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Issue 2 | September 19, 2013 | Whitman news since 1896

BREAKING AWAY Women’s soccer off to best start since 2002

Senior co-captain MacKenzie Hughes scans the field with a Whitworth defender in pursuit. The Missionaries defeated the Pirates 2-0 at the Whitman Fields on Sept. 13, but fell 2-0 at Whitworth on Sunday. Photo by Bowersox

by COLE ANDERSON Staff Reporter


his time last year, the Whitman women’s soccer team had a 1-4 record and was heading into a conference season that would prove to be subpar by their standards. The team would eventually end up with a lackluster 5-11-2 record and a season that didn’t go quite as planned. This season the Missionaries look like a completely different team. They are off to their best start in over a decade, going 5-1. They have already amassed 14 goals for and only three against. In its first five games, the team already matched its win total from last season.

“We’ve come into this preseason and season with a much different mentality. We’re more competitive and the girls are playing hard day in and day out,” said Head Coach Heather Cato. Senior team captain MacKenzie Hughes echoed Cato’s sentiments, indicating that players are leaving all they have on the field. “I think our overall team mentality is a lot healthier and we’re going into games expecting to win this year, and it’s made a big different for the outcome of those games,” said Hughes. The team’s new mindset has been a large part of why they have gotten off to such a strong start this season.

“I think this season has just been a progression of the last couple of seasons realizing that we were good and competitive. We just weren’t finishing off games, and the difference was not our ability on the field, but our mentality on the field. [The team] changed that in the spring and kept that going into the fall,” said Cato. Each spring the team’s practices are run by the captains, not the coaches. These practices can play a large role in how a team comes into the summer and ultimately the start of its season. The captains for this year held the team to a high standard during the spring season, and over the summer all the players were committed to their sum-

mer training regimen so that coming back in August, everyone was ready to get off to a great start. “We had three practices per week this past spring, which was more than usual for this team, and I think that helped everyone’s touch. And once we started back with Cato we were already much more prepared,” said Hughes. The preseason summer training was also longer this year than in past years, which gave the team a large amount of time to bond and get closer. Mini golfing and an “Amazing Race”-style relay were among the bonding activities during preseason. With seven first-years and one transfer sophomore joining the team, getting to know the new

Missionaries was especially important for the team’s chemistry. “They’re all coming out every day and pushing the returners which is a good thing for us,” said Cato of this year’s first-years. “It’s good as a coach to have to decide if you’re playing a freshman versus a junior or a senior, and they’ve made us have to think about that as a coaching staff.” Another addition to the team this year is the adoption of a few more specific team goals. Winning the Northwest Conference is at the top of the list, but the team has made other goals to strive for on the way to that ultimate goal of winning conference. see SOCCER, page 5

Students choose downtown as farmers market splits by Samantha Grainger-Shuba Staff Reporter

T Lopez shared three works describing his trip to Antarctica and other journeys. He emphasized the importance of each student’s voice in producing change. Photos by McCormick

Finding a voice amidst melting ice caps Acclaimed writer Barry Lopez shares stories with Whitman by Hannah Bartman Staff Reporter


t’s wicked bad out there,” said writer Barry Lopez last Thursday night, Sept. 12, in Maxey Auditorium. “All people are coming into one fate because of climate change and the melting of ice caps. We know that stuff is there, but as students you need to do your work, and when you’re ready you can step into someplace and say, ‘I’m here, I’m ready.’ Make yourself really good so you can help the rest of us that are falling now.” Acclaimed novelist and nature writer Barry Lopez’s humble and honest outspokenness regarding education and activism impressed the audience that filled Maxey Auditorium. “I really like that Lopez said that when we’re ready, we can fix [climate changes issues], but now we need to go and live a full life and do what we want to do before getting into problems that are not directly caused by us,” said sophomore Susie Krikava. Lopez came to Whitman as part of the Visiting Writers Read-

ing Series. Not only has he written for magazines and newspapers such as The New York Times, National Geographic and Harper’s, he has also won such prestigious awards as The National Book Award and the Guggenheim Fellowship. The San Francisco Chronicle heralded him as “the nation’s premier nature writer.” Lopez has traveled to over 70 countries and collaborated with key environmental activists and writers, including Bill McKibben, E.O. Wilson, Barbara Kingsolver and Jon Krakau. During his two-hour lecture and discussion at Whitman, Lopez shared his poignant reflections on an individual’s duty towards humanity, the environment and (most importantly) themselves. “I really like his philosophy of life and his discussion of our role as people,” said junior Emma Woodworth. During his speech, Lopez read three of his essays: “On the Border,” an essay published in The Georgia Review; “The Trail,” a fiction piece written for Bill McKibben’s 350 campaign; and “Six Thousand Lessons,” a short essay

published in the Kyoto Journal. His notable contributions to the arts and sciences brought a large crowd of excited professors, students and Walla Walla residents to his talk. “It seems to me that here in the rural northwest, many of us strive to be highly aware of our connections with the land, and at Whitman there’s a desire to embrace many of the humanitarian and environmental concerns Lopez has explored in brilliant fiction and nonfiction throughout his life,” said English Professor Katrina Roberts, who coordinated the event. In addressing an individual’s responsibility towards the environment, Lopez stressed the importance of finding one’s own voice. He posed the question “What is the way in which I am going to speak?” and emphasized the importance that each person’s voice plays in changing the world on a macro level. His reflections about his own approach to writing stressed his use of his voice to inspire the thoughts and values of his readers. “I want to be the reader’s companion more than their author-

ity,” said Lopez. “I want to bring the ordinary back to the extraordinary. I want to ensure that they stay awake in a world like ours, when so many people are really terrified and have checked out.” While the audience generally appreciated Lopez’s thoughts on environmentalism and human morality, some students also held reservations about his lecture style, considering his involvement with the Visiting Writers Series. “I wanted to hear more about natural writing and writing about the earth,” said sophomore Catherine Bayer. “I felt like he focused too much on environmental issues and less on his craft.” With a world of experience and a deep understanding of human relations and communication, Lopez left his audience of aspiring intellectuals with an uplifting message. “We depend on you not to do something tomorrow, but we depend on you to become something. Do not allow your conscious need any sentiment to think that there’s something wrong with you,” said Lopez. “Take care of each other and be full.”

he start of 2013 marked the split of the Walla Walla Farmers Market. On Jan. 18, the Walla Walla Valley Farmers Market Association (WWVFMA) announced that they would open their 2013 season at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds, instead of the usual spot behind City Hall. The city of Walla Walla decided not to renew the WWVFMA’s contract for their usual location. Instead, the city granted the space to the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, intending to hand the market off to them. Personality clashes, disputes and other interpersonal problems caused tension for the 2012 season, to say the least. Farmers clashed with the new contract holders, causing a group of farmers to leave and start their own market. For 2013, things are different: There are two farmers markets in Walla Walla. The market behind City Hall is now called the “Downtown Walla Walla Farmers Market” and is run by the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation. That market is separate from the “Walla Walla Valley Farmers Market,” an independent market located at the Fairgrounds. The 2013 farmers market season, which lasts from May to October, has been a cautious test run of the compromise of the two markets. “I am very happy with the way that the [downtown] market has gone this year,” said produce farmer John Zerba. “There was a little bit [of drama] to start with. But it’s all taken care of.” Cheryl Thyken, manager of the Downtown Walla Walla Farmers Market, referred to the general nervousness within the farmers of the Downtown Market. “I think they were concerned what was going to happen, how it was going to feel when we were here,” said Thyken. Thyken was hired by the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation to organize and run the market after the split happened. Though see FARMERS MARKET, page 3





19 2013

English Professor Scott Elliot began writing “Temple Grove” in 2000; the book was published in May 2013. He gave a reading of the book at the Walla Walla Public Library Wednesday, Sept. 18. Photos by Barton

English professor’s latest novel inspired by love of Pacific Northwest by RIVER STERNE Staff Reporter


“lifelong love affair with the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state” was the inspiration behind English Professor Scott Elliott’s new novel “Temple Grove.” Set in the Olympic National Park on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, “Temple Grove” follows a young native man and his struggle to protect the old growth in the park from the local loggers. Elliott gave a reading of his novel, which was released in May of this year, at the Walla Walla Public Library on Sept. 18. Elliott, who has worked on the book since 2000, was inspired by the creative fiction written by his Whitman students as well as his love of the

Olympic Peninsula. According to Elliott, this adoration is a result of years spent visiting his grandparents in Port Townshend, Wash. and his thorough exploration of the area. “All the little sensual experiences that equal and comprise the place were ready to find their way into a narrative,” said Elliott. This is Elliott’s second novel, following his 2003 title “Coiled in the Heart.” The two are vastly different, due to the fact that the prior is set in the American Southeast, while the new novel portrays the Pacific Northwest way of life, but Elliott asserts that they share critical elements. “[Temple Grove] is in a completely different setting, but equally as concerned with story arising from a place,” said Elliott. Elliott, a writer of both short stories and novels, believes him-

self more suited to novel writing. “Sometimes when I attempt to paint on the smaller canvas of the short story with minute deft strokes, I find my whole arm moving in grand sweeping strokes, the scope widening out to include this and this and also this, rather than zeroing in on a single, revelatory moment,” said Elliott. One goal of Elliott’s when writing “Temple Grove” was to create a story reminiscent of classic Greek tales. “I got the idea of a young environmental activist who would want to defend some trees that were either in or outside the park,” said Elliott. “And a story that would have mythic undertones and that would read almost like a Greek tragedy, with roles characters are playing in broad strokes.” At Elliott’s reading of the novel in the Walla Walla Public Li-

brary, Walla Walla resident Janene Michaealis spoke to the power of the books fantastical elements. “I thought it was cool at the end how he brought in magical realism,” said Michaealis. “There’s a primal way it goes back into the earth as it was and how it is presented as a character in the story.” As a professor and a writer, Elliott is forced to divide his time between fields. “There’s obviously some tension between the two because they both take so much time and so much concentration. There’s a kind of selflessness required in teaching that requires that you look at someone else’s work and really pay attention to it,” said Elliott. “I think of myself as a writer and teacher both equally.” According to Elliott, Whitman students contribute to his happy medium between the two trades.

The intellectual level and desire to learn from those enrolled in his fiction classes pushes Elliott to be as talented a writer as possible while also augmenting his teaching skills. “I’ve asked myself from time to time ‘Am I more a teacher now than a writer?’” said Elliott. “I think the quality of student writers’ work here at Whitman in the classes I teach, and the degree to which they’re able to engage in deep questions of craft early on ensures I keep a hand in those questions more than I would if the students weren’t as capable.” An important part of maintaining his teaching-writing balance is making sure his students are excited to learn from him. “Teaching puts good pressure on me to keep writing fiction at the highest level, so when I’m talking about fiction in class I don’t feel like a fraud or a charlatan.”

Faculty continue to tinker with Encounters: Transformations syllabus by Lachlan Johnson Staff Reporter


very student at Whitman takes Encounters, but a student’s actual experience can vary greatly depending on their professor and year. This fall, first-year and transfer students will explore the latest incarnation of the course, which focuses on the theme of “Transformations.” The Encounters: Transformations syllabus, which was first used last year, has undergone some changes based on feedback from Encounters professors. However, while the new syllabus has addressed several concerns commonly raised by students, there remains no direct avenue for students to provide feedback on the course. All of the changes to the syllabus were made in response to feedback from Encounters faculty. While professors can share feedback from students with the Encounters Curriculum Subcommittee (ECS), students have no way to express direct input on the course, as course evaluations at the end of the semester focus on individual professors. While the college solicited some general feedback , this feedback went to the administration rather than the ECS. During finals week last spring, current sophomore Ali Holmes distributed an online survey about the Encounters curriculum, to which 58 students, roughly 15 percent of the first-years at the time, responded. “My philosophy going into this isn’t that I didn’t like [Encounters], because I really did. There were just certain problems that I thought could be addressed, and that it would be helpful for them to have some direct student feedback,” said Holmes. Holmes’ survey found that students generally want there to be

fewer texts read in favor of more in-depth analysis of those that remain. This issue has been addressed in this year’s new syllabus. The survey also found that students wish Encounters sections were more consistent in the amount of work assigned. As things are, professors must assign a minimum number of pages of written work over the semester, but as there is no maximum number of pages, the amount of written work assigned varies widely from section to section. Students who did the survey also expressed concerns about the minimal emphasis placed on the historical and social context in which each text was written. Those who took the survey responded strongly in favor of there being some formal means to submit feedback on the actual content of the Encounters curriculum. Holmes plans to share the findings of her survey with Associate Professor of English Gaurav Majumdar, who begun his term as director of Encounters at the start of this fall semester. The director of Encounters is chosen by President George Bridges and Provost and Dean of Faculty Timothy Kaufman-Osborn to serve a two-year term leading the ECS. The director of Encounters designs the syllabus should the faculty decide to change the theme of the course, and makes revisions to the curriculum at the end of each academic year. Every three years, the entire faculty vote on whether to retain the current Encounters theme or adopt a new theme proposed by one or two professors. Majumdar and Associate Professor of Foreign Language and Literature Zahi Zalloua proposed the current theme, Transformations, in the spring of 2011. “We considered what themes would appeal to us,” said Majumdar. “We decided the theme


of Transformations is both broad enough to cover a very large historical and conceptual range, and we were drawn to it mainly because it allowed us to offer the faculty and students a set of texts that we found very attractive and rewarding.” After the Encounters faculty approved the new theme, the ECS decided on the specific texts which make up the different units of the course. Professor of Politics Paul Apostolidis, who completed his term as director of Encounters last spring, led the revision of the syllabus, removing four texts and introducing three new ones in their place. Most of these changes were driven by circumstance, the notable exception being Euripides’ “The Bacchae,” which was

removed to allow students more time to discuss the other texts. While this change was made without direct student input, it addresses one of the primary concerns stated in the survey: The more texts you read, the less time you have to discuss. Last year, Bill McKibben’s “Eaarth” filled a space on the syllabus reserved for a book whose author will visit campus. As McKibben will not be returning this spring, “Eaarth” has been replaced with “Late Victorian Holocausts” by Mike Davis. Another change was inspired by Encounters’ cooperation with the Harper Joy Theatre. After the success of incorporating a performance of Shakespeare’s “The Tem-




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pest” into the curriculum last year, the Encounters faculty have decided to make a live production a regular part of the curriculum. “We had this great experience last year when they put on “The Tempest,” so we thought if we identified another pair of plays for that unit, and if they were a pair of plays Harper Joy wanted to produce, we could line up another two years of cooperation,” said Apostolidis. To continue the partnership with Harper Joy Theatre, “The Tempest” and its partner-text, Aimé Césaire’s “A Tempest,” have been replaced by Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” which will be performed in the spring of 2014 and 2015, respectively.


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19 2013



Whitman Progressives spark political dialogue by Lorah Steichen Staff Reporter


McKenzie described her experiences growing up as a queer person of color in a series of readings. Photo by McCormick

A ‘dangerous’ battle cry to rethink racism by Sarah Cornett Staff Reporter


riter Mia McKenzie challenged students in a performance of readings and conscience-raising on Friday, Sept. 13, in a packed Reid Campus Center Coffeehouse. McKenzie discussed what it means to be an ally and asserted that racism will never go away. Slam poetry team Almighty Ink opened with five poems, many of which dealt with issues of sexuality and race. McKenzie, the founder of the influential online literary project Black Girl Dangerous, advocated for queer people of color (QPOC) in her talk. She focused on the persistence of

“I know who I am. And that makes me dangerous.”

Mia McKenzie

racism in America and discussed her own struggle with developing an identity as a queer person of color. Black Girl Dangerous, a blog where various writers critically analyze the way our culture deals with race, gender and sexuality, is McKenzie’s brainchild. McKenzie is known for her distinct style of writing and advocacy. She focuses on issues related to QPOC and the intersection of queer and POC identities. Sophomore and president of the Black Student Union (BSU) Gladys Gitau was involved in bringing McKenzie to campus, and she introduced McKenzie as a writer who addresses issues that are often overlooked. “She fills in critical gaps in mainstream discourse of gender and sexuality,” said Gitau. McKenzie, who is often criticized for her uncompromising stances, opened

her performance by addressing a common misconception about both herself and Black Girl Dangerous. “Some people that read Black Girl Dangerous think I’m gonna be hella mad. A lot of stuff I’m talking about is meant to be humorous,” she said. McKenzie began her readings by presenting one of her most frequently cited pieces, “8 Ways Not To Be An Ally.” The dark humor and sarcasm coupled with the easily relatable nature of the list had the audience laughing. Point Five, “Don’t Try Any Harder,” demonstrates McKenzie’s deep and biting sarcasm. She comically referred to a situation in which a failing ally attempted to involve QPOC groups in a performance, but gave up when they were unavailable. “You tried, right? You reached out to three different QPOC burlesque performers and asked if they wanted to be in your burlesque show and they all declined. Now your show is as white as a Klan meeting, but it’s not your fault, right? You did your part,” said McKenzie. Though remarks like this are deeply serious, McKenzie’s presentation and use of humor had everyone laughing. Still, it was clear that the issues she talked about were very real and felt by many. Some of McKenzie’s points seemed to speak directly to Whitman students, many of whom call themselves allies of people of color and the GLBTQ community. “But the truth is that being an ally takes more work than most of us imagine. In fact, it takes constant vigilance. And there are many ways we fail at it every day,” said McKenzie. McKenzie’s lecture at Whitman was sponsored by

the Intercultural Center and a number of clubs, including FACE, GLBTQ and BSU. BSU budget manager junior Alisha Agard began to follow the blog Black Girl Dangerous upon learning that McKenzie was coming to campus. “My friends would post her articles on Facebook, and that’s how I learned about her,” said Agard. “I personally never thought about bringing her to campus, just because she is so cool and so influential.” McKenzie received a number of questions asking her to flesh out an earlier point, in which she asserted that reverse racism does not and cannot exist. “Racism is a system of oppression, not just disliking someone because of their color. If you don’t experience racism, you can’t grasp the magnitude of it,” she said. “It will always be there, so it’s not something we can really alleviate.” Students also asked McKenzie about how our culture can begin to alleviate racism. McKenzie politely explained that these questions demonstrated how poorly informed many Whitman students are on issues of solidarity and race. Following the talk, senior Kaitie Ivory said that McKenzie’s messages can contribute to the way Whitman students think about race. “She really challenged a lot of Whitties. As we saw from the questions, most are not very wellversed and attuned, and I think it is because Whitman is so non-diverse and white,” said Ivory. “Things like this make people more comfortable talking.” McKenzie’s confidence in her words resonated with the audience. “I know who I am. And that makes me dangerous,” she said.

n Sunday, Sept. 8, Whitman students and members of the Walla Walla community gathered at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Main Street to protest proposed American military action in Syria. Among students represented were members of one of Whitman’s newest student clubs: The Campus Progressives. Senior Politics and Philosophy double major Fernando Medina-Corey started the club over the summer, hoping to increase nonpartisan political engagement and promote political critical thinking on campus. “One thing that I definitely wanted to see was consistent political engagement from campus, and I hadn’t really been seeing that,” said Medina-Corey. Although there are several specific political student groups on campus, more generalized political clubs have not persisted. According to MedinaCorey, clubs such as the Campus Conservatives and Young Democrats have existed in recent memory, but have not been recognized by ASWC for more than a semester or two surrounding a presidential election. “As a club anyway, [Campus Progressives] is very specifically meant to be nonpartisan because at least in my personal experience, all the partisan clubs I’ve seen have come and gone really quickly,” said Medina-Corey. “[These clubs] only last around election cycles and only seem to be focused on election cycles and candidates and that sort of thing.” Sophomore club member Jacqueline Rees-Mikula echoed these sentiments. “By progressive, we mean really anyone who wants to make progress in politics or in society, so [the club] ranges in the political spectrum. It’s not affiliated with any party,” she said. Rather than pushing a party-affiliated political agenda, the Campus Progressives Constitution states that the club will educate, advocate and mobilize. The club plans not only to educate students on a variety of issues, but also to foster skills that pertain to work in public policy and nonprofits. The club hopes to mobilize the campus itself through events aimed at getting more students engaged and involved, and through potential partnerships with other student groups. It was these qualities that attracted junior Harrison Wills, a recent transfer student from Santa Monica Community College, to the club. “I think the main thing is that [the club] was open and kind of unaffiliated, kind of independent I’d say. Open, independent and rooted in critical thinking and not partisan or party lines,” said Wills. Through this new club, Medina-Co-

rey hopes that the political culture at Whitman will become more critical and less passive. “The thing I guess that troubles me the most about campus is stagnation of opinion around democratic policies,” he said. The Campus Progressives have already begun working to engage students politically at Whitman. In addition to participating in the protest against military action in Syria, members of the club have been tabling around campus to provide

“I think the idea that [Whitman students] don’t care is not true. I think the idea that we are not engaged is not true ... I think that it’s up to some student organization to kind of be creative and create incentives to engage.”

Fernando Medina-Corey ‘14

students with contact information for their local congressional representatives. The club hopes that students will not only contact representatives in regards to the Syrian conflict, but will also have the tools to take similar action on issues in the future. Student interest in some of these efforts has reassured club members like Wills. “I’m actually relieved and feel hopeful because when we tabled for contact your representatives, the response was incredible,” he said. “I think the idea that [Whitman students] don’t care is not true. I think the idea that we are not engaged is not true. Could we be more? Of course. But generally speaking we have a community here that cares. And I think that it’s up to some student organizations to kind of be creative and create incentives to engage.” Campus Progressives Club meets weekly on Sundays at 1 p.m. in Reid G02. ILLUSTRATION BY LUND

Downtown market excels in spite of split from DOWNTOWN, page 1

she was not a part of the 2012 season, she believes that this season has been a definite improvement. “Everyone is kind of healing in the process,” said Thyken. “The events of a year ago are just a distant memory, very rarely mentioned any longer.” The vendors and the community are starting to get used to the two markets, according to Laura Engelman, an AmeriCorps volunteer for the Blue Mountain Action Council. Engelman runs an informational booth at the Downtown Farmers Market for a group of gleaners in the greater Walla Walla area. “I was not around for the unfolding of events last year but from what I have heard, it was a bit of a tumultuous time for those involved. Having two markets this year has been an adjustment, but things are going well and everyone seems to have settled back into the nor-

malcy of the Walla Walla Farmers Market beat,” said Engelman. So far it seems that the Downtown Market continues to flourish, with an average of 60 vendors on Saturdays and 15 on Sundays. “It’s easier to go to the farmer’s market closer to the school, obviously,” said first-year Natalia Zea. “Not a lot of students have cars.” The Fairgrounds is not within walking distance of the Whitman campus, and with such a successful market about five minutes away, Whitman students are more likely to end up downtown. In the end, the farmers market is about business, and for many of the farmers there, it is inconvenient to give up such a central location to sell their products. The Fairgrounds location only has one produce vendor, who also has a crew at the downtown market, and usually around five other artisan vendors. However, the season is not over yet, so all there is to do is wait and see.

Corrections to Issue 1 In “Chastity Belt rocks out with new album” on page 4 of Issue 1, the name of the band’s new album, No Regerts, was incorrectly printed as “No Regrets.”

A&E 4 KWCW chart-topping Ember Fx talks musical, creative process



19 2013 David Kim: from chemicals to melodies

Photo by von Clemm

by JAMES KENNEDY Staff Reporter


by EMMA DAHL Staff Reporter


n electronic artist from California called Ember Fx topped the charts at KWCW 90.5 FM, the Whitman-run radio station, recently. The KWCW community has warmly received his new album Lights & Action. Michael Berns got his musical start at an early age; when he was seven years old, he received a toy microphone as a gift and loved it. He would set himself up on the landing of the staircase in his family’s home and perform for everybody. “Music was something I wanted to do since I was younger,” he said. Berns took voice and piano lessons and would perform at his school’s talent shows — anything that got him close to music and performing. But when he was a teenager, Berns realized that all he was doing was playing other peoples’ music, and what he really wanted to do was to write and perform his own. “I really had an epiphany that I could create my own music,” said Berns. He started taking songwriting lessons from a very influential teacher, a woman he described as the “Mr. Miyagi of songwriting.” Playing endless minor and major chords and different chord progres-

sions was his own wax-on, wax-off training sequence. Then one day, much like the film’s protagonist, he realized that he could actually use his skills to fulfill his dreams. Berns was drawn to electronic music through his love of synthesizers. Over the years he’s amassed quite a collection of vintage synths, and the natural next step from having a bunch of them laying around was to figure out a way to use them. For most of his music, Berns uses a SidStation, which is a kind of synth that uses an old-fashioned chip originally installed in 8-bit Commodore 64 computers. Working with drummer and engineer Matt Star, Berns has been making music mainly for the joy of making music and connecting with people through music. His main musical influence appeared to be The Postal Service (one of the original projects of Death Cab for Cutie’s lead singer), along with various other British bands. Berns recalled

Californian Michael Berns (pictured above left) has topped the KWCW charts recently with his electronic music. Photos by Felt; headshot contributed by Berns

that in his youth, he would often purchase issues of Q Magazine, which would come with a CD sampler of up-and-coming British pop bands, such as Depeche Mode or Supergrass. The name of his group originated from a childhood nickname. A teacher he had in high school had a heavy southern drawl, so whenever she would call on him as “M. Berns,” it would come out

sounding something like “Ember,” which eventually took shape as the name of his musical project. Recording an album isn’t something that happens overnight. Berns cited the fact that it took him years of studying and vocal training to get to where he is today. Making music takes hard work, time and perseverance, but if you can work hard enough, you can get to where you want to be.

One Direction documentary lacks direction


‘Dads’: possibly worst TV show ever by ALEIDA FERNANDEZ A&E Editor


s it possible to be offended for women, men, minorities and humankind in less than five minutes? In the four-minute preview of FOX’s new fall show “Dads,” multifaceted offense certainly seems the goal. The preview was littered with sexist and racist jokes, the worst including The Disney Channel’s Brenda Song being told to dress up as a naughty Asian schoolgirl — complete with a little anime laugh — while at work to help wow some Chinese businessmen. “Dads” stars Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as two 30-something best friends who work together and try to grapple with their own quirky fathers who have come back in their lives for no other reason than to bother them. The show is produced by “Family Guy’s” Seth MacFarlane and created by Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, which perhaps explains why any of these jokes were thought of as funny in the first place. The Asian schoolgirl joke goes further than her dressing up and having a girlish laugh; one of the fathers makes reference to how his son was turned on by her outfit, foreshadowing a romance — cringe — to evolve down the road. Spoilers have confirmed that the premiere also includes Hispanic actress Vanessa Lachey being mistaken as — what else? — a maid; a joke about “tiny China penises”; and another joke about how you should never trust a Chinese person (“There’s a reason Shang-

hai’s a verb,” says the same Asianstereotyping dad from earlier). It’s slightly understandable why the show thought this boorish brand of humor was acceptable. It has seen considerable success in cartoons like “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons.” Even live-action shows like “Two and a Half Men” have lasted for years with gags about the size of women’s breasts. Also coming up this fall is CBS’s “We Are Men,” which doesn’t look like it’s going to be providing any nuanced view of what it means to be a modern man based solely off the poster. And it’s not just shows concentrated on men either. “2 Broke Girls” has also reaped the rewards of one-dimensional humor. So why did FOX even greenlight such a show? It’s likely that the reason behind this content is that networks know they need something “edgy” to catch the short attention span of America — which means pushing boundaries. MacFarlane has a track record of raking in the dough and the numbers by being edgy (see: the 2013 Academy Awards). In this case, however, the boundaries have been pushed too far. While this kind of humor may have been acceptable 10 years ago with shows like “Just Shoot Me” and “Two Guys and a Girl,” this type of racism and sexism shouldn’t sit well in 2013. Shows with actual people as ridiculous caricatures only reinforce real-life negative stereotypes. No amount of money should be worth that. Upon hearing the negative reviews of the show, FOX President Kevin Reilly reportedly “begged” the Television Critics Associa-


by NATHAN FISHER Staff Reporter


ither I’m a glutton for punishment or — more truthfully — every new movie at the Walla Walla cinema looked awful, but for my first week back reviewing movies, I decided to go see “One Direction: This Is Us.” Yes, that One Direction: the British boy band phenom with perfectly tousled hair and candypop fame. To ease my suffering, I insisted that my editor, Aleida Fernandez, suffer alongside me and watch the documentary (which somehow had a 64 percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.) And yes, we did suffer... Admittedly, I am not a One Direction fan, and know nothing about the band except for recalling a semi-catchy beat in their song “Kiss You” and that one of the boys is named Henry, or was it Harry? Morgan Spurlock, the movie’s director, has a decent reputation with prior documentaries such as “Supersize Me,” but for whatever reason doesn’t seem to get beyond delivering a love letter/promo video to the typical screaming tween girl 1-D fan. The movie can be summarized in a couple of lines: Five teenager-ish boys individually try out for British television show, “The X Factor” in 2010. Each are retion to be patient with the show. “Do I think all the jokes right now are in calibration in the pilot? I don’t,” said Reilly. Even with the negative reviews, FOX will still air six episodes. The problem here is that we shouldn’t wait around with the hopes that a show like this will

jected, but Simon Cowell puts the losers together as a band. Girls love the boys, so the boys keep singing together. The boys leave their families to play for screaming girls. Did I mention that the boys sing and the girls scream? These boys don’t dance, don’t play instruments (okay, maybe one does), and are apparently saints. Come on, a documentary should dig up and share some type of dirt or scandal. Not even a brief cameo by Martin Scorsese (he didn’t look too happy about being there) could save this docu-promo. Each band member gives a brief personal spiel that is bland and seems scripted. We briefly hear about the hardships of being on the road, but the movie quickly cuts back to the concerts with cheesy 3-D added animation (would anyone even consider shelling out extra cash for 3-D?). In the end, I was not impressed with “One Direction: This Is Us” because it pandered solely to the tweenage fans and simply played it safe. If you are roped in to going to the movie on a date night, be careful not to see the extended version with an extra 20 minutes of boy band footage — no one warned me! And now unfortunately, I can’t get the damn 1-D’s melodies (they all sound the same) and lyrics (which can be surprisingly dirty) out of my head.


ou know that person – perhaps you are that person – who sets their mind to a certain career, and then, at the last second, they completely jump ship. Such was the case with incoming Music Professor David Kim, who studied chemistry before finding a passion at the keys of the piano. “Everyone in my family is a mathematician,” said Kim. “I don’t really know how these things happen, but somewhere in the last weeks of my first term of my very first semester, I found myself messing around in the practice rooms ... I don’t really know what I was doing.” Kim mustered up the courage to knock on the piano professor’s door at around 7:30 p.m. and asked to play a bit of music for him. After only two sheets, the professor asked, “What are you doing in chemistry? You should be in music!” From those encouraging words, Kim completely switched focus from science to sonatas. In a lot of these stories, like the prospective lawyer deciding to become a graphic designer, the student’s parents push back and try to steer their children away from their true passions. Not so in Kim’s story. “Once my folks saw how much happier I was doing music, any doubts that they may have had were dispelled at that point,” said Kim. Throughout his relatively short music career, Kim has found inspiration from several musicians. Malcolm Bilson, the aforementioned music professor, has always been a figure he looked up to. “[He’s] someone I really greatly admire,” said Kim. The other two pianists he draws inspiration from are British-Jewish Myra Hess and Franco-Swiss Alfred Cortot, the latter of which Kim has a picture of in his office. Besides being an accomplished piano player, Kim is also a “reasonably good flutist,” though he often keeps that fact a secret. Despite spending much of his life in Boston and most recently moving from Harvard, Kim set his sights on Whitman and a few weeks in is enjoying the environment. “My dream job has always been a liberal arts college position,” said Kim. And so far so good. “[Whitman] seems to address a lot of needs ... it seems like a really healthy blend of things,” said Kim. He pointed out that the school focuses on challenging students and allowing faculty to conduct independent research. Beyond the on-campus culture, Walla Walla itself appeals to Kim, both for its beauty as well as its more isolated location. It seems that the country was always his calling. Following a smooth transition, Kim plans to start off strong and bring some unique insight into the Hall of Music. The new professor is currently teaching a class on Mozart, and will likely teach some of the music theory classes offered at Whitman. “Right now my attitude is to just ... get a sense of where the students are at coming in ... and to adapt my approach accordingly,” said Kim, following Whitman’s lead of adjusting to the needs of the students. “I’m just really happy to be here.”

PIO PICKS Each Thursday, The Pioneer highlights events happening on campus or in Walla Walla during the weekend. Here’s this week’s pick: Drive-In Movie Night “Finding Nemo” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” are this semester’s double feature on Reid Side Lawn. Come for the free popcorn and cotton candy and stay for the award-winning movies.

Friday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m.

2013: the year of musical anniversaries Read Staff Reporter Adam Heymann’s take on the Beatles’ musical career at

dramatically change its content and it will somehow be less offensive and more thought-provok-

ing. Why would they? They’ve already figured out what kind of shows we pay attention to.



19 2013



Women’s soccer off to hot start from SOCCER, page 1

“One of the goals was to outshoot our opponents. We’re trying to score a certain number of goals on set pieces because last year we had issues with set pieces. And we’re doing pretty well with that. I think our goal was to score on eight set pieces and we’ve already scored on four. We also want to win every home game and always end on a win, so if we can’t sweep the weekend and lose on Saturday, we will win on Sunday,” said sophomore midfielder Clara Merlino. The team is also continuing a system where each player has a notebook and prior to every game, each player writes down their goals for the game. After the game, they write down three things they did well, three things the team did well and three things the team needs to improve on. Finally, each player chooses a spotlight player of the game, and from those responses, Cato chooses a player deserving recognition

for her play in that game. Last year the team had these notebooks but didn’t use them as much as they plan to this season. With small incentives like getting spotlight player of the game, there already seems to be some change in the intensity of play. Whatever it may be that is contributing most to the team’s successes so far this year, it’s working, and confidence is high heading into a tough Northwest Conference season. “Puget Sound has won conference the last 11 years and [is] just really consistent. Linfield is probably going to be the most competitive, and Whitworth is always in the top three. I think it’s just a matter of making sure that we realize we’re a good team and we play our style of soccer and not anyone else’s,” said Cato. This weekend the team is away in Oregon facing Willamette and Lewis & Clark and then is back home again on Sept. 28 and 29 playing Pacific and Linfield for Family Weekend.

Head coach Heather Cato directs a group of Missionaries (left), and sophomore Clara Merlino prepares to put in a cross during practice (above). Merlino was recently named Northwest Conference student-athlete of the week. Photo by Bowersox

Strong results build confidence for cross country by Kelsey peck Staff Reporter


ith two meets already under their belt, it’s obvious that Whitman’s cross country team’s Wednesday-morning workouts have paid off. After already displaying great performances both as a team and individually in the first two meets of the year, it’s safe to say that the cross country team is off to the races. “If we can make it through Wednesday-morning workouts, we can do anything,” said sophomore Julia Hart when asked to comment on the upcoming cross country season at Whitman College. On the women’s side, the Lady Missionaries have swept their opponents, posting wins in both meets so far this year. Their first sight of competition took place at the Clash of the Northwest Meet at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. While the meet included runners from several Division I schools around the Northwest, Whitman went head-to-head with fellow Northwest Conference team Whitworth University and came away with a 36-19 win. The women followed this strong perfor-

mance by hosting and defeating the Mountaineers of Eastern Oregon University 36-23. “I think the team has competed very well in the last couple meets. We have a really strong pack of girls running right now,” said Hart. “I’m just trying to get the hang of racing because it’s my first

“I really like where we are at right now. Our races are focused to be a solid progression to the NCAA Regional Race in Claremont, Calif. We have started really well and we know we can show how good a team we are when it matters most. ” Head Coach Scott Shields

ever season of cross country.” It’s Hart’s first season of cross county racing, but she has already made her way into the top five runners for Whitman in both meets and finished third overall in the latest race. Other top five

runners have included sophomore Ziggy Lanman, sophomore Julia Wood, sophomore Carolyn Erving, sophomore Emily Williams and junior Skye Pauly. Pauly, who took a year off from Whitman to travel, has finished first for the Lady Missionaries in both races, placing 30th overall in the Northwest Clash and first overall in the latest home meet. Her performance earned her the Northwest Conference Student Athlete of the Week award for women’s cross country. “Skye definitely deserved this recognition. When one of us is recognized, it reflects positively on her teammates that she trains with on a daily basis,” said coach Scott Shields via email. The men, also off to a great start, have a slightly different story than the women. Despite suffering losses in both meets, losing 38-17 to Whitworth and 33-22 against Eastern Oregon, the men are staying optimistic. “I think the first two races were solid, but we haven’t attached much value to them because the freshmen didn’t run the 6k and our home meet was the first 8k of the season” said junior T.C. Heydon. “It’s understood that we’re going to be gaining experience over the course of

the season and getting faster.” With significant individual successes already, the men have every reason to continue this optimism. They saw five runners place in the top 70 in the Northwest Clash, including Heydon’s 52nd-place finish. Like the women, this meet included some fierce Divion I competition, making their successes that much more impressive. Their performance at the latest meet also illuminated the talents of the team. Within the races tightly packed finish, Whitman’s Heydon and first-year Alex Waheed nabbed the third and fourth place spots, with first-year Caleb Moosman finishing in seventh place. “Our freshman runners are so talented, and they’re only going to get better. And the returners have been setting a good example and working hard every practice,” said Heydon. All of these positive signs have Shields feeling optimistic about his team’s prospects this season. “I really like where we are at right now. Our races are focused to be a solid progression to the NCAA Regional Race in Claremont, Calif. We have started really well

Fantasy sports offer tangible benefits by Dylan Snyder Staff Reporter




20% off any purchase with Whitman ID through Oct. 2 1619 E Issacs Ave, Walla Walla, WA (509) 529-2027 Sunday - Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday - Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

ne thing that Whitman College seems to lack for the average student is the presence of sports passion. This isn’t to say that we don’t have athletic successes or that our games have empty bleachers, although most of the attendance can be attributed to supporting friends as opposed to caring about what happens in the game. While attending the Northwest Conference basketball championship at Whitworth University last semester, it was apparent what we at Whitman are missing. The bleachers were full of screaming fans in costume, full body paint or whatever else they could come up with, displaying sports passion rarely seen on the Whitman campus. I attribute some of this to the lack of a Whitman football team that the entire school can rally around Saturday after Saturday. Football is America’s most popular sport by far, but that passion that America feels for NCAA and NFL football doesn’t seem to permeate the Whitman bubble. The informed awareness that Whitman students usually have about politics or pop culture somehow doesn’t extend to our nation’s favorite sport. However, an easy way to start thinking about football and its importance to American culture is through fantasy sports. For those unfamiliar with the concept of fantasy sports, it is a fairly basic concept. Before the season, your league will have a draft in which certain players are eligible to be selected. When the real season starts, fantasy teams

will receive points each week depending on how their players perform in their real games. The most important aspect of fantasy football has nothing to do with the actual sport being played. The ability to talk smack to your friends after a big win, or the communal bonding over a trade gone bad immediately gives you something in common with everyone playing in your league. Not only within your league, but the fantasy-sports-playing world. About 17 percent of America enjoys nothing more than bragging about how awesome their team is, or lamenting to whomever will listen about how miserable they are because their team can’t catch a break. By monitoring and rooting on your fantasy team, you have already given yourself a vested interest in watching certain games, and there is no better way to watch sports than in a crowd. Watching sports, like football or baseball, with lots of stop-and-start action gives plenty of time for conversation about the game, as well as bonding with whomever else is enjoying the game with you. By watching games that have a few of your fantasy players involved, it will only be a matter of time before having become a proficient fan and made a new friend or two. Few things connect all Americans like sports do, and simply playing fantasy sports can help connect Whitman students too. We may not have a football team to rally around, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do what so many Americans do on a weekend: sit down with our friends, eat some snacks and yell at the football teams on TV.

and we know we can show how good a team we are when it matters most,” said Shields. Both the men and women refuse to bank on previous successes as they look toward the future and the upcoming season. “It’s important for people to stay motivated and focused midseason. If we keep each other positive and keep encouraging each other to work hard, we will continue to improve,” said Hart. Confidence and positivity remain important themes as the team looks forward. Not only will they continue to improve technique and ability, but also they will continue to unite as a collective and supportive team. “As a team I feel we have forged a stronger bond than any other year before, and it’s only because of the individuals we have on the team right now,” said Shields. “On the competitive side of things, I am really excited and very optimistic about how we are going to perform at the end of the season. A lot can happen between now and then, but this team is really dialed into doing everything right every day.” The men and women will compete next in Spokane, Wash. on Saturday, Sept. 21 in the Runner’s Soul Race.


Women’s v. Whitworth University Sept. 13: W 2-0 v. Whitworth University Sept. 15: L 2-0


v. Elmhurst College Sept. 13: L 0-3 v. Whittier College Sept. 13: L 1-3 v. UC Santa Cruz Sept. 14: L 2-3 v. La Verne University Sept. 14: L 0-3


Men’s Fall Kickoff Classic Sept. 15: 4th Place Women’s Fall Kickoff Classic Sept. 15: 1st Place

upcoming Soccer

Men’s v. Willamette Sept. 21, 2:30 p.m.:AWAY v. Linfield College Sept. 22, 2:30 p.m.:AWAY Women’s v. Willamette Sept. 21, 12:00 p.m.: AWAY v. Lewis & Clark Sept. 22, 12:00 p.m.: AWAY


v. Lewis & Clark Sept. 20, 7:00 p.m.: HOME v. Willamette Sept. 21, 6:00 p.m.: HOME

Cross country

Runner’s Soul Sept. 21, 10:45 a.m.:AWAY


Women’s USTA/ITA Regionals Sept. 20-23, AWAY





19 2013

The Secret Lives of

Professors Visiting faculty share backgrounds, hobbies by Isabel Mills Staff Reporter



Students inspire creative work by Ritti Singh Staff Reporter


hen they’re not teaching classes, a number of Whitman College faculty members work on their own creative projects. Balancing the roles of teacher and artist can be quite the challenge. Novelist and Associate Professor of English Scott Elliott finds that he is able to do most of his writing in the summer and while on sabbatical. “Teaching requires a kind of selflessness. I need to be able to engage with students to such a degree that while I’m teaching, it’s difficult to carve out the time to write,” said Elliott. On the other hand, the interaction between the two roles can enrich professors’ creative projects in a meaningful way. Associate Professor of Art Charles Timm-Ballard, who paints, draws and works in ceramics, believes his time in the classroom helps him discover new ideas. “If I was in the studio all alone, I’d be solving all my creative visual problems all alone. In teaching, I’m interacting with about 30 students that I talk to every week, and I’m continuously solving problems of 30 people’s work. I’m thinking about all the different ways I can resolve the issues amongst those pieces, so I’m exercising those creative muscles

all the time,” said Timm-Ballard. Elliott has also learned new strategies from his students. “It’s sometimes the case, too, that my students will display a way to solve a writing problem that I can use when I’m working on my own fiction. I learn things from my students, from the ways they approach their writing,” said Elliott. Working with students can also influence professors’ work thematically. Associate Professor of Art Michelle Acuff, a sculptor, was inspired partially by her students to explore the relationship between human beings and the natural world in one of her recent art installations. “I actually came to this subject matter partly in response to the student body here. It’s things that they’re interested in: environmental issues, our role in global warming, climate change ... It’s kind of a nice loop: I get influenced by what the students are influenced by and inject that into my work, and then bring that back to them ... It creates a dialogue,” said Acuff. Some of these artists also feel that being at a liberal arts college makes it easy to get feedback. “I like being part of an intellectual community, and especially a small one like Whitman. I get to hear what the philosophers think of my work, and what the historians think of it.

There’s a richer dialogue that happens in the liberal arts,” said Acuff. Elliott said that a novelist benefits greatly from being surrounded by thinkers in other disciplines. “A novel is a very interdisciplinary form in which you fluidly move within lots of disciplines ... So I think being in an atmosphere that honors that well-roundedness and fluidity is a good atmosphere for a novelist to be in, even if there aren’t a lot of other novelists around,” said Elliott. Timm-Ballard feels similarly. “I think that my thinking gets richer the more I’m engaged with diverse approaches. I think that what we do is the same, but the tools and trappings of different disciplines lead to different solutions to those problems and imaginative solutions, and that makes my experience of being an artist richer,” said Timm-Ballard. Teaching while working as an artist or writer is often a financial decision, but many professor-artists at Whitman feel that it is worth the balancing act. “The reality is that it’s hard to make a living as an artist, but I never felt like it was ‘selling out’ or a ‘sacrifice.’ [Teaching] just allows us to do the thing that we do in a very powerful way. I feel incredibly fortunate to be here, to do this, and I feel like it’s important work, teaching art and involving students in that process,” said Acuff.

his year, Whitman College is fortunate to have a great variety of visiting professors. Although they have only been here for a short time, the professors all expressed a love for the Whitman community and its students. In fact, all four professors mentioned their appreciation for the great feeling of community both at Whitman and in Walla Walla at large. Visiting Assistant Professor of Astronomy Cassandra Fallscheer is originally from California, but for the past seven years she has lived in Germany, where she received a doctorate at the University of Heidelberg. She has also lived in Canada. Her other worldly adventures include scuba diving in the Caribbean, exploring the rain forests of Taiwan and biking in the San Juan Islands. Fallscheer began her undergraduate studies intending to be a math major. However, during an internship working with highenergy particle physics she met an astronomy professor who inspired her to pursue the subject. “Astronomy appeals to me because it’s neat to see how math and physics can so elegantly explain the incredibly beautiful and artistic-looking things we observe in the universe,” said Fallscheer. When Fallscheer isn’t pondering the wonders of the universe, she can be found at the climbing gym or exploring her surroundings on her bicycle. Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry Lawrence Goldman was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. Chemistry enthralled him in high school, and he continued along that scientific path in his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He later went to graduate school in Wales, which was an eye-opening experience for him. When asked about his passion for chemistry, Goldman mentions his love for the many incredible changes involved in this particular field of science. “It’s exciting to be able to blend two colorless liquids together, and then proceed to watch them explode,” said Goldman. A history enthusiast since

high school, Visiting Assistant Professor of History Laura Ferguson grew up in Portland, Ore. and graduated from Oregon State University with an undergraduate degree in history. There she also pursued her passion for outdoor activities like backpacking and cross-country skiing. Here in Walla Walla, Ferguson enjoys exploring Mill Creek and taking her yellow lab for walks. Her research focus is on 19th century San Francisco. Her fascination with the city stems from the way that cities work and the way different groups of people come together to create that system. Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Gary Gemberling is a disc golfer, biker, hiker and trumpet player. He said that it was his great high school teachers who first drew him to a career in education. Before becoming a professor, his passion for performing led him to play in a house band, perform at Busch Gardens and go on national tours with three Broadway musicals. Gemberling started working at Whitman as the director of the wind ensemble. To get to work every day, he commuted 200 miles round trip from his house in Idaho. According to him, interacting with students each day made the long drive absolutely worth it. “I hope my students will continue to be involved in music in some way. Music keeps the mind young and is something you can do for your entire life,” said Gemberling. Each visiting professor expressed a great desire to share his or her knowledge and passions with Whitman students. “Something I’d like for my students to get out of General Chemistry is how related chemistry is to other sciences and how important it is in the modern world,” said Goldman. The professors have also been impressed by the work ethic of Whitman students, who seem eager to spend time in class. “They hold high expectations for themselves and others, are extremely driven, have pride in the effort they put forth and are very friendly. They live up to my motto that the end product is the result of the effort you put in to it,” said Gemberling.

Biology professor leads award-winning alumni trips by Serena Runyan Staff Reporter



ne Whitman professor can cross catching a piranha out of a rowboat off of his bucket list. Associate Professor of Biology Delbert Hutchison, known around campus as “Hutch,” won the 2013 Faculty Award for Service this summer for his work leading alumni trips. The Whitman College Alumni Association Faculty Award for Service is awarded annually to a faculty member who has worked to maintain strong relationships between alumni and the college. Professor Hutchison has led alumni trips for ten years, acting as both a supervisor and a source of biological knowledge. “My job is to entertain and inform and make sure everybody has a good time,” said Hutchison. The Alumni Association puts on multiple trips and local programs throughout the year in order to keep alumni connected to Whitman. “It’s a big part of your life, being here,” said Hutchison. “If we do our jobs right, when you leave here you will realize what a great education you got, and your

friendships and your connections to the college will still be here. Part of that effort to maintain that connection is to give you something to do together.” Hutchison has traveled with alumni to a variety of locations from the dense forests of the Amazon to the open planes of an African safari. Each destination has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s hard for him to pick a favorite. “I’m an evolutionary biologist so the Galápagos is one of my favorite places on the planet, but you know, a Safari in Africa is staggering ... So not really a favorite, no. But I could go to the Galápagos 10 times,” said Hutchison. Some of his fondest memories include listening to hyenas and lions while falling asleep in a tent guarded by a Maasai warrior, talking about human evolution around a campfire in the Serengeti and jumping into a pool fully clothed after a humid hike through the Amazonian rainforest. On these trips, Hutchison makes lasting connections with a multitude of alumni. “Its always a good time. There’s always cocktails after dinner, and a fire, and you sit around talking and laugh-

ing and you make friends with these people. I’ve made good friends with a lot of people and we still keep in touch,” he said. Since the trips tend to be expensive, the alumni who sign up are typically 30 or 40 years out of Whitman. Even so, Hutchison sees strong commonalities between all alumni and current Whitman students. “What I’ve observed is that a Whittie is a Whittie. They’re excited about life and they’re curious about things. They’re friendly, inquisitive, respectful and fun. I enjoy it thoroughly,” he said. Hutchison also said he’s interested in getting more of the younger alumni to sign up by leading a less expensive trip. “I’d like to explore a cheaper [budget]; instead of a luxury liner, something a little more ‘Spartan’ that younger people can afford to do,” he said. And while graduation may still seem far away, Hutchison encourages students to remember that these alumni resources exist. “I guess the main thing for students to realize is that someday they’ll be alumni and these opportunities will be there. Once you’re one of us you’re always one of us,” he said.

OPINION U.S. needs new policy in Syria


19 2013



Andy ons have been, in the words scientists in 1938, sarin gas Monserud of a fellow Whitman student, use has been rare, but not unFirst-year


t seems, miraculously, that the Syria situation has calmed down — from the American perspective, at least. Bashar al-Assad, the East Mediterranean nation’s dictator, recently agreed to a plan, proposed by Russia, to hand over his nation’s chemical weapon stockpiles to the United Nations for destruction. Late last week, the Obama administration agreed to the plan. This comes in the wake of fierce debates over possible U.S. intervention in Syria, proposed by the Obama administration as a response to the revelation that Assad’s regime has extensively used chemical weapons on rebels in its two-year civil war.

If we threaten war every time another nation behaves in a way we don’t like, the haze of anxiety and paranoia that settled over the United States in late August is liable to become permanent condition. Since the U.S.’s indiscriminate use of chemical defoliants and other weapons in Indochina, chemical weap-

“a big no-no” in international law. But international laws against war crimes have been broken before, without any of the consequences that the United States threatened Syria with this month. Even leaders who commit genocide, the war crime that necessitated the very formation of the United Nations, are usually captured and prosecuted after the fact, when they have been removed from power by civil unrest or other political forces. On Sept. 12, Russian president Vladimir Putin published an opinion piece in The New York Times criticizing the U.S.’s actions in the Middle East over the past 30 years. “Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan ‘you’re either with us or against us,’” wrote Putin. He also suggested that the chemical weapons used in Syria may have been a ploy by rebels to force international intervention. This claim seems a little far-fetched, but not impossible. Putin is right to question America’s push toward war in Syria; the United States has created unnecessary hostility and turmoil in the United Nations and further alienation in Middle Eastern countries. Still, the war had plenty of public support. What, exactly, allowed the Obama administration to establish this red line of action against Syria in the first place? Sarin gas, the most potent chemical weapon that the Assad regime is accused of using, has a long and gruesome history. Since its invention by Nazi

heard of. Saddam Hussein made the world’s first confirmed massive sarin attacks in 1988, when he bombed Kurdish people in Northern Iraq with sarin and its fellow nerve agents cyclosarin and tabun as well as with mustard gas. Hussein also used chemical weapons including sarin in his campaigns against Iran in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. It’s even been suggested that U.S. intelligence and military personnel in the region were aware of these offenses and tacitly allowed them. So use of chemical weapons seems to be an unforgivable offense only when convenient — and many Americans have been baying for involvement in Syria since the civil war there began in 2011. Popular opinion has shifted somewhat since then, but Americans’ outspokenness against Assad’s atrocities early on greased the wheels for the tense situation of the past few weeks. Hopefully chemical weapons will remain a grave and rare offense. But Putin has been right about one thing: The United States cannot remain the policeman of the world indefinitely. In history classes we study exceptionalism as a thing of the past, a dinosaur, and so it should be. America is not the only country in the United Nations — it’s time we considered opposing views. Furthermore, if we threaten war every time another nation behaves in a way we don’t like, the haze of anxiety and paranoia that settled over the United States in late August is liable to become a permanent condition. Nobody, here or overseas, wants to deal with that.


Frisbee: Don’t sell out TRISTAN GAVIN Senior


on’t get me wrong; I love Frisbee. I think it is a great game and one that should be enjoyed by the masses. The commercialization of the game and attempts to make the sport marketable through Major League Ultimate (MLU), for example, has pushed Ultimate toward something it is not: a big-market sport. Frisbee is not baseball, basketball, football or soccer, but I think that is alright. If you see sports as culture, which I do, then Frisbee is a counterculture of sorts. Frisbee has thrived because it isn’t mainstream and because it defies the norms of most sports. Part of what makes Frisbee great, in my mind, is the lack of referees and the easygoing nature of players, which allows the game to be selfregulated. This aspect of the game allows it to break out spontaneously at places like Ankeny Field and to be played at high levels of competition without need for a third party view-

er. Frisbee isn’t a sport to be watched, anyway; it is a sport to be played. By turning Frisbee into a professional sport, the MLU has done away with a lot of what makes Frisbee so wonderful. By adding referees and yard lines, the MLU has tried to make Frisbee appeal as a spectator sport, and has ultimately tried to make the sport something it will never be. Through its countercultural appeal, Frisbee is popular inasmuch as hipsters are popular. Both intentionally differ from the norm, and find a fan base consisting mostly of college students who also like Birkenstocks. I have friends who are among some of the greatest players in the country, and they deserve to be recognized for their prowess. I simply do not see the professional Frisbee model achieving this any more than increasing the coverage of college and club-level play. The MLU has not, as far as I have seen, brought anybody new to the sport, but rather has only appealed to those who already play it. Frisbee fans aren’t going anywhere, though, and not having a professional league has not historically, nor would it presently, alienate its fan base. I absolutely think Frisbee should be more popular, but I think people should play it, not watch it. The overregulation by MLU is an uphill battle that may take away from the sport, rather than give it the popularity that it deserves.

Campus Bon Appétit’s new policy presents dilemma KYLE Cartoon by SEASLY Tyle Schuh


t’s always tough when a situation presents itself as completely unfair. Sometimes one has no words to express the frustrations at a system that intentionally screws people over. That’s how I felt when working at Jewett Dining Hall last Monday night when a co-worker informed me of a change in Bon Appétit policy. In the past, food workers, including myself, were able to bring home leftovers after students had left the dining hall. That policy changed as of last week. My co-worker put it bluntly. “We can’t bring food home anymore, even if they are going to throw it away.” I was instantly aghast. This seemed particularly mean-spirited on the side of the management. While working in the hot dish room and kitchen was certainly not the most pleasant work, at least we got some good perks — a free meal — and got to bring home some leftovers, including cookies! Instantly my columnist instincts kicked in and I thought I might write a column on how the Bon Appétit worker is oppressed

there are “actual” leftovers, they are going to work with “Meals on Wheels” charity program to make sure it gets put to good use

Voices from the community Andrew Schoenborn

Matthias Needham Junior



by the evil management company, and how its unfair policies ruin lives. It’s not that I don’t want to write that column, and I wish everything was that simple. At Whitman College we’re given a wonderful education and taught to question and analyze everything — sometimes to the point of psychosis. We read Marx and learn about the oppressed nature of the proletariat. We learn that some people are victimized in certain situations and the system screws some people over, of no fault of their own. My natural instinct, as well, is to “stick it to the man.” It’s that rock‘n’-roll attitude Jack Black talked about in “School of Rock.” But then I sat down with the head of Bon Appétit — a very nice and extremely receptive man. He explained to me that the new policy is for a couple of reasons — including that because the workers would take home the rest of the food at the end of the night, the chefs would often cook too much — leading to more waste and increased charges to students. He also explained that when

rather than going in the trash. Bon Appétit is also on the more liberal end of college food services — some campuses refuse to let their employees eat the food they themselves cook and serve to students. I agree that these are good reasons for the new policy, but that doesn’t make it frustrating for workers — including myself. But what really interested me here was my initial reaction. Instead of reaching for answers, I leapt to my own conclusion because it feels good to stand up for the worker, the little guy, the underdog. But sometimes a lack of understanding is what makes messes, not just actions. I wanted to write that column in my head that slammed Bon Appétit for their new policy of not letting workers bring food home. Indeed, it would have been a much more exciting, albeit adolescent, article. Instead, my plan totally backfired. I can agree with the management on their points, but the policy is still frustrating because it violates the status quo. It’s tough not to leap to conclusions in an environment in which one can easily perceive oneself (or others) as the victim. Yet, understanding the whole situation is way more important than feeling emotionally charged up.

What’s your favorite place off campus and why? Poll by Jade Blake-Whitney

Christa Lee

Aanand Sharma




“Probably the wheatfields because it’s a great place to watch beautiful sunsets and look at the stars.”

“Mill Creek. It’s really pretty to run along. It’s nice to see the wildlife there and whatnot.”


“My favorite place is Starbucks because I like to go there to do all of my homework.”

“The Walla Walla Roastery. They have really good cappuccinos and it’s pretty small and quiet, so you can get work done pretty well.”

For video responses visit:





19 2013

Student just wants burger First-year roomies Laywatch


instead of quinoa

ast Friday, as eager firstyear Kip Stevens entered Jewett Dining Hall, he was ecstatic to hear that there were, once again, burgers for lunch. “I really love hamburgers. I, like, could eat like five of them right now,” said Stevens. However, excitement soon turned to tragedy when Stevens attempted to have a ground beef hamburger placed onto his whole wheat bun. “I wanted a beef burger, you know? And then I was asked by the server if I wouldn’t prefer to have either the veggie burger or a black bean burger. When I insisted on the beef burger, I was denied service,” said Stevens. Hungry and beef-burgerless, Stevens expressed his great confusion to reporters. “I just don’t get it. All I wanted was a hamburger.” Several other incidents of the sort have been reported lately: tofu in curry instead of chicken, a seemingly extreme amount of hummus and countless inquiries to what seitan actually is. Such inquiries prompted reporters to take a closer look at the catering services on campus. These i nve s t igations have proven fruitful. While Whitman College can boast of having one of the highest nationally ranked college food providers known for its dedication to sustainability and menu variety, Bon Appétit, frequently referred to as Bon Ap, is keeping a secret. A Bon Ap informant, here unidentified for their protection, goes on record stating that secretly Bon Ap is slowly trying to convert all students to vegetarianism and ultimately veganism.

“Meat is just too hard to cook,” said our informant. “Plus, if we cut back on meat costs we can afford more quinoa, and who doesn’t want that?” Furthermore, once Bon Ap has successfully cut out all animal products of any kind, they plan on removing all wheat, soy, nuts, gluten, identifiability and flavor from their entire menu. Although most students of the vegetarian/vegan persuasion strongly support this decision, and have gone on record stating that they prefer their food to be “natural, bland and strangely textured.” However, other students fond of consuming animal products are forming a new support group known as Animal Eaters United. The group meets on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in the Glover Alston Center to cook meat and drink milk. All animal product eaters are welcome. It is unclear what the administration’s stance on Bon Ap’s flavor fade out, but it is of this reporter’s opinion that mo’ quinoa means mo’ problems.

not best friends


candal rocked the quiet little community of Lyman House just outside of Anderson Hall last Friday, Sept. 13. At approximately 7:16 p.m. local time, nearby resident assistants received information of a domestic problem in room 216 of the Tower. Initial reports seem to indicate that firstyear residents Amanda Norman of Seattle and Lydia Oscar of Portland have not developed the strong bond of friendship experienced by most, if not all, Whitman first-years. Sophomore neighbors Jennifer Stevens of Bellevue and John Delainie of Seattle tell our reporters that they knew something was wrong as far back as the ‘80s Dance. “While the other roommate pairs were picking out neon tights and scrunchies together, Amanda and Lydia were not even in Lyman,” said Jennifer as she and John stood in the hallway late last night, nervously waiting as resident assistants attempted to mediate the situation between the two girls. “John said that he thought it was a little odd, but we just assumed they were pre-gaming together in Jewett Hall. It never occurred to us that they would be in separate places!” In fact, reports from other residents claim the girls did not go to any of the initial first-year activities together — not even Salsa Magic or the “Alcohol Talk,” despite having plenty of time to



get to know each other over the course of orientation week. When we called the Residence Life Office (or “Res Life” as it is colloquially known), a spokesperson for the agency told us that, even though such a thing is nearly unheard of, it is still too early to tell if Amanda and Lydia are truly not friends. However, due to the gravity of the situation, they are taking every step possible to investigate, and if these reports are indeed true, to try to bond the two girls. We could not reach either of the girls’ families for comment, though an uncorroborated report from Lydia’s high school friend claimed that Lydia once described Amanda as “nice enough,” though she may have gone on to say that they had no common interests. More on this story as it develops. Regardless, the sleepy, little community of Lyman House and Whitman College as a whole are still reeling from this unexpected tragedy. It may be weeks before we know the true extent of the damage, and so residents are simply forced to wait and see. For community members who are interested in helping, Res Life is taking donations and suggestions for team-building exercises outside of Memorial Hall from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. this Friday, where local indie band Charcoal Teapots will be playing a benefit concert open to the public.

Lost & Found

ound near the libes: Swipe card in ID card holder attached to Whitman College lanyard. Found in Olin Hall: Nalgene bottle with 15+ stickers on it. Come by Prentiss Room 106 to claim it. If you can name five of the stickers, it’s yours. Lost sometime during first year: My desire for brunch. It happens every single weekend and I’m so over it. What’s the big deal? Lost night of ‘80s Dance: Dignity. Probably hiding somewhere around 2-West dressed in neon and spandex. If found, please return to Lyman Room 330 before I get my first Encounters paper grade back.

Without it I’ll just go cry to my professor during office hours. Lost somewhere on campus: Sobriety. Seriously guys. I think I took my pants off at some point? Give me a call if you know what happened last night. Found in Maxey Hall Computer Lab: Essay entitled “Foucault and the contemporaneous intellectual discourse on plurality and mutualism.” I turned it in to your professor for you. You’re welcome. Lost: The weekend. Last seen at: Somewhere on Isaacs Ave. If found please return ASAP to Anderson Room 238. How else will I get my Gen Chem homework done on time?

The current state of affairs...

Hookups (Boning, Banging and More Boning – the original BBMB): Tom (’17) and Linda (’15): Offcampus house near Safeway Tom (’17) and Amanda (’15): Offcampus house near Safeway Jeff (’15) and himself (’15): Jewett Room 110 James (’17) and Tom (’17): Jewett Room 110, Jewett Room 315, Anderson Room F312 Lauren (’15) and Catherine (’16): Because of the song “Blurred Lines” Jeff (’15) and Jewett Couch (’14): Jewett 4-West Lounge Karen (’17) and Michael (’17): Beta (Furnace Room) Sarah (’17) and Steven (’17): Beta (Walk-in Fridge) Elaina (’17) and Steven (’17): Beta (TV room) Josh (‘17) and Brianne (‘17): Beta (Storage Room) Me (’14) and Anderson Cooper: Anywhere, anytime – just call me, Anderson. You are the silverhaired man of my dreams. Thinging: Elaine (’14) and Frank (’16) Conrad (’13) and “Waterfall Freechild” (Amy) (’16) Jamie (’17) and Joe (’14) FWB: Anderson (’16) and Catherine (’16) Jamie (’10) and Frieda (’10) Nick (’15) and the horrible loneliness of a postmodern existence Ollie (’15) and Lena (’15) “We don’t like to put labels on it”/“We are above ‘labels’”: Neil (’10) and Sonya (’17) Emily (’17) and Brian (’14) Brant (’14) and Jenny (’14) Pity Sex, Sympathy Bone or “Charity Hot-Dog”: Jeff (’15) and Rita (’17) “It’s just a casual thing” (when it really is not just a casual thing): Maggie (’16) and Bill (’16) Philip (’17) and Rina (’16) “It’s complicated”: Steven (’15) and Katherine (’14) Evahn (’17) and Erik (’17) In a relationship: There are currently no relationships on campus.


More workshops through October

The Pioneer Issue 2 - Fall 2013  
The Pioneer Issue 2 - Fall 2013