September 1965 Newsletter

September 1965 Newsletter

A PDF of the September 1965 newsletter is also available.

Minutes of the Portland Peace Corps Service Council, September 22, 1965

Note: Before the meeting convened formally, Mrs. Stevens gave recent news items on our Peace Corps returnees, their plans for the year, new jobs, marriages, etc.

The Chairman, Mr. Kai Roland, called the special meeting to order at 8:15 p.m. in the Finnish Room at Portland State College with the following in attendance:

  • Mr. John Jenkens, Peace Corps Liaison officer, P.S.C.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Babcock, Peace Corps Liaison officer, Lewis and Clark
  • Sister Rebecca Mary, Peace Corps Liaison officer, Marylhurst
  • Sister Mary Theodosia of Marylhurst College
  • Mrs. Rosie Lee Hopkins, Peace Corps Service Organizations
  • Rev. Richard M. Gray, Portland Council of Churches
  • Mr. Mel Goddard, Portland Chamber of Commerce
  • Mr. Kai Roland, Junior Chamber of Commerce
  • Mrs. Beatrice Stevens, Portland Federation of Women’s Organizations
  • Peace Corps Returnees
    • John D. Owen (Peru)
    • Jim Morrisey (Indonesia)
    • Gale Dixon (Sabah)
    • Sumner Sharpe (Thailand)
    • Rober Ward (East Pakistan)
    • Dale Martin (Dominican Republic)

The chairman, setting aside regular business, introduced our guest, Mr. Dwayne Stevenson from Washington, D.C., Director for community relations for the Peace Corps. After commending the work of our Portland council, he spoke of changes that are taking place in the headquarters office — continues changes in bother personnel and program and mentioned recent legislation passed about three weeks ago which limits the time of service in the Washington office of the Peace Corps to only five years. Obviously this department of the government is not covered by civil service.

Mr. Stevenson discussed the complete reorganization of the Peace Corps recruiting department. The plan used up to now of sending out teams of from five to seven recruiters made up of some available returnees and one or two staff members has been expensive and not as effective as hoped for, the results falling short of the great demand (Seventy countries are urgently requesting Peace Corps volunteers!) Many believe that more effective recruitment might be carried on by the Peace Corps veterans or returnees in their own home districts, aided by members of the local Peace Corps service organizations, wherever they exist.

Mr. Stevenson then issued a challenge to the Portland Peace Corps Service Council to take full responsibility for recruitment in the Portland area for the next nine months.

General discussion followed, covering the need to have able committees to set up the proper schedules, confer with the local colleges who have already been assigned dates for a Peace Corps week, etc, and the desirability of expanding our approach beyond academic circles, particularly into the fields of labor and agriculture — also mentioned was the wider use of county agents to spread information out through the state. Mr. Stevenson then announced that there would soon be a new directive sent out by his office to the nearly 2,000 civil service examiners, asking them to take on added responsibility in serving as information agents for the Peace Corps (Mr. Ron Meyer, our local examiner at the Federal Courthouse, is already doing this.)

The problem of giving special Peace Corps placement tests outside the jurisdiction of the Federal Courthouse or post office was then discussed — the questions of time, place, proper supervision for security, etc.

A motion was made by Rev. Gray and duly seconded that if we decide to accept Mr. Stevenson’s challenge, the chairman appointed a committee to work out a complete plan and schedule. Carried.

The chairman said he would consider carefully the appointment of such a committee and indicated he would ask the help of Roger Ward who has had experience as a Peace Corps recruiter.

If was then moved by Jim Morrisey and seconded that we accept the challenge of Mr. Stevenson to conduct Peace Corps recruitment in the Portland are for the next nine months. Carried.

The need for continuing the work of our speaker’s bureau was discussed next. Mrs. Stevens, the chairman, spoke of the problem of securing qualified speakers, with so many of the returnees employed or leaving town, and urged everyone to notify her promptly if he hears of any corpsman returning from duty overseas.

Mr. Stevenson described the success of the school-to-school program — the plan for one of our American schools to raise and send $1,000 to a community where a Peace Corps volunteers is working, the objective to construct a school during his period of service so that he can make sure the funds are spent wisely. Such a project provides an exciting and profitable contact between our children here and in one of the developing countries.

Rober Ward pointed out the need for a new brochure on the Peace Corps for high school students since the interest among teen-agers is very great. There was general agreement that, although we must keep up this interest, we should not encourage 18 year olds to apply for the Peace Corps; instead we should advise them to get further education and work experience first.

The meeting adjourned at 10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
(Mrs.) Beatrice T. Stevens, Secretary