Smoothie Community

By Kathryn McClintock

Photos by Shelby Bauer

Starting the first week of February, students living on campus will be able to check out kitchen equipment during RA duty hours.

Student Life and Nutrition Matters are promoting this opportunity with “Smoothie Sample Nights,” and by providing kitchen supplies and nutritional information to students. Available supplies include mixing bowls, pots and pans, cutting boards, baking pans, measuring cups, mixers, and popcorn poppers.

The goal of this initiative is to promote health on campus. According to a study on college students and their eating habits, most college students get only one of five recommended servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and skipping meals is a frequent occurrence.

By providing the means for students to create their own colorful and healthymeals, Student Life and Nutrition Matters are hoping to promote greater
nutritional awareness.

While George Fox University (GFU) has made more advances than other colleges by buying local ingredients and providing healthier food options, the kitchen sharing initiative aims to fill in where GFU might not be able to—whether that’s tight class schedules that call for pre-packed meals, or healthy, allergy-free alternatives for students with food sensitivities. If students are interested in checking out kitchen equipment, they can sign out items from their RAs during duty hours once the supplies are available.

Double Take

Photo Story by Katie Culbertson

 

Audrey O’Farell arrives at our photo shoot with her arms full. Soft knit sweaters and shimmery blouses in shades of pink, mauve and black spill out of her hands in a snuggly, wintery waterfall; she lays the sweaters over the sofa and hands me a bag. “I have more stuff,” she says, “and that bag is just shoes.”

Pink velvet booties, black pointy-toed shoes, gold loafers–for a second I’m a little jealous, but my attention shifts like a magpie to the vintage suitcase of fantastic statement pieces twin sisters Erica and Amanda Guest have just opened. These two appear to be inspired by menswear: I see cropped dress pants, striped turtlenecks and beautiful oversized coats in subdued tones of camel and gray.

I’ve given the models freedom to choose whatever they want to wear for this project, and what they select is a beautiful and intimate glimpse into their identities. What inspires them to dress outside the lines at college? “Part of me likes to stand out a little bit, but I also don’t want to be too…is ostentatious a good word?” said senior Maddie Hayes,  ”I kind of like the double take. Like, ‘oh, that’s kind of cool.’” Hayes describes her approach to style as classic with a splash of edge; on a typical day, she’ll layer combinations of chunky knits, high-waisted trousers, and softer pieces in chiffon or satin. “I like to take certain silhouettes and kind of expand on them,” she says.

Junior fashion design student Johnny Kang’s favorite color is pale pink, a color he’s drawn to in his designs and in his wardrobe. O’Farrell, Erica, and Amanda style an outfit for him that include his favorite go-to’s: black straight-leg jeans, a black tee, an oversized denim jacket and, of course, a cozy hoodie in ballerina pink. “I don’t want to dress like every other guy,” he says.

For Kang, Hayes, O’Farrell,  Erica, and Amanda, clothing represents self-discovery, art, and freedom to express themselves boldly. Each one of them finds uniquely artistic way to communicate their complex selves using fashion.
As we wander into an empty field to take pictures, the models blend into the Northwest landscape almost magically. The wind whips their coats about, and they laugh; their smiles and confidence are just as beautiful as the mist tumbling over the mountain behind them.

The State of the Arts: Follow Up

Clarifications regarding the article The State of the Arts: Graphic Design may provide more insight into the piece.

In my previous article, published in the 10th issue of The Crescent, Senior Lehman Pekkola was quoted: “they teach style and communication arts, not what’s new and upcoming.” Pekkola has since clarified that the “communication arts” referenced in the quote refers to the publication, Communication Arts, which is regarded by many as the TIME Magazine of design. “It’s been around for a long time, but like older publications I feel like it’s lost its relevancy, but they still keep pushing it. It’s old fashioned, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It has its pros and cons. It’s important to know what used to be.” Pekkola said.

Sophomore Jordyn Dunseath was on the search committee for the new graphic design professor. The university hired Brandon Waybright to begin teaching starting in the Fall 2017 semester. “He’s awesome. He’s energetic, innovative, and conceptual. There’s going to be a lot of new wonderful classes,” she said.

In the previous article, the class Creative Suite I was mentioned. The class’s structure revolves around professor Bob Bredemeier’s tutorial videos, and Pekkola was quoted as saying “they should be teaching us what you can’t learn in videos.” Pekkola stand by his words, citing Google as an education landscape game-changer in recent times, but adds that “that’s not to discredit all the work he’s put into the videos. But also, in addition to the videos, I think we should be learning more concept.”

“The art department is very technically oriented right now, they’re training us to be technicians and then to think conceptually as we go out,” Pekkola said. He emphasized that this is not a negative, rather a personal preference to start conceptually and move to the technical side. On a similar note, regarding the quote “I’ve had to pave my own path,” Pekkola clarified that the reason for this is “because what I’m interested in is not necessarily what they offer.” Pekkola is interested in print publications, which could be considered more of a niche concentration. “I’m very thankful for all the opportunities the program has given me,” he said.

“The design world is constantly changing. And to keep up with it is very hard, especially for a university,” Pekkola added. However, freshman Allison Spoelhof points out, “they’re doing a good job of understanding what the program needs. With the new jobs coming into the market, especially in the art realm, it’s going to be really cool to see the diversity in the graphic design program.”

 

 

 

 

Christian Dating Culture

In light of Valentine’s Day, I want to start an honest conversation about Christian dating culture at George Fox University (GFU). On February 14th, I sat in an apartment with seven other girls and a guy. My lifegroup leader had brought her significant other; we were going to  talk about love. We were captivated as we drank tea on the couch and they answered our deluge of tough questions about relationships and marriage with poise and wisdom. I, for one, came in with a million questions and even more doubts. What if their answers were uncomfortable? What if it turned out that I had no idea what love is? They gave practical advice that I had never once heard from a pastor. And this is the great irony:in a of room six college students who had grown up in the Christian faith, a religion that is supposed to be characterized by love, not one of us knew what to make of the Christian portrayal of romance.

One statement my leader made, I will not forget. She told us that, as Christians, we are pressured to focus on the future, especially in regards to marriage and dating. And she said to us, “You can’t anticipate that future because you don’t know that ‘you’ yet.” As a collective group, we have made romance more about control than love; people try to control their future, their ability to plan and commit, and let’s be honest, when they can have sex. We no longer trust and explore. We control and “‘obey’.” And, by and large, we have been taught to do this by the Church.

Think about the last time you were given actual, practical relationship advice in a church service or chapel that wasn’t based on control or obedience. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Now think of the number of times you’ve walked out of a service feeling ashamed of your choices or having heard a message about finding the person God planned for you. If you grew up in the faith, you’ve probably  heard this too often to count. That’s a lot of pressure to put on relationships. And that’s a lot of pressure to put on any person: they have to be the “‘one.”’

I have had experiences with relationships that have hurt me, as have most of us. This is a part of life —, a part of growing up. But because of the messages taught in Church that link our relationships with our identity, I believe that the love hurts more often than it heals. What hurt me the most was not the actual break up but the fallout from it. There was this sort of unspoken expectation that it would work out, because, in a subversive kind of way, Christian uUniversity dating culture says, “If you date for longer than a month, you’re in it for life.” It was as if “, no” was not an answer that was allowed; expectations had already determined our future. My lifegroup leader pointed out that we often throw around phrases about love and marriage like they’re nothing. “Oh so when’s the wedding?” Elbow, elbow, nudge nudge. “I’m gonna talk about this at your guys’ reception.” It’s like we don’t even consider the idea that it’s okay to just date to get to know someone or that dating may be just as much about getting to know yourself. Being at a small school doesn’t help. With one sighting at Chapters or Coffee Cottage, everyone knows and everyone cares.

I am not against dedicated relationships. I’m in one. But we must remember that it takes a while to get there. There will be failures, setbacks, and close calls. There will be almosts and not-quites and some-days. But marriage is not for the faint of heart and divorce statistics will back that up. So, we must ask ourselves: in a culture where one date means marriage, what are we really telling our children about commitment? You may wonder why I’ve brought up this issue, or what the point of talking about it is. And to that I would respond, why not? Why are we more afraid to talk about dating than we are to get married after 6 months? It’s time that we stop being afraid and start having these kinds of conversations. Ask someone out, go to coffee, get to know people. If you like it, you really really don’t have to put a ring on it. At least not yet.

Dakota Buhler: On Track to Nationals

Dakota Buhler, a junior at George Fox University (GFU), goes through the same routine most days as she practices to compete for GFU’s indoor and outdoor track and field team. Indoor track is currently in season, and Buhler competes in the long jump, the triple jump, and the 60-meter hurdle.

Currently ranked at number nine in the nation for the NCAA Division III triple jump, Buhler looks forward to what will come of her great start to the indoor season and what it will mean for the outdoor season. With her competitive standing she looks to be one of the top 17 women in the nation invited to compete in the NCAA Division III National Finals.

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Last year Buhler’s outdoor record was 38’ 9” for the triple jump, ranking her at 16th. She  made it to the National Finals, where she finished 12th. This year she is already close to last year’s record with an indoor personal record at 38’ 2.75”.

Buhler is well on her way to the indoor National Finals for Division III in March.

“By making indoor nationals this year, it’s putting me that much closer to an improvement on my last year’s marks,” Buhler said.

At the start of the 2015-2016 outdoor track season, Buhler’s average distance was about 34’ for the triple jump and towards the end of the season she reached the 38’ mark. Starting off strong near the 38’ mark at the start of this indoor season puts Buhler in a promising position for admittance to the Outdoor National Finals, if she maintains her personal records and improves upon them.

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Buhler competes in many other events: the long jump, the 100-meter hurdles, and the heptathlon, which includes the two prior events as well as shot put, triple jump, javelin, 200-meter race, and an 800-meter race.

Buhler has participated in track and field for 12 years. Since fourth grade she has competed in everything from distance running to shot put.

“Triple jump is my one true love,” Buhler said.

In a way, Buhler has spent most of her life on the track:  her mother is a track coach who coached high jump while pregnant with Buhler. She grew up building sandcastles in the jumpers’ sandpits and watching high jumpers from underneath their mat.

Other members of the the GFU women’s indoor track and field team prepare to compete in the National Championship as well.

Rachel Kraske is ranked 5th in the 60-meter hurdles. Annie Wright stands at 5th in the pentathlon. Asia Greene is 5th in the long jump. Sarah King holds the place of 2nd in the 400-meter race.

Challenging Experiences, Challenging Assumptions

A few days ago, a Muslim named Samer attempted to proselytize me. It has undoubtedly been the best experience of my study abroad trip.

He spoke of loving Jesus and women. He softly sung the Qur’an to recall answers to our questions. He even teared up at one point. He was genuine, passionate, even loving.

To the casual Christian student, the scene would have appeared oddly inverted. To the casual American, it would have seemed strange, at odds with the running commentary of the popular media.

Studying abroad in a predominantly Muslim country – 97.2% Muslim to be exact – I have found many of my basic assumptions challenged.

For example, another Muslim friend I spoke to asked if I was sure I was a Christian when I told him I did not have a priest. Another convincingly argued that America indirectly funded ISIS, so detrimentally have they tarnished the name of Islam.

Sometimes it is difficult living in a predominantly Muslim country simply because many Muslims have so many different basic assumptions. The Arabic language is infused with Islamic understandings of the world. The two most common words, inshallah and yallah, invoke the name of God. Sometimes I feel the very air I breathe is Muslim.

I have realized the first step in the journey from foreigner to family is understanding each of our basic assumptions. Without understanding which square I stand on and which my neighbor stands on, I cannot move with any purpose toward relationship. Even the basic words of our respective languages carry fundamental assumptions that fly far over any foreigner’s head.

That is why I’ve committed myself to learning whatever small portion of the Arabic language I can. In this world where words I don’t understand are saturated with meaning, it is easy to miss the beauty of the society I live in.

One example is the phrase “Allah yatiik ilafyeh,” or “God give you strength.” I say this phrase to taxi drivers when I want them to stop the cab or to my friends when they are overwhelmed with homework. I told my Iraqi friend I went to bed at two in the morning and he said, “Allah yatiik ilafyeh.” God give you strength.

Another is “ysallim idayk,” or “God preserve your hands.” A waiter hands me my food and I say, “Ysallim idayk.” God preserve your hands. Or the ever-present “ahlan, ahlan!” My family, my family.

Each of these phrases has an automatic response. They are ingrained into the speaker’s mind and inform his/her way of life.

The intentionality of each word makes me question the English words I use, especially with Arabs who draw connections between our most common words and their
original meaning.

I said “that sucks” the other day, and my Christian Arab friend asked what the phrase meant. I didn’t really have
an explanation.

Slowly I realize, experiencing new culture sets a mirror in front of the foreigner. It calls into question even the most habitual phrases and the most common assumptions. And it refines me, sometimes painfully. From the insignificant to the paramount, it refines me.

Sunday in the Park with George: A Review

“White, a blank page or canvas. The challenge: bring order to the whole.” So starts the musical by Stephen Sondheim chronicling the life and work of George Seurat. The show focuses on the subjects of Seurat’s iconic painting: “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte,” and how the relationships depicted may have affected his work.  George Fox University’s (GFU) theatre department presented this show as their Winter Musical; it was shown from 26 Jan. to 5 Feb.

As the lights dim, the show opens with Nate Ayers, playing George Seurat, in the center of the stage. He launches into a monologue in which he explains the magic he sees in design. The audience sits in rapt attention as he pulls trees from the darkness of backstage with what seems to be pure willpower (in actuality, it is the work of a masterfully hidden stage crew). He reveals intricately painted walls and within moments, the audience is transformed into passersby in a French park. Together Ayers, as Seurat, and Sarah Aldrich, as Dot, weave together an unconventional and semi-tragic love story. It is a story of love between two people as well as the love between a person and his or her endeavors. Director of the show, Rhet Luedtke, said in an interview with GFU’s news release blog, “When does my creative drive and passion to create meaningful work negatively impact my relationships with my family and friends? Is compromise possible in the quest for excellence?” These are the essential questions explored in the show. From the park, to the studio, to a gallery, and back to the park, the audience experiences a full circle.It is a 100-year story of what it means to be passionately human, to endeavor to balance the pursuit of beauty with one’s own inherent flaws.

Tim Timmerman, artist and professor, praised the show. He specifically loved the opening song of Act Two: “It’s Hot up Here,” in which the cast appears in its entirety, replicating the poses of their counterparts in the original painting “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte.” As they sit and stand in their poses, they sing to one another in a humorous and accurate portrayal of the façade that melts away when people lose their ability to tolerate each other.

“The actors were very talented and it was a good story. I enjoyed that part of it,” said one theatre minor at GFU. His critique of the show was more toward the writer than the cast. He said that it was a bit long, and the off-kilter soundtrack was not his favorite for a musical. Overall, Roy commended the cast for their acting and the meticulous portrayal of their characters.

Those who did not get a chance to see GFU’s portrayal of “Sunday at the Park with George” can see the next production, Deus Ex Millennia, a student-written play. Opening night is April 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The State of the Arts: Graphic Design

Change is on the horizon for the graphic design program — and change important for a program whose ethos is rooted in innovation and forward-thinking. The revamp, which will see two new faculty hires in the 2017-18 school year, comes after a steady period growth over the past decade in the Art & Design department.

“The major has grown from only 20 majors 16 years ago, to over 120 this year, so we anticipate there will continue to be growth,” said Professor Jeff Cameron. George Fox University (GFU) will welcome Patrice Brown, an interior design professor, and Brandon Waybright, a graphic design instructor who will also be co-chairing the department.However, growth is not the only factor bringing about changes. Mixed reviews about the program’s curriculum and relevance are also contributing factors to the revamp.

A broader range of courses and a new approach to teaching certain classes could go a long way towards bringing the program up to speed. For example, Creative Suite I is structured for independent work; students watch tutorial videos to learn the course material. Students have consistently decried the class as ineffective. “It’s not a learning environment,” said freshman Sarah Parsons. “There’s not much actual instruction, it’s just videos teaching you.” Pekkola added, “They should be focusing on what you can’t learn in videos.”

Is the graphic design program sufficiently preparing students to enter the ever increasingly evolving market? “Yes and no,” Lehman Pekkola, a Senior design major, said. “The program is heavily geared towards illustration and technical tools with the exception of typography and marketplace branding. I’ve had to pave my own path.”

Pekkola also cited Professor Jillian Sokso, the acting department chair during Mark Terry’s sabbatical, as one of the best things about the department. “She brings a fresh perspective to the department. She and Ashley Lippard are a powerhouse duo,” he said.

Sokso has big plans for the graphic design program, and item number one on her agenda is breathing new life into the program.

“I’m hoping to make sure the program is as contemporary, relevant, and cutting-edge as possible, but re-emphasize the idea of doing good through design,” said Sokso. Cross-disciplinary, product, and industrial design will become new focal points through expanded course offerings. Additionally, Sokso plans to integrate more relationships with community and industry partners through internships, as job placement is a specialty of incoming instructor Waybright. “Web design is not a strength right now, so we are adding two new courses in coding and HTML,” Sokso said.

Sophomore Jordyn Dunseath appreciates the job and internship connections GFU has helped her develop but wishes they would add more assignments that pertain to real world design. “For instance, if there was a class that taught us solely how to brand a company, I think that would be really cool,” said Dunseath. As it turns out, a class like this might be just what Sokso ordered for next year.

Lippard will be expanding her teaching role to branding and ID systems, in addition to owning and operating the local boutique Pulp & Circumstance. “It will be a class where students will take on real clients and she will art direct them,” said Sokso.

There’s a social aspect of graphic design that needs to be addressed as well; a divide exists between the studio art and design branches. “The designers separate themselves a lot,” said Pekkola. “After freshman year, people diverge a lot. Sophomore year I felt that — I didn’t want to associate with the art department. But now I’m like, no, the art department is cool!” Unifying the department socially while individualizing the different branches is a tricky balance to strike, but not completely impossible, as evidenced by the new Art Talk program, which hosts local artists and designers on Monday nights at the Cultural Center.

Students are challenging the graphic design department to think more broadly and consider the design landscape the current generation finds itself in; accordingly, the department will introduce many new changes next year. Only time will tell if the revamp will bring the change that is needed, but if current plans are any indication, the program is on the right track.

GFU Students, Staff Stand Against Executive Order

More than 100 George Fox University (GFU) students and staff walked out of their classes on Jan. 30 to protest  President Trump’s barring of refugees from seven Muslim countries.

At noon, students surrounded the Centennial Clock Tower in the center of campus, raising signs with slogans such as “We won’t accept Bigotry and Xenophobia thinly disguised as ‘making America safe again,’” and “Refugees are not terrorists.”

Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 27 that prevented refugees from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the United States for 120 days.

Trump posted a statement on his Facebook page on Jan. 29 to justify his executive order.

“My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months,” said Trump. “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.”

Students during the walkout expressed concerns about the order encouraging discrimination against Muslims, and chanted during the protest: “No hate. No fear. Everyone is welcome here.”

An anonymous student started a chat group on Facebook Sunday to help inform students about the collaboratively organized event.

“There is this culture of hate in this country and more specifically in this school,” said the student. “There are many people who just feel that they don’t belong here. That is because of the result of the election year.”

The student stood with the protestors during the Jan. 30 walk-out, holding a sign that read, “Get to know a Muslim refugee.”

“Until you get to know that person,” said the student, “you’re not going to realize that he’s just another human being that is bleeding red like you.”

An email was sent to various students describing the nature of the walk-out.

“In light of the executive order ban on Muslim immigrants and general racism,” said the message, “There will be a walk-out/stand…to show solidarity; that we care.”

Protestors also called for a recognition the rights of minority groups and the LGBTQ+ community.

“We really wanted to come and show solidarity with the minority,” said Jessica Nordhagen, a junior. “[And] Show support for Black Lives Matter, the LGTBQ, and the refugees.”

The walk-out was the product of the effort of many students, and was not organized by the University, but staff members also joined the event.

“It’s really imposing on college students that are here that have come from foreign countries that are on a student visa,” said Theresa Schierman, financial aid counselor for GFU.

Schierman expressed her concerns for the transfer students at GFU who could be affected by the executive order, and said that she was proud of the students holding the walkout in response.

“There is already a wall,” said Schierman. “And it’s called bureaucracy.”

Brad Lau, vice president for Student Life, sent an email to students on Jan. 30, sharing a letter written by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) to President Trump to “reconsider” the executive order.

“While we are always open to improvements to our government’s screening process,” said the CCCU. “We believe that our nation can continue to be both compassionate and secure.”

Survival Techniques

“I teach because important lessons are learned when you’re wet and cold at 3 a.m. on the second day without food,” said survival techniques instructor Carl Anderson.

Survival Techniques is anything but a traditional class – the course equips students with the necessary skills to survive should they ever get lost in the wilderness.

The class is a mix of lecture, hands-on activities, and narrative, and centers on survival basics such as performing first aid, finding shelter, food, and water, and fire building. However, Anderson notes that “the most valuable tool you have is your mind, so we talk about improvising, problem analysis, and mental framing.”

The culmination of the class is a weekend survival trip where students apply all their knowledge and skills to surviving on their own for 48 hours in
the wilderness.

“When I introduce the weekend trip to my students I like to say that I wish I could take them up to Mt. Hood and drop them off a mile apart. If they are still here in two days, they pass the class,” said Anderson. Risk liability (among other issues) makes that impossible, but the outing is similar, if a bit safer.

“What we do instead is travel into a private wilderness area and set up semi-individual survival situations,” said Anderson. “Each student may bring seven items along with all the clothing they wish to wear; no food, no electronics, and no homework is allowed.”

The students arrive at the private wilderness with about two hours of daylight left, which forces them to immediately answer vital questions such as where to camp, what kind of shelter can be built, and where can food and water be located.

“The weather is always the one unchecked element of the experience. In past years, it has run the gamut between 65 and sunny, to downpours, wind, and even some snow,” said Anderson.

This class has a history and tradition dating back more than 40 years. Anderson took the class as an undergraduate in 1993 from Gary Fawver, who had been teaching the class since the mid 1970’s.

“He thought it would be a popular and practical course for college students,” said Anderson. “It turns out he was right, we have averaged 18-20 students per session for the past thirty years.”

Debriefing after the survival experience is the most exciting part of the class for Anderson.

“We lead such distracted lives that to be alone for 11 hours in the pitch dark with nowhere to go, provides a chance to  pause. Many students have written about how God has shown up during this time.”

Survival skills themselves are key to student success, but Anderson also hopes each student that takes the course will develop a more accurate mental picture of what survival is really like: “It is both not as scary as they may envision and not as easy as they may believe.”

Christianity Required?

Most students attending GFU profess some kind of Christian faith, be it Quaker, Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, or any number of other denominations. However, a small but significant population of students either align themselves with other religions or identify as agnostic or atheist.

Atheist students, along with other non-Christian students, are not known at George Fox University (GFU) — at least, not in the same way Christian students are.

While GFU promises each student will be known at an individual level, non-Christian students find it difficult to see this pledge lived out, as many professors teach with the assumption that all students in the classroom are Christians.

Some professors may struggle to connect with non-Christian students because of their differences in faith. Professors use “we” and “us” when describing the ideologies and values of Christians, often without recognizing that not everyone in the room may feel like
they belong.

A simple statement like, “I’m going to use ‘we’ when talking about Christians because I’m operating under the assumption that the majority of the class is Christian. If you do not agree with any beliefs addressed or have any questions regarding this, please ask me,” from a professor might do a lot to make students of other faiths more comfortable in class.

By acknowledging that non-Christian students attend this university, GFU can create stronger relationships with these students and work to build an atmosphere of understanding and community.

Another challenging place for non-Christian students is Bible class. One student, who asked to remain anonymous, informed me that in his Bible Survey class, the professor assumed all the students were Christians by asking them to write papers regarding the history of their church, with no alternative offered to students of differing beliefs. The same student shared his experience at GFU, saying, “I find great moments of just dire resentment against what’s being told to me . . . I find moments of real connection . . . to find the good in people, the love.”

These presumptions on the part of GFU, it seems to this writer, do not facilitate an environment where students from differing walks of life can come together and learn from each other’s journeys.

Often, when peers learn of a student’s religious difference, they ask, “Why are you here then?” Scholarship money, convenience, and family influence only skim the surface of that question.

One senior at GFU has been asked this question frequently. “In the end, it shouldn’t matter why people who aren’t Christian come here,” she said, “We are here and have every right to ‘be known’ . . . as
much as anyone else. So the ‘why’ shouldn’t matter. We
are here.”

Creating a space where these students feel comfortable sharing their beliefs should be important to GFU. If GFU created a way to facilitate conversations between these students and other students who are Christian (maybe via a club on campus), understanding could be reached.

This diversity should not be scary. Rather, it should signal our coming together to address unique standpoints. Perhaps opening ourselves to the possibility of learning from one another would create a better Christ-like community. And isn’t that what GFU strives to provide?

Start your Engines!

 

You might not know it, but George Fox University (GFU) has a car club. Nestled in the long list of other student groups, it’s easy to miss — especially in the winter when there’s a general lull in car-related activities. Don’t let the weather fool you, though; the Car Club is still very much alive.

Last semester, the club held a car show in the Stevens parking lot, and the community came to show off their cars. When the weather clears up this spring, even more events will be possible.

To the members of the club, it’s not just about the outward events others see. Stephen Allen, one of the two Vice Presidents of the Car Club, says, “I’ve met a lot of guys that I didn’t know were car guys for a long time, and I just kept not knowing. So it’s more about letting everybody know that there’s a group where you can come and share what you love.”

It’s a sentiment that the other members share. Car Club President Dakota Geil says, “Be known is Fox’s motto. Well, in the car club, you are known. Each one of the people is known by name. We’re also car people, so we’ll know you by your car.”

When they can, the members attend meets — gatherings where people show off their cars. Once the dragstrips open in the spring, they plan on going to the races as well. “All the time we roll together to meets and stuff. Like, six of us in two cars. It’s more about hanging out, and talking about cars.” Says Stephen.

Within the club, many members have different tastes in cars. It doesn’t matter much; there’s room for everyone in the club. “It brings everybody together, regardless of what car you drive, of what style you like. It brings you together; you’re family.” Says Dakota.

For instance, Jared Horton, the other club Vice President, likes classic cars. “I think cars are important, because they’re kind of a portal to the past, in a way,” He says. “I think it’s important that cars are preserved so that future generations can see the same thing that previous generations did.”

Regardless of what cars you’re into, however, you’ll be welcome in the club. Joshua Mathias, Car Club Treasurer, says, “I want to encourage people to come, and go do stuff with us, come to meets with us. If you have a car, show it off, if you don’t have a car, no worries, show us pictures of the cars you do want, and just come hang out and we can just talk about cars.”

Throughout the interview with Jared, Stephen, Dakota, and Josh, the spare talk quickly descended into debates and friendly jabs about different types of cars and their makes. Gesturing to the center of the table, Josh says “This is what the car club is, we just hang out and talk about cars.” It seems a modest claim for such comradery, but it’s nonetheless true.

If you’re interested in joining the club, you can contact Dakota Geil or Jared Horton at dgeil12@georgefox.edu and jhorton15@georgefox.edu, respectively.