The better presidential candidate for the future of Linfield

Elin Johnson, Staff writer

There is an overall feeling on this campus that the Linfield administration is slow on change.

That’s why the two presidential candidates stand out so much. Both are stark contrasts to not only each other, but also to the current administration. This was evident in each candidate’s student forum this past week.

Dr. Miles Davis knows how to work a room. His presentation was filled with dramatic pauses and theatrical moments. Davis is an excellent storyteller. He interacted well with students and by the end of the afternoon had them begging for more.

While his personality and charm was infectious, it almost came off as shallow. He seemed to dodge the serious questions.

For example, in exchange for a hard answer on how he would protect DACA students, Davis instead told a tale of one of his students living in fear of deportation. While this demonstrated his power of empathy, it did not inform students on what his actual plan was.

Dr. Lisa Gentile, on the other hand, fit naturally in a professional setting. Gentile would treat being president as a job, whereas Davis would find it to be an enjoyable hobby.

Gentile stood out from Davis in that she was vocal about moving away from buzzwords about diversity and equity. She stated that her goal was to enact real change in the culture of Linfield.

She recited specific statistics and strategies that could lead to tangible evidence of change. Gentile did not deflect the more serious questions like Davis did.

She was ready to deal with each issue as it came up and acknowledged when she was uninformed on a topic.

Despite the sharp contrasts in their backgrounds and demeanors, both candidates are hopeful about the future of higher education. Gentile comes from a background in science and research.

Davis’ charisma and people-pleasing attitude showed his management background and made him an instant favorite with the students. Either choice would benefit Linfield.

Linfield must now decide how ready it is for change. The only question remaining is which direction they want to go in.