC President junior Rachel Coffey nominated Merrick for the award.
“He reaches out to all students. Residence Life says the same thing; people from Senate say the same thing. I feel like that’s a common theme,” Coffey said.
Besides Merrick, other nominees for the award were Janet Peterson, interim director of Academic Advising, associate professor of health and human performance and exercise physiology lab supervisor; Dean of Students Susan Hopp; ASLC Vice President of Programming junior Nicole Bond; and freshman Michelle Herrera.
Fergueson said he met Merrick when Merrick, class of ’07, was a sophomore. He said that Merrick has become an exceptional student affairs professional.
“As a student [Merrick], I think we saw it in him, but I don’t think he would ever have thought he would have gone on this career path,” Fergueson said. “Josh has been a tremendous mentor not only to his RAs but to the folks he works with here.”
Merrick also goes the extra mile when dealing with students. He advises Cube Club and plays on intramural sports teams to form relationships with students, Fergueson said.
“I think [he’s] a good role model for students,” Fergueson said, explaining that Merrick immerses himself in student life outside of the confines of his job description. “You can be more than an employee somewhere; you can get involved in the community.”
Freshman James Rogers, who knows Merrick through Residence Life and Senate, said Merrick goes out of the way to talk with students.
“He’s really caring, passionate and you could be in a horrible mood, but [there’s] something about him — he makes you feel better about yourself, about the situation, about the day,” Rogers said.
Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students/director of Residence Life, said Merrick is committed to student life and growth outside the classroom.
“I think he truly understands the value of those experiential learning opportunities that students can have,” Mackay said.
But to Merrick, building bonds with students is just part of the work.
“For me, the best time about this job are those relationships I get to build with students,” Merrick said. “People in this line of work don’t do it for the money; we do it because we think we’re doing something good and we enjoy spending time with students.”
After graduating with a major in history in 2007, Merrick worked for Auxilary Services (now part of Facilities Services) for a year while his wife, Kelly Merrick (formerly Kelly Copeland), class of ’08, was a senior. He has held his job in Residence Life for the past three years.
Merrick said he met his wife during lunch in Dillin Hall during his sophomore year.
“Then we got married here this past summer in front of the president’s house, so Linfield’s kind of a special place for both of us,” he said. “It’s hard to really articulate the meaning that Linfield has had in my life, and I probably won’t really know until I’m gone.”
The award marks the end of eight years in the “Linfield laboratory,” as Merrick called it. Now, he’s brewing other career ideas — literally.
“I want to be the next in line of great Linfield brewers,” Merrick said. “What better place to do that than in Portland?”
He said his dad has been home brewing beer since Merrick was 16 years old, and his dad gave him a starter brewing kit one year for Christmas. Last January Term, Merrick even audited Associate Professor of Chemistry Brian Gilbert’s Art & Science of Brewing course.
But no matter where his career takes him, Merrick will be remembered by many at Linfield.
“I haven’t necessarily met someone so kind and outgoing on staff at Linfield,” Rogers said.
“It’s going to be different in a lot of ways. I’m going to miss seeing him,” Fergueson said.
Kelley Hungerford/For the Review
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Glen Ford, vice president for Finance and Administration/chief financial officer (CFO) of Linfield College, presented the 2011-12 college budget to Senate on May 16. The presentation was a final step in Ford’s student-involved budget process.
Ford began the presentation with an anonymously written poem describing the importance of the students within the college atmosphere. He went on to explain how the budgeting process works and acknowledged seniors Katherine Patterson and Arielle Perkins, who served on the College Planning and Budgeting Council and Budget Working Group.
Ford’s presentation provided a breakdown of expenses and revenues for the college from the 2010-11 year and the budget for the 2011-12 year. The expenses are mainly comprised of personnel and departmental operating, with 83 percent of expenses going to those areas. The revenue mainly contains tuition, room, board and food, with 91 percent of revenue coming from those areas. The slideshow presentation also included next year’s projected tuition growth.
Ford says he thinks students should know what the college is doing with the money they pay in tuition.
“The college will continue to be very transparent in the development of the budget,” he said. “We will always include students in the budget process so that we can gain from the students’ perspective.”
Associated Students of Linfield College Vice President junior Bradley Keliinoi said that Senate was privileged to hear from Vice President Ford about the budget and to have an administration that is open and accessible.
“I’ve heard that a lot of colleges have a non-transparent budget. I hope [Senate] appreciates it [Ford’s presentation]. I know I did.”
Keliinoi encourages students to look at the budget and to get involved in its creation.
“They should definitely be right there at the table talking back and forth with the administration saying ‘these are our priorities,’” he said.
Dean of Students Susan Hopp was also present at the meeting. She said that the experience of creating the ASLC budget closely mirrors the process of creating the college’s budget and that it is beneficial for senators to see how the college allocates its funds. She also said that the budget completely transparent for all students.
“I think it is important for students to understand how the college budget works,” Hopp said. “What is the revenue side, what is the expense side. It is helpful for [the students] to see the big picture.”
The board of trustees approved the budget during the Spring Semester trustees weekend May 13-15. They approved it on the condition that the college reaches enrollment projections for the fall and brings in the projected tuition revenue.
The budget slideshow that was shown to senators on May 16 is also available for students to view and can be obtained through club senators, residence hall senators or by contacting the ASLC Cabinet.
Marissa Cole/News editor
Marissa Cole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.