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Economic recovery making billions for the United States

Men’s Tennis team seeks high-caliber competition Men to play more teams outside of NWC, aim to improve national standings PAGE

WHITMAN NEWS, DELIVERED

Columnist Staten Hudson advocates the repeal of the Repatriation Act. PAGE

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Walla Walla, WA whitmanpioneer.com

VOLUME CXXVIII

March 3 2011

ISSUE

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Page 1 to whom the allegation is leveled against. We feel that we have an obligation to all students to provide them the support they need to get through difficult issues and times.” The TKEs initially declined to be interviewed for this article, preferring instead to respond to allegations in a Letter to the Editor which can be found on page seven. Ultimately, current Whitman TKE President, junior David DeVine, responded over e-mail.

by MOLLY SMITH & DEREK THURBER

Editors-in-Chief

with RACHEL ALEXANDER & JOSH GOODMAN News Editors

Several weeks ago, The Pioneer was approached by senior Dan Hart with some of the allegations described below. As a result of his coming forward, we began an investigation into his claims as well as into the policies of the administration, of TKE and of all the Greek groups in regards to initiation. This article is the first of a series based on our investigation into initiation practices across campus, including those of sports teams and student organizations. Our goal in printing this article is not to write an exposé on any fraternity’s initiation practices or to damage the reputation of Greek groups on campus. On the contrary, we have attempted to present the facts and opinions expressed to The Pioneer from all sides of this matter. We hope this article will inspire a thoughtful discussion on all the issues presented here, and we encourage you to comment on this story at whitmanpioneer.com or to submit a Letter to the Editor expressing with your thoughts.

O

n Feb. 18, senior Dan Hart approached Dean of Students Chuck Cleveland as well as The Pioneer with hazing allegations against Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE). According to Hart, TKE violated Whitman’s Code of Conduct, specifically the college’s hazing policy, during the fraternity’s initiation ceremony of new members last winter. Hart, a junior at the time, underwent 16 hours of TKE initiation before making the decision to cease participation in the activities and de-initiate from the fraternity. Hart alleged that the 2010 TKE initiation included restrictions on food and sleep, verbal abuse and required clean-up work—all of which are in violation of Whitman’s hazing policy. He waited a

Allegations Leveled

The Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) house on Issacs Street, where members of the fraternity go through initiation. PHOTO BY PARRISH

Allegations of hazing levelled against TKE initiation practices Administration in the midst of investigation

year to come forward over concerns for his personal safety if he made the allegations public. According to college policy, which is found in the Student Handbook, “[hazing] is any activity of a physical or psychological nature that is degrading or humiliating to another person.” Associate Dean of Students Clare Carson said the college expanded this hazing policy in 2008, after the administration became aware of hazing incidents occurring as part of a vart-

sity sports team’s initiation process. In addition to Whitman’s hazing policy, the state of Washington has its own laws against hazing, thus students attending college in state—whether public or private—can be prosecuted under these laws separately from the policies of individual schools. In the two weeks since the allegations were first brought to Cleveland’s office, the administration has begun a formal investigation into the validity of Hart’s claims. The administration has

met with both Hart and the members of the TKE Executive Council. “The college takes all these kinds of investigations seriously and we have an obligation to investigate. That’s what we’re doing,” said Cleveland. “When students come forward with allegations, we are always concerned about their personal safety, how they are doing, what kind of support they need,” Cleveland added. “By the same token, we’re also concerned about the well-being of either the individual or the group

The last initiation activity Hart participated in, and the event that ultimately compelled him to de-initiate, took place in the TKE kitchen. According to Hart, he and his fellow initiates were instructed to prepare breakfast for the active members in accordance with TKE initiation rule number 13— provided to Hart by the TKE Hegemon—that all pledges must “make and serve breakfast”—a task made more difficult by the trash and food that had previously been smeared on the kitchen surfaces. Hart said that when the pledges cleaned up the trash, it was smeared back on the floor and kitchen surfaces; when they finished cooking the food, it was thrown against the wall. He said this went on for four hours. “It was senseless and I was terrified and I was scared by what the TKEs were doing. They were purposefully intimidating me into doing what they wanted: to clean this kitchen, which in the first place had no point other than to submit to their actions,” said Hart. Hart alleged that the TKEs employed verbal abuse to force the new members into labor similar to that in the kitchen, as well as to “dehumanize” new members in an attempt to make explicit the power dynamics between new and active members.

INITIATION,

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Media spectacles discussed in Global Studies symposium by WILL GREGG

U

Staff Reporter

prisings in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries over the past few weeks have demonstrated the importance of spectacles in the international media. With these recent events in mind, speakers gathered in Maxey Auditorium to participate in a symposium entitled “Global Media, Global Spectacle” on Sat. Feb. 26. The symposium featured a panel of Whitman students and professors as well as visiting professors, who discussed various media spectacles and the ways they inform opinions about current events. This event was part of Whitman College’s Global Studies Initiative, which brings faculty from a variety of disciplines together to discuss and engage with global issues. Salman Hameed and Shiloh Krupar listen to and address questions from the audience. Credit: Marie Von Hafften The Global Studies Initiative was first conceived at Whitman in 2005, and the first symposium was held in 2009. Thus far, symposia have been funded by a $345,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which was given for the

purpose of globalizing the college. “It’s always a challenge to keep a liberal arts education up to the moment,” said Professor of Sociology Bill Bogard, while moderating the symposium. The discussion topic--global spectacles--prompted conversation about the role that media plays in representing events worldwide. Assistant Professor of English Gaurav Majumdar said he hoped that the symposium would increase awareness of the issue among students. “[I hope for] an increased selfconsciousness about what he or she is seeing in the media and what he or she is seeing the political circus,” he said. Bogard opened the discussion by explaining the topic of spectacle. According to Bogard, events are globalized by media and become spectacles. One important consideration is for what purpose or for whom spectacle is being used. “Globalization is not necessarily a good thing,” said Bogard. “Globalization does not serve everyone equally.” The topic of spectacle was then discussed by three visiting professors: Douglas Kneller, Chair of Philosophy of Education at University of California at Los Angeles; Salman

Hameed, professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College in Massachusetts; and Shiloh Krupar, assistant professor of the Culture and Politics program at Georgetown University. Kellner discussed the role of spectacle in recent Middle Eastern uprisings, as well as the use of social networking sites by activists in the region. According to him, media is used by protestors to uncover police brutality and corruption as a revolutionary tool. The wide variety of its uses make media “contested terrain.” Hameed’s talk focused on the conflict between science and religion in the Islamic world. Scientific discoveries can take the form of spectacle, particularly when they are perceived to be in conflict with religious beliefs. Based on this conflict, Hameed asked “Who has the authority to interpret science?” Today, those with authority in the Arab world are mainly religious and political authorities, but according to Hameed, 60% of the Arab world is age 26 and under. “This is a population that is young, educated, and globally connected,” he said, adding that they will

SYMPOSIUM,

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Alpha Phi approved by Whitman faculty Shannon Flood ‘11 sculpts a her tea pot for an advanced independent study. Flood was able to get clearance to enter the building during evening hours. PHOTO BY KLAG

Art space limited for non-­majors by MCCAULAY SINGER-MILNES Staff Reporter

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tudio art at Whitman is both a hobby and an academic discipline, a fact that makes use of the art building and its studios a controversial issue, as some students feel they should have access to said facilities even if they are not art majors or enrolled in art classes.

The art building currently closes at 10 p.m., but is available to a select number of students via identification card swipe access. “The building closes at 10, and it is open from 7-10 for students enrolled in art classes. The building is not designed for recreational space for Whitman students, [just as] the science building is not designed for recreational science projects,” said Assistant Professor of Art Michelle Acuff.

ART BUILDING,

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Seeking... This week Feature explores the search for spiritual purpose PAGE

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by RACHEL ALEXANDER News Editor

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hitman College faculty voted on Wednesday, Feb. 23 to approve Alpha Phi as Whitman’s fourth sorority. The vote was the culmination of a yearlong selection and approval process, and means that a chapter of Alpha Phi will be started at Whitman next fall. The news was met with enthusiasm by junior Heather Smith, who was

Panhellenic President last year. “I feel really fortunate that I was able to be a part of Panhellenic at such an exciting time,” she said in an e-mail. “I don’t know if the Whitman community and the Greek system fully realize how rare and exciting this is.” Smith is currently abroad, but largely directed the process of recruiting and approvi n g the addition of

Alpha Phi to Whitman’s Greek community over the past year. Current Panhellenic President sophomore Alex Woodward echoed Smith’s sentiments, and said that Panhellenic will now be able to move forward with starting the new chapter. “We were at a standstill until they voted,” she said. Whitman’s Panhellenic Extension Committee voted last April to begin the process of selecting a fourth sorority to come to campus. The decision was made to address overcrowding issues and reduce chapter sizes for the three existing sororities-Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta and Delta Gamma. “This is something that we’ve

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ALPHA PHI,

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Social Dance Club gets into the ‘swing’ of things at Winter Ball PAGE

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March 3 2011

HAZING RULES Whitman College’s Hazing Policy: (pgs. 52-54 of the Whitman College Student Handbook) Hazing is any activity of a physical or psychological nature that is degrading or humiliating to another person. Groups of individuals or individuals acting on behalf of a club, group, organization, or team sometimes use hazing as a way of initiating a person into their respective group. Hazing does not encourage respect for others and is unacceptable and prohibited by Whitman College. . . The following behaviors and activities would constitute hazing on this campus. It is important to note that social pressure can constitute forced or requisite participation, even if the organizers claim that the activity is voluntary. ŃŚ"DUJPOTUIBUSFDLMFTTMZPSJOtentionally endanger the physical and mental health or safety of students. ŃŚ'PSDFE DPFSDFE PSSFRVJSFE consumption of any food, liquor, drug, beverage, water, or any other substance. ŃŚ'PSDFE DPFSDFE PSSFRVJSFE participation in physical activities, such as calisthenics, exercises, or so-called games. ŃŚ'PSDFEPSSFRVJSFEDPOduct that could embarrass or adversely affect the dignity of the individual, including the performance of public stunts and activities. ŃŚ'PSDFEFYQPTVSFUPUIF weather. ŃŚ&YDFTTJWFGBUJHVFSFTVMUJOH from sleep deprivation, physical activities, or exercise. ŃŚ"TTJHONFOUPŇŠBDUJWJUJFTUIBU would be illegal or unlawful, or might be morally offensive to new members. ŃŚ1IZTJDBMCSVUBMJUZ JODMVEJOH paddling, striking with fists, open hands, or objects, and branding. ŃŚ,JEOBQQJOHBHBJOTUBQFSTPOŃ&#x;T will, and forced transportation or stranding of individuals. ŃŚ7FSCBMBCVTF JODMVEJOHŃĄMJOF upsâ€? and berating of individuals. ŃŚ'PSDFEPSSFRVJSFEDMFBOVQ work or labor created for new members. ŃŚ%FOJBMPŇŠTVGŇŠJDJFOUUJNFUP study. ŃŚ'PSDFEPSSFRVJSFEOVEJUZPS lewd behavior. Washington State Hazing Law: RCW 28B.10.900 As used in RCW 28B.10.901 and 28B.10.902, “hazingâ€? includes any method of initiation into a student organization or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to such an organization or living group that causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger or physical harm, or serious mental or emotional harm, to any student or other person attending a public or private institution of higher education or other postsecondary educational institution in this state. “Hazingâ€? does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions.

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TKEs deny allegations, aim for positive initiation experience for all pledges

NUMBERS IN THE NEWS

Whitman, especially with his friends in his residence section. “I lived in 2-West, so everyone I knew was part of a frat house,� said Bachhuber. “To de-initiate was really hard for my social life, not necessarily because anyone made it explicitly so, but because I felt ostracized from the community that developed from [initiation].� Hart said he did not feel the repercussions of his de-initiation as harshly as Bachhuber. According to Hart, the fact that he was a junior and had already developed a support system at the college was a primary reason for the lessened impact of his de-initiation. “I already have my friends, whereas a lot of the freshmen are all friends with the TKEs, so they believe they would be socially ostracized,� said Hart. “I had all these other communities that were willing to welcome me.� Maxwell agreed that the desire to be accepted as part of a group might deter some students from coming forward with allegations of misconduct. “I think it’s hard [to come forward] if you’ve got an affiliation or attachment to a particular group, whether that’s a fraternity, sorority or an athletic team or another club on campus,� she said. “It’s human nature to want to be affiliated and want to be accepted.� Interfraternity Council President, and member of Sigma Chi, junior Peter Olson contests the claim that participation in fraternity initiations is influenced by peer pressure. “Not all the time are people pledging with all their best friends,� said Olson. “Theoretically you could see how that may happen, but at Sig we actively work to have an open channel of communication and really check in with them throughout pledgeship and initiation to make sure they’re comfortable with everything going on and that they’re having a good time.� Maxwell added that national Greek organizations have been very proactive in developing communication channels for members, including toll-free 800 numbers where misconduct claims can be reported anonymously. Bachhuber left Whitman in May 2007 after his first year, a decision which he said was influenced by his experiences both during and after initiation. “I initially took a leave of absence and then I dropped out all together. A good 60 percent [of this decision] was because of initiation. The singular effect of deinitiating destroyed my entire community at Whitman and the community of what Whitman is supposed to be about,� he said.

by RACHEL ALEXANDER

from INITIATION,

PAGE

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According to rule number five of TKE initiation, all pledges must always “wear hoodwinks but not outside.� Hart explained that a “hoodwink� is a piece of cloth adorned by a number identifying each initiate. Hart’s number was “1876.� “I despised being called 1876. These are my friends, these are my colleagues, my peers—these are people I look up to. These are people I tutor and they are calling me 1876. It doesn’t get a whole lot more depersonalizing than that,� he said. In 2007, former Whitman student Daniel Bachhuber also approached the administration with similar concerns. Like Hart, Bachhuber de-initiated from TKE as a result of his dissatisfaction with aspects of TKE initiation. In his three days of initiation, he experienced comparable types of food and sleep deprivation and forced cleaning. “Initiation wasn’t anything constructive; it was destructive. If we were going to deprive ourselves of sleep but we wanted to do something constructive, we should have built a house for Habitat for Humanity or something like that,� said Bachhuber. “The way I construed the situation is that they were trying to break us down and recast us into this mold of a TKE fraternity member.� Both Hart and Bachhuber alleged that TKE initiates were forced to take communal showers in freezing cold water. According to rule number nine of initiation, all pledges can only “shower with direction.� “I’m told that I can’t take a shower because another rule is that pledges can only shower under the direction of an active,� said Hart. “We are all lined up. We are in our underwear; some people are naked, and we are forced to go into the shower.� According to Cleveland, Bachhuber’s accusations were dealt with at the time by Associate Dean of Students Barbara Maxwell, the Greek advisor. Maxwell declined to comment specifically on Bachhuber’s allegations, but said that the administration has consistently addressed complaints about conduct violations during initiation. “When an incident gets brought forward, there’s an investigation, there’s a finding, there’s an outcome,� she said. “One [claim] wasn’t handled any differently than the other one.� Bachhuber had problems, however, with the way the administration dealt with his claims. “[Maxwell’s] recommendation was to express my grievances with [the fraternity presidents] and she made some sort of promise that things would be cleaned up the next time around, but I didn’t ever see the extent of what that was,� said Bachhuber. “My interpretation of the entire situation is that whoever was involved wanted to sweep the incident under the rug so they could keep on doing what they were doing.� After de-initiating, Bachhuber struggled to connect with

Official Regulations and Response According to the national Tau Kappa Epsilon organization, “[TKE] does not condone or tolerate any form of hazing and is committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment to the new members.� Current Whitman

RWC. 28B.10.902 A person who participates in the hazing of another shall forfeit any entitlement to statefunded grants, scholarships, or awards for a period of time determined by the institution of higher education. RCW 28B.10.903 Institutions of higher education shall adopt rules providing sanctions for conduct associated with initiation into a student organization or living group, or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to an organization or living group not amounting to a violation of RCW 28B.10.900. Conduct covered by this section may include embarrassment, ridicule, sleep deprivation, verbal abuse, or personal humiliation.

TKE President junior David DeVine said Whitman’s TKE chapter upholds all national standards as well as follows all Whitman policies. “The administration is aware of the details of our initiation. Any issues that may exist will be addressed,� said DeVine in an e-mail. “Through a shared experience, members learn to trust and depend upon one another. They are much closer friends as a result,� he added. Hart also said he recognizes the benefits of fraternity membership, which he said prompted his initial decision to rush TKE. “I genuinely like the TKEs. I am not coming forward now because I have any personal resentment toward any members of

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Number of Wisconsin union members and supporters who gathered at the state capitol on Saturday, Feb. 26 to protest the governor’s proposal to end collective bargaining rights. source: wisconsin state journal

2,500

Number of Washington union members and supporters who gathered in Olympia on the same day in support of Wisconsin workers. source: the stranger

$57,113

Median salary of Wisconsin public sector employees with a bachelor’s degree.

BARBARA MAXWELL, Associate Dean of Students

$51,921

Median salary of Wisconsin private sector employees with a bachelor’s degree

TKE. That community can be really good for people,� said Hart. “I think the friend aspect of it is why a lot of people want to initiate.� According to DeVine, initiates may opt out of any activities they find objectionable, a claim Bachhuber and Hart both found to be true in their own experiences. “During the initiation week, they’re expected to be committed to the initiation process. They’re expected to participate in everything, but if they feel really uncomfortable with something, they’re given the option to [opt out],� said Olson in regards to Sig initiation. DeVine said that nothing in TKE initiation would be considered more stressful than the first day of classes for first-year students and that TKE initiation does not involve any illegal activities which could make initiates uncomfortable. Both Hart and Bachhuber also emphasized that the use of alcohol or drugs was not a part of TKE initiation nor was physical contact or abuse. This fact is affirmed by TKE initiation rule number 18 that there is to be “no alcohol or drugs.�

source: new york times

20.1

Percentage of workers in the United States who were union members in 1983

11.9

Percentage who were union members in 2010

36.2

Percentage of U.S. public sector employees who were union members in 2010

6.9

Percentage of U.S. private sector employees who were union members in 2010 source: bureau of labor statistics

Perceptions and Going Forward Sophomore Panhellenic President and Delta Gamma member Alex Woodward said that in spite of popular perceptions, initiation is not synonymous with hazing new members. “People associate hazing and bad things happening [with] initiation, but those aren’t the same and those don’t coincide together. It is interesting that people always ask about that aspect of initiation, because there are really all of these great things that happen that have nothing to do with negative impacts on members,� she said. Woodward and Olson also emphasized that Greek groups on campus strive to have accountability and provide outlets for members to address concerns with initiation practices. Concurrent with these practices, Maxwell said she supports any student who comes forward, hoping that initiation can be a positive

experience for everyone involved. “[The Greek groups’] intent is to create a strong, cohesive group of people where everyone feels valued and respected,� she said. “I would hope that if people don’t feel like that’s happening that they would come forward and that we could use it as an opportunity to educate the group so that they would then make changes.� Like Woodward and Maxwell, Hart wants the positive aspects of TKE initiation, and of Greek life in general, to be emphasized. Hart, however, believes that the positives are currently undermined by hazing practices. “I don’t want hazing to occur in the TKE house,� he said. “I don’t want to take communal showers, I don’t want to be called by a number, I don’t want resources to be wasted in the way they are, I don’t want to be yelled at and intimidated. I would rather see initiation be a true, transformative experience.� To read the official TKE response to this article please see the Letter to the Editor by TKE President junior David DeVine on page 7.

The Pioneer is looking for staff reporters. Interested students should visit whitmanpioneer.com/apply. Applications for Pioneer Editor-­in-­Chief are also available through goaswc.org and are due on March 30.

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I think it is hard [to come forward] if you’ve got an affiliation or attachment to a particular group...

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Founded before the turn of 20th century, The Pioneer is Whitman College’s weekly, student-run newspaper. With a circulation of over 1,200, The Pioneer serves both the Whitman College student body and its network of faculty, staff, parents and alumni as well as the local Walla Walla community. The Pioneer publishes a weekly issue of the latest news, arts and sports coverage and student editorials. The Pioneer is entirely student-run and serves as an open forum for the student body as well as an outlet for gaining journalistic experience at a school that has no journalism program. The staff receives guidance from a Board of Advisors, a group of campus and community leaders, including Whitman College faculty and staff with journalism expertise as well as members of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. The Pioneer strives to maintain the highest standers of fairness, quality and journalistic integrity and is governed by a Code of Ethics. Letters to Editor may be submitted to The Pioneer via e-mail to editors@ whitmanpioneer.com or sent to The Pioneer, Whitman College, 280 Boyer Ave., Walla Walla, WA, 99362. All submissions must be received by 4 p.m. on Sunday prior to the week that they are intended to appear. All submissions must be attributed and may be edited for AP-style and fluency.

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March 3 2011

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ASWC Town Hall features Bridges

New chapter to alleviate overcrowding

by KARAH KEMMERLY

from ALPHA PHI,

Staff Reporter

It’s an awesome chance for students to participate in a process that represents the school to so many people. JOHN LORANGER, '11

ASWC Vice President and Chair of the Student Affairs Committee John Loranger was very positive about student involvement in the accreditation process. “It’s an awesome chance for students to participate in a process that represents the school to so many people,” he said. He said that allowing students to participate reflects positively on the administration. “It says a lot about this institution. Students are a big part of the school.” Attendees then asked several questions of Bridges. First-year Brian Choe asked about the financial situation of the college. Bridges told attendees that he feels the current financial situation is “solid,” especially taking into consideration the current economic troubles other colleges are facing. First-year Kayvon Behroozian expressed a concern he heard from many first-years: most of their professors are not tenure-track professors. Bridges responded by saying that the administration is moving “very aggressively” to hire some new faculty members and to possibly establish new tenure-track lines. He told attendees of the Mellon Grant, a grant Whitman applied for in October that would help fund up to eight new tenure lines. The students also asked about the status of the education and music, specifically jazz programs. Bridges said that six years ago, a group of faculty decided to phase out the education program, and though Whitman will still offer some education-related classes, the major is no longer available. He also said the music department underwent an external review a year ago. Evaluators suggested that with the number of music faculty, it would serve Whitman well to change the music program from conservatory style to more focus on music history and theory. Students expressed that they would be disappointed to see the performance aspect of the music major go. ASWC Finance Chair Matthew Dittrich was pleased with the question-and-answer session. “The student-administration relationship is a marriage. Happy marriages require communication. Town hall is an incredible opportunity for students to directly communicate to the administration,” he said.

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tudents curious about the future of Whitman College gathered in Reid Campus Center on Monday, Feb. 28 for an ASWC town hall meeting, where they heard from President George Bridges and Associate Professor of Sociology and Assistant Dean of Faculty Michelle Janning. The meeting focused primarily on a presentation by Janning about an opportunity for student input in the accreditation process. Students were also given the opportunity to ask Bridges questions. Janning explained that the time frame of the accreditation process, during which evaluators of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities give Whitman its stamp of legitimacy, is changing. What used to take place in a two-year-long rush every ten years is now going to occur gradually over the course of seven years. In April she will write a draft of a one-year report, which is due in September. “It’s essentially a 15-page-long document in which we define who we are for ourselves,” Janning said. At the town hall meeting, she wanted to get student feedback on the college’s mission statement. The mission statement will serve as a backbone for her accreditation report. Attendees were given a sheet of paper with a list of the current mission statements three core themes: academic excellence; engagement, personal development and responsibility; and collaboration and community. Listed underneath each core theme was a bulleted list of objectives within the theme. Students’ goal was to suggest indicators for these objectives. “We want to know from you what Whitman does that is unique,” Janning said. Janning suggested the high participation at the undergraduate conference as an example of the first objective listed under “academic excellence,” which speaks to the college’s “innovative intellectual culture.” Jewett Hall Resident Director Justin Daigneault suggested the residence life evaluation system as an indicator for the second theme of engagement, personal development and responsibility.

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Firefighters respond to a house fire which occured in a Whitman rental house last weekend. The house was being rented by a Whitman professor at the time of the fire. PHOTO BY PARRISH

Whitman rental house catches fire over weekend, no one injured Walla Walla Fire Department. According to the UnionBulletin, a door to the fireplace was left open, causing ash to spew out and spread to the main floor. There was an estimated 125,000 dollars in damages. Though there was no obvious charring on the outside of the house, witnesses said they saw smoke coming from the house. The house, which is located behind Jewett Dining Hall and Lyman House, is a Whitman-owned rental, according to Scott Towslee, a rental property maintenance technician for the college. It was occupied by Assistant Professor of English Christopher Leise and his family.

by JOSH GOODMAN News Editor

A

house fire occurred at 222 Stanton St. early Saturday afternoon. Four people-two adults and two small children--were in the house but escaped with no injuries; two cats were taken to a veterinary office. Firefighters respond to a house fire which occurred in a Whitman rental house last weekend. The house was being rented by a Whitman professor at the time of the fire. Kendra Klag, a Whitman Pioneer photojournalist, is featured in the foreground. Credit: Ethan Parrish The fire, which was called in at 12:19 p.m., started from a basement fireplace according to Brad Morris, a deputy chief for the PHOTO BY KLAG

Symposium searches for new funding from SYMPOSIUM,

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be important interpreters in the future. The final talk by Krupar focused on the spectacle of Rocky Flats. Rocky Flats is a former nuclear weapons production facility near Denver, Colorado which was closed and converted into a wildlife refuge. Krupar discussed the change of the site’s identity from a nuclear facility to a natural, wild spectacle. She also focused on Nuclia Waste, a drag queen in the Rocky Flats area whose informative website seeks to create a spectacle of the continued nuclear contamination of the site and the bodies of people who live and work there. This diverse collection of perspectives on the symposium theme takes careful planning Considerations regarding speakers are concurrent with those regarding the topic itself, and can help in the topic decision. “It takes a lot of research to come up with individuals that can speak for the theme,” said Bruce Magnusson, Associate Professor of Politics and director of the Global Studies Initiative. The three fifteen minute speeches were each followed with a five minute speech made by a Whitman student. Prior to the symposium, faculty recommend students to speak. Students’ majors and theses correspond to the speaker’s topic and provide additional angles for discussion. “All three years students have absolutely nailed their presentations,” said Magnusson. Nigel Ramoz-Leslie ‘11 listens to his fellow presenters

Panelists Salman Hemeed and Shiloh Krupar discuss the role of spectacle in global media during the Symposium. PHOTO BY VON HAFFTEN

Afterwards, Delbert Hutchison, a professor of Biology, and Majumdar made speeches which asked further questions of the visiting professors. The visiting professors addressed these along with audience questions. The style of the Symposium, created in large part by Professor of Politics Shampa Biswas, has remained constant for each symposium. The ongoing dialogue reflected the timeliness of the topic. An agreement has been made with the University of Washington Press to publish the symposia along with supplementary content. The first symposium is completed and is in the publishing process and the second was submitted a month ago. These sympo-

sia will available online for Whitman students through Penrose Library. The Mellon grant allotted funding for the symposia for three years. Although this was last symposium to be funded from the Mellon grant, Magnusson said that faculty are actively looking for alternate sources of funding for next year’s symposium. He believes that the continuation of the Global Studies Initiative is important for the college. “We can’t isolate our knowledge from each other and hope to come to productive conclusions,” he said. He emphasized the importance of being engaged across disciplines. “I think it’s exemplary of the liberal arts,” he said.

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up,” said Associate Dean Students Barbara Maxwell. According to Maxwell, optimal chapter size is around 65 members. Whitman’s existing sororities are well over this number; last fall, Delta Gamma had 110 members. “At one hundred members, we’re pushing providing a quality experience,” said Maxwell. Specifically, she said that smaller chapters allow more members to pursue leadership roles, and ensure that everyone is able to participate in community service and other activities. The process of selecting a sorority to come to Whitman began last spring. After the Extension Committee approved the plan to add a fourth sorority, members of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) were able to submit applications to Whitman. NPC is an organization made up of 26 national sororities, including the three already at Whitman. Maxwell said that only five groups applied, in part because Whitman Panhellenic chose to limit the process to sororities which had existing chapters in the Pacific Northwest. “We wanted [our chapter] to be able to belong to a province or a district, because that’s where leadership opportunities exist,” said Maxwell. To choose a sorority for Whitman, Smith formed a committee which included members of each sorority to rank the applicants. After the ranking had been approved, the top three groups were brought to campus, and Alpha Phi was selected from among these. Representatives from Alpha Phi are scheduled to visit Whitman in the spring. Because the sorority used to have a chapter at Whitman from 1948-1979, Maxwell said that some alumni of that chapter would likely visit campus at the same time that other sororities host alumni. After the spring visit, Alpha Phi’s new chapter will officially begin in the fall. Because the chapter is starting from scratch at Whitman, they will not go through the normal recruitment process. Instead, Alpha Phi will only be able to recruit members after the other three sororities have finished their fall recruitment. Maxwell said that first-years usually go through recruitment, and each sorority recruits a relatively small number of new members. In contrast, Alpha Phi will need about 65 new members to start a chapter and needs to have a mix of classes represented in their initial membership. “In order for Alpha Phi to succeed as well as the existing groups, all three sororities, as well as the four fraternities, will now need to come together as one united organization in their support,” said Smith. “I have no doubt that will happen, and it will be exciting to see the results.” Maxwell stressed that a new sorority chapter represents an opportunity for Whitman women to take on leadership roles. “Hopefully there are women out there who want the challenge of starting something new,” she said. Woodward said that a fourth sorority on campus will mean more philanthropy and community service will occur. She said she looks forward to the addition of an Alpha Phi chapter. “They’ll be a noticeable presence in the fall, and it will be exciting,” she said.

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March 3 2011 SPOTLIGHT ON ART

Social Dance Club loosens members up on dance floor at weekly meetings by WILL WITWER Staff Reporter

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f popular culture is any indication, ballroom dancing is not for the faint of heart, nor, stereotypically, for men. The Social Dance Club would love to change that, but their goal is not to boldly shake up the status quo. They just want to get as many people to dance and have a good time. Enthusiastic member and parttime instructor Justin Daignealt, Resident Director of Jewett , explained that the club is designed for beginners. “The Social Dance Club is a space where we teach people how to go out to social events and gatherings and know how to generally dance with groups of people,” said Daignealt via email. “We don’t teach exact [or] perfect ballroom techniques and styles [since] we are not classically trained professionals, but we do show people how to feel comfortable on the dance floor, how to work with a partner and how to have fun with dancing.” The club teaches a variety of different dancing styles to anyone who will show up to the weekly meetings held on Sundays from 3-5 p.m. in Sherwood. The club devotes the first hour to Swing/Waltz/Foxtrot les-

sons and open dance. The second hour becomes a space for teaching Argentine Tango, if they have enough leaders. Daignealt mentioned that a lack of instructors can create problems. “In order to join the club people do not need any previous dance experience, the only thing you need is to be interested in learning how to dance and wanting to meet some other people in the same position,” said Daignealt. “Sometimes we are a little ‘follower’ heavy and would love to get more guys/leads involved in the club, especially for tango.” The club held their third annual Winter Ball on Saturday February 26th, which is not a type of recital, but a chance for socializing and more dance instruction. Leaders of the club had high hopes for improving on the attendance of the previous years, which had been around 50 people. In fact, Annette Patton, one heavily involved club member, estimates that there were [insert estimate when I receive it] there. “It was a great success,” said Patton in an email. “We had an awesome turnout (Reid Ballroom was filled with swinging Whitties!) and a wonderful time dancing swing and

Students attending the third annual Winter Ball learn new moves. The event had more than 70 attendees. PHOTO BY VON HAFTEN

waltz. We started off by teaching basic waltz and swing and then had an open dance, where we played swing and waltz music and went crazy.” Along with Daignealt, Patton emphasized that absolutely anyone can come to a practice. She says that what they do in practice depends

heavily on the makeup of the group. “We usually tailor each meeting to the group who shows up,” said Patton. “if the group includes beginners, we teach the basics, but if the group is mostly returning members we practice what we already know and teach more advanced material.

by TANEEKA HANSEN Staff Reporter

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The actors dance during a prom scene. ‘Kind Ness,’ the final show to be performed on Harper Joy’s mainstage this spring due to renovation construction, relies heavily upon student improvisation. PHOTO BY LERCHIN

said Cushman. “[But] my character is not a central character in the play, so I need to strike a balance between trying to make my performance as interesting and engaging as possible [in] an effort to challenge myself in my creative capacities, but at the same time I don’t want to upstage the peo-

Each Thursday, The Pioneer highlights several events happening on campus or in Walla Walla during the weekend. Here are this week’s picks: IHC Mardi Gras Extravaganza In honor of the holiday, the FAH, Das Haus and La Maison will host a series of events. Students looking for a creative outlet can head to the FAH to make masks or Das Haus for face painting. Those looking to get their groove on can head to La Maison for their in-house dance party. Friday, Mar. 4. 9 p.m.-midnight.

‘Kind Ness’ ensemble cast collaborates, prompts conversations on diversity his weekend, Harper Joy Theater will explore the relationships of a group of students, one of whom happens to be a gorilla, in a production of Ping Chong’s “Kind Ness”. The play, written in 1986, was originally a collaborative effort between Chong and his company, and was almost completely generated in rehearsal. The Whitman cast, all juniors and seniors, continued that collaborative spirit in their rehearsals. “Improvising was something that was different for me, not just physically, but also actually improvising lines in a few of the scenes,” said senior Anastasia Higham, who plays Dot. “And that was kind of scary, but seeing other people rise to it ... and seeing it be successful helped in the process a lot.” “It’s been a very challenging play for me to work on,” said senior theater major Trevor Cushman. “Not much of who the characters are necessarily comes out in the text, and so a lot of the work I’ve been having to do in terms of finding out who my character is I’ve had to do in rehearsal, and I’ve had to rely on just purely ... my creative intuition.” “Kind Ness” is Cushman’s senior project; he is keeping a rehearsal journal, and after the production he will write a paper and have an oral defense of his project. “I’m trying to make this, in a way, the capstone of my development as an actor and as an artist here at Whitman, and use it as a springboard to really discover what my process is,”

PIO PICKS

ple [whom] the play is really about.” Senior Erin Terrall, the play’s sound designer and technician, is also using “Kind Ness” to complete his senior project. This is Terrall’s thirteenth Harper Joy production as either an actor or a sound designer. “I’ve become a sound guy at

heart,” said Terrall. “I get stressed out by the late nights in the theater, but it’s really nice to have the building by myself, to have quiet and just sit and listen to my equipment for a while.” “The sound design is super cool, and there’s a lot of challenges in it,” said Anastasia Higham. “It really

Balloon Art Workshop The Sheehan Gallery and WEB will host a balloon workshop for students interested in the fun, fine art of balloon animals and more. Artist Sean Rooney will demonstrate and teach balloon twisting techniques and discuss sculptural principles of balloon art, with a hands-on workshop to follow. Spaces are limited, so email Kristine Berg at bergkm@whitman.edu to sign up. Saturday, Mar. 5. 1-3:30 p.m. Fouts Building. “Freedom Riders” The Film Arts Series presents “Freedom Riders.” The film, created by Whitman alumni Chris Kitchen ‘02 and Sam Pope ‘01, documents a small group of mountain bikers who combine the thrill of biking with sustainable trail building to produce the multimillion dollar sport it is today. Monday, Mar. 7. 7 p.m. Kimball Theatre.

adds to the production; there’s music underscoring a lot of the scenes.” When asked about the core of the show, all three seniors pointed to its exploration of diversity and otherness. “I think the play is basically about the way we categorize people, and that relates in some very apparent ways to class and gender and race,” said Cushman. “This play not only scratches at those issues some but also [transcends them] ... and just looks at it as a more general cultural habit.” “Chris [Petit, the play’s director] talked about that it’s important to realize why we are doing this in the Whitman community,” said Higham. “[It explores] the idea of diversity, which is a big buzzword at Whitman ... Otherness is really interesting in a Whitman context.” Higham associated the play’s success at tackling these themes with its being an ensemble play. “It’s my last play [at Whitman], which is kind of sad, but it’s also the perfect last play, I think, because it’s such an ensemble piece,” said Higham. “This kind of theater ... asks hard questions but is also whimsical and beautiful and ridiculous and fun. It is something that I’m really proud our theater does, and I think it’s an example of the best kind of work we do here.” “Kind Ness” runs from March 3 to 6 on the Alexander main stage. The shows will start at 8 p.m. except for Sunday, which will start at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office, located in the Harper Joy lobby.

Art space available for independent projects from ART BUILDING,

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Some students feel this is an unfair policy, as it does not provide people who are creatively inclined, yet no art majors, with a place to work and make art. Other students feel they have sufficient access to workspace, but may not always have the necessary materials. “I have had trouble finding materials when I come in to do my drawing homework after class, but the studio is usually empty, so I don’t have a problem finding space to work,” said first-year Eli Lewis. There are currently private studios available for senior art majors to complete their senior theses. Ryan Creal 12’, an Art minor and Art History major, works on a piece for printmaking. Credit: Kendra Klag “The building was designed to accommodate the work that the seniors will do during their senior year so they are given a private studio during their time,” said Acuff. “To have that at the undergraduate level is rare if you are not at an art school.” Many students feel that it is difficult to gain access to the buildings and materials if they are not taking art classes.

“I think students here who are not art majors, or simply want to explore some artistic design without taking a class or majoring in the subject would have a very difficult time using the art building. It is very inhospitable to those who have not been indoctrinated into the arts,” said Lewis. However, according to Acuff, many professors are more than willing to consider independent study projects for students who are seriously interested in the arts. Acuff is currently working with a recent Whitman graduate on an independent study project related to sculpture. “There are certainly professors who are willing to work in an independent study fashion, a student could find someone who is working in an established curricular vision of department, which is plenty wide,” said Acuff. “Its not like there is an unwillingness, there is a real excitement to work with students who are serious.” In addition, some faculty members, such as Acuff, believe it would be beneficial for students to start an art club, so that members of the student body not directly involved in academic arts could gain access to the building in a safe manner.

PHOTOS BY VON HAFFTEN

Ryan Creal ‘12 works on a printmaking project for class. PHOTO BY KLAG

“I think it would be really nice if students would bond together and start up an art club, and I think there would be no problem. They would be able to use certain space, and not conflict with classes,” said Acuff.

Dr. Seuss day celebrates author

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r. Seuss lovers and Read Across America aficionados filled the basement of Reid in honor of the author’s birthday on Feb. 27. Organized by Kappa Kappa

Gamma, The Center for Community Service and the Walla Walla Public Library, students celebrated the event with crafts, games and performances of “The Cat in the Hat.”

Davis Collection of Asian Art consolidated for campus benefit by KATE ROBINETTE Staff Reporter

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hen Whitman students learn about the history of Japanese sculpture, or enroll in a tea ceremony course, they don’t just look at pictures in a book or trek to the library. They use genuine historical artifacts, many of which haven’t had a secure and accessible home at Whitman until now. A gift made to the college in 1984 by Seafirst Bank, the Thomas P. Davis collection of Asian art now has a permanent home in Olin East. Lovers of historical art from both the campus and the community can now view pieces on a regular basis. The collection is comprised of statues, ceramics, puppet heads, screens

and hanging scrolls--some of which date from the 15th century. Associated Kyoto Program Chair Akira Takemoto designed Chikurakken (Enjoying the Bamboo Room), which is his Yabanouchi Tea Room and the Asian Studies Art Gallery, and acts as a type of steward to the college’s Asian art collection. “We accepted this collection [in 1984] with the promise that we would exhibit it, but [that was] easier said than done,” said Takemoto. The lack of storage space led to the collection’s storage in various places across campus, boxed and separated. The college did a series of exhibits in the mid-1990s to try to fulfill the intent of the donors, but they were by necessity temporary. That problem

was finally addressed in 2009 and 2010 with the completion of the storage space and Chikurakken. “My thought was if you’re going to store it it’d be important nearby or as close as possible to have a space to display it,” said Takemoto. He rotates displays of the pieces in the gallery and brings out pieces for his classes to look at when studying particular time periods and themes. The current theme, for example, is the significance of the Ordinary Mind, the mind that celebrates the everyday. Takemoto will subtly change the room and will replace one art piece for another to see what students notice. “This room is asking us to put the ‘matters of consequence’ to the side and see what we discover. When you walk in here we’re not

asking you to know things, we’re asking you to notice,” he said. It seems to be working. Senior Raisa Stebbins, who is taking the tea ceremony course, appreciates seeing and using new and different pieces from the collection. “Professor Takemoto is really good about rotating them, so while we get to know things really well there’s always something new and surprising that will show up,” Stebbins said. Students also benefit from the exhibition of the pieces in ways that a conventional museum setting would not allow. The statues on display now, for example, go back to the 8th century; because they’re Buddhist statues, Takemoto said, the best way to exhibit them is how they would have been

originally used in a temple setting. He led his students inside and had a mini-ceremony with them. “It’s really astounding to be able to use these things,” said Stebbins. The collection in this way helps to fulfill Takemoto’s goals for the Chikurakken. “My intent is to create a space where people come in here ... and there’ll be a different feeling to this space, it’s not just a classroom, and it’s not just a performance space and it’s not just an exhibition space, it’s all of those,” he said. The extensive Davis collection, amassed by a bank executive stationed in Tokyo, transferred to Seafirst Bank in Seattle, gifted to Whitman and stored for 20 years is now viewed and used on a regular basis by faculty and students alike.


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March 3 2011

Wandering path of spiritual exploration Over 25 percent of American adults have left the faith that they were brought up in, and college can often be a time and place for spiritual exploration, seeking or transition. A survey of Whitman students conducted by the Office of Spiritual Life found that 42 percent of those surveyed identify as “religious” and 67 percent as “spiritual.” When asked by The Pioneer how their beliefs have changed since coming to college, 30 percent of 131 students polled responded that they have become “more spiritual.” These findings are by necessity problematic because the terms “religious” and “spiritual” are difficult to define. And perhaps what is even more difficult than answering “yes” or “no” to the questions “Are you religious?” or “Are you spiritual?” is negotiating how these terms fit into your own identity and personal beliefs. This week Feature examines how Whitman students do just that.

College environment encourages contemplation of beliefs by DEREK THURBER & MAREN SCHIFFER

Editor-in-Chief, Staff Reporter

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any people often assume that spirituality and higher education are mutually exclusive concepts—that being educated somehow inherently means that it is impossible to be spiritual. Yet Whitman College, a school of self-proclaimed academic excellence, is also home to numerous religious groups and is considered a formative place of spiritual understanding by many. Defining ‘spirituality’ Stuart Coordinator of Religious and Spiritual Life Adam Kirtley understands that spirituality can mean different things for everyone and is a difficult term to define given its deeply personal nature. “Spiritual life is often referred to as meaning-making, reflectiveness, paying attention to the interior self and drawing connections with what you’re experiencing as a student and what it means to be a human being,” he said. Similarly, when asked to define the word “spirituality,” students frequently mentioned the words “being”, “meaning” and “connection”. “A broad definition of the word could be the way you connect to God— but it doesn’t have to be God—it could be nature or something supernatural or omnipotent,” said sophomore Ami Koreh. “I think spirituality is the acknowledgment of a being external to oneself, trying to understand things beyond oneself. If you believe in a God that created you, this necessarily insinuates that God created you for a purpose, and so you try to fulfill that aspiration or purpose,” said sophomore Stan Walmer. Most Whitman students do not struggle with the concept of spirituality in and of itself. The problem students most often face is how to best convey this spirituality. “Whitman has a student body that sees themselves as valuing spirituality, but many of them struggle to find the language to express that spirituality,” Kirtley said.

While Kirtley does spend time reaching out to prospective students whose beliefs align with under-represented religious groups on campus and working to support the existing religious groups against oppression, the more widespread aspect of his job is in promoting spiritual engagement—a purpose widely supported by the administration and the college as a whole. His office recently conducted a survey about religious and spiritual life on campus. “I do have a sense in which I am supported by the institution and have it as a professional goal to engage the broader Whitman community to engage their student body,” said Kirtley. With most students leaving home for the first time, college gives

her first B.A. degree in International Studies before commencing her second undergraduate degree at Whitman. She transferred to Evergreen from Oberlin College, where most of her attention was directed toward her academic pursuits. “I was pretty focused on academics; I wasn’t even Christian then. I identified myself as an environmental activist and became interested in social justice, too. Nature was pretty much my spiritual leaning, if there was one,” she said. Picchi-Dobson became more interested in exploring her spiritual leanings after Evergreen, when she travelled to Thailand to teach English. There, she explored Buddhism, then studied meditation in Burma. Now, she identifies herself as a Christian but

Gita or Augustine’s “Confessions” and find in them a way of better understanding and dealing with the world. “In Encounters we teach all of these texts that ask all these questions about what it means to be a human being and how do you live justly in an unjust world,” Kirtley said. “Yet we often don’t take that from the class and see how it can be applied to how we live in our world.” At Whitman, open dialogue about spirituality is one of the strengths of our community—a wide range of beliefs and practices are explored in the classroom and beyond. “The community here inspires you to explore others’ beliefs, get to know them more. I talk with my housemate, who’s Christian, about

College as a setting for spiritual exploration According to a national survey conducted by the “Spirituality in Higher Education” group, college can be a very formative and important experience in many people’s spiritual lives. The study concluded that the academic environment, along with the diverse and close environment on a college campus, can lead to a substantial growth in spiritual qualities as defined by the study, even while engagement in religious activities tends to decline. The most important thing for a college to do in this respect according to the study is to provide spaces for spiritual expression and interfaith dialogue in order to provide ample opportunities for students to engage with their “inner selves”. Kirtley has taken this as a goal of his office since its shift from a strictly counseling position to a programmatic office in the fall of 2009. Recently, his office brought David James Duncan to campus as a perspective on religious devotion and spiritual engagement outside of organized religion.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY JOHANSON

them the chance to explore their beliefs and their connection to everything else; many students feel naturally inclined to explore other ways to meditate, worship or reflect. “I was raised in a Christian home— I went to church and youth group, and I had Christian friends. But living, pursuing what the Bible actually says, living in constant pursuit of spirituality—that didn’t happen until I left home. Before it was basic, simple, more about myself,” said junior Miriam Garber. For some the journey involves experimenting with new practices, while others focus more on academic enlightenment. And often, the search extends beyond the time at college. Sophomore Siena Picchi-Dobson did not become interested in seeking spiritual beliefs until her final years at Evergreen College, where she earned

also practices Buddhist meditation. Seeking spirituality at Whitman With only 42 percent of the student body claiming a religious preference (according to Kirtley’s survey), spirituality and religious adherence at Whitman is statistically below the national average. However, the Pacific Northwest as a region is considered to be one of the least religious parts of the country. Whitman fits within the national trend. At some point during the first year at Whitman, each student may grapple with questions of deep spirituality. Most will read Kant, explore Plato and struggle with Descartes for three hours each week, then move on to the next book for class. Some students, however, find greater meaning in these texts. They read the Bhagavad

religious ideas and explore the similarities between our religions,” said senior Trang Pham, who identifies as a Buddhist. “By going to school here, I’ve observed the religious practices of others and am able to compare them to my experiences [in Vietnam].” The generally curious intellectual atmosphere encourages conversation among students regarding spirituality, which might be less likely to occur in other settings. “In high school it was easy to find friends that agree with you and people to hold a five minute conversation with. Here, I can have extensive discussions about spirituality with people that have radically different positions than mine,” said sophomore Will Stark. “In Burma, everything is so formal, the spiritual tradition is so dense. Here, the mind-field is so open, which is a great

thing. There are always opportunities for open dialogue, especially one-on-one with professors,” Picchi-Dobson said. Sophomore Spencer Wharton created AHA! (Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics) with the hopes of specifying such wide spiritual discussion. When he came to Whitman, there were many established religious groups, and he felt there should be an opportunity for students to discuss beliefs that question or doubt the existence of the supernatural. The academic environment has allowed him to both accept and explore his beliefs. “We are in an environment where we are encouraged to be curious, ask questions about the world. For me personally, learning and satisfying my curiosity is a spiritually fulfilling way to approach life ... While non-believers follow questions to an agreed-upon location, the act of questioning this location is not in any way discouraged. It’s important to ask what it means to be a non-believer, and what could change your mind,” said Wharton. This open environment also allows for spiritual exploration through the investigation of various practices. “In [Whitman Christian Fellowship], we practice different disciplines from different denominations and traditions—like we’ve done Sabbath, foot-washing ... It’s just great to see the bond between people of completely different traditions,” said Walmer. Comparatively, some students find it more meaningful to search for understanding in a scientific or humanistic way. “Long story short, ‘spirituality’ is not the word I’d use to describe my beliefs. It conjures up the idea that there has to be something supernatural, which is an idea I’m not sure I really like,” said Stark. “In a sense of feeling a connection to the rest of the world, I can find it in a non-supernatural manner ... My science classes here have given me a deeper understanding of the principles that govern the universe, and how everything connects.” Although broad, the dialogue at Whitman only extends so far. Some students feel that there is a lack of spiritual diversity, with most students identifying as Christian, agnostic or atheist. “Whitman is liberal in that there are so many different beliefs, but I feel like as a Buddhist I am a minority,” said senior Nang-San Hti-Lar Seng. The lack of pagodas and Buddhist ceremonies here made Seng realize how valuable everyday practice was in Vietnam. “At home, religion is practiced in daily life, but I kind of took this for granted. Here, we don’t have pagodas to visit. Now, I am more attached to my beliefs from before because I feel that gap, or missing part of me,” she said. A greater depth of purpose Ultimately, many Whitman students find deep solace in spirituality, seeing it as a way of expressing the things they experience in college. “The idea of having a purpose or a meaning in life is something that is fairly endemic to going to college and knowing what you want to do with the rest of your life,” said senior Ari Frink, a member of the Unitarian Universalists on campus. “When you add in your faith to talk about it as the backdrop, it adds in different dimensions and perspective.”

Seeking solace: David James Duncan on journey to faith by MAREN SCHIFFER Staff Reporter

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riter and activist David James Duncan visited Whitman College last week and presented a guest lecture titled “The Wild Without, and the Wild Within: Toward a spirituality that serves the living world.” In this interview Duncan shares with The Pioneer his personal spiritual leanings and the journey that led him there. Whatdoestheword“spirituality”meantoyou? I’m struck by a single phrase, from the big sloppy Wikipedia entry, that spirituality is “an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of their being.” That phrase connects with the words of Jesus, “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” This is a piece of news so incredibly good that many folks simply can’t accept it. Heaven? In ME? Then why did I stink up the bathroom so bad this morning?! Light a match, crack the window, and get on with it folks. Christ’s words and the Wikipedia phrase both put the responsibility for finding an inner path on us: our effort. And Christ’s words suggest our puny efforts will one day be met with a glorious answering grace. Practicing one’s spirituality can involve religious observance and churchgoing, but it is not something to do once a week at church or before dinner via prayer. There is “an inner path” we can walk constantly in our day-to-day life. On such a path, intuition informs reason, the heart informs

the mind, we’re all renters and an Unseen Companion is the Sole Owner, and the ordinary sometimes opens up and shows itself to be extraordinary. What are your most memorable experiences, struggles or awakenings with spirituality after leaving home for the first time? How did your relationship with spirituality evolve during your late teens/early 20s? When I was a senior in high school in the suburbs of Portland in 1969, I had an older friend down at Stanford who had become a serious seeker. He’d lost his father and I’d lost a brother. Grief opened both of us up. He was reading great literature, trying spiritual techniques and wisdom traditions on for size, and his circle of friends, though pretty wild and crazy and hippie dippie, was for the most part fueled by a yearning to live with greater compassion and love. I hitchhiked down there twice my senior year. And something passed into me. My yearning for “essence of being” grew intense. When I graduated, I got drunk at the All Night party with my high school friends, but then went up in the Cascade Mountains and camped alone, fasting for a week by a wilderness lake. I got real lonely, real hungry, and real skinny. But my hope was to erase high school and start my life anew, based on my highest aspirations, with none of the needless presumptions and limitations that high school life inflicts on us. And by golly, it worked. I began not just to act, but to truly feel like a different

person, to experience intensified creative focus, to form new friendships and to seek and find a little spiritual solace. How did you explore your spirituality during this time? Through wisdom literature--shared with others who were passionate about it. Through spending time in the wilds. Also, shortly after I started college I befriended a young Catholic who in turn had befriended a Trappist monk who was also a novice master--a counselor to the contemplative troops, if you will. I visited the monastery with my friend in November 1970, the same monk became dear to me--and 40 years later my college friend is the novice master at the same monastery, which I still visit as often as I can. Even more importantly, I went to India, and made contact with a way that still sustains and inspires me. I don’t talk about this publicly, but I will say that, to protect my new “inner path,” I formed a very strong bond to American wilderness, wild rivers and birds, high mountain ridgelines. I found I could keep my inner life vitally alive by spending time in wild places, listening to wordless sermons. I also gained strength from those who know and love such places. There is a very strong spiritual strain in America, running from Emerson and Thoreau and Emily Dickinson on through John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt. This strain of reverence is now, I dare say, part of a global activist movement. It has been given voice and spirit via scores

of people who’ve become pen pals and personal friends--my sangha, or faith community, you could say. And many of my wilderness-loving friends are also practicing Buddhists or contemplative Christians--so religions are part of the picture. And a ragtag army of us are happy to be spiritual mutts of great passion but no particular pedigree, in the manner of, say, Muir or Mary Oliver. Did you let go of any spiritual beliefs that you held strong to before then? Or, did you acquire beliefs you didn’t expect to? Good questions! And the answer to both is: yes. An early belief I let go of: I held briefly to physical and dietary purity. I felt it was necessary to breed spiritual purity and clarity. I was a very pure vegetarian for half a year. I enjoyed the energy the pure diet gave me, and the sensitivity to the natural world. But when I started college I would hitch to school from my gardener’s cottage in the country, and every time a big truck would blow by it nearly gave sensitive little me a nervous breakdown! I also found that striving for physical purity made me obnoxiously judgmental toward those I perceived as impure. Some of the most soulful, well-informed, alert and compassionate people I know smell like onions or garlic or the cigar they enjoyed after lunch. Others are fishermen-and-women, and, yes, hunters too. At 18 I would have struggled to see their kindness if I could also smell their ground beef breath. But gradually

it hit me: what does any of this prejudice have to do with opening up to love and compassion and the kingdom within? I started de-emphasizing diet, kept up my other practices and pursued my passion for rivers with a fly rod in hand. Within a couple of years those fly rods became for me what a Buddhist monk’s begging bowl or Wayne Gretzky’s hockey stick or Van Gogh’s paints and brushes or Yo-Yo Ma’s cello or Harry and Hermione and Ron’s wands are to them: a magic tool that opened up a way of life, way of seeing, way of being. A belief I didn’t expect to acquire: I now hold that every single person is first in importance, and no one is second. Yes, some are saints, some are blackguards, brigands and SOBs, and most of us are some of both. And yes, some people, when I see them coming, make me want to run away. But there is a soul enlivening every saint and sinner. And this soul, I sense more and more strongly, is a glory in its own right--a godgiven shard of invincible perfection. The entry of this godshard into a human body is a wonder to me. Watching the births of my children made that clear forever. And I hold that this holy shard goes on shining in us no matter how many times or how deeply we bury its brilliance under untruths and cruelties and low desires and addictions and delusions. I hold that, for inconceivable reasons, it is none other than the Lord of Love Who invites all of us to live and breathe here, and now and then allows our beautiful souls to shine.


Page 6

March 3 2011

Sixteen records fall at swim championships by TYLER HURLBURT

Basketball

Staff Reporter

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ead swim coach Jenn Blomme understandably lost count of the number of broken school records after the first night of the three-day Northwest Conference Championships at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore. By the end of the meet, 16 new records had been set by the Missionary swimmers. Assistant swim coach Anthony Russo was extremely proud of the performance of his swimmers. “To break that many school records is an amazing feat,” Russo said. “The team has worked hard all season and to see the benefits of their hard work is inspiring.” The upheaval of the old record board was lead by sophomore Katie Chapman, who broke the school records in the 100 butterfly and the 200 I.M., while also contributing to four relays that broke records. Chapman surpassed these records en route to winning three individual events, the 100 and 200 butterflies and the 200 I.M., earning the honor of Women’s Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet. Chapman herself could barely even believe that the meet turned out the way it did. “It feels like a dream and I am just waiting to wake up,” Chapman said. “It couldn’t have happened on any other team.” The Whitman swim teams are known in the conference for having the most spirit, which can greatly help swimmers stay motivated throughout the three-day marathon of a meet. At the meet, Missionary swimmers never swam without a group of their teammates at the other end of the pool cheering until their voices were beyond hoarse. The Whitman swimmers also painted their faces and bodies, waved flags, cheered the “freshest” cheers and danced like fools in order to keep

MEN'S Round 1 playoFF game vs. Lewis & Clark 2/24

Staff Reporter

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n the last three years, the men’s tennis team has won three Northwest Conference (NWC) titles and is on an active streak of 71 consecutive conference wins. Currently they are ranked 19 in the NCAA Division III. This team includes three All-Americans, the 22nd highest recruiting class of division III colleges nationally in 2010 and inspiring Coach Jeff Northam. In the past three years, however, Whitman has not made it past the first round of the NCAA division III championship tournament, losing to the number one seed each time. This begs the larger question of why Whitman cannot make the jump from conference champions to national competitors. This year the NWC will require only 12 conference fixtures instead of 16. In a regular season a tennis team will play 20 in total. This structural change will leave the men’s tennis team more games and more chances to play high caliber opponents and get the experience they need to become champions. There is no doubt that Whitman has the best team in the Northwest Conference this year. After five conference games versus Pacific University, George Fox, Willamette, Lewis & Clark and Linfield, Whitman has beaten their opponents 8-1, 9-0, 9-0, 9-0, and 9-0. In short, Whitman has dropped one match in their last 36. “The coaching is incredible,”

win; 79-­69

NWC playoFF championship vs. Whitworth 2/26

loss; 74-­50

WOMEN'S Round 1 playoFF game vs. Lewis & Clark 2/24

loss; 60-­51

Tennis MEN'S vs. Lewis & Clark 2/26

win; 9-­0

vs. Linfield 2/26

win; 9-­0

WOMEN'S vs. Lewis & Clark 2/26

win; 7-­2

vs. Linfield 2/27 Coaches Jamie Kennedy ‘96, Robert Street ‘07, Jenn Blomme and Anthony Russo urge on a Whitman swimmer from the bulkhead. Teammates show their support with flags and face paint as they cheer during a race. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY KAYLA JOAN

the energy up thoughout the meet. The other swimmers who broke individual records were sophomores Kevin Dyer (500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle); Paul Chang (100 and 200 breaststroke); first-years Claire Collins (100 and 200 breaststroke) and Keller Hawkins (100 backstroke). The women’s team collectively rewrote Whitman swimming history breaking all five relay records, while the Missionary men set a new record in the 200 freestyle relay. Senior Brian Wakefield was amazed to see record after record fall. “It was unbelievable. We’ve been looking at these records all year and

it’s eye-popping to see them fall like this,” Wakefield said. “It tells you something about the group of swimmers we have to break 16 records.” After all of these records came tumbling down, the Whitman swim teams found themselves in third place for the men and fourth place for the women. The men ended the meet with 529.5 points behind only Whitworth University and University of Puget Sound, who had 923.5 and 586.5 points, respectively. The next closest team was over 200 points below. The women finished the meet in an all-too-familiar position: trail-

ing Lewis & Clark College by a single point in the race for third place for the second straight year. Whitworth and Puget Sound took first and second on the women’s side with 817 and 679 points respectively, while Lewis & Clark came out on top of the Missionaries with a 449-448 advantage. Despite the repeat of excruciatingly close finishes for the women, the swimmers never let the results damper their mood, cheering the loudest when Blomme won co-women’s coach of the year along with Lewis & Clark’s Chris Fantz and taking part in a postmeet dance party on the pool deck with swimmers from Whitworth.

NWC change could make men’s tennis national contender by ANDREW HAWKINS

SCOREBOARD

said senior captain and two time AllAmerican Etienne Moshevich. “Jeff [Northam] used to coach with Greg Patton [coach at Boise State] who is arguably one of the best college coach-

American Conor Holton-Burke. “It has to be a tough job to handle 12 very different college-age guys, but he manages to do that and create a culture where we all genuinely care about each other...

Conor Holton-Burke ‘12 claimed victory in the No. 1 singles match over Linfield’s Mark Magdaong during the Feb. 27 match. PHOTO BY ETHAN PARRISH

es of all time when they took Boise State to second in the nation. He’s extremely good at firing up our team. He keeps us together. Tennis is an individual sport and he makes us play as a team. He’s the best coach I ever had.” “Coach Jeff is easily the best coach I’ve ever had,” said junior and All-

we’ve almost locked up the regular season conference championship, and one of our primary goals is to win the conference tournament [which will likely be held on the courts next to Ankeny].” However, the players need to step up in order to use these four extra out-of-conference fixtures

to

become national competitors. “Over spring break, we’re playing six nationally ranked teams, so that will be the barometer for where we are this season,” said Holton-Burke. “As a team, we feel really good about how we’re playing, and we think that we could surprise some people this year.” With the fixture change in the NWC the players will now have to show their prowess when they play over spring break. Even so, the current men’s team is arguably the best since their 71 wins in conference streak began. “[Andrew La] Cava is a two-time All-American already after one semester,” said sophomore and doubles player Matt Tesmond. “It is extremely difficult to do--it rarely happens in a career much less a season. Nasko [Atanasov] is a big hitter from Bulgaria, Quin Miller is an excellent partner, Steven Roston ... has a lot of potential for good things in the future. Will Huskey has all started at six-seed singles versus Linfield and won the match.” If the team can put up a strong showing over spring break they can become national competitors. “I want to win it,” said Etienne Moshevich. “I want to be number one in the NCAA.” Ultimately, the revamping of the NWC seems to work in Whitman’s favor. The strong recruiting, coaching and present talent have kept Whitman consistent. Perhaps this season they can make the transition from Conference Champs to National Champions.

loss; 7-­2

Baseball vs. Pomona-Pitzer 2/26

rained out

vs. Claremont-MuddScripps 2/26 vs. Claremont-MuddScripps 2/27 vs. Pomona-Pitzer 2/27

loss; 16-­15 (10 INNINGS)

win; 7-­3 loss; 10-­6

Swimming MEN'S NWC Championships 1. Whitworth 923.5 2. UPS 586.5 3. Whitman 529.5 4. Pacific Lutheran 314.5 WOMEN'S NWC Championships 1. Whitworth 871 2. UPS 679 3. Lewis & Clark 449 4. Whitman 448 5. Pacific Lutheran 242

UPCOMING EVENTS Tennis MEN'S

vs. Puget Sound

away; mar. 4

vs. Pacific Lutheran away; mar. 3 vs. Whitworth WOMEN'S

vs. Puget Sound vs. Whitworth

Baseball

vs. Puget Sound

away; mar. 5

home; mar. 4, 4 P.M. home; mar. 5, 1 P.M.

away; mar. 4 and 6

Faculty value continued athleticism by LIBBY ARNOSTI Sports Editor

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Josh Duckworth ‘14, pictured, and teammate Justin Shaw ‘12 earned NWC Honorable Mention and First Team honors, respectively. PHOTO BY MARN AXTELL

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Victory eludes ballers

ightning couldn’t strike twice for the Whitman men’s basketball team. After defeating Whitworth University in the regular season home finale and Lewis & Clark College in round one of the NWC tournament, the Missionaries fell 74-50 to the Pirates in Spokane, Wash. on Saturday night. Senior Justin Artis and junior Brandon

Shaw led Whitman with 11 points apiece in a game that was tied at 26 at halftime. On the women’s side, Whitman traveled to Lewis & Clark Thursday night, only to fall 60-51 to the Pioneers. Junior Jenele Peterson led the Missionaries with 15 points. Excerpt by Pamela London Read more at whitmanpioneer.com

here’s no doubt that Whitman students are an active bunch: about three out of every four Whitties participate in athletics through varsity sports, club teams and intramural leagues. But not all athletes at Whitman are students. From squash to soccer to swimming, faculty and staff members--many of whom were college athletes as well--find value in continuing to incorporate sports into their lives. “Sport has always been a passion,” said current Director of Academic Resources Juli Dunn, who served as Whitman’s first certified Head Athletic Trainer from 1993-2008. As sophomore varsity soccer player at Whitworth University, Dunn suffered an injury that caused her to spend a lot of time in the athletic training room. “That exposure led me to explore the field [of sports medicine]. I fell in love with it during my first course,” she recalled. “Working as the Head Athletic Trainer allowed me to combine several passions: helping others, sports, and teaching.” Since coming to Whitman she has earned a blue shirt for intramural kickball and has also played intramural softball. Dunn is now an active college sports fan and statistic-keeper for her sons’ baseball teams. “It’s a great way to continue to enjoy those things I love,” she said. Director of Institutional Research Neal Christopherson has also been able to follow his athletic passions while at Whitman. “One of the reasons I decided to go to a small school is so I could keep running cross country and track,” said Christopherson of his own college running career at Wheaton College--during which he went to Division III nationals and became interested in training theory. This interest has led him to a position as assistant coach of the Whit-

man varsity cross country team. Christopherson also remains personally active in sports: he ran a marathon just last year, bikes recreationally and plays intramural basketball. “Right now I’m coaching my son’s 1st/2nd grade indoor [soccer] team, which is great fun,” he added. For some, sports have played an important role not only for providing fun and friendship, but also maintaining mental and physical health.

The opportunity to reduce the pressures of the job via vigorous physical activity is an enormous benefit. RON URBAN, REGISTRAR

“Swimming has saved my life on a number of occasions,” said Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Mare Blocker, who is also a lifelong swimmer and former swim coach. “A few years ago when I had a neck injury and had to have several of my vertebrae fused, swimming several times a week helped me regain the use of my [left] arm. If I don’t swim, my left arm’s nerves seem to forget that they have a job to do.” Blocker identifies the rhythmic similarity between her profession and her sport as one reason she enjoys swimming. “There is something about the back and forth activity of lap swimming that mimics the activity of the printing press,” she said. Swimming has also been a great outlet for mental stress. “When I am stressed out or angry, I try to go to the pool because I love to swim that energy off,” said Blocker. Like Blocker, Assistant Professor of Politics Aaron BobrowStrain has found exercise to be

therapeutic--and, at times, key to making academic breakthroughs. “I used to compete in running and swimming, but really what I loved was the long stretches of time to think things through,” he said. “I wrote my Ph.D dissertation while running and swimming. I’d start the run or swim with a thorny problem stuck in my head. As soon as I got moving, it would start to loosen up. Six or seven miles (or 60 laps) later, it would come clear, and I’d be frantically scribbling notes at the side of the road or pool.” When Ron Urban is not working in the Registrar’s office, he finds similar value in heading to the Sherwood Athletic Center courts, playing racquetball with other members of Whitman faculty and staff, and even some students. “The sheer bursts of energy, laughter, cheering and the occasional good-natured ‘Anglo Saxon utterance’ all add great joy to the game,” he said. “In addition to its being loads of fun, the opportunity to reduce the pressures and stresses of the job via vigorous physical activity is an enormous benefit.” Professor of Anthropology Chas McKhann also uses the Sherwood courts to play the sport he loves--squash. “I’ve played ever since [graduate school], here at Whitman a couple times a week at lunchtime, and once or twice a year at tournaments in Portland,” he said. “I really like the focus and mental aspect of squash.” Every day, Whitman professors and administrators take to the court, field, road and pool. Mental release, physical health, focus and fun are reasons enough for them to take part in Whitman’s athletic facilities and active community. McKhann sums up in a few words the value of continuing to be involved in sports. “These activities have provided a wonderful opportunity to maintain physical fitness, and have been priceless in terms of creating camaraderie and friendships.”


Page 7

March 3 2011

Video games: graphics not as important LETTER TO THE BLAIR FRANK Columnist

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hen it comes to video games, the industry has made leaps and bounds when it comes to hardware capabilities, and software often ends up matching that. Games today are significantly more complex, especially when it comes to graphics. It’s possible to render nearly lifelike games in high-definition on massive screens, and game developers and publishers have been trying to turn stunning visuals into cash for quite some time. Unfortunately, the gaming industry’s focus on graphics is misplaced. Graphics don’t mean that much when it comes to how enjoyable a game is. Sure, bad graphics can detract from an otherwise enjoyable game, but not nearly as much as bad writing and gameplay can detract from bad graphics. Let’s hop in the Wayback Machine for a moment. Think about older eight-bit arcade style games, like “Pong”, “Pac-Man” and “Super Mario Bros”. These games were fun, even though they lack the same graphical advancement that we have today. Here’s the interesting thing: they still hold up as fun games today. One of my current favorite iPhone games is a copy of “PacMan: Championship Edition”. Even after 20 or 30 years from their original launch, these classic arcade titles still work as great games. Of course, that’s not to say that graphics are worthless. Some of my favorite games of the past several years, like “Portal”, “Bioshock” and “Assassin’s Creed 2” are graphical marvels, and their beauty added to my enjoyment of the game. Getting to experience Rapture in high definition was stunning and added to my immersion in the world around me.

At the same time, graphical successes didn’t necessarily equate to decent gameplay. The public reception of “Crysis” seems to bear all of those hallmarks: the game itself required the latest and greatest in hardware, and received massive amounts of hype for its graphics engine. The gameplay, however, didn’t hold up to all the visual bells and whistles. Treyarch’s “Call of Duty 3” falls into the same category: the game itself was gorgeous, showing off the HD chops of a new generation of consoles, but suffered from bad controls, a bad story, mediocre voice acting and generally not-fun gameplay. For comparison, consider “Minecraft”: Marcus “Notch” Persson’s brilliant open-world sandbox construction game. It has sold over a million copies, with no advertising budget, and it’s not even out of beta yet. It’s captivated the hearts and minds of many gamers and commentators alike. But its graphics look like something out of a SNES or Nintendo 64. It’s a ridicu-

lously fun game that I’ve been captivated by for quite some time, and there are many like me out there. Minecraft is the perfect example of the importance of fun gameplay over good graphics. It’s not that people are playing the game despite the outdated graphics engine, it’s that they’re playing it because it’s just so much fun. The same thing goes for older games: they hold up over time because of their overall quality rather than how spiffy their graphics look. I’d rather make another run through the original “Half-Life” than suffer through some of the pretty but unplayable fare that gamemakers have put out in recent years. Here’s the problem with valuing graphics over gameplay: a realisticlooking game means nothing if the other important components of the game aren’t in place. Gameplay and story are what developers should be focusing on. When it comes to mak-

Opinion Editor

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he original justification for a liberal arts education was that by learning from a wide variety of disciplines-humanities, sciences and social sciences--is that we students are supposed to graduate as free thinkers. People who can take that additional step back and come up with creative solutions to problems and change the world, to put it one way But if our liberal arts education were merely a collection of facts from Plato, Einstein and Adam Smith, does that really teach us to be critical thinkers? Aren’t we instead more likely to forget the facts that we’ve learned once we get out and do the unthinkable of getting a job? Instead, I propose we view a liberal arts education more broadly to not just encompass the breadth of what we’ve learned, but also the habits of mind we’ve developed in and more crucially outside the classroom. Fellow seniors, just ask yourself: what exactly have I learned at Whitman? Do I remember all the details of “Gilgamesh” in Core (Encounters soon-to-be Transformations)? Or all those Intro to X classes I took as a first-year? Unless they’re directly related to your major, probably not. (Sorry professors!) It isn’t that we had bad professors or were bad students. The simple fact of the matter is that our brains are not machines. IBM’s Watson is incapable of forgetting information whereas we are condemned and blessed with that capacity to both learn and forget. (What if you actually did have to remember everything you did last weekend?)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Dear Editor, As a four-year player and twoyear captain of the men’s varsity baseball team at Whitman College, I feel like I am qualified to answer the question raised by Mr. Huntington in his Feb. 24 letter to the editor entitled “Why does Whitman have a baseball team?” I am very disappointed in the growing cutback culture that is taking hold of administrations across the country. Eliminating struggling programs is an easy excuse to dodge

Blair Hanley Frank is an English major and the technology columnist for The Pioneer. He also writes for PCWorld’s “GeekTech” blog and can be found on Twitter as @belril.

ILLUSTRATION BY SONG

Liberal arts means treating students as equal co-­builders of Whitman community GARY WANG

ing a meaningful work that will have a positive impact, it doesn’t matter how realistic the graphics look. As someone who plays video games, I don’t need a realistic-looking character. I would much rather have a character whose personality and behaviors are realistic than just look at a pretty face. Let’s face it: good graphics are enjoyable fluff. They can add to immersion and make the visual spectacle of a game more enjoyable. The only thing they can’t do is make a game fun; a game that is realistic in its portrayal of reality. That’s where good writing and gameplay come in. So now it comes down to the people who make them to decide what they want to do: are they content with making games that look pretty but don’t have much to them, or are they going to actually try to push this medium forward?

Now, what does this mean for us? We are technically supposed to pay 50,000 dollars annually to attend Whitman and live in Walla Walla for four years while learning as much as we can only to be doomed to forget what we’ve learned? No. It’s my contention that one of the most valuable aspects of the Whitman liberal arts education lies not in the curriculum but in the student experience of being equal members of the Whitman community. Right now, there are students busy trying to install an industrial composting system at Whitman. Students annually hold events discussing diversity, feminism and the like. Some students even have the audacity (or too much free time) to sit in on the college’s advisory budget committee meetings. And of course there’s ASWC. None of this really takes place

What if students actually cared about Whitman and wanted to improve the tangible reality of the Whitman educational experience ... in Maxey, Olin or the science building or assigned reading. So why do students do it? Why don’t we just go to class, get good grades and just frolic on Ankeny or in the newly renovated TKE basement? Some of us choose to of course, but many of us don’t. Resume? Duh. But is that all of it?Is student activism or participation in building Whitman just a tool to land a better job? Sounds awfully cynical if you ask me. Now bear with me for a moment. What if some students actually cared about Whitman and wanted to improve the tangible reality of the Whitman educational experience not just for themselves but for students after them? Is that naive possibility realistic? Well, the truth is no one knows. Everyone of us, as the difficult process of making them better. I understand that financial constraints often play a role in these decisions, but all too often disappointing results lead to hasty decisions to cut programs in times when they need the schools support most. I completely agree with you that our team has not succeeded anywhere close to what we expect of ourselves, especially in recent memory. However, anyone who is even peripherally involved with our team will tell you that we are making the changes necessary to find that success. Should we have cut the men’s basketball team a few years ago when they were experiencing similar difficulties? Robbing Whitman of a team that was a serious contender for a Northwest Conference Championship title? They have inspired in our student body a level of Whitman pride that I haven’t seen in my four years here. I’m glad that our athletic department

students, have different motives. But the fact remains, it is a tangible reality that at Whitman College students do things to benefit the Whitman community not just for themselves or their classmates but for future students to come. To take a more concrete example, why do Whitman alumni prove so loyal to the college? Because part of who they think they are, who we will think we are, has to do with our experiences at Whitman not as transient passengers but as equal and active members of the land stretching from Isaacs to Alder. Now, are we likely to forget that? Maybe. But I’d bet that if you lowered the ASWC fee you’d remember it. And you’d remember the process behind, say a yearbook initiative? What about the students who established the Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund? And ASWC of course. My point is that as much learning goes at Whitman in class as outside of class. Moreover, the kind of learning that goes on in working through budget committee with faculty and staff, from a students perspective (I speak from personal experience on this) can be just as valuable as learning about the newest abstruse critical philosophy. To be fair though, when we first arrive on opening day at Whitman, are not equal members of the Whitman community--unlike faculty and staff. We are emphemeral (even those of us who stay after graduation and work in the wineries) because we will graduate eventually. Yet, during our time here, we have the possibility of becoming equal members of this community by working, in concert with professors and administrators, precisely to improve the quality of what we learn here. And that experience is something students are unlikely to forget. We just need the chance. Gary is a political philosophy major interested in reading, writing and talking.

put their faith in Coach Bridgeland and the basketball program, just as they are putting their faith in Coach Holowaty and our program. For decades, the baseball program at Whitman has given young men a unique leadership experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the college. Ask any of our hundreds of baseball alumni that are still coming back by the dozens for our annual alumni game in the fall. Ask the W Club, our families and our friends who have given their time, money and support in making our spring trips to Arizona possible. Ask our fellow varsity athletes, coaches and training staff. But I urge you most of all to ask one of our players. I know that the passion that any one of us has for the game of baseball will be answer enough. Sincerely, Erik Korsmo ‘11 Captain, men’s varsity baseball

EDITOR

Dear Editor, Earlier this week a list of complaints about TKE initiation was brought to the attention of the men of Tau Kappa Epsilon, the administration and The Pioneer. The specific allegations are largely unfounded and falsified. However, we acknowledge that the individual making these claims had a negative experience during the limited time he participated in initiation. In no way do we expect or intend that our initiation would be personally offensive to anyone who chooses to participate; because of this we sincerely apologize to him for any anxiety that we may have caused. Our goal with initiation is to reinforce to each initiate that they can look to each other and those that have gone before them for companionship and support. The trust and core stability that is built during our initiation process makes our house stronger and facilitates our ability to undertake projects that benefit the broader community. The men of TKE have always contributed to the well-being of the Whitman community as a result. We uphold the fact that Greek life is a personal choice; the freedom to leave during initiation is made clear to all who choose to participate and their decision is always respected. TKE strives to be in conformity with Whitman’s policies. The initiation process is reviewed annually to ensure that this is the case. We are cooperating completely with the administration to ensure both that our process remains effective at continuing to educate and develop young men of good character and quality, and that it is always in full compliance with Whitman’s policies. Our hope is that we can move forward as an organization while continuing our success as a chapter and our positive influence on the Whitman Greek system and the broader Whitman community. Sincerely, David DeVine, TKE President, and the men of Tau Kappa Epsilon

U.S. corporate tax pol-­ icy hurts investment J. STATEN HUDSON Columnist

A

s Republicans and Democrats squabble in Congress over how to balance a U.S. budget increasingly fond of red ink, they should take time to consider a proposal from two of America’s most outspoken business leaders: John Chambers of Cisco Systems and Safra Catz of Oracle Corporation. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Chambers and Catz refer to the “trillion-dollar elephant in the room”--their term for the vast sums of money left unused on the balance sheets of many of America’s biggest corporations. Why is this money left unused, they ask? Because most of this money was earned by U.S. companies in overseas operations and bringing the money back home would expose their earnings to the unnecessarily high U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent—a rate higher than all developed economies but Japan. This is because of a quirk in the United States tax system that allows the IRS to levy a Repatriation Tax on foreign earnings, meaning that the income earned by U.S. corporations abroad can be taxed at the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent when brought stateside.

By removing, or at least lowering, the Repatriation Tax, the United States would see a resurgence in private investment ... U.S. corporations do get credit for any taxes paid to foreign governments, but end up paying significantly more in taxes when they bring foreign earnings home than they would if they were based in any other country. The United States is the only developed nation to pursue such a tax policy. Most developed countries levy no tax at all on foreign earnings; some tax them at no more than a two-percent rate. Chambers and Catz argue that by removing the Repatriation Tax, Congress would be able to provide another jolt to a U.S. economy still recovering from the throes of the financial crisis by stimulating private investment. I am inclined to agree. Because of the tax, and the United States’s unusually high corporate tax rate, U.S. corporations are in no rush to bring money earned abroad back home. Instead, they are choosing to keep their money overseas, investing it in foreign

assets (even at lower rates of return) to indefinitely defer their day of reckoning with the IRS. This is not helping the economic recovery as those profits are not being fed back into the economy. Money that could be used to hire new workers, train existing workers or develop new products is instead sitting dormant or is underutilized in foreign assets. By removing, or at least lowering, the Repatriation Tax, the United States would see a resurgence in private investment as companies would find it less painful to bring profits home. This is exactly what Chambers and Catz contend. They argue that the U.S. should re-institute a policy passed in 2004 that allowed for a temporary tax holiday for businesses. In 2004, instead of 35 percent, corporations were only charged an additional five percent on top of taxes levied abroad. Because of the measure, over 362 billion dollars was repatriated to the U.S. that year—a massive increase over the year before. By including provisions that bar companies from spending this money on executive compensation and encourage them to instead spend it on hiring and research and development, the U.S. could give a very real boost to an economy well on its way to recovery. In addition, the IRS would be able to recoup over 50 billion dollars in tax revenue from the lowered repatriation tax (five percent of a trillion dollars), money that the country would not receive otherwise. Seeking any way to avoid paying the punitively high U.S. corporate tax rate when they bring earnings home from abroad, companies have devised many clever ways of tricking the IRS. Many of these techniques would not be out of place in a John LeCarre spy novel. One such technique, dubbed the “Killer B”, is named for section 368(a)(1)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code, which concerns tax-free reorganizations. A company using the technique sells its shares to an offshore company under its control and is then able to bring the cash from the sale home tax-free. The foreign earnings, disguised as payments for stock, are tax-free because sales of stock are not considered income under U.S. tax law. With the Repatriation Tax lowered, companies would have no need to resort to such sly maneuverings and would be much more willing to bring the trillion dollars locked up abroad back home. It may be counterintuitive, but by lowering the Repatriation Tax, the U.S. could not only spark economic activity, but also increase tax revenue. President Obama needs to follow through on his commitment to listen to the recommendations of business leaders and lend an ear to Chambers and Catz. Staten Hudson is an English major with a passion for both Shakespeare and the stock market.


es!

Giggl

March 3 2011

Page 8

letterfromlucuma At  Around:  Female,  Blonde Red  hoodie.  You're  really  cute.  I  can't  wait  to  see  you  in   psych  tomorrow. KRXUVDJR‡OLNH

Guide to choosing a roommate With housing and roommate situations becoming less of a question mark and more of an exclamation point, The Backpage has decided to come up with a list to help our fellow stragglers who don't know where/with whom they'll be living. (Disclaimer: Choose roommates at your own risk. The Backpage is not responsible for murderous roommates or roommates who constantly want to “settle� “Catan�.)

AIM People who turn 21 before you

Lucuma  says:2+0<)8&.,1**2':+(1:,//0(1 217+,6&$0386*52:620(*2''$01%$//6",œ0 6,&.2)$//7+,63$16<¾*(772.12:<28œ6,66< %8//6+,7-867$6.0(21$'$7(:+$7$5(<28 $)5$,'2)"5(-(&7,21""5($/0(1'21œ7*,9(7:2 6+,76$%2875(-(&7,217+(<6$<³5(-(&7,21" :+$7œ67+$7":+$7(9(5,7,6,7œ61(9(5+$33(1(' 720(´5($/0(1:$/.$5281',17,*+73$17662, &$16((7+(,5*,*$17,&%8/*,1*1876620(7+,1* <282%9,286/<'21œ7+$9(<28$17,0$6&8/,1( 81&21),'(17$17,6/87'21œ7:$1772$6.0(21 $'$7("$6.0()25&$68$/6(;$7/($67+$9(7+( %$//6720$.($ 327(17,$//< 81:$17('6(;8$/ $'9$1&(7+$7œ6:+$70(1'25,*+70<9&$5' ,61 7*2,1*727$.(,76(/) 12  hours  ago

Grape  says:/XFXPDNQRZVZKDW VXS

Dude with gaming console (and is willing to share it)

People with hot friends

Girl who took the class last semester and can help you

Anyone who relieves stress by cleaning

Have casual sex

Green dot duck rape 6TF4QBSL/PUFT

Creep on Facebook

Barely get a 3.0

Get egged by townies

Start watching new TV shows

Sunbathe on Ankeny

4NPLFJO/BSOJB

563/06348"(;0/

Porn connoisseurs

Furries

ŃŚ8FŃ&#x;SFOPUJOIJHITDIPPMBOZNPSF*UŃ&#x;T time to put your XC sweatshirt to rest. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to represent a team you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

Dink around

Curse like a sailor /VSTFPVSQVTTZCPVSHFPJTJEFBMT

Mack on likealittle

Anyone who can't hold his/her liquor

ŃŚ *ŇŠ ZPVŃ&#x;SF OPU BCPVU UP FNCBSL PO B camping trip, lose the convertible pants. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to need to change that shit up that fast. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s either pants or shorts: pick one and move on.

Use the sauna

3"(&8*5)5)&#304

Sluts

ŃŚ6HHTBSFBEFŇŠJOJUF/0*ŇŠZPVŃ&#x;SFXFBSing them over pants, fine, at least you recognize that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cold out. But ladies, please donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wear your Uggs with short skirts. Pick a temperature to dress for, honestly.

Pre-game excursions

#VZXFFEJO0MJO

Shut-ins

ŃŚ 1VU PO TPNF TIPFT  EBNOJU /P POF wants to see your dirty feet. And on that note, going barefoot to the Penrose bathrooms is never acceptable.

Bake cookies/cupcakes/cake

/BQ

Guy who hates all his classes

ŃŚ1+T SFBMMZ 8IBUJTUIJT NJEEMFTDIPPM  Put on some real pants. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in public. People can see you. Save the Snoopy flannel for the bedroom.

We pay 50,000 dollars/year for our education. That's a lot of money for a piece of paper. We should be M\BkhGDž9ZDžP9gDq\gWQZN§žhBP\\XžhP\kXDž9Xq9shžB\YGžwQghi¥žkižD\GhžQi£ž9PPPPPPP¥ž4GžN\ižAGiiGgžiPQZNhž to do, such as:

Creep on PeopleSearch

Dude who showers once a week

m o r f e g a s s e Am e c i l o p n o the fashi

THE LIBERAL ARTS EXPERIENCE

Socialize/drink/sleep in the library

Guy who loves all his classes

an: m t i h W r a e D

Real Talk

Get drunk

Dude with car

People with large DVD collections

8  hours  ago

8BUDINPWJFTPO/FUŇŠMJY*OTUBOU

AVOID

In our years at Whitman College, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen some pretty egregious fashion choices. The Backpageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comment on the abundance of flannel on this campus really hit the mark, and we thought we might collect a few of what we believe to be the most important fashion tips we can impart to you, gentle readers.

QMBZ GPS  KVTU CVZ B HPEEBNO 8IJUNBO cycling sweatshirt. ŃŚ -FBWJOH UIF TUJDLFS PO ZPVS /#" IBU EPFTOUNBLFZPVB(8FBMMLOPXZPVSF from Mercer Island. You can't get any less gangsta than that. ŃŚ 8F IBE TPNF QSFUUZ CJUDIJOŃ&#x; QBJST PŇŠ leggings in 3rd grade. Those blue Scottiedog leggings were the shit. And as much as we wish we could still wear leggings every day, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not about to start. LaEJFTPŇŠ8IJUNBO JŇŠUIFSFJTPOFQJFDFPŇŠ wisdom that we can impart on you before we leave, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s this: leggings as pants are not flattering on anyone over 10. Put on some pants, for Chrissake. (The Backpage editor would like to add that she occasionally wears leggings as pants ... Her housemates told her it would be okay ... ) 9090 The Fashion Police

COMICS

kanye tweet of the week NDQ\HZHVW Â .DQ\H:HVW

Boyfriends  are   like  rush  hour   WUDI¿F$/:$<6 IN  THE  FUCKING   :$< ILLUSTRATION BY ALDEN

ILLUSTRATION BY SONG

P O L J AY

JUMBLE TIME!

Dear Puzzlephiles,  I, slut, was out of town this weekend and was therefore unable to create the crosswords that turn me on oh-so-much. Pressed with I R D C E P a deadline, I opted for a lesser, easier and ultimately more base form of puzzlingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the JUMBLE. Though this might not satisfy everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s raging puzzle desire, fear not, a crossword will be coming your way  next week. Until then, the answers are here, and enjoy the jumble! SALOBT Love, Adam â&#x20AC;&#x153;Slut-slutâ&#x20AC;? Brayton

ANSWERS TO LAST WEEKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PUZZLE G

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BUNOAD ILLUSTRATION BY BRAYTON

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GLOHUS 

QUESTION: What do you call a nosy pepper?





Whitman Pioneer - Spring 2011 Issue 6  

The sixth issue of Spring 2011