• symposiumdiscussionevents

    Symposium Discussion Events

    Over the course of the next three weeks, there will be student-led discussions about “hard to talk about” subjects. “Symposium” will be held on Thursdays in EHS 102, during regularly scheduled chapel times 10:50-11:40 a.m. “All of the topics we will discuss are important conversations,” said Lizzy Riese, Student Life intern, “but often they are not talked about because of stigmas attached to the subject matter or because they make people uncomfortable.” The purpose of this new series will be to open up uncomfortable subjects, and make them accessible to the student body. The panels will mainly be composed of GFU faculty and staff, but student input will be encouraged. During the discussions, students will be able to directly submit questions to the moderator, who will then ask those questions to the panel. “All of the topics we will be talking about affect all of us in some way,” said Riese. “Whether it is discussing what our role as Christians should be in politics, or learning how mental health issues affect our campus community.” Elective chapel credit will be offered for each session. After each panel, students have an opportunity to sign up for discussion groups in order to further the conversation. On Oct. 23, the topic of discussion will be “Convicted Civility: Pursuing Christ in Our Conversations.” This will be an in depth look into maintaining Christian beliefs, while learning to have respectful conversations with those of different value systems. On Oct. 30, the symposium will focus on mental health issues, and how to support those who struggle with them. Finally, on Nov. 6, the subject will be “Church and State.” This discussion will center on how Christians can, or perhaps should, engage in politics. The event has been planned largely by the Student Life office, and particularly by Riese, with close supervision from Brad Lau, director of Student Life. A small student group was formed to discuss ideas and to brainstorm. “They have been a huge part of the brainstorming behind this series,” said Riese. “There is no way this event could be pulled off without their help.” “It’s a low pressure way to talk about things that need to be talked about,” said Michael Harris, who was part of the student brainstorming group.
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    IDEA center to start "Who Do YOU Know" campaign

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    October 24, 2014
    The IDEA center is starting a new initiative Nov. 1 to encourage students to get a head-start on networking for their intended career path. The “Who Do YOU Know” campaign will emphasize the importance of using Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks to talk to family members and friends about students’ career goals. “74% of jobs are found through networking,” said Deb Mumm-Hill, director of student success. “70% of jobs are hidden from the market, so we’re excited to get students comfortable in the art of networking, and it’s easier to do that with family.” The promotion, announced Oct. 13, is meant to help students expand their network of career contacts, as well as getting their foot in the door for prospective internships. “It’s not about who you know, it’s more about who knows you,” said Mumm-Hill. “I think one of our huge focuses is about getting students to think about this before May of senior year,” said Sidney Tafflinger, career coordinator. “I don’t think you can be found these day without networking.” “One of the goals this campaign will emphasize for the student body is getting five or six informational interviews with people in their fields of interest,” said Mumm-Hill. “You don’t get a job shadow until you have a relationship. We think you’re really going to be amazed at who you know.” While the campaign is still in its early stages, Mumm-Hill also hinted at a possible competition to see which student can gain the most connections on LinkedIn. The IDEA center often uses contests and campaigns to emphasize different tools that are important in today’s job market. The idea for this push came from the IDEA center’s student advisory board. Around ten students from different majors will continue to contribute ideas towards making the student body at large, more career-ready. “We’re all about ‘Be Known,’” said Tafflinger. “And after you leave GFU, we’re hoping that you’re found.”

    Quaker Activist Calls for Peace

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    October 23, 2014
    Peace advocate and Quaker author David Hartsough came to GFU on Monday to speak about his life’s work and new book about being a pacifist in a violent world. The book, “Waging Peace,” is a collection of stories about Hartsough’s experiences and practical advice for demonstrating nonviolence as a way of resistance. He sees the U.S. imposing its economic, cultural and military supremacy on other countries and fears for what will eventually come if it continues. According to Hartsough, the U.S. is only creating more terrorists and national security is failing. What we need to focus on, he believes, is global security. He said that world governments are stuck in an outdated way of thinking — that bloodshed is a necessary component of coexistence. This is an dangerous mindset and one that desperately needs to be changed, but world leaders are abusing it as if it were a drug. “I feel that wars, violence and conflict are an addiction,” said Hartsough. “Who wants war? It’s not the people.” Most of the casualties in war are civilians, he said, and over 180 million of them have died in the last century. He believes in a better way of resolving conflict: civil resistance. The most famous American nonviolence activist, Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired him as a teenager. King was staying at a friend’s house when Hartsough got a chance to hear from the great leader. He later chose to attend an African American college and become an active participant of the racial equality movement. At several times, the level of his involvement got him arrested. “I spent most of my junior year in jail,” he said. Hartsough told one story of boycotting a restaurant in the Deep South when he and his African American friends were refused service. They stood outside for two days, eating nothing and being harassed by passers-by. “It was the most challenging two days of my life,” he said. “We tried to respond in a loving, non-violent way.” One man approached Hartsough with a knife and threatened to stab him if he didn’t leave the store. “I had two split seconds to decide what to do,” he said. He simply responded with, “Friend, do what you believe is right, but I’ll love you anyway.” The man was astonished and walked away, leaving him unharmed. There are countless similar stories of Hartsough’s experiences with nonviolent activism, a majority of which are recorded in his book. He spoke with John F. Kennedy about peacefully ending the Vietnam war, and waged nonviolent activism in the Soviet Union, Kosovo, Palestine, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. The Quaker leader spoke about a few others and explained his work with an organization he founded, the Nonviolent Peaceforce. The organization is designed to help local peacemakers around the world and make it safer for them to demonstrate civil resistance. “We want to show people that there’s an alternative to doing nothing,” he said. For students and young people who want to support nonviolent activism, Hartsough encourages them to become a part of what he calls “the great turning” — turning the mindset of war and bloodshed to peaceful conflict resolution. A traditionally Quaker institution, he said, like GFU, is a great place for young people to learn about and be a part of pacifism. “Schools like GFU can help students become a part of the great turning,” he said. Above simply learning about alternatives to violence, Hartsough believes the core of peacemaking begins with empathy and the practice of treating others as we want to be treated. “We need to strengthen our humility and our ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes,” he said.   Hartsough’s organization, the Nonviolent Peaceforce, is dedicated to nonviolent activism worldwide.          

    Chapel Organization: Detrimental or Helpful?

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    October 23, 2014
    Accompanying the change of chapel schedules and requirements has come a fresh expression of student complaints in regards to chapel. In a recent anonymous poll (see table below for results), most students expressed a satisfaction with the general structure of chapel. However, there are still significant levels of dissatisfaction in some regards. More specifically, 18 percent of students polled responded with a “strongly disagree” that their schedule allowed them to complete their required chapel credits and an additional 24 percent responded with a “disagree”. Likewise, while the largest percentage polled about the variety of chapel bands reported satisfaction (41 percent), 31 percent expressed dissatisfaction from “disagree to strongly disagree”. On the other hand, one third of students polled are happier with the new schedule than last year’s and they agreed almost unanimously that chapel electives are just as fulfilling as the regular chapel services. There are fifteen chapel credits required per semester, ten of which must be from the main Tuesday morning or Wednesday evening services. Five of these credits may be earned through elective chapel services. Sophomore Keaton Dieter spends his Wednesday evenings during chapel volunteering at the Newberg Foursquare Church’s youth group and has been given a waiver allowing him to fulfill ten of his chapel requirements through online podcasts of services. “As far as [being able to hear] speakers, I would still be able to listen to podcasts for those speakers,” Dieter explained, “…one thing I have run into is that oftentimes they are very far behind in posting speakers. I go online wanting to hear the sermon from last night, but I can’t so then I’m just like, I won’t do anything and get behind.” More importantly, Dieter said that podcasts, “change the atmosphere of the chapel experience because you don’t have the worship, and you’re not sitting in the room as the message is being said and God is speaking through them in that moment… But content-wise you still get everything you would get.” University Pastor Jamie Noling-Auth sees chapel as “a class” in which students learn the value and meaning of worship in the broader sense. As she put it, “We are coming together as a community to worship together… The university absolutely believes in the importance of the understanding of worship.” While acknowledging that there are still a few classes that exist during the chapel hour, particularly in the morning, Noling-Auth also said that the shift of time from last year’s schedule contributes to the situation and that the “academic side” of the university’s schedule creation has really put an effort into “protecting that chapel hour.” Noling-Auth believes wholeheartedly in the importance of chapel being a part of students’ routines. “Sometimes that routine gets exhausting,” she said, but also, “We don’t want students to get out of chapel. We tell them about [chapel requirements] before they get here… One of the things we see over and over again is that graduates talk about the benefits of the rhythm and routine of chapel.” In regards to students who would prefer more variety in speakers and worship at evening chapel services, Noling-Auth said that she understood that desire but that, “I really like it as a campus pastor. We are able to utilize them throughout the day in classes when they come in the mornings.” In the evenings “students like to stay around and worship together and think about the scriptures they have just heard [evening chapels emphasize scripture based teaching]… without the rush to get to a next class.” The reason chapel is required? “GFU is a Christian university and there a number of things that are privileges that we get. And one of those is chapel. A time for the community to come to gather and worship. One of the main things we want to contribute to the world is people who understand worship. But it’s also a classroom, chapel is praxis. We are able to share in experiential learning. That’s why every student has to fulfill the chapel requirement.” Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Agree Strongly Agree N/A 1. I normally have no problem with my schedule in allowing me to receive the chapel credit that I need to 18% 24% 13% 28% 14% 3% 2. I get to hear the chapel speakers that I would like to. 12% 18% 30% 35% 4% 1% 3. If I need to, I will receive a sufficient waiver for chapel credit. 12% 15% 27% 24% 6% 15% 4. I prefer the Tuesday and Wednesday chapel schedule to two chapels on Wednesdays. 8% 12% 20% 33% 22% 4% 5. Elective chapels are just as fulfilling as regular chapel. 6% 6% 31% 21% 23% 13% 6. I think the level of variety in chapel bands is appropriate. 13% 18% 22% 43% 3% 1%

    Confirmed Ebola Cases in United States

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    Ebola in Liberia
    October 20, 2014
    Multiple cases of ebola have been confirmed in the United States. On Sept. 30, Thomas Eric Duncan was confirmed positive for Ebola. Duncan had boarded a flight from Liberia to Dallas ten days earlier. At the time he had no discernible symptoms of ebola. Duncan died eight days later on Oct. 8 while in quarantine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. On Sunday, Oct. 12, Nina Pham, a nurse who had assisted Duncan, became the first person to contract the virus in America. Three days later, on Oct. 15, another Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital worker who had also assisted Duncan was confirmed to have contracted ebola. Aside from those three, five Americans infected by ebola have returned from West Africa to be treated in the United States. Of those five, three health workers have been cleared and released into the public. The two others, an American freelance cameraman and an unidentified person, still remain quarantined. This current outbreak of the ebola virus began in West Africa, racking up more than 3,800 deaths and 8,000 cases since Feb. 2014. The second deadliest outbreak occurred in 1976, when the virus was discovered, which infected 602 people resulting in 431 deaths. The ebola virus historically has a 50 – 90 percent chance of fatality. Currently, there are no drugs or vaccines that can be administered to prevent ebola but health centers throughout the world continue to work around the clock for a breakthrough. The New York Times released a best-case and worst-case scenario based on a report by the Center for Disease Control. The best-case scenario limits the outbreak to 11,000-27,000 cases by Jan. 20 while the worst-case predicts an astounding 537,000-1,367,000 cases by Jan. 20. President Obama has dispatched 4,000 military personnel to Senegal and Liberia to help contain the spread of Ebola in the region. He also offered the United States’ support in the creation of 17 ebola treatment centers. However, at the current rate, the ebola virus is spreading quicker than personnel are able to set up containment centers. The disease continues to be perpetuated in West Africa by family members and not properly protected health workers caring for the infected and the deceased. Analysts and doctors alike are confident Ebola will not spread throughout America. The United States continues to be vigilant for other reported cases of the virus and will continue to take measures both at home and in West Africa to prevent and prepare.

    How the Fed Has Created the Next Recession

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    October 15, 2014
    In 2008 the Federal Reserve went into accelerated damage control brought on by public panic and governmental overreaction. Interest rates quickly dropped to nearly zero; they even discussed a negative interest rate. This is called expansionary fiscal policy and it works to stimulate the market by creating cheap dollars. It worked and the S&P has risen to record levels in the last five years. However, as the market rose, it never stabilized; it just kept rising and the Fed didn’t change. In fact the Fed hasn’t announced any change in policy since the crash in 2008. People have expressed concern about how the markets resurgence is not based on solid market principles like consumer confidence and employment, but rather on rampant inflation due to the Fed. What does this mean for the average person? Simple, the reason the Fed is afraid to announce much needed rate hikes, is because it might cause a major market correction. A correction occurs when people realize the market is overpriced due to excessive optimism and speculation. The largely efficient market will “correct” to a lower price. This is not a bad thing but it is scary and those who got sucked into the emotion of a bull market lose, and lose big. The danger is that since the Fed is already at zero percent interest, if the market corrects they wont be able to slow it and then it will crash. To combat this, they would have to get creative and we would be in an inflationary recessive market. The combo of massive job loss and increasing prices would sink our economy for years. The Fed would have to raise interest rates and the flow of lending dollars would dry up overnight. Companies would close and thousands would be out of work within a matter of hours. The Fed recently announced plans to begin raising rates in the next year; this has created an uneasy market. The Dow Jones Industrial average has experienced three consecutive days of triple digit change either way. The optimists are growing more desperate and the bears are getting whiplashed. What ever can we do to avoid losing our savings and come out of this in one piece? A resolved investor can not only survive a massive market correction, but also come out of it far richer than before. The great John Templeton said, “The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.” Sell your short and mid-term holdings and put them in gold ETF’s like GLD and UGL and wait. When the market drops watch the price of gold jump 30 to 40 percent in a day. Then when the people on CNN say “The world is ending, America is done for” buy and buy big blue chip stocks. Buy ETF’s of the S&P 500 and 400. Then as things normalize, wait for the eventual recovery and don’t sell until people get optimistic again.

    Spiritual Life: Opportunities to Serve

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    Screen shot 2014-10-15 at 10.35.07 AM
    October 15, 2014
    In addition to weekly duties in chapel, Spiritual Life interns each have a special focus. Katlyn Kronschnabl, Yasharet Lopez-Valencia and Mikayla Greenwell are three interns with a unique responsibility to lead Little Bruins and Urban Outreach. Kronschnabl is in her first year of service at Spiritual Life and is in charge of Little Bruins. In her own words, “Little Bruins is a big brother/big sister mentorship program within the Newberg School district.” Each “Big Bruin” GFU student is paired with an elementary to middle school aged student and meets with them on a regular basis, sharing advice, guidance and care. In regards to her motivation, Kronschnabl said, “I do this because I love kids, and it absolutely kills me to see so many kids hurting and not many people are do[ing] much about it. With coordinating little bruins, I am able to help others show love to kids who don’t see love on a regular basis.” By partnering closely with Newberg School District Counselors, Kronschnabl is able to match each Big Bruin to a Little Bruin in need. She ensures that the Big Bruins are attending to their assigned students and performs other basic organizational duties as well. Yasharet Lopez-Valencia and Mikayla Greenwell are partners in leading the GFU volunteers for the broader organization called Urban Outreach. In coordinating trips to Portland and Salem, they give GFU students the chance to serve homeless communities in both cities. According to Lopez-Valencia, “People matter. No matter their circumstances, I believe it is important to be present with them and be sincere with our intentions when serving them.” In addition to Urban Outreach, Lopez-Valencia and Greenwell are responsible for coordinating the Missions Fair, an annual event to educate students on career options in an international, mission oriented, way. “We strive to not only connect students with urban ministries, but also with global awareness and seek ways in which students have opportunities to be involved,” Lopez-Valencia said, For more information about Little Bruins, contact Katlyn Kronschnabl at For more information about Urban Outreach, contact Yasharet Lopez-Valencia at

    Introducing The Campus Representatives Committee

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    October 14, 2014
    Two weeks ago, the students of George Fox University elected this year’s Campus Representatives Committee. This committee is a division of ASC (a sub-committee headed by the VP of Representation) and is created to the benefit the students. They are responsible for disseminating information to the students, advocating for the students to ASC, and allocating funds to students. “The Representatives main goal is to ensure that students are informed about all the fund events going on around campus, but also serve as a resource by encouraging students to apply for the Community Life Fund,” said Vice President of Representation Mitzi Martinez. The Community Life Fund is a set amount of money set aside by ASC specifically used “to sponsor any events that include at least three GFU students and that builds community.” One of the primary roles of the Campus Representatives Committee is to vote on student proposals that draw on the Community Life Fund. “This year we want people to think big, to have a crazy idea and go for it because we really want those things to happen,” said Emily Russell, representative of PCWB. One of the problems this committee faces is the growing diversity at GFU. This diversity not only includes intercultural differences but also the growing gap between the commuter population and the students who live on campus. This year, there are three Commuter Representatives, an International Representative and an Intercultural Representative in addition to the five other housing Representatives. Intercultural representative Kimberly Morales said, “One of the goals I have as a representative is to have us work together to reach out to those who haven’t been reached out to in the past.” Currently, the representatives are still hashing out ideas of how to reach out and effectively disseminate information to the students so that they will have an opportunity to get connected at GFU through school dances, clubs or housing area activities. Students are also able to provide their opinion on themes for school dances, types of clubs and specific activities by contacting their representative. With student input as a focus, Martinez hopes to empower students to take the lead and create change on campus. Students can get in touch with their representative on the ASC website or by visiting them during their office hours. Representatives will also be making rounds at their respective housing areas to begin to get to know the people they are representing.    

    Update on 'stolen backpacks' case

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    October 13, 2014
    The Student Life office sent an email on Monday with an update about the backpacks that were stolen. Below is an excerpt: “Newberg Police have a warrant out for the arrest of a 17-year-old male who is suspected of stealing backpacks on the Newberg campus. He is not a George Fox student and previously has been issued a no trespass order for campus by police. He rides a gold bike and usually wears a Oakland Raiders ball cap and a zip-front jacket that is grey on the lower half.” On Sept. 23, five students’ backpacks were stolen from Brougher Hall and Bauman auditorium. Many of the items were found on and around campus on the same day by Security Services, Newberg-Dundee Police Department and community members. If you have seen the suspect or have any information about this suspect, call Newberg Police dispatch (503-538-8321 or 911) or GFU Security Services (503-554-2090) immediately. This is an ongoing story and will be updated as soon as we get more information. 

    New IDEA Center Website

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    October 10, 2014
    The IDEA center recently redesigned their website, making it more user-friendly for the student body. Beginning in April, the redesign focused on making the website easier to navigate, as well as trimming down outdated information. “As we looked at the hundreds of pages of links on the website,” said Deb Mumm-Hill, IDEA center director. “We chose which ones to keep and which ones to delete. As with any webpage, links and information had become outdated.” The new layout seeks to organize information based on four different populations: students, employers, alumni and faculty. Under the student section, for example, students can find disability services, the ARC page, as well as resources to connect with CAP coaches. The website contains a comprehensive database of resources that are easily navigable.   “The point of the website is to give students a starting point,” said Sidney Tafflinger, career coordinator. “We are really excited to have tools that students can use 24/7 365,” said Mumm-Hill. “The tools are for self-discovery and discerning their calling.” The IDEA center’s newest tool, called “Woofound,” is a five minute test students can take that will help them find which career field they are most suited for. It also offers a service called “Interview Stream,” which is way for students to practice interviewing online. Under the student resources is “Bruin Careers,” a site that posts job and internship listings and contains an employer directory, an online resource library and career event information. According to Mumm-Hill, Bruin Careers posts “an average of 40 new jobs every week.” “The more [students] who engage with the IDEA Center, the more we can help them achieve their exceptional life outcome,” said Mumm-Hill. “It is never too early to begin a plan, and it takes time to build a Career Plan that ensures academic success.” Other useful features on the website include an IDEA center event calendar on the front page, as well as a “career map” under the student center which details year-by-year what steps students should be taking towards a career, and finally, several personality tests under the “Trends and Tools” section.    

    GFU Homecoming 2014: "How are You Known?"

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    2013 Homecoming Court King and Queen
    October 8, 2014
    “How are you known?” That is the question being asked at George Fox University’s 2014 homecoming week, occurring Oct. 13 through Oct. 18. In the past, homecoming and family weekend have been held at the same time. This year, to accommodate the football game, they have been split into two separate events. Almost every night of homecoming week, there will be an event for students to participate in. Monday night kicks the week off with two large events: the Coronation Dessert Reception and the Medallion Search. “We really want to make the Homecoming court coronation big this year,” said Ruthanne Condie of Alumni and Parent Relations. “Nominations for homecoming court this year were held Friday Sept. 19 and will also be held Monday Sept. 22. Students could vote for one man and one woman from any class.” Online voting began on Sept. 24 and will be open until Sept. 26. Students can find the voting form on iGFU. Moriah Kimmer, vice president of Activities and Programs for ASC, stated, “There will be one prince and one princess for each class, except for the senior class. For the senior class there are three princes and three princesses. Based on the votes, one king and one queen will be chosen from the senior court.” Students can attend the Coronation Dessert Reception free of charge. The first clue for the Medallion search will be given out then. The medallion search has been a tradition at GFU on and off since 2000. Taylor Ellis, the Bruin Heritage president, explained how it works. “A crystal medallion is hidden somewhere on campus. Every day [of homecoming week,] a clue is released on the Bruin Heritage Facebook page. The clues will be based on a historical aspect of George Fox University. Whoever finds the glass medallion gets to keep it and also wins $200.” Wednesday evening of homecoming week, there will be a John Mark McMillan concert. On Oct. 17, there will be an Evening of Jazz concert in Bauman Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Saturday will be a day full of events. Between 10 a.m. and noon, there will be a Department Open House Networking Event. “It will be held in the different departments and will be a chance for students to connect with [GFU] alumni in their majors and could make finding possible mentors or networking contacts possible,” Condie said. Also on Saturday, the Bruins will be playing Puget Sound Loggers at 1:30 p.m. Students will be able to get into the game with their I.D. cards. Following the game will be World’s Got Talent, showcasing talent from different cultures. This will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. in Bauman Auditorium. “The most exciting part of homecoming this year is definitely the fact that we have a football team. A lot of the week will be focused around football and school traditions,” said Ellis. This is the first time since 1968 that GFU will have a homecoming that is centered on a football game. The Dayspring group is scheduled to sing the national anthem. According to Gary Brown, the former director of Alumni and Parent relations, Dayspring was a group that got their start in 1989. “They were to be a public relations group who were to help recruit potential students to GFU.” Dayspring is having a reunion during homecoming weekend and will have a short concert students can attend for free in Bauman at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday Oct. 18. This will be the first time since 2009 that the group will be performing together. During homecoming weekend, there will be lots of events for GFU alumni, including class reunions, and an Alumni Awards Ceremony. Mary Monahan, coordinator for the Alumni and Parents, is excited to see the mix of Alumni and current GFU students this year. Monahan stated, “The alumni are particularly excited about the football team, especially since some of them used to play on the team 45 years ago.”                        Photo courtesy of George Fox University