night Times December 5, 2013 • Volume 5 • Issue 2 • Warner Pacific College
Finding Our Place
NON-CHRISTIANS SEEKING RELEVANCE ON A CHRISTIAN CAMPUS
I say all of this to make a point. As someone who wasn’t conservative, evangelical, or even particularly religious at all, I was very uncomfortable and very out of place at Liberty, and not in the way that made me grow, but made me decay. Because of this experience, I came to Warner Pacific in need of a place that would give me air to voice the hard questions I’d stored up in my complicated history with God. I found this college to represent a multiplicity of beliefs and encourage inter-faith dialogue and hard questions in a way I’d never experienced before.
by Benjamin Irwin
veryone has a history of experience with spirituality, at different times experiencing zeal, apathy, love, hate, embracement, rejection, trust, doubt, relief, and disappointment. My own history of these experiences is something I have been reflected on a great deal during my time here at Warner Pacific. I was born and raised a pastor’s kid, moving every few years, and attending every church service, every youth group, every potluck, every fundraiser. I grew up with my family under a microscope of scrutiny from the church gossip-mill, and thus led a subtly politicized childhood. I felt a profound pressure to be the good Christian boy I was expected to be, while at the same time growing up with a lifetime of negative and even traumatic experiences with Christians.
ABOUT by Monique Lay
n a Knight Times diversity survey at Warner Pacific College, one student asked, “What’s the big deal about diversity?” According to NBC contributing writer Victoria Defrancesco Soto, “The fact that there is some nervousness about diversity isn’t new. Our country since its beginning has struggled with the theory of democratic inclusion and the practice of minority exclusion.” For Soto, “what matters is that as a country we continue going forward toward the ideal of democratic inclusion and that policies such as comprehensive immigration reform keep being pushed, because in the end actions speak louder than words.” The animated illustration of the EsquireNBC survey of America which Defrancesco Soto’s article responded to can be found at www.nbcnews.com. In the Knight Times online survey of 76 students, 45 percent said that the college discusses diversity issues too much, compared to 35 percent who found the discussion balanced, and 12 percent who said there was too little discussion on the issue. Anonymous comments were left by students on the survey. Many of the student comments seem to hint at the difficulty of balancing the desire for a diverse community with the fear that diversity efforts
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Photo of Dr. Daymond Glenn by Tim Jackson. will cause fractionalization. One student commented, “The more we talk about what makes us different, the more separated we’ll feel.” Another student said, “Diversity is a wonderful thing. It consists in what we each bring to the table, not simply in our skin color, gender, culture, etc. I find it disappointing when diversity becomes another way to set us apart from each other. If only diversity could be more of a celebration of what we each offer to our community.” Students also addressed the definition of diversity. One student said, “Diversity, I have recognized, has become an ambiguous term that is thrown around like community on this campus. Diversity is not something that can necessarily be measured. [...] We have not created enough space for being informed.” Another student’s comment suggests awareness of the student body’s issue with diversity topics: “I believe students and faculty are uneducated about what diversity truly is. When it is brought up, it is looked at negatively, because it is constantly being used in the wrong interpretation.” Another response: “We talk about diversity a lot, but I don’t feel that we’re seeing or experiencing diversity a lot. I wish we could do more than talk about things, in a way that’s comfortable and accepted by the Warner Pacific
Whatever their definition of diversity, students say they experience it on this campus. Over 62 percent of students who answered the poll believe that Warner Pacific is moderately to extremely diverse. Fifty-nine percent of students polled said that they experience the most diversity at school compared to places like home, work, church or their neighborhood. Over 57 percent of students who participated in the survey said that diversity in higher education is moderately to extremely important. One student reflected, “People always seem to complain that school teaches us math that we’ll never use, but not life skills—I applaud our school for tackling this.”
After high school, I followed a serious relationship across the country to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty is one of the largest Christian universities in the world, and was founded by highly controversial Southern Baptist televangelist and conservative pundit Jerry Falwell. Liberal voices like Max Blumenthal of “The Nation” are quick to remind readers that Jerry Falwell is a former proponent of segregation and vocal opponent of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, blamer of 9/11 on gays, abortion, and the ACLU, and accuser of purple Teletubby Tinky-Winky as a gay role model. I was completely miserable at this school, and after one semester chose not to go back.
A 2009 article called “Why Does Diversity Matter at College Anyway?” addresses the question via a review of the book Diversity and the College Experience by Aaron Thompson and Joe Cuseo. Citing President Barack Obama as a catalyst for the national discussion, the article states that “diversity is hot on college campuses, too—not only race, ethnicity, and gender, but also religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and age.” Continued on page 13.
Liberty University was a place Photo by Benjamin Irwin. where there was very little if any inter-faith dialogue, or even dialogue across the spectrum of Christianity. The beliefs of “non-Christians” and even more liberal Christians were hardly discussed in lectures, and if they were, it was often mockingly. The kinds of books I had access to at the campus bookstore, a sprawling Barnes & Noble on campus, were incredibly censored to include only those that agreed with the school’s belief system, as were the kinds of speakers who came bi-weekly to the school’s massive arena convocation. My troubled upbringing in the church and my stint at LU left me
community. It often seems that our minds are wide open, but our hearts are not.”
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so disillusioned with Christianity by the end of it, that even as someone who wants to believe (as Fox Mulder of X-Files would say), I couldn’t possibly self-identify as a Christian. I just didn’t know how to anymore.
Even if I’ve found this college to be a place that reaches me in the complicated place I’m at, I know from experience that not everyone here feels that way. Because of the hurt I’ve felt in the past, my heart always goes to that unheard voice, that person who feels like an outsider. This is why I’ve reached out to some of our faculty and students to ask the question: How does a Christ-centered school stay relevant to non-Christian students? The first person I met with was Dr. Arthur Kelly, a mentor who has helped me learn to own my identity as someone who doesn’t know what religion box to check. “I learned in teaching here that I can’t assume anything about the beliefs or experiences of the people I teach,” Kelly told me. “If the college wishes to engage in truly honest conversations about faith that will reach people in a variety of places in that journey, the end goal cannot be ‘proselytizing’ or ‘fixing’ people.” I also spoke to Robert Villegas, a student in the Freshmen Year Learning Community where I serve as peer mentor. Villegas is a Taoist and an immigrant from the Philippines. Continued on page 11. Warner Pacific College
Lifting His Name Higher New Associate Director of Campus Ministries Hopes to Change Campus Culture by Tirzah Allen
“We lift your name higher” are the words that repeatedly fill the crowded room of McGuire Auditorium on a Tuesday morning. The energy in the air is tangible and reawakens the sleep-deprived minds of students. Hands reach high in worship as sunlight streams in through stained glass windows. Eyes light up, smiles break out on upturned faces, and bodies sway to the infectious beat. For many, chapel is a time of meditation, prayer, worship, and fellowship with friends. To others, chapel is a place to catch up on last minute homework, emails, texts, or sleep. For many of us, it is far too easy to mentally check out and vegetate, to become complacent and to feel like chapel is simply another thing students must check off their already busy schedules. Michelle Lang is here to change that outlook. As Associate Director of Campus Ministries, she is here to be a changing force within the college community. Lang is a part of the leadership team that oversees all of the chapel services throughout the academic year. Essentially, her job is to create opportunities and experiences for students to have spiritual encounters during their time at the college. “That fifty minutes in chapel, to me, is so fast. For people who don’t want to be there it’s long, and for those who want to be there it’s short,” Lang said. “What I want to do is make that chapel time, that time spent, the most incredible, refreshing, life giving fifty minutes of your day. I want people thinking: ‘I have to go to chapel. I need whatever is there. I need that moment to breathe.’” Lang is excited about being a part of the change that is happening in Campus Ministries. “Being in a structure that is about combining education with spirituality, that is about continuing to encourage and shape Christian leaders, that feels good to me,” she said. Lang also hopes to create an atmosphere in chapel that is restorative to the faculty and staff: “It hit me the other day: there are a
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lot of faculty and staff members that attend these chapels. They are coming to get something too. They have work to do and deadlines to meet, just like the students. I want them to feel re-energized as well.” Kelsey Davisson, a junior and a member of the chapel worship team, expressed her thoughts on Lang’s influence and involvement this fall: “Michelle Lang is a passionate, goal driven woman who loves God and wants others to experience His presence in chapel and on campus. She is welcoming and is excited to bring intentional change to Warner Pacific.” When asked about the changes that are to be expected with Lang’s new presence in chapel, Jess Bielman, Director of Campus Ministries, responded, “We were excited to hire her to join the college as we all are in process of creating programs and services that continue growth towards the vision of what WPC can be. I am excited to have her as a partner in ministry as the college lives into its Christ-centered, urban, diverse mission, and I cannot wait to see how God uses her here.” It is hard not to notice the confidence and strength with which Lang carries herself. She has a way of making you feel instantly at home. She is fierce, full of spunk, and on fire for God. A smile escapes her mouth as she explains how her experience at Warner Pacific has been both welcoming and enlightening. “I was brought here to help shift the culture, but when you weren’t a part of the culture before, you don’t exactly know what that means. It’s like trying to go into a Greek restaurant to cook Mexican food. I don’t know if I’m close or far. You know, we all agreed that we want to eat food, but I don’t know what the taste buds were like before I got here, so I’m cooking with blinders on.” She remembered when Ben Sand, Assistant to the President’s Office, and Jess Bielman called her: “I wasn’t looking for a job or change. But when Warner Vol. 5, Issue 2
Pacific called, I had to at least consider the possibility that this was God. I felt lost, and Warner’s call felt found to me.” Before Lang was Associate Director of Campus Ministries at Warner Pacific, she was a part of an urban gospel band in Seattle, Washington known as Michelle Lang & Still Water, which was awarded Seattle’s Best Contemporary Urban Gospel Group (michallelang-stillwater.com). Lang is also recognized as having started the SlingShot All-City Youth Conference in Seattle, “a three day multi-cultural/crossdenominational event that offers youth and youth workers a regional, high-quality, affordable conference that gives them the opportunity to deepen and declare their faith while empowering and inspiring them with tools to positively affect the world around them” (slingshotconference.org). Lang graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a B.A. in Psychology. She adores animated movies; especially Shrek and the Lion King. She gave her life to Christ at a puppet show, and she loves to bake. Her specialty is sweet potato pie. Lang hopes that students will come to her if they ever have any questions about what she does, want to share their thoughts and opinions, prayer requests, or simply have a Knight Times
sit down chat. “Outside of chapel time, I hope to connect with students. That they look at me and think ‘I heard something in chapel and I want to talk her about it’ or ‘I’m going through something and I want to talk to her.’ ‘I trust her.’” In a November follow-up interview with Lang, she provided additional reflections about her first months at the college. “Change is difficult; we have gone from a praise team of three people to about ten, which is purposefully diverse in background. Every week someone comes and asks me how they can lend their voice to the worship experience. The community accepted the worship experience for what it was and just kind of went along with it. What I sense now is that people are experiencing something that feels a little more open and they feel that they are now able to add their voices. My job is to navigate how to get those voices in there in the best way possible. Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but a change that I would like to see happen is chapel being longer. Something as simple as another 10 or 20 minutes would help us linger in those meaningful moments of worship or prayer.” Megan McInnis, a senior Christian Ministries major, explained her perceptions of the changes: “I definitely like what Michelle is doing. The time spent
Photo by Tirzah Allen. in chapel is more engaging, integrated, and students are now able to play a bigger role in chapel, which is wonderful.” Students can reach Michelle Lang on Facebook (Facebook.com/MsMichelleLang) or email her at email@example.com. Warner Pacific College
Service Learning: Becoming co-participants in humanity
by mollie berry
ervice learning is about more than the hours required or where it’s done. According to sources from servicelearning.org, “Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” Eli Ritchie, our Service Learning Coordinator, seconded this idea and said that he was “most concerned with the meaningful engagement of the student.” Yes, service hours are required. This year when I thought about logging 20 hours of service learning credit, I cringed. I didn’t want to spend my time doing something that didn’t benefit me. It took me a little time, but I figured out how selfish that sounded. Service learning isn’t about me, it’s about what I can do with what God gave me to benefit someone else. With the right heart and the right attitude, service learning can be a chance to find something you are passionate about, it can be a chance to make a difference, and it can be a chance to reflect the actions of Christ. But it’s not just a one-way train. Don’t go into service expecting to benefit from it or thinking that you offer something from above others. Be there with a genuine attitude, and the experience can benefit both parties. It’s a reciprocal action. Professor Tony Kriz calls this kind of service learning “co-participating with humanity.” We are in community together, and each party has something that can benefit the other. Maybe what you have to offer is a physical need, like food, clothing, or physical labor, whereas the other party has knowledge, life experience, or wisdom to offer. As Kriz once
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by ethan morrow told me, “Don’t go into these situations thinking, ‘What can I give them?’ but rather ‘What can they give me?’” There are many great opportunities to participate in service learning. On Common Day of Service in September and MLK Day of Service in January, there are various teams and activities in which students can get involved. The campus blood drive is another way to serve either by giving blood or being a part of the team that helps the people who donate. Another way to serve in the winter is Hot Chocolate Ministries. Senior Tirzah Allen said this about Hot Chocolate Ministries in a status on Facebook after serving: “Every time I participate in the Hot Chocolate Ministries, I come away feeling changed, blessed, and touched by these wonderful people that I meet on the streets. It’s amazing to me what a small cup of hot chocolate and a warm smile can bring.” Many clubs and organizations on campus offer ways for students to get involved in an activity that is beneficial to the community. Ritchie said that the service learning team has been collaborating with clubs and organizations on and off campus to offer more ways for students to participate in service learning. Earlier in the semester, Warner Pacific partnered with the Oregon Food Bank during Hunger Awareness month. Hot Chocolate Ministries partners with the Portland Rescue Mission. A newer organization on campus called HOPES works with Shared Hope International to bring awareness to sex-trafficking in Portland and find a way for students to be involved. The service learning team continues to encourage and develop these partnerships. Vol. 5, Issue 2
efore July of 2013, an adult could have paid sex with a minor in Oregon, get caught, and walk away with nothing but a misdemeanor. In order to change this reality, a service learning group of Warner Pacific students partnered with Shared Hope International and other advocates in the Northwest for a March 2013 lobby day at the Salem capitol building. Shared Hope was founded in 1998 by Linda Smith, a former congresswoman, in an effort to fight sex trafficking on the front lines. Shared Hope works to prevent sex trafficking before it happens through the community education and training, to restore victims of trafficking through the implementation of safe homes and women’s programs, and to bring justice by passing legislation that protects women and children and punishes the perpetrators. This March 2013 lobby day was furthering Shared Hope’s mission to bring justice through proper legislation.
Photo courtesy of Shared Hope International
I started a social media campaign that engaged with people all over the United States. I implemented a change.org petition that people could sign, and their petition letter would automatically be sent to Oregon state senators, encouraging them to make it a felony to purchase sex from a minor. Shared Hope International told the press about the Oregon bill and the dangers of passing it with its current amendment. In a matter of days, this bill was getting national attention. In a little over 24 hours, 825 people signed our petition. Through the efforts of advocates and Shared Hope International, the Oregon senate heard our plea. I watched the miraculous happen as the bill was re-amended, making it a felony, in every instance, if an adult purchased sex from a minor. In July of 2013, Governor Kitzhaber signed the bill into law.
At this event, we lobbied for Senate Bill 673 (SB673). This bill was drafted to make it a felony on the first offense if an adult was caught soliciting sex with a minor. Our day at the Oregon Capitol included a protest outside of the capitol building in Salem, a senate hearing, and individual conversations with Oregon’s senate members. I can honestly say that our activities at the capitol that day had a huge impact on the senators and how they voted.
Every year, Shared Hope International releases their Protected Innocence Challenge report cards. They give every state a grade (from A to F) according to the laws and services they have in place that respond to domestic sex trafficking involving minors. In 2012, Oregon had a D. I can now proudly announce that on November 7, 2013, Oregon received a B grade. The Warner Pacific community contributed to this beautiful, drastic change by lobbying for SB 673. Because students spoke up, the senators took notice, and we helped them make the decision to pass this bill. And for that I am thankful.
Unfortunately, the fight didn’t end on that day. The bill was amended, still making it only a misdemeanor to pay for sex with a minor in certain instances. In June of 2013, I got a paid position with Shared Hope International, working as their Awareness Associate, and we continued the fight to re-amend this bill, re-instating the felony provision.
The fight is never over. If you want to get involved and put an end to sex trafficking in the United States, go to www.sharedhope.org/join-thecause/ and learn more. Also, Warner Pacific now has an anti-human trafficking club, HOPES (Humans Opposed to Persons Enslaved and Sold); contact Benjamin Irwin or Lauren Waits for more information.
Warner Pacific College
YOUR Story MATTERS
Faces in the crowd Lauren Copeland clearly remembers walking into her high school cafeteria in Modesto, California on the first day of school. She was one of only three students from her old middle school: the other 2,700 were just faces. “There was a panic to stick close to faces I remembered,” Copeland recalls. She somehow found herself sitting by the three people she knew from middle school, and she didn’t even consider them friends. Here at Warner Pacific, Copeland is once again a freshman. She has started to face and adapt to a new school and is finding a whole new set of friends. This time she is alone, and commonalities have to be found beyond facial recognition. The next thing one would look for is how people present themselves, what they look like. Language, skin color, gender, dress, diet, or favorite activities often connect a community or clique. This is why when we meet a new person, we start asking them what
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they’re all about, searching for a common interest. If there is nothing to talk about, it can get awkward. If we have something in common, even a favorite cereal, we say something like, “No way! Me too!” and feel connected to that person. “I think commonalities bring down the barriers to comfort. It doesn’t define who the person will be friends with, but it makes that wall break down,” Copeland said. An important ethos of the college (found on our website’s diversity tab) states, “The Office of Diversity moves beyond the notion of diversity as just an aesthetic, rather, we believe it is a systematic approach that is an essential element in fulfilling our mission and purpose.” We are called to look at our differences—our diversity, to step beyond the skin colors, the cliques, and the fads. Of course, I’m preaching to the choir. In fact it would be hard to find someone at the college who didn’t agree with spoken word artist Propaganda when he drops the lines in his song Precious Puritans: “You see my skin, and I see yours, and they are beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully, divinely de-
Photos and Story by Tim Jackson
signed uniqueness. Shouldn’t we celebrate that rather than act like it ain’t there?” We certainly represent a large range of the color spectrum. A Portland Tribune article published on April 25th, 2012 stated, “[Warner Pacific College’s] student mix is among the most racially diverse in Oregon.” The college won the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Andringa Award for Advancing Racial Harmony in February of this year. According to a recent press release, over the last ten years we have seen the number of students of color grow from 13 to 28 percent, and 43 percent of Warner Pacific’s new employees during that same period were persons of color, well over the CCCU standard. The newest incoming class (the class of 2017) is made up of many aspiring and story-burdened individuals, 52% of whom are from multicultural backgrounds, according to Dr. Dale Seipp, Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing. That means that over half of the class is the minority, making the minority the majority. Though we’ve reached an impressive benchmark, Vol. 5, Issue 2
the enrollment team is not stopping there: “We’re working towards advancing the mission and vision of the college by targeting students from various ethnic backgrounds and geographic locations,” Seipp said. However, fulfilling the mission for diversity goes against our human nature to look for what is similar in the crowd of faces around us. The problem is not that most students aren’t accepting of people from different backgrounds; rather, the struggle seems to be that we do not always know how to interact with people who are different from us. I would argue that the next step is simple in theory: to go beyond the demographics and begin to indulge in the fact that we can all announce that we are different without any judgment.
Stories matter I like to think of a new person I’ve never met before as a book. Although the front cover can be captivating, the story contained within is what allows the true attachment to take place. Every person has a library of culture; they hold pages that have yet to be opened and read. Take the following three students: Honey Ali, Jongwon Seo and Pía Macarena Véliz Pino. They were all born on different continents, and they have lived worlds apart from they now attend college. Ali was in my FYE class (now FYLC), so we naturally met through the college curriculum. Seo was a bit of an outsider in the Upper Warman Hall his first year as an international student. All it took to break the ice Knight Times
for us was asking about his military experience in South Korea, and I started reflecting on how it might compare to my experience with the U.S. military. Pino was the one person I didn’t know until I interviewed her for this story. It would make me sad if I had let a person like Pino walk out the doors after graduation without even getting to know her name, yet there are still people on campus I know only as a face, a front cover, and nothing more. What would it take for me to step out and meet more than my small clique of friends? As John F. Kennedy said: “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”
Honey Ali Honey was born in Negele Borana, Ethiopia. “I got the name because I was born under a tree that had honey dripping from it; they celebrated my birth by eating honey.” However, her birth also shows that life in Ethiopia isn’t always as sweet as honey, as her parents wanted a boy but received a girl. “It was disappointing to them,” Ali said with a frown. “That’s the culture. If you have a son, your name will be carried on.” As a female in Ethiopia, she was expected to do more practical things like tending the farm and taking care of the younger ones. Ali’s grandmother raised her. She was one of 14 kids to take care of after Honey’s uncle died. “As a community we raise each other, like we raise each other’s kids.” Warner Pacific College
In order to escape the late 1990’s famine in Ethiopia, Ali’s family first moved to Kenya, and then arrived in America when she was nine years old. In America, she was able to go to school for the first time. Ali’s grandmother died in 2003, and she can remember the day as if it were yesterday. “Picture your living room full of people you don’t know. Everyone is sad and crying for a whole week.” When Ali says crying for a whole week, she is literal. Every Ethiopian in the area who knows the family crowds in the living room for a whole week and absorbs the shock with the grieving family, eating, singing, praying, and laughing off the pain. “Mourning doesn’t work if you are going through everyday life, you don’t want it to spread everywhere you go.” Once the week of mourning is over, Ali explained, the sad feelings no longer dominate the person’s life. “I believe everyone from Africa is a fighter. We’re strong. We don’t see negative things as an excuse to not live. You still have to live, you still have to fight for the family you still have.” Ali likes talking about cultural differences; ask her to discuss both the seriousness and lightheartedness of her people over a cup of coffee.
Jongwon Seo Jongwon was born in Yuosu, South Korea in 1986. Yuosu is on the southern coast of South Korea and means “beautiful water.” The whole city is like a giant SeaWorld, always busy and festive, he said. But Seo didn’t have time to indulge in the beauty of his city much. By the time he was in high school, he was going to school from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. “It’s like getting stuck in the library with surveillance from your
teacher,” Seo said, and with a mischievous grin added, “I tried to escape many times, and I did. But the next day, I got punished.” Once Seo graduated from putting in at least 60 hours of school a week, he tried to evade two years of mandatory military/police service by learning Chinese in university. When that fell through, he had no choice but to enlist. He became a driver for a one-star general in the Army close to the Demilitarized Zone in Seoul, a job that was both rewarding and stressful. “You could not look at him in the eyes. You couldn’t look in the rear view mirror,” Seo said. The perks were worth it, though. He met with many high-ranking generals, politicians, and entrepreneurs. Seo saw how the South Korean military ran, how the leaders would short cut the system, and what it took to support a whole army. Once, he even saw George W. Bush from a distance. After the military Seo traveled to America to take part in an ESL program. First, he had to find a city to land in. He Googled “America not many Korean” and Portland, Oregon showed up. Seo traveled around Western America and Canada by himself after his ESL program finished and then moved back to Korea for a few months, but became restless. Seo went to Tibet for a month on a mission trip, then decided he wanted to return to the City of Roses. So he Googled “Christian college Portland” and found Warner Pacific College. As a missions minor, Seo has continued his travels, spending time in Jordan and Kyrgyzstan. Seo’s missionary strategy is similar to his searches for locations on
The Knight Times Layout Editor: Photo Editor: Faculty Advisor: Contributing Writers:
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Google. He spontaneously gets on a bus, rides until the last stop, and talks with the people in the town. Seo believes that every culture and every person should be able to experience love, especially God’s love for us. “I want to go to Islamic countries, I want to know what they believe in and how they live. It’s where I want to focus my missions,” Seo said. Ask Jongwon about his recent missions trip; he will sit down and tell you how he shared his love of Jesus while playing soccer with a group of Kyrgyzstani kids.
Pía Macarena Véliz Pino Cheers to anyone who can say Pía Pino’s full name five times fast. Pino was born and raised in the capital of Santiago, Chile under the shadows of the Andes Mountains. She began her education at a subsidized Catholic school, where Spanish culture was imposed on students: “Right now I would be mad about that, but as a kid I didn’t give a lot of importance to it.” Pino explained that she is about as Spanish as Americans are British, which ,taken with the amount of zest she throws into the word “Chile,” means not Spanish at all. Pino’s parents are both number oriented; her father is an accountant for the government and her mother is a retired math teacher. Pino recalls her father having a work contract from the Chilean government cancelled, then being rehired at a much lower wage. “Like a disgusting business,” Pino said with a frown. After a six month internship with Daimler, a German company, Pino knew she was meant to do business, and to finish her bachelor’s degree in the U.S. “It’s not common for a Chilean to go to college
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Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org Warner Pacific College 2219 S. E. 68th Ave Portland, Oregon 97215
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in America,” Pino admitted; she wanted to go to a country where English was the first language, not the second. She remembers saying to herself, “I really need to go overseas, my mind, my spirit, I need this. I felt a calling.” She had to enter a nanny program and live in a stranger’s house, barely making enough to explore the fresh and exciting country around her. “It was the only affordable way I could find to come to the United States,” Pino said. “Being away makes you appreciate things.” Pino explained how she has begun to appreciate how much Chile’s government cares for people, as health and education are heavily subsidized. It was a paradox to Pino that the richest country in the world was not able to offer affordable health care and top notch public schools to their citizens, while “a developing country like mine was able to give health and education.” Pino is now the financial officer for the Student Diversity Council. She reflects that the college still needs to make the step past mere statistics to make it a more global community. “It’s not enough to have people around the campus just because they have different colored skin when we’re not open to what they think or feel,” she said. “I think it’s important because the demographic is changing here in the U.S. All over the world people are immigrating. I’m an immigrant and will continue to be, maybe in Canada or Mexico. I’m open.” Pía invites us to realize that diversity goes beyond skin color, and that we need to listen with our hearts to people we don’t understand.
Showing Our True Face Every year, we have a brand new set of students on campus. Most of them, like Lauren Copeland, will come from a public high school. Copeland feels like the upper classmen are both an example and a group to learn from: “They mingle to the ex-
tent that they want to.” About her incoming group, Copeland said, “I hope that we don’t develop cliques and become unable to relate to another on a level outside the classroom. We’re in this school as a community, even if we’re not invested in the same interests.” She sees the obvious trends concerning who hangs out with whom,in chapel, in the dining hall and even in the classroom. The high school days of cowering at anything marked as “other” are over. So why are we still in hiding? How many people at Warner Pacific still look scared, not glancing at the eyes of anyone as they pass by between classes, as they duck their heads and sit alone in the cafeteria, as they envy laughter of a nearby group? The time to hide, the time to say you are not important enough, and the time to say you are just one of the many in the majority is over. You are unique, you are different, and your story does matter. Our campus has a bunch of stories, more stories than Otto F. Linn Library could hold. According to Rabbi Mark, leader of Beit T’Shuvah says: “The lie is that we can fit into the world. We’re all misfits. We’re all misfits who find our place; by living authentically, then we fit.” Authenticity is what makes us diverse, and authenticity is what makes us united. C.S. Lewis wrote that friendship is like a secret thread; there is something mysterious in what bonds two human beings into friendship. Getting to know everybody isn’t the goal, but allowing yourself to miss the opportunity of meeting someone who could potentially be a life mentor, best friend, side kick, or even spouse shouldn’t be denied because you are scared of an authentic aspect about a person. As Pino lamented, “It’s easier for people not to get involved with different cultural backgrounds. If they are well with the way they are, why would they want to change things?” She paused and suddenly had a concerned and honest look on her face. “Maybe we should look at that. Maybe we should make them want to change things, even if they think they are fine.”
continued from page 3 I knew Villegas would have an interesting perspective on his experience. “In the time I’ve been in this country, I’ve sort of demonized Christians because of the way I’ve been bullied by them. I originally came here for the music program, but I was pleased to find that the Christians I met here are more forward thinking, more open than I’d experienced before,” he told me. “I’m a Taoist and almost wanted to keep that a secret because I was afraid I would be demonized for it. Instead I’ve found acceptance.” Skyler Wilson, another student in my FYLC told me, “Even if this is a Christian campus, this
is Portland, which is a liberal area, so there hasn’t been much pressure. And also, a number of friends that I hang out with aren’t really religious either, so yeah, I get along fine.” These comments gave me a lot to think about, which I then took to a man who has a huge passion for the religiously confused, Dr. Jess Bielman, Director of Campus Ministries. When I explained to him my personal reasons for exploring this topic, he smiled and told me, “I’m glad you found Warner Pacific at this time in your life,” and “It’s very Christian of you to be listening for that minority voice.” As we
went on to talk, he gave me some perspectives from his place in life: “The Northwest looks at religion like it looks at smoking. ‘I won’t tell you not to do it, but don’t do it in front of my kids, don’t do it in public, and you’re probably using it to cover for something in your life.’” Bielman understood that the questions I am asking are shared by many people at this college and in my generation. His last encouragement to me was this: “The cure for Bad Religion isn’t No Religion: It’s Good Religion. And I believe there’s a good religion out there for Ben Irwin. You just have to look for it.”
Warner Pacific College
Parking Pass Pride by Becca Schrader
on to say that he parks along 66th Avenue, though every once in a while he is forced to park a few streets further down where there are open spots, which has caused him to be late to at least a handful of classes each semester.
A STORY OF CONFESSION AND REDEMPTION
s a senior graduating this December, I confess that I have attempted to get away with not having a parking pass nearly every semester of the two years that I have attended this college. My first semester I pulled it off by using visitor parking, but by second semester, campus security inevitably found out I was a student, and I quickly racked up over $100 in parking tickets. I even managed to get a $40 ticket instead of the usual $20 ticket. How did I accomplish this? By parking in the reserved president’s spot for an hour when I was running late to an important class presentation in A.F. Gray. My third semester I found out I could park along 66th Avenue for free, and I was so proud that I had found a legitimate loophole to getting a parking pass—until the only available spot one day was at the end of the street. This time I got a $250 parking ticket from the city of Portland since the very end of my bumper “obstructed a handicap ramp” (it covered a few inches of the dip in the side walk that is there for wheelchair access). Paying off that ticket took all of the money I had saved for Christmas presents, and it created a lot of stress for me that holiday season. But I am happy to announce that after three semesters of terrible parking experiences, it only took Photos by Tim Jackson. one parking ticket at the beginning of this semester to convince me to stop the antics of avoidance and surrender $60 for a parking pass.
Other students have brought many a parking ticket upon themselves while refusing to entertain the idea of actually purchasing a parking pass. A senior told me that, during her freshmen year, she assumed that since her car was not registered with the school, if she got tickets for parking in the wrong spots she wouldn’t actually have to pay them because campus security would have no ideas whose car it was. “Well, toward the end of the year, a security guard tracked me down, literally ran after me while I was getting into my car, checked my student ID, and asked me if I knew I had over $200 in parking fines,” she recalled. But despite having to use all of her first big paycheck of that summer to pay off her parking fines, this student was not to be discouraged. She implemented the same mode of pass free parking all over again her sophomore year, thinking she could get away with it because she had a new car. Sadly, it didn’t work the second time around either. Some of the reasons for not getting a parking permit are pretty understandable. When asked about his experience, one junior said, “Ugh, parking here is hell. I’m not going to pay sixty-some-odd-dollars to have the option to park in a tiny parking lot where people hit you, or in a gravel parking lot.” In an irritated tone, he continued, “What the heck? It’s gravel!” He went
Campus Safety Supervisor Paul Hartman’s Favorite Parking Excuses: •
“Nobody told me I had to get a permit.”
“I didn’t see the sign that said this was a visitor’s spot.”
• • • • • •
“I forgot my permit in my other car.” “My car is in the shop.”
“I’m just washing my car.”
“I can’t park on the city streets because someone will steal my car and I can’t afford a permit.” “I was just taking a piss.” (For an hour?)
“That’s not my car and I have never driven it on campus. In fact, I bike to class.” (The following week, Hartman saw that student driving toward A.F. Gray driving the vehicle in question.) December 5, 2013
Vol. 5, Issue 2
Even students who do not feel as though it is a personal attack to their pride to purchase a parking pass experience parking problems of their own at times. Senior Mollie Berry described a very stressful day that all stemmed from forgetting to transfer her parking pass from her car to the vehicle she was borrowing for the day while her car was in the repair shop. “There was no parking on 66th so I had to park far away. I was late for class, and I was worried about getting a ticket from the city all day,” Berry recalled with a grimace. So, is having to purchase a parking pass normal? Not at Concordia University; parking there is free for all students, faculty, and staff. Still, each student is required to have a current parking permit, which they obtain by signing up online. If students fail to get
their free parking pass, they are subject to a $25 fine and being towed each time they park on campus. Concordia University is an exception to the rule, however, and other private colleges such as George Fox University charge upwards of $80 for a year-long parking pass. Larger schools like Portland State University are in another price range all together; passes from $315 to $369 for a term parking pass. PSU student Nicholas Colin explained that since he only has class three days a week, he always leaves himself an extra twenty minutes to find metered street parking. But this strategy still costs money. “Even parking in street spots only, trying to park for less than a couple hundred bucks per semester is impossible,” Colin said. WPC students, learn from the mistakes of those that have come before you when trying to park for free. Visit Kaylee Krout to obtain a parking pass for a mere $60 per academic year. Or, learn the hard way, pay more money in the long run, and feel constantly stressed about all the free spots being taken or getting caught parking in the president’s spot.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 According to the research of Thompson Glenn’s academic and career history re- scholar I am really concerned about comand Cuseo, diversity is important in col- veals his commitment to multicultural- plex cultural phenomenon and how that lege settings because it “promotes creative ism, Christian education, and Portland, impacts society and schools. When I say thinking” by improving one’s “capacity for Oregon. He holds a Bachelor’s degree I’m a scholar, I mean that sincerely—I’m viewing issues or problems from multiple in Social Science, a Master’s degree in not only looking at what’s happening. I’m perspectives [...] rather than viewing the Educational Administration and a Doc- trying to find out what are the causes, world through a single-focus lens.” When toral degree in Educational Leadership come up with frameworks and theories differing backgrounds and expeto address those causes, put those riences are compared and contheories into practice, and then trasted, it “enhances self-awareness assess their effectiveness.” He also Here’s the thing about diversity: it’s more art and sharpens self-knowledge,” the recognizes that when multiculturform than science—just like art, it is really hard writers said. Moreover, they added, alism or diversity is “commodified “Successful performance in today’s in mainstream society” people to quantify and measure. The challenge is that diverse workforce requires sensimay began to see the work toward people default back to what can be measured tivity to human differences and diversity as “disingenuous.” the ability to relate to people from and that becomes the cosmetic stuff. It’s not different cultural backgrounds.” “This work matters,” Glenn said, just this idea about how we can bring together The US News article can be found adding, “People often think a cosmetic representation of different ethnic in the Education section at www. diversity work only concerns usnews.com. teaching about ‘the other.’ It’s regroups, but it’s really about looking at issues ally about self-work; even at their of access, opportunity, power, justice. In a Knight Times interview with Dr. best, people have issues, and they Daymond Glenn, Vice President may be complicit in reinforc— Dr. Daymond Glenn for Community Life and Chief ing things that they want to see Diversity Officer, he said: “Here’s eradicated.” the thing about diversity: it’s more art form and has had faculty and administrative than science—just like art, it is really hard to positions at colleges like George Fox “I love commentary and critique,” quantify and measure. The challenge is that University. He has authored Critical Con- Glenn said, “but social change is not people default back to what can be measured dition: Black Males and Multiculturalism going to just happen through rhetoricand that becomes the cosmetic stuff. It’s not in Higher Education. -even though rhetoric is important as a just this idea about how we can bring toframe. Diversity goals aim to challenge gether a cosmetic representation of different Glenn said that he is dedicated to ad- and empower people and build bonds ethnic groups, but it’s really about looking at dressing diversity with a holistic approach, through critical exploration of the issues of access, opportunity, power, justice.” despite all the nuanced perspectives, “As a world.” Knight Times
Warner Pacific College
If you love your neighbor as yourself and you want your neighbor to have a sense of freedom in your society—if that’s part of your core values— then what you vote for should also take into consideration your neighbor. — Dr. Steve Carver
shutdown of the federal government this past October on account of an inability to make an agreement across party lines in regard to the federal budget. Instead of negotiating through their differences, officials became participants in a high-stakes game of chicken. Siebers states, “A public space comes into existence only when individuals agree to act in concert.” It certainly does appear that legislators are no longer concerned with the fundamental concept of a public space.
resolving the tension by Kate Dorman
am both a student at Warner Pacific College and an advocate for a political movement that supports choice—abortion being one of those choices. The tension that exists between the two is one I’m very well aware of. I hear it in the silence that ensues when I inform my fellow interns of my place of education and the religious affiliations of the college. That silence resurfaces after I inform my classmates of my choice of internship and the political stances of the organization. The silence is surprisingly similar despite the two different contexts and makes it very clear that I am a member of the “us” and the “them” in the “us versus them complex” that is so prevalent in American society. The tension between how I choose to identify politically and how I might choose to identify religiously is not limited to my own circumstances and especially not to the topic of abortion. It is a tension that everyone will encounter when establishing their own political identity.
December 5, 2013
Photo by Tim Jackson.
Originally, I had found peace in my bold declaration that religion has no place in politics. This is an opinion not unique to my own. It is also one that Dr. Stephen Carver, Professor of Biblical Studies, forced me to re-examine. He stated, “It’s hard to imagine that someone’s political views aren’t going to be influenced by their religion.” Carver balances this influence with another religious belief in saying that the responsible person also takes into consideration the Other: “If you love your neighbor as yourself and you want your neighbor to have a sense of freedom in your society—if that’s part of your core values—then what you vote for should also take into consideration your neighbor.” Even though a person may have strong religious views that actively influence their political thinking, those views should be weighed against what is good for the other and for society as a whole. From this viewpoint, I am able to soundly acknowledge that my own private religious beliefs do have an active role in my political perspective. Because these beliefs are balanced by
my recognition of the other, I can confidently identify as both a religious and a pro-choice individual. Tobin Siebers is an author and essayist whose works focus on (but are not limited to) ethics and the politics of identity. In his book, The Subject and Other Subjects: On Ethical, Aesthetic, and Political Identity, he defines politics as “a world held in common by its participants which entails the participants are concerned with the form of life created by politics.” The inability to recognize society as a whole is often seen in Christian extremist groups but is not limited to these groups, and it is certainly not limited to Christians. Politics in American society has a tendency to place an emphasis less on commonality and more on dissimilarity. According to Siebers, “At a certain point, ethics is about the inability to see differences: first, the difference needed to rationalize decisions, second, the differences that destroy human solidarity.” An example of this can be seen in the Vol. 5, Issue 2
The “us versus them” complex becomes difficult to dissolve when recognizing the Other entails recognizing something that is contrary to your religious beliefs. Dr. Luke Goble, Associate Professor of History, stated, “There may be a moral issue about which the Bible has something to say, but it doesn’t tell us how to approach the issue in the political sphere.” It becomes even more difficult for a person to view the society as a whole when their tax dollars are being used to help fund something they see as immoral. Dr. Carver responds to this by asking, “What citizen in a society can say 100% of my tax dollars go exactly where I want them to go?” Carver offers the subject of abortion as an example: “No one is being forced to abort that I’m aware of. You choose to exercise it or you don’t. It’s a personal choice. Whether or not it should be allowed, of course, is the bigger question.” In this case, both sides could afford some commonality with the other. On one side of the issue, we have abortion seen as synonymous to murder. And on the other side, we have members of society who believe that if abortion were to become either illegal or defunded, it would not deter a woman’s choice to have an abortion but her choice to have a safe and legal operation. Of course, divisions within a society are not limited to the subject of abortion. Other popular dividing issues include gay marriage, immigration, and health care. It’s important to recognize that living in a pluralistic society entails differences of opinion. This means that not all of the laws or all of the taxes will be universally agreeable. The question of whether or not these laws and taxes are universally ethical is something that is in need of debate, but this debate requires conversation between
groups with differing opinions. And it requires a conversation focused more on discussion than the pointing of fingers.
There’s a whole range of issues to consider before establishing our political identities. One of the major issues, for example, is the quality and reliability of the information that acts as the foundation for said identity. Dr. Carver stated, “News sources have a tendency to fire up their base with certain code words while the bigger issues of our society remain untouched.” By focusing on issues that divide the public, political players are able to secure a vote from a particular group, regardless of whether or not the politician will have any power to change the issue once elected. By fueling the “us versus them” complex, politicians are able to secure their seat in office. Dr. Goble also finds a disconnect between politics and good information. But the disconnect has less to do with the objectivity of the news and more to do with the objectivity of the viewer. “We fool ourselves to think that we can look at things objectively or take information and sort of weigh it, but what we tend to do is justify where we’re already leaning,” Dr. Goble said. “Only by actively seeking out information and ideas contrary to our own, can we shed some light of objectivity.” In regard to the “us versus them” complex that plagues American politics, Dr. Carver stated, “If people want to draw attention to it, then clearly it will exist, but I’m not sure that it has to—it certainly doesn’t have to be from a biblical perspective.” Carver went on to say that calling attention to the differences between one person and another for political purposes isn’t something that can be found in the gospels. However, it is something that is readily depicted in the news. Often there is a stigma associated with individuals who openly speak about their religious affiliations in the political realm. But if I’ve learned anything from my own experiences, it is that religion is not an inferior way for a person to come to public judgment. However, it is also not a universal one. Resolving the tension that exists between religion and politics means recognizing our influences, our biases, and the public space in which we all live.
There may be a moral issue about which the Bible has something to say, but it doesn’t tell us how to approach the issue in the political sphere. — Dr. Luke Goble Warner Pacific College
Taste of the islands by James Cook
ot oil jumps over the pot as I drop the lumpia in, and Pi’i Miller hands me a piece of thick paper to cover it. It’s about 2 p. m. on November 5, and the Pacific Islander Club is preparing for its first event of the year, Taste of the Islands. Some club members are in Miller’s apartment with me, frying lumpia roll. One is stuffed with meat and vegetables, which Kiki McDonagh made the night before, and the other with banana and peanut butter; Miller and Sophie Agustin made those. Fried rice with spam and sausage as well as desserts are on the counter behind us, all made by Jondi Harris. Once everything is cooked, we carry as much as we can across campus to the SUB. In the SUB, the community comes together to experience Taste of the Islands. Multiple kitchens and efforts are finally put together on tables in the SUB as prospective students visiting for Campus Preview Day and current ones begin to fill their plates. There’s Kalua pig (a version of pulled pork), Shoyu chicken, chicken Katsu, and Spam Musubi, all accompanied by rice. Someone’s grandmother even made pineapple upside-down cake, and there’s more than enough for everyone. Island and reggae music is playing, until Harris announces the first dance. A few women from the club go up on stage to perform the Hawaiian Cowboy dance. They continued through the Palehua, Tala mai e le lagi, and other Pacific Island dances. The women eventually pull me into the Tahiti-Tahiti, an audience interaction dance where I shake my hips the best I can. Some of my peers in the club learned these traditional dances by the time they could walk, and performed them regularly with family. Paired with a generous home cooking tradition, these events are filled with beauty and depth. As things wind down, I sit with club leaders Miller and Agustin. “We practice two times a week, have family bonding time a couple times of week,” says Agustin. Extra dance hours are included as needed, especially in preparation for the Luau on April 14th, now in its fifth year. How much time do you put into PI club, I ask. “Phew, too much to tell.” Miller says. What makes those hours worthwhile?
December 5, 2013
Photos by Sophie Agustin. “There’s a genuine interest and care for each other,” says Agustin. “It’s the closest I feel to home,” Miller adds. All of the members— too many to name—will be putting in many hours to prepare for the Luau, the larger dance, dinner, and family event in early April. Believe me when I say that those words do not describe how good this luau is. The Pacific Islander Luau is good. The Luau was my first experience with the club. The richness of the food and culture hooked me, but I was nervous about my dancing abilities and didn’t join. When Miller and Eddie Petrie finally convinced me to join, I found the club inviting regardless of my skill level. Not only do they perform and celebrate like family, I saw that the club respected each other like family. This character easily transcended the multiple ethnicities, Islander and not, represented in the PI club. The spirit behind these traditional foods and dances is the same as it is in their countries of origin: the spirit of kinship. Taste of the Islands was only a taste of the character of the Pacific Islander club. I strongly urge that you attend the Luau event in April and feel the love for yourself. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien: “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” If you’re interested in joining the Pacific Islander club, contact Sophie Agustin at email@example.com. Vol. 5, Issue 2