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Ne w s p a p e r o f Wa l l a Wa l l a U n i v e r s i t y

Collegian The

Volume 102 | Issue 25

Did This Thing Matter? pg. 3

“I confuse the heck out of people, that’s what I’m here for.” - Kyra GreyEyes, Creative Director for The Collegian

May 17, 2018

E d i t o r ’s N o t e | C o l l e g i a n W i s d o m | S e n a t e | H i s t o r y | R e l i g i o n | M e d i a + Te c h | S c i e n c e | F e a t u r e | W e e k i n F o r e c a s t | F o o d | C u l t u r e | O u t d o o r s | S u b m i s s i o n s | P o l l


Last Things First college place, wa | walla walla university

| May 2018 Issue 25

Reality TV By Meghann Heinrich The earliest exposure I had to reality TV was watching a weekly PBS special called “Frontier House” with my family. We would tune in every Saturday night to see three real families transform themselves into 19th-century pioneers. They lived off the land, had to milk cows and wear bonnets and, as with all good reality TV, had their drama. Even as a child, I knew that PBS had done something right. Watching fellow humans put themselves in situations fraught with conflict is the bread and butter of quality reality TV, and I was hooked. From “Frontier House” I moved on to watch masterpieces like “Project Runway,” “Deadliest Catch,” “Pawn Stars,” “The Dog Whisperer” and “The Voice.”

Hey Thanks! “Hey thanks Mother’s Day for making my Amazon Prime account totally worth it.” “Hey thanks cheap bike locks for basically being the security equivalent of SPF 15 sunscreen.” “Hey thanks SPF 15 sunscreen for lulling me into a false sense of security.”

It wasn’t long before I became something of a reality TV connoisseur. A certain phenomenon occurs when watching reality TV. I’ve seen it time after time: the watcher inexplicably transforms into an expert on whatever subject the show covers. Just ask me, I can tell you as well as Tim Gunn how to “make it work,” or give you the rundown on crab fishing in Alaska. All this to say that I realize I have a gift and would be doing myself and the world a disservice if I continued to hide it under a bushel. With my breadth of knowledge, I see potential for reality TV everywhere I look. So today I give you my pitches for reality TV shows: • USPS: The Untold Story — Neither snow nor rain nor vicious

dogs can stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. Follow the unsung heroes of mail delivery as they catch burglars, save lives and deliver the mail. • Library Beekeepers — The world’s best librarians compete in the ultimate showdown to see who will be named the world’s greatest librarian. The task: successfully keep a beehive in the library. Watch as the contestants prove to the world that beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder. • Joggling — Nothing says inherent drama more than juggling while jogging. Follow the journey of aspiring jogglers as they encounter ridicule and countless setbacks

Verbatim “Let’s not reinvent the horse.”

while training to beat Zach Prescott’s record-setting 4 minute, 43.2 second joggling mile.1 • Infomercial: The Real Audition Look up “real-life drama” in the dictionary and you know what it says? Infomercials. That’s right, learn what it takes to land a part in an infomercial as we follow acclaimed infomercial casting directors to auditions all over the continental United States. Watch actors spill milk, drop dishes and burn their hands getting a baking sheet full of cookies out of the oven all in the name of art. • Celebrity Blind Dates - Contestants are told they have been selected to go on a blind date with a celebrity. The catch: the date has

to be a family dinner at the contestant’s home. The other catch: the celebrity is always Nicolas Cage. As you can see, great reality TV can be found anywhere and in anything. Keep your eyes peeled for these shows, coming soon to daytime television near you. 1

If I had a penne for every pun What do you call A fake noodle?

- Professor David Lindsey, regarding unnecessary experiments


“It smells like God vomited on the world.” - Professor Monty Buell talking about the Alaskan delicacy “stinky fish”

An impasta!

“What is the probability that one of us dies in the next three seconds?” - Professor Roy Campbell, discussing radioactive decay “I am more generous than God.” - Professor Donald Riley after giving no points back on re-done tests

Email your faculty verbatim or thank yous to to be featured!




May 2018 Issue 25 | walla walla university | college place, wa

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Editor-in-Chief Daniella Silva


Assistant Editor Kate Beckner


Instagram @aswwucollegian Facebook

Creative Director Kyra GreyEyes


Life Editor Angelica Chan

Contact Us

Backpage Editor Meghann Heinrich Head Copy Editor Brielle Tym Cover | Sophie Bailey

Layout Design Sophie Bailey Ashley Henry-Saturne Liam Hirst-Graves Copy Editors Geoffrey Lopes Karli Hart Jocelyn Griffin Office Manager Victoria Ico Distributer Sydney Peck Beau Gerber Advertising Manager Amanda Maizar

Writers Feature Michael Jensen Jake Sloop Cynthia Ochoa Food & Culture Daphne Novak Hannah Thiel Media & Tech Matt Fennell Outdoor Niqolas Ruud Science Forrest Sheperd History Zachary White Religion Peter Flores

The opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the views of The Collegian or Walla Walla University.


Daniella Silva Dear Reader, As many of you are aware, last Saturday afternoon leaders from the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (NAD) visited Walla Walla University for an episode of “Is This Thing On?” The livestreamed TV-style event allowed students to ask church leaders anything they wanted in front of an audience. Several hundred WWU students attended, and thousands more people from across the country tuned in to the live broadcast on the NAD’s Facebook page. Questions ranged from how the NAD prepares for potential terrorist attacks on college campuses to how they set policies for female and LGBTQ+ members in church leadership. This week our feature, as well as the Religion Column, gives an overview of the event and attempts to evaluate the quality of the answers given and the general student reaction on campus. While the NAD visit was certainly an attempt

to involve young people in the church, it is still unclear whether initiatives like “Is This Thing On?” will go far enough to give young Seventh-day Adventists a voice in their church’s decision-making. Throughout the live show, it was also made clear that the NAD must attempt to adjust its official policies with those of the world church at the General Conference level. How these tensions can ever be resolved is still up in the air; however, we encourage you to read the feature this week on page 5 and decide for yourself how events like the one on Saturday inform our participation in the church. You can read the results from the poll last week on page 8. Additionally, we have included two short articles about the 2018 Midwinter National College Journalism Convention that I and three other students attended this last March. As the editor-in-chief, I learned many invaluable lessons from

my time spent attending workshops on newspaper management and organization. The others three students were able to attend workshops on journalistic writing style, photography, design and storytelling. You can read more about what we learned and what The Collegian can do better from a journalistic standpoint on page 8. As usual, if you have any questions, comments or concerns, you can email them to me at Stay strong as we go into week seven and, as usual, stay snazzy! Daniella Silva


Block Party This Sunday Location: College Ave. between Whitman and 4th St. Date: Sunday, May 20 Time: 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Weather: Forecasted to be sunny This Sunday, ASWWU Social is partnering with the city of College Place to host the first-ever local block party of its kind. The event will incorporate nearly 100 different vendors and organizations as well as a wide range of fun activities for all ages. In addition, there will be free giveaways, a 64-foot obstacle course and, for those brave enough to get on stage, opportunities to win prizes. Most booths will accept either cash or credit, and some WWU clubs will be offering food vouchers to members. While ASWWU Social has hosted smaller block parties in the past, this is the first time they have partnered with the city to make it more than a fun afternoon for WWU students. This year’s event will not only be 10 times as large as previous years but also have a much larger target audience. “I think we’ve been very intentional about being very specific with our target audiences,” said Tim Kosaka, this year’s ASWWU Social Head. There will be inflatable activity courses, games for all ages, food and vendors. Sponsors of the event include Phoumy’s Thai Cuisine, Black Cup Coffee and Graphic Apparel. The idea for collaboration originated from the city’s Youth Advisory Council. Every year, ASWWU Cabinet nominates two students to sit on the council

to advise the city on initiatives that would benefit local youth. These council members contacted ASWWU Social about the idea and, after some discussion, the social team agreed to collaborate. In addition to providing over $1,000 to help organize and plan the event, the city of College Place has helped put in place terrorist prevention measures to ensure the safety of all guests. Booklets and volunteers in blue t-shirts will also be available to help guests find water fountains, bathrooms and booths. As planning such a large event has never been attempted by ASWWU Social in the past, Kosaka and his team faced many obstacles in making this event into a reality. “There’s a huge aspect of communication that has to happen that is difficult because you have to do things farther in advance,” said Kosaka. Despite the challenges, Kosaka is excited about the event—the food trucks in particular—and is grateful to all the sponsors who helped make the 2018 Block Party a reality. “We are really thankful for all the partnerships we have and all the local businesses, because it’s through all these partnerships that we really unite together as a city and as a valley, and I think that’s something this event will really show,” he said. If the event goes well, he and the city hope to make it an annual event.

Be an Atlas Barista! The Atlas is still accepting applications for baristas for the 2018-19 school year. If you love making and serving all sorts of delicious drinks, this job is perfect for you!

To apply for a position, please visit: https://aswwu. com/jobs/. Once there, select “The Atlas,” and complete your application.

If you have any more questions about the position, you can email Nicolette Horning at nicolette.


SENATE NEW BUSINESS FL17 — Guitar Pedalboard and Amp GL15 — Senate Voting Logs FL18 — 2018-19 Proposed ASWWU Budget

APPROVED PL33 — Nicolette Horning for ASWWU Atlas Manager PL34 — Tyler Humphries for ASWWU Outdoor Head PL35 — Michael Kainer for ASWWU Financial VP PL36 — Anna-Marie Vargas for ASWWU Marketing VP GL13 — Atlas Lifecycle Fund FL14 — Vitamix for Sittner Hall FL15 — Sectionals for Hansen Hall FL16 — Billiard Tips Senate meets Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. in WEC 217

Josie Baird has been hired as next year’s Collegian editor-in-chief If you want to work for the paper (which you should), talk to her.

ASWWU Block Party on Sunday Make sure you “block” some time out for it in your schedule.

21st annual Duck Derby this weekend It’s in the afternoon, so don’t worry about waking up at the quack of dawn.

There will be a Kitten Shower at Blue Mountain Humane Society I repeat: There will be a KITTEN SHOWER at Blue Mountain Humane Society.

Google Drive updates its looks Wait, is this always how it looked? When did it change?

Village Housing applications for next year are opening soon Trust me, once you get off campus you’ll never look back.

ASWWU JOBS Applications are still open!

Mountain Ash Head Editor Apply online at

college place, wa, walla walla university

| May 2018 Issue 25




Ona Judge

May 21, 1796: A slave escapes President George Washington’s residence By Zachary White George Washington, the iconic general of the American Revolution and the first President of the United States, was a slave owner. By the time of his death, Washington’s estate (combined with that of his wife, the wealthy heiress Martha Custis) included 317 enslaved people.1 While it is clear that the common disciplinary practices of whipping and beating were not alien to the Washington plantation, many have attempted to portray Washington’s character as a slave owner to be benevolent or restrained, as he is the most revered among America’s Founding Fathers.2 To support this depiction, many people cite Washington’s decision to call for the emancipation of 123 of the 317 enslaved people he owned. The remainder were technically under the control of the Custis estate, and it was thus legally impossible for him to free them.3 However, these generous attempts to look at Washington “in the context of his time” seem arrogant when the perspectives of other people “of Washington’s time” are considered. It seems to me that when we say that the 1700s were “George Washington’s time,” we implicitly state that the 1700s belonged to white men like Washington. If we are to look at George Washington in the context of his time, then it seems fair that we should also look at Ona Judge in the context of her time. “George Washington as a Farmer at Mount Vernon” (JUNIUS BRUTUS STEARNS, 1851) Born at Mount Vernon sometime near 1773, Ona Judge was the daughter of highly recommend Erica Armstrong However, on May 24, 1796, one of scribed—As there was no suspicion of Betty, one of Martha Washington’s Dunbar’s fantastically-researched the Washingtons’ slaves did. Judge was her going off, nor no provocation to do slaves. Judge began her forced labor book “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ 23 years old when she escaped the presiso, it is not easy to conjecture whither on the Washington plantation at age Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway dential mansion. Washington attempted she has gone, or fully, what her design 10. After becoming one of Martha’s Slave, Ona Judge” to anyone who wants multiple times to retrieve his runaway is; but as she may attempt to escape by favorite attendants, Judge was a part to learn more about the life and story of “human property.” However, Washingwater, all masters of vessels are cauof the select group of enslaved people Judge. A wonderful audio version of the ton’s status in the new country made tioned against admitting her into them, who were chosen to accompany the book is also available. it difficult for him to coercively bring although it is probable she will attempt Washingtons to Philadelphia in 1790 “The Philadelphia Gazette” on Judge back into bondage. Both George to pass for a free woman, and has, it is when George Washington began his May 24, 1796: and Martha were deeply offended that said, wherewithal to pay her passage. first term as president. However, a leAdvertisement. their slave would not accept their “genTen dollars will be paid to any gal residency law in Pennsylvania made Absconded from the household erous” offers of mercy if she returned to person who will bring her home, if it possible for slaves to abandon their of the President of the United States, their plantation. After escaping to New taken in the city, or on board any vessel masters after six months of living in ONEY JUDGE, a light mulatto girl, Hampshire, a safe distance away from in the harbour;—and a reasonable the state. This law obviously made the much freckled, with very black eyes her former owners, Judge married, had additional sum if apprehended at, and Washingtons anxious, and they quickly and bushy hair. She is of middle statbrought from a greater distance, and in devised an elaborate plan of slave-swap- three children and lived to the age of 75, 5 ure, slender, and delicately formed, dying on Feb. 25, 1848. proportion to the distance. ping between Philadelphia and Mount about 20 years of age. Included is the text of a newspaFREDERICK KITT, Steward. May 236 Vernon in order to prevent the enslaved She has many changes of good per advertisement paid for by George people in their possession from getting 1 clothes, of all sorts, but they are not Washington, calling for the capture of any ideas.4 slavery/ten-facts-about-washington-slavery/ sufficiently recollected to be deJudge days after she escaped. I also

2 digital-encyclopedia/article/slave-control/ 3 slavery/ten-facts-about-washington-slavery/ 4 digital-encyclopedia/article/ona-judge 5 Ibid. 6

Zachary White is a history and sociology major.


Did This Thing Matter? By Peter Flores “Is This Thing On?” was an event that was held last Saturday at WWU as part of a series put on by the North American Division (NAD) of Seventh-day Adventists. We had a great opportunity for open and livestreamed dialogue. Now that the NAD Leaders have come and gone, we are left with the question, “Did this thing matter?” I, for one, wish the NAD would make more effort to open conversa-


tions with our generation like they did with this event. Not only that, I also wish they would involve students with the planning process. I believe with all my heart that if they had involved us, the event would have gone much more smoothly. I do think the event went well, but I think as Adventists and Christians we should strive for excellence in all we do, and that will not happen if there are not direct, open streams of communication and owner-

ship between our generation and our church’s leadership. Here are some insights I heard from people during the event and some ideas I had as well: As students, we should have people queued up to start the program with questions that have already been “pre-set” to make sure they were specific and engaging. The NAD leaders were right in saying that they are being as specific as they could be with the

questions they were given. This specific program at WWU could’ve started off with much more engaging questions specific to the administrative level. Questions that people could “Google” should be left out of the program. Enough said. The NAD “planning” team should include students from the specific campuses on which the show will be held. This person should talk with producers to share insights that the school staff might miss and to share logistical insights relative to their campus. For example, our campus had a CommUnity program to plan for this event. Did you hear any of those questions we collected at that event asked? I didn’t. At least not during the live portion. ITTO was not a show just for students to get air time. It was an opportunity to ask questions and share ideas. Imagine if a campus came prepared with steps to move forward. The NAD is looking for ideas to connect with our generation. Seriously! They are lost when it comes to what they can do to interest millennials and generation Z! We have answers, and they have strategies. We need to be open to working with

the church leadership afterwards. Now is our chance! This opportunity isn’t just about getting exposure or landing a job in the NAD later. It’s about real change in our church! The real difficulty here is that we are all students, and our time and focus is not all dedicated to the NAD. It can’t be. We need to succeed in school first. I believe that if we are persistent, the NAD will open up opportunities to provide compensation for those willing to engage in some strategic talks for change. Be obstreperous! To be obstreperous means to be noisy and difficult to control. I’m not trying to start a rebellion, but if we really care about making change, we can’t stop being persistent after programs like this leave our campus. We should be starting a revolution in thought. I am not satisfied if this program ends and nothing comes of it. We have energy and ambition. We need to respond. If you resonate with anything you’ve read above, I beg of you to contact me. Just use my email: peter. There are some projects I personally have my hands in that can’t and won’t start without your help. These projects will involve collaboration with the NAD leadership. Dan Jackson, the President of the NAD, said this: “My generation has failed to finish the work of Christ.” If that’s true, then who is it up to to define what the work is and to carry it out? It’s up to us. If you get a chance, read Philippians chapter one and pay attention to verse six. We have a great calling and an even greater helper. Ultimately, this isn’t about Adventism. This is about the second coming of Christ and what we can do to make sure people know who Jesus is. Adventism is not the answer for everyone or to everything though we may pretend it is at times. We should know what the true answer is. Jesus. All.

Peter Flores is a theology major.



May 2018 Issue 25 | walla walla university | college place, wa


Plan Ahead and Make Good Titles: A Note for Next Year’s Collegian Writers By Matt Fennell Hey! Welcome back to my column, and also welcome to the third week of May!1 My senior presentation is next week,2 the Collegian special issue articles are due soon and the intervening weeks from here until finals are going to be absolute garbage.3 But until then, there’s still a near-infinite amount of media-based joy we can wring out of the time we’ve got left. Let’s get started with another grab-bag! Oh actually, hang on, wait, if you’re reading the print version of this column, be sure to also check out the online version at The new site launched last week, it’s incredible, and all of us at The Collegian love it. Thanks ASWWU Web! Now we’re ready! Grab-bag away! “Fortnite” Update First up on the docket is an update from the “Fortnite” News Desk, which isn’t really a desk but is just me trying to stay hip and relevant by sharing week old news with all of you. Earlier this quarter The Collegian put out a very special “Fortnite” explainer, which attempted to break down how and why it has become the biggest game in the world. Since then, it’s only gotten bigger, with a recently-launched superhero-themed competitive season,

Atlanta Season 2. (FX NETWORK) “Avengers: Infinity War.” As part of a limited-time mode, the first player to find the single, randomly-placed Infinity Gauntlet is transformed into Thanos and is granted a suite of competitive advantages, including a super-jump ground-pound ability, a power-punch attack and a super shockwave special move designed to blow away the competition. At the time of this article’s publication, the mode will have just ended, but in terms of player engage-

The Guest Poster. (CINEMA CRESPODISO) complete with jump-crystals, meteor craters that have radically changed the game’s map and, in a bizarre cross-promotional twist, Thanos, the big purple villain from Marvel’s hit film

ment and simple social media buzz, it was a smashing success. Licensed movie tie-ins are nothing new in the world of video games, but this one,

which aligned the biggest film in the world with the biggest game in the world, kicked everything into overdrive. “Fortnite” shows no sign of stopping or even slowing down any time soon. This game is insane and here to stay. Earthlight Books This one was an adventure. At the very end of last quarter, I went to the Harvest Smoothie Truck out by Whitman for the first time and noticed a bookstore I’d never seen before. Since then, I’d been meaning to check it out but hadn’t made it out there until this weekend, and now, the bookstore, called Earthlight Books, is one of my favorite places in town. First off, right out of the gate, it’s got the look of a good bookstore. You know, the kind you’ll find in strip malls with tables of books marked down to about 25 cents each sitting outside. Moving into the shop itself, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a building that was as book-dense as this one was. The whole place was a maze of crisscrossing bookshelves and countless cardboard boxes filled to the brim with books. The store just radiated that awesome, old paper smell. Honestly, the whole place was probably a massive fire hazard—it was amazing. Finally, the best part of all was that after being unable to find a copy of “Lonesome Dove,” which seemed weird in a store that had a whole corner dedicated to cowboy books, I asked the owner/clerk if he had a copy of “Lonesome Dove,” and after stopping to think for only a fraction of a second, he swiveled, pointed at a shelf I’d completely missed and pulled a copy off of the top row. I was amazed. It only cost me $2.50, and now I’m reading “Lonesome Dove.” This place is great, and if you like books at all, you should go. “Atlanta” — Season 2 “Atlanta” just wrapped up its second season, subtitled “Robbin’ Season,” and while it was not nearly as fun as the first, it was definitely another great piece of television. Taking even further advantage of its “trojan horse premise of being a show about rappers” “Robbin’ Season” has a darker, more menacing tone and pits Earn, Alfred, Darius and Van against not only each other and the crippling problems they’ve created for themselves but also the harsh socioeconomic realities of a city desperate just to get by during a tough part of the year. The “Atlanta”

of Season 2 is noticeably meaner than that of Season 1 and is full of muggings, drive-by shootings, psychotic

the Carpenter-inspired “The Guest,” a shot. The premise is simple enough: a B family coping with the death of a son killed while serving overseas is visited by a quiet stranger who says he served f o in the same unit as their son and is W just stopping by to fulfill a promise to check in on them. Suddenly, weird s things start to happen, and then there’s a lot of violence backed by a bangin’ synthwave soundtrack. “The Guest” is a whole lot of fun and a throwback to the straightforward, single-concept stylized thrillers of the 80s. If you were into the soundtrack of “Stranger Things” or the vibe (but not the plot or weird metaphors) of films like “It Follows” or games like “Hotline Miami,” you’ll probably love “The Guest.” Give it a shot! Alright, well that’s it for now. This week is looking pretty rough, so I’ll get back to it. If you’re reading this note and would like to complain about the roughness of this week’s article, shoot me an email at matthew.fennell@

Fortnite + Thanos. (DEXERTO) jazz pianists and, as always, a ton of systemic racism. On top of (or perhaps because of) the tonal shift, Season 2 tells a much more cohesive story, full of consistent themes, setups and payoffs, and satisfying arcs for each and every one of the show’s loveable characters. “Robbin’ Season” is full of great gags and wonderful slow moments, with each of its 11 episodes offering something exciting and different, but in my opinion, the standout episodes were “Barbershop,” “Teddy Perkins” and “FUBU.” Also, the last scene of “Money Bag Shawty” had me laughing harder than I’ve laughed in a long time. This show is something special. Please don’t miss it. The Guest This weekend, my friend Ethan went north to do some biking, so Ryan and I spent part of our Saturday night doing what we always do when he’s out of town: watch a scary movie. Last time, we watched Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s home invasion thriller “You’re Next” and loved it, so this time we decided to give their next film,, and I’ll get back to you. Next week, I think we’re going to talk about cowboy stuff because I’m reading “Lonesome Dove,” and also “Westworld” is back, and I have a lot of thoughts. Until then!

1 The first few drafts of last week’s article also said “welcome to the third week of May,” so second time’s the charm, and shout out to The Collegian’s excellent editorial team (I’ve put them through so much this year). 2 It’s on Tuesday, May 22nd at 9:00 a.m. in CSP 154 (that’s the big lecture hall in the basement of the Engineering side of Kretchmar). If you’re interested in hearing about my “real” S job where I write badge scanner software for a manufacturing plant, this presentation is just the thing for you. 3 That is, aside from “The Inaugural Matt Fennell t Yearly Twin Peaks Rewatch,” which starts on May 20,A whenever I decide to get over to the gym to do some p running on the elliptical.

Matt Fennell is a computer engineering major.


Making a Meal of Plastic Waste outlast your mayonnaise, as plastics may take hundreds or thousands of years to degrade to microplastic particles, where they may last indefinitely.6 Although plastics are exclusively man-made, there is one hydrocarbon structure found in nature with similar properties to plastics: wax. After a biologist tending to her beehives removed wax worms from her beehive and put them in a plastic bag, she realized that small holes appeared near the worms after about an hour. Since she knew that wax worms eat the wax, she immediately had an idea of what might be going on.7 Unlike plastics, wax has been around for a long time, allowing for these worms to develop the ability to digest this material. The theory was that these worms—or the microbes in their digestive tract—developed an enzyme with the capability to degrade wax, and coincidentally, some plastics. The researcher, a developmental biologist named Federica Bertocchini, decided to investigate what was actually going on with help from some colleagues.8 They first had to rule out that the worms, which were the larval stage of a small moth, weren’t simply chewing up the plastic into smaller pieces. They

wanted to test the hypothesis that the worms had some kind of enzyme with the ability to degrade the plastic material into simpler compounds. To perform this experiment, the researchers blended up wax worms that had recently died and applied this paste to plastic bags. Within 12 hours the paste had eaten holes into the bags, suggesting that the larvae have enzymes which can break down the plastic. Beyond these enzymes having the ability to eat through the plastic bags, further analysis with a type of spectroscopy revealed that the polyethylene plastic had been degraded into ethylene glycol (a common component of antifreeze). This broken-down product further suggests that these enzymes have the capability to degrade the bonds in polyethylene normally not susceptible to biodegradation. Why would the ability to degrade beeswax allow these larval moths to degrade plastics as well? Beeswax is made up of a highly diverse mixture of lipids, which are composed of many carbon-carbon bonds like those found in polyethylene plastic. The exact mechanism of enzymatic activity, as well as whether these enzymes are produced by the wax worms themselves or

by the microbes living in them are both questions which will be explored in further research. This research highlights the importance of observing the world around us and reminds us that there is still more to discover if we are willing to look. Although this is not the first instance of researchers finding biodegradation in materials previously not thought to be susceptible to it, this discovery has the potential to lead us to a partial solution to a mounting waste problem. These worms are likely not the solution to all plastic waste, although they may lead to further biotechnological advances with larger-scale applications. Many researchers still believe the most effective way to reduce our plastic waste for the moment is to reduce plastic production and recycle what we do use.9 1 “The Facts.” Plastic Oceans Foundation, 2018, 2 Ibid. 3 Arnold, Carrie. “This Bug Can Eat Plastic. But Can It Clean Up Our Mess?” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 24 Apr. 2017, news. 4 Wolchover, Natalie. “Why Doesn’t Plastic Biodegrade?” Live Science, 2 Mar. 2011, www.livescience. com/33085-petroleum-derived-plastic-non-biodegradable.html.

t i W u a w f # W

“ s a t A s a t t t s h s l


By Forrest Sheperd One of the types of trash most common and most harmful to the environment is plastic. This is in part due to its mass scale of production (nearly 300 million tons per year),1 the fact that half of it is designed for one-time use2 and the fact that it takes so long to degrade. Plastics such as polyethylene—the most common type of plastic—were widely considered to hold to this theory. However, recent research suggests that there may be a way to break down this durable plastic waste and convert it into simpler compounds.3 Why are plastics so hard to break down, anyway? Plastics are made of hydrocarbon polymers often derived from simpler molecules found in petroleum. When heated up in the presence of a catalyst, extremely strong carbon-carbon bonds create materials we know as plastics, which are rare in nature.4 Because they are are so uncommon in nature, microbes that will normally degrade organic compounds have not developed the ability to degrade these unnatural materials,5 as plastics have only been around for a little over a century. The long shelf-life makes it so plastic won’t degrade while storing your mayonnaise; however, it will long


5 Ibid. 6 “Approximate Time It Takes for Garbage to Decompose in the Environment .” New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, www.des. trash/documents/marine_debris.pdf. n 7 Arnold, Carrie. “This Bug Can Eat Plastic. But Can It Clean Up Our Mess?” National Geographic, c National Geographic Society, 24 Apr. 2017, www. o eat-plastic-polyethylene-trash-pollution-cleanup/. 8 Bombelli, Paolo et al.“Polyethylene Bio-Degradationi by Caterpillars of the Wax Moth Galleria Mellonel- p la.” Current Biology, vol. 27, no. 8, 24 Apr. 2017, w pp. R292–R293. Current Biology, doi:10.1016/j. i cub.2017.02.060. 9 Arnold, Carrie. “This Bug Can Eat Plastic. But j Can It Clean Up Our Mess?” National Geographic, s National Geographic Society, 24 Apr. 2017, www. w eat-plastic-polyethylene-trash-pollution-cleanup/.

Forrest Sheperd is a biology major.

t c a q c e w c i o w t s t d



Feature college place, wa | walla walla university

| May 2018 Issue 25

Conversation or Charade: NAD Executives Visit Walla Walla

By Michael Jensen

Last Saturday, three executives for the North American Division (NAD) of Seventh-day Adventists visited Walla Walla University’s campus to engage students in an interactive ques-

the church is about some of the issues important to them. What Happened at Saturday’s Event? Saturday’s event saw a variety of questions, with topics including gender equality, church financial structure, education, the viability of Adventist

issues. After the official livestream broadcast was over, Jackson, Bryant and Evans stuck around to continue answering questions. Overall, the event was relatively interactive and seemed genuine. However, community response regarding the effectiveness of

answers to students’ questions. They responded that the problem was with the nonspecific questions that had been asked, not with their answers. Flores said he considered this answer to be “fair,” it highlighted an area where he thinks the event could have seen some improvement. “We could have had some questions that were pre-set—not screened, but just questions that were selected first because of their specificity in nature to the NAD,” said Flores. “For an event like this, that had so much effort put into it, I think we could be a little more specific with the questions, maybe have five that were lined up” ahead of time, with other questions asked on the basis of priority, instead of slogging through “questions that were so abstract that they had no point in being asked.” Another big question surrounding the event is its effectiveness at engaging young adults, giving them a voice and showing them that they have a place in the church. Flores explained that the whole point in asking “Is This Thing On?” is that the leadership wants us to be heard. “But afterwards, the question now is ‘did this thing matter? Is anything going to come of it?’” The sentiment that no real substance or mechanism for change underpins these ITTO events was echoed by respondents to this week’s poll. One wrote, “I think it’s important that they [the

Student asking question during the live ITTO event. (PATRICK ANDERSON)

tion-and-answer dialogue. Dan Jackson, academies and racial issues. Jackson, the event, the questions asked and the church] have events like ‘Is This Thing Alex Bryant and Tom Evans (NAD Bryant and Evans often took turns way some questions were answered On?’ because my undying optimism president, executive secretary and weighing in on each of the questions has been mixed. tells me that someday they might treasurer, respectively) took the stage and sometimes turned the discussion How Has Our Community Responded? actually listen to what we’re saying by in a livestreamed event held in the around by asking follow-up questions During the event (but after the actually changing something.” Another WEC and attended by several hundred to members of the audience. On several livestream had officially ended and reflected, “giving us a chance to speak university students and faculty, as well occasions, the panel invited WWU the cameras were turned off), Peter is very different than listening to what as community members. Questions President John McVay to the stage to Flores, senior theology major, told the we have to say. This [ITTO event] is an were fielded from the audience and address queries related to education panel that they had given rather vague important first step and I hope that we from social media, where people used #NADnow to submit their queries. What Is “Is This Thing On?” According to the official website, “Is This Thing On?” is “a new video series aimed at college-age young adults” that “invites any and all questions about the Bible, church policy, Adventist lifestyle, theology, relationships, and more.”[1] Saturday’s event at WWU marked the third episode of the series, with previous events having taken place at Oakwood University and Union College over the past several months. Nearly 8,000 people have watched the Facebook Live video, some in real time and others after the livestream was over. What Is the Point? Within the young-adult community, there is often a feeling that the church is increasingly irrelevant and out-of-touch with the reality of their daily lives. An article from NAD Ministerial looks at two different research projects and outlines several reasons why young people leave the church, including that “they are turned off by judgmental attitudes and hypocrisy seen in the church,” and “they are weary of church politics.”[2] “Is This Thing On?” tries to combat some of these issues by offering transparency and candor, showing college-age adults that their voices matter, their questions are valid and church politics can change. Christian Welch, a senior electrical engineering major, explained why he came to the event: “Part of me couldn’t care less [about the issues being discussed], but then there’s a part of me that really loves my church and wants the best for it, and that’s why I turned up.” Welch is not alone in this sentiment, as many students came to the event with questions that seemed From left to right: Alex Bryant, Dan Jackson, and Tom Evans during the live ITTO event. (PATRICK ANDERSON) designed to gauge just how serious

are given a chance to make change happen. This gives me hope for the future, but I also have a slight dread that when nothing has actually changed a few years from now that this will no longer be my church.” Some respondents questioned the possibility of ever reconciling differences of opinion on some matters: “Although I believe communication is important in all situations, there may be a point at which reconciliation between the global SDA church and American/Western young people cannot occur. I think the walls between the SDA church and millennials/gen Z will be women’s issues and the LGBTQ+ community. I don’t see a way the church can come to a middle ground which adequately satisfies the arguments from the different sides of these issues without alienating both. Most of my friends have already left the church because, among other more theological things, they feel alienated by the stances of the church on these issues.” Ultimately, many community members seem to appreciate the effort that NAD leadership is making, but have doubts about any tangible results coming from initiatives like “Is This Thing On?”, with some questioning whether consensus is possible given the cultural, social and generational divides within the church. Looking Forward People have reasonable frustrations with the way the ITTO event was managed, the questions that were asked, the way they were answered and the overall willingness of the church to listen to its young members. That much is clear. However, the fact that the Walla Walla campus community was engaged enough to attend the event, to ask questions and to respond with concern when it felt like some of the issues addressed fell on deaf ears indicates that there is still passion for the church among young adults. Flores explained that he himself has “a conviction, and a feeling that [he] need[s] to stay [in the church].” But, to keep people involved and engaged, he thinks it takes something more: ownership. “If you aren’t going to give this generation ownership over anything that the NAD is doing, then why should I even care? Why do I want to be a part of it? . . . You’re not going to keep someone in an organization if they’re not buying into it. And part of that buy-in is having some ownership over it.” Young people like Flores are hungry for the opportunity to own the church’s mission, values and direction. But is the church ready to let them buy in? 1 Is This Thing On? https://www.ittoshow. com/about/ 2 NAD Ministerial, “Generation Change: Why Our Youth Leave,” http://www.nadministerial. org/article/788/for-nad-pastors/articles/generationchange-why-our-youth-leave

Michael Jensen is a mechanical engineering major.



May 2018 Issue 25 | walla walla university | college place, wa


May 17-23 17






Art Quilts by Catherine Little @ Wenaha Gallery, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Art Quilts by Catherine Little @ Wenaha Gallery, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Downtown Farmer’s Market @ Crawford Park, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Killing Fields @ Studio Articolore, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Killing Fields @ Studio Articolore, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

tWWUnes @ SAC, 7 p.m.

A Bad Day at Gopher’s Breath—A Melodrama @ Liberty Theater, 7 p.m.

Return to the River Salmon Festival @ Walla Walla Community College 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A Bad Day at Gopher’s Breath—A Melodrama @ Liberty Theater, 7 p.m. Spring Awakening @ Harper Joy Theatre, 8 p.m. National Cherry Cobbler Day

Spring Awakening @ Harper Joy Theatre, 8 p.m. Student Missions Vespers @ WWU Church, 8 p.m. National Visit Your Relatives Day

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21st Annual Ducky Derby - Community Bank/WW Exchange Club @ Mill Creek Recreation Trail, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Kitten Shower @ Blue Mountain Humane Society, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wind Symphony Concert @ WWU Church, 4 p.m.

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Blackberry Cornmeal Muffins


By Hannah Thiel I can’t believe it, but this is my last food article for The Collegian this year! It’s been so fun trying out new recipes and writing about them! I thought I’d leave you this week with a delicious springtime recipe. This one’s from Minimalist Baker, the source for several of the other recipes I’ve written about. Honestly, if you take one thing away from this column this year I hope it would be to check out Minimalist Baker’s website. It’s a really great resource for recipe inspiration, especially if you’re trying to be vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. This recipe combines blackberries—a springtime staple ingredient—cornmeal and almond meal, which means that the muffins are both fruity and filling.



a M

Adapted from Minimalist Baker1 Makes: 10 muffins


Ingredients • 2 eggs (or substitute with vegan flax eggs—find recipe below)

Directions 1.

• ¼ cup milk (the original recipe calls for unsweetened

Either grease the pan and flour lightly or line with

almond milk, but use whichever suits you best, as long as it’s unsweetened)

Hannah Thiel is an art major.

paper liners. 2.

minutes. Measure out your choice of milk and stir with

• 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

the apple cider vinegar and baking soda. 3.

nectar or honey) 4.

• ¼ cup butter or olive oil 5.

Make sure there are no lumps, but try not to overwork

• ¼ cup almond meal

the dough. Fold in the floured blackberries. 6.

• 1 cup all-purpose flour 7.

step is very important—it ensures that the blackberries will

meal (available at Andy’s

combine well with the dry ingredients and won’t just sink


through the dough)

• 5 tablespoons water

Scoop batter into the muffin tray, filling almost to the top—the batter shouldn’t rise too much.

• 1 cup blackberries, roughly chopped and tossed in flour (this

• 2 tablespoons flaxseed

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, but watch closely, as the muffins can burn quickly.


Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes when done baking. Loosen with a butter knife, and cool on a baking rack and enjoy!

Directions 1

1. Stir to combine.

t I

A a t t t fi

t p a m s

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h l l s


Walla Walla Farmers’ Market By Daphne Novak Note from the editors: This topic was covered last week by Hannah Thiel, but since it is still relevant, Daphne wanted to give it a second shout-out. I love farmers’ markets. I love the unique items that Walla Walla has to offer. Sure, local ingredients are available elsewhere, but some of those ingredients from really small family operations don’t quite make it into grocery stores. The Walla Walla farmers’ market is a little smaller than some farmers’ markets, but in terms of a market in a small community, it has all you could need! Some of my favorite stands to visit are the cheese stand and Hay Shaker Farms. To be honest, I don’t know the name of the cheese stand, but it’s always there. Just trust me. This stand offers a variety of cheeses from soft to hard. I’m also a huge fan of Hay Shaker Farms because they plant and harvest all their produce using horse power, which is really cool and unique. They have cool produce like sunchokes (at least during the tail end of the farmers’

d u s h a m l h t s A

Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir to combine.

• ¼ teaspoon salt • 1 cup fine cornmeal


Add applesauce and salt, then stir. Add the milk and stir again.

• ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce

especially in baking)

Add maple syrup, sugar and butter or oil to the eggs. Stir quickly for one minute to dissolve the sugar.

• ½ cup sugar

(Great substitute for eggs,

If using flax eggs, prepare and set aside for five

• ¾ teaspoon apple cider vinegar • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (substitutes could be agave

Vegan Flax Eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a muffin pan.

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market season). The farmers’ market season just opened up the first weekend of May and runs every Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. through October. It’s the perfect after-church activity! Maybe you can make something cool with the goodies you find from the farmers’ market. Go check it out to find fresh flowers, perfectly crafted artisan items and local produce!

Daphne Novak is a psychology major.


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college place, wa, walla walla university






Heirloom Plant Sale @ Frog Hollow Farm, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

National American Red Cross Founder’s Day

T-Waffle Tuesday @ ASWWU Offices, 8 to 10 a.m.

Preseason Opening @ Blue Mountain Lavender Farm, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

National Memo Day

Lego Night @ Milton-Freewater Public Library, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Block Party @ College Ave, 4 p.m.

National Waitstaff Day

National Strawberries and Cream Day


| May 2018 Issue 25

page 7


National Lucky Penny Day National Taffy Day

National Buy a Musical Instrument Day National Vanilla Pudding Day

National Be a Millionaire Day National Pick Strawberries Day

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How to Climb Mount Rainier By Niqolas Ruud Continued from May 10’s issue of The Collegian… I think I only ran once the week after our first attempt at summiting Mt. Rainier. Probably only three or four miles, too. But with the TEDx talk behind me and 12,000 feet of Mt. Rainier experience already under our belts from the weekend prior, my compatriots and I felt more than ready to push up the mountain harder than before. It still took us some time on Friday afternoon to get Tyler’s car packed up (making sure to include skis and snowboards). We now knew what we had to do to avoid getting to the huts at Camp Muir at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning. Things were running smoothly; time was on our side. I only drank half a gallon of water on the drive in, trying to suppress my dehydration superstition. We even avoided Chipotle! All was good. No, all was great. But then we got to the park and the gate was shut. Locked. Sealed. Impenetrable by auto. Tyler reluctantly parked his Accord in a nearby lodge’s parking lot and got out to inspect the barrier. Chad took out his copy of “The Freedom of the Hills” to see if it mentioned anything about locked gates. I ran inside to find the bathroom. When I came back outside, the two of them were sitting on the lodge’s porch in two pinewood rocking chairs and looking up at the 14,000-foot summit of Mt. Rainier with blank expressions on their faces. To fully understand the gloriousness of this next moment, one must realize that the sun had long since dipped past our view, and its light was now quite dim. Dusk had fully settled. Then, suddenly, as though a Tesla had sneaked up behind us, a car’s headlights appeared in the darkness. The lights faced us, but from the opposite side of the gate. We watched in amazement as the driver calmly got out of the still-running vehicle, confidently walked to-

wards us, entered the lodge and exited the building holding what looked like one of those bathroom keys on a stick from a cheap convenience store. She promptly unlocked the gate, opened it, drove her car out, closed and locked the gate, returned the key to the lodge manager and drove off, just as one might expect any decent human to do. This gave one of us (I can’t remember who) the brilliant idea of cashing in on the next latecomer who came down the mountain. No more than five minutes later we were back in the Accord, which we had moved to an out-of-the-way spot close to the gate, ready to take action. It didn’t take long for the next key-customer to come tumbling down the mountain. This time we weren’t surprised by the headlights as they shone dead-on to our car, especially since the music was cranked so loud that we heard it even before we saw the lights of the car (which is surprising because light travels way faster than sound). Well, as you might imagine, we asked this gentleman (once he had the key of course) to let us pass. He did, allowing us to bivy in a parking lot 3,000 feet higher than the parking lot we had just been stranded at. We woke up around 10:00 the next morning surrounded by tourists and their cars in what had once been a near-empty lot. While Chad and Tyler were packing up their bags, I rigged a makeshift sled with a pair of ancient park skis and their oversized boot brothers. I lashed these together with climbing slings and a jacket. It fell apart approximately 10 feet from the parking lot. Tourists took photos. Park rangers pulled out their rescue kits. And I was forced to strap all 35 pounds of downhill ski material onto my back. A few hours later, I was the last of our little party to reach the huts at Camp Muir. It was around 5:00 in the evening. The next morning I awoke to the sound of my phone’s “beep, beep, beep” imitation of my alarm clock back at home. The beds in the hut seemed far more crowded than they had the night

The author ascending Mount Rainier via the Gibraltar Ledges. (CHAD NELSON)

before, as two or maybe three girls had taken up the single bunk slot next to me (along with a healthy portion of mine). It was 2:00 ante meridiem. By the time the sun’s light had worked its way back around the world, we had made it well into the Ingraham Glacier. Even though we were slowed down by a number of parties bottlenecked at a thin snowbridge, we were making good time. Chad, again leading our group, directed us onto the upper portion of the Gibraltar Ledges where we climbed a snow-covered 60-degree slope (a truly intimidating incline at this point in our careers) to a beautiful knife-shaped ridgeline. The rest of the climb was pretty easy-going; having left those park skis down behind a hut at Camp Muir, my pack was light, and my heart was full. We reached the

summit crater in good time, crossed the large plateau and hiked those last couple of feet to the mound of snow which made up the summit. Rainier’s peak is actually pretty uninspiring—we had some dude take a photo of us anyway. We took a few hours to descend down to Muir where Chad promptly collapsed for a nap, and Tyler spent his time boiling water for some Ramen noodles. Once Chad awoke and Tyler had sated his hunger, the real fun began. Now, keep in mind I had only skied twice before: once on a bunny hill at the age of six or seven, and the second time a month or two prior to this story’s occurrence. I tightened the boots around my flimsy ankles and then clipped into the ancient lead-brick park skis (after making certain that each of my stinky

mountaineering boots were secured in or on each of Tyler and Chad’s packs). My first couple of turns were definitely pizza-style, but after figuring out that I needed to lean back (so as not to fall forwards while sporting my pack), I was only tailing my experienced snowboarding compatriots by a half-mile or so. Upon arriving at the parking lot of our dreams (the one we had dreamed of two nights previous), we quickly departed for Chipotle or Taco Bell or some other place to get an authentic American burrito. We ate those burritos and then went to sleep. The End.

Niqolas Ruud is a religious studies major.

Chad Nelson and Tyler Humphries “resting” on the descent from Mount Rainier’s summit. (NIQOLAS RUUD)



May 2018 Issue 25 | walla walla university | college place, wa


The Future of The Collegian By Daniella Silva The trip to the Midwinter National Collegiate Journalism Convention almost didn’t happen. On top of the usual budgeting concerns, it was hard to convince anyone that an educational trip for a small number of students could have any real benefit to the general student population at WWU. However, the communications department was willing to take the financial risk to send three Collegian writers and one communications student to the convention at Long Beach, CA, March 1-3, and, biased though I may be, I believe the department made the right choice. The convention was a truly eye-opening experience for me because of how much the speakers, workshops and networking opportunities opened doors for the potential growth of two major departments on our campus: The Collegian and the journalism concentration of the Communications Department. To promote the development of journalists at WWU, here is a summary of three key themes that stood out to me: Mentorship At present, The Collegian does not have a media advisor. While an ASWWU sponsor does read our newspapers every week, we have no one with

a background in journalism to help represent the paper and its vision to the administration. More problematic is the lack of consistent leadership and training of student writers and editors every year. As a student newspaper, one of The Collegian’s primary functions is to help students develop their writing and reporting skills for a potential future career involving communications and/or journalism. “Mentorship is just the way it’s done in the industry,” said Kenna Griffin, Assistant Professor of Mass Communications at Oklahoma City University. In order to be credible on campus and in the surrounding community, The Collegian needs a mentor to help represent, advise and train future writers and editors. It’s worth noting that even before this convention, there has been an effort being to find a more permanent mentor for The Collegian; we are currently looking into paying a small stipend to a qualified individual as early as next year. However, if we are unable to find that mentor, both and Griffin and Mark Witherspoon, editorial advisor for the Iowa State Daily student newspaper, suggested a couple other possible solutions: Other student newspapers have successfully received mentorship

from a nearby local or other campus newspapers. In The Collegian’s case, that would be either the Union Bulletin or The Whitman Wire. Become a member of the Associated Collegiate Press and request a long-distance mentor from them. Structure The Collegian can also do more to ensure that quality content is consistently published by changing some basic structural elements in its leadership. Instead of reporting directly to the editor-in-chief or assistant editor, writers could be overseen by several specialized sub-editors. For example, one editor could be in charge of meeting with the staff reporters or with the feature writers to make sure that articles are well-planned out before the deadline. Having a sub-editor would facilitate more constructive feedback, better writing and better intentional representation of different groups on campus. In addition, writers could be given a “beat.” — a journalism term for when a writer does more in-depth or long term writing about one particular subject or area on campus. One writer could specialize in gathering all the news from ASWWU and Senate. Another writer could be in charge of

interviewing CommUnity speakers each week. This system is used by a majority of other college newspapers and ensures writers build rapport with people from the one area of campus they consistently report on each week. Resources Perhaps most importantly, attending this convention connected our staff with other like-minded writers and media professionals. Certain workshops allowed attendees to get their resumes looked at by a former editor of the Washington Post and there was an option to get a professional critique on both the paper copy of The Collegian and on the website. While we did not submit our paper for anything this past year, issues can also be submitted to win Associated Collegiate Press journalism awards, which would encourage more writer interest in The Collegian and would look good on future job applications. While at the convention, we also met with several media advisors who gave us a list of resources our writers could use if WWU ever does try to repress or censor articles in The Collegian. Many of the schools attending the convention were also private religious schools that have, from the stories they

told, experienced much more serious cases of censorship than we have seen at WWU in recent years. Even so, the following sources will continue to be valuable resources to future editors if the university ever does begin to push ethical boundaries while exercising its constitutional right to censor college newspapers at private institutions: National Board of Society of Professional Journalists Student Press Law Center Associated Collegiate Press The 2018 Midwinter National Journalism Convention was an invaluable opportunity to connect college student journalists and exchange ideas about how to better the structure and management of our respective papers. I firmly believe that future editors of The Collegian should continue to push for funding to send students to this or some other similar convention each year to ensure that we are connected to a larger community of collegiate journalists and can continue to build up the level of professionalism and quality content in this publication from year to year.

Daniella Silva is an international communications major.


Reflections on the ACP Midwinter Journalism Conference By Michael Jensen If inspiration and education came from facts, archives and well-documented data, the world might be a better-informed place. However, people are not generally inspired by cold statistics, disembodied characters or lengthy essays. People are inspired by stories. Storytelling is an art form that transcends fact-finding and data-gathering. It requires both dedication to detail and an understanding of the human spirit. It demands an artist capable of crafting connection, relatability and beauty—someone who can use narrative to make truth compelling. When I arrived at the ACP Midwinter Journalism Convention on Thursday morning of March 1, I faced a sea of intelligent and experienced people who each had their own ideas about what journalism is and how it should be done. Luckily the diversity of approaches to the craft were quickly clarified during the first workshop I attended. The very first line of notes I took during that session would prove to be the thesis for the conference as

a whole: “journalism equals storytelling.” Although session topics during the weekend ranged from newsroom management to résumé enhancement to interview tactics, everything was focused on the power of stories. During a session near the end of the conference, I listened in horror to a presenter’s account of his mother-inlaw’s brutal murder and its aftermath. Deftly and tenderly, he used his personal story to connect with the audience and teach us tactics for covering stories of death and tragedy in empathetic and respectful ways. Keynotes throughout the convention emphasized the storytelling process as presenters recounted tales of their own and offered tips on how to research, record and convey stories in extreme and sensitive circumstances. For me, there was no escaping the overall message: if one wants one’s work as a journalist to matter, it must be both factually accurate and dramatically compelling. Good data and accurate reporting may inform a few, but powerful stories that impart the same knowledge in a graceful and intimate way will inspire many.

Bestselling author Sue Monk Kidd wrote that “stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”1 Her understanding of stories as the substance of human identity is echoed by journalist Joan Didion, who wrote, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”2 To these women, stories are not merely idle fabrications to be shunned in favor of statistics—stories are what make the data matter. So, although I have often considered myself primarily responsible for finding facts and making sense of complicated situations as a journalist, I left the ACP convention inspired to aim higher. My mission now is to share what I learn in ways that emotionally and intellectually impact my readers, and to do so through the power of stories. 1 Sue Monk Kidd, “The Secret Life of Bees.” 2 Joan Didion, “The White Album.”

Michael Jensen is a mechanical engineering major.

ACP Midwinter Journalism Conference. (KATE BECKNER)

POLL Last week’s questions and responses: Do you think your perspective on religious and political issues is represented within Adventist church leadership?

67% no

Do you think the church cares about your perspectives and those of your peers?

33% yes

48.5% no

Do you care whether the church hears your perspective?

55.1% yes

Do you think it is important that the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (NAD) is reaching out to students through campus visits like the "Is This Thing On?" meeting this Saturday? 9.1% no

18.2% no 81.8% yes

90.9% yes

General comments: Even though the NAD leaders are reaching out, I doubt anything will change because of it. Old dogs don’t learn new tricks. Giving us a chance to speak is very different than listening to what we have to say. This is an important first step and I hope that we are given a chance to make change happen. This gives me hope for the future, but I also have a slight dread that when nothing has actually changed a few years from now that this will no longer be my church. Although I believe communication is important in all situations, there may be a point at which reconciliation between the global SDA church and American/

Western young people cannot occur. I think the walls between the SDA church and Millennials/Gen Z will be women’s issues and the LGBTQ+ community. I don’t see a way the church can come to a middle ground which adequately satisfies the arguments from the different sides of these issues without alienating both. Most of my friends have already left the church because, among other more theological things, they feel alienated by the stances of the church on these issues. I am hopeful that discussions like this might happen all over the country and even the world. I hope that the leadership will realize the diversity of perspectives out there and the passion of Adventist youth. Perhaps they will see that we do not need to be homogeneous to be unified.

Next week’s question:

Are you satisfied with WWU’s recently updated village housing policy that removes the standard 48-hour notice before allowing university officials to enter an apartment?

Issue 25  
Issue 25