Honda Wong ('08) and Tim Marcroft ('09) boffing on the grassy knoll.
by Lexie Briggs
several devoted members of the Gaming Society congregate on the grassy knoll and boff. Or, to put it in layman’s terms, hit each other with weapons made mainly of duct tape.
“Boffing is probably the most popular event in the Gaming Society,” said Brian Cancio (‘07), Gaming Society President. “It is also the most effective stress relief and best physical expression of creativity I know,” he added.
Of course, boffing is not strictly for gamers. Though it is technically a subset of live action role playing (larping for short), everyone is invited, nay, encouraged to participate. “It’s the most socially accepted role playing,” Cancio said. “Anybody and everybody can pick up a sword and fight.”
And fight they do. On any given Tuesday or Friday as many as thirty boffers participate, wielding anything from broadswords to maces, ready to do battle. Last Friday, a sizable army amassed on the grass, twenty-five people ready to beat the stuffing out of each other with homemade weapons.
“Boffing is a wonderful and very fun and creative way to expend energy,” said Allie Kerr (‘08). She was sitting on the sidelines cradling her two-headed battle-axe and taking a quick break from the battle. “There’s a good mix of both fun and aggression,” she said. “It is quite a rush to win your first battle,” she added.
“We have no injuries,” Kerr remarked as screams drifted over the grassy knoll. “Compare that to soccer or football,” she continued.
“As long as you don’t take it too seriously, it is all good fun,” said Tim Marcroft (‘09).
“And if you do take it seriously, that’s just silly,” added Kerr.
“You just think of Boondock Saints when you play this game,” said Maddie Kozloff (‘09), catching her breath briefly before running back into the melee.
Boffing, however, isn’t merely entertainment for the boffers themselves. The battles draw a large crowd of spectators and fans. There is even an official Facebook group, cultivating the boffers’ fan base.
Off to one side sat a half dozen members of the self-proclaimed “peanut gallery.” They watched the action intently, alternately commenting and cheering their favorites.
“We had popcorn earlier,” one of the watchers said.
“I love watching the tour groups go by,” another commented. “They look so dazed by it.”
Although the carnage might seem surprisingly reminiscinet of the Battle for Helm’s Deep or the siege of Rome, Cancio explained, boffing does not seek to reacreate any past battles, real or fantasy. “Despite our historical tendencies, we don’t do this to recreate anything. We do this to have fun,” said Cancio. “That’s why we have Highlander great swords, Roman shields, spears, Japanese katanas, and just classic long swords all in one battle.”
“They may not have had Capture the Flag in Medieval Europe, but we have fun with it,” Cancio added. It is worth noting that Capture the Flag is proven to be more fun than the bubonic plague.
One boffer, shirtless, iPod in hand, carefully slashed at a rival with a short sword. The music he was listening to? Opera, of course.
And will the epic battles go on all semester? Of course, said Cancio, channeling Winston Churchill. “We will fight through the sunny days, the cold days, the hot days, and the wet days. My favorites are the rainy days. Those days, I just want to bring out a camcorder and shoot the action. Rain just makes the battles so much more cinematic.”
“I like to think that boffing harkens back to the Coliseum days in Rome, only less cruel, crazy or bloodthirsty,” said Cancio. “But just as entertaining,” he added.
by Jocelyn Stokes
Imagine starting college for the first time again, except that this time an unforeseen disaster has changed all your plans entirely. For Tulane University evacuees, the first day at Lewis & Clark was farther out of the ordinary than for typical LC students. While most would worry about getting the right books and the best schedules, the Katrina victims were just glad to be somewhere with electricity.
The devastation of Hurricane Katrina, namely on educational facilities, called for the addition of several new faces to the LC Community. Several Tulane students have arrived with their own unique perceptions of the recent events and the unexpected transition they face. Most of these students were given little more than a day’s notice to evacuate New Orleans and transfer schools. LC has granted these latecomers special consideration in regards to the registration process, which closed registration to new students two weeks ago.
Belongings were left behind for the unknown, and any semblance of stability vanished. “Our lives were completely turned upside down,” says Amelia Decker (‘07), one Tulane evacuee who spoke at the Katrina symposium last Wednesday. Amelia emphasized the breakdown of communication that added to the chaos. Landlines were down and cell phone service was nonexistent, making it extremely difficult if not impossible to contact people in the area or reach loved ones outside Louisiana.
Now that Amelia and the other evacuees are in a place where electronic communication is functional, they must establish new lines of communication on a completely new campus. For some Tulane students, however, this is a fairly daunting and even unwanted task. “I miss New Orleans - it’s the most amazing place,” says Megan Montgomery (‘07). Unlike the majority of students who decide to study here, many of these students feel forced, in a way, to attend LC, even for a brief period of time. Evacuee David G. (‘08) remarked that there are “so many adjustments” - LC is very different from what Tulane students are accustomed to.
Although these students may express nostalgia and apprehension about their new situation, they also present an optimistic outlook.
“I was really into New Orleans and now I want to make friends with people who are really into Portland,” said Montgomery. “Everyone [at LC] has been great! The staff has been extremely helpful.”
As for those who were preparing for their first semester at Tulane, the transfer is yet another facet of transitioning to college life. Whitney Raynor (‘09) said she “can’t get settled,” yet she manages to take the circumstances in stride, adding, “Everyone says freshman year is supposed to be the most fun, so I might as well make the best of it.”
by Katrin Gibb
Although Lewis & Clark College currently has no party-affiliated political organizations, the other politically active groups on campus prove why LC was named the fifth most politically active school by the Princeton Review.
Last year during the Presidential election, party-affiliated groups were extremely popular on LC’s campus. Not only did LC have a College Democrat’s Organization, but they also had Students Against Bush Club.
However, after the election these clubs disappeared from campus.
“[The club] was formed mostly to rally students to vote during the election,” said Adam Sanchez (’07). “When the election ended most of us, including me, were so distraught that the club just stopped meeting.”
Former Director of Student Services Michael Ford said that LC’s party-affiliated clubs come and go with the election cycles. Director of Student Activities Robbie Fung, said that LC students had formed a “Students for [Howard] Dean” organization at the beginning of the last campaign season, but just like the other party affiliated clubs on campus, it too disappeared.
Deborah Schwartz (‘06), a co-founder of the Organization for Peace and Politics (OPP), believes that there are no party-affiliated clubs on campus because, “although people may identify as a Democrat or a Republican, personally, I don’t see either of these political parties as reflecting or fighting, for the real needs of the people.” Schwartz described OPP as “an organization born out of the current anti-war movement. We stand for student involvement in progressive politics at LC and the world beyond.” OPP’s agenda for this year involves bringing several speakers to campus including the leader of the Convergence of Popular Movements of Peoples of the Americas (COMPA), Victor Geronimo, to speak about corporate globalism and how people can organize against it.
Students Engaged in Eco-Defense (SEED) is another activist group on campus that rallies behind one central idea: improving the environment. SEED is currently formulating ideas for this years agenda, but Brian Erickson (‘06), one of the club’s campaign organizers, said that “some potential areas of work include improving the recycling system, composting more on-campus, networking with the local farms and permaculture classes, making the campus pesticide-free, getting the campus to switch over to environmental-friendly and safe cleaning products… and networking with the Alaska Coalition’s campaign to keep drilling out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
Erickson reasoned that “it is easier to work with an issue and get motivated and excited about that issue than it is to be excited about a party…LC students like to have their own initiatives and goals rather than have a national organization tell us what to do.”
These two groups alone emphasize why LC is considered one of the most politically active colleges in the United States.
However, a balance between liberal and conservative ideals is missing from LC’s campus. Ford believes that conservatives are afraid of being ostracized, so they don’t form organizations.
Similarly, Erickson said he believes that, “some, and I do emphasize SOME, LC students are more prone to insult and mock those with conservative views than they are to listen, think and perhaps debate. We could definitely use at least some moderate groups and speakers on this campus. That said, I do think that the ‘liberal’ groups are making awesome changes, doing great things and putting on wonderful events.”
by Carmen Krol
Since 1992, administration at Lewis & Clark College has been trying to deal with an increase of student interest for living on-campus and maintain a strong college community with limited student commuters. East, West and Rogers Halls were completed for the 2002-2003 academic year in order to fulfill upper-class interest of on-campus housing. However, as enrollment increases, more and more upper-classmen are unable to stay on campus; the apartment buildings are just not large enough.
Campus planner Michael Sestric has been busy with Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (ZGF) and Architectural Cost Consultants, LLC as well as a committee of professors, administrators and students developing residential options for LC. During the summer, Residential Life sent out a survey asking students for input on new campus housing. After the survey was distributed, Residential Life invited off-campus students to focus groups to discuss options that would convince them to move back on-campus. A vast majority of the students who answered the survey and participants in the focus group wanted single-occupancy rooms and “house” options (similar to living in a house off-campus with two or more housemates).
The school is unable to provide its students with houses of only three to four residents. The campus is simply not large enough to accommodate a plethora of one to two-story homes. When asked about the houses off-campusowned by the college and rented to law students. Sestric explained that the neighborhood association permitted law students but not undergraduate students to rent the houses because they felt undergraduate students would be too disruptive. Sestric feels that the students at LC are well-behaved and would not see a problem with them renting college-owned houses, but going against the neighborhood association is not within his powers.
The college intends to build large buildings, similar to the apartments, which would allow for single occupancy rooms connecting to a common room where kitchen and bathroom facilities would be shared. This model of housing would comply with the college’s “hierarchy of space”an underlying vision that has helped the residential housing committee shape proposals. This outlook consists of transcending stages of space: a student would have their private space then transcend to the common roomwhere suite mates would share spacethen the entire building community and finally the entire of the campus. This vision helps to connect the individual with the community without dictating how much interaction they have.
Currently, the Residence Halls Expansion project has three different proposals for types of housing. The first two are similar to each other: both consist of eight-bed apartments. These resemble the current apartment complex layout, but with eight occupants for each suite. The third layout consists of an 18-bed house with single and double occupancy rooms and large community spaces.
The committee has been looking at several sites on campus for this housing. The parking lot next to Templeton has been one option. A dormitory the same height as Templeton would be built - approximately five stories high. Having a dormitory near the Templeton has the appeal of focusing Templeton as a student center. However, this would mean another parking space would have to be found somewhere else on an already rather crowded campus.
South Campus has also been considered; enough space exists there for a large dormitory complex. However, concerns have arisen over the distance between these buildings and the rest of the undergraduate campus. Areas proposed are between Facilities and Hartzfeld. Or the lawn area between Akin and Stewart/Odell.
Campus planning is also considering converting classrooms located in residence halls into living space. These classrooms are located primarily in Copeland and the Forest complex, and due to the opening of J.R. Howard Hall, these classrooms are no longer needed for academic purposes. By converting them, the college would be saving space as well as possibly reducing the magnitude of construction brought on by the new buildings.
The committee’s next plans are to fine-tune the cost with these plans and take a comprehensive feasible report to the Board of Trustees for review. Sestric hopes that after the committee and the Board of Trustees decide on feasible building models for the campus, he can have more student focus groups meet to discuss the best model for LC. He invited any first-year or sophomoreas they would be probably be the ones to enjoy the new housingto contact him if they would like to partake in these groups.
by Craig Beebe
Last week I was astounded by strange events that occurred on the Pioneer Express, and in a corn maze on Sauvie Island. And while those events were quite unusual and even disturbing, I must make an observation that limits their ability to truly frighten me. At the very least, those events were of this world. Perhaps outside its normal bounds of, say, decency, but they were of this world.
This week, I am concerned with something certainly not of this world. Or something that I’m not sure is of this world. But it is stranger and more disturbing than anything college students might pull off on a bus or in a maze.
I saw a UFO last weekend.
No kidding. No, seriouslyI’m not. Yeah, the whole Unsolved Mysteries/In Search Of…3 AM stuff on the History Channel sort of experience. I have witnesses toowell, at least one.
They were in the form of lines of flashing lights on the coast at Manzanita, Oregon. We saw them three times, in different parts of the sky, shooting off in rows, with the last one lingering and then disappearing. They were like flares, only no boats were anywhere nearby, and they were far too high in the atmosphere.
They were followed by two pairs of what appeared to be fast moving, high-altitude fighter jets flying inland.
No, seriously. I’m not joking.
But that’s not the worst part. Even if the FBI does show up at my apartment door on Saturday morning ready with memory-erasers, I’m not the only person to share the story. There have been a lot of sightings on the Manzanita coast over the past few years. Creepy.
But that’s okay. I’m not sure that aliens scare me all that much. Hey, an alien invasion would give us a break from questioning potential Supreme Court justices about what they ate for breakfast in 1986, and why it might affect their views on abortion.
But what did scare me was the sort of crew I’ve become a part of now that I’ve seen something flashing in the sky that I couldn’t identify and had never seen before.
For one thing, I was suddenly afraid of everything. Since Saturday night was a full moon, we could see a lot on the beach, and my companion and I spent a good deal of time trying to identify what appeared to be a woman in a bridal gown dancing on the edge of the surf (it was actually a garbage bag tied to a pole). And then I wondered why there seemed to be so many kids running around holding flashlights (I think there was some sort of church gathering going on). And then I wondered why the beach house we were staying at seemed like it had been dropped from the 1970s, and why the window that I swear was closed when we went to bed was open when we got up (no answer for that one).
But worse, when I logged on to the Internet, I suddenly discovered that if I do report this to a “real” ufologist (yes, that’s a word) website, that puts me in the same company as a lot of pretty crazy folks. Conspiracy theorists, hill folk, cult membersit seems like seeing a UFO is a rather slippery slope. And I don’t think I’d like to start spouting off that Hurricane Katrina is actually a result of giant weather-producing machines from the planet Gazzaar-8. Even if it does sound convincing.
So what’s a normal, red-blooded columnist to do? Well, for one thing, I can’t lose my readers (neither one of you) by making you think that I’m insane. So, I guess I’ll just have to change the subject, move on to other things equally strange and distracting, like pirates outside Howard Hall. (Maybe that’s an explanation for these sightings.)
Because next time, I’m bringing a camcorder.
by Craig Beebe
For nearly every student at Lewis & Clark, Bon Appetit is a daily experience. Whether one eats at the “Bon” itself, or frequents one of its four outlets on campusnot to mention its virtual lock on all catered activities at LCfamiliarity with Bon Appetit’s food, whether voluntary or not, is nearly a given on campus.
And despite what different students might think about the desirability of the company’s food, many have reasonable questions about the quality of the ingredients that go into the food the LC community eats. In an era and a region known for its consideration of food as organic, vegetarian and, in the case of animal products, humanely raised, the Bon is subject to a great deal of scrutiny about its food preparation and acquisition practices.
For those who wonder, Bon Appetit General Manager William Masullo has good news. Most of what the company prepares comes from organic, sustainable producers.
At least, most of the time. “The big problem is availability,” Masullo said. For example, he notes the difficulty that arises when a company responsible for feeding over 1000 people daily tells a small, local farm that it will need to produce enough tomatoes to do business. “[Some local farmers] have planted thirty to fifty acres of a crop just for us,” Masullo said.
Bon Appetit lists a number of its main suppliers on its website. Among them are Falls Brand meat products, Oregon Country Beef, fair trade coffee and tea and Portland-based Sunshine Dairy. Each company, along with the numerous produce suppliers that Bon Appetit uses, has been approved by and chosen with the assistance of the Food Alliance, a nonprofit that assists restaurants and caterers in choosing sustainable options, Masullo said.
It is more than organic, Masullo said, pointing out the vagueness of that term. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses a number of confusing criteria to term products “organic,” and it may not always be clear what the word means. Furthermore, Bon Appetit said it wants to take into consideration other factors, like worker conditions, treatment of animals, environmental sustainability and business practices that aren’t included under the organic label.
But the company is doing what it can, Masullo said. And yet, their image is still one of a “big bad company,” he said. He said he believed he knew why that image persisted: “We’re not good storytellers.”
The “big bad company” image also likely persists because of the corporate nature of Bon Appetit. In particular, a number of students have expressed concern about the company’s recent purchase by the Compass Group, the world’s largest foodservice corporation, which operates numerous restaurant chains and brands in the United States and around the world. Among these are numerous franchises of Burger King, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and other chain restaurants, as well as many corporate, hotel and educational foodservice companies.
Masullo brushes off concern about Bon Appetit’s new corporate parents. “Compass Group does nothing” in Bon Appetit’s operations, he said. “They just own services.”
He said that Bon Appetit had maintained a good deal of independence. The Compass Group was only responsible for nonfood items, he said, and even there he and his staff have resisted their influence. He pointed to sustainable, recyclable utensils and dishware now being used at LC, including forks and spoons made from limestone and wheat.
He even expressed optimism for how the Bon might someday change the Compass Group’s acquisition practices, and thus possibly the world. “Because they’re so big, they can change the way the planet buys things,” he said.
Masullo is confident that students are aware of the quality of food they are served, and will be even more so in the future. He said that Bon Appetit is planning a number of theme dinners that will demonstrate this quality, including a Sustainbility Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 29, which will feature only food and drink that was produced less than 150 miles away.
“People are eating differently today,” Masullo said. And while he believes that what the Bon is attempting is a long-term project, he hopes that college foodservice doesn’t have to be left out of the food revolution.
Ultimately, though, he said it is still about the individual diner. “Ultimately the person who chooses is going to get what they want,” he said. “We’re here to give them more options.”
by Jonathan Fochtzwajg
Perched above campus in the attic of the Manor House, a man named Michael Sestric holds the future of Lewis & Clark College in his hands. No, he’s not a shadow president. He is the College’s campus planner, responsible for overseeing all campus development and construction. He has worked as LC’s campus planner since 1993. Although his work is what shapes the college around us, few have an understanding of what goes on in the tiny office he shares with his staff.
Thirty Year Plan
One source of confusion for many at LC is the “Thirty-Year Plan,” which first appeared in 1992 and has since been a mysterious and vague concept having to do with campus development. In short, the plan’s goals are to expand and improve the law, graduate and undergraduate campuses.
Technically, LC is already thirteen years into the Thirty-Year Plan. Much has been done in that time, although not all of it is obvious. In the mid 1990s the library received an extension, more than doubling its square footage. Around the same time, Sestric oversaw the construction of the Miller Center for the Humanities and the Fields Center for the Visual Arts.
In the first years of the new millennium, the residential side of campus was graced with the construction of three new apartment buildings for juniors and seniorsEast, West and Roberts. In 2003 Albany, which houses a number of offices and the Dovecote Café, was renovated and expanded. The beginning of this year marked the opening of J.R. Howard Hall, the new Social Sciences building. Improvements were not limited to the Fir Acres campus, however. During this first leg of the Thirty-Year Plan, South Campus was also purchased for graduate use and received a slew of improvements. The Law School was given a new hall and had their library remodeled.
Less obviously, the landscape around the Manor House was renovated to “recapture the pedestrian nature of the campus.” All sorts of infrastructural improvements were made to the campus edge, including the construction of new sidewalks, a storm water management system, bike lanes and the traffic circle outside the Law School. In other words, Sestric has been busy.
Sestric has been busy, but his work is far from finished. Though grey in the beard, Sestric gets a youthful twinkle in his eye when speaking about future improvements to the school.
At the forefront of Sestric’s mind are improvements coming to the academic side of campus. For example, one plan being discussed is an expansion of Olin or the construction of an entirely new science building. Another is the complete removal of BoDine, the Bio-Psych building, to make way for an open academic quad that would span from Albany to Howard. A new performing arts building for the Theatre and Music departments is high on the list of campus priorities. So is the construction of additional facilities for the athletics department, a project that will likely receive more attention this year as a result of the cancellation of the football season.
Sestric’s goal for the residential side of campus is to create enough space for 75% of students to live on campus (the current residency rate hovers around 65%). The construction of the new apartments was the first step in achieving this goal, but much more remains to be done. Many existing residence halls are becoming problematic and wearing out.
What exactly remains to be done depends on future analysis of each building’s quality and character, but in his musings Sestric touched upon a number of plans being considered. These include converting Akin into office space, and replacing Stewart, Odell, and Forest with entirely new dorms. Copeland and Hartzfeld still have solid building character and would most likely be remodeled, not replaced. In addition, new dormitories would probably be built to effectively take advantage of the topography of the campus in that area.
Templeton is a sore subject for many on campus because of its labyrinth layout. David Rosengard, RD of Forest Complex, said “we could solve all [student space] problems by bulldozing Templeton and building a real student center.” Sestric was less dramatic in his assessment of the problem, which he fully acknowledges and has been trying to solve.
Plans to build a new center and to renovate the existing building have both been weighed. The problem is that replacing the building entirely would be an expensive and daunting task. Renovations would be problematic as well, but less expensive. Among the plans on the table is an idea to have the currently cramped Bon span the entire top floor, filling in the atrium at the center of the building with office space, and expanding the structure right to the curb. These plans, Sestric said, simply need to be better defined and funded before they are executed.
“None of this is going to be done in a night.” he said. Fundraising for some of the projects to come in the next decades could itself take almost a decade. Certainly, however, some of these projects will reappear in the near future. “We’ve made progress on all fronts,” said Sestric. “Our next challenge is to continue making progress.”