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Enterprising Whitties make bank in business

Special: Guide to Walla Walla wineries

Feature profiles several self-started student entrepreneurs

The Pioneer provides a map of local wineries in a special Family Weekend section

volume cxxix

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pages 4-5

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20 | Whitman news since 1896 | Walla Walla, Washington


Students speak about living with Asperger’s by JOSH GOODMAN Staff Reporter


OCCUPY Wall Street wave

hits Tri-Cities, Walla Walla


hitman students stood alongside other Washington residents to express their dissatisfaction with the current political and economic climate in the United States at the Occupy Tri-Cities and Occupy Walla Walla general assemblies on Oct. 14 and 15. The movements, which have grown out of the leaderless Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City, aim to serve as a forum for free expression and democratic decision-making among citizens. Occupy Tri-Cities’ general assembly took place in Richland’s John Dam Plaza and followed the model of public discussions taking place on Wall Street. Participants took turns expressing their frustrations and ideas aloud. Afterwards, the assembly participants spread out along the sidewalk, carrying signs adorned with slogans such as “We Are the 99 percent.” “What brings us here is

the lack of accountability in America, the growing inequality and the corporate domination of government,” said Mark Mansperger, clinical assistant professor of anthropology at Washington State University. “There’s been a real awakening to what we’re asking for,” said Jason Caryl, the facilitator of the event. “We’re not a bunch of hippie leftist takers. We are people who are involved in our communities, people who are educated, people who have careers, and we are all affected by the same things.” Caryl, a Richland resident, was laid off from his position as a sheet metal worker in December 2010. Others at the assembly reported their frustration in dealing with unemployment as well as concern about the larger economic picture. “I think that there’s a collective frustration with the financial system . . . We’re not in charge of our destiny. I think

people feel like they’re being told how it’s going to be,” said Richland resident David Willis. Representatives from labor unions turned out in force, including members of the local teachers’ association and the Teamsters union. “This is not a union gathering,” explained preschool teacher and Teamster member Tina Urban. “It’s not a left or a right [movement]. The middle class is deteriorating and going away.” “It started on Wall Street [but] we’re seeing it everywhere. We can’t just let other workers and other unions take action without doing something locally to bring awareness to everybody,” said union representative Tony Flores. Junior Robby Seager was one of the Whitman students present at the Tri-Cities general assembly and also the facilitator of Occupy Walla Walla. “I really enjoyed [Occupy Tri-Cities]. I think I learned a few

things from the general assembly in terms of how to facilitate the group and how important it is to reflect the goals of the movement within every meeting,” said Seager. Walla Walla’s first general assembly occurred on Oct. 16, when community members gathered to meet other participants in the movement and share their own ideas for the movement’s future. Utilizing the same democratic process as other Occupy gatherings nationwide, the assembly determined through a series of group discussions and votes to schedule its next meeting for Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. The assembly also voted to split into smaller working groups to discuss more specific plans for future courses of action. Participants in the event seemed to have high hopes for the movement’s future, but only if it is able to attract more attention locally and remains unified.

hen people talk about autism . . . they think of the person doing their own thing in the back of the room,” said Randall, a first-year. “But you don’t think of the kid who approaches people but doesn’t know how to do it.” Randall has Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism characterized by intense interests and by difficulties understanding nonverbal expressions and showing empathy. Individuals with Asperger’s are often highly intelligent and, unlike people with certain severe forms of autism, can communicate with verbal language. There are no official numbers on Whitman students with Asperger’s, though Director of Academic Resources Juli Dunn said she works with “a small handful.” For Whitman students with Asperger’s, their differences affect their experiences both in the classroom and in Whitman’s broader social sphere. The Pioneer talked with two Whitties with Asperger’s, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not out publicly as individuals with Asperger’s. Both students are identified by pseudonyms of their choice. Understanding facial gestures and body language is something most people take for granted. Individuals with Asperger’s, however, often do not pick up on these cues. “Occasionally I miss a social cue or I miss something someone is trying to tell me,” said Randall. “Having the trait of Asperger’s means I can intensely focus on something while screening everything else out, which can seem insensitive.” Mary, a sophomore with Asperger’s, agreed, noting that she often does not pick up on sarcasm.


see ASPERGER’S, page 3

On Oct. 14 and 15, locals responded to the recent Wall Street protests, taking to the streets to express their political, economic and social frustrations. Photos contributed by Lerchin. by EMILY LIN-JONES Staff Reporter

Professors examine ‘Class Warfare’ at lecture sponsored by FGWC by EMILY LIN-JONES Staff Reporter


kotheim Chair of History David Schmitz and Professor of Politics and Paul Chair of Political Science Paul Apostolidis spoke to a nearly full house in Olin 130 on Sept. 13 on the topic of “Class Inequalities and Class Warfare.” The panel was sponsored by First Generation/Working Class Whitman Students (FGWC) to educate Whitman students and Walla Walla community members about current economic issues. FGWC co-presidents Omar Ihmoda and Elizabeeth Reetz organized the event in part to address conservative politicians’ negative and dismissive responses to complaints about the current economic climate. “At a time when we’re at a historic rate of poverty, we have people who are—with a straight face—saying it is class warfare to tax the rich. We’re responding to this total absurdity,” said Reetz. Ihmoda and Reetz enlisted Schmitz to outline the historical circumstances leading up to the current economic situation in the United States. “I really thought the main thing I could do was provide context for how we got to such economic disparities in society,” said Schmitz. “I think it’s important because this is a critical issue in American society right now. We’re in a financial-economic crisis that is of a nature we haven’t

seen since the 1930s. This is not production recession or a slowdown of spending, this is a fully blown financial crisis that has deep structural implications. It’s not merely an academic concern; it’s a concern for all people.” In his presentation, Schmitz traced the concentration of wealth and power in America from the end of the Great Depression through deregulation in the 1980s to the present day, blaming the current crisis on lack of historical awareness and unregulated capitalism. “History can’t tell us exactly what to do, but it can tell us that the government has a role, and that role has to be to restore some kind of balance. There has to be reform, there has to be regulation, and there has to be stimulation of the economy to move out of this type of crisis,” said Schmitz. Apostolidis followed Schmitz’s lecture by speaking on the use of the term “class warfare” in modern political rhetoric. Apostolidis examined the ways in which right-wing politicians and pundits use the term to condemn movements for government regulation of business and taxation of the wealthy. “I think that calling a policy proposal a form of warfare preempts any reasonable discussion of the problem that policy-makers or activists on Wall Street are trying to solve,” Apostolidis said. Citing his research on the lives of immigrant workers in Washington, Apostolidis described

situations to which he felt the term “class struggle” could be more accurately applied, such as the pressure placed upon workers not to unionize or complain about working conditions. “That’s class struggle: when people who possess economic power are using that power in a way that subjects a broad group of people to the need to submit to the conditions of labor that are imposed upon them,” he said. The lecture segment of the event was followed by a brief question-and-answer session. Audience members inquired about current economic and political issues, including the Occupy Wall Street movement. “It’s not just about occupying; it’s about organizing. It’s about learning how to organize in new ways to meet the challenges of the current moment,” said Apostolidis on the future of activism for economic justice. Ihmoda and Reetz said they were pleased with the turnout at the event and hoped it would signal the beginning of a new era for FGWC. “We’re taking [FGWC] away from just focusing on the Whitman community and the grievances of FGWC students with regards to their Whitman peers and looking at larger political patterns and things that are more conducive to unity than conflict,” said Ihmoda. “We’re trying to stress things that unify us across class lines while still bringing class into the conversation.”





Greek athletes discuss experience of balancing sports, Greek life

Columnists deliberate over the impact of new findings about neutrinos

Robert Allen Skotheirm Chair of History David Schmitz cited concentration of wealth as the source of economic problems, urging government regulation. Photo by Bernstein

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For an update on the potential growth of Whitman College’s dual-flush toilet program, log on to our website at



20 2011



Bon Appétit accomodates dietary differences by MOLLY JOHANSON Staff Reporter


hile some students worry about gaining the Freshman 15 when they head off to college, other students with food allergies or intolerances are more focused on whether the dining halls will provide food that will keep them healthy. Of the nearly 800 students who are on a meal plan, many of them need to address daily the task of getting enough to eat. In the dining hall environment, this can prove to be difficult. According to the Bon Appétit meal plan pamphlet found online, Bon Appétit “regularly accommodates these students by working with them on an individual basis to develop a plan that will enhance their daily diet needs.” Prentiss Dining Hall Manager Susan Todhunter offers to meet with students weekly to go over the week’s menu and recipes so they know beforehand what is and is not available to eat. “Even people with the same disease have degrees of what they can or can’t eat, along with their personal likes and dislikes,” Todhunter said regarding students with food allergies and intolerances. According to Todhunter, it’s often the case that students just need to know what kinds of foods are available at the dining hall or what viable alternatives there are. In special cases, however, Todhunter ensures that accommodations are made, but stresses that students must have a doctor’s recommendation to be specially accommodated. “[The accommodations] are not just for some-

one who wants to eat differently but who specifically needs to eat differently,” said Todhunter. Sophomore Genevieve Jones, who has Celiac Disease, which prevents her from eating gluten, met with Todhunter weekly during her first semester at Whitman. “[Todhunter] went to the ends of the earth to make sure that I was getting enough to eat and that I had options. If there wasn’t a protein option because of the wheat in pasta dishes, she made sure there was chicken left over, and at the pasta bar she had someone cook gluten-free pasta in a separate pan,” she said. The dining halls have enacted many changes to provide a more stress-free environment. One such change is the placement of various items on the salad bars so that foods containing dairy or gluten are less likely to get cross contaminated with other produce. Another area that presents a problem for students who can’t eat gluten is the sandwich bar. Although Bon Appétit offers gluten-free bread, gloves that have touched bread with gluten in it can cross-contaminate food for students with Celiac. Sophomore Libby Fones, who also cannot eat gluten, commented on the need for improvement in terms of sandwiches in the dining halls. “If you are somebody that has the most strict gluten allergy, it becomes really difficult to actually eat in the dining halls,” she said. “For example, [with sandwiches] you have cream cheese as your only option because if you go to the sandwich bar, everything that they have there touches all

Bon Appétit has added a “made without gluten” station in the dining halls so that students with gluten intolerances have more choices during meals. Photo by Bernstein

WHITMAN STUDENT FEES AT WORK ASWC SENATE MEETING 10/16 • Tim Reid nominated as 5th member of Oversight Committee. Confirmed unanimously. • Motion to confirm Tap That as an ASWC club. Vote passed unanimously. • Motion to consider Service Trips as an ASWC club. Vote passed Y 18 N 0 A 1. • Request of $2533 from the Travel & Student Development Fund to send 21 members of Model U.N. to the Northwest Model UN Conference in Seattle. Vote passed 15 Y N 0 A 4. • Request of $2007 from the Contingency Fund to grant Waiilatpu’s request for the purchase of a Mac Computer. Vote passed Y 15 N 3 A 1. • Motion to revise by-laws to include nomination of the Waiilatpu Editor and Publisher by the Nominations Committee. Vote passed Y 18 N 0 A 1. ASWC FINANCE MEETING 10/18 • Request of $560 from the Travel & Student Development Fund to send senior art majors on New York Contemporary Art Trip in New York City, NY. Request amended to $280. Vote passed unanimously. • Request of $459.78 from the Travel & Student Development Fund to fund 20 Volleyball Jerseys for Women’s Club volleyball team. Vote passed unanimously. • Request of $495 from the Travel & Student Development Fund to refund Globemed founder’s attendance of 2011 Leadership Institute in Evanston, Ill. Vote passed unanimously.

NUMBERS IN THE NEWS by shelly le News Editor


Percent unemployment rate in the Western United States.


Percent unemployment rate in the Northeastern United States.


The amount in interest 27 states had to pay to the federal government in September 2011. This amount is on top of the $37.5 billion they borrowed to continue paying unemployment benefits.

Because many Whitman students have self-imposed dietary restrictions, Bon Appétit offers a variety of vegan and vegatarian options in the dining halls. Photo by Bernstein

the breads with gluten,” she said. Three years ago, Todhunter began seeing an influx of students who couldn’t eat gluten and decided to set up a “made without gluten” station for students with gluten-free diets. This station cannot be called “gluten-free” because the dining hall environment is not completely gluten free. “Someone who is seriously allergic to airborne flour or nut allergies, we just can’t serve. We have to be upfront with what we can and can’t do,” said Todhunter. Junior Natalie Jamerson, who now lives off-campus and is not on a meal plan, is one of the students who benefited from the “made without gluten” station. Jamerson is a vegan by choice and a selfproclaimed gluten intolerant—she gets stomachaches when she eats gluten but has not gotten a blood test confirming her intolerance. “Whenever you have a specific dietary choice you have to realize that you’re not always going to have exactly what you want . . . It is impractical for the handful of vegans to demand a huge change in Appétit’s meal plans and offering,” said Jamerson. Because students with eating restrictions are unable to eat everything in the dining hall, the meal plan can sometimes be seen as too expensive. According to Jamerson, however, the many options and special accommodations in the dining halls evens out the costs and benefits of a meal plan. “Looking at the value of what I eat, compared to what others eat, there’s no question that I am overpaying for my food, especially looking at the meat and dairy

component of it. But it is a luxury to have all the fresh produce and thoughtful dishes, rather than just mac-and-cheese and pizza all the time,” Jamerson said. “In that respect, if there weren’t options for me—if there wasn’t a good salad bar and sometimes an entrée— I would be really upset, but also I understand the constraints under which Bon Appétit is working.” Todhunter acknowledges that providing for everyone is a difficult job. “It’s harder than it was 20 years ago [to feed everyone]. It used to just be meat and potatoes. To satisfy all those varieties, to do the whole spectrum of vegans to meat and potatoes, it is more complicated,” she said. For some, like Jones, eating at the dining hall became unfeasible because of health reasons. While Jones tried for two months to eat well in the dining hall, a blood test revealed that gluten antibodies in her system were still too high. With a doctor’s recommendation, Jones was able to petition to get off of the meal plan. “What I really liked about the dining hall is the community it inspires. I would pursue all options before I would consider [going off of the meal plan],” Jones said. With a clean bill of health, Jones is now looking into creating a club which acts as a support group for people with food intolerances and allergies as a way to inspire a community of students both on and off the meal plan. “It’s a leap of faith in trusting someone to prepare special food for you. It can be very hard,” said Jones.


Number of workers laid off of work in the United States in August 2011.


Percent unemployment rate for recent college graduates.


The median starting salary for students graduating from fouryear colleges in 2010.



CORRECTIONS TO ISSUE 6 In the article “New recycling program helps Greeks go green” on pages 1 and 3, Zoe Rogers’s name is spelled inconsistently. In the article “Balancing maternity with tenure pursuits” on pages 1 and 2, Sarah Hurlburt should have been cited as assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures—French. Anderson Hall was not named after a former Whitman president, as was stated in the Feature “Fast Facts” box on page 6. It was instead named for Agnes Healy Anderson (1859-1940). A memorial fund was created in her honor to establish an all women’s dorm.

Around the World event sparks discussion by ALLISON WORK Staff Reporter


his week, students may have noticed several different multicultural events happening around campus. This is all part of Around the World in Five Days, sponsored by the Language Learning Center (LLC). The week-long event, in its second year on campus, aims to bring information about different world cultures to students and promote connections around campus. The event is manifested in several different ways around campus. Each weekday, two to four countries are highlighted. Lunchtime table conversations occur in the LLC in Olin Hall with table captains and native speakers. “If you’re interested in any of these countries and you want to talk to people who’ve actually been there or are from there, this is a great time to come,” said Language Learning Center Coordinator Jennifer Mouat. Table captains who have lived or studied in the various countries volunteered to lead discussions. “Students come and sit around the round tables and chat,” said Mouat. “Anyone’s welcome. It’s a very informal conversation about really whatever anyone’s interested in.” Mouat generally tries to get two to three table captains for each country, but had as many as nine

volunteers for some countries this year. The conversations are entirely up to the people present, but topics can range from studying in a certain country to working or informally traveling there. Tuesday’s conversation, a discussion of Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa and Tanzania, had about 15 attendees who participated in a free-form discussion spanning things to do in each country to experience with the language and interacting with citizens. The table captains were a mix of international students and students who had studied abroad in Kenya and Tanzania for a semester. “If we’ve got a lot of people you can get a lot of different views,” said Mouat. The discussions promote interest, and questions are encouraged. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for people to get to know these cultures,” said Vanesa Vega Dorado, the Spanish native speaker. “Whether they’re thinking of going to study abroad, it’s a really cool way to get to know people who have studied there and the native speakers.” Table captains share expertise or general opinions with lunch attendees. “The native speakers [are] involved with the lunches each day,” said Vega Dorado. “Each of us will be whichever country we’re from. We’re there answering questions about the cultures and how it is to live in the coun-

try and to study in that country.” In addition to the lunchtime events, several language interest houses hold evening open houses, and the week will culminate Friday afternoon and evening with a celebration and rugby-watching at the Glover Alston Center. “Last year I lived in the French house my first semester before becoming an RA,” said Zoe Ingerson, the RA of the Spanish Interest House. “We did cookie decorating and [it was] just a lowpressure way to learn about the houses, get to know the residents and the native speakers and the RAs and just talk about it.” The event is an educational one. “It’s a really good opportunity for different parts of campus to work together,” said Ingerson. “As the RA of a language house, I feel like [Vega Dorado] is really involved with the LLC but I feel kind of removed from that.” Ingerson said the event is a good way to tie the LLC together with Off Campus Studies and different people around campus in a way that they’re not normally connected. The event started last year as an attempt to promote intercultural interaction. “One of the first things that I wanted to do was build bridges to other areas on campus with similar goals,” said Mouat, who started in her position as LLC coordinator last August. “Of course, one of the first things I thought of was the Intercultural Center.”

Representatives from both centers sat down and brainstormed ways to bring cultural awareness to campus, coming up with the idea of a multicultural celebration. “The idea was to promote a celebration all over campus and show interconnections,” said Mouat. Last year, the event focused on native speakers’ countries, as well as Africa as an entire continent and the United Kingdom. This year, the LLC and the Intercultural Center have chosen to highlight Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa and Tanzania, as well as China, Japan, France, Spain, Germany and New Zealand. Mouat stressed the informality of the week’s events, but encouraged students interested in studying abroad to get formal information from the Off-Campus Studies office. “This is informal conversation around the countries,” said Mouat. “It’s a good starting point if you’re interested or thinking about going. This would be a good group of people to chat with.” Mouat’s main goal is to bring awareness to students. “My underlying goal is just to get students in the door of the Language Learning Center so they know we’re here and so they see what we have to offer,” said Mouat. “And I do want to highlight that this is something Whitman values. We’re very interested in international connections and intercultural discussion.”






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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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20 2011



Intercultural Center OP trip successful despite low turnout by MOLLY JOHANSON Staff Reporter


very semester, the Intercultural Center (IC) sponsors an Outdoor Program (OP) trip as a way to encourage communication and community between the multi-cultural and international students on campus. This year, the ICC decided to try something new: sponsoring an on-campus OP trip. The trip took place on Sunday, Oct. 16, and consisted of both kayaking in the pool and climbing at the Climbing Center. Matt Ozuna, the IC program advisor, was excited about the idea of an on-campus trip.

Michael Barker ‘12 belays for Emily Ostrove ‘15 at the Climbing Center. Eight students paid $5 to participate in the OP trip activities. Photo by von Hafften

“I thought it would be a home run, a fun thing to do on a Sunday,” said Ozuna. The IC advertised for the trip by sending personalized emails and mailbox fliers to the first-year students it works with. They also sent emails to the student listserv and the the multicultural clubs on campus. However, on the Tuesday before the trip, there were only four people signed up. With so few students signed up, Ozuna was faced with the decision of canceling the trip. Fortunately, by the end of the week, there were eight people signed up. They sent an open invitation for others to show up the day of the trip, and ended up with a total of 10 participants plus the two trip leaders, seniors Michael Barker and Adam Michel. “I’m glad it was a small enough group to get individualized attention. It’s good for both the OP as well as for [the ICC],” said Ozuna. Because the trip was advertised to the entire campus, the group was a mix of first-years and sophomores. “There was not as much IC education [on the trip] just because we were scrambling to get the spots filled, so attendance became a priority” said firstyear Gabie Brosas, an IC intern who also participated in the trip. Almost all of participants on the trip had never tried kayaking or rock climbing at Whitman. “I’ve never kayaked before, and I haven’t used the

Thabo Liphoto ‘14 participates in a kayak polo game during the Intercultural Center’s on-campus OP trip. Photo by von Hafften

rock wall, and I figured this was a nice beginner level because of a lot of other people who didn’t have a lot of experience [were on the trip],” said Brosas. The only trip participant who had ever kayaked or been to the climbing center before was sophomore Chelsea Cordell, who went on the trip for her outdoor leadership class. “The trip fit into my schedule and my budget,” she said. Michel pointed out that this trip was unique in many ways.

It took place after most trips were over, and it wasn’t available for sign-up through the OP main office like the rest of the trips. Michel pointed out that the Activity Fair at the beginning of the semester is when most of the OP trip sign-ups fill up. “I really like the idea of getting new people into the OP, especially the international students. The OP can seem like an exclusive club,” said Michel. Despite the low turnout for the trip, Ozuna feels that it was an

overall success and is already talking to his staff about what changes can be implemented for next year. “It was definitely worth the experiment. We usually try to do our events early in the semester and aim them at freshmen . . . It was productive nonetheless. We’ve taken feedback from students and interns and are thinking about moving this up in the schedule for next year and definitely promoting an IC OP trip as early as the Activity Fair during opening week,” said Ozuna.

Whitman students with Asperger’s discuss challenges from ASPERGER’S, page 1

“A lot of times I’ll interpret it as real and it’ll take a few extra moments to figure out what they’re trying to say,” she said. Mary said that not understanding sarcasm had led her to make some inappropriate comments in classes. More generally, she said this difficulty with social cues also makes discussionbased classes uncomfortable. “You’re in small class sizes . . . and it’s really intimidating to feel the pressure to speak up in class, or feel like you’re going to say something wrong, or you don’t know what people are talking about. It’s a really stressful situation,” she said, noting that Encounters was especially intimidating. This difficulty reading social cues also makes it hard for individuals with Asperger’s to understand relationship cues. “I found times where I’ll have accidentally misread a relationship or a guy and been like, ‘Oh, you don’t like me? You weren’t flirting with me?’ and I’ll have thought that

this guy was flirting with me for three weeks,” Mary said. Randall expressed similar sentiments, saying he found it difficult to tell whether a woman was interested in him or just being friendly. Still, he said that he’s improved at social interactions in general by approaching social situations as professional at first. “Usually, I approach people with a common topic of school or classes they have as a starting point,” he said. “I usually can relate to the work or professional part of a life first as a way to get to know a person. And as we discuss other aspects of our lives, we get to know each other in a more personal manner.” While Asperger’s presents some challenges to social interactions, Dunn said it also has benefits, such as the ability to focus deeply on one’s work. “There are folks who have a good attention to detail, sometimes to their own detriment but often to where they have a particular interest [which] ends up becoming a passion,” she said. “If they’re just in-

trigued by numbers or constantly thinking about numbers, working with numbers, math and econ are great fits. If they have a high aptitude for sciences, those are areas where they can be successful because they are detail-oriented.” Randall agreed, saying that Asperger’s helped him focus closely, while Mary said that it helps her with study skills. “I’m really obsessive about how I take notes,” she said. “I write my notes and type them out again to make sure they’re organized.” The Academic Resource Center also offers services for students with Asperger’s, such as one-on-one advising to help them with their varied experiences and needs. “[We’re] a place for a student with Asperger’s to come and talk through different things they may be facing,” Dunn said. “Our goal for our office is to meet students where they’re at to help them meet their objectives or goals for being at Whitman, however those might be.” Still, there is a stig-

ma associated with Asperger’s, in part because it is not a visible difference. “I feel like people aren’t really aware of what Asperger’s is,” Mary said, explaining why she doesn’t tell people that she has Asperger’s. “If you would say ‘Asperger’s’ and describe it as what it actually is—a form of high-functioning autism—they’d be like, ‘What?’ and I’d be like, ‘You still know me; nothing actually changed.’” Senior Ashley Davies, who spent the summer of 2009 working at a camp for kids with Asperger’s, said treating students with the syndrome as individuals is key. “My biggest thing when I work with anybody with a developmental disability is I approach them as an individual. I try not to see them in terms of their disability,” she said. Associate Dean of Students Clare Carson also had suggestions for Whitman students hoping to be sensitive to fellow students with Asperger’s. “Continue to be inclusive and accepting of your class-

mates who may seem a bit different,” she said in an email. “Get to know people for who they are. Engage in a conversation with someone who seems to struggle in social situations.” Randall said he appreciates when students make that extra effort. “If you try to reach out to us, we do eventually try to reach out to you,” he said. “We really appreciate it if someone puts even a little bit of effort or friendliness in reaching out to somebody.” Ultimately, Dunn said Whitman does provide a friendly atmosphere, especially compared to the brutal environments many individuals with Asperger’s face in high school. That, she said, makes progress possible. “Knowing that there are students with Asperger’s who are able to come to Whitman and function, do well in our classes, graduate and go on to be successful is progress down the road of recognizing that we all have differences and that difference isn’t bad.”

Community voices discontent Students use guns for off-campus hobbies from OCCUPY MOVEMENT, page 1

“If we do a Walla Walla movement specifically, I want to be sure it’s thoughtful, it’s not just passionate fervor,” said senior politics major Alethea Buchal. “It’s important because it’s starting a dialogue between different students and members of the community about what needs to be changed in American politics and how we can make it better. There’s a huge sense of apathy right now in the American public about everything.” Students and non-students alike expressed some disappointment in the relative political inactivity of the Whitman community, along with the hope that Occupy Walla Walla could change this. Students also expressed their hope for a more open dialogue about class and economic issues on campus. “I’m excited to be getting together. Obviously Occupy Walla Walla isn’t the be-all and endall of the Occupy movement, but it feels good just to be a part of it,” said senior Alice Minor. “I think Whitman is a quite politically apathetic place. It’s full of people who do care, they’re just not very informed.” “It’s definitely good to have events where Whitman students are in the community, but also using the fact that we have a large campus and we have a lot of places to gather, I feel like administration could have done more to bring this issue to life on campus. It’s not just a po-

litical issue; it’s an educational issue and it’s related to so much of what we do,” said senior Jo French. Although the general assembly marks the first step for a unified Occupy movement in Walla Walla, some locals have worked to draw attention to these issues long before the event. “We’re really sick of what’s happening with the country and unbridled greed. It doesn’t mean as much to us, it means more to [young people]. You’re going to have to live with it. I would like more young people to come out. Apathy is a terrible thing,” said Norman Osterman, a Whitman alumnus and participant in the American Dream Movement, a liberal organization that has been holding regular protests in downtown Walla Walla. “Over-the-hill liberals have been out on the corner of Main and Palouse [with signs including] ‘Save Medicare—Tax the Rich,’” he said via email. “We have have found week after week that passing cars and pedestrians’ positive reactions outnumber negative reactions at a ratio of about fifteen to one.” Both the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla occupations are in their early stages, but new gatherings and ideas are still being discussed on their respective Facebook pages. “I think the most important part of this is for people to come out into public spaces and meet one another. Everything else comes from that,” said Seager.


by ROSE WOODBURY Staff Reporter


n Sunday, Oct. 16, there was a shooting in the Walla Walla Dog Park. According to an Oct. 17 article in the Union-Bulletin, Terry Bickford, 59, and Tyler Larson, 22, had a heated disagreement that ended when Larson shot Bickford in the thigh with a handgun. In a police report, Larson claimed that the argument started when he observed Bickford verbally abusing a woman and physically abusing her dog and he decided to intervene. Larson had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and he was released from custody after an interview at the Walla Walla police station. Because of the potential dangers of carrying a gun, even when carrying one illegally, there is a strict nogun policy at Whitman. The student handbook states: “No firearms or ammunition are permitted in outdoor areas of the campus or in any college-owned, studentoccupied buildings, including all fraternities and rentals, or in conjunction with any college-sponsored activity.” Dean of Students Chuck Cleveland said that students have generally followed this rule. “We haven’t really had any problems. It’s just a policy for the safety of all,” he said. Sophomore Matthew Morris believes that even if someone is educated on how to use a gun, that is not enough assurance that he or she will always use it properly. “I would feel very uncomfortable if people were regularly armed and walking around campus not because I am uncomfortable handling weapons but

because it is up to those individuals to choose to handle that weapon in a certain way. I do not trust that people are educated about handling weapons or knowledgeable enough to handle them safely,” he said via email. Even though they cannot have them on campus, several students own guns so that they can go hunting and shooting. Senior David DeVine owns firearms so that he can hunt. In order to comply with the college policy, he keeps them in a storage facility on Ninth Street. “I’ve been hunting since I was 13 in Eastern Washington,” he said. “[Now] I go as much as I can during the season, but generally that just means weekends.” DeVine feels safe about the use of firearms because of the amount of training and steps hunters have to go through in order to become certified to practice the sport. Anyone under 35 who wants to hunt has to take a hunter education course through the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Additionally, each year hunters have to apply for permits to hunt both large and small game. Despite feeling relatively safe about the way he uses guns, DeVine recognized the potential dangers of participating in a hobby that involves use of a deadly weapon. “Certainly in the wrong hands and without proper knowledge and experience, guns are a huge liability. I’ve never gone hunting with anyone who I don’t trust,” he said. Senior Bennett Baucom picked up his shooting hobby while at Whitman. “I had been shooting plenty before, but I mainly picked up the hobby a bit over a year ago after my friend brought some of his guns up and we went shooting frequently. Soon thereafter, I bought an

old .22LR rifle for casual target practice,” he said via email. Baucom usually goes shooting once every other week in the Umatilla National Forest. Senior Robin Miller went shooting for the first time last year. She and a group of friends used studentowned rifles to go shooting. Miller believes that it’s acceptable to use guns for sporting events. “I think as long as they’re educated on how to use the gun safely and they use it responsibly, it’s perfectly fine to have that hobby,” she said. ILLUSTRATION BY BOWEN




20 2011


The Pioneer guide to

Walla Walla



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Walla Walla Area Wineries 1 1Waterbrook Winery

Waterbrook Winery

10518 W Highway 12 Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 522-1262 Open: Friday-Saturday 10-8 Sunday-Thursday 10-6

5 Amavi Cellars

10518 W Hwy. 12 Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 522-1262

3796 Peppers Bridge Rd. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 525-3541

Open: Friday-Saturday 10-8 Sunday-Thursday 10-6 Tacos by Maria: Noon7 Friday & Saturday

Open: Daily 1-4

6 Va Piano Vineyards

2 Glenccorie Winery 8052 W Highway 12 Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 525-2585 Open: Thursday-Monday 10-5

Serving rose petal dark chocolate truffles with our Cabernet Sauvignon. We focus on classic red Bordeaux varietals only.

1793 J B George Rd. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 529-0900 Open: Daily 11-5



Castillo de Feliciana

Grantwood Winery

85728 County 551 Rd. Milton-Freewater, OR 97862 (541) 558-3656

2428 Heritage Rd Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 529-5872

Open: Friday-Sunday 11-5

Open: Friday-Saturday 12-4:30

4 Basel Cellars 2901 Old Milton Highway Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 522-0200 Open: Daily 1-4

8 Northstar Winery 1736 Larson Rd. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 525-6100 Open: Monday-Saturday 10-4 Sunday 11-4



20 2011






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Downtown Wineries 13

Tero Esates and Flying Trout Wines

9 Isenhower Cellars 3471 Pranger Rd. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 526-7896 Open: Thursday & Friday 12-4 Saturday 11-5 Sunday (most) 11-4

6 W Rose St. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (541) 203-0020 Open: Sunday-Thursday 11-5 Saturday 10-6

14 Spring Valley Vineyard No tasting fee for Whitman Family Weekend visitors!


18 N 2nd Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 525-1506 Open: Thursday-Saturday 10-4 Sunday & Monday 11-4

Dunham Cellars E Boeing Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 529-4685

15 Otis Kenyon Winery

Open: Daily 11-4

11 Tamarack Cellars

23 East Main St. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 525-3505 Open: Thursday-Monday 11-5

700 C St. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 526-3533

16 Sapolil Cellars

Open: Thursday-Friday 12-4 Saturday-Sunday 10-4

15 E Main St. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 520-5258 Open: Daily 1-4 Dinner 4-8

12 K-Vinters 820 Mill Creek Rd. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 526-5230 Open: Friday 12-5 Saturday 10-5

17 Charles Smith Wines 35 S Spokane St. Walla Walla, WA 99362 (509) 526-5230 Open: Daily 10-6



20 2011

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: Cookie Contest WEB presents Whitman’s third annual Cookie Contest. Anyone can bake, judge and delight in delicious cookies! Bring friends and family. Prizes will be awarded in multiple categories. Friday, Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Reid Coffeehouse.

Around the World in Five Days Celebration This celebration culminates a week of multicultural exploration. Featuring live music from Rubberneck and exotic cuisine from all over the world. Friday, Oct. 21, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Glover Alston Center.

SpeakEasy Concert Sirens of Swank, Schwa, the Testostertones and a guest performer unite for a glorious evening of a cappella music. $5 donations are encouraged.

Friday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 22, 8:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Cordiner Hall.

Midwest rapper Dessa shows off her softer side by ALEX HAGAN Staff Writer


essa, a musical artist based in Minneapolis, seems to defy all categorization. A rapper and singer who got her start in spoken-word poetry, Dessa’s music seamlessly blends elements of several different genres together into one cohesive sound. Her background in poetry and philosophy is reflected in her wise, playful lyrics, which name-drop everything from “Anna Karenina” to Minnesotan landmarks and references. With her newest album, Castor, the Twin, Dessa distills her music down to its essentials, revealing new dimensions and details. Castor, the Twin is a collection of new arrangements of 11 previously released songs (with a new single at the end). Gathering an intimate ensemble of musicians—including a back-up singer, a pianist and an upright-bass player—Dessa’s powerful, witty words are seen in a new light. Stripped bare of the layers of sound present on many of her previous tracks, the result is a stunning and often brilliant album. Read the rest of this review online at



Harper Joy presents ‘The Skin of Our Teeth’ by CLARA BARTLETT Staff Writer


fter many hours of memorization, blocking, acting, set and light designing, rehearsing, directing and perfecting, the opening night of “The Skin of Our Teeth,” directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Christopher Petit, is finally here. From Thursday, Oct. 20, through Sunday, Oct. 23, Harper Joy Theatre will present “The Skin of Our Teeth” by Thornton Wilder, a hilarious semi-absurdist tragicomedy with elaborate sets and technical designs and a lively, complex array of characters. Attending an evening rehearsal, The Pioneer interviewed some members of the cast about their feelings heading into opening weekend. “I definitely feel like it’s come together. The three of these—Charlie, Caitlin and Morgan—are fantastic actors and actresses,” said senior David Otten. “Chris has definitely provided us with great ideas and great direction as well.” However, despite the generally pleased mood of the cast as opening night approaches, “The Skin of Our Teeth” is no actor or director’s walk in the park. With themes as broad as the existence of mankind and the challenge of extravagant technical designs, “The Skin of our Teeth” proves to be equally demanding for director, actor and technical designer alike. “It’s really gonna be a spectacle when everything’s finally put together,” said first-year Evelyn Levine. “This is a beast of a play, in a good way,” said senior theatre major and lead actress Cait-

KWCW SHOW OF THE WEEK ‘Acousticity’ Laura Hall delivers a range of acoustic tunes across many genres, including bluegrass, gypsy jazz, string swing, Celtic, folk and classical, as well as a sampling of regional artists from Alaska. Mondays, 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. On the dial at 90.5 FM Walla Walla and streaming live at For requests, call (509) 527-5283.


Cast members rehearse on the Alexander Stage in Harper Joy Theatre. ‘The Skin of Our Teeth,’ directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Petit, opens Thursday, Oct. 20, and runs nightly through the rest of Family Weekend. Photo by Felt

lin Goldie. “It’s really just tackling mankind, sort of, like, the cyclical nature of existence, and how mankind tends to repeat itself and find itself with the same problems over and over again.” Senior and lead actor Charlie O’Rourke explained further. “The most challenging thing for me is to compete with some of the technical aspects of the show. There is so much cool stuff going on technically that I find myself getting lost and out of character because there are so many distractions, especially in Act II,” said O’Rourke. “This is quite an event as you saw [pointing to elaborate set on

stage], so we’re trying to find a way to do that with grace,” said Petit. Ultimately, some of the elaborate set designs proved too much for the production. Assistant Professor of Theatre Greg Mitchell took a moment from hectic rehearsals on Wednesday, Oct. 19 to discuss the decision to streamline. “On this play we took a lot of large risks,” said Mitchell. “You never know quite if anything’s going to work out—we found that with some of what we were doing that it just wasn’t feasible. There was a serious amount of construction and very heavy rigging. It was enormous. We just found that we were detracting from the show by

having a really monumental scene change two times in the middle of a three hour long show, so we decided to simplify in certain ways.” Though dealing with heavy themes like history, religion and family structures, the play is uniquely relatable and entertaining, in that its true meaning is left open to the opinion of the audience. “My feeling was that [the play] showed kind of the collective struggle that we’re going through and we’re going through that right now, I think, as a nation,” said Petit. “And I think it offers a hopeful perspective on how to deal with these things.”


SPOTLIGHT Every week, The Pioneer searches out Whitties who bring an extra splash of fashion consciousness and sartorial daring to campus. This week’s Style Spotlight: sophomore and history major Stephanie Viers. Style Sound Bites “I got my boots at Macy’s, back in Portland. I just was looking around—I love all sorts of boots—and I just really liked the gray color, and I thought the brown cloth in it was really fun, would go with a lot of dresses. Then the belt: I believe I got that at Brass Plum, from Nordstrom. The dress: My best friend

Stephanie Viers ‘14 models her fashion-forward wardrobe. Photo by Beck

from Colorado gave it to me for my birthday. We went shopping—I think the dress was actually from Brass Plum also.” “I usually find something really simple first—cute, but simple and elegant. Then I just find small accessories to go with it, matching colors. I like a lot of neutral tones, like grays and browns and blacks and things like that. Less is more, don’t go overboard with lots of things,

don’t make things busy-looking.” “If I had to pick one [style icon], I’d say Jennifer Aniston. She always looks really elegant and nice, just classy.”

Enjoy WW eats with family Visiting Writers brings literary star by ELLIE NEWELL Contributing Reporter

Hey Whitman! It’s Family Weekend! That means it’s the perfect time to sample Walla Walla’s finest eateries with the fam’. Here are my picks. ¡Buen Provecho! Brasserie Four 4 East Main St. $10-$25, not for vegans, so-so for vegetarians. With a daily menu thoughtfully designed around ingredient availability, well-made French cuisine and a great wine list, Brasserie Four is my first choice for fine dining, especially within easy strolling distance from campus. You’re going to want a reservation because it fills up fast! Try the French onion soup—it’s my favorite. Taqueria Yungapeti 320 South 9th Ave. $5, vegetarian friendly. You may be tempted to take advantage of a non-student budget this weekend, but don’t overlook the Taq! Your family will love the deliciously fresh Mexican food, and it’s a great place to eat if you are in a rush to catch the play or the sunset over the wheat fields. I always get two Walla Walla tacos con pollo and an horchata. Yum!

Tommy’s Dutch Lunch 1203 West Pine St. $10, not for vegans. While Clarette’s reigns supreme over many Whitman hearts, give Tommy’s a try. Featuring your standard breakfast staples, Tommy’s is a salt-of-the-earth kind of place that’s straight out of the 1940’s. I’d recommend getting an early start, especially on the weekends, because this place fills up with devoted regulars. It’s worth it though; the French toast is melt-in-your-mouth good. The Colville Street Patisserie 40 South Colville St. $2-$8 for desserts, vegetarian friendly. What Parents’ Weekend would be complete without a trip (or two or three) to the Patisserie? The Patisserie has a wide variety of artfully crafted cakes, flakey pastries and divine gelato in both standard and adventurous flavors (think Schezuan, geranium and basil). Its pleasant atmosphere and light-filled space is a sure parent-pleaser and its pumpkin spice lattes are amazing. Bonus points for sourcing ingredients locally and seasonally. Savor a hazelnut macaroon for me!

Carmen Giménez Smith to campus



n certain Thursday nights, students and community members gather to fall under the storyteller’s spell. The Visiting Writers Reading Series was created to bring writers and poets to the college. Authors, like Carmen Giménez Smith, coming to campus on Thursday, Oct. 20, are the cream of the literary crop. Whitman’s Schwabacher Professor of English Katrina Roberts spoke through email on the series’ luminary guests. “Carmen’s won several terrific awards: the Poetry Society of America’s New American Poets Series, and the Juniper Prize recently for her third book of poems ‘Goodbye, Flicker.’ She’s pretty much on fire!” said Roberts. “It’s actually really satisfying to have invited the writers I invited back when I did, because after I had them contracted, Carmen won the American Book Award in nonfiction for ‘Bring Down the Little Birds,’ Terrance Hayes won the National Book Award in poetry, and Camille Dungy won the American Book Award in poet-

ry . . . so it feels as though I was able to catch some rising stars.” Despite the quality of the visiting talent, the task of raising student awareness and enthusiasm for the events has demonstrated certain challenges. “It seems like most of what they do in terms of advertising for that is they just have those flyers that you kind of see around campus,” said junior and English major Julian Hayward. “Whether there’s a website, I don’t even really know, but most of the time, all you have to judge on whether you want to go or not is, ‘Well, that person’s head looks kind of cool.’ If I knew a little bit more about a writer, I would be more interested in going.” With that in mind, The Pioneer set out to get acquainted with Giménez Smith. Speaking through email, the author discussed her busy lifestyle. In addition to her own writing and touring schedule, Giménez Smith balances roles as a professor at New Mexico State University, publisher at Noemi Press, editor-in-chief at the literary magazine “Puerto del Sol” and wife and mother to her family. “I don’t do anything by myself,” said Giménez Smith. “I

have a supportive family and the magazine and press are staffed by amazing people who are dedicated to the work we do. l’m very lucky, inspired really, by the people I work with on Noemi and ‘Puerto del Sol.’ I do prioritize in chunks. Sometimes, for a few days or a couple of weeks, I really focus my energy on one project and then move on to another one. I like to listen to music when I write, and I always carry a notebook around, so I have tons of notes to review. In a way, I’m always writing. I’m constantly thinking about writing, and directions for my writing to go so that when I start writing, I’m already in the head space.” “Though I’ve never (yet!) met Carmen, I do feel as though we’ve become friends in the last couple of years–in part through the work we’ve shared (on the page) and in part through a list-serve of working poet-moms,” said Roberts. “There’s really no limit to what we all discuss on list—pedagogy, kid things, poems, grant applications, insecurities, successes—it’s really a remarkable sisterhood in the literary world. I’m excited to have the chance to welcome her in person to campus next week.”

Gibson melts down in depressing, darkly comic style by NATHAN FISHER Staff Writer


iven Mel Gibson’s exploits of recent years, one wonders if the actor has lost his mind. Well, in “The Beaver,” the answer is a resounding yes. Gibson plays Walter Black, a former successful toy company CEO who suffers from severe depression. Black’s mental health spirals down and his wife, played by the movie’s director, Jodi Foster, kicks her husband out of the house. On his way to a hotel via

a liquor store, Walter finds a beaver hand puppet in the trash and decides to take the beaver with him. Soon to come are Walter’s numerous suicide attempts and lots of drinking—can a movie get any more depressing? Mel Gibson and Jodi Foster, two great actors, kept me in my seat thinking something of substance must be coming. When Walter gets drunk, a scene reminiscent of what happens to Gibson in “What Women Want” occurs. Instead of falling into the tub with a hairdryer, a TV

falls on Walter. The next morning, instead of hearing women’s thoughts, the beaver puppet is on Walter’s hand talking to him. Thankfully, the beaver adds a weird comic twist to this depressing film as he helps Walter get his groove back and reunite with his wife and kids. Walter, however, can only communicate and function through the beaver. He showers with the beaver on his hand (told you it was strange), runs with the beaver on his hand, and brushes the beaver’s teeth. The weirdness continues as ul-

timately the beaver tries to take over Walter and eventually attacks him. Yes, Gibson finally gets to fight and beat himself up. “The Beaver” was not a big blockbuster hit, and I can see why. A movie about depression, suicide and a dysfunctional family is frankly depressing to watch. I found myself laughing at scenes that probably were not intended to be funny. I have to give Mel Gibson credit though: He gave life to the puppet with the Michael Caine accent in this dark, slightly humorous movie.




20 2011



Whitman swim program sets bar high for 2011 season with talent, training, tradition

by MADDY BELL Staff Reporter


ith 16 broken records from last season’s Northwest Conference Championships alone, the Whitman swim team has an impressive precedent of success to meet. However, the ‘11-’12 season shows a lot of promise, with an emphasis on excellent technique and a crop of quick first-years boosting team talent. Since the start of swim season four weeks ago, this year’s crop of aquatic athletes has been working hard to make more great strides in advancing the Whitman swim program. After a weeklong tryout period at the start of the season, the team worked through Float Week: seven days of technical focus on breathing, turns, kicks and hand positions in an intimate examination of the fundamentals of swimming. “A lot of programs are based on the notion of training and workouts, but I really like to restructure that into the concept of practice and rehearsing skills. Just like a tennis player needs to learn how to perfect a serve, we need to learn how to do a start or push off the wall exactly right,” said Head Coach Jenn Blomme in reflection on week two of pre-season. These first two weeks set the tone for the rest of the year and provide a foundation of excellence for the program. By maximizing the efficiency of their technique, Whitman swimmers can better take advantage of the talent they have. Additionally, the speed and talent among this year’s first-year class—two first-year women and six firstyear men—has the team excited for the possibilities of the season. “The new swimmers . . . are not only the most talent-

SCOREBOARD Volleyball Men’s vs. Pacific Oct. 14 Women’s vs. George Fox Oct. 15

Loss 2-3 Win 3-1

Soccer Men’s Loss 1-2 (OT) vs. Trinity Lutheran Oct. 13 Win 2-1 vs. UPS Oct. 15 Loss 1-2 vs. PLU Oct. 16 Women’s Loss 1-2 vs. Whitworth University Oct. 12 Tie 1-1 (2 OT) vs. UPS Oct. 15 Win 3-1 vs. PLU vs. Trinity College Win 3-1 Oct. 19

Cross Country

Tabor Martinsen ‘15 (second from right) and Paul Chang ’13 (fourth from right) take their marks just before the start of the men’s 50 yard sprint freestyle event. Chang won the event with a time of 22.12 seconds, less than a second off the school record. Photo by Axtell

ed class but also immediately fit right in with the team. You can’t ask for anything more than that,” said Chris Bendix, one of the men’s senior team captains. “Not only are the new talents going to score points, but they are going to elevate the entire program,” said Blomme of the first-year competitors. With the competitive atmosphere among teammates in the pool as they strive to drop their times and take down records, it is surprising how tight-knit the Whitman swimming community is. Rather than being threatened by incoming talent, the returners embrace the ability of these young distance and speed specialists to push them to greater success in the pool.

Melanie Notari ‘14 races the 100 butterfly, her signature stroke, at last weekend’s swim meet against College of Idaho. Notari posted a time of 1:04. 58 Photo by Axtell

“Swimming is an individual sport—you’re doing each race by yourself—but I remember the first meet last year, people were cheering for me. That never happened in club or in high school. At Whitman we cheer for every person,” said sophomore breaststroker Claire Collins. The Whitman swim team is more than just a group of swimmers churning the water; their tight bond is expressed in the many team traditions. From the creation of posters for all teammates before the first meet to the echo of the team cheer bouncing off the walls in the locker rooms after practice and lifting to team dinners at Reid, this is not just a diverse group of gifted students and individuals but a family, united by the smell of chlorine in its hair and the traditions it celebrates together. “It’s a really diverse group of people, but it must be the long practices and the dinners that make us such a family,” said sophomore Shunei Asao. This mentality is reestablished every year with the annual Alumni Meet. In past years, the Alumni Meet has been the first splash in the water for Whitman’s swim team as it joins a group of 12 to 18 returning alumni swimmers for the Family Weekend event. Ranging from last year’s graduates to the class of 1996 and beyond, attending alumni and current swimmers have in common their love for Whitman Swimming. “You see a lot of STL—

Swim Team Love. It’s something we write on everything, and you know no matter how many years ago that alum left Whitman, you always have that in common with them. You can always talk about swimming,” said one of the women’s team captains, senior Katie Tackman. The Alumni Meet is not a conference meet, especially with alumni using their prowess more often than their power to make up for whatever fitness they have lost over the years. “Yeah, they cheat,” said junior Andrew Roehrig, laughing lightheartedly. Some alumni use fins and often turn single races into relays. This meet is a great way for the new swimmers to be introduced to swimming in a college setting, get to know some of the legacy of their sport and bond with fellow teammates. “I am much more concerned with talking smack and getting reacquainted with the alumni than I am with my own swimming,” said Bendix. So far the team’s trend of success has continued after a pre-season victory against College of Idaho. The team looks forward to the Alumni Meet on Saturday, Oct. 22, and its first home conference meet against Lewis and Clark on Friday, Nov. 11. Another year stronger, another year more mature and eight talented swimmers larger, this family of aqua athletes looks forward to a great year.

Day in the life: Men’s varsity soccer player The Pioneer takes a peek inside an average day in the life of a Whitman men’s varsity soccer player

6:42 Grab an ice bath with my boy Riley Paul after practice. by CLINT VOR AU ER Contributing Reporter

AM 7:47 Briefly wake to go to the bathroom. Exchange head nods . . . no talking allowed until at least 9. Go back to sleep. 9:30 Wake up for reals. 9:38 Go to the Jewett dining hall and hope someone lets me in . . . I get lucky today.

7:01 Arrive at Reid Campus Center. 7:02 Drop my stuff off with the soccer guys down at the TV area and order din. Protein. 7:35 Head back to Lyman with some extra food in hand. 7:42 Take a shower. 7:58 Call my homie back home, compare weekend shenanigans. 8:27 Head over to the libs (library) to do work. Socialize and study for next three hours, mostly the former.

10:29 Back in Lyman, shower and finish up German Hausaufgaben.

11:31 Get back to dorm.

10: 55 Stroll over to Maxey for Encounters.

11:33 Brush teeth.

11:50 Depart Encounters full of knowledge . . . thanks, Schmitz.

11:36 Watch an episode of Dragonball and subsequently fall asleep. Early class tomorrow.

PM 12:00 Swipe myself and an unnamed upperclassman from the soccer team into Lymy lunch. 12:01 Get my food . . . no line. Take a seat next to some of my buds. 12:45 Start heading over to Olin for German with extra food in hand, ready to fuel up for later. 12:48 Run into Jose from the team on my way, chat with him for a bitty. 12:59 Make it to German with a minute to spare. 2:20 German ends. Microecon time. Trek across Ankeny to Maxey for an hour and half of glorious Microecon. 2:24 Listen to Mr. Toomey’s techno and watch the tripatorium on his projector. The other guys on the soccer team in the class and I are particularly fond of the tripatorium. 2:30 Econ actually starts. 3:53 Check Post Office for package. I have a package, yes. So excited. 3:54 Run back to the dorm, soccer soon. 3:58 Don comfy athletic clothes. 4:01 Head over to the trainer for a TJ (tape job) on my foot, damn blisters. 4:08 Arrive at soccer complex, acquire training gear from Mike, get pumped for practice. 4:34 Mike shows us an inspiring (slightly corny) video that is quoted throughout the remainder of practice.


Women’s Boxer Rebellion Oct. 15 Men’s Boxer Rebellion Oct. 15

1st place 1st place

Golf Women’s NWC Four-Way Match Oct. 15


UPCOMING Golf Men’s NWC Men’s Fall Classic Oct. 22, 23 Women’s NWC Fall Classic Oct. 22, 23

Away Away

Soccer Men’s vs. Pacific University Oct. 22 vs. George Fox University Oct. 23 Women’s vs. Pacific University Oct. 22 vs. George Fox University

Home Home Home Home

Volleyball vs. Willamette Oct. 21 vs. Linfield Oct. 22

Home Home

Whitman Sports weekly factoids The men’s soccer team has scored two awards for Northwest Conference Player of the Week this season. Sophomore striker Chris Perkins was recognized for his contribution of two goals and an assist in a single game in late September; junior captain and goalkeeper Michael Bathurst was recognized after he pulled off his second and third shutout games of the season the weekend of Oct. 1 and 2. After taking the NW Conference singles title for the second year in a row, sophomore tennis player Andrew La Cava went on to the national championship tournament last weekend in Mobile, Alabama. He finished with a 2-2 record after playing four of the top five ranked players at the tournament.



20 2011





reek life and varsity sports share many core goals: building a sense of family, working together to accomplish goals and, above all, having fun. So it is not surprising to find at Whitman a thriving culture of Greek athletes. Athletes’ participation in Greek life, however, spans the spectrum from a positive relationship to a disruptive engagement. For many, the combination of Greek life and athletics is a great thing.

team as its own Greek organization still resonates with upperclassmen,” said Roehrig about past negative pressure on Greek life involvement. Roehrig believes that this pressure has gradually been lessened in recent years so that Greek life participation is now widely accepted on the swim team. The Greek system does more for athletes than provide a place to get involved. It provides an important source of emotional diffusion for athletes. “The Greek system helps



Examining Greek life in Whitman athletics

“Soccer guys are TKE, baseball guys are Sigs. Beta has some soccer guys, Phi is swimming and tennis players,” said first-year Beta pledge and swimmer Yohan Mahoney. “In my experience athletic stereotypes aren’t as prevalent in Whitman sororities [as in fraternities],” said first-year Aliza Whalen. The idea of the sports team

and games always top her list. “Sports have priority over Greek life for sure,” she said. Although this seems the standard for those who participate in both Greek life and varsity

ber David Fleming recounted. There have been many rumors about Holowaty threatening playing time if team members are involved in Greek life; however, true or not, these allegations are not reflected in the high percentage of the team that is Greek. In a recent survey of varsity athletes, only two percent of athletes reported that their coach had an influence in their decision whether or not to go Greek. “Although he has his reasons, I think it is a negative thing. It makes issues surrounding Greek life a touchy subject [on the team],” said


Whitman sports survey results

In a recent survey of 86 varsity athletes at Whitman, 50 percent of respondents were involved in Greek life. Members of each varsity sport and each graduating class were represented in responses to questions about Greek life and their athletic experience. Twenty-five percent of surveyed athletes reported that they feel there is a precedent on their team to join Greek life; only two percent considered their coach to have been a factor in this decision.

Whitman athlete profile: IM, club athlete Jeff Gayle

athletics, the balancing act can still prove troublesome. “The balance is the hardest thing to deal with but it’s something that is manageable if dealt with correctly,” said Cohen. “With so many activities going on for both baseball and Greek life, it’s hard to walk the line which balances both of them evenly . . . I feel that every kid I have seen join a fraternity from our team has the ability to come up with a good working balance.” The issue of Greek life has been a particularly interesting subject in the baseball team. The negativity about the Greek system seems not to come from the players, but rather from the head coach. “[Head Coach Jared Holowaty] straight up told us he didn’t like the Greek system,” former baseball player and TKE mem-

Varsity athletes report on Greek life dynamics This week, we asked varsity athletes how they viewed the relationship between sports and Greek life.

Greek members are definitely a minority on our team and sometimes there is tension between the Greek and nonaffiliated members about being Greek. Greek affiliated ’14

It’s just something else that we can do.

Greek affiliated ’14

Jeff Gayle ‘12 jumped into intramural and club sports when he arrived at Whitman. An economics/rhetoric and media studies double major, Gayle is currently a head on Whitman’s IM committee and social chair of the club volleyball team. Photo by Parrish

by MOLLY OLMSTED Contributing Reporter


earing sweats from head to toe, Jeff relaxes on one of the couches in the basement of Reid with a calm countenance, holding his lunch in one hand. Profile: Jeff Gayle Class: Senior Major: Rhetoric and media studies/economics double major Hometown: Woodinville, Wash. What brought you to Whitman? When I was looking at schools, I was looking at small liberal arts schools kind of off West Coast I-5: so, like, Willamette, Lewis & Clark, Santa Clara, those type of schools. And this is the best place [smiles]. I went to

Willamette and it was dark and cloudy in the middle of summer, and I came here a couple times, ‘cause it’s just a quick drive, and every time it was just really sunny and nice. It’s a very cool place. What sports do you play? I play club Ultimate Frisbee [and] men’s club volleyball, which I’m a social chair for. I’m a head on the IM Committee, which organizes all the intramural sports throughout the year. I play pretty much as many intramural sports as I can which includes football, soccer, dodgeball, volleyball and softball. Is it hard to balance all of those sports? It is right now because I just started Frisbee last year and I have to do my thesis this semester. So that’s cutting into a lot of my

time. But, you know, I’m finding a way: lack of sleep [laughs]. Do you have a favorite out of the sports you play? I like IM football and IM soccer. I played soccer through high school so that’s that, but Frisbee and volleyball are, like, my two favorites. What do you want to do after Whitman? Do you know? Not really, no. I’ve got to figure that out. Would you want to do anything sports-related? Yeah, definitely. Maybe marketing. Related to one of the sports you play? Probably one of the sports, like soccer. Soccer or baseball.

Fleming. “Coach’s view didn’t have too much effect on my decision and many guys in my class’s decision to go Greek, but it had some influence over this year’s [first-year] class.” Fleming believes Holowaty’s sentiments are not meant to be negative, but are rather a product of his own experiences with fraternities on the East Coast. “I don’t think he is fully aware of what Whitman fraternities are like. Guys are here to play baseball,” Fleming concluded. With the re-introduction of a fourth sorority at Whitman this year due to steadily increasing interest, involvement in Greek life is a growing trend at Whitman College, and is increasingly a choice made more by individuals than by team pressure.

Responses from an anonymous poll of Whitman varsity athletes

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“I think [involvement in Greek life] speaks to the quality of the people. They want to be involved in a lot of aspects of campus,” said junior swimmer Andrew Roehrig, a member of Phi Delta Theta. The swim team is one of the teams that has seen a large growth of Greek life participants over the last two years. “A few people have strong opinions, and the idea of the swim

team morale. It’s nice to have a support system to rely on outside of basketball,” said junior women’s basketball player and Delta Gamma member Mary Madden about the benefits of Greek life. Sophomore baseball player and Sigma Chi member Aaron Cohen agreed. “A lot of the guys like to be involved with people that we normally wouldn’t. We spend a lot of time together on the field and it’s always nice to get a break every once in a while,” he said. There are certain varsity teams which have large groups of members of a certain fraternity. This trend has led to the fraternities being stereotyped by sport.

serving a function similar to a Greek organization is still present, but dissipating as more players join Greek life. The women’s tennis team underwent such a transformation in Greek life participants just in the last year. Senior independent tennis player Emily Rolston has seen the change firsthand. “Earlier in my career the team consensus was that the tennis team played the role of a sorority. I think this has changed— as a freshman there was maybe one sorority member and now there are five, maybe six,” said Rolston. Rolston does not believe this change has affected the team in any way, positive or negative. Balancing sports and Greek life is not always an easy task and sometimes creates tension between individuals and teams. When asked which took precedence, Madden said practice time

My sorority is really supportive of me being involved in athletics. I usually miss a lot of activities and they are really understanding. Greek affiliated '14

It’s a personal choice that doesn’t affect your team. Unaffliliated '12

Everyone on the team knows that team always comes first, so it’s usually not a problem. Unaffiliated ‘13

I would say the perception of Greek life on my team is more on the negative side. People are also indifferent, but those who dislike the Greek system seem to be the loudest. Greek affiliated ’12

[Greek life] adds a social dimension that otherwise wouldn’t be there. Sometimes it’s nice to hang out with people outside of your team, since most of your time is spent with that group of people. Greek affiliated ’12



20 2011





As concerns persist over the economic crisis, a few Whitman students are exploring creative ways to make a little extra cash. From bread making to jewelry and beyond, new entrepreneurial endeavors are emerging all over campus. This week, Feature looks at student business ventures in a liberal arts environment.

Student entrepeneurship meets liberal arts educational approach Staff Reporter


tudent-made bread, challah and jewelry abound on the Whitman campus. Although student entrepreneurship may be booming, it is often hard to imagine that those who receive their degree at a liberal arts school will put their entrepreneurial experience to good use in a future career. In reality, exploring entrepreneurship can help create a skill set that will enhance the effects of a liberal


We should all think about being entrepreneurial no matter what we’re trying to do. Noah Leavitt, Dean for Student Engagement

arts education. Assistant Dean for Student Engagement Noah Leavitt is insistent on the importance of an entrepreneurial approach in all aspects of life. Just weeks ago, interest was shown in the development of an alumni network specifically applicable to entrepreneurship. The SEC has plans to get one up and running, as well as to bring successful alumni to campus. “We are very excited to be sponsoring the Nov. 9 visit of Whitman alumni Chantal Valentine ’96 and her husband, Shane, who are successful entrepreneurs in the burgeoning healthy baby food industry and will have a special lunch workshop for students who are interested in how entrepreneurs develop small businesses like theirs,” said Leavitt. Leavitt noted that many Whitman alumni succeed with their ideas in the national marketplace. Michael Winnike ’07 started Happy Goat Caramel

in the Bay Area, a company that makes Kosher, free-range goat milk caramels and other sweets. Alumni products like these come full circle; not only are they sold nationwide at wellknown establishments such as Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table, but they are also sold at the Whitman College Bookstore. Winnike, along with many other Whitman grads, benefited from the liberal arts education as well as entrepreneurial experience. While selling homemade bread and jewelry may be a good way to make money during college, those who do so do not necessarily go on to own a small business. It is the experience and the skills learned that will be effective in the long run. “It is important to think of entrepreneurialism as an approach and not just as a job title. Rather, we should all think about being entrepreneurial no matter what we’re trying to do,” said Leavitt.

Jewelry consignment shown in bookstore: Crafters see success Staff Reporter


he Whitman College Bookstore is proactive in encouraging student entrepreneurship on campus. Currently, the Bookstore has consignment arrangements with crafters, who can display and sell their products in the store. The Bookstore keeps 30 percent of the profit, while the artisan receives the rest. “It’s nice for [the Bookstore] because they don’t have to make any initial investment, and it’s also great for me because the percentage of the profit that I get to keep is likely more than what it would be if I just sold directly to the bookstore,” said senior Katie Lei. Lei sells the beaded bracelets and earrings she designs and creates at the bookstore. She fostered her craft at a young age, initially starting

with friendship bracelets and crochet and knitting projects. Lei has focused on beading for the past few years, which she states is her “main outlet for [her] compulsive need to make things.” Sophomore Monica Simmons has been making earrings for six years. Initially, she did this as a hobby, but once people became interested in her craft, she began to sell her pieces.



I would definitely encourage other students to try to sell their products on campus.” Katie Lei, '12

“There are many talented artists and craftspeople with marketable skills [at Whitman],” said Simmons, who has sold

her pieces in the bookstore. “I would encourage other students to sell their stuff. I’ve noticed student products are pretty cheap compared to other retail products. And it’s great to see what crafts people create.” Merchandise and Marketing Specialist Rebecca Thorpe does the buying for the bookstore and is in charge of consignment for students who choose to sell their products in the store. She made the decision to let Simmons and Lei display their pieces. Both Lei and Simmons report making a profit; however, neither are planning on going into the jewelry business or retail. “Rebecca has been so supportive and absolutely wonderful to work with through this whole process,” said Lei. “I would definitely encourage other students to try to sell their products on campus.”

Ryann Savino ’13 (top left) models a vintage dress featured on her Etsy site, Monica Simmons ’14 (top right) wearing a pair of her handmade earrings, Brady Klopfer’s ’12 (bottom) business includes both pies and bagels. Photos by Bernstein

Bread making on rise, wafting through campus by TYLER KING Staff Reporter


tudents who enjoy fresh bread are in luck: Junior Tom Glass has started his own business here on campus making and selling bread. He takes orders by email ( and even does delivery. Customers



Sometimes I’ll have to turn down orders or postpone them to the following day if I have a test or something.” Tom Glass, '13

don’t have to wait long, either; it’s an overnight recipe, so he makes the bread the night before and puts it in the oven the next day. Glass offers a variety of gourmet options for potential customers, everything from wheat loaves to white roasted garlic and rosemary. Glass has always enjoyed making bread for himself or for special occasions, but as for the business aspect, he admits he may have been inspired by an

email he saw his freshman year from someone who started up a similar bread-making business. “It’s sort of been in the back of my mind; I think it helped fuel the creation of this idea,” he said. A friend offered to pay Glass to make a loaf of bread every week—so his own bread-making business began. At first, his friends were his only customers, but his customer base has grown by word of mouth. Now he gets about 15 to 20 orders a week, which can be challenging. “Sometimes I’ll have to turn down orders or postpone them to the following day if I have a test or something like that, so that’s something I’ve been figuring out how to deal with,” he said. He’s found that balancing schoolwork and baking is not impossible, however. “There’s a lot of leeway as far as most of the time I spend baking is actually spent waiting for [the bread] to rise, and, you know, while it’s in the oven and everything I can do my work while that’s happening,” he said. Despite his growing success, Glass doesn’t see himself owning a bakery after graduating from Whitman. “I won’t completely rule it out, but it’s not a part of my plan right now,” he said.

Bagel business rolling in the dough by SUSANNA BOWERS Staff Reporter


ave you been craving a tasty, home-baked snack? Check your email and you will more than likely find a message from senior Brady Klopfer advertising his fresh bagels and pies. Sold at reasonable prices (bagels 4/$5, 8/$8 or 12/$10, and pies $12), they are offered in a variety of flavors and are even delivered right to your door. Brady began this business less than a month ago at the suggestion of a housemate. “I cook a lot for my house because they don’t cook much, so I kind of do a lot of the familial cooking. One of them suggested that I should start selling them, and I had never really thought of it because I didn’t think people

would actually buy bagels from a student,” said Klopfer. That idea was quickly proved wrong. His sales jumped from 12 bagels in the first week to 56 bagels and two pies in the second, and a similar amount in the third. When asked how he deals with such a demand on his own, Klopfer shrugged modestly. “I wake up early on Fridays,” Klopfer said simply. “And then I just crank them out, as many as I can fit in the oven.” Sometimes having to make last-minute runs to Super 1, the farmer’s market or Safeway for extra ingredients, Klopfer has found this method effective so far. When he realized how popular his bagels were, he decided to add pies to the mix. “I was trying to think of other things that I can mass-

produce that don’t take a ton of preparation,” said Klopfer. “With the pies it’s nice because you can make a lot of dough the night before and prep the filling, and then they’re in the oven for a long time.” Klopfer was used to making pies fairly often, so this wasn’t a difficult addition for him. “I have a habit of making pies and bringing them to the library and just demolishing a pie with a group of friends at 1 in the morning,” said Klopfer with a laugh. Klopfer seems to really enjoy his business for more than just the profits. “I’m not in dire need of making a ton of money; that’s not the main purpose,” said Klopfer. “I really enjoy cooking by myself; it’s very peaceful and calming.”

Student vends vintage clothing online by MOLLY EMMETT Staff Reporter


ike most Whitman students, Ryann Savino doesn’t have a lot of free time. She is a junior Environmental Humanities major—and is also running her own online store. Raggedy Mermaid is a shop that Savino created on the independent commerce website Etsy, where users can register to sell anything from handmade creations to art supplies. The focus of Raggedy Mermaid is vintage


It’s not about getting money. It’s more of an adventurous thing.”

Ryann Savino ’13 shows off one of her unique vintage dresses. Photos by Bernstein

Ryann Savino, '13

clothing, which currently includes about 20 pieces ranging from “dynamite dresses” to “soft sweet skirts,” according to Savino’s page. Savino opened the shop this summer, but she has known about Etsy for a few years. One of Savino’s friends from Phoenix, her hometown, has her own Etsy shop, and Savino has modeled the clothing frequently over the years. Savino has also been interested in vintage clothing for a while, but it wasn’t until this summer, when her mom and some friends were setting out bags of vintage clothing to give away, that Savino had her idea. “[I thought] it’d be great if [the clothes] were with someone who loved wearing them all the time,” said Savino about her decision to sell them on the internet. Raggedy Mermaid was thus created. Though some Etsy users start their sites with the mindset of creating a business, Savino is

simply enjoying the experience of having her own shop. She recently sold her first two items, and although she is grateful for the extra money she now has, she isn’t planning to invest much more capital in her shop. “Maybe I’m entering the realm of entrepreneurship, but it’s not about getting money. It’s more of an adventurous thing,” said Savino when asked about the business side of her endeavor. Though it is open to anyone with internet access all over the world, Raggedy Mermaid has a special Whitman flair. Savino recruits her friends to model the pieces that she sells, and it is really a way to share her personality with the Whitman community. “I like to wear a lot of vintage stuff, and I would get comments about my pieces. This is a way to share that interest, that self-expression, with Whitman,” said Savino.



20 2011

The European Center for Particle Physics stated that tiny particles may be going faster than the speed of light. This week, a professor and a student speak out on the implications that could change scientific thinking.



New discovery claims neutrinos might be breaking Einstein’s speed limit Alfredo Villaseñor Junior


ast month the European Center for Particle Physics (CERN) and the Italian laboratory of high-energy physics in Gran Sasso detected particles moving faster than light, what has been taken to be an impossibility for over a hundred years since Einstein published his theories in 1905. The particles found breaking this cosmic speed limit were neutrinos, bits of neutral matter so small that they can pass through people and planets unhindered, and so abundant that the nuclear reactions in the sun shower our planet with billions of them every second. This observation has bewildered the scientists at CERN to the point that they’re currently holding back on making any claims to a new discovery. Instead, the affiliated scientists and the broader physics community are dissecting every aspect of the investigation, as well as preparing to try to repeat the results at other particle colliders. If neutrinos going faster than light were to be true, much of the today’s research that has been based on Einstein’s theories would have to be trashed, putting physicists who’ve been studying things like string theory for their whole careers out of jobs. The current laws of space and time would have to be erased and rethought, and physics would face a new and perhaps even more difficult slew of questions—one of which would be the relationship between cause and effect. In theory, as you approach the speed of light, time slows down, but, if you were able to go faster than light, that would mean that you could slow down time to the point that it would go backwards. Neutrinos going faster than light essentially means that they can travel back in time, that effect can precede cause. Unfortunately, nearly every respected physicist is confident that the measurements will

not hold under scrutiny. The sci-fi geek in me is crossing his fingers, hoping that they will. Despite that what they found at CERN may turn out to be a mistake, it’s times like these when a whole scientific community is squirming that we can get a full appreciation of science and its methods. When the physicists divided distance by time and found the anomaly, they didn’t run off to declare that the laws of modern physics had been toppled, nor did they just ignore the problem and leave it for someone else. What they did first was some thorough headscratching. Afterwards they began to look around for possible errors. When nothing seemed to come up, they submitted their findings to the rest of the physics community for peer review. It’s a straightforward and logical set of procedures that


scientists are supposed to follow in order to answer the simplest to the most complex of questions. There is no dogma, no conservatives or progressives, and no truth so sacred that it can’t be proven wrong. There is simply observation, assessment and, finally, conclusion. I believe that science can be an excellent teacher of humility. If you ever find yourself sticking to your beliefs and making no room in your thoughts for criticism or self-assessment, remember that we as humans are limited in such a way that we can only attain an estimation of the truth, and not truth itself. And the only way we can minimize that gap between estimation and fact is by staying open to each other and by being open to change. So be a scientist—not necessarily in your career, but at least in your thinking.

Do neutrinos change everything? by MOIR A GR ESH A M Assistant Professor of Physics


ou’ve probably seen some of the headlines by now: “Tiny Neutrinos May Have Broken Cosmic Speed Limit” (New York Times), “Faster than light? CERN findings bewilder scientists” (LA Times), “Faster than light particles found, claim scientists” (The Guardian). On the evening of Thursday, Sept. 22, the OPERA collaboration posted a scientific paper presenting a measurement of the speed of neutrinos—electrically neutral elementary particles that, for example, are produced in copious amounts through nuclear reactions in the sun—as being faster than the speed of light by 0.000248 +/- 0.000041 percent. Why is this such a big deal? In its natural incarnation, Einstein’s theory of relativity—which has been confirmed to impressive degrees of precision in numerous (thousands, I’d guess) of other experiments to be descripILLUSTRATION BY SONG

tively accurate—sets an upper limit on the speed of any object: That limit is the speed of light. Given the theoretical and empirical success of Einstein’s theory in its currently accepted form, it would be absolutely shocking (and very interesting!) if the OPERA result holds up. In the days before its official release on the evening of Sept. 22, the web was abuzz with rumors of the result. A public seminar was held at CERN the next day (Friday, Sept. 23). I’m not exactly sure what went on behind the scenes, but it seems as if the OPERA collaboration made an explicit effort to attract the media’s attention. Given that even spokespeople for the collaboration admit that their faster-than-light measurement is most likely the result of some systematic effect, it is somewhat surprising—and some physicists would say bad—that the OPERA collaboration and CERN would have allowed (invited?) the result to be announced so loudly and publicly. Some wish the announcement had been first directed more precisely toward the community of professional physicists. I think the politics, motivations and reactions surrounding the release of the OPERA result would make a fascinating case study in the practice of science. Physicists have been throwing around many ideas since the release of the OPERA result. As of the middle of October, I count about 50 papers related to the OPERA result posted on the online physics paper repository (arXiv. org) since Sept. 22. Of the papers with merit, several detail ways in which the OPERA result is incompatible with other experiments— at least within given theoretical frameworks. Several suggest further experiments or modifications of the OPERA experiment that could illuminate the situation. Others suggest possible sources of systematic error that need further investigation. Others, in a seemingly premature effort, try to postulate modified theoretical frameworks in which the result could be compatible with other observations. In short, for the most part what should be happening (and what the OPERA collaboration wanted) is happening: The result is being rigorously vetted. This is part of the scientific process. Particles faster than light: revolution or mistake? Probably a subtle mistake. Did OPERA announce its result with too much fanfare? The answer is not obviously, “Yes.” At least a good fraction of the scientific community is reacting with appropriate skepticism and care.

Reconsideration of Oct. 6 column’s generalizations needed Peter Chen Senior


ndoubtedly, my last column, “Take it slow when dating Chinese girls,” has received lots of attention and has even led to questioning of the production process and ethics of The Pioneer. Therefore, I think it is necessary for me to apologize and explain my initial intentions for the column and clear The Pio’s name. Considering that in Fall 2010 the previous exchange student from my university, Ding Li, wrote a lot of pieces about political and economic issues in China, I figured in-

stead, I wanted to write about something light-hearted and fun to read, such as relationships, which are universal and relate to everyone. That said, an apology is necessary. I never had the intention of judging all Chinese women because I don’t have time to get to know them all. Even if I knew all of them, my interpretations of Chinese women still wouldn’t be accepted by everyone: We all see things from different perspectives. I did not include a clarification I originally wanted to add in my column, and yes, I would have added it if I had known my column would cause so much controversy. I would like to add it here: It’s impossible for me to know all Chinese women. They all have their own individual qualities and characteristics. Therefore, it’s impossible that my interpretations and understandings will fit all Chinese women. However, I still deleted this and therefore I take all of the responsibility for the misunderstandings that I have caused. I did go through all of the comADVERTISEMENT

ments and I found most of them were concerned with my generalization of Chinese girls as materialistic and superficial people who twist their morals for personal gain. I know many Chinese women who don’t fit in this stereotype, such as my mother. I would not want this interpretation to be applied to her. When the column was originally published, a sentence in the last paragraph read, “It might only take you one month to kiss her if you offer your credit card.” I didn’t mean it literally. I was trying to be humorous, in response to the sentence above, “Then he becomes an anxious husband, praying that his wife will show mercy to their bank account,” where I was also trying to inject some humor. Apparently, I was too confident in my sense of humor. I understand how my readers can find it offensive; therefore, I apologize. I have never asked my editor or anyone to edit or alter any part of my columns after they are published. I would never apply to work for The Pio if I didn’t have the guts to shoulder all

the criticism or feedback to my work. Again, I am not here to quibble about all the criticism, but to address misunderstandings I have caused so far and may cause in the future. Therefore, if you run into me on campus and ask me, “Are you the author who wrote the horrible column about dating Chinese girls?” I

would say, “Yes,” without any hesitation. Based on what I have said above, I hope people will not think I am looking down upon Chinese women or have a bias against them. Read a statement by the Opinion Editor and Editor-in-Chief online at




20 2011


3 things Occupy Wall Street can learn from Tea Party: Stick to goals, refocus political lens, enter political arena Daniel Merritt Columnist


oth the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement embody an underlying dissatisfaction with those with decision-making power. While the Tea Party is focused on government spending and taxes, Occupy Wall Street has its crosshairs aimed at large conglomerates, oil companies, billionaires and their bedfellow politicians. With that in mind, Occupy Wall Street needs to learn three things from the Tea Party Movement. Occupy Wall Street began as an as the brainchild of Adbusters Media Foundation, a non-profit, anti-consumerist, pro-environment organization. It has since come into its own and spawned countless copycat occupy movements across the country. Not unlike the conservative Tea Party movement, Occupy Wall Street has taken numerous political agendas and sub-


cultures and unified them under a single banner. The movement is growing, excitement is building; now Occupy Wall Street just needs to deliver. In order to do this, Occupy Wall Street needs to do three things:

Letters to the Editor

Elimination of varsity football program did not result in fewer donations

The Sept. 29 article by Pamela London, “Football controversy: Sudden end of declining program in 1977 vexes Whitman community,” may have unintentionally left Pioneer readers with the misperception that Whitman’s fundraising efforts have suffered long-term repercussions as a result of the closure of the varsity football program. In my role as director of annual giving, I’ve had a number of conversations with alumni who were disappointed with the college’s actions and continue to question the handling of the decision to eliminate the football program. No matter their graduation year, it is true that Whitman alumni are passionate about their Whitman experience. Most Whitman alumni are remarkably loyal and generous to their alma mater. For instance, in 1961, Whitman Alumni Fund Chair, John Tuttle ’37, reported gifts of $16,833 from 15 percent of the alumni. In fiscal year ’77, the year that the football program was eliminated, alumni gifts had grown to $325,934, an increase of 16 percent over the previous academic year. The year following the elimination of football, alumni gifts happen to have nearly tripled—to $934,779. For the five years following the elimination of football, alumni gifts averaged $2.18 million per year. This was not because the college dropped football, but simply that alumni were showing increased appreciation for their experiences at the college. During this past fiscal year, 43 percent of alumni made gifts totaling $9,124,688 and all gifts from alumni, parents and friends exceeded $15 million, a record-breaking year. For those with a particular interest in supporting varsity athletics, the recent creation of the W Club by alumni and parents has done a “varsity-level” job in enhancing the student athlete experience. Alumni giving is a core value of the Whitman tradition and connects Whitties of every class and era. Gifts from loy-

al and generous alumni continue to strengthen the qualities that shape the Whitman experience: exceptional teaching, a residential liberal arts environment, experiential learning, financial aid and co-curricular experiences in a variety of settings— including varsity athletics. The demise of varsity football at Whitman is certainly a poignant and controversial moment in the college’s history. While there were alumni who chose not to support the college in the wake of the decision to eliminate football, the idea that Whitman “suffered a dip in donations” or that the college is just now returning to pre-1977 totals is patently inaccurate. Brian Dohe Director of Annual Giving

1. Occupy Wall Street needs to make sure to stick to a goal that all of its supporters can agree upon. The recent “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City” presents a myriad of grievances against corporations. These grievances address a wide variety political issues ranging from standard corporate criticism such as environmental and labor concerns to issues such as workplace discrimination. Fiscal responsibility served as the battle cry of the Tea Party; I think Occupy Wall Street’s uniting doctrine is a belief in corporate responsibility. Documents such as the “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City” would serve as a good starting point to create government-backed ethical guidelines for corporations in variety of fields. 2. Occupy Wall Street needs to refocus the political agenda. The Tea Party hijacked the political agenda of Washington D.C. Although the Tea Party makes up a small per-

centage of the legislators in Washington, the momentum and strong voice of the movement allowed the Tea Party to change the course of discussion in Washington. The Tea Party managed to derail discussions on issues such as immigration, healthcare and the environment and to make balancing the budget the major project of both houses of Congress and the President for almost the entire summer. The Tea Party is a clear example of a minority exerting powerful influence on the majority through dogged persistence and advocacy for its platform. 3. Occupy Wall Street needs to either directly influence the political arena or enter it. The Tea Party did an excellent job of seamlessly turning its boisterous rhetoric and rallies into direct political action. The Tea Party made sure to run candidates for positions at all levels of government and made sure that its members voted. Occupy Wall Street needs

to do the same or it risks losing momentum without enacting any substantive change to the status quo. Protests alone will change nothing. A more refined political agenda needs to emerge that pursues both conventional political avenues such as electing candidates to office and unconventional tactics such as targeted boycotts of specific corporations. Pressure needs to be applied at all political levels to make the transition from sending a message to changing policy. Occupy Wall Street stands at a crossroads; many different interests are pushing the movement in different directions, fast. Occupy Wall Street needs to keep a unified front and begin to move from demonstrations to action. If the movement can not only protest, but vote, boycott, organize and lobby, it can follow in the footsteps of successful political movements; the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement and, yes, the Tea Party.

Political Cartoon by Kelly Douglas

Check your irony at door Last week, the Backpage published a Twitter-themed piece degrading women and indigenous, LGBT and black communities. I assume [Humor Editor] Adam Brayton intended to be ironic, but this does not alleviate his responsibility for publishing offensive material. This piece seems to excuse the author from what is inexcusably offensive, using what bloggers and activists call “hipster racism.” At an institution committed to diversity, this should not be tolerated. In the “Whitman bubble,” we often interact with a likeminded audience, but what our peers think is ironic may actually be offensive. If uncontested, these jokes risk becoming normalized. Whitman students must take responsibility for when our actions and words offend. By doing so, we can be better representatives for the critically aware student body that our community tries so hard to cultivate. I would love to see more creative humor that doesn’t rely on using offensive material. Meghan Bill ’12 Read Brayton’s response online at

Voices from the Community

Do you think it is important to buy organic? Poll by Li









“Yes I do, but I think it’s interesting that people focus so much on organic and less on local food. And people believe that farmers markets are organic and local when they’re not.”

“I think it is because not only does it promote awareness for organic farms, but it’s also better for you.”

“Yes, I think it is important to buy organic, but its not the only thing that matters when you’re buying food. Considering where it came from, who grew it and what season it is are all equally important.”

“I appreciate organic food because I’m not a fan of crazy pesticides or fertilizers.”



20 2011


To prepare the Whitman masses for the upcoming Family Weekend, the Pio Think Tank Team has procured a list of possible scenarios of how the weekend could go. Take heed.


Good Weekend: You and your mom spend a pleasant evening attending a social gathering with some other first-year students and parents. Your friends think that your parents are so awesome.


Good Weekend: Your mom decides to surprise you by inviting Aunt Gertrude and Uncle Elwyn to tag along for the weekend.

3. Good Weekend: Your buddies agree to let your dad play on your flag football team that day and you watch in amazement as the Old Geezer rushes, catches and stiff arms your team into victory again and again. You, your old man and the team win the IM tournament championship.


Good Weekend: You and your parents attend a cross-cultural dinner that includes delicious dishes from all over the world. You all agree that the pad thai was absolutely scrumptious.

5. Good Weekend: Your parents are

pleasantly surprised and impressed by the rug you bought and put in your room to up the “ambiance and add that they are glad to see how you have grown up. They marvel at the fact that your floor is so clean, and their opinion of your moral character is greatly enhanced by this observation, and your dad gives you a congratulatory fist-bump.

6. Good Weekend: You are happy to

find out that both your and your best friend’s mothers enjoyed a night of dancing and socializing together at one of Walla Walla’s high-end wine venues. It is the beginning of a friendship that will last for years.

Bad Weekend: The harmless party that you and your parents attended turned out to be a cult initiation that forces all of you to quit school and occupations and work on the cult’s soy-bean plantation. Bad Weekend: Your mom decides to surprise you by inviting Aunt Gertrude and Uncle Elwyn to tag along for the weekend. Bad Weekend: Your buddies cautiously agree to let your dad play on your flag football team, but before the first play of the game Dad tears his ACL, pops his hip out of place and slips a disc in his lower back while bending over to tie his tennis shoes in the pre-game huddle. Bad Weekend: Your parents get food poisoning from the sour escargot that they each courteously tried at the cross-cultural event so as to not look like the lame, overly conservative parents.


a f ir s t-hand account


he following is a dramatization of something that really happened. Really. I know they’re out to get me. I know they’re just waiting to ambush me. One cold and freaky night, they will catch me offguard, and I will be powerless against their will . . . DRENCHED. Here I am, walking across Ankeny late at night. I stayed at the library three hours longer than I was expecting, writing my paper: “The Evolution of the Tambourine as a Completely Useless Instrument Except for Making Lead Singers of Bands Feel Like They’re Actually Doing Something.” The afternoon was warm, but the evening is so cold I forget how to blink/how many fingers I have. As I near the middle of Ankeny, something makes me stop . . . It starts quietly, an ominous hiss, and grows to a roar. I freeze. I AM NOW FROZEN IN BOTH THE LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE SENSE. They’ve found me. I should have brought some sort of protection, or at least some running shoes. As terror threatens to overtake my senses, I suddenly clench my butt cheeks together and set

my jaw. I am strong. Let it begin. As the sprinkler system roars to life, I take off into the fray. Leaping, dodging, I sprint through the spray. I hit 70, 80, 90 miles an hour! I’m pretty sure I execute a perfect triple axel somewhere in there. Suddenly, I’m on the home stretch. I can see the door of the dorm. I have my swipe at the ready. AND THEN. IT HAPPENS. Sprink-zilla erupts before me. Bastard’s gotta be 30 feet in diameter. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS SPRINKLER? ONLY JACK’S BEANSTALK NEEDS THIS SPRINKLER. I fall to my knees and bow my head in defeat. Then I look up. Getting to my feet, I take a pretty wide power stance and bellow: “SPARTANS! WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSION?” Then, because it’s only me out there, I reply to myself: “AWOO, AWOO!” Then I charge through the stream. It drenches me to the bone and removes some of my excess skin and facial features, but I make it through alive. Triumphant, grinning, I pump the air with my fist. Down with the sprinklers. Up with me.

Bad Weekend: As you proudly show your parents the new rug you bought for your room, you trip on the corner, rolling the rug onto itself and revealing the scandalous stains underneath from last weekend’s reckless “fun”. Your parents comment on how disappointed they are in the fact that you haven’t matured since leaving home and ask you to seriously reconsider your morals. Bad Weekend: You are horrified to find out that your and your best friend’s moms got arrested the night before for getting trashed at one of Walla Walla’s sketchy underground bars and then following some townies to partake in the TPing of “that pretentious college that thinks it is so much better than us.”


It’s Wednesday at 12AM. Studying, really. Facebook stalking

I had never heard of “Chacos,” and then I came to Whitman.

Actually talking to people they’d otherwise be stalking

I didn’t use abrevs irl, and then I g2g2 Whitman.

Absolutely wasted Naked Settlers of Catan Wishing they were playing Naked Settlers

What are people up to? Letter by The Puzzle Slut Hello Whitties, I’m back! While all y’all were doing your four-day weekend and threeday week, I was in Acapulco for the annual week-long Puzzleslutfest. Did you all know that there is at least one puzzle slut per liberal arts school in America? It’s true! We all played Scrabble and Bananagrams while talking out the complexities of being puzzle sluts and debating whether or not our titles degrade the plight of real prostitutes facing real social injustice. It was a right good time. Now that I’ve returned, it’s world ladder time! Love, Adam “Not the Only Slut in the World” Brayton Egyptian city famed for its waterway Took to a small claims court What "Rosebud" ended up being, in Citizen Kane Said "Guilty" or "Not Guilty" in court Turned the pool yellow, or perhaps blue Cheat, in a game of hide and seek National veggie of Wales Attacke lowerer, in Pokemon Antelope's playmate, in song Proof of home ownership Portland college with no varsity sports program Projectionist's or fisherman's instrument "Spine" of a ship Hang onto, like that holographic Charizard card End of pool you're allowed to dive into Vocalist Brad who sang "More than a Feeling" with Boston "Runaway" singer Shannon and "Wack MCs" rapper tha Funky Homosapien "____ ex machina" King of the Olympians

...And then I came to Whitman. I used to shave, and then I came to Whitman. I never knew there were so many ways to stalk people, and then I came to Whitman. I still had friends who wore Abercrombie & Fitch (ha, ha, that’s a funny story), and then I came to Whitman. I used to shower on a regular basis, and then I came to Whitman. I used to drink water from containers that weren’t nalgenes or mason jars, and then I came to Whitman. I used to not have ravenous stress-eating habits, and then I came to Whitman. I used to not use Facebook as a platform for whining, and then I came to Whitman. I used to not chase squirrels on a regular basis, and then I came to Whitman. I used to sleep at night, and then I came to Whitman.

Comic by Emily Johnson

Whitman Pioneer Fall 2011 Issue 7  
Whitman Pioneer Fall 2011 Issue 7  

The Oct. 20 edition.