Journal Title George Fox Journal Online

letter image

Reader's Forum

>>  I worked with Tom Head for seven years (’95–’02) while at Fox and found him to be a compassionate and reasonable person, both of which are apparent in his essay entitled “Does Social Security have a future?” (Spring 2005).

On the compassionate side, he presents social security as an insurance plan that complements what retirees are able to save and what they may be entitled to through employer pension plans. We can’t simply allow retirees and the disabled to rely on personal savings and employer pension plans or many people will suffer. Do we want to add retirees and the disabled to the embarrassing national tragedy of homelessness by reducing our commitment to social security as an insurance system?

Our deficit has grown dramatically and our representatives seem collectively incapable of the fiscal discipline we have historically treasured. Personal accounts would exacerbate this lack of discipline and cause the already ballooning deficit to grow dramatically.

Debate over personal accounts as part of social security creates a diversion; we avoid the fundamental flaw in our collective nature — we don’t save enough. Savings and investment are vital, but so is an insurance scheme that serves as a safety net.

The safety net of social security has functioned well and can do so in the future if we can have the political will to adjust the actuarial assumptions needed to keep it solvent.

Asbjorn Osland, PhD

In the wake of immeasurable loss and suffering, many in the George Fox community have asked what the university is doing to reach out to Hurricane Katrina victims. The following is a snapshot of what the formal responses have been and what students, faculty, and staff are doing to help:

Image of Dempsey family

Charles and Rose Dempsey left behind their ruined Louisiana home with only the belongings that could fit in their pickup. The couple, who are in their 70s, expressed thanks to sophomore Mandee Spotts (left) and Liz Clark (G05), for their assistance with the painful process of sorting belongings.

In September, the university sponsored five team members traveling to Slidell, La., with Campus Crusade for Christ. The crew cleaned buildings to create living space for evacuees and cleared debris. “Our mission is to serve these people with humble hearts,” said team member Mandy Spotts, a sophomore psychology major, before leaving. “We just want to help give them hope.”

In March, the campus ministries office plans to send students and staff to volunteer in the Gulf region as one of its annual Spring Serve trips.

Karin Jordan traveled with Northwest Medical Teams to lend counseling and trauma support to hurricane victims in New Orleans. Jordan, chair of the Department of Counseling, spearheaded a school-supply drive through the School of Education when she discovered children were returning to school without supplies or even changes of clothes.

Fund Raising
During a chapel service, students donated more than $1,500. Contributions were divided between Northwest Medical Teams and affiliated institutions in the devastated region.

The community held several prayer gatherings and created a prayer board for students to post their prayers, comments, and questions. Several chapel services featured the crisis.

Open Doors
George Fox stands ready to accept students unable to continue their studies at damaged campuses within the disaster area. The university will provide a semester of free tuition to any student from an institution unable to function because of the hurricane.

More info and photos:

Please send letters to Journal, George Fox University,
414 N. Meridian St. #6069, Newberg, OR 97132.
You may also write to
Letters may be edited for length and clarity.
Please include an address and daytime phone number.


Words from Wood-Mar
Communicating in the new culture  Full story...

Taking a step of faith
Sarah Baldwin Thomas joins George Fox as the new campus pastor. Full story...

Is God Republican or Democrat?
"Christians can surely agree that God calls us to help the poor, but what does this mean with respect to taxes and government programs?" Full story...

Bruin Notes
Taking a step of faith | Three to get ready | New Board members | Making the grade | Engineering wins ABET | Seminary losses | The doctorate is in  Full stories...