Student selected for a PBS documentary

In previous generations, young adults would actively fight for causes in which they believed. In this generation, stu­dents support causes by finding the cor­relating Facebook page and becoming a fan, junior JaJa Quarless said. In an attempt to bridge that genera­tional gap, and also to bring awareness to the Civil Rights movement, PBS’s American Experience is sponsoring 40 college students in a journey similar to that of the Freedom Riders 50 years ago.

The original Freedom Rides were organized by the Congress of Racial Equality, a group started by students at University of Chicago in 1942. The rides were meant to break down segregation in transport systems in the eastern and southern regions of the U.S., according to a 1962 Associated Press article.

Quarless was selected as one of the students to make the trip, following the intended map of the original Freedom Rides.

“I decided to apply firstly because I felt like when people hear about the Civ­il Rights movement, they hear about Dr. King, but the movement was driven by a lot of young people too,” Quarless said.

Several original Freedom Riders, many of whom were college students when they made the journey, will join Quarless and the other college students as they follow in their footsteps.

On the trip, both the students and some original Freedom Riders will take a bus through eight states, and will reach their final destination in New Orleans, the intended destination of the original Freedom Rides.

The students and accompanying orig­inal Freedom Riders will be greeted by a public event and rally in New Orleans.

“I feel like as an African American male, I’ve benefited a lot from them and other Civil Rights activists,” Quarless said. “I want to put myself in their shoes.”

Quarless said he expects to find a dif­ferent kind of education on this trip than that which he has found at Whitworth.

“Whitworth is inclusive and tries to bring people in,” Quarless said. “But at the same time there are stories, especial­ly the African American stories, that are omitted from the curriculum and from the dialogue.”

Quarless said he hopes to find a learn­ing experience connecting him further to his own heritage, and to be able to bring some of his lessons back to Whit­worth.

“I think the main way I’ll be able to bring this experience back to Whitworth is for one, to make people realize that it was only 50 years ago,” Quarless said. “In light of that, I’d want to stress to students and faculty and the greater Spokane community that the struggle didn’t end 50 years ago.”

As an Act Six scholar, Quarless said he has gained a strong sense of the issues of social justice and inequality. The main­stream curriculum at Whitworth has also affected his identity.

“I would say Whitworth has affected my identity because on one hand, Whit­worth’s an open environment; I don’t feel an active press by the administra­tion against learning about civil rights and my heritage,” Quarless said. “Whit­worth has affected my identity, though, by not including the African American perspective in the dominant narrative.”

It is troubling that students can get a four-year degree at Whitworth without ever coming into contact with the Afri­can American experience, he said.

“That undermines my personal iden­tity and my collective identity as an Afri­can American,” Quarless said.

The Freedom Rides will give Whit­worth students the opportunity to learn about history and civil rights in a new way, as the participants will be actively giving updates on Facebook and Twitter. A full-length film, which will appear on PBS, and 12 short films will also come out of the project.

Story by Lindsie Wagner

Photo by Chrissy Roach

Art show provides real life experience

Some majors require a thesis to graduate, others require some sort of major project. Art majors have to put together a gallery exhibit to graduate. This year’s exhibit, called Overtones/ Undercurrents, features 28 pieces by senior art majors. Every senior takes a class that ends with the show, but many seniors spend a lot of time out­side of class preparing, in addition to doing homework for the classes they are in currently.

“The hardest part was making every­thing work,” senior Damon Buck said. “These aren’t just class assignments. I want to have good intentions behind my work.”

The senior art show is the culmina­tion of everything art majors have done over their time at Whitworth Univer­sity. This year there is a variety of art, from newspaper and yearbook page layouts to oil paintings.

Art majors also put together a show during their junior year, to prepare for the senior art show.

“What the junior art show does is get their feet wet,” said Stephen Rue, gal­lery director and a lecturer for the art department. “They start thinking about the process of the show and they can look ahead to their senior year.”

Although the junior art show isn’t very different from the senior art show in terms of what the students do to get ready for it, there is an obvious differ­ence in the art itself.

“The attention to detail is a thousand times better than last year,” Buck said. “Some people didn’t really know their focus, but everyone has developed their own style and the quality has gone up in the past year.”

One thing that is different about this show is that it will be showing at two lo­cations. The first is in the Bryan Oliver Gallery on campus, and the second is at the Saranac Art Projects downtown. There was good timing at the Saranac, which is why the senior art show was able to have another gallery, Rue said.

Adjunct professor Garric Simon­sen was the juror for the show, which meant he looked at all the work sub­mitted and decided which pieces should be part of the show.

“I looked at the students’ ability to be innovative and original,” Simonsen said. “It was a process of looking at the work and asking those questions.”

For many students, this was the first time their work had been looked at by someone who they weren’t very famil­iar with.

“[Garric] was a little more critical, because there wasn’t a close relation­ship like there is with professors here,” Buck said. “They take our feelings to heart; they’re critical but we have a re­lationship with them.”

Even though the jury process was more severe than people had originally thought it would be, most people were happy with how it turned out.

“I’m pretty pleased with it,” Rue said. “Everyone found their own direction. The seniors have a good sense of who they are artistically.”

Simonsen was happy about the work that ended up in the show.

“A lot of the work was up to current contemporary standards,” Simonsen said. “The conceptual ideas were simi­lar to the ideas of overarching institu­tional groups that are considered the art world. The work was pretty progres­sive and fairly cutting edge.”

The show at the Bryan Oliver Gallery will be open until May 14. The show at the Saranac Art Projects opens May 6 and closes May 29.

Caitlin Richmond

Communications professor says goodbye

There is soon to be an empty office in downstairs Lindaman as valued communications studies professor Ginny Whitehouse leaves Whitworth at the end of the semester. Whitehouse accepted a position at Eastern Kentucky University teaching journalism classes starting in the fall. Part of her job there will be to work with the school’s faculty to bring the curriculum into the social media and multimedia era. All of which are excel­lent opportunities, Whitehouse said.

“But I will be very sad to leave Whitworth and every­one here and all my friends and wonderful stu­dents,” Whitehouse said.

The decision to make the move cen­ters on her desire to be closer to her family in the South. Whitehouse’s sis­ter, mother and brothers are ecstatic about her coming.

Whitehouse’s two adopted Chinese daughters, Kaili and Marie, ages 10 and 6, are nervous about leav­ing, but are excited for the new adventure. Whitehouse’s sis­ter has two Chinese children of the same age living in Nashville, Tenn. The four children are very close, White­house said.

Coming to Whitworth

It has been 15 years since White­house first joined the Whitworth fac­ulty in 1996.

Whitworth communications stud­ies professor, Mike Ingram, has known Whitehouse since 1982 when they were friends and debate teammates at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.

“We laughed a lot that a pair of col­lege friends were now academic pro­fessionals across the country,” Ingram said.

Gordon Jackson, chair of the com­munications studies department, previously knew Whitehouse through professional associations. When the communications studies department was looking for a new journalism fac­ulty member, Jackson suggested con­tacting Whitehouse. She applied and was the department’s top choice.

“She brought new ideas and fresh eyes to our program,” Ingram said.

Kathy Fechter, academic program assistant, said Whitehouse brought a lot of laughter, and was vivacious, energet­ic and very thoughtful.

Com­munications stud­ies professor Ron Pyle said White­house has maintained consistency over the years since starting at Whit­worth.

“Her generosity and commitment to students and Whitworth’s mission is the same now as when she first ar­rived,” Pyle said.

A multidimensional job

Besides being a communications studies professor, Whitehouse has played a rather multifaceted role at Whitworth. She has been a student advisor, an internship supervisor, an Act Six mentor and she has added ex­periential and service learning com­ponents to several classes.

Working with Act Six students is something White­house particu­larly enjoyed. She helped with orga­nizing the inter­cultural academic mentor program and paired incoming Act Six students with a faculty mentor.

One student she mentored, Whit­worth alumnus Dan Quarless, said Whitehouse greatly influenced his life.

“She very much kept me in line while I was at Whitworth,” Quarless said, “She always made sure I was on top of my game.”

Whitehouse definitely challenged him, Quarless said. There was an in­stance when he informed Whitehouse he had done poorly on a chemistry test. She asked Quar­less where the test was and he told her he had thrown it away. She made him go out in the rain and retrieve the test from the garbage.

“She was a major part of everything I did at Whitworth,” Quarless said, “Whitworth won’t nearly be as strong without her.”

One class Whitehouse was particu­larly pleased with was her article and feature writing class last Jan Term. Part of the class included sending students out to live with Hmong-American and Russian-American families and having them write stories about the ex­perience. This is something Whitehouse had wanted to happen for the 15 years she’s been at Whitworth.

Holly Gregg, junior communica­tions studies major, was in article and feature writing and said it was her fa­vorite class in the communications studies department. It was struc­tured so it felt just like working in a newsroom, getting up early to write a story and coming to class in the af­ternoon to edit it.

Whitehouse sat down with each student and helped them edit so they could learn about writing style. Whitehouse did a really good job of seeing each student and figuring out what each one needed, Gregg said.

“I love teaching students about the things I care about,” Whitehouse said, “I care about them writing well and telling other people’s stories well. I care about helping them make good ethical decisions. I care about them learning how to live and work with people who are different from them.”

Whitehouse is an incomparable colleague

Jackson described Whitehouse’s time here as “15 years of first-rate col­legiality.”

“Ginny has been a wonderful brightening force,” Jackson said. “She is lively, she is an enormous amount of fun and she is a colleague who sharpens the intellects of her colleagues by not letting us get away with sloppy thinking or low standards.”

Esther Louie, assistant dean of in­tercultural student affairs, has worked with Whitehouse through the Act Six program and recognizes her ability to make things happen.

“I love working with Ginny,” Louie said, “She’s really creative. She has a great can-do attitude.”

Whitehouse knows not being around her colleagues everyday will be difficult and still hasn’t gotten her head around the fact she truly is


“I am deeply indebted to my col­leagues and working in a wonderful department. We are genuinely friends and support each other,” Whitehouse said.

Students as friends

Students of Whitehouse’s see the same good things in her as her col­leagues do. Two communications studies majors, senior Stephanie Bak­er and Gregg, are excited for White­house’s new opportunity, but sad about her departure.

Baker said Whitehouse under­stands students and relates to them effortlessly while never being afraid to challenge them.

“She does a good job of being support­ive and challenging at the same time,” Baker said.

Gregg has taken three classes with Whitehouse and remembers what she learns well because of Whitehouse’s extremely animated teaching style.

“Whitehouse got into [her teaching] so much that she became what she was teaching,” Gregg said.

Whitehouse brings energy to the classroom and is a role model for students. Students deeply value her encouragement and strong nudges when a student is delivering less than his or her best, Jackson said.

“It’s very difficult to capture Ginny’s uniquely flamboyant, forceful style,” Jackson said.

The students are Whitehouse’s fa­vorite part of being at Whitworth; they are also her friends and she knows leaving them will be a big loss for her.

“I feel like I am so fortunate to be part of our students’ lives,” White­house said.

The void left behind

There are two effects Whitehouse’s leaving will have on the department, Jackson said. The first is more eas­ily dealt with than the second. The department has to find someone to cover the courses she teaches and will bring in a temporary lecturer for the writing for mass media class and will soon start the process of searching for a replacement faculty member.

The second effect is a more intangi­ble loss, Jackson said. It is much easier to cover courses and assign ad­visees to new people, but one aspect of her leaving is going to be impossible to assess and address.

“Ginny’s leaving is a huge loss in a whole host of ways. Our biggest loss is her presence and she will not be easily replaced,” Pyle said.

Ingram understands Whitehouse’s pull toward home and family, being a transplanted Southerner himself. At the same time he is sad and greatly aware of the void she will leave.

“I think the whole campus will feel her void; they’ll know she’s gone,” Fechter said.

Fechter is happy for Whitehouse, but will miss her and knows the de­partment will miss her expertise.

“Now it’s up to the department and the administration to do justice to Ginny’s legacy by finding someone who deserves to fill the space she’s leaving in her office, our department and campus as a whole,” Jackson said.

Jo Miller

Photo by Chrissy Roach

Vocal jazz soloists awe audience

Taking the stage in a bright gold dress, sophomore MacKenzie Covington belted four songs as bold as her clothes.  Starting with a sassy tune about "every love but true love" and working her way to "Summertime."On Thursday April 28, senior Megan Porter, sophomore Kirsten Mullen and sophomore Ellie Tappa followed Covington for a night of vocal jazz soloists.  Each woman sang four songs.  They varied from fast paced to jazz ballads, most of which were love songs either about breaking up or getting together.

“You can convey a lot more emotion through singing because it’s just you in your natural self,” Tappa said.

Tappa had been in many choirs, including the Whitworth Choir, and is currently involved in Whitworth's Symphony.  Being apart of both vocal and instrumental music, Tappa said that she likes jazz because it is so expressive and without a direct set of rules.

“The girls were obviously really excited to sing,” sophomore Flannery Fox said.  “They were in their element.”

Fox initially came because she had friends in the concert, but she said that she also just really enjoys jazz because it is different every time and is really an art form.

Associate professor Brent Edstrom played piano, Eugene Jablonsky was on bass and Rick Westrick on drums backed the women during the concert.  Both Mullen and Tappa, however, had a song that featured their director, Dan Keberle on trumpet.

Story by Lauren Otheim

Women's auxiliary raises funds for residence hall furnishings

Clad in brightly-colored prints and spring cardigans, dozens of women gathered April 26 for the annual Women’s Auxiliary Spring Tea and Style Show. The tea, which was a part of the fundraising efforts of the Auxiliary, brought in funds which will be used by the Auxiliary to support Whitworth University.

Before the tea, the Auxiliary had donated $13,500 to Whitworth, $2,000 going to travel for international students, $1,500 going to the President’s Discretionary Scholarship Fund, and the remaining majority of $10,000 going to dorm furnishings and piano tunings.

“The Auxiliary started in order to make the dorm lounges more homey and comfortable,” Auxiliary president Mardelle Shagool said. “We’ve kept the tradition of keeping the dorms nice.”

The Auxiliary’s favorite cause, though, is the portion of their money that they use to support the President’s Discretionary Scholarship Fund, Shagool said. This account is used for students in need at Beck Taylor’s discretion.

“If we had our choice, we’d want it all to go there,” Shagool said.

They have chosen instead to follow tradition and continue to support the residence halls and international students.

The women also take great pride in helping international and Hawaiian students travel during breaks.

At the tea, freshman Shawn Agustin, one of the Hawaiian students affected by this funding, played the ukulele for entertainment.

The Auxiliary is made up of many Whitworth community members. At its origin in 1915, the group was made up almost exclusively of faculty members’ wives.

“When things started to open up with women, they contacted people who love Whitworth,” Shagool said.

Now, the members of the Auxiliary include faculty and staff members, former faculty members, faculty members’ wives and others.

The group hosts the Tea and Style Show yearly, as well as a luncheon in the fall.

Story by Lindsie Wagner

A Local Diamond in the Rough

Hidden in one of Spokane’s many nooks and crannies is a little local owned boutique filled with fancy dresses, unique jewelry, and hats galore.

Deena Caruso is the owner of Finders Keepers located on Main St. Opening a boutique is not something new to Caruso who opened her first jewelry  store 15 years ago. Following the success of her first endeavour Caruso opened Finders Keeper, a designer dress boutique six years ago.

“I had a vintage clothing store that was full and saw the need for a good clothing store in Spokane so I decided to go for it,” Caruso said, “It’s a designer dress shop that specializes in dresses for occasions, we carry things that are very unique and different”.

Finders Keepers is full of options for anyone at any age looking to stand out at an occasion. Racks are covered with 20’s and 40’s inspired dresses, glamorous sequin gowns, and modern apparel. Merchandise is only stocked in 2 or 3 sizes to insure that customers are buying something unique, and although plus sizes can not be found off the rack they are available by order.

The boutique will also provide a tracking service if a customer states what event they are going to. The store staff will track what dress is being worn where to make sure that no sales of the same item are made to customers going to the same event.

“We do tracking so that no one has a who wore it better look,” Caruso said.

As the seasons change so does the merchandise Finders Keepers offers. Wedding gowns are offered throughout the summers wedding season, graduation dresses are offered towards the end of the school year, and prom  dresses are pulled out for the prom season as well so that customers can have options at all times of the year.

Finders Keepers also offers beautiful accessories made by Deena Caruso, who is a nationally recognized jewelry designer. Caruso’s line offers delicate jewelry, headbands, hair pins, and flowers are set in displays throughout the boutique. D Caruso accessories have been seen on celebrities like Whitney Port and they have been featured in O Magazine, and many other publications nation wide. Vintage jewelary and memorable adornments are also offered in Finders Keepers and its sister store Jewelary Galore.

“Once you visit our stores you will never find any thing like it,” Caruso said, “Especially the jewelry that comes from every era, they are unique one of a kind show stopper”.

Caruso is also passionate about giving back to the community. Caruso gives approximately 30,000 dollars a year to local non profit organization.

“We support the community that supports us,” Caruso said.

Merchandise in Finders Keeper runs from 59 dollars an item to 600 dollars. For those interested in scoring a deal or hearing about sales first, then log on to the Facebook Finders Keepers fan page and keep your eyes open.

“We have different specials that go on all the time. Facebook fans have the best chance of benefiting from our great deals,” Caruso said.

Customers who visit this little designer boutique will be hooked. Whether looking for a special occasion dress or just looking to stand out Finders Keepers is the place to go.

“Our best form of advertising is our costumers. People who like what we offer and wear it,” Caruso said.

Story by Nejela Almohanna


Women's auxiliary raises funds for residence hall furnishings

Clad in brightly-colored prints and spring cardigans, dozens of women gathered April 26 for the annual Women’s Auxiliary Spring Tea and Style Show. The tea, which was a part of the fundraising efforts of the Auxiliary, brought in funds which will be used by the Auxiliary to support Whitworth University.

Before the tea, the Auxiliary had donated $13,500 to Whitworth, $2,000 going to travel for international students, $1,500 going to the President’s Discretionary Scholarship Fund, and the remaining majority of $10,000 going to dorm furnishings and piano tunings.

“The Auxiliary started in order to make the dorm lounges more homey and comfortable,” Auxiliary president Mardelle Shagool said. “We’ve kept the tradition of keeping the dorms nice.”

The Auxiliary’s favorite cause, though, is the portion of their money that they use to support the President’s Discretionary Scholarship Fund, Shagool said. This account is used for students in need at Beck Taylor’s discretion.

“If we had our choice, we’d want it all to go there,” Shagool said.

They have chosen instead to follow tradition and continue to support the residence halls and international students.

The women also take great pride in helping international and Hawaiian students travel during breaks.

At the tea, freshman Shawn Agustin, one of the Hawaiian students affected by this funding, played the ukulele for entertainment.

The Auxiliary is made up of many Whitworth community members. At its origin in 1915, the group was made up almost exclusively of faculty members’ wives.

“When things started to open up with women, they contacted people who love Whitworth,” Shagool said.

Now, the members of the Auxiliary include faculty and staff members, former faculty members, faculty members’ wives and others.

The group hosts the Tea and Style Show yearly, as well as a luncheon in the fall.

Story by Lindsie Wagner

This Century's 'Sound of Fire' is the perfect pop album for summer sun

As the band’s first full-length release, ‘Sound of Fire’ is not a disappointment to long-time This Century fans. The Phoenix, Ariz. based band is a member of the Action Theory Records family, alongside their friends in The Maine. Comprised of Joel Kanitz on vocals, Sean Silverman on Guitar, Alex Silverman on bass, and Ryan Gose on drums, This Century is now ready to take on the world, after an interesting couple years.

Having released EP’s every year since 2007, it was high time for a full-length. Touring outside of their immediate region has not been as frequent as some might expect for a band like them, which slowed their growth in popularity. Also, as explained in Kanitz’ blog, issues with his vocal cords caused the band to drop off some tour dates and take time off. He’s all healed up now, and they are about to embark on a tour with Go RadioSparks the Rescue and Select Start to help promote the new record.

It’s hard to call ‘Sound of Fire’ a full-length album when it only consists of eight songs, but it’s too long to be considered an EP. Luckily, the album leaves nothing to be desired.

According to This Century’s Facebook page, they are an alternative/rock/pop band. It’s really hard to classify music these days, but let’s start off by saying that this album is perfectly designed for driving in the sun with the windows down and sunglasses on. It just sounds like summer: light, happy and upbeat. In perfect pop form, all of the songs are just under or just over three minutes long, to round out the album at around 24 minutes in total.

‘Sound of Fire’ starts off with a catchy, drum-driven tune called "Young and Useless." The title track, “Sound of Fire” follows, which will spur singing along after just a couple listens. The video for the song is a cute little thing which showcases the obvious attractiveness of this four-piece band. This, of course, has nothing to do with their musical abilities or quality of the album, but it must be noted.

Three of the eight songs on the album, "Hopeful Romantic," "Money Honey" and "To Love and Back", are reworked and rerecorded versions of previously released songs. Each one is amped up from the earlier recordings heard by fans.

Everywhere Everything” is a sweet song about a girl, and what delicious pop songs aren’t? “She comes and she goes. She's everywhere I want to be. When she's high, she's low, she's everything, everything. I follow her like satellites, around and 'round she goes. She's everywhere, she's everything,” Kanitz sings. His beautiful blond locks and smooth voice make the fan girls swoon.

The fifth song on the album, “Money Honey is the only ballad-like track on ‘Sound of Fire.’ As one of the rerecorded songs, it’s weird listening to the newer version, but it’s an improvement on the previous one that was released. The overall sound is fuller, and the sound quality is better.

Something simply must be said about Kanitz’s angelic voice. Where does a man get off with a singing voice like that? It’s buttery smooth and so spot-on it’s insane. Even live, this kid doesn’t disappoint on the vocal front.

It’s also easy to appreciate Kanitz’s lyrics. They are all so innocent and sweet, which is refreshing in a sea of Ke$ha’s, Lil Wayne’s, and Lady Gaga’s.

Is ‘Sound of Fire’ the most ground-breaking collection of songs to be heard all year? Probably not. But, it is guaranteed to be a lighthearted, upbeat, and enjoyable listen that will likely stay on repeat for a while.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

By Maddie Hayes


PostSecret at Whitworth

For freshman Bethany Carrillo, Whitworth’s PostSecret wall became personal the day she discovered a secret that mentioned her.

“I think about it every time I walk into Saga. It makes me feel slightly awkward and slightly exposed,” Carrillo said. The note itself was innocent:  It simply said “I think Bethany Carrillo is amazing and I’d date her in a heartbeat.”

“Whether people actually know who I am or not, they're reading my name and the comment this person made about me,” Carrillo said. Carrillo’s experience captures the heart of the PostSecret project: an anonymous outlet to all kinds of hidden mistakes and dreams, combined with a feeling of vulnerability about people who inadvertently show up in other people’s now-public secrets. Whitworth is definitely not the only PostSecret outlet. PostSecret was actually founded by Frank Warren in 2005.

“My motive was to create a ‘place’ where people could feel free to share their private hopes, desires and fears,  [a] place where the secrets they could not tell their friends and family would be treated with dignity in a non-judgmental way,” Warren said.

With this concept in mind, in November 2010 Special Events Coordinator Brittany Roach decided to set up PostSecret for Whitworth students.

“As special events coordinator, I planned PostSecret to only last a week during Cultural Awareness Week , but it ended up snowballing into something bigger,”Roach said.  When someone writes a PostSecret and puts it in a box in the HUB, Roach puts it on the wall by the entrance to the dining hall so other students can read one another’s secrets and confessions.

For Roach, one of the biggest benefits to PostSecrets was letting Whitworth become aware that we have a multitude of experiences.

“There is not just one Whitworth story,” she said.

But, Roach also said that PostSecret can also have its downsides.

“The biggest issue with PostSecret at Whitworth is people writing on other secrets that are posted on the wall in the HUB,” said Roach.  “It is a community art project but people still need to respect other people’s secrets.”

PostSecret is designed to give freedom of expression, Roach said.

“There is no filter on what secrets are allowed to be displayed”, she said.

While this freedom of expression is nice for some, students like Bethany Carrillo are finding their own names being mentioned in other people’s anonymous posts.  Other posts mention breaking campus rules or participating in illegal activities.  One such PostSecret mentions needing to be able to drink alcohol in order to fall asleep while another one talks about having sex on Whitworth campus, both of which break the Big Three.

“I feel like PostSecret glorifies people who do something wrong and get away with it.  It casts a bad light on Whitworth University,” freshman  Judith Kelly said.

PostSecret has its positives and its negatives, but it also paves the way to discussions at Whitworth.  Roach said when people are in the HUB and see a secret that says something like “I’m never satisfied with my body” or “I am straight.  My whole family is convinced I’m gay,” you can see the genuine reactions from other students.

“You will see people point to one and show they connect or say ‘Wow!  I can’t believe someone had to go through that.’” Roach said.

“It is definitely an eye opener to the types of struggles students are dealing with in real life,” Carillo said. “A lot of time Whitworth students put on this ‘happy, successful’ facade when really they are searching for guidance and support.”

Story by Alannah Price

Thinking green Whitworth?

What is it about taking that long, warm, soothing showers that drives you to stand in a rectangular box minute after minute, simply letting the water run over your body and down the drain? You were done lathering yourself with cleaning products seven minutes ago, weren’t you? Or, why insist on buying a warm cup of coffee that comes in that paper cup with an extra thick piece of cardboard that keeps your fingers from burning every morning. Why not bring your own mug?

Come to think of it, how eco-friendly are you? Do you even think about it? The talk around campus is that the Whitworth community is eco-friendly. Let’s see how Whitworth matches up to the talk.

Shorter Showers

Starting with the shower. Do you know how long you spend in the shower?

Junior Cameron Sordahl was timed while taking a shower. Time: 12 minutes.

After showing Sordahl his shower time he explained it was an accurate representation of his daily shower time. “Generally, I’m so tired I just zone out for a bit in the shower,” Sordahl said.

Sordahl’s 12 minutes is about average for the 20 different Whitworth men and women included in an informal survey. The survey was conducted by asking each person to time how long he or she spent in the shower. The men’s times were recorded in person, while the women’s times were self- reported by each.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, the average American spends about eight to 10 minutes in the shower, which puts Whitworth a couple minutes longer than average. The Health Department also says by cutting back shower time by only one or two minutes, you can save up to 150 gallons of water a month. That means for every thousand Whitworth students who cut back, 150,000 gallons of water will be saved per month. Think about how much water is wasted the next time you take that long, warm, soothing shower.

Cutting back on some Coffee

Now, turn to that trash can you pass every day in the Loop. What do you see? Paper cups, random pieces of paper, plastic bottles and soda cans. We need to realize where that coffee cup comes from.

North America uses an estimated 130 billion paper coffee cups each year, which takes about 50 million trees and 33 billion gallons of water, according to an article by Ruben Anderson on

“I never bring my own mug because that would involve me washing it, which is a chore because of the time it takes,”Whitworth junior Matt Ross said. “Whitworth doesn’t provide me with soap either and I can’t go buy some just for one mug”

So, maybe mugs aren’t the best solution for college students – that’s ok. But let’s at least start by putting our paper cups in the recycling cans.

Great grub

Now, let’s look at food. How much is wasted?

In observing the students as they put their dishes away and leave the dining area, you see the majority of students don’t have much food leftover. This is a big improvement from past years.

Not only can this be attributed to the big appetites of Whitworth students but also Sodexo taking steps to influence the amount of food students waste. Notice how the servers will never give you more even if you ask? Contrary to you thinking they don’t like you, the reason is simply because they want to make sure you eat what they give you first.

Though many of the freshmen and sophomores don’t realize it, Sodexo used to provide dining trays for students to carry all of their food. According to Aramark Higher Education Food Services, students waste 25 to 30 percent less food when they aren't carrying a tray, and dining halls save a third - to a half-gallon of wash water per tray, on average.

With these types of issues in mind and, despite some grumbles from the upperclassmen, Sodexo did away with the trays during the 2008-2009 school year, leaving students to carry what they could in their hands.

Gas guzzlers

What about cars? Gas? Does the Whitworth community tend to drive small economical cars or big gas guzzlers? What do you drive? Did you even think about the issue when you bought your car?

After a spot check of 100 vehicles in the HUB parking lot you will notice that there are about 20 larger gas guzzling vehicles like SUV’s and trucks for every 30 small economical cars.

According to, an average household with two medium-sized sedans emits more than 20,000 pounds worth of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year. And SUVs tend to emit as much as 40 percent more exhaust than smaller cars. That is a lot of pollution.

Although driving in heavy snow can be difficult for small cars, buying chains or better tires is an option on cutting down on gas guzzlers.

Final thoughts

So, you passed the driving test. Now, let’s talk about how many times you leave your room with the light or computer on, or keep the refrigerator door open while you stand in front of it scratching  your head deciding what to fill your stomach with. Let’s makes sure we are thinking on these terms, Whitworth.

Story by Michael Locatell, Guest Writer

LIFE club promotes active lifestyle with CrossFit competition

For those who feel bored by their usual workouts and want to try a new activity, LIFE club will introduce an exercise routine that is intense, dynamic and fun. On May 7 the club will host, together with Running Club and Scotford Fitness Center, Whitworth’s first CrossFit competition.  LIFE club asked senior Drew Belton to plan the competition activities. Belton is a certified CrossFit instructor and an intern at CrossFit Spokane on Augusta Avenue.

“We define CrossFit as constantly varied, functional movements at high intensity. Everything you’re doing is multi-jointed and there’s no muscle isolation,” Belton said.

Todd Sandberg, Kinesiology and Athletics assistant professor, first tried the CrossFit program three years ago when some of his students became excited by the new exercise option.

“Overall, you’re taking somewhat traditional and non-traditional exercises and grouping them together which has a result on increasing the intensity,” Sandberg said. “As well, a lot of them are timed and you are competing against others.”

In the CrossFit Spokane gym, participants keep track of their timed scores on a board for a running state of competition.

“It’s either you have a required task and you have to do that as fast as possible or there’s a time limit and you have to do as many rounds or repetitions as you can in that time,” Belton said.

LIFE club began last fall and hosted activities such as a wellness competition, healthy cooking nights and a yoga class. The club leadership decided to focus on a single event for this spring. They had originally hoped to end the year with a triathlon but realized a CrossFit competition would be more feasible to host while still fun and community-oriented.

The club president, senior Courtney Hutchins, sees CrossFit as a fun workout for people who are competitive or enjoy playing sports.

“It’s not just running or swimming. It’s competing against the clock and competing with a group,” Hutchins said.

CrossFit may not be well known at Whitworth, but police officers and fire fighters have caught onto it because of its functionality and high intensity, Sandberg said.

“I think there’s a place in CrossFit for everybody,” Sandberg said. “It’s fun. It can be intense but the individual is in control. So if you don’t want to go hard, if you want to stop and take a breather, that’s okay.”

For senior Tessa Hanson, club treasurer, CrossFit is an ideal way to break the routine of exercise.

“It’s a lot more exciting that running on a treadmill and seeing the time go by,” Hanson said. “A lot of people get their workouts in a box and they get bored with what there is to offer. Nobody wants to run every single day on the exact same route.”

LIFE club will accept sign ups for both individuals and teams in the competition at Springfest on April 30.

Story by Emily Roth

Photo by Lauren Rush

How cyberspace can ruin your job

With social networking sites (SNS) becoming giants in communication, students need to become more concerned with their online reputations.  While many people may have heard what they post online could have an impact on future employment, most don’t realize to what extent this is true. When something is posted on the Internet it becomes difficult to delete all traces of it.  Just because a post is protected by privacy settings does not mean that it cannot be spread across the Web.  Not only can ‘friends’ share information, but there are a plethora of ways to hack SNS.

“An online reputation is the publicly held social evaluation of a person based on his or her behavior, what he or she posts, and what others (such as individuals, groups, and web services) share about the person on the Internet,” according to a survey done by Cross-Tab, a market researching company, for Microsoft.

Employers do meticulous searches to determine an applicant’s online reputation.  With information on the Web free for anyone to access, companies want to insure that their employees are a positive representation of their company.

According to Cross-Tab, 75 percent of U.S. companies require a review of reputational data prior to a job offer and 79 percent of recruiters and HR professionals surveyed seek it.

“I’ve heard of employers looking at your Facebook, but that’s not really what goes through my head [when posting],” sophomore Melissa Seely said.

Only seven percent of U.S. consumers think that online data affected their job search.  This is a comparatively low number considering that 70 percent of recruiters and HR professionals say that they have rejected candidates based off of data found online, according to Cross-Tab.

Even if employers are not the number one reason students are checking on their online reputation, many still think before they post.  Whenever posting online Seely feels she has a definite filter, she said.  This seems to be a common approach among Whitworth students.

“I make sure that anything I put [online] is appropriate for both me to view and anyone who stumbles on to it,” ASWU President elect Eric Fullerton said.  “It’s a personal preference.   It’s very easy for people to get wrong impressions from Facebook.”

Consumers are still worried about how their online reputation will affect their lives in general.  According to Cross-Tab, 51 percent of U.S. consumers are ‘somewhat to very concerned.’  The top reasons listed for rejecting applicants based off of online data includes concerns about life style, inappropriate comments and unsuitable photos and videos.

Not all the reasons listed for rejecting candidates are under their control.  Students wanting to patrol the Web for possible damage to their reputation should also be on the lookout for inappropriate comments by friends, family and colleagues, according to Cross-Tab.

“I’ve had two phone interviews where they pre-ambled by saying that they do actually check to see what their candidate is up to online,” Fullerton said.

For those who wish to check up on their current online reputation, there are a number of possibilities.  One of the more obvious options is to use search engines to find if personal information that has been posted on the Internet.  Beyond this students may use alerts to notify them if their name or information appears on the Web, check to see what other people say about them online (this includes visiting friends’ profiles) and using the available privacy settings on SNS.

Even with all these safeguards, the most effective way to ensure that an online reputation stays clean is simply to avoid posting information that could be detrimental or embarrassing in the future.

“Whenever I post a video or write a comment it always crosses my mind that anyone could see it in the future,” sophomore Andrew Repsold said.

Repsold believes posting something online about someone else is like writing a letter to or calling that person, he said.

Because SNS are not private, it is easy and quite plausible to be held accountable for anything posted online.


Story by Lauren Otheim


House provides different kind of community

There are a lot of things people would be surprised to know about the Squalrus. First, it’s a house. Second, it’s more than just a house. The Squalrus originally was a house where six Whitworth alumni lived, including Dane Ueland and Nathaniel Orwiler. Now six different people live there: Senior Michael Craviotto, sophomore Kent Ueland, Benjamin Leavitt, Jon Kielbon, Kris Hafso,

“Spencer Boyles was intoxicated, and he was looking around the house, and he was like ‘there’s a lot of squalor here,” said Kent Ueland, who is Dane’s younger brother. “He said, it’s almost like a squalrus lives here.”

The name took off from there. They only lived in the house for a year, then moved to the house currently called Squalrus 2, which is at 10205 North Juliann road.

While the house is known by some for its parties, there is a lot more to it than that.

“We have a saying-- starve the ego, feed the squalrus,” Jon Kielbon said. “There are times where I’m tired of how dirty it is, but my friends are more important. Sometimes I need to shut up my ego and let my friends have fun.”

Although the people in the house would hate to use a Whitworth buzzword, there is a sense of community within the house that isn’t typical of most college houses.

“We have an open door policy, and it overrides a lot of things,” Kielbon said. “We’re not into judging people.”

The number of roommates in the house is constantly changing, partially due to its open door policy.

“It’s like a revolving circus here,” Ben Leavitt said. “It’s all about the community. We even have a community sock pool.”

Community is something the house members try to encourage all the time, especially when they have people over for parties.

“It’s about losing your inhibitions and being open,” Ueland said. “You go to a bro party and everyone is trying to be as cool as possible. Here the community is trying to take care of its members-- like a tribe. We rely on each other financially, and other ways. The Squalrus provides.”

Everyone at the Squalrus encourages people to come by.

“There are no expectations,” Leavitt said. “Come here, be who you are, don’t judge, and don’t expect to be judged.”

The people living there admit the Sqaulrus doesn’t fit into to the Whitworth norm.

“We don’t hate Christians,” Kielbon said. “ I love Whitworth, I just don’t fit in. But I don’t care what your beliefs are if you’re willing to let stuff go.”

Ueland attributes the fact that the house doesn’t fit into Whitworth standards as a reason why students might be afraid to go to it.

“It’s partly a moral aspect,” Ueland said. “Now they’re the outsiders. But they could learn something by chilling out.”

No judgement in the house is a reccuring theme, and one Ueland hopes everyone who finds his/her way to the Squalrus can appreciate.

“I don’t want Christian kids to be afraid of us,” he said. “The house isn’t judgemental, but they feel judged when they come here.”

Only two people living in the house currently attend Whitworth-- senior Michael Craviotto and Ueland, but Leavitt and Kielbon both attended Whitworth at one point.

Although the people living in the Sqaulrus are at different points in their lives, there is one thing they all have in common.

“We’re focused around music in this house,” Leavitt said. “It’s how a lot of people spend their time.”

Everyone living in the house now is part of Terrible Buttons, a band Ueland started in 2010.

“That’s actually how Terrible Buttons started,” Ueland said. “We all lived together and people were like ‘oh I can play this,’ so we would jam.”

Terrible Buttons releases its records through Squalrus Records, which was started by people living in the original house. There are several other former Whitworth students who also release records through Squalrus Records such as alumni Dane Ueland and Orwiler.

“It’s not necessarily amazing music, we’re just trying to do what we can,” Ueland said. “Anyone who can afford a guitar should join Squalrus Records.”

There is also the Squalrus Art Collective. Most of the people who live in the Squalrus now contribute to the art collective in some way or another, Ueland said. The house has stencils of a walrus painted all over the living room wall, and prints with a walrus and the squalrus logo have been floating around.

The house will disband in the spring.  Leavitt’s parents, who own the house, will rent it out to other students, but the people living in the Sqaulrus will still remain in contact and maintain their friendships, said both Ueland and Kielbon.

“It’s a constant struggle. People want to grow up,” he said. “But there’s no reason to leave your friends behind for a bigger house or a better job.”

Kielbon’s time at the Squalrus is something that will continue to affect him in the future.

“As immature as people think this lifestyle might be, I feel like I’ve grown as a person,” he said.

Story by Caitlin Richmond

Classic musical, Cats comes to Spokane

The cast of Cats, the musical, has been touring the country since October 2010, taking the world-renowned musical to all parts of the nation. Cats is based off of a T.S. Elliot book, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” with music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.  The play is a musical taking several different characters and showing their relations to each other.  Each cat has its own personality traits, own flaws and own stories to share with the audience.  The play opened in 1981 and has maintained popularity since that time.

For those seeing Cats for the first time, Matthew Taylor, the actor who plays the part of Rum Tum Tugger, recommends not expecting to see just another musical, but that audiences take the play in as an experience.

“Don’t go into it looking for something, because you won’t find a story that’s simply handed to you” Taylor said. “Instead, think about it like impressionistic art; let the experience wash over you as you find something from each individual character that you can connect with.”

Rum Tum Tugger is relatable to any high school or college alpha male, Taylor said.

“Rum Tum Tugger is a rebel full of fun and excitement,” Taylor said.  “He wants prestige, but the only way to get attention is by acting out.  He’s the quintessential rock star.”

There is a character for each member of the audience to relate to no matter their age, gender or place in life, Taylor said.  While Rum Tum Tugger seems to be a universal example of a young man learning how far he can push the boundaries, he is also figuring out his own physical and emotional self.

“It’s such an amazing character study into the feline and human psyche,” Taylor said. “It’s not about the animal self, it’s about the pride in where you come from, who you are and what you’ve done in your lives. As an artist, what more can you ask for?”

The cast includes nearly 30 people with players, swings and the band. Taylor is one of only a few returning members from last year’s production.  Most of the cast met on the first day of rehearsals in September.

“It’s just a hodge-podge of people,” Taylor said. “We’re a pretty cohesive group and there’s not a lot of drama. From my understanding, this is as good as it gets for group cohesion.

Taylor tried out for the part of Rum Tum Tugger on a whim.

“I came to Cats on a bit of a dare because it is so out of my comfort zone,” Taylor said.

For irony, Taylor stood at his auditions singing “I Can’t Dance,” fully understanding that Cats is a musical with a great deal of movement. After getting the role of Rum Tum Tugger, Taylor realized it was one of the best opportunities that ever came his way.

“I found out my type wasn’t what I thought it was,” Taylor said. “This was an eye opening experience.”

Production for a show of this size, which has been polished after being around for 30 years, is different than other theatres, Taylor said.  It’s more efficient. Directors are able to get actors to move as cats would with a specialized rehearsal process including stretches and taking on the physicality and mindset of a cat.

“Act small, hear things and see things, feel you spine,” Taylor said. “We would improv as cats for a long time, which led naturally into choreography practice.

It’s some of the best acting you’ll ever see, Taylor said.  Often, people will mention how long Cats has been running and are incredulous that it’s still around.

“I don’t see it going away,” Taylor said. “We are an era that ushered in new ideas.  Come see it if you’re skeptical, because you’ll find out you’re seeing a piece of history.”

Cats is playing at the INB Performing Arts Center on April 23-24.  Student rush tickets are available at the box office two hours before the play. Each performance is $25 per rush ticket on any available seat with a valid student ID.

Story by Sophie Sestero

Whitworth Theology intern holds strong role in ministry

Seattle Pacific University and Whitworth have come to a wonderful intersection for one Whitworth graduate student. 

Katie Litzenberg had just graduated from SPU last year when she was presented the opportunity to join Whitworth as an intern and theology student

Litzenberg saw it as a phenomenal way to get involved in worship ministry and feed her passion for biblical literacy.

Her roles as a ministry leader in Cornerstone Residence Hall, an assistant to associate professor of music Ben Brody and chapel music intern make up her multifaceted job description.

“I feel like new passions are being cultivated, and new skills are being developed,” Litzenberg said.

She loved her time at SPU and has noticed that what makes both universities amazing are the same things. Both schools have an academic setting that perfectly house a Christian lifestyle and offer an abundance of mentors to go with it. The attitude of the students is also largely one that understands not everything is all about them.

In February, Litzenberg organized a summit and brought Whitworth students involved in the worship ministry to SPU to meet with the student worship leaders there. There were hours spent rehearsing, exchanging music and sharing ideas for enhancing worship experience. The time was encouraging and beneficial for both groups.

Litzenberg was involved in worship music at SPU and has brought her abilities to share with the Spokane community. She helps organize the worship services from behind the scenes at Mead’s newest church, Branches, and sings occasionally with the worship teams.

Although she wasn’t heavily involved in worship music until her last two years as an undergraduate, Litzenberg has been singing since she could talk. She recalls singing along to “The Lion King” soundtrack playing through her Walkman in car rides when she was a child in her hometown of Beaverton, Ore.

Litzenberg expresses a sincere appreciation of all kinds of music, but especially favors 1920s and ‘30s jazz and current acoustic indie groups.

Her desire to do a “Sister Act 2” type of Whitworth chapel is a perfect illustration of her up-in-front and humorous personality. Litzenberg considers her way of going about things to be in contrast to her parents and brother back home who tend to be quieter than she. She describes her family dynamic light-heartedly as one where she is constantly making a fool of herself.

“The more steps back you take, the more reasons you can find to laugh at yourself,” Litzenberg said.

Story by Jo Miller

Photo by Becca Eng

Pursuing every opportunity to grow

Andrew Coopman is not a religious fanatic by any means, but as he looks back at his path leading to Whitworth, he sees the hand of God that brought him here.
Coopman transferred from Judson University his sophomore year. At the time he was debating whether or not to return to Judson for another semester. But he was concerned about his future at the university with his chosen career path in theater. There were actually no theater majors offered, only communications with acting one. So Coopman began looking at other colleges. He did an online search and typed in all the ideal data for a perfect college; only three came up, Whitworth being one of them.


Coopman contacted Associate Director of Admissions at Whitworth, Celeste Lewis, the last week of August before the start of his sophomore year. On a leap of faith, he applied the very last day Whitworth was accepting applications. He waitlisted every class, had no financial aid and housing was not available on campus. But over the next week and a half suddenly all the classes opened up, the financial aid came through and a dorm became available.

“Whitworth is the perfect college for me. I cannot picture myself anywhere else,” Coopman said.

Coopman is currently majoring in Theatre Performance, focusing on Community Based Theatre, and English Literature. His passion for theater started in the 7th grade after he saw a production at his school. He became involved with CYT “Christian Youth Theater,” in high school. At 16 he was given the opportunity to TA for a theater class.

“I realized when I started teaching just how empowering theater is, in how it enables other students to realize their gifts and talents and to feel confident within themselves; to perform and glorify God in a way that they are able to,” Coopman said.

When Coopman decided he wanted to be a theater teacher, he thought he should teach something else as well, so he could improve his chances of getting a job. He soon realized he enjoyed the idea of being an English teacher after taking a Shakespeare course in high school. Coopman’s teacher inspired him and instilled a passion for teaching.

However just recently, he decided to switch his focus to teaching theater at the collegiate level.

“The moment where I knew I wanted to be a college professor was at the night I saw Eurydice,” Coopman said. “It was one of those click moments. College professors, they focus on teaching theater and they get to direct.”

Coopman is currently trying to get into the MFA program, “Master of Fine Arts,” to further pursue his dreams. Coopman’s philosophy is this, “every opportunity is a chance to learn something new.”

Story by Brianna Anderson

Whitworth student works creatively with

Not every Whitworth student can claim to have a creative hand in launching AmazonTote delivery service, while taking the year off from college.

Justin Scott transferred to Whitworth from Chabot College in Alameda, Calif. in 2008 as a junior. He decided to take the following year off to work full time. A friend told him was hiring. He went in for an interview and was hired the same day.

“I had never done corporate before. I always sort of envisioned myself trying to do non-profit work and avoid ‘the man,’” Scott said. “I thought I would hate it but I got there and was really good at what I did and really enjoyed it. As soon as I graduate I’m looking to go back.”

Scott started out working as a customer service agent at a call center for in Kennewick, Wash. He was promoted to work on specialty teams with various departments such as AmazonFresh and Scott eventually helped launch AmazonTote, where products were delivered by directly as a sort of replacement for UPS and FedEx.

Scott progressed even further and worked as a team liaison and spokesman for’s team of employees; running several meetings where sometimes people from corporate flew out to attend. Scott said he enjoyed working in a leadership role.

“It was something that was so natural and I loved it,” Scott said. “My year here at Whitworth before I did that job was so crucial. The communication courses that I took really prepped me for that job. I felt confident and competent in my ability to speak to others.”

Scott returned to his studies after working at for a year. He quickly became friends with his classmate Pierre Biscaye, who just happened to play guitar. Scott himself had been singing since age four. Together the two formed a band called "Artesian Wells" Scott was inspired by the name “Artesian Wells” after learning its definition in one of his science classes. In simple terms, an artesian well is a kind of natural spring. Their Facebook page describes how Biscaye and Scott formed the band:

“One fateful day in Core 250, Forrest Baird asked the class to stand up, stretch, and tell the person next to them something they had wanted to say to them. Justin turned to Pierre and said ‘I think we should write a song together.’ And thus was born the greatest thing ever. The end.”

Justin Scott is a senior here at Whitworth; he is a Communications major and will be graduating this December.

Story by Brianna Anderson

Photo by Lauren Rush

Noah Gundersen and sister, Abby, play new and old tunes to a packed house

Chairs were sparse on Thursday, Mar. 31, when Noah Gundersen and his sister, Abby played some of their folky tunes at Whitworth University, despite the fact that it was a weeknight. It was the second time playing here for the Centralia, WA natives, though it’s been a couple years since the last time, and judging by the standing room only Multi-Purpose Room, they’ve got some fans here.  After just a month since their band, The Courage, broke up, Noah Gundersen is starting again as a solo artist. He is accompanied by his sister, Abby, who sings harmony and plays the violin, both of which she does beautifully. The two have been playing together since he was 16 and she was 13, and they started out playing in coffee shops.

On Thursday, they played quite a few new songs, and it’s always cool to hear the direction they are taking. The new tunes were all pretty chill, which is reminiscent of his older songs, as opposed to the more recent songs from the album “Fearful Bones,” which was put out in September by The Courage.

Noah Gundersen says that he wasn’t 100 percent pleased with the way that album turned out.

“It was different than what I’ve done in the past, and there are things I didn’t really like about it personally,” Noah Gundersen said. “I think some people saw that. Some people liked it and some people didn’t.”

The break-up of The Courage wasn’t a bitter end though.

“It was for the best,” Noah Gundersen said. “It kind of became something that wasn’t sustainable, and it feels like we’re back on the right track doing what we’re doing now. I love all those guys and we had a lot of really good times together. It ended well.”

Noah Gundersen is the main song and lyric writer, and Abby Gundersen contributes instrumentally.

“I think that was part of the reason why The Courage ended up breaking up as a band, is because I was trying to write democratically as a band, while finding that that wasn’t really working. But I had to try it to learn it,” Noah Gundersen said.

Noah Gundersen and his sister are now back on the right track. Thursday’s show was a perfect example of this, as anyone in the audience could see how wonderfully the two compliment each other. Abby Gundersen’s harmonies are always on point, to the extent that it’s almost scary. Maybe they have some sort of sibling connection. The combination of the violin with the acoustic guitar creates a beautiful sound, and it creates a more unique listening experience than just your typical singer/songwriter. Noah Gundersen sings with a captivating passion, and it’s easy to see how much his songs mean to him. The audience was silent through each song, hanging on every note. Near the end of the set, he even commented on how attentive everyone had been.

An hour before show time, the two still didn’t have a set list. This turned out to be great for the audience, as they took some requests, and ended up playing four out of six songs on 2009’s “Saints & Liars.” The first few notes of Caroline resulted in some cheers and claps. It seems the audience wanted to hear the older stuff, though Noah Gundersen doesn’t always prefer it that way.

“I’ve been playing some older songs recently, and it’s been fun to revisit some of the older tunes,” Noah Gundersen said. “I kind of have a hard time playing older songs, so usually whatever’s the most current material, I enjoy the most.”

There is an advantage to hearing new songs at a concert though. It allows fans to hear the new tunes before a lot of other people will get to experience them. The Gundersens will be recording an EP at the end of April, and a full-length album later on in the year, and hope to have them both released to the public within the year.

The two will be playing a bunch of house shows this summer, as Noah Gundersen works to reestablish himself as a solo artist. They also plan to spend time writing for the two albums they plan to record.

“I definitely am someone with long term goals, but also I just try to be in a constant state of improvement,” Noah Gundersen said. “Ultimately, the end goal is to be able to do this full-time in a sustainable way.”

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