PLACE theme facilitates campus discussions

Kellie Bowen, Staff Writer

This year’s PLACE theme is “Air, Water, Earth, and Fire: The Ancient Elements on a Changing Planet.”

The Program for Liberal and Civic Engagement (PLACE) theme sounds like it caters to science and sustainability but all fields of study can be engaged in this theme.

PLACE director and department chair of physics, professor Jennifer Heath, said that her hope is “that the theme will spur a lot of conversation among students.”

Freshman had a head start, thinking about the theme by reading the common read, Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Sixth Extinction.”

Linfield students are encouraged to attend the wide range of events that will be occurring throughout the year.

One of the upcoming events is “We Are But One Thread,” a devised work by the Linfield Theater Program. It will be offered Sept. 17-19.

There are several guest speakers that will be visiting Linfield.

On Sept. 21, Dr. Samuel Wasser, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology, will be talking about illegal elephant poaching.

There will be music performances, sustainability events, and other ways for students of all interests to be involved with the theme.

“Those kinds of events serve the purpose of trying to create an intellectual community,” Heath said.

Students will be able to stay involved with PLACE, the community and the world by thinking about how the planet is evolving.

Simply debating or conversing, either inside the classroom or in the dorm, about the planet we’ve inhabited helps feed the purpose of the PLACE theme.

The intention behind the title, “Air, Water, Earth, and Fire,” is meant to help people see how they can relate to the theme and the world.

The theme is not just about involving one field, but rather trying to combine all modes of inquiry. “They are all different ways we engage with the world,” Heath explained.

“All of which are critical to understandings of our changing planet, especially to addressing what we should do as far as what our responsibility is, so that requires all of the different perspectives.”

If you are a student interested in presenting about The Ancient Elements for a project or a hobby, contact Camille Weber or Sabrina Rahiri who are in charge of putting together the student PLACE events.