Tag Archives: Editorial
The Associated Students of Linfield College recently enacted a plan to construct a sand volleyball court near Mahaffey Hall. We believe this decision, although made with good intentions, holds little benefit to the majority of students.
Senior ASLC President Ashlee Carter said in an interview that students were surveyed at the beginning of the year to see what kind of project they wanted, and a majority voted to have something done with the Observatory. To our surprise, Carter said the faculty has taken over the future of the Observatory (something we will certainly look into).
With the option of the project fund going toward the Observatory ruled out, ASLC considered other options, such as building basketball courts, a sand volleyball court and a rock climbing wall.
Carter said that a sand volleyball court was the most feasible option, explaining that the location for the proposed rock wall wouldn’t work well.
“When we looked more into it, the sand volleyball court was something we knew we could get done in our budget, [and] we could get [it] done by the time our cabinet was done,” Carter said.
One of last year’s cabinet’s ideas was to renovate the Fred Meyer Lounge, but it was turned down because it was outside of ASLC’s budget.
We, however, feel it is unwise to rule out ideas because they are not within a current budget or can’t be completed by the end of a school year. There’s something to be said about seeing something come to fruition during your year in charge, but that shouldn’t blind you to long-term planning. Sometimes, it’s better to start a big project rather than finish something small.
Carter said a past ASLC project was to renovate the Pioneer Reading Room. The project was out-of-budget at the time.
“They had to get a loan type of thing, and cabinet last year had agreed that each year’s cabinet will pay for a certain part of it,” she said.
The logic behind this past renovation was clear: It prioritized completing a project above the budget in a timely fashion by taking out a loan for the project and paying it back over time.
Renovating the FML was out of last year’s budget, but so was renovating the Pioneer Reading Room. Why not take out a loan to renovate the FML? Obviously we can’t be taking out loans left and right, but this doesn’t mean the idea should not be given thoughtful consideration.
ASLC essentially has three options: spend the entire budget on completing something now, invest the entire budget in a project to be completed in the future or take out a loan to complete a bigger project sooner. While the first option has its merits, ASLC should be open to the latter two options as they allow for larger projects to be undertaken.
Following this line of thinking, we feel that ASLC needlessly ruled out project plans that could have been more useful.
A sand volleyball court certainly has its uses, but it primarily benefits athletes (specifically volleyball players) and sports-interested individuals. But what about non-athletes? Shouldn’t such a project, funded by student body fees, benefit as many students as possible?
On top of that, this particular project seems to be spearheaded by Athletic Director Scott Carnahan.
“[Carnahan] is the one who’s going to talk to the excavating company to actually dig the hole, and he has someone to get the sand donated, and so he’s kind of taken the lead on most of the project,” Carter said. “We don’t even know if they’re going to need much of our cabinet project funding.”
If this is the case, then why not just make this completely an athletic department project? Let’s leave projects only benefitting athletes to the athletic department, especially when they’re the ones providing most of the funding.
This court could only really be used for the three drier months out of the school year: September, April and May. Even then, it could only be used on days without rain, anyway.
ASLC has put thought into this and plans to keep the court covered when it is not in use (which also prevents the court from being turned into a litter box for Linfield’s native wildlife). It also plans to install a drainage system under the court for when it rains. It’s good that ASLC has looked into these potential problems, but we believe that should be the extent of ASLC’s involvement with the project, as the athletic department seems capable of taking care of most of it.
Obviously, most of the cabinet fund will not be used on this project, but rather than simply letting the money roll over, let’s think about what we can do with it now:
In regards to the potential leftover money, Carter said, “We can also look into other smaller projects around campus that we know students [want] improved.”
We agree, but we would add that this discussion should be happening now as the year is almost wrapping up, leaving us short on time, and that this money does not have to be limited to smaller projects.
Some relatively simple projects that would help everyone would be removing the school’s old chalkboards. Adding more benches across campus is another easy project that has been brought up.
It’s OK to think big, too, as long as it’s rational. Renovating the FML is something that could be done. We could also start investing in a separate student union. Or how about getting back that bowling alley we apparently used to have?
While we aren’t trying to be confrontational, we are being critical. This discussion needs to be happening among students now. When ASLC realized after its survey that it could not re-open the Observatory, students should have received another survey with new options to think about or at least have been notified of the decision.
ASLC needs to figure out what most of the students want and work toward that, even if it might not be in this year’s budget or the immediate future.
ASLC uses our money; let’s make sure it’s being spent the way the majority of us want it to be spent.
-The Review Editorial Board
Listen to the interview with Carter here:
Part one – Carter interview (1)
Part two – Carter interview (2)
Part three – Carter interview (3)
Linfield has for too long lacked an effective, communal student union — a place where students can gather to socialize, study and relax.
It’s past time to start working on creating such a place. We believe that this center, for all student activity, would ultimately increase student awareness of issues and events and build a stronger sense of community on campus, something that Linfield could certainly use.
Ideally, the center would be a place with ample accommodations for students who want to study (individually or in groups), arrange meetings, host events or relax. It would need to be open late, have food and drinks available and be appropriately furnished for different activities.
Some may argue that Linfield already has many of these aspects. Sure, you can watch a movie in Ice Auditorium, relax on the couches in Fred Meyer Lounge, study in Nicholson Library or grab a snack at the Catty Shack. But wouldn’t it be better if you could do all of those activities at one location for longer hours?
These areas all serve their foremost purposes, but not one serves a wide variety of purposes. Fred Meyer Lounge is a great place to relax, but few would find it an effective area for studying with its lack of computers and tables. Catty Shack is open late and a convenient place to grab a quick bite to eat, but its cramped nature is uninviting to lingering students.
We think a student union would be the perfect place to bring together all the best aspects of the areas we’ve described, thus eliminating their negative externalities. Students would be able to effectively do all of the described activities in a single, convenient location.
Others might say that students, too apathetic to bother taking part in their student government elections, would hardly be likely to use such a facility.
In response, we think that students should care, even if they say they don’t. The worst way to fight apathy is with more apathy, which would include not building a student center. Students may not always have the drive to get up and participate in their community, but this does not mean they should not be encouraged to do so. We feel that a student center would encourage student involvement in many different aspects of campus.
We also feel that while students may not initially flock to this new center, it would still gain popularity in time. Maybe only a couple clubs would meet there at first, but those first few would eventually tell others of the functionality and convenience of the center, encouraging more and more to utilize it.
The center could also be a good place for students to work, creating more of those work-study positions that everyone seems to be after.
Yes, the project would be expensive and take a long time to complete, but that is all the more reason to start working on it now. Unfortunately, many current students will likely graduate before the completion of such an undertaking. However, this project goes beyond the simple interests of a few students; it would be for the benefit of the entire Linfield community and for all future generations of students. We also feel that many graduating students would feel honored to have been the ones to finally get the ball rolling on this project.
Cost-wise, interest in a student union has been so widespread among students, alumni and trustees that the donations would probably pour in for such a venture.
It would even help the school make money in the long run, as it would be an excellent feature to show prospective students. In this sense, it would also help our branding problem in that it would provide a solid symbol of the student body on campus.
Also, while Linfield does not have a vast expanse of unused campus space per se, we feel there are locations around that could be used to build a student center, such as the open area next to Nicholson Library.
Many other schools have student unions. The center at George Fox University houses the student government, a store, a dining hall, mailboxes and facilities for its yearbook, newspaper and radio station. Now is the time for Linfield to have its own student center on campus.
It won’t be immediate or affect all current students, but we think it’s best to work for the greater good in this instance, and we hope that when the ASLC Cabinet is replaced this year, they will take up the cause and work hard for something students have long been desiring.
-The Review Editorial Board
As reported in last week’s edition of the Review (“Senate calls for internal reform,” TLR, March 5), there have been numerous calls for reform of the Associated Students of Linfield College Senate. We would like to express similar disappointment in the way Senate currently functions.
There seems to be a campus-wide disconnect between students and their representatives. Students are encouraged in e-mails sent by their senators to take concerns to them, but few do so. It is doubtful that many students even read these e-mails.
Students often receive e-mails from maybe three different senators at various times after Monday Senate meetings. These e-mails tend to include different information. Students who only read one of their Senate e-mails may be missing out on important information from others.
Perhaps senators should be more informative and detailed in their e-mails. Perhaps the whole process of informing students of Senate meetings could be streamlined by the secretary or vice president by sending one mass e-mail to all students.
It also appears that many senators do not even want to be at Senate meetings. We know some senators snuck out of Riley Hall after the last Senate meeting March 8 when they were required to attend the ASLC candidate debate. We would hope that those who represent us would take advantage of the opportunity to do so at these meetings.
Maybe holding senatorial elections within residence halls and clubs would be helpful. Last semester, most senatorial positions were simply given to those who felt like taking them. Elections would encourage students to compete for the opportunity to represent their peers. We would rather be represented by students who fought for the chance to do so as opposed to those who just wants to represent us, or just wants a fancy-sounding position to add to their résumés.
Senior Chris Norman, ASLC vice president and chairman of the Senate, also advocated for hall elections in the story from last week.
“They are more competitive, and they bring out the leaders of the group,” he said.
We believe senators should have more incentive to fill these important positions.
It would be unwise to place all the blame on senators, though. Linfield students in general do not seem to place much importance on Senate. Maybe they’re too busy to bother or too lazy to care. Whatever the cause, the problem is undeniable.
Students seem more content complaining about the problems they face on campus than do anything about them. It would appear that they do not realize that they have the ability to take their complaints to their senators and possibly have something done about them. Students need to be reminded and encouraged to bring the issues they care about to their senators because Senate is, or at least should be, the best place to implement change for the benefit of all students.
Senators have proposed numerous ideas about how to make meetings more efficient. Senior and editor-in-chief of The Linfield Review Dominic Baez wrote in the aforementioned Review article of how senior Duncan Reid, a senator and chairman of the Campus Improvement Committee, thought there should be fewer senators. We think a good idea may be to have just one or two senators represent all clubs on campus.
Sophomore Katie Patterson and junior Sarah Spranger both presented ideas for revamping Senate during the ASLC debates when they were running for ASLC vice president. Some of their ideas included having committees sit together, encouraging lively debate and having a PowerPoint presentation projected during Senate meetings.
We hope that the recently elected Patterson will work to implement all of these ideas as ASLC vice president.
It seems obvious to us that there are problems with Senate. We call not only on those in Senate to work for improvement but also on the general student population to place higher importance on Senate. Students should be the motivation for their senators to work harder for Linfield’s community. Without this motivation, Senate just becomes a name and a meeting to sit through every Monday evening.
-The Review Editorial Board
Through our interactions and interviews regarding the coming ASLC elections, and from watching the first debate, the Review concludes that juniors Colin Jones and Sarah Spranger are the best candidates for ASLC president and vice president, respectively.
Elections are being held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 9. The lack of overall candidates has resulted in the absence of a primary election, which means the election process is whittled down to a single round of voting. Also, without a primary election, students do not have as many opportunities to get to know the candidates.
But, while students may have trouble learning about the candidates, the Review has been working hard to do just that.
Jones has shown extreme dedication to his campaign. It seems that he wants to do great things for the school. Students may consider him less legitimate than his opponent, junior Shelby Simmons, because he is running as a write-in candidate, but perhaps the opposite is true.
Jones decided to join the race after hearing that Simmons was the only nominee — he knew it was a disappointment for someone to run unopposed. Jones had the opportunity to graduate early next year, but he chose to stay and attempt to make Linfield a better place.
Without noting Jones’ sacrifice, though, he still has an outstanding list of qualifications and experience. Throughout his college career, Jones has been active in Senate and ASLC and has coordinated events and worked with nonprofit organizations in McMinnville. He also has a public speaking and communication background. We certainly want a president who can skillfully articulate student opinions to the higher-ups in Linfield’s faculty and administration.
Jones has the qualities that will help him best represent the student community, and that’s exactly what students should want from their ASLC president: someone who will best represent us.
On the other hand, it does not seem like Simmons will represent and fight for students as much as Jones would. She has held several leadership positions, but when it comes to implementing real improvements, we’re not so sure she has what it takes.
In her interview with the Review, Simmons claimed she would not focus on change. She explained that it would be better to look at positive aspects of the school and improve on them rather than change negative issues. In reality, though, what’s more positive than fixing what’s negative? Simmons comes off as someone who would just make the best of the situation rather than fight to improve it.
Jones seems much more capable of standing up for students when their opinions are ignored, such as with the changes in Fall Break and diploma distribution.
“The reality is that what’s best for the students is what’s best for the college,” Jones said during the March 1 debate. “Now, what’s best for the students isn’t always what’s easiest for the faculty.”
We want someone like Jones to be our president because he would rally for change, especially when student opinion is ignored. Simmons just does not share Jones’ tenacity.
Spranger has the appeal of an ideal leader as vice president. She is enthusiastic about reworking Senate to increase its efficiency and publicity. We all know that Senate could use some improvements, and Spranger seems as though she would be the most active in making these improvements to make Senate better for students. Based on her interview, Spranger seems willing to work hard for her goals.
Her opponent, sophomore Katie Patterson, seems to have good intentions, but we’re not sure if she is a candidate who will follow through on them to the fullest.
The Review has been trying to arrange interviews with Patterson for stories in this week and last week’s issue. She was unable to meet for an interview last week’s, and this week’s she only responded to questions via e-mail on the day of production. We were not able to talk with Patterson in-person, or even over the phone. We realize that students are busy, especially if they’re running for office, but one would assume that a candidate would work hard to make a strong connection with the student body through the school paper if given the opportunity, or, in this case, multiple opportunities.
This is anything but the approachable, available-to-students vice president that we would want to elect.
On that note, it is worth mentioning that each candidate was offered the opportunity to write letters to the editor for this week’s paper. Jones, Spranger and Simmons all sent in letters (some later than others). Patterson did not submit a letter.
We applaud any candidate’s attempt to connect with the student body through the Review, since we share a similar responsibility to the representation of the student body. Patterson does not appear to have this dedication to connecting with her potential constituents.
Also, Spranger and Jones seem to be the only candidates posting publicity so far, leaving us to question: Who is really working to reach us?
March 8 is rapidly approaching. When it comes, we encourage you to vote for the two candidates who seem more apt to represent and connect with students: Colin Jones and Sarah Spranger.
Don’t just take our word for it, though; read about our interviews with the candidates on page 6 and watch the second debate at 7:30 p.m. March 8 in the Fred Meyer Lounge. We are confident that Jones and Spranger will prove themselves to you, as well.
-The Review Editorial Board
Those of you who read your last Senate report e-mail may have noticed a troubling bit of news: taking degrees out of Commencement for future graduating seniors.
Apparently, faculty members feel that they do not have enough time to grade the final exams of graduating seniors before Commencement takes place. Their proposed solution is to hold off presenting diplomas until possibly a week (or whenever they finish grading) after Commencement, though you would still get a lovely, empty display case. The move would not affect this year’s graduating seniors.
Opposition to the idea has been expressed by students, senators and even trustees. The Review would like to add its name to the list of dissenters.
If this plan were to be implemented, would students be expected to come back to school once their degrees are ready? This may work for students living in McMinnville, but many students live quite a distance away from Linfield, not to mention international students who may be graduating.
Some people, as much as we all love Linfield, just want to get out of here as soon as possible once they finish. Let’s face it: Once you’re done with school, many just want to go home and relax or go on to bigger and better parts of their lives. Some people would need their degree to move on to said parts, as some jobs require proof of graduation.
Not only would this new policy inconvenience many, it would impede them in some cases.
Students are usually required to be off campus by the Monday following Commencement. So, even if a student wanted to stick around and wait for his or her degree, he or she would not be able to do so.
Putting the issues of impracticality aside, removing degrees from the commencement ceremony undermines the whole point of the ceremony. It would be like telling students, “Congratulations on probably graduating!” You can then proudly show off your empty case to all your family and friends who took the time to come all the way out to McMinnville.
We imagine that some parents would break into a panic: “Where’s your degree? Did you graduate or not? Have you been failing classes?” No student wants to be in this situation.
Family and friends come to see you achieve something during Commencement. If there’s no proof of this achievement, nothing to physically show for all your hard work, what is the point of the commencement ceremony?
Senate announced plans to formally write a letter against the idea, and we fully support this move. The idea is outrageously unfair to students, their futures and their families. As such, this idea must be condemned.
While we sympathize with the faculty in its complaints, we feel its solution does not take student opinion into account.
If faculty does not have enough time to grade finals, we need to collaboratively brainstorm a solution that is fair to all. The faculty certainly has rights, but these rights must not overshadow the rights of everyone else.
Let’s instead look at ideas for changing the ways finals take place, whether it is changes to their form or timing.
We hope the faculty considers this opinion, which seems to be widespread among students, before moving any further with this plan. To do so would only cause a storm of resentment and frustration to emerge among future graduating seniors.
-The Review Editorial Board