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A seasoned journalist spoke about the U.S. Constitution, issues the Supreme Court of the United States is facing and whether the Constitution will remain what he calls an “inclusive document” in a lecture Sept. 16 in Ice Auditorium.
“We are talking about the future of the Constitution itself,” journalist Lyle Denniston said, in reference to the future of the Supreme Court in his lecture, titled “Future of the Supreme Court: Mirror of the Past?”
Denniston’s lecture dovetailed with Constitution Day, a day honoring the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
“I thought [the lecture] was very insightful,” sophomore Kole Kracaw said. “It was nice to see some of the history of the Supreme Court tied in with a lot of the current issues being brought up.”
Denniston began the lecture talking about the history of the Constitution and the problems which arose from its opponents during its ratification and also how it ultimately rose to be our national document.
He continued to talk about the modern Supreme Court and some of its recent decisions and went into detail about the case of Bush v. Gore (2000).
He said that although the decision was disappointing to many, he firmly believed that the Court made the right decision in regard to the law.
“[It was] a court in the midst of a political circus, trying to be a court,” Denniston said of the TV coverage of the case which he described as frenzied, inaccurate and disrespectful.
Denniston concluded his lecture by talking about his concerns that the Constitution may become a document of exclusion because of a strong, conservative political movement.
He said he felt that Constitution is a document of inclusion.
“[It is] one that retains the openness necessary to include the Other,” he said.
He described “the
Other” as those who are different from “us,” Americans who share dominant cultural traits.
“One of my perceptions as a citizen, I guess as well as a journalist, is that we are going through another period in history, we’ve had them before, where there is a strong movement to exclude people from the accepted and approved community,” Denniston said. “We are dealing now with a very strong political movement against people who are different.”
He proceeded to give a number of recent examples of exclusion in America such as Florida pastor
Terry Jones’ threat to hold a mass burning of the Quran on Sept. 11, the country’s refusal to hold detainees of Guantánamo Bay in American prisons even after courts had ruled the detainees presented no danger to Americans and proposed legislation to take away the birthrights of children born of illegal immigrants in America.
He cited the rhetoric of the Tea Party and conservative movements, which aim to “take the country back,” as reasoning behind the title of his lecture.
“Taking our country back to what?” he asked. “What is it in our past that you want us to relive?”
In his lecture, he said he wondered if perhaps the members of the conservative movement wanted to return to a time before the civil rights movement, before workers formed unions or back to 1910, when then-Supreme Court Justice David Josiah Brewer declared America to be a Christian nation.
“Where would the Constitution go … if the Supreme Court were to become a mirror of some past?” Denniston asked.
He also talked for a short while about mass media today and how the quality in its coverage of law has declined sharply in recent years.
He claimed it was if the style of sports coverage had taken over public affairs coverage.
While Denniston expressed disappointment in traditional news reporting, he also felt there was hope in the movement of journalism to the Internet. Internet-based journalism can be a form of citizen-journalism, he said.
At the end of his lecture, members of the audience asked questions about the personality of Chief Justice John Roberts, more on his opinion of Bush v. Gore and his predictions for what would become of Proposition 8 in California if the case came to the Supreme Court.
Kracaw expressed concern that the Constitution may become a document of exclusion.
“He’s right, that almost all of our social issues today can be boiled down to that one … question: Who’s excluded from the rights that our Constitution guarantees?” Kracaw said. “You can see it in everything from immigration, to gay marriage, to the new mosque and Muslim controversy. That was really cool that he identified that.”
Assistant Professor of Political Science Nick Buccola, who helped arrange Denniston’s visit to Linfield, also enjoyed the lecture.
“I thought it was fantastic,” Buccola said. “Because [Denniston]’s been covering the court for so long, it’s almost like he’s a part of the institution.”
Buccola said he thought Denniston was the perfect speaker for Constitution Day because of his reverence for the document and because of how critical he is of trends he finds troubling.
Denniston has more than 60 years of journalistic experience, 52 of those covering the Supreme Court, since he first started reporting for his local newspaper at age 17.
He’s reported for major newspapers along the East Coast, including The Wall Street Journal and The Baltimore Sun.
Still an active reporter, Denniston writes for a blog, called SCOTUSblog, that covers the Supreme Court, and he acts as moderator for Supreme Court and Constitution programs at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Denniston received a degree from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Arts in political science and American history from Georgetown University.
He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in 2005.
To read more of Denniston’s work, visit www.scotusblog.com
Braden Smith/Managing editor
Braden Smith can be reached at email@example.com.
Two Linfield political science professors received faculty awards for their dedication and scholarship.
Three faculty rewards are given out each year to three different professors, usually in different departments, to award those who have proven their dedication to Linfield’s students and fellow staff
This year, however, two of them went to assistant professors of Political Science Patrick Cottrell and Nicholas Buccola.
Prestigious as it is that two professor’s from the same department won the awards, the acknowledgment is made even more notable given the fact that both professors have been at Linfield for less time than the majority of their students.
Cottrell, who has only been teaching at Linfield since 2008, won the Allan and Pat Kelley Faculty Scholarship Award before the start of the Fall Semester.
He said that he felt particularly honored, as the Kelley scholarship does more than simply provide a plaque and bonus. It also relieves the recipient of his or her course load for the following semester.
For a professor who is as focused on research as Cottrell, this comes as a huge advantage.
“Time for faculty is a massive commodity … you need time for research, but, of course, teaching always comes first,” Cottrell said.
Without classes to teach this semester, Cottrell plans on spending all his time focusing on research, and on the books and articles he is working to publish.
Already an accomplished name in academia, he has had articles published in Foreign Policy Analysis, the European Journal of International Relations and International Organization.
In addition, he is finishing a book on the legitimacy of international institutions and weapons-ban treatise.
Cottrell credited the award to his ability to use his experiences from the professional world in a classroom setting.
Before graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a doctorate in political science in 2007, Cottrell served in the State Department’s Bureau of Non-Proliferation and with then-Deleware Senator Joe Biden on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
“Though my experience was a decade ago, it still informs my research and helps me provide students with connections between the classroom and the world they live in,” he said.
Nicholas Buccola, who has been teaching American politics since 2007, also felt fortunate to receive the Samuel H. Graf Faculty Achievement Award.
While not offering a course load relief, the Graf Award will provide him with a monetary bonus and acknowledgment of his extracurricular work in spearheading several new programs at Linfield.
Pizza and Politics, a political lecture program that meets a few times a semester, has been Buccola’s brainchild during the last two years, and he is now bringing in more than 50 people, on average, to each session.
This program has been instrumental in increasing campus awareness of politics and international issues, according to Chairwoman of the Political Science Department, Dawn Nowacki, who said she was thrilled that Buccola took the lead on getting it started.
Further, Buccola has also been organizing meetings for the faculty of
various departments to come together and share their research with each other.
“He kind of knows how to just pick up the ball and run with it,” Nowacki said.
Like Cottrell, Buccola also juggles his teaching and extra-curricular programs with his own research and outside projects.
He is finishing up his first book about the prominent 19th century African-American orator and abolitionist movement leader Frederick Douglass.
In addition, he has been working collaboratively with students on various research projects to both increase the students’ knowledge of research methods as well as his own on various topics.
“Linfield doesn’t have a grad program in ‘poli sci,’ so it’s a cool thing to be able to share these collaborative research projects with students,” Buccola said.
The two winning professors also stressed that neither of them would have won their awards without the steadfast leadership of Nowacki.
Never having won a faculty award herself, Nowacki often comes across as a silent leader, more interested in seeing her students and
faculty succeed then winning awards for herself.
“If the students are successful then I feel successful,” she said.
In 2008, political science department was dealt a double blow when then-chairman of the department Howard Leichter retired, and former professor David Gutterman left to teach at Willamette University in Portland, Ore.
While concerns were raised as to what the losses meant for the future of the department, Nowacki said she believed these concerns have been put to rest with the successes of the department over the last few months.
“Our guys winning these awards shows that the department is just as strong as it used to be … and shows we’re on a strong
trajectory,” she said.
All three professors hope that the success of Buccola and Cottrell will help the department gain more prestige in the college and across the country.
“Hopefully this sends a message that we’re a small but sturdy department excited about teaching and helping students’ work,” said Buccola.
The third faculty award, the Edith Green Distinguished Professor Award, went to Garry Killgore, chairman of the Health, Human Performance and Athletics Department.
Matthew Sunderland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Hispanic Linfield student was one of only six in the U.S. to win a competitive scholarship from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.
Senior Karen Bastian, a student at Linfield’s Good-Samaritan School of Nursing in Portland, received a $1,000 scholarship.
“There’s a minority — there aren’t very many
multi-cultural nurses and there are barriers for many patients,” Bastian said. “Many nurses only speak English, but my family doesn’t even speak English. I want to help the minorities, and I want my patients to be confident.”
The association provides its members with educational and career
opportunities to aspiring Hispanic and Latino nurses.
It also offers numerous scholarships and educational assistance to increase the number of bilingual and multi-cultural nurses nationwide.
“After I was introduced to the scholarship, I filled out an application and had to write a paper about why I wanted to be a nurse in the Hispanic community,” Bastian said.
Bastian first learned about the NAHN and its opportunities through Linfield. She said that NAHN has chapters all across the country and as soon as she discovered the benefits, she joined Oregon’s chapter.
Leticia Hernandez, financial aid and scholarship outreach counselor, worked with Bastian to find the NAHN’s scholarship opportunities.
“This scholarship helps put Linfield on the radar for a nursing school and shows how we care and assist our students,” Hernandez said.
Linfield has been involved in increasing the amount of Hispanic nurses in the workforce over the past few years.
The Office of Multicultural Programs was established in 2004 to offer support to multicultural nursing students.
“We know that Linfield is a private school. This scholarship will assist [Bastian] with her studies and allow her to continue her education here at Linfield,” Hernandez said.
Katie Barger/Staff reporter
Katie Barger can be reached at email@example.com.
All photos taken by Katie Paysinger/Senior Photographer
The plans to renovate the long-abandoned Northup hall are finally coming to fruition with construction that
started in early July and plans for completion in mid-June of 2011.
Work on the renovations has been progressing smoothly, Director of Capital Planning & Development
John Hall, said.
“We are implementing the plans that are the most current that we have to date, and the project’s moving
along fine,” Hall Said. “We plan on being completed, I would say, sometime around mid June. The building
will be open then for next Fall.”
Northup Hall used to house Linfield’s library but has been used for storage since 2003 when the library
was moved to the newly constructed Nicholson building near the Miller Fine Arts Building. Starting next
fall, Northup will be home to the business, economics, English and philosophy departments along with the
Writing Center and Linfield Center for Northwest Studies.
It was initially decided that the business department would be moved to Northup Hall to vacate Taylor
Hall in preparation for its own renovation, but the additional space in Northup was still open to other
departments or uses.
The additional departments were chosen after discussions with various faculty members and other school
“President Hellie wanted to make sure that the business department had other academic departments
that were with them, that they were not an island just to themselves, for good academic reasons,” Hall
said. “The departments that were determined that might be a good fit were the economics department,
philosophy, and English.”
The renovation of Northup Hall is only the start of a series of remodels of the academic quad (Northup,
Talyor, Murdock and Graf halls). Once Northup is completed, planning and work will begin on the vacant
Taylor Hall. Discussions about which department will move into Taylor are currently being held.
“Our goal, ultimately, is to tear down Mac Hall, build a new biology building, connect it with Graf, remodel
Graf and remodel Murdock Hall,” Hall said.
The project stems from a report compiled in 2005 about how to improve the college’s sciences. Hall said
it would take some time before everything was complete due to the time it takes to plan and raise money.
“This whole process may take 10 to 15 years,” he said. “There’s going to be this activity going on in the
academic quad area during that time, all in the effort to modernize our academic spaces and our science
labs, and to expand the science labs.”
The cost of the renovations to Northup Hall alone cost around $8.4 million, Hall said. This includes the
cost of construction, permits, furniture and other various fees.
The new Northup Hall will feature state-of-the-art technology and is the first Leadership for Environment
and Development (LEAD) building on campus.
“It’s going to be highly energy efficient,” Hall said. “It’s going to be able to be a healthier environment for
the occupants and users of the building, have a lot of special features in the heating and cooling system and
the ventilation system inside the building.”
There will also be a solar panel on the building and a flat screen monitor inside that will constantly display
the its energy output.
Currently, workers are done tearing down the walls that won’t be used on the inside of the building and
other demolition work around the outside.
Since the building is being redesigned rather than torn down and reconstructed, planning has been more
complex and more costly, Hall said.
However, he also said the recycling and redesign of Northup coincides with the college’s mission of
sustainability and reusing old materials.
Along with a plethora of new, advanced features, Northup Hall, built in 1932, will retain some of its
original, more charming aspects, such as an original fireplace in one of the reading rooms.
Hall has high hopes for the new building and expects students to enjoy the specially designed layout
once it opens for the next fall semester.
“Our architects did a wonderful job … of making the program fit and work,” he said. “We’re all very excited about it.”
Braden Smith/Managing editor
Braden Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. To begin a strategic planning process, that will result in a vision, mission statement, and strategic plan
by February 2012. (This is likely to commence in discussions with trustees during their November 2010
2. To revisit, evaluate, and possibly revise the facilities masterplan that was first created 10 years ago and
updated in 2007. (In the short term we will take a close look at the plan to be sure that we are making the
right decisions on spaces vacated in Taylor and Melrose.)
3. To evaluate our enrollment plans in McMinnville, aiming to increase the number of ethnic minorities,
international students, and out-of-state transfers.
4. To begin developing long-term budget models that enable us to plan more effectively for the future.
5. To re-examine and reinvigorate our fund-raising campaign for endowed professorships and student
scholarships, while also increasing the alumni-giving rate.
6. To complete the renovation of Northup Hall.
7. To implement the integrated marketing plan.
8. To develop the Board’s strategic agenda and membership.