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Feature pg. 6

Students discuss the costs and dividends of unpaid summer internships

A&E pg. 4

This Week On Web

Harper Joy’s current production ‘Bus Stop’ tells snowbound tales of love and memory



Take a peek at the workout regimens of off-season varsity athletes online at

ISSUE 13 December 8, 2011 Whitman news since 1896

Whitman to teach civil rights in WW by MOLLY JOH A NSON Staff Reporter


t was the week before finals, and all through the campus, Whitman students were being trained to teach civil rights in Walla Walla Public Schools. The volunteer project, called Whitman Teaches the Movement, was born out of a partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Walla Walla Public School District in response to a study conducted by the center. “It gets people thinking about this . . . hen we come back [after break] everybody’s ready to go,” said Assistant Dean for Student Engagement Noah Leavitt. In a report authored by Kate Shuster, the Southern Poverty Law Center gave each state in the nation a report card based on its coverage of the civil rights movement in its state standards. All but 16 states received an F, including Washington. It only took 70 percent to get an A. “We’re concerned that the history of the civil rights movement is seen as African-American history rather than American history, and we’re also concerned that it is seen as a regional rather than a national issue. It’s not Southern history; it’s American history,” said Shuster, who gave a lecture about her report on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in Olin 130. As a response to this lack of civil rights literacy, the center is currently working on compiling a civil rights curriculum with material for all grade levels as part of

its Teaching Tolerance program. The center plans to introduce this curriculum in February 2012. Whitman’s Student Engagement Center was intrigued about the project after reading about the center report in the New York Times. It contacted Shuster, who already had ties to Whitman after coaching the debate team in the 1990s, in hopes of potentially finding new community service projects for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. “Collaboratively this idea came together of having these trainings under the Teaching the Movement umbrella so that it became Whitman Teaches the Movement. We wanted to see what Whitman would come up with that would be right for Whitman,” said Shuster. Through some serendipitous connections, the initial call led to the creation of the “Whitman Teaches the Movement” initiative, a program which allows Whitman students to test the center’s curriculum in local elementary, middle and high schools. Those involved with this unique opportunity are excited. “Everybody sees it as something that’s going to be useful and interesting and timely, and it’s fun to create something . . . A month and a half ago nobody knew about this . . . We’re creating history,” said Leavitt. The center intends to use Whitman Teaches the Movement as a model program before the curriculum is exported to other communities.

Bookstore sacks plastic, adopts bagless policy by ROSE WOODBU RY


Lecturer Kate Shuster wrote a Southern Poverty Law Center report that reavealed many states don’t require students to learn about the civil rights movement. Photo by von Hafften

The Walla Walla Public School District is also looking forward to the program. The lessons tie in to the school district’s focus on safe and civil schools. Assistant Super-

intendent for Curriculum Instruction and Assessment Linda Boggs is especially excited for the possibilities of largescale partnerships in the future.

see CIVIL RIGHTS, page 3

Semilla Nueva shares insight on non-profit work


hitman alumni Curt Bowen ‘08 and Joseph Bornstein ‘08 work with farmers in rural communities in Guatemala, one of the most malnourished countries in Central America, and in three short years built from the ground up a successful non-profit organization called Semilla Nueva. Bowen and Bornstein, executive director and associate director of Semilla Nueva, respectively, collaborate with small communities of farmers to improve farming technology by introducing highly effective organic agricultural techniques. Bowen and Bornstein have introduced no-till conservation tillage, agro-forestry and green manures to their volunteer communities, which have already begun to see higher crop yields. Bowen and Bornstein, who founded Whitman Direct Action in 2005, have continued to work with the club, overseeing summer projects in one of the organization’s volunteer communities. Bowen will be visiting Whitman on Friday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. in Olin 157, to speak about Semilla Nueva and engage students’ interest in sustainable development and non-profit work. Bow-

sically do is we work with small communities of farmers on the Pacific Coast to create groups of farmers that experiment with new technology. So we’ll go into a community and try to find maybe between five or ten volunteers that are interested in trying new technologies, we’ll introduce those new technologies, and we’ll work with the farmers so that they can actually try them on their own land, learn how to run experiments to see how well it does economically and environmentally, and then we help train them in ways to effectively communicate and share those new technologies with their community.

Curt Bowen ’08 and Joseph Bornstein ‘08 work with farmers in Conrado de la Cruz, one of the ten volunteer communities in Guatemala that they work with. Contributed by Bowen

en will also address the challenges of starting a non-profit organization in a third-world country and the fun and satisfaction that can be found in the work. The Pioneer had the opportunity to speak with Bowen and hear more about Semilla Nueva and how he started such a successful organization

just three years out of Whitman. The Pioneer: Can you tell me what Semilla Nueva is, and what the goals of the organization are? Curt Bowen: Semilla Nueva is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based out of Oregon, and we do sustainable agriculture and community organization in Guatemala. What we ba-

Pio: How widespread is Semilla Nueva? How many villages do you work with? CB: We currently work with ten communities in Guatemala. Each community has anywhere from 100 to 250 families, and those are big families. Most families have around fifteen people in them. These communities . . . they may look small—they may not have many houses—but they have a huge amount of people, and so affecting one community can make a difference in thousands of people’s lives. see SEMILLA NUEVA, page 2

Staff Reporter

n Thursday, Nov. 29, the bookstore formalized a policy it had been casually subscribing to for a while— it will no longer offer customers plastic bags unless they ask for them. And, if customers want a bag, the bookstore suggests that they make a donation. The initiative was made official in part by the efforts of senior ASWC senator Zach Duffy and senior Sustainability Coordinator Lauren McCullough. Duffy came up with the idea for the project after reading over the summer about Northwestern University going bagless. He and McCullough wanted to instate a $0.30 fee for each plastic bag, which would be deposited into the ASWC Green fund, but the bookstore decided it just wanted to accept suggested donations of any amount. Duffy still believes the bagless initiative will be important to the school. “My hope is that a bagless bookstore will achieve several things: reducing waste from the bookstore, generating some environmental consciousness among students and community members, and eventually—with the institution of a bag-free policy—raising a small amount of money towards other environmental projects on campus,” he said in an email. Book Acquisition Specialist Janice King believes that the bagless initiative will go over well at Whitman, seeing as many customers already decline to use plastic bags for carrying their purchases. “[Whitman is] a very committed, green campus so people are choosing not to have bags whenever possible,” she said. Junior Molly Blust, who works at the bookstore, also thinks that students will appreciate the new policy. “Even before we started [the bagless policy], a lot of people don’t really ask for bags, and a lot of times they’ll say, ‘Oh, I’ll just put stuff in my backpack,’ so I think it will go over really well,” she said. King explained that the bookstore employees placed signs in the store so that newcomers understand the policy. “We have the poster behind the register, so people who may be coming from in town are noticing that,” she said. Senior Heather Smith, who also works at the bookstore, explained that the store still needs to have some plastic bags, even though it will not offer bags when customers check out. “Reasonably, we have to still have bags for when people buy textbooks and when parents comes for Parent’s Weekend . . . For customer service we’re not going to not have [bags], but we are asking for a donation,” she said. see BAGLESS, page 2

ASWC has beef with meat dress project by CAITLIN H A R DEE A&E Editor


n Sunday, Dec. 4, ASWC Senate heard an appeal from junior Clare Spatola-Knoll, whose request to the Finance Committee for $450 to recreate Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress with prosciutto and wire had been initially denied. The refusal prompted Spatola-Knoll to rework the proposal and appeal for $100. The appeal was ultimately denied a second time in a 15-3 vote, but not without extensive debate. In a packed boardroom, Spatola-Knoll explained the driving idea behind her project. “My purpose in hoping to recreate the meat dress is to incite discussion on campus,” said SpatolaKnoll. “A lot of people have told me about the issues of sustainability and that it’s not supporting Whitman ideals, but I feel that many projects that Whitman funds are indeed wasteful. One of this project’s strengths is that it calls attention to this waste.” Sophomore senator Kayvon Behroozian took a vehement stand against the project. “While I understand and agree that this request has sparked discussion, I feel that this is an unsustainable request,” said Behroozian. “While we do have other requests like funding airplane travel, that uses jet fuel, that’s bad for the environment and unfortunately that’s a real-world fact, but that goes to serve

another purpose that ASWC has already agreed is a good thing. For example, we just funded three airplane tickets to go to the Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights. But this [meat dress] in my opinion is spending student dollars on something that will infuri-

our campus, that can barely afford food. The fact that we’re considering to spend money on food that will not be eaten is disrespectful. It is a slap in the face to those individuals that are below the poverty line.” Finance Committee member junior Kenn Kochi tack-


ate a number of students on campus. It’s their money. We should never be using their money to anger them. The next issue I have is that there’s so many people, not only on

led the underlying assumptions about the nature of waste. “How is not eating food wasting it? There are other uses for food. I don’t necessarily see this as sole-

ly being wasted. I think this will incite great discussion,” said Kochi. Finance Committee member senior Tim Strother defended the project for its potential educational effect. “First of all, I’d like to say that Kayvon’s research just proves the point of what this project is doing. Thank you for that graphic about the 52 percent of fourth-graders who are food-insecure. I didn’t know about that. I feel like [Kayvon is] showing what this project is capable of, in getting students informed about these issues. In terms of wasteful once again, and in terms of fourthgraders once again, we could argue that the bowtie pasta used in fourthgrade art projects is wasteful as well and we should just force those fourth graders to eat their art projects.” Senior senator Genevieve Venable provided further food for thought. “I just had a really meaningful discussion with [senior] Jack [MacNichol] over email about this. Jack’s a theatre major; I’m someone who doesn’t know anything about performance art and didn’t want to vote based off of that,” said Venable. “Jack wrote, ‘I think that a hundred dollars for the dress falls within our mission and purpose. Clare is doing an awesome project that in my mind epitomizes the Whitman experience. She was inspired by classwork to do an independent art project and share it with the community. If this were to be made of fabric, we would have

no problem paying for it, in fact I think we would be excited about it.’” First-year senator Tatiana Kaehler expressed hesitation over potential backlash from displeased students should ASWC support Spatola-Knoll’s request. “Since the request was appealed, I have spoken to more of my constituents, none of whom want me to support this request. As a senator, although I will use my own judgment, I really want to represent my constituents well,” said Kaehler. Spatola-Knoll addressed some of the senators’ criticisms to her project. “In response to Kayvon, I qualified for free student lunches when I was in public school. At Whitman College, I am considered the poverty,” said Spatola-Knoll. “I know these facts and that’s one thing I’m trying to do is make people aware of these things. If I could ask you for a hundred dollars to donate, I would do that, but I can’t. But I can try and make this piece of art that will make people aware of these things and possibly go from their own experience, maybe their extremely negative reaction to the dress, but taking that and then donating that money to an organization that helps these issues.” Though her appeal was ultimately denied, Spatola-Knoll’s unusual request was successful in generating conversation about waste and the nature of performance art amongst Whitman students.



08 2011



Students create classics society by ROSE WOODBU RY Staff Reporter


hile the classics department may seem relatively small, with only three declared senior majors, five declared juniors and two declared sophomores, students’ passions for ancient Greek and Latin languages and culture run deep. Furthermore, many students currently enrolled in classics classes who may not necessarily have plans to major in the subject are just as equally enthusiastic about it. As a result of this profound but understated interest in classics at Whitman, junior classics majors Kate Kight and Mariah Lapiroff decided to bring a national classics honors society, Eta Sigma Phi, to the college. “We’re both really passionate about the classics department, and I think we take a lot of pleasure in being a small, really tight department. We’re all really good friends . . . we’re really close with the professors, and I think we wanted to formalize a way to recognize that unity within our department,” Kight said. The only requirement to be inducted into the honors society is that a student, major or non-major, receive a B or higher in a Greek or Latin course at Whitman. The society puts on conferences with paper presentations and academic competitions, and also offers scholarships for summer study abroad opportunities. Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities and Classics Kate Shea has agreed to be the faculty adviser for the Eta Sigma Phi chapter at Whitman. “I was involved in my Eta Sigma Phi chapter as a graduate student at Rutgers University, so I’m already a member and

had participated with our undergraduate chapter. . . so I come with a little bit of experience as far as Eta Sigma Phi, but as far as bringing it here, it’s the students at Whitman who expressed interest and enthusiasm for bringing a new chapter here,” she said. Shea emphasized how the honors society provides a unique and engaging way for students to interact with each other. “Study of Latin and Greek is very much alive at Whitman, so this will allow [students] more social interaction in which to share their interests in ancient languages, in classical literature and the history of the ancient world,” she said. Professor of Classics Dana Burgess additionally emphasized how the society will facilitate student interaction on the national level. “I think the basic idea here is trying to connect students nationally who are interested in this field of study,” Burgess said. At the same time, sophomore classics major Zoë Erb is really looking forward to spreading the word about the new honors society on campus partly because she hopes it will get more students interested in the department. “I’ve gotten so much joy from this department; I just hope that people don’t discount it because it’s ‘ancient,’” she said. “I hope that students at Whitman will consider taking a classics class even they don’t necessarily know much about it . . . because the professors in the Classics department have the capacity to make anyone excited about anything.” Before a chapter at Whitman could be formally recognized, however, Kight and Lapiroff needed to start a classics club. The club meets on Thursdays at lunch with classics professors to tackle sight translations. The



Percentage of Americans who believe that the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education for children.


Percentage of 18-year-olds in 1982 who reported taking an art class in their childhood.


Percentage of 18-year-olds in 2008 who reported taking an art class in their childhood.


Percentage of African Americans surveyed in 2008 who reported receiving any arts education in childhood.


Fraction of time spent in art classes since the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in 2001 as opposed to before.

40 million


club also meets more socially on the weekends to screen movies about ancient tragedies, play Bananagrams in ancient Greek and Latin and so forth. The only requirement to be in the club is that a student be interested in classics. “[The club] gives us an opportunity not only to hang out and get to know each other better, and enjoy all of the literature and languages that we have so much fun with in class, [but] also [the club] just [provides a place for] general bonding,” said Lapiroff.

“It’s nice to find a way to show the rest of the school what we have. It’s obviously kind of difficult to talk about Classics with everyone because it is a very narrow field, but having an honors society is [a] language the rest of the campus can speak a little bit more,” Kight said. If all goes as planned, next semester Eta Sigma Phi will formally recognize a chapter at Whitman. “We’re really excited,” Kight and Lapiroff said in unison.

Amount of federal funding for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ educational programs that were at risk for cuts when Congress proposed a series of cuts to the 2010-11 federal budget earlier in March.



Alumnus influenced by WDA work

Bookstore goes green

from SEMILLA NUEVA, page 1

Pio: How many volunteers are a part of Semilla Nueva? Are they from the United States and Guatemala? B: Our field team is mainly Guatemalan and American, and we normally have between two to five international volunteers that are helping out with the project. And then we have three to four paid staff depending on what time of year it is. In terms of community interaction, I’d say we have about sixty farmers who are engaged in the program right now in those ten communities.

from BAGLESS, page 1

Smith agreed with King and Blust that the new policy won’t really change the precedented flow of purchases in the store. “We’ve never really just handed out bags anyway,” she said. Senior Andrew Ryan said that while he has used plastic bags in the past when he bought books from the bookstore, he’s happy about the new policy. While Ryan doesn’t think the policy will inconvenience him or other current students who are used to carrying around backpacks and other reusable bags, and who are accustomed to the general environmentally responsible culture at Whitman, he pointed out that the policy might initially seem disorienting to incoming freshmen. “I feel like for [incoming] freshmen [the bagless policy is] going to be a big deal . . . because they’re new to college life and they’re going to be like, ‘Oh, they don’t have bags?’” he said. Ultimately, however, the wider community seems in favor of making the switch—all it takes is a little getting used to. ILLUSTRATION BY PETERSON


Pio: Why did you decide to found this organization? And when? B: We pretty much started it right after graduation. Basically through Whitman Direct Action, we had a chance to work with a lot of different non-profits, and we realized that there were a lot of problems with most of the models that we interacted with—either poor accountability to communities [or] bad technology choices. We just weren’t that stoked on what they were doing, and we realized if we wanted to do something, a really good place to start would be to just build our own organization. And luckily we also had experience of doing WDA projects, where we tried to do developments in India [and] in Central America, and learned from a lot of those mistakes, and that helped us feel pretty confident that we’d have the ability to build a good foundation for a non-profit. Pio: How were you able to create this organization within three years? It seems like a very short time to create such a successful organization. B: A lot of hard work. That’s the key. I think the most important thing is that a lot of our first year, which was 2009, was spent learning, trying different things, and actually figuring out what worked and what didn’t and getting an idea for how we wanted to build the organization. Semilla Nue-

va’s programs, like the really formal programs, didn’t begin until 2010. But I mean, really it just came down to a lot of really, really hard—oftentimes not paid—work by the people who put the organization together and the volunteers that supported it. Pio: Do you have any advice for students going into the non-profit field? B: Yeah, try it! That is the most important thing. If you’re interested in it, if you can get a summer internship, if you can find a program where you can volunteer or get a paid position, that is the most important thing. I think that the best thing we had running for us, Joseph and I, was that during our undergrad, pretty much every summer we had a chance to go try a new activist project and then come back and reflect on it. I think that before you have a decent idea of the field and what good non-profit work is, you have to go through that process for a number of years; where you go try stuff, you see where it goes well, where it doesn’t go well, you have to go through that process through a number of years. Whitman is a really good environment for that because you do have time off, and you also have time to come back and study. That’s the most important thing: just realizing that people go into development with this mindset that they can make this huge change right off the bat. And really, development is like any other career: It’s something that takes a long time to get good at and a long time to be able to reflect on and have a chance to actually hone those skills so that you can make a real difference. There’s going to be problems with agriculture, farmers, climate change or legal rights for indigenous people—all these things we’re going to have problems with for the next 50 or 60 years, and so it’s having the mindset that you need to take the time to do it well. And to care about it enough that you can actually spend a decent chunk of your time doing it.

Pio: What are the current goals of Semilla Nueva? B: We’re hoping to continue the work with the 10 communities that we have and getting our model to be more effective. I think what we’re looking for in the long run is getting to a point where we know that there is significant environmental, social and economic benefits to the work that we do. We want to know that, if a dollar gets donated to our organization, that that means many, many more dollars for the farmers that we partner with. And we also want to know that it’s making a real difference in the farmers’ lives. And so looking at that over the long term, we want to continue developing our model because it’s something that’s in progress right now. And secondly, we’re really looking at getting more Guatemalan staff and turning into a more Guatemalan organization. That’s something that you can only do over a long period of time because you have to learn how to manage people from a very different culture and a very different community, and actually raise enough money to pay them, and also find the right people. Pio: Is there anything else you want to mention that I didn’t necessarily ask? B: Yeah, I think that it’s really important that students at Whitman have a really good opportunity to learn about development and that getting your hands dirty is the best way to supplement all the theoretical learning that you are doing right now. There’s a lot of people I know who did study abroad and got to spend some time going through Spain or Africa or wherever, and partying with friends and taking courses, but some of the best ways you can really learn about another culture is actually living there in a non-academic setting and then reflecting on that later. So . . . I think Whitman should develop more opportunities for that.






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08 2011



WCF prepares for cultural exchange by SA M CH A PM A N Staff Reporter


ext summer, members of the Whitman Christian Fellowship will find themselves about as far from campus as a group could be. For six weeks, members will participate in a cultural exchange mission in China, coordinated by the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a nationwide evangelical organization that works to establish religious communities on highereducation campuses. The trip will give them the opportunity to attend a Chinese university, explore a Chinese city and discuss widely varied aspects of life with their hosts. Sarah Le is a Whitman graduate who now works with the Fellowship as a representative of InterVarsity. Le, who has previously participated in the same mission, says that the trip can be a transformative experience for both American students and their Chinese counterparts. “Each American student is assigned a Chinese college student that’s your partner for the duration of the trip,” Le said. “I lived with [my assigned college student], and I basically spent four weeks with her, getting to know her and learning about Chinese culture from her firsthand perspective.” InterVarsity works with a Chinese organization called China Partners, which seeks out Chinese students looking to host an American student. Le explains that, although China Partners knows that the exchange students are Christian, the mission is not to convert anybody—rather, it is to explore both nations’ curiosity about each other. “I got to experience Chinese culture through [my assigned college student’s] eyes. It was really powerful for me,” Le said. “Reciprocally, she and the other Chinese students got to speak English with native speakers for a month. None

Stan Walmer ‘13 and Sarah Schaefer ‘13, members of Whitman’s Christian Fellowship, sell Christmas cards at the Student Craft Fair on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to help raise funds for WCF members to participate in a summer cultural exchange program in China. Photo by Bergman

of us spoke Chinese, so it was really on them to hone their English skills, although by the end, most of us had picked up getting-aroundtown sort of phrases. I bargained with a Chinese vendor and got a good price that made him angry.” However, religion does enter into the proceedings, given that a Christian fellowship is sponsoring the mission. Le says that the Chinese students, living in an officially atheist country, are curious about all forms of spirituality. “The students asked questions about God, partly because they don’t talk about it much. It was an opportunity for another viewpoint,” she said. “There was a fair number who were culturally Buddhist.

We took a trip to a monastery with the students. It was really novel for them. They were really curious about all sorts of religious practice.” Whitman senior Miriam Garber, who leads the Fellowship’s “large group” worships on Monday nights, went on the mission trip last summer and studied for six weeks at Xi’an Petroleum University. “We had three hours of class every day. We got to share every aspect of culture you can imagine, whether it was history, politics, daily life, relationships, family experiences,” Garber said. “One of the biggest topics was what our worldview is. We talked about different worldviews we have that can pertain to religion—Bud-

dhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and atheism as well.” Junior Rachel Geiter, who is considering going on the mission trip for the first time, said that, though she initially attended Whitman to be around people with different views from her own, she was comforted to find other Christians on campus. “I would like to go to China. The times in my life when I’ve felt my only goal was to do what God was telling me to do have been the most blissful I’ve ever felt,” Geiter said. “I worked at a camp one summer for a month. I’m thinking this would be similar but harder because it’s in China.” Geiter acknowledges that

Project sparks interest from CIVIL RIGHTS, page 1


Ballerinos defy stereotypes by A LLISON WOR K Staff Reporter


or men looking to get moving on campus and earn credit simultaneously, there is a class that may be of interest: ballet. The co-ed beginning, intermediate and advanced classes generally enroll about 15 students per class, but the number of men in Beginning Ballet fluctuates every year. This semester, there are six men enrolled. “I have had semesters in the past where I’ve had this many men in my beginning ballet class,” said Idalee Hutson-Fish, adjunct instructor of dance. “The most I’ve ever had is six, which is what I have now. It’s quite a significant number when there are only fifteen in the class.” Some semesters, Hutson-Fish only has two or three men in a class. “One of the things that has hooked some of these guys is the partnering work that we did in the Whitman dance production last year,” said Hutson-Fish. The production, which was held in Cordiner Hall last spring, included choreography by a Whitman alumnus and featured a lot of partnering, which is the pairing of a male and female dancer. In partnering, men must focus on learning how to lift women and guide their movements throughout the choreography. “There was some extremely complex partnering that we did [last spring],” said HutsonFish. “That’s what inspired some of the guys to come in and try it.” With the co-ed ballet classes, both sexes are held to the same standards, including what constitutes appropriate attire for the class. According to Hutson-Fish, the men have to wear tights and “look like ballet dancers.” However, according to sophomore Maikor Pereira Azuaje, men become accustomed to it. “If you have reservations about showing yourself in tights or very tight costumes, you have to overcome those,” Pereira Azuaje said. According to Pereira Azuaje, men are often amused by how tim-

id they were at having to wear tights. “I think it becomes amusing for guys later on when they see how their legs change shape and when they see how powerful they are,” Pereira Azuaje said. The view of ballet in popular culture as a predominantly feminine endeavor may keep some men away, but ballet also has perceived masculine qualities. The strength associated with the dance is applicable to the well-known stereotypes of masculinity, while the movements require precision and care. “Ballet is very delicate. It’s precise,” said Pereira Azuaje. According to Pereira Azuaje, people are often afraid to bring up the sexuality issue. But ballet transcends stereotypes. “I think ballet’s not a statement about sexuality,” said Pereira Azuaje. “It’s a statement about your own longing or your own wish to communicate something. That’s when your body becomes your tool.” Sophomore Joel Senecal, who started Beginning Ballet this semester, echoed similar sentiments concerning the way ballet is viewed at Whitman. “At a school like Whitman, the typical views of masculinity are themselves challenged,” he said. “I have yet to hear any sort of negative response from any of my friends, and that’s just as I would expect. Most are supportive of my friends and me taking part in such a difficult extra-curricular.” The modern dance program has a fair number of men involved, but the ballet program has a lot of potential to grow. “It would be really fun if we could have a men’s ballet class and build a men’s program,” said Hutson-Fish. “You approach men differently than you approach women as far as training because you want to get into the more physical aspect.” If more men continue to be interested in pursuing ballet at Whitman, subsequent semesters could see a change in curriculum and classes based on interest. “I’m excited to see the future of the program,” said Hutson-Fish.

“We are so lucky to live in a town with three colleges, having Noah Leavitt and [Community Service Coordinator] Kelsie Butts who even think to call us. . . [is] something not all school districts have in their disposal,” she said. Because the trainings happen so close to finals week, the volunteer turnout was incredible. According to Butts, 40 students had signed up to participate in the program within 24 hours of announcing the project to the Whitman community. The overall number of volunteers exceeds the Student Engagement Center’s goal of 100. “The number of students that, at a very difficult time of the school year, decided to throw themselves into a brandnew project that didn’t exist two months ago was overwhelmingly positive. I think it tapped into a lot of things that make Whitman students who all of you are: people who want to be change agents,” Leavitt said. Whitman students listed a range of reasons for wanting to volunteer. A large number expressed a desire to go in to teaching careers after graduation. “A lot of people want to teach, but it’s not for everybody, so it’s important to find out early if teaching’s for you,” said Shuster, who first got interested in education by volunteering in a classroom her sophomore year of college. Other students who perhaps did not receive a good civil rights education are hoping to learn something new from the program as well. “I hated history when I was little . . . I think I would have loved a lesson plan like this [as a second-grader] because it includes storybooks and cool college kids,” said volunteer

and first-year Chelan Pauley. Each grade level has a specific lesson plan. Second-graders will learn about the Greensborough sit-ins, fifth-graders will learn about historic baseball player Jackie Robinson, and seventh-graders will learn about women’s work in civil rights. Many of the lessons include a book that Whitman students will read to students and then give to the teacher of the classroom for further use. In her presentation, Shuster emphasized that young students are able to deal with much more complex ideas than they are often given credit for. For some students, the idea of teaching in a classroom is daunting. “I haven’t been in a fifth grade classroom since fifth grade, which is intimidating, but I’m really excited [to teach] because our state has an F, and I’m really excited to be a part of this change in the education process,” said sophomore Nick Davies. Shuster said that a little anxiety is necessary for teaching. “If you’re not nervous, you’re not doing it right. That’s how I feel about teaching. Being nervous just means that you’re careful . . . Just like you shouldn’t be cavalier when you’re working with hydrochloric acid, neither should you be cavalier when you’re working with student’s brains. A little caution is appropriate,” said Shuster. Many students are excited about the project’s potential. “Since this is a pilot project, it’s hard to project the effects it will have. I can say that interaction between the school and the community is a positive thing. I hope it can be a model for the future,” said senior Jackson Bellaimey, who hopes to become a teacher. ADVERTISEMENT

her previous experiences with religious social justice missions, such as working with the homeless in Portland, give her some qualms about the mission. “I feel like we’re not necessarily meeting a primary need,” she said. “I feel more comfortable telling people about Jesus if I’m clothing them or feeding them.” Nonetheless, Geiter is excited to attend, with her greatest remaining question being how to raise the four to five thousand dollars needed for the trip. As an organization that is technically exclusionary—they request that their leaders be Christians—the group is ineligible for ASWC funding. “I’m going to send out letters with my picture in them,” Geiter said. “It’s hard to think of ways to fundraise, but I’ll think about that more as the end of the year gets closer. It’s expensive, but not compared to a vacation in China.” Garber hopes to return on this summer’s mission as a staff member, though she is also applying to teach English in China. She raised $4000 last year for her own trip and asserts that WCF has never solicited funds from wealthy donors. “Right now we are going to be part of the craft fair. We’re making Christmas cards,” Garber said. “It’s important that people can go if they want to go.” Le is confident that students eager to experience their religion in a new culture will find a way to raise the necessary funds. “A few years ago, some students did a big yard sale,” she said. “For the most part, the students will get money from family and friends who care about them going on the trip. They’ll have the chance to send letters to people they think might be excited about them going to China and ask if they’d help them go instead of giving them Christmas presents.”

WHITMAN STUDENT FEES AT WORK ASWC FINANCE MEETING 11/29 • Request of $450 from Travel & Student Development Fund by Clare Spatola-Knoll to make and publicly wear a meat dress. Request denied 2Y 3N 1A.

ASWC SENATE MEETING 12/4 • Beth Levin confirmed as new Editor-in-Chief of the Waiilatpu. • Request of $759 from Travel & Student Development Fund by Genevieve Jones, Julia Stone and Rachel Williams to attend Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Request passed unanimously. • Request of $1028 from Travel & Student Development Fund by Heather Domonoske for the Ski Bus. Request passed unanimously. • Appeal: Request of $100 from Travel & Student Development Fund by Clare Spatola-Knoll to make and publicly wear a meat dress. Request failed 3Y 15N 0A. • Vote on statement of ASWC support for Athlete Ally program. Vote passed 13Y 2N 3A. Statement reads, “. . . the Associated Students of Whitman College endorses the mission of Athlete Ally . . . the Associated Students of Whitman College supports the creation and funding of two Athlete Ally Ambassador positions. . . filled by one club athlete and one varsity athlete . . .” ADVERTISEMENT



08 2011



Snowbound love stories delight in ‘Bus Stop’ by CL A R A BA RTLET T Staff Reporter


onsider this your Greyhound ticket to thoroughly enjoyable procrastination. From Thursday, Dec. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 11, Harper Joy Theatre presents the romantic comedy “Bus Stop” by William Inge on the Alexander Stage, directed by Visiting Instructor of Theatre Katie Pearl. The Pioneer caught an early glimpse of the production at rehearsals. The first two acts, taking place on a brightly lit stage disguised as a simple diner, offered a romantic yet relatable feel to a modern audience. “[It’s about] love in different forms,” said senior theatre major Caitlin Goldie. “It follows a group of characters who are snowed in overnight at a diner in a small town in the 1950s. Each of these characters is at a different point in their lives and each has different views on what love is to them.” Fellow cast member senior David Otten elaborated. “As to me personally, the characters all display fears and

Caitlin Goldie ‘12 and Tory Davidson ‘15 rehearse a scene in ‘Bus Stop’ on Harper Joy’s Alexander Stage. The production, running from Thursday, Dec. 8, through Sunday, Dec. 11, depicts intersecting tales of love and memory in a small-town diner. Photo by Felt

thoughts about love and relationships that I have shared at one point or another,” said Otten. However, this is not your

typical romantic comedy. “Bus Stop at first glance appears to be a tame and quaint play taking place in a small town in the

middle of Kansas with few dramatic plot details,” said first-year Tori Davidson. “However, I think that’s what makes this play ap-

pealing. It is a snapshot of real life. This play teaches its audience and its actors that our daily lives do not scream ‘abstract’ or ‘revelational,’ but the moments that have the potential to impact us the most can occur in a snow-blocked diner in the early hours of the morning with complete strangers.” Almost all cast members agreed that the most challenging aspect of the play was relating to their characters. “I had to let go of my preconceived notions of the character,” said Otten. “I had to tap into aspects of myself that I have never brought to the stage or to my personal life. Overall, I just have to play Dr. Lyman, and that’s hard. It’s the toughest role I’ve ever had.” “The feeling of [the play] is like a tenderly made, flawed valentine—eight wonderfully drawn characters each using the others to work their way through what love means,” said director Katie Pearl. So, if the stress of finals begins to take its toll on you, drop on by the Alexander Stage for some laughs, some gasps and maybe some tears.

‘Airport!!!’ depicts profiling, frenzy in motion PIO PICKS

Dancers rehearse a sequence from ‘Airport!!!’ in Whitman’s Dance Studio (above). The production will run alongside two student-choreographed pieces. Photo by Axtell

by A LEX H AGEN Staff Reporter


ancers and choreographers alike are busily preparing for “Airport!!!,” a production scheduled to hit the stage of Cordiner Hall on Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10. The show, choreographed and directed by Adjunct Instruc-

tor of Dance Vicki Lloid, centers on movement in the setting of an airport. “Airport!!!” consists of many short segments, all of which draw on different situations involving luggage, security and other elements. Lloid was inspired by Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports, the first “Muzak” album, released in 1978. “He wrote music specifi-

cally to be played at airports,” said Lloid. “[‘Airport!!!’] really just came from that.” The production blends several different styles of dance together, including jazz and modern. Many of the sequences were developed through the dancers’ improvisation and collaboration with Lloid. In one segment, “Carry-On,” the ensemble portrays travelers and their luggage, depicting what might go wrong when we carry our things with us in airport terminals. Another portion, titled “International Incident,” deals with serious issues in a comic way. Though it concerns security measures like racial profiling, the segment also involves slapstick and other humor. “It’s a lighthearted look at the cultural biases that have emerged as a result of 9/11,” said junior Dave McGaughey. “Airport!!!” also includes two segments choreographed by junior Allyson Gibson and senior Rhya Milici. Gibson’s part consists of three intimate vignettes, which center on the theme of saying goodbye in various stages of life.

Milici explained that her segment acts as a bridge between “Airport!!!” and Gibson’s work. “It has that intimacy because it does have sort of a love duet running through it, but it has some more abstract ensemble movement, so it sort of marries those two pieces together,” said Milici. All three pieces contain universal themes and ideas that will allow audience members to easily connect to them. “This is a really accessible dance,” said McGaughey. “We all worked really hard, and all of our friends should come support us.” “Airport!!!” showcases the talents of many Whitman students, giving them a chance to show a different side of themselves. “This is a really cool opportunity to see people that you didn’t even know danced out there performing, because there are so many talents out there,” said Gibson. “I also think it’s just a cool chance for the Whitman community to see something they wouldn’t normally see—a lot of people aren’t necessarily exposed to dance all the time.”

Tommy Wiseau brings ‘The Room’ to Whitman by M A LLORY M A RTIN Staff Reporter


his past Saturday, Dec. 3, saw students lining up to get into the WEB-sponsored Q&A with famed flop director Tommy Wiseau and a screening of his magnum opus, “The Room.” The mood in the Maxey auditorium was rowdy and eager. Most of the viewers were first-timers, but that didn’t stop them from adding shout-outs throughout the film. “The Room” is watched much like the cult-classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which WEB screened earlier this semester. Audience members are encouraged to participate with the film by periodically throwing spoons at the screen, chanting at the Golden Gate Bridge and yelling out callbacks after key lines or whenever they feel like it. “This kind of thing, I think,

is great to get the school together,” said first-year Claire Skach after the screening. “It gives people a common, safe and funny experience to share.” “I enjoyed it immensely,” added first-year Theo Ciszewski. “It was a hilarious experience.” As fun as the movie was, it was glaringly apparent that director Tommy Wiseau’s appearance was what truly made the event. Senior Nick Michal, WEB’s cinema director and the coordinator for the event, expected nothing less. “Once I decided that I wanted to show the film, I knew I had to go for broke and try to get Tommy Wiseau to come for the screening,” said Michal of his efforts. “He’s the mastermind behind the movie—the director, producer, writer and star—and if a movie this ridiculous has so much of one person in it, it would have to be fascinating to have him talk about

the film and answer questions.” Wiseau spoke for a bit before the film, as well as taking photographs, signing various items and answering questions afterwards. It’s been said that he has always leaned towards mystery, and this evening was no different. Often choosing to answer students’ queries with long, unrelated and rambling answers, he would disclose little about himself or his film. He did, however, offer students interested in film or “anything else” some personal advice. “Art is you, me, they as a community. Anything can be art. Let go and have fun. Never call yourself an amateur, that puts you down and puts you in a category,” said Wiseau. The final question, which nobody seemed able to ask or answer, was whether Wiseau is aware that his “great art” is famous for being a laughingstock or whether he truly thinks he’s made a masterpiece.

‘Arthur Christmas’ delivers holiday cheer, charm by NATH A N FISHER Staff Reporter


ecember is officially here, so bring on the holiday movies! The animated flick “Arthur Christmas” brings home the Christmas cheer as elf battalions, invisible sleighs and, of course, Santa deliver over a billion presents to kids in just one night. Will “Arthur Christmas” finally answer how Santa and company accomplish this miraculous task?! “Arthur Christmas” follows the Claus family through the night before Christmas. Santa (Jim Broadbent) has upgraded his sleigh to a high tech, invisible, gadget-galore ride. Santa has passed off most of the delivering duties to millions of elflike marines who rappel from the monstrous sleigh, de-




livering gifts to the little kids. Steve (Hugh Laurie, sporting his true British accent), Santa’s oldest son, who will take the reins of Santa after his father retires next year, keeps

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the sleigh moving and has organized the North Pole electronically. Christmas has become a science with only a 0.00000173 percent error. When a child’s gift is missed, Steve chalks it up to an unforeseeable mistake, and who cares about just one kid? Enter Arthur (James McAvoy), Steve’s younger brother—he cares! Arthur is a good-hearted klutz who accidentally steps on things, can’t ride a bike without training wheels, and is afraid of everything. To keep Arthur out of the way, Santa puts him in charge of responding to the kids’ letters to Santa. Arthur is filled with Christmas spirit, and when the one child gets missed, Arthur rounds up Grandsanta (hilariously voiced by Bill Nighy), a stowaway elf named Bryony, a reindeer and the old sled to journey across the world to deliver the last Christmas present before sunrise. The animators of “Arthur Christmas” seemed to have a fun time making the film as they played with flying animals in Tanzania, made snowmen in the clouds, took the sleigh into orbit and delighted in the hilarious misadventures of Arthur and company. I thoroughly enjoyed “Arthur Christmas,” as the English actors make witty wise cracks and Grandsanta keeps trying to feed the elf to the lions, throw her in ocean or just simply leave her in Mexico. “Arthur Christmas” makes you want to keep believing in Santa.

Each Thursday, The Pioneer highlights several events happening on campus or in Walla Walla during the weekend. Here are this week’s picks: Live Music at Sinclair Estate Vineyards Mike Wagoner and Whitman’s own Senior Lecturer of Music Pete Crawford present an evening of live music in the Sinclair Estate Vineyards Tasting Room. No cover charge.

Friday, Dec. 9, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. 109 E. Main Street.

Lit Dance The Writing House invites you to dress up as your favorite literary character and come bust a move. Where else are you likely to see Frodo and Hamlet on the same dancefloor? Friday, Dec. 9, 9 p.m. - 12. a.m. Writing House.

Schwa Concert Escape those textbooks and come enjoy Schwa’s final concert of the semester! Old favorites as well as new music will be performed. Tuesday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Kimball Theatre.

Rachel Rice ‘14 (above) favors simplicity and comfort in her style. Photo by Beck

STYLE SPOTLIGHT Every week, The Pioneer searches out Whitties who bring an extra splash of fashion consciousness and sartorial daring to campus. This week’s Style Spotlight: sophomore theatre major Rachel Rice. Style Soundbites “The belt went to match my prom dress senior year—it was gold and cream. My shirt I actually got at a thrift store. I’m a Theta and our colors are black and gold, and I had no gold things at all, so I got it to be a Theta-themed thing and it was very cheap, like

five dollars. I got [the nose ring] at the beginning of my freshman year; it’s kind of a symbol for me. It was my new beginning, it was my going out to the world and how I wanted to present myself.” “During the winter, I have my boots; I love my boots. I mostly wear jeans, and I have kind of a color scheme—blues and browns. I usually pick out a shirt first, then pick out a coat that matches. I have a lot of trench coats and pea coats. I love them; they’re warm and comfortable.” “I don’t like being too fancy, but at the same time, I like looking nice, like I didn’t just throw on sweatpants. But the catch is, everything I wear is still comfortable.”


a place to eat

Monday-Saturday 10-7:30 Sunday 10-3:30 522-9991

You Whitman students and faculty are kinda smart so please create our next ad; maybe some snappy tagline that makes us sound better than we really are. If we use the ad, you get a free sandwich gift certificate and your name in the ad, which will make you semi-famous for a whole week and make all your friends envy your wit (and free sandwich). Email your ad idea to



08 2011





s the stands stood packed with sports fans this Dec. 2 and 3, shuffling and shouting for the first basketball conference home games against George Fox and Lewis & Clark, one man stood out from the crowd, swaying to the music on the community/visiting side of the bleachers and waving his gloved Mickey Mouse hands to the beat. Many Whitman students have enjoyed the enthusiasm of this happy spectator over the years, but very few know the man behind the motion. His name is Stephen Rubin and his affiliation with Whitman College began as one of the faculty. Rubin was hired on as a professor in Whitman’s Psychology Department in 1971, and he became not only a passionate educator, professor to our very own Basketball Assistant Coach Matt Airy, but a supportive faculty spectator at all Whitman athletic events. While he is now retired from teaching at Whitman, he still holds this second title proudly. “I’ve always enjoyed athletics [and] I root for lots of sports. I’ll go to swim meets, volleyball games, baseball games, basketball games . . . I love the drama of it,” said Rubin on his athletic attendance. Not just a fan, Rubin is also an athlete, having played sports in his youth and Intramural Basketball into his 60s. “I played sports. I grew up in

Staff Reporter


hen most Whitties think of IM, they think of flying dodge balls, floating discs and blue t-shirts. One team that may be often overlooked is IM Debate, which holds three official events per year. The debating students at the annual tournament, held Thursday, Dec. 1, in the Hunter Foyer, ranged from first-years to seniors, from new debaters to seasoned veterans. All participants received a free shirt, $10 and free food— enough to interest any college student. Each debate won by any individual was worth $10 prize money. IM debate at Whitman spans back to the 1950s and was reformed about 15 years ago. This program had a special importance to Former President Tom Cronin, who formed a separate budget to guarantee IM Debate’s survival at Whitman. There are three divisions in IM Debate: inexperienced, intermediate, and experienced. The event was run by Whitman’s Debate team, along with Professor of Forensics Jim Hanson. Each individual debate was judged by a member of the debate team. Students participated in the debates for a variety of reasons. “I took the 121 class, so I was required to do it, but debate is really fun. I love debating because it challenges my brain.” said firstyear Lydia Kautsky, who competed in the experienced division. “I always hear about how much fun debate is and how it helps people academically, and [this event] was totally relaxed and a great way to see if I liked it,” said first-year Sayda Morales, Morales, new to IM debate, reflected on her first experience. “[Debating] was a little stressful because I saw everyone else preparing and I don’t know any of the


Win 82-80 Win 98-40 Loss 53-54 Loss 54-64

Mering breaks 3 school records Jenne breaks 1 school record


Stephen Rubin, a former Whitman pyschology professor, sports one of his dozens of zany hats and energizes the student section with original dance moves during pauses. Fans have come to expect this crowd-rouser at every basketball game. Photo by Parrish

New York City, and that’s what you did when you weren’t doing homework. You played baseball, stop ball, hand ball, football. Most of it isn’t organized, you just go to the field and you play for eight or 10 hours a day—and that’s what I did.” Now, Rubin makes sure that, if he’s in town and Whitman is playing, he’s there to cheer on the men and women battling on the court. “[Whitman athletes have] devoted themselves to their sport.

rules, so my first one was really good to jump into and learn the format.” The low-key setting allowed for newcomers such as Morales to learn about debate and give it a shot. “The IM debate tournament is an awesome opportunity for students who aren’t usually active in the debate program to check it out,” said IM debate coordinator senior Olivia Kipper, a three-year veteran of IM debate. Debaters took part in two debates, each about 20 minutes long. Students flowed in and out of private rooms, returning always to the foyer, where they were greeted with a table full of snacks. The debaters were dressed casually; a few appeared nervous as they were assigned their debate opponents at the start of the event. One key component of debate is researching the topic. This year’s topic was focused on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and whether or not Palestine should be accepted as a sovereign nation. The debaters varied on their amount of research time. While some prepare for hours before the debate, others do minimal preparation. “I spent about 20 minutes reading it,” said Kautsky with a laugh. Debating requires participants to quickly formulate their ideas to counter opponents’ statements. First-year Collin Smith described debate as a game: “[It’s like] verbal chess, putting out a bunch of different moves and hoping that your opponent doesn’t respond.” “[IM debate] also provides a glimpse of what debate is like if you’re interested in joining the team,” said Kipper. “Whitman students should give IM debate a try because it is a low-commitment, fun activity to participate in once or twice a year for a few hours in the afternoon.” The next IM debate tournament will take place April 12th, 2012.

Tips from marathon rookie rior to my freshman year at Whitman, I had never done any running. Even threemile runs seemed like an unfeasible distance. The idea of running a marathon was simply crazy. But last month I ran the full, 26.2-mile Portland Marathon. Running a marathon, or even a half-marathon, is an incredibly rewarding experience. There is nothing that feels better than successfully running a race for

Loss 48-57


They’ll give it all, and they do. By and large, Whitman athletes will dive through a brick wall to get the ball and do the right thing,” said Rubin. When asked why he started bringing the props to games, he responded, “I think the lack of student involvement. At times the students just never show much enthusiasm. Here these guys and women are diving for the ball. This isn’t a library or a funeral, so I started screaming and yelling, and after a while I started

collecting things. Now it’s hard to stop doing it—it’s expected of me.” With over two-dozen costumes to choose from, Rubin runs many of the cheers during the energy lulls of time-outs or call disputes, shouting across the gym for a response from the students’ side. “After a game or two I’ll get hoarse,” said Rubin with a smile, “But I like the enthusiasm. I’m willing to step away from it if the students will pick it up.”

which you have been training for months—especially a race that you once thought was impossible to do. Last July, I decided to run the Portland Marathon. I trained for three months in Portland and Walla Walla. Having never run such a long distance before, I figured out the training process along the way. I looked for tips on the internet and spoke to some people who had experience.


Read the rest of this article on the web at

Men’s vs. Northwestern College Dec. 17 vs. Buena Vista University Dec. 20 vs. Wheaton College Dec. 21 vs. Calvin College Dec. 30 Women’s Kim Evanger Raney Memorial Classic Dec. 9-10, 6, 8 p.m.

Away Away Away Away Home


Men’s and Women’s vs. Linfield College Jan. 13 vs. Willamette University Jan. 14

Away Away

Whitman Weekly Factoid

Swimmers Katie Chapman ’13 and Karl Mering ’15 won NWC Athlete of the Week awards for the week of Nov. 28-Dec.2

Men’s basketball focuses on National DIII Championship by M A DDY BELL Staff Reporter


ith winter break only two weeks away, Whitman’s men’s basketball is just beginning the league portion of its season. With two battles against George Fox and Lewis & Clark on Dec. 2 and 3, another opportunity began for the Missionaries to achieve their ultimate goal: March, and making the National DIII Championship. “March is the whole point of pretty much any level of basketball,” said junior forward Ryan Gilkey. “Everyone’s season ends in February, but playoffs [and the National Championship] are in March. In the past 30 years Whitman hasn’t been—and we didn’t even have a winning record since last year, so it’s another reminder. You go in each game with the goal of winning, but then you stack up all those games, and the whole goal is making it to March.” In order to get the National Championship, the team has to first put in a whole season’s worth of work, including staying on campus during winter break. When everyone else takes the month off of school, both of Whitman’s basketball teams are on campus— not writing papers or reading textbooks, but hitting the hardwood in the gym and on the court. “You wake up, go to practice, maybe a film session, weights, then practice in the afternoon. Mentally it’s a lot less stressful because you can take your time with everything outside of practice and then focus on being there,” said Gilkey. “On campus, we still have [our teammates], but going outside, it’s kind of a shock. One, it’s like four degrees out, and two, there’s no one around. We only get four or five days off for break,

LuQuam Thompson ‘13 (left) and Josh Duckworth ‘14 drive the ball down the court and net a shot in a win against the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs earlier this season. Photos by Axtell

so it’s like a rush to make sure to see your friends and family, but [being with the team on campus] brings us together more,” said sophomore guard Jordon Dickson. The culture of Whitman men’s basketball is one of hard work and determination, as evidenced by their epic win at the buzzer against Lewis & Clark this past Saturday night, and it is a culture they cultivate with the new ADVERTISEMENT

Contributing Reporter

Men’s vs. George Fox University Dec. 2 vs. Lewis & Clark College Dec. 3 vs. Walla Walla University Dec. 6 Women’s vs. George Fox University Dec. 2 vs. Lewis & Clark College Dec. 3

Men’s Husky Invitational Dec. 2-4 Women’s Husky Invitational Dec. 2-4

Yonas Fikak ‘12 and Woodrow Jacobson ‘15 face off in the IM debate tournament on Thursday, Dec. 1. Debater John-Henry Heckendorn ’12 judges. Photo by Li




Whitties tackle conflict in Middle East, score big during IM Debate by KY LE HOW E


members they bring to the team. “We demand out of [the freshmen] that they bring it every practice,” said Assistant Coach and alumnus Justin Artis ’11. “When they come in and see us diving after every ball, it really sets the tone.”


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08 2011



What’s the price of unpaid student


Internships can provide valuable experience when trying to get a job in the “real world.” Over the summer, countless Whitman students explore internships in different fields, often having an experience they did not expect. Some critics of student internships say these positions often focus on basic administrative tasks rather than the acquisition of skills related to their career goals. However, many Whitties report that these trends don’t always apply. This week Feature discusses skepticism concerning unpaid internships.

Whitman interns discover value, growth in vocational experiences Staff Reporter


ately there has been debate over the value of internships—are they really excellent practice for the “real world,” or are they simply glorified coffee-making lessons? Whitman students report that, for the most part, their internships have been valuable and have helped further their career goals. Each spring, Whitman offers grants for selected students who plan to complete an unpaid summer internship. This grant allows students to take advantage of opportunities that they might have otherwise been forced to pass up due to financial issues. Some of last year’s recipients described their experiences. “For any type of intership, I feel the experience is based off of what you make of it, that is, how much effort you put into it, exploring and taking advantage of the opportunities available,” said junior Kendra Klag. Working with Whitman Professor of Biology Dan Vernon, she researched plant genetics to supplement her BBMB major. “KUNC, amazingly, let me pitch, report, transcribe, write, edit, and produce three of my very own stories, which were subsequently broadcast across their entire network,” said junior William Witwer of his radio

SEC offers tips, advice to students seeking unpaid summer internships by SA NDR A M ATSEVILO Staff Reporter


ccording to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, “an internship is a legitimate learning experience benefiting the student and not simply an operational work experience that just happens to be conducted by a student.” This is the standard to which Whitman adheres to when supporting student internships and considering which ones to fund through the Whitman Internship Grant. The thought of applying for an internship may make many people hesitant, considering that they are often unpaid and require that you complete a significant amount of questionable work. However, Whitman tries to compensate for this not only by providing funding for students who participate in internships, but also by assisting them in researching which internships will be valuable for them. “Just because something is called an internship doesn’t mean it’s going to be a highvalue, meaningful opportunity that allows the person who does it to have a really powerful

experience” said Assistant Dean for Student Engagement Noah Leavitt. “The internship experiences where people wind up doing a lot of busy work . . . those are often situations where the person hasn’t done that background research and hasn’t had the chance to interview a potential supervisor or go to the organization and check it out to see what they do.” While Whitman tries to make sure that its students are placed in internships with potential for growth and learning, this cannot always be the case for every student. In situations where students find themselves unsatisfied with their internships or as though their free or underpaid labor is being taken advantage of, Leavitt recommends that students take action and try to turn the experience around. “Always go back to the position description for the internship, and look at that, and see the areas where the student is not being used or those particular responsibilities are not being asked to be done, and then going to the supervisor and saying, ‘Look, this is what I signed on for and I’d really love to have the opportunity to

do these things that looked like they were going to be a part of my summer,’” said Leavitt. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most types of internships are illegal. Time Magazine explains that in order for an internship to be legal, it must be an actual learning experience for the student and not simply a way for the company to get a job done for free. Unfortunately, internships where students are asked to do basic administrative tasks are still extremely common. This is because the U.S. Department of Labor has said that “it’s not at the top of [its] priority list” and that it is incapable of fighting the problem. Hence, Whitman encourages students to consult with the Student Engagement Center about their internship plans as a way to help them feel confident that their work will be significant and meaningful to them. The Student Engagement Center recommends that, if a student would like to be an intern for the summer of 2012, they should begin researching their ideas over winter break and complete their application for the Whitman Internship Grant over spring break.

Paul Apostolidis, Professor of Politics, & Paul Chair of Political Science


I am concerned that the exciting and dedicated forms of political involvement by many Whitman students are being trivialized and ignored.


Web-Exclusive: Continuing the political discussion

Full interview online at

internship in Greeley, Colorado. He was very satisfied with his experience, which confirmed his interest in this type of profession. He was not the only Whitman student to gain valuable skills from a radio internship. “I definitely learned a lot of useful skills such as how to write web and radio copy and also how to work some of the editing software. In addition, since a large part of my duties involved sifting through their old interview archives, I gained a lot of familiarity with the Seattle-area classical music scene as some names started to come up over and over again,” said senior Carrie Sloane regarding her time at Seattle’s KING FM. She emphasized that this experience really helped her pursue her interest in teaching and playing the cello. Internships have also been a great way to supplement schoolwork for Whitman students. “My internship provided me with the opportunity to learn hands-on how all the facts and figures in my science textbooks are created. Doing research also allowed me to really use what I have learned in the classroom setting and has helped me build a greater understanding of the scientific process,” said Klag. Overall, it seems Whitman students have been pretty lucky with their summer internships, but there are some exceptions. “For unpaid internships, you

have to know that you may not be a top priority and that you might have to do mundane things like sort mail,” said senior Cindy Chen. Working at a law firm, she didn’t feel as if she learned as much about law itself as she had initially expected. “It’s better to have lower expectations for what you can accomplish at your internship; it’s all about how much effort you put in to learn as much as you can.” Even though she had a



For any type of internship, I feel the experience is based off of what you make of it. Kendra Klag, '13

different experience than she had hoped, the internship still gave her an idea of what the law profession is like on a day-to-day scale. While Chen wasn’t completely satisfied with her work, others found great value in their summer internships. “The amount of freedom to do real, meaningful work was pretty incredible and will absolutely help me towards a career in radio journalism/ writing/whatever it is I eventually decide to do,” said Witwer.

OPINION 7 Modern shooters should focus on story PAGE


08 2011


Fair warning: This column contains graphic spoilers for the “Modern Warfare” series and “Battlefield 3.”


t’s the holiday season, and that means there’s a bumper crop of video games pouring out of development houses and vying for our screen time. Two of the biggest releases this year are “Battlefield 3” and “Modern Warfare 3,” a pair of photorealistic first-person shooters that put you behind the eyes of soldiers. Each game has sold millions of copies, raking in even more millions of dollars for their developers and publishers. They’re popular, sure, but the developers are taking the wrong lessons from their popularity. The problem isn’t that “Battlefield 3” and “Modern Warfare 3” are successful, it’s that the gaming industry sees them as successes. The evolution of the “Modern Warfare” series’s single-player campaign is a perfect example. In the original “Modern Warfare,” the player died a gruesome death at the hands of a nuclear weapon. It was an unexpected turn that received a lot of positive press. The lesson that the developers took away from that seems to be that what

every MW game needs is a shocking, graphic moment. In “Modern Warfare 2,” players were treated to a level that involved being complicit in the massacre of civilians, and “Modern Warfare 3” follows that up with a short level in which you videotape your own family being blown apart by a truck bomb. From those two examples, it seems like the message that Infinity Ward, the game’s developer, took away from the critical praise of “Modern Warfare”’s nuke sequence is that more shocking content is good. But that’s exactly the wrong message to take. Shocking in and of itself is not a useful goal. The reason why having the player character get nuked was so meaningful was that we had an opportunity to bond with the character. The truck bomb sequence in “Modern Warfare 3” was the exact opposite. The player is plunked down in the role of some tourist we have never met, and the goal of the scene is immediately telegraphed. The player has just finished stopping one truck bomb from going off, but knows that there are another two in London. The entire scene is devoid of emotional value: You’re supposed to care about your “family” getting killed, but as a player, there’s no sense of a relationship. But the real problem with both games is their willingness to cut corners in single-player while focusing on multiplayer. “Battlefield” is the most egregious offender here, with its sloppily written and brutally short single-player campaign. It begins with the player being dropped onto a subway train and fighting his way through a group of enemies be-

Political Cartoon by Kelly Douglas


fore flashing back to an interrogation with two of the thickest intelligence agents that have ever existed in a fictional universe. The player is given no grounding in the basic trappings of the plot or the world in which these characters exist. The entire story is told in a series of flash-

backs that try to encourage a sense of suspense by slowly revealing the plot, but they fall horribly short, instead preventing any understanding of the plot as a whole by the player until very late in the game. They are, in short, the video game equivalent of Michael Bay

films: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Unfortunately, they’re also the paragons of commercial success in gaming. If more games start following the model of “Modern Warfare” rather than “Skyrim,” “Bioshock” or “HalfLife,” we’re in a heap of trouble.

‘Communist China’ does not follow strict notion of communism; has capitalist values PHILIP CHENG First-year


hen people think of China, one of the things that pops into their heads is communism. In America, there is uneasiness when we hear the word communism. Though the feeling is not as pronounced as in the Cold War Era, it still exists in trace amounts. A popular notion of communism envisions people living a bare existence and working and sacrificing for the sake of a communist (and possibly evil) government. This is true for some communist societies, like North Korea, where people can barely get food or running water.

Communist China, however, gives us a different picture. With a capitalist economy and a communist government, China isn’t strictly communist. In a way, “communist China” is a mislabel. The ideas of communism stem from Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto.” In it, he says that the goal of communism is to create a better society by eliminating capitalism. So China’s government is only communist in name. A communist government with a capitalist economy violates Marx’s definition of communism. If China isn’t a communist country, what kind of place is it? It’s much like America. When you look through a big Chinese city, it might look like an American one. It’s a sprawling metropolis with stores, eateries and private businesses. The businesses and stores are no longer run by the state; they are run by Chinese capitalists. When we look at how the Chinese deal with government, we see even more similarities between China and America. In PHOTO BY PARRISH

! s y a d i ol

H y p p a H

from The Pioneer

Voices from the Community

America we have the right to participate in our government, but we often don’t do that. Several years ago, there was a poll that showed that more people voted in American Idol than in the presidential election. In America, we have the right to challenge our government, but often don’t do it. If the Chinese could challenge their government, would they? Of course there are exceptions in both China and in America, but by and large, those who protest constitute a small minority. Chinese and Americans who don’t protest might disagree with what the government does, but they don’t always act on their feelings because they are content with their lives. Their needs are met and they are free to indulge in consumerism. Capitalism and consumerism are what make China similar to America. They satisfy our desire for material goods and drive trends in popular culture. After China opened up to the West during the Nixon administration, the Chinese were gradually exposed to more and more Western consumer goods. Capitalism and material goods have enticed Chinese people to participate in a consumer lifestyle in which people buy trendy clothes and wait in line for iPhones and iPods. This consumer lifestyle is driven by trends in the West. A lot of our trends later become their trends. When you go to Taiwan or China, you will hear people dancing to tunes that were big in America several years prior. When you eat in China, the most popular fast food is KFC. In the future, as China continues to develop, popular culture and culture in general will seem more and more like America’s. China has become less and less alienated from the West and is now America’s biggest trading partner. Differences will blur and eventually the only thing that will separate us from them will be, assuming we don’t speak Chinese, a language barrier.

We’re hiring!

The Pioneer is now accepting applications for next semester.

What is one thing you would change about Whitman? Poll by Bernstein








“I would like to see more music integrated into the social life at Whitman. In general, I wish we would embrace this interdisciplinary nature of Whitman academics in our social and cultural interactions.”

“I wish all of the food waste and money from extra swipes could go to a good cause . . . homeless [people] or people in need.”

“Cultural diversity. Having been exposed to a wide range of cultures and races in a United World College, I value having a multi-cultural community.”

“If I would would change one thing at Whitman, I would change the tuition costs. I really don’t see where all the money we are spending to go to this school, as amazing as it is, is going! I would be interested to see a comprehensive budget of Whitman’s finances.”

BACKPAGE 8 Bring holiday jubilation to finals week PAGE


08 2011

Final exams don’t have to be dreary and dull! With the help of the Backpage, you can make them exciting and just plain merry—by bringing Christmas to your finals! Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Put jingle bells on the tips of your shoes and skip merrily into every exam. 2. Bring tinsel, fake snow and a tiny Christmas tree and use them to decorate your test space. 3. Sharpen the end of a candy cane and use it as a writing utensil. Chocolate ink has never been more practical— or delicious. 4. Wait for it to get really quiet, then say in a normal voice, “What the cow IS a sugarplum, anyway?” 5. Order a dancing Christmas-gram for one lucky someone in your class. 6. Sing a different Christmas carol every time you start a new question. (“OOP, I’m pretty sure I mangled number four pretty badly, but here I go, moving onto number five—JOY TO THE WORLD . . .”) 7. Fold the test into a triangle, fold it again, and cut out little designs with a pair of scissors. Unfold it, throw it in the air, shout, “IT’S SNOWING,” and leave. 8. When handing the finished test to your professor, suddenly sit on his/her lap and say, “What I want for Christmas is . . . a Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock! Make it happen, big guy!” 9. Bring calculator-shaped Christmas cookies to your math class, atom-shaped ones to your chemistry class, brain-shaped ones to your psych class, etc. 10. When leaving the examination room, wave at everyone still taking the test and shout, “HO HO HO, MEEEEEERRY CHRISTMAS!” Good luck on your exams, and remember: Santa didn’t even GO to college, and look where he ended up!

Your Finals Essay Vocab Guide


ith finals just around the corner, it is always helpful to try and impress your professors one last time. Here, at your disposal, is a list of words/phrases that can possibly increase your grade by up to five percent if used correctly. Whether it’s in a class discussion, oral presentation or lab report, these words are guaranteed to help. The examples below are shown in the context of giving a presentation on the functionality of snails. On the left-hand side are props points awarded if you can seamlessly or casually slip in these words. (+10 bonus points if you speak in a magniloquent British accent when using the following words.) Point Value 3 pts.

Word Venerable

How to use it The male snail has a venerable work ethic, so as to support his family.



Although most experts agree that flying snails are fictitious, recent photographs from the Amazon Basin that depict a winged snail in flight have many secondguessing.



If trapped, the snail will stare at its predator with its insidious, bright, orb-like eyes until the threat has subsided.



Some argue that if snails were ubiquitous, world peace would reign.



Snails can be wild and flaccid creatures when provoked.



Snails’ flatulencies are often described as being fetid or malodorous.



Although media has popularized the notion that all snails are as cute as the renowned “Marcel the Shell,” the truth is that most snails deteriorate into a decrepit and dilapidated mess shortly after they are born.


Fornicate/defecate Every snail culture respects elders, and adolescent snails are taught from a young age not to fornicate or defecate in the presence of a revered septuagenarian.



The proboscis of a snail is nonexistent, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for Steve Carell. (Bonus points for using Steve Carell’s name).



Until recently most experts believed that a snail’s natural habitat was the Serengeti, but the fact that a contingent of snails has mysteriously flocked and resettled in friendly suburban culs-de-sac around the world has many questioning where they truly thrive.



Like human males, most male snails do not enjoy post-coitus cuddling. ADVERTISEMENT


Holiday Techie Tips

Q: DEAR TECHIE, I have a problem. My fingers can’t seem to stop touching the glossy screen of my brand-spanking-new, fresh iPhone 4. It’s all I can do to break my gaze away from my new baby for any reason whatsoever. How can I fix this? A: DEAR OBSESSED WITH MATERIAL OBJECTS, Wow, can you say first world problems? Look, dude, just get over the glamour of being able to check Facebook every two seconds and frantically gaze over your emails. Maybe if you keep in mind that you look like a douchebag staring down at some technology, you will be able to break your habit. Q: DEAR TECHIE, My cell phone only functions if it’s plugged into the wall. This wouldn’t be a problem, except it essentially makes my cell phone a landline, losing all its portable capabilities. How do I cure my phone of this malady? A: DEAR STONE AGE TECHNOLOGY USER, Well, looks like you are gonna have to stick around the house for a while. Might as well catch up on your shows while you text all your friends who are going out to see how much fun they are having. Alternatively, be bold and go out without your phone! However, under these circumstances, you will have to employ a buddy system. Q: DEAR TECHIE, I love taking photos, but for some reason, the zoom button is stuck. Therefore I can only set the frame to be 10x larger than life. What can I do in this dire circumstance? A: DEAR HOMIE WITH PATHETIC CAMERA, Well, as I like to say, there is no photo more beautiful than one that is up close and personal of someone’s face. Gotta have that face all up in your face when you’re lookin’ at it. Hello, individual portraits! Or, if you really want to get a group shot or landscape view, no worries. All you have to do is walk about 100 feet back before taking the pic. A warning, though: an upclose picture of genitalia can make testicles look like desert landscapes. Q: DEAR TECHIE, Christmas is coming up, and the battery life on my laptop computer sucks. Is it bad to ask for a battery for Christmas from my parents? Or should I get a whole new computer? A: DEAR CHRISTMAS MIRACLE, Odds are, your computer is screwed. So what you should do is ask your parents for the full package: computer, surround-sound speakers, HD screen hookup, the works. Make them feel really bad for giving you a computer that had a battery that was doomed to fail—this was a terrible thing and you don’t know what you are going to do with yourself. Do this, and the tech world is your oyster.

Whitman Pioneer Fall 2011 Issue 13  

The Dec. 8 issue

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