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 Lizzie 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.
October 20, 2014Multiple 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.
October 15, 2014In 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.
October 15, 2014In 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 email@example.com. For more information about Urban Outreach, contact Yasharet Lopez-Valencia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 14, 2014Two 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.
October 13, 2014The 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.
October 10, 2014The 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.
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
October 6, 2014On Sept. 18, the people of Scotland voted to uphold a union that has lasted for 307 years. In what was a major display of democracy, 3,623,344 Scots either voted Yes or No to cede from the United Kingdom: 55.25% (2,001,926) voted No and 44.65% (1,617,989) voted Yes. There was a record-breaking 84.6% voter turnout, surpassing the previous mark of 81.2% set during the 1951 general election. In his official statement, First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond said, “I think the process by which we have made our decision as a nation reflects enormous credit upon Scotland…this has been a triumph for the democratic process and for participation in politics.” This referendum was set into motion two and a half years earlier in January of 2012 when Salmond proposed an outline for the referendum to the Scottish Parliament. During their journey, the Scottish National Party won many victories including the Edinburgh Agreement, a joint agreement between England and Scotland confirming that the referendum will solely be decided by the people of Scotland. Another victory won by the SNP were the concessions accepted by Prime Minister David Cameron in order to garner support to keep the UK whole. Cameron promised to transfer almost complete control of income tax, spending and welfare policies to the Scottish Parliament. If Scotland had voted to secede, the newly autonomous nation would have had a multitude of kinks to work out, including creating a whole new monetary unit, while also dealing with decreased benefits from their current union with England. According to some political theorists, given the economic and political interdependence between England and Scotland today, a severance of the union could have very well been detrimental. David Cameron’s career as Prime Minister would have almost definitely ended if the referendum resulted in a Yes vote. As it was, the polls crescendoing up to the final result were much tighter than anticipated. In the couple months prior to September, the No lead ranged from 4-20%; in the month of September the No lead was cut to 1-7% with even a couple polls displaying a slight Yes edge. The close result of the referendum led to increased tensions between unionists and nationalists. One British newspaper described men and women clothed in union flags chanting, “You Let Your Country Down” and “Rule Brittania.” The United Kingdom will continue to feel the effects of the referendum as David Cameron attempts to fulfill his promises and the Scots attempt to regain a semblance of national unity.
October 1, 2014Students For Life is a pro-life advocacy group on campus that has received recent exposure due to the hanging of posters, mainly in bathrooms. Having achieved official club status under ASC last April, the club meets twice a month, at 5:30 p.m. in Stevens 109. The next meeting is Oct. 22. According to Elise Stewart, Students For Life president, “The purpose of our club on campus is to promote life by supporting expectant mothers and showing God’s love to those who regret an abortion. Our goal is to provide resources and raise awareness in a sensitive manner.” The club has a dual goal of “being a resource for those who are post-abortive to find healing,” as well as,” to educate our peers on the reality of abortion,” said Allison Henckel, the vice president. “College age women (18-24) make up the largest percentage of those having abortions,” Stewart said. “We are targeted by the abortion industry.” Steward also fears that “The stigma… associated with pregnancy on our Christian campus may push a student to consider having an abortion.” “College campuses have failed to foster a life-affirming environment and provide the necessary resources for these students,” Stewart said “Therefore, it is up to us…the students. We want George Fox to be a life-affirming environment and we are actively pursuing that end. “Our posters purposely display only the most positive messages in regards to a devastating social justice issue,” Stewart said. “We stress the need to offer support and healing for post-abortive men and women who may be suffering from post-abortive stress syndrome (PASS). We also want to provide life-affirming options for abortion-minded women. Our approach is non-violent, non-coercive, and we strive to speak each word with grace.” More information can be found online at studentsforlife.org, through their Facebook page (George Fox University Students For Life) or the club can be directly contacted at StudentsForlifeGFU@gmail.com.
October 1, 2014At the beginning of the school year, George Fox University students received emails regarding Haven, an online test that educates and surveys students about sexual harassment. Brad Lau, vice president of Student Life, played a major role in bringing Haven to the GFU. Haven, powered by EverFi, is an online course that defines sexual harassment, provides content for students to reflect on, and helps build strategies for prevention and intervention. Students have received multiple emails to remind them to finish the course by certain dates. For some students, these emails seem irritating and pointless. For others, sexual harassment is a very important issue and needs to be addressed. “I found it to be really cool that there is an emphasis on having knowledge about harassment on college campuses. It can happen anywhere,” said first-year student Ilana Mayer. “We want to enhance education on campus regarding important topics such as these,” Lau stated. According to Haven, “one in five women have reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape in college.” The course has two major parts, with subdivisions going in depth on topics such as stalking, verbal harassment, and physical harassment. While participating in the interactive graphics and videos, students are asked a variety of questions. Participants are asked about their personal views of different stereotypes that exist in American society, and required to take quizzes on the information given in a previous video. GFU has not had to deal with the unsettling statistics regarding harassment, unlike other universities in Oregon, and across the nation. However, it is still important to educate anyone, including faculty and staff, who walks the pathways and canyons of the GFU campus. Lau and the rest of Student Life want to not only educate the students, but also other members of the GFU community as well. “Not only are students required to take Haven, but employees will be completing a separate module of the course designed specifically for faculty, staff, and administrators,” Lau said. Providing a safe and comfortable environment for everyone in the GFU community is a major priority for most of the faculty and staff. Along with education, Student Life is partnering with Haven to customize different resources made available to both students and faculty who would need them. Taking the education given and taking action is the goal. “We want to provide education for students and be proactive in equipping students with information and resources in case, God forbid, they find themselves in a situation referenced in the course,” Lau said. Student Life hopes to educate everyone at GFU in hopes that those who finish the course will take action if they are found in a situation where any form of harassment is involved.