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MARCH 12, 2009




Varsity ski cuts spark outcry, discussion by Kim Sommers with Cindy Chen Editor-in-Chief and Senior Reporter

The economic crisis has finally hit home. Last night, Wednesday, March 11, 300 Whitman students, faculty, staff and concerned community members filed into Maxey Auditorium to discuss the controversial decision to ZIPPARO convert the varsity A crowd of nearly 300 listen to George Bridges respond to a question. Alpine and Nordic ski States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Associateam to a club sport. President George Bridges, Athletic Director tion (USCSA) national championships in WinDean Snider and other top administrators were ter Park, Colorado, bringing with them several on hand to answer questions from the audience top finishes. “The biggest frustration is how blind-sided about the decision which was announced to the everyone felt. There was no transparency in community on March 10. This decision comes only days after the the process to cut the team or where the money Nordic ski teams returned from the United is going or how it got cut so quickly,” said Var- Poll WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE ADMINISTRATION’S DECISION TO CUT THE VARSITY SKI TEAMS?



Varsity ski team member Brad West, ‘12, voices his concern to George Bridges while teammates Aurora Bowers, ‘12, left, and Chris Machesney, ‘12, right, listen in.

sity Nordic ski team member senior Lindsay Records. “It was so sudden.” The team and their coaches, Tom Olson and Calisa Schouweiler, were notified on Monday, March 10 of the decision, only hours before


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FORUM, see page 3

First state execution in near decade scheduled for Friday by Elana Congress


their teams. According to the letter Bridges released to the community, the varsity program will be converted to the club level starting next year for both student experiential and


On Friday, Mar. 13 murderer Cal Coburn Brown, 50, is slated for execution at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla in what will be the state’s first lethal injection since 2001. As of publication, Brown’s execution is still set for the earliest minutes of tomorrow morning. He will undergo lethal injection as close to 12:01 a.m. as possible, if his case is not stayed. A stay of execution is a court-ordered post-

ponement of an execution. A stay will only be granted if a Washington judge hears Brown’s appeal and sides in his favor. Before the inmate sentenced to the death penalty (ISDP) is executed, the Penitentiary Assistant Secretary must check if any stays have been granted. This final confirmation occurs even after the ISDP has been placed in restraints in preparation for his execution. This past Monday, the Washington state Supreme Court denied two appeals by Brown’s attorneys. EXECUTION, see page 5




MARCH 12, 2009

Skiers face uncertain futures, consider other options by Rachel Hoar Reporter


To read more thoughts from students, visit

After being notified that both the varsity Alpine and Nordic programs would be cut, Whitman skiers are left Most of us, Nordic and Alpine, came to Whitman because of ski team, and with a decision to make: what to do so we are all pretty devastated. It’s a now. huge part of our lifestyle, and our lives The timing of the decision makes at Whitman, so it’s not just a change student choices less than clear-cut. in club or a change in activity; it’s a Many Whitman skiers are still trychange lifestyle.” ing to process the information, which -Bailey Arend, ‘10, Nordic captain they learned the afternoon of Mon., March 9. “I had no idea this was coming,” The college has stated they will aid any skisaid first-year Alpine skier Nathan er who wishes to transfer to another school. Ord. Some skiers now say that they must not Many skiers, however, are torn over whether only decide if they wish to transfer from to leave or stay. “I think what we have to consider is, if we Whitman after this cut, but if they are feasibly able to do so, due to the timing of this want to stay at Whitman, or if we want to ski,” said sophomore Nordic skier Paige Devannouncement. “I’m looking at a transfer application, and lin. “Because we can’t have both.” Although skiing would be re-categorized the deadline is March 1,” said first-year Nordic skier Kira Peterson. “And applying for as a club sport under the announced changes, scholarships at other schools… that’s a little skiers question if their sport would look the same as it has in the past. out of the question now.” ADVERTISEMENT

Corrections for Issue 5, March 05, 2009 The Feature’s article “Misunderstanding Feminist Misunderstandings” was accidentally printed in its original, un-revised form draft form. The quotations that appeared in that article were not approved in their final form by the sources–Professor Shampa Biswas and junior Amelia Singer–before going to print. Another article, “Peer listeners conduct survey to assess needed changes,” also was printed in its original form, and included a personal author’s citation.

Telling us now, just after the high of getting back from USCSA nationals, and with this hard week of work ahead, it’s a very difficult thing.” -Nathan Ord, ‘12, Alpine skier

“If we go club, it’s going to be very difficult to keep this alive with a standard club budget,” said Ord. Whitman’s decision to move to a club sport has received mixed views on its feasibility. The ski program moved from club to varsity status in the 2002 to 2003 school year. The team had previously competed in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA ), equivalent to Division I. In moving to club status, skiers would compete in the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association (USCSA), which is equivalent to Division III. Club coaches receive little monetary compensation, and traveling for both training and competition would remain expensive. The Nordic team has very little USCSA competition in the west. While the Alpine team has nearby competition, Bluewood will not

It’s understandable that in times of economic hardship, [Whitman] has to make cuts, but I have to question completely cutting one program for the sake of everything else. I could understand maybe making us take a budget cut so that other sports could keep their budgets, but completely getting rid of us?” -Roxy Pierson, ‘11, Nordic skier

allow them to train without a coach. Budget issues notwithstanding, there are other concerns on the minds of skiers. Some say that it would be hard to leave behind the teammates they have grown close to over their Whitman careers. Others do not wish to leave behind the relationships they have established at Whitman. “I have a family here,” said Ord. “I don’t feel like I could leave that solely for the purpose of skiing at another college.” “Skiing is a big part of my social life on campus,” added sophomore Nordic skier Roxy Pierson. “If a lot of my other friends were to transfer, it would be really hard to adjust.” Those who wish to stay also face the difficulty of adjusting to life without one of their biggest passions. “I need that kind of exercise, and I need the team feeling to really be happy and successful in school and in the rest of my life,” said junior Nordic captain Bailey Arend. The board of trustees is expected to make their final decision by April 10. Students are encouraged to submit their comments to George Bridges at

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MARCH 12, 2009



Bridges discusses economic factors of ski cut at forum Skiers, other students voice concerns about timing, transparency FORUM, from cover

financial reasons. Specifically, Bridges cites the difficulties of competing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level, saying that it is “unrealistic and not necessarily desirable.” His letter continued, saying that he believes “our students will experience more success athletically and, by virtue of limiting their travel to competitions with Northwest colleges and universities, more opportunities to participate in on-campus programs at Whitman.” Bridges’ second reason derives from the significant cost the program incurs. Combined, the ski teams consume 95 to 100 percent of the Athletic Department’s national travel budget for varsity teams as well as require the highest per-student cost of $5, 625, excluding staff salaries. “In these economic times, we cannot justify augmenting or even sustaining the current ski budget while adequately supporting our other athletic teams, and maintaining the SSRA travel budget for competing in NCAA sanctioned sports,” Bridges wrote in his letter. This year, the college has seen a 30 percent dip in its endowment, causing the college to reduce its operating costs by $2 million for the coming academic year. “You have to understand, this is an extremely unusual set of circumstances,” said Bridges. “No one my age has ever witnessed

an economy unravel so quickly and an endowment downward drop of over $100 million dollars so fast.” While many of the forum’s attendants understand the difficulties the economic situation presents, overwhelming criticism of the way in which the decision was made and announced was apparent from the crowd. “The fact that this came out of the blue, with no consultation with any of the skiing staff, no one affiliated with skiing, it seems like it’s almost a rash decision, but I know they put thought into it,” said first-year Nathan Ord, member of the Men’s Varsity Apline Ski team. “The fact that they didn’t collaborate with us to find other options seems both disrespectful and petty. They didn’t respect our opinion enough to talk to us about this and see if we could try to keep our program.” Members of the team also expressed concern with the timing of the decision, which came unexpectedly after the Nordic teams’ success at the USCSA nationals and during mid-terms. “I accept the criticism that the timing was problematic. But there was nothing that we could really do about that,” said Bridges. The decision was made by Bridges, Snider and Provost and Dean of Faculty Lori Bettison-Varga, in consultation with faculty, staff, alumni and coaches of other varsity teams. Although Bridges says that his mind is set, the

g an Skiin m it h W of Histor y 1996: Both Nordic and Alpine ski teams become club sports

2003: Both Nordic and Alpine ski teams became NCAA Division 1 sports

2001: Alpine ski team becomes eighth-time conference champions

1998: Alpine skier, Holly Shelton, makes winter Olympic trials

decision must still be approved by the Board of Trustees. The Board is expected to make a decision by April 10. A second campus forum is scheduled for April 6 at 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium. “I’ve consulted with [the Board of Trustees] extensively, and thus far they understand the action,” said Bridges. “I believe they will approve it, but they’re independent thinkers and care very much about the students.” If approved by the Board, approximately $40,000 of the total $240,000 used to fund the ski teams and their coaches will be reallocated to expand the travel budgets of the other varsity sports. The remaining $200,000 will be added to the college’s annual savings. “Dean Snider told us in our meeting that in the interest of academic and athletic excellence, they were going to bolster some of the other programs with money from the ski team. That seemed almost hypocritical, considering the fact that Whitman just came back with multiple All-American titles and a great job at the national USCSA level. That is some of the most success that Whitman has ever seen,” said Ord. The college has made significant budget cuts including implementing $1.8 million in reductions, most coming from the deferral of eight faculty searches and 5 percent cuts in all academic departments. “We tried our best to protect the academic

core, and we hoped to have as little impact on athletics as possible, but in the end, the ski program is simply too expensive to support while continuing to maintain a level of adequate funding for all other areas within academic affairs,” said Bettison-Varga. Coaches Olson and Schouweiler will serve the remainder of their contracts due to expire July 1. They will also receive severance. Olson, a former nominee for the Whitman Athletic Hall of Fame, has been involved in Whitman athletics for 19 years. Schouweiler has coached the Nordic team since the 2007 to 2008 season. Neither wished to comment at this time. Throughout the forum, members of the ski teams remained hopeful that efforts could be made to save the team. Since Monday’s announcement, the team has made a huge push to garner support from the community, sending multiple listserv e-mails and making calls to alumni and trustee members. “This budget problem could very well affect any of the other teams soon, and I think it’s a good idea for everyone involved to be more informed on what the hell is going on with our athletics program,” said first-year varsity alpine skier Torey Anderson. “One day we were winning national championships, and the next we were cut, so it kind of goes to show that changes this drastic can happen in the blink of an eye.”

2006: Whitman commissions a review of SSRA and examines whether skiing should be kept as an NCAA sanctioned sport; no consensus was reached

2005: Alpine skiers, Hannes Zirknitzer and Rachel Walker, represented their home countries at the 22nd Winter World University Games

2009: Administration announces decision to convert both varsity ski teams to the club level





MARCH 12, 2009

Students begin summer job search amidst difficulties by CJ Wisler Reporter

With the declining economy and burgeoning tuition costs, students at Whitman are beginning to search for summer jobs in order to help pay for the next school year. One of the best times to begin searching is spring break, according to Whitman College Career Center Director Susan Buchanan. “If you are spending spring break at home or in the community in which you want to work during the summer, it is important to try to find summer job leads during that time,” said Buchanan. “That way you will be ahead of other students who wait until they finish their semester before looking for work.” While some students may feel that spring break is hard-earned payback for the time of strenuous academics and activities, the reality is that the failing economy makes it increasingly difficult to secure a wellpaying part-time or seasonal job over the

summer, especially for students. In some states such as California, laidoff workers are competing with students for part-time or summer jobs, which greatly decreases the already minimized job market for workers, both for students and in the adult workforce. Since the economic situation this year does not give student workers much leeway insofar as time to search for a summer job, Buchanan says students should begin searching for jobs as soon as possible. The best way for students to go about finding a job on spring break is to utilize the resources around them in order to get a head start on the job-search. “The best thing to do is to identify the employers who you want to work for,” said Buchanan. “Research them online. Often they list jobs on their Web site. Otherwise, find the name of a human resources staff member [to help you find a job.]” On-campus resources include the Whitman College Career Center Web site: www. Whitman also

T-shirt design winner announced

belongs to an association of select liberal arts colleges who pool internships together, which provides links to over 3,000 internships listed by location and highest area. Although the pickings are slim, students should still consider their own interests, values and future plans when looking for a job. “It is important to have a focus based on those interests so that you know what skills to emphasize,” said Buchanan. Most importantly, students should research what they want to do and look at what skills are required and either learn about how to develop those skills or consider how they have used or developed similar skills in the past. “An employer doesn’t care much if the experience [was through] a class project, a job or as a student leader,” Buchanan said. “They just want you to be able to demonstrate that you can successfully do the job.”

Tips for finding internships While most industries have been hit hard by the recession, the federal government is one industry that’s currently undergoing growth. You can look for federal and government jobs in your area (as well as tips for developing a resume) at It is important to have a detailed cover letter and resume in any job you apply for. Make sure the style is correct and that it’s packed with details about previous jobs, scholarships, awards and recognitions, and any other information that makes you look qualified. The Whitman College Career Center will help you develop a resume to demonstrate your skills and accomplishments to an employer with professional quality. Some states, such as California, Michigan and Florida have been hit harder by the recession. However, Washington has not been hit as hard, so there are still jobs available particularly with the federal government. For students looking at internships as well as jobs: it is possible to have the “perfect” unpaid internship if you have a part-time paying job as well. The Career Center has funding sources to help students with summer internships, and The Washington State Summer Work Study Internship fun will reimburse student employers up to 65 percent of student wages. There are several internship grants as well. More information and applications are available at the career center.





Saager’s Shoe Shop is consolidating and closing Walla Walla Saager’s Rack.

Shoe repair drop-off and pick-up is no longer available in Walla Walla, please bring to Saager’s Shoe Shop in Milton-Freewater.


111 E. Main Street, Walla Walla • (509) 522-5255

613 N. Main Street, Milton-Freewater • (541) 938-5162

Open Mon-Sat 8am-6pm

79824 CL

Open Tues-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-3pm 79673

Michael Hanley, ‘12, designed the winning logo for the bookstore’s T-shirt Design Contest. According to Bookstore Manager Douglas Carleson, Hanley’s design maintained a lead in the final days of the online survey, winning with 38 percent of the vote. The design will be featured on T-shirts available for purchase in the Whitman Bookstore starting after spring break.


MARCH 12, 2009



Whitman employees lose hours, face recession by J. Staten Hudson Reporter


Geneva Faulkner, ‘11, an assistant in the admissions office, is one of the few students continuing to retain their hours.

Across departments, budgets are being slashed in order to cut costs during this economic recession, resulting in a drop in wages and hours for Whitman students who hold jobs. According to Walter Froese, Controller of Whitman College, the extent of the impact on student wages is hard to ascertain because it is specific to each department. “Most offices and programs have a discretionary part of their budget which can be spent in many ways: services, supplies, travel and, among other things, student wages,” said Froese. “To the extent such budgets were reduced, it may be difficult to estimate the exact impact on student wages.” Froese estimates that the net effect on student wages for this year was a decrease in student wages of between $20,000 and $30,000 due to a reduction in hours. To put this in perspective, Whitman spent just under 1.15 million on student wages last fiscal year.

While this doesn’t seem too bad, students in certain departments are feeling these cuts. Junior Sarah Deming works for WCTS as a “gopher”— an assistant to the receptionist in the WCTS office—and has seen her job description expand while her hours decline. “They eliminated 20 hours of the gopher shift,” said Deming, “and they eliminated the supply manager job altogether.” Now, in addition to her job as a “gopher” Deming is also required to make sure that certain departments don’t run out of ink, printer paper or other supplies that they might need—a job that used to be done by the supply manager. However, according to Varga Fox, the director of financial aid services at Whitman, departments are trying to make cuts in areas other than student wages in order to provide students with the hours they need to help meet educational expenses. “We have, as an institution, made a commitment to students in the form of work-study and will continue to do as much as possible to make jobs available to fulfill that commitment,” said

Fox. Fox did hint that it might be harder for students who are not eligible for work-study to find a job on campus, however. “It may be more difficult in the future for students who are not eligible for state or federal work-study funding to find positions on campus,” said Fox, “but there will still be jobs for a significant number of students to help pay their educational costs.” Luckily, the college does expect to receive a similar amount of money from the state and federal government for its work-study program next year, meaning that, at least for next year, hours won’t be cut significantly more. “The college has very little control over the level of governmental support for Whitman student wages, but both federal and state support is expected to continue at or above current levels,” said Fox. “Furthermore, the college is committed to using the full amount of both state and federal support for student wages each year. This means students who qualify for these programs, as usual, will have priority for available student jobs.”

Student activist groups speak out against execution EXECUTION, from cover

Yesterday afternoon, the Thurston County Superior Court denied another one of Brown’s appeals. According to an article in The Seattle Times, Seattle attorney Gil Levy argued that lethal injection qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. Levy filed the denied appeal for Brown and another convicted murder, Jonathan Lee Gentry. According to a press release from the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, at least two possibilities remain for Brown to escape Friday’s execution. Yesterday, Brown filed a motion for discretionary review with the Washington State Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision later today. In addition, the Washington State Clemency & Pardons Board will hear Brown’s request for clemency at 1 p.m. this afternoon. The fivemember board will then make a recommendation to Washington governor Christine Gregoire, suggesting that she grant or deny Brown’s request for clemency. Brown was sentenced to death in December 1993 for the 1991 murder of Holly Washa. Brown admitted to raping, stabbing, torturing and strangling Washa, a 21-year old woman from

Burien, Wash. According to the Associated Press, only five men have been executed in Washington since 1963. Brown will undergo lethal injection by default. An ISDP has the option of death by hanging or by lethal injection. The offender must submit a request in writing at least two weeks prior to his execution date if he wishes to die by hanging. Since Brown did not make such a request, he will be executed by lethal injection. Andy Porter, a reporter for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, will serve as one of eight news media witnesses at the execution. “You’re there to observe, you’re there to take notes, you’re there to act as the public eye,” said Porter of his role as a witness. Following Brown’s death, Porter will write a news article for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin about the execution. Other witnesses include the victim’s two sisters and brother. In a Mar. 9 letter to the Thurston County judge, Washa’s family and friends pleaded for Brown’s execution. “Please let Holly rest in peace and let everyone else have some closure. I know we cannot erase

it out of our memories but knowing justice has been done and that [Brown] can never do this to another person will help ease our minds,” wrote Washa’s family. Brown’s execution is especially relevant for campus groups such as the Whitman College Prison Research Group (WCPRG) and Whitman Civil Liberties Union (WCLU). The WCPRG spent a significant portion of its Mar. 2 meeting discussing Brown’s execution and the philosophy behind the death penalty. According to Pete Parcells, Associate Professor of Economics and a leader of the group, WCPRG as an organization will not protest Brown’s execution or come out to support it. “We’re a-political,” said Parcells. “We don’t take a stand against capital punishment or for capital punishment—we just analyze it.” Although the group as an organization is impartial, its members hold different viewpoints about the morality of the death penalty. “This guy is being killed and it’s being supported by the government,” said Julie Irvine, a sophomore in the WCPRG. “Is it ever really just to kill someone? I don’t know.” Some Whitman students, such as junior Kelli Kuhlman, fiercely protest capital punishment.

“For as long as I can remember I’ve been against the death penalty. It’s my moral belief that no one should be sentenced to death, regardless of his crime,” said Kuhlman. Kuhlman plans to attend Brown’s peace vigil outside of the penitentiary. If the execution goes through, the peace vigil will be held concurrently with Brown’s execution. In the past few months two other convicted murderers received stays, postponing their executions. Dwayne A. Woods was granted a stay in mid-February, more than a month before his Mar. 20 execution date. Darold Ray Stenson was scheduled to die on Dec. 3, 2008 but was granted two stays just a week before his execution. According to The Seattle Times, the U.S. District Court granted Stenson a stay due to a physical ailment. Stenson’s attorneys argued that his Type 2 Diabetes might make lethal injection so painful that it would constitute cruel and unusual punishment. More information about the peace vigil can be found by e-mailing Kelli Kuhlman at Washington’s capital punishment policy can be found online at www.doc. under policy number 490.200.




MARCH 12, 2009

Printing forum fails to get student involvement by Josh Goodman Reporter


Jed Schwendiman, associate to the President and chair of the conservation committee facilitates the Mar. 5 GoPrint forum.

To share your thoughts on this issue, visit

For all the hype over the new printing quotas, fewer than a dozen students showed up to last Thursday’s forum on the issue, the first of two. Those in attendance, though, had a platform to share their views. “The purpose of this event is to solicit information and opinions,” said forum moderator and Campus Sustainability Coordinator senior Karlis Rokpelnis. The event also featured an update on GoPrint from Associate to the President and chair of the Conservation Committee Jed Schwendiman and WCTS Middleware Analyst Mike Osterman. In effect since January, GoPrint is a new printing management system that requires students to release their printing jobs in order to reduce waste. As they release their print jobs, printing fees are deducted from students’ $60 printing credit. WCTS statistics prepared by Osterman show that implementing GoPrint has reduced paper consumption by 40 percent compared to Fall 2008—over 25,000 sheets of paper. That’s roughly equivalent to lining up the saved paper from one end of Walla Walla to the other. The decrease is better than expected. “[Other] schools typically noticed a 20-30

percent reduction in printing by implementing a [printing management] system,” said Schwendiman. More telling statistics for Whitman’s progress won’t be available until the end of the semester, though. While GoPrint is generally considered a success, students certainly have their opinions. Sophomore Jeremy Guggenheim suggested switching to a system that doesn’t involve an additional login. “I have to log into the computer, and I have to print. Often I’ll have to log into CLEo, then I’ll have to log into some weird printing program that’s not related to GoPrint, and then I’ll have to log into my GoPrint account, also, and then clear it,” he said. “It’s really rather irritating.” He suggested using Green Print to save paper, which works by eliminating unneeded sheets of paper such as banners and title pages. Still, Guggenheim said most of his initial concerns about GoPrint have been resolved. Originally upset that students may have to pay out-of-pocket for their printing, he now feels that “the printing quota is sufficiently generous, generally speaking, to allow people to print without going into their own money.” Paper Campaign leader and sophomore Guari Mirashi said her one concern is that

once people get over the initial shock of the printing quota, they’ll print more. “I felt like the first initial shock was ‘oh my God, every page must really matter’ and now everyone’s sort of [wasting more],” she said. “But it’s still way less than it used to be.” For next year, a quick vote among attendees showed support for lowering the printing quota to $50 (1,000 sheets or 1,110 sides when printing double-sided), the original suggestion of the Conservation Committee. An exception might be made for seniors, given the extra printing required for theses. At such a level, most students still would not need to pay out-of-pocket. Halfway through the semester, 90 percent of students still have $43 or more in their account, according to Osterman. Schwendiman noted that “we could look at the people who use up most of their [free printing] money and go back and see, are these seniors? Were they working on a project? Is there a reason we have these little blips out here on the edges? And then try to make a decision about where a reasonable limit is based on what’s producing those outliers.” Osterman considers the forum a success. “A lot of important issues were discussed,” he said. A second forum will be a held at a to-bedetermined date later this semester.

Unpredictable weather to blame for student injury Alethea Buchal Reporter

Remember opening your campus Webmail last week to find an e-mail from the Dean of Students warning you to watch out for the dangerous mudpiles? Perhaps the e-mail seemed a bit absurd and unconventional, but recent rapid fluctuations in the weather have affected many Whitman students. According to Dean of Students Chuck Cleveland there have been more than five incidents so far this term where weather conditions have caused injuries. One such injury occurred on Feb. 27 when sophomore Cat Stallwood-Valverde tripped in a mud-puddle outside of Memorial Hall and broke two bones in her ankle. “I was innocently walking back from Reid to the library on Friday afternoon. Unfortunately

there was a huge mud area on the path that did the recent climate as a result of a change in the not want me to go to the library that day,” said jet stream. “It’s been a little bit colder than a normal winter Stallwood-Valverde. The mud that caused Stallwood-Valverde’s because the jet stream has been more south to us fall resulted from the contrasting frozen ground than it usually is,” said Pogue. The jet stream– high-speed, high-altitude air deeper in the soil and the less frozen, thawing out top layer. Walk on mud the wrong way, and you currents that circle the earth’s troposphere causing the formation of could suffer dire conseweather– usually starts quences. It’s been a little bit moving to the north The multi-layered colder than a normal of Walla Walla in the mud parallels the mulwinter.” spring, creating warmtiple levels of climate -Kevin Pogue, professor of geology er and drier weather. Walla Walla citizens This year, however, experience every winthe jet stream is blowter. “This time of year when the sun comes out, it ing cold air right out of British Columbia onto could be snowing or raining,” said Donna Cum- Eastern Washington; hence the ice and snow. To understand Walla Walla’s weather patterns mings, Secretary to the Dean of Students. Professor of Geology Kevin Pogue explained a bit more clearly in order to plan for weather-ap-

propriate wardrobe choice and outdoor activities, Pogue suggests visiting the National Weather Service Forecast Office’s Web site (http://www.wrh. il=now&sid=pdt&format=pre). In the end, however, no weather can be completely predictable. Cleveland suggests that “if you don’t like [the weather], wait one more day.” Said Pogue: “There’s a famous quote by Mark Twain ‘Climate is what you expect and weather is what you get.’ Weather is inherently unpredictable. It’s not always going to be nice and warm in early March and make you think of spring, sometimes winter’s just going to hold on a little longer.” For more information the nature of jet streams visit and look under the “Eastern Pacific and Western North America” tab.


MARCH 12, 2009



Bill Murray shares his experiences as an alumnus Op-Ed Editor

Whitman alumnus Bill Murray ‘92 returned to campus this last week to present a lecture on his experiences as an embedded journalist in Iraq for the Hosokawa Endowed Lecture series. As part of his stay he met with The Pioneer to give this interview.

WHY DID YOU WANT TO GO INTO JOURNALISM IN THE FIRST PLACE? My first experience with journalism was with the Pio, so some of the things I started at Whitman I’ve continued to do since then. My experience on the Pio for a couple years was something I found I could be good at. In undergraduate years you’re always looking for how you fit. So that’s what motivated me. My first job out of Whitman was radio journalism, so between working on the Pio and having a couple of spots on KWCW it seemed to be something I could do.


HAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STORY YOU HAVE COVERED SO FAR AND WHY? When I started working for Bloomberg in 2000 it was during the presidential campaign, so it was kind of fun. We were able to stay back in Washington since everybody on staff was going to cover the campaign. Then there was the recount that took place in Florida, after about 30 days when people were burning out: they didn’t know how long this recount would go. They sent me down for the last five days to cover that. That was fascinating. It was one of the biggest stories you could think of and I was only at that point a year out of graduate school in journalism. When I was in Alaska the radio station was small and you could do whatever you wanted. I covered basketball games. I also covered dog races and snow mobile races. One of the snow mobile races was a 250 mile race that circulated the region and I got to cover it and do phone interviews for all these little villages and then ride on the back of snow mobiles to get to the next place. That was cool. Doing stuff like that is just the most fun thing I’ve covered.



WAYS? Yes. Writing is hard. Writing is a skill. Some people are more gifted than others, but most of us have to work at it. If there is one thing that you are forced to do even as a science major, but especially as a humanities or a social science major, it’s to wrote. The idea that being forced to write when you’re not at your best is actually almost equivalent to what you do in journalism because you can’t pick your times and you just have to show up every day and do your best.


OW HAS WHITMAN CHANGED SINCE YOU WERE HERE? The students themselves seem pretty much the same: engaged, interested, good at multi-tasking, involved in a lot of different activities. Ask better questions than usual. People are a bit more interested, a bit more engaged and that hasn’t really changed. A lot of the other thing seem similar. There are more interest houses now than there were in the past.


HY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COVER THE WAR IN IRAQ? I had been in the army reserves in the 90s so the idea of military activities was not a foreign one to me. I covered the recount and I covered 9/11. I was in Washington so I covered the Pentagon attack and it seemed that professionally—Iraq being such a good view on the whole War on Terror— we were covering business mostly. We didn’t have anybody in Iraq so I wouldn’t have had a chance

to go somewhere. Then the timing came about that perhaps I could embed myself—and it wasn’t always possible that a freelancer could—and also I wanted to test a couple propositions about coverage of the war. I never felt I could properly cover it for a variety of reasons. I wanted to see how much news was out there to be gathered and the ease or ill-ease with which it could be gathered, so I was kind of curious to test some propositions.


AS IRAQ HOW YOU EXPECTED IT TO BE? WHY OR WHY NOT? I don’t know what I expected. There are always surprises. The thing that really stood out for me was that I finally got an answer as to where all the money went, the amount of money that seems obvious once you get there. The infrastructure that the taxpayer pays goes into things like food service corps and gymnasiums and all these ancillary things that the military feel—probably correctly—are needed to keep someone in the army equipped. You have to try and reduplicate at least to some measure their home and the costs to do that are phenomenal, so that was an interesting side that I had never gotten an idea of. Other than that I didn’t have any preconceived notions.


O YOU FEEL THAT COVERING THE WAR IN IRAQ CHANGED THE WAY YOU VIEW THE WORLD? Professionally it was a good experience. I may have learned some things in terms of the difference between working for someone and working for yourself, but those are lessons

you might learn in other ways too. It made me a bit more entrepreneurial, but other than that I don’t know. Perhaps it might have created a little more self discipline when taking care of the way you work because all of the gear I had for months and months—everything I had was what I had to carry. If you lose an integral piece of equipment it is very tough to make up for it.


HAT NEW EXPERIENCES DO YOU HOPE TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM? I’d like to teach some. I think journalism is going into a big phase of change and I think it is a very interesting time. Right now I live in Washington D.C. and cover Congress. That’s a pretty good thing to do right now, but I would like to help people be more critical about the way they read journalism. I would like to raise the consumer standards, because essentially we get the kind of journalism that we are willing to pay for and right now we don’t pay anything, but we can’t always count on that. We could probably do with more critical thinking about the way we imbibe news and that would ultimately make society better. In other words, you could judge these organizations against each other. It is all in the same pot. That would be interesting for me.


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Too much pressure to be amazing Many Whitman students spend their breaks, semesters or years traveling abroad, working in amazing internships or participating in other unique and profound experiences. But many do not. There is nothing wrong with traveling during breaks or studying abroad. In fact, it is a good idea to take advantage of what time is available. But there is too much emphasis placed on doing amazing things all the time. There is too much pressure from fellow Whitties and the college to participate in new opportunities all of the time. Is it not possible to just enjoy a break for the sake of having a break once in a while? With spring just around the corner, study abroad in the minds of first-years and sophomores and summer rapidly approaching, it seems like all you hear on campus these days is “What are you doing for (blank)?”— What are you doing for spring break? What are you doing for study abroad? What are you doing for the summer? What if you don’t want to do anything? Sometimes, that doesn’t seem like an option. For the two weeks of spring break, many Whitman students will be participating in alternative spring break programs, traveling abroad with family or the school, participating in intensive OP trips or doing any number of other exciting things. Those that aren’t doing any of these things will likely be looking for an internship or other cool thing to do over the summer. At Whitman, a large number of students participate in these programs. Forty-eight percent of the student body studies abroad for a summer, semester or year.

More than half of Whitman students have an internship some time during their time at Whitman. All of these are great things to do, but they are not the only option. If we as students want to spend our break relaxing, reading a book, watching way too many movies, maybe even getting ahead—or just caught up—on homework, then we should be able to do so without shame. Though there is no explicit pressure from the college to participate in alternative spring break or other programs, there is sometimes an undertone of disappointment that we have noticed when people do not take every opportunity presented to them. And this does not just apply to spring break. There is a large amount of pressure and expectation from the college to get internships or other opportunities during the summer. We want to get ahead as much as the next person, but sometimes just stepping back and living life while it lasts is good too. The breaks should be about taking time off from the pressures of school as well as whatever else. It is hard to feel relieved of this pressure, though, if there is so much expectation to not waste your time during breaks. We want to participate and to make the most of our time even during breaks. But we also want to relax and not do anything during our time off. Is that too much to ask?

MARCH 12, 2009

WhitmanCollegePioneer SPRING 2009 Editors-in-Chief: Kim Sommers, Jamie Soukup Director of Writing: Gillian Frew Business Director: Megan McIntire

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R E P O RT E R S Iris Alden, Maggie Allen, Chelsea Bissell, Alethea Buchal, Shannon Buckham, Cindy Chen, Elana Congress, Alyssa Fairbanks, Josh Goodman, Rachel Hoar, J. Staten Hudson, Alex Jeffers, Sara Levy, Billy Low, Rebecca MacFife, Lauren McCullough, Noah Moskat, CJ Wisler, Libby Watkins

C O L U M N I S T S Russ Caditz-Peck, Lisa Curtis, Bryant Fong, Spencer Janyk, Alex Kerr, William Lawrence, Miles Pengilly, Sophia Sady, Caitlin Tortorici, Jesús Vásquez, Gary Wang Contributing Columnists: Connor Guy, Margaux Cameron Reviewers: Corey Feinstein, Andrew Hall, Becquer Medak-Seguin

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For information on advertising in or subscribing to The Pioneer, contact The Pioneer’s Business Director, Megan McIntire, at

EDITORIAL POLICY The Whitman College Pioneer is published under the auspices of the Associated Students of Whitman College. The purpose of The Pioneer is to provide pertinent, timely information and entertainment for Whitman students, alumni, faculty, staff and parents, as well as the Walla Walla community. In addition, The Pioneer strives to act as a catalyst and forum for communication within the Whitman community. To do so, The Pioneer publishes weekly Board Editorials. These opinion pieces reflect the views of The Pioneer, and not necessarily the views of each individual associated with the newspaper. The Pioneer welcomes letters to the Editor or any contradicting opinion pieces.

SUBMISSION POLICY Letters and Opinion articles may be submitted to The Pioneer editors, Jamie Soukup and Kim Sommers, via e-mail at; or sent to The Pioneer, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, 99362. All submissions must be received by 4 p.m. on Saturday prior to the week that they are intended to appear. All submissions must be signed and may be cut for space and edited for journalistic style.


MARCH 12, 2009


letters to the editor EDITOR, Unless you have been living under a rock– or large boulder for that matter–for the last year or so, you might have realized that the economy has been struggling just a tad. You might have felt this economic pinch when trying to figure out how to pay the gross lump sum that allows you to come to this institution and play frisbee, sing in t-tones, creep around with nerf guns at two in the morning, go rock climbing, take music lessons, eat at the dining halls, drink beer, and possibly learn something. The reason I have come to this school (other than to get an education and succeed at life and all that bull) was to ski race. I know that all you have something that gets you fired up and you would go crazy without. This may sound trivial and childish to most

EDITOR, The Coalition Against Homophobia recently put flyers into the table-toppers at Reid profiling victims of LGBT hate crimes under the heading “Hate & Bigotry KILL AGAIN.” One such flyer informs the reader that Richard Hernandez was “brutally dismembered in his bathtub” and was “murdered for being gay.” The flyer also presents other victims, including Jennifer Gale, who suffered the same fate, murdered because they were gay, lesbian, or transgendered. However, Dallas news reports suggest that Seth Winder, the man accused of murdering Hernandez, was homeless, mentally ill, already knew Hernandez, and took pornographic pictures of himself in Hernandez’ apartment. As disturbing as this murder appears, it does not appear to be motivated by hatred. Further reports suggested Hernandez had often allowed Winder to sleep in his apartment. Again, nothing suggesting Hernandez was, as the flyer suggests, murdered for being gay. Jennifer Gale’s death appears less ambiguously. A homeless political activist in the Austin area, she died of heart disease exacerbated by sleeping outside in near-freezing temperatures. There were no drugs in her system, nor were there any signs of trauma on her body. This death,

of you but my passion is ski racing. This sport has drained me of countless hours of quality party, study, and sleep time but it doesn’t stop me because I cannot imagine living without it, not to sound like a sappy love story. However, today at 4:30 p.m. my greatest fear came to life when my coach revealed to me and the rest of my team that the program has been dropped due to financial constraints of Whitman College. Now I don’t know if you can imagine what it would be like for the thing you most care about to be taken away, but it has really crushed me and a number of others at this school. So what can we do? We could say screw this and cry about it like little three year olds, or be grown-ups and discuss the issue like civilized individuals, around a keg (just kidding). Really though, Whitman students love to be informed and if not

should really consider being so; therefore I strongly recommend that if you did not attend the forum yesterday (3/11) at Maxey you should attend the one after break April 2. Here the students will have a chance to question President Bridges, Dean Snider, and Lori Bettison-Varga (Provost and Dean of Faculty) about the current budget constraints at Whitman, and in particular why the school would cut a program that so many people love in hopes of saving 50,000 dollars. Well, I got to do the obscene amount of work that is piling up, but please, I beg you to come to the meeting and support your fellow peers because it has more effect on you than you think. Hope to see you there.

though tragic, cannot be a hate-crime simply because the victim was transgendered. While most of the others appear to be victims of hate-crimes in the sense that their LGBT identity factored into the motive for their murder, the statistic on the flyer pointing out that “36 LGBT people were murdered in the 2008 in the US” presupposes that those murders are hate crimes, and in Jennifer Gale’s case, presupposes that whenever an LGBT person dies, their death directly correlates to their sexual orientation. America’s treatment of our homosexual citizens is an abhorrent breach of human rights. I also admit that hate-crimes are serious offenses that often go unreported. But this bias does not excuse the misrepresentation of facts while presenting offenses against the LGBT community. Whether or not the cause is noble, the desire to inspire positive political change does not justify the same deception employed by those attempting to prevent change. More importantly, treating every LGBT murder as a hate crime robs those murder victims of the humanity and individuality the Coalition Against Homophobia so doggedly fights for. Assuming that each of these murder victims died only because of their sexual orientation, and not for any of the other (equally pointless) reasons humans kill each other reduces them to

mere units of homosexuality, statistical cogs in a political machine whose identity disappears behind their sexual orientation. With that, to ignore the actual stories of these murder victims keeps the public from seeing that these are HUMAN BEINGS whose lives are being taken unjustly, and that their murders are as pointless and tragic as the murder of any white, middle-class, heterosexual male. I assume these errors were made out of ignorance, a lack of research as opposed to a conscious desire to misreport the facts. I also share the Coalition Against Homophobia’s desire to shed light on the disgusting, graphic nature of anti-LGBT violence in America, which should be harshly prosecuted and which represents the worst aspects of American society. But don’t cheat. As gay-rights activists, you operate from the moral high ground. Don’t sacrifice that position simply to buttress the statistics surrounding your cause; the real, tragic human stories of those affected by anti-LGBT violence speak for themselves. For if you do choose to let your ethics slip and fudge the numbers, or overlook the human beings behind the facts you present, you cease to fight for the rights of the oppressed, and tacitly advance the goals of the oppressors.

- Chris Machesney ‘12

- Ned Schaumberg ‘09

EDITOR, I came to Whitman for the ski team. I really wish it weren’t that simple, but it is. In high school I was a fairly successful skier, I was a successful student too, but I really considered myself a skier. When I started looking at schools I quickly realized that I was going to be forced to sacrifice one of my ideals. I could go to one of the large universities with a varsity team, sacrificing my academic ideals to maybe make the ski team by the time I was a senior. I could, as most of my skiing friends did, move across the country to attend a small liberal arts school with a varsity team. Or I could sacrifice my dreams of racing as a varsity athlete in college and attend one of myriad schools with a club team. When I discovered Whitman, the ONLY small school on the west coast with a varsity ski team, I thought I was in heaven. I was so excited upon arriving on campus. I was positive I had found the perfect school for me. I had small, academically challenging classes, amazing fellow students who were (almost) as geeky as me, a beautiful campus, a wonderful dorm room, I was within twelve hours (driving) of home, I even found a cousin who was living in Walla Walla and a varsity ski team. I have had a difficult year, I made the traveling team then promptly got sick barely recovering in time for our first races of the season. As a result, I did not have as good a season as I would have hoped. What has always kept me happy during difficult and disappointing seasons before is the knowledge that I can refocus on my training over the summer and come back stronger than ever. This year I don’t have that consolation; I won’t be able to make that comeback, Whitman won’t have a ski team anymore. My family, like the college, is facing economic problems, and to stay here I will likely have to take out additional, most likely unsubsidized, loans. Now that Whitman has cut the ski program, I am left in a quandary—can I afford to go even further into debt to stay at a school that doesn’t support me as a full person, student and athlete?

- Angela Raso ‘12





MARCH 12, 2009


letters to the editor EDITOR, The op-ed piece entitled “Diplomacy: An Uncomfortable Truth,” (2/5/09) is overly simplistic. Not only does the author omit vital facts; he makes unfounded assumptions. It is true that the United States has been Israel’s strongest ally and provided billions of dollars in aid. To say however, that this support is the primary obstacle to restoring the United States’ reputation in the Middle East, is questionable. Furthermore, to imply that American political leaders are blindly allowing their foreign policy to be contorted by Israel’s needs is to neglect the ability of such leaders to act within the United States’ best interests. The author writes, “Israel will only stop using disproportionate violence if the U.S. pressures it through cutting military aid. No one believes that Israel’s military needs it.” On the contrary, Israel has always, and will always, take the necessary measures to secure the safety of its civilian populations regardless of U.S. pressures. Unfortunately, when confronting an enemy that has trained extensively on how to fight directly within civilian populations and already factored in civilian deaths as a part of its military strategy, there will be tragic consequences. Even still, of the over 1,000 casualties in the recent Operation Cast Lead, two-thirds were identified as militants. Israel’s technological developments have

EDITOR, It’s an ambitious and difficult process to begin a new publication. Since I respect that the Editors of The Secession are making the tremendous effort, I’ve submitted this to both The Secession and The Pio. Since I question part of how their effort is being spent, I wrote this response in the first place. I’ve been interested in The Secession since I first saw their posters and have had a lot of questions. When I first asked around, I was told by multiple sources involved that the initial impetus for creating the publication was as an opposition to alleged censorship experienced on The Pioneer. The mission was explained to me as a sort of “cultural commentary,” an exercise in “alternative journalism” with art and music, founded out of a need to challenge The Pioneer. As such, I

made it an equal partner in the research and progress of defensive military strategies. With funding from the United States, Israeli companies have created the world’s first operational anti-missile missile system and have paved the way for unmanned air vehicle technology as well as the Python and Popeye “smart” airborne missiles. The reality is that the United States receives practical benefits from its support of Israel. The “nature of this alliance” yields outcomes far more complex than regional hatred, and is founded upon democratic principles shared by both sides. On March 4, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a crowd of over eighty delegations, that President Barack Obama is following the same “wrong path” as George W. Bush in supporting Israel, which he labeled as “a cancerous tumor.” Should the hatred expressed by nations which have rejected Israel since its creation be the substance that motivates the United States to cut-off its ties with its closest democratic ally in the region? Surely, peace should be achieved through diplomacy and not war, and yes, Israel might have to make painful concessions to achieve that, but it is important to understand that American actions in that process are both vital and mutually beneficial.

- Gabriel Cahn ‘12

had expected to read news, and I was excited that alternative news was finally being offered. However, when I read The Secession 1.1 I didn’t find any news; instead, I found a lot of funny pieces, articles about music, and a few pieces that seemed borne out of opposition for the sake of opposition. An even bigger inconsistency was that the issue didn’t have the one article that I had anticipated and that I would expect from a publication that names itself The Secession, the one article that would have provide the proposed thematic axis around which the rest of the press could have revolved around: what had been censored? According to a ‘Sec’ Editor that I asked about it, the goals of The Sec have (perhaps) changed (in part) from the original idea of Pio-opposition and alternative journalism to place greater emphasis on the “cultural commentary” idea, but the new mission isn’t fully articulated yet. I feel like that

EDITOR, Whitman students are admitted to this rigorous academic environment for a number of reasons, among them being our ability to sift through information and think critically. Every day we deal with an onslaught of information from our peers, our parents and the media. In this digital age we navigate websites, send text messages, emails, and make phone calls. Our worlds are filled with the input and the output of information of all types. The familiarity of Whitman students with determining what information is important and accurate in combination with our intellectual abilities, allows us to be excellent critical thinkers. I highly value the ability of Whitman students to think on their own. It fosters discussions which greatly enhance what we learn in the classroom by promoting critical thinking outside of the classroom. For the past two years I have been involved in ASWC Programming. In this capacity it has been important to do our best to bring a diverse range of voices to Whitman (of course we also have to deal with scheduling, pricing, and other factors that can limit our options). Sometimes this has

should have come first, as hard a step as it is. Without a unique mission like the first I was led to expect, that of anti-Pio and alternative journalism, The Secession leaves itself vulnerable to some major criticisms. Foremost of my criticisms given the lack of attention to censorship or news is that many of the pieces in The Sec 1.1 could have had a sound home in the other three publications that exist here. And yet the vast majority of the contributors to The Secession have not participated actively in those publications either as contributors or as staffers. For example quarterlife, which has been trying to solicit all kinds of writing specifically including “alternative journalism” and “creative nonfiction” ( for years without any such submission, has received scant opportunity to benefit directly from the feedback or contributions of most of these Secessionists who posit in “Letter

meant bringing events which are controversial. Oftentimes when this happens I try to make sure that it is someone whom people will listen to without getting defensive. For instance, last year Andrew Sullivan brought a mix of ideas, being both conservative and homosexual. My goal is to get people to listen and think critically about ideas and information which is presented. Events put on by ASWC Programming are never meant to offend or make students uncomfortable, rather they aim to inform and entertain. With the range of views which do exist on Whitman’s campus—many of which are more subtle then political lean— sometimes people do not agree with the ideas presented during an event. While we welcome ideas to make events positive for all students (and encourage input), I hope that when students disagree with a message being presented that they use this information constructively. I strongly feel that Whitman students are capable of interpreting information for themselves and am optimistic that they conscientiously explore a range of opinions and ideas.

- Rachel Stein ‘09

to a Moral Citizen” that they have not had sufficient venues for their voices and creative output. Before opposing or seceding, I would expect people to try to participate; that’s the most constructive way to bring about real and lasting change. I feel that unless The Secession articulates a focus more distinct from preexisting publications that can fill a real void on the campus, it risks being an object of excessive suspicion and it cannot live up either to its enormous potential as a very frequently published press nor to what we who anticipated its release were anticipating with excitement. I look forward to reading its next issue, and I hope that it has some news and, more importantly, some clarifications.

- Anastasia Zamkinos ‘10

MARCH 12, 2009




Education reform: restructure the teacher’s union American schools are past 20 years America has nearly doubled its failing to prepare stu- investment in the youth, factoring inflation, dents for the industrial- yet test scores are flat. If money was the probized and international lem, the education system would already be world. Obama recog- fixed (Heritage Foundation). Standardized testing encourages nizes the issue and former president Bush at- teaching to a specific subjecBryant tempted to overhaul the tive test rather than teaching FONG education system with the core subjects of readColumnist his unpopular “No Child ing, writing and mathematics. Left Behind Act” (NCLB). The problem lies in the There are many proposals to fix the system, including voucher schools, more money and bureaucracy, administrastandardized testing, such as NCLB. None of tion and especially the these solutions seem to fix the problem of uned- union. Those from ucated students. The solution is to disintegrate pri- v a t e or restructure the teacher’s union so schools can remove unqualified teachers. In voucher schools, the government gives a check for each student in an area to attend a school of choice. Vouchers create competition, where like corporations, schools h i g h improve under customer demand. schools The voucher system, despite claim that popular support from politicians a teacher who and parents, showed no substantial under-performs simimprovement between voucher ply does not work the students and public educated stunext year. dents according to a Washington DOUGLAS However, it is not as easy to parD.C. study. Unlike the corporate world, don these types of teachers in the public it seems competitiveness between voucher schools do not improve students’ quality of education system because of the union. There work. (American School Board Journal). are extreme examples in the New York Public Money also won’t fix the problem. In the School District, where it took about six years

to fire a teacher who had sent suspicious sexual e-mails to a high school student (ABCnews. com). Only once the union is gone, or reformedcan students can come first rather than the teacher’s invincible job security. T h e r e

are no ot he r jobs in America that pay for mediocrity. People are laid off if they do not meet standards. Education jobs pay the same amount if teachers perform or are negligent. Another problem afflicting America’s schools is the politicizing of content by the government. Everything from graduation requirements to English as a second language courses to talented and gifted programs try to distinguish students into different groups. This comes from the union, since govern-

ment tries to establish guidelines for teaching, but the teachers lack input on the content taught. There is no need to divide students. It promotes conformity within the groups and might hinder student’s education. Not that I am against any of these programs, since some programs such as the Learning Resource Centers (LRC) have worked wonders. How do these programs benefit the average student? They simply do not. The average student is lost in the system of unqualified teachers. In letting this happen, we fail to recognize the purpose of schools, to educate all students fairly. Schools now seem more concerned with looking better on paper than ever, and students suffer as a result. Schools need to remember to teach life skills, not how to pass a subjective standardized test or highlight a few special programs to parents that alienate most of the students. In order to fix America’s education of its future citizens, parents, students and government need to remember who comes first: the students. We, as a nation, need to push for the recognition of under-performing teachers. The way to accomplish that is through the destruction or reorganization of the union.

The Peace Corps spreads colonial influence abroad It seems like there are a lot of Whitties who want to change the world, and if I’m certain of anything, it’s that change—in the way we think, the way we do, the way we talk and Spencer the way things exist—is JANYK probably inevitable. But Columnist there are a lot of ways we can try to change the world and some of them are probably better or worse than others. The United States has a long and sordid history of colonization and destruction of other people and other ways of life that we have deemed “inappropriate” and “savage.” The United States itself was founded through horrible acts of violence

and required the genocide of an entire continent of people on which to establish the American Dream. The effects of this legacy on the policies of our government are still evident today in the execution of enormous imperial wars and ensuing occupations to control oil resources around the world. This aggression does not exist divorced from the attitudes and preconceptions that engender it. That is to say, acts of destruction and killing are justified by the dominant value systems here that say we are “better” than foreigners’ and we have an obligation to spread the benefits of our society with them; by force if necessary. Luckily for a lot of Whitties, force isn’t always necessary. The Peace Corps was created by the Kennedy administration to export American values and

infrastructure abroad. To further this end, Peace Corps volunteers help people in other countries (specifically “developing” countries) start businesses, build roads, and develop “modern” societies and economies. I see the Peace Corps largely as modern-day missionaries, taking up the civilized man’s burden and traveling abroad to teach others precisely what’s wrong with their societies. The problem of “underdevelopment” was created by the United States’ economic institutions. There was never any such thing as “poverty” before it was created to mask the very specific moral idea that acquiring more complex shit - Big Macs, iPods, and Methodman - means that a society is advancing. The word “development” itself implies a temporality in which other countries are “behind” us,

“backwards” in their ways and in need of “progress” that the United States is more than capable of providing. In fact, not only do the international economic institutions that the United States created after World War II to run the global economy require other nations to “privatize” and “develop” their economies, there are a bunch of volunteers who will readily teach the unwashed masses exactly how Uncle Sam starts a business, studies American History and develops infrastructure. Change may be inevitable, but certainly, some is better and worse than others. I am left desperately hoping that the Whitman College students who embark on these civilizing missions abroad will be prepared with the intellectual and moral fortitude to oppose the ways that empire desires you to think, talk and do.




MARCH 12, 2009

QUESTIONS ABOUT US: Why everyone at Whitman

Cynicism is an excuse

should read the blogs I read

Cynicism is so easy. It’s altruism? Where is the room for restraint? a way to view the world; To put it simply, if everyone I know, and evto view every idea and ev- eryone you know is selfish and trying to achieve ery person as inauthentic. their own goals without regard for other people, Those people who volun- then is there no possibility for altruism? Is teer? It must be because there no possibility for helping someone even if they feel good from it, not it doesn’t benefit you? Doesn’t this view reduce Gary because they like helping altruism to just self-interested benevolence? WANG other people. A few weeks ago, this girl I knew wanted to Columnist Cynicism is a cop make a big happy birthday poster for her roomout. It’s a cop out from responsibility and ac- mate. I thought that sounded like a nice gesture tion. Ultimately, being cynical means viewing until I found out that it was only because her other people as selfroommate had made a ish and deep down, birthday poster for her Cynicism calls into unconcerned for other a few weeks earlier. It doubt the intentions people. It asserts wasn’t because they of other people. Being cyniwere good friends; that people join the cal means being pessimistic they didn’t hang out Peace Corps because for the possibility of authenand never saw each it makes them feel other. When asked good or furthers their tic interaction.” why she was going careers rather than out through all the trouble of any altruistic motito make this big postvation. When faced with all the problems in the er, she said “Well, it’s just payback.” Isn’t payworld, being cynical frees you from trying to back what you do to people who have screwed stop poverty in Africa, racism here at home or you over not to people who you consider your any other issue liberal hippies care about. That friends? connection between cynicism and apathy is a I don’t know about you, but I was kind of fundamental problem with our generation. surprised. If all the nice things people do for We’ve been brought up in a culture that each other arise out of a sense of reciprocity, or doesn’t believe in responsibility, much less jus- a sense of owing each, then what are we to each tice. After all, economics teaches us that each other? Are people just instruments to accomperson is rational and self-interested; it teaches plish your goals? Is friendship just a relationus that all we want to do is succeed no matter ship of mutual exchange? Are we only friends what the cost. If we’re all consumers, consum- with people because they buy us beer and are ing at an ever-increasing pace in the context of global capitalism, then where is the room for CYNICISM, see page 14

Imagine a discussion class at Whitman, only your classmates are the smartest people in the world, and you don’t pay a cent. Welcome to the “blogosphere”! Russ Matt Damon put it CADITZ-PECK well in Good Will HuntColumnist ing when he mumbled, “Here’s you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f******* education you coulda got for a dollah fifty in late chahges at the public library.” Substitute “political blogs” for “the public library” and the late charge for an Internet connection, and Matt Damon at last becomes relevant. Daily blogs on politics and economics are revolutionizing our national discourse. Nobel Prize winners and internationally renowned intellectuals are using the Internet everyday to debate the ideas that shape our nation. Those of us lucky enough to have the Internet are invited to read and join in. Reading the daily musings and analyses of some of the world’s smartest people is a crash course in the how the world works. Daily blogs offer a unique medium that encourages condensed, informal discussion. These are not dense and heady treatises, but clear and quick analyses of what’s going on in the world today. As Whitman students, we have chosen to invest four years and a huge sum of money in a broad, liberal arts education. The experience of the classroom and face-time with

professors and peers is invaluable. But exposure to the thinkers and discourse offered by the “blogosphere” is an amazing supplement that all students should know about and take advantage of. By reading blogs, you will learn what issues and ideas brilliant people think are important today. You will read digestible and often funny posts on why Obama’s stimulus matters, why health care is important and who has the power to change things. You will see how they argue their points, and how they draw their conclusions. Then you will read another expert who disagrees, often directly quoting the original author, and thus be one step closer to grasping the complexity of our world. If you’re lucky, you’ll see how all that theory you learned in class applies to real-world issues. Blogs are not a huge time commitment. Replace your morning shower with reading blogs. Just kidding, but I do. If you have read this far, there may be a chance you actually want to try this blog thing. Here are a few of my favorite blogs to Google: Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, Paul Krugman and Andrew Sullivan. Some awesome group blogs also include “The Plank” at The New Republic and “TAPPED” at The American Prospect. For the most part these authors are liberal, but by no means are they insular in their discussion. Rather, they debate and link to conservative bloggers everyday—challenging the ideas popular at The National.

Peace, love and environmentally friendly war machines? After coming back from a youth conference on climate change, I excitedly described the event to a friend who responded, “Wow, that sounds cool, maybe I should be a hipLisa CURTIS pie too.” and This prompted what Alex KERR can only be described as Columnists a rant. The problem with the word hippie is that it no longer holds any meaning. Once reserved for long-haired, pot-

smoking wanderers on Haight street, the word has come to be used on anyone who recycles or wears tie-dye or looks as if they haven’t showered for the past couple of days. Defined as such, the word would likely encompass the majority of Whitman students. And yet, I would not consider the majority of Whitman students to be environmental activists. On the other hand, there are quite a few environmental activists outside of Whitman that I doubt have ever been called hippies. Take the U.S. Army for example. GreenBiz recently reported that the army is increasing the

amount of renewable energy used on its bases. The idea is that if they can reduce their reliance on oil, they can also reduce the number of sup-

The problem with the word hippie is that it no longer holds any meaning.”

ply conveys. Since many of these conveys are currently being hit by improvised explosive de-

vices (IEDs), this can only be a good thing. The best part of this article was the discovery that “the Army wants to manufacture more environmentally friendly war machines.” Clearly, ‘hippie’ cannot describe both a 1960s flower child and a soldier shooting enemy combatants from a biodiesel tank. While the example appears to be a drastic one, if the fifteen Whitman students who went to the conference learned anything, it was that the youth climate movement looks very different than the environmental activism of the PEACE, see page 14

MARCH 12, 2009


Not a pointless chore: finding beauty in senior oral exams? A couple Tuesdays ago stressed out to really enjoy myself, but I I finally confronted a grudgingly became more interested in the fact that I’d been avoid- work I was doing. ing for over a month: I awoke on the day of my Orals after my orals were in four three hours of fitful sleep and walked into days away and I hadn’t my exam feeling unprepared and desperately anxious to finish the ordeal as quickly studied one bit. Miles I like many of the as possible. However, as I gave my presenPENGILLY texts I read as an Eng- tation and saw the encouraging smiles and Columnist lish major, and I enjoy nods of the professors on my panel, I realtalking about these ized that I really did have some good ideas texts with other people. It’s especially about the poem. I started to actually have cool when—as with the Walter Pater book I fun. mentioned in last week’s article—the stuff Here I was, a lowly undergraduate, and I’m required to read for a class has a sig- these three brilliant, accomplished scholnificant impact on my life. ars, these people who had devoted their Even so, I’m generally not someone who lives to the study of literature, seemed genenjoys schoolwork. Whenever I’m in the li- uinely intrigued by my argument. brary, hunched over I expected the a book or a laptop, I question session folHere I was, a lowly lowing my presentainevitably feel like tion to feel like an there’s something undergraduate, and interrogation, but the more enjoyable that these three brilliant, acinteraction with my I could be doing. complished scholars, these professors was more The wonder of colpeople who had devoted like a discussion belege is that we have tween colleagues. so many options their lives to the study of for how to spend literature, seemed genuinely As I answered their our time—playing intrigued by my argument.” questions I was sursports, partying, exprised and pleased ploring the outdoors, to find that I really watching movies knew the text. It with friends, attending campus speakers was affirming and confidence inspiring to and student concerts. In light of all these realize that my own ideas could even apdelightful alternatives, studying becomes proach the sophistication and insight of the an unpleasant chore, something that I have professionals sitting across the table from to get out of the way before I can enjoy the me. Preparing for my orals was a largely a fleeting freedom that the weekend brings. stressful, unpleasant experience, but taking It was with this attitude that I forced mythem was a beautiful moment in my life. self to begin reading the text I was assigned to present for my orals, Alexander Pope’s For almost an hour I had undivided atten“The Rape of the Lock.” Initially I was re- tion and interest of three experts in my chosentful of the whole oral examination pro- sen field of study, and I had the opportunity cess. Why are Whitman students the only to test not only myself, but also the quality ones required to take senior exams? How of my Whitman education. is a painfully long eighteenth century poem Often it’s not our most pleasurable expeabout a woman’s lock of hair being a meta- riences that prove to be the most memorable phor for her purity relevant to my life? or worthwhile. Instead it’s those moments As I pored over the poem and researched where we find ourselves challenged—and numerous articles of criticism, something we succeed—that turn out to be some of the exciting happened: I began to develop an most beautiful moments in our lives. original idea about the poem that the countless literary scholars before me seemed to have overlooked. I was still too bitter and



say ? s ú s e J d l W h a t wou

“What makes gre at music: Part I”

I must admit, when I first became a music major, and began to take music theory courses, I felt so optimistic. I felt that through learning the tricks, techniques Jesús and styles of myriad VÁSQUEZ composers, from Bach Columnist to Debussy and beyond, I could absorb a bit of this beauty. I felt as if there was some code to crack, something that made these composers stand the test of time—furthermore, I felt that this code could be analyzed and applied to music that I wrote myself. Let’s just say I was young, naïve, and a bit too optimistic. Suffice it to say, upon learning more about music theory, after analyzing more pieces, delving deeper into structure, there was no code to crack. I was left face to face with the geniuses of music, who’ve managed to withstand centuries of war, changes in aesthetic opinions and collective amnesia. While I comment on ‘classical’ music, I

don’t mean to restrict myself to such parameters. I’ve also studied the music of such musical luminaries as Duke Ellington and Paul McCartney, though not in a formal classroom setting. In fact, I may have learned as much about music, if not more, through late-night conversations about the topic, sharing opinions with others. And, of course, in the process, I learned that music is a highly individual thing to process. We all have myriad tastes and considerations in music—some prefer rhythm, others melody, others harmony, some texture—it just depends. So, a great song to one person can be totally meaningless to another (indeed, I’ve had this experience – playing a song I absolutely adore to an audience that responds lukewarmly). Thus, we’ve established that music is a highly personal activity. Yet, what explains the phenomena of great pieces and songs that find a mass audience, or stand the test of time? More on that next week.





It’s Ridiculous Whitman administration fails to consider student concerns, needs

Derek THURBER Op-Ed Editor

The Whitman administration has made some terrible decisions in dealing with the economic crisis. These decisions include leaving the director of student activities spot unfilled and cutting varsity skiing. These are unacceptable losses to the

student body. When President George Bridges first announced the economic cutbacks several weeks ago, I was impressed. In his letter to the students, Bridges outlined how “the College initiated immediate steps in October to reduce expenditures.” Among these ways of reducing costs, the praiseworthy initiatives include reducing executive salaries, deferring non-critical maintenance and increasing financial aid for students. But then I found out about what they didn’t announce right away. Later in his letter, Bridges reassured Whitman students that “Notwithstanding the many challenges we face, Whitman is thriving. We are financially sound; we continue to recruit exceptional students, faculty, and staff; we continue to create and sustain intellectually challenging programs of academic study; and we continue to advance our commitment to providing a vibrant, diverse and supportive campus environment.” If it were true that “we continue to advance our commitment to providing a vibrant, diverse and supportive campus environment,” then we would not be cutting these two important aspects of the Whitman “campus environment”— to use Bridges’ own words. Whitman needs the position of student activities director. This position has a direct and very important effect on every Whitman student. Deciding not to fill this position made me realize just how detached the administration is from student activities. As David Changa-Moon was aptly quoted

last week in the Pioneer: “I don’t know how they [the budget officers] weighed the decisions that they made, but I feel as though maybe they didn’t have a full understanding of all the services the director provides, and how many of ASWC’s resources that she helps facilitate to get to students.” Then I found out varsity skiing would not be returning as a sport next year. Outright eliminating a varsity sport like this is not like taking away a program that broadly effects a lot of students a little bit. This is taking a lot away from a very few people who did nothing to deserve it. In his more recent e-mail to the student body, Bridges defends the administration’s reasons

If it were true that ‘we continue to advance our commitment to providing a vibrant, diverse and supportive campus environment,’ then we would not be cutting these two important aspects of the Whitman ‘campus environment’–to use Bridges’ own words.”

for cutting varsity skiing by referencing a review that he commissioned. “Despite not reaching consensus on skiing,” Bridges said in his e-mail, “the reviewers noted that practices and competitions were geographically separated from campus, skiing was not a conference sport, and that the demands of travel increased the likelihood that students missed classes (Review Report, p. 7).” Though I understand that the budget for skiing is much higher than any other sport, this does not justify cutting it completely, as opposed to scaling it down. And the way the administration handled announcing their decision was absolutely ridiculous. There may not be any great time to announce

such a big cut, but telling the team right after winning an important championship and after the transfer application deadline for most schools is unacceptable. If I were a skier, I would seriously consider transferring when such an important part of my Whitman experience was cut. With the timing of the decision transfer would now be too late. Many skiers have voiced frustration that they will not be able to continue to compete even if they paid their own money to do so. It does not seem fair to deny the option of allowing the team to compete—maybe at a less frequent level—if the individuals pay for themselves. In times of crisis, Whitman is obviously going to have to make difficult cuts that people get upset about, but they could have done a better job. Instead, they could cut down on the leastused library hours. Though this is an academic concern that might affect more total people, closing the library from 2-8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights would have an extraordinarily minimal effect. The few students who are studying at those times could find other places like Maxey hall—which is open 24 hours at no cost—to study. Even if there is only one staff member paid minimum wage during those library hours (which is probably too low an estimate) this would save 3,240 dollars over the course of a year. Or, what if you only cut between 4-5 a.m. every day to save 1,890 dollars? These are numbers worth looking at. Or they could cancel some of the capital improvement projects and divert those funds. I would bet there are any number of little cuts like these that would add up to a lot quickly and could be made with less effect to students. And they would not be as targeted as outright cutting the varsity ski team. I am sure all of these decisions were not made rashly or without considerable deliberation. But, though these cuts are well thought out, that does not make them correct. From my point of view as a student, they are very wrong and even more poorly handled.

MARCH 12, 2009

The failures of cynicism CYNICISM, from page 12

funny? Maybe there’s nothing wrong with that, but I think friendship conceived in that way reflects a kind of cynicism. Cynicism calls into doubt the intentions of other people. Being cynical means being pessimistic for the possibility of authentic interaction. It reduces all human interaction into selfish people mutually interacting with each other for self-interested ends. The person who volunteers at a homeless shelter becomes the person who likes having a reputation for being selfless. The person who volunteers for America Teaches becomes the person who volunteers to improve their resume. The problem is this: cynicism is an amazingly easy way of thinking. If everyone who seemingly tries to be good is really just selfish, then you are free to not care and be apathetic. Cynicism is the excuse for inaction and inconsideration for others.

Defying the ‘hippie’ label PEACE, from page 12

1970s. Many of the speakers at the conference were minorities. There were African Americans talking about how green jobs would create pathways out of poverty and Native Americans speaking about how the hot and windy lands they were pushed into are perfect for solar and wind energy. Other speakers included the head of the EPA and numerous politicians. Instead of talking about peace and love, everyone was citing an alphabet soup of upcoming bills. In the place of tie-dyed shirts were suits we wore as we lobbied our representatives for a greener future. While we were practicing for lobby day, one girl said she was going to tell her Senator to support a cap on carbon emissions because “we need to protect mother earth.” The rest of the group glared at her and finally a different girl said, “Talk about the economic benefits of going green, all that mother earth crap is going to make them think we’re a bunch of hippies.”


MARCH 12, 2009





ARCHITECTURE OVER THE YEARS by Alyssa Fairbanks Walking through campus, one sees a variety of different architectural styles, from all-brick residence halls like Prentiss to the romanesque Memorial Hall. Do any of these buildings have secrets hiding behind closed doors? Have the same buildings always been here, or was there something else long before our time on campus?

reynolds hall No longer standing, Reynolds Hall stood between where the Science Building and Olin now stand. It was still standing in the 1970s when Kathryn Hill, a Whitman graduate and Walla Walla resident, attended Whitman. “It was an old brick classroom building covered with ivy,” she said. The original corner stone can be seen in the !ower bed between the Science building and Olin.

billings hall In Maxey’s current location once stood Billings Hall. It was a romanesque styled building similar to Memorial Hall, styled with stone and turrets. It was in Billings where Professor Deberah Simon, a Whitman graduate and current Professor of Chemistry, took French and German classes. She remembers it being a science building before that. Simon also recalls when Billings was torn down. “It was May 24 , 1972, we graduated on Sunday and they came Monday morning and tore it down. They kept it secret and came in with wrecking balls and smashed it completely. Professors were crying and taking pieces as souvenirs. It took them a while before they built Maxey, I don’t remember how long exactly. Oh, it was so pretty, it was just a beautiful building,” said Simon said. continued on page 16



MARCH 12, 2009

continued from page 15

residence halls In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Whitman campus was about 80% greek, according to Simon. All the freshman women lived in Anderson and the men in Jewett, while non "rst-year women lived in Prentiss and the men in Lyman. Only upper-classmen were allowed to live off campus in apartments. Simon recalls having bed checks and curfew hours while living in Theta section of Anderson Hall. “Upper-class women sophomore year moved to Prentiss where there were six sororities. Independents lived in rooms in the basement. There were nasty yellow !uorescent lights and I was kind of scared to go down there. That was a big incentive to be in a sorority,” said Simon. Hill recalls that, “The dorm just northeast of Prentiss Hall was called ‘New Dorm’ after it was built in ‘70 or ‘71 for a few years before it was renamed.” This dorm is known now as Douglas. The man for whom it is named, Chief Justice William O. Douglas, did not want it named for him while he was still alive, so the college had to wait until he passed away to name the building.

student union building/reid campus center The original student center of campus was a student union building (SUB) that stood where the outdoor tennis courts are now. “It was covered inside by murals done by Ruth Fluno, the wife of one of the Professors. It was really cool, that was where the mail boxes were and everybody hung out there,” said Simon. The SUB was moved to the current Reid parking lot location before construction of Reid Campus Center. White Temple Baptist Church stood in the current RCC location. “Where Reid stands there used to be the White Temple Baptist Church. It was a huge white church with classic Greek columns and steps and the best part was a huge blue neon sign that said “White Baptist Temple Church,” said Simon. The Church was torn down when Reid was built. Images of the Church and other campus buildings can be viewed at

cordiner hall When Cordiner was built in the fall of 1968, the college "rst had to buy up separate pieces of land. There was an older woman who owned a tiny white house on Boyer Avenue who agreed to sell the land to the college, but refused to move. Therefore, the college went ahead and built the hall. For a while, the little white house on the lawn remained. “In her will, she said they could have the land after she died. I was gone from 1972 to 1981 and they tore it down some time during that period. But before that there was a little white house on the lawn and Cordiner was built around it,” said Simon. The buildings on campus hold many secrets about their origins. As one pushes open the doors of Maxey after class, they can remember and envision another building that stood there decades ago.

Sherwood Center, courtesy of the Whitman archives





Sororities can’t purchase houses the way that fraternities can because more than seven women living in a house is technically a brothel, which is illegal in the city of Walla Walla. “The brothel myth is one that every incoming freshman hears, though it is absolutely untrue. The sororities are free to move into houses though the problems and changes that it would create are numerous,” said Rachel Constantino-Wallace, the Panhellenic Council President. Constantino-Wallace said that with the recession, it would be very expensive to purchase a new house. “The sororities would have to amass an extremely large sum of money from Whitman alumni who are very supportive of the un-housed system,” she said. If a house were to be purchased, “national rules would begin to apply in the event that the sororities became housed chapters. For example, a ‘house mother’ would need to live in, men would not be allowed anywhere but public spaces,” said Constantino-Wallace. Constantino-Wallace also had cited the live-in requirements as a deterrent to not only live in the house but stay in the sorority. “The live-in requirement is what causes many women to de-activate in order to move off campus with friends,” she said. MY TH 2

80% of Whitman students marry other Whitman students.

Relations, show this myth is false and the actual proportion of Whitman students who marry other Whitman students is only 16%. “The actual "gure is slightly higher because we rely on self-reporting for this information” Schmitz said. “There are people who, for a variety of reasons, do not wish to share this information. This would also not include alumni who had been married to one another and are no longer because of the death of a spouse or divorce.” “The de"nition of married includes spouses and life partners. Whether the relationships start here or after has not been studied to my knowledge. This statement, “that 80% of Whitman students marry other Whitman students,” is 99% false because if they do marry, It is usually not while they are students,” said Schmitz. MY TH 3

North Hall is haunted by a ghost.

Although there is no way to con"rm this, "rst-year Emily Coba testi"es claims a supernatural experience while she and some friends were playing with a Ouija board. “[U]using the Ouija board to communicate, we discovered that the ghost’s name is Jack and that he was a patient in the hospital around 1920 I think,” she said. “we were in another room before that using the Ouija board and we encountered another spirit. We think it was either angry or a mental patient because the indicator was spinning like crazy all over the board. This experience was enough to make Coba support this myth. “I had never used a Ouija board before this, or even believed in ghosts, but our encounters with these two spirits de"nitely convinced me that there are at least some forces out there that we can’t explain,” she said.

“I heard about the ‘myth’ from a fellow student, whose parents were both Whitman alum. I’ve spoken about it with my psychology thesis advisor—apparently studies have shown that in most successful couples, the two individual’s IQs are within one standard deviation of each other,” said senior Molly Gordon. “Being that Whitman attracts a particular type of students and also a brand of person it is likely then, taking the said study into account, that Whitman students MY TH 4 There is a “tunnel” underground tunmight be compatible with one another, at least intellectually, and probably in nel connecting Lyman and Jewett. other facets as well,” she said. “I’ve always said, especially when I "rst got to Whitman and knew I was According to Jewett Resident Director, Jon Lundak, this myth is in love with the school, that it is as if the admissions committee is a sort true and the connecting area is used primarily for storage. of friendship/dating service: they tediously go through applications, make decisions, and eventually a particular student body is created. HISTORY OF WHITMAN: (THE ABRIDGED VERSION) MY TH 5 You show up to campus as a freshman, and it’s like ‘Here are a Lakum Dukum is heated yearton of people who are incredibly driven, talented, interestby Derek Thurber round in order to keep the ducks happy. ing, and with whom you have the potential to have a great deal of chemistry. Go make friends. Or meet This myth is not true. “someone special,”’ Gordon said. 2007 sta“The pond is spring fed and the water comes attempt As one of the oldest institutions west of the Rocky Mountains, Whit- as a religious school, in fact the opposite was tistics related by Polly C. Schmitz, out of the ground slightly warm. Assistant Vice President of the school man has a long and varied past. But its foundation and history have true. Seminary was a term broadly used in the That’s all there is to it,” said DiAlumni soon found itself not been as simple as one might suspect for a small school such as 19 th century to describe high school level academies rector of Grounds, Gary in the worst of times Whitman. Here are some common misconceptions and general facts for learning. Brown. during the depression. In that have fallen through the cracks about our school’s past. Whitman was started as a secular high school and has remany ways, Whitman should never “It is kind of hard to get your mind around what things were like mained without religious af"liation since its formation. have survived. In 1933 and ‘34, most of the in the Northwest then,” Archivist and Special Collections Librarian A few decades later, the Whitman Seminary found itself in trou- a g a i n , faculty and staff went without being paid at all. Michael Paulus said. “It is amazing that they could keep the school ble "nancially. They were faced with a decision between radically and probably But Whitman did survive and after the depression never suffered around long enough for it to last.” changing the school or closing forever. So, in 1882, Whitman became would have died had it not been for its third president, Stephen B. L. Penrose. other major setbacks. Our beloved school has had a rocky past but it Whitman was founded in honor of Marcus Whitman, the renowned a school for higher education. Penrose was a trustee of the college when he took of"ce and his is has made it from Seminar to College and from past to present. missionary, by his colleague Cushing Eells. Eells was a missionary In 1886 the "rst class, two men and two women, graduated from To celebrate this great achievement and the foundation of the city at a site in what is now northern Washington State. After Marcus and Whitman College. Though many people think mixed gender educa- legacy is what made the college into what it is today. Under his presidency, the Memorial building was built, survived the great depres- of Walla Walla, remember that this year marks the 150-year anniverNarcissa’s death, he came down to the Walla Walla area to honor his tion was unique for the time, it in fact was not for the northwest. sary of the original charter of the school. good friends and fellow missionaries. “Many [people] today may view the early co-educational nature sion and almost became a large research university. In the early part of the 20 th century, Whitman began a major cam“He felt that an appropriate monument to the Whitmans would be of the institution as something radical or progressive, but it wasn’t,” to start a school,” Paulus said. Paulus said. “It would have been back East, but it was more of a prac- paign to raise several million dollars to turn into a large university. In 1859, Eells achieved the "rst great step in his dream: he re- tical matter in the Northwest.” There were even elaborate plans drawn up for the purpose of expandceived a charter from the state of Washington to start the Whitman Though Whitman became a college in 1882, it still experienced its ing campus. Seminary. Though many people believe Whitman had its beginnings share of challenges. By 1894, the school was on the verge of collapse For better or worse, that campaign failed horribly. After this failed




MARCH 12, 2009

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR SCHOOL? Quiz data compiled by Jamie Soukup




The founder of Whitman College was: a: Marcus Whitman b: Walt Whitman c: Thomas Cronin d: Cushing Eells

Online registration began in what year? a: 1993 b: 1998 c: 2001 d: 2004 Prentiss Hall, 1909, courtesy of the Whitman Archives


What sport ended in 1976? a: Varsity football b: Synchronized swimming c: Badminton d: Cricket


Which building was NOT named for a president? a: Anderson Hall b: Lyman Hall c: Penrose Library d: Maxey Hall


Whitman is currently on many of Princeton Review’s “Top 20” lists. Which top 20 list is Whitman NOT currently on? a: Happiest students b: Dorms like Palaces c: Most Politically Active d: Best College Library

ANSWERS: 1. The founder of Whitman College was: D: Cushing Eells The college was named in honor of Narcissa and Marcus Whitman, who had come to the area to start their own school. After their death, Rev. Cushing Eells established Whitman in their honor.

2. What sport ended in 1976? A. Varsity football In 1976, the football team the Missionaries—previously called The Shockers—of"cially ended, due to a variety of reasons but most referenced, high costs. The football team been established in 1894.

3.Online registration began in what year? D: 2004 Prior to online registration, students would physically go to either Reid Ballroom or the Sherwood Athletic Center in the summer, where they would walk from table to table to sign up for classes and talk to professors. With the advent of Webmail and student usernames, this changed in 2004.

4. Which building was NOT named for a president? B: Lyman Hall Lyman Hall was named after W.D. Lyman, a Whitman faculty member from 1889-1920. The "rst-year residence hall Anderson was named after Whitman’s "rst president, Alexander J. Anderson (1882-1891); Penrose Library was named for Stephen B. L. Penrose, Whitman’s third president (1894-1934); Maxey Hall was named for the college’s seventh president, Chester C. Maxey (1948-1959).

5. Which top 20 list is Whitman NOT currently on? C: Most Politically Active Currently Whitman ranks #17 for Princeteon Review’s Happiest Students, #20 for Dorms Like Palaces, and #12 for Best College Library.


MARCH 12, 2009




Nordic skiers, snowboarders excel at USCSA nationals by Andy Jobanek Sports Editor

The Whitman women’s and men’s varsity Nordic teams swept through the competition over the weekend to second and third place finishes in total team points at the U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association’s (USCSA) national championships in Frasier, Colo. The snowboard club also competed and recorded high finishes from both the men’s and women’s teams. Two snowboarders placed highly in the half-pipe with senior Mike Hague finishing ninth and senior Sarah Nostdal fifteenth on the women’s side. Junior Kelsi Evans placed highly across several competitions, finishing thirteenth in the halfpipe, fifth in slopestyle and fourth in boardercross.

The one sour note of the weekend was two injuries to two club members. Forrest Carver broke his back during a training run for boardercross and Nostdal tore her ACL while training for the slopestyle event. Nordic skiers enjoyed an even more successful weekend. Five individual Whitman skiers received All-American status including second-team honors for junior Bailey Arend and sophomore Eloise Zimbelman. Individually, Zimbelman won a national title in the 15-kilometer race by almost 46 seconds. In addition, the men’s and women’s 3x5kilometer relay teams finished second and fourth with strong legs from Zimbelman and first-year Tyler Abery. Abery, racing the second leg of the men’s relay, pushed the men from twelfth to second. Arend cited Abery’s effort as one of the highlights of the competi-

tion. The weekend’s events were a step outside of the Nordic team’s normal competition within the Division I Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA). The USCSA is comprised of other Division III schools and some club teams from Division I schools. The Nordic team found the level of competition a lot easier than what they are normally up against. “As we are in a Division I conference during the regular season we are skiing against the very best athletes in the nation, many of whom are significantly older/more experienced and are recruited from foreign countries to ski for these top collegiate programs,” said men’s varsity Nordic skier Tyler Abery in an e-mail. “Going up against Division III teams put us against evenly matched opponents and allowed for the amazing athleti-

cism on our team to truly shine.” “It’s really nice after racing world class Europeans from Division I to race normal American skiers again and beat them,” said junior Warren McDermott in an e-mail. However, several skiers said that the administration’s recent decision to cut their program tempered the excitement from the weekend. “After finishing my last race the only thing I could think about was coming back to compete next year. Unfortunately, the day after we got back I was informed that the entire ski program had been cut from Whitman,” said first-year Tyler Abery in an e-mail. “Unless something can be changed it doesn’t look like there will be a next year.”

New IM frolf meets with enthusiasm from campus by Maggie Allen Reporter

An increasing amount of frisbees can be seen gliding throughout campus every day of the year, but this spring there are perhaps a few more discs flying through the air than usual. Intramural frolf, a new spring sport, has simple rules, according to senior Luke Sanford, the current frolf record-holder “You basically just throw,” he said. However, there are some logistics to the game. Similar to regular golf, the goal of frolf is to throw a frisbee from the tee to the “hole”, which may be a tree or a rock, in as few throws as possible. The player throws from where their disc lands, and they keep track of the total number of times they throw per hole. To become a master at the sport requires hours of practice and skills such as distance, accuracy, different types of throws, experience and creativity. Frolfers are beginning to discover new ways to go around obstacles that have decreased their score. “Some people like to roll the Frisbee instead of throwing it because it can be more reliable over long distances,” said junior Todd Sigley, a frolfer and member of the Intramural Committee. Sanford knows many other hidden secrets to reducing one’s score.

hole goes from the archway at the Asian Garden to the pole, and you have to throw over Lakum Duckum.” Sophomore Bridger Root, who has been playing frolf since he came to Whitman and averages about one game per week, also discourages beginners from landing on these obstacles. “Throwing a wet disc really sucks,” he said. “Also, don’t get angry; anger, fear and aggression lead to the dark side, the dark side being trees, roofs, ponds and Star Destroyers.” According to Sanford, one of the biggest obstacles of all is dealing with the changes the Sherwood Renovation has made. While there used to be two holes through the middle of the courtyard, the course now goes down Boyer to the side lawn of Cordiner, across the rugby field, joining up with the original course near the science building. “It changed the course pretty significantly,” Sanford said. “It got rid of the two best holes. They put up two more holes, which are interesting but not nearly as good.” “The best hole used to be the one through Sherwood, but that one doesn’t exist right now,” Root said.“My personal favorites would probably be the flagpole and the lightpole outside Prentiss.” There are 11 teams total playing IM frolf at JACOBSON Whitman with no divisions between skill levA combination of Frisbee and golf, frolf proves a chalel. Each group consists of two teams of three; lenging sport to many Whitman students. Students have six people play together at a time. Whether it constructed their own obstacle courses on campus. “If you eat out of the trash can by the Prentiss bridge, one point is subtracted from your score,” he said, “But you have to eat the whole object.” There are also certain obstacles to avoid on the course. “If you hit a person or a car, or land your frisbee on a roof or in Lakum Duckum, you get one point added to your score,” Sanford said. “And the hardest hole is the flag pole by the tennis courts. The

be midnight or in the middle of the weekday, two teams will play a round together, and the lowest score wins. Scoring is both similar and very different than golf. One score under par is a birdie, two under par is an eagle, three under par is an albatross and four under par is a pterodactyl. After each team plays six games, the team with the lowest net score wins and receive the coveted blue t-shirts. However, any dedicated frolfer will say that it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose. It is all about the love of the game. “I love being able to get outside with some friends and have an entertaining and delightful time,” Root said. “Not only is it fun to compete, but it is fun to see the ridiculous things that people end up doing to try and get Frisbees down from places.” Still, it is unclear as of now who will claim the prize. With two first-year teams, a couple senior groups, and many veterans anyone could be the first IM frolf champion.

Spring Intramural Schedule Volleyball: March 30 - April 24 Basketball: March 30 - April 24 Softball: April 18 - Mary 10 Tennis: April 20 - May 12




Water polo grows as a club the game is growing. “We’ve got a ton of people out for Reporter every practice at all skill levels, and I hope that will translate into lots of Water polo, an under-the-radar club fans when we host some games,” he sport at Whitman College, is maksaid. ing a splash as it grows in popularity. The players say water polo is a This season the club has nearly 30 great way to stay in shape, especialstudents signed up to play, practicing ly for the swimmers that play after every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunswim season is over. day at Paul Harvey Pool. The team is Swimmers have certain advanmade up of a diverse group: seasoned tages and disadvantages when playplayers and beginners, swimmers and ing polo. McCoy, a swimmer, said, non-swimmers. Ned Morris, a local “Swimming certainly gives you an veteran water polo player, primarily advantage, but by no means replaces coaches the club sport. skill and experience. It helps to get up and down the pool, to be in shape enough to give full effort the whole time you’re in the pool.” Often swimmers who have never played find it difficult to transition between sports. “Swimmers have to get used to swimming without goggles, keeping their head out of the water to see action and dealing with the physical contact. I’ve heard it said actually that people NORMAN with a soccer backElliot Stone, ‘11, receives a pass from a teammate. Stone and other varsity swimmers have joined with ground make great other interested students to increase the water polo team’s membership to nearly 30 players. players because the games are actually To make it on the team one needs reliever. Seriously, how many other fairly similar strategy-wise,” said only basic swimming skills, as play- sports do you get to shove, kick and Stutsman. For experienced players or beginers are not allowed to touch the hit other people and it’s legal?” As more people hear about water ners, the water polo club is becoming bottom of the pool and must move around through the water. Assistant polo, Stutsman hopes they will ei- increasingly popular, due in part to Coach Jamie Kennedy said, “The wa- ther play themselves or recruit their recruitment techniques. “Normally I remind people that they get to hit ter polo club is structured for people friends. “The name is out there now so other people—that’s a good recruitof all skill levels. Good hand eye coordination is important in order to people who have already played, like ing tactic. Plus, the pool is a GREAT combine swimming with catching, in high school, can continue to play. place for ‘That’s what he/she said This year for example, we have had jokes!’” said Stutsman. throwing and shooting.” While not yet set in stone, the club For those unfamiliar with the sport, almost 22 people at practice. That’s a Kennedy describes it as being “simi- huge improvement in numbers,” she hopes to participate in a spring tourlar to aquatic basketball with a hint said. nament and host a tournament here at Junior water polo player Kevin Whitman this season. of soccer. The offense and defense tend to function similarly to basket- McCoy agrees that the popularity of by Alyssa Fairbanks

ball, but there is also a goalie.” “[Water polo] combines physical contact with strategy and planning. Regardless of which of those you’re better at, there is a place for you in the sport,” said senior Austen Stutsman who has played water polo for eight years now. According to Stutsman, this universal appeal has helped the popularity of water polo grow in the past four years she has been here. Stutsman also sees water polo as a way to release pent-up energy: “I personally think it is a great stress

MARCH 12, 2009

Game of the week: Men’s golf competes in first spring tournament by Libby Watkins Reporter

The Whitman men’s golf team has high hopes as they look toward the Pacific Invitational tournament this weekend at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course in North Plains, Ore. “I am expecting our team to do very well,” said sophomore Brian Barton. “Each player has been working hard to improve his own game and I think our team score will reflect this hard work when we play on Saturday.” The team returns six players from the fall, junior Grant Brandal, sophomores Noah Jolley and Barton and firstyears John Abercrombie, David DeVine and Ben Elstrott. This spring they have been joined by junior transfer and basketball player Steve Campbell, junior Paul DeBarros, who was abroad during fall semester, and first-year Seb Elstrott, who decided to join his brother on the team. “Our team is deeper, more talented and has the best attitude of any team we’ve had in the past few years,” said head coach Peter McClure. “These guys want to play at a high level and all of them want to get better.” McClure has high hopes for the upcoming tournament as well, which will be attended by all the teams in the Northwest Conference. He believes Whitman can take first and second place individually between Barton and Campbell. Barton won the Northwest Conference Fall Classic in October, and took second in a sudden death tiebreaker at the

Northwest Conference Northern Colleges Fall Tournament. McClure added that Campbell is showing great potential, and sees him doing well this weekend. Barton agreed, saying, “He is a great addition to the team, and will help our team score tremendously.” McClure believes that the other team members will do well too, citing their potential and improvement. “I am very confident that the other members of our team will improve their scoring average in all the tournaments we will play this spring,” said McClure. The team has been practicing for the past three weeks and has had a full practice schedule, only missing one day due to the weather. “Every day we play and every stroke we play, we get better,” said McClure. Barton expressed his enthusiasm for Whitman men’s golf and his vision for the future. “We have a great coach who gives us lots of encouragement and support,” said Barton. “I think with our young talent in the freshman class as well as a strong returning class, people will start to notice what a great program we have building here.”

Sat March 14, Day 1: Pacific Invitational at Pumpking Ridge GC, North Plains Ore. Sun March 15, Day 2: Pacific Invitational at Pumpking Ridge GC, North Plains Ore.

MARCH 12, 2009


T H ROUGH T H EI R EY ES: by CJ Wisler Reporter

Although high school tennis players tend to focus more on their singles game, the emphasis on doubles tennis grows dramatically in college. Doubles mixes both the traditional self-reliance of a singles game and the cooperation of a team sport to create a fast-paced and more team-oriented game. “It doesn’t matter what the tennis player’s background is,” said Whitman women’s tennis coach John Hein. “In college you work as a team, practice as a team. Doubles is such an integrated and important part of the game. It’s where college tennis feels most team oriented.” Since doubles tennis is more of an aggressive, quick-paced game, doubles players learn to rely on the other member of the team as well as on their own game style, which is challenging for people more used to the singles game. In order for two players to work well together in doubles, players must match their own styles of playing and finding the complementary elements


chemistry in doubles tennis

of their styles. “If one player is more steady and the other is more dynamic but makes big shots, finding that compliment helps players know what to expect from one another,” said Hein. The emphasis of doubles tennis in college, in comparison to high school, is quite dramatic for some Whitman students. Some came from backgrounds in which they played little or no doubles tennis to college where the doubles game is focused on several times a week. Drills for doubles tennis focus primarily on the net game, overheads, and situational circumstances. This helps players learn how their partners will react and how to cover each other depending on where the other is on the court. Since each doubles match accounts for the same number of points as a singles match, doubles teams normally compete first in college matches. With three doubles teams playing at once, coaches stress the importance of a good doubles game. “If you start playing well in doubles, you can start off ahead. It takes five points to win [a duel], and if [the team] comes in at 3-0, you’re off to a

pretty good start,” said sophomore and men’s ten-


Katie Oost, ‘09, and Divneet Kaur, ‘10, have been just one of the several pairs that the women’s tennis team has competed with in doubles.

nis player Etienne Moshevich. However, doubles teams not in the top three spots sometimes shift partners. Injuries, transfers and shifts in ranking also force players to shift partners frequently. Moshevich’s old partner, Matt Solomon, transferred to Boise State, and his second partner Nadeem Kassam, got injured. He and his new partner Jake Cappel are still developing their understanding of one another’s styles. Luckily, the friendship between tennis players permits a smooth transition from singles to doubles. “I really don’t know exactly who my set partner is, but we get along really well together. We’re supportive of each other, and since we’re such good friends on the court, there’s no animosity,” said Moshevich. For tennis players, the challenge of working together is less grueling than welcoming as players learn how to find confidence in themselves and to rely on their teammates for support. By finding both their inherent chemistry as well as working as a team, doubles tennis builds a definite sense of team unity in an independent sport.

New men’s volleyball club forms at Whitman “I only envision the team growing. We didn’t even have to advertise that much to get huge inReporter volvement, so I imagine we’ll have a similar number of freshmen next year,” Heckendorn said. “Plus, The men’s volleyball club writes memories in its the team has an incredible chemistry, it’s the best own Little Black Book, frequents Shari’s at midteam bond night and has a bond that the captains describe I’ve ever as the closest they have experienced in any sport. had.” From this description, it is hard to believe that A accordthe team only came into existence this semester. ing to the “When we came here, we started out by helpcaptains, 60 ing the women’s team practice, and we played percent of beach volleyball behind Anderson. Then we the current decided we should make a club team,” said firstplayers are year Ryan Smith, a co-captain. first-years, “They didn’t used to have a club volleyball and half had league in the Northwest, and that just started no previous this year,” said first-year John-Henry Heckenvol le y b a l l dorn, the other co-captain. “We’re in a league experience. called PIVA (Pacific Intercollegiate Volleyball Twe nt y Association), and that league sets up three major played in the tournaments per year. Two of them are at Walla last tournaWalla University.” ment, which Heckendorn said that because of the way the meant that league is set up, men’s volleyball players comthere were pete in as many games as the women’s varsity NORMAN enough to team but without the need to travel every week- Early practices with the women’s volleyball team led to incredible chemistry within the men’s volleyball team. They’ll look to gain club status and ASWC funding next year. The create both end. team is also part of a league called the Pacific Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. an A-team As of right now, some team expenses are paid by Sara Levy

for by ASWC, but volleyball doesn’t receive club funding. Heckendorn’s hope for next year is that the team will gain club status and thus be able to compete in tournaments that are farther away. He also hopes to increase membership.

and a B-team. After the most recent tournament, team member Graham Toben, a junior, wrote an e-mail to the team describing how far he felt they had come in a mere 15 practices. “We’re a team that started playing six weeks ago together. Over half our team hasn’t played on an organized squad until this one. Most of us haven’t played on an organized team for more than a year or two – the last time our setter played was when he was 12. We don’t hit the hardest, we don’t dig the best and we aren’t the tallest. But I haven’t had as much fun being on a team in a long, long time. Maybe ever,” Toben wrote. Heckendorn’s favorite aspect of the team is how invested the members are in the program. “You go out to dinner and hear guys talking, like ‘Oh yeah, in three years when we have our own Volleyball House…’ or ‘When we throw our volleyball parties...’ The team just really buys into it,” he said. Toben echoed this when he wrote: “We have fun out on the court because that’s who we are, and to me that beats winning seven times out of ten as long as we play with heart. No matter what happens next tournament, we’re gonna be one hell of a force to be reckoned with in the ensuing months and years. Hell, we already are.”





MARCH 12, 2009



by Billy Low and Andy Jobanek Reporter & Sports Editor

Billy: The way sports are watched, the way sports are played, the uniforms athletes wear and the money athletes make all change over time. But sports’ nature as competition—whether recreational or serious—remains constant. The whole point of shooting the basketball at the basket or running fast in a race is to improve chances of winning. So how important is winning in sports? More specifically, to what extent should winning be emphasized at the many levels of organized sports? For those who see sports as outlets for recreation and exercise, the answer is fairly straightforward: winning should take a backseat as long as participants enjoy playing the game. But for athletes, coaches and parents who see sports as more than a casual hobby, the answer is less clear. Let’s think in terms of parents who would very much like to see their child reach the highest levels of sport. My argument is that beginning levels should develop in youths a genuine passion for sports that fosters, at the high school level and above, the necessary emphasis for winning.

Few will deny that fun is more important than winning in youth leagues. But to focus on developing enthusiasm for sports requires more than turning off the scoreboard. Kids will have fun running around carefree anywhere. Organized sports will create real interest in sports if they show a youth athlete how much he or she can learn about playing sports. However, once an athlete reaches the high school level, winning should be a priority. It should be assumed that high school athletes have developed that passion that draws them to spend so much time playing their sport. A league title may pale in comparison to the self-discipline and work ethic athletes gain from competitive sports, but such qualities develop out of a commitment to winning. If athletes only value having a good time and “bonding with teammates,” why should they bother to wake up early to lift weights or choose to get rest instead of partying? Emphasis on winning points an athlete or team to a goal they must continue to chase until their game or season or career ends. That emphasis does not mean throwing a chair in response to a loss. It means an athlete puts in the work to turn a “good try” into a made basket or completed pass. It means a player shows up to

practice on time and ready to play. In short, a desire to win pushes an athlete to be his or her best. Andy: In addition to what you’ve outlined Billy, winning also has important economic reverberations. Universities make a lot more money when their teams win, particularly their football teams. A win for a team means better ticket sales, more merchandise sold, lucrative TV contracts and larger alumni donations. In this case, winning has to be emphasized in order to for the university as a whole to survive financially. Within a team and a community, winning can also make people forget the problems they have in life. Locker rooms can dissolve into places of petty squabbles when a team is losing, but, when the team is winning, then personal problems are forgotten. Similarly, when a team that has a special connection to its surrounding community wins, the population of that community enters a euphoria that can begin to heal deep social wounds. Jackie Robinson wouldn’t have survived in baseball and broken the color line if he wasn’t such a good player and didn’t lead the Dodgers to multiple World Series in the 1950s. It was socially important that the Dodgers won, more so than the average athletic team. Again, at the 2004 Olympics, the Iraqi soccer team placed an improbable

fourth place, temporarily bringing Kurds, Sunni and Shi’a people together to root for their team. Clearly, these are examples where winning has done wonders. However, there are times when winning is emphasized too much. The epidemic of steroids in baseball grew out of players’ incredible desire to trump every other player. Even early in life, little league coaches can stress winning to the extent where the child doesn’t want to play the sport anymore. There are also times where winning is secondary to the importance of simply playing the game. Last semester for the Pio, I reported on a football team from a local Umatilla reservation high school that has won only one or two games in their four-year existence, and yet everyone at the game I attended thought the team was highly successful. Over 100 people attended the game, even though their team was blown out. Winning then, might just distract our focus from the real social importance of sport. Still, try telling that to Kevin Garnett whose desire to win could cure cancer if he were diverted to the medical field.

Sports beat writer application Positions Open: Baseball, Men’s Tennis, Women’s Tennis, and Whitman golf beat writers (at least one writer for each sport). Job open until April 3. Description of the Position: The Pioneer beat writer would be responsible for writing a 4-600 word game report for the Pioneer Web site after each day of competition. On days that teams play two matches, writers will only be expected to write one report covering both games. Expectations for the game reports would be a quotation from Whitman’s coach and at least one player. Game reports will highlight the important points of the game, the general flow of the game, and place the game within the context of the rest of the season. Writers will be required to attend the game they are covering (with the exception of golf). Once the report is finished, the writer will e-mail it to the Sports Editor for editing before the online post. Reports will be due the same night as the match being reported. Additionally, writers will be required to ask the team’s head coach about any

teams news, including injury reports, schedule changes, important stretches in the schedule, changes in practice, team difficulties/triumphs, etc. Any news gathered during these meetings will be posted onto the team’s blog on the Whitman Web site. Beat writers are welcome to write for the print edition of the Pioneer, but are not required to. A short 30-minute training session will be required once writers are hired.



Year: Preference to any sport (list in order, leave one off if you really don’t want to do it): Previous experience in sports/journalism:

Expected Hours Per Week: Baseball will require about 4-12 hours depending on length of games and whether the team is home or away, about 6-8 hours for tennis, and 4-5 for golf. Most competitions are during the day on weekends, but will occasionally be on weekdays.

Why are you applying for this position?

Compensation: The position is unpaid, but could lead to a paid position in the fall if the writer continues with the job.

Attach one sample of your best writing (at least 500 words long).

E-mail Andy Jobanek ( if interested.

How many hours would you estimate you can commit to the job? What role do you see sports playing at Whitman?

Preference will be given to applicants with experience in the possible sport.


MARCH 12, 2009



Sports Studies minor cut due to staff, lecture class shortages by Andy Jobanek Sports Editor

A supplement to the activity courses for many years, the Sports Studies, Recreation and Athletics (SSRA) minor has been officially dropped. The decision follows a 2006 self-study and a fall 2007 restructuring that scaled the minor down to fit the amount of staff available. Since then, Skip Molitor and Juli Dunn have moved out of their full-time teaching positions to new jobs with the college, depleting the department’s staff even further. “We’re making a shift towards more activities as opposed to the theory courses simply because we don’t have the staff to continue to offer a viable minor,” said Whitman Athletic Director and chair of the SSRA minor Dean Snider.

The drop in staff has been a multi-year process in which the college has reallocated the faculty positions that open up when a coach who taught SSRA lecture courses has left the position. As a result, when new coaches were hired, they would not fill the teaching roles of their predecessor because another department filled that spot. Upperclassmen at Whitman who have committed to the pursuit of the minor will still be awarded the minor when they graduate. Next year’s incoming first-year class will be the first class who won’t have the minor available to them. The SSRA department will retain all lecture courses; they will just not be offered every year. In addition, the core classes within the department that train the student athletic trainers for Varsity athletic events will still be offered annually.

In the minor’s place, the Athletic Department has looked into adding a certain number of activity courses to Whitman’s distribution requirements. “We believe that physical activity is a healthy part and a necessary part of an academic college experience and there are a lot of institutions very much like Whitman College that do have distribution requirements in physical education,” said Snider. Among the colleges that Snider listed were Williams, Swarthmore and Pomona. The requirement at Pomona for example, is only one activity course in students’ first year at the college. However, a similar proposal to the Whitman faculty has not been drafted at this time, nor is it known exactly what it would require. Before the late 1990s, athletic training certification had two paths. The first was the

practical experience, while the other focused on coursework. The Whitman SSRA minor then helped aspiring trainers with both aspects and the framework for that remains. Most commonly, graduates of the minor have continued in the field of athletic medicine. Previously, the SSRA minor requirements were a course in first aid, a Physical Education Practicum, a Physical Education Senior Seminar and 11 other credits in other lecture courses. The department’s lecture courses ranged from coaching to Women and Sport. The Whitman Athletic Department will add more activity courses in the future as part of its further emphasis on activity courses. The department will look at a variety of factors including popularity and feasibility before adding more courses.

Students utilize BFFC, see room for improvement by Lyndsey Wilson Associate Features Editor

For determined off-season athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike, the Baker Ferguson Fitness Center (BFFC) provides a state-of-the art facility that enhances the athletic experience of the Whitman community and local residents. Since the opening of BFFC and Paul Harvey Pool in 2006, many students have developed ideas for restructuring the resource to be more conducive to student life. Many students anonymously suggested a snack bar for post-workout fueling and munchies for swimming spectators. “A snack or smoothie bar would be great. It could service swimmers, coaches or people working out at BFFC. It should be student-run though. I wouldn’t want it to be just another place to buy Bon Appétit croissants,” said one survey respondent. Many students echoed the desire for classes that require less commitment than a semester-long course. “Exercise classes, like aerobics, step, even jazzercise, that would be open to the whole community, would be great. Maybe even having Pilates or yoga. I have to go to the YMCA because I like

to do cardio classes and I get bored on machines. It would be awesome if we could even have student led aerobics classes,” said another participant. Survey respondents agreed that more information regarding machine usage would also be helpful to the students and community members. “I would also love to see spinning or stretching and abs classes offered at off-hours. Michelle should advertise training on all of the equipment for people who want to set-up a workout routine.






I know a lot of people that just use the cardio machines because they don’t know how to do any of the free weights, for example,”

said one student. The hours of operation are another area of contention for some students. “We always eat dinner then want to wait a little bit before we go and work out in the evening as a study break,” said first-year Anne Baeur. “Since we stay up late, we need proportional open hours.” Echoing her concern, sophomore Katie Bates explained that “a lot of people get annoyed at how it’s not open during finals when people want to go de-stress.” Although many students suggest changes to the current fitness center, the Whitman community has enthusiastically welcomed and frequented the BFFC. In fact, although varsity athletes do enjoy the privileges of a private room and team weight training at BFFC, regular exercise is important to a large number of Whitman students. 38 percent of survey respondents reported frequenting BFFC at least three to four times per week. Another 18.4 percent claimed they hit the gym anywhere from five to seven days per week, while 38 percent

stopped in at least once or twice. Only seven percent of students reported never using the gym. The reasons for using the athletic facilities are varied. For nearly half of respondents, working out is simply “a mood-lifter,” and a good break from studying. Thirty percent of students use BFFC to help achieve weight loss goals, and another 15 percent to maintain off-season endurance. One anonymous participant explained his or her motivation to work out: “To look good naked!” Several others added that general health was the overall reason to stay fit. 94 percent of those surveyed cited BFFC as one of their main avenues of exercise. 44 percent utilize jogging paths and nearby areas to run, while 21 percent enjoy sports and recreational courses offered by the college. A surprising 18 percent of students use their room to work out, likely for calmer yoga routines and meditation. Only 3.5 percent of survey responders said they venture off campus to local workout studios. The easily accessible and free resources that BFFC provides leave most students content with what the campus offers.

Check out the new Personal Fitness blog, as well as blogs for other sports teams, on the Pioneer Web site:




Whitman Athlete of the Week Eloise Zimbelman Each week, the sports staff will pick one Whitman athlete who performed exceptionally during the previous weekend. The distinction will be judged both on the individual’s performance and his or her impact on the team. Few people at Whitman can say they are national champions, but such is the case for Eloise Zimbelman. The sophomore skier won the 15-kilometer freestyle race last Friday at the U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association’s national championship. Zimbelman finished the course in 46:06.7, 46 seconds ahead of the next skier to cross the line. In addition to her individual success, Zimbelman anchored Whitman in the 3x5 kilometer relay race. Teammates Paige Devlin and Lindsay Records had Whitman in third place and 60 seconds off the lead by the time the torch was passed to Zimbelman. By the end of the race, Zimbelman had moved Whitman up to second and only ten seconds behind first place St. Olaf. Zimbelman and the rest of the women’s Nordic team finished the weekend in second place in total team points. by Andy Jobanek

SCOREBOARD of the Week FRIDAY MARCH 6, 2009 Women’s Tennis: Linfield College vs Whitman College in McMinnville, Ore. Teams Matches Linfield (7-0 NWC, 7-2) 5 Whitman (6-2 NWC, 6-3) 4 Singles #1: Elise Otto (Whitman) def. Sallie Katter (Linfield) 6-3, 7-5 Doubles #1: Sallie Katter/Sophie Larson (Linfield) vs Elise Otto/Margo Lentz (Whitman) 8-1

Men’s Tennis: Whitman College vs Linfield College in Walla Walla, Wash. Teams Matches #19 Whitman (6-0 NWC, 7-2) 5 Linfield (6-1 NWC, 6-2) 4

Singles #1: Etienne Moshevich (Whitman) def Nick Ruess (Linfield) 6-2, 6-1 Doubles #1: Brent Kingzett/Walt James (Linfield) def. Christoph Fuchs/Quin Miller (Whitman) 8-6 Northwest Conference Standings: Men’s Tennis Team Conf. Overall Whitman 6-0 7-2 Linfield 7-1 7-2 Pacific Lutheran 7-2 7-3 Willamette 5-2 5-2 Whitworth 7-4 7-5 Pacific (Ore.) 2-6 3-6 Lewis & Clark 2-6 2-8 Puget Sound 2-8 2-8 George Fox 0-9 0-9

Lewis & Clark College versus Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., 2 p.m. Game Notes: After narrowly defeating Linfield last Friday, Whitman takes on sixth-place Lewis & Clark (2-6 NWC) whose two conference wins have come against the two of the three teams tied with or below them in the standings. Whitman carries a 40 conference match win streak into the meet. Women’s Tennis: Whitman College at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., 4 p.m. Game Notes: Directly below Whitman in the Northwest Conference standings, sits Lewis & Clark at 5-3. The two teams have already faced each other so far this season. Whitman defended their home court with a 6-3 win over the Pioneers in the previous meeting. With last week’s close match against defending champion Linfield, Whitman has solidly entrenched themselves in third place in conference. Another win over Lewis & Clark will extend their lead for third place to two games.

SATURDAY MARCH 14, 2009 TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 2009 Women’s Tennis: Whitman College vs George Fox University in Walla Walla, Wash. Teams Matches Whitman College (7-2 NWC, 7-3) 8 George Fox (2-7 NWC, 2-8) 1 Singles #1: Hadley DeBree (Whitman) def. Courtney Banks (George Fox) 6-0, 6-4 Doubles #1: Margo Lentz/Emily Rolston (Whitman) def. Corinne Borrelli/ Mollee Robinson (George Fox) 8-0 Northwest Conference Standings: Women’s Tennis Team Conf. Overall Whitworth 8-0 9-2 Linfield 7-0 7-2 Whitman 7-2 7-3 Lewis & Clark 5-3 5-3 Pacific (Ore.) 4-5 4-5 Willamette 3-5 4-6 George Fox 2-7 2-8 Puget Sound 1-7 1-7 Pacific Lutheran 0-8 0-9

SCHEDULE for Next Week FRIDAY MARCH 13, 2009 Men’s Tennis:

Men’s Golf: Pacific Invitational at Pumpking Ridge GC, North Plains Ore.—Day 1 Game Notes: See game of the week article. Men’s Tennis: Willamette University versus Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. Game Notes: The Whitman men face fourthplace Willamette to complete the first half of the conference schedule. After the game against Willamette, the Missionaries play six conference road matches over four days, leaving two more conference matches against Whitworth to play after Spring Break. Some of the days the team will split the squad into two to play two conference teams on the same day. Women’s Tennis: Whitman College at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., 9 a.m. Game Notes: Whitman crushed Pacific (4-5 NWC) in the two teams’ earlier match this season. The Missionaries took every singles match and every doubles match to sweep Pacific, 9-0. Former Whitman Athlete of the Week Elise Otto won at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles to help Whitman take the match easily. Baseball: Whitman College at Linfield College (2, 9 inning games) in McMinnville, Ore., 12 p.m. Game Notes: With the recent cancellations, this will be Whitman’s first baseball game in just un-

MARCH 12, 2009

der three weeks. The double header against Linfield will also open the Northwest Conference season for Whitman. In the preseason coaches’ poll, Linfield was picked to finish first. However, they opened the conference season two weeks ago with two losses against Pacific Lutheran University who was picked to finish third, while only receiving two fewer first-place votes than Linfield received in the coaches’ poll. Linfield bounced back the next day, sweeping the second double header of the weekend to even their conference record to 2-2. Their four game series against Whitworth, originally scheduled for this past weekend, was canceled due to wintry weather conditions. Women’s Tennis: Whitman College at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., 3 p.m. Game Notes: A half game behind Whitman’s opponent the day before, Willamette sits at sixth-place in the Northwest Conference. The two teams faced each other at the beginning of Whitman’s conference season. The Missionaries won the match 7-2, winning five out of six single matches and two out of three doubles. After this game, the women’s tennis team has five more conference matches before the end of Spring Break on top of three more non-conference matches.

SUNDAY MARCH 15 2009 Men’s Golf Pacific Invitational at Pumpking Ridge GC, North Plains Ore.—Day 2 Baseball: Whitman College at Linfield College (2, 7 inning games) in McMinnville, Ore., 12 p.m. Game Notes: As is the custom within the Northwest Conference, Whitman plays two more games, albeit shortened to seven innings, against last year’s conference champion, Linfield. Also the custom within the conference, both teams’ aces will likely start their two aces for the first game on Sunday. Senior Pete Stadmeyer, who played semi-pro ball in Bend, Ore., filled that role last season and will likely continue it this season. Stadmeyer is 0-1 after two starts. There are a number of other games over Spring Break that aren’t recorded here. Go to the Whitman Athletic Department’s Web site to see them.

Scoreboard and Schedule courtesy of Dave Holden, Sports Information Director

MARCH 12, 2009




Campus limelight shines on five-man Red Light Blue Light by Sara Levy Reporter


Singer Dan Oschrin, ‘10, stands proud and tall in front of Red Light Blue Light members Charlie Procknow, ‘11, Brian Vieth, ‘11, and Matt Bachmann, ‘11. Ian Coleman, ‘11, is not pictured.

Ever wondered how the blues-rock band Red Light Blue Light got its name? “One day all five of us were walking downtown, just holding hands and skipping down the street,” said sophomore Ian Coleman. “I think Matt [Bachmann] was frying on something. And he just started yelling out random colors and seeing random lights. And one of those times, all he said was ‘Red light blue light!’ And we were like ‘That’s perfect, that is the perfect band name,’ so we took it.” Junior Dan Oschrin revealed the real story. “In 15 minutes I had come up with a list of names, because we needed to put our names on a poster for a gig we were playing the next day. Two of them were ‘The Red Lights’ and ‘The Blue Lights.’ Both were cool, but both names were taken, so we came up with Red Light Blue Light,” he said. “At first we thought it was kind of hokey and dumb, but now it’s grown on us.” Hokey name or not, Red Light Blue Light has gained enough popularity to regularly play at campus parties and they never turn down a request. “I wanted to create this band that would take any gig and just be shameless in playing wherever we were offered,” said sophomore Charlie Procknow. The band members claim that Red Light Blue Light proudly plays for almost any cause, the “most debaucherous” one so far having been the Women’s Rugby Calendar fund raiser earlier this year. According to Procknow, when the rugby team kept requesting more songs they eventually resorted to winging it. “We ended up just playing random songs that we’d never played before for 40 minutes. Not all of us had even heard them before,” he said. “We played ‘House of the Rising Sun’ in 4/4 time, which is just

not the right time signature. That is as egregious of a musical mistake as you can possibly make! But the beautiful thing about it is nobody said anything to us, nobody noticed. They thought it was really good!” Bachmann said that the energy at the end of each show is incredible. So much so that after their Coffeehouse performance earlier this year, he felt inspired to use his bass as a drumstick for the smash cymbal. “It ended with me just looking at my bass pegs screwing the wrong direction and all these tiny little screws just lost in the ground. It was pretty sad,” he said. “I had to fix it twice after that.” But fun times aside, all five band members agreed that finding a space to practice on campus is very difficult and that there would be vast benefits to creating a one. “The school seems to be really concerned about drinking, and if you can go see a band playing, that’s a viable alternative to going and getting wasted with your friends at a frat house,” Oschrin said. “A practice room would just improve campus life in general because it would be much easier for events to find bands to play because there would be more bands. And then there would be more competition between the bands so they would get better,” said Procknow. However, according to the band members Red Light Blue Light was not created with the intention of being popular. “We didn’t actually expect people to like it, because it’s blues, and nobody really listens to blues,” Oschrin said. “So it’s cool that people at Whitman have an open mind and can get down to any type of music as long as it’s good music.” On a final note, Bachmann added that despite Coleman’s story, “We don’t actually trip acid.”

Drama Club receives funding for Ashland trip by Rachel Hoar Reporter

Heads up, Shakespeare. In two days, 40 Whitties will invade the theaters of Ashland, Oregon. This Saturday, Mar. 14 the Drama Club leaves for their annual trip to the Ashland, Oregon Shakespeare Festival with the aid of ASWC funds. With the subsidization, students only need

to pay $40 to view two plays and spend two nights in a hotel. This is the first year the Drama Club has petitioned for ASWC to subsidize the trip. Due to many different factors, the club lacked the money to finance the trip without help from the college. A shortage of usual donations and the departure of theater-involved staff members contributed to the club’s predicament. “There were some miscommunications, so

we ended up with a lot less money at the end than we had before,” said senior Drama Club president Rosie Brownlow. “We needed funding from elsewhere. We couldn’t have done it without ASWC.” “It was a confluence of bad circumstances,” said senior Mark Kennedy, who both petitioned for money and to make the club an official ASWC club. “But it created good opportunities for us to get more connected with the college and the students, to have them

recognize what we really do.” ASWC granted the Drama Club $3,000 in order to subsidize their trip. The money came out of the Travel and Student Development Fund. “The purpose of this fund is to provide clubs and other ASWC bodies the opportunity to travel and attend conferences,” said senior ASWC Finance Chair David ChangaMoon. ASHLAND TRIP, see page 26




MARCH 12, 2009

Activist-poet Williams enchants budding writers by Chelsea Bissell Reporter

their occasional support and her fear of alienating loved ones. She divulged the problem of writing about personal issues, displaying the writer’s burden to a group of budding authors.

Terry Tempest Williams, poet, activist and environmentalist, visited Whitman College for the first time in her career last Thursday. The abundant nature of Williams’ work in many writing and environmental classes has made the author a minor literary celebrity for the Whitman community. Her arrival on campus for the Visiting Writers Reading Series brought out some of her most avid readers and environmental and social advocates on campus. Before her poetry reading in Cordiner Hall Thursday night, KIM Williams held a lunchtime dis- “Finding Beauty In A Broken World” author Terry Tempest Wilcussion for a small group of stu- liams talks to a Cordiner Hall audience last Thursday, Mar. 5. dents in creative writing and naWilliams cried through much of the discussion ture writing classes. The discussion was personal as Williams gen- and brought tears to the eyes of some of her audierously shared her struggles, her spirituality and ence as well. Professor Don Snow, who has known Williams her convictions with a group of former strangers for 20 years, remarked on the writer’s ability to she said she felt instantly connected to. Williams shared intimate stories about her fam- instantaneously connect with her audience. “I think that’s why people feel such an intiily, speaking of their occasional anger alongside

mate connection with her,” he said in an e-mail. “There’s greatness in her, and this is the source of it, her immense generosity of heart and mind.” William’s openness for closeness enticed senior Katrina Barlow. “I went thinking that everyone loves Terry Tempest Williams. I went with a grain of salt and I still fell in love with her in about two minutes. She is incredibly intimate. It’s totally unavoidable and unfair. Her voice even sounds like silver bells,” she said. Williams, airy and ethereal with silver hair and flowing scarves, began the discussion with introductions. Along with their names and place of origin, she asked students and professors to say a word that has been rolling around in their heads lately. The words stretched from delicate to rough, playful to serious: blood, nurturing, fetch, skin, steel, transition, madness, crepuscule, anarchy, milk and water were a few of the revealed words. According to Williams, the list of words acted as a shared spontaneous narrative that connected the classroom of individuals. “That’s where we begin as writers—with obsessions,” she said. Williams regaled the audience with personal stories. She spoke in detail about her father, “the Marlboro man without the cigarette.” Williams praised her father as her go-to source

of honesty. Nervous about the possible effect of her book “Refuge,” she turned to her father. Smiling, Williams related his remark, “Don’t worry about it. No one’s going to read it anyway.” “Refuge” details the history of breast cancer in her Utah-based family. She points the finger of blame at the nuclear tests conducted in the nearby Nevada desert by the U.S. Government. But after her father read the book he became more serious about the effect the book may have. He gave her a pearl-handled pistol. William’s voice softened as she explained that this is when she knew she was vulnerable. This sense of vulnerability continued as Williams discussed the writer’s regret. She spoke of the rift between herself and multiple family members that sprung out of her desire to write about certain moments in her family’s history. According to Williams, this is the burden of the writer. Tears welled up in her eyes as Williams explained the need for the author to write what she needs to say. “You have to stay true to your heart,” said Williams. Williams applauded the potential for originality and the potential for poetry in each student. “The point is that we are storied creatures. That’s what keeps us alive. That’s what makes us human,” she said.

Oregon trip will benefit most club members ASHLAND TRIP, from page 25

The Drama Club received funds even though requests for funds have risen this year. “I am not sure whether [the increase is due] to the economy, to our publicity efforts or to a decrease in funding available from other departments,” said Changa-Moon. “Maybe it is an effect of all three.” “They really funded it because of the services that we provide to the school,” said Kennedy. The Drama Club is one of the largest and most active clubs on campus, with around 150 involved members. Although the student-run Drama Club is separate from the theater department, the two collaborate often. Club members volunteer to usher and sell tickets and concessions at plays for the department. In return, the department allows the club to keep the proceeds from the

musical at the end of the year. The money from the musical covered the debt the club had accrued last year, but was not enough to provide the club’s usual surplus. “[The ASWC funding] was a one-time thing,” said Kennedy. “We wanted to get back to where we had been […] and then what we hoped was that in the future we would have the surplus that we usually get through the musical.” Individual students as well as the overall club benefit from volunteering. Students get credit for volunteering throughout the year. “If you get involved in the theater, you gain credits. You get to reap the benefits of those credits,” said Kennedy. The Ashland trip isn’t simply a social excursion. The different plays provide educational opportunities. “[The trip] does two things: it allows you to

see professional theater […] and it is a teambuilding trip,” said Kennedy. “Theater is all about a community of artists that have to work together in order to make something.” Non-actors are just as welcome to go to Ashland and be in the Drama Club as actors. The Drama Club is open to anyone who wants to become active in theater. Drama Club members fundraise for themselves as well as volunteer for the theater department. Their surplus is usually used to fund things such as play rights and guest artists as well as the Ashland trip. ASWC’s funding has enabled the Drama Club to continue their Ash-

land trip tradition. “Ashland is our Mecca,” said Brownlow. “It’s kind of like Stratford-upon-Avon, except in America.”


MARCH 12, 2009


Salacious Divas: COMMENTARY by Caitlin Tortorici Columnist

Hello all you young lovers out there, As anticipated, this weekend has fried me. I sit on the couch in my living room in flannel and running eye-makeup next to a new friend that appeared mysteriously in the night: a condom inflated with water that bares an uncanny resemblance to a breast. A visit from the illustrious Raffi Klein spawned an electric midnight dance party on Friday night that ended in a lack of shirts and two strangers consummating their lust on my living room floor. Saturday night brought perhaps the best Danger Mermaid show of all time – sweaty bodies collided, Daniel Grant premiered his loud and saxy chops, Sina, as always, danced belligerently in front, and someone even brought flowers. My divalicious friend (let’s call him Tom, or Mr. P or, as you might recall, the sexy black-jack dealer from the front page of last week’s Pio) has just arrived at my

house in a Brooks Brothers junior executive suit with fudge shoppe peanut butter sticks and Driers slow-turned peanut-butter cup ice cream. For his weekly 400-level nutrition seminar, Tom is doing some hands-on research to get inside the mind of an eating disordered fourteen-year-old girl. He has spent the week balls deep in excessive exercise and subsequent binging on unhealthy foods. “It’s really beautiful because I know it’s not going to matter, because I’m going to the gym again tomorrow,” states Poole, his mouth brimming with cream. Not to say Thomas doesn’t take joy in expensive gourmet dining. One night’s dish included baby lobster tail with steamed asparagus and gruyere cheeses. It’s been an emotionally trying week. For days we have religiously watched Judy Garland videos at home and in the library. We’ve found that really nothing has the soul-sucking capacity of the “What Killed Judy Garland” British TV special and the “Get Happy” before and after videos (both



‘The divas who are female versions of hustlers’ available on YouTube). Take a lesson from Judy, friends and drug enthusiasts: if you constantly blow your load on speed and pain pills you’ll probably be a train wreck by the time you’re 40 – if you even get that far. In other Judy-related news, I just learned last week that Liza Minnelli sprang forth from Judy’s loins, and the loins of her gay father, making Liza a third generation gayby. (Thomas and I plan to enact a similar procedure to benefit the entertainment industry. Our immaculately birthed child will be forced on stage at a very young age and will be versed in all styles of dance and song.) It finally makes sense to me why Tom waited 14 hours in Times Square in 25 degree weather to acquire front row tickets to see Liza perform in New York city; why he “sobbed and literally [crapped his] pants” when she looked him straight in the face during the show. On a completely unrelated note, we would like to take the opportunity to formally ad-

dress an issue that has crept into many of our conversations: the gym culture. There are certain people that seem to live at the gym. Those trying to bulk up typically hang by the far wall. Those seeking to slim down hover over cardio machines. But we’re the most interested in the brokebacks that hang out by the dumb bells and deadlift centers. It is curious that some supposedly straight men seem to spend more time flexing their hulky biceps in front of the mirror than they do with members of the opposite sex. We wonder: Are they really just beefing up for their sport or are they after something else? Like, perhaps, a bathroom blowjob in the men’s locker room? Just food for thought. Thanks for reading. And remember, the best is yet to come.

XOXO, C (& T)

Dancing in ‘Moonlight’ with director Cindy Croot




“I’ve been fascinated by the story for years— the notion of fate and the family line, as well as the pursuit of forgiveness, are very potent subjects for me. I was drawn to the universal human struggles depicted, and also to the more magical elements of the tale,” said Croot. This fascination also stems from Croot’s prolonged interest in the Middle East. Coincidentally, Croot found herself in Iran for a theater festival earlier this year. The experience served as insight for many elements of the play. “I hadn’t planned the trip to coincide with ‘Moonlight,’ but it was a very happy accident to be there just before rehearsals began,” said Croot. “It was very inspiring.” C

Harper Joy’s recent adaptation of “Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith” brought the novel’s tale of murder, magic, abandonment, prostitution and adultery to the stage. Director Cindy Croot took on the daunting task of adapting the nearly 400 page book of magical realism for the theater, turning novel into production in six months. But for Croot, the challenge of adapting the play accentuates the experience. “I like the challenge of that artistic conversation that takes place between the adapter and the novelist - a kind of collaboration and distillation of the work into another genre,” said Croot in an e-mail. “It is exciting to work inside an author’s structure, and find ways to translate pivotal moments to the stage.” Working from the text of a novel where much of the story is not dialogue meant that narration and back story comprised much of the script. This proved challenging for the actors who took turns

to help tell the story of Lili and her family. Lili recorded moments on stage that were s h o w n on a larger screen in the background. According to Croot, this allows the audience to view the story from various perspectives, adding dimension to the stage. The video also serves to enhance the anecdotal aspect of “Moonlight,” developing it as an adorned story instead of truth. “I was also moved by the way that video can make things larger or smaller than life in the same way that memory functions to distort and embellish what actually went on,” said Croot. For Croot, the decision to adapt “Moonlight” stemmed from her love for the story.



narrating throughout the play. “There are a lot of acting challenges in this play,” said Rosie Brownlow, who played Miriam the Moon. “It’s important to make the text active. You got to have a point of view about everything, especially when narrating. We found the narration to be one of the most difficult aspects of the play.” The play opens with 17-year-old Lili mourning her mother Roxanna’s abandonment and eventual return. Because Roxanna descends from a line of cursed and unsettled women, fate christened her migratory from birth. In the words of her sister, Miriam the Moon, Roxanna “had been a runaway before she ever became a wife or a mother, before she came into existence or was even conceived.” The play explores the history of Roxanna and Miriam’s family, their tragedy and turmoil living in the Jewish ghetto of Tehran. After an affair with her rich husband’s father, Roxanna abandons Lili and luxury for a life of misery and prostitution. In an unconventional twist, Croot uses video


by Chelsea Bissell




MARCH 12, 2009

Winslet the only saving grace of ‘The Reader’ MOVIE REVIEW by Corey Feinstein Movie Reviewer

The Reader Starring: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross Directed by: Stephen Daldry Rated R for some scenes of sexuality and nudity

“The Readerâ€? has won countless awards for actress Kate Winslet, among them the Oscar and the Golden Globe. Thank God it did not take home statues for any other category. But the fact that it was nominated for such categories as “Best Motion Picture,â€? “Best Adapted Screenplayâ€? and “Best Directorâ€? makes me ask myself what I missed that all the other critics saw. The story opens in Germany, 1995, in the apartment of Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes), a successful, single middle-aged lawyer. Berg is painfully solemn and hidden, and all the reasons for this are revealed by the long ashbacks that make up the majority of “The Reader.â€? The ďŹ rst ashback begins in Germany, 1958. Michael is a young 15-year-old boy (David Kross) who crosses paths with the much older Hanna Schmitz (Winslet), who cares for him when he is sick during a rainy day. Long story short, they end up naked.

Michael falls in love with Hanna throughout their seemingly innocent affair. Hanna’s happiness comes from Michael reading literature to her. The story skips to the 1960s where Michael is now attending law school. I wish the whole ďŹ lm were devoted to this time period which examines the interesting way that German society dealt with their Nazi past. One of Michael’s professors (Bruno Ganz) takes him to watch COURTESY OF THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY the trial of ďŹ ve wom- A haunting Kate Winslet stars as Hanna Schmitz in Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader.â€? The only saving grace of “The Readerâ€? en accused of Nazi war crimes, one of whom sympathetic psychologist to delve into the real issues that each faces. Director Stephen is Kate Winslet. She does a phenomenal job is Hanna. During the course of the trial, Michael Daldry does a nice job with the cinematogra- depicting a rigid, straightforward German realizes that he has information that can phy and gets perfect performances from his woman who hides her shame. Every charlessen her sentencing. Because he has such actors, but he cannot make the story nearly acter Winslet touches turns to gold because fond memories of her, Michael has to decide as compelling as it should be. He devotes she realistically brings drastically differhours to little subtleties that never seem to ent personalities to life every time she’s on whether or not to interfere in her trial. “The Readerâ€? should be interesting, but ev- manifest into anything concrete or detailed screen. I have trouble comprehending how erything about it is very unnecessary and un- enough to understand. He makes the realiza- she can play a young, thin, akey hipster girl worthy of the screen. In part, I think this is tion of Hanna’s illiteracy a monumental and in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mindâ€? because all of the characters remain closed- corny montage in the middle of the movie, the same exact year that she plays an aging, off to the world. They hide their emotions so when this was obvious from the ďŹ rst frame of well-rounded, maternal woman in “Finding Neverland.â€? This year, she plays a young well that it would take a very perceptive and Michael and Hanna’s relationship. American housewife in the 1950s in “Revolutionary Road,â€? while she remains a cold and stern ADVERTISEMENTS older female Nazi in this movie. If you go see this movie, see it for Winslet’s outstanding and Oscar-winning performance. She has an acute perception of this character and truly inhabits an unreachable mind of a perDelivery Take Out son who contributed to one of the worst crimes against humanity. In appreciation for 51 years ... But the rest of ďŹ lm never deals with anything DINE-IN and SAVE 15% OFF ANY ENTREÉ of substance. The character’s battles are within with this coupon through March 31, 2009. themselves and the director never lets the audience see inside them. Even when the ďŹ lm addresses the issue of a country dealing with the guilt of its past, the story stays closed-off and personal to the characters alone. .FMSPTFt8BMMB8BMMBt I’ve heard that the novel by Bernhard Schlink is 4VO'SJtBNQNt4VOQNQN supposedly more meaningful and thought provokXXXXDIJOFTFSFTUBSBOUDPN ing than the movie. But if you end up seeing the ďŹ lm and like it a lot, please tell me what I missed.

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Snyder’s ‘Watchmen’ a stylish, slick adaptation MOVIE REVIEW by Cindy Chen Guest Reviewer

Watchmen Starring: Patrick Wilson, Billy Crudup, Malin Akerman Directed by: Zack Snyder

detract from the film itself. Though the film definitely hints at connections or plotlines in the graphic novel, knowledge of the book isn’t required to enjoy or understand the film. The film mainly follows Rorschach, the paranoid masked man played by the outstanding Jackie Earle Haley, as he investigates the

graphic novel, but it’s impressive how much Snyder managed to cram into a three hour film while allowing the film to move along at a brisk pace (though the third act drags a little), swiftly jumping back and forth in time and space (literally – the radioactive Dr. Manhattan who is the United States’ nuclear

Rated R for extreme violence, sexuality, and a big blue penis

A doomsday clock ominously ticks towards midnight. An ex-superhero, the Comedian, is brutally killed to the tune of Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable.” These images, along with a montage of a parallel universe of 1985 where Nixon is elected for a third term and Vietnam is won, set to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changing” starts off “Watchmen,” directed by Zack Snyder (“300”). Though there are some signs of Snyder’s signature style, like the slow motion fight scenes and abundance of blood splatter, the film remains extremely faithful to the graphic novel which was named one of Time’s 100 Best English-language novels. The elements that were taken out, like character backstories and some alterations to the ending, don’t

Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach in “Watchmen.”

deaths of ex-superheroes. All the while, the Cold War rages on and the issues of these tortured superheroes come to the forefront and culminate as nuclear war ticks closer and closer. Not having read all of “Watchmen,” I can’t comment on how faithful it remains to the


deterrent takes a few trips to Mars). “Watchmen” is beautifully filmed, with stylized violence, and bleak yet iconic images, such as a smiley face pin with blood drips, and Rorschach standing on the roof in the rain looking down at a city so villainous that he isn’t sure he wants to save it. Snyder

never forgoes his own personal love for the slow motion fight scenes, especially in the Comedian’s murder, yet the violence seems to fit the nature of the characters rather than to be gratuitous (with a few exceptions). The greatest strength of “Watchmen,” however, is its casting. By choosing lesser-known characters actors such as Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson and Oscar-nominated Jackie Earle Haley (fantastic in “Little Children”), the performances come off as believable, elevating the film to a higher level than just another comic book movie. The sole female protagonist, Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman), falls flat at points with a ridiculous hairstyle and bad acting, but her relationship as Dr. Manhattan’s last connection to the human world anchors the film with emotions like love that are sometimes missing in such a bleak story. Although “Watchmen” aspires to be a dystopian tale of fallen superheroes and Cold War paranoia, it does still remain a comic book film, and falls into the trap of having the final revelation with the villain’s overly long spiel. Yet the flaws of this film are overshadowed by what it does achieve: It’s an audaciously filmed, fast-paced and faithful adaptation of the ultimate ‘unfilmable’ graphic novel, prime and ready for both cinema and IMAX screens everywhere.

WOMEN’S HEALTH CARNIVAL promotes fun, communication by Gillian Frew Director of Writing The idea to host a Women and Girls Health Awareness Carnival in Walla Walla struck Pam Warren, Executive Director of the Blue Mountain Heart to Heart last June. Warren wanted the event to coincide with National Women and Girls HIV/ AIDS Awareness Day on March 10. The carnival was held Saturday, Mar. 7 at the Walla Walla Authority Gymnasium, with free admission to the public. A one-time event combining games, prizes and entertainment with public speakers and booths run by local businesses, the carnival’s main purpose was to promote communication, said coordinator Jill Dickey. “Our goal is to educate women and girls in our community about health, with a focus on preventing not only HIV, but also diabetes and other chronic illnesses,” Dickey said in an e-mail To fund the event, Warren applied for a grant for Blue Mountain Heart-to-Heart from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Office on Women’s Health. “We were awarded $3,000, and decided to have a carnival because we hoped it would appeal to girls to attend an event with a fun theme,” said Dickey. Participants included Planned Parenthood, YWCA, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Pinnick Acupuncture, College Place Chiropractic and WW Chiropractic, among many other venders stationed at 14 different booths.




Local student’s Spring Break of!cially declared ‘Most Boring in Nation’ Last Tuesday seemed like any other for Whitman student Todd Carlton, ’11, when he went to check his mailbox in the basement of Reid Campus Center. However, this was not destined to be any run-of-the-mill day. In his mailbox, Carlton discovered written noti!cation that he had received the dubious honor of having “America’s most boring Spring Break.” The award, conferred by a private research think tank based in Silicon Valley, CA, provided Carlton with both the knowledge and a written certi!cation that his Spring Break plans were, in the words of the committee, “the most tedious within our great nation, and furthermore, absolutely nobody wants to hear about them.” When asked whether he feels any pride in receiving the nation-wide recognition, Carlton seemed dubious. “I mean, it’s okay, I guess,” Carlton said in a recent teleconference with reporters around the country. “I don’t really dispute it or anything, I’m just wondering if they had to make such a big deal of it.” It is known at this time that Carlton’s plans are to return to his Pullman, Washington home; however, beyond that, his extremely uninteresting plans are as yet unclear. When asked what speci!cally will make his Spring Break so insufferably boring, Carlton seemed unsure of his

answer. “I don’t really know. I was hoping to go see Watchmen, but my parents don’t really have an extra car I can just drive to the theatre. I’ll probably just watch some re-runs on TLC, you know, maybe a Trading Spaces marathon or something.” Carlton beat out several other frontrunners for the “most boring Spring Break” recognition, including Lindsey Parker (unemployed) of Indiana State University and Benjamin Touchet of Oberlin College. When asked what set Carlton apart from his competitors, a spokesman for the California think tank was not able to provide speci!cs. “I don’t know, maybe Lindsey was going to get drunk by herself on Wednesday night, but Todd has the edge by signing that sobriety pledge when he graduated high school. You know, we can’t really go into speci!cs. Todd’s life is so fucking tragic, though, it’s quite extraordinary.” For his part, Todd Carlton is still just a bit taken aback by winning the award: “I would think, with Whitman providing two weeks of spring break instead of one, I would have had some sort of an edge on other people.” “Guess not,” he said, as he sadly packed his bags full of inoffensively-patterned button-up shirts.

by Evelyn Windsor For Taylor Harris, it started out like any other day at the park. The six-foot-four, dark-haired man stepped out of his Prius, tools at the ready for another weeding session in the community garden. Twenty-!ve-year-old Harris smiled and waved at the women eyeing him from a nearby picnic table while walking towards the back of his car. “Wow,” one of the women said in clear admiration. “That guy is totally hot.” “Yeah,” the other agreed. “And he’s a volunteer !reman! I can’t understand why he’s single.” A photograph sent to Todd Carlton, ‘11, along The conversation halted abruptly as Harris with his award, portraying all the things that his removed a two-month-old golden retriever Spring Break will not be. puppy from the trunk of his car. “Ugh.” “Yeah…that’s just…too much.” For Harris, these comments continue an all-too-familiar trend. “It’s so weird,” said Harris, rubbing the adorable puppy’s tummy. “Ever since I got this dog, people have been staring at me in a really hostile way, or just Spacism (SPAY-siz-um) - a form of instituplain avoiding me.” tionalized racism commonly found in science Harris’ plight, like many recent cases, ap!ction books, movies, or television programs, pears to debunk the previously accepted whereby the minority characters are the !rst to Gunther Theorem (see box below). While the

Word of the Week

be killed, mutilated, harvested as egg-bearers, etc. by whatever particular terrestial or extraterrestial threat is menacing humanity. See also: Spacist (SPAY-sist) - one who practices spacism.

“Man, the fact that Parker doesn’t die until near the end of the movie is the only thing keeping Alien from being the most spacist movie of 1979.”

“Celebrating my body by appearing in ‘Girls Gone Wild: The Search for the Next Bush Twins.’”

“Finishing my thesis. Also, screw you for asking.”

“Giving thanks that I’m not Todd Carlton.” “Considering my options.”

“I live in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s actually autumn.”

“Going to Boise.”

“Seeing if I can eat the whole thing.”

“Finally joining the rest of the world and reading ‘Twilight.’”


Hot guy with puppy deemed ‘overkill’

POLL: WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR SPRING BREAK? “Not remembering my spring break.”


MARCH 12, 2009 MARCH 12, 2009

“Breaking up with my girlfriend.”

addition of a puppy is traditionally held to enhance one’s attractiveness, scientists are now discovering that too many unbelievably good qualities can actually make someone appear homely, even repulsive. “These !ndings are really quite incredible,” said sociologist Alexandra DeWitt, PhD. “We followed a supermodel named Natalie for a week, and noted that she received ten to !fteen phone numbers daily. When we gave her a kitten, however, she became so unattractive to her peers that she actually lost her job.” Such stories offered little comfort to Harris, however. Attempting to approach the women at the picnic table, his puppy frolicking at his heels, he met with only cold disdain. After a few moments of awkward small talk, the women stood and left. “I don’t get it,” said a bewildered Harris in response. “What do they have against my puppy? Muf!n is the sweetest dog in the world!” Sighing, he added, “I was really hoping to meet a nice woman this year, too. My fouryear-old son needs a positive female presence in his life.”











Local student’s Spring Break of!cially declared ‘Most Boring in Nation’ Last Tuesday seemed like any other for Whitman student Todd Carlton, ’11, when he went to check his mailbox in the basement of Reid Campus Center. However, this was not destined to be any run-of-the-mill day. In his mailbox, Carlton discovered written noti!cation that he had received the dubious honor of having “America’s most boring Spring Break.” The award, conferred by a private research think tank based in Silicon Valley, CA, provided Carlton with both the knowledge and a written certi!cation that his Spring Break plans were, in the words of the committee, “the most tedious within our great nation, and furthermore, absolutely nobody wants to hear about them.” When asked whether he feels any pride in receiving the nation-wide recognition, Carlton seemed dubious. “I mean, it’s okay, I guess,” Carlton said in a recent teleconference with reporters around the country. “I don’t really dispute it or anything, I’m just wondering if they had to make such a big deal of it.” It is known at this time that Carlton’s plans are to return to his Pullman, Washington home; however, beyond that, his extremely uninteresting plans are as yet unclear. When asked what speci!cally will make his Spring Break so insufferably boring, Carlton seemed unsure of his

answer. “I don’t really know. I was hoping to go see Watchmen, but my parents don’t really have an extra car I can just drive to the theatre. I’ll probably just watch some re-runs on TLC, you know, maybe a Trading Spaces marathon or something.” Carlton beat out several other frontrunners for the “most boring Spring Break” recognition, including Lindsey Parker (unemployed) of Indiana State University and Benjamin Touchet of Oberlin College. When asked what set Carlton apart from his competitors, a spokesman for the California think tank was not able to provide speci!cs. “I don’t know, maybe Lindsey was going to get drunk by herself on Wednesday night, but Todd has the edge by signing that sobriety pledge when he graduated high school. You know, we can’t really go into speci!cs. Todd’s life is so fucking tragic, though, it’s quite extraordinary.” For his part, Todd Carlton is still just a bit taken aback by winning the award: “I would think, with Whitman providing two weeks of spring break instead of one, I would have had some sort of an edge on other people.” “Guess not,” he said, as he sadly packed his bags full of inoffensively-patterned button-up shirts.

by Evelyn Windsor For Taylor Harris, it started out like any other day at the park. The six-foot-four, dark-haired man stepped out of his Prius, tools at the ready for another weeding session in the community garden. Twenty-!ve-year-old Harris smiled and waved at the women eyeing him from a nearby picnic table while walking towards the back of his car. “Wow,” one of the women said in clear admiration. “That guy is totally hot.” “Yeah,” the other agreed. “And he’s a volunteer !reman! I can’t understand why he’s single.” A photograph sent to Todd Carlton, ‘11, along The conversation halted abruptly as Harris with his award, portraying all the things that his removed a two-month-old golden retriever Spring Break will not be. puppy from the trunk of his car. “Ugh.” “Yeah…that’s just…too much.” For Harris, these comments continue an all-too-familiar trend. “It’s so weird,” said Harris, rubbing the adorable puppy’s tummy. “Ever since I got this dog, people have been staring at me in a really hostile way, or just Spacism (SPAY-siz-um) - a form of instituplain avoiding me.” tionalized racism commonly found in science Harris’ plight, like many recent cases, ap!ction books, movies, or television programs, pears to debunk the previously accepted whereby the minority characters are the !rst to Gunther Theorem (see box below). While the

Word of the Week

be killed, mutilated, harvested as egg-bearers, etc. by whatever particular terrestial or extraterrestial threat is menacing humanity. See also: Spacist (SPAY-sist) - one who practices spacism.

“Man, the fact that Parker doesn’t die until near the end of the movie is the only thing keeping Alien from being the most spacist movie of 1979.”

“Celebrating my body by appearing in ‘Girls Gone Wild: The Search for the Next Bush Twins.’”

“Finishing my thesis. Also, screw you for asking.”

“Giving thanks that I’m not Todd Carlton.” “Considering my options.”

“I live in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s actually autumn.”

“Going to Boise.”

“Seeing if I can eat the whole thing.”

“Finally joining the rest of the world and reading ‘Twilight.’”


Hot guy with puppy deemed ‘overkill’

POLL: WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR SPRING BREAK? “Not remembering my spring break.”


MARCH 12, 2009 MARCH 12, 2009

“Breaking up with my girlfriend.”

addition of a puppy is traditionally held to enhance one’s attractiveness, scientists are now discovering that too many unbelievably good qualities can actually make someone appear homely, even repulsive. “These !ndings are really quite incredible,” said sociologist Alexandra DeWitt, PhD. “We followed a supermodel named Natalie for a week, and noted that she received ten to !fteen phone numbers daily. When we gave her a kitten, however, she became so unattractive to her peers that she actually lost her job.” Such stories offered little comfort to Harris, however. Attempting to approach the women at the picnic table, his puppy frolicking at his heels, he met with only cold disdain. After a few moments of awkward small talk, the women stood and left. “I don’t get it,” said a bewildered Harris in response. “What do they have against my puppy? Muf!n is the sweetest dog in the world!” Sighing, he added, “I was really hoping to meet a nice woman this year, too. My fouryear-old son needs a positive female presence in his life.”











MARCH 12, 2009 2 Norman ‘12

1 Hong ‘11

3 Klein ‘10

4 Wheeler ‘11


Perspectives takes a look at Whitman life from a new angle each week.

1. A rehearsal last week for Harper Joy Theater’s production of “Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith,” adapted from the novel by Gina B. Nahai.

2. Serenita Kumar, ‘10, Monica Finney, ‘11, Alethea Buchal, ‘12, and Zach Simonson, ‘11, perform “When the Masks Come Off” on March 8. The play was written by Seren PendletonKnoll as part of her senior thesis.

3. Staff, students, and faculty 5 Norman ‘12

look on as Gill Wright Miller presents her lecture entitled, “Performing the Private Body,” on March 10.

4. Students, led by junior Jihwan Kim, sing at the weekly Whitman Christian Fellowship Worship. Worship is held every Monday night in the Gaiser Auditorium in the Hall of Science. 5. Bach to the Future performs at the Backstage Bistro last Sun., March 8. From left to right; Charlie Procknow, ‘11, Sam Epstein, ‘12, Peter Qualtere-Burcher, ‘12, Matt Bachman, ‘11, and Aaron Zalman, ‘12. Not pictured is drummer, James Franz, ‘10.

Whitman College Pioneer - Spring 09 Issue 06  

The sixth issue of the Spring semester for the Whitman College Pioneer.

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