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Sirens of Swank, Schwa, T-Tones sing for good cause

Turn on, tune in... Feature explores KWCW’s diverse array of programming and links to the community .

Whitman’s three a cappella groups united over Family Weekend to support local free health clinic S.O.S.

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27 | Whitman news since 1896 | Walla Walla, Washington





teeped in tradition, Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Mr. Whitman fundraiser has been one of the most popular philanthropy events on campus for over 10 years. Every year, Kappa Kappa Gamma chooses eight senior men—four independent men and one representative from each Whitman fraternity—to compete for the title of Mr. Whitman. The men organize and help fundraise for a cause chosen by the sorority earlier in the year. This year’s pageant proceeds will go towards Walla Walla’s Blue Mountain Heart to Heart. In their fundraising efforts, the contestants have encouraged both men and women on campus to actively contribute to a cause close to home. “I think it brings a lot of people together. It’s not just a Greek event, and it brings the whole campus together,” said Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Philanthropy Chair, junior Jenna Fritz. Unlike many sorority fundraisers on campus, Mr. Whitman capitalizes on the fact that men un-

Mr. Whitman consists of multiple fundraising events organized by the eight senior competitors—four independent men and one representative from each fraternity—and Kappa Kappa Gamma. Fundraisers this year included performances by Schwa (below) and Whitman’s Slam Poetry Club (right) and a Win-A-Date Auction (above, left), where Whitties could bid for a date with student volunteers. The fundraiser culminates in a male beauty pageant to be held on the evening of Friday, Oct. 28. Proceeds from Mr. Whitman will go towards Walla Walla’s Blue Mountain Heart to Heart Outreach Program and the National Kappa Foundation. Photos by Axtell

affiliated with the sorority contribute to raising money for the cause through organization of campus-wide events. Past Mr. Whitman charities include the Chris Elliot Fund and the Salud Juntos Project, the former of which received over $50,000 from the fundraiser. Mr. Whitman culminates in a beauty pageant that will take place on Friday, Oct. 28, in which the men compete for points and popular votes by showing off their bodies and talents. “The guys have really become a symbol of Mr. Whitman,” Fritz said. “There’s a draw that it’s an event put on by a sorority, but it’s guys competing.” The eight senior men competing start fundraising as early as the summer for the title of Mr. Whitman. Senior contestant David Hancock, who originally submitted the proposal to sponsor Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, notes that competing in the event goes beyond battling for a title. “I wouldn’t even say it’s a matter of pride,” he said. “For me it has a lot more to do with showing a certain level of commitment.”


Although due in large part to organization and work by both the sorority and the men competing in the event, the success and longevity of the fundraiser is also due to its bending of societal norms. Associate Professor of Religion and Director of the Gender Studies Program Melissa Wilcox believes that the popularity of Mr. Whitman lies in its ability to show a serious and controversial issue, female beauty pageants, in a humorous manner. “What Mr. Whitman does is it takes the standard female beauty pageant, which I think a lot of people at Whitman have critiques of, and reverses it. The reversal comes out funny because the beauty pageant is such a gendered thing,” Wilcox said. “On the one hand there’s an emphasis on traditional masculinity; on the other hand, it’s almost a kind of drag in a weird sort of way to see men doing the standard repertoire of a beauty pageant.” Wilcox notes that she wouldn’t necessarily promote a male beauty pageant as an ideal fundraiser. “I would caution them to think hard about why they’re doing it and the impact of it and

whether it is positive,” she said. “I think there are some questions about how worthwhile it is to turn around and objectify men.” While many other fundraisers on campus target parents and the local community with bake sales and donation bins, Mr. Whitman profits from finding a humorous commonality amongst different students on campus. Senior contestant Noah Henry-Darwish notes that it’s the uniqueness of the event that makes it so successful. “It has a large place at the college in terms of tradition. There’s not a lot of traditions that are so successful at fundraising. It catches the eye of a lot of students and faculty,” he said. “It’s hard to say no to something where it looks like people are having so much fun on stage.” Wilcox doesn’t necessarily believe that the fundraiser is wrong in using gender relations to its advantage. Rather, Wilcox sees the fundraiser as valuable in bringing social experimentation of gender onto campus. “I think you can read it as a reversal experience, which in itself

tells us something about gender and which, in a way, is an important experience,” she said. “It has the ability to point out ‘look how problematic women’s beauty pageants are’ and ‘look how odd they look when you do them with men,’ and if you think about that for a while, it tells you a lot about the gender relations in our culture. So I think it’s more of a valuable experiment because it’s done in that spirit.” Fritz acknowledges that the humor of the fundraiser comes from the gender reversal, noting that the playfulness of the event helps bring the campus together for a good cause. “There’s a way in which [the event] is able to reach a lot more people. It’s funny and it’s silly and I think that’s a lot of the draw for it,” Fritz said. Fritz further notes that although there is added pressure to compete with last year’s goal, she hopes that that the local community and Whitman will remember the value of fundraising for a local organization. see MR. WHITMAN, page 3

FACE to broaden image with upcoming FeMENism panel by PATRICIA VA NDER BILT Editor-in-Chief


he term “feminism” is often associated with women and advocacy for women’s causes. This definition, while not incorrect, is more exclusive than the members of Feminists Advocating Change and Empowerment (FACE), the feminist group on campus, would like to uphold. “Feminism is popularly conceived both in public and at Whitman as being a female movement and historically there are mainly female feminists. Feminism is for gender equality, not just for the advancement of women,” said senior Ellie Newell, co-president of FACE. In order to bring a broader definition of feminism to campus, FACE is presenting “FeMENism,” a panel that will discuss the role of men in feminism. The panel, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Jewett Hall main lounge, will include the perspectives of several student and professor panelists. It will be moderated by Associate Profes-


sor of Religion Melissa Wilcox. “It’s an inadequately considered question,” said Associate Professor of English Gaurav Majumdar, one of the professor panelists, about the panel’s topic. Senior Seth Dawson, who has participated in FACE events since his first year at Whitman, has recently become more regularly involved with the group. When asked by the members of FACE to participate in the panel, Dawson saw an opportunity for discussion of the questions he faces as a male feminist. “I’ve personally struggled to find the place of men in feminism,” said Dawson. “As a man, sometimes I accidentally speak with an authority that’s not mine.” Dawson remarked that men need to be more self-conscious when discussing issues of discrimination that women face. “Look, as a man, I will never face these issues . . . Men in feminism should have more of a supporting rather than a deciding role,” he said.

A look at the standings of each fall sport before NWC championships SPORTS, PAGE 5

see FACE, page 2

At the lecture Monday night, Oct. 24, author Anne Fadiman lectured about her book, “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.” Fadiman’s interpreter, May Ying Ly also participated in the question-and-answer session. Photo by von Hafften

Fadiman explores Hmong viewpoint by A LLISON WOR K Staff Reporter


n Monday, Oct. 24, the Whitman community hosted visiting author Anne Fadiman in Cordiner Hall for a lecture, the culmination of the first-year summer read program. The talk was followed by a question-and-answer session with Fadiman and her Hmong interpreter May Ying Ly. The 2011 summer read book was “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down,” the story of Hmong parents and their epileptic daughter, Lia Lee, and of the cultural conflicts that complicate her treatment.


Columnists debate the relevance of the missionary mascot OPINION, PAGE 7

During the question-andanswer session, Fadiman and Ly discussed the writing process and the influence the book has had on others’ perception of Hmong immigrants and American medical providers. Fadiman spoke about the origins of the book as well as her research process and how she has benefited from her time with the Hmong. She described her work with interpreter May Ying Ly to bridge the language and cultural barriers between the Hmong and American medical community while describing Lia’s situation. “I was accepted into the [Lee] family,” Fadiman said of her time interviewing and researching.

“May Ying told me what to do.” Fadiman described how her time gathering information from the Lees was in stark contrast with that of the American doctors who attempted to help Lia. With Ly as her cultural broker, Fadiman was able to better understand the Lee family’s perspective on Lia’s epilepsy and on the entire medical process. The two spent hours of what Fadiman calls “in the house” time speaking with the Lees. They also had hours of “in the car” time— Ly and Fadiman sat in Fadiman’s rental car parked outside the Lee’s apartment and went through all of what was said. see FADIMAN, page 2

Web Exclusive

A&E reviews Berlin electronic DJ Paul Kalkbrenner’s live video album. Read online at



27 2011



Food for thought: Group stresses sustainability by DY L A N T U LL Staff Reporter


nvironmental sustainability is a topic that is often addressed at Whitman, but for one reason or another, whether it is lack of information or simply the fact that students enjoy Prentiss Dining Hall bacon too much, the issue of food is often overlooked. The Real Food Challenge is an organization that attempts to address the lack of information and general knowledge about the impact of everyday food choices. Without demanding that students put down their meat, the program is designed to get them to think about that piece of meat and know exactly where it comes from and what effect they are having on the world by eating it. That being said, the Real Food Challenge at Whitman hopes to engage students and get them to think and talk about the impact of their food-related choices. Sophomore Genny Jones, one of the three Real Food Challenge grassroots leaders at Whitman, explained the concept of the Real Food Challenge. “The Real Food Challenge is a national network of students that are working towards shifting one billion of the dollars spent in dining halls to real food,” she said. According to Jones, the shift from factory food to “real food” in Whitman dining halls and dining halls across the country is the top priority in the Real Food Challenge. “Agriculture consumes more petroleum and gas products than all cars in the U.S. On average, each piece of food travels 1,500 miles to get to your plate,” she said. “Real food is locally sourced and/or community based, sustainable, fair towards workers and humane towards animals.” The Real Food Challenge has two major goals: get 20 percent real food in the dining hall by the year 2020 and start an informed discussion about food on campus. The Real Food Challenge leaders—Jones, sophomore Julia Stone and senior Rachel Williams—are currently in the process of auditing Bon Appétit’s numbers to calculate how much of the food currently consumed is real food. This process takes a long time and requires an extensive amount of work.

Roger Edens, general manager of Bon Appétit, commented that knowing how much real food Bon Appétit currently buys is beneficial. “I think it would be great to have a baseline for the Real Food Challenge and the way that’s calculated and then have students in the future repeat it so we can see what the change is over time. It takes a tremendous amount of work on the students’ standpoint,” said Edens. According to Edens, Bon Appétit understands the importance of what the Real Food Challenge is doing. “We’re really supportive of [the Real Food Challenge], and it really coordinates with goals that we have for ourselves anyhow. Bon Appétit’s internal goals also have a 20 percent figure for farm-to-fork, locally, whatnot. The Real Food Challenge actually expands on that—fair trade [for example],” said Edens. But for anything to change, there must be a force to apply pressure. This is where Whitman students come in, and the first step to making a difference is being knowledgeable on the subject of food. “We’re not advocating for a hundred-mile-radius diet. We’re not advocating for the extremes. But understanding what [concentrated animal feeding operations] are and where your meat is coming from and what that is doing to the land, your body and to the people who make it [is important].” Stone believes that the first step in changing the way that the nation eats is by beginning the dialogue on the impact of food on a small scale. “A lot of people care about the food they eat on campus, and we just want to bring all those voices together and kind of really start an active movement on campus,” Stone said. Williams notes that food is essential to human survival and thus needs to be a topic that is continually considered and discussed. “What’s so great about food is that it connects community with the environment. It’s like looking at the ecologically sustainable, but also it’s so a part of people’s everyday lives, so you can effect change by just doing small things every day,” Williams said.

NUMBERS IN THE NEWS by shelly le News Editor


Percentage of children and adolescents aged two to 19 years old in the United States who are obese.

17 million Number of children in the United States who live in households struggling to put food on the table.

40 million Number of people who received food stamps in the summer of 2010.

6 cents

Amount a wheat farmer can expect to receive per dollar spent on a loaf of bread.


Portion of an acre needed to produce food for a person following a low-fat vegetarian diet.


Acres needed to produce food for a person following a highfat diet with a lot of meat.


The number of U.S. states that have more pigs than people— Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and South Carolina.


Number of physician-diagnosed pesticide poisonings that occur each year among the approximately 2 million U.S. agricultural workers.


The ratio of illness and injury for workers in “animal slaughtering and processing” compared to the national average for workers.

Real Food Challenge leaders, Rachel Williams ‘12 and sophomores Genny Jones and Julia Stone, hope to encourage people to change the way they think about food. Photo by Felt


Fadiman talks about creative journey IFC represented in FACE panel on men in feminism from FADIMAN, page 1

Fadiman worked on the book, which was originally supposed to be published as an article for “The New Yorker,” for eight years. “I am still in awe of the meticulous research that went into the book,” said Ly, when asked after the lecture about her perspective on Fadiman’s work. The lecture was the last part in the summer reading program required reading for all first-years. “Whitman tries to have [the summer reading] cover a bunch of departments, so it’s very interdisciplinary,” said sophomore Zoë Erb, the student academic advisor who introduced Fadiman’s lecture. “Also, it’s a really good introduction for [first-years] to know how they’re going to be expected to think about stuff in college.” While Fadiman’s speech wrapped up the first-year summer read process, Erb stressed the continuing significance of its themes.

“I think that [the lecture’s] goal is to wrap things up for the whole summer read program and the freshman introduction to Whitman,” said Erb. “But it’s a book, and it raises a lot of issues. At what point can something like that actually be wrapped up? It’s an ongoing process to keep people thinking about these sorts of things.” First-year Emma Woodworth felt that the discussion helped her achieve a greater understanding of what she read over the summer. “It was interesting to hear more about how [the book] was written rather than just reading what was written,” she said. Woodworth thought the lecture was a valuable experience for first-years to have but said it was difficult to come back in late October to a book that was discussed in August. “I wish [the lecture had been] closer to when we actually read the book,” she said. Although the lecture took


place two months after the initial first-year discussion, students were not the only ones anticipating Fadiman’s visit. Three faculty members from different departments on campus were chosen to present a panel discussion to all first-years at the beginning of the school year. Before Fadiman’s lecture, two of the panel members expressed their desire to hear the author’s take on many aspects of her book. “I’ll be anxious to see what she has taken from the different perspectives on her book and how that has perhaps changed her thinking,” said Assistant Professor of Anthropology Suzanne Morrissey, who served on the faculty panel. “Would Fadiman write the book differently now?” Fellow panel member, Assistant Professor of Biology Leena Knight shared the wish to hear how Fadiman’s view of her work has changed. “My personal hope is that she’ll speak a little bit beyond the book,” said Knight. “The book and the narrative that she brings forth are quite compelling, but as one of the readers, I had this sense of wanting to know what becomes of it all. And how does it end? Is there any form of resolution?” The cross-disciplinary perspective engaged students and faculty members from all around the campus and allowed all to appreciate Fadiman’s work and presence on campus. “She’s a great reporter and journalist and editor,” said Erb. “It’s great that she could come.”

from FACE, page 1

Newell emphasized, however, that discrimination goes both ways. “There are many things that are discriminatory towards men that outrage me as a woman,” she said. Junior Joey Gottlieb also voiced the need for a dialogue about equality of genders. “I see feminism as a continuum, a spectrum in the sense of feminism as a fight for, not for rights of women, but equal rights of genders,” said Gottlieb, who will be a panelist on Thursday. Gottlieb underscored the potential contribution that men can give to the cause of equality. “Men are the last demographic considered when looking for feminist voices,” he said. “It would be foolish to write men off as a lost cause.” For FACE, an exciting development of the event’s planning came when the Interfraternity Council (IFC) expressed its desire to be involved with the panel. Senior JohnHenry Heckendorn, a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, will be one of the student panelists. “We feel that perceptually these two groups exist at opposite ends of the Whitman College spectrum but that in reality there is no basis for this separation,” Heckendorn said about FACE and IFC in an email. “An opportunity to talk about the role

of men in feminism provides a unique space for fraternity members to engage with some of the assumptions that many people hold about the ethos and attitude of fraternities in general.” Heckendorn also mentioned the role that fraternity participation can play in expanding FACE’s reach within the Whitman community. “Because fraternities represent a significant portion of that community and are integral to the framework through which our community comes together, it makes a lot of sense to me that they should play a prominent role in the effort to make feminism at Whitman more visible and accessible,” he said. For FACE, IFC’s participation in feMENism is an exciting opportunity to expand perceived limitations of directions that feminist voices can come from. “We’re really overjoyed that we have a member of Greek life,” said Newell. According to Newell, FeMENism will be the first event sponsored by FACE in the last five years that specifically addresses men’s place in the feminist movement. “I would encourage people— even if you don’t consider yourself a feminist—to come. I think it’s going to be a really interesting perspective that isn’t talked about much at Whitman,” Newell said.






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27 2011



Town Hall meeting focuses on diversity concerns by ROSE WOODBU RY Staff Reporter


hen prospective students apply to Whitman, they are required to write a short essay addressing the question of diversity. Yet despite Whitman’s focus on diversity, some students remain concerned that a $8 million decrease in available financial aid money and a shift from need-blind to need-sensitive admissions will ultimately curtail opportunities for students with lower socioeconomic backgrounds to join the Whitman community. Because of these concerns, ASWC chose “diversity” as the theme of this year’s first town hall meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, in the basement of Reid. The meeting provided a forum for students to discuss their perceptions of diversity on campus. Many students voiced their concerns about taking financial need into account when making admission decisions; they fear that a need-sensitive admission process would further homogenize the community. Because the discount rate—the number of cents given to students with financial need per tuition dollar, decreased from 41 cents last year to only 30 cents—Whitman will be less likely to admit students who have more financial need. Associated Students of Whitman College President Matt Dittrich began the meeting by inviting students to discuss what they wrote about in their application essays on diversity. Junior Laetitiah Magara, who was born and raised in Kenya, said that she hadn’t felt conscious of her race before she came to Whitman. “I’ve come to understand that I’m a student of color,” she said. Senior John-Henry Heckendorn talked about the apparent pressure to appear diverse.

“In some ways, we’ve been taught to market ourselves as diverse,” he said. “Is that the value of diversity? Is [the goal] learning about it so we can project ourselves as diverse?” Dittrich said that students need to continue to think about how they contribute to Whitman’s diversity while they’re here. “[The question we need to ask is:] How do we enrich the diversity once we’re already on campus?” he said. Dittrich emphasized how the differences in students’ backgrounds constitutes one dimension of diversity at Whitman, but that the diversity of student activities on campus also contributes to the richness our community. However, senior Daria Reaven thought that the college could even work on improving diversity of thought. “I think that there’s a tendency to try to overstate diversity of opinion and diversity of perspective,” she said. “I think that we have a very homogenous culture in terms of opinion.” Reaven read a letter by senior Simi Singh, who was unable to attend the meeting. In her letter, Singh described her concerns about these budget cuts. “Over the past few months, I’ve been made more aware of the discrepancies between the perceived importance of ‘diversity’ as it concerns the quality of our education here at Whitman and the resources that Whitman provides to support those minority students,” Singh said in her letter. Singh questioned whether ASWC’s composition of predominantly white men affects the way they see these budget cuts. “When the administration, the faculty and ASWC are predominantly upper-middle class, white males (or are following in

ASWC President Matt Dittrich ‘12, talked to representatives from campus clubs on Monday, Oct. 25. Whitman’s shift from needblind to need-sensitive admissions and its impact on socioeconomic diversity were discussed at the event. Photo by Bernstein

the footsteps of this demographic) how do members of ASWC (I’m asking the individuals within ASWC, not the formal ASWC stance on this matter) understand the potential for exclusivity and the potential to under-represent those students who are historically and socially in the minority—women, students who are not from the US, students from working-class backgrounds, students of color, students who are the first to attend college in their families?” she said. Dittrich said that already this year, the number of “students of color” was down by 0.4 percent. During the meeting, Dittrich mentioned that one potentially mitigating factor to the apparent trend of diminishing diversity is the Undocumented Students Resolution, which,

if passed, would allow undocumented students to receive aid from the college. The Board of Trustees will vote on the resolution on Nov. 17 and 18. If it passes, Whitman will be the first liberal arts college and the second institution in the U.S. to enact a resolution such as this. In an email, Dittrich discussed the history of the resolution. “The undocumented students resolution is the product of about four years of dialogue between Trustees, students, administrators and faculty. This resolution has never been voted on before. However, ASWC approved a student resolution in support of undocumented students and the Dream Act last fall; we have used it to advocate for the current undoc-

umented students resolution before the Board in the past.” Dittrich explained later in an email that he and senior Ariel Ruiz will advocate on behalf of the resolution. “I have been given the high honor of meeting with the full Board that day to give an address on the state of diversity at Whitman and argue in favor of the resolution. As we begin to set tuition/financial aid targets for the next fiscal year (levers that drastically implicate ‘diversity’ in our community), advocating for this resolution couldn’t be more imperative,” he said. Dittrich concluded the meeting by stressing the seriousness of the dialogue surrounding diversity and by encouraging students to talk to him about their concerns.

Whitman College receives high national rankings Event helps


by SA M CH A PM A N Staff Reporter


or a high school student searching for the perfect college, school rankings in the media quickly become familiar. Publications such as U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review release annual evaluations comparing liberal arts colleges, private colleges and all colleges and universities to the others in their fields on a number of diverse criteria. The rankings are designed to help prospective students identify schools that fit their criteria. This year, Whitman was ranked 42 out of 252 liberal arts schools by U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, Whitman was named one of the Best 376 Colleges by The Princeton Review; Whitman was also declared to have the nation’s sec-

ond best health facilities, 14th best class discussions, 18th highest race and class interaction and 19th best professors. Among other rankings, Whitman also received a fivestar rating from Campus Pride, a nonprofit supporting LGBT-friendly colleges, and was selected as one of ten “hidden gems” by As quoted on the Whitman College website, President George Bridges expressed pride in the recognition brought on by good rankings. “The rankings reflect Whitman’s many academic and cocurricular strengths and, specifically, the unique and effective ways in which our faculty and staff deliver an exceptional education in the liberal arts and sciences,” Bridges said. Dean of Admissions Tony Cabasco is also proud of the

rankings, but cautions readers not to take them too seriously. “Some of the rankings, if you were to measure them, are not all scientific studies. They’re based on a different set of criteria; each organization will rank based on what they feel will make a difference,” Cabasco said. “The good news is that Whitman has done relatively well in several different kinds of rankings; in a number of criteria we’re consistently regarded well.” Director of Communications Ruth Wardwell takes the rankings with a grain of salt for another reason. “My first thought is always, ‘I hope it’s accurate,’” Wardwell said. “I know there have been schools where figures have been transposed by human error. You always have to hope that the data reported by the rankings is accurate and that it portrays an accurate reflection of Whitman.” Wardwell, a part of whose job is to write up the rankings for the Whitman website when they are released, described the benefits that a good rating can have for a college. “Greater awareness of Whitman widens the audience,” she said. “The more people that know about Whitman and what it is, the greater our chances of finding new Whitties.” Cabasco says that being ranked well validates Whitman’s internal procedures. He further believes that, while college guides and magazines will not, by themselves, motivate a student to attend a school, they can often be a push for a prospective student who is already interested. “[Prospective students] ADVERTISEMENTS

might have heard of Whitman already and then saw that we scored well in Princeton Review rankings. It’s not a primary driver,” Cabasco said. “It’s something that students will notice, but it’s a much more complicated decision than that to determine what’s a good fit for you.” While rankings can often be a helpful tool and a motivating source of praise, they have their darker sides as well. A story, reported this year on, highlighted the problems with a system in which college presidents were asked to rank institutions in the U.S. News survey. “Presidents may be tempted to rely on out-of-date reputations, may speed through the rankings with little thought or may even give low rankings to colleges that are competitors.” Cabasco, however, says that Whitman has never considered such policies, and asserts that the college would not need to. “Our primary mission is to deliver the best liberal arts education that we can—to hire the best faculty, to provide the best facilities, to have the best programs,” he said. “I think if we focus on those things, these things will take care of themselves. [Rankings] are external recognition of what we value internally.” Cabasco went on to add that he thinks playing politics with rankings is a futile effort. “My sense is that some of those efforts [to move up in rankings] may not change the substance of the institution.” For the full list of honors received by Whitman in magazine and online rankings this year, go to content/news/rankingsfall2011.

raise funds from MR. WHITMAN, page 1

The majority of this year’s proceeds will go to Blue Mountain Heart to Heart’s Latino outreach program. “Blue Mountain Heart to Heart currently has four promotores de salud, promoters of health, who directly interact with the Hispanic community in the local area, handing out brochures, offering free counseling and offering free HIV testing,” Hancock said. “The hope is that we can provide more money for outreach programs for these promotores.” Additionally, 10 percent of the total proceeds from the Mr. Whitman fundraiser will go to the National Kappa Foundation, which provides funds for emergency assistance and scholarships and leadership opportunities for women. “Kappa is part of a larger organization, and sometimes that can be hard to recognize. We want 100 percent of the proceeds to go to Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, but we are part of a larger organization and we have to remember that [giving back to the Kappa organization] is a good thing,” Fritz said. Because the fundraiser will be beneficial for Blue Mountain Heart to Heart and the Kappa Foundation, the participants are comfortable even knowing that they will participate in a swimsuit competition during the event. “Making fun of yourself— you can do it in a respectful way and in respect of other gender roles,” Henry-Darwish said. “I understand what people find funny, and I’m going to do, on stage, what I find appropriate.”



27 2011



Whitman a cappella groups join forces for charity 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:


n Saturday, Oct. 22, Whitman’s three a cappella groups united to fill Cordiner with the wonders of the human voice. The all-female Sirens of Swank joined the co-ed group Schwa, the all-male Testostertones and senior slam poet Dujie Tahat in a charity concert, organized by the Student Health Advisory Council to support local free urgent care clinic S.O.S. Health Services. The three vocal groups performed a diverse spectrum of adapted material, ranging from the Sirens’ renditions of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” and Nelly’s “Just a Dream,” to Schwa’s cover of Mika’s “Grace Kelly” and stunning Bon Iver medley. The T-Tones ran the musical gamut, from a comic medley of ‘90s boy band songs to a haunting lullaby in classic choral style. Visiting parent Joanna Adler shared her appreciation after the show. “It’s a great cause to bring all these people together,” said Adler. “There’s great energy in here, really good acoustics. My stepdaughter went to [University of Oregon] and she was in an a cappella group, and

Nakatani drums Chism Hall into delighted fervor by MALLORY MARTIN Staff Reporter


ontemporary improv drummer Tatsuya Nakatani has traveled the world performing his unique style of percussion. On Monday, Oct. 17, he visited Whitman’s Chism Auditorium to play for a small crowd. Over the years, Nakatani has created a musical technique all his own. Using his own design of specially crafted violin bows to play gongs and cymbals to play drums, his music is like nothing you have heard before. Adding to the unique quality of his work, Nakatani plays his music depending on what he feels in the moment, allowing for each concert to be a distinct experience. “The way he tuned into different frequencies and really milked out those gongs was amazing,” said Assistant Professor of Music Doug Scarborough after the concert. “It was as much a visual treat as it was an audio treat.” First-year percussionist Austin Sloane was equally impressed. “That was amazing,” said Sloane. “What really interested me was the control of the music, how actions as in dropping an instrument or dropping the cymbal were combined with what he was playing in the moment. Everything was very purposeful.” Nakatani’s instruments include one small and three large gongs, two drums, an assortment of cymbals and Tibetan “singing bowls.” He began developing his sound after he realized that he was stuck in the same pattern of drum playing. He tried mixing things up and realized that he liked creating new ways of drumming. “Everybody has their sound,” Nakatani explained. “If you go to hear a trumpeter you expect to hear that certain brass sound. This, this is my sound.” Nakatani acknowledges that his form of music isn’t for everyone, especially those with sensitive ears. “Not everyone is as tuned into those higher frequencies,” said Nakatani. “Little kids feel my music in their teeth sometimes; they tend to be more sensitive.”

Sankusem The Music Department, the Intercultural Center and the Provost Dean of the Faculty present Sankusem: An Evening of African-Classical Fusion! This festival brings a variety of acclaimed international artists and blends cultural and musical influences.

Testostertone Mcebo Maziya ’15 (above) lifts the roof in Cordiner Hall with a soaring solo. The Testostertones (above right) performed a medley of well-known pop songs from ‘90s boy bands, including N’Sync and Backstreet Boys. Photo by Bergman

they’re pretty competitive. It was kind of nice to listen to different styles, you know, all-girl groups sound a lot different than all-guy groups, but they brought a lot of energy to it, so it was really fun.” First-year Carrie Walker was glowing after her first major performance with Sirens of Swank. “We sang for the parents, but this was my first main one,” said Walker. “It was really fun. The audience was so huge! I’ve never sung in front of that huge of an audience.” Walker explained what had drawn her to Sirens of Swank out of Whitman’s diverse vocal groups.

“I really like the community of Sirens,” she said. “They’re all super sweet girls and we’re just a big family.” Meanwhile, senior T-Tone Jasper Bash provided some insight into the Testostertones’ new dynamic. “We have five new members—they’re awesome. We’re really excited. This is our first big concert we’ve gotten to do with them,” said Bash. “I think we have a really exceptionally chorally gifted group this year, a lot of people who have a really strong background in choir stuff, so I’m hoping to see more

songs like ‘Lullaby’ come out.” Bash and junior T-Tone Nik Hagen revealed some of the group’s plans for the future. “We might have some sort of recording this year—one of the TTone alums might come back at the end of this year and try to record a couple songs for us,” said Hagen. “We’re hoping to start Lullagrams up again, where we do private concerts around campus,” said Bash. “And then usually we have an end-of-the-semester, big T-Tones-only concert in Hunter, which we’re looking to set a date for pretty soon.”

Whitties sound off on role of TV in daily life

by CLARA BARTLETT Staff Reporter


hether it’s a date with Hulu, a lazy Sunday reality TV marathon or a stolen moment of procrastination in the Reid TV lounge, this week Whitties confessed their television habits and obsessions to The Pioneer. The form and time spent watching TV varied widely. In an online survey, 46 percent of Whitties reported watching one to two hours of television per week, while 15 percent watched three to four hours, nine percent watched five to six hours and five percent watched seven or more hours. 25 percent of students said they do not watch TV at all. Some reported watching TV online, while others watched at home, at the gym or in Reid. The five most popular shows were “Doctor Who,” “Modern Family,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Glee” and “Arrested Development.” Junior Alfredo Villaseñor shared his thoughts on the subject. “I don’t have a problem with [TV]; I just find other things that are worth my time,” said Villaseñor. “I always have work just because of all my sci-

ence classes. And I do karate too, so that’s kind of my extracurricular activity. I kind of just switch off between school, karate and friends and I think that’s enough of a day already.” Other students accorded TV a much more central role in their schedules. Junior Rosie Loring shared her weekly watching habits. “Five hours? I don’t know. It depends on how much work I have,” said Loring. “Like, I had midterms, so I haven’t watched any TV. But I watch TV at the gym a lot, and I work at the art building, so when I work there I watch TV.” Setting also affected the amount of TV-watching among Whitman students. While many students find that TV is a form of leisure and entertainment, for some, it is also a form of socialization. “I generally find watching too much TV to be a waste of time,” said first-year Marijke Wijnen. “But as a social activity, I like watching TV shows occasionally. I never watch TV by myself.” Fellow first-year Julia Thompson disagreed. “I usually watch alone. TV’s kind of my last-resort thing,” said Thompson. “Like, if I have nothing to do, I’ll watch TV.”

Thursday, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. Chism Recital Hall.

Harvest Fest The Interest House Community presents a whirlwind of autumn activities, including pumpkin painting and carving, face painting, Halloween decoration making, Día de los Muertos activities and delicious festive food! Thursday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Fine Arts House, Global House, Co-Op and MECCA.

Harry and the Potters Concert KWCW, The Witching Hour and WEB present wizard rock group Harry and the Potters, bringing a range of magical music for your Muggle ears. Saturday, Oct. 29, 9 p.m. - 11 p.m. Coffeehouse.

thought they looked cool. My cardigan I got from my grandparents for Hanukkah, and I actually wanted my grandma to knit me a sweater, but she decided to buy it instead. It’s from Urban Outfitters. And then, my earrings I got at this local store in Portland, and they’re made by a local artist. I just thought they were really interesting and different.”

Lauren Platman ‘15 (above) poses for The Pio in her signature combination of boots, socks and tights. Photo by Beck


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: firstyear Lauren Platman. Style Sound Bites “I actually just got my boots from Forever 21. Nothing important attached to them; I just

“My roommate and I talk about it a lot, whenever we’re trying to put something together. We ask each other if it looks okay. I just kind of grab random things and just try it on. I really like boots and socks where you show your socks, and then I usually pair that with tights, and I love dresses. And then baggy cardigans are my favorite.” “Sometimes I like kind of the hipster-alt look, but I wouldn’t say I’m a hipster or alt at all; I just really like that kind of style, ‘cause it’s kind of grungy, don’t-try-hard— yet obviously, you kind of do.” “I’ve never had like a fashion icon, but I really enjoy looking at fashion magazines and seeing what kind of stuff is new or just interesting. I’ve gotten really into going to vintage stores and finding different stuff from there and trying new decades. I really like the ‘90s.”

Art majors to seek inspiration in Empire State by ALEX HAGEN Staff Reporter


n important part of Whitman’s art major program is the thesis, or final project, that the senior art majors produce near the end of the school year. To gather inspiration for their respective projects, the senior art majors make an annual pilgrimage to New York City. From Nov. 16-20, the students will visit many famous museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New Museum and the Guggenheim, as well as independent art galleries. The current political atmosphere in New York, influenced by the Occupy Wall Street movement, will provide an ad-

ditional source of stimulation. “The questions around class inequalities have been of great concern in the arts for ages,” said Assistant Professor of Art Justin Lincoln in an email. The students may also meet with an artist in a studio, getting a chance to view the creative process firsthand. “Art’s an experiential thing,” said senior Sam Alden. “It’s not the same reading about a piece, especially in contemporary art.” Overall, the trip is an opportunity for students to gain new ideas for their work, especially their theses. “The trip seems to open many students’ eyes to new possibilities of how to make their work and what conceptual or formal issues real-

ly compel them,” said Lincoln. “I’m just trying to go in with as open a mind as I can and hopefully be inspired by something in particular,” said senior Julia Schneider. Though both Whitman and Walla Walla foster a vibrant artistic community, traveling to the East Coast gives students a greater connection to the outside art world. “This will give me another environment to take photos in

and experiment with the drastic architecture and diverse community of people,” said senior Hayley Mauck in an email. The experience of the trip will be enhanced by the art department’s Teagle Grant, which aims to create a dialogue about the new ideas gleaned from the students’ experience. After the trip, the art majors will produce a collaborative project, which they plan to display on campus in the spring.


DJ Claire Johnson ‘14, Paul DeGeorge (Harry and the Potters), DJ Sara Rasmussen ‘12, Joe DeGeorge (Harry and the Potters) and DJ Mehera Nori ‘12. Contributed by KWCW


‘The Witching Hour’ Seniors Mehera Nori and Sara Rasmussen and sophomore Claire Johnson bewitch listeners with the sounds of wizard rock, an all-encompassing musical genre that celebrates the history of Harry Potter. Weekly podcasts can be downloaded at thewitchinghourkwcw. or through iTunes.


Mondays, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. on the dial at 90.5 FM Walla Walla and streaming live at For requests, call (509) 527-5283.



27 2011



Men’s golf closes season with Fall Classic tourney, seeks spring season conference win by KY LE HOW E Staff Reporter


he final golf tournament of the fall wrapped up on Oct. 22 and 23 with the NWC Men’s Fall Classic in Portland, Ore. First-year Scott Martin led the team scoring 1 under par 71, helping Whitman place third in the overall tournament. In other tourneys the team placed second, fifth, and sixth this year. Now with the last tournament of the season finished, the team looks towards the spring season with a slew of fond memories from the fall season. One of the highlights for Head Coach Peter McClure was watching sophomore Andrew Welch and the team put up consistently high scores. “When Andrew Welch won the first tournament that we had, at Lewis and Clark State Col-

lege, he shot 73. The thing that really impresses me about this year is our scores . . . those were phenomenal,” McClure said. The team has developed over the course of the season with the addition of three new players. “We got three [first-years]: Scott Martin, Cheney Doane and Nathan Fischer. It takes time to become accustomed to the players and how personalities will mesh together, and it has just been as good as I could have hoped for. Everyone is getting along really well and supporting each other, helping each other at practice, and we are having a lot of fun while doing it. Everyone is aware of what we are trying to accomplish, which is winning the [NWC Men’s Fall Classic],” said McClure. Captain John Abercrombie was delighted by the newcomers on the team and is convinced

that they will have a significant impact upon the team as a whole. “The [first-years] have made a big impact on the feel of the team; they are really lighthearted and have a lot of fun. They just go out there and work hard, but they are always joking and goofing around. We are always together and having a lot of fun,” said Abercrombie. “Andrew Welch has really connected with the freshmen and stepped into a leadership role.” With such a young team, there is room for the group to grow together throughout the coming years. “Because we are so young, we are making a lot of progress this year, so I am really hopeful for the future. The conference is getting a lot better, and I really think we have a good chance of stepping up our

game and just making up some rounds and doing better than we ever have,” said Abercrombie. With the spring season starting up around the middle of March, there will be more additions to the team. “We do get two different new guys because two are on the basketball team; I think we will take the spring a little bit more seriously and really just try to improve,” said first-year Cheney Doane. While the spring season is a few months away, Doane has high hopes for the future. “Well the spring is the main season; the fall is the equivalent to the preseason. So definitely looking forward to getting back out there and competing, and as a team we have so much potential,” said Doane. “The goal is to win the conference, and as a team I believe we have the talent to do it.”

SCOREBOARD Golf Men’s NWC Men’s Fall Classic Oct. 22-23 Women’s NWC Woman’s Fall Classic Oct. 22-23

3rd 2nd

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 Oct. 23

Win 3-1 Win 1-0 Loss 1-3 Tie 1-1

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

Win 3-1 Loss 2-3

UPCOMING Volleyball vs. Pacific Lutheran University Oct. 28 vs. University of Puget Sound Oct. 29 vs. Whitworth University Nov. 2, 6 p.m.

Away Away Home

Soccer Men’s vs. Willamette University Oct. 29, 2:30 p.m. vs. Linfield College Oct. 30, 2:30 p.m. Women’s vs. Lewis & Clark University Oct. 29, 12 p.m. vs. Linfield College Oct. 30, 12 p.m.

Home Home Home Home

Cross Country Men’s and Woman’s NWC Championships Oct. 29


Whitman sports weekly factoid

The men’s golf team at practice in the wheatfields of Walla Walla. The men placed third overall in the Northwest Conference at the final fall tournament. Photos by Beck

Women’s soccer player Senior Amy Hasson has made the most shots on goal (28) of any player in the Northwest Conference this season and is tied for the highest number of goals with 13. Junior Jaclyn Rudd leads the Conference in assists with six this season.

Before NWC championships: Breakdown of standings A quick reference to see where fall sports stand going into NW Conference Championships.

The volleyball team holds a record of 2-10 in the Northwest Conference (NWC) and 3-15 overall with wins against George Fox, Walla Walla Community College and Willamette University. The team is ranked ninth in the Conference.

by SY LVIE LUITEN Staff Reporter

The women’s cross country team is ranked third in the West Region and looks forward to the West Regionals competition on Nov. 19 as a gateway to Nationals, for which they need to win as a team or qualify individually. The men’s team is currently ranked ninth in the West Region. Both teams have their NW Conference Championship meet on Oct. 29 at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. ADVERTISEMENT

The women’s soccer team is ranked sixth with a record of 4-7-2 in the NWC. The men’s team is ranked fourth in the Conference with a record of 7-4-0 in the NWC. The teams each have two home games left before the NWC Championships.

FEATURE KWCW reverberates through community




27 2011

KWCW on 90.5 FM is the home to Whitman College’s local radio network—a station that is popular on campus and reaches out to the Walla Walla community and listeners across the country. KWCW programming has gained the attention of audiences as varied as wizard rock band Harry and the Potters and inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary. In recent years, KWCW has been cited as one of the top campus radio stations by The Princeton Review. This week, Feature highlights KWCW programs that bridge the gap between campus and the broader community and bring diverse perspectives to Whitman radio.









What’s your favorite KWCW program?


Local hosts exhibit Campus radio bewitches experience, passion loyal, diverse audience by MOLLY EMMETT Staff Reporter


lvis Costello, St. Vincent, Lucinda Williams. David Bowie, R.E.M., The Cure. These artists represent a variety of styles, and their differences appeal to a range of listeners. That is exactly what the DJs of KWCW community shows “I Hung Around Your Soundtrack” and “The Revolution Radio Show” aim to do: attract diverse audiences. “I Hung Around Your Soundtrack,” a show named after a mix CD named after a Joy Division lyric, was started


So many stations want to staff safe and don’t play newer stuff. So how do new artists get out there? Stephanie Sandlin, KWCW Host

by FRANNIE NUNN Staff Reporter


WCW, Whitman’s own radio station, is a top listening choice of many Whitman students looking for eclectic, popular and nerdy music and a way to support their friends who DJ. It comes as a surprise to many however, to learn that KWCW not only supports community member stations, but that its scope reaches listeners as far as Alaska, New York City and England. According to community member DJ Laura Hall, her show “Acousticity” has followers in other small towns in Washington, as well as a few in Ohio and one in England. When asked about the ability to entertain Whitman students and worldwide listeners alike, Hall commented, “I try to keep the music interesting for all ages and include younger artists who would appeal to the college crowd as well.” The extended listenership of KWCW is echoed across the board. Family and friends of student DJs listen from across the country, and many shows, student and otherwise, are contacted by more obscure artists who want to promote their music. All of the shows are also available to listen to on the KWCW website (KWCW. net), and many online listeners tune in from outside the area. “The Witching Hour,” playing on KWCW Mondays from five to seven, puts a weekly podcast on iTunes and had 1300 downloads this past August. “It started out as wanting our friends in other states to be able to listen to the show,” said Sara Rasmussen of “The Witching Hour.” “Now we have people who follow it online.” The la-

dies of “The Witching Hour” have had artists contact them about the show, a fact that Rasmussen attributes to the nature of wizard rock. “Our online fans are lovely, and they are devoted. We’ve had [artists] contact us, some more popular, [others] that we don’t play that much,” said Witching Hour co-host Mehera Nori. The nature of wizard rock is fan-based and not necessarily on a true professional level. It is for the most part very lowkey, so artists who contact them aren’t really celebrities as much as they are very excited fans who want to share their passion. In addition, “The Witching Hour” is responsible for bringing Harry and the Potters to campus on Saturday, Oct. 29. The hosts said that the process was easy and was not intimidating, even when working with the first and foremost wizard rock band. “We interviewed them at one of their concerts this summer and then asked them if they would be interested in coming to Whitman,” said Rasmussen. After emailing back and forth throughout the summer, “The Witching Hour,” in conjunction with Carissa Wagner (WEB Music Director) and Daria Reaven (KWCW General Manager), succeeded in arranging for Harry and the Potters to play on campus. Reaching out beyond the Whitman bubble can be intimidating, but for KWCW it may help to promote and broaden the scope of the station. “It would be awesome if people could find a way to do that,” said Claire Johnson, another Witching Hour host. “Anything that would be creative would be cool. Podcasting is one thing. It’s possible, definitely.”


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by Walla Walla resident Keisha Winn in 2007. She was joined by her co-host and husband Ryan Winn in 2010, and the two play an assortment of classic rock as well as a plethora of new bands. The two especially enjoy devoting airtime to bands they have befriended on Facebook—bands that would otherwise struggle to be heard. “We play a lot of new stuff, stuff that’s even below the radar of independent labels,” said Ryan Winn. Another avant-garde aspect of “Soundtrack” is its multi-media incorporation. Besides streaming at 90.5 FM and on Friday nights at 8, the show is also visually broadcast through a website called Ustream. This free live video-streaming website allows the DJs to interact with listeners through chat features while providing a sample of what goes on during broadcast. In this way, the show aims to get more exposure and attract more listeners. As evidenced by their exploration of ways to increase listenership, the Winns invest more time in the show now than when Keisha started it as a side project years ago. Before hitting the studio, Keisha Winn mixes her shows so that they are ready to be played with a steady flow that will hold fans’ attention. Like the mix CDs that inspired the show’s name, the organized playlists are intended to share a little of the couple’s musical tastes with the greater community. “It’s sort of my sanctuary,” said Keisha Winn. “I started it so

I could share all the music I love with as many people as I could. I see us doing this until we’re old.” Though there is no way of telling what the future has in store, for now the Winns are enjoying the opportunity that Whitman gives them to express their taste with students as well as community members. “It’s encouraging to see all the young people, all the potential. We’re just trying to bring some of what we know about music to them,” said Keisha Winn. As an alternative to the Winns’ eclectic offerings, TriCity resident Stephanie Sandlin provides three hours of “new, quality and influential” rock during “The Revolution Radio Show” on Monday mornings at 7. Much like “Soundtrack,” Sandlin’s show puts an equal emphasis on the classics as well as new music. On her Adult Album Alternative show, Elvis Costello is often followed by St. Vincent or Jack Johnson. Small record companies also send Sandlin their lastest releases, which she tries to fit into her show. “So many stations want to stay safe and don’t play newer stuff. So how do new artists get out there?” Sandlin said. Sandlin is a seasoned veteran of the broadcast domain. Sixteen years ago, she began her work with radio and television. Now, though she lives in the Tri-Cities, Sandlin travels approximately 50 miles to Walla Walla each week because KWCW allows more freeform programming than stations in her area. Sandlin appreciates this aspect of KWCW, but she hopes that soon her show will be picked up by a commercial station that reaches further than the Walla Walla Valley. To make “The Revolution” more streamlined for listeners and potential syndicators, Sandlin creates her shows the weekend before her studio time, much like Keisha Winn. However, the shows are still a personal experience, through which Sandlin interacts with her music live. “Most commercial FM stations are programmed for 15 minute listeners, not for those of us who want a musical experience,” she said. With her professional approach to sharing good music, Sandlin hopes to provide that experience. Both community shows thus offer listeners the opportunity to appreciate their music and their creativity, a quality the DJs agree is a positive effect of the college’s management of the station. The hosts may have bigger plans for the future, but for now they enjoy the resource that KWCW offers, and the environment of creativity that surrounds them.

SCHEDULE KWCW provides listeners with a wide variety of shows to choose from. Below is the schedule of student and community shows, straight from Monday The Revolution Radio Show 7am Meccalicious 10am Phishosophy 12pm The Eclectic Jukebox 2pm Witching Hour 5pm Marvin K. Mooney 7pm Acousticity 8pm ESPN 8 10pm Freestyle Mystery Tour 11pm Tuesday Histrionic Musicality Disorder 10am Watershed Waves 12pm Filler 2pm Gourmet Music 5pm Mystical Allies & Co. 7pm Hot N’ Bothered 8p, Marvin K. Mooney 9pm Slovakian Textiles 10pm. All Things Considered 12am Wednesday Tom & Ami’s Internet Hour 9am Around the World 10am Non-linear Trash 12pm Boring Conversations 2pm 8-Bit Smiles 5pm Click 7pm Food for Thought 9pm Chappy Hour 10pm Sparkle Motion 12am Thursday Loud Sort of Quiet 8am The Eclectic Jukebox 10am Lewis, Latin & Licorice 12pm Lost Highway 2pm Beats & Books in Bed 5pm Out of Order 6pm Junk Drawer 8pm On Rotation 10pm Last Dance with Mary Jane 12am Friday The Moth Popes 8am HP’s Relevant Playlist 10am Rainpants on Bed 12pm Scribbles N’Beats 2pm Four is Cosmic 5pm Justin Timberlake 7pm Around Your Soundtrack 9pm Aaron y La Super Chencha 10pm The Morgue 12am Saturday B-Rad’s Requests 8am Vicion 10am Faux Plateu & Voyo’s View 12pm Jazz w/Jonas & Robby 2pm Pure Awesome 4pm Double Dub U 6pm Cletus Jackson 8pm Noumenal Realm 10pm Sunday West Vs. East Hooks & Bars 8am Sunday Morning Classics 10am Radioconteurs 12pm Take the “J” Train 2pm Tea Time with Bernie 4pm Homegrown Show 5pm Blues Therapy 7pm Kicking Television 9pm The Art of Metal 10am Midnight Monsoon 12am



27 2011



Smart phone wars: ‘The Phantom Menace’ behind acquiring rare minerals PHILIP CHENG First-year


henever we see iPhones and other electronics, we sometimes cannot help but get a sense that the future is getting brighter and that technology will lead the way to a better future. The advent of computers and the internet has made our lives quicker. It’s also easier to stay in touch with people back home or friends far away. Technology has made our lives more interconnected and more entertaining in some ways.

Yet, what one sees is the end product of the electronics supply chain. Before any of the products are sold to us by minimumwage-earning store clerks— and before the products are produced in factories—raw materials and rare earth metals are gathered from war-torn areas in Africa. Tin, gold, coltan, tungsten and other metals allow electronic companies to create their electronics. Tungsten helps our phones vibrate, tantalum allows our electronics to store electric charge without a battery. As an example of our dependence on these rare earth metals, Newsweek reported that 20 percent of the world’s tantalum comes from Congo. The U.N. estimates that each year hundreds of millions of dollars of metals from these war-torn areas are purchased and the funds go to Congolese renegades and Hutu fighters associated with the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, as well


as many other unsavory characters. Their violent crimes include genocide, mutilation and sometimes even forced cannibalism. The main issue is that international policy has to enforce fair

Whitman’s controversial past warrants preservation of quirky missionary mascot CARA LOWRY Managing Editor


our years ago, I was a senior in high school about to make what at that point was the most important decision of my life: where to attend college. As your typical over-analytical 17-year-old girl, I naturally resorted to pro-con lists. On Whitman’s, nestled in among things like “free laundry” and “24-hour library,” was “missionary mascot.” I found it quirky and unique (not to mention wonderful in its potential for sexual innuendo: “Missionaries, Missionaries, we’re on top!”). But most importantly, as the history nerd that I am (give me a Ken Burns documentary over that new rom-com with that cute actor any day), the missionary mascot inspired me to investigate the problematic past to which our college will forever be linked. To truly know the essence of a thing, one has to understand its history. To deny our past—especially on the grounds of being shameful or uncomfortable—is extremely dangerous. Doing so breeds complacency and ignorance. It all

comes down to that age-old cliché about learning from the errors of the past so that we do not repeat them in the future. People argue that the missionary mascot fails to be a rallying point for students and does not foster unity, pride or school spirit. I think it fails to do these things because we’ve failed to take the time to get to know it. They argue that it smacks of imperialism, cultural domination and the empiricism of traditional Western thought, and that, because these are things that Whitman encourages us to critically examine, our mascot inherently misrepresents us as a community. I think that this viewpoint— while valid—is restricting. Yes, in countless ways the history of American westward expansion is tragic and atrocious, but it is neither one-sided nor black and white. Yes, missionaries like Marcus and Narcissa Whitman worked to promote their God and their ideals, but not because they deviously sought to destroy and oppress a native culture. They genuinely hoped both to learn from and to work for the betterment of the peoples they encountered. Today at Whitman this same drive for service to others—for making better—is in full force. How many Whitties volunteer in Walla Walla independently or through opportunities like the Whitman Mentor and AdoptA-Grandparent programs? How

many of us spend our breaks and summers on service trips? How many of us go on to programs like Teach for America, the Peace Corps and Americorps after graduating? How many of us want to change the world for the better? While we’ve come a long way from our clerical roots (Whitman College was founded as Whitman Seminary), our essential commitment to good and to human betterment has remained. Whitman is a positive force, striving to instill in us an apparent approach to life: one founded on critical thinking, well-roundedness and the pursuit of one’s passions (whatever they may be). Simultaneously, our commitment to respecting a diversity of peoples, cultures, viewpoints and ideals—while commendable and important—often pushes us to adopt a sense of hyper-political correctness, which at times limits more than it allows us to grow. In a 2007 Pioneer article titled “Whitman’s history: ‘Swept under the rug’?” a then-senior was quoted as saying, “I don’t think it [the missionary] reflects Whitman, we’re not about converting people, we’re about critical thinking and helping people.” I would offer an alternate interpretation: We are missionaries, but in a sense different from the Protestant wagon-train variety of the mid19th century. “Critical thinking” is our new religion; “helping people” is still our mission.

trade and better working rights. Tech brands currently have difficulty deducing whether they use conflict minerals in their electronics. Between Apple and the initial supplier of raw materials, there can

be as many as five steps of separation. The metal ore is first mined by rebel groups in Africa, then sold to multinational smelters and bought and sold among different distributors before it finally makes it way to electronics companies. That is one of the problems with our global economy, though it allows us to work together more effectively: Our distance from others makes us callous towards how they feel. Though it does not seem like technology will leave us anytime soon, I think that new policies will help enforce order in the Congo; one hopeful example is the Kimberley Method, which helps purchasers identify which diamonds were mined without hurting human rights. A similar system is needed to identify where we get rare earth metals. Until then, since we cannot stem the flow of technology, there will always be some regret at the human cost of technology.

Missionary: Still appropriate as mascot? agination, and it lasts only as ALFREDO long as we have a use for it. VILLASEÑOR Today the missionary bor-



here have been rumors that a cabal of student heretics are trying to replace our holy and enduring mascot. And what, I ask, would they change it to? A duck, perhaps, in reminiscence of the orgiastic rituals of spring that have soiled our student body’s innocence? Or our campus’ invasive and ubiquitous red squirrel? How about . . . the Walla Walla onion . . . ? I myself have suffered the sweet temptation of the onion. To dissolve and collectivize the Frisbee team’s monopoly, to have something as absurd as a vegetable on a t-shirt, to proudly call myself a sweet— I rather like those propositions. But what is a mascot? A mascot is a lucky charm and a subject of comedy. It’s the representation of an institution (sorry, Mr. Bridges) and the avatar of its history. It’s a symbol, an ethereal mass that we as humans can craft and imagine both effortlessly and instinctively. It’s the conjunction of our sensory experience and im-

ders on being an anachronism. It’s resigned to some moderately popular T-shirts, the basement of the library, a statue between here and Safeway and some horrendous paintings in the Marcus Whitman Hotel. All that most people know about Marcus and Narcissa—the inspiration for this mascot—is that they died fairly close to here. Furthermore, an increasing number of Whitman students feel uncomfortable having a mascot with religious connotations. The missionary may have been a fitting mascot from 1859 to 1907 when Whitman was first a seminary school and then a religiously affiliated college, but now that our student body is full of people of different faiths and worldviews, a character whose job is to convert people to Christianity is no doubt offensive to some. In my case, however, it bothers me to think that Marcus and Narcissa would subsequently disappear if we replaced them with something more trendy and likely more profitable. I enjoy the history our mascot contains despite its incongruity with Whitman today. But it is just a symbol. When I hear the word “mascot,” I think of the Spanish word “mascota,” which means “pet,” and there is some truth in that this symbol is our pet: We are its owners and ultimately we should be the ones to decide its fate.

Middle-class ‘Occupy Portland’ protestors should harness power of education ELIZABETH COLE First-year


arrived in Portland over fourday on a Friday night. The air was biting yet alive with the bustle of a city whose bedtime is long past Walla Walla’s. The streets were filled with activity, and as my friend and I forged through the night in the quest for a dining facility that was open to minors at this hour, we drove past the small metropolis that is the Occupy Portland site. The grounds of the park they occupied were blistered with tents, as if a modern-day Hooverville had sprung up in the midst of the city— only this one was full of nylon tents, electric generators and a vibrancy that its inhabitants exuded. Most importantly, they were there by choice, not necessity. When discussing the cleancut nature of the Whitman campus, the friend whose company brought me to Portland that weekend told me, “that’s not real.” In-

deed, after returning to Whitman that Tuesday I was struck by the seemingly artificial nature of the campus. Its manicured lawns and prodigious brick buildings, the deciduous trees aflame with color that dot Ankeny Field and whose leaves are sprinkled in strategically placed circles around their bases—it is a scene that is often nauseatingly picturesque. But picturesque need not always mean artificial. In fact, it was the community of pseudo-poverty enveloping the streets of Portland that struck me most with a sense of artificiality. Later that weekend we encountered the protesters again, and the clamor of their community was even more exuberant in the daylight. While sitting on the edge of Pioneer Square waiting to catch the Max, our heads were drawn up the street by the rhythm of beating drums and the dogmatic chants of the Occupy Portland brigade. While I have no qualms about the integrity of the movement at large, Portland seems to be a city where the aim of the protest has missed its mark. On this particular afternoon a crowd of hundreds descended upon the square, signs and megaphones in tow, chanting their mantra “Whose street? Our street!” But a quick scan of the homemade signage revealed a great lack of direction. The signs ranged from berating Wall Street

to raising support for action against climate change, bringing in organizations like that certainly have little to do with the current political state of the middle class. Looking down upon the assembly from the top of the square, it was hard to see anything but a group of young middle-class Americans who were protesting for the sake of protest. I find myself lending much more respect to the reform efforts of my fellow classmates than to those of the students bunking down in tents, a cloudy haze of dirt, cigarette smoke and zeal for progress enveloping their bodies. Students who are taking advantage of the opportunities afforded to them at places like Whitman. Students who, rather than reverting to a state of squalor in a quest for romantic rebellion, are establishing voices through clubs and organizations and empowering themselves through their education to make a difference in the world. For, far from enacting a selfless act of protest, these students who choose to resort to life in tents with a ragtag community of protesters when they have the resources afforded to middleclass Americans at their disposal are doing a great disservice to themselves and their community. The environment provided to us at Whitman may be a far cry

Voices from the Community FERNANDO MEDINA




from the realities of life present in large cities such as Portland, but what the campus offers us is a sense of integrity, a sense of integrity that is lacking in the young people involved in the Occupy Portland movement and that em-

anates from a community of students using their education to affect the future of our country. And I find this to be an entirely more noble pursuit than the efforts of students lending their lives to the jungle of tents in the heart of Portland.

Political Cartoon by Kelly Douglas

Do you think KWCW is a big part of the Whitman community? Poll by Axtell


JENNA C ARR Sophomore

Spanish House Native Speaker

“I don’t listen as much as I feel I should. I guess it’d be nice to get more posters and publicity about shows. But I think it’s a really great thing.”

“I suppose so. My minifeed tells me when all my friends’ shows are on.”

“There seem to be a lot of students involved—lots of students listen to it. I think it’s really nice that there’s a radio station made for students by students.”

“The radio station? I personally don’t have a radio, but I hear other people talking about it a lot.”



27 2011



Letter from The Puzzle Slut

Ich bin ein

Hallo, Hallo, Hallowhitties, Welcome to the Halloween issue! For Halloween this year, I thought long and hard and eventually came to the decision that I want to be Vampira. You might be asking me, though, aren’t you already a slutty fictional character? Would it be really a stretch to be Vampira for Halloween? I will let you know that Vampira is not a slut but, actually, a whore. And whores are totally different. So look out—I intend to shock and awe. Ich bin ein Hallowiener,

r e n e i w o l l a H A LT E R N AT I V E S T O



s Halloween just a complete drag for you? Do you just want to punt every little five-year-old you see wearing some dumb costume he or she bought at Wal-Mart? Do you want to incinerate all sorts of candies in a heaping fire fueled by the rage in your heart? Well, too freaking bad! I’m sure you’re the kind of person who has considered alternatives to this festival of wonderment and joyfulness and happy. And I’m gonna be the guy to shoot down all of those alternatives. Bring it. Beggar’s Night: You think that giving to those people who need it most would be the best way to spend your evening. You think that maybe, just maybe, your work can help alleviate the symptoms of poverty that not only plague Walla Walla, but also the United States itself. Well, there are dozens, if not scores of children out there who want candy, and they want candy right now. Will you deprive them? National Caramel Apple Day: You may be inclined to believe that putting a fruit inside your candy will make it somehow healthier. Lipstick on a pig, much? Irish October Bank Holiday: If you have even thought once about celebrating this holiday that shouldn’t exist, you ought to be beaten mercilessly with a shillelagh. Irish banks don’t deserve holidays until the economy gets fixed. Samhain: Oh, you freaking hipster. “I’m going to celebrate the Gaelic holiday that was cool before Halloween existed and took it over.” Get with the times. UNICEF day: I actually have no problems with this. As long as you are explicitly “Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF.”

Comic by Emily Johnson

Adam “John F’in Kennedy” Brayton For Frankenstein, you'd need more than one. Joust verbally A little quarrel For Lady MacBeth, cover hands in blood and try to rub away that ____ Santa's suit stainer In a minute Big help; blessing Brought into the world Freddy Kruger make-up needs a large ____ Go left, say Small glacial lake Like a lemon For a classic witch, put a ____ on the side of your nose Herbaceous plant Had on, as clothes Oliver Twist's plea Or, give your witch a big, hairy ____ Stripper ____ Source of sweat Pig on a plate To dress up as Machete you'll want to fill your face with ____ marks Choose A hair whorl or cow____ They cause itchy scalps Darth Maul's face has a long ____ drawn down the forehead and nose Cabernet or Zinfandel Send via telegraph Yorkshire river Hundred-____ Wood If you're uninspired, you can always go as a teenager with terrible ____

e g a p k c a B l a u n n a l ia ic The off costume ideas that

list of potential e to heart in seriously you should really tak l and ona

ur pers yo f o ng ni an pl e th r fo g n i er d i cons

y of public masquerade on the holida

Halloween .

Truly Excellent Couple Ideas

Costumes That Can’t Possibly Be Sluttified

Group Ideas— For the Whole Section!

• Siamese twins (Even better as Siamese cats. Siamese cat twins?) • Native American and Christopher Columbus (A very exploitative relationship) • Hawaiian Punch (One dresses up as a boxer and the other dresses up as a hula dancer) • Pantomime Horse (Who’s gonna be the butt?) • Adam and Eve (Never mind fig leaves—just go naked!) • Priest and Nun (A truly GreenDot couple) • Hot Dog & Bun (No, this is not an open-faced sandwich) • Harry and Hermione or Ron and Ginny (Someone’s gonna Avada Kedavra somebody . . . )

• Slutty pregnant elephant in the third trimester of the gestation period (Other alternatives include beached whale or dumpster) • Slutty Yahtzee (Even if there is a full house, there’s a 1/6^5 chance that nobody’s gonna want that) • Slutty Sasquatch (“Me Sasquatch. Me sexy thang.” Yeah, right) • Slutty Lamp with shade and stand (Nothing says curves like a pole with a lamp shade on its head) • Slutty Fellow of the Ring (Seriously, does anyone have a special place in their loins for Gimli?)

• Gang Green (Everyone in the group wears all green) • Chudley Cannons Quidditch Team (Because nobody gives a hoot about those suckers) • Sandwich Condiments (Just smear it all over y’all’s bodies) • Office Supplies (And then, Rob Schneider found out how hard it was to be a stapler) • Brady Bunch Characters (Wholesome family fun for the whole wholesome family) • Assorted Fruits (Fruit of the Loom style) • Favorite mythical creatures (I’ll be the Pegasus to your Pan)


Whitman Pioneer Fall 2011 Issue 8  

The Oct. 27 edition.