Linfield Free Press

2019 ASLC Candidates on Linfield Issues

Published by Cale Byers on . Last updated .

Filed under Campus

On Saturday, March 9th, I sent out a list of questions to the four ASLC candidates, hoping to get an idea of their campaign goals and positions on serious issues at Linfield. Given the short notice, pressure of homework, and their need to attend a public Q&A session today, it's not fair to expect full responses. The election is now over, with Daniel Endicott and Mary Cait Moriarty winning President and Vice President, respectively. The Linfield Review has published a candidate platform article, so it would be redundant to write more on the subject. However, the topics of sexual assault, mental health, and community are worth discussing. Daniel Endicott posted an Instagram photo, promising an "easier and more efficient reporting process of sexual assault at Linfield," along with other goals, telling us to "expect nothing less or remove [him] from office." To my knowledge, no other candidates addressed the topic of sexual assault in their publicity materials.

Before the election, three of the candidates did manage to address my email, and after realizing that asking them a long list of questions was impractical, I posed my first question during the public discussion period. Those public answers will be used, and candidates may contact me at any point to clarify their positions or articulate a thought-out answer to any further questions. It's hard to address things in a public format, so I recognize the challenges, but email updates seem to be a reasonable accommodation. The questions are listed below, and I asked them to justify their reasoning and suggest possible changes to college policies if appropriate. The entire audio file of the discussion will be uploaded, and the appropriate segments will be interlaced for their responses to the question.

I don't have much experience in journalism, so understanding appropriate strategies for conducting research or gathering opinions is something to work on. I will strive to be more considerate of time constraints and avoid asking for information that has already been shared elsewhere. Currently, I'm adjusting the scope of another article that seeks the opinions of college administrators and staff regarding sexual assault. I have struggled to get any responses to my questions, and it seems that scheduling personal meetings is the only way to get answers. Asking for replies to an email seems largely ineffective, at least in this case.

Here are the questions, and I will transcribe the candidates' responses over the next week or so, trying to make time when possible. For now, you may listen to the audio file below, which is 8:21 long and 4MB. At the beginning, AnnaMarie asked us to describe ourselves and if we were representing any organizations. I said that I wasn't representing any groups, because in the context of the panel, it seemed that it was in reference to student groups, such as an athletics team, academic department, or other group that organizes around shared aspects of life. As an independent journalist, this didn't seem related, but the candidates were aware that my question was for this article.

Consent and Sexual Assault:

  1. Is it ever permissible for students to engage in sexual activity while under the influence of alcohol or another drug? If so, under what circumstances do you believe is this to be permissible?
  2. the subsequent email questions were not asked in the Q&A session.

  3. How should our policies handle cases of alleged sexual assault that arises from the use of drugs?
  4. Do Linfield’s policies clearly articulate expectations for drug use, consent, and sexual activity? If not, how could they be made more clear?
  5. If elected, what would you do to reduce the amount of sexual misconduct at Linfield?

Mental Health:

  1. Do you believe that Linfield college currently provides adequate resources for students suffering from issues of or related to mental illness? If not, what could be done to increase or improve these resources?
  2. What would you, if elected, do to improve mental health for students at Linfield college?

Community Wellbeing:

  1. Do you believe that Linfield has a positive and strong community?
  2. What specific problems do you see with community at Linfield, and what would you do to address these problems?

As others respond, I will update the particular candidate's position and goals. Since the candidates are either busy or will decline to reply via email, I will be asking some of the questions today in Fred Meyer Lounge and use their public statements for the article, still allowing them to answer other ones via email, or clarify their positions if appropriate.

Email Responses

If anyone would like to answer these questions or provide clarification to the public answer made available with the audio recording, you may contact me, and I'll update this post.

Elisia Harder noted the lack of time to fully answer the questions "to the extent that is appropriate for the seriousness and complexity they present," and she recommended that I come to the public Q&A session.

Mary Cait Moriarty declined to answer, stating that she felt "as if these questions would best be answered by the senate or the elected cabinet members."

For reference, I've included excerpts from our bylaws, because the ASLC candidates are in a position to influence school policies, and their opinions do matter.

Duties of the Elected Officials

From Page 4 of the ASLC Bylaws (PDF), the following obligations are outlined for our candidates.

Section II: It shall be the duty of the President to

  1. Represent ASLC at official and social functions.
  2. Supervise the financially supported and related programs and activities of ASLC with final responsibility.
  3. Chair ASLC and Executive Cabinet.
  4. Be an ex officio member of the Linfield College Activities Team.
  5. Represent students on the College Planning and Budget Council or appoint someone to do so if they are unable to attend.
  6. Represent students at College faculty assembly meetings or appoint someone to do so if they are unable to attend.
  7. Represent students on the Curriculum Committee or appoint someone to do so if they are unable to attend.

Section III: It shall be the duty of the Vice President to

  1. Preside over all Senate meetings as President of the Senate.
  2. Assume the duties of the President in their absence.
  3. Be a consultant to all Senators and Senate committees.
  4. Represent the students as a voting member of the Board of Trustees of Linfield College with all the rights and privileges thereof.
  5. Carry to the Board of Trustees student opinion and any ASLC legislation that may affect College policy, while fulfilling the charge given to every Trustee according to the Linfield College Board of Trustee Bylaws; which are to act in accordance with the fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and obedience.
  6. Report to the Senate and Cabinet on the meetings of the Board of Trustees.
  7. Conduct a review of the ASLC Bylaws once every fall semester to ensure accuracy and reflect any changes needed.
  8. Work with elected Pro Tempore to plan Senate business and edit ASLC Bylaws.