Tag Archives: Opinion

Student body disinterested by Senate representation

I don’t usually write follow-up pieces to other articles, especially when they’re as succinct as the Review editorial board’s piece was in last week’s issue (“Candidates should consider senate sustainability,” TLR, Feb. 25). But in this case, I feel it prudent to pound home just how utterly inept Senate is as a representation of the student body.

The reason that article didn’t make the blood boil in your veins is simple: Nobody cares about Senate anymore.

I guess I shouldn’t say that. There are about 25 people who care a great deal about Senate, about 40 more who think Senate is important and about 30 people who regularly use Senate as a cure for their own insomnia.

The rest of campus is in another group — tentatively titled “everybody else.” Maybe once as a freshman we got roped into going to Senate because nobody else wanted to (should’ve tipped us off) and haven’t gone since. Or perhaps we came into college and realized that when none of our RAs could explain what Senate did, it might not be that important. Or perhaps we simply got tired of all the Senate reports and loudly exclaimed what fiery place Senate should go to and have been ignoring it ever since.

It doesn’t really matter when it happened. Senate could dissolve, and the collective student body would make less noise than the football team did during Trayless Tuesdays last year.

And that’s a problem. A big one. One you might think Senate would like to try and fix. Maybe get the word out about what Senate actually does and what it has done (elections, mostly) so students might be a little bit more informed. I guess that might mean the 25 future leaders of America who are the core of Senate every year could actually have to take responsibility as representatives of the campus.

As it turns out, having complete turnover in positions every year is kind of a problem. I know; it surprised me too. It basically assures that every large project that students want to put on their résum … whoops, I mean that students want to enact to improve the campus never gets finished because the turnover rate is so high every year. I’m sure that’s the main reason nobody cares about Senate.

When I see an organization with no foresight mired in rules and bylaws and not making any attempt to connect to the greater Linfield community, I feel like tuning it out. I don’t know how it’s important, I don’t know what it does, and I certainly don’t feel like it benefits me. Why should I (or anyone else) care?

If you’re from Senate or any other ASLC affiliate, I hope you’re reading this and asking yourself what you’re doing for Linfield. And if you have some things in mind, think about them carefully and ask who they’re being done for. Most of the school has stopped paying attention to anything that’s going on in Senate, and it’s because you care too much about you and not enough about us.

Eh, you’ll probably brush this off. You’ll be graduating soon anyway.

Matt Olson/Columnist
Matt Olson can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.

‘Portlandia’ clip sparks meaty media dialogue

After recently watching the video “Is it Local?” on YouTube from the Independent Film Channel series “Portlandia,” the increasing popularity of meat in the media and our growing curiosity as a society to know exactly where it’s coming from was brought to my attention.

For those who haven’t seen the clip, it features a couple from Portland who, while dining out, want to know more about the chicken they are about to consume. The segment is obviously poking fun at the growing concern surrounding the availability of local, organic and free-range meat options. The couple come to find the chicken’s name was Colin, he had four acres of land to roam free, and he was fed a diet of sheep’s milk, soy and hazelnuts.

Although it sounds extreme, this depiction doesn’t seem too far from the reality of our nation’s increasing desire to learn more about the meat industry which has been heavily discussed in the media since the beginning of the 21st century.

According to a 2003 CNN.com article, the “first apparent U.S. case of mad cow disease discovered” was recognized after the USDA decided to run tests on a cow that was unable to walk by the time it reached the slaughterhouse. Although the USDA had inspected the meat, it raised concerns of how an ill and crippled animal could even be considered a candidate for the next American meal.

Since then, the media have been bombarded with investigations regarding factory farming and the significance behind supermarket labels, such as USDA organic and free-range claims.

Through my own investigation, I have made the decision to become a vegetarian in response to the overwhelming presence of factory farming in the United States. The production of these animals, as I discovered initially in Michael Pollan’s best-selling book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” is not only inhumane for the animals, leaving them unnatural for us to consume, but is environmentally unsustainable to boot.

However, the purpose of this story is not to tell everyone to become a vegetarian like me. Watching “Is it Local?” allowed me to recognize the varying opinions from people such as my roommates, in response to the video’s portrayal of picky meat eaters.

One roommate from Montana said she grew up knowing where her meat came from. It’s traditional for her family to hunt elk, deer and even antelope for consumption, and this is a healthier option in her mind.

Another roommate from Seattle believes that although the majority of meat isn’t produced ethically, it remains an essential aspect of the human diet. Her solution? She’s conscious about eating only local and free-range meat whenever possible.

This goes the same for my Californian roommate, who, like the actors in the YouTube clip, recently asked at a Portland restaurant if the hamburger was local.

My conclusion? I think it’s great that people are thinking about the topic and making educated decisions about why or why not they choose to consume meat. It’s a personal choice to be respected and important to be discussed as more information is presented in the media.

Felicia Weller/Copy editor

TLR endorses Coffey, Keliinoi for ASLC

The Associated Students of Linfield College elections will take place March 8, and we would like to take this opportunity to endorse juniors Rachel Coffey for ASLC president and Bradley Keliinoi for vice presidnet.

One aspect of Coffey’s campaign that stood out to us is her initiative to re-vamp the Fred Meyer Lounge. This is a long-term project, and we think that one of the responsibilities of the president should be to embark on projects that will improve student life on campus in the long run.

A second admirable aspect of Coffey’s campaign is that she wants to bring about more communication when it comes to students, faculty and administration. Also, she has a set plan for getting the word out about ASLC and Senate, including sending out a report about what is taking place in Cabinet once a month.

Although junior Katie Patterson has experience from being the ASLC Vice President of the 2010-11 academic
year, she does not seem to be as motivated as Coffey when it comes to taking on the role of president.

“I considered not running, but this is such an interest of mine and it feels like my responsibility to help try to better the student interest, which I enjoy doing,” Patterson told us last week (“VP hopeful drops from ASLC race after one day,” TLR, Feb. 25).

It seems that Patterson views the presidency as simply the next step in her career on ASLC and as an obligation. Coffey, however, appears to view the position as a genuine opportunity to make changes in students’ time at Linfield.

Patterson also says she wants to take charge of the way fees from the student body are spent, but she has not outlined ways in which she plans to make this happen.

While Patterson’s goals are certainly reasonable and should be kept in mind by whomever is elected, we think that Coffey has the drive to achieve her goals. Patterson campaigned on improving Senate last year and little, if anything, has gotten better during her time in office — although the semester has not yet come to an end.

Coffey seems earnestly dedicated to making changes, and we anticipate that.

We also endorse Keliinoi and remind you to vote for him even though he is unopposed. If anyone has the experience and dedication to fix Senate, it’s Keliinoi.

We hope you take our points into consideration, and we will continue to update you on election happeings. Be sure to catch the next debate or “Fireside Chats” on March 7 and don’t forget to cast your vote March 8
in the online ballot, which will be sent via e-mail.

-The Review Editorial Board

Take Planned Parenthood off of the chopping block to save sex education


Dear Bailey,

Planned Parenthood (PP) provides more than abortions, right?
Sexual education is something that I care about, and it should be important to us all. I write a column about sex and sexual education. Sex is something we all have or will have in common.

Someone asked me during the break what I did for work. When I told him that I write for The Linfield Review about sex, he was so excited. He told me that he had a customer come in with her mother, and the mother wanted him to tell her daughter that sex was bad. After repeated comments from Mom, he finally looked at the daughter and said, “I’m not going to tell you that sex is bad. It’s a great and wonderful thing, but it is extremely dangerous.”

The danger sex presents is what makes preventative care and screening so important. Last week, a bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives to cut funding for these health needs. If this bill is put into effect, organizations such as Planned Parenthood will not have the funding to provide easy and affordable access to these health care needs.

The funding to PP began in 1970. Why would the government want to pull it now and risk all the recent progress our society has made?

President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin were interviewed on CNN. Abortion through PP is a big concern for many people, but Richards said that the funding is for the “95 percent of Planned Parenthood services, which are preventive care: cancer screening for cervical and breast, birth control, STD testing and treatment.”

Abortions are not paid for with federal funds, and isn’t the first step to preventing abortions going to the source and providing preventive care?

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts is pro-life and says he does not have many friends in the PP community, but he knows that PP has done more to prevent unintended pregnancies than any other organization and that this is the wrong way to fix the issue.

Richards added that 60 percent of patients only have PP to go to for the basic care that they need:

“If this bill becomes law, millions of women are going to lose their health care services,” she said.

Moore suggested that it is a double standard to cut PP and attempt to pull Woman, Infants, and Children without providing access to family planning. Reading through the comments under the video of the news story on the CNN website displays how misinformed people can be about the situation and sex. One person said that when he was young, his parents taught him morality and that tax payers’ money should not be used for younger people to continue with their immoral behavior.

Unfortunately, many people subscribe to this line of thinking, and the reality is that places like PP are about so much more than birth control and abortions. They have saved lives. In my own experience, PP has made a difference in my life and in the lives of many other people I know.

More than half a million women have signed a petition to continue funding and thousands have sent in their stories of how PP has affected their lives. People have until March 1 to show their support. If you are interested in showing your support, please visit the PP website or visit it on Facebook.

I would like to encourage people to write in with general questions or comments about sex throughout the rest of the term.

My e-mail is linfieldreviewbailey@gmail.com.
Bailey can be reached at linfieldreviewbailey@gmail.com.

Linfield is too private for Presidents Day

In light of the fact that Presidents Day just took place on Feb. 21, and Linfield did not cancel classes in acknowledgment of the holiday, my question is: Why do only certain schools recognize Presidents Day? After all, Presidents Day is a federal holiday.

Elementary, middle and high schools acknowledge it by not holding classes. Even select colleges and universities throughout the country do the same. So why doesn’t Linfield?

Considering that the point of the holiday is to celebrate two of our historically greatest presidents: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. It seems like a simple way for the college and its students to pay some respect. And it would be nice to have a three-day weekend every once in a while.

I understand that colleges and universities have a strict academic schedule and are often crunched for time, especially when it comes closer to finals time. Linfield’s new finals schedule is one reflection of this. And Linfield is even more pressed for time considering that the only classes offered in January are optional.

However, Linfield recognizes Martin Luther King Jr. Day during January term by encouraging students to participate in Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. So it doesn’t quite make sense that it only recognizes certain major holidays.

The same goes for Black History Month during February. Linfield recognizes the month with a series of events through the course of a couple weeks. Guest speakers visit; professors give special lectures; and special events, such as theatrical performances, are just some of the events that Linfield hosts.

Maybe it’s just a private school thing because only public elementary, middle and high schools and public universities are closed on Presidents Day. However, I think that the school system, specifically the higher education school system, should be a little more in-sync when it comes to recognizing national holidays.

Or Linfield should at least do something, whether it is canceling classes or a special event, to recognize Presidents Day.
It is the least that the school can do to honor a long-standing American

Jessica Prokop/News editor
Jessica Prokop can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.