Surviving Thanksgiving

Heading to Aunt Mary’s for the holidays? Don’t want to answer generic questions about college and each and every one of your classes?

Try bringing up some of these topics instead:

  • Old married couple, tell us about your first date? When did you know you were in love?
  • Hey everyone, what movie should I go see this weekend? What was the best summer blockbuster?
  • Let’s talk Black Friday! If you were given $100gift card, where would you go tomorrow and how early would you get there?
  • Any one over 40, if you were going to an 80s themed dance, what would you really wear?
  • If I was writing a blogpost about thanksgiving to deter my family away from asking about my classes, what type of topics should I bring up?(guilty!)

And if all else fails…

  • so how bout them ducks?
  • alotta rain this week… yup
  • Obama

Israel’s Separation Barrier is Key Issue in US-Muslim Relations


For our LACI project, we have been studying the wall that Israel has been building dividing Israel and Palestine. We would greatly appreciate it if you would read this article we composed! …

Shelly Bjorklund, Austin Park, Kelsey Bennett, Anne Holiday, and Marissa Chau.

At a projected length of 400 miles and a maximum height of 25 feet, the Israeli West Bank Barrier, also known as the “Separation Barrier,” dwarfs the Berlin Wall in both height and length. Similar to the wall separating East and West Germany, the Separation Barrier serves to deter terrorist movement between the predominantly Muslim Palestinian and the Israeli West Bank sides. However noble Israel’s motives are in its construction, the Separation Barrier has been socially and economically damaging to many Palestinians. The barrier has been made possible in part by the support and funding from the United States, and along with our unflagging support of Israel, we have served to increase tensions between the predominantly Muslim Palestine and the West.

The connection between the U.S. and Israel, established primarily during the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations, l has historically been quite strong. It was during which time significant support was provided in the form of major arms sales, political support, and provision of supplies. Initially, Israel functioned as a strategic ally during the Cold War. However, the Jewish state has in many ways become a strategic burden since, serving only to inflame U.S.-Muslim relations and complicate the path to peace.

Today, the United States does not financially support Palestine, but they give Israel approximately $3 billion a year. This is around one-fifth of the United States’ foreign aid budget and more than any other state receives. Many senators argue that we should not be giving this much aid because some of this money is going towards the building of the Wall. However, the Bush administration argued that keeping the alliance between Israel and the U.S. is important, and therefore they will not discourage the building of the Wall.

We feel that America must not withdraw its support from the people of Israel, but should instead attempt to prevent strife between Israel and its Muslim neighbors. Israel has a right to the land as a divine promise, but its people are fallible, as all humans are. As God took care of Hagar and Ishmael (traditional ancestors of Arabs/Muhammad) in the desert after Sarai mistreated them, so too Christians need to love and support Israel and its people, but also care for those she has mistreated. This may include discouraging Israel’s building of the Separation Barrier and any corresponding Palestinian violence.

What can be done to make a difference in this seemingly insurmountable situation? The Israeli Occupation Archive is captivating due to its dedication to looking for “an equitable solution for all Palestinians.” The site educates the public on the history of the conflict while also providing updates on current events and facts relating to Israel and Palestine. To make the distribution of this valuable information more widespread, the site accepts donations and simply suggests sharing the news of the IOA and their work. Supporting this organization is a small step, but a step nonetheless, towards breaking down barriers that divide the American and Muslim worlds.

Awkward Bon Encounters

I enjoy a variety of odd pass-times. The vast majority of them are ways to make people feel uncomfortable. One of these is making weird faces at people across the Bon.

The majority of the time, I know the person to whom I am showing odd expressions, but, there is nothing quite satisfactory as seeing the expressions of the people who see me and do not know me.

Another one of my favorite pass-times is people watching. The Bon is a prime environment for this activity. Nearly everyone goes there at some point in the day and the variety of people who do go there is quite impressive, considering the size of the university.

If you watch long enough, trends arise. You have your table hoppers who sit at three tables or more per meal, and the individuals who come in, choke down their meal, and then book it to wherever they need to get to next. Next, you have the individuals who stay in the Bon for several hours, stay at the same table, and sit with multiple waves of people. Finally we come to the individual who sits alone. …

For some people, sitting alone is not a problem. They merely found an open seat at a table and sat down. Quite often, these people are joined by their friends. But it gets interesting when they are joined by complete strangers.

These first time exchanges are exceedingly entertaining. The newcomer begins by sitting across the table from the loner, literally as far away as he or she can. The original sitter acknowledges his or her existence in as few syllables as possible.

The next stage consists of asking the really boring questions: What is your name? What is your major? What year in school are you? The majority of the answers to these questions are forgotten before the meal ends.

From this point, the relationship can go a few different ways. The first, and most common, is that the two occasionally see each other on campus. They will acknowledge each other, maybe remember each other’s names, and then go on with their lives not quite knowing what the other person’s name was.

On the other hand, the two table talkers may discover they have several classes in common. Soon they are going to the same study groups and then just studying together. The next thing you know, they are dating and then it is Ring by Spring (after all, this is George Fox).

I prefer a different method. Occasionally, I will choose to sit alone at a table and enjoy a meal without conversation (this would be when I do quite a bit of my people watching). Every now and then, a stranger will sit next to me and we will go through the above mentioned formalities. Then the fun begins.

I eat everything with a fork including cold cereal so, right off the bat, the newcomer is already wondering. The next thing I do is point out someone random at another table and say, “Hey, that chick/guy was checking you out.” On the outside, the individual may not even let it show concern, but on the inside, he or she will always wonder.

Perhaps I am a nut, but I am an incredibly happy nut. More people should try tactics like this. That way, when you see the person again, you can point out the person and tell your friends you really freaked him or her out.

My Own Top Ten List

Let’s talk Thanksgiving. Anyone see that article in the Crescent? The top ten things to be thankful ”that you live in America” for?

Perhaps I will come up with a list of my own. currently setting a 60 second timer…. and GO!

  • food
  • no school
  • my dog
  • leftovers
  • all men are created equal
  • we are endowed by their Creator
  • certain unalienable Rights
  • Life
  • Liberty
  • Pursuit of Happiness

Hey, good thing I live in America… I wouldn’t be thankful anywhere else. wrong. America isn’t even a country, USA perhaps? Or perhaps EEUU if you don’t speak American. The things is, if I was born in any other country, there’s a very likely chance I would still be a thankful humanoid capable of gratitude and delight

Thank you, Thanksgiving article, for reminding me of the importance of our God given rights. God Bless you, and God Bless America.

September 13, 2011-3

HeatherBradleyPhotography / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA



Common Ground Controversy

Opinion by Katherine Vanlandingham

George Fox University has faced harsh criticism the past few weeks for acting on nothing more than what they hold to be true.

In early October a group known as Common Ground, a student-run organization that represents and serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning community at GFU applied for club charter status but were quickly shot down by members of Associated Student Community and denied status.

Common Ground has all the right intentions, following the GFU mission statement and acting as nothing more than a support group for this community of students, but even so I think GFU has every right to delegate what clubs to support and what groups to overlook.

As a Quaker school, GFU is biblically rooted. The bible clearly labels homosexuality as a sin on multiple occasions. Obviously people who struggle with such things are no less valuable and no less loved by our Savior, but such actions have no place in the kingdom of God.

Even though Common Ground claims to not support homosexuality, GFU has an obligation to hold true to biblical truths and error on the side of caution when it comes to allowing potentially controversial and questionable to run on campus grounds.

Though many GFU students do not share the university’s stance on homosexuality and sexuality in general, we must all respect the institutional stance, as all have signed contracts agreeing to live consistently with these teachings. Making this commitment rules out our right to argue with GFU policies concerning the issue.

Our university holds obligations not only to its students but to their alumni and other supporters; allowing such clubs on campus has the potential to create issues in these relationships and bring to life a lifestyle on campus that has the potential to be harmful to student’s Christian walk.

GFU recently released a written response to the whole LGBTQ controversy in which they clearly state that every individual is valued no matter what his or her sexual orientation may be and that they plan to respect these individuals, sending out an apology to all who may have been personally offended by their actions.

I’m not saying the decision to deny these students club charter was necessarily the right thing to do, but it can certainly be justified and should not diminish the reputation of our school.

Opinion by Alexis Christopherson

There are few organizations on campus that provide such an open arena for discussion. Common Ground is one of those organizations. Since late last year they have given an otherwise unheard group on campus the opportunity to share in a safe and protected zone.

Especially on a Christian campus like ours, where anything LGBTQ can be taboo, Common Ground provides the space for a clear discussion. They strive “to cultivate a safe space in which LGBTQ individuals feel at home” as they said in their 2012 resolves, a response to ASC’s decision to not let Common Ground be chartered.

I am not writing to condemn ASC. Their reasoning for not allowing Common Ground to be chartered is understandable given their position on campus and within Student Life. However, I do think a second look is warranted in their opinions of the club.

There is a need on campus for some sort of LGBTQ group, that’s why Common Ground was formed in the first place. Whether or not they advocate for policy changes or to convince George Fox to change their view on homosexuality, what they provide for the student body at George Fox is vital. We all need a place to talk. That’s why we have Life Groups, floor Bible studies, friends, and journals.

There are many clubs and groups on campus that cater to various groups. Search the list of clubs on the ASC website and you’ll see a variety to groups of people with all sorts of distinguishing factors. Isn’t the LGBTQ group just as important as those?

Maybe they won’t get chartered, but part of the college experience is broadening our horizons and opening our minds and thought processes. And even if we disagree with the validity of LGBTQ or the ethics of the issue, they are still an important part of the George Fox community. They do not rob us of our Christ-like community; in fact, they make us better.

Overheard and Out of Hand

For several years now, the Facebook page “Overheard at Fox” has been a favorite communication source of the George Fox University (GFU) campus. The page is for GFU students to post the interesting, hilarious, and at times questionable things that are heard in passing.

Because these posts are simply “overheard” snatches of conversations, they are usually taken out of context, which, honestly, makes them all the more amusing to read. Posts can be quotations from students, professors, or any faculty member.

Though the page is not by any means a new craze, “Overheard” is currently getting a heightened amount of attention as GFU students seem to be putting the posts under a fair amount of scrutiny.

Lately, every time “Overheard” is brought up, it is met with mixed reactions. I’ll usually hear either, “Oh yeah, that page is hilarious!” or something along the lines of, “Oh. That.” Lines are being drawn, sides are being chosen.

Since this is just a Facebook page, it may seem odd that there can be such a strong controversy over its likability. However, the cause of all the commotion comes down to people just not playing by the rules.

Surprised? Well of course the page has rules. We are at a Quaker school after all. The rules are both completely fair and exceedingly simple to follow, which causes confusion as to why students seem to be having such a hard time abiding by them.

The rules can be found in the “About” section of the page, and are as follows; no names, no profanity, no gossip, nothing too inappropriate, the person posting cannot be a part of the conversation; it must be overheard, and quoting teachers is allowed as long as the post follows the above rules.

I like “Overheard at Fox.” I find it hilarious. However, it would be good to remember that the rules are there to be followed, and also to think about others when posting. Also, it would be good to use a certain amount of decorum when posting.

Remember that if the quotation isn’t something you would say out loud, it is not something you should be posting it on the internet.

Keep it classy, George Fox.

Act Six Partners with Portland Leadership Foundation

The Act Six program at George Fox University is partnering with Portland Leadership Foundation (PLF) to create welcome boxes for foster children.

PLF’s vision is to “develop multicultural leaders and grow effective, charitable organizations in order to transform and strengthen [the] community.”

Alongside PLF, Act Six, a leadership and scholarship program, is starting an initiative to make welcome boxes for foster children in transition.

The Department of Human Services in Oregon is often underfunded and understaffed. During the process of transitioning into their new foster homes, children wait for multiple hours until a social worker is able to find a suitable foster home placement.

“DHS offices started to come to PLF, creating awareness of the lack of foster care homes for foster care children,” explained senior Karina Ramirez, Act Six scholar and leader of the Welcome Box Initiative. “PLF decided to create these welcome boxes as a step to bring awareness to the issue; also, to create a safe space for children that come into DHS offices. PLF asked Act Six to be part of this initiative.”

These welcome boxes are filled with age-appropriate items that are meant to entertain the children while they wait for placement in DHS offices. These boxes consist of a handwritten note, coloring book, blank journal, art supplies, non-perishable snacks, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and toys.

PLF estimates that these welcome boxes will help more than four thousand children in the Portland metro area.

According to PLF, the Portland metro area, which includes Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties, has 1,640 certified foster homes and 3,143 foster children in the system.

“The reason why Act Six is taking the time to do this is because we felt the calling to help children in need in our community,” said Ramirez. “Especially, for foster children that come from broken homes and need something to brighten their day, or to remind them that they are not forgotten and alone. [We are] trying to make a local difference in our community.”


Lip Sync

For those of you that missed the Lip Sync, or are not following me on Instagram.

I captured every moment, minute by minute.  Here is a short recap:

little hands and lawrence welk make a great couple onjalai might win the cheer contest but taylor wins-others-over katy perry carly rae jepsen and taylor swift try to hit on a guy lmfao tasha is an amazing host chris is still black seniors pull together an epic dance battle of batman and friends asc enjoys making dance videos so do josh brenden garret joey and matt sorry if i forgot anyone pbs is back and everyone remembers how much they miss the arthur theme song the gangam style man himself made a guest appearance tiffany’s pick up line trumped all but the gfa police overruled 2×4 shocks the audience every time they levitate jstitch might be oregon’s best isolation dancer but when it comes to a dance off no one can upstage kegan randy paula and simon choose their ultimate winners. SENIORS BABY!

This group has now won the title three years in a row.  Way to stick with it guys you make us proud!  Who will take over next year?  I have high hopes in you freshman, and see great marks in your future track team.  To everyone else, way to be known.