Category Archives: Editorial

Creating a healthy culture

trust_cartoon 1_fmt

What happens in a work environment when people feel like they can’t be themselves and can’t tell the truth? What happens when, on the other hand, people feel comfortable freely speaking their minds?

In 1974, German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann named the phenomenon of not speaking up, the Spiral of Silence. She states that people, fearing rejection or negative consequences, tend to withhold views and opinions that differ from the majority. She states that the effects of remaining silent can cause the minority can become increasingly disenfranchised.

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Echos from the past

Cartoon by: Riley Webber

Cartoon by: Riley Webber

 Torch Editorial

In a pivotal moment, standing in front of 250,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. was delivering a well-structured speech when Gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson called out, “Tell them about the dream Martin!”

With that, King stopped.

“I have a dream…,” he responded.

Abandoning his well-written speech, King delivered one of the most powerful oratories in human history. King is remembered for the spontaneous expression of the fire burning inside him, not for the prepared speech from which he departed.

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High default rates affect future borrowers’ loan debt

As Lane’s 2014 graduating class approaches its final weeks on campus, a looming burden awaits them.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, student loan debt is currently the second largest form of consumer debt in the United States, behind only home mortgages. This burden is so large for some that they may not be able to repay their debts and default, or fail to make scheduled payments, on them.

Default cripples both students and institutions in many ways. Grads and non-grads, past and present, need to take responsibility for their student loans and avoid default after graduation.

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UO incident highlights need for Clery compliance

4925-1 On March 9, the father of a University of Oregon student reported to Eugene Police that his daughter had been sexually assaulted by three of the school’s basketball players. University officials learned of the report the same day, and learned the names of the athletes under investigation on March 19. The Lane County District Attorney’s office ultimately decided not to charge the men. The university kicked them off the basketball team in early May.

But the fact that campus police didn’t log the reported assault when they first learned of it, or issue a campuswide alert, led Jennifer Freyd, a UO psychology professor, to complain to the U.S. Department of Education that the university violated the Clery Act, which requires U.S. colleges and universities to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses.

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Leaders must present all sides

Credit: Riley Webber
Credit: Riley Webber

We’ve had it happen often. A student offers a little speech at the beginning of the class requesting that you register to vote or sign a petition to keep their club funded. More recently, students have used class time to urge their classmates to attend Board of Education meetings to protest tuition increases.

When you’re approached in hallways, it’s a lot easier to pass by on the pretext that you’re in a hurry for class, or to mumble that you’re not interested. However, in a classroom you are a captive audience, in the most literal sense of the phrase.

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Child care cuts should be avoided

Credit: Riley Webber

Credit: Riley Webber

Lane’s parents, students and staff currently cope with many struggles, including passing classes, juggling jobs and finding time to be with their families outside of school.

This is why we at The Torch were surprised when the administration’s recent budget proposal for next school year included cutting $100,000 from the Early Childhood Development Center. The proposed cuts reduce classrooms from four to three, maintains two vacancies in the center and cuts down on part-time classified staffing.

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Board should spare Cottage Grove campus

Credit: Riley Webber

Credit: Riley Webber

This week, both the administration and the college Budget and Finance Subcommittee revealed separate proposals to address the $12 million deficit. The committee’s proposal, which would close
the Cottage Grove campus to save Lane approximately $440,544, is alarming. It’s the equivalent of using a cleaver instead of a scalpel.

The subcommittee is unlikely to have such a relatively faraway campus’ best interests in mind. More importantly, the idea goes against Lane’s ideals.

Student leaders have little at stake in the proposal, as they do not receive activity fee revenue from students who only attend the Cottage Grove branch. As such, they are not technically members
of the Associated Students of Lane Community College.

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ASLCC should ditch OrgSync

Credit: Riley Webber
Credit: Riley Webber

Last year, fewer than 1 percent of eligible Lane students voted in the student government general election. That’s a disturbingly low turnout, even for a campus with a historically apathetic student body. What’s more disturbing? That the Associated Students of Lane Community College is complicating the voting process.

The polls open April 28, and, barring any last-minute changes to the elections process, the student government plans to add an additional step to the two-step process by which students used to vote. Students used to cast ballots through myLane, by logging in and clicking a link that said “answer a survey.”

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Arm Lane’s first-line defenders

Late last month, Lane Public Safety officers conducted a drill in Building 30, gauging how the campus community would behave during a shooting spree. You would think the first order of business for Public Safety officers would be to shoot back. The problem with that is they’re not allowed to carry guns.

It’s a common debate that has been going on for years. Should students be allowed to carry firearms? Should faculty be allowed to carry firearms, especially if their students are permitted to do the same? And if Public Safety exists to protect students and faculty, shouldn’t they be able to carry a firearm as well?

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Prioritize mental health for yourself, loved ones

According to a 2012 report released by the Oregon Health Authority, the most recent available, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Oregonians ages 15 to 34. The health authority also reported that Oregon’s suicide rate is 35 percent higher than the national average.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports suicide rates are highest in spring, peaking around April. At least 90 percent of those who choose to end their lives have a diagnosable mental illness at the time of their death, according to the foundation.

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