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.”