New Walla Walla Eateries Blue Palm, Frosted, Garden Vegan Café and Public House 124 moved into town this summer to offer a smorgasbord of variety.
Whittie Wisdom This week, Feature asked Whitman seniors to give advice to the incoming class of 2015 about how to take full advantage of the next four years.
www.whitmanpioneer.com | Whitman news since 1896 | Walla Walla, Washington
Harper Joy Theatre unveils new remodels
Whitties abuzz over ‘unpretentious’ t-shirts
by CAITLIN HARDEE A&E Editor
here is a striking new jewel on campus where the bland façade of Harper Joy Theatre used to stand. The hub of Whitman’s drama community underwent extensive remodeling over the summer. An expansive glass entrance leads the visitor into Harper Joy’s chambered heart. Whitman’s Garrett Professor of Dramatic Art, Nancy Simon, took a moment before leaving on sabbatical to London to explain the changes, most noticeably, the addition of a newer, larger “black box” theatre. “It’s a third again as large,” said Simon. “In one way it will be an advantage, because it can accommodate more scenery, and in another way that’s a disadvantage, because we have no additional staff. Of course, budgets are prohibitive . . . we’ve made a proposal to try to get some assistance in the shop. I don’t know whether or when that will happen.” Simon pointed out one of the revolutionary design features in the new black box. Instead of having to work on a ladder, or hang out off of a catwalk, you can just walk right out on the grid to hang and focus the lights. So it’s much faster and much safer.” Junior Merrett Krahn, who works as a carpenter, electrician and sound technician in Harper Joy, elaborated on the tension grid. see HARPER JOY, page 4
by JOSH GOODMAN Staff Reporter
St. Vincent ignites Coffeehouse season Indie goddess Annie Clark (St. Vincent) played to an captivated crowd on the Reid side lawn. Ranging from headbanded hipsters to leather-clad townsfolk, people flocked to see the delicate, barefooted songstress famed for working with artists like Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver. The singer’s ethereal voice and evocative guitar work drew an enthusiastic reception. Photos by Parrish
Memorial seismic upgrade pricey, more construction predicted by SHELLY LE News Editor
hough the last major earthquake to hit Walla Walla was in 1936 and seismic activity in the region remains fairly low, Whitman construction managers aren’t taking any chances. This summer, Whitman seismically upgraded Memorial, making the building more structurally sound in the event of an earthquake. The upgrade is the second part of a multiphase construction project affecting several different buildings on campus. The first part of this project was the seismic upgrade of Memorial’s clock tower last summer. According to Peter Harvey, Whitman’s treasurer and chief financial officer, the upgrade was long needed. “Memorial is over a hundred years old, and a risk with buildings like this is that in the event of an earthquake, bricks can fall off and they weren’t designed in a way to prevent that from happening,” he said. Over the summer, an exterior wall was placed around the foundation of the building, providing a perimeter wall to hold the foundation together. The exterior was also cleaned and the mortar around the bricks was re-grouted. Jeff Donahue, construction project manager, says that the construction team has been looking into other buildings on campus that are “unreinforced masonry buildings”—Prentiss and Lyman Halls among them. “[Prentiss and Lyman] are on the plan to be worked on in the future,” Donahue said. According to Donahue, the stairwell next to the Lyman kitchen was reinforced
Katri Gilbert ‘13, left, takes 2nd place at last Saturday’s invitational meet against Lewis-Clark College at Fort Walla Walla. Oliver Wood ‘13 (bib number 174) and Michael Jorgenson ‘14 (bib number 166), left, break into the top 10 in the 8k race against tough competition. The meet was attended by a crowd of Whitman fans, fellow athletes and supportive community members. Next up for the team is the Sundodger Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 17, in Seattle, Wash. Photos by von Hafften this summer. This was the first of future upgrades of other unreinforced buildings on campus. “What we’re doing in Lyman is [building] a shear to keep the stairwell together,” he said. Harvey anticipates more large and visible upgrades in Memorial and in the residence halls. He also predicted some simple projects, like installing more energy efficient light fixtures and new heating and cooling systems in administrative and academic buildings. The total cost for the two projects this summer was a little over a million dollars. Funds were taken from the college’s operating budget. Despite the cost, Donahue believes that preserving these buildings on campus is essential to maintaining the Whitman culture. “I think that [Memorial] is the icon of Whitman College,” he said. “You need to preserve these things, these are history.”
Cross-country kicks off season with twin sweep, deep roster by LIBBY ARNOSTI Sports Editor
hitman women took eight of the top 10 spots at the finish of the women’s race at the annual Whitman Invitational last Saturday. Junior Emilie Gilbert sprinted past the 6 km mark, posting a time of 23:24.89 to win the race by more than 20 seconds. Her twin sister, junior Katri Gilbert, finished second, leading a pack of talented Whitties. “Our team looks really strong this season. We have a lot of depth, and this meet was a great warm up,” said Katri Gilbert. While the Whitman men snuck just two runners into the top 10 against competitors from Lewis Clark State College, coach Scott Shields is anticipating a great season for both teams. “I feel fantastic about this season. They’re really excited and
ready to roll,” he said of his runners. The first finisher for the Whitman men was newcomer junior Oliver Wood who joined the team this year after two years at Whitman. The third finisher for the women is also new to the team— freshman Erin Campbell finished her 6 km in just over 24 minutes. “For a freshman to come out in her first college race and step up for her team like that is pretty impressive,” said Shields. A shuttle bus brought crowds of fans to cheer on their athletes from the sidelines, and varsity athletes from swimming and baseball came out to help set up and time for the race. “This is probably the best fan support we’ve ever had. And having the other sports come out and help with the meet really speaks volumes to how the varsity athletes are really tight—not just with their team, but really helping support each other outside of that,” said Shields.
hitman boasts an unpretentious culture—at least according to its website—but is it pretentious to say so? A new line of “unpretentious”branded t-shirts and sweatpants from the Whitman Bookstore has Whitties wearing the new statement with ironic pride. The new apparel, with “Unpretentious” printed across the front of t-shirts and the back of sweatpants, was inspired by a design shown as a joke in a presentation at Whitman’s annual Staff Development Day earlier this year. The first shipment arrived in midAugust, and bookstore employees say they’ve flown off the shelves since—as of Wednesday, Sept. 7, only one XXL t-shirt and four XL sweatpants remained unsold. The use of the word “unpretentious” stems from an eightmonth-old theme on Whitman’s website: academic excellence, unpretentious Northwest culture and engaging community. The administration, which worked with Zoom Marketing of Palo Alto, Calif., to create the theme, has asserted that prospective, rather than current, students were the intended audience for the message. Still, students have expressed frustration with the term, finding that it is rather pretentious to call oneself unpretentious, as highlighted in an article in The Pioneer last April. Sophomore Ben Menzies, who purchased one of the t-shirts last month, said that he bought the shirt because he disagreed with the “unpretentious northwest culture” slogan. “If you wear it and call attention to the weirdness of the slogan, you’re disassociating yourself from the slogan, which I appreciate because I don’t necessarily want to be associated with unpretentious Northwest culture,” he said. Menzies said that while he thought it would be pretentious to wear the shirt uncritically, he didn’t think that would happen at Whitman. “I don’t think anyone saw the shirt in the bookstore and said, ‘Yeah, I’m unpretentious, I should wear that shirt,’” he said. Sophomore Russell Sperberg said he bought one of the tshirts as soon as he saw someone else wearing one. For him, it was a funny extension of the irony in calling the school unpretentious. “I think the specific use of the word creates a problem because calling yourself unpretentious is sort of pretentious,” he said. “A majority of the campus, if not embarrassed by ‘unpretentious Northwest culture,’ thought it was weird . . . By making t-shirts, you’re moving beyond embarrassment and saying, ‘Look at how ridiculous this is.’” Assistant Vice President of Communications Ruth Wardwell, who worked on the marketing theme, said that though the t-shirts and sweatpants use the word “unpretentious” out of context, she is glad to see students share their school pride. “I hadn’t anticipated using unpretentious without its context of ‘unpretentious Northwest culture,’” she said. “But I’m fine if students are having fun with that and celebrating their college because in fact there is an unpretentious culture.” While Wardwell is fine with Whitties making fun of themselves, she is concerned about how those outside Whitman would view the shirts. see UNPRETENTIOUS, page 4
Special Section: Outside Whitman Madelyn Peterson confronts human tragedy of U.S. - Mexico border policy OUTSIDE WHITMAN, PAGE 5
On Whitman alum’s organic farm in Ecuador, Rachel Alexander finds food for thought
Natalie Jamerson reports on why beavers are dam good for Utah’s biodiversity
OUTSIDE WHITMAN, PAGE 6
OUTSIDE WHITMAN, PAGE 7
Dan Terrio appointed new Chief Information Officer by KARAH KEMMERLY News Editor
fter a long and in-depth search process last spring, Dan Terrio has been appointed new Chief Information Officer at Whitman. He is the successor of previous CIO Keiko Pitter, who retired last year. Terrio has been working in the field of technology for more than 20 years, most recently as CIO of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. After working at both larger research institutions like Miami University, Ohio, and smaller liberal arts colleges, Terrio found his niche. “I found that I preferred a smaller environment where I had more direct contact with students,” he said. When the job at Whitman opened up, Terrio was glad to apply. After working at Lewis and Clark for 10 years, he was
ready for a change in scenery. “Whitman is an excellent institution. Even when I was interviewing, its strong sense of community was apparent and exciting to me.” He has spent his first few weeks on the job assessing the way things are run and meeting with staff and faculty leadership. Terrio is positive about the current state of affairs in technology services. “There is a really good foundation of technological infrastructure here, as well as an amazing staff that is committed and dedicated to working well as a team,” he said. Terrio hopes to implement more technology into the Whitman curriculum. “I feel that technology has the potential to impact teaching and learning positively. I believe that Whitman could use the unharnessed potential of technology to supplement the way the faculty teaches and students learn,” he said Terrio is particularly looking
forward to working with the Student Technology Advisory Committee. “We have much that we can learn from the students and I would like to see the student advisory committee become a revived and rejuvenated committee that is engaged in helping technology at Whitman continue to advance and thrive,” he said. Terrio is also looking forward to interacting more with the Whitman community. Further goals include focusing on using technology as efficiently and effectively as possible outside academics, like setting up a system for registration and keeping costs contained within technology services. “Time has flown by since I’ve gotten here. People at Whitman have been welcoming and helpful and willing to answer questions. Now that students are back, I’m looking forward to opportunities to talk and interact with them.”
Chief Information Officer Dan Terrio begins Whitman tenure. Photo by Faith Bernstein
Donna Perry Jones replaces Karen Kinder
‘Academic Google’ launches
by ROSE WOODBURY
by KARAH KEMMERLY
here’s a new face in the Office of Fellowships and Grants this year. Donna Perry Jones has come on board as the administrative assistant to replace Karen Kinder, who retired at the end of last semester. Although she’s new to the office, Jones has been a part of the Whitman community as both a student and as a staff member for over 16 years. Keith Raether, the director of the Fellowships and Grants office, described Jones’ duties. “She works as an administrative liaison between me and the foundations and granting organizations and as a support to students,” he said. While Raether does most of the counseling and advising with students who are applying for grants or fellowships, Jones also works very closely with students. “There’s lots of email back and forth with students,” she said. She also does a lot of the coordination between students and the representatives from the foun-
dations in terms of setting up oncampus interviews and reserving rooms for informational meetings. Jones graduated from Whitman in 1976 with a degree in sociology and plural societies, an area of major study that is no longer offered by the college. Her son also graduated from Whitman. Additionally, Jones worked for 12 years under former Whitman president Thomas Cronin. While the Office of Fellowships and Grants did not yet exist at the time, Cronin was highly supportive of making those kinds of opportunities available to students. “He was a big encourager of the Watson [Fellowship],” she said. Each year the Watson Fellowship awards $25,000 to roughly one student from each of its 40 participating institutions to pursue an independent project that he or she has devised and which must take place in various countries of the student’s choice outside of the United States. “Tom was excited about having [the fellowship] here,” said Jones.
Community to commemorate 9/11 by SHELLY LE News Editor
he Office of Religious and Spiritual Life will hold a two-part event to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks this Sunday. The events will strive for religious understanding and reflection on 9/11 through an interfaith worship service and later a public forum. “Living in a multi-religious world is one of the challenges that got a lot of attention following 9/11,” said Adam Kirtley, Stuart Coordinator of Religious and Spiritual life. “We hope that this helps people move
beyond mere tolerance of religious difference, and that interfaith work can be seen as an opportunity for growth and healing.” The presenters are known as The Interfaith Amigos. Pastor Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon and Imam Jamal Rahman were brought together by the events of 9/11 and have worked to develop religious tolerance and healing across the United States, Israel-Palestine and Japan. The Interfaith Worship will take place at 10 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 73 S Palouse St, and the public forum will happen later at 3 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
hy do we read newspapers? I suspect that each of you will have a different answer to this question; I’ll give you mine. We read newspapers because we are conscious that something in this world apart from ourselves merits our attention—and in our desire to inform ourselves, we pick up a paper. In newspapers we look for entertainment, knowledge, a new perspective . . . and sometimes just a way to pass the time. These are the end goals of the work that The Pioneer’s 70-plus staffers undertake each week. I hope that this, my first issue as Editor-in-Chief, will deliver. I sometimes hear the words “newspapers” and “dying industry” together in the same sentence. I also hear “The Pio” and “no one reads.” But both statements are false. As journalism stumbles to adapt itself to a changing world, the value of free speech remains. Whether in a country undergoing a revolution or on a college campus, the reasons that people desire information remain. At The Pioneer, we try each week to play our small part. And whatever it was that you sought when you opened up this page, I hope that you will find it—and more—inside. All the best,
Patricia Vanderbilt Editor-in-Chief
The Watson is only one of the many fellowships, scholarships and grants that Jones and Raether work to make more accessible to students. They are always searching to find out about new fellowships and to make them available to students, as well as working diligently with students to advise and assist them with the application process. Their attention to detail is crucial for making sure the application process runs smoothly. “There are many juggling pins in the air at once,” said Raether. In addition to Jones, Raether has also been with the college for a number of years, working as a writer in the Communications Office before becoming the director of Fellowships and Grants in 2008. He believes strongly in the power of his and Jones’ work to make a huge difference in students’ lives both during and after Whitman. “This is a really important office for students as they consider the big picture of their lives,” he said.
his fall, Penrose librarians are adopting a new search service in hopes of simplifying research. With this service, users don’t have to choose one specific database, but rather can find results from different databases through one search box. Lee Keene, head of instructional and research services at Penrose, believes that this cross-disciplinary feature will be especially helpful for students who might want to look at a project through the lens of several different departments. “A student could search for one broad topic and come up with results from several different departments,” he said. “The search service allows students to see the connections.” Keene calls the system an “academic Google.” “The new service provides a starting point for students, just like Google does, but the materials within it are more appropriate for the level of research students and faculty are doing. There are a lot more journals and scholarly matches.”
Dalia Corkrum, director of Penrose, agrees. “It’s also easier to limit results in this service,” she said. “A student could, for example, choose to only view peer-reviewed articles.” Corkrum and Keene acknowledge that more precise searches will yield the most accurate results. Corkrum hopes that the service will help better integrate library resources into the Whitman community. “We want to make this library resource a place where students and faculty want to start their research,” she said. To encourage students and faculty to try out the new service, Penrose is holding a contest to name it with an iPad 2 awarded to the winner. Whitman community members can go on the library website and suggest names through Sept. 30. Corkrum is very excited about the new service and anticipates its academic value at Whitman. “This is going to be pretty revolutionary for the Whitman community. It exposes so many resources at one time, and I think it will advance scholarship immensely.”
Changes lead to successful registration by MOLLY JOHANSON Staff Reporter
or first-year Umair Meredia, registering for his first college classes was “actually really successful.” First-year Jose Beleche thought registration was “straightforward and simple.” Sentiments like these are only possible because on Saturday, Aug. 27, the day of first-year registration, everything went according to plan. “I can’t believe it went so smoothly,” said Registrar Ron Urban. Compared to last year’s registration, which Urban called a debacle, this year’s was extraordinary. Last year, two hours after firstyear registration began, the computers broke down and first-years waited in line for hours. At the end of the day, about 60 students were turned away unregistered and everyone came away frazzled. When the dust cleared, a group called the Registration Working Group was formed to plan the 2011 first-year registration. In this group were three students—an SA, a transfer student and a student who was unable to register successfully on the first day of the 2010 first-year registration—Director of Academic Resources Juli Dunn and Associate Registrar Stacey Giusti. This group, along with many other individuals and departments on campus implemented a myriad of changes to address last year’s problems. “The key to the success of this year’s registration was teamwork,” said Dunn in an email. “To be given an opportunity to go back to the drawing board with the same framework takes a lot of trust.”
Many changes were implemented in the first-year registration system this year. The location was different, registration times were frontloaded towards the beginning of the day, faculty took shifts at making waitlists and giving consent, there were more computers present, and most strikingly, students had a cap placed on the number of credits they could register for on the actual day of registration. Additional credits were registered for through the additional course form. This year, instead of holding registration in Sherwood Center, it was held in Reid Ballroom. Many agreed this site had a much better atmosphere because of its intimate feel. The ballroom was divided into two parts. The larger section held faculty members and advisors, who took shifts instead of being present all day. About 75 faculty members were present in the ballroom at one time, managing paper waitlists and giving consent for classes. The smaller section of the ballroom housed 26 computer kiosk stations for student registration and five special access kiosks. Because the first-years registered in groups of 20 to 22, the extra computers left a margin of error for students who took longer than their allotted time. Technology was also altered to protect against a system failure similar to last year. “It was a big deal that we failed so thoroughly,” said Michael Quiner, director of enterprise technology. Last year the database locked up due to overuse and a complicated course consent application. The course consent application was rewritten, and the waitlist system was put online, independent of the
rest of the servers that CLEo operates on. The system was tested extensively over the summer until it could handle 200 accounts at once. Several measures were put in place in the interest of fairness. Randomly assigned registration times were concentrated more towards the morning. As the day wore on, the time slots themselves got longer, from 10-minute registration slots at 8 a.m. to half-hour slots at the end of the day, to allow students more time when classes were fuller. A cap of 10 credits, not including Encounters and SSRAs, was placed on the number of credits that students could register for during their assigned time. Because students couldn’t register for a full load, more academic classes were left open as the day wore on. “I thought it was going to be mass panic,” said sophomore Rosemary Hanson, the SA of Jewett 4-East, who was present at registration in the morning. “I’m amazed people got in and out super fast, even when they had course conflicts.” To register for additional credits, students filled out an additional course form. “The system finally devised over the summer by the Registrar’s Office to include the one additional course form was still pretty new and so getting advisers up to speed and first-year students up to speed was a bit daunting,” said Dunn. These forms allowed students to create a prioritized wish list of classes. The Registar’s Office went through these forms in the reverse order they were received and manually entered students’ fourth classes into their schedules. The office see REGISTRATION, page 4
Editor-in-Chief Patricia Vanderbilt
Production Manager Ted Hendershot
Business Manager Hailun Zhou
Managing Editor Cara Lowry
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The Whitman College Pioneer is a weekly student-run newspaper published under the auspices of the Associated Students of Whitman College. The purpose of The Pioneer is to provide pertinent, timely news and commentary for Whitman students, alumni, faculty, staff and parents, as well as the Walla Walla community. The Pioneer is dedicated to expanding open discussion on campus about the issues with which students are most concerned. We provide coverage of Whitman-related news as well as featured local and regional events, and strive to maintain a standard of utmost fairness, quality, and journalistic integrity while promoting freedom of the press. In addition, The Pioneer strives to be a learning tool for students who are interested in journalism. The Pioneer welcomes all feedback and publishes weekly Letters to the Editor in print and online.
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A&E & SPORTS
Whitman rockers Plateau build success on road, balance academics with touring by CAITLIN HARDEE A&E Editor
or most Whitties, September is time to settle down in Walla Walla, but for resident rockers Plateau, life on the road rages on. The Pioneer called the band members as they were heading to a Friday concert at the Emerald Downs racetrack in Auburn, Wash. Whitman senior and bassist Matthew Sweeney shared his enthusiasm over the show. “This is a really good-paying gig, and probably a bigger crowd than we’ve ever had—we’re playing for a couple thousand people,” he said. Plateau have been steadily building up to their current level of touring. When we last spoke to them, the band expressed plans
to “cruise around a bit,” maybe even make it to Portland. In the end, Plateau carried off a bona fide summer tour, traveling considerably farther than Oregon. “We must have played almost 30 shows this summer, we went on our tour, so we went all over the place. LA, San Diego, all the big cities down the coast,” said alumnus Adrian Tuohy, lead vocalist and guitarist. Not only did the band travel over the summer, they also hooked up with some Northwest legends, opening for alternative rock group The Posies. “We got to meet them, it was really fun,” said Tuohy. “After the show there was kind of a private party thing. We just chatted with them, drank a whole bunch of really good wine. They’re super
nice guys. We had a great time.” Tuohy, who graduated from Whitman last year, has stayed in Walla Walla, working at a local brewery while continuing to write music and tour with his bandmates. “It’s pretty weird—when I first came to Walla Walla there were hardly any places to play. Now, since there was one place that opened in town that did live music, now every place is competing for live music,” said Tuohy. “There’s actually good money in that, so we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. It’s a good environment to keep the band going, keep writing songs.” For Sweeney and Plateau drummer senior Alex Folkerth, touring with the band requires a delicate balancing act. Both must also fulfill the rig-
orous demands of senior year. “It is very challenging,” Sweeney agreed. “I have an 80-page thesis due.” Folkerth and Sweeney seem up to the task—in addition to Plateau activities, Folkerth is continuing with associated project King Friday, together with junior Bo Sagal and senior Ryan Barrett. Folkerth filled us in on the return of the King. “We’re working on our new album, we have like six songs done, and I think we’ll probably be done by the end of the semester, maybe throw a party and invite people over to listen to it,” said Folkerth. King Friday will be playing Coffeehouse on Friday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. Plateau will be playing later the same night at a house party, and Saturday, Sept. 10 at Walla Faces.
Trendy new eateries offer succulent treats to tease taste buds by CARA LOWRY Managing Editor
Walla Walla upped its trendy ante this summer with the debut of four new eateries. Ranging from self-serve frozen yogurt shop to contemporary gastro pub, there truly is something for everyone. Blue Palm Frozen Yogurt 1417 Plaza Way, Suite B Slightly off the beaten track (as in not on Main Street), Walla Walla’s second frozen yogurt vendor features a wide variety of frosty flavors and tasty toppings—fresh fruit, candy, nuts and sauces. The atmosphere is similar to that of the typical selfserve frozen yogurt shop—clean, spacious and buffet-line in organization with a pleasant outdoor seating area. Don’t be daunted by all the flavor options: there are plenty of little sample cups for you to take advantage of before you even begin to craft your creation. Since you pay by weight this may not be the place to go if your eyes are bigger than your stomach, but if you’re in the mood for a light and refreshing snack or desert, it definitely hits the spot. Cost is 40 cents per ounce, minus the weight of the cup.
Students and community members enjoy delectable new culinary offerings at Public House 124 (above) and The Garden Vegan Cafe, downtown. Photos by Jacobson
PIO PICKS Each Thursday, The Pioneer highlights several events happening on campus or in Walla Walla during the weekend. Here are this week’s picks: Open Mic Night The Walla Walla Village Winery invites you to share your gifts in music, poetry or other performance arts. Admission is free.
Thursday, Sept. 8, 7-11 p.m. 107 S 3rd Avenue.
Coffeehouse WEB presents King Friday with Science in Progress, live in Reid Campus Center. Coffeehouse is a musical series on Fridays and Saturdays, bringing you the musical talents of Whitman students, local artists and other visiting musicians. Friday, Sept. 9, 8 p.m. Reid Campus Center.
Farmer’s Market The Walla Walla Farmer’s Market offers a range of fresh produce, home-made crafts and other artisan goods, live music and community fun. Saturday, Sept. 10, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 4th & Main St.
IDentity Festival IDentity Festival brings a wide range of preeminent electronic acts and DJs for a glorious day of hedonism under the sun at the spectacular Gorge Amphitheatre. Artists include The Crystal Method, DJ White Shadow, Kaskade, Pretty Lights and Nero. Saturday, Sept. 10, 1 p.m. - 11 p.m. The Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Road NW, George, WA. For tickets, see http://idfestival. com/city/george.
Frosted 7 S 1st Ave Since Sprinkles pioneered the gourmet cupcake industry in 2003, chic bakeries seem to have taken the world by storm and now Walla Walla has one of
its very own. Right off of Main Street between Sweet Basil and Peach & Pear, Frosted is a logical stop on any adventure into town. A classy ambiance complete with black and white checkered floor tiles and delicate chandeliers greets you as you walk in the door. Be sure to stop by multiple times as the freshly baked flavors change, daily. My personal favorite: chocolate raspberry, a dark chocolate cake jam-packed with raspberry filling and topped with a raspberry butter cream. The Garden Vegan Café 36 South Colville St What was once The Underground has made way for The Garden. Conveniently located next to the Colville St. Patisserie, this café allows you to prolong your downtown study session with some savory brain food. As you may have guessed, you won’t find any meat or dairy on the menu; but what you will find is fresh, delicious and healthy—some items are even soy- and/or gluten-free. Aside from offering an abundance of salads and sandwiches (both hot and cold), The Garden is also the place to go for inventive smoothies and fresh-squeezed juice blends, not to mention monster-sized chocolate chip cookies. Public House 124 124 E Main St Joining Walla Walla’s bar scene alongside The Green, Marcy’s and Red Monkey, Public
SCOREBOARD Cross Country Men’s vs. Lewis-Clark College September 3 Women’s vs. Lewis-Clark College September 3
Loss 15-50 Win 20-41
Volleyball vs. Walla Walla University September 2
Soccer Men’s vs. Northwestern University September 1 Women’s vs. Eastern Ore. University September 4
Tie 0-0 Win 3-0
UPCOMING EVENTS Golf Men’s vs. Warner Pacific and LCSC September 10 Women’s vs. Warner Pacific and LCSC September 10
Volleyball Women’s vs. Colorado College, Dominican University September 9 vs. Whitworth University September 10
Soccer Men’s vs. Augsburg University September 8 vs. Bethel University September 10 Women’s vs. Augsburg University September 8 vs. Bethel College September 10 vs. Whitworth University September 14, 1:30 PM
Away Away Home
House 124 boasts a prime location, creative cocktails and gourmet eats. The swanky but cozy atmosphere may attract an older clientele, but is nevertheless an ideal spot in which to enjoy select $4 cocktails (available during happy hour: Tuesday-Thursday, 2-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-12 a.m. and Friday-Saturday, 2-6 p.m.) and truffle oil French fries. While little on the pricey side—especially within the constraints of a collegiate budget—Public House is worth the occasional splurge.
Women’s soccer team summers in London by PAMELA LONDON Staff Reporter
tanding in the tunnel dubbed “The Theatre of Dreams,” our team looked out at the grass from the same place as the best clubs in the world. Overhead, the speakers blared the applause of thousands of rabid fans. “Welcome to the home of the team that has won 19 Premier League titles, Manchester United” rang in our ears. After a four-hour bus ride through England, we were standing in front of Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. We were experiencing what it was like to be the best of the best. This summer, 19 players, women’s head coach Heather Cato and men’s head coach Mike Washington traveled nearly 5,000 miles across the Atlantic to London, England for a three-week preseason training trip. With eight games scheduled against semi-professional and professional competition, our goal was to gain valuable experience working together as a team as we embarked on Cato’s second season at the helm of our program. From our first game against Yeovil Town to a dogfight with Cardiff City to matchups against professional standouts West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa, our team made tremendous strides in discovering its identity—all while adjusting to the new culture, food and backwards road etiquette. Our competition on the field surpassed what we see every year in the Northwest Conference: Several of the teams play in the top divisions of women’s professional soccer. One of them, Aston Villa, is one of the premier teams in England. The experience we gained playing internationally helped
us grow as a team, but the time that we spent together bonded our group even more. Of all the idyllic things we did that day—spending a day in London, seeing the churches in Weston and eating chips with every meal—certainly checked an item off everyone’s bucket list. Each player who has walked down that tunnel got there through his own journey. This trip was the first step in ours. We experienced history. We walked in the footsteps of the world’s greatest players. And this season, we intend on making some history of our own.
The men’s basketball team swept up a 5-0 record on their August tour through British Columbia, playing against teams including the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Island University. The men exhibited strength and teamwork coming off of last winter’s ‘10-’11 season, the best in 25 years of Whitman basketball history. “It was nice to get some early experience during the summer,” says junior guard Peter Clark. The men anticipate more success in the coming season. Archive photo ADVERTISEMENT
FRESHMAN YEAR AT WHITMAN...
...is an eye-opening, challenging and, at times, overwhelming experience with all the academic and social opportunities it presents. For seniors, the final academic year is the last chance to try out anything left unexplored. This week, Feature asked a variety of Whitman seniors for advice and words of wisdom that they wish they had received in the fall of 2008. From playing IM sports to surviving Encounters, here are their suggestions on how to make the most of your Whitman experience.
“There is no shame in working hard--there are a few super brilliant people who can do well in classes without ever studying, but you’re probably not one of them.” -Carolyn Hart ’12. “Don’t raise your hand. Just talk. Be polite. But be sassy. There’s no need to play the awkward ‘guess what the teacher is thinking’ game. Just get your ideas out there. Especially in a literature class, the teacher doesn’t have the answer at the back of the book: there is no right answer. So just jump in with your first reaction to the question and go from there. The more you censor yourself in discussion, the less you sparkle.” -Rhya Milici ’12. “Your first test/paper grades probably won’t be as high as your were used to in high school. Don’t panic, and listen to your professors’ feedback.” -Madeline Jacobson ’12. “Keep on top of requirements. Do a four-year plan. And then do alternates. And take classes that sound interesting. That’s why you are here. An ‘easy’ boring class often ends up being a lot more strenuous than a ‘hard’ interesting class.” -Rhya Milici ’12.
“Don’t feel like you have to figure it all out by the end of college. Some people are lucky to be sure of what they want to do, but the rest of us will keep on guess-testand-revising, and that’s kind of an adventure it itself.” -Stefanie Brown ’12.
“Meet Chuck and George. One thing I wish I did when I first got here (maybe because I didn’t know I could do this) was to go up to Chuck Cleveland’s office or George Bridges’ office to introduce myself and see the place where they work. They both have great offices and really nice assistants, so if you are interested in meeting them just stop by their offices in Mem. They both love meeting students and I’m sure they would enjoy some company from time to time.” -Aaron Rosenbaum ’12.
“During your time at Whitman College seek out experiences that interest you: clubs, groups, sport teams, jobs or internships. Things that you would choose anyway. Any experience you take on can provide skills that could be beneficial to your future while you are having fun.” -Susan Buchanan, Director of Career Development.
“In an interview, you have 25 applicants with similar qualifications; so, you want to stand out. Be five minutes early. Personal appearance matters. Take a pad of paper to take notes. Follow up with a thank you note thanking them for taking the time to interview you and for the experiences of interviewing with them. It should be handwritten, not an email. And remember to note the name of your interviewer.” -Janice King, Book Acquisition Specialist.
“Take advantage of the freshman dorm experience. It might be the only time when you have the chance to live with all your friends, as well as a hundred other people your age, so have fun with it!” -Christa Heavey ’12
“[The] foam party is a form of initiation for freshmen.” -Natalie Tamburello ’12. “Play IM sports! They are great for meeting new people or trying a new sport, and your team can be as intense or laid back as you want.” -Christa Heavey ’12.
“While my orientation experience was a little different as a Jan-start, one thing that really helped my transition was learning how to extend my hand and introduce myself. Coming up with phrases like, ‘My name is Aaron and I don’t think I have met you yet,’ or even if you know of someone, ‘It’s nice to formally meet you’ or ‘It’s great to finally shake your hand.’ Its hard to put yourself out there, but someone has to do it, and know that everyone wants to get to know you and everyone wants to make friends, so if you feel comfortable, make the leap.” -Aaron Rosenbaum ’12. “During orientation week you meet a ton of people. And it’s easy to forget once you settle into your room and your classes that all of those people are still out there. You don’t have to do it immediately, or even during your first year, but just remember that everyone you met during orientation (as well as the older students) are at Whitman too. Never be afraid to reach out and meet new people.” -Stefanie Brown ’12. “Go to Mr. Whitman, the Chorale Contest and all the visiting speaker events that you think you might even be remotely interest ed in.” -Madeline Jacobson ’12.
WHITTIE WISDOM Advice from the feature editors Try something you’ve never done before; write for The Pioneer, sing in Schwa, play IM football. Your first month at Whitman is the perfect time to start. Explore Walla Walla and get involved in the community beyond our comfortable Whitman bubble. Walla Walla can enrich your college experience if you take some time to volunteer off campus, read the Union-Bulletin or just venture beyond E. Main Street. ILLUSTRATION BY JOHNSON
Theater remodel sparks excitement, enthusiasm for Whitman Drama Club from HARPER JOY, page 1
“It’s very cool—I was up there today. It’s a really fluid, flexible system where you can hang lights pretty much at any point, so it lends a lot of opportunities for creativity and more daring designs on both the sound and electrics parts.” Like a butterfly shedding its cocoon, Harper Joy has finally become a building with beauty to match the quality of its productions. Shallow aesthetics? Maybe not. “I think that it’s going to be a lot easier to get people excited about drama club and to get some new faces in the department,” said drama club president and senior Mackenzie Gerringer. “We had our first theater orientation meeting and had one of the biggest turnouts we’ve ever had, and I think a lot of it is because of the new building, and everybody seeing how awesome it’s going to be.” All three floors of Harper Joy now have disabled access with an elevator. The theatre has new office spaces, the old black box has been transformed into an acting classrom, and the main Alexander Stage boasts a new counterweights system for lifting scenery. “Things are looking good! We’re definitely excited,” said Gerringer. The first production in the new black box, “The Altruists,” will open in November. In the meantime, Gerringer encouraged students to come check out Harper Joy and get involved in drama club. “Drama club supports the theater activities, we do all of the concessions for the shows, and we go on different trips throughout the year,” said Gerringer. “On spring break we all go down to Ashland, Oregon and go to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It’s a good way to spend time with other theater kids and see some outside theater.”
Whitman students flash their ‘‘unpretentious’’ tees and sweatpants. Photo by Bernstein
No re-order for ‘unpretentious’ apparel after second shipment from UNPRETENTIOUS, page 1
“It’s one thing when we on campus use it ourselves . . . if we laugh at ourselves. It becomes a whole other thing when the external world laughs at us,” she said, adding that she wants Whitman to be respected. Still, the administration has taken no official stance. Wardwell and Rebecca Thorpe, the bookstore’s merchandising and marketing specialist, said that rumors that the administration ordered the bookstore to stop printing the shirts are unfounded. “The bookstore runs
the bookstore. There’s no censorship,” Thorpe said. Rather, Thorpe said she ordered only one set of the unpretentious shirts and sweatpants. A second half of the order will arrive soon. But Thorpe said there are no plans to order more shirts, even if the new shipment flies off the shelves as quickly as the first batch. “I don’t re-order t-shirts. I only run them once, except the favorites,” she said, referring to the classic t-shirts that say “Whitman College.” “That’s just retail. You can’t keep the same thing on the shelf and expect it to turn.”
Construction on Harper Joy Theatre is due to be completed Sept. 24. Photos by Axtell
Concerted effort in Registrar’s Office improves first-year scheduling process from REGISTRATION, page 2
staff worked from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. the day of registration. Students then received an email with their final class selection. First-year Clint Voraeur says that the first-years he talked to were generally “open to what they
got,” for their fourth class, opting to fill distribution if they didn’t get exactly what they wanted. In her email, Dunn summed up the success of the day. “We were all on the same page, working toward the same goal so that each student walked out of registration with a full load of courses.”
The pursuit of knowledge doesn’t stop when the academic year officially ends in May. For many, learning continues during the summer months, when a classroom in Maxey is replaced by the U.S.-Mexico border or a village in Yunnan, China. For The Pioneer’s first issue of the Fall 2011 semester, we asked a collection of students to share snippets of the information that they attained with our readers, in a special section that we’ve named...
No More Deaths tackles injustice along U.S. - Mexico border by MADELYN PETERSON Contributing Reporter
avier1 carries his height with humility and smiles easily. He grew up near his grandparents’ ranch in Sonora, Mexico, riding horses and fighting roosters. He made his living and formed his family in Arizona, where he’s resided for 10 years. He calls his family daily; he hopes his eight-year-old girl will soon grow out of her Hannah Montana phase and idolize more substantial role models. Javier was deported to Nogales several months ago and has been searching for a job. He misses his family intensely, but he can’t return to the United States and he doesn’t want to bring them to Mexico, where work is rare and violence is practically inevitable. He wants to cross the border and turn himself in to the Border Patrol, so he will be detained in a CCA prison where he can earn three dollars a day and receive semi-regular meals. Three dollars a day in a high-security prison, where medical needs are routinely neglected and inmates are subject to public humiliation, is his better option. This summer I volunteered with No More Deaths (NMD) in the twin border-towns of Nogales, Ariz. and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. NMD is a humanitarian aid organization that works to end death and suffering on the Arizona-Mexico border. According to official records, since 1994, the year NAFTA went into effect, over 5,000 people have died along the U.S.-Mexico border while attempting to cross
the American desert. Countless more have disappeared unrecorded. The NMD Nogales project works on the Mexican side of the border; volunteers offer free phone calls to family, provide first aid, document human rights abuses and help recover property taken by the Border Patrol or the prison system for those who have been recently deported. I met 20-50 people a day at the shelter, most of whom had arrived in Nogales that day. Trauma and shock are fresh on everyone’s skin. Their stories of abuse, family separation and loss roll from their lips minutes after we meet. Most of those who have been deported have suffered dehydration, starvation, overheating, and severe blisters while in the desert. Most are separated from their families. Many have been abused and denied medical treatment while in the custody of the Border Patrol or in detention facilities. David is a cheeky Honduran kid. He has a toothy smile and when he speaks, he drops the ends off his words. The backs of his hands are scarred from work in the coffee fields. When I first meet him, he claims to be 17-years-old, but later admits to 15. He looks 12. David already tried to cross the border once this month, with a group of young Hondureños, but they turned back after one broke a foot and they all were scratched up in the brittle desert. David tells me he’ll return to the fields in Honduras to work, but I’ve heard a rumor that he’s going to cross again. One day he is gone from the shelter without a goodbye, likely
A memorial to lives lost stands near U.S.-Mexico border. Photo contributed by Peterson
walking for el norte. This month, a suit against the U.S. government for the murder of a Mexican child was dismissed. The child, another 15-year-old boy, was allegedly throwing stones at a Border Patrol officer on the other side
Whitties get WISE, gain new perspective on Walla Walla youth
ILLUSTRATION BY LOOS-DIALLO
come shy and quiet because he or she had suddenly become hyperconscious of his or her behavior. Having seen these types of scenarios before, I hesitated with the discussion questions, as I felt that they brought the students’ attention to a topic which had the potential to negatively affect their confidence and performance. Some of the campers “didn’t want to talk about stereotypes and expectations,” observed fellow RA, sophomore Allie Willson, because they felt as though stereotypes had no impact on their personal success. However, it was obvious that other students seemed to feel obligated to answer questions like “Why is it seen as uncool to be smart?” They seemed to pause after hearing the question, trying to come up with an answer that would satisfy the RAs, as though their previous school-
ing experiences had already ingrained in them that there was a right answer to every question. Because WISE is a program intended for students in the Walla Walla area, it was an accurate representation of the challenges present amongst groups of socio-economically disadvantaged individuals in our community, challenges which some Whitties may be unaware of because of our own backgrounds and attitudes towards college. WISE gives Whitman the opportunity to become involved with these individuals and to share our experiences with them in order to help them succeed. However, I learned that it is important to be aware of the expectations we may be unintentionally imposing on them, as they have the potential to negatively influence the student’s own perception of themselves.
1. All names changed for protection 2. Source: “Suit dismissed in shooting death of Juárez boy by Border Patrol agent” by Armando V. Durazo. El Paso Times, 18 August 2011.
Environmentalism in Bolivia close to home by LIBBY ARNOSTI
by SANDRA MATSEVILO ince my parents went to college I always assumed . . . that I would get into a college and later attend one,” said senior Hayley Mauck, an RA for the Whitman Institute of Scholastic Enrichment (WISE) program. WISE has been present on campus every summer since 2006. Yet when explaining that I would be working for the program, I was still frequently asked the question, “What’s WISE?” WISE is a three-day-long camp in August intended to expose primarily low-income and first-generation middle school students to college. The seventhand eighth-graders are given the opportunity to attend pre-college advising workshops, go to several lectures by Whitman professors, and stay in a residence hall. This is done with the hope of informing and exciting them about the idea of a college education. At the camp, the RAs were explicitly asked to talk about diversity with the students. Before starting the camp, the students and RAs read an essay titled “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie. In addition to the essay, the staff was provided with a list of topics to discuss with the campers, which included questions like: “Have you ever been ridiculed for being smart?” and “Have you ever felt as though someone expected you to fail?” The essay implied that minority children are oftentimes “expected to be stupid.” The discussion was meant to reflect on the stereotypes and expectations associated with disadvantaged students. Due my experience working with young campers at my other summer position at a gymnastics camp, I understood the potential implications of creating an expectation for a child. I knew that even if a child simply overheard a nervous parent telling me that the camper was “shy and quiet,” then the child would automatically be-
of the Rio Grande. The officer shot the child in the head. The suit filed by the boy’s family was dismissed because the crime occurred on “Mexican soil” as the child died on Mexican ground, and there are no statutes that would apply in a case against the
U.S. government. The Border Patrol officer is an American citizen who fired from American soil, and the American court claims that the family is unable to argue the charges. In WWII, the United States initially refused to offer safe harbor to an increased number of Jewish refugees from Europe. In 1937 Dorothy Thompson, an American journalist, wrote of the situation: “It is a fantastic commentary on the inhumanity of our times that for thousands and thousands of people, a piece of paper with a stamp on it is the difference between life and death.” Today, U.S. border and immigration policy is recreating the same brands of cruelties and inequalities. The federally condoned violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is another chapter in the United States’ abuse and exploitation of a refugee population and a disempowered racial group. Those who suffer most have the fewest resources and the least political power. I am afraid for the people who will be crossing the desert tonight. I am afraid for the thousands in our prison systems, waiting to be deported. I am afraid for the hundreds who will arrive in Mexican border towns today, stripped of their homes, their belongings, their dignity and their voices.
he first time I tried to explain what I study to a new friend in Bolivia, he laughed in my face. “An environmental studies major would die of hunger here,” he snorted. It’s true; the field of study that is becoming one of the most popular in the United States is virtually nonexistent in Bolivia. This, the poorest country in South America, is aching to develop its economic potential and move towards modernization. Its cities are full of medical students, engineers, teachers and economics students. The rural areas are pure agriculture. Environmentalism seems to be a foreign concept here. Over the last two months I have spent a lot of time perched on rocks next to rocky potato and oca bean fields in the most undeveloped areas of Bolivia, talking with the residents of tiny agricultural mountain communities that lie a few bumpy hours’ drive outside of Cochabamba. Reserved rural Bolivians have opened up to me as a representative of Mano a Mano, the organization which helps them construct roads, health clinics, water reservoirs and schools. I have had the privilege of hearing the voices of people far removed from my life in Walla Walla. Sitting in one small mud home lit by dusty light filtering through a hole in the wall, I am finishing up an interview with Don Cecilio, a 42-year-old farmer with a leathery brown face and a cheekful of coca leaves. He has welcomed us into his home for the night; his three-year-old grandson bounces on the little straw mattress behind us, babbling in quechua. “My only question for you,” says Don Cecilio as I pack up my recorder, “is why do you come all this way just to do these interviews? What benefit could you bring
from here to your country?” This has been a common question in my interviews, and one that has made me realize how much there is to learn from my modest professors in the campo. Most families here in rural Bolivia have small rocky patches of crops, over which they labor in a constant effort to grow their own livelihood. Their houses are made of the same mud and grasses found around them. Most people never finished middle school. These people are no scientists, but many have noticed marked changes in the patterns of rainfall and temperature over the course of the last ten years. They notice how rain falls at the top of the mountain and runs over the other side to the jungle, leaving their own land barren and dry much of the year. They use the resources available to them to channel the little water they can access into irrigation ditches to distribute it amongst them. They know how to save seeds year to year. They are conservationists in the most literal sense. This community blends with the mountains; it lives and dies with the land; it is made of the land. Where I come from, many people consider an “environmental consciousness” a luxury. We are so far removed from our environment that it is necessary to make it into a studyable “ism” in order to intentionally connect ourselves back to it. Heck, now a person can even dedicate their college years, and countless years after, to studying it. Sitting here with Don Cecilio in his dusty home, I realize that he has an essential understanding mostly lost in the flurry of development. It is the understanding that environmental studies majors like me, living in that now-developed place, are trying to get back. Environmentalism here is not a foreign concept at all, and the environment is not a thing to study; it is the most basic local concept, and simply the way they live.
Ecuador farm seeks alternative to commercial farming
by RACHEL ALEXANDER Contributing Reporter
riving to Hacienda Ilitio is a bit of an adventure. The farm is nestled in the foothills of Mt. Cotopaxi, one of the tallest active volcanoes in the Ecuadorian Andes. The road up to the farm is mostly dirt, zigzagging and turning up and down hills in all directions, defying any attempts to remember the way. There’s a river crossing thrown in too, where water reaches almost to the door of the few pickup truck taxis that are willing to give wayward travelers a ride. After a grueling climb up one final hill you reach the gate of the farm, and the road levels out as you pass a herd of alpacas. It’s not the easiest drive in the world, but perhaps that’s fitting. The farm’s owner, Sebastian Kohn, is hoping to make Ilitio into an entirely self-sufficient farm based on principles of permaculture; a place where, at least in theory, there will be little need to travel to the outside world. Although Ecuador’s new constitution explicitly states that the country is to remain free from genetically modified organisms, the government’s agricultural policy still focuses on high-tech, chemical-dependent farming. In this regard, Ecuador is like many developing countries that have adopted green revolution technologies to grow their agricultural sectors. Many agricultural policymakers believe that chemically-intensive, mechanized farming is the only way to feed the growing world population. Kohn, who graduated from Whitman in 2007 with a degree in biology-environmental studies, respectfully disagrees. “That whole system is going
Rachel Alexander ’13 poses with the farmers of Hacidenda Ilitio, an organic farm in Ecuador. The farm’s owner, Sebastian Kohn ’07, views permaculture and traditional methods of farming as ways to sustainably use the land. Photo contributed by Alexander
to collapse,” he said, referring to the fact that mechanized agriculture is largely dependent on the availability of cheap fossil fuels. Kohn isn’t interested in arguing policy with the government. He wants to make Ilitio into a living example of an alternate future for agriculture, one where systems are deliberately designed to mimic natural processes. Currently, Ilitio is a traditional organic farm—no chemicals are used, but crops are still planted in rows. Kohn is working to gradually redesign the farm to incorporate permacul-
ture principles—intercropping maize, squash and legumes rather than planting them separately; continuing the use of rotational grazing to allow animals to fertilize the soil; and working to plant traditional varieties of crops which have been developed over centuries to grow well under local conditions. Really, he says, the entire approach is dependent on soil health, an approach not generally taken by chemically-intensive forms of agriculture. “Instead of farming the soil, they farm the plant,” he said. “I
Whitman alumna works with USAID in Africa by KARAH KEMMERLY News Editor
hitman alumna Jennifer Crow-Yang ’97, now regional contact and agreement officer for the United States Agency of National Development, has spent several years working on development projects in Ghana, Africa. USAID, a federal foreign assistance agency, was developed in 1961 when the Foreign Assistance Act became law. According to their website, USAID provides aid to five different geographical areas: Europe and Eurasia, the Middle East, subSaharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Some of Crow-Yang’s projects have included creating more sustainable agriculture and fishing, providing disaster relief after floods, helping to organize elections, building schools in Nigeria, working with the Ministry of Education to promote girls’ education and teaching about health and sanitation in elementary schools. Crow-Yang said that she especially liked working with children. “Kids have energy, enthusiasm and a can-do attitude. It’s also easy to transfer knowledge once you teach them. If you teach the kids, they will teach the rest of their family members.” Crow-Yang and her team utilized this knowledge transfer while working on their elementary school health and sanitation project. They taught children about sanitation and then children shared this information with their parents and siblings. While working in Ghana, Crow-Yang and her team en-
want the soil to be good so that the plant will be good.” Ilitio runs under the direction of its workers. Marcelo, Narcissa and their three children live on the farm and take care of day-to-day tasks, which include moving goats and sheep to different grazing areas, milking cows and harvesting crops. Two other paid workers are there on weekdays, and there’s also a constantly rotating stream of gringo volunteers. Marcelo has been a farmer for most of his life. He enjoys his work at Ilitio, though
Whitman students in China explore multiculturalism by IVANA VUKOVIC Contributing Reporter
Four children stand pumping water at a well in Niger, Africa, where USAID has implemented multiple development projects. Photo contributed by Crow-Yang
countered several challenges. She said that she and her small office rely on teamwork to complete all of their assignments. “There were some bad roads, and coordinating travels wasn’t always easy. In some places, we didn’t have good internet connections. But we were usually able to overcome difficulties by communicating effectively,” she said. Despite these obstacles, Crow-Yang greatly enjoyed her work in Ghana. “I love being in the field and seeing how I make
difference,” she said. Crow-Yang believes that her education at Whitman was very influential in preparing her for her work with USAID. “Whitman provided me with a strong sense of community and a desire to give back. A liberal arts education gave me the ability to approach problems creatively and innovatively in order to find sustainable solutions,” she said. Her next assignment is in Bangladesh, where she will be working on disaster relief and health programs.
he’s more concerned with making sure the burro doesn’t escape from its pasture again than discussing food politics. He’s perpetually full of energy, regardless of the time of day, the outside temperature or the amount of time he’s spent digging an irrigation ditch in the afternoon sun. He’s not quite sure what permaculture is, but he knows that Ilitio’s organic methods have become less and less common over the past few generations. “Before, a long time ago, we planted crops without chemicals and people lived longer,” he says. “My grandma lived to be 120 years old. Now, people grow older sooner.” His family eats almost all of their food from the farm. Marcelo says that’s better for their health, because the chickens in town are full of chemicals. Kohn knows the transition back to traditional, organic farming methods won’t be easy. People have gotten used to large farms, machines and fast food meals that fill you up without really leaving you full. The extreme poverty in which many farmers live means that they often can’t afford to think about the long-term health of their soil—they have to maximize their output now or their family won’t be able to eat and send their kids to school. Right now, most people on earth eat only a few varieties of a few staple crops. Wheat, rice and corn dominate the global food system; an approach Kohn says is “putting all your eggs in one basket.” His antidote is refreshing in its simplicity, yet daunting in the scale of the work it calls for. “People need to value food,” he said.
his summer I was part of a group of 13 Whitman students who spent six weeks in China, led by Professor of Anthropology Charles McKhann and Adjunct Instructor of Chinese Wencui Zhao. The main goal of the trip was to give our group the opportunity to study Chinese, so we spent the first four weeks of the program in Kunming at the Yunnan University. Intensive three-hour-long daily classes, time spent with an individual language partner and daily practice on Kunming streets enabled us to greatly improve our Chinese. Our group also took a course entitled “History of Yunnan People and Province” that helped us immerse into the Chinese culture. During our stay and travels through Yunnan, we were able to witness many things we learned in class. The class challenged our understanding of the word “Chinese” as it presented us with 56 different mingzu (nationalities) living in China today. My language partner belonged to the Yi mingzu. Through my talks with her, our class, and our travels, I was able to learn a lot about this particular mingzu, their traditions, and the traditions of many other mingzu. Despite having very individual traditions as a Yi, my language partner said that she certainly considers herself Chinese. During our time in China, we learned how the Chinese government dealt with culture in its recent history. We witnessed the implications of government involvement in culture during our two-week-
long travels through the Yunnan province. We stayed at several big cities, such as Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-la. There we observed how China treasured its multiculturalism by encouraging preservation of existing traditions and by awakening the forgotten traditions of different mingzu. Although some mistranslations of restaurant names, street names and signs were rather funny, it was apparent that these old towns within great cities were re-built with lots of care. For example, architecture of Dali, once destroyed and rebuilt in the 1400s, resembles the architecture of the previously-existing city. The group did not only visit large towns, but also small villages. One of the most unforgettable experiences of the trip took place during our one-day stay in a Naxi village. We traveled to the village in trucks, and there we witnessed the funeral of a Naxi woman. Her family invited us to join their dancing and singing. Though they were sad, they celebrated the life of the deceased woman by dancing, rather than crying over her death. We spent our evening singing songs from different parts of the world around a Naxi fireplace, an open fire in the center of the room. Other activities that stood out included visiting a farmer’s market, observing the process of making Bai dye clothes, visiting Tiger Leaping Gorge, trying numbing peppers and eating green tongue ice-cream. As a group of foreigners, we almost always attracted the attention of Chinese people, and many people took photographs of us. Those we met in China were great hosts who made our stay unforgettable.
Sociology of Star Trek focuses on enlightenment ideals by MOLLY JOHANSON Staff Reporter
tar Trek has always been part of my cultural lexicon. I know I wasn’t the only one on the playground in grade school proclaiming, “Resistance is futile!” From the humble days of its beginning to conventions full of Trekkies, Star Trek has been a pillar of American TV culture. In order to understand more about why the Star Trek cannon has continued to be popular and respected since its creation in the 1960s, I took a class this summer at Portland State University entitled “The Sociology of Star Trek.” I learned about how the Trekkian visions of the future offered a lens through which to examine the culture of its time and about the vision of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenbarry, who highlighted enlightenment ideals and ‘exploration without conquest.’ Additional-
ly I learned about the obsession and culture surrounding the show. One of our assignments was to review an event that occurs annually in Portland: Trek in the Park. At this event, a full-length original episode is performed by the Atomic Arts theater company. For one month a year, Portlanders gather to show their Trek Pride. It was clear that Woodlawn Park is the place to be on a Saturday afternoon in July. The grassy amphitheater was filled with people of all ages and walks of Portland life. Almost every audience member that I talked to had been introduced to Star Trek early in life through watching it with a parent. Seth, 33, grew up watching the original series with his mom. “We didn’t go to church, but we watched Star Trek,” he said. The sentiment that Star Trek demands the same reverence as religion is held by other fans as well. “I’ve always found science
fiction to be the best genre for social commentary,” said Kevin, 28, who was playing a table-top game similar to Dungeons and Dragons. For Stephanie, 25, who watched Star Trek with her dad, the series “[is] fun. There are so many bad things happening now that it’s nice to imagine what we could do [in the future].” While most audience members did not admit to being “Trekkies,” everyone had an intimate connection with the series. Peter Dean, who played keyboard/synthesizer for the show used to go to Star Trek conventions in college. “Everyone has a story like that. Star Trek permeates culture,” he said. “People like Star Trek because of its universal, utopian themes.” Jesse Graff, who played Spock in the performance, feels that the characters from Star Trek are as universal as Hamlet or Othello in our culture. “You can’t take liberties
[with these roles] like you can with Shakespeare,” said Pistey. “You have to take more care than with any other part because of the cult following.” According to Dana Thompson, who played Uhura, the Atomic Arts troupe works very hard to be as accurate and true to the series as it can. Thompson said that being part of this production “trumps being at the [San Diego Comic] Con,” which was going on during one of the weekends of the performance. “We all get to feel like celebrities for 12 days a year,” said Paul Pistey, who plays Doctor McCoy. All of the cast members get asked to pose for pictures and sign programs at the end of each show. Pistey even received a girl’s phone number after one show. Graff has experienced both sides of Trekkie fandom. He has the biggest line-up for pictures after a show, but he also has a tattoo
of Leonard Nimoy’s signature. “I acted like a total fangirl,” said Graff about meeting Nimoy in Seattle. After getting the inside of his upper arm signed, he immediately got it tattooed. “I regret nothing,” he said, with a big, very un-vulcan smile. Trek in the Park and my Sociology of Star Trek class remove any doubt as to the current popularity of Star Trek. However, it seems to have transcended the popularity of any other TV show. It is a serious realm for study and, for some, a way of life. I think that as we continue our trajectory to the future, we can take comfort in the fact that we have an endearing reference point. If the future means 60s dance parties, bright colored uniforms, sassy Vulcan philosophy, phasers set to stun and responsible exploration of other planets, I know that I, personally, can’t wait.
Once-termed ‘problem rodent’ undergoing rehabilitation by NATALIE JAMERSON Contributing Reporter
eaver dams change everything.” So says Mary O’Brien, the head of the Utah Forests Program for the Grand Canyon Trust, a conservation non-profit. “They create ponds, sub-irrigate valleys, expand riparian areas, support wildlife species, attenuate flood force, make life easier for native fish and increase complexity of streams by creating side channels and meanders and depositing woody debris.” Mary has worked with the Trust for seven years to ensure that the North American beaver population flourishes and expands across southern Utah. Yet beaver do not permeate the landscape as they once did; in fact, there are relatively few dams in the fertile river ecosystems. The reason? Initially, fur trapping. At present, cows. Fortunately for the semi-aquatic rodents, Mary O’Brien is fighting to ensure that beaver begin to repopulate streams across Utah to bring back these invaluable qualities to the ecosystem. Largely trapped-out in the 16th and 17th centuries, beaver populations declined and never have had the chance to return to a healthy level due to external pressures. Often considered “problem rodents” or “wa-
Tips for Thailand
by CHARLOTTE GRAHAM Contributing Reporter
wasn’t excited by the prospect of writing about some cliché experience abroad where I supposedly came to a greater understanding about the world beyond Whitman. I don’t want this to be another my-life-will-forever-bedifferent-because-of-the-experiences-I’ve-had-this-summer spiel. So it won’t be. Instead, I’m going to provide a more practical list of dos and don’ts as well as some useful tips for travelling in Chiang Mai. That’s not to say that I didn’t learn an extraordinary amount about myself, and what some of the world outside of Whitman is actually like. One of the most significant changes to my outlook that I brought back with me is the concept of sanuk. Literally, sanuk means “to have a good time,” but for the Thai people, sanuk is a lifestyle. One must strive to find enjoyment in every aspect of every activity, everyday. But personally, I think a list of travel tips is a pleasanter topic than the struggles of living in a developing country. So I’m going to write about that instead. Tip #1: Don’t eat squid-ona-stick at the markets. I’m generally a fan of squid-on-a-stick. But the markets in Thailand are not the place to try it. Unless vomit is an appealing flavor . . . Tip #2: Don’t follow the advice in travel books about dressing conservatively. Conservative clothing will only result in heat stroke. Possibly death. Tip #3: Do drink the water in buckets at street vendors. Lonely Planet and Frommer’s Travel Guides will tell wary travelers that only bottled water and Chang beer are acceptable forms of refreshment. This is not true! All the water presented as drinking water has been filtered, and is safe to drink. So quench your thirst whenever the opportunity arises. You’ll need it! It’s hot! Tip #4: Do monk chat! One of the best ways to experience Buddhism is to visit the numerous temples, or wats, that adorn the city. Some temples offer Monk Chat, or an allotted time when monks talk to tourists about their everyday life and religion. It’s an excellent opportunity for the monks to practice English, and an even greater opportunity for tourists to learn the details of Buddhism that aren’t presented in travel guides. Tip #5: Do bring toilet paper on outings. Oftentimes restrooms do not have toilet paper to accompany the squat toilets. Just bring your own. Tip #6: Do scan the bed for gecko poo before tucking in for the night. Geckos are considered guardian sprits, so travelers should feel very safe because geckos are EVERYWHERE. While I appreciate their protective vibes, I prefer their poo not to be coating my bed. Tip #7: Do smile ALL the time. Thailand is known as the “Land of Smiles” for good reason. Walking down side streets, or sois, will make anyone unfamiliar with the amiable Thai people feel like a movie star. It isn’t necessary to speak Thai to communicate feelings of happiness and appreciation. Just smile!
Natalie Jamerson ‘13 spent the summer in southern Utah studying beaver habitat restauration. Photo contributed by Jamerson
ter-stealers,” the beaver have faced numerous roadblocks to peaceful, natural existence for years. To the surprise of many, cattle grazing has significantly suppressed beaver activity, due to overgrazing, bank trampling and water pollution. Beaver rely on sensitive streamside—also known as riparian—environ-
ments with dense vegetation of willow, aspen and cottonwood plants for food and dam construction materials. If the cows diminish the vegetation population, the beaver cannot support themselves. “The sprouts were being arrested at 2’-4’ height, unable to grow up into the overstory and
reproduce,” O’Brien said, highlighting the extremely destructive tendencies that cattle have had on the land. As the grazing industry began around the time the beaver were trapped out, this has been an enduring problem with a history of repeated grazing pressures. O’Brien works to levy with
the Forest Service to create reference areas in order to observe the difference between healthy and poor riparian ecosystems, and she advocates for assiduous monitoring of the current beaver populations. Her team of Utah employees and volunteers conducts many habitat and dam assessments on current and historic populations to continues to understand the needs and patterns of the beaver. This data helps to make informed decisions about where a reintroduction of beaver would be practical and successful. The push to reintroduce the beaver stems not just from the desire to restore a species to its status before the white man had an effect, but also from the desire to re-stabilize the sensitive and valuable riparian complexes across southern Utah. The North American Beaver arguably brings more ecosystem services to the riparian landscape than any other animal. It aids in the fight to bring back native trout and grasses to stream systems and slowly heals the erosive wounds of the decades of cattle destruction. A healthy dam and all the species benefiting from it is an awe-inspiring site to behold. There’s no denying the resulting fertility. “A healthy riparian area packs more biodiversity than any other habitat in the West,” O’Brien said.
Guatemalan kitchens go beyond stoves by SEAN MCNULTY Contributing Reporter
his summer, four other Whitman students and I took a crash course in international development from a small village of subsistence farmers on the fertile plains of Guatemala’s Pacific coast. Alumna Anna Sky ’11 and sophomores, Shelly Le, Monica Simmons, Julia Stone, and I received a grant from Whitman’s Student Travel and Development Fund to assess the village of Willywood, Guatemala, for a potential eco-stoves project. For two months, we lived and worked side-by-side with families of Qui’che and Kaqchikel Maya descent with most of our work centered on their kitchen and diet. We arrived in Guatemala with plenty of information on the theory of eco-stoves and almost none on the practice. We knew that smoke in the kitchen is a major health concern, especially for families with children; that deforestation for fuel contributes to climate change, which can
effectively ruin a farmer who relies on daily rain for a good harvest and a good harvest to break even; and that more efficient and cleaner stoves require just a few materials and a low level of technical know-how. Once we had settled into Willywood, however, our situation became much murkier: The kitchens and yards of the village were strewn with broken and abandoned eco-stoves left by generations of development workers before us. None of them were still functioning as intended. The families didn’t have the materials, capital or technical knowledge to fix them, and the stoves were just one among dozens of pressing issues that come with life in the third world: Contaminated water, distant and expensive health care and chaotic and overcrowded schools seemed just as important—if not more so— than stoves. We selected nine families— nine different kitchens outfitted with nine different stoves—and measured their wood use over a four-day period. We found, primarily, that
it’s erroneous to think that we can separate the stove from the kitchen. The kitchen is a nexus of variables related to cooking: age, condition, model and origin of stove; size, age, moisture content and species of wood; presence, make and condition of a chimney; food being cooked; and the people present to eat it. The kitchen consumes fuel according to a delicate calculus of these considerations. What else did we find? The kitchens with stoves given as part of developmental projects, regardless of what condition they were in, almost always performed better than “unimproved” stoves families had put together themselves. The two stoves we looked at with hoods for ventilation were the two most efficient in our entire study. They were also the only two that didn’t fill their kitchens with noxious clouds of smoke. The families that we worked with consistently underestimated their wood use; some thought they were using half of the wood that we measured over four
days. One woman’s estimate was a full four times less than our figure. Fuel consumption, of course, is only part of a Guatemalan kitchen. The kitchen is about food—and Guatemalan food, by and large, is about corn. Corn is the supporting pillar of Guatemalan cuisine, and Willywood’s food chain holds the farm and the kitchen fairly close together. In the fields, we weeded with the farmers, sweated profusely and discussed the hair-splitting economics of raising a family on two small acres of crops. We helped to shuck the corn with the women—stripping the kernels from the husk and depositing them in large pots to be boiled and ground into a paste called masa. Working with the masa, our cooking lessons began—we clapped out wrinkled gringo tortillas and spooned chicken and mole into large banana leaves for tamales. The Maya are, quite literally, the people of the corn; it sustains them economically, fills their stomachs and gives a backbone and purpose to their days.
Dean de Benedictis embarks on mountainous musical odyssey through Washington Cascades by CAITLIN HARDEE A&E Editor
n Whitman’s vibrant liberal arts setting, it’s common to find students who are equally devoted to creative pursuits and the great outdoors. This August, The Pioneer spoke with a musician who embodies this philosophy—Dean de Benedictis, son of 10-time Emmy Award nominee Dick DeBenedictis. Dean de Benedictis is known for pioneering a form of a cappella ambient music that he refers to as Acambient. He is head of the electronic music label Fateless Records. His latest project—to record his music on the summits of the Cascades. “I got into the outdoors a long time ago, but I only got into actual climbing because of this project,” said de Benedictis. “It’s been two years so far, and it looks like it’s going to go on a third. The Cascades are a serious force to be reckoned with.” De Benedictis clarified the source of his inspiration for such an undertaking. “Actually, it started with a movie I saw, about this guy who, when the World Trade Center was built, he walked it on a tightrope. Man On Wire. It was inspired by that. I felt kind of reduced by that movie, like no artistic accomplishment I make will ever have some kind of tactile proof of being . . . death-defined? That guy actually took his artistic accomplishment to an extreme physical level. He did something that no one would ever dream of doing, or have the bravery to do. I thought to myself, if I could take this laptop to the top of a volcano, that has a panoramic view, it would be the ultimate atmosphere to be inspired by.” De Benedictis elaborated on his recording method. “For this particular project, I’m trying to utilize only my voice. It’s a series of looping techniques in the software. It’s almost a cross between choral music and space music. Many layers, many registers.” Seeking an art defined by death has not been without frightening moments. De Benedictis relat-
ILLUSTRATION BY VAZQUEZ
ed his most harrowing experience, on the slopes of Mount Adams. “I try to climb solo anywhere where it’s safe enough. Adams I’ve done by myself, against the advice of many. My only threat, I feel, on Adams, is getting lost, which I’ve done already once, and almost lost my life doing it. I shouted for help, and those people who helped me said, ‘You shouldn’t be on here by yourself.’ That was the scariest moment.” Asked if he was carrying a GPS
device or cell phone, de Benedictis smiled ruefully. “No, I get pretty cocky about my ability to find my way back, and I pay for it often. I did have a compass, but I didn’t get my bearings, so it would have been useless. I went down the wrong slope and ended up on a completely different face of the mountain. I had to find my way back to the base of the mountain, and by then it was nighttime, so I started shouting for help. I’ve gotten lost, but not quite that badly, where I was fear-
ing for my life on a mountainside.” When his musical quest is completed, de Benedictis plans to release his material in a variety of formats. “It’s gonna be a film. I’m going to start a film company for it, and thus a website for that film company, which will have all of the shorts that I’ve made so far. I’ll probably have the bigger films available for purchase online. The music will all be available, both through my website, and some of it through iTunes and CD Baby.”
News Flash: Mom was right, again
t struck first-year Darren Mulrey this Wednesday morning, while putting his pants on, that that thing his mom told him to do with the refrigerator in his Anderson dorm room was a great idea. “It totally just made complete sense why Mom had me put my refrigerator in the far left corner,” Mulrey commented. “And then after looking around it was like, whoa, she was totally right about everything.” This is but one of many realizations sweeping Whitman College first-year residence halls. As student after student takes a second to look around, there is a general consensus brewing that each individual student’s mom somehow managed to be totally right. “I was at first a little distraught at how much my mom was taking charge of my Prentiss room layout,” first-year Amanda Sanchez explained. “I really wanted the independence of being able to figure out how I wanted my stuff laid out.” But
before Sanchez could change the organization of her dorm room, she found herself perfectly content with the way it was. Polls taken by the organization M.A.D.R.E. (Mothers who Always Decide Really Excellently) show that the average American mother is right a whopping all of the time. Also, further research has proven that college-age students tend more often than not to have mothers that know everything. “I am outraged,” firstyear Cain Goody announced. “If Mom was right about this, what else is she going to be right about? Changing my underwear? Turning the music lower? Eating my vegetables before my dessert? Calling her every day? Will all of these miniscule demands end up being true after all?” It seems to be the case that Mother does indeed know best. All who disagree and make a fuss and start griping and whining and moaning can all go to their rooms until Mom says so.
his year is just the same as any year. We all get to campus, do a little research and come to the same age-old realization. Girls outnumber guys, almost two to one. And to make matters worse for the poor Whitwomen of the world, a lot of these guys have long-distance relationships with their high school sweethearts. Many will argue over the merits of dating as opposed to
ILLUSTRATION BY BAILEY
weekend hookups, but those arguments are stupid and avoid the excruciating, underlying fact of the matter. The issue at hand is not that men aren’t bold enough to ask women out on a date the good, old-fashioned way. There just aren’t enough men to satisfy the ladies. Plain and simple. That’s why I posit that a cultural shift should take rise around campus. It’s quite sim-
ple, and solves everyone’s problems: two girls, one guy. The beauty of this plan is that it works along the sweeping reality of demographics on campus. This way, every woman can be satisfied, and all the men can feel loved. In the case that there are guys out there who want two guys, let them have it! We’re all free-love social liberals here, right? This is
why this plan totally works. Some guys will just have to pick up some of the slack of others. I myself wouldn’t be opposed in the slightest. I’m always looking for ways to help my fellow classmates. So start today! The new love revolution will sweep the school! Ask that cute girl you like in Calc II out, then ask her best friend out, too! It’s failproof. Love for all, and two for one.
PEOPLE SEARCH FAILURE
Comic by Jung Song
arvin Wenzel was distraught. The night before, he had seen a pretty brunette girl at the 80s dance with a ponytail off to the side, wearing bright pink spandex pants and a tie-dye tank top. He could totally see her sports bra as she danced with that one guy to Wham’s “Take On Me.” It was orange. Marvin knew two things. First, he knew that her name started with the letters L, A and U. Second, he was convinced that he was madly in love with her, her great looks and awesome sense of 80s fashion. As he went to the Whitman College Student Content page and proceeded to type in those three letters into the search query in the lower right hand corner of the screen, he froze in fright. People Search was down. Massive uproar ensued as students became increasingly unable to look up that cute guy or girl they had ogled the night before. The frustration only continued to grow as RAs were no longer able to identify the new members of their sections. Scramble leaders could no longer creep on their scramblers’ mug shots, and soon forgot where they lived. People were unable to look up their fellow students’ addresses and then find their houses on Google Maps Street View. Absolute catastrophe. A certain RA who chose to remain anonymous stated that she would have no freaking clue who her residents were. “I’m absolutely helpless without People Search at my disposal,” she said with exasperation. “Now I have to actually spend time with them in my residence hall. It’s so much easier when I can type in the bare minimums into the computer.” People Search is often creatively termed “Creeple Search,” “People Stalk,” “LDAP” and “The Magical Place Where the Secrets of my Classmates are Stored and Accessible.” The service available to Whitman College students resumed hours later. All rejoiced. There was cake, and Marvin finally got the details on the mystery girl of his dreams. The orange sports bra sporter was Lauren Nimby, campus address Prentiss room 347, home address 487 Whidbey Place, Renton, Wash. 98059, campus phone number (509) 4598958. Additionally, her People Search mug shot was really cute. Marvin now has plans to ogle her from across Prentiss Dining Hall and to check her Facebook account with unusual frequency without making any real advances. In the event that he makes a chance awkward conversation with her, he’ll even be her Facebook friend.