Oregon native and award-winning poet Matthew Dickman held a poetry reading Sept. 19 in the Austin Reading Room in Nicholson Library.
The reading, which was free and open to the public, attracted a broad audience from students to staff. Dickman read some selected poems from his first poetry book “All-American Poem,” and his new books that will come out in Fall 2012.
Before the reading, Professor Lex Runciman from the English department started the introduction of the poet with “All-American Poem.” He discussed the uncommon wideness of the book size and its font, which, according to Runciman, symbolized a bigger vision. He finished the introduction by praising Dickman’s observation and told the audience to “start a poem with any
Dickman, who went to the podium right after the introduction in grey sweatshirt, surprised the listeners with his opening sentence—“How so f***ing sweet!” His casual attire and humor indicated the atmosphere of that night. He read the poems one by one, sometimes commenting on what inspired the poem or who they were dedicated to. The wittiness coming from the poem or the poet himself kept the audience bursting out in laughter. For the second to last poem, he let the audience choose between a poem about Bridge or about his imagination of his absent father being in Russia. The latter was unanimously chosen. He ended the reading with a poem about what heaven might be like.
During the Q-and-A session, Dickman inspired the audience with his unique insights. He said that poetry is not like any non-fiction genre “as metaphors and similes do not exist in the physical world.” He expressed his love for poems by saying that he “would have to fall in love with other outlets” to not write poems anymore, as it was his “way to understand the world.” He gave his opinions on poetry education in high school through his memories of how he first fell in love with the genre. He said that he “would like the high schools to teach more modern poets such as Marie Howe, Frank O’Hara and Bob Kaufman, so students can be engaged more easily and prepare for the classics.” He had no particular interest in poems until he started reading modern poems—his high school dream girl’s favorite kind.
The reading was sponsored by the English department and the library. The next reading will be held by Thor Hansen, an author and biologist Oct. 10 in the Austin Reading Room.
Cassie Wong/Staff writer
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Faculty and community members gathered Sept. 19 to hear the results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). This survey was taken last school year by first year students and seniors in the McMinnville, Portland and the Adult Degree Program.
Director of Institution Research Data Jennifer Ballard and Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Higher Education George D. Kuh partnered in the presentation to expose the relationship between Linfield’s results and the results shown across the country. The survey gave an overview on how engaged college students are.
“It’s what [the faculty] do that channels to what they do [at Linfield],” Kuh said.
NSSE was launched by a grant received from the Pew Charitable Trusts in 1999. There are about 1,500 schools in the U.S. and Canada that participate in this program. The data received basically showed “what students are doing with their time.”
All data received was based on a 100 point scale.
Ballard first discussed the benchmarks. This included academic challenge, student faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences and supportive campus environment. Overall, Linfield’s score was average in comparison with the Carnegie Peer and average NSSE scores. There were some differences between the first year and senior students in categories such as student faculty interaction with first year students surveying that they receive less than the seniors who experience it more.
Another topic of great discussion was the impact of the Adult Education programs scores because students are receiving a “distant education.” Linfield has also taken this survey in 2005 and 2007.
“[There were] no massive changes in the Linfield environment,” Ballard said.
At one point in the presentation, Kuh pointed out how the enrichment educational experience scores were lower for the first year students and higher for the seniors. He believed that the data was in reverse because of first year students being known to be more involved.
“You have a story to tell,” Kuh said. Due to this increase, “a lot of positive things have happened,” Ballard said.
The faculty will participate in the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement this spring. According to Kuh, this survey will emphasize what the faculty thinks they are doing.
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A guest speaker from Indiana University asked faculty, “What does Linfield want to be known for?” He spoke to faculty members about the importance of student engagement and preparation Monday Sept. 19 in Ice Auditorium.
George D. Kuh began his lecture by discussing the competitiveness of the job market today and what employers are seeking. He said that more than one-third of the U.S. workforce changes jobs annually, and the average worker will have had 10-14 jobs by the age of 38. Employers aren’t just looking for education; they want more. They want an individual who works more effectively with others and has more capacity, he said.
“What we hear from employers is not that they want to know what classes you took. They just want to know how you explain yourself and what you can do,” Kuh said.
Students wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the importance of getting an education. However, he stressed that there is more to an education.
“It’s not about who they are when they start here, but what they do after,” he said.
Kuh’s main point of the evening was that engagement is everything. Institutions should focus on ways to help an individual develop academically and interpersonally. Kuh said engagement goes hand in hand with grades, persistence, satisfaction and desired outcomes. If students are engaged, they’re more likely to stay and finish, he said. Engagement increases the lessons learned in class. Students who are exposed to the world and engaged with peers are most successful.
“It takes a whole campus to educate a student,” Kuh said.
Kuh said in order for Linfield to be more successful in engaging its students, all students should participate in high-impact experiences.
Study abroad programs, internships and service learning courses are all key to a college experience, creating better interactions, exposure to diversity and discovery of relevance through real world experiences.
Kuh said faculty should encourage debates and simulations in class. Professors should teach students how to “reflect on experiences, integrate and see connections and apply all the skills in a real world setting,” he said.
The faculty listened and laughed as Kuh kept the lecture light and interesting. His advice seemed to be taken seriously as faculty considered what they want Linfield to be known for.
“I got a sense that this is a do-able project. Strategic planning for this is possible,” Lex Runciman, professor of English, said.
Despite that the lecture was for faculty, Kuh had some advice for students as well.
“This isn’t a dress rehearsal; you only get to do this one time. You’re only going to get out of this experience what you put into it,” he said. “You’re probably going to learn as much from your peers, working with them, living with them, talking with them as you do from your professors. The habits that you cultivate here are going to be really, really huge in your life. Having said all that, this is going to be the best time of your life. Work hard, and play a little less hard than you work.”
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The Sustainability Council will host a grant writing workshop open to all students at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28 in Riley 210. Most students are unaware that there are grants that they can access, but even fewer realize that the money available to them is technically their own money.
The sustainability grant is available to students to create sustainable projects on campus and also goes toward renewable energy. $10 of every student’s tuition each semester goes toward funding for the grant. Half of the money goes toward capital management and planning for renewable energy products, such as the solar panels on top of TJ Day Hall, and the other half goes toward the Sustainability Grant that students can access.
The purpose of the upcoming workshop is to make it clear to students that this money is for them to use to benefit Linfield and to explain the intricate process of actually receiving the money to be used. Because students must go through a grant writing process to be considered for receiving the grant, the sustainability council is working to help students become more familiar and comfortable with the process.
Junior Kit Crane, who will help host the workshop, said that coming just to learn about the options available for students is important and will be helpful to those interested in becoming an active member on campus.
“The first workshop will focus on brain storming for students who want to get involved on campus or think that there are tools or services on campus or things that could be done more efficiently or sustainably,” Crane said. “People who want to get involved and make Linfield more sustainable but don’t have any ideas are welcome to come too.”
Crane said that it will also be helpful for students with ideas because she and others running the workshop will be able to connect them to the resources required to make their ideas come to life.
In recent years, the grant has been used to fund recycling bins, build the sustainable bike shelter, purchase safety equipment for the bike co-op and purchase reusable water bottles for all incoming students.
With knowledge of the many opportunities available, Crane said that if a student has an idea, they will find support within the Linfield community, whether through the grant or through people who sincerely want to help.
“If you want to get more water and energy efficient washers and dryers, you can do it,” she said. “People will support you in making our community more sustainable and more efficient. Linfield is about sustainability and we want to be able to sustain our beautiful campus and the resources we have.”
At the grant writing workshop, Crane said this idea will be expanded upon, as well as the grant’s history and purpose.
“I think this grant is super important, and it’s important for students to learn about it because it’s a great opportunity to make their dreams come alive here, it’s a great opportunity to get grant writing experience and it’s a great opportunity to network amongst the community and the faculty and staff here,” Crane said.
Anyone is welcome to the workshop, even if they don’t have ideas but simply want to learn about the grant. There will be more workshops held Oct. 18 and Nov. 9, as well as another series of workshops in the spring.
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Since the beginning of the school year, many students have reported having intimidating encounters relating to members of the McMinnville community. Two events occurred at Delta Psi Delta Fraternity and multiple students have stated that they’ve been followed and sometimes even chased by who students believe to be McMinnville residents.
According to Robert Cepeda, chief of College Public Safety, “At 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, the McMinnville Police Department arrested two non-students, Clifford Johnson, age 20 of McMinnville, and Jacob Hull, age 19 of Cornelius, after an altercation in the Delta Psi Delta Fraternity house. Both individuals were not guests of the fraternity. Both individuals have been banned from campus [for trespassing].”
In a similar event at the Delta Psi Delta Fraternity a non-Linfield student started an incident.
“On Sept. 11 at 1:20 a.m. A CPS officer observed an intoxicated non-Linfield student walking with a Linfield student, and attempted to strike another individual at the Delta Fraternity house. Other individuals intervened before anyone was struck. The McMinnville Police Department was contacted and the non-Linfield student initially departed with two other Linfield students and then fled the area when contact was attempted by McMinnville Police and CPS. The person of interest and the two Linfield students had been guests at the Delta Fraternity.”
In both events, the non-Delta members were asked to leave, said junior Michael Schmidt-Dipaola, president of Delta Psi Delta Fraternity.
“They were politely asked to leave and refused. They were asked a second time, more bluntly, and one of the individuals confronted one of our brothers. One of these McMinnville residents assaulted one of our brothers after being told to leave the second time. We immediately called McMinnville Police Department to report the situation. Linfield College Public Safety was notified of the situation and helped McMinnville Police Department sort out the situation and make sure that these type of people would not be allowed on Linfield Campus in the future,” Schmidt-Dipaola said. “Since this event occurred, Delta Psi Delta has stepped up the security of the House greatly and increased communication with Linfield College Public Safety and McMinnville Police Department to eliminate future problems.”
In other events, students have been followed by non-students. In one incident, a McMinnville resident followed junior Ashley Powers from Miller Hall to the Hewlett Packard apartments.
“I was walking back from Delta really late, like 2 or 2:30. When I got by Miller this townie came out of nowhere and followed me all the way back to my [apartment],” she said. “I didn’t [call College Public Safety] at the time because I called my roommate. I will if it happens again.”
In a similar event, junior Melanie Timmins was followed by three non-Linfield students, who made sexual comments the whole way from her apartment until Miller Hall, where the offenders sat on the porch outside. Once inside, Timmins called CPS with a description of the men following her.
“It was dark outside and I didn’t think that walking by myself would have been a bad idea because I had done it many times in the past three years that I’ve been here,” Timmins said in an email. “They made really inappropriate comments that didn’t make me feel safe, so I ignored them and kept walking. When they noticed I was ignoring them, they started following me and wouldn’t stop making sexually harassing comments about what they wanted to do to me. It scared me because they got really close and it made me uncomfortable so I ran up the stairs into Miller.”
If there’s ever times students don’t feel safe, there are options that CPS suggests to do to become safe.
“If its an emergency call 911, they can contact us via the Yamhill Communication Center. An emergency is what the students personally decide affects their own safety. Don’t second guess the situation. Remember that responses from Police or CPS could be delayed due to calls in progress. The sooner you call the better. Our number is (503) 883-7233 or SAFE. We have officers on duty 24/7. Have them program it in to there phones. Consider having it and 911 as a speed dial function. CPS conducts Courtesy Rides with the campus boundaries and foot escorts. Utilize the service if you feel unsafe. Utilize the blue light phones if location and time available,” Cepeda said.
Cepeda also said that all of the blue light phones are tested weekly to ensure they are working properly.
Cepeda says that students should be prepared and to “be good observers—get specific on your location, the person or persons appearance, individuals or vehicle direction of travel, specifics about vehicles.”
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