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Issue 12 | April 25, 2013 | Whitman news since 1896

GREEKEND Changes encourage inter-sorority bonding


Bon Appétit employees juggle work, busy lives by LACHLAN JOHNSON Staff Reporter


hat does it mean to be part of a community? Looking around the Whitman campus, it is easy to recognize students, professors and administrators as Whitties. But there is another group at Whitman, rarely seen but essential to the day-to-day life of the college. The staff of Whitman’s dining halls cook, serve, clean and clear the dishes of hundreds of students three times a day. Behind the counter, these men and women do the work needed to keep the college running. Though working at Whitman holds many benefits—such as free access to campus facilities and free meals from the dining halls—employees also face several challenges. When school is not in session, most employees are temporarily laid off, and while workers appreciate students interacting with them and thanking them for their effort, the student body can be critical of meals that take hours to prepare. “I think the students need to know that it actually takes a lot of work preparing the food and the meals, putting it out, cleaning it up, putting it out again,” said Crystal Zumwalt, an employee manager for Bon Appétit. “I wish people would appreciate more what we do, because it’s hard ... I don’t think [some students] realize how much thought and effort go into planning some of the meals.”

All in the Family Many of those who work in the dining halls at Whitman are connected to the college through family and friends. Zumwalt began work at Whitman while in high school, moved away for several years and then returned to the college three years ago. Her mother, Julie Zumwalt, is the executive sous chef in Prentiss Dining Hall, and her boyfriend Eric Romine works in Reid Campus Center. Romine moved to Cafe ‘66 in Reid after budget cuts and his lack of seniority led to his getting laid off in Jewett Dining Hall. Fortunately, with Zumwalt’s help, he was able to find a new position across campus. While he is farther from his girlfriend, he is happy to have found stable employment for the time being. “We all let each other know what’s going on and feed off each other and get advice,” said Romine. “I think the students should all know that we’re all pretty comfortable with each other, and I think everyone really looks forward to going to work and appreciate[s] good feedback and good vibes from the students and coworkers.” Romine and Zumwalt are expecting their first

child in November, and they are already raising Zumwalt’s five-year-old son Anthony. When both Romine and Zumwalt are at work, Anthony’s grandparents take care of him, but when their next child arrives, they plan to apply for childcare through the Department of Social Health Services. “[Childcare]’s really expensive to do. It’s a demanding field, definitely, because when we were paying for Anthony to go four to five times a month I think it was around $150 ... But things are looking up for us and I think we’ll be pretty comfortable in the position we’ll be in,” said Romine. Of all the benefits of working in the dining halls, Zumwalt and Romine take advantage of free meals most often, eating dinner together before their shifts begin. While Romine is occasionally able to take advantage of the athletic facilities and library, Zumwalt finds it difficult to put aside time for these things while trying to parent. “All my free time is usually at the park [with Anthony], playing with the dog or doing something. We just got signed up for tee-ball, so that takes up a lot of my time on days off,” said Zumwalt. “I work at home too. I work all week, and then I get to go home and catch up on laundry and all the housework.” Unfortunately, like all employees in the Whitman dining halls, the upcoming summer break presents an especially challenging time for Zumwalt and Romine. “I like it here; it’s just the breaks are the only thing that really get you. Because bills and rent don’t stop coming in over the summer,” said Zumwalt. Summer is Coming Zumwalt and Romine hope to find employment over the summer working temporary jobs. While this can be challenging, it can also provide unexpected opportunities which lead away from Whitman. Only a very small number of staff are able to stay on in Prentiss over the summer, helping provide for events and camps which take place on campus. One of these people is Prentiss employee Tim Laufer. After working 10 years in the dining halls, Laufer has gained enough seniority to stay and cater events from Prentiss when most other workers are laid off. However, no one starts with seniority, and most staff have to find alternate employment. “[Before I had seniority] I would leave town. I’d save up for a little bit and go live in Spokane with my mother for a little bit. That was a long time ago. Other times I would do underthe-counter jobs, odd jobs here and there, just to make ends meet, and collect unemployment,” said Laufer. While many employ-

ees travel, work odd jobs or fall back on unemployment benefits over summers and breaks, to others these times present opportunities to focus on different pursuits. Suann Courson, who works in the dish room in Jewett, spends summers helping run her family’s farm, R&R Produce, which sells produce at the Walla Walla Farmers’ Market and delivers fruits and vegetables to Whitman throughout the year. On top of working in the dining halls and on the farm, Courson is taking courses at Walla Walla Community College to pursue a two-year degree in agricultural farming. “I’ve always worked with my dad on the farm ... When I start back in September or August, from then until the end of October I work seven days a week. I work both jobs. Soon as I get done here I go work on the farm for a couple hours and then take a break [for] an hour, come back here and go to work,” said Courson.

“I really like it here; it’s just the breaks are the only thing that really get you. Because bills and rent don’t stop coming in over the summer.” Crystal Zumwalt

Across the Great Divide Students and staff see each other many times a day, but interactions between the two vary widely. “Most [students] are pretty friendly. I try to be friendly ... The only thing that really gets on my nerves is the mess,” said Café ‘66 cashier Kathy Soyster. “But it’s expected. You’re always going to have one person who isn’t going to follow the rules.” Interactions with students are important for many employees. “[There] are the same people who won’t acknowledge me every day, but I still acknowledge them every day. I can’t see people and not say hi to them ... Some people are hit-andmiss, it all depends on what their mood is,” said Laufer. Henry Baumgartner came to Whitman three years ago after gaining experience in white-collar restaurants, and began work as a dinner chef in Jewett before being promoted to lead dinner chef. He arrives at noon every day, begins preparing meals for students hours in advance and always aims to make good food. “My coworkers [and I], when we cook dinners, we really try to make sure things taste good and are appetizing for the students. Even though it doesn’t seem [that see EMPLOYEES, page 3

Photo by McCormick

by PETER CLARK Staff Reporter


appas helping up DGs? Alpha Phis slapping fives with Thetas? As strange as it sounds, this year of Greekend football proved to be a unifying event in helping bring members of different women’s fraternities closer together. Instead of women’s fraternities playing against one another, the teams were instead divided by classes. Panhellenic Panel President and junior class quarterback Emily Blum said that Panhellenic made the decision to make the

change for numerous reasons. “In past years the games have really been getting too physical and too emotionally aggressive, and it wasn’t fun for a lot of people,” explained Blum. “There is no obligation that Greekend has to be a repeat of IM football. That’s a whole season; that’s a whole three months of football. We just didn’t think it was necessary to have again.” Senior Caroline Carr played in Greekend as a sophomore and now as a senior, and she believes that while some seniors may not like it, this new Greekend football style is going in the right direction. see GREEKEND, page 5

Lack of formal leadership to blame in Independent Women’s absence by ADAM BRAYTON Feature Editor


hough last year they dazzled the crowd singing Lady Gaga and the year before belted a Sara Bareilles medley in their bright blue gowns, this year the Independent Women will be absent from the 87th annual Choral Contest. Though the Independent Women’s choral group has even won out against the Greek groups they competed against in past years, the group will not be appearing in the contest due to the fact that nobody stepped up to form the group this year before the deadline. This differs from their competitors, for whom the event is institutionalized. “With the Greek groups they have people who are theoretically organizing it, but with independent groups it falls into whoever’s hands, and nobody spearheaded it this year,” said Zoe Ingerson, the independent senior who is organizing Schwa’s performance at the event this Friday, April 26. “The people who spearheaded it last year graduated.” Forming an independent group takes some effort and much vision. Senior Hari Raghavan was a founding member of Choral Contest competitor the Gospel Choir and reflected on its beginnings. “The choir was the brainchild of [alumnae] Daria Reaven and Jo French, two friends of mine who graduated in 2012,” he said. The dynamic duo saw a niche that needed to be filled in campus music, and with their combined musical ability invited anyone who wanted to join. “Daria was the singer between the two, and Jo played the piano, and they conceived of it in order to offer others like them who loved music and who hadn’t an outlet for it the chance to be involved,” said Raghavan. The aim of the group wasn’t initially to take on the choral contest, but as the opportunity arose,

the group took it. This might have changed the tone of the group, but its central focus still remained. “In some ways, it became a bit more serious, but we also knew we didn’t have much of a chance compared to other groups who entered,” said Raghavan. “Its aim had always been to encourage people to sing, especially people who didn’t much think of themselves as musicians.” The group remains a staple even though founding members like Raghavan no longer are part of the group or run the show. Keeping the Gospel Choir alive, though, is made easier due to the tangible promise of soulful music. This is something difficult for a group such as Independent Women. “Gospel Choir really has a unifying theme that people can congregate around. We just don’t have any outlet for gospel music,” said Ingerson. “[With] Indie Women, because they only have that one performance, there is less cohesion because they are only gearing toward one event.” The senior women of Whitman’s Chorale group usually spearhead the event, but Ingerson points out that most of these women happen to be Greek this year. With no clear direction from above, as one could find in a Greek group, the group simply didn’t happen. “There’s the expectation—if Phi [Delta Theta] didn’t perform, people would be like, ‘Guys, where were you, why didn’t you perform at Choral Contest?’” said Ingerson. “But with Indie Women, that structure doesn’t exist. You can’t really go up to anybody and ask them what happened because there’s nobody responsible.” While she herself is an independent woman who would otherwise be capable to lead the group this year, Ingerson’s commitment lies with Schwa. “I realized after the fact when someone talked to me and asked why I hadn’t organized for Independent Women, but I have my own group to organize for.” see CHORAL CONTEST, page 6




ASWC resolution to expand studenttaught class offerings

Staff Reporter


tudent-taught classes such as yoga, Zumba and salsa have proven increasingly popular on campus, and legislation passed at the Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) senate meeting last Sunday, April 14, will allow would-be studentteachers to apply for funding for similar classes with less hassle. Through the resolution, ASWC plans to actively seek students with particular skills and interests and to provide a standardized salary and budget for eight courses selected by the Finance Committee and approved by the senate. “What I wanted to do with the [student-taught classes] act is create a more formal process [to al-

by sarah cornett Staff Reporter


tudents, faculty and community members packed Olin Hall 130 to hear historian Samuel Moyn describe what he believed to be the origin of human rights. Moyn, a professor of history at Columbia University, provided historical context for the progression of our definition of rights, which is a definition he considers malleable. His thesis argued that our modern conception of human rights is an important shift from other definitions we have seen in history. “While they seem an incredibly familiar idea, they’re new. We need to focus not on any of the earlier history, but on this moment when the idea took off,” he said. This idea about rights “took off” during the French and American revolutions in the late 18th century. Those involved with both of these movements used the term “rights of man,” a change in language that points to the change in meaning it entails, he argued. “My suggestion is, the idea has changed. It wasn’t just a change in language,

vious years has been how much to pay student-teachers for every class. In the past, each student-teacher’s wage was determined individually, but the new resolution sets the standard wage for student-teachers at $15 per hour. Though this is less than the $80-per-class wage Friedman would earn for teaching salsa in Seattle, it is still a higher wage than the minimum wage earned by most student workers on campus. “It’s really important for the campus to be funding these things. Students should value [studentteachers] as professionals in their own sense, because most of us have either a ton of experience or professional training and certification, and that occupation should be valued higher than other occupations on campus,” said Friedman. In order for a new class to be

by Maegan nelson Staff Reporter


ou might see a few more bikes next time you walk downtown. In honor of Earth Week, community organization Sustainable Walla Walla is gearing up for its fourth annual Green Travel Competition for local businesses, agencies, schools, churches and organizations. Participating organizations will be eligible for awards for the best green travel programs in a variety of categories, including riding a bike or walking. The grand-prize-winning organization will have its name engraved on a traveling trophy. Green Travel programs encourage people to look for low-energy ways to get to and from work, school, worship, meetings and other errands in order to help make communities more sustainable. Barbara Clark, a member of Sustainable Wal-

Gillian Friedman ‘16

approved, it must apply for funding from the ASWC Finance Committee. The instructor must prove he or she has sufficient credentials to teach the subject in question, suggest a curriculum and prove that there is interest for such a course among the student body. The full senate can then approve funding with a majority vote. “This new act is planning to expedite the process [for approving classes] and makes it easier for students to teach their skills to the student body as a whole,” said ASWC Finance Chair senior Sam Sadeghi. “We don’t know how this will end up working, but hopefully it [will make] student-run classes less bureaucratic.” Salsa, Zumba and yoga, the three classes funded by ASWC in previous years, have all focused on exercise and social opportunities. In coming years ASWC hopes to fund a greater variety of classes. Any student able to demonstrate interest among their peers and sufficient credentials is eligible to apply for funding. “Obviously we’re hoping to keep yoga and Zumba, but hopefully we’ll be having [classes on] things like Photoshop skills ... [and other] things that will complement the Whitman curriculum,” said Diaz Mejia.

Corrections to Issue 11 blue moon cover photo should have been credited to blue moon. The corrections box should have read: “The photos of the tennis player profile in Issue 10 should have been credited to Marlena Sloss. The photo accompanying the

because the meanings and the political implication of the idea changed,” said Moyn. He stated that the political implication was different because of the motivations for the promotion of rights. “This older idea embraced violence if necessary, and the central goal was to construct the nation-state, not to contain or support it. In our day, human rights are linked to the subordination of sovereignty. Their goal was statehood, nationhood,” he said. He presented a graphic chronicling the mention of the term “human rights” in the public record since the year 1700. A spike occurred first in the 1940s, then more dramatically in the 1970s. According to Moyn, our idea of personal rights and statehood have evolved in relation to historical events surrounding us. “World War II led to the discovery and adoption of sovereignty,” he said. This discovery contributed to the development of our modern conception of what human rights mean. He used the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a United Nations declaration implemented in 1948, as evidence for this point that our current idea of human rights evolved to focus on the rights of others we see as persecut-

la Walla, has high hopes for this competition. “Our hope is that a contest may provide the motivation for people to try out an alternative to an SUV for moving around town for a week. Ideally, some of them will continue to walk, bike, bus or carpool even after the competition’s over,” said Clark. According to Daniel Clark, secretary-treasurer of Sustainable Walla Walla who has been working with Barbara Clark in developing this program, Sustainable Walla Walla began developing the idea for the competition in 2007. The first Green Travel Competition was in 2010. For the past two years, the Walla Walla Joint Community Development Agency has won first place. Organizations that want to participate in the competition must submit a report describing their green travel practices to Sustainable Walla Walla at sustainableww@

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Sports Editor Tristan Gavin Feature Editor Adam Brayton Opinion Editor Alex Brott Humor Editor Kyle Seasly Photography Editor Marie von Hafften Illustration Editor Julie Peterson by Friday, May 3. In the past, Whitman has participated directly in the competition, but this year the Student Sustainability Committee has decided to focus on a different approach to encourage green travel methods on campus. Senior Natalie Jamerson, sustainability coordinator, hopes to encourage better record keeping of green travel practices on campus in order to establish a baseline for future student sustainability committees. In the future, Whitman could use this data to enter the competition. “In the past, participation was limited and not that much has happened. We tried to organize a department competition but now we are taking a different approach to do better. We will be surveying [to] determine a baseline for green travel and that way in the future we can determine a rate of change and have better record keeping,” she said.



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ed. In this case, the declaration was created in part because of the atrocities of the Holocaust. “The outcome of World War II was not to mourn victims, but to dream of a new state for ourselves,” he said. In the 1970s and ‘80s a new form of human rights emerged, one that most people are more familiar with. This consciousness made it possible for Americans specifically to continue to think about unnecessary discrimination in the world. “No longer did it mean our citizenship and our welfare, but other people’s atrocities,” said Moyn. His talk allowed students to better conceptualize how our notion of human rights evolved to be what it is today. “I did some of my senior thesis about some human rights, so it was really informative and in some ways clarified some of the questions I’ve been continuing to have and raised other ones,” said senior Ethan Robertson. In one of the last questions posed at the end of the talk, Moyn responded by reinforcing that our idea of human rights could keep changing with time. “The idea of human rights is very malleable. History can be a powerful tool [with which] to examine ourselves.”

Businesses gear up for travel contest

“Deciding to take it upon yourself to teach and lead and design a class that’s really successful is a difficult task ... Even if [ASWC] can’t always grant every request, there should be a feeling of support and encouragement which I didn’t always feel.” low] for more students to take advantage of this opportunity, to increase the number of classes we currently have and [to increase] the breadth and scope of what those classes could be,” said ASWC Vice President senior Marcial Diaz Mejia, who penned the resolution. ASWC plans to use its communications department to solicit students interested in sharing a skill or interest with the community in hopes of doubling the number of studenttaught courses available. In previous years, students wishing to be paid to teach a course had to take the initiative to apply to the Finance Committee themselves during the semester in which they taught. Under the new system, classes will be approved the semester before they begin so teachers have time to prepare and so that teachers are sure about funding before they begin to teach. “Deciding to take it upon yourself to teach and lead and design a class that’s really successful is a difficult task ... Even if [ASWC] can’t always grant every request, there should be a feeling of support and encouragement which I didn’t always feel,” said first-year Gillian Friedman, who teaches salsa classes this semester. A point of contention in pre-

25 2013

Samuel Moyn redefines human rights


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The Whitman College Pioneer is a weekly student-run newspaper published under the auspices of the Associated Students of Whitman College. The purpose of The Pioneer is to provide pertinent, timely news and commentary for Whitman students, alumni, faculty, staff and parents, as well as the Walla Walla community. The Pioneer is dedicated to expanding open discussion on campus about the issues with which students are most concerned. We provide coverage of Whitman-related news as well as featured local and regional events, and strive to maintain a standard of utmost fairness quality, and journalistic integrity while promoting freedom of the press. In addition, The Pioneer strives to be a learning tool for students who are interested in journalism. The Pioneer welcomes all feedback and publishes Letters to the Editor in print and online.


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25 2013



NEWS BRIEFS Senior Thomas Knook Selected To Speak at Commencement The Office of Alumni Relations announced Thomas Knook as this year’s commencement speaker on Monday, April 22. He was selected out of a pool of participants in a senior speech competition held last Thursday, April 18, in which fellow seniors listened to five-minute speeches from their peers and voted for the one they wanted to hear at commencement. Knook will speak on the topic of his choice at the commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19. ‘Women in Islam’ Lecture Series Continues Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dalia Rokhsana will speak on the subject of marriage in Islam Friday, April 26 at noon in the Glover Alston Center. The talk is the second in a series about women in Islam sponsored by Whitman’s Muslim Student Association. Rokhsana will address issues such as marriage rights, divorce and premartial dating. Bierman Lecture Looks at Hanford Nuclear Site Professor John Findlay, a historian of the American West and professor at the University of Washington, will be giving a talk titled “Hanford and the American West” on Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. in Olin 130. The lecture, which focuses on the historical role of the Hanford nuclear site near Richland, Wash., will serve as the annual Mary L. Bierman Lecture on the American West.

by Sam Chapman Staff Reporter

Workers build bonds from EMPLOYEES, page 1

way] sometimes, we really do,” said Baumgartner. Baumgartner’s experience with students has been generally positive and welcoming, and he enjoys interacting with students both as coworkers and customers. Baumgartner also knows that Whitman students have a diverse array of diets, ranging from vegan to gluten-free, and he supports students’ choices. He wishes the dining halls could provide even more options for those with special diets, especially during holidays. “I was raised vegetarian, so I have no problem cooking vegetarian foods. I think it’s a good way to go ... When I started working here, I expected it to be a much more vegetarian environment. Through the three years I’ve worked here, there’s been more meat demand from the students [than I expected].” Some younger employees even find time to develop friendships with students outside of work, practicing intramural sports in the athletic facilities or chatting together in the library. However, long hours at odd times can make forming lasting relationships difficult. And while college students only stay for four years, workers in the dining halls may stay only a few months or for over a decade. “When I get to be friends with some of the students it’s nice, but then you realize that they’re leaving, and once they’re gone you miss them. After a while you have to toughen up and not get quite so attached or friendly. Which might explain why some of our cooks are a little bit aloof,” said Soyster. What Makes a Whittie? Whitman ID cards, commonly known as

“swipe cards,” are an integral part of many students’ lives. Dining hall employees have their own versions of swipe cards, which provide them access to the library and athletic buildings. As members of the Whitman community, they are also welcome at lectures and events around campus. While some take advantage of these opportunities, other find it difficult to find time in their schedules. “I could use [the campus facilities], but I use the YMCA [instead] because my kids are in swim classes and I might as well pay for that family membership. Sometimes I don’t like to work out with the students. It can be somewhat of a distraction,” said cashier Sarah Olson. Despite spending 40 hours a week at Whitman and having access to many of the same resources as students, the term “Whittie” is not commonly applied to workers. Jayne Fontana began work as a barista at Cafe ‘66 in Reid this year. Though she grew up on campus (Fontana’s father was a professor at Whitman for 35 years), she went to school at Washington State University and spent years working as an elementary school teacher and in the wine industry before returning to Whitman. “I definitely support anything that has to do with Whitman, but I didn’t go to Whitman. It’s a great school,” said Fontana. Whitties or not, workers in Whitman’s dining halls are integral to the functioning of the college. Their experience at Whitman is vastly different from that of students and faculty, and arguably more difficult, because they face potential layoffs and the challenge of keeping up with off-campus commitments, but they manage to overcome these challenges and still prepare thousands of quality meals every day.

Photo by Bergman

WCF fights sex trade by DANIEL KIM Staff Reporter


nstead of spending money on drinks this weekend, members of the Whitman Christian Fellowship (WCF) will be donating cash to help adolescent girls escape the sex trade. Members of the club have set a goal to raise $2,500 for a nonprofit organization called Speak Up for the Poor, which works to make it easier for adolescent girls to get out of the sex trade industry by providing them housing, education and access to legal advocates. WCF members chose to support this organization after seeing Speak Up for the Poor advocate Dr. Gary VanderPol speak at a conference they attended from March 1 until March 3. “We went to a Christian conference where we heard about the organization, and the overall theme of the conference was that money talks. We took it upon ourselves to raise money in order to help the organization. This specific organization reached out to us at the conference and they laid out their values and expressed their goals,” said senior WCF member Alejandro Fuentes Mena. The club has taken a unique approach to reaching its goal. Along with tabling at Reid Campus Center during lunchtime, members have also stationed alcohol bottles and protein powder jugs in women’s fraternity sections and fraternity houses on campus. “[We want to] help people understand that if we can spend a lot money on things that we don’t need, [that] are just for our own good and fun, why

couldn’t we give a little bit of money to a worthy cause such as this?” Fuentes Mena said. The purpose of these jugs and bottles is not to put individuals in a guilty situation. Rather, it is a method of helping remind people that there are actions that they can take to help a cause. Club members hope that the fundraiser will change the ways in which students think about their spending money. “The way I think about it is that I don’t think buying protein shakes or alcohol is categorically bad, but I think that we should be thinking how much we spend [with] respect to justice issues. The same goes for other stuff such as going to the movies or buying expensive juices when a lot of people don’t have clean water to drink,” said senior WCF member Stan Walmer. Senior WCF member Laura Holford agrees. “I think it’s more of a concerted effort to raise awareness and challenge our own paradigms about how we use money. The coin isn’t thousands of dollars, but if we set these habits of caring for thinking globally and acting locally, then hopefully we can cultivate that into our lives,” she said. Students in WCF took their own pledges to set an example for other participants in the fundraiser. “As Whitman Christian Fellowship, we all took on different pledges or challenges, challenging our conception of money and how we use it,” Holford said. “For example, some people are keeping a track record of all the money they use on entertainment, and taking the total and giv[ing] that amount to the organization. We have a small group of students on campus who study scripture togeth-

er and we do things as a group.” Additionally, WCF members invited Speak Up for the Poor founder Troy Anderson to speak about the organization at Maxey Auditorium on April 22. Club members hoped that the lecture and fundraiser gave students the chance to talk about injustice and to start steps toward fighting it.

“I don’t think buying protein shakes or alcohol is categorically bad, but I think we should be thinking how much we spend [with] respect to justice issues.” Stan Walmer ‘13

“The truth is that $2,500 is probably not going to make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. Firstly, it’s better than nothing, and secondly, it’s important for us to care anyway as college students, even if we don’t have a lot of resources. At least it gets the conversation started and causes us to think about the money we spend on ourselves,” said Holford. Walmer and WCF members believe the fundraiser gives students the opportunity to put their theories into practice. “I think that there is a disconnect for Whitties and the disconnect is in theoretical assent to fight injustices and actually doing it. I think actually doing something and not being frustrated by the terrible things in the world is done by taking small steps.”





25 2013

FAH keeps abreast of local research by QUIN NELSON Staff Reporter


hest casting, an annual event put on by the Fine Arts House, gave students a chance to create physical art to help improve the physical health of others. On Saturday, April 20, the Fine Arts House gave students the chance to take part in an interesting form of body art. The process for chest casting is fairly simple. People make a cast of their chest and then paint it after it has


dried, yielding a nice, unique decorative piece. However, this event is not only about art. “We are raising money for a local breast cancer association in Walla Walla [with this chest casting event],” wrote Fine Arts House RA Ashley Hansack ‘15 in an email. Those who take part in the chest casting help out with a good cause, and are then able to take their casts home and use them as decorative pieces. The Pioneer took this opportunity to check out the works of chest art made by the Fine Arts House.

See more casted chests online at

The Fine Arts House welcomed many Whitties this past weekend in the name of breast cancer research. Photos by Sloss

This is a Talking Heads Cover Band exudes talent, funk by EMMA DAHL Staff Reporter


This is a Talking Heads Cover Band has made quite the impression. The band fills the much-needed void for funk music at the party scene. Photos by Krikava

ou might have heard of This is a Talking Heads Cover Band, a new student band taking campus by storm. This reporter can say with confidence that this group of student musicians is incredibly talented. Members include junior Max Reikosky on vocals, bass and some trumpet; junior Nat Stevens on vocals; sophomore Kyle Seasly on guitar; sophomore Josh Tacke on drums; sophomore Marga deJong on bass; and junior Riley Hernandez playing the keyboard. Sophomore Max Bates plays an electronic wind instrument, and the brass section is made up of junior Brett Leroux on trumpet, junior Chris Perkins on saxophone and junior Tommy Gibson on bass trombone. Their set list includes such classics as “Life During Wartime,” “Psycho Killer” and “Road to Nowhere,” and they play their music with an incredible energy and enthusiasm. The band began as Seasly’s brainchild.

“First it was [Kyle] and Nat, and it was an idea for ages. And then they recruited people one by one,” said deJong. “I was in Nepal, actually, and got a Facebook message from Natalie Stevens saying ‘Hey, you want to be in a Talking Heads cover band?’” said Reikosky. DeJong had some initial doubts about joining. “At first I was like, ‘Are you sure you want me in the band? I don’t play bass.’ But then Kyle told me that Tina [the bass player for Talking Heads] didn’t learn how to play bass until David Byrne taught her ... I’m just like Tina!” said deJong. It’s inarguable that David Byrne has an incredibly exceptional and unique voice. In order to avoid the futile goal of trying to imitate Byrne directly, the band opted to go another direction and have a female vocalist. “But the whole thing with two singers, [Reikosky and Stevens]— three including Marga—has worked out pretty nicely,” Seasly said. When asked what kind of gigs the band prefers, Reikosky reADVERTISEMENT

Sci-fi plot sinks into ‘Oblivion’ by NATHAN FISHER Staff Reporter


fter a grueling week of studying, I looked forward to escaping to the theater to sit back, relax, have a few laughs and be entertained. Unfortunately, the only new movie released this week was the sci-fi movie “Oblivion,” starring Tom Cruise. I halfheartedly convinced one of my RA buddies that the movie would be good. Well, the movie stunk, but we had fun exchanging fake looks of disbelief as the “plot twists” kept coming. “Oblivion” is set in the year 2077, 60 years after an alien invasion has left Earth in ruins. Although the humans won the war, Earth became uninhabitable and the remaining humans escaped to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. The movie follows Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), a technician still on Earth repairing the drones guarding the massive machines extracting what is left of Earth’s resources to send to the Titan colony. Jack and Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), his communications officer by day and friend with benefits by night, live in a spectacular house thousands of feet in the air. Jack, a 50-plus-year-old maverick, flies around in an oddly-shaped spacecraft to view what is left of

Earth. The only communication Jack and Victoria have with humanity is through the Tet, a gigantic space station orbiting Earth, the stopping point for people on their way to Titan. The plot seems to be a wannabe “Planet of the Apes” and “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and then in a bizarre twist, Morgan Freeman’s character, Malcolm Beech, enters the picture, captures Jack and turns Jack’s world upside down. Really, the plot line is a dud, and never finds its stride.



Each Thursday, The Pioneer highlights several events happening on campus or in Walla Walla during the weekend. Here are this week’s picks: Celebrate Earth Month with the Outhouse! Bring your favorite instrument or just your voice and enjoy the evening by making some music as a community. Thursday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Amphitheater

Renaissance Faire

Transport back to the Middle Ages at the annual Renaissance Faire. Keep your eye out for knights, the king and jousting! Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. on Boyer Ave.

Chorale Contest

This musical fight to the death pits all the Greeks and Indie groups against one another. See who wins the coveted title! Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall


Want to read more?

PIO PICKS Outhouse Unplugged

pTB + coke =

See the rest of the review at


TEDx Series

TEDx is a series of independently organized, community-based events dedicated to furthering TED’s mission of “ideas worth spreading.” The theme of TEDxWhitmanCollege is “Walla Walla and Beyond.” The event is open to members of the general public as well as Whitman students, staff and faculty.

Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Kimball

Café Night

Come listen to international music and sample some delicious dishes at this semester’s Café Night! The theme is border regions, so come dressed in your best interpretation. Sunday, April 28 at 4 p.m. at La Maison

sponded with, “We play only for diplomats.” Up to the present, the band has only played at house parties and once at a school event. The consensus seemed to be that the more casual the venue, the better. “It’s nice to see people having fun. That makes me have fun,” said Reikosky. The band said they chose to cover the Talking Heads because, hey, who doesn’t like the Talking Heads? “They have endless songs, and tons of crowd pleasers,” said DeJong. “I don’t know, ‘cause I like the Talking Heads,” said Seasly frankly. “They’re funky as [expletive]!” said Hernandez. The band reports that they’re working on new material, namely perfecting “Once in a Lifetime.” Keep an eye out for a possible endof-the-year show. And if, dear reader, you catch wind of a This is a Talking Heads Cover Band concert happening near you, I highly recommend that you attend. The only possible outcome is having a great time dancing to some great music.



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25 2013




Greekend football makes controversial changes to format from GREEKEND, page 1

“I think it’s been hard for the seniors to take this change because we all have become really close with our respective sororities. For the freshmen, since this is their first year, they will move up and become a closer unit of freshmen because of it, and less divided,” said Carr. While inter-sorority bonding was the primary goal, the weekend was not without entertaining games. The juniors won all three of their games, and the first-year come-from-behind victory over

the seniors proved to be the most exciting game of the weekend. For the fraternities, however, the turnout was disappointing. Instead of making the change that the sororities did in determining teams through class, the Inter-Fraternity Council decided to maintain tradition and keep the competition between fraternities. Unfortunately, Beta and Sig were both unable to field a team, leaving TKE and Phi to duke it out for the championship. While TKE proved victorious, Greekend football for the fraternities did

not live up to the excitement that previous years provided. Sophomore referee Keenan Durham recalled last year’s intense atmosphere of Greekend football and was hoping to experience much of the same this year. “For the guys, there was a little disappointment in the lack of participation and support for Greekend. Greekend is a chance for the frats to earn bragging rights and I was looking forward to seeing that intensity,” said Durham. Even though many people have fond memories of

the rivalries between the sororities and fraternities in Greekend football, this weekend showed that there may be a transformation underway. Sororities are beginning to use the weekend as an opportunity to pull themselves closer together and develop relationships that may have been previously hindered because of sorority boundaries. Fraternities, on the other hand, need to boost participation if they want to continue the fraternal rivalries that are fond memories for many Whitman students.

(Top) Juniors and seniors play a spirited game captured by Lucas Ramadan’s, ‘14, headgear (above). Photo by McCormick

Senior athletes combine sports, psychology by cole anderson Staff Reporter


arely do collegiate students have the luxury of combining their academics with their extracurricular studies. Senior soccer players and psychology majors Jed Jacobson and Leland Matthaeus have fully embraced their roles as student athletes by focusing on sports psychology for their senior thesis. The thesis, a culmination of four years of psychology studies and varsity soccer, involved cognitive tests for both athletes and non-athletes. “We were basically looking to improve the knowledge in the field of psychology about the effects that athletics can have on the brain,” said Jacobson in regards to the aim of the study. The initial predictions were simple: Athletes would outperform non-athletes in a series of executive functioning tests. “Executive functioning is a form of intelligence that is more involved with problem solving and impulse control, especially when under pressure,” said Matthaeus, who believed years of pressure-filled and strategic performances on the field

would translate into the lab. Their study also made a distinction between team sports involving coordination between members and more individual sports. “We also predicted that externally-paced athletes [involved in] sports such as soccer or basketball, where there are external cues coming in that you have to react to, would [perform] better in decision making and problem solving tasks, while the self-paced athletes, [involved in sports like] swimming or running, where you’re pacing yourself and you have to inhibit the urge to stop, would be better at impulse control. And that’s actually what we found,” said Matthaeus. The setup consisted of 54 participants with a generally equal spread for each test group. Those subjects would go through different cognitive tests like an impulse control test where the word “red” would be printed in blue ink and the participant would have to name the color of the word, not the word itself. The problem solving tests were conducted with what is called a tower test and the pair ran statistical analyses of their data to determine its legitimacy. The pair also relied on its soccer experience to conclude which cognitive skills tested could

be taught in an athletic setting. “Playing soccer has given us insight into how athletes train. And knowing exactly how athletes train and play, we know which of these executive functions may or may not be included in practice and competition. That also helped us prove another theory we tested based off this thing called cognitive skill transfer, where skill training in one setting can transfer over to a different setting like how problem solving in soccer could transfer to problem solving in the lab,” said Matthaeus. Jacobson and Matthaeus’ data proved their hypothesis, affirming the pair’s beliefs. “It’s one thing to theorize, but then to actually implement the test, and find out that yes, they do differ, that was a pretty cool moment,” said Jacobson. While athletes scored significantly higher in executive functioning, the data also revealed that out of their sample, athletes scored lower on average than non-athletes in the preliminary cognitive testing for general intelligence, most of which was based on vocabulary skills. Matthaeus and Jacobson were not discouraged by the latter findings, and both look to continue their academic jour-

ney with sports as a driving force. Both Jacobson and Matthaeus are planning on continuing soc-

Soccer players Leland Matthaeus ‘13 and Jed Jacobson ‘13 took their love of sports off of the pitch and into the laboratory for a sports psychology thesis. Photo by Sloss

Baseball team takes advantage of bye week down to California to take two games from University of Redlands in a doubleheader. fter seven consecutive Although it was a lot weekends playing conferof travel for a two-game seence opponents, Whitman ries, the team felt it was necbaseball had a bye essary to find a chance to get this weekend. in as many games as possible. Rather than us“With such a strict limit ing the break on number of games played, to catch up on scheduling a series in an sleep and off-week allows us to schoolreach the maximum 40 work, the games played. Also, team it would be a waste to flew take a weekend off during the end of the season when the weather gets nice,” said senior Chris Andrews. University of Redlands gave Whitman a taste of strong competition before heading into a league series against a struggling Whitworth team. “By scheduling quality opponents from other conferences, it allows us to compete and gain experience on a weekend that we would not be able to get game experience, and that is what it is all about at this level,” said junior Cameron Young. J u n ior Sterling Spilinek and senior Tyler Grisdale earned (Above) Jonny Lari ‘14 blocks a pitch for the Missionar- their first colleies, who won two games in California. Photo by Kirkava giate wins in the by tristan gavin Sports Editor


weekend effort, but the team also saw what it needed to work on to finish out the season strong. “It is important we fine-tune our pitching and fielding, but I think hitting is the most important thing. Whitworth has suffered some key injuries this year but they are a tough team and are definitely going to come ready to play. I’m confident we can play right with them,” said Justin Weeks. Beyond exposure of skills, the trip provided the opportunity for a more intangible growth. Due to a scheduling blunder, the team’s Saturday games were canceled, which took away a chance for more in-game experience, but also provided needed time to come together as a team. “We got the chance to go to a Major League Baseball game. While we did get in a practice that morning, watching the game was a great reminder that we all came to California over a love of the game, and I think that realization brought us together as a team and gave us the refreshing break we needed,” said Andrews. With several players hailing from Southern California, the trip also allowed players to see their families, one of which opened its home to the team for a Saturday dinner. “We headed over to Jimmy’s parents where they provided a nice home-cooked meal. I think everyone enjoyed the pool as well as the Huntington Beach sunshine,” said Young. The road trip was a positive on every level for Whitman, but the team expects to

cer after college and they are both also strongly considering going into the field of sports psychology.

buckle down for two more weeks of hard-nosed baseball. “Taking two in California allowed us to gain some momentum as we move forward to this weekend’s series against Whitworth. From my understanding, it gives us a shot to have the most wins in the program’s history since moving to DIII if we win out. That is a great incentive to come and push each other each day this week; we may be out of playoff contention, but we have a chance to put our names down in the record books and do what most of us came here for: to turn this program around into something that Whitman students can be proud of,” said Young.


v. University of Redlands Apr. 21: W 7-6 v. University of Redlands Apr. 21: W 14-7


Men’s v. NWC Tournament Semifinal: W 5-0 v. NWC Tournament Final: W 5-0 Women’s v. NWC Tournament Semifinal: W 6-0 v. NWC Tournament Final: W 5-0

upcoming Baseball

v. Whitworth University Apr. 27, 12 p.m.: HOME v. Whitworth University Apr. 27, 4 p.m.: HOME v. Whitworth University Apr. 28, 12 p.m.: HOME






25 2013

Independent Women miss contest registration from CHORAL CONTEST, page 1

For those who participated with the group in years past, the lack of this musical outlet comes as a surprise and a disappointment. In 2011 and despite her perceived musical inability, senior Hannah Siano decided to join the group under the leadership of alumna McKenna Milici ‘11. “It was great that the group was led by a super empowering girl-power awesome singer like McKenna,” Siano said. Siano fondly remembers the fun

of getting to know other independent women filled with traditions and such, never having done similar bonding activities in a women’s fraternity. “They handed out bracelets, and had all these traditions we did, and it was a really great set-up,” she said. “It was great meeting random, independent people whom I wouldn’t have encountered before, and they were really open to anyone of any training level—and we sounded incredible.” And, ultimately, she had been looking forward


this year’s performance. “Singing with [the Independent Women] was going to be a highlight of my semester,” she said. “But then my friend told me that it wasn’t happening this year, and that made me sad.” Senior Taylor White, who was part of the 2012 Independent Women, joined in on the group after being inspired to try the year before and seeing emails advertising the group. “They just sent an email out to multiple listservs. I had watched

them sing the Sara Bareilles ‘King of Anything’ medley and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that would be so much fun,’ so then I did it the next year.” She waited for those emails to come back, but when they did not show up she looked into different options. “I wanted to do it again, and I was waiting for the emails,” she said. “But then I saw that the Frisbee team was going to sing, and decided to do that instead.” Without the Independent Wom-



en performing this year, Siano fears that the traditions and fun she had will not be revived in years to come. “I’m afraid that [the senior class] would be the only one that would remember it being awesome,” she said. Ingerson, on the other hand, remains confident that the Independent Women will again take the Chorale Contest stage at the very next opportunity. “It’s not a group that’s died out by any means,” said Ingerson. “It’s definitely going to come back next year.”

A look at the 87th Annual Choral Contest.

The Testostertones practice their medley which will be showcased this Friday, April 26 (top, left); Diana Wu ‘13 leads her Theta sisters through one of many rehearsals, getting ready to take on the other women’s fraternities (top, right); Aaron Do ‘14 lends his voice to the Independent Men’s chorus, who will compete against the fraternities (bottom, left); Betas prepare their songs with Jonas Myers ‘13 on piano (bottom, right). Photos by Vander Laan

Preparation for acts takes months by Serena Runyan Staff Reporter


he annual Choral Contest will take place this Friday, April 26, but the preparation for this event has stretched back months. The contest consists of separate contests among Greek groups, a capella groups and independently-organized unaffiliated students. For different groups, the contest means different things. But for everyone, it’s a time to see some of the variety of organizations around campus coming together to create music in a friendly environment. Each group that competes this Friday chooses a charity for the raised money to go to if it wins. Despite the event’s nature as a competition, its end result is more cohesion both within separate groups and throughout the entire Whitman body that encourages music and creates an effort for worthy causes. Sophomore Clayton Collins is directing both the Testostertones and Phi Delta Theta for the contest. Collins has found preparing with the two groups to be two very different experiences. According to Collins, the contest is a big priority for the Testostertones, as it is the largest audience they’ll sing in front of all year. “It’s the time of year we get

the most exposure, so it’s important that we put our best foot forward,” said Collins. In preparation, the Testostertones have been holding extra rehearsals and focusing hard on the piece they’ll be performing. Unsurprisingly, the group will be showcasing a medley, composed by Collins. “Medleys are typically the songs that people like the best,” Collins explained. “Going into it, it’s all about the medley.” On the other hand, Collins says that while Phi has the same kind of drive, the intensity is much lower. The group meets every night after dinner to practice their performance. “It’s a different atmosphere,” said Collins. “It’s much less competitive.” Since most members of Phi don’t normally participate in a singing group, Collins finds more of a fresh excitement in the fraternity’s rehearsals. “People are excited to do it, so it’s just more fun,” said Collins. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised with people’s musical ability.” That’s not to say the TTones aren’t hyped about the concert, just that the stakes are considerably higher. “The T-Tones are looking forward to the contest, but in a different way,” he said. One of Phi’s competitors,

Beta Theta Pi, also has had a great experience in preparing for the contest. Sophomore Theo Ciszewski looks forward to his participation this year, not only for the experience but for the meaning it has for the fraternity. “It does great things for Beta. We have fun with it and it is a great opportunity to come together as a house,” he said. What makes Beta stand out, Ciszewski said, is its use of both comedy and talent. “I think we put a special attention into our song selection and arrangement,” said Ciszewski. “We strive for a balance between good sound and humor ... only what the best opera singers do when they retire.” Students who choose to lead these rehearsals are experienced in music and can arrange pieces for the group. For Kappa Alpha Theta, this means seniors Diana Wu and Alex Kerl are heading up the group’s participation this year. Theta started rehearsals in March, and has been picking up the pace as the contest draws nearer. Sophomore Theta Caitlyn Yoshina appreciates the contest as both a sisterhood and community builder. “Every Theta is encouraged to participate, regardless of prior experience. The more, the merrier,” she said. “Creating music

is such an incredible experience, and it’s just amazing to be able to share that with my sisters.” Like Collins and Ciszewski observed, Yoshina explained that preparing within the Greek groups is largely a way to come together in a creative and fun way, instead of out of a serious and competitive drive. “Rehearsals are really fun—basically, it’s us hanging out and singing together, with some structure of course. Diana and Alex are really good about keeping us on track with learning the music, but also giving us time to celebrate every achievement,” she said. Yoshina also described the positive influence she sees the contest having on the Greek and Whitman communities. While some people within the Greek system may see it as an aggressive competition, she sees it as a moment to have fun with Thetas. “For me at least, Choral Contest provides an opportunity to put less focus on ‘beating the other team’ and to just celebrate our Greek status [and] be proud of the awesome music that we all are able to create,” Yoshina said. While Greek organizations and a capella groups come ready with members, independent groups must organize themselves “independently” when the contest rolls around every year. This year,

sophomore Erik Anderson plans to participate in the Indy Men group up against the fraternities. “It’s a fairly informal organization ... [It] organically came together after a choir practice,” said Anderson. “I send out emails about meeting times, and we bring music and sing.” This year, the group is organized by Anderson and led by senior music major Will Ekstrom, who has experience conducting and volunteered to lead the group. Despite the group’s casual organization, its members are united in a desire to celebrate music together and with the rest of Whitman. “We are proud to continue the tradition of Indy Men,” said Anderson. “Choral Contest allows the entire campus to come together to celebrate. We hope that everyone can enjoy the friendly competition.” No matter what group or affiliation these students found themselves in, all agreed that the Choral Contest is a fun time to come together and appreciate music within the larger Whitman Community. “Literally anyone at Whitman can compete, like the men’s tennis team did last year ... I think that Choral Contest presents a unique opportunity for all Greeks and independents to come together in the name of philanthropy,” Yoshina said.



25 2013



Women deserve politics-free beauty Gladys GITAU First-year



air for women carries secrets of beauty and selfacceptance. Black women’s hair especially holds secrets I have known about since I was old enough to sit on my mother’s lap and have her pull at my scalp until I looked “presentable.” Mostly what I understood about my hair is that I had to endure a lot of pain for a disproportional amount of beauty in return. Having “good hair” has always been painful. Braids, which I wore for most of my life, meant six to eight hours of sitting between an “auntie’s” legs, straining to watch whatever daytime novella was playing on the TV while she pinched my scalp in a thousand

places. It was worth it because my friends would marvel at my slick new locks for the two months they lasted. My black friends would ask for the auntie’s number, my non-black friends would tug at it and ask how my hair grew so fast. If it wasn’t braids, I’d have to endure my mother carefully combing my roots with Dark and Lovely relaxers and wait until they inflicted a faint burn on my scalp before I could wash the chemicals off. I was always more confident with soft, straight hair like the light-skinned girls on the Dark and Lovely box. But the feeling only lasted as long as my roots didn’t peep out from under the braids or the relaxed hair. All of a sudden, I had naps in the back of my head, and the beauty would fade. Either way, I still didn’t look as cute as the pretty girls on TV who differed from me by more than just their hair. This December, I decided to go natural. This means I took out my long braids that I had in for first semester, I cut off whatever remains of relaxed hair I had and decided to wear my hair in a fro, the way it grows out of my head. This made me feel liberated and bold and for those reasons, more beautiful. My parents hated it:

Voices from the


They thought I was making a political statement. My friends loved it: They thought I was making a political statement. Sadly, the fact that I wear my hair naturally as a black woman is a political statement. Do white girls ever have to go natural? I do not mean to shame black women who wear weaves and braids and relax their hair. Everyone has their right to feel beautiful in the way they feel most comfortable. But sometimes I wonder why it felt so natural for me to relax my hair and hide it under braids and weaves and hair scarves from such a tender age, or why my mother, like every other black woman I knew, put me through this process before I had the chance to decide on my own that I didn’t like my natural hair. Sometimes I wonder if this community perpetuates the harsh cycle by not accepting ourselves. I have a younger sister, and when my mother does her hair, she screams, and I think of how inhumane it is to have a little girl go through that just to look presentable. Did I sound like that when I was her age? Do non-black girls go through the same pain to feel beautiful? Furthermore, if she wore her natural hair in a glorious fro, how many girls like her would

Prospective Student Edition: What is the biggest drawback about Whitman? Poll by Brennan Johnson

Valentina Lopez

Lexi Perez

Bellingham, Wash.

Seattle, Wash.


she see on TV? How many kids would tease her for it? How quickly would she come crying to my mother to straighten her hair? Unfortunately, she’s 10 now and she’s gotten used to it, like I did at her age, like my mother did before us. It’s taken me 19 years, and

Tech more simple with these 5 rules Blair Hanley Frank Senior

TECH TALK “One drawback would be the traveling time [from] Bellingham all the way to Walla Walla.”

“I’m in the Seattle area, so probably the four-hour [drive] or the airfare if I choose to take that route.”

Ari Appel

Gene Hoffman

Boston, Mass.

Kenmore, Wash.

“The biggest drawback of Whitman for me would be not being in a big place with a lot of people just because you don’t have a huge network of people with every interest. You only have a few people for each thing.”

“For me personally, it’s the lack of a four-year engineering program. Since it’s a liberal arts college, it doesn’t have a lot of programs in general and I guess more programs would be the best thing for me.”

Environmentalism means bigger changes Sam Chapman Sophomore



find it hard to recall the moment I first became an environmentalist. It’s not as defined as the instant I became a writer (after reading “The Amber Spyglass” at the age of 11) or an environmental humanities major (about the fifth week of organic chem lab). What I do remember is that when my tender young self first cognized the idea of global warming, my instinct was selfish: I felt threatened. I wanted to save the world, but only so that I could have a chance to grow old. In recent years, particularly in college, I finally began to add people into the equation. I understood how climate change would begin by devastating the blameless, the people closest to the land, and only at the end of its rampage turn its ire against those who set it loose. I discovered that what I most despised had not one name but a myriad: ExxonMobil, TransCanada, Peabody. Their CEOs, who reaped grotesque profits from selling fuel that vandalized the atmosphere, had to either be in total denial or pure evil. I

learned that the fight for the planet was an issue of morality, a question of righting wrongs by turning back an industrial clock. It’s only now that I begin to realize I may have been wrong about some things up until this very day. I’ve written column after column about what an environmentalist is not: not wealthy, not timid, not John Muir. I’ve never stopped to consider what one is. Perhaps this is because there are so few traits all of them share, or because they are so numerous, but I think I know the true answer. The reality is that I am unqualified to describe or define any environmentalist besides myself; so, long overdue, that’s what I’m going to attempt. Is it apathy that keeps me from throwing myself into divestment, or is it resignation? Some of both, but in the end, neither. This self-evaluation began when I realized how often I asserted that I was not “that kind” of environmentalist—that kind being the Al Gore sort, green because they use incandescent bulbs and do large loads of laundry and inflate the tires of their hybrids. I find these solutions, up to and including President Obama’s first-term tightening of emissions standards, more than ineffectual—I find them condescending. They blame the problem on individuals who don’t understand that they cannot continue the exact same lifestyles indefinitely without consequences. This type of “movement” is a diversion from the truth. I can’t identify with the small change environmentalists, but neither can I identify with most of the

people I meet at Whitman—people who, I want to make clear, are fighting for their beliefs and for the planet in a way I cannot. I find it difficult to take part in the divestment movement because I see it as resistance where progress is due instead. In other words, we will no longer win this fight by turning back the clock. We’ve created our own bottleneck, and now we need to push through. This is going to happen on a personal battlefield. In a way, then, I’m back to how I was at the beginning, with one minor difference: The Earth does not need saving. We do. It was easy to hate energy CEOs until I realized I was the one paying their salary. When I realized there was no way I could stop—not with the world as it is—is the moment I became restless at CCC meetings. If we manage to stop a fossil fuel company, another will take its place; if we manage to divest, it doesn’t matter—Exxon still has customers. The world is going to change, drastically and soon. So, going forward as an environmentalist, this is the question I’m going to ask myself: What kind of world do I want it to change into, and how can I help usher it in? When this transformation makes our modern society infeasible—as it inevitably will—I am the kind of environmentalist who hopes to determine what will take its place. I believe action is required, but not in the way we’re applying it now: Instead of trying to wrest the world from the grasp of fossil fuel, environmentalists must ensure something worse does not take its place.

finally I have that choice to decide whether or not I like my hair for myself, and, sadly, whether or not I feel beautiful with it. I hope if I have a daughter, she’ll have that chance to decide without associating her hair with pain, or politics, or shame.


t’s been a wonderful four years writing the tech column for The Pio. But all good things must come to an end. Since I’m going to be leaving campus and taking them with me, I figured I’d share my rules for understanding and contextualizing the technology industry. I’ve honed these from years of watching companies rise and fall, and they’ve come to serve me fairly well whenever I’m thinking about a new piece of tech. I think you’ll find them similarly useful. 1. If they aren’t charging you, they’re selling you to somebody else. There are two ways that a tech company sells you. The first is through advertising: For example, Facebook doesn’t make money by running Facebook; they make money by selling advertisements that can be targeted to you based on anything in your profile. If a particular product isn’t selling you ads (“monetizing” in industry lingo), then that means it probably plans on building its userbase, and then selling the product to a bigger company, who will then start selling ads based on your personal information. 2. Bad things happen to good products. In the tech industry, longevity is the exception, not the rule. Case in point: Google recently announced that it’s going to shut down Google Reader this summer. Reader is a hugely popular product with a vast userbase. I’m not exaggerating

when I say Reader became the RSS reader ecosystem after its launch. Look at Myspace, or Lotus Notes. These are products that are past their prime and in decline. Facebook certainly thinks that it has the longevity, userbase and clout to maintain itself as a force online, but I’m not so sure. 3. Not every product is for you. I’m not the target audience for kids’ software on the iPad. I already know my ABCs, and I’m not looking to become a parent anytime soon. But just because I’m not the target audience doesn’t mean the product is bad. Before dismissing a new piece of tech, try to figure out if you’re the intended user. There’s a chance that product you think is useless is actually a valuable tool for someone who isn’t you. 4. Competition between platforms doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Just as the existence of Coke doesn’t necessitate the annihilation of Pepsi, competing technical platforms don’t have to knock one another out of the market in order to be successful. It’s possible for the Mac OS and Windows to continue competing with one another without one destroying the other. In fact, I’d say that it’s actually better for there to be competition in a given sector because that will drive all of the parties involved to do a better job of innovating. So please, stop bickering. 5. If it hasn’t shipped, take any words with a grain of salt. This industry has no shortage of visionaries with great ideas. Actually taking those ideas and turning them into a shipping product takes an entirely different degree of effort, one which doesn’t always happen. It’s great to get hyped about something that might turn out to be the next big thing, but until it actually shows up in your hands, don’t get too excited. And there you have it: my five rules for understanding technology. May they serve you well in your travels.

Campus Cartoon by Asa Mease





25 2013

Prospie Checklist

A Tool for Hosting Prospective Students: Brought to You by the Office of Admission

Prospie Checklist

Hello, Whitman Hosts!

Do you feel weird around your prospie? Does it seem like they don’t want to do anything? Do they sit quietly and look longingly at stuff, or text all the time? You want them to have a good time. You want them to want to go to Whitman because you love it. It’s certainly for the love of Whitman and not the $10. But then, you have this prospie and you want to make them happy, you don’t know what they want to do or what they want to see, and they are too shy to ask. Worry no more, hosts! The Office of Admission is here to help you. Below is a list of typical activities at Whitman, conveniently checkable. Give this to your prospie and have them check activities and questions they have concerning Whitman so that you can give them exactly what they want.

What Does _____ Mean? ☐ Rhetoric ☐ BBMB ☐ Gender is a Spectrum ☐ Beirut ☐ The Condemned House, “Condemned” ☐ The FAH, The Coop, CoHo, Troy ☐ The Quiet Room ☐ WEB (pronounced “web”) ☐ ASWC (pronounced “asswack”) ☐ The Clarette’s Challenge* ☐ Humans Being ☐ Phi and Phigi ☐ The O.P. ☐ Reid Campus Center, Student Center, “Reid” (pronounced “read”) ☐ The Pio ☐ Varsity Nordic ☐ First-year ☐ Mem (pronounced “mem”) ☐ Lakum Dukum (pronounced “lake-um duck-um”) ☐ The Sweets

Hello, Prospective Student!

We hope you love your visit to Whitman College. To maximize your experience here, we would appreciate it if you looked at the below list. Tell us what you want to know, where you want to go and what you want to do. When you are done checking, give this list back to your host and they will get working. Enjoy your visit!

I Would Like To... ☐ Go for a climb ☐ Go to the gym ☐ Go for a swim ☐ Go for a bike ride ☐ Take a nap ☐ See the wheat fields ☐ See some theater or a sports game ☐ Play Ultimate on Ankeny ☐ Go to a ____ class


☐ Check out the ____ building ☐ Bake a pie or some cookies ☐ Have a jam session ☐ Do the Clarette’s Challenge* ☐ Chill out Dance My Ass Off ______ ☐ in the TKE basement (pronounced “teak”) ☐ in the Beta basement (pronounced “bay-tuh”) ☐ in the Sig basement (pronounced “sig”) ☐ at Phi/Phigi (pronounced “feegee”) ☐ at Condemned ☐ at The Ocho Make Out/Hook Up with someone... (see list above and/or request extended off-campus houses list) Why Are People Always Talking About _______? ☐ Brunch ☐ Being at the library ☐ Pioneer Park ☐ IM Sports ☐ The Patisserie, “The Patiss” ☐ Olive ☐ Goodwill ☐ Maple Counter ☐ Rhonda ☐ The Sweets ☐ The Testostertones, “The T-tones” ☐ Settlers of Catan, “Settlers” ☐ Magic: The Gathering, “Magic”


keg sneak

I forgot, the yearbook After the Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) narrowly voted against decommissioning Waiilatpu, the college’s yearbook, various students across campus reported that, oh yeah, guess we have a yearbook at Whitman again. Although Waiilatpu will receive much less funding than its supporters had hoped, ASWC’s decision ensures that, uh, the ... oh yeah, the yearbook will continue being printed for at least another year. “Uhh ... ” said ASWC Finance Chair Cam Cadeghi. “Wait, what?” Eighth-year Marshall Davis, ASWC’s hardline fiscal conservative, is unhappy with the decision. “Christ, we spend a lot of money. Where do we get all that fucking money? First those kids wanted to go rock climbing and then there was that whole thing with the school newspaper and the feminists and now ... what was the question?” Davis appeared confused when we reminded him that we’d asked about the, um, yearbook, but we must have appeared confused too because we forgot the damn thing existed. “Wait, we have a scrapbook?” said Davis. Opinions about the thing varied considerably. Many students expressed a gentle indifference, like junior Max Michaelson, who told reporters that “uhhhhh ... what?” while others demonstrated something like impassioned unawareness, like senior Anne Wadson, who noted that “?????!” Generally, though, sources across campus concurred that oh, right, the yearbook. Outgoing ASWC President Vaykon Raccoonzian wasn’t sure if, uh, he missed some-

thing when the resolution to decommission the yearbook failed. “Wow. I mean, talk about a ... Jesus, this, uh, yearbook really is a thing now, I guess. They just really snuck that one in there. Did I, uh, just totally miss that one?” said Raccoonzian, pointing out that “I don’t know if anyone really realized it.” So, uh, there’s that, sources added. Huh. Waiilatpu ordered 150 copies of this ... Waiilatpu ... of the 150 ... yearbook. For this year? Yeah, that’s right. Several members of Waiilatpu admitted that “yeah, we wanted to do that whole thing while ASWC wasn’t really looking” and “Got ‘em!” Marshall Davis, on the other hand, expressed his excitement with Whitman’s “new football team.” “We see it ... the, uh, the ... yearbook, I mean, as really important to preserving, uh, Whitman’s whole history,” said Parker Zachary, an outspoken supporter of the, well, you know. First-year Jacqueline Hardcastle, meanwhile, seemed to have a little better idea as to what was going on and stuff. “I’m gonna try and get the quarterback to sign it!” she reported. An ASWC-sponsored survey was released last week in order to better understand public opinion of the .74 percent of respondents voted that “Wait, a what?”, while 53 percent voted that “Oh, right. Well, this is happening.” Only 11 percent of respondents remembered having their pictures taken for the thing, you know, that we’ve been talking about this whole... Oh. Okay. Right. Christ, how’d they do that?


veryone knows what “4/20” means. And on Saturday, it had a very interesting twist ... a keg sneak! Indeed, as everyone knows, 4/20 was the start of the fad that is “Humans vs. Zombies.” The Human team, forever in watch of their zombie counterparts, gathered in an off-campus house dubbed “Humanity’s Last Hope” with the goal of finishing off a keg before the zombies showed up. As soon as the game began, the post on the HvZ forum read: “The sneak is on, zombies!” Tristan Gavin, a former base-

ball player, commented, “When I used to play baseball, I thought those guys were pretty big nerds. Now I’m starting to realize— the human side at least—can really party.” Off in the distance an occasional “NERD!” was heard, but at that moment the humans were having their day. And they got drunk. Really drunk. “It was pretty ironic because then they started getting really drunk and they were the ones acting like zombies. Ironic, right? Guys?” commented English major Bill Seymour.


The Human side had lost control. Some who were unaccustomed to drinking beer began to vomit in the corner; others began to howl at the moon as if they were turning into werewolves. They needed to be reminded that they weren’t that type of nerd. The humans, however, had forgotten that zombies can smell beer vomit from up to three kilometers away. “It was a classic mistake— nerds drinking too much and attracting zombies all in an attempt to be cool. They should have just stayed in North!” commented Zombie expert Blair Frank. The Zombies showed up and it was all but over for the humans. Some managed to clutch their stomachs and run away, but others were turned into zombies instantly. “Pretty horrifying watching that,” commented expert Zombiewatcher Frank Blair. “I haven’t seen a massacre like that since ‘81, and that wasn’t as nasty as this.” The Zombies had triumphed and they finished off the keg the Hzumans had only managed to drink 12 beers out of, despite their number being 42. “Finish off the wounded soldiers!” commented Head Zombie Bill Husky, implying to finish all the half-drunken beers lying around “Humanity’s Last Hope.” In an exclusive interview with the Backpage, Husky only commented: “Zombies know how to party; humans don’t.”





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Draft Beers $2.50 • Well Drinks $3.75 Monday - Thursday • 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

BrewPuB 15 Years of Food, Fun, and Great Beers!

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Pioneer spring 2013 issue 12