Think you will be housing with the wrong roommates?

By now, you should have received confirmation with who you are going to live with next academic year. You might have also found out where you will be living. Most people are excited about their housing situation. But, it has been brought to my attention that some students are anxious to either find out or to be living with the people they are already assigned with.

I remember when I was beginning my freshman year: I was so nervous as to how my roommate would turn out to be and if she’d accept some of my living habits. You’re not alone in this whole housing situation; a majority of students have those same concerns.

Tune into what Miss J has to say. Hopefully, you’ll feel a little more relieved about your housing situation.

Dear Miss J,
I’m kind of nervous to be rooming with my roommate for next year. I’ve grown really close to her over this past year and she seems like a pretty cool chic. However, her current roommate has been disclosing some information about her regarding her living habits. My friend’s roommate has expressed how she can be messy and disrespectful when it comes to space and privacy. I didn’t get that vibe from my friend, but, then again, looks can be deceiving. I want to approach her, but I feel like it would just create unnecessary tension. That’s something I definitely don’t want before we live together. What should I do?

Miss J’s Answer:

I’ll tell you this: You should never base a person’s personality or character off of what someone tells you. It’s always good to find out for yourself. Have you actually been in your friends room to witness what her roommate is telling you? If not, you shouldn’t be too concerned yet. Approach your friend first and discuss both of your preferences in roommates. Ask her what her likes and dislikes are before you disclose your preferences. Then lay it down for her and let her know that you want to respect her space as much as you want her to respect yours. Make sure you know where you’re coming from. After that, let things go and continue your happy friendship with each other.

Dear Miss J,
Housing selections are over now, but I am bitter about how it went down. I was  forced into a group….Well, maybe coerced or influenced are better words. I’m pretty cool with all of the people who are in my housing area; they’re all nice and everything. But, they are all pretty picky and super duper clean! I can’t take it! I mean I am a clean person and all; but there are times when I happen to leave clothes on the floor or when I don’t make my bed. I’ve witnessed how they respond to those housemates who aren’t as clean as them, and they’re pretty harsh. I’m still surprised we all grew so close as friends. How should I approach them about my situation?

Miss J’s Answer:

Why did you wait until the housing selections were finished? Well, now that it’s over, it’s time that you and you’re group gets an understanding with each other. Ask your housing mates for next year if you could all go out to coffee or nice, quiet setting similar to a coffee shop. (Coffee shops are the perfect places to talk.) When you are able to gather all your housemates together, explain your thoughts and where you are coming from. Listen to what they have to say in return. If they sound like they are not understanding of where you stand, then maybe it’s time to reconsider your decision of who you will be staying with next year. But, if your housemates are accepting of your side of the story, then move on with a smile on your face.

Spring Chamber Concert

George Fox University’s Department of Music held its annual Spring Chamber Concert this past week, giving the community a glimpse into some of the smaller, potentially lesser known, ensembles present on campus.

Deemed as an open event, the Spring Chamber concert serves as an outlet for student participants of ensembles to share their musical talents with the rest of the student body and surrounding community, free of charge.

Hosted in Bauman Auditorium, this year’s production featured performances by the Keyboard Ensemble, Women’s Chorale, the String Ensemble, the hand bell ringers and the Chamber singers performing many traditional, well-known pieces such as Alleluia, Bells of Notre Dame, and Under the Sea, among others.

“Having one chamber concert gives students not familiar with the music program at Fox a chance to see the wide range of ensembles one can be a part of here,” says sophomore and string ensemble member Issac Pauley.

“My favorite part of the event was being able to perform something we have spent a lot of time on, “ says sophomore and member of the handbell ringers, Emily Deering. “Handbells are very unique. It was a good chance for students to be exposed to something different,” she continued.

“All of these ensembles, with exception of the Chamber Choir and the String Quartet, do not require an audition, and are easily available for anyone who misses performing in an ensemble,” Deering said.

To get information regarding dates of future concerts or to purchase tickets for upcoming music events visit the University Box Office or go online to

New ASC Chaplain: Megan Armentrout

Megan Armentrout shares her thoughts and vision as serving George Fox University’s 2013-14 ASC Chaplain.

Q: What made you want to run/apply for ASC Chaplain?

A: I love seeing students stepping up to serve their peers and I want to be a part of that as well. I want to be a servant to the students here at Fox. I have been blessed by this rich community and my only response is to pour that blessing out to others in hopes that students leave Fox knowing that they were invested in and were loved.

Q: What’s your vision for spiritual life on campus?

A: I want to seek the Kingdom of God full-heartedly and partner in what the Spirit is already doing on this campus. I believe that God is up to something huge and He is calling out to those who will listen. My vision is to see the students and faculty of George Fox University so deeply committed to the work of Christ that they will stop at nothing to usher in the Kingdom and embrace the hope and prayer of ‘Let your Kingdom come & Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Q: What sort of things are you planning to do this year?

A: As we all know, the Chapel requirements have changed, but that does not mean that the spiritual community on this campus will change. I hope to have a partnership with both Spiritual Life and ASC in fostering the spiritual growth at Fox through the different ministry opportunities available to students. I am hoping that the efforts of Shalom and Greenroom will stay in effect next year and that the students will still have a place to offer their gifts and talents in various ways.

Q: What is something that you see God doing on campus or something that you’re praying for God to do on GFU campus this year?

A: God is stirring the deep need for prayer in the hearts of His people. Last year many people caught that vision and I believe that it will continue for years to come. Prayer is essential in our walk with God, not only individually but also as a community. I am praying that God will awaken our hearts to earnestly seek Him and that we will no longer be satisfied with going through the motions.


George Fox Plays Fourth Annual Football Game Against Warner Pacific

The rain would not stop pouring, and the wind blew intensely, yet the George Fox University flag football team still played a competitive game against Warner Pacific University on April 6 at the Austin Sports Complex.

“I had a good time reuniting with teammates, killing the chemistry, and having a good time in the soaking rain,” said junior Anthony Jordan.

The fourth-annual game setting felt like Friday night lights, as students stood with umbrellas, hot chocolate, and cuddled with friends as they cheered for their school. The teams played 25 minute halves, except for the second half where a Super Bowl repeat occurred: the stadium lights shut down with 8:14 to go, and Warner held lead 38-31.

The men had a month worth of practice before this, and most of the George Fox team was made up of the intramural team, Cool Running, that won the flag football championship. Students who were interested in playing were added.

In the first half the Bruins kicked off to the Knights and they scored the first touchdown of the night, 6-0. Jordan scored the first Bruin touchdown to tie the game.

Warner Pacific had possession, but lost it when freshman Shawn Kirby intercepted, and senior Zach Mendon scored the second touchdown as they stole the lead with the extra point, 13-6. The Knights responded with a touchdown and a one point conversion to tie the game, 13-13.

The Knights took the lead once again, as they intercepted the ball and scored to lead 19-13. Mendon scored again to tie the game, but the Knights closed the half with three seconds left to give them the lead, 26-19.

In the second half, George Fox added another touchdown, but Warner replied, 32-25 with 20:00 minutes left. George Fox scored one more time before the lights went out, but Warner closed the game as they added another touchdown, 38-31.

The tradition of playing flag football against Warner Pacific began three years ago, and Warner has swept all of contests, including this one. The game’s ending will not be played; instead, the two teams will meet again next year.

Have a Nice Day!

An interesting thought: why is the phrase, “have a nice day,” one of our default niceties?

Perhaps I delve too deeply into a niche of cultural interaction best left alone, but I’m intrigued regardless. Superficially, it seems a perfectly pleasant and inconspicuous phrase, one of those subconscious knee-jerk results of American socialization which, occasionally, lead to embarrassing faux pas. “What’s up?” “Good, you?”

Consider this, though: this phrase implies that our happiness and contentment revolves upon a regular cycle, continually resets along with the sun and moon. When one says “have a nice day,” one suggests that, while the remainder of the day may be sunny and enjoyable, the next day not only lacks a guarantee of happiness, but is perhaps doomed for melancholy.

Indeed, the phrase seems to subtly comment on the baseness of life, hints that the equilibrium of living tilts in the direction of, at best, boredom and languor. A nice day, in the spirit of the phrase, becomes an anomaly, an outlier, something so rare it deserves to be remarked upon. One can imagine the inflection of surprise the phrase could carry: “Oh, you’re having a nice day?”

No, this throws a shadow upon life which is wholly undeserved. Perhaps sometimes the dynamics are difficult, as the intricate mechanism of life occasionally croaks and groans, the cogs and gears grinding under the infinite weight of the entirety of human interaction and spirit, but the essence of life is good, always good. All days are nice, laced and saturated with all the goodness inherent in the state of being alive; breath itself constitutes a miracle, and every second of thought and action and love is something spiritual and cosmic.

To remind someone to have a nice day is akin to reminding them to blink. Contrary to scientific claims, the heart knows the world and life more intimately than the head, relishes every waking second in the beauty and elegance of all creation. People can’t help but have nice days, if only they recognize as such.

In Defense of Passion

Life is stifling, squeezes and wrings the passion and emotion and inventive energy from a person, demanding the continual transformation from the creative, imaginative, idealistic state of youth into a machine-like adulthood. When young, one may dream lofty dreams and think lofty thoughts, may experiment and explore and expand the limits of existence. When older, one must produce, perform, on demand. Each day is a little more mechanical; if one cannot perform 100 times in 100 for an employer, it’d better be 99.

What space does such a life reserve for expression? What possible outlet for the constant longing and writhing of the heart as it plots and plans for grand adventures of love and loss and heroism? Regardless of what scientific minds may claim, humanity is, at the most essential level, transcendent and imbibes transcendent bits of the world every day. The most basic human instinct is not shelter, or food, or reproduction, but instead to contribute to the collective artistry of life, to somehow embody and expel a fraction of the beautiful life-breath of humanity.

One cannot fashion cosmic elegance sitting at a desk. One cannot be an artist of the beautiful filing papers. Each human needs, desperately, a method by which he expresses, for there is nothing as pleasing or as good as a physical, kinetic, tactile embodiment of one’s heart and soul. Again, the claims of the scientist, of synapses and natural attractions and pleasing color combinations are dashed to the wind; a painting fascinates not because the palette of color triggers a wild desire to hunt and gather, but because that painting offers a rare opportunity to step into another reality, to see the dynamic and unstatic world through the eyes of another.

Seize a little of all the universe offers. Life is so much more than work and achievement. Beauty is not constrained by schedule and guideline. To claim as such, to claim life is withdrawn and austere, a minimalist representation of something greater, is an insult and a terrible mistake, for life escapes all things and all thoughts. A painting, a poem, any work of art is not merely a physical thing, fettered by physical limits of space and dimension, but is fluid and infinite, a dream captured and sandwiched between a moment and a heart. To express oneself is to mark the universe, to validate one’s own existence. Do something beautiful. Be something beautiful.

Louisville Brings Kevin Ware a Trophy and a Trip to the Final Four

Kevin Ware pulled his team together while the rest of his teammates were falling apart after witnessing Ware land awkwardly after attempting to block a 3-point shot during the Elite Eight NCAA March Madness Tournament on Mar. 31.

Number one seeded Louisville dominated number two Duke in the second half and won 85-63, but before the celebration happened Ware heard a snap after trying to contest a shot, and saw his bone stick out of his leg with only 6:33 left in the first half. His teammates fell to the ground in disbelief. Their hands covered their faces, and they couldn’t bear to see their teammate’s traumatizing injury. The bench collapsed as they witnessed the gruesome pain with their own eyes and emotions flooded high.

But the only thing Ware was concerned about was for this team to win the game. He told them multiple times that he was fine. All he wanted them to do was win the game. He made sure they stopped worrying about him, and that his injury wouldn’t distract his team from their goal of winning a national championship.

Assuring they have a chance to win the championship is exactly what Louisville did as they walked onto the court for the second half. The Cardinals came out stronger, faster, and aggressive. They found their way to the paint, fell to the ground for every loose ball, and played intense defense. Duke couldn’t keep up with the pace of their game, and the Cardinals always had an answer for every shot made by Duke.

Ware’s selfless act inspired his team to win and bring him the Midwest Regional Champion trophy. After the game head coach Rick Pitino went to visit him and allowed Ware to hold the trophy. During the two hour surgery he had the bone reset, the wound closed, and a rod inserted in his tibia.

Twitter was buzzing for support and prayer for Kevin Ware. Many hashtagged “#PrayForKevinWare” and tweeted pictures of his leg, but also his teammates hovering around Kevin and showing what it looks like for a team to rise during adversity. The trophy is staying with him until he’s released Tuesday. He plans to travel with the team as they take on number nine Wichita State in the semifinal on April 6.

Summer Plans: Wise words from Miss J

Despite Oregon’s bipolar weather, all other signs show that summer is soon approaching. It’s almost the end of the semester as many of the big, important school projects are assigned at this time of the academic year. Miss J would like to encourage all of you students to continue holding on, to continue working hard, and to remain sane!
Although spring has just arrived on the scene, people are already making summer plans. I’ve heard students discuss their ideas regarding traveling and going on vacations. I’ve also have heard of students expressing how they will be either working at a summer job or interning at a company of their dreams. Both of these plans are great. I recommend engaging in a little bit of both plans, however. It’s worth bragging about simultaneously traveling to a fun location and interning at a job about which you are passionate.
Usually, when you think of summer, you think of “fun” and “adventure.”  You never really ponder on your future, though, when the summer season approaches. But, Miss J would like to tell you that this is the best time to think about and create your future. Summer is the time for not only freedom, but to find out whom you are, your identity, your likes, and your passion.

What exactly do you mean, Miss J? I mean, that summer should be a time where you really work towards what you plan to do after college. Where do you see yourself in two to five years? What are you passionate about? What do you want to do with your life? Four months is a long time, but it is a great time to work on yourself and work towards your dreams.

You may be ending your freshman year soon, but don’t think you can’t work on accomplishing your dreams or create a future this summer. Apply for a job that is related to the career field you hope to be in a couple of years. For example, if you are majoring in a health-focused discipline, you can apply to maybe be a receptionist at a clinic or medical center. You might not see yourself working as a receptionist after you graduate; however, it’s a start and a foot in the door towards what you want to do in the years to come.

As for you students who are of junior and senior status, Miss J would like to remind you that the end is almost near. This chapter is almost closing, and it’s about time to figure out what you will write for the next one. This summer is crucial as the things you do will steer you into where your next chapter will start. I recommend that you take the time now to start figuring out what you will do this summer that will relate to building your future.

I’m not advising you to go out and apply for just any type of job. There’s more to building your future than simply applying for jobs that appear to relate to your study discipline. I am telling you to go out and make connections, to travel and see the world beyond the small town you come from, to meet new people, and to discover something new about yourself. This summer, take the time to explore and discover your passion; get involved in something new. By the time summer ends, you’ll find you have not only accomplished many things, but that you have taken the steps that will lead you to a bright future.

2013-14 Chaplains Share Their Vision

Two of our 2013-14 Chaplains, Tim Almquist and Shekinah Davis, shared some of their thoughts and their vision for the spiritual community on campus this year.

Q: What are you looking forward to most about being a Chaplain?

Tim: Besides getting to go on that float about thing, I’m very excited to get to work alongside a group of passionate individuals who care deeply about the spiritual vitality of the George Fox Community and the greater human community beyond our campus.

Shekinah: I am looking forward to deep conversations about Jesus Christ. I look forward to praying with students and connecting on deeper levels. I look forward to fostering intentional community on campus.

Q: What is your vision for the spiritual life of GFU this year?

Tim: I hope we as a unique and diverse community called George Fox University think creatively about how our everyday experiences involve a revelation of the Holy Spirit.

I desire that we would not trend towards a compartmentalized way of practicing faith in which our spiritual thinking is merely done at organized chapel events or our worship happens only to Phil Wickham songs.

I’m inspired when I read the words of Frederick Buechner in his book Telling Secrets. He says, “The Exodus, the Covenant, the entry into the Promised Land—such mighty acts of God as these appear in Scripture, but no less mighty are the acts of God as they appear in our own lives.”

May we be an inclusive people who take seriously the power of a grace giving God in our 21st century lives, letting his redemptive activity transcend all that we do and say.

Shekinah: My vision is that rather than SpiL being this house on the outskirts of campus/on Meridian Street, that it will be a dwelling place for broken spirits and students needing someone to confide in and pray with. SpiL has done amazing things on campus and I look forward to seeing the things that God will do this year.

Q: What is something that you see God doing on our campus or something that you are praying for Him to do?

Tim: Our community (students, faculty and administration) at Fox has such a special opportunity as I have noticed myself, to be about right relationships with people very different from one another. Because of our size and unique intentionality, we can get to know each other and learn from one another despite, for example, our differing tastes of music, ethnicities, academic directions, political opinions or theological beliefs. My prayer is that we would continue to keep relationships no matter how different we are. I have a feeling the kingdom of God is not a separating one.

Shekinah: I see conversations being started, about race, immigration, relationships, and that’s amazing. I think that God works best when we are able to dialogue about the things that trouble us or even interest us. I am praying that God will just restore the joy of His salvation all across campus. That he will reign down and fill Fox with his presence and that he will make us a community that is ‘naked and unashamed’!