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Whitman explores environmental initiatives at sustainability conference

ISSUE 1 | January 30, 2013 | Whitman news since 1896 | Vol. CXXXI


A by LACHLAN JOHNSON Staff Reporter


n an effort to find a way to focus and better coordinate Whitman College’s sustainability project, Campus Sustainability Coordinator Tristan Sewell will lead a delegation of five students to the Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference. The conference, which will be held on Feb. 6 and 7 at Western Washington University, is being co-sponsored by Whitman. Members of the Whitman delegation will attend workshops, panels and focus groups to learn about other colleges’ and universities’ sustainability initiatives. Sewell hopes to discover how other institutions form a united vision for sustainability and unite disparate projects run by students, such as the divestment campaign, composting and the recycling program. “[We’re interested in] colleges’ and universities’ stories and what sustainability means to them,” said Sewell. “There’s a lot of great motivation and energy behind the sustainability issue [at Whitman], but it’s a little at a loss of direction, so we’re hoping to learn some of those lessons and find ourselves a little bit better off after this conference.” In addition to attending the conference, sophomore Linnaea Weld and junior Collin Smith will lead sessions at the conference. Smith will be presenting on the moral and financial arguments for divestment alongside students from the University of Washington and Western Washington University. Weld will lead a discussion of the sustainability of the self and a workshop on different definitions of sustainability during the student summit, which will take place the morning before the conference. “I think sustainability can be defined in a lot of different ways. Sustaining yourself traditionally means having enough, but now it seems to [mean] having as little as possible. I am really inter-

ested in both looking at that definition ... and talking about how we as individuals can find definitions of sustainability that work for ourselves as students on college campuses,” said Weld. To demonstrate Whitman’s commitment to improving its sustainability programs, the Office of the President provided funding to make Whitman a co-sponsor of the event. Whitman is the only college in eastern Washington to co-sponsor the conference. “The point of [being a cosponsor] was to show our collaboration and our willingness to stand there on this issue in solidarity,” said Sewell. While the administration is taking steps to appear more supportive of sustainability programs, divestment activists feel that it has remained unresponsive to their movement’s demands. An ASWC resolution calling for the administration to consider divestment and formally respond to students’ demands has gone ignored for over eight months. Smith hopes that this conference is an indication that the college is ready to take action on various aspects of environmentalism. In addition, Smith and other members of the divestment movement plan to deliver letters in support of divestment written by alumni to the Office of the President over the next week, in hopes that the Board of Trustees will finally make a formal statement about divestment when they meet on campus between Feb. 5 and 7. “What I see from the alumni is they’re looking for the college to lead,” said Smith. “Whitman is a very conservative liberal institution—we all have these fairly progressive liberal beliefs, but very rarely do we act on them in a strong manner. And what I see from alumni is they want the college to lead. They want to be able to say ‘I’m proud of my college for doing something which was not what everybody else was doing.’”

s this year’s Power & Privilege Symposium approaches, the ASWC planning committee has been working to organize content, logistics, marketing and funding. While last year’s inaugural symposium was successful, attendance this year is expected to be much higher, since classes are being cancelled for the event and the anti-racism movement was formed on campus last fall. Faculty members passed a movement in December to cancel all classes on Thursday, Feb. 20 to encourage student participation in the symposium. Several professors have included the symposium in their syllabi to encourage student participation in response to anti-racism activism and ASWC’s resolution condemning racism on campus. The planning committee is seeking proposals from members of the Whitman College community interested in facilitating a lecture, panel or workshop. Canceling classes for the symposium was a major goal of both last fall’s anti-racism rally and the ASWC resolution passed in response to it. Having succeeded in this goal, ASWC has found itself under increasing pressure to craft a symposium capable of simultaneously meeting the expectations of the antiracism movement and involving sections of the student body reluctant to engage in discussions about racial inequality on campus. “[Classes being cancelled] has definitely put an added element of pressure into the mix, because now that the faculty have cancelled classes, the ball’s back in our court to ensure it was worth them canceling classes,” said junior ASWC Vice President Jack Percival. “We need to convince the faculty and the campus at large that this is a productive medium for discussing those issues.” The planning committee is led by sophomore ASWC Special Initiatives Director Shireen Nori. Nori’s position was created by junior ASWC President Tim Reed this year. As spiecial initiatives director, she oversees special projects for ASWC, including the Power & Privilege Symposium. While most content is yet to be finalized, Nori

hopes this year’s symposium will deal with race, gender and other sorts of diversity issues. “Our hope is that by giving the opportunity for students to create a workshop, or having workshops and panels that can apply to very different experiences, we can bring in students who wouldn’t normally go to an event [about race or gender],” said Nori. The keynote speaker for the symposium will be Brown University Professor of Africana Studies Tricia Rose, who teaches and acts as the director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. Rose will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 19, the evening before the symposium. Organizing the symposium requires multiple components other than deciding the content, including the logistics of reserving spaces for presentations, organizing the schedule, raising publicity and finding funds for the symposium. While ASWC will supply at least $2,000, it hopes additional funding from other sectors of the college will provide the event with a budget of roughly $30,000. If they receive enough funding, ASWC hopes to provide free food during the symposium and close the dining halls, in a similar format to that of the annual Whitman Undergraduate Conference. This would provide students with yet another incentive to attend the symposium. “From my point of view, there’s not an excuse not to attend the symposium. It is your job as a Whittie to get educated, and that’s what we’re here to do,” said senior Paige Joki, chair of the content subcommittee. Increasing student involvement in the symposium was the major motivation behind the faculty’s decision to cancel classes for the day to open up students’ schedules. The faculty resolution passed with near-unanimous support after a brief delay to resolve issues with scheduling raised by science departments. The science departments must cancel labs for a full week if one section of the class meets the day classes are cancelled. This issue was resolved by scheduling the symposium the week of Presidents’ Day, since many labs were already cancelled for that week. “I hope to see a lot of the adsee SYMPOSIUM, page 2

Ferenz becomes winningest women’s basketball coach with record-breaking start Ferenz has led women’s basketball to a 17-0 start. Photos by McCormick

by COLE ANDERSON Staff Reporter


ith a 17-0 record so far in the 2013-2014 season, sitting atop the NWC and ranked third nationally, the Whitman women’s basketball team is following up their Elite Eight National Championship run last season with a very promising season so far. This level of dominance is due in large part to Head Coach Michelle Ferenz, who became the winningest coach in Whitman women’s basketball history earlier this season. Now in her 23rd year as a

head basketball coach and 13th year at Whitman, Ferenz has seen first hand what it takes to build a championship-caliber team, and she has used her experiences coaching elsewhere to gain the knowledge she has accumulated up until this point. “After playing in college, I was fortunate enough to land a high school head coaching job in Okanogan, [Wash.],” said Ferenz . “I was lucky that first year that I inherited a veteran team who was pretty talented. We won a district championship and went to the state tournament, placing fifth. So basically, I was hooked.” Each year after that, Fer-

enz’s teams were consistently competing for league titles and state playoff appearances. “The consistency with which her teams competed is impressive because you do not recruit in high school. As a coach, you build a team around the players that transition into your program,” said Chris Ferenz, her assistant coach and husband, via email. After 10 years in Okanogan, Ferenz found herself at Whitman College. She was hired in April 2001, which meant she was unable to recruit for her upcoming season and was also the third women’s basketball coach

in three years for Whitman. Despite the adversity, her team battled through the season and had numerous positive results. “The highlight of that year was beating PLU who was ranked 17th in the nation that season. PLU went on to play in the Elite Eight that season,” she said. That marquee win set the tone for her legacy at Whitman. “The expectation to compete and execute led the team to victory, despite being outmatched at each position. She has asked the same of each team here at Whitman,” said Chris Ferenz. Not only does she expect eve-

rything of her players in games, but Ferenz also encourages the same work ethic in practice. “The number one trait as to why Michelle has been successful at Whitman College has been her expectation that her athletes work hard and compete each day. For the two hours that the team works each day, they are focused on becoming the best that they can be individually and collectively, with no excuses,” said Chris Ferenz. Her players are very aware of those expectations as well. Ferenz has established her standards for the team and what

see FERENZ, page 5





30 2014

Communications office takes new direction by Shelly Le Editor-in-Chief


Chief Communications Officer Michelle Ma (bottom) and Director of Digital Communications Kristen Healy (top) were hired to improve the college’s use of digital media and to expand its demographic. Photos by Felt

Whitman cancels classes for Power & Privilege Symposium from SYMPOSIUM, page 1

ministration there. And I hope to see a lot of folks, including students and faculty who may not feel compelled to attend, step out of their comfort zone and attend an event like this because I think there’s a lot that people can learn and a lot of trust-building that can occur in a context like this,” said Assistant Professor of Politics Melisa Casumbal-Salazar. Though the symposium enjoys widespread support among faculty, some remember past incidences of racism on campus which occurred in the last decade, such as when two students wore blackface to a Greek party in 2006. These issues were addressed at the time, but the consequences of them failed to change a campus culture that many students of color still find unwelcoming. “The symposium is not a Band-Aid that’s going to fix this. It’s just part of the process. I hope

he Whitman Office of Communications has seen a number of changes in the past year. With a new hire and staffing changes in the communications office, the college is hoping to change its marketing and public relations strategy. New Chief Communications Officer Michelle Ma and Director of Digital Communications Kristen Healy were hired this January to fill new roles in the communications office. Healy, who has been with the college since August 2013, was formerly the office’s online content specialist. Ma was hired after former Assistant Vice President of Communications Ruth Wardwell stepped down from her position last July. These hiring decisions reflect the administration’s efforts to improve the college’s use of digital media and to attract a more diverse group of students in order to launch Whitman into the national spotlight as an academically competitive and diverse liberal arts college. As the Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Governmental Affairs at Coastline Community College in Southern California for nearly nine years, Ma reached out to a diverse and large student body for public relations efforts. “Coming from Coastline Community College, which was founded as a college that mainly offered online classes, what’s so exciting [about my new position] is that I get to see and interact with and observe the student life that I’m talking about in public relations efforts,” she said. Although Ma notes that the demographic communities Whitman attempts to reach are smaller than Coast Line’s target audience, she says her job is still challenging, since she’s still getting a feel for the Whitman environment. “Whitman is still a part of a more competitive market. A lot of people want Whitman students to be a part of their communities,” she said. “It’s a very different environment here [than at the community college], so I’m still trying to walk around campus to talk to people. Even though I’ve been in education for nine, 10 years, there’s still going to be a little bit of a learning curve.” Part of the difference between Ma’s new position and the former assistant vice president of communications position is that Ma is expected to work more closely with other campus offices. “The impression that I get is that the larger college community doesn’t know how to utilize communications. So we have some work to do in explaining to the campus about what we do all day ADVERTISEMENT

that there will be many different prongs to the approach,” said Associate Professor of History Elyse Semerdjianin in an email. Semerdjian is the chair of the encounters curriculum subcommittee, and she takes the measures called for by the ASWC anti-racism resolution seriously. She seeks to continue to diversify the course syllabus. This year will prove critical for the Power & Privilege Symposium, since ASWC and the administration have been searching for ways to combat racism on campus. Should it prove itself an effective means for increasing campus dialogue about race, it will be more likely to return in future years. “I think this is definitely a shining moment to prove the efficacy and worthwhile nature of having the Power & Privilege Symposium and [to] have it become something that is happening every year,” said Reed.




Editor-in-Chief Shelly Le

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Managing Editor Pam London

Production Associates Jess Faunt, Marianne Kellogg, Haley Larson, Jesse Moneyhun, Abby Seethoff



News Editors Sarah Cornett Dylan Tull A&E Editor Hannah Bartman Sports Editor Quin Nelson Feature Editor Emily Lin-Jones Opinion Editor Kyle Seasly Humor Editor Molly Johanson Photography Editor Catie Bergman Videography Editor Skye Vander Laan Illustration Editor Luke Hampton

and how we can help them to market their programs via the website [or] through social media or to create custom publications for them that really communicate what they’re trying to convey,” said Ma. Healy was promoted to Director of Digital Communications after the office reevaluated its need to better connect departments of the college to online and digital media. Healy will be working to improve the Whitman website and the college’s various social media accounts and to expand the use of digital media. In this new position, Healy will spend less time on the day-to-day management of Whitman’s content management system and website. “My goal for the position is to help Whitman expand its reputation as a top-notch liberal arts college. A year from now, my hope is that Whitman will be better known both inside and outside the Pacific Northwest region,” said Healy in an email. Likewise, Ma hopes to create a strategic communications plan that will connect multiple departments to launch Whitman into the national spotlight to compete better with similar liberal arts colleges. According to Ma, the college has had no strategic communications plan with this specific goal in mind. “A lot of people feel like there’s a disconnect between departments, and that’s something we need to reign in,” said Ma. “We’re a service bureau. We don’t create a product in this department. We don’t create something that we’re selling. What is created is out there. The staff, the faculty are already creating things and our job is to tell people about them.” Ma, who grew up on the border of Compton, Calif. and gave a lecture on the importance of a diverse student body during her job interview at Whitman, noted that she will also be making efforts to incorporate the college’s mission of diversity in this strategic communications plan. “I was asked this morning about what diversity means to me, and I said, ‘Well, it depends on how you define it. You can’t simply define it as color. That’s only one aspect of having a diverse population. But having a faculty, staff and student body from different experiences, cultures and backgrounds [is diversity].’ All of that is so important and necessary for the college,” she said. Ma and Healy have been getting accustomed to their jobs in the past couple of weeks, and they look forward to implementing changes. “The college has a really strong identity and people who see it love it. So getting people on campus to hear about it will get more and more important,” said Ma.

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


Letters to the editor may be submitted to The Pioneer via email at or sent to The Pioneer, 345 Boyer Ave., 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 attributed and may be edited for concision and fluency.


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30 2014



Students celebrate MLK

by Patricia Vanderbilt Staff Reporter

Photos by Clay

Intercultural Center organizes 10-day MLK, Civil Rights Movement celebration

Whitman Teaches the Movement kicks off third year by Sarah Cornett News Editor

by Sam Grainger-Shuba Staff Reporter


rom Jan. 20-30, the Glover Alston Center and Whitman College’s Intercultural Center celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the important contributions made by leaders of the Civil Rights Movement during one of the most tumultuous times in U.S. history. While the federal holiday honoring King is Jan. 20, the Intercultural Center devoted 10 days to celebrating his life and the achievements of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Whitman has organized commemorative events for King since the late 1980s, according to Intercultural Center Director Matthew Ozuna. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there was a march and candlelight vigil in honor of the leader who inspired millions. This served as the kick-off to their full schedule of events. “It’s important to remember that the Civil Rights Movement is ongoing. Dr. King’s dream has yet to be fully realized,” said Ozuna. “Civil rights leaders continue to raise issues of safe and affordable housing, income inequality and the working poor, women’s rights, immigrant rights, mass incarceration, gun violence, religious intolerance and interfaith work, voting rights, national spending priorities and LGBT equality. We all, someway, can lend support to these issues and affect positive, nonviolent social change.” Last Thursday, Jan. 23, students and Walla Walla community members trickled into the GAC for a screening of the documentary “Freedom Riders.” “I have heard about the Freedom Rides, but I’m not all that familiar with it,” said Rubio Jimenez, a Walla Walla University student who attended the screening. “Learning about mistakes we made in the past helps us not repeat them in the future.” The 2010 film, direct-

ed by Stanley Nelson, chronicles the story of a group of over 100 activists who challenged racial segregation not only in the American interstate transport system, but also in other aspects of southern American life by taking freedom rides into the deep south. “I don’t have huge awareness of the issue, so I thought that I would expand it,” said sophomore Sarah Blacher. “It was a really important time, and I would like to be better informed about it.” On Monday, Jan. 27, Kate Shuster gave a presentation entitled “Why the Movement Matters: Learning from America’s Civil Rights Struggles” as a kick-off event for Whitman Teaches the Movement. WTTM is a collaboration by Whitman College, Walla Walla Public Schools and the Southern Poverty Center’s Teaching Tolerance project. The program trains Whitman students to go into local classrooms to teach creative, historically specific lessons on the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. In addition to these activities, the Intercultural Center is hosting Civil Rights activist Diane Nash, who will facilitate a workshop with student leaders called “Nonviolent Resistance and Campaigning.” On Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. she will give a public talk in Cordiner Hall about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Nash is a leader of the sit-in movement in Nashville, Tenn., a Freedom Rides organizer and a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. “The federal holiday should be embraced by all,” said Ozuna. “Not only does it recognize the life and achievements of Dr. King; it’s the only federal holiday to celebrate community service. The holiday serves as a wonderful opportunity for members of the Whitman and Walla Walla communities—from all backgrounds and beliefs—to come together, overcome indifference and build relationships of trust, tolerance and respect.”


hitman Teaches the Movement launched its third year on Monday, Jan. 27 with two kick-off events: a panel of educators sharing experiences in teaching the Civil Rights Movement and a guest lecture by Dr. Kate Shuster of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The two events were organized by the Student Engagement Center. In attendance were students and 10 representatives from other colleges and universities interested in learning more about Whitman Teaches the Movement, a program which sends Whitman students to local public schools to teach the Civil Rights Movement. The panel was moderated by Assistant Dean for Student Engagement Noah Leavitt, who posed questions to President George Bridges, Shuster, Walla Walla Public Schools Superintendent Mick Miller and Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Doug Johnson. They discussed their own personal experiences educating students about Civil Rights and the present awareness of diversity in their communities. “I think there’s a strong awareness of other cultures and ethnicities in our schools and communities, but not as much acceptance,” said Miller, representing a district whose student population is 41 percent Hispanic. Johnson, who comes from the perspective of a fairly non-diverse community, stated in the panel that Dayton’s population is 93 percent white. “We are a small community of mostly white farmers. There are a lot of things they’re missing on a personal level about the Civil Rights Movement, and I hope this connection with Whitman will engage with that,” he said. Most of the attendees of the panel were Whitman students involved with Whitman Teaches the Movement. The opportunity to get involved with the Walla Walla community is a valuable one, according to Bridges, especially when the work is related to education. “We believe we have a responsibility to serve Whitman students and families as well as the Walla Walla Valley,” Bridges said. ADVERTISEMENTS

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“In order to achieve that, we have to reach out, and we have to serve.” During the event, Shuster delivered a talk entitled “Why the Movement Matters: Learning from America’s Civil Rights Struggles.” She focused on the relevance of Civil Rights issues today, and the transformative power of education in shaping the way students think about diversity and justice. She also refuted preconceptions and generalities about the Civil Rights Movement, arguing that the movement was not the work of a few well-known activists alone. “If we think about it as collective action, if we think about it as a movement, then we have to recognize the stories of people like Fannie Lou Hamer ... [although] we don’t necessarily know her name. We don’t think about the party; we don’t think about the structural interaction between the parties at the convention,” she said. Whitman Teaches the Movement began after Walla Walla received less-than-satisfactory results on proficiency tests given by the SPLC analyzing public school students’ knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement. Whitman partnered with the SPLC to design a program where Whitman students educated students about Civil Rights. One of the most beneficial aspects of the program, according to senior and Whitman Teaches the Movement Co-Coordinator Allison Bolgiano, is that it partners students with other students. “Whitman Teaches the Movement is unique because it helps both college students and grade school students learn about the Civil Rights Movement, a tremendously important and inspiring social movement that unfortunately many of us only know the basics of,” she said. The two public kick-off events served to create fervor for the beginning of a new year for Whitman Teaches the Movement, a program successful enough that students come back to it each year for the powerful experience. “[Civil Rights education] is not an easy task,” said junior Tim Reed, who is participating in the program for the second year. “I think we achieved something last year, and I’m not quite sure what, but there was something there. And that’s why I was excited to come back this year.”




Amount, in billions, spent in preparation for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. These will be the most expensive Games ever. SOURCE: New york Times


Number of countries competing in Sochi 2014 SOURCE: bbc


Number of miles of new road built in Sochi for Sochi 2014. SOURCE: buzzfeed


Amount, in millions, that the local governor spent on a helicopter for himself out of the Sochi 2014 budget. source: bbc


Number of countries’ Olympic Committees that received letters threatening a terrorist attack. Officials have dismissed these as hoaxes. SOURCE: bbc


Number of extra troops and police brought in from Moscow to provide security. source: radio free europe

ASWC Senate Minutes 1/26 Ratified Japanese Cooking Club by a vote of 16-0-2. Passed request from ASWC for $3,550. Passed request from the Outdoor Program for $1,191 for a ski bus. Passed request from blue moon for $1,920 to attend the Associated Writers and Writing Organizations Conference.





30 2014

Tales from abroad Three students share their stories from last semester—from internships to sailing ships by EMILY LIN-JONES Feature Editor


n the fall semester of 2013, over half of the available off-campus studies programs were being offered to Whitman students for the first time ever. Some of these proved popular, while some attracted only one or two intrepid students to test the waters. In the meantime, Whitman’s older partner programs also continued to attract participants. The Pioneer spoke with two juniors who participated in brandnew partner programs in the fall, as well as a student who participated in one of Whitman’s longtime U.S. partner programs.



Karen Zhou - Copenhagen, Denmark The Pioneer: Where did you go, and what was the program like? Karen Zhou: I was in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. It’s basically a large program of mostly American students, with about 1200 people total. It consists of a bunch of different programs. I was in a program called Child Diversity and Development, [studying] children in a multicultural context. I studied the sociology of education in a Danish context. I wanted to take a sociology class that focused on children, and the program also offered a really cool practicum experience where I got to work at a childcare center in Denmark. Aside from getting to experience the whole Danish lifestyle, I particularly enjoyed seeing my visiting family, chatting with them [and] having hygge with them. [Hygge] is a word that doesn’t exist in English, and it basically means warmth, happiness [or] coziness. Pio: What is one of your favorite memories from your time abroad? KZ: One of my favorite parts [of the program] was visiting Tivoli, an amusement park in the middle of the city right next to the town hall. It was amazing ... It’s actually the park Disneyland was inspired by. Pio: What is one thing you wish you had known before leaving? KZ: Before I went, I didn’t know how many American students would be there, and how diverse that group would be. It was surprising to me. Kelly Chadwick - Philadelphia, PA Pio: Which program did you participate in? Kelly Chadwick: I was in the Phil-


students studied here in the fall


Pio: Why did you choose that program? KC: I wanted a program that would help me figure out what I could do as a career. I really wanted to try to do an internship and see if I liked it. I also liked that you got to play at being an adult without having to be one. You could sort of go through the process with a really big safety net. Pio: What was your favorite part or favorite memory from your time abroad? KC: Mostly my favorite part was my internship and going back to an apartment that was mine and ADVERTISEMENT whitmancollege/



adelphia program. [The program] focuses on experiential learning. You have an internship 35 hours a week, and you also take classes that are focused on experiential learning. You get to go on field trips and your homework makes you go out into the city and do activities. For example, for one assignment we had to apply for government assistance without using the Internet.

A NEW resource connecting current Whitman students with alumni around the globe






making food for myself. My favorite one moment was hanging out in Philly with my friends from the program the last night we were there and being able to walk around the city at night. Sam Chapman - SEA Semester Pio: Where did you go on the program? SC: [The program has] a shore component in Woods Hole, Mass. and a sea component. [On the sea component] we went from St. Croix to Granada to Dominica to Puerto Rico. Pio: What did you do? SC: The Sea Education Association [SEA] does a lot of things, some are more science-oriented, some are about plastics ... Ours was called Colonization Through Conservation in the Caribbean, so we focused primarily on change. There was a large history component, a lot of writing, and we generally wanted to know everything that made

the Caribbean islands and seas such a different place than they were when Columbus landed. I loved [the program]. We worked the ship ourselves, we got crash courses in oceanography, navigation, meteorology [and] everything we would need to survive while we were learning about history. The sheer volume of things that went into the experience was exactly my cup of tea. Pio: Do you have a favorite memory? SC: On one of the last stretches of sea, we were heading towards St. John Island and we wanted to dump all our remaining produce that we hadn’t eaten over the side of the ship, [because] when we got within 12 nautical miles of land that wouldn’t be legal any-

more. So we had to get rid of all our oranges before we crossed the 12-mile boundary. It’s sunrise, a really early watch, I’ve been up since three in the morning, the captain is there and all the mates are helping, and we’re just hurling oranges into the sunrise. Some oranges are lobbed upward so we can try to hit other oranges ... it was a gleefully chaotic sort of scene that encapsulated [the experience] pretty well. Pio: Since you’re the first Whitman student to do the SEA Semester, do you have any advice for future participants? SC: I would tell them that life aboard a ship is not really like anything that you can find on land. Temper your problems with authority and beware of seasickness.

Off-Campus Studies Office welcomes back students by EMILY LIN-JONES Feature Editor


s classes start up again for a new semester, students who spent the first half of the year abroad have returned to Whitman with no shortage of stories to tell. This past semester, the OffCampus Studies Office sent approximately 70 students abroad on semester- or year-long programs in over 30 countries across the globe, from Philadelphia to Vienna to Japan. Some of these programs were recently introduced as part of the office’s 2013 overhaul, which added many new programs to the roster and changed the way off-campus financial aid works. In the fall, students were able to enroll in over 40 new partner programs, including more programs from previously underrepresented regions like Africa and Asia. “We knew we needed to increase options in Africa,” said Director of Off-Campus Studies Susan Holme, noting the addition of programs in Morocco, South Africa and Ghana, not all of which have been taken advantage of by students yet. The changes also affected financial aid for off-campus studies. More specifically, these changes allowed students to transfer their Whitman financial aid packages to any of Whitman’s partner programs instead of paying the program’s tuition directly. In the past, students could only transfer aid to certain partner programs. Now all of Whitman’s approved programs allow transferable aid packages, and students are required to pay their Whitman tuition in place of the program tuition if they wish to transfer this aid. Last year, approximately 36 percent of the junior class participated in off-campus studies programs. According to Holme, the percentage of participating students this year has not been significantly impacted by the changes in the office. However, these changes have created

more opportunities for students whose options may have been restricted by their financial aid. Though participation in study abroad has remained stable, interest in the new programs hasn’t spiked with their introduction. One exception to this trend is an international studies program in Denmark, which attracted the highest number of students out of all available programs last semester. “Some of the new programs I think students haven’t really discovered yet. We haven’t had as many students trying them. Maybe they’re waiting to hear from other students about how they are. It’s sometimes a problem at Whitman where it takes a little while for word to get out. We’ve had fewer students trying the new programs than I would hope, but I think students will gradually try them,” said Holme. One thing that hasn’t changed in the realm of off-campus studies is the somewhat insidious presence of reverse culture shock, which many students who study abroad don’t expect when they leave. According to Holme, conflicts or discomfort can arise between students and their families and friends due to an “information gap” created by their new experiences abroad, and many of them will have difficulty finding their place in the Whitman community again. She also noted that the office does its best to provide events and activities for students to use what they’ve learned in their travels. “Sometimes before students go off campus I think they don’t realize that coming back is almost harder. When you go abroad, you anticipate that it’s going to be challenging or different, but when you come back you don’t necessarily anticipate that it’s going to be hard because it’s home,” said Holme. The Off-Campus Studies Office continues to provide resources for students returning to campus while developing and advertising their newer programs and reaching out to a wider portion of the student body.



30 2014



Swim teams refocus with California training trip by MARAH ALINDOGAN Staff Reporter


or many Whitman students, winter break can consist of catching up on favorite shows on Netflix or spending quality time with family members. However, Whitman’s men’s and women’s swim teams took advantage of the time away from school to travel to Claremont, Calif. for their annual training trip at Claremont McKenna College. “[Our] training trip is special because it’s the only time we get to focus solely on swimming with no distractions,” said sophomore Cameo Hlebasko. “It gave us the opportunity of elite training that we simply cannot achieve at Whitman due to other priorities, like classes.” Sophomore Robby Dorn agrees and notes how the athletes need increased intensity and focus during their training trip. “It is essentially the pinnacle of our training throughout the season, where we are at the height of both volume of practice and intensity,” he said. Over the course of the trip, each swimmer logged in around 50 miles of swimming during two daily swim sessions, averaging 12,000 yards a day over a period of eight days. Between sessions in the pool, the team also incorporated dry land workouts into their training, such as yoga, weight-lifting or running. For sophomore Dane Kawamoto, the hardest part of training was the amount of yardage the team swam by the end of the week. Though the trip concentrated on improving performances in the pool, it also helped build team cama-

raderie. Hlebasko noted the rigorousness of the training camp helped the Whitman swimmers make special memories in and out of the pool. “Rooming together, swimming 50 miles together and the boys running out of food in their room helped bond our team,” said Hlebasko. Specifically, Hlebasko mentioned that she went down to Balboa Island, Calif. one day with a couple of teammates to explore and relax on the beach. “It was a nice mental break from swimming an average of so many miles a day,” said Hlebasko. Dorn and Kawamoto agreed with Hlebasko, stating that the trip to Balboa Island was one of their favorite parts of the trip. After a strenuous but rewarding week of training, the trip culminated with a meet against the University of Redlands. “The meet [was] pretty short, but it’s fun to have a change of pace and test out our training in a relaxed meet setting,” said Dorn. In retrospect, the Whitman swimmers believed their training trip was an unforgettable experience. The strenuous training coupled with enjoyable experiences outside of the pool bolstered team morale, which is vital if the Missionaries are to make a deep run during nationals. “I think the training trip does wonders. Both this year and last year I have been stunned by how much the team has improved their swimming after the training trip. It’s truly incredible because we all put in a lot of effort, which we benefit a lot from in the long run,” said Dorn. Kawamoto also expressed great satisfaction with

The swim teams begin practice at the Claremont McKenna College pool during their training trip over winter break. The team takes this trip to California every year to encourage team bonding and to increase intensity and focus. Photo contributed by Libby Arnosti.

the outcome of the training trip. “It was really inspirational and promising to see everyone remain upbeat and positive throughout the entire week. Everyone pushed each other to be their best, and this created a healthy environment where everyone could train to their full potential. When someone was having a rough day, their teammate was always there to pick them up and give them the encouragement

they needed and deserved,” he said. With winter break over and another training trip officially in the books, the Whitman swim team will begin tapering off their training to allow for more rest time and, ideally, better results. “Our next four weeks are the most important parts of the season,” said Hlebasko. “This is the time of year when yardage goes down but intensity goes way up. We practice

more at race pace with lots of rest.” After a meet against Whitworth University on Feb. 1, the men’s and women’s team will gear up for the NWC Championships on the weekend of Feb. 14-16. “The NWC championships is the one meet we have been training for all season, and I am so excited to see all of the fast swims my teammates have. It will be an exciting few weeks,” said Kawamoto.

Super Bowl matchup comes down to quarterbacks by DYLAN SNYDER Staff Reporter


he Super Bowl may be the most celebrated non-holiday day of the year, and luckily for Whitman, the majority of students have a rooting interest. The second most important part of Super Bowl Sunday, after watching the game, is not making a fool of yourself with a lack of knowledge about the team you intend to root for. For those who live under a rock, the game is being played between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. Each team has several strengths and weaknesses heading into the weekend that will surely be hot topics come game time. The main storyline will be Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning against the daunting Seattle secondary, the “Legion of Boom.” Manning is enjoying what will go down as the greatest season ever by a quarterback, breaking the NFL single-season records for passing yards and touchdowns. The Broncos offense as a whole had a record-set-

ting year as well, setting the NFL record for points scored in a single season. Manning is not infallible, however, and his arm strength has been called into question several times this year. If any team would be able to rattle the legendary quarterback, it would be Seattle. Seattle plays with a small but fast defensive line that excels at getting to quarterbacks. Their secondary also employs three All-Pros in first teamers Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas combined with second teamer Kam Chancellor. Sherman made headlines with his provocative interview after the team’s victory in the NFC Championship, and his play will be a key to Seattle’s chances of shutting down the Denver offense. On the other side of the ball, the Denver defense will be tested by Seattle’s power running game. Seattle’s combination of Marshawn “Beastmode” Lynch and Robert Turbin will get the team rolling. Lynch has proven to be one of the league’s best running backs over the last few seasons, and the game plan for Denver will be to limit his success. The Seahawks

starting quarterback, Russell Wilson, leaves a larger question mark. Wilson’s 215 passing yards against the 49ers was his highest total since week 14. To put Wilsons’s struggles in perspective, Manning has thrown for less than 215 yards once all year. The Seahawks will be happy to see the return of wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has been limited to only a game and a half this season due to Achilles and head injuries. Despite the injuries, he is one of the premier athletes in the NFL and has the unique ability to take over a game. The key for the Broncos will be actually to tackle Wilson when they get pressure, something few teams have been able to do for an entire game. The Denver defense is not to be disregarded as a whole. Defensive end Shaun Phillips and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie highlight an underrated unit that has done more than enough to aid their prolific offense. In a classic competition of unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, this Super Bowl matches the strengths of both

teams against one another. At the end of the day, however, I think it comes down to quarterback play,

in which Manning holds a significant edge over Wilson. My pick: Broncos beat the Seahawks 28-20.


Ferenz makes women’s basketball history from FERENZ, page 1

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she expects of each player, so even during practice, each individual is working to improve her own game and thus the team overall. “There are so many things we cannot control about our season, but the things we can control are our daily effort and improvement. That has not changed and never will,” she said. According to senior guard Tiffani Traver, the women’s basketball team has been trained to be aware of Ferenz’s expectations. “During practices, the way that they’re structured is based on what we need to work on. She has specific goals for us and she makes those known, so I really think that makes practice very productive,” said Traver. Ferenz’s coaching style is also highlighted by her positivity and optimism regardless of the likely result. “She’s very critical, but very supportive at the same time, so it’s extremely productive when she corrects anything,” said Traver. In her last two seasons at Whitman, Ferenz’s high standards for her team have made the difference in creating a championship-caliber team. Thanks to diligent recruiting and the steady development of players, Ferenz has recently been able to hone in on more detailed aspects of the game. She has also gotten to focus more in depth on defensive tactics and to place significant emphasis on rebounding. “The past two years, Michelle’s focus on rebounding has been the number one contribution to the teams success. Rebounding takes toughness and commitment to each possession at both ends of the floor,” said Chris Ferenz. Traver expressed how grate-

ful she was to have had a coach as knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated as Ferenz has been, but Ferenz seemed to echo similar sentiments about her players. “The best thing about coaching at Whitman are the people ... especially my players. I have loved the young women I have worked with here. They have made my job so much fun over the years, and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of their lives. They are part of my family and always will be,” she said.


Men’s v. Whitworth Jan.21: L 84-80 v. Lewis & Clark Jan.24: W 76-59 Women’s v. Whitworth Jan.21: W 62-57 v. Lewis & Clark Jan.24: W 78-61


v. Whitworth University Feb.1: AWAY


Men’s v. Pacific Jan.31, 8:00p.m.: HOME v. Willamette Feb.1, 8:00p.m.: HOME Women’s v. Pacific Jan.31, 6:00p.m.: HOME v. Willamette Feb.1, 6:00p.m.: HOME


v. Corban University Feb.2: AWAY


v. Lewis & Clark Feb.2: AWAY





30 2014

Meditating with Sebastian Lowe

New lineup often makes musical bands change tune by emma dahl Staff Reporter


Sebastian Lowe ‘14 (above) has been involved in meditation since middle school and leads meditation groups three times a week. Photo by Volpert

by James kennedy Staff Reporter


uring break, many Whitman students found peace of mind in their escape from stressful college life. However, the new semester brings stress, and students will have to look elsewhere for that inner calm. Perhaps they will find it through meditation, like senior Sebastian Lowe. Lowe has been meditating since middle school, and since then the practice has served as an integral part of his identity. “The figure that got me interested in meditation was the same person that got me interested in philosophy and science and religion, my grandfather,” said Lowe. “It hasn’t always been a consistent part of my day, but it’s always been a consistent part of my life.” Lowe steadily practices meditation, but his reasons for doing so may change. “Sometimes I feel like I do it for a very specific reason, like reducing stress and centering myself. Other times I feel like it’s just part of my natural tendency and I have to do it, the way other people have to be outside or they lose their peacefulness,” said Lowe. When at school, Lowe meditates three hours a week. However, Lowe admits that others can receive a state of mind comparable to that of meditation through other practices, such as playing sports or going on outdoor hikes. Despite this, he continues to meditate for reasons even he does not fully understand. “There’s a part of doing it that transcends reason in the way that some people don’t necessar-

ily have a reason to go on living or to go on breathing,” said Lowe. While the exact reasoning for meditation may escape him, Lowe still engages in his practice and teaches it to others with the goal of bringing what he calls “relaxed readiness and peacefulness of meditation into daily life” to the forefront. “It’s all well and good to be centered when you’re sitting or walking around, but if it doesn’t transfer into daily practice, then the relevance of [meditation] is limited,” said Lowe. Lowe believes that this state of mind is especially important for Whitman students, who often get caught up in their world and lose sight of what is important. “I think Whitman college students have a large tendency to understand their identity in terms of the work they do and their relations to people, [but] if there’s no lucidity in all that business and all of that work, then we take on this machine-like quality where we’re doing a lot but we’re not necessarily living while we’re doing it ... it’s always what comes next,” said Lowe. Lowe also leads a meditation group on campus, which meets thrice weekly in Prentiss Hall. He uses an open democratic system, which allows each of these meetings to play out differently. There is no set plan for each day; the group members collectively decide the type and details of the day’s meditation before each session. Often, these meetings breaks common conceptions about meditation. “The whole thing is not done in si-

lence ... it’s possible to have a discussion component to the club,” said Lowe. “We meditate for around 20 minutes, and people are free to read some texts that they want to bring in, say a few words or express some ideas.” The club does not only engage in sitting meditation, but also walking meditation, depending on what the group decides on for that meeting. “We walk in a circle at varying speeds for about five minutes or five rotations ... we try to pay attention to the process of walking itself and keep our minds sharp and flexible,” said Lowe. Each year for over a decade, Whitman students who practice meditation have traveled to a monastery on Whidbey Island, Wash. to spend spring break essentially living as monks. The students limit technology use, rigorously maintain their living quarters, eat formally and quietly reflect when not meditating. Lowe has attended the trip twice, both as a participant and as a trip leader. “It gives someone a sense of what it’s like to live in a very different way from the academic setting,” said Lowe. “It’s also a chance to move more deeply into meditation practice, because it’s actually built right into the fabric of daily life there.” Lowe seeks that true essence of living that often escapes preoccupied students: joy. “I think meditation can bring us back to our authentic feeling of presence as we go about our lives and [help us] find joy in these activities which would otherwise be somewhat stressful,” said Lowe.

Confessions of a college binge T.V.-watcher by nathan fisher Staff Reporter


ith the life-changing advent of Netflix streaming, I’m not proud to admit that with each break from school, I’m swept into the bingewatching culture. As each episode of my current series obsession winds down, I patiently wait as the Netflix 15-second clock winds down, and, viola, the next chapter starts up seamlessly. Three bags of popcorn later, three seasons of my current show are gone! After fall semester, I crawled back homesick, sleep deprived and seriously behind in watching my shows. After sleeping for several days, I caught up on the new “Marvel’s Agents of Shield” and “Homeland.” I was excited with the potential in “Agents” but disappointed in the newest season of “Homeland,” which contained very little excitement until the end. I then decided to enter the binging mode. I needed to sit back, throw my brain out the door and watch the Netflix clock count down without any objection from me. I decided to watch whatever was hot on television, taking advice from both my family and actual TV critics. Though I resisted at first because of the far-fetched premise, the first show I got hooked on was “Scandal.” OMG—DRAMA, CLIFFHANGERS, SEX— I was hooked. Three a.m. rolls around, and I am still glued to the tube wondering how Olivia is going to fix the next (hot) mess that comes her way. Three seasons in three days—what

could top “Scandals’” cliffhangers, which offer the perfect hook for the binge-watcher? I started to get slightly worried about my B-level taste, so I looked around for a more sophisticated series. When I discovered “The Good Wife” this past break, pretty soon I had watched four seasons in no time. The strong female lead and quick-witted writing, not to mention great guest starring performances by Nathan Lane, provided a good jolt back to reality from “Scandal.” Quickly moving from one episode to the next, bingewatching had become my norm for watching TV. I continued watching themes of politics, power and corruption in shows such as “House of Cards” and “Downton Abbey.” And, of course, I had to round out my good TV by watching all the seasons of “Archer.” The animated idiotic adventures of the most dangerous spy in the world and his problems with his mom were a sassy and hilarious addition to my binge-filled break. Soon, all of the seasons were quick to fall without even having to hold the remote. As each season of a show finished, I had a sense of accomplishment and closure. This new binge culture has led to shows being distributed differently. With Netflix releasing “House of Cards,” “Arrested Development” and “Orange is the New Black” a season at a time, I don’t have to wait a week to watch a new episode. I watched “House of Cards” over a week and “Arrested Development” took less time than that. Gone was the time commitment of watching shows as they

hat defines a band? Is it their sound or their lineup? It’s not uncommon for musicians to be in flux, for guitarists to switch in and out or for a member to leave to pursue a solo act. But if a band’s lineup changes, and this changes their sound, is it still the same band? I believe the answer to this question depends on a few critical factors. How critical was thatmember’s role in the band? How unique was his or her voice or compositional ability? How noticeable and distinct were his or her contributions to the group’s music? The real problem is not whether a band sounds the same if a member leaves; that condition is sure to vary from situation to situation. Maybe the real question is, should a band continue to try to relive the glory of its earlier days after it has lost its most prominent frontman? For me, the answer is no. Indie rock band Midlake is a key example of this situation. Midlake’s classic sound is a kind of melancholy Americana, with dark instrumentation (mournful flutes and minor guitar chords) and wavering, deep vocals. Up until late 2012, Tim Smith was the guitarist, vocalist and primary songwriter of the group; he wrote and composed the songs and lent his distinctive, dramatic voice to the recordings. Once he left, the band scrapped their upcoming album and decided to start from scratch. I highly recommend older Midlake albums, but their new album “Antiphon,” which came out in 2013, is nowhere near the quality of the music that Tim Smith produced. The album just sounds juvenile, and not in a good way. It sounds like there wasn’t any thought put into the form of the songs. The image and name of Midlake has come to represent the stellar package that the band once was, and as a fan, it’s frustrating they’re using that name to sell their subpar Midlake impersonation. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the other members of Midlake are persisting in their music making and that they refuse to give up. It’s true that their instrumentation remains beautiful. However, they aren’t the band they once were, so I don’t think they should pretend to be. While it depends on how influential that given person was in the songwriting process or how distinct his or her voice was, it’s undeniable that something fundamental about a band changes when a member departs. It’s the responsibility of the band to face the fact their group isn’t what it once was, and if their sound is so noticeably different that a fan could notice, they should avoid using the old band’s reputation as a means to sell more albums.

PIO PICKS Each Thursday, The Pioneer highlights events happening on campus or in Walla Walla. Here are this week’s picks: Down North Coffeehouse Come and get your funk on with Seattle-based underground rockand-soul band Down North. A contemporary band reminiscent of the pop rock sound of Michael Jackson and Prince, Down North is sure to have you up and grooving to the beat.

Friday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. at Reid Coffeehouse

An Evening with Civil Rights Activist Diane Nash: From SitIns to the Freedom Rides; from Student Leader to National Leader Come and listen to civil rights activist Diane Nash give a speech about her involvement in the Freedom Rides, the sit-in campaign in Tennessee and her career in peace activism. Also, check out the Stevens Gallery in Reid Campus Center for more information regarding Diane Nash. Sponsored by ASWC. Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. at Cordiner Hall

Valentines and Gilmore Girls Tis’ the season for Valentine making and Gilmore Girls watching! Come help the Community Service House make “1,500-or-so” valentines. (Yes, that’s one valentine for every student.)

Friday, Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. at Community Service House

come out. But there is a time and a place when hunkering down and binging is accepted. No matter how hard it is for me to admit, now that I’m back at Whitman, I don’t have time to sit in front of

the TV for hours at a time. With limited free time, I’ll probably return to my weekly shows, which provide a great study break. That is, until the next break, when the binging is bound to return.…

Cooking Decorating with Better Together Decorate some vegan cookies (and eat some, too) with the Better Together Club, and learn about the new charity they’re supporting this semester, the Heifer Project. Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 4 p.m. at the GAC



30 2014

Letter from the editor: continue the dialogue


ast semester, the Whitman campus engaged in a variety of critical discussions about race, both publicly in student panels on racism and anonymously through the online website Whitman Encounters. As both an observer and a participant in these discussions, I have watched my Whitman peers say countless anonymous, hurtful things over the Internet, questioning or pointing out the actions or beliefs of specific individuals. These malicious comments do little to further discussions regarding race on campus. Rather, they promote animosity toward each other and toward specific individuals, creating a hostile environment for all. While issues of race are an extremely important topic to discuss, this discussion is also extremely complex and personal for many. In spite of this complexity, it is necessary for us to understand how we each fit in to the concept of race because race is omnipresent in our history and daily life. Yes, it is easy for us to ignore these issues or claim that these issues are not important, but claiming this discussion does not need to occur enables a culture in which the status quo is okay. I have also heard students on campus, both white and of color, who have expressed the inability to participate in these discussions because they fear being ostracized for their opinions. This should not be the case. In a community as small as the Whitman community, we should feel valued for our opinions in these discussions and supported as individuals, regardless of what we believe. It is our right to stand up and vocalize what we perceive to be right, but it is also our duty not to demean or ostracize each other if we wish to provoke a thoughtful and significant dialogue on such a serious subject. As we gear up for the spring semester, it is vital to continue these discussions in a way that considers the larger picture of why these issues are important. While The Pioneer tries to document this dialogue on campus, as a staff with limited time and very little resources, we can only do so much. This is where you come in—should you feel strongly about a topic that is widely discussed on campus or one that has been overlooked, I urge you to write a letter to the editor. We are also asking for guest columnists to submit op-eds about issues of race on campus to our third issue; we are planning to dedicate its entire opinion section to these columns. Your voice is important, and it’s important to ensure that this dialogue continues. In solidarity, Shelly Le



Hotline Miami horrifies, thrills Toby Alden Senior


iolent video games are an enduring and well-documented cultural phenomenon. Of the 10 best-selling video games of 2013, seven contained some form of armed combat. One one hand, this isn’t surprising. Since video games are games, they usually have conditions for winning and losing, and more often than not, these conditions are synonymous with killing and being killed, respectively. Sometimes this practice is defended as harmless fantasy, while at other times it’s claimed that the violence is indicative of the form’s maturity. Neither is true: no intake of culture is without its consequences, particularly so in a participatory medium like video games. While some texts are informed meaningfully by their violence, a game like Call of Duty is not one of them. Hotline Miami, however, might be. The game, described by Eurogamer as a topdown “f**k-em-up,” was released by Jonatan Söderström and Dennis Wedin in 2012. The average level plays out like this. You wake up in your apartment. There is a message on your phone, innocuously phrased, giving you an address. You drive to that address. Outside, you don one of several animal masks, all of which have names of their own, such as a rooster named Rich-

ard, a dog named Ted and a horse called Don Juan. Then you enter the building and kill everyone inside. Or, more accurately, that’s what you’ll try to do. But make no mistake: everyone you’re trying to kill is trying to kill you, too. Realistically, what will happen is you’ll burst into the house and immediately be stabbed or shot by one of the dozens of bald men in white suits that stalk the building’s halls. If any of them see you, you have about a half-second to react before they do. If you don’t use that half-second well, only the improbable grace of sheer luck will keep you from being killed instantly. So you have to be strategic about it: if enemies pace along the perimeters of a room, knock one down with the door when you enter; if you’re out of ammunition, throw your gun at someone; if you can kill someone quietly, without alerting his friends

in the next room, do so. The game develops a natural rhythm: there’s a long period of deliberation, followed by a quick inhalation as you slam open the door to the next room and attempt to execute your painstakingly devised plan perfectly in three seconds. And it has to be perfect, or it won’t work. This game punishes your mistakes, even the small ones. This level of accountability makes the game difficult, but it also makes it exciting, and it’s extremely rewarding when you finally pull it off. But there’s also a moment of sickness afterward, as you walk to your car past the mutilated bodies. It’s clear that Hotline Miami contains elements one could find distasteful, and its violence is the most obvious of them. While it lacks the snuff-film photorealism of a game like Manhunt or Mortal Kombat—the game is two-dimension-

al, with blurry sprites and a neonsoaked palette—the violence has a visceral quality, the intensity of which had been unmatched for me since the illicit, horrifying thrill I got when I first played Doom at a friend’s house in elementary school. Which brings me to the second potentially distasteful aspect of Hotline Miami: it makes violence fun. Of course, this is true of most violent video games, but most of them also provide the player with a justification for their acts of murder. The protagonist of Assassin’s Creed II, for example, becomes an assassin to avenge the murder of his family, and even Modern Warfare 2’s civilian slaughter, a controversy in its own right, was done in the name of counter-terrorism. Hotline Miami has no such justification, but its absence reveals the unsettling complacency of the player in their surrender of agency to the murderous narratives of video games. This self-awareness is mirrored in the game’s plot, which consciously oscillates between aping the clichés of action movies and undercutting them with bizarre lapses into existentialism. Of course, this isn’t to say that Hotline Miami is able to justify its senseless violence or that it lacks problematic aspects—far from it. Particularly troubling is its treatment of women, which it borrows wholesale from the sexist tropes of the same action movies it wants to satirize. This is precisely what makes Hotline Miami troubling: it’s an honest reflection on the culture of violence it contributes to. It doesn’t give you a reason. It just gives you an address. Hotline Miami is available for Mac and PC at

Mease not Mooses by Asa Mease

Voices Community from the

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IOC made disappointing choice for 2014 Olympics Andy monserud First-year


very two years, the Olympics stir controversy wherever they land. For all the diplomatic unity the games espouse, they inevitably serve as a platform for political maneuvering. Athletes can use this stage as a catalyst for good, such as when African-American track and field star Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. But the Olympics themselves serve largely as a publicity gold mine for the country hosting them, whatever its faults may be. In light of this, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should show more discretion with their choice of hosts. Russia, the site of this year’s Winter Olympics, is a particularly egregious pick. Ruled by an unabashedly corrupt government with no respect for human rights, Russia is a not-so-distant third to North Korea and Iran on the list of the world’s most unfit places to celebrate international goodwill. Its persecution of racial, religious and sexu-

al minorities, horrific prison system, ruthless censorship and unapologetic sponsorship of other terrible examples of statecraft are too grave to ignore. The United States, Russia’s one-time enemy and now occasional strange bedfellow, has made a show of sending gay public figures to the games in protest of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s recent anti-gay campaigns. But American criticism of Russia is old hat, and this gesture is just that—a gesture. The IOC has already negated any headway of these protests simply by allowing Russia to host the games. For all the talk of international goodwill surrounding the Olympics, it’s no secret that host cities largely offer to hold the games for the opportunity to show off their success. Does the IOC really believe Russia should be held up as a model nation? The Olympic Charter states that, among other things, the IOC must “act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement” and “promote a positive legacy from the Olympic Games to the host cities and host countries.” In this case, the two contradict each other. And while the charter does not require the IOC to keep the Olympics out of corrupt surveillance states with no concept of cruel and unusual punishment, perhaps they should consider adding that to the list as well.





30 2014

New Year

New (Even More Fabulous) Me


h my God, a new year, right? So it’s definitely time to get my life in order. And as the New Year dictates, I made some resolutions: Exercise more Quit smoking Save money Recycle more Manage my stress Read more Dress better But honestly, who has time to do all of that? Well, since I am thoroughly dedicated to turning over a new leaf, I vowed to tackle the whole list. I am going to be a better me this year. So I decided to do what I do best, and that is multitask! So, resolution one: exercise

more. Well, I could join a gym, but gyms cost a lot of money, which would defeat the purpose of resolution three. With a little creativity, I managed to check off one, three, four and seven all at the same time. Lo and behold, three cardboard boxes, last season’s Manolo pumps (honestly, I would not be caught dead in anything from last season), thirteen hair scrunchies and a ladder I stole from my neighbor and presto! my nocost homemade exercise master! Once I had constructed this wonder of technology, it was quite easy to tackle my other resolutions. Every day I spent a quick three hours at my home gym while reading (this month’s book is “Moby Dick”), while wearing my sport-

iest Jimmy Choos and three nicotine patches. Totally easy! I have also gotten really great at giving myself manicures while running. French tips, anyone? Well, that just left me with one more resolution to tick off of my list: managing my stress. I tried everything: meditation, yoga, therapy and nothing worked! I honestly just couldn’t pull it together! Finally I realized I have alcohol! Now when I am getting the least bit stressed about getting things done, I just whip myself up an appletini and I am good and relaxed! So for all of you out there who are struggling with your New Year’s resolutions, I have two simple solutions for you: multitasking and alcohol.

Overweight bearded man in red burglarizes home during holidays, traumatizes family


just feel lucky to be alive,” said Mitch Goldberg in light of the recent burglary of his Walla Walla home. On the night of Dec. 24, a corpulent man in red invaded the home of Goldberg and his wife, Anna Goldberg. They described the night of the incident in vivid detail. “I had called my daughter earlier that evening to pester her about when she’s getting married—she’s almost 30! Then we had this nice dinner and watched some ‘Seinfeld’ reruns before we


went to bed,” said Anna Goldberg. It wasn’t long before they awoke to the sound of jingling bells followed by a loud crash coming from downstairs. What awaited them was a disturbing scene. “He was this pretty big guy with a white beard dancing around our living room and scattering coal everywhere. When he saw us, he shouted ‘Ho, ho, ho!’ in this sort of jolly way, which makes me think that he’s probably a psychopath. What kind of man comes into someone’s home and

we overtook his vehicle. I think it’s safe to assume that he’s a seasoned criminal,” said Thompson. Though the suspect initially resisted authorities, after hours of extensive interrogation he revealed his identity: Kris Kringle. Kringle claimed that he was unaware that the Goldbergs did not celebrate Christmas, citing the pine tree and the white twinkle lights in their front yard. “I went down their chimney to spread some Christmas cheer, and they didn’t leave any milk or cookies for me. All I could find

were these latkes and rugelach! So I got angry and put them on the naughty list,” said Kringle. Despite the suspect’s purported confusion, the Goldbergs still insist on pressing charges. “The next time he makes one of his lists, he better check it twice!” said Mitch Goldberg. Officials are also investigating allegations that Kringle has violated child labor laws. Kringle refutes the allegations, though, claiming that he only employs adult elves.

Student excited to start winter break

ay, finally time for a relaxing break after a harrowing semester. Ahh, what should I do first? Check book lists, you say? Nonsense, it’s only Dec. 19. My brain needs a break from any sort of academic thinking. Man, these past few weeks have been rough. I can’t wait to get home to lie around on my parents’ couches, eat all their delicious food stocked up in the fridge and be generally lazy. It’ll be great to get a break from that ramen diet. Looking out the window of my offcampus house, I’m surprised at

how many kids are still chillin’ around campus, especially when so many of them already left as soon as finals ended. I guess their flights were delayed. There are so many things I am looking forward to when I go home. I mean, recreational pot became legal. I wonder if Denver is going to smell all roasty-toasty and green. Hopefully I’ll also get to shred some crazy Rocky Mountain pow. And it’ll be so weird to enter 2014. Even numbers are so odd. Wait, why has there been a stream of fancy SUVs coming

Student does thing over break, makes you look like jerk


insults them while smiling? Then Mitch punched him to defend my honor,” said Anna Goldberg. The police arrived promptly and broke up the fight. Before being detained, however, the suspect attempted to escape. Head of Police Sandra Thompson recalled the intense chase that ensued. “Before we were able to detain the suspect, he fled to his getaway sled. We could hear the suspect laughing all the way as we dashed through the snow after his open sleigh. After pursuing him for approximately 50 minutes,

hitman College would like to honor the amazing work done over break by first-year Jenna Lindell. Lindell, a Lyman resident, managed to negotiate the release of prisoners held in North Korea by convincing Colombian drug lords to give up selling drugs and to donate all their money to her shelter for North Korean orphans. The drug lords cited the three volumes of lyric poetry she wrote earlier this year (the first books of lyric poetry ever to top the New York Times Best Seller list) as their primary motivation for this action. “I really felt a connection with her poem ‘Love, War, and Humanity.’ All our petty infighting has to stop. We live in one world now. It was the least I could do to sell my mansion to feed the starving—I only wish I had read Lindell’s book earlier,” said Pablo Escobar’s successor. Others too have been touched by Lindell’s words. Long-standing rivals have begun working together for the betterment of mankind with her as their guide. Bloods and Crips have begun laying down their guns and joining together in book clubs and poetry circles throughout south-central Los Angeles. Republicans and Democrats have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out fiscally responsible and compassionate legislation to better the country as a whole. Even whalers and hippies have sat down for constructive discussion of the challenges of balancing cultural her-

itage and environmental needs. Even hard-core members of al-Qaeda have been moved by Lindell’s message of hope. Instead of spending their money on weapons, they have started implementing infrastructure for education, medicine and trade to make their communities prosper. They have also started planting trees, and the lush forests that have sprung up in the Middle East have not only helped combat global warming but are also attracting blue herons back to their natural habitat, which had so recently been ravaged by war. This means the blue herons have stopped eating the near-extinct Himalayan tree frog, believed by many leading scientists to hold the key to curing cancer. However, the modest Lindell has taken no credit for this, and she even declined to accept President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize with his name crossed out and hers written over it. Lindell spent the last few days of break healing the blind, deaf and illiterate with a molecule synthesized for her General Chemistry final project with Associate Professor Bill Sangui. The byproduct for this molecule is an oil substitute that produces clean drinking water when burned, and it is twice as efficient as gasoline and 200 times cheaper. She plans to spend next semester tackling the problem of world hunger. The college would also like to congratulate sophomore Mark Stevens for spending break reading books, visiting old friends and catching up on his sleep.

in from Bellevue, Wash. to the Jewett Hall parking lot? None of this is making any sense. Get your asses back to the west side. It’s time for holiday festivities!! Woah, some rando just walked in my house, telling me some ridiculous story that they are staying here for Wilderness First Responder, which just ... ended? How the ... ?!?! Are you saying winter break is over? NOOoo!! ADVERTISEMENT


Student/Alumni networking events hosted strategically in the most high-demand locations for jobs and internships

February 25th->>Whitman **OVER SPRING BREAK** March 25th->> San Francisco March 26th->>Portland March 27th->> Seattle

Spring 2014 Issue 1  
Spring 2014 Issue 1