Tag Archives: Letter to the Editor
To many of you, Fred Ross is nothing more than the name of the Assistant to the President. But come this summer, Linfield College will be losing much more than some administrator, as Dr. Fred Ross officially retires, again.
Dr. Ross has served the college in many roles for many years. I had the pleasure of learning how to teach from a master teacher. As an education professor, Dr. Ross not only talked about teaching but modeled the strategies being described. I looked up to a man with a tremendous work ethic, who spent countless hours planning, preparing and then executing his duties as professor, student teacher supervisor, and credential expert. He took the time to get to know me personally as an advisor and invested time and energy into my success.
I worked side by side on various councils with a person who cared about the institution of Linfield.
In 2007, I had the honor of reading some brief notes about Dr. Ross as he retired, the first time. Dr. Ross accepted a position as assistant to the president when asked. The college as a whole has benefitted from his continued servant leadership, his hard work, his caring for the students and his commitment to success for the institution and every student and faculty member that call Linfield home.
So as he retires again, I wish Dr. Ross all the best in retirement. Enjoy your travels, your time with family and in the garden and thank you for your contributions to my career and to this wonderful place called Linfield.
Class of 2007, degree in Spanish, secondary education certificate, student center director 2007.
I really appreciate the thoughtful criticism I’ve been receiving regarding my ASLC Cabinet selections and hiring process; it is dialogue like this that keeps me on my toes and thinking about the best ways to serve you all. However, no matter how hard we try, public displays (like letters/guest columns in the Review) always seem to come off likes attacks rather than constructive criticism. In my experience, criticism is more productive when conveyed one-on-one because it encourages both sides to see the opposing perspective.
That said, I’d like to put to rest the three myths circulating regarding my selections and hiring process.
Myth #1: I said experience was disregarded as a factor in hiring.
What I actually said was that experience wasn’t the only factor in my decisions. Given that we had more than three applicants per position (more than any leadership position on campus), there were a number of highly experienced candidates to choose from. The committee had to bring in other factors, such as enthusiasm and ideas for the position and ability to work as a team. Arielle Perkins’ and Nicole Bond’s profiles in last week’s Review (“Meet the ASLC Cabinet,” TLR, April 16) indicated how experienced they really are, and that is true of the entire Cabinet. In fact, my choice of Student Center Director, who has undergone the most scrutiny, has more experience with the Gameroom and CIC than the last four Student Center Directors, combined.
Myth #2: The hiring committee was exceptionally small.
This year’s committee was one senator short of the standard (two instead of three): that’s it. Despite this smaller committee, Senate confirmed the cabinet because it realized that I did everything I possibly could (including offering to change interview times or allow partial service) to get more senators, but there weren’t any more people willing to serve on the hiring committee. When I chose not to include outgoing president senior Ashlee Carter, it wasn’t because I was trying to ignore her input; I just didn’t want to subject her to 12 hours of interviews and discussions. I have extensive experience both in ASLC and in hiring student leaders — as was noted in the March Review editorial (“Review endorses Jones, Spranger,” TLR, March 5) — and I felt that experience qualified me to conduct interviews with a panel of four other people (the largest hiring committee of any student leadership position except Residence Life).
Myth #3: There was favoritism in the hiring process.
This really couldn’t be further from the truth. I can’t speak for sophomore ASLC Vice President-elect Katie Patterson, but I knew only two of the students hired through their work on the Linfield Activities Board and hadn’t had any previous interaction with the five other students selected. Quite honestly, it doesn’t matter if some of the new cabinet members have a history with Katie. Responsibility for personnel decisions — including hiring, discipline and (if necessary) termination — falls on the ASLC president. I didn’t present anyone to Senate that I didn’t have absolute faith in. The seven people that were hired by me and approved by Senate received the positions they’re in because they’re the best people for the job.
I hope this clarifies things for those that maybe didn’t know all of the factors involved in the ASLC hiring process. The final concern I’ve heard voiced regards inadequate communication between ASLC Senate and the larger student body. I have worked to be as transparent as possible in my cabinet selection and will continue to open myself to questions and criticism. But I recognize that information doesn’t always get to all students on campus. I am working right now to re-design the ASLC website to ensure that important information is readily available to the student body. So keep the criticism coming because it shows me the things I work on. But, please, share your concerns with me directly so I can spend my time addressing problems instead of writing long opinions.
Colin Jones, guest columnist
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I would be hard-pressed to believe that Ms. Patterson has a misunderstanding of what an editorial is, what the first amendment states, or that she may be under scrutiny in her newly elected position. Ms. Patterson never asked for an apology in her letter nor did I get the implication that she wanted one. Although those are the focal points of your response, I don’t believe that was the intention of the letter.
From what I gather, her letter was sent in response to the endorsing of candidates with the Review’s name attached to it. I agree with Ms. Patterson that you have the right to endorse candidates as an individual, as an editorial staff, or as an entire newspaper, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Our new president-elect, Colin Jones, dully noted in the second debate that the Review hasn’t taken such a stance in at least the past several years. You should know better than anyone if this is true and if it is, why now? Because she did not give her full attention to the Review doesn’t at all mean that she wasn’t reaching out to students.
What you stated in the editorial in question (“Patterson does not appear to have this dedication to connecting with her potential constituents”) could not have been further from the truth considering she received the greatest number of votes for ANY candidate and over doubled the votes of her opposition. While I agree with you that the Review is a great tool for speaking out and connecting to students, it’s without a doubt not the only way. The fact that the voting ended up as one-sided as it did should speak to the fact that the Review isn’t the ultimate power when it comes to reaching out to students and that there are equally (or more) effective ways of reaching the student body.
It appeared as though the Review may have felt entitled to a letter and interviews from candidates and that alone is a faulty belief. Candidates have the freedom to choose their method of communication and should not be criticized for choosing something that may go against the grain. If anything we should be applauding Ms. Patterson for reaching that many voters without using the Review as an outlet.
This is not to say the Review is worthless or that it’s not a useful way of communicating, as I am a weekly reader, but it is to say that we should be open to other avenues of communication and encourage people to explore those opportunities, rather than dismiss them. I would encourage you to re-evaluate your methods of presenting candidates next time around and focus on objective reporting that you as a staff are more than qualified to be doing.
Evan Hilberg, junior
Dear Review Editorial Board,
To start, I would like to personally thank the student’s who voted for me, as the student body clearly showed who they thought should be elected Vice President. I would also like to congratulate Colin Jones for his victory as well as the runner-up candidates, Sarah Spranger and Shelby Simmons. Although they were not elected, they did a great job of campaigning and debating. I am confident they would have done a great job if elected.
The way the Linfield Review approached the elections was inappropriate and borderline unprofessional in my opinion. I think the newspaper should be used as a tool for students to become informed about the elections, not as a platform for the paper to express their personal opinion. It would be acceptable to publish a personal letter to the editor taking your stance, but to take a stance as an entire staff for a particular candidate is inappropriate. It was clear to me that you did not practice truly getting to know your candidate. Instead, the motives and character of the candidate were questioned, simply because they did not contact the paper. It cannot be assumed that the candidate is failing to reach potential voters simply because they were unable to provide to you all of the information you wanted, when you wanted it.
Reporting on an election at this school needs to be approached more objectively as it can cause misrepresentations of candidates and the “facts” that are published are not always true. Although it can be a valuable source for information, it’s not the only source. In this case it proved to be irrelevant in the grand scheme of votes for Vice President. It opens up the opportunity for people who really do not know much about the elections to read a biased view on the candidates, when the paper itself preaches that it is really getting to know the candidates. My ability to go out and personally interact with my peers proved to be the key to winning this election and I think is the best way to approach communicating with potential voters. Future candidates should not have to deal with this sort of scrutiny, with intent to skew the opinions of readers, due to the bias of the staff members. I hope that you will reconsider the way you approach the elections because I think the Review can be a great place for students to be informed through non-biased, objective reporting.
ASLC vice president-elect
First, I appreciate the letter. It shows interest in the paper, and readership is an excellent symbol of any newspaper. However, I feel you have a misunderstanding of what an editorial is.
It is not news. It is not put in the News section. It is an opinion. It is put in the Opinion section. The Review’s editorial, as every other newspaper’s editorial, represents a majority opinion of the board that creates it. The Review Editorial Board reached a consensus on which candidate to endorse. While I sympathize, I, as editor-in-chief of the Review and a member of the editorial board, will not apologize for the board’s decision. It was an informed decision based on two weeks’ worth of information collected (or not collected in certain situations). To say we “assumed” infers that we simply didn’t try to contact you. Both myself and the managing editor tried contacting you for the duration of two weeks for interviews for the newspaper. We didn’t assume you weren’t reaching voters; we simply asked how could you when the Review couldn’t even reach you. Obviously, enough students voted for you, but I feel that was an appropriate question to ask. Having worked for the newspaper since freshman year, I can’t remember a time when an ASLC candidate didn’t write a letter or talk to us in person.
As for our news stories, if you can tell me how our reporting of the elections in both mine and Ms. Hungerford’s news stories was biased, I would love to hear you out so we can print a retraction. However, I would like to point out that when you did respond to Ms. Hungerford on Thursday, via e-mail, we included that in the paper. All I wrote was that the Review was unable to reach you, which was true.
You are more than welcome to your opinion about what the editorial did for your campaign or how you feel about it. However, would you not agree that the Review has the right to its own opinion? I hope so. A lack of understanding First Amendment rights would be a serious flaw in anyone aspiring to work for any type of government.
As for scrutiny, I’m sorry to say, but you’re a public official now. By federal law, you’re subject to scrutiny by everyone. If you cannot handle a simple editorial, it’s going to be a long year for you. And while I won’t be working for the newspaper myself next year (as I’m graduating), I hope the Review will continue to critically analyze those applying for office. For the last 200-plus years, newspapers have stood as the check against government, and as long as I am editor, I will continue to keep the ASLC government in balance to the best of my ability. And I have no doubt that future editors will do the same.
I hope this helps clear things up. The Review works hard to maintain an excellent working relationship with ASLC. I would be disappointed to see all the hard work by previous administrations and editors-in-chief to go to waste.
The Linfield Review – Editor-in-chief
My name is Colin Jones and I am running as a write-in candidate for ASLC President. I’m a junior Political Science/Religious Studies double major from Hilo, Hawai’i. I’m not going to spend a lot of time reciting my resume, because I know how boring that can be, but the greatest hits version is that I am currently the ASLC Club Director, the Coordinator for the Alternative Spring Break Program, and the Student Representative on the Dean of Students Search Committee and the Linfield College Planning Council.
I am running for ASLC President because I think I would use my experience to represent the Linfield Student Body well. I have three primary goals. I will: 1. be a strong voice for students, representing student concerns and interests to the faculty and administration; 2. facilitate diverse leadership and engagement on campus by hiring a cross-section of leaders of different grades, majors, and interests; and 3. create a conversation between student leaders and the student body they represent by improving ASLC Cabinet accountability and responsiveness. And there is so much more I hope to be able to do for students.
As an official write-in candidate, my name will not appear on the ballot. However, a blank will be provided, and if you write my name, Colin Jones, in that blank a vote will be counted for me. If you have any questions, or ideas you’d like to share with me, I’d love to hear from you. I look forward to representing you as your ASLC President.