Issue 4 | February 20, 2014 | Whitman news since 1896 | Vol. CXXXI
SYMPOSIUM SAMPLER The Pioneer’s top picks for the Power and Privilege Symposium
Tricia Rose opens second annual symposium Photo by Clay
by Helen Angell Staff Reporter
he second annual Power and Privilege Symposium is today, Thursday, Feb. 20. The theme of this year’s symposium is “Understanding Identity.” Classes are canceled, and a variety of panels and workshops have been scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. While the symposium is part of the ongoing effort to address issues of race and racism on campus, the panels and workshops offered on Thursday seek to open up discussion about a wide range of intersecting issues. The 51 workshops and panels will cover topics as varied as body image, religion and sexuality, environmental justice, socioeconomic inequality and rape culture. “It isn’t just about race. It was a very purposeful decision,” said Associate Professor of Sociology Helen Kim, in talking about the focus and name of the symposium.
Kim helped organize the event. “Why Race Matters” was the theme of last year’s symposium, but this year an effort has been made to expand the discussion. The wide range of issues in this year’s symposium reflects and honors the myriad identities and experiences found on campus. “There’s something for everyone in the workshops,” said sophomore Shireen Nori, ASWC special initiatives director and one of the symposium organizers. “We wanted to make [the symposium] as accessible as possible to everybody on this campus.” Junior Tim Reed, ASWC president and a symposium organizer, said that attendance is expected to be much higher this year, especially since classes have been canceled for the day in order to encourage student and faculty attendance. “We wanted to makes sure there was plenty of content for anyone who would
interested,” said Reed. While the symposium is student run, Reed said the event was made possible by faculty engagement, staff engagement and the support of the administration. “People from all over campus want to be involved with this,” Reed said. Kim stressed the duty everyone on campus has to engage with these issues. “I think it’s important to go and listen and also participate,” said Kim. “We have a responsibility to listen to one another and really to try to understand one another.” Kim emphasized that the symposium’s goal is to foster broader understanding about identity in the Whitman community. The panels and workshops provide a unique space for frank discussion outside of the academic context. While Whitman prides itself on its openminded and respectful culture,
Interracial DatiNG Associate Professor of Sociology Helen Kim
“Blood on the Leaves” Assistant Professor of Rhetoric Studies Heather Hayes
Race in Science Assistant Professor of Biology Leena Knight, senior Andrew Patel and junior Anu Lingappa
see SYMPOSIUM, page 2
Whitman and the ‘Other’
Paul Garrett Professor of Political Science Shampa Biswas and others
Homelessness activists address cold weather with emergency shelter by Andy Monserud Staff Reporter
I Whitman commercials to highlight community by emma dahl Staff Reporter
his upcoming Saturday, Feb. 22 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. a group of approximately 150 students will gather to help film a new commercial promoting Whitman’s small and personal community. Several groups of Advanced Film Making students have been commissioned by President George Bridges to produce multiple commercials that will be featured on Whitman’s website for prospective students to watch and enjoy. Bridges explained in an email interview the message he wants the commercials to send to prospective students. “All will stress the personal nature of a Whitman education and why its personal approach to learning is superior to that offered at large universities,” he said. Sophomore Meg Logue, who is working on the project, explained the selection process in an email interview. “Each of us pitched an idea for the commercial to President Bridges, [the] dean of admission and the [chief communications officer], and they chose four pitches to be produced,” said Logue. There are four groups of students making their own commercial. The group that Logue and sophomore Noelle Butler are in is focusing on showing the benefits of Whitman’s small community. In an
email interview, Butler explained the benefits of being able to connect one-on-one with professors. “It is impossible to know a professor personally if you are one of 500 students in a lecture classroom, but here it is the opposite. Our professors often go out of their way to get to know each of us personally, and we believe that this helps us thrive in our education,” said Butler. President Bridges explained that the benefit of having students film and create the commercial instead of using a large-scale production company is twofold. “Our students produce phenomenal videos while learning how to make different types of film. Their service to the college affords them creative opportunities and, at the same time, saves the college the significant expense of employing a professional production company. I am confident that the videos will be compelling and well done, revealing much about Whitman that is attractive to students. They will prove powerful in attracting creative and talented men and women to the college,” said Bridges. Butler explained why she and her peers were motivated to make the commercial. “This is a school where you can learn so much and have so many new experiences, and we think that is worth showing to students who are considering Whitman as an option,” she said.
n the face of cold temperatures and heavy snowfall earlier this winter, homeless men and women in Walla Walla found themselves well cared for. Volunteers and community leaders converted the First Congregational Church on Palouse Avenue into an emergency warming center for the city’s homeless. The center provided warm cots to those who could not or preferred not to sleep in Walla Walla’s existing shelters. The warming center opened twice this winter: once in early December during a cold spell with temperatures as low as 4 degrees Fahrenheit, and once in late January, when snow blanketed the town, leaving outdoor sleeping spots unusable. Walla Walla has its share of homelessness. In January 2013, a survey by the Department of Human Services known as a pointin-time count estimated that 400 homeless people lived in Walla Walla. Approximately 68 percent lived temporarily with family or friends, while approximately 18 percent stayed outdoors, in cars or in emergency shelters the night before the count. Many of these men and women either cannot or choose not to find room in Walla Walla’s homeless shelters. The group that constructed the warming center sought to take those holdouts out of the cold. The Walla Walla Council on Homelessness, a collection of leaders in religious, government, social services, business and law enforcement capacities dedicated to improving the station of Walla Walla’s homeless, led the charge to establish the warming center. The council first addressed the issue of low temperatures following a question from Walla Walla Union Bulletin reporter Sheila Hagar in December. “[Hagar] started calling people and saying ‘Hey, what’s the plan?’ And we kind of looked at it and started saying, ‘Yeah, what is the plan?’”said Walla Walla Council on Homelessness Chairman
and Assistant Dean for the Student Engagement Noah Leavitt. The plan, a temporary emergency center at the First Congregational Church, came to fruition in 24 hours with the aid of the Walla Walla County Emergency Management Department and the Red Cross and stayed open for three nights. “We really had a need for a broad-based community plan for sheltering, and nothing had materialized at that point,” said Contracts and Program Manager for
the Walla Walla Department of Human Services Debbie Dumont. “So we pulled together ... a plan.” When January’s snowfall came, proponents of the center were ready. After meteorologists forecasted snow, discussions of reopening the shelter began at the Council on Homelessness event, Invisible Walla Walla. This time, the First Congregational Church initiated the push toward reopening the shelter. This second round involved see HOMELESS, page 3
The First Congregational Church on Palouse Avenue was turned into an emergency warming shelter for the city’s homeless during the snow falls. Photo by Bowersox
Power, Privilege Symposium encourages difficult discussions
SEC to fund more student international internships
from SYMPOSIUM, page 1
Kim notes it is still hard to have candid discussions about the difficult issues presented in the symposium. “I think there’s a lot of fear and a lot of hurt that is often difficult to voice,” said Kim. The symposium gives students, staff and faculty the ability to engage with a wide range of serious issues that aren’t easy to talk about. “A lot of the conversations are going to be really hard,” Kim said. “But they should be hard.” Organizers emphasized this is a unique opportunity, one that students, staff and faculty should take advantage of. “It’s rare that we see such a widespread willingness and desire to talk about these issues,” said Reed. “We live in a society where we don’t always have that luxury.” The symposium opened Wednesday, Feb. 19 with a keynote address by Tricia Rose, professor of Africana studies and the director for the Center of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. Rose’s talk focused on the “paradoxical moment” of contemporary society, which describes the fact that while everyone in America values the ideal of equality, few are willing to acknowledge the deeply rooted inequalities in our country, and even fewer are willing to take concrete action to address these inequalities. Rose, whose academic focus is hip-hop and the media, challenged the audience to critically examine the way in which mass media renders structural inequality invisible. Rose spoke to The Pioneer after her talk and made it clear how important the Power and Privilege Symposium is to addressing these larger systems of oppression. “The more we address these invisible structures and ways of understanding each other that shape our interactions, the better off we are,” said Rose.
Rose also stressed how important it is for a majority-white community like Walla Walla or the Whitman campus not simply to discuss racial others. Rose made it clear that when discussing racism, understanding whiteness is key in our efforts to make change. “It’s as much a construction as every other racial identity,” she said. “But it’s totally invisible. Too much time talking about difference from an invisible core without turning the gaze on the majority is a mistake.” Organizers hope that the symposium will become an annual event with formalized funding and support. Reed hopes ASWC will set aside $2,000 each year for the symposium. “I hope eventually it’s something that will get written into the syllabus every year,” said Nori. “The goal is to have it be a stable part of the Whitman experience.” The symposium is an important step in creating a more inclusive discussion about identity and inequality on campus, especially regarding race and racism, but organizers highlighted its limitations. While the symposium only lasts one day, these discussions need to be ongoing. “We know that these are issues that don’t go away,” said Kim. “The symposium is one part of a much larger effort on campus to address the racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia and other issues facing our community and society at large.” Reed highlighted the symposium’s ability to shift focus to any problem of power and privilege that our community may want to discuss in the future. “Power and Privilege allows that flexibility,” said Reed. Organizers have been hard at work for the last month, and they are looking forward to seeing the culmination of their efforts in the 51 panels and workshops across campus. “It’s going to be hard to pick which ones to go to,” said Reed.
Makers of ‘Granito: How to Nail a Dictator’ lead documentary workshop by JOSEPHINE ADAMSKI Staff Reporter
t is not often that a documentary film influences the very story it depicts. Pamela Yates’s documentary “Granito: How to Nail a Dictator,” actually helped to indict the dictator Efraín Rios Montt, whose atrocities the film captured. The documentary was shown in Olin 130 on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The film served as a predecessor to the documentary film workshop given by Yates, the film’s director, and producer Paco de Onis, on Wednesday, Feb. 19. “Granito” tells the story of how footage from Yates’s first documentary, “When the Mountains Tremble,” was used in the January 2012 trial against the military and the Guatemalan government for the Guatemalan genocide. By retelling the history of the genocide through the lens of the Mayan people, “When the Mountains Tremble” reveals the lesser-known people’s history. The film publicly acknowledges the struggle of those who were and continue to be affected by the genocide. Furthermore, the footage served as forensic evidence against former dictator Rios Montt in the charges of genocide. “It’s pretty remarkable to have the acknowledgment of 200,000 deaths ride on a bit of footage that [Yates] miraculously gained accesses to ... and that’s an incredible amount of weight,” said Johnson Visiting Instructor in Race and Ethnic Studies Jennifer Devine. Yates’s footage was used in the trial against Rios Montt, where he was sentenced to 30 years in prison on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide. The ruling made human rights history; it was the first time a former head of state faced these charges within his or her own country. However, the
case was annulled due to a technicality and will be resumed in 2015. During the genocide, the United States continually sent foreign aid to Guatemala, which went directly to Montt and supported the army that killed around 200,000 people. Senior Hannah Palkowitz, an environmental studies-sociology major who helped bring Yates and Onis to campus, spoke to the importance of recognizing the role of the United States during this time in history. “By bringing the film here, we’re able to facilitate and attract attention to this issue. [Currently], it’s important to realize that this is not only what happened with one policy, but how it’s manifested in [the] present day ... It’s important to acknowledge that as U.S. citizens,” she said. By bringing the producer, director and the film to campus, Palkowitz hopes to spread awareness of these types of hidden histories. “They are great people to bring to campus because it touches on so many disciplines and it presents awareness on history that has sometimes been forgotten,” she said. “When the Mountains Tremble” is unique in that it influenced history rather than simply retold it. The film serves as an example of “granito de arena,” which is the Maya concept Yates and Onis weaved into the film “Granito.” “It means ‘tiny grain of sand’ and is a Maya concept that means each of us have something to contribute to positive social change and how it takes a lifetime ... it’s a communal value. In the telling of the Granito story, I call upon that [concept of ‘granito de arena,’]” said Yates. Not only is it an example of a successful grassroots movement, the film also brings to light the importance of storytelling, especially through film. “Filmmaking is the storytell-
by SAM GRAINGER-SHUBA Staff Reporter
hen the Associated Students of Whitman College lifted the ban on college-supported international travel in 2013, they affected internships funded by the Student Engagement Center for this coming summer. Students will be able to apply for jobs abroad and receive college funding to spend their summers there. Four years ago, the administration put a college-wide ban on funding for unsupervised student activity abroad. Last year ASWC advocated for the college to fund international travel for students under the leadership of senior Kayvon Behroozian, who was ASWC president at the time. This resulted in a policy change, by which the administration hoped to expand opportunities available to students looking for internships and to make travel easier for student clubs and organizations. “The college’s policy unnecessarily precluded students from receiving funding to perform academic research for things like senior theses or to have internship grants for professional opportunities outside of the United States,” Behroozian said in an email. “Noting the college’s interest in producing students that are able to function and succeed in an increasingly global world, we saw this ban as counter to that goal.” In response to the lift on the ban, the SEC offered the opportunity for students to apply for funding to do internships in Canada for the summer of 2013, and they have expanded the range of international opportunities for this upcoming summer. “We’re really excited [and] really interested to see what happens,” Assistant Dean of Student Engagement Noah Leavitt said. “It is consistent with the college’s goal to prepare students for not just a rapidly changing, technological world, but also a multicultural world.” For 2014, the SEC is expecting to have enough funds for five international internships, a num-
ber which they hope to increase in later years. These five internships will be geared toward sophomores and juniors who already have existing connections with a company or organization abroad. “The college is obviously very focused on students who have internship experiences outside the United States having safe and secure summers so that they can get a lot out of the organization that they’re a part of,” Leavitt said. “We really want to try out a model for it this year and see how it goes. We want it to go well so the process is structured to minimize risk [and] create as expansive, exciting, professional opportunities as we can, but it’s not ‘anything goes.’” For the purposes of this pilot program, students will be required to complete a similar process to that of the domestic internship program, which involves applying for the stipend, getting supervisor approval and attending a mandatory workshop. The international internship program also requires attending an interview, undergoing a safety check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department, attending two mandatory workshops and sharing the internship experience with the community in a blog post or presentation of some kind. Leavitt also said the organization the student wishes to work for needs to be significant, sustainable and financially secure, primarily for safety reasons. The SEC is especially interested in students trying to work for organizations that are connected to Whitman, whether it be via trustees, alumni or faculty members. “We always want students to be developing their involvement with the Whitman network, and this seemed like a good way to do it,” Leavitt said. Sophomore Charlotte Mugisha is pursuing an internship in her home country, Rwanda. After hearing about the change in policy last summer, she decid-
“Granito” is an 2013 Emmy-nominated film directed and produced by Pamela Yates and Pablo de Onís. Photos by Goard
ing of our time; they tease out the universal themes that we can connect to. Stories are how we understand ourselves, define ourselves ... We use film to the end in a same way that a lawyer might use the law, and we have made this model of a film ecosystem,” said Onis. According to Onis, this ecosystem involves websites and outreach programs attached to their documentary filmmaking. “This has opened up a whole area of document filmmaking. We have drifted from the Hollywood model; we make [these films] for the passion of the issue,” Onis said. Part of the ecosystem includes the workshop that took place this Wednesday, Feb. 19. Both Onis and Yates spoke to the pas-
sion that is required when jumping into documentary filmmaking. “I would say that docu-
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ed to pursue an international internship with the hope that the college would be able to help her pursue her dream of having a positive impact on her country while being able to see her family, which was not an option last summer. “I feel extremely blessed to be in a school like Whitman that has all these great opportunities that help all students regardless of which backgrounds we’re all from. I haven’t got the grant from Whitman that will facilitate me to go back home yet, but I’m very optimistic and praying that all the hard work I’ve put into this will finally pay off.” Along with the $3,000 stipend, there is an optional application for additional support to cover costs related to the internship, such as travel and housing. The amount provided will be based on need. “This is a huge step forward for the college because it is difficult enough for students pursuing professional development opportunities in the [United] States to support themselves, let alone to do the same thing abroad,” Behroozian said. “With access to funding for this purpose, internships abroad that are key to a student’s professional development will be accessible to more and more students who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to pursue them before.” The SEC will be holding an information session for the internship program on Friday, Feb. 21, at noon in Reid Campus Center 240. The application for the grants was finalized Feb. 18, and its first deadline is March 3 at 5 p.m. “It is very satisfying and rewarding to see the work that ASWC undertook last year with regards to this issue,” Behroozian said. “This shift in college policy was one of my biggest goals as president last year, and while not many students are aware of this success, it is still a rewarding feeling. You know your student government is doing a good job when it is quietly humming in the background, making things easier for you as a student.”
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mentary filmmaking is not a career. It is a calling. It’s a serious commitment,” Yates said.
The Whitman College Pioneer is a weekly student-run newspaper published under the auspices of the Associated Students of Whitman College. The purpose of The Pioneer is to provide pertinent, timely news and commentary for Whitman students, alumni, faculty, staff and parents, as well as the Walla Walla community. The Pioneer is dedicated to expanding open discussion on campus about the issues with which students are most concerned. We provide coverage of Whitman-related news as well as featured local and regional events, and strive to maintain a standard of utmost fairness, quality and journalistic integrity while promoting freedom of the press. In addition, The Pioneer strives to be a learning tool for students who are interested in journalism. The Pioneer welcomes all feedback and publishes letters to the editor in print and online.
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Senior ASWC senator resigns from position
by DANIEL KIM Staff Reporter
fter serving as senator for the fall semester, senior Nilce Alvarez has decided to step down from her Associated Students of Whitman College position due to health reasons. Though the second semester is well into its second month, her seat has yet to be filled, and ASWC has begun reaching out to runners-up in the election last spring. Alvarez decided not to return to ASWC during winter break and has cut back on her involvement at Whitman to focus on recovery. “I quit senate and every other responsibility including most of my academics because of health reasons. As a matter of fact, I was contemplating a leave of absence this semester but decided to stay and extend my studies into next semester [and] delay my graduation to December while I take care of my health,” said Alvarez in an email. Currently, the ASWC Senate is in the beginning stages of filling the open position. During the process, junior and ASWC Oversight Chair Audrey Vaughan has to ask each candidate individually and allow him or her the proper amount of time to think about the position. “People have to think about it and decide whether they have time for it or interest holding the position. So it takes a cou-
Age of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES
Estimated number of political prisoners in North Korea SOURCE: UNHRC
Estimated number of people that have been victims of North Korea’s “enforced disappearances” and taken away from their home country since 1950. SOURCE: UNHRC
Number of people, in millions, who face food insecurity in North Korea. A major famine in 2011 heightened existing food shortages. SOURCE: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Community provides shelter for homeless during cold from HOMELESS, page 1
Corrections to last issue On page 2 in “Board of Trustees meets to address diversity and divestment,” it should have been reported that the governing boards meet three times per year. On page 6 the headline for “Mixed emotions found during Intercultural Center OP trip” had a spelling error. On page 6 the headline for Anu Lingappa’s column should have said “Whitman science division in need of diversity.” On page 7 in “One Acts exhibit power of Whitman unity” Tyler Schuh should have been credited as a junior. On page 7 in “One Acts exhibit power of Whitman unity” Tyler Schuh, Theo Ciszewski and Josh Tacke should have been credited as writing the One Acts instead of directing the One Acts.
IN THE NEWS
ple days for each person to decide, and doing it over email is hard as well,” said Vaughan. Since the position is an elected position, it will be filled by one of the runners-up. With the plentiful number of qualified runners-up, Vaughn is unsure which runner-up will take the position. “As we’ve done in the past, we’re going through the list of runners-up in the election to see if they’re interested in the position,” said Vaughan. “I can’t remember the exact number, but there is a good number of them.” Although Alvarez decided to resign from her position as a senator midway through this fall semester, she was able to finish up her obligations and leave everything tied up. “Because it happened at the beginning of this semester, over winter break, she was able to wrap up things from last semester and not leave anything hanging,” said Vaughan. Filling the open position is a process that requires time and efforts of other ASWC members. However, ASWC is understanding of Alvarez’s need to stay healthy. “I’m happy [Alvarez] is taking care of herself, and I think it was the right decision to resign, and there are not any hard feelings or anything. I’m excited to find out who is going to fill the position,” said Vaughan.
ASWC H W
members of all the groups in in the first initiative as well as a group of volunteers, many of them Whitman students involved with United Way of Walla Walla County. Rev. Adam Kirtley, minister at the First Congregational Church and coordinator of spiritual and religious life at Whitman, played a part in bringing many of those volunteers in. He credits the community’s spirit with the center’s success. “The Walla Walla community, generally, seems quite supportive, and it is humbling to witness first hand the generosity of folks,” Kirtley said. “The center was staffed by some incredibly kind folks, several of whom were willing to forgo a night of sleep in order to make sure that it could be staffed.” Senior Mares Asfaha, social media intern at Helpline Walla Walla, worked on a campaign to raise awareness about the center and about homelessness in general. The campaign comprised a media blitz of sorts, including flyers, newspaper articles, announcements on the radio and social media updates. “The first time ... they figured everything out the day before, and we’re not sure how many homeless people did know about it,” Asfaha said. “This time, we got the word out, so that helped a lot.” Now that the weather has cleared up, there’s no guarantee that the center will return in the future. The council has begun discussing possibilities, but Walla Walla will have to wait a while for a more permanent shelter. Meanwhile, a number of other organizations already provide shelters for the county’s homeless. These include the Christian Aid Center, the YWCA and the STEP Women’s Shelter. For the time being, the danger has passed and the homeless can sleep a little easier thanks to the work of the community. “I just think it’s really great that everyone banded together to get this set up,” Asfaha said. ADVERTISEMENTS
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Divest Whitman moves in new direction by SARAH CORNETT News Editor
espite the Board of Trustees stating in a letter released on Feb. 8 that Whitman will not divest from fossil fuel companies, the student group Divest Whitman hasn’t lost sight of their goal for the college to divest. The letter, which held that board members did not view divestment from fossil fuels to be in the best interest of the college, has left group members disappointed, especially because it did not meet recommendations encouraged by an ASWC resolution passed last year. It asked trustees to limit future investments in fossil fuel companies and to create a committee with trustees, faculty, students and staff to look into divesting and how it could affect the returns of the college. The lack of response to these two recommendations left Smith and other divestment activists feeling like the trustees could have given it more consideration. “At first glance at their letter, it didn’t look to me like the trustees were honestly engaging in the issue,” said junior Collin Smith, one of the leaders of Divest Whitman. The group is now determining their next steps following the move by the trustees. The visibility achieved by the statement and the response to it, which put divestment in the spotlight, were positive aspects they hope to expand upon as they continue their campaign. “At least we pushed them to respond,” Smith said. “Their response tells us that they know [divestment] is an issue, which is a win for us.” Whitman is joining other college campuses who have received formal nos from their school administrations. Divest Whitman is looking to the recently estab-
lished National Escalation Strategy Team of other campus divestment movements looking to strategize together following administrative responses similar to that of Whitman’s Board of Trustees. NEST includes Pomona, Harvard and Middlebury, among others. “We’re hoping to learn from them when it’s appropriate to escalate and when it’s not. A lot of times, it has to be at the perfect juncture,” said sophomore Taylor Cook, the art and design coordinator for Divest Whitman. Smith believes the changed focus for the movement and the response from the trustees have been exciting new steps for Divest Whitman. “This is something we can work with and build student momentum to keep pushing. We’ve already gotten new people interested following the statement,” Smith said. The group’s members are currently in what Smith calls a “brainstorming phase” and are planning to release an official response this week. Cook and other members of Divest Whitman are looking to creative expression as a possible next step, building on the large graffiti-style art piece that stood on Ankeny Field last spring. “I think our campus is ready for another expression about divestment. Art isn’t something printed and handed out like the trustees’ letter or pieces of campaign literature. It’s something everyone can look at and enjoy,” said Cook. Among their plans for the future are increased faculty involvement, a potential referendum to the student body and greater coordination with alumni and media. “Our plan is to take this to the student body. That’s one of the big next steps,” said Smith.
20 2014 PIO PICKS Each Thursday, The Pioneer highlights events happening on campus or in Walla Walla. Here are this week’s picks: Composers Spring Concert: Whitman students provide entertainment to the public with a compilation of their original compositions. Friday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall
Painting with Bob Ross: Come and paint with the residents of the Fine Arts House under the brilliant instruction of Bob Ross. Bob Ross gained fame from his show, “The Joy of Painting,” which ran on PBS throughout the 80s. Broccoli and art supplies will be provided to you by the FAH.
Friday, Feb. 21, 4:30 p.m., Fine Arts House
Foreign films available at Penrose Library best part is that every film mentioned in this article is available in the second floor DVD section of Penrose Library, so you have no excuse not to check them out!
VINCENT WARNE First-year
Japanese: Japan has a rich film history, and there are hundreds of great films to choose from. Samurai films are a good place to start. They’re very similar to American Western films, and they often have lots of humor and cool swordplay. Samurai films by director Akira Kurosawa are especially good, including “Yojimbo,” “Sanjuro,” “Seven Samurai” and “Ran.” “The Face of Another” is a great modern Frankenstein tale (but weirder), and “Sonatine” is a recent example of a good Yakuza film. For something more low key, Yasujiro Ozu’s family dramas are restrained masterpieces. “Tokyo Story” and “Late Spring” are good starting points. The gargantuan drama, “The Human Condition,” tells the tragic story of a motivated young worker in Japan who has increasingly bad things happen to him during World War II. At nearly 10 hours long, it’s good for a watch on a rainy day.
earning a new language can sometimes be a drag. Endless hours of studying verb tenses, memorizing vocabulary and reading boring textbooks can take the fun out of language learning. The best solution to this problem? Visit a country that speaks the language you’re learning and take in the local culture. But that’s expensive. The next best thing? Movies. Watching films in the language you’re learning is both entertaining and educational, a rare combination. The films listed below are some of the best that each language has to offer. The
Look online for a review of Beck’s new LP and a video of slam poet Suzi Q Available online at whitmanpioneer.com/category/arts/
German: Germany has consistently produced great films. Werner Herzog is one of the greatest directors to come out of Germany. His films are impressively intense, especially his collaborations with the insane actor Klaus Kinski, such as “Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” “Nosferatu the Vampyre” and “Fitzcarraldo.” “Fitzcarraldo” is fascinating because Herzog decided to tell the story of a man who pulls a steamship over a mountain by actually pulling a steamship over a mountain. Anything by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the prolific director who made over 40 films in his 15-year career, is worth watching. “Wings of Desire” is a modern classic that tells a humanistic story about angels in Berlin right before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It also has a killer soundtrack featuring Nick Cave. There are a lot of great German silent films as well, including “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” “Metropolis,” “Sunrise,” “The Oyster Princess” and “Nosferatu.” Spanish: Spanish is a widely-spoken language, so there are a lot of great Spanish-language films from a lot of different times and places. Some of the best recent Span-
ish films include “Y Tu Mamá También,” “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “No.” Also, as a general rule, pretty much every movie by Pedro Almodovar is great, including his recent film “The Skin I Live In,” which is a disturbing thriller about a mad scientist (played by Antonio Banderas) performing some devious surgical experiments. Some great Spanish-language films from the past are “El Norte,” “Cria Cuervos” and, a personal favorite, “The Spirit of the Beehive,” which mixes fairy tales and harsh reality through the eyes of a child. It was a big inspiration for “Pan’s Labyrinth.” French: France has produced some of the most unique films the world has ever seen, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. During this time, the rebels of the French new wave broke all the rules and reinvented the language of film. “The 400 Blows,” “Band of Outsiders,” “La Jetée” and “Hiroshima Mon Amour” are all impressive, convention-shattering films that feel fresh even today. For something more classic, Jean Cocteau can’t be beaten, and his surreal “Orpic Trilogy” and “La Belle et la Bête” (the best “Beauty and the Beast” adaptation) should not be missed. There are some fantastic modern French-
American Abstract Mokuhanga Exhibit: Artist Karen Kunk from the University of Nebraska will be giving a speech to welcome this new exhibit, which features pieces from 17 Japanese woodblock artists. The exhibit will be open for the public Feb. 19 through April 19. Friday, Feb. 21, 5:30 p.m., Olin 130
Walla Walla Symphony Concert: Come listen to David Hyunsu Kim and the Walla Walla Symphony playing Piano Soiree No. 4. Tickets are available online or at the door for $10 for students. Saturday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall
Kevin Schemm Lecture: The economics department presents a William Allen-Boeing endowed lecture featuring VicePresident of Finance & Strategy and Chief Financial Officer for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Kevin Schemm.
Monday, Feb. 24, 7:00 p.m., Kimball Auditorium
language films as well, like “The Three Colors Trilogy,” a trio of incredible films that examine the meaning of the colors of the French flag through three separate but connected stories. Additionally, “Incendies” is a heartbreaking French-Canadian drama about two siblings searching for their father against the backdrop of civil war in the Middle East. This film has a great soundtrack featuring Radiohead and a devastating finalé.
Sixth Annual Global Studies Symposium
The Global Studies Initiative and the Ashton J. and Virginia Graham O’Donnell Endowment in Global Studies
Symposium Panelists Sudharshan Seneviratne
Professor of Archaeology at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka “Work, Labour & Hegemony: Structures, Mechanisms and Ideology of Production In Early South Asia”
Tim Reed ’15
Philosophy major, respondent
Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Deputy Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa “Sex Work as Work: Grappling with Morality, Human Rights and Public Health”
Tatiana Kaehler ’15
Independently planned Health Science, Policy, and Culture major, respondent
Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
1-4 p.m. Maxey Auditorium Free and open to the public
Thursday, Feb. 20 7-10 p.m. Maxey Auditorium Free and open to the public
The documentary “Citizen Koch” shows how billionaires undermined public workers’ unions in Wisconsin. A Q&A will follow with award-winning filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin.
Kristen Whittington ’15 Economics major, respondent
Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures: Japanese, respondent
Symposium Filmic Prequels “Citizen Koch”
Associate Professor in the Women’s Studies Program at Duke University “Refusing Work and Imagining Nonwork”
Friday, Feb. 21 4-6 p.m. Kimball Theatre Free and open to the public
The documentary “Jornaleros” (“Day-Laborers”) will be followed by a Q&A with Portland based activist/filmmaker Romeo Sosa of VOZ.
Assistant Professor of Economics, respondent
Professor of Religion, George Hudson Ball Chair of Humanities; Director of Global Studies and moderator
5 Grounds crew defeats another winter 20 2014
by DREW EDMONDS Staff Reporter
n Feb. 11, 2014, President George Bridges held a lunch to honor the heroic efforts of Physical Plant employees, specifically members of the grounds crew, during the past couple weeks of harsh winter conditions. The event served to commemorate all of the people who maintain campus behind the scenes. These individuals work under the radar, sometimes starting their shifts as early as 3 a.m. in order to finish before students start their day. They are tasked with preserving an attractive environment without anybody noticing, regardless of what the weather throws at them. “You see people out there plowing snow for your sidewalks in the winter, and they become noticeable, but they blend in when they are just picking up leaves and trimming the shrubs. The same people are there working hard all year long,” said Maintenance Supervisor Randy Coleman, who has held his position for the past 10 years at Whitman. The Physical Plant itself is divided into three sections. The maintenance staff take care of all the buildings on campus, the grounds crew is in charge of the exterior campus and the academic custodians are focused on janitorial services. Coleman, who started out as a heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician, has learned to meet the high demands of students and faculty on campus. “One of the biggest challenges in the maintenance department is trying to respond to everybody’s needs quickly,” said Coleman. The recent snowstorm has
topped the charts for some Whitman students since they arrived in Walla Walla, but Physical Plant employees maintain that the snow this winter is nothing special. Grounds Supervisor Bob Biles has been working at Whitman for just under 20 years. “If you take all the people that are on my crew, we have well over 100 years of combined experience on this campus. There’s nothing that we haven’t really seen,” he said. As temperatures start to drop, and the snow starts falling in early winter every year, the maintenance team’s biggest worry is the heating and piping throughout the buildings. About five years ago, Coleman recalls, the sprinkler pipes froze in the attic of Lyman House. The ice expanded, splitting the pipes and flooding an entire section of all four floors of the building. Remembering the difficulty of separating and sorting students’ damaged personal items, Coleman says that now they monitor the sprinkler system much more closely. For Coleman’s department, the responsibilities and challenges remain fairly consistent year round, but Biles tells a different story. Every year is a little bit different, he says, but the grounds crew always operates on a three-season cycle. Beginning with growing season in the middle of March through most of October, Biles’s team of eight full-time employees, all with over 10 years of experience, work to nurture the plants and trees concentrated on campus. The team then deals with leaves in the fall until December, when they change their mechanical equip-
ment for snow and ice removal. The name of the game for Biles’s team is flexibility. “All of us are always on call,” said Biles. “The past couple of weeks we’ve often been in around 3 a.m. It’s kind of a minute-by-minute deal.” With only eight full-time workers on his crew, Biles is often forced to make decisions about how he allocates his labor. The school’s progressive sick leave policy, where staff are allowed four weeks paid vacation and one day per month in sick leave, does not always help. “I’m not saying it’s a problem, but the sick leave policy can create a dilemma,” said Biles. “We have just enough people. We don’t have any excess in labor. If somebody is sick or hurt or pulled away because of a family situation that puts an extra burden on us.” The recent snowfall certainly meant longer days for grounds crew members, but it’s nothing compared to what they have seen in the past. Challenging winter circumstances are a frequent occurrence in Walla Walla, stretching back to Biles’s first couple days on the job. Eighteen years ago, it was 10 degrees below zero, and ice began to form all across campus. After a few hours, the ice had grown 4 inches thick. “The entire physical plant was out there with ice picks trying to chip ice off the sidewalk. That was probably the worst thing that I’ve encountered,” he said. Now, with temperatures finally rising, Biles and his team can rest easy. For the grounds crew, the change of pace from plowing snow to mowing lawns and getting ready to start planting flowers will be nothing short of refreshing.
President George Bridges (middle photo) converses with Physical Plant staff at a lunch celebrating their hard work through the snowy winter months. Photos by Marcovici
Organic garden weathers snowfall, waits for spring by LANE BARTON Staff Reporter
The organic garden’s caretakers use techniques like “cover crops” and “cold frames” to combat the cold weather. Photos by Marcovici
ith snow falling hard last week, many students had to adjust to the cold realities of winter in Walla Walla, but for the organic garden and its caretakers, this kind of snowfall is just another part of their seasonal cycle. Due to the naturally cold winters in Walla Walla and the frequency of snow blocking out sunlight, the garden usually lays dormant for approximately four months of the year. “[Students] pretty much put [the garden] to sleep and just walk away from it from the middle of November until the middle of March,” said Landscape Supervisor Bob Biles. But while no active caretaking is undergone during these winter months, steps are taken in the fall to prepare the garden for the following spring. “During the winter we do cover crop ... we use peas and will plant them in the fall before the ground freezes, and they’ll hibernate when it snows and then start growing in the spring,” said senior Genevieve Jones, head of the Organic Garden Club. “They’ll put nitrogen back in the soil so that when we start our crop rotation, the soil is more replenished.” While cover crops are the technique of choice for the Organic Garden Club during winter, they have also used other options to combat the cold. One method is a cold frame, or a wooden box designed to insulate anything that it covers, which was recently designed by a member of the club to increase the growing duration of a small crop. Another more ambitious project that Biles, Jones and other members of the Organic Garden Club have discussed is the pos-
sibility of creating hoop houses for use during the winter months. These houses would use multiple hooped coverings to create zones of insulation to protect plants during cold weather. Hoop houses can be big enough to cover large amounts of crops, creating a possible avenue to continue production from November to March. But Biles notes this is a complicated project, and not something the Organic Garden Club is capable of doing immediately. “Actually having some sophisticated infrastructure is kind of beyond their capacity,” said Biles. Beyond the capability of building the houses, there is also the question of how they would be managed. One major challenge for the organic garden is that students are not around all year—winter break especially poses a problem for garden caretakers. The increased need to protect crops from the cold combined with decreased volunteers on campus would make it difficult to maintain the garden during this time, even if something like a hoop house was built. Additionally, there are other practical matters the Organic Garden Club needs to address in order to help the garden during more productive times than winter. “Even before the hooped beds, we’d probably go for some new irrigation drip tape, because our drip tape is pretty chewed through. So that might come before the project,” said Jones. While the possibility of hoop houses to help with winter growing is intriguing, it is unlikely to come to fruition until a member of the club sets out to complete what Jones estimates to be a two-year project. In the meantime, the organic garden will do exactly what it does every winter and wait out the cold snow until the warmth of spring arrives.
Nordic ski team rides strong season into nationals by Sarah Anderegg Staff Reporter
hitman students rejoiced in the recent snow flurries, using the white tundra of Ankeny as a field for snowball fights and snowman building. While approximately 1 foot of snow brought fun and games for some, Whitman’s Nordic ski team used it as a rare opportunity to get practice runs in around Ankeny as they prepare for Division III Nationals in Lake Placid, N.Y. Nordic skiing was originally a varsity sport at Whitman that produced alumna Holly Brooks ‘04, who is currently competing for the U.S. Nordic team in the Winter Olympics. However, six years ago the team was demoted to a club sport and much of its funding was cut. Despite these hurdles, a core group of about a dozen skiers still dedicate their time and bodies to a virtually unknown and under-advertised sport at Whitman. “When most people think of cross-country skiing, they think of a slow scenic hike in the snow. They don’t think of the sport part of it; they don’t see a team, but we really are a group of competitive ski racers,” said senior and team captain Lauren Elgee. Elgee co-captains the team
with sophomore Audrey Thimm and junior Kelsey Brennan, who is currently studying abroad in New Zealand. Without a coach, this trio has played a pivotal role in helping the team make it to U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association Nationals this year. For the first time, Whitman has been able to field a full men’s and women’s team at nationals, which impressively consists entirely of underclassmen. Representing the women are first-years Lauren Benedict, Riley Mehring, Isabel Mills and Galen Voorhees. Firstyear Colin McCarthy and sophomores Samuel Curtis and Greg Holdman are the three who earned spots competing on the men’s side. For those unfamiliar with this sport, there are two different techniques of Nordic skiing. “The easiest way to describe it is that you’re cross-country skiing, except it’s a race. One technique is called classic skiing, where you essentially look like you are jogging in the snow, and the other is called skate skiing, which is a lot like rollerblading or ice skating on skis,” said Curtis. While the general worldwide trend is moving more toward skate skiing, there are traditionalists who believe classic skating should remain the dominant technique. Training for a sport that re-
quires snow is difficult when attending school at Whitman. With the exception of this past week, Walla Walla is not known for its white winters, which means that the team has to both improvise their training regime and travel to get actual time on the snow. “Nordic skiing is extremely cardiovascular and uses just about every muscle group,” said Elgee, who got involved in Nordic skiing as a way to stay in shape during cross country’s off-season. “Practices consist of a lot of interval and long distance runs in Walla Walla and weight training in the gym, since there is usually no snow nearby” said Curtis. If they want to ski during they day, the team goes to Tollgate, a snowmobile park about 45 minutes away, or Anthony Lakes, which is about a three-hour drive away. “Time on the snow is really important because those kind of movements are difficult to mimic away from the mountain and snowy areas,” said Voorhees. Although Nordic skiing is an individual sport, its tightknit, tradition-based community makes this event differ from many other sports. For Voorhees, this sense of community is one of her favorite aspects of skiing. “The ski community is a really
welcoming and supporting community that upholds so much tradition. Going along the race course hearing all the cow bells and hearing people you don’t even know cheer for you is such a powerful feeling,” she said. In addition to this friendly atmosphere, Nordic skiing is both therapeutic and a form of art for many skiers. “It is my way of expressing myself and letting loose anything that is on my mind,” said Curtis.
Similarly, Voorcompared it to ballet. “In a lot of ways Nordic skiing and ballet share the same grace and fluidity. It makes me feel like I am flying and is the closest way I can get to nature. It’s almost meditative—just you, your breathing, the snow and your skis” said Voorhees. Follow the Whitman Nordic ski team as they ski at the 2014 USCSA Nationals from March 9 to 15 in Lake Placid, N.Y. hees
Sochi journalists need to gain perspective Mitchell Smith First-year
RIDING THE PINE
y this point, everyone following the Olympics has heard of or read the torrent of coverage from the Western media in Sochi complaining about the conditions of hotels and how unprepared Russia was for the Olympics to begin. In fact, the Twitter account that highlights these issues, “Sochi Problems,” already has more followers (342,000) than the official Twitter account of the games themselves (235,000). This is a problem. The fact that Western journalists think the biggest story around the Olympics is that their bathrooms don’t have shower curtains or that they don’t have any place to hang their suits represents
Western countries poorly and says a lot about those journalists in general. Now, thanks to their complaints, the main focus of the Olympics is not the elite athletes who have devoted thousands of hours over many years to perfecting their skills. Instead the spotlight has turned to those who should be remaining anonymous: the journalists sent to cover those athletes. Not only has the focus of the games somewhat shifted away from the games themselves, but some of the issues these journalists continue to complain about are problems that Russians feel eve-
ry day. Reporters have tweeted photos of dirty water coming from the taps. This sounds bad, but according to President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Jean Lemierre, only about half of Russians had access to drinking water that met reasonable standards of cleanliness in 2002. Russian President Vladimir Putin even admitted that he sometimes has dirty water come out of his taps. Apparently, many parts of rooms are missing and beds are smaller than expected. Welcome to a standard of living for many in Russia that isn’t as high as that of journalists in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. What these journalists have apparently forgotten is that they only have to deal with these problems for two weeks, while many Russians have to accept dirty tap water their entire lives. Possibly the worst example of pompous western journalism came when Cathal Kelly, a columnist for the Toronto Star, sent out a series of tweets criticizing the gift bag given to journalists in Sochi. The bag includ-
ed a passport holder, a pen, a teddy bear, an eyeshade and an Ethernet cord, which Kelly tweeted was the only reason he picked the bag up. “As in life,” tweeted Kelly, “you know how much people care by the crap they give you.” It must be rough to travel for free to Russia for two weeks, watch some of the best athletes in the world and receive a disappointing commemorative gift basket. What these journalists need to remember is that if they want so badly to be anywhere but Sochi, there are thousands that will take their places. I’ll go, even if I have to sleep in a tent.
Colin McCarthy ‘17 (top) and Samuel Curtis ‘16 compete for the Whitman Nordic ski team at the Spokane Junior National Qualifiers. The team is looking forward to nationals in Lake Placid, N.Y. starting March 9. Photos contributed by Lauren Benedict
Women’s tennis seeks winning mentality by Cole Anderson Staff Reporter
ot only did the women’s tennis team win a Northwest Conference title last spring, they also went to the NCAA national tournament, proving they were a force to be reckoned with. This season the goal is no different for the team, as they look not just to make nationals again, but to make the Elite Eight portion of the tournament. With a large emphasis on practice mentality and an improvement on the overall depth of the lineup, the team is optimistic about their upcoming season. “We’ve stressed that to get better, it needs to come from everyone, and it has truly been a team effort to improve,” said Head Coach John Hein. Though tennis is in large part an individual sport, the mentality of the team couldn’t be more cohesive and team-oriented, and this has garnered improvement already. “The past two years when we played nationally-ranked teams, there were spots that we almost had to win because we were so good at the top of the lineup and just weren’t as deep as the top teams. Now, any day against any opponent
“I think we definitely have that target on our back. But I think that’s good for us; we want to be able to step up and perform and show that we’re even better. So I definitely think it’s motivation for us.” Jenna Dobrin ‘16
we know we can go out and win at any of the nine spots,” said Hein. Practice mentality has been a large focus so far, and after every practice the players try to remind themselves and their teammates what they are ultimately practicing for. “After every practice we’ll assess, ‘Did we have that Elite Eight Championship mentality today?’ That’s something we’re trying to bring to every practice so that when we get to the competition, it’s natural,” said sophomore Jenna Dobrin. Part of that overall team im-
provement has been an effort to improve the well-roundedness of each player, something junior Maddy Webster has been focusing on so far. “I want to keep a balanced season, with fitness, tennis and academics. It’s really cool because this season we’re doing a lot of balance within tennis. We’re going to have tennis and yoga and weights, and so there’s a focus on the mental game as well as the physical,” said Webster. Off the court, the team is already very close, since they travel together and are students here at Whitman together. But their trip to Hawaii over winter break was something that brought the team even closer than they were before and also gave them an opportunity to compete against top-tier opponents early on. “It was a great way to come into season, having team bonding and being really relaxed while also playing tennis the whole time. We would practice a few hours a day and play matches as well, but we also had a lot of time to relax and have fun together,” said Webster. Having the opportunity to actually play against great competition was also an important part of the trip. “It was a really different way to start the season. We went right into competing against some really talented teams, but I think we really stepped it up and delivered, and I think it set a good tone for our team coming into this season,” said Dobrin. The trip was a good way to relax a bit with the team before what could prove to be a very competitive season, given the team’s success last year. Though there is pressure from being the conference champions last season, the team is looking forward to that added attention. “I’m not sure if there is more or less, but there is pressure, and we enjoy it ... it makes what we do so much fun,” said Hein. Dobrin shares her coach’s thoughts on the subject. “I think we definitely have that target on our back. But I think that’s good for us; we want to be able to step up and perform and show that we’re even better. So I think it’s definitely motivation for us,” said Dobrin. The champion mentality that is the focus this year was put to the test early with a home match against University of La Verne, a school ranked 28th nationally. It ended in a narrow 5-4 loss.
Morgan Lawless ‘15 prepares to serve during practice. Photo by Bowersox
Men’s v. George Fox Feb.14: L 98-95 v. Linfield Feb.15: W 91-63 v. Whitworth University Feb.18: L 79-76 Women’s v. George Fox Feb.14: W 51-46 v. Linfield Feb.15: W 80-53 v. Whitworth University Feb.18: W 84-69
v. Hardin-Simmons Feb.14: W 7-4 v. UT-Dallas Feb.14: L 11-5 v. Hendrix Feb.15: W 6-4 v. Schreiner Feb.17: W 14-5, W 19-6
Men’s v. Lewis-Clark State Feb.17,: L 5-4, W 8-1 Women’s v. La Verne Feb.16: L 5-4
Men’s v. Lewis & Clark College Feb.22: AWAY Women’s v. Lewis & Clark College Feb.22: AWAY
Men’s v. Linfield College Feb.21: AWAY v. Willamette University Feb.22: AWAY Women’s v. Linfield College Feb.21, 3:00p.m.: HOME v. Willamette Feb.22, 12:00p.m.: HOME v. Eastern Washington Feb.23: AWAY
Lessons of Obama’s presidency should not be saved for farewell address Kyle Seasly Junior
hen George Orwell first arrived in Barcelona in 1936, as described in “Homage to Catalonia,” he believed he had witnessed a legitimate and profound social revolution.
[Obama’s] parallels with the Bush administration are far too many to truly experience the change he called for. “Every shop and café had an inscription saying that it had been collectivized ... Waiters and shop-walkers looked you in the face and treated you as an equal. Servile and even ceremonial forms of speech had temporarily disappeared. Nobody said ‘Se-
ñor’ or ‘Don’ or even ‘Usted;’ everyone called everyone else ‘Comrade’ and ‘Thou,’ and said ‘Salud!’ instead of ‘Buenos días,’” he said. The social revolution, however, collapsed months later and the people of Barcelona returned to their old ways. The opportunity, Orwell insisted, was missed because the government of Spain insisted on moderation rather than pushing revolution. Revolution was first met with broad enthusiasm, yet moderation was emphasized because the Spanish Republic feared that revolution would distract from winning the war. Instead, the Spanish government seemed to represent the status quo (which had led to a military coup), rather than pushing for revolution. Unrest and apathy continued among the many leftist groups who were supposedly united against Franco. The Spanish government denied both a war and a revolution, implicitly denying itself the mobilization of millions of workers in Spain and around the world, and it was defeated three years later with the help of Italian and German fascists. President Barack Obama seems to be in the same conundrum as the Spanish government. He was elected in 2008 to shouts of “change,” while
riding on the general resentment of the Bush years, and he soundly defeated his opponent in the U.S. Electoral College and the popular vote. Obama himself had gained the spotlight at the 2004 Democratic convention by opposing the war in Iraq and delivering messages of hope to the alienated Democratic Party. Yet Obama’s residency in the White House has been met with frustration. His opponents paint him as a “socialist,” yet I don’t see enough calls for change. His parallels with the Bush administration are far too many to truly experience the change that he called for; they include the Patriot Act, the continued wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his drone policy, his Guantanamo policy, his lack of backbone against white-collar crimes and the National Security Agency. Matt Taibi, the Rolling Stone political correspondent, commented on this in “Spanking the Donkey.” “I’ve become so disenchanted with the Democratic party ... what it offers ... is a series of positions ... tax policy, balanced budgets, educational spending. None of the proposals are ever fundamental changes ... the candidates therefore become buffoons straight out of Voltaire: crusaders
Mease not Mooses by Asa Mease
United States must reconsider rhetoric of‘corpse for corpse’ Andy monserud First-year
BASIC PLEBIAN INSTINCTS
Keep Whitman divestment buzz alive Sam Chapman Junior
A MOVING FOREST
or those of you who don’t know, the situation for Whitman College’s fossil fuel divestment campaign has taken a sharp turn. Until now, the members of the 350 council have focused on changing the minds on the Board of Trustees, who just released a statement some might think puts the issue to bed. “Although we appreciate the significant symbolic value of fully divesting the small exposure the college has in these companies, we find divestment difficult to reconcile with our reliance on these companies to heat our buildings, power our electronics and fuel our transportation,” the letter reads. “Therefore, we believe there are more effective ways for the college to be a leader in combating the effects of climate change.” People now like to cry that divestment is dead, but I’ve spent time with the people spearheading the movement before, and they are so determined and resilient that I hes-
itate to declare their efforts dead until they themselves are actually, physically dead. In fact, I suspect the trustees’ decision is ultimately immaterial, if not perversely helpful. My opinion of divestment has always been that its goals take a backseat to its process, that actually removing fossil fuels from Whitman’s endowment portfolio is secondary to making as much noise as possible, so as to keep the conversation going about our individual contributions to climate change. Viewed this way, there is no bad publicity. At least the trustees’ letter has everyone talking again. It forces the environment to the forefront of the debate, a critical effect in an arena where apathy is our worst enemy. So what’s the problem? Placing the 350 campaign in this role leaves its activists necessarily static. All they can do is eternally find ways to keep climate change fresh in our minds, a Sisyphean task even if you’re not dealing with 1,500 overworked college zombies. There’s no way to win and innumerable ways to lose. How can we fix this? Clearly, divestment needs an endgame. But all the rhetoric surrounding it starts by acknowledging that it can’t harm the profits of fossil fuel companies. First of all, what people don’t say after that is that there are plenty of other great ways to harm the profits of fossil fuel companies. In my last column, I called for a return to the Age of Sail. Carbon taxes, or cre-
ating a green energy infrastructure that even comes close to rivaling the one we have for dirty energy, would be great ways to do this as well, but that’s a subject for another week. One solution for divestment movements across the country might be to persevere, as described above, until they come into enough power to affect these solutions. I call this the generation kill switch. Eventually, the young people who are far more aware of environmental problems will be the ones making decisions to solve them. Unfortunately, waiting that long will leave a lot of mess to clean up. Despite not having been involved in 350 for a long while, I still get their updates, and their goal for the post-trustee phase intrigues me: go viral. It’s the perfect solution to the necessity of keeping buzz alive by themselves: distribute the load. Instead of one long, continuous slow burn of a message, take the one you were planning to send by divesting, rework it and get the world to repeat it for you. I have always seen the environmental endgame as a revolution not in technology, but in consciousness, and people who are as dedicated as our campus activists surely can unite to spread that message even though the trustees don’t agree. The trick is to spread their ideals in such a way that they need not be carriers. It’s a task I do not envy, though I still believe they can do it.
Voices from the Community
for change, campaigning on a platform of minor improvements to this best of all possible worlds,” he said. Indeed, the dynamic between the Democratic and Republican parties has for me been a choice between a Hindenberg and a Hitler. Hindenberg represents the status quo, which is bad but seems the only way to defeat Hitler, who would be much worse. I don’t want to have to make that choice. Obama perhaps missed his opportunity for change by pursuing a moderate course because that is what the mainstream media paints as electable. His chance in 2009 was squandered, but he has three more years to make changes. The NSA and healthcare debacles threaten to make his greatest legacy “cash for clunkers,” but I think there’s still time. Obama is still learning, and perhaps the best lessons of the presidency are saved for the farewell address, like Washington warning against political parties and Eisenhower speaking against the military-industrial complex, but people rarely listen to these lessons.
n Tuesday, Feb. 11, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that he would suspend the death penalty for the duration of his term. Washington will execute none of its nine death row inmates until Inslee leaves office. It’s a good indicator of Inslee’s opinion on the topic and hopefully a predictor of things to come. The death penalty is probably the world’s oldest form of criminal punishment. Hammurabi’s Code, among the old-
Only 18 states have banned the death penalty, and Washington, Oregon and California, despite their reputation as the liberal bastions of the far West, are not among them. It’s time that changed. est known examples of writing, prescribes the death penalty for crimes as minor as robbery. The threat of death has hung over suspected criminals for the entirety of human memory. Until recently, I had no strong stance on the death penalty. I grew up in Minnesota, where the death penalty was abolished in 1911, so capital punishment never really had any relevance whatsoev-
er to my life or the communities in which I lived. Even now, the idea of capital punishment is far detached from life as I see it. Since moving to within a couple miles of those nine death-row inmates, I’ve realized that Minnesotans convicted of homicide (a charge leveled against almost all death-row inmates) live a privileged existence of sorts. Only 18 states have banned the death penalty, and Washington, Oregon and California, despite their reputation as the liberal bastions of the far West, are not among them. It’s time that changed. The most prominent arguments in favor of capital punishment are that it saves money on prison accommodations, that it gives the families of victims the knowledge that their relatives’ killers are dead and that it deters against homicide. All three points are at best questionable, and two of them are flatout wrong. States without capital punishment have consistently lower murder rates than those with capital punishment, and on average each execution costs the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of additional dollars on the prosecution alone. As long as the death penalty exists, each executed felon will rapidly be replaced with another. It’s a perpetual motion machine of death and taxes. The fiscal argument conveniently ignores the real problem with America’s prisons—we incarcerate far too many people without doing anything to remove the root causes of crime rates. This parallels the issues with the second and most subjective argument in favor of capital punishment, which draws our attention to the feelings of the victims’ families. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees to make here. I have no right to tell anyone how he or she should feel, and neither does the government. But since “an eye for an eye” is no longer on the books, perhaps we should reconsider the rhetoric of “a corpse for a corpse.”
What are you most excited to learn about at the Power and Privilege Symposium?
Poll by NILCE ALVAREZ
“The diverse range of workshops that we have that include discussions of race, gender and sexual orientation. I think the Power and Privilege Symposium is really all-encompassing of the different kinds of identities we have in society nowadays. I’m really excited that we will be touching on all of them.”
“To hear a lot of the perspectives on race, especially [because] this year there is more of an emphasis on different multi-racial identities, and I think that for me that has a lot of personal significance .... It’s going to be really cool to hear other people’s perspectives on what that means.”
“I am looking forward to understanding white privilege and how to be an ally. I think for me it’s just going to be a lot of stepping back and listening and finding ways that I can better understand systems of oppression and ways to combat them ... [I want] to see what I can do to be a better ally and support social justice.”
“To really learn how to have a great dialogue, great conversations and intelligent discussions about these issues that are so prevalent on campus ... [It’s] not just being educated on the issues; it’s also having the tools and the background to be able to discuss your point amiably but without backing down.”
Obama comes out as dog person, cats ambivalent
n Feb. 15, it was confirmed that U.S. President Barack Obama is not a cat person. Vice President Joe Biden posted several YouTube videos of cats on President Obama’s Facebook wall and was not met with enthusiasm. “He posted so many adorable clips of cats playing the piano, hiding in boxes and performing intensive neurosurgery—you know, the usual stuff—but the president was not at all excited,” said White House Press Secretary Cay Jarney. Indeed President Obama’s public relations team posted an official response to the videos. “We are sorry to inform the American people that the president is entirely uninterested in cat videos. Though some individuals may find them adorable or even hilarious, the president is not a cat person. We hope that even though others may identify as cat people, that they will respect President Obama’s identity as a dog person. Thank you,” read the official report. This interaction has stirred
Mrs. Teed: A Profile
e all know the man in charge of running the Associated Students of Whitman College. We all know about his spirit, his dedication and his love of horsies. We all know Rim Teed. He takes care of our laws and policies and uses our student funds deftly. But there remains one question: is he single? Well, I am sorry to report, ladies and gentleman, that there is indeed a Mrs. Teed. Fueled by a strong journalistic drive and decidedly not by a creepy need to know everything about everyone, I set out to discover the truth, dedicating many hours and late nights Facebook stalking—by which I mean researching—the lovely Mrs. Teed. Here are the facts I have uncovered: Of course we all love and support our president, not only out of fear that he will revoke our club funding, but does Mrs. Teed really put up with all of those late nights in the ASWC office? She does. Not only does she like all of Teed’s Facebook posts, even the boring ASWC ones, she also sends him uplifting and hilarious pics, such as the lovable
Doge meme. Such support. Very love. So ASWC. Wow. Amaze. Teed is famous for his love of horsies, since we all remember his rousing campaign, “Now is the Time for Horsies,” last fall. Well, Mrs. Teed shares that love of horsies, and she has a beautiful chestnut mare named Lady Buttercup Truffleton III. She and Teed frequently go horsey-back riding together on the beach at sunset, but the distance they drive to get to this beach is unclear. Other than take fabulous sunset horsey-back rides on the beach, what do the Teeds do? Being the most glamorous and powerful couple on campus, they must be out and about all the time, right? Wrong. The Teeds are truly very down-to-earth people. On any given Friday night, they can be found lounging in their off-campus mountain, watching Netflix on a 40inch plasma screen, eating tasteof takeout off a silver platter. All in all, we are glad, if only a little heartbroken, Teed, that you found such a wonderful first lady. ADVERTISEMENT
quite a bit of controversy. President Obama has received numerous death threats and there have even been rumors about presidential impeachment. Joseph Chan, a prominent member of the Tea Party, hopes that this will give Republicans an advantage in the next election. “I stand for an American America. We cannot have a man with truly un-American values running our country, the greatest country in the universe. It’s times like these that show us what really matters: bigotry, pro-life and cats,” said Chan. Despite the controversy, President Obama has been very straightforward about his views. On Tuesday he appeared on “Ellen” and opened up about his life as a dog person. Ellen praised Obama for his courage and pledged her support even though she identifies as a cat person. To President Obama’s family, his announcement came as no surprise. President Obama’s childhood friend, Austino Himmel, agreed. “Well, I always kind of sus-
pected it to be honest. I mean, he has two dogs right now, and when he was little, he never did like to play with cat stuffed animals. I figured it was only a matter of time,” said Himmel. President Obama’s close relative Madeline Redlich was relieved. “Now that he’s not hiding anything, I hope that he can live a happier and more fulfilled life. He can serve as a role model for other dog people around the country by showing that it really is okay to just not like cats,” she said. Perhaps the individuals who were most thrilled about President Obama’s announcement were his two Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny. “A weight has really been lifted off my shoulders. It feels like I can finally be myself around him. I hope that America will continue to support him, so that we can show the world that it doesn’t matter whether you identify as a cat person or a dog person. The only thing that matters is that you are a kind, loving person,” said Bo.
Presidents’ Day Crossword
Across: 4. Loved skinny dipping in the Potomac 7. Very fat, once got stuck in a bathtub 8. Only Roman Catholic president to date 9. Captain of his high school cheer team 10. Filed his own patent 13. Was shot in a train station 14. First language was Dutch 15. Famous Civil War general 16. Held office for 32 days 17. Very short, never exceeded 100 pounds 18. Had to borrow money to get to his inauguration 19. His name is also a verb 20. Made a strange speech about his dog Checkers Answers will be posted online next week.
Down: 1. Made his own suits 2. Bought many slaves in order to set them free 3. Famous for getting into duels 5. Had alligators as family pets 6. Served two nonconsecutive terms 7. Had 15 children 8. Most recent president to have no college degree 9. Known to “whip it out” in public 10. Lost White House china in a poker match 11. Did not have sexual relations with that woman 12. Served in both world wars 13. Held office for 12 years 14. Vomited on the Japanese prime minister 16. Known for his acting career 17. Capital of Liberia is named for him
Announcements on local club presidents Lez Pres Juarez says fez his Junior Juarez Hamilton, president of the local chapter of the Militant Lesbian Society, has admitted that the fez hat reading “misogynist pig” that appeared atop the statue of Marcus Whitman is indeed his. No word yet as to whether he will face administrative action for this. Bare fair chair Cher unaware of bear scare President of the Nudist Society on campus, senior Cher McIntyre, reported today that she had not been informed about the uptick of bear activity at Crystal Springs, the usual site of the Whitman College Annual Naked Carnival. She says inquiries are being made as to the danger posed by the animals but reassures students that the carnival will go ahead as planned with a possible change of venues. Pro snow bro Joe brought low by blow There was a scandal at the Olympics as Whitman student and head of the ski team sophomore Joe Johnson was accused of using cocaine before his qualifying round for the long jump. Johnson denies these allegations, but has been banned from practicing until they can be fully investigated. This could severely hurt his Olympic chances, and the whole Whitman community holds its breath and hopes the charges can be dismissed quickly. Brief relief for reef chief after disbelief about beef aperitif thief Senior Steven Angor, head of the Marine Biology Club on campus, was vindicated today after the apprehension of senior Daniel Halger, who, according to Angor, has been stealing the appetizers laid out for members of the club. For a long time it was believed that Angor had been making up the allegations because of a personal feud with Halger, but security cameras caught Halger in the act of slipping almost four pounds of meat into his bag before the Tuesday club meeting. Charges have not yet been filed in this case.
Latin satin napkin captain flattened Tragedy struck today when sophomore George Stevenson, the captain of the etiquette team, was run over by a steam-roller. Stevenson led the team to nationals this year with an exhibition on South American Table Manners. Little is known about the case at this time. More will be reported as it develops. ‘Cigar Car’ in reservoir after bizarre guitar star au-revoir The famous Walla Walla cigarette and cigar truck was found floating in the reservoir this morning after a strange series of events surrounding the lead guitarist of Gosh So Many Chimps, John Leroy, who came to play at Whitman College last Friday. It is as of yet unclear how the truck ended up in the water, but guests at the goodbye party say that Leroy had left the party to buy a pack of cigarettes and never returned. Police are still looking for Leroy. If you have any information, you are urged to contact the Whitman security office. Reader says cedar leader speeder
Conifer pollination expert and Whitman Professor of Biology Bill Kilketty has apparently been arrested for speeding this weekend, according to an anonymous reader. What this means for the Arboreal Club for which he is the faculty adviser is currently unknown. Salamander commander Alexander’s candor slander Sophomore Alexander Smith, president of the Amphibian Protection Club on campus, has been officially reprimanded by the school for calling the president of the Young Republicans, junior Amy Anderson, an “environment killer” in a Pioneer article concerning her talk on Wednesday about nuclear power. Apparently Smith had not even gone to the talk, which focused on assessing the environmental impact of nuclear power as opposed to fossil fuels. He has officially apologized. “I was drunk,” he said.