Tag Archives: Opinion
I’m taking mostly lower-level, LC-satisfying classes this semester, but the capstone class for my major is, obviously, filled with seniors. There are a lot of intense aspects of the class, and the final exam will likely be no exception.
But after reviewing the class’s syllabus, I noticed something that frustrated me more than any 20-page paper would: The class’s final exam will be given on the last day of classes.
Last fall, Linfield’s faculty decided to test a new final exam schedule to more easily accommodate grading graduating seniors’ finals (TLR, “Committee presents grading solutions,” Oct. 30, 2010). Final exams are now Monday through Wednesday instead of Tuesday through Thursday, and Reading Day is on the Friday before.
I wrote an opinion piece at the end of last semester about the benefits to students of actually scheduling final exams to take place during finals week (TLR, “The week before finals isn’t our finals week,” Dec. 4, 2010). Those benefits still stand, but my concerns now turn toward the faculty.
I know that I’m not the only senior who has a final scheduled during class time, and this semester is supposed to be a trial run of the new finals system. How are faculty and administrative members supposed to measure the success of the new schedule if some professors aren’t following it? If these professors are still giving themselves extra time to grade senior final exams, then how will they know if they can complete grading before senior grades are due within the new system?
I want to reiterate from my fall article that scheduling final exams during class instead of during exam week is a burden to students. It means we can’t use Reading Day and have to juggle studying for finals while completing other end-of-semester papers, projects and presentations.
Faculty will be hindered because scheduling finals like this will skew the effectiveness of results of the trial finals schedule.
If professors have final exams scheduled during class time, then they need to change their calendars and syllabi now while the semester is young.
The new, and old, finals schedules are mandated by the college. Professors are not supposed to schedule finals outside of exam week.
If you have a final before that week, then your professor is breaking the rules. Talk to him or her and get your final exam date changed to when it should actually take place. It will benefit everyone.
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at email@example.com
To the Editor,
On behalf of Theta Chi Fraternity, I wanted to personally thank The Linfield Review for covering our Theta Chi 12 Days of Christmas event in The Linfield Review. The story was great, and it helped us get the word out to students, faculty and the community.
During the 12 Days of Christmas event, we received all kinds of donations such as a total of 100 books and 10 bags of assorted clothing items, such as clothes, gloves, scarves and jackets. Other donations included various stuffed animals and toys. We received over 120 items of non-perishable food. Lastly, $120 in cash donations were collected and used to support our adopted family of four that was given to us by YCAP. The proceeds of the 2010 Theta Chi 12 Days of Christmas were delivered to YCAP for distribution to the families of McMinnville.
Thanks to the campus, community, The Linfield Review, Sodexo services and the men of Theta Chi, the 12 Days of Christmas event was successful once again.
Senior, president of Theta Chi Fraternity
Linfield’s new block schedule is now in full effect.
Senior Colin Jones Associated Students of Linfield College president, said the new schedule was created to accommodate the needs of the different departments. However, the Review thinks this schedule has brought about too rigid a structure for class time.
After evaluating it during the first two weeks of class, we think this new system is shaping up to be more of a pain than an improvement.
A major issue with the new schedule is that it causes students’ schedules to begin early in the morning and not end until late in the night. If a student has classes from 8:15 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., when does that leave a sufficient amount of time to study and complete homework assignments during the week?
Furthermore, the changes don’t allow students to have time to participate in extracurricular activities. Time is becoming a scarce resource, and it could very well lead to students feeling overwhelmed with all they want to take on.
A second issue with the block schedule is that professors don’t always use the extra class time that is given to them. Class times are running quite longer than they did last semester. Many formally 90-minute courses now run for nearly two hours. We have also noticed that some professors let classes out almost 30 minutes early because it doesn’t take them the entire class time to complete lectures. What is the point of having classes run longer if professors are not going to use the full time? The extended amount of class time definitely doesn’t seem to be benefiting professors or students.
Overall, we feel that the new block schedule is doing more harm than good, and it would probably be helpful if a new, more efficient system was developed for subsequent years.
-The Review Editorial Board
As a result of the student effort, environmental sustainability has made huge advances in the last four years. While I would never claim to be at the center of the environmental movement on campus, as the Associated Students of Linfield College president, a lot of my time is focused on enabling other students to explore things they’re passionate about. So I was somewhat aggravated by the portrayal of the Linfield sustainability movement in the article, “Planning for a ‘green’ scene” (TLR, Dec. 3).
This column shouldn’t be taken to mean that I oppose the Climate Action Plan. I don’t at all. I think it’s great that Linfield has stepped up to publicly declare its support for sustainability through the Presidents’ Climate Commitment and that it’s working to make that commitment a reality through the Climate Action Plan.
Students are concerned about sustainability, and students have put a great deal of resources and effort into it, but the same commitment hasn’t come from faculty or the administration. Certainly there are individuals who are working hard to support students, but we have yet to see the wider institutional support I would hope for.
Even in the formation of Linfield’s core themes (the principles that will guide the college in the coming years), while there was a consistent student voice for the inclusion of a community engagement and sustainability theme, that voice was dismissed.
The Community Garden came about because a number of students with an interest in sustainable agriculture put in the effort to start a club through ASLC. The idea for compost bins came from students who wanted to do something about so much food going to waste in the residence halls. The eco-roof was started during Alternative Spring Break 2010 and finished as part of a workshop series sponsored by ASLC and the Office of Community Engagement and Service.
These projects were implemented and, through the Student Sustainability fund, paid for by students. The fund was created through a fee increase imposed by students through a campuswide vote. None of these projects were paid for out of the college’s budget nor were any of them implemented because of the Climate Action Plan.
There are also incorrect perceptions about the students involved in sustainability perpetuated in the article. John Hall is indirectly quoted as saying that only 5 percent of students are active in sustainability. Given that Hall works in capital planning (about as disconnected from students as a person can get on a college campus), it doesn’t surprise me that he would misjudge the student interest in sustainability.
Perhaps it is accurate to say that 5 percent of students are passionately advocating for sustainability, but the number of students interested and involved in environmental issues is quite a bit higher. In the last four years, Greenfield has been one of the five largest clubs on campus. On the academic side, environmental studies is among the fastest growing majors, and Colloquium has focused on issues of sustainability for the last two years.
While environmental issues aren’t important to the entire campus, sustainability is a concern of an increasingly larger (and much more than 5 percent) portion of students.
When will the college put its money (and actions) where its mouth is rather than pushing the burden onto students?
Colin Jones/ASLC president
The ensuing chaos surrounding the more than 250,000 diplomatic cables leased by whistleblower website WikiLeaks has grabbed the attention of headlines and people the world over for some weeks now.
Between radical conservatives labeling WikiLeaks editor-in-chief and spokesperson Julian Assange a terrorist and calling for his assassination and Internet “hacktivists” engaging in distributed denial-of-service attacks on the websites of organizations deemed hostile to WikiLeaks for severing ties with the organization (such as Mastercard), the tension is certainly rising.
According to Fox news, on Dec. 7 Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who is also chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News that The New York Times should be investigated for its role in publishing the leaked cables.
“To me, The New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship, but whether they have committed a crime — I think that bears a very intense inquiry by the Justice Department,” he said.
As journalists, we at the Review think it is important to examine the role of newspapers in handling sensitive and potentially damaging information.
The proper course of action depends on the situation. Sometimes it is best to publish sensitive information, especially if it is vital for public knowledge on important issues. At other times, it is best to withhold information, such as when it presents a clear threat to an individual’s safety.
Whichever route a newspaper chooses, however, it is still important to look at, investigate and analyze the information before coming to such a decision. We have a responsibility as a public resource for truth and analysis, and we must offer as much of it as possible when we have the opportunity to safely and accurately do so.
We believe The New York Times was correct in publishing the leaked cables not only because they would have been published everywhere anyway but also because the information is important for the public to know.
Chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times David Sanger was quoted on Dec. 8 in a story on National Public Radio defending the Times’ decision:
“This was never an easy decision to publish national security information,” he said. “I think at the end of this process, what we did was responsible, it was legal, and it was important for a democratic society.”
The Times did what it thought was in the public interest and can effectively defend its actions.
Journalists come across difficult and ethical decisions such as this on multiple occasions. These decisions must always be handled delicately and shouldn’t be rushed.
“It is the responsibility of American journalism, back to the founding of this country, to get out and try to grapple with the hardest issues of the day and to do it independently of the government,” Sanger also told NPR.
Whether it’s leaked international cables or personal, potentially harmful information about a professor or a student at Linfield, responsible journalism always reminds us to handle sensitive information with care. And no matter what decision is reached, journalists must always be ready and able to defend their decision.
-The Review Editorial Board