Longboarding resurfaces on campus with warmer weather

It is hard to go a day without seeing someone riding or carrying a longboard on campus. Longboarding is a common way for students to get around campus quickly and efficiently. But there is quite a bit more to the longboarding subculture than fast travel. There are multiple types of longboards, each of which are built with particular activities in mind. These activities range from downhill racing to carving and cruising, according to Freeride Surf and Skate Shop’s website.

Longboards vary in shape of board, the material the board is made of, the size of the trucks and tightness of the trucks depending on what the board is designed to do.

People who are more serious about longboarding may have more gear and multiple boards — called a “quiver” — which they can use for the different styles of riding.

The longboarding subculture is more prominent in California — longboards originated there when surfers wanted a way to “surf” on pavement when the weather was too bad to actually surf. However, longboarding still has a decent following here on campus, junior Josh Adrian said.

Longboarding is a style of boarding generally geared toward relaxation than traditional skateboarding.

“It’s the most relaxing thing I do all day,” freshman Sam Haney said. “This is pretty much my drug.”

While some longboards made for trick riding, trick riding is much less prominent in longboarding.

The most common uses of longboards include transportation, carving, “hill-bombing” and activities that generally require longer distances than typical skateboard tricks.

“It’s very much about the ride itself. It’s not so much about the tricks that you can do with it as much as the actual how you ride going from one place to the next,” Haney said.

The social aspect of longboarding is also very different from traditional skateboarding. Relaxed and inviting, pretty much anyone who wants to learn can join the growing numbers of longboarders on campus.

“Literally anyone can pick up a longboard. I don’t think there’s an exclusive group here at all,” Adrian said.

While there may be a certain look about some of the more immersed members of the culture, you certainly don’t have to adopt that same look to “fit in” with others who longboard, Haney said.

Picking up longboarding isn’t all that hard, senior Anne Dhanens said. It’s more about practice and confidence than skill level.

“[My first time] I ate it. Really badly. I hit major speed levels and then I ate it,” Dhanens said. “So then I was scared off of it for a couple years and didn’t start up again until the middle of high school when I just gritted my teeth, stole my sister’s longboard and practiced for hours until I got over my fear.”

Some students around campus picked up riding at a young age, while others have only been riding for a couple of years. Dhanens has been riding for almost six years, while Adrian — who participated in skateboarding in middle school and high school — didn’t pick up longboarding until coming to Whitworth.

“When I got to college, I borrowed a friend’s board and loved it and realized how much I missed skating,” Adrian said.

Alanna Carlson Staff Writer

Contact Alanna Carlson at acarlson17@my.whitworth.edu

Juggler and hypnotist perform for Million Meals rally

Juggler Lindsay Benner and hypnotist Matt Grisham brought the circus to Whitworth last Friday. ASWU Activities coordinator Kevin Gleim chose the two acts for a pre-packing rally for the Million Meals program, which took place last Saturday. “In my budget I have a certain amount of money I can use for the end of year entertainment,” Gleim said. “Since it’s the day before Million Meals I saw an opportunity to create awareness for the program.”

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Gleim said that he hoped to encourage students to show up to the Million Meals packing event.

Because not enough volunteers had signed up to pack meals at the Million Meals event, the performances were meant to encourage students to participate in the packing, Gleim said.

Earlier in the year, Gleim sent out a campus-wide survey asking what type of entertainment students wanted to see. A hypnotist was the highest rated of the options. The decision to bring in a juggler was inspired by the success of the juggler that was brought in during the beginning of the year for freshman orientation.

Gleim saw Benner at an entertainment conference he attended earlier in the year.

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“I knew that she was really good, so that’s why I brought her,” Gleim said. “And I just wanted smaller, really entertaining events.”

Dressed in a bright red ruby dress and a large pearl necklace, Benner demanded the audience’s attention during dinner at Sodexo when she pulled out volunteers from the crowd.

“[My character is] like if Charlie Chaplin and Lucille Ball had a love-child that juggled,” Benner said.

Benner danced, juggled and sang her way through her variety show. She told a story using a volunteer from the audience, taking him through the stages of being in a “relationship” with her, from the first date to domestic bliss, all the way to the bitter separation. She paused the story every now and then to perform juggling acts with balls and knives.

“I love it when I feel like I’ve found some sort of joke that I haven’t found before,” Benner said. “I think it’s generally when I feel like there’s groove between me and the audience; those are my favorite moments.”

Much of Benner’s show depends on the audience’s reactions and participation, but Benner said she still must work to involve the audience.

“Some audiences are harder than others,” Benner said. “When I’m connecting with my audience the show really works.”

Benner has been performing at smaller colleges and organizations for the past two years ,trying to break away from street performing.

“I wanted to do something where people were sitting and ready and I didn’t have to hustle quite so much,” Benner said. “And I knew exactly what my paycheck was going to be.”

Benner said she enjoys playing at smaller venues such as Whitworth.

“You never know what you’re going to be walking into,” Benner said. “Sometimes I’m in really cool little theaters, sometimes I’m in classrooms and sometimes I’m in lobbies.”

Grisham, an award-winning traveling magician and hypnotist, performed later that night in the MPR.

Several students volunteered to be hypnotized by Grisham, and were made to perform skits such as an awkward middle school dance, a runway routine and delivering a baby.

Grisham’s show was met with laughter and applause. Once it was over, students posed for pictures with Grisham and he answered questions about hypnotism and his career.

Mikayla Nicholson Staff Writer

Motorcycle culture picks up speed among students

Hannah Walker|Graphic Artist Now that winter has released its icy grip on Spokane, motorcycle enthusiasts are coming alive. Whether they slowly rumble past or scream by in a flash of color, motorcyclists are a culture all unto themselves and they all ride for a variety of reasons.

“I’d have to say there is a more intimate relationship between the man and the machine — where every hand is doing something, where every foot is doing something — you’re in control and I like that idea,” senior Joshua Warren said. “It’s also fun. You’re out there with the wind in your face out there enjoying the sun.”

Warren rides a 1000cc Honda Super Hawk. Students and faculty interviewed tend to mirror Warren’s thoughts on why they ride.

“I’d say part of it is adrenaline, part of it is the freedom of being outside a caged car. Love having the wind and all that stuff. It’s just fun,” senior Ryan Johnson said.

Johnson rides a Yamaha FZ8 and is well aware of the stereotypes surrounding motorcycle culture.

“Growing up I had this kind of stereotypical idea where the people who rode cruisers were outlaw badass dudes, the people who rode street bikes were douchebags, and dirt bikes were just kind of whatever,” Johnson said.

Now, Johnson owns a street bike and said he realizes that those stereotypes don’t always hold true.

Other stereotypes have inspired those interested to get on a motorcycle.

“My best friend in high school had a Kawasaki 90 when we were juniors; he rode it all the way back from South Dakota,” said James Uhlenkott, visiting assistant professor of education. “This was the era of Peter Fonda and Easy Rider, so we all wanted to be that. This was our very weak attempt to be that.”

Uhlenkott rides a 2003 Harley Davidson Soft Tail Standard and has been riding since 1971.

Others have been inspired to ride because of family’s or friends’ encouragement.

“My dad rode; it’s always been something I wanted to do just because I knew he had,” Warren said.

The experience of riding is unique for each person. For some, it is the speed that draws them.

“Whenever I’m on the road, it’s different than being in a car,” sophomore Avery Smetana said.  “It’s open, just turning with the road and going fast. It’s hard to put into words.”

Smetana has been riding a Honda XR650R Enduro for the last year.

For some riders, just being outside is what drives them on two wheels instead of four.

“You pack all your stuff, get on the road, go down two lane roads into the middle of nowhere, come across a small town, find a place to camp,” Uhlenkott said. “My wife and I really love that. So it’s that kind of adventure of ‘let’s just see where we end up.’”

Motorcycle enthusiasts vary in style and method, but are united by one common action.

“There’s the motorcycle wave that’s unique to motorcycle riders,” Johnson said.

The wave is a common salutation between all motorcyclists who pass each other while riding.

“Everyone is very, very accepting,” Uhlenkott said. “No matter where we go if there’s another biker we are a part of the group instantly. You instantly have this connection.”

Getting into the sport takes training and commitment just like any other sport.

“It’s something you have to take the time to get into,” Smetana said. “It’s something you have to take the time and really enjoy what’s going on around you.”

Meeting someone who rides is different from meeting any other sport enthusiast.

“The culture is pretty inviting compared to say other generic groups,” Johnson said. “You are put into a group by something you own. It’s like when parents talk about their kids, you meet someone who has a motorcycle and they will tell you the story of their bike.”

Motorcycles and the people who ride them are able to transcend a generational gap that no other sport can.

“My dad had a Harley already and I wanted to be able to ride that as well,” Smetana said.  “It’s something I looked in on growing up and it was something cool to be a part of.”

The culture of motorcycles is many things, but it’s the attitude people have that make it a group activity.

“It’s people who pursue the sport of it, doing it together,” Johnson said.  “It’s people who have motorcycles and love riding together.”

Stuart Hopson Staff Writer

Coach of the Year: Helen Higgs- Women's basketball

With 20 years of Whitworth coaching experience behind her, women’s basketball head coach Helen Higgs led the Pirates in a season of success, including winning the NWC tournament against No. 1-ranked Whitman, which earned Higgs the title of The Whitworthian Coach of the Year. Higgs made her mark on Whitworth as she became the longest-serving women’s basketball coach, amassing the most wins in Pirate history.

With a career coaching record of 284-199 entering the season, Higgs and her team began the 2013-2014 season with high standards and big expectations.

“Our goals were to do more than we did the year before, which was finish third and make the NCAA tournament,” Higgs said.

In order to obtain their goals, the seniors chose the word “believe” as the season’s theme, Higgs said.

“We can do great things and we want to believe that we can do great things, but we also have fun and laugh at the obstacles while pushing through them,” Higgs said.

The season started rough due to injuries in which senior guard Kayla Johnson had to miss the first game because of a bad ankle sprain and junior Kendra Knutsen had limited minutes from previous knee issues, Higgs said.

“Our first game was against a team that wasn’t great and we barely won,” Higgs said. “I had to start two people out of position and we didn’t have our senior leader [Johnson] who usually ends up scoring 19 points a game.”

As the season went on, the Pirates picked up momentum with two separate seven-game winning streaks. As part of the second streak, Higgs became the first women’s basketball coach to reach her 300th career win at Whitworth, against Pacific Lutheran University.

“There is no way [Higgs] would say her 300th win was her biggest season highlight because she is very modest and team-oriented but it was a big moment for her,” assistant coach Heather Bowman said.

One of the biggest highlights for Higgs was in the NWC Tournament championship game during which the Pirates played against Whitman, then undefeated and top-ranked team in the nation, to consecutively win the conference title on Whitman’s home court, Higgs said.

“We are a pretty self-motivating team, but before the Whitman game, [Higgs] rapped for us and her quirkiness got us pumped up,” Johnson said. “During a timeout in around the last two minutes of the Whitman game the same song [Timber by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha] came on and she was telling us that it was fate that we would win the game since it was the song she rapped to us before.”

The Pirates entered the NCAA tournament against George Fox University and came away with a 20-point win in the first round.

“[Higgs] has confidence in us and you can see that in the way she coaches and directs us,” Johnson said. “She has never doubted us.”

A six-point loss to Whitman in the second round of the NCAA Tournament ended the season for the Pirates.

Higgs brings laughter and fun to the sport while keeping up the intensity. She is not only a coach on the court, but outside of the game as well, Johnson said.

“[Higgs] does a very good job of keeping the team balanced by pushing the girls on and off the court,” Bowman said. “She makes sure that they are academically, personally and aesthetically improving themselves.”

Higgs does not attribute all of the success from the season to herself, but rather to her fellow coaches and the players on the team, Higgs said.

“I think valuing your coaching staff, figuring out what they do well and giving them some freedom in that, is what really helps to make a team stronger and be more successful,” Higgs said. “We were successful because I had a great coaching staff.”

After another successful season, Higgs assures that with her competitive nature, winning will always be a part of the program, Higgs said.

“But it is more about striving for excellence and teaching individuals how to excel not only in sports but in every place in life,” Higgs said. “That’s my bigger goal, to teach those life lessons, and if you do that well and have the talent, then the winning part will take care of itself.”

Jordanne Perry Staff Writer

Female Athlete of the Year: Kerry Wright- Women's track and field

As a middle child with an older and a younger brother, sophomore Kerry Wright grew up in a climate of ongoing competition. Wright recalled how she and her brothers played baseball in her family’s backyard. It is a continuation of her competitive drive that has helped Wright make Whitworth track and field history in the javelin throw, awarding her The Whitworthian’s Female Athlete of the Year. Wright attended Portland State University for a quarter after high school, but transferred to Whitworth for the spring semester of her freshman year. She has now qualified for nationals for the second year in a row and finished second nationally as a freshman.

This season, Wright threw her best mark at the conference championships with a throw of 156’ 2’’, just shy of her personal goal of 160’ for the season. The mark set new records for the NWC championship meet and for the Whitworth school record.

“We have three more meets, and four more weeks until nationals, so for the next couple of weeks, she’ll get closer to there and hopefully at nationals she throws that,” head coach Toby Schwarz said. “She has a good arm, she has a great technique, very strong, her acceleration at the end of the throw is just not where it needs to be. If she had better speed, better acceleration specifically, she would throw even further.”

Wright said that she had to adjust her running techniques by taking shorter runs before her throw to get the distance mark she threw at the conference championships, she said.

“Javelin is a sport where there is a thousand things that you try to do right, so if you do even half of them right, you’re going to get a pretty big throw, whether it is footwork, timing or arm motions,” senior javelin thrower Tyler Coopman said.

Schwarz knew Wright would win conference, that she would qualify for nationals, and that she would be in the top 12 of the nation, and she is now ranked number one before going into nationals, Schwarz said.

“It took a long time for me to get up to that mark, but being able to throw that number is really satisfying,” Wright said.

Though she plans to follow the footsteps of her javelin idol Brittany Borman, a four-time NCAA Track and Field Champion, Wright’s 93-year-old grandfather has been the most inspirational person in her life, from whom she seeks guidance, Wright said.

“He’s been with track for years. He’s watched and been an official for track, and he knows the sport really really well,” Wright said. “He just supports me no matter what. He was at the conference meet [championships] and he got emotional because he was so proud. His excitement fuels me.”

During Jan Term, Wright suffered a pulled muscle in her hip, which limited her to half the amount of work compared to everyone else, Wright said. She had to go to physical therapy, and still managed to qualify for nationals.

“I just have to be able to fix that and take time off, which I am not about to. It’s not going away, but it’s definitely better because I couldn’t do drills or the technical work that I wanted to do. I had to take it really slow,” Wright said.

Coopman said that Wright sets an example for her teammates and described her as a workhorse.

“I am pretty new at this sport. I just started throwing javelin two years ago and I’m still learning a lot, but she, for all of us, is a great example to watch during practice,” Coopman said. “I learned a lot just by watching her throw because she is so technically sound.”

Wright gives a lot of credit to her javelin coach Eloise Cappellano because without her, she would have not been able to throw this far, Wright said.

“We are lucky to have [Wright] at Whitworth. She’s been a great addition to this program and is going to have an unbelievable college career,” Coopman said. “She already set the school record and is an All-American, but she’s going to continue to excel in this sport and definitely has the potential to compete after college.”

VanHoomissen said that the Whitworth coaches are there to set her up for success.

“She will be a national champion each year, I would love to see that from her, and for her marks to continue to improve that she could go to the National Championships and eventually the Olympic trials,” Cappellano said. “It’s very doable for her; she’s capable of it and is the one to make it happen.”

Jessica Razanadrakoto Staff Writer

Male Athlete of the Year: Dustin McConnell- Men's Basketball and men's tennis

Ever since he became a starter during his sophomore year, it was clear that senior point guard Dustin McConnell was on track to be a great player. In his senior year, he was recognized as such, by more than just Whitworth and the conference. After earning Northwest Conference First Team honors, as well as being named conference MVP, McConnell was voted First Team All-West Region by both D3hoops.com and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The NABC also named him a Division III Third Team All-American. And now, The Whitworthian Male Athlete of the Year.

However, none of the accolades were on the agenda to begin the season, McConnell said.

“Knowing it’s your last year of college and playing a team sport, I just really wanted to make the most of every opportunity and not take it for granted,” McConnell said. “I wanted to enjoy the whole experience.”

McConnell did it all for the Pirates, averaging 13.4 points while leading the NWC  with 3.6 assists per game and leading the team with 1.5 steals per game. He did so while shooting an efficient 47 percent from the field, 38 percent from beyond the arc and 84 percent from the foul line.

McConnell said he sees himself as that Swiss-Army-knife type of player.

“My focus was to be the best point guard that our team needs,” McConnell said. “So if it was a game where I needed to distribute the ball more and get guys open, then it was my goal to do that to the best of my ability. But if it was a game where I needed to get some shots up and be aggressive, then I tried to do that.”

In the postseason, McConnell enjoyed even greater success, increasing his averages to 16.8 points and six assists while playing 163 out of 165 possible minutes in the four games.

“He was obviously valuable, but we were only able to [play him so much] because of his commitment to conditioning,” head coach Matt Logie said. “We didn’t have to take him off the court because he was in such tremendous shape and we will always put the guys out there who give us the best chance to win.”

McConnell said his favorite moment of the season was when the Pirates won their eighth consecutive NWC tournament championship over Puget Sound, during which McConnell scored 15 points, recorded seven assists and grabbed six boards.

“It was a lot of fun winning that last game at home. It was the conference tournament championship and the conference tournament is a really important thing to set you up for the NCAA tournament,” McConnell said. “It was a tough win against UPS who’s a good team and our guys played hard. It was a really fun way to end out my career and get a last win at home.”

McConnell, along with senior Colton McCargar, will have an opportunity to further his basketball career at a combine for professional overseas teams in Los Angeles at the end of May.

“[McConnell] definitely has the talent and drive to play after college,” Logie said. “I am looking forward to him having an opportunity to showcase that ability.”

Despite his Whitworth basketball career ending in March, McConnell continued his athletic career for the school until recently playing for the tennis team. Due to the overlap with the end of the basketball season, McConnell missed the first month or so of the season, but finished with a 3-1 singles record and a 1-0 doubles record.

Sophomore Drew Adams, also a basketball-tennis dual athlete, who knows McConnell from their time at Clarkston High School together, said he has gained a respect for McConnell as a teammate over the years.

“I don’t think it mattered where he was, he always has that will and that fire to compete,” Adams said. “He’s always very positive but he’ll get on guys if he needs to. But he gets on himself just as much as he gets on a teammate.”

Whether he ends up playing basketball in Europe, or putting his kinesiology degree to use in the United States, McConnell said he will always be thankful for the four years he spent as a Pirate.

“It was incredible. I couldn’t ask for a better college experience. The groups of guys I got to play with day in and day out are unbelievable players and great guys,” McConnell said. “Guys that push you every day and that’s really what made it so fun is playing with guys that are at such a high level. It really brings you up and I’m just so fortunate to be a part of the teams I was with.”

James Silberman Staff Writer

Editor's note: A call to balance traditional and digital news mediums

It’s no secret that the emergence of the digital age has impacted methods for news distribution, as print newspaper production declines and news organizations contemplate how to best connect with target audiences. By the same token, media audiences are faced with a plethora of news medium options — from traditional sources, such as television and radio, to new age sources, such as blogs and Facebook. Localizing this relationship dynamic to the Whitworth community, I challenge future Whitworthian editors to maintain an awareness of the communication trends so that they can best serve the Whitworth audience.

This academic year, we have begun to take strides to improve The Whitworthian’s digital presence — redesigning our website and working with a group of Whitworth computer science students to develop a Whitworthian app that will be available for download in the fall on the Apple, Android and Windows app markets. But there are still a lot of improvements to be made, as Whitworthian editors balance the management of an important weekly print edition with efforts to bolster a digital presence.

It is also my hope that The Whitworthian’s audience will take advantage of the app as well as an increased online presence, and provide feedback for Whitworthian editors, if desired. To reiterate the editorial in Issue 15, feedback is encouraged to keep student journalists accountable.

The challenge of balancing a print and digital presence is not specific to The Whitworthian. During Jan Term 2013, I took part in a class that traveled to the east coast to study media impact. Among other lessons, we learned traditional journalism is not dying, but changing. Media organizations are trying to learn how to digitally connect with audiences in a productive and efficient manner.

My call to future Whitworthian staffs is to uphold the consistency of a weekly print edition while making it a priority to continually evaluate how to best connect with the Whitworth community using digital tools. And to be a media literate consumer, recognize the plethora of news mediums available — both at Whitworth and beyond — to take advantage of medium options and be an informed consumer of media.

Andrew Forhan

Editor-in-chief

Contact Forhan at aforhan14@my.whitworth.edu

NBA’s response to Sterling comments sparks opportunity for conversation

I would like to applaud NBA commissioner Adam Silver for standing up for what’s right and carrying out a stern punishment to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Fortunately, Sterling’s controversial comments, although ignorant and unfortunate, will bring about some good conversation. Making an example of Sterling by eliminating him from the NBA makes it clear where the league stands on the issues of racism, and has also sparked a much-needed conversation about racism in America. About 76 percent of players in the NBA in 2013 were African American, according to a report from the ESPN site fivethirtyeight.com.

This series of events is coming off the heels of a leaked tape in which Sterling is heard talking to his girlfriend, Vivian Stiviano. Stiviano is half Latina and half African American, according to the leaked recording. The recording was shocking to many, that in this day and age, ignorance and straight up racism still exists is appalling to most.

“It bothers me a lot that you’re associating with black people. You’re supposed to be a delicate white or a delicate Latina girl,” Sterling said on the leaked tape which lasted around 10 minutes.

Stiviano maintains that she did not leak the tape. Regardless, the tape was released, and reactions were immediate. Public figures all over the United States spoke out against Sterling and called on Silver for punishment. I found the reactions to be refreshing. In today’s age, people found it shocking that attitudes such as Sterling’s still exist, and found it appropriate and necessary to speak out against such attitudes.

As a result of the fallout, many sponsors have already chosen to suspend ties with the Clippers organization, including Red Bull, State Farm and Sprint, according to a report from Yahoo Sports. The organizations did the right things and chose not to taint their organizations with ties to Sterling. Silver fined Sterling the maximum under the NBA constitution, $2.5 million to be given to charity and banned him for life. Silver is also fairly confident that he will be able to get the necessary 75 percent of the owners’ support to force Sterling to sell the team.

I am glad Sterling’s true colors came out; it is time to encourage dialogue on race relations in America. It is not enough that we can all drink from the same water fountains. For racism to be truly eradicated, ignorant and racist attitudes should have no place in our society. To do that, we need to talk about them.

While Silver was probably acting in order to best protect the financial security of the league, protecting a racist owner would lead to a further backlash. NBA leadership acted correctly and showed that racism and ignorant attitudes have no place within the NBA. These attitudes have no place in American society. Now is the time to talk about it.

Whitney Carter

Columnist

Contact Whitney Carter at wcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

Changes needed to make UREC more effective for students

Whitworth University opened the long-awaited  Rec Center earlier this school year with much excitement and anticipation. The UREC has been a big hit, with its full-size climbing wall and plethora of basketball courts, in addition to a high-quality weight room. However, nothing is perfect. Junior Kyle McEachran stays active and spends a lot of hours at the UREC. Over time, he has noticed a few items that would improve the experience at the facility. In response, he has created a proposal that includes an ice cooler for treating injuries, guest passes for family and friends of students, staff and faculty and the allowance of “shirts and skins” games on the basketball courts. As of press time on Sunday, May 4, McEachran gathered more than 300 student and staff signatures on the petition, including that of President Beck Taylor.

These changes would not only be convenient for those who use the UREC, but are necessary for both student health and the popularity of the UREC.

As far as the “shirts and skins” issue goes, there a couple of points to be made. First, when playing a game of 5-on-5 pick up basketball, “shirts and skins” is a common way to distinguish who is on which team. In addition to that, for some males it is more comfortable to play sports indoors with shirts off. That may not seem like a valid reason, but in reality, students at Whitworth are adults and deserve freedom. If someone can look outside the coffee shop windows and see four guys outside with their shirts off, why can’t the same be said in the UREC?

It is understandable that some aren’t comfortable with shirtless people in the UREC. In order to avoid offending anyone, McEachran has suggested that athletes with their shirts off on the basketball courts must stay there. If basketball players want to walk around to other parts of the UREC, they must have their shirts on. That would be the best compromise between the current dress code and the allowance of “shirts and skins” on the courts.

Regarding ice in the UREC, it seems to be self-explanatory. It is actually quite surprising that the UREC doesn’t have some kind of medical or health center. In a building with a climbing wall, three full basketball courts and a full weight room, somebody is bound to get hurt, right? Absolutely. Admittedly, there have already been budget cuts to the Health Center, but a small ice cooler would not break the bank, and is necessary.

In an email conversation, McEachran noted his friend, who tore his ACL while in the UREC. He had no ice available to him without walking on a torn ACL.

McEachran has brought the proposal to the attention of Taylor. Whitworth’s president has witnessed the issue himself, as he was part of the intramural game in which that student tore his ACL.

“Taylor turned to me looking for ice… and I had to be the bearer of bad news and say, ‘There is no ice here,’” McEachran said. “President Beck Taylor said that he is looking at the possibility of providing some form of ice after he nearly broke his wrist.”

In addition to “shirts and skins” and an ice cooler, a limited number of guest passes for family and friends would be a strong addition to the UREC. As of right now, the UREC admits only undergraduate students, faculty and staff. For students with friends or family visiting, many may want to take them to our beautiful new fitness center. Our students’ guests should be able to experience the school that is a part of their friend or family member’s everyday life.

McEachran said he feels passionate about these potential changes, and for good reason. These changes are not only desirable but also essential, especially the addition of an ice cooler. As with most new things, there is a learning curve, and that is certainly the case for the UREC. Being a new facility, there will surely be many changes and additions to the UREC next year as Whitworth adjusts to what they have learned this school year. Hopefully, the items in McEachran’s proposal will be first in line.

Max Carter

Columnist

Contact Max Carter at mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

No need to have life figured out

The question, “What do you want to do with your life”, haunts me. Although I am becoming more comfortable answering the question, it makes my brain do a crazy dance. I consider all of the possibilities, which I hope will become opportunities someday. Slowly, however, I am realizing that I don’t need to have things all figured out. Abby Nyberg|Graphic Artist

As a society, we have placed significant pressure on individuals once they hit their 20’s. If they haven’t figured out what they are doing with their lives by age 30, we deem them lost causes, according to Elite Daily. But regardless of whether or not we make plans, they are bound to change.

Subconsciously, we see those who have big plans for where they are headed as wiser and more ambitious than those who don’t. While setting goals for your life is a big deal, it doesn’t need to be accomplished as an undergrad. It’s also important to realize what may change.

Take CEO of Blackboard Inc., Jay Bhatt, for example. Bhatt went to law school and practiced for awhile, before ultimately leading technology solution start-up companies. Now, he leads one of the biggest technology companies in the country.

Another example is Lisa Jamieson, a former pharmacist who became a writer. She realized she had other interests that were not in line with her current career so she changed it. Now she owns her own consulting firm and is a medical writer.

Both of these people are living proof that it’s okay not to know. It’s also OK to change. As undergrads, they probably wouldn’t have guessed that they would doing the work they are now. Life offers us lessons and opportunities and it’s OK for us to adjust our goals in the process.

Our choice of major today may not be what makes us feel purposeful tomorrow; that’s OK. This stage that we are in is about figuring out how we fit into the world at large and how we will offer it the gifts and talents that comprise us.

Do what makes your heart sing; there you will find success. If you haven’t figured out what that is yet, don’t sweat. Life is a benefactor of endless opportunities.

Remi Omodara

Columnist

Contact Remi Omodara at romodara14@my.whitworth.edu

Ponder this: Inviting others to church

Your inviting others to church, though well-intended, may make them less likely to ever attend. Invitations to join religious activities are common on campus and usually say “you’re always welcome to join me  for ____”. There’s two problems with this message.

First, the message ignores the context of the individual and the situation. When the same message is used on everyone at anytime, it seems ingenuine and becomes ineffective. A heartfelt message should be tailored to the individual, keeping in mind why the person does not currently attend the service. Instead of asking anyone nearby if they want to attend, be intentional about who, when and how to ask.

The second problem is what Social Judgement Theory calls the boomerang effect. The theory says people have spectrums ranging from latitude of acceptance to latitude of rejection in which messages are placed. The message “Leonard Oakland is secretly an alien” would hopefully fall into your latitude of rejection, while the message “post-finals Netflix binging is great” would likely fall into your latitude of acceptance.

The person you invite to attend church likely views church attendance in their latitude of rejection, which is why they are not attending (with the exception of not attending because of a logistical reason, such as lack of a ride). When a message, such as your invite, fails to persuade and falls in an individuals’s latitude of rejection, it can reinforce their previous position. If you invite someone to church, and are not persuasive, you may make it less likely they will ever go.

A better persuasive approach is to persuade individuals to something that is closer to their original position in hopes of moving their position closer to latitude of acceptance. Instead of inviting to church, you can invite them to a hall bible study in a coffee shop. Over time, you can invite them to more religious activities and eventually church, instead of starting with church. Be intentional about invitations to religious activities, taking into account a person’s perspective when crafting the message. Failure to do so can not only make the message sound ingenuine, but make the person less likely to attend a religious activity.

Madison Garner 

Columnist

Contact Madison Garner at mgarner16@my.whitworth.edu

Living together: Considering the “next step”

As a religious institution, Whitworth has a culture that sets expectations for many things in students’ lives. The culture can affect how students made important life decisions, such as whether to move in with their significant others before marriage.

The decision to cohabit is a big deal regardless of one’s community and is a decision that ultimately comes down to what the particular couple deems as most important to their relationship.

Some students at Whitworth have chosen to move in with their significant others, while others have chosen to wait to live together. Couples cite a variety of influences that helped determine their decisions.

Senior Jessica Dahm and her fiancé, for example,  chose not to live together before being married.

Engaged since December, the couple’s main reason for the choice was distance — Dahm’s fiancé Brock Rule attends the University of Idaho.

Such distance made the discussion impractical during the school year, Dahm said.

During the summer, living together was a very real option for the couple, Dahm said. However, the two decided against the idea.

“We talked about it, then I talked to my parents and got advice from my friends,” Dahm said. “It was definitely an option; we just decided it wasn’t the best thing.”

For Dahm and Rule, several things played into their decision to live apart, even during the summer. Among those were religious reasons.

“I think it definitely it does [play a part], just because of what we were taught,” Dahm said. “We made a choice based on what we believe in.”

While Dahm and her fiancé decided that living together before marrying was not for them, other Whitworth-connected couples make a different decision.

Freshman Cody Arnold and his fiancée Peyton Puryear are one such couple.

Arnold and Puryear have lived together since early February. They made the decision to move into an apartment together after months of careful discussion, Arnold said.

“When we first started the discussion there was a lot of talking about pros and cons,” Puryear said. “We talked about who else will be affected by that decision. We didn’t want to be selfish in it.”

Moving in together was the most financially practical option for the couple, Arnold and Puryear said.

Additionally, both Arnold and Puryear said they wanted the ability to spend more time together. Living in the same home has allowed the couple to achieve that goal.

Moving in together wasn’t a necessary step to keep their relationship moving forward, both Puryear and Arnold said.

Hannah Walker | Graphic Artist

However, living together has allowed Arnold and Puryear to practice facing more serious trials than they had before cohabiting, Puryear said.

Arnold agreed, stating that he believed most couples would have gone their separate ways within the first few weeks of what they experienced.

In light of that realization, both Arnold and Puryear strongly caution couples contemplating cohabitation.

“It’s not a step that I’d recommend to any couple,” Arnold said, stressing that cohabitation can easily tear apart a relationship if the couple does not handle the move correctly.

Deciding to move in with a significant other must be largely based on one’s own relationship and experiences, and the best course of action will vary from couple to couple, Puryear said.

Cohabitation in the United States has seen a drastic increase, with more than 15 times the number of couples moving in together before marriage now than in the 1960s, according to the New York Times.

In addition to opinions from family and friends, young people considering cohabiting before marriage also often contend with widely available expert opinions. Experts exist on both sides of the issue.

Many experts — ranging from online advice columns authors to writers at The New York Times and Huffington Post to administrators of popular dating sites such as eHarmony — have advice about cohabitation before marriage, with strong opinions on both sides of the fence.

Many experts cite financial practicality, testing for compatibility and being the natural next step in a serious relationship as benefits of cohabitation before marriage.

Those experts who argue against the notion cite divorce rates and religious doctrine as arguments for living apart until after tying the knot.

Studies have linked increased divorce rates with both cohabiting and not cohabiting, making the decision less a matter of science than a matter of individual choice.

One thing many researchers have agreed on, however, is the idea of “deciding, not sliding.” “Sliding” refers to the couple that is “practically living together anyway,” and so therefore see no reason not to make the move-in official.

However, experts argue that type of tepid decision-making process can lead to a tepid relationship as well, and an awkward situation if the relationship ends.

Like any part of a relationship, it’s important that boundaries and expectations are as clear as possible.

Both Dahm and Rule and Arnold and Puryear exemplify making an active decision on the topic.

For Dahm and her fiancé, the benefits of living together — especially for only a small period of time — were not enough to move forward with the moving in together.

For Arnold and Puryear, the advantages of cohabitation outweighed any drawbacks or risks they may have encountered.

Alanna Carlson Staff Writer

Million Meals culminates in frenzied dash against time

The Million Meals campaign ended on Saturday night with just over $150,000 raised, 600,000 meals packed and around 1,000 volunteers attending the meal-packing event in the Fieldhouse. Whitworth students, faculty and staff worked alongside local non-profit Generation Alive and the Spokane community to help feed those in need. The Million Meals campaign began fundraising after gaining ASWU approval. Large events such as the Whitworth Gala, dorm-wide coin collections, a skating night at Pattison’s, selling Christmas donation cards and other fundraising opportunities contributed to the success of the event, ASWU President Ian Robins said.

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Volunteers packed meals containing rice, vegetables, soy protein and vitamins over three shifts for the event. Volunteers also set up the gym for packing and filled the trucks to distribute the meals.

“To see it all work and come together was amazing,” Robins said. “The atmosphere at the event was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Walking around and working, I saw hundreds of people giving their time and energy to serve others and the room was full of positive energy—that definitely kept me going.”

The effort on Saturday did not meet the original goal for the campaign of fundraising $250,000 to pack 1 million meals. While the goal was not met, and some questioned the possibility of meeting the goal, the positivity was not dampened during fundraising and the packing event itself, Robins said.

“I believe that Whitworth succeeded in this event, but it was never meant for us, it was for those who are struggling and how we can collectively lift them up,” Robins said. “Whitworth responded to the needs of our neighbors and of the world.”

Other students believed that the Million Meals campaign was a success as well.

“It definitely was a success and a lot of people had fun — it raised a lot of awareness too,” sophomore Katie McKinney said.

The first shift of the day had the most volunteers that helped set up the gym and began packing. The morning shift was the most daunting, but the energy picked up as the day continued, Arend senator Emily Witthuhn said.

“The morning felt more like a monotonous job and because completion was so far away, it was less energetic,” Witthuhn said. “The second shift was the most energetic of the day for me. It was awesome to see that with fewer people, we could be almost as productive as the first shift.”

Students hope that the campaign would increase the desire to serve across the Whitworth campus as well as raise awareness of issues like hunger.

“I hope that this can impact Whitworth and Spokane to strive to do even greater things,” Witthuhn said. “The attitude of service is one that is easily lost in our generation, so to have served in the way we did on May 3 is something that will hopefully prompt an attitude of service for the future.”

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There is a possibility that the Million Meals campaign will be repeated in the future, Robins said.

“I definitely wouldn’t write it off,” Robins said. “I saw so many people get excited over the opportunity to come together and do something with meaning and a broad impact.”

The meals will be distributed by Second Harvest of the Inland Northwest and sent to Nicaragua.

Shelby Harding

Staff Writer

Contact Shelby Harding at sharding15@my.whitworth.edu

 

Health Center reinvested, student fee to subsidize cost

Last fall, a task force was created to handle financial concerns and its relation to the Whitworth University mission. The list of programs that needed re-budgeting was extensive, and the campus Health Center was one of the primary concerns for students. After months of evaluating options, it was decided to not outsource health care services and to subsidize Health Center services with a student fee. “[The Health Center is] funded substantially out of tuition,” said Gerry Gemmill, vice president of finance and administration. “We had many possible cost-saving ideas.”

Faculty, staff and students were included in the deliberation process. The task force considered a variety of options. One idea that was seriously considered was outsourcing the Health Center’s services.

“Outsourcing means we partner with a third party, like an outside clinic, to perform services,” said Kristiana Holmes, the director of the Health Center.

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The task force met with organizations and had them provide proposals of the services they could offer the clinic as well as the cost of those services, said Dick Mandeville, vice president for student life. Rockwood Clinic and Providence Hospital were two of the external sources that were presented.

“We discussed how important it is for the Health Center to be mission compatible with the university,” Mandeville said.

The task force wanted the opinions of the students, Gemmill said. Health Advocate representatives and members of student leadership expressed their opinions, asked questions and shared concerns with the task force, he said.

Mandeville and Holmes also discussed the options they were considering with ASWU.

“The default discussion of every decision we made was what is best for the students,” Gemmill said. “The decision that was for the best interest for the students is to reinvest with our center.”

Mandeville, Holmes and Gemmill said the support and input from students on this matter was helpful and valuable. The amount of student involvement was appreciated.

“Not every student comes [to the Health Center], but those who do, we just develop relationships with,” Holmes said. “It’s not just their health, we make a broader connection.”

The task forced decided to keep the Health Center Whitworth-owned and operated by Whitworth staff. The trade-off is students will be required to pay a fee in order to subsidize the costs for the Health Center. The amount of this fee and what it will cover is still being discussed.

“We need to sort out the details like what are we covering here and what are the students getting?” Holmes said. “We want to make sure we’re providing those services.”

The goal is to get the service fee as low as possible, Gemmill said.

Currently, students pay a fee for tests and services provided, many of which are covered by insurance or paid out-of-pocket, Holmes said. New services that are being looked into are X-rays and lab work.

Services offered by external sources are being looked into as well and the potential for partnering is still an option, Gemmill said.

“I think one of the things that is positive that has come from that is it has given us a push to see what else we can be doing,” Holmes said.

Other considerations are extending the hours of the Health Center, allowing evening and weekend access, which could be done by arranging a contract with other facilities, and talking to a local medical residency program about having physicians on campus, Mandeville said.

Services provided by third-party partners would be covered by the fee as well as services done on campus. The student fee will apply to full-time and part-time undergraduate students, Holmes said.

Once the fee amount is decided on, it will be included in student’s billing statement for next year. A letter will be sent explaining what the service fee is and what services are being provided for the fee. The hope is to have the service fee amount set before tuition statement letters get sent, Gemmill said.

“After all we’ve been through, we’re going to end up with a Health Center on campus, staff we know serve our mission and enhanced services,” Mandeville said. “It will turn out better for students in the end.”

Bekah Bresee Staff Writer

Contact Bekah Bresee at rbresee16@my.whitworth.edu

 

Institutional Diversity Committee talks plan for reform in 2014-15

Note:  A correction was made to this article regarding to whom the IDC will report its findings. The Whitworthian incorrectly reported that the IDC reports to the President's Cabinet, when in fact they report to the University Council.  

The Halualani Campus Experience Survey that students, faculty and staff took earlier this year has prompted discussion and action on the part of the Institutional Diversity Committee (IDC).

From the results of the survey, Dr. Rona Halualani of Halualani & Associates reported that “students provided the most positive comments on all of the qualitative items, according to the survey summary. Student responses highlighted immediate needs such as financial and academic support. They also identified the need for diversifying the student body and training faculty to be more inclusive of students and their differences.” Twenty-one percent of Whitworth students took the survey.

Halualani also reported that staff respondents (67 percent of total staff) were more negative and focused on the work environment, while faculty (47 percent) members’ responses showed their desire for a vast range of possible improvements to make concerning diversity.

“It’s important, first and foremost, that we understand the gift of diversity, because God created a very diverse human family,” said Larry Burnley, Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Intercultural Relations and chair of the IDC. “In our brokenness as humans, we’ve used diversity as an opportunity to build walls between us based on difference.”

The IDC, reporting to the University Council, plans to develop a comprehensive report, due in the fall, that will construct a game plan around the five priorities that came from the suggestions from the Halualani survey, Burnley said.

“We need a diversity master plan,” Burnley said. “Vision 2021 says the ‘what’ about diversity. It doesn’t say ‘how.’”

The second point is professional development and training. In the survey, about 52 percent of faculty said they think diversity training should be required.

“That’s amazing to me,” Burnley said. “That’s great. How often are you going to have faculty saying that something more should be required of them?”

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Curricular and co-curricular development is the third priority. There are many courses that satisfy the American Diversity or Global Perspectives general education requirements that do not necessarily teach students about diversity, senior and Cultural Events Coordinator Andriana Siefe said.

“If a student takes American Sign Language, it counts as an American Diversity credit,” Burnley said. “Not that this class isn’t important, but it doesn’t meet have the qualities that this type of course should have.”

The IDC would also like to address concerns with recruitment, retention and climate as the fourth goal.

The final objective of the IDC is to implement “appropriate organizational infrastructure to drive, assess and sustain high-impact institutional goals.” This includes both the goals listed in the 2021 plan and Whitworth’s mission to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.

“I think the biggest thing that the Halualani reports pointed out, and I think is very true on campus, is the fact that students understand that diversity is important, because it’s a mantra,” Siefe said. “They hear Whitworth saying that we need to increase diversity, and they understand that it is important, but they don’t know why it’s important and they don’t understand the scope of diversity.”

Next year’s Cultural Events Coordinator, junior Ashton Skinner, said that she wants to spread awareness for all types of diversity.

“I don’t think any one part of a person’s identity should define them,” she said. “We all have many different identifiers.”

Katie Shaw Staff Writer

Contact Katie Shaw at kshaw17@my.whitworth.edu

 

Movie Review: Noah

Despite great acting, “Noah” is unfortunately drowning in tone problems. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, “Noah” stars Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins and Emma Watson.

“Noah” faced rough seas from the beginning, with Sony testing three versions of the film to early audiences unbeknownst to Aronofsky, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Since then, “Noah” has faced controversies from the religiously devout for the movie’s interpretation of the events from the Book of Genesis.

Often, the source material and adaptation of books to movies are two completely different arts. Adaptations have the ability to tell the same story with a different approach, look at characters with a fresh perspective and bring new elements of the story to light.

This is Aronofsky’s adaptation of the story of Noah and his ark. He certainly took all the creative liberties he wanted to (such as talking rock monsters). So if you can go into the movie ready to hang up your suspension of disbelief, you’ll probably have a good time, or at least, a better time.

Crowe plays a very compelling portrayal of Noah. Noah, in this movie, is a complex character and, at times, easy to root against. He is strong, soft-spoken, broken, disciplined, God-obeying and terrifying.

Supporting players do a fine job as well. Watson gives her all and Connelly plays Noah’s wife with gentleness and grace.

Another stand out is Logan Lerman, who had the potential to be a sore thumb in the company of great actors like Crowe, Connelly and Hopkins. Some may remember Lerman from his portrayal of Charlie in yet another adaptation, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”.

He brings some of that same charm and naïveté, playing Noah’s youngest son Ham. The entire principal cast is giving it their all, and it’s fun to watch each of them dive into their roles.

Visually, a few moments in “Noah”  stand out among the rest. The flashback scenes of the Earth being created are particularly cool to look at.

There are some beautiful landscape shots as well. However, the CGI ark animals are nothing groundbreaking, the battle scenes have been done better in other movies and the talking rock monsters border on extreme cheesiness.

Aronofsky is known for making original, darker films such as “Black Swan” and “Requiem for a Dream,” so it is disappointing to see him play it safe here. His performance as “Noah” lacks his usual innovative edge.

With that aside, I can look at “Noah” strictly as a popcorn action movie, a movie made to entertain and engage an audience. However, it fails on this front as well.

“Noah” feels like two separate movies, each with its own tonal problems. The first half is an epic battle flick with tensions between Noah and his family, and literally everyone else in the world. The second is a battle between Noah and his pseudo-adopted daughter and her unborn child(ren).

It is in the latter half I can see glimpses of the groundbreaking version of what this movie could have been, with some seriously tense and disturbing moments. Meanwhile, in the first half, I can see the potential mainstream blockbuster “Noah” could have been.

Since the film doesn’t fully commit to either side, both halves are a bit of a disappointment.

 

Mikayla Nicholson Staff Writer

Art show gives senior majors gallery opportunity

Walking into the Bryan Oliver Gallery is an experience in and of itself. The space is immense, well-lit and a perfect setting to show off the hard work of senior art majors. The stark walls are peppered with stunning pieces from senior art majors. Two of the three art tracks are represented: graphic design and two-dimensional art. “It’s a chance for the art majors — whether they’re 2D, 3D, or graphic designers — to present their work,” art lecturer Lance Sinnema said.

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Sinnema teaches a one-credit senior exhibition class that all art majors are required to take in the spring of their senior year.

“For the past four years I think we’ve had a jurist, so they will present their work to the jurist — at least one piece per person depending on numbers — and they’ll pick from that,” Sinnema said.

Artists’ work is on display in the Lied Center for the Visual Arts alongside their classmates and peers.

“It helped a lot with how to present yourself and with how to make yourself a full package, and it teaches you a lot about displaying your work and how to share the space with other people,” senior Jordan Collins said.

Space is limited, and this year has produced a few more exhibitors than usual.

“This year we have 21 majors in the show which is a large group,” Sinnema said. “Usually we have 10 or 12, so it limits what each person can show, just because we have a limited amount of space, and it goes quickly with that amount of people.”

The exhibit finishes up the year honoring the artists and their work by allowing artists’ families to attend a closing ceremony.

“The last day of the show is May 17, which is the Saturday before graduation. We have a closing reception, which is mostly for the parents,” Sinnema said. “Most of the parents won’t be in town to see their work so we have a closing reception right before graduation so the parents can see their work.”

Artists vary in their aspirations for their work as much as their focus. Paintings fill the walls alongside photographs and even multimedia.

“I am a graphic design major so the focus of my piece is graphic design, but I do music outside of school, so I combined the two into making myself a product.” Collins said. “It’s CDs that I designed. It has my business card on it and a pair of headphones so you can play on the iPad and listen to my music on there,” Collins said.

Some artists’ focus will lead them away from the gallery world and the exhibit gives them an experience to remember.

“When I go out after I graduate I’m going to be freelancing, working for other companies so I’m probably never going to have this experience again,” senior art major Amanda Turner said. “It’s also nice to be able to work with my peers and be able to collaborate with them.”

The exhibit allows a certain freedom of skill for the seniors to showcase what they have learned during their time at Whitworth.

“It’s like the performance in the theater department or in the music department; it’s their chance to show off a little bit,” Sinnema said.

Some students are using the experience as a springboard into other realms as they add to their resume.

“I want to use it for music and marketing myself and then I’m actually going into grad school here at Whitworth, in the MIT program,” Collins said.

Some artists need the exposure to open up opportunities in the future.

“For studio majors, painting/drawing major, 3D major, sculpture class—whatever their emphasis is, exhibits like this is something that they shoot for, it’s their goal, somewhere to put their work out there so people can see it,” Sinnema said.

 

Stuart Hopson Staff Writer

Balanced budget finalized for upcoming year

The trustees reviewed and finalized several budget-related items during trustee week, including the summer improvement project for electrical and steam systems, the improvements of Graduate and Continuing Studies enrollment, as well as a reduction to the amount of money being fundraised for future renovations of the music building. Long-planned renovations and additions to the music building met a budget cut of more than 50 percent, with original estimations of $25 million to be fundraised for the project cut down to $12 million. Difficulties with raising such a large amount of money led to cutting the plans from the fundraising budget.

“It became obvious that we were not able to raise $25 million, so it was reduced to $12 million,” said Gerry Gemmill, vice president of finance and administration. “We could have waited X amount of years to reach the $25 million, but $12 million is a lot of money and it is going to do a lot for the music department, and the students will get it a lot sooner.” The original $25 million plan included a 700-seat recital hall.  A recital hall of the size planned had an expensive per-square-foot cost, and even with some generous donations already given, the recital hall is no longer feasible, Gemmill said.

The renovation and expansion of the music building is the biggest capital project in the near future for Whitworth and is one of the biggest donation-funded capital projects at the school. Current plans for the music building include updating acoustic panels, painting the building, making lighting improvements and increasing the number of classrooms and practice rooms.

“They’re trying to determine the greatest needs of the music department and prioritizing them, and then we’ll design it,” Gemmill said.

Fundraising for the project is ongoing while a committee decides on improvements and expansion.

“It’s such a huge part of the Whitworth experience— so many students are a part of the music program and we want to provide for them,” Gemmill said.

In other news, students in the Graduate and Continuing Studies programs have also received a boost. An increase in enrollment in the program was announced during trustee week.

“We have been very intentional about recruitment strategies for all our graduate and teaching education programs this year,” said Barbara Sanders, Dean of the School of Education.

Forty incoming students for the fall semester have been confirmed. About 10 more students are anticipated to join the school later this spring, Sanders said.

Faculty in Graduate and Continuing Studies enrollment management and marketing have been working closely with the school to increase enrollment, Sanders said.

The Whitworth graduate and master in teaching program was able to take advantage of the expanding demand for teachers in the Northwest and Spokane, which  helped fuel the demand for graduate teaching programs in the area, Sanders said.

“People are hearing that there are great jobs available when they finish any of our teacher education programs,” Sanders said. “Many Whitworth students apply to the program, getting their content preparation as undergraduates and their master’s and teacher certification in the 13-month MIT program.”

While other progress has been made with budgeting, other pieces of the budget are continuously updated. The Health Center and the Costa Rica Center are still awaiting confirmation on what cuts and restructuring will be implemented.

“No new decisions have been made since the formation of the task force for the Costa Rica Center,” Executive Assistant of Academic Affairs Gretchen Cleveland said. “We are waiting for the task force to do their work at this time and know they are making good progress.”

Whitworth sign replaced

The Whitworth University sign was replaced on the corner of Waikiki Road and Hawthorne Road in response to frequent vandalism. Prior to the installation of the new sign, vandals frequently stole the gold letters on the sign  and broke the backlights.

Whenever the original gold letters were stolen, temporary placeholders would be put in place, instead of completely replacing them. When the backlights of the sign got vandalized, they were never replaced.

“It was cost prohibitive, so we couldn’t do the backlighting again so we had floodlighting put in,” Director of Facilities Services Chris Eichorst said. “The letters just kept getting stolen as well.”

In 2012, a Whitworth committee solicited three sign makers to develop a new sign and approve the cost. The process to develop the sign has taken two years, and the money for the sign has been set aside for years, Eichorst said. The cost for the sign did not come out of the 2013-14 budget and had no effect on the deficit that was announced in February.

Vandals would no longer be able to remove the letters on the new sign, as they are embossed into the concrete. Even if they could remove the concrete letters, each section on the sign weighs nearly 200 pounds.

“It’s been a long project because it’s very tedious,” Eichorst said.

The final cost of the project was $20,435.

Professor’s letter starts growing movement of acceptance

World Vision USA announced that the organization would begin hiring Christians in same-sex marriages last month, according to the Center for American Progress. However, after two days of harsh criticism and protest, the World Vision board reversed its decision. In response, Julia Stronks, a Whitworth professor of political science, wrote a letter expressing her disappointment over the matter, as well as the impact the decision has on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“When World Vision made its initial decision to hire married LGBT folks, I was so happy,” Stronks said. “And then, when they reversed their decision because of the criticism they received, I was crushed.”

World Vision is a Christian organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities worldwide to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice, according to the organization’s website. Stronks wrote down her feelings on the matter and composed a letter, sent it to a handful of friends, who sent it to their friends, and so forth. Eventually, the letter caught the attention of Benjamin Washam, the husband of a Whitworth faculty member, and Kathryn Lee, professor of political science.

“I think it was important for this letter to be public to say that there is another viewpoint,” Lee said. “I get frustrated with the media and its portrayal of Christianity.” Washam and Lee wanted to make the letter public. While Stronks sent it to people at Whitworth, Lee worked social networks. Washam created a website for people to read the letter and sign it in support. Without Washam, the story would not have received as much publicity, Lee said.

In less than a week, the letter received more than 350 signatures, according to Center for American Progress.

“Truthfully, it was fun for me to see how many people were excited about putting their name on the letter,” Stronks said. “It was fun and it was touching.” Stronks comes from a conservative-Calvinist family background. Her whole life, she was taught that homosexuality is sinful. After years of reading, researching and asking, she has reached her own opinion on this controversy, she said.

“I believe that we have misunderstood some of the biblical texts on homosexuality and sexuality in general,” Stronks said. “I believe Christian gay people should be fully embraced by the church.”

This view is reflected in her letter which has received around 1,000 signatures to date. The names of Whitworth students, faculty and staff can be found among those signatures. Junior Alma Aguilar signed after receiving an email about the letter, she said.

“It just seemed like something I had to do,” Aguilar said. “I believe in equality and I don’t think that any type of discrimination is acceptable.”

The letter addresses the opposing views not only between the LGBT community and Christians, but those Christians who support same-sex marriage and those who oppose it. In the letter, Stronks writes, “Clearly there are disagreements, but disagreement does not have to compromise our work as Christians. Christians have worked together across their differences on a wide variety of issues, and they should continue to do so when a mission transcending narrow doctrinal matters is at stake.”

When the board announced that people in same-sex marriages would be hired, 10,000 people dropped their sponsorships for children, according to the Center for American Progress.

“If an organization is not doing what you think it should be doing, I understand why people pull their money,” Lee said. “I understand that. But it certainly doesn’t help the public image of Christians.” After the decision was reversed, World Vision received criticism from advocacy groups such as Faithful America, which organized a petition calling for the resignation of two World Vision board of directors.

Not hiring people from same-sex marriages makes the organization vulnerable to discrimination lawsuits and creates strains with their partners who do support marriage equality, according to Center for American Progress.

“I think the conversation is not over,” Stronks said. “How do we love gay Christians? How do we love institutions that might disappoint us?”

Students who read the letter came into Stronks’ office to talk to her about the issues she addressed, she said. Some students came in to thank her for taking a stand for the LGBT community. “I think that it takes a lot of guts to be involved with something so controversial,” Aguilar said. “What a great way for a professor to demonstrate civil contribution.”

The letter received recognition in The Spokesman-Review, Huffington Post and other publications. Plans for the One Jesus website and letter remain unclear at this point, as the process moved quicker than expected, Stronks said.

“I think that this issue of this role of the LGBT community and the church is the Civil Rights movement of the coming decades,” Stronks said.

People who are interested in reading and signing Stronks’ letter can find it at one-jesus.org.