Small Time Arson on Campus

Students were surprised Sunday morning by a half burnt couch sitting in the middle of the quad at George Fox University. The night before, about a quarter after ten, several residents of Pennington Hall as well as a Resident Assistant and Assistant to the Area Coordinator, rushed to the scene of what was first mistaken as a burning bench.

Freshman Shelby Ellis seems to be the first to have noticed the flaming couch: “ I said to my roommates, ‘uh … there’s a fire in the quad’ so we all ran out with no shoes.”

The group called 9-1-1, as well as alerting the Resident Life staff on duty, Annie Lunt and Jay Cornwell. The group approached the fire to find a security guard there, along with a few other eyewitnesses, who had alerted the fire department and were awaiting assistance. When Cornwell arrived with a fire extinguisher in hand, the security guard “let us put the fire out before the fire department got there,” he reported.

The crisis under control, the fire department arrived on scene and took statements from the witnesses. According to Ellis, “[They] saw some guys take it off a truck, plop it there, and then burn it.” Apparently having been questioned by a security guard earlier the culprits “had said they were just taking it back to wherever they live.” When the fire and police departments arrived they “looked things over, and they said that it was their excitement for the evening.”

No one seems sure about the reason for the couch burning. In Cornwell’s words, “I have no idea who did it, or what their motives were. It was very random.” Random indeed, agreed Ellis, “As for the why of it, no one really knows.”

Called “a tradition” for West Virginia University students by the school’s newspaper, The Mountaineer, couch burning has been known to accompany losses by WVU sports teams (forty students have been expelled or suspended over the last fifteen years). However, there appears to be no connection to the GFU men’s basketball team loss on Saturday.

At the time of publication, no comment had been made by campus security.


Jay Cornwell (with fire extinguisher), Annie Lunt (right and behind of Cornwell) and Annie Lunt (left and behind Cornwell)


Student Dies After Attending Halloween Party

On Nov. 1, Sophomore Aaron Altman died after attending a rave in Seattle.

The cause of death is unknown and the toxicology report is currently underway.

According to King 5, Altman attended the FreakNight Festival and allegedly overdosed on “Molly,” a popular party drug. FreakNight is the largest 2-day annual rave held on Halloween. The second night of the festival was cancelled after reports of Altman’s death.

King 5 also reported that “the Seattle Fire Department said they brought 16 people to the hospital following the first night of FreakNight on Friday, but the Seattle Police Department said late Saturday night that they still did not have a report of a death linked to the event.”

Mark Pothoff, dean of Community Life, said that Altman’s death was first reported two days after the event through social media posts and rumors overheard by a resident assistant.

“It was about 48 hours after he died that we heard about it, which we actually thought was a long time, given how information gets passed through social media and through students,” said Pothoff. “It’s challenging in a situation like this because of the alleged cause of death and what was put out in the media before. His family has said that it was an accidental death and there has been no mention of the causes of how that happened.”

“We really don’t know any of the details of who he was with, but we did hear he was with his brother when he died. I don’t know if he was with him the whole time, what actually took place, what he or may not have done,” said Pothoff.

Altman was a Finance major who lived off campus. According to Pothoff, Altman was a well-connected student who lived in Pennington Hall last year.

David Liu, assistant professor of management, had Altman in his Business Ethics class. According to Liu, Altman was a bright and talented student. “He was very participative in class,” said Liu. “Very polite, very cordial. He had a lot of insight. I was so proud of him; he was on the dean’s list. I will miss him and our class will miss him.”

“I didn’t know him well but every time I saw him, he would would smile and say hi to me,” said Junior Mason Kriz. “All of my interactions with him were filled with life. I think my response to his death is more a response to everyone who has been impacted by it. It’s hard to see so many people on this campus hurting.”

Altman’s family is hosting a memorial service at Beaverton Foursquare on Nov. 8. Click here for more information.

There will be an on-campus gathering in Altman’s memory next week. Details about this gathering have not been confirmed.

Correction: The date of Altman’s death was corrected to Nov. 1.


Ring by Spring Debate- Correction

In our April 23 edition, there were several errors in an article featuring the University’s debate team. Below is the corrected version.
Written by Heather Harney

On March 7th, the debate team, the best kept secret on campus, held their last public debate of the academic year. The subject matter is something our campus has firsthand knowledge of—We Regret Ring By Spring. The debate also served as the senior members and debate coach Dr. Abigail Rine’s swan song.

Students packed Hoover 105. Most of them had never witnessed the British Parliamentary Debate Style. Eight members of the team were split into teams of two; two teams on the Government’s side who argued in support of Regret and two teams on the opposition’s side who argued “why not ring by spring?”

Dr. Rine gave an enthusiastic audience strict instructions that included; “knocking” on tables for applause or in agreement, crying “Shame” if something said was so egregious that something had to be said, crying “Here, Here,” if we needed to further voice our support of the speaker, and how to ask a question of the speaker—stand up, hold out your right hand and with your left, hold your fake wig in place.

Each speaker was given seven minutes to present their case and could accept questions after the first minute of their speech passed. The two government teams were Kathryn Knight and Jenny Newman and Kaitlyn Elting and Brice Ezell. The two opposition teams were Jeremiah LaPlante and Alec Moore and Luke Petach and Patrick Campbell.

Knight began the debate with a quote from Groucho Marx, “Marriage is a great institution, but who wants to live in an institution.” She went on to set the tone, pace, and entire frame of the debate. Her three main points were: Ring by Spring harms relationships, sets unfair expectations, and hurts education. Newman, Knight’s teammate, also argued that students on this campus should be finding their commission instead of a spouse.

LaPlante presented the first position of the opposition. His argument for Ring by Spring not being a thing we regret is that marriage stands for something greater on a Christian campus and is a symbol of the Creator. The opposition presented a variety of statistics and personal touches but most of their time was spent repudiating the government’s stance.

Each debate member presented hilarious quips, memorable retorts, and excitement. Ezell began his argument with, “Side Yes to the Dress” and drew a loud round of knocking and “Here, Here.” Campbell began his closing with a warning that he was passionate about his fiancé and might raise his voice which lent credibility to his stance.

Once each team member had spoken, four judges set out to pick a winning team. Dr. Rine asked the audience to pick a winner by a round of applause to see if our choice matched the judges. The audience overwhelming picked Petach and Campbell, but the judges picked Knight and Newman because their points dominated the debate.

Our Stories Never End

Today is bittersweet. With the last of my official classes and finals quick approaching, the reality of the end is beginning to sink in. As sad as I am that things are ending, I can not help but reflect on how blessed I have been this year, not just by coming to George Fox in general, but also by being able to be part of such an amazing staff. It is not often that people get to do what they love with so many others who share the same passion. For that I am grateful.

The biggest blessing of my Crescent experience was being able to write these beats. Focusing my beats on the ways God has been and is moving on campus was so encouraging to me.

I loved the chance to meet with people for interviews. These interviews have felt much less like actual interviews, and more like my spirit being filled with passion as people like Kelly, Joanna, and Miranda shared their stories.

By the end of the semester, I was looking forward to writing these every week. They did not feel like a burden I had to accomplish. They were an encouragement to hear about, to write about, and my hope is that they were an encouragement to read.

It was cool to be reminded, through these beats, of the power of stories and the power of God. They reminded me why I love editing, why I love writing, and I hope they reminded others why they loved Jesus.

In the midst of the chaos of school, and in the midst of the change that comes with the end of the year, I hope that people take the time to remind themselves that God is writing the story of our lives every day, in every way.

Professor John Knox: Teacher, Author, and Servant

Biblical Studies Professor John Knox (students call him Knox) arrives to class in a broken-in blue baseball cap and a Doctor Who character shirt. Students in class immediately wrap up their conversations and wait for Knox to begin his lesson. He is infamous for showing video clips highlighting lessons or to create conversations. Not one to hear himself talk, Knox encourages interactions between students. He often asks students to open their Bibles and read the text out loud with a James Earl Jones voice.

Knox has been teaching and enriching peoples’ lives at George Fox for ten years.

“I have enjoyed working for the past decade at GFU mainly because of the people—students, faculty, administrators—who have consistently demonstrated their love of God, others, and learning,” Knox said. “I sincerely think God has opened doors and used me in His service at GFU, and for that I am grateful.”

At the start of this academic year he was asked to be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies.  His PhD focuses on the state of Religiosity in the West and he intends to add to his ever growing portfolio.  Knox is pursuing his other passion–writing.  Last year his fiction novella, The Letter of Alon, was published.  This academic year saw Knox publish three articles in an online Fuller Journal regarding radical individualism in the Pacific Northwest.  His most recent publication was on April 9 in Christ Cascadia entitled “Future Emphasis of the Church in the Pacific Northwest.”

When asked about writing Knox smiles.

“I loved writing my first novel published in August, The Letter of Alon, and have been working on its sequel as well as a new Christian SciFi novel, too,” Knox said. “It is a joy to utilize all my university learning in my writing—my ultimate goal for each is to produce works that are entertaining, educational, and inspirational.  Once a teacher, always a teacher.”

With regard to the classes Knox teaches, they fill up fast and stay that way throughout the semester. His teaching style is engaging, refreshing, entertaining, and honest.  Knox requires students to read, question, and share.  There is no coasting in any of his classes.

“If I had to define Knox in two words I would call him ‘unconventionally ingenious.’ Knox is one of the few Bible professors who reminds me every class session why I’m here at Fox,” says junior Jordan Nelson. “He displays the dedication, love of teaching, and love of learning that I’ve come to expect of George Fox professors. His non-traditional methods lead to non-traditional results. His students are not only intrigued by his lessons, but engaged in the Word beyond what one would expect of a standard Bible class or even an insightful sermon. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Professor Knox, a man whose teaching allows students to reach beyond the security of the conventional into the boundless void of new and unexplored knowledge.”

As the next academic year approaches, Knox looks forward to the new experiences to come.

“Regardless of where the Spirit moves me, like Dr. Seuss said, ‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.’  My GFU friendships and relationships have left a legacy of love in my heart,” Knox said.

My Last Two Bits: Reflections on 2013-14

With summer just around the bend, we are all working hard (or are we hardly working?) to finish out this semester as successfully as possible. Finals will soon be over and we will all head out on our next adventures. But we will not go without any reflections on this school year and the memories that we have made.

Personally speaking, this has been an interesting year for your friendly neighborhood Opinions Editor.

First, I was given an official beat on the website for “The Crescent”.

Although we had a website last year and I was allowed to write for it if I wanted to, making it official made me schedule proper time to write articles.  I had deadlines and responsibilities, either a writer’s greatest enemy or his best friend.

Writing for online publication is a whole new world.  I do not have to worry about writing too much for lack of space.  I can write a 700+ word article and almost no one will bat an eye!

Then, there is the fact that gifs and videos can be attached to articles.  Being able to use these not only makes the article a more interesting read, but also even more fun for me to create.

Not to say that I dislike our print edition; I love it. It brings me so much joy to walk around campus and to see people with a copy. I get to look at it and say, “Hey, I helped make that.”

Then I started offending people.

Now, I want it to be perfectly clear: The things I have written have not been for the purpose of being offensive to people.  I write what I think and as an editorial writer that is completely within my rights.

For example, I once wrote an article criticizing ASC (you can read that here).  I am not sorry for the things I wrote and I stand by what I said. “The Crescent” is supposed to be the voice of the students and ideas are like ants (if you see one, there are more around): If one person is writing about something, then a multitude of others are having the same thought.

On the bright side, it is nice to know that ASC actually reads our articles.

which is nice

This year’s conference in San Diego was great. I learned quite a bit from the conference itself, there were quite a few very good speakers.  I learned about interviewing and blogging and interesting things about newspaper design.  All valuable things.

Even more important, though, were the people. It is always a nice experience to meet other college journalists and to swap stories from the office or interesting ideas.  Professionally, I am told that is called networking.

The trip also really helped with getting to know some of the other people I work with.  This year, our faculty advisor, Melanie Mock, accompanied us.  She is a wonderful person and it was great to have her come with us (And I am not just saying that because she has to read this before it gets published).

Overall, it has been my great pleasure and honor to be the opinions editor for the second year.  I tried to do my best to write articles that entertained (like this one) and articles aimed at fighting the crippling apathy that plagues our campus.  I have thoroughly enjoyed working the other people on this staff and I hope I get to work with them again soon. For those who I will not have that opportunity with, I wish them well and hope they are going on to bigger and better things (you know who you are).

And to the readers: thanks for reading.  For now, that’s all folks!

-Levi Bowers, Your Friendly Neighborhood Opinions Editor

Student Directs Play in Laundromat

Cambria Herrera is a sophomore theatre major. She is directing a play April 23-24 called “Third Oak and the Laundromat,” a one-act performance that is a little out of the box—but a piece that is decidedly relevant for the George Fox community.

The play is by Marsha Norman and will run approximately forty minutes. The premise is that two women walk into the laundromat at 3 a.m. to escape the problems in their lives, and discover that they have more in common than they thought.

“They’re both escaping loneness at home,” said Herrera. “One, her husband passed away, and the other, her husband is cheating on her, so they find their commonality. But that’s not really revealed until they start talking … they both realize they were glad they had the conversation afterwards.”

The one-act is a little unorthodox in where it will be performed. Instead of staging the play in Wood-Mar Auditorium, where the theatre department usually performs, it will be set on location in a laundromat.

“I’m so excited for so many reasons— the main one being this theme of approaching people that are different from you,” said Herrera. “Doing it in a laundromat really helps that theme, because we’re all going to be sitting around the actors, looking at them and looking at each other.”

Herrera has just begun directing this year, and she loves the process of teaching actors how to interpret the text and feel the characters.

“I started as an actor—it’s what every director says—but I also like teaching, and I love being an audience member,” said Herrera. “So just getting to watch other people perform and then getting to work with actors and talk to them about what’s going to help them get better is really fun.”

Herrera chose Third Oak and the Laundromat because of its relevance and timeliness for the students at George Fox. She acknowledges the number of women actresses who are not always able to perform in the theatre department’s productions and wanted to give them a chance to be a part of a play. She also wanted to find something that would apply to students right now.

“I think [it’s] the issue of looking at another stranger who is different than you and taking the time to converse with them and be there for them without any judgment,” said Herrera. “I think that’s something that we can all feel.”

“Third Oak and the Laundromat” will be performed at the Coin Laundromat on Springbrook road in Newberg on April 23-24 at 10:50 p.m.



A Tribute to Mickey Rooney

On April 6 Mickey Rooney, a beloved actor, passed away at age 93. His entertainment career spanned nearly his entire lifetime, lasting up until the day of his death. He co-starred many times along side Judy Garland, and was a revered showman. Here is a snap shot of just two of his many films.

National Velvet. In this 1944 classic, Mickey Rooney stars along side Elizabeth Taylor as a scared former jockey who agrees to help a young girl named Velvet Brown, played by Elizabeth Taylor, train a wild horse for England’s National Sweepstakes. Rooney himself plays Mi Taylor, a young man who blows into town and finds work as a hired hand in a stable.

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys old-fashioned movies, and inspirational stories. In addition, this movie is considered so important it was selected in 2003 to be a part of the United States National Film Registry in the Library of Congress for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.

Pete’s Dragon. One of Rooney’s later hits (1977), this children’s story slightly resembles the plot of Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee. It is, however, wonderful and unique in its own right. Following the journey of a boy with an invisible pet dragon, this film stars Helen Reddy and Mickey Rooney as lighthouse keepers who take in the boy with the dragon, Pete.

They protect him from his evil adoptive family, and defend him even when he makes a mess in the town. If you have ever heard the song “Brazzle Dazzle Day” this is where that song comes from. The music in this movie is actually very good if you enjoy musicals, and it is one of the first movies to mix animation and live action.

Resident Assistant Position Reaffirms Student’s Passion for his Field

George Fox University junior and psychology major Jared Larson expresses great appreciation for his position as a resident assistant of Lewis apartments; he also finds the role valuable in equipping him for a successful future.

Upon setting foot onto campus in the fall of his freshman year, Larson was enthusiastic about the Christian environment the university had to offer.

“I wanted to be surrounded by Christian leaders, who would help grow me as a Christian,” says Larson. “My youth pastor always told me that college was a time when people lose their faith. I didn’t want that to be the case for me.”

Fully immersing himself in the community, an energetic Larson sought out opportunities to form relationships with those around him, leading him into an RA position his junior year.

Far exceeding typical RA expectations, he strove to form a deeper sense of community within his residence area: planning community events, mediating residential conflicts and even providing occasional chocolate chip cookie deliveries to residents’ doors.

“One of my goals in life is to be an inspiration unto others,” says Larson. “I just enjoy making my residents feel at home. I like to help and make others feel included and special. I like developing others and showing them the potential that they have in this life”

Through his experience in serving at GFU, Larson has only become more sure regarding his goal of becoming a school counselor.

“Being an RA has influenced my college experience by helping me develop experiences that will help me with my future career,” he says. “It has definitely helped me see who I am as a person and who I want to be when I am older.”

As Larson prepares for his last year as a student, he is delighted at the opportunity to serve as RA of Woolman apartments for the 2014-15 school year. With his self-claimed characteristics of positivity, encouragement and sass he hopes to unite his newest group of residents and leave with memories that he will not be soon to forget.

Making Friends With Trolls

I was sixteen and staying with family friends in Norway. I saw very quickly the culture of trolls. Not the kind you meet every day on the internet, but the lumpy, bug-eyed version of trolls, the ones that smell Christian blood and haunt the forests and can have multiple heads but nothing in them. You could buy little troll figures in every souvenir store. They smile ugly smiles at every person who walks by. But I had been warned not to mess with trolls; generally I knew better.

I met a troll while traveling between two cities in Norway.  My family friends and I stopped to get something to eat and outside the restaurant there was a hill and on top of that hill sat a troll. He waved out at us, holding his walking stick; it was obvious he was a traveler of these hills.

Norwegian Troll

Our plan was to go pay the troll a visit after lunch. I said that I did not think the troll would mind, we would be friends. I was sure of it. I was about to make a new friend.

With trolls, however, you do not overstep your boundaries.

My friend, her dad, and I climbed to the top of the troll’s hill. We stopped there to take a picture and I assured the troll that we were good friends, and I took one more picture. Then we made our way back to the car.

On the way down somehow I managed to slip and fall on the uneven hillside. I said I was fine and kept walking. Back at the car my bottom was in a lot of pain from hitting the ground. I asked myself how I fell. I was being very careful. Then I realized, I must have done something to upset the troll. I overstepped my boundary. I did not earn the troll’s friendship, I assumed it.

Even if you do not mean to, do not mess with trolls, and do not think that they will not let you know what they think.

The myth and idea of trolls is so ingrained into the culture today, you cannot get away from them. Everywhere I went there seemed to be some evidence of them, but I learned that a friendship with Norwegian trolls was something to be earned, because you may just fall and end up with a bruise for the rest of your vacation.

If you ever travel to Norway, you will see in random places that a troll has been put there. I do not know if they are for tourists or natives, but the idea of creatures that resides in the country that protect it but have some unscrupulous, possible dangerous sides to them gives it character. The trolls seen around the country may be funny or silly, but they give the culture character. It also shows the power of the myths of trolls that has survived today to give tourists glaring looks over their long noses.