ISSUE 10 | April 17, 2014 | Whitman news since 1896 | Vol. CXXXI
E G E L L O C N A M T I H #W
Whitman updates advertising strategy through social media by JOSEPHINE ADAMSKI Staff Reporter
tarting this year, Whitman College is increasing its presence in the fast-paced social media world. Whitman is integrating social media into its advertising strategies in order to help Whitman reach a larger audience of prospective students, current students and alumni. Whitman has demonstrated its commitment to new social media approaches by increasing student involvement, including commissioning film and media studies students to create commercials for the school. Whitman has also created two new positions this year specifically for social media strategies. Director of Digital Communications Kristen Healy joined Whitman this past August and Digital and Social Media Specialist Sarah Corley began in September. “Using social media in our advertising and communications in our strategy creates a more authentic voice. Obviously we’re supposed to say good things, we work for Whitman, but having social media from the students is a better portrayal of Whitman’s personality,” said Chief Communications Officer Michelle Ma. These social media forums include a Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for the college. Each medium is used to reach a different demographic. Twitter is used for a more universal audience, LinkedIn targets
professionals and an alumni network, Instagram targets prospective and current students and Facebook is geared toward family members, specifically parents. The need for the two new positions became apparent over the past year or two as prospective students have increasingly researched colleges through online forums. “I think that because there is a movement toward more web presence [and] everything is moving to digital ... the job was necessary. I would argue it is just becoming more necessary in the past five years and it has become more of a need for everyone, not just colleges,” said Healy. Having these two positions is useful to the college because it allows for a broader depiction of everyday life at Whitman. “Our presence is like a digital view book. Students can get the picture version of that. It’s a lot of where our target audience is and it’s important that we be there and answer any questions that we have and show that through our online presence” said Corley. The newest addition to the advertising campaign is the @ ourwhitman Instagram account, which exists alongside the @whitmancollege account. The @ourwhitman account exclusively features photos that are taken by students. In this format, one student takes over the @ourwhitman account for a week and posts photos or videos once or twice each day. “Its really hard to convey in paid adverting what is different
about Whitman. We talk about intimate relationships, small staffto-student ratio, hands-on learning, essentially the liberal arts. So I think these stories and photographs really tell people what is different. You can tell based on everyday happenings portrayed by students,” said Ma. The new Instagram account is geared toward prospective and current students. Having this account run by students allows a student perspective to come through in the college’s advertising. “I was told to depict Whitman through my eyes. I was told to really take photos as if it was a day in the life. To make it more personal, that was the communications goal in order to target prospective students,” said first-year Meghan Ash, who took photos for the @ ourwhitman Instagram account. Through these new social media approaches, the Office of Communication hopes to reach beyond the Whitman sphere to a greater audience that might not yet know about Whitman. Because Whitman’s dedication to a digital presence is new, the success of the shift will only be clear in the years to come. “I think it has been really successful within the Whitman community, but I don’t think it has reached the community outside of Whitman yet. It’s really popular among Whitman students, but I don’t think it has reached its full potential,” said Ash. The challenge with social media that Whitman fac-
es, as many other colleges do, is trying to keep up with the changing field of online media. “I think one challenge is just focus. There are so many things you can do and you have to choose ... do we need to Snap Chat [or use] Tumblr? Whatever we do, we need to make sure it reflects Whitman authentically. Our goal is try to make this place come alive to prospective students and our audiences,” said Dean of Admission & Financial Aid Tony Cabasco. Another element of the student-led advertising for Whitman are the recent commercials made by Whitman students. Students made four videos to draw in prospective students considering Whitman as well as larger schools. The theme of the videos was the intimate and personal learning experience Whitman offers its students. “I think it’s an authentic representation of the creativity that our students share and what Whitman fosters. It also showcases that Whitman is capable of giving students the freedom to create,” said Professor of Film & Media Studies Robert Sickels. These videos were also used to bolster Whitman’s online presence. “The [film and media studies] Facebook page alone got 12,000 hits in four days. It’s of increasing importance to have a better online presence, a more intriguing, more evocative one. It’s a way to further separate ourselves from the competition,” said Sickels.
Tatiana Kaehler elected as next ASWC president by LACHLAN JOHNSON Staff Reporter
esults for the Associated Students of Whitman College 2014-2015 executive council election were released on Monday, April 14. Junior Tatiana Kaehler will be ASWC president for the 20142015 academic year after capturing 66.8 percent of the vote. She will be joined on the executive council by juniors Sayda Morales, Tabor Martinsen and George Felton, who will serve as vice president, finance chair and nominations chair, respectively. This election had a 58 percent voter turnout and was the first in recent memory to elect a woman as both president and vice president. Turnout for the presidential elections was higher than that of other races—895 students cast their votes. In the first round of voting, Kaehler received 598 votes, or 66.8 percent, securing the presidency, while sophomore Allison Kelly, her opponent in the race, received 263 votes, or 29.5 percent. Kaehler, who was ASWC finance chair this year, defeated Kelly in a race where both candidates campaigned around the campus. It has been eight years since ASWC has had a woman president, and this year’s election was the first in re-
Tatiana Kaehler ‘15 (second from right) celebrates her victory with ASWC Oversight Chair Audrey Vaughan ‘15 (far right), Senator Anya Tudisco ‘16 (center) and Senator Sean Mulloy ‘14. Photo by Bergman
cent memory to feature two female candidates and no male candidates. “[Running for president] isn’t something I initially thought I would do when elected to ASWC my [first] year, but over the past three years I’ve realized there’s no
better way to finish off [my time] at Whitman than serving as president and trying to improve our college as much as possible,” said Kaehler. During her term, Kaehler aims to complete the three major goals stated in her platform: the inclu-
sion of student input in the tenure process, the start of a discussion on the continuously rising tuition and the approval of academic credit for relevant student internships.
see ASWC, page 2
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to speak at commencement by ANDY MONSERUD Staff Reporter
ast week, the Office of Communications announced that U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has been selected as this year’s commencement speaker. Jewell, the former CEO of R.E.I., will address commencement attendees on May 25. Jewell, a former Seattle resident, left her position at R.E.I. to become secretary of the interior last year. The Department of the Interior runs and maintains federal lands, including the National Park system and Indian reservations. President Bridges chose Jewell from a long list of nominations from students, faculty and staff. Each year, the list includes new nominations as well as recommendations from previous years. “We have a lengthy list of individuals who faculty, staff and students have nominated in previous years and who we haven’t been able to bring ... and those who were nominated for the first time [this year],” Bridges said. “We take that list and we consult with people on campus. And the challenge, of course, is identifying which of the individuals that are nominated we actually think we can get.” Bridges knew Jewell personally during his time at the University of Washington. Jewell served on the Board of Regents when Bridges worked there as a sociology professor and vice provost of undergraduate education. “It’s tough to get a cabinet official under any circumstance, given the nature of their schedules,” said Bridges. “But since she and I have a previous relationship ... I thought, ‘This is a person we might be able to get.’” Bridges also noted that Jewell’s gender was considered in the selection process. “We’ve had a history of male speakers,” he said, “and I wanted to be sure that we would have a speaker who could represent women in many ways.” Chief Communications Officer Michelle Ma believes that Jewell’s northwestern roots and involvement in environmental issues make her a perfect fit for Whitman. “With the focus on the outdoors and the environment, [Jewell’s selection] seemed really fitting with many of the like-minded students, faculty and staff that we have here at Whitman,” Ma said. “So I think she can give some great inspirational words of advice and wisdom for our graduating class and their families.” Many seniors have high hopes for the speech, but suspect it won’t live up to last year’s address by Monty Python comedian Eric Idle. “No one’s going to beat Eric Idle,” said senior Joe Mayo. “He was great just because, you know, it’s Monty Python. It’s a great cultural icon.” Despite the high standard Jewell will be held to in the wake of Idle, Mayo still thinks Jewell’s speech has promise. “If she writes a great see JEWELL, page 2
17 2014 Phi Delta Theta second fraternity in nation to install solar panels by DANIEL KIM Staff Reporter
The solar panel’s organizer Joe Heegaard ‘15 (left), current Phi Sustainability Chair Ben Griffin ‘16 and Phi President James Lavery ‘16 pose beneath Phi’s recently installed solar panels. Heegaard raised $17,000 for the panels. Photo by McCormick
ver spring break, junior Joseph Heegaard finished his three-year project of installing 14 solar panels on the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house, making Whitman’s Phi Delta Theta house the second fraternity in the nation to have installed solar panels. The panels are Oregon-made and the entire system is 3.6 kilowatts, which is going to save the fraternity about $1,200 per year and reduce the energy expenditure by about 60 percent. “I’m expecting, with inflation, the panels will pay for themselves in about 12 years. There are a lot of incentives that go into how much money you can make off of it,” said Heegaard. The panels are operating underneath Washington’s unique Incentive 937. The incentive gives the fraternity a certain amount of money per kilowatt that is produced, depending on the panel, where it’s made and what materials are used. “We collect energy with our solar panels, and we’re connected straight to the grid. So, the energy doesn’t go into our house. The energy from our panels goes back into the grid and is sold to Pacific Power, who gives us an equal amount of power for compensation. The same amount of power is essentially going into the house from the energy produced, but this way, if the panels broke, our house wouldn’t be out of power,” said Heegaard. Heegaard started and finished the project on his own. Initially, he was looking for a group of people to do the project with, but once he picked up momentum on his own, it was harder to find someone who was willing to take the time to learn everything about the project and work on it with him. “I spent the first year laying the groundwork for the project and during the second year I spent most of my time laying the groundwork to fundraise. I started fundraising to reach my goal of $17,000 when I was abroad last semester in Ecuador. So when I
First female ASWC president chosen in 8 years from ASWC, page 1
“Many of these goals are going to require a discussion with trustees, with faculty [and] with the student body,” said Kaehler. “There’s probably going to be a need for a lot of logistics and planning. In order to tackle those big goals, I’m going to need to get started right away.” Morales and Felton ran as vice president and nominations chair, respectively, without any formal opposition. However, their roles will be no less important in the next year of ASWC governance. “My electoral victory simply means I will continue to work toward making campus a safe and pleasant environment for everyone and addressing the climate of racism is only a part of that,” said Morales, who is currently studying in Morocco, in an e-mail. In addition to serving as vice president, Morales will chair the Student Development Committee. “I hope to support any and all campus movements that aim to benefit the Whitman experience in a positive way.” Junior Tabor Martinsen will
Corrections to Issue 9
On page 5, the jump on “Williamson named women’s soccer coach” should have said from page 1.
be the finance chair after winning a competitive three-way race against sophomores Skye Vander Laan and Phuong Le that resulted in a run-off of votes. After the first round of voting, no candidate managed to secure an absolute majority of the 793 votes cast. Martinsen came first with 324 votes, or 40.1 percent. Vander Laan came in second with 292 votes, or 36.8 percent and Le came in third with 168 votes, or 21.2 percent. Because an absolute majority is needed to win a seat in the executive council, votes were recounted, and ballots which marked Le as their first choice were reassigned to each voter’s second choice candidate, if the voter chose to mark one. This resulted in Martinsen having 381 votes, or 53 percent, out of the 719 ballots. This marked a secondary preference, which was enough to secure a victory, while Vander Laan finished with 338 votes, or 47.0 percent. Martinsen aims to bring greater efficiency to the finance committee, as well as to support Kaehler’s effort to engage the trustees in a dialogue about tuition and promote greater awareness among students of how clubs and individuals may request funds from the Travel and Student Development Fund. “Whitman’s at a crossroads right now, where we can do a lot of interesting things,” said Martinsen. “The campus climate is changing as far as the culture [and] getting a new president [for the college] .... It’s a really cool position, and ASWC’s at the forefront of that.”
IN THE NEWS
Number of deportations ordered by the immigration courts in 2013. SOURCE: NYT
Number of apprehensions made by the U.S. Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley of immigrants trying to enter the country in the past six months. This number has increased 69 percent in the last year. SOURCE: NYT
Jewell chosen for Northwest roots, environmental focus from JEWELL, page 1
speech and it’s applicable to our venture into the real world, I think she’d be a great commencement speaker.” While Bridges still doesn’t know in what direction Jewell plans to take her speech, he’s confident that it will suit the Whitman community well and in a way totally different from Idle’s. “I’ve heard her speak before, and I think she’s the kind of person that Whitman audiences would respond well to,” Bridges said. “I have directed her to previous commencement speeches given, and I promised her she wouldn’t have to be as funny as Eric Idle .... Idle was funny, but he’s an international celebrity and comedian. That’s his whole
career, so you wouldn’t expect anything but that, or at least I wouldn’t.” The speeches Bridges pointed Jewell toward included that of William Gates, Sr. in 2008 as well as Idle’s and a number of others. While Bridges believes that many components make up a great speech, he trusts in the voices of students. Bridges gave a brief list of important components for a commencement address. “A short speech, relevant to students,” he said. “A provocative speech, not just something that delivers a set of platitudes. Authenticity and voice. And a little bit of humor, if you can. But I’m not a good judge of that, really. The students are a better judge of that.”
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came back, all that needed to be finished was the installation and the paperwork,” said Heegaard. Heegaard raised the needed $17,000 by asking for donations from the fraternity chapter, nationals and a group called Illahee, which is a group of alumni that oversees the Phi chapter at Whitman. Heegaard was very persistent and convincing, which enabled him to receive a $10,000 from fraternity grant. “Aside from the $10,000 fraternity grant, I was expecting to get most of the funds from fraternity members and alumni, but strangely enough I ended up getting a lot of donations from people who had no affiliation with the fraternities. I received money from people all over the country,” said Heegaard. As Phi continues to save energy and costs from these new panels, current Sustainability Chair sophomore Ben Griffin hopes that this new project inspires other buildings to implement their own solar panels. “We ultimately aim to demonstrate that sustainable practices are not limited to small households and individuals—even larger organizations and institutions have the agency and ability to encourage alternative methods of energy production,” said Griffin. The fraternity has received recognition not only from the school, but from the nation as well. As the second fraternity house in the nation to have installed solar panels, Heegaard hopes that this sparks interest in other fraternities. Whitman’s Sustainability Coordinator Tristan Sewell sees the project as an individual one, separate from the college’s sustainability plans. “I think because they did this on their own, it very much stands on its own. I don’t know if it necessarily has bigger implications for the college as a whole,” said Sewell. “I think that it’s a great step and it’s good that students take initiative to take charge where they can and show what they want this college to be.”
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Number of immigrants entering the country illegally in Texas from Mexico in 2000. SOURCE: CNN
Number of immigrants entering the country illegally in Texas from Central America in 2000. SOURCE: CNN
Number of immigrants entering the country illegally in Texas from Central America in 2013. SOURCE: NYT
Number of immigrants entering the country illegally in Texas from Mexico in 2013. SOURCE: THE NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
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Eating disorder support group fills much-needed gap by HELEN ANGELL Staff Reporter
ith help from Active Minds, Whitman’s mental health advocacy club, some students have started the first confidential eating disorder support group on campus this semester. Student-initiated and student-run, the eating disorder support group aims to give crucial help to Whitman students recovering from eating disorders. Founders originally wanted to start a support group with a professional facilitator from either the Counseling Center or the Walla Walla community, but no such help was available, so the students decided to lead the group themselves. Founders hope the support group will provide a way to for students to hold each other accountable through their recovery at Whitman and provide a space for students to talk openly about their eating disorder where others can empathize with their struggles. The support group is meant to serve students who are already in the process of recovery. Founders emphasized that the group is not meant to replace therapy or other treatment, but merely to supplement it. “I want people to come, but I don’t want them to come thinking that it’s a replacement for other care ... we don’t have a health professional,” said first-year Sarah Ramirez, a member of the support group.* Discussions about eating disorders with friends and peers can be difficult because of misun-
derstandings about this unique form of mental illness and because of stigma associated with it. “Everyone knows someone [with an eating disorder],” said junior Sarah Glass, a leader of Active Minds and one of the eating disorder support group founders and facilitators. But this doesn’t mean everyone understands eating disorders or is able to have an open conversation about experiences with them. Eating disorders manifest themselves very differently in each individual. It might take a while for someone to realize they even have an eating disorder. Eating disorder stereotypes evoke images of a white teenage girl whose weight worries have gone too far. But this stereotype is far from the reality of many people suffering from an eating disorder. In fact, students emphasized that eating disorders are usually not about weight at all. “It’s not about food.… It’s a way for you to control your life,” said sophomore Kristen Wiseman, who is a leader of Active Minds and helped start the eating disorder support group. Junior Sophia De Arment, one of the support group founders and facilitators, agreed with Wiseman. “Eating disorders happen when men and women struggle with not feeling like they have control in an out-of-control world. Food just happens to be the outlet,” she said. In fact, De Arment explained that eating disorders are often cooccurring, which means that eating disorders often occur at the
same time an individual is battling other mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, OCD or PTSD. Misunderstandings about eating disorders have created stigma for those who suffer from one, another reason why the support group is so important for students. “It’s shameful,” said De Arment. “You don’t want to tell people .... With a support group, you’re going to have a group of people that understands. And you can talk about anything without fear of being judged. And that’s ... something that we need.” Having a group of people that empathize can go a long way in helping someone in their recovery. “I think a lot of people don’t know what it feels like to have an eating disorder,” said Ramirez, who first sought treatment for an eating disorder during her sophomore of high school. Ramirez compared having an eating disorder to being trapped in a glass box. She could see everyone around her eating normally and she was aware that her eating was irregular. She wanted to get out of the box, but she felt trapped. “Support groups and therapy break down those barriers,” said Ramirez. Another barrier to recovery can be Whitman’s own campus culture, which promotes healthy eating and exercise, along with Whitties’ reputation for being particularly happy. “I think being labeled one of the happiest campuses in the nation is a good thing, but it also makes it less
likely for people to come forward and say ‘I’m actually struggling with something serious. I do need help from the Counseling Center.’ It keeps us from talking about the real issues that a lot of students are facing under the stress of academics and jampacked schedules,” said Wiseman. Ramirez struggled with her health during her first semester at Whitman. “Living in an all-girls section ... is really hard because everyone is always critiquing themselves against each other ... That’s really hard to be a part of when I spent so many years of my life critiquing myself so severely that it got to a point where I was really sick.” Ramirez even thought about leaving Whitman. “Everyone seemed to love it so much. Why wasn’t I loving it as much as everyone else?” said Ramirez. Still, Ramirez decided to stay and has felt much better this semester. She hopes the support group will help her keep on-track with her recovery while at Whitman, especially since there is such high demand at the Counseling Center, where Ramirez was unable to make an appointment until the end of the semester last fall. Students recovering from an eating disorder emphasized that it is a life-long bumpy process. “Recovery is not just a destination,” said Glass. The eating disorder support group is meant to serve any student at any point in their recovery. The support group meets weekly in the GAC, and De Ar-
ment and Glass facilitate discussions and activities. De Arment has had experience leading support groups before and strongly believes in the power of these groups. “In moderating such groups, I’ve always been blow away by the wisdom that comes from peers,” said De Arment. Students interested in the group can email De Arment (dearmesc@ whitman.edu) or Glass (glassse@ whitman.edu) for more information about the support group. *Name has been changed.
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Immigration week seeks to educate, inspire action by HELEN ANGELL Staff Reporter
n estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States. Current immigration policies criminalize these individuals, and at least 2 million deportations have taken place since Obama took office in 2008. Activists across the nation are taking action to stop these detentions, deportations and the suffering they cause and to create a more just immigration system that acknowledges the humanity of undocumented immigrants. Whitman students are join-
ing in this conversation and action by putting on a campus-wide Immigration Week from April 14-18. Organized and sponsored by the Whitman Events Board, this week’s series of lectures and events seeks to educate Whitman students about immigration issues and inspire them to take action. Immigration Week gives students the opportunity to understand the issue from both a national and regional perspective, from a variety of academic and professional viewpoints. “I thought that immigration was a very important and defining issue in our region, because of all the farm workers and large immi-
grant populations here,” said junior Audrey Vaughan, the WEB Lectures Director and an organizer of the event. Vaughan hopes that the series of events will not only educate students about the immigration system itself, but help them understand the opportunities for them to be directly involved in the issue. “There’s a mentality that ‘There are all these big issues in the world, but we can’t engage with in any of them because we’re stuck in Walla Walla. Because I’m at a small liberal arts campus in the middle of nowhere, I can be removed from things,’” said Vaughan, who hopes that this
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event will challenge that mentality and prompt students to action. The events included a keynote speech from Pablo Alvarado, the executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network; a screening of the film “Harvest of Empire;” a panel of regional immigration activists; a panel of Whitman alumni working in immigration and a professor teach-in at 3 p.m. in Olin 130 on Friday, April 18. First year Miriam Zuniga, an organizer of the event, wants students to gain a more nuanced understanding of immigration. “I want students to get that there are different aspects of immigration ... we only see the bad parts. It’s not just immigrant people trying to come and take over ... they’re being forced to [come] ... we want to show them the [stories that] aren’t part of the mainstream, like what’s been shown on TV,” said Zuniga. Alvarado’s keynote address touched on this very theme: the importance of telling the stories of those who are most marginalized and most vulnerable in our society. “Change happens when people speak for themselves, when they show what they’re going through,” Alvarado said in his speech. He told the stories of undocumented immigrants whose families have been torn apart, who have been denied education and who have endured suffering because of our failing immigration policies. Alvarado emphasized that the U.S. immigration status quo normalizes the mistreatment of undocumented immigrants. He called
out the rhetoric of fear that surrounds our immigration debate and challenged the notion that some of us are more deserving of civil rights or citizenship than others. Alvarado’s speech ended in a call to action. “The political fight is already happening. The question is, how do we support it?” Alvarado said in conclusion. The lecture had an impact on many of its attendees, including senior Luis Alba-Sanchez. “I realized how far behind I am in my own personal awareness of the issues. In high school I was very anti-Dream Act … I wish I would have known all these things and thought more critically back then,” he said. Alba-Sanchez wants to learn more and hopes to find ways to be more involved in the issues in the future. “It was also really hard to see [these stories about immigration], because people in my family have gone through this. My mom got her citizenship when she was in third grade. Just being at this speech brought up all these memories and all those emotions,” said Alba-Sanchez. Zuniga is also directly affected by the issue, which has inspired her to be involved with immigration activism here in Washington and in her home state of Georgia. Zuniga hopes students learn from the events and discover how they can help those working on this issue. “There are so many other different ways that you can affect the process and ... help people,” said Zuniga.
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Staff, faculty share favorite films NATHAN FISHER Junior
HOOK, LINE & CINEMA
hitman College professors have lives outside the Whitman campus and classroom, right? Well, I decided it would be interesting to assume they did, and I took
President George Bridges President of Whitman College: NF: What are some of your favorite movies? GB: “Nebraska,” “Fargo,” “Amistad” and “The Straight Story.” NF: What makes them good?
Professor Annie Petersen Visiting Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies: NF: What are some of your favorite movies? AP: Well, I have a favorite movie in every genre, and those
the bold step of seeking out a handful of Whitman intellectuals to see what movies they enjoyed and why. Even though I was a bit disappointed that none of the recent offerings at the local cinema were not mentioned, I was impressed by their diverse selection of movies. Here are just some of the conversations and responses I enjoyed. While none of the professors I talked to mentioned my favorite movie, which is “Ocean’s Eleven,” I gained an appreciation of a common ground in which I was able to talk and discuss shared film interests with my professors. So, don’t be afraid to get to know your professors. They might be able to give you a good movie to watch. Photos by Turner
GB: The blend of plot, acting and casting. NF: How do you feel about movies about being president, such as “Air Force One” or “Independence Day”? Do they give a good depiction of what it takes to be president? GB: Most are so unrealistic, they are laughable. “Lincoln” is the exception. NF: What actor or actress do you think gave the best representation of being president? GB: “Lincoln.” NF: Just to clarify, when you say “Lincoln,” do you mean Daniel Day Lewis gave the best representation, or was that a sassy “The real Lincoln was the best president, and no one can come close” answer? (I’m leaning toward the Lewis one.) GB: Yes, Lewis’s portrayal of Lincoln was, in my opinion, brilliant.
are really constantly changing. The beauty of liking film is that you don’t have to choose just one to stand in for your tastes—you can choose an entire style of film making (like, say, Scorsese’s) or an aesthetic (like Wes Anderson’s) ... or a form (cinéma vérité documentary) or genre (screwball comedy) and explore all sorts of films. So I generally resist naming a “favorite” film. NF: Classic film professor response! How do you feel about movies about filmmaking, such as “Tropic Thunder” or “Singing in The Rain” or any of your choosing? Do they give a good depiction of the film word? PP: I love “navel-gazing” films — people always say that the only “authentic” one is Altman’s “The Player,” but I think we all love to think about how our entertainment gets made. Oh, and “A Star is Born,” of course.
Switchfoot to play in Walla Walla by JAMES KENNEDY Staff Reporter
witchfoot, the famed alternative rock band from San Diego, will be performing at Walla Walla University on Monday, April 21. While tickets were at first only available to WWU students, sales have opened up to the public and tickets are now available in the WWU bookstore and student activities office for $25. First starting as a Christian band, Switchfoot has steadily gained recognition and acclaim since 2002, and they continue to release albums to this day. Their latest tour, “Fading West,” was recently made into a film documentary released in December of last year. The band is renowned for their energetic live performances, and the group also hosts annual “BroAm” surfing competitions to raise money to help homeless children, the 10th of which will be held this year. Getting such a high profile band to a more remote area like Walla Walla can be difficult with conflicting schedules and transportation concerns, but everything has finally come together for this upcoming performance. “The university has been wanting Switchfoot to play a show at their school for quite some time, so we finally were able to make it work with the band’s touring schedule,”
said band promoter Emily Chan. This Switchfoot concert has actually been planned before but has repeatedly been canceled for one reason or another. “Our students have been wanting Switchfoot for as long as I’ve been working here,” said WWU Event Promoter Don Hepker. “We’ve contacted their management for the last five years, but something has always come up and the band could never make it.” The band was actually set to play last fall while they were on a tour of various colleges, but it fell through at the last minute. Hepker said that the band was very apologetic and worked to get a new concert set for the following year. After finalizing the contracts in January, the long sought-after band is finally coming to Walla Walla. Bands that end up playing at WWU either are contacted by the school directly, or they express their own desire to play there. Despite not being located in a big city where bands typically plan tours, WWU has managed to bring several high profile bands to Walla Walla. “In recent years, we’ve had Kutless, Building 429, Super Chick and Gunger plus a lot of smaller bands,” said Hepker. The university is very excited to finally bring Switchfoot to Walla Walla, especially since some WWU students are family friends of band members.
Professor Barry Balof Associate Professor of Mathematics: NF: What are some of your favorite movies? BB: “Raising Arizona” and almost anything from the “funny” Coen Brothers oeuvre. I also really enjoy location movies, where the chosen location shines brighter than the stars of the film (for example, Colin Farrell’s “In Bruges” and George Clooney’s “The American,” which takes place in rural Italy). Also, as a
Professor Moira Gresham Assistant Professor of Physics: NF: What are some of your favorite movies? MG: “Star Wars” (the classics, IV-VI), “Dr. Strangelove,” “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Strictly Ballroom” NF: What makes those good movies? MG: There’s a tight story line, there’s an interesting world to offer, and/or they’re very clever. I tend to like and rewatch movies that are good at immersing me in another world — where I’m not jolted out of the world because of continuity problems or strained plot turns,
parent, I love movies that are pitched well to both adults and kids. “Monsters Inc.” is at the top of that list for me. Sulley is my spirit character. NF: What makes those good movies? Is it the acting, the laughs, the gore or the rewatchability? BB: Both escapism and rewatchability are necessary to make my list. I’m a sucker for beautiful settings, and an engaging story line doesn’t hurt. NF: How do you feel about movies about math, such as “Good Will Hunting” and “A Beautiful Mind”? Do they give a good depiction of the math word? BB: “Good Will Hunting” is on my all-time-favorites list, but not for the mathematics. They could have done better with the “technical direction” on that one, as the problem that took them “years” can be explained and solved in about 15 minutes. But the back story is phenomenal and very well acted. “A Beautiful Mind,” on the other hand, does a good job of explaining some pretty advanced concepts, but the story line is overblown (and inaccurate, to a large degree), so that takes away from the experience for me.
where the “world”/characters/ story is/are rich and constantly entertaining. NF: How do you feel about movies about physics? Do they give a good depiction of the world of physics is like? MG: I like good science fiction, where an interesting new world is constructed and [where] there’s not an attempt to explain too much about the physics/science of that world. Often an attempt to explain the physics just makes me cringe because it’s wildly implausible, and technical words are thrown around in nonsensical and embarrassing ways ... “Battlestar Gallactica” (the recent TV series — not a movie, I know, but let’s go with it...) does a better job than most with space battles. When we’re seeing a battle from space, we don’t hear anything because sound can’t travel through empty space. They also show some recoils (conservation of momentum...). “Battlestar Gallactica” is a good example of a show that doesn’t try to explain fantastical technologies (any such explanation would probably be distracting and implausible), and at the same time gets enough physics details right that, overall, the world seems plausible.
‘Eurydice’ set to create other-wordly atmosphere by EMMA DAHL Staff Reporter
he most recent production at Harper Joy Theater, “Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl, is the classical Greek story of Orpheus’s descent into the underworld, but from his wife Eurydice’s point of view. According to Assistant Professor of Theater Greg Mitchell, Whitman’s theater department has taken some big artistic liberties with the set design to create a physical structure that represents the descent into the underworld. “We have diverged in bold and significant ways from what Sarah Ruhl suggests and the tenor of choices most productions of this play make,” said Mitchell. Mitchell explained that the set has been designed over the past year and built over the past month or so. The atmosphere of the underworld, where the majority of the play takes place, is strained and unusual. “The underworld is sunken. It is without path, direction or place, in contrast with the above world. The atmosphere is uncomfortable in the underworld if it is heady and nostalgic in the above world,” he said. By endeavoring to create such a dynamic and different space, Mitchell and his staff were met by a slew of technical difficulties. He mentioned that plumbing was one of the challenges the team had to overcome. In the past, “Eurydice” productions have featured rain in the underworld set. He discussed huge ramps and suspended walkways, and a new unconventional seating arrangement for the audience. “[The] custom-built audience arrangement put[s] patrons up to 17 feet in the air. [It’s] so complex and unconventional we had to apply to the city for commercial building permits just to construct it. I would venture to say it is among the most daring and complicated sets we’ve ever done in the renovated Harp-
The set design for the upcoming play at Harper Joy theatre, ‘Eurydice,’ was designed over the past two years but has been built in the past month alone. Photos by Marcovici
er Joy Theatre,” said Mitchell. The play follows Eurydice through her accidental death on her wedding day and traces her journey through the underworld, where she finds her deceased father, and— spoiler alert, if you’re not familiar with the Greek myth—ends with Orpheus’s doomed attempt to rescue her. Eurydice’s father is a character invented by Ruhl, put there to create a decision for Eurydice to make: should she return to the land of the living with her hus-
band-to-be? Or is her relationship with her father more important? The play has a potent and contemporary message despite its ancient origins. Its themes are centered on love and loss, the strain between familial and romantic relations and which deserves more attention. “Eurydice” runs from Wednesday, April 15 to Saturday, April 19 at 8 p.m., with additional matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are general admission and are free with a Whitman ID.
Baseball seniors reflect on careers by COLE ANDERSON Staff Reporter
he Whitman College baseball team has come further and amassed more wins in the last two seasons than any Whitman baseball team in the last 40 years. Recording 16 total wins last season was the winningest season for Whitman baseball since 1975, and this season they have already surpassed that tally and have six games to go. For the seniors on this team, the past four seasons have been a growing, rebuilding process, and to have already recorded 18 wins and be in a position to go above .500 for the season is an accomplishment that the team four years ago might have only dreamed of. On their two opening road trips, the team went to Arizona and Texas, and they started the season strong with eight wins in 11 games. However, the start of conference play brought a drought, with 10 losses in their first 11 conference games. However, those first three-game series are the toughest of the conference season and potentially of the year, with Pacific Lutheran University, Linfield and George Fox back to back to back. “We play in one of the best conferences in the nation, and our schedule had us playing three top programs in a row,” said senior Kyle Buckham. Fortunately, the team was able to record a win against Fox, which spurred an eightgame winning streak, six of which were conference games. With just Whitworth to go, and sitting with an 18-17-1 record, the team has one big goal in mind. “We’re looking to be the first team to finish with a winning percentage over .500 in recent memory,” said senior Jimmy Madden. The team’s recent success serves as a great bookend to the careers of this year’s seniors, as they have fought through quite a bit of adversity to get to this point and have quite a lot to be proud of. “This senior class has been through the ringer to say the least, after beginning our career with two seasons in a row only winning four out of 30-plus games,
it forced us to ask ourselves why we are here and how we are going to accomplish what we came here to do,” said senior Cam Young. Madden echoed similar sentiments. “I’m most proud of being a part of the class that was able to change the culture of Whitman baseball. The program has evolved from a group of individuals who played baseball into a baseball team. The other big difference is the expectation to win, which has developed,” said Madden. The change from a five-win team to a conference competitor was tangibly seen early last season. When asked of his favorite memories so far, Buckham reflected on that hot start last season. “I would say some of the better moments were last year in Arizona when we went 4-2. Just to realize that we were a different, better team that was capable of winning some games after only winning five games our first two years. That was big—to get our confidence up and begin learning how to win,” said Buckham. The team also defeated George Fox last season at a time they were ranked No. 10 in the nation. This season has also brought some marquee wins. The team recorded their first win against Laverne in the senior’s time here, something that further symbolized the change they’ve helped make. Starting to beat teams that had regularly won against Whitman in the past was something that the team, and especially the seniors, could appreciate, since they had been a part of all the discouraging losses up until those wins started to come. Much of the recent success is a product of Head Coach Sean Kinney as well, who took a discouraged program and showed them what it was like to be successful. “Since Coach Kinney has taken over before our junior year, the program has improved drastically. We always had the talent. It was just about preparing well. The last two years we have improved significantly in all aspects of the game,” said Buckham. Going forward, the seniors have optimistic hopes for the team next year and into the future.
Team unity proves key to women’s golf’s success
Will Thompson ‘15 throws a pitch against Willamette during Whitman’s final home series of the season. The Bearcats swept the Missionaries in the three game series. Photo by Clay
“I hope they can continue to build on the chemistry and success we’ve had these last two years,” said Madden. Buckham saw the recent success as a positive contributor toward gaining talented recruits. “Moving forward, the program just needs to continue adding quality players. Over half of our current roster is graduating, so a large recruiting class is necessary for the next couple years. Hopefully, with the up-and-coming nature of our team, we can bring in some solid recruits to help out the talented group of players who will still be on the team next year,” said Buckham. Young was a bit more concise in his hopes for the future of the team. “Win,” said Young. He went on to explain what the product of that mentality has been. “This season has epitomized why each of us made the choice to come to Whitman. We were sold on changing the culture and reigniting the commitment and support for our program due to the abysmal athletic success that had been the norm for many years prior to us. Our
v. Willamette April 12: L 8-5 v. Willamette April 12: L 9-8 v. Willamette April 13: L 10-9
Men’s v. Lewis-Clark St. April 11: W 9-0 Women’s v. Whitworth April 12: W 9-0
Men’s Spring Thaw April 12-13: 4th
Men’s v. Linfield April 18, 4 p.m.: HOME v. Willamette April 19, 1 p.m.: HOME Women’s v. Linfield April 18: AWAY v. Willamette April 19: AWAY v. Pacific April 19: AWAY
Alyssa Maine ‘16 watches her shot as she practices on the driving range. The women’s golf team is currently ranked 12th in the nation. Photo by McCormick
by MARAH ALINDOGAN Staff Reporter
efore the start of every round, the women’s golf team gathers together in a circle. “It is a time we can be with each other before we split up and are all alone on the course for five hours,” said senior Elaine Whaley. This sense of togetherness is carrying the team, currently ranked 12th in the nation, to one of its most successful seasons to date. With a team comprised of only six members made up of three seniors, one junior, one sophomore and one first-year, the small roster has brought the players closer together. “We are the closest team in our conference, and we have such an amazing dynamic. All six of us have completely different personalities, but that’s what makes us unique,” said first-year Lou Points. Likewise, sophomore Alyssa Maine believes that the team serves as her second family. “We truly treat each other like sisters. Even though we play an individual sport, the presence and support from all of the team before, during and after a round is a huge motivation while playing,” she said. But being part of a family also involves hardships. The team ex-
perienced one of those hurdles in the NWC Spring Classic, one of the main tournaments that determines whether or not they will receive a bid to nationals. With difficult weather conditions, including 30 miles-per-hour winds, they pulled out with a fourth-place finish. “That experience is going to make us work even harder to win the conference championship because we aren’t going to let that happen again,” said Points. However, there is a collective feeling among the group that their best golf is yet to come. “We all know what we want to achieve, and we are going to work hard these last three weeks so that we can go to nationals because we all know we are capable,” said Points. Similarly, Whaley is adamant that now is the time for success. “We are climbing the mountain, and we are about to hit our peak. We have played some difficult courses. There is always a time when you press ‘go,’ and the throttles come on and you start playing really well,” she said. With such a positive response to a disappointing loss in such a mentally and physically strenuous sport, it must be difficult for the team to stay motivated day in and day out. Fortu-
Men’s v. Whitman Invite April 19-20: HOME Women’s v. Whitman Invite April 19-20: HOME
nately, the team is propelled by leadership throughout the roster. “The good thing about us is that it is not just the seniors who lead. I see a lot of leadership in Lou, Alyssa and [junior] Kelly [Sweeney] in a lot of different ways,” said Whaley. Maine also points out the valuable contributions the seniors bring to the team. “Having a large senior class has been very helpful for our team this year. Each one of the three seniors has a different but equally important role on the team. They, as a group, act as a stabilizer to team morale when tournaments don’t end in our favor,” she said. With nothing but positive spirits propelling the team into the last part of their season, which includes a tournament in Walla Walla and the NWC Championship in Oregon, the women golfers have their eyes on the main goal: a bid to nationals. Win or lose, the team makes sure they aren’t taking for granted the opportunity to play and compete. “Elaine always tells us, ‘We are so lucky to be able to travel to amazing places and play golf with the people we love. Not a lot of people can say they have or had that opportunity in college,’” said Points.
team now sits with the most wins of any Whitman team in the past 40 years, and that is a testament to the guys within our program, both coaches and players,” said Young.
Whitman currently sits with an 18-17-1 record heading into their last series of the season, which will take place this weekend at Whitworth.
College unions come with divisive complications DYLAN SNYDER Junior
he conversation about paying college athletes has taken a turn in recent years, and the recent decision to count college athletes as school employees has opened the door for real change to occur. The National Labor Review Board, in their landmark decision, has given the opportunity for athletes at Northwestern University to unionize and utilize collective bargaining power. Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Coulter has led the charge in student athlete unionization and legitimization of the College Athlete Players Association. What is most interesting about the CAPA isn’t that they now have a legitimate claim to collectively bargain, but what the union plans on asking for. It is pretty common knowledge that top level college athletics, particularly football and men’s basketball, bring in billions of dollars in revenue for the NCAA each and every year. There has been some grumbling that college athletes should be paid as employees during their time in college, but that comes with a whole set of issues. Many athletic programs count on football and basketball revenue to fund their entire athletic programs, so paying certain players would limit opportunities for athletes in non-revenue generating sports. The CAPA isn’t asking that Northwestern pays its student-athletes at all, but that it allows players certain rights outside in addition to playing for Northwestern. There are 10 stated points of the CAPA, but it can be pretty well summed up in three more overarching ideas. First, the CAPA wants increased healthcare for players dur-
ing and after their time in college, so players aren’t left with large healthcare costs from chronic injuries acquired during their playing days. Second, CAPA wants to protect players from several injustices in college athletics, such as limiting transfer rules. For example, former Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin became head coach at Penn State University. Under NCAA rules, if any of Franklin’s former players wish to join the Penn State football team, they would have to sit out for an entire academic year before being able to play again. Finally, and perhaps most controversially, CAPA wants to allow players to use their status commercially in order to capitalize on their temporary celebrity status. For example, players would be able to advertise summer camps with their names, sign endorsement deals, make public appearance, sell memorabilia and other such profitable activities. There are still several roadblocks to the CAPA becoming a legitimate force in the college athletic landscape. Northwestern is a private institution, so the National Labor Review Board would have to make another decision as to whether or not public universities would be subject to the same rules. Also, the players would have to vote to join the CAPA, something Northwestern players plan to do in the near future. Current quarterback Trevor Siemian has publicly come out in opposition of unionization by claiming he was frustrated that Koulter did not involve the coaching staff and school administrators with the process. Linebacker Collin Ellis called the whole thing a distraction. It should be stated that the only current members of the CAPA are graduates, and the NCAA could hypothetically work to ban any player that joins a union under its policies. Northwestern is in uncharted territory in terms of challenging the NCAA, and, as everyone knows, the NCAA isn’t a huge fan of having its power challenged. The CAPA has the power to alter the entire landscape of college sports, but only if it can avoid being crushed by the NCAA before it starts.
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Career planning, liberal arts in conflict by BEN CALDWELL and DREW EDMONDS Staff Reporters
he liberal arts model of education is a hallmark of Whitman’s identity, but recently the value of a multidisciplinary, less career-oriented liberal arts education has come into question. In recent years, faculty and students have discussed the pros and cons of entering college with a specific major and career plan already in mind. As graduating students continue to take on massive amounts of debt and struggle to enter the workforce in the aftermath of the economic downturn, Associate Professor of Politics Jeanne Morefield observes that many of her students report being overwhelmed and worried about the transition into their professional lives. Now, more than ever before, she has students asking to miss class because of job and internship interviews. “That never used to happen. And, frankly, I worry that students are getting the sense that their primary job here is to be networking and working toward getting a job rather than going to class. That makes me nervous,” said Morefield. Whitman students frequently arrive in the fall of their first year set on a major, willing to take alternative classes but focused on a long term professional track. First-year Noah Porter came to Whitman certain he would major in chemistry. “[Chemistry] is something I’ve liked for a long time and studied for a long time, too. It’s something I could see myself doing in the future, research or working in the sciences. Also it’s something that’s challenging academically,” he said. Porter expressed his appreciation for Whitman’s multidisciplinary approach, but he also worries that in addition to all his science requirements it will be difficult to take challenging courses outside his major. He plans to attend summer school to knock out some of his prerequisites. “There are a lot of classes I’d really like to be taking at Whitman but that I don’t think I’ll have time for, or might be too much, considering my schedule,” said Porter. For Porter it’s not as simple as a choice between two paths: the specialized pre-professional focus or the broad liberal arts experience. He’s interested in exploring a range of different subjects but has no doubt about what career field he wants to be in from the moment he graduates to the day he retires. It’s this type of mindset that worries Morefield. “There’s something scary and limiting when we start thinking of majors in terms of career paths ... No majors are set up for that kind
of tracking. If you go into it expecting you are going to get skills that are going to prepare you for a particular job right after you graduate, in exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life, it doesn’t happen that way,” said Morefield. Though Porter could have followed a more direct path to his chosen career at the technical institute to which he applied, he ultimately chose not to. “That’s very enticing, but I’m still not sure if that’s what I would want for my life or my career. I have a good amount of faith in Whitman’s education ... to give me opportunities in the future for a good career and to educate me in a way that makes my skill set useful.” If Whitman’s students are still interested in the liberal arts experience, but more and more of them are coming to college with specific professions in mind, can the college give them what they are looking for? Morefield argues that the two mindsets are mutually exclusive. “I think we are inadvertently scaring students into limiting their choice of major by suggesting some majors are better for careers than others ... I think scaring students into thinking that if they don’t line up their career track right now that they are doomed is the wrong way to go about it. It defeats the whole mission of the liberal arts,” said Morefield. Fortunately, the statistics show that not everyone is scared. Though the hard sciences and other quantitative-research-based majors like economics do have more members than the arts and humanities, overall Whitman majors are relatively evenly distributed throughout the student population. In last year’s graduating class, each of the 33 possible majors was represented by less than 10 percent of the student population, except for biology at 12.7 percent. But according to some students and faculty, there are still changes that need to be made by the school in order to alleviate the pressure on students surrounding particular majors and filling their schedules with resumé-worthy material. The Whitman Student Engagement Center has long been responsible for involving students in career-related opportunities. “We just want to be conduits to how students take things they like in college and spend much of their life connected to them,” said Noah Leavitt, assistant dean of student engagement. Morefield agrees that the SEC is helpful for many students, but she remains wary about overwhelming students with too much information. “There is so much out there that is available to them ... I think we need to be worried about encouraging students to think that if they
don’t land an internship right now they will never have a good job. Inadvertently, that is the message they are getting,” says Morefield. Leavitt claims he wants the same thing Morefield does. He says the SEC is about empowering students with the confidence to follow their passion and use it as guidance in all aspects of their life including the professional world. “The SEC has probably not done as good of a job at saying [passion] is the fundamental driver, but we are all about helping students be confident that if you follow something you’re really excited about, it’s going to pay off,” said Leavitt. According to Leavitt, witnessing the vast range of professional careers Whitman alumni have pursued after graduation has offered him new insight into the value of a liberal arts degree in any field, regardless of the major. “A liberal arts education is what allows students to be comfortable with the reality of what the world offers,” said Leavitt. It isn’t just the SEC and professors like Morefield promoting the value of a liberal arts degree in the professional world. Employers from both the private and nonprofit sectors are saying the same thing. In a survey among 318 employers conducted by Hart Research Associates last year, 80 percent agreed that regardless of their major, every college student should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences. Three quarters of the group also said they would recommend a liberal arts education to young people they know as the best way to prepare for success in today’s global economy. Leavitt is excited but not surprised to hear this type of feedback from the employers in the workforce. “We are pretty confident when we hear from leaders of the business and nonprofit sector projecting out what it’s going to take for their organizations to thrive. The list of things they come up with is basically what Whitman offers,” he said. Some students are frustrated with the system and structure of education at Whitman, but they still believe strongly in the liberal arts philosophy. Porter claims the problem is not the liberal arts ideology, but the college’s manner of enforcing it. While he is excited to take classes outside of his major, he feels strict requirements often force him to register for courses to meet distribution requirements, regardless of his interest. “It’s also challenging for some majors that have demanding schedules that oftentimes require planning from the first semester of [the first] year onward. It’s frustrating to see how many classes you have to take in the future and recogniz-
In the past 5 years, BIO, BBMB, and ECON have consistently been some of the largest majors...
...leaving smaller majors like Astronomy, Gender Studies, and Classics in the dust. ASTRO majors
ing you’re going to be doing a solid four classes a semester, plus a few semesters of extra work, and possibly summer schooling,” said Porter. Senior Nicky Khor told a similar story. At first he had intended to double major in English and theatre, but the acting classes he was interested in represented only a small fraction of the classes required to complete the theatre major. He instead opted for a major, English, that would allow him more freedom to take the classes that mattered to him. “I saw that if I took all the requirements for the [theatre] major, I wouldn’t be able to take the specialized classes I wanted to take, for my
own value. So that’s why I decided to forgo the major. [It] would have obstructed my passion,” said Khor. Statistically, student interest in the full range of the liberal arts is alive and well at Whitman, but individual experiences reveal that there can be conflict between preparing for post-graduate life and pursuing a broader range of interests. Morefield hopes students remain willing to follow their hearts. “Do what you love. You ultimately want to get a job that you love and you want to spend your time at Whitman doing what you love. Don’t cage yourself in,” said Morefield.
Students create own majors, connect different disciplines by LANE BARTON Staff Reporter
ver the past five years, approximately 0.5 percent of graduating students completed a major not offered at Whitman College, instead opting to create their own individually planned major, or IPM. This year, a small number of students will pursue an interdisciplinary path of study that
would otherwise be inaccessible to them in one of the offered majors. To get a personally designed IPM approved, students are required to undergo a rigorous approval process with the Board of Review. This procedure includes creating a set of courses and alternative courses for the major, proving the relevance of said choices and proving that this IPM cannot be completed with some combination of al-
ready existing majors and minors. “You have to put every single course you’re going to take and justifications for every course you’re going to take ... you do have to make sure it’s not just a major and a minor,” said sophomore Nevin Schaeffer, who designed an atmospheric and earth science major. Because of these stringent requirements, especially the fact that an IPM cannot consist of an exist-
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ing major and minor, most IPMs tend to be interdisciplinary in nature. This is often a huge draw for students looking to focus on a subject that spans multiple regions of study. “Creating a major was a way to focus on my passion, which is the interdisciplinary nature of health, and creating a major has enabled me to take all of the medical anthropology classes I wanted to take and also fit some politics in there,” said junior Tatiana Kaehler, a health science, policy and culture major. Another benefit of IPMs is the flexible scheduling that allows students creating their own major to pick and choose the exact courses they want to take. “Personally, I think it was a great fit for me to do an IPM. It really gave me a lot of freedom to take classes that I was really interested in, and I’m not sure I would have had that much freedom if I was restricted to a designated major where I had pre-established requirements to fulfill,” said senior Paul Lemieux, a public health major. To counterbalance the broadness of course choice in an IPM, a committee of three professors, usually from the academic departments with which the IPM overlaps, oversees the progress of each student and ensures that he or she
is academically on the right path. These advisers are cited by many students with IPMs as extremely beneficial to their experience. “I’m really grateful for the three professors ... who are my advisors, because setting up an IPM is a lot of work outside the major they’re already involved in ... I think their willingness and support in this have been really great, and they’ve been really great sports about taking on more work on my behalf,” said Lemieux. In addition to professors, students also credit the help of older students who have already been through the experience of designing their own major. Senior Ben Harris, who is majoring in childhood studies, highly recommends that students considering an IPM find a mentor to help them through the process. “Look at and understand Whitman’s guidelines for how to construct your own major and, if possible, find someone who’s done it to help you,” he said. Students who chose to pursue an IPM emphasized the variety of benefits for individuals who have an interest in combining their studies in multiple fields. “I really advise it for people who are interested in interdisciplinary studies,” said Kaehler.
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Violence in Harry Potter community calls for barrier between fans, stars ANU LINGAPPA Junior
izard rock is a genre of music generated by the fan culture surrounding the Harry Potter books. Since J.K. Rowling and the books themselves are so universally popular, many fans look closer to home to find new ways to channel their love for the series. Wizard rock songs are all about things that happen in the Harry Potter universe. As a genre, it has gone through many different incarnations, and its uniting theme is the content, not sound or quality. Though wizard rock fills a very specific niche, the fandom is big enough that it has a huge cult following and fan base of its own. There have also been spin-off bands playing music about “Doctor Who,” “Lost” and the “Hunger Games.” Only a handful of bands actually get known for their music, but famous wizard rockers have between several hundred thousand and over a million subscribers on YouTube and other forms of social media. The online Harry Potter fan community is predominantly teenage girls, yet almost all of famous wizard rock stars are men in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Due to the online base of this fame, it is very easy for fans to reach out to the content creators that they admire. Fans have the opportunities to meet these stars at wizard rock concerts and Harry Potter conventions. Recently, several internet personalities and wizard rock stars have been called out for abusing their power and taking inappropriate ad-
vantage of their fans. The accusations of abuse include rape, statutory rape, harassment, stalking, emotional manipulation, intentionally getting underage girls drunk and being generally terrible people. My relation to this community is through the wizard rock radio show “The Witching Hour” on KWCW that I inherited during my sophomore year at Whitman College. I don’t always think that wizard rock is the best quality, as far as music goes, but I think it is beyond cool that people use Harry Potter as a way to channel artistic expression. I love wizard rock as a statement of solidarity between people who are all manners of obsessed with Harry Potter. I thought that the Harry Potter fandom and wizard rock communities were safe spaces free from systemic problems like rape culture. It didn’t occur to me that a community centered on something as innocent as Harry Potter could have such a violent, horrible side to it. The recent accusations mirror an incident a couple years ago when an Internet-famous musician who wrote songs about similarly “nerdy” topics was arrested on several counts of child pornography. He pled guilty to soliciting sexually explicit content from underage fans. He moved in the same circles as some of the men who are currently accused, even accompanying their bands on tour. The response to his arrest was disappointing. No one wanted to talk about it. If there had been serious discussion about preventing sexual violence within fandoms, maybe things wouldn’t have gotten so far. It also poses the question of what bystanders could have done to intervene. Other semi-famous people in the wizard rock and YouTube communities who were friends, housemates or tour-mates with the accused must have been aware of this behavior at least on some level, but they all turned blind eyes. People who choose not to call out unacceptable behavior because they want to avoid drama and protect their own reputations, need to
check their priorities because they are partially responsible. A solid understanding of consent is important no matter what context or community is being addressed. I don’t know how the wizard rock community or the Harry Potter fandom is going to move forward from these events. I think the seeming lack of a barrier between the Internet stars and their fans needs to be redefined with set boundaries. Or, hierarchies within fan communities should be dissolved, no longer prioritizing wizard rocker content creators, since everyone in the community should have equal standing as just a fan of Harry Potter. I don’t want the wizard rock fan communi-
ty to end because of this, or for the Harry Potter fandom to be permanently scarred as a toxic community. It’s not fair that a small group of people could take something so great, the fan community, wizard rock, or even Harry Potter as a general entity, and ruin it for others. However, if Harry Potter, and everything that has stemmed from it, has taught us anything, it’s that with love and solidarity you can overcome even the worst adversity. For now, the fandom has to heal by supporting the survivors, making sure that their voices are heard and addressing their complaints. As J.K. Rowling said, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
A MOVING FOREST
hen advocating for the kind of social change we need to stabilize the climate, there are two main schools of thought that cause trouble. I’ll get to the second in a minute, but for now, the first is an agglomeration with which any environmentalist should be familiar if they like to argue: climate change is not real, humans are not responsible for climate change, dealing with climate change is not as important as ensuring a global standard of living, I’m not going to curb
emissions until China does, etc. Scientists and other experts spend most of their time arguing against these people, with facts and figures proving that our experiment on the Earth is likely to get worse than anything they could name. The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is no different, and frankly, I’d be suspicious if it was. It offers numbers—parts per million (still over 400, still climbing), temperatures in Celsius, things that will happen by 2030 and 2050—keeping them as simple as possible in order to avoid spin. This time, however, something was different: both the report itself and the media surrounding it seemed to have placed a greater emphasis on hope. Numb to the usual ineffectual gloom that flares up every time the IPCC releases one of these documents, I found myself surprised and decided to dig deeper. Ultimately, I still mostly found gloom, but the moment’s delay prompted me to look at things in
ALISHA AGARD Junior
THE MIND OF AN ACTIVIST
hanesha Taylor, a 35-yearold single mother in Arizona, was recently arrested and charged on two counts of child abuse. She wasn’t arrested for hitting her children or abandoning her children for days but was arrested for leaving her 2-year-old and 6-month-old children in her car for 45 minutes while she went to a job interview. An important thing to note before judging her decision to leave her children in the car is that Taylor and her children are homeless, and she had no other option. Going to the job interview granted her hope that she may finally be able to provide for her children, yet what started as a hopeful situation shattered that hope when she was arrested. For those who are unaware of the way the justice system works, it’s messed up. If Taylor is convicted on the two counts of child abuse, she can face up to 12-16 years in prison, maybe more since she is being charged for two counts. She could also possibly lose her children. The treatment she is receiving is not fair because, in this situation, she did
For those who are unaware of the way the justice system works, it’s messed up.
Government panel needs to point citizens in right direction SAM CHAPMAN
Shamesha Taylor’s case displays need for change in justice system
a different light. What I uncovered was that the action the report calls for to forestall a 2-degrees-Celsius rise in global temperature—each nation must cut 40 percent of its 2010 emissions by 2050—actually struck me as plausible. Monstrously difficult, sure, but it looks worse than it is be-
Something about your reports is obviously not finding its mark, because if policy makers took findings a quarter as dire to heart, we would have a much stronger climate change policy... cause we’re not used to large-scale social change having a deadline. Which brings me to that second school of thought I mentioned earlier, one I believe may actually be more dangerous than the
Mease not Mooses by Asa Mease
Voices from the Community
cabal of deniers and diminishers: the doomsayers. “What’s the point?” asks this breed of pseudoinformed modern human. “Why worry about what we can’t change? We can’t stop it or contain it, so we may as well adapt.” Corporate interests like to piggyback on this argument, touting themselves as humanists because they believe in our ability to evolve. People in this faction agree that mitigation is impossible, even if they feel different ways about it. Thus we have rationalization and pessimism grouped together under the poison cloak of realism. I’m going to speak directly to the IPCC now: you need to start targeting these people, not the others. Something about your reports is obviously not finding its mark, because if policymakers took findings a quarter as dire to heart, we would have a much stronger climate change policy across the Security Council right now. I think I know what that something is, too. People respond better to positives than negatives. True, frequently it’s easier or more fun to work against something rather than for it, and “love to hate” is still a phrase, but the negatives the environmental movement is wrapped around aren’t the fun kind. I have stood with the rest of them and cried that we must reduce, slash, cut back, while quieting the nagging understanding that we’ve offered no replacements. So, IPCC, tell us what we can do, and how we can do it. You’ve speculated on the darkness of the idle future. Now, turn your expertise toward the light. Use your expertise to define clearly how we can send the economy the way we want it to go. Point us, and we won’t back down.
not hit her children, nor did she leave her children in the car to do drugs or party but to better her current situation and the lives of her children. If she could not find people to watch her children and had not left them in the car, she would have missed the job interview and would remain homeless with young children. The sad part is, because she has been arrested and charged, the likelihood of her getting the job is very small. A similar incident happened a few weeks ago in Seattle where a man left his infant child in a car for eight hours in a parking garage. The police were called and had to force the car doors open to retrieve the child. When the man returned to the scene and was questioned about the situation, his excuse was that he simply forgot the child was in the car. The parents were both allowed to keep the child and are not being charged for child abuse or neglect. I understand the repercussions of leaving small children in cars for long periods of time, but, fortunately, none of the children in either situation were harmed. The fact is, Taylor’s situation could be different had there been a way for her to have her children in a safe situation while she interviewed. The justice system is failing single mothers like Taylor, who are simply trying to make a good life for their children. Other single mothers are left to suffer for trying to better their situations because the society in which we live tends to leave people like Taylor behind. If there were some sort of child care services available for low-income, single mothers like Taylor, this whole situation could have been avoided and a member of our society would not have to be punished for doing what she could to make a way for her and her children.
What is something interesting that you learned today? Poll by TANNER BOWERSOX
“Today I learned that we know that the inner core is solid because there is the PKJKP and the PKIKP.”
“Today I learned how rubber bands work. When you pull them, rubber bands heat up because the crystal structure is aligning, so they’re actually going to a lower energy confirmation.”
“I learned that the Ordovician Silurian boundary was one of the top five extinctions in history.”
“Today I learned that I can forgive and forget.”
Duck hunters ‘quacking’ under stress T he Student Activities Office Annual Duck Hunt began this week, and competition this year is hotter than ever. Students are desperate to locate rubber ducks in order for the chance to win prizes they probably don’t want, in addition to eternal glory. The increasingly competitive hunt coupled with the sudden presence of sun has left competitors with a duck-crazed fever and has led them to capture real live ducks. Senior Smolly JoJo, who recently completed her thesis and was absolutely dazed by the sunshine and duck fever captured four living ducks with nothing but beef jerky and some twine and then attempted to submit them for raffle tickets. “I just don’t understand,” said JoJo. “I brought in ducks. My ducks were perfect. I need to win. It’s my last year, and I NEED TO WIN!” Ms. JoJo then broke down in a fit of tears and had to be escorted home from the interview. “Students are heartbroken when I tell them the real ducks
Students divest, assets revealed
he Whitman Divestment Committee would like to inform the student body that it has no connection with the newly-founded Whitman Divestment Society, which was responsible for last week’s “parade.” They go on to request that the Divestment Society cease all further use of the term “divestment” as it is causing some confusion among the general student body based on a complete misunderstanding about the meaning of “divestment.” Tension erupted Saturday when several students, having skimmed the leaflets placed in our mailboxes last week, decided that the Whitman Divestment Committee had not made significant enough strides toward their goal. However, it seems that they were unclear as to what these goals were. The Whitman Divestment Committee would like to stress yet again that “divestment” refers to the releasing of Whitman’s investments in oil companies. Though “divest” does indeed come from the old French desvestir (removal) and the Latin vestis (garment), in this context, THE REMOVAL OF CLOTHING IS NOT AT ALL IMPLIED. However, this did not stop a cadre of newly initiated Divestment Society members from removing their garments and holding a rally outside of Memorial Hall on Satur-
day. Encouraged by the warm weather and air of camaraderie, many other students joined in on the fun until quite a large crowd had accumulated. At this point, students yelling “Divest Whitman!” formed a parade which continued through the streets of Walla Walla, startling the locals. The mood was quite exuberant, with Whitties waving shirts, pants and dresses in the air as they passed. A number of Walla Wallans joined in before the parade finally looped back toward campus as members of the Walla Walla police department looked on in shock and annoyance. Once back on campus, the rally largely dissipated, as sunset precipitated a drop in temperature that even the most hearty of Whitties found difficult to tolerate in their bare condition. While the Whitman Divestment Committee appreciates the increased name recognition following last week’s “parade,” they must insist that the activities of the Whitman Divestment Society cease, or at least that the society change their name so as not to cause confusion. This is specifically true of the posters that have appeared around campus since the rally, sporting the jaunty slogan “Divest Whitman!” and the crude drawings of a number of indelicate organs. More on this story as it develops.
Maus audio book now available
rt Speigelman’s influential graphic novel “Maus” has just been released in audiobook form, just in time for first-years to begin reading it for Encounters. Penrose Library has made digital downloads of the audiobook free for students, and almost all of the first-year class has taken advantage of this opportunity. “This is ridiculous. How
can you understand Maus without being able to see it?” said Professor of Religion Kan Dent. While some professors object to the audiobook, first-years have largely reacted positively. “I really love how they describe what’s happening in each panel and the symbolism behind it. Comic book visuals are just so tedious to understand,” said first-year Joe Dangerous.
won’t earn them a raffle ticket, and they need to be set free. I have arranged for the Counseling Center to be on call to take any students needing duck-related counseling, ” said Student Activities Director KatAnn Adales. Unfortunately, the mentally unstable students are only half of the problem. The live ducks that were left in the Student Activities Office refuse to leave Reid Campus Center. All attempts to “free” the captured ducks and return them outside have been thwarted by the ducks’ recent development of a caffeine addiction. The new Reid ducks eventually found their way down from the second floor to the café. The ducks have settled in quite nicely to their new life. They can be found picking up a brew or hanging out downstairs and listening to quack-poetry (the duck equivalent of slam poetry). “We have kind of given up trying to remove them from the building, and besides, some of their poems are really quite moving,” said Student Activities Intern Lizzie Alexandra.
he ever so clever 2014 firstyear class has come up with a new way to get through Encounters: drinking. The mastermind behind the trend, Sandy Caine, described how it came into fruition. “I was super inspired by ‘Hind Swaraj’ and could totally identify with Gandhi’s active nonviolence stuff. So I felt like the best way to combat non-violently the boring nature of Encounters was to start a drinking game revolution. I call it ‘Sincounters,’” said Caine. Caine proceeded to explain the logistics of the game. “Whenever Encounters gets boring, which is like every day, I whip out my flask and start playing. It’s really simple. You just take a swig whenever someone utters one of the top five most popular words to say in Encounters,” said Caine. Caine collaborated with her best friend, stats nerd Megan Tanner, who sent out a survey to the first-year class in order to collect accurate data. Tanner then compiled a list of the top five most commonly used words in Encounters. “Well, ‘society’ is by far the most popular word. Our data shows us that 32 percent of the time a student will start out by saying something like, ‘The problem with society is...’ and then proceed to offer a slightly offensive generalization about all of American culture,” said Tanner. Some of the other most pop-
ular words and phrases to say in Encounters include “Sorry, I didn’t do the reading,” “literally” and “dichotomy.” When asked if they actually knew what the word “dichotomy” means, several first-years responded with convoluted answers. “I’m not really sure what it means, but when I use it I sound hella smart,” said Jeremy Mack. Straight-A student Francis Channing was more confident. “Oh, it obviously means two lobotomies. If you just break the word down into parts, it makes total sense. Trust me, I learned about this in linguistics,” said Channing. Perhaps the most surprising word that consistently showed up in Tanner’s data was “penis.” Class clown Eric Wanton explained the word’s puzzling popularity.
“We also play the penis game in class, so it racks up a lot of points. It’s really fun to combine it with Sin-counters,” said Wanton. When asked about the greater implications of playing the penis game in class, Wanton could only reply with one word. “Penis! Penis! Penis!” shouted Wanton. Administrators and professors are deeply concerned not only about how this will affect students’ academic performance, but also about the moral implications of Sin-counters. “We do not condone in-class drinking, but we fear that students will turn to marijuana if we outlaw Sin-counters,” said Encounters Professor Aaron Wright. Sin-counters will continue to be an integral part of the first-year experience until the administration comes to a decision about how to stop the revolution.
Shakespeare Crossword Puzzle Clues: Across 2. Turns into an ass 5. Prospero’s slave 6. Oldest daughter of 16-Across 8. This Athenian gives away his money and regrets it. Nothing else happens in this play. 10. The Moor’s wife 11. In love with Hamlet (probably) 14. Viola’s brother 16. The fictional King 17. Hermia’s childhood friend 18. Something is rotten in this state
Down 1. People refer to his love story, not knowing it’s a tragedy 2. “Et tu, _____?” 3. Juliet’s cousin 4. Not actually a hunchback 6. Like Rosencrantz, this guy is dead. 7. Younger sister of 6-Across 9. Shares a name with the bird in Aladdin 11. This character is a dog. Literally, though. 12. Please don’t say his name in a theater 13. All’s Well That ____ Well 15. Notoriously Jewish character
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