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

Nice, unnoticed changes to campus

To many, it would seem a small improvement. But to visitors and guests, the changes made to the McMillan and Ballard Hall courtyard are professional and slick. In addition, the new irrigation system near the bike ride at Ballard has been economized in its watering patterns. These are much needed improvements that are probably well overdue.

The new bike racks and sleek new pavement all doubling as a firelane is an innovative yet simple update. Whitworth as a university is always looking to impress visitors, and the area surrounding Weyerhaeuser, McMillan and Ballard Hall is an important stop on any tour.

Janet Wright, a supervisor on the Grounds Services staff at Whitworth, described some of the changes made in the area in an email conversation.

“This area was and is a fire lane.There is now a grass strip in between the two walks that has fire lane fabric and grass that was added for drainage,” Wright said in an email. “It was also designed to match the walk on the west side of Weyerhaeuser.”

To current students, this may just seem like an inevitable improvement amongst many on campus. Wright mentioned the intentional matching with the walk near Weyerhaeuser and the new irrigation system.

“When you get down to the new bike rack at Ballard, that area did receive new irrigation because of the new sidewalk and bike rack footprint,” Wright said.

These changes have rejuvenated the feel in that area of campus. Attractive due to the nostalgia of the dorms and modern beauty of the stoic Weyerhaeuser, the new additions are the cherry on top. What is already a staple in campus tours is now a capstone, and will really catch the eyes of visiting pre-frosh.

The best part for students is that change in the sprinkler system. Spring at Whitworth means many things, one of which is sprinkler dodging season. The sprinklers in the area will no longer threaten innocent passersby, which is much more peaceful for the late-night walker.

Although there are bigger items in the news at Whitworth, it’s changes like these that push the school higher and higher up the ranks. The campus continues to get better and better, improving with update after update. That being said, one thing is for sure, the area near McMillan, Ballard and Weyerhaeuser just got a vital update.

Max Carter

Columnist

Contact Max Carter at mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

Sensational CNN coverage unwarranted

What began as CNN’s newsworthy reporting of the missing Malaysian jetliner has turned into over-the-top theoretical analysis and unnecessary round-the-clock coverage. It’s important for media consumers to separate facts from hypothetical and for CNN to move back to pure journalistic reporting.

It’s evident that the issue is newsworthy; that’s undebatable. However, without important new information, there is no reason to continuously cover the missing plane. CNN makes it clear that ratings are of primary concern, coming before its duty to the public. Since the plane went missing, CNN’s audience has grown 86 percent among those ages 25 to 54, according to Nielsen ratings.

Abby Nyberg|Graphic Artist

CNN has positioned itself as the place to turn to for major news. However, it has significantly undercut itself by focusing too much attention on the Malaysian jetliner, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While CNN feeds us expert theory after expert theory, countless reiterations of information and multiple assumptions, it is underrepresenting the international crisis in Ukraine, updates on Edward Snowden and the state of the global economy.

A CNN headline read, “Underwater search resumes for missing Malaysia Airlines plane”. That tells us nothing new. I understand that issues have risen over passenger passports, third-party affiliates and general speculation. Updating us based on these types of facts is welcomed, but CNN is missing the mark by reiterating and hypothesizing. While CNN is joined by other news sources in providing expert theories, they have done so to an extreme. Providing extensive expert opinion is unfair to the public because it offers no novelty in terms of information and clouds thought through hypothetical assumptions.

While the missing plane is both unfortunate and newsworthy, its coverage has become inappropriate. CNN has taken advantage of the public’s desire to be in tune with what is occurring and departed from true journalism by entering the realm of sensationalism. With the exception of occasional snippet updates, there is no need to continue coverage until theories become facts and missing turns to found. Right now, all we know is that 239 people have been missing since March 7.

Remi Omodara

Columnist

Contact Remi Omodara at romodara14@my.whitworth.edu

In the Loop: Feedback encouraged to keep student media accountable to readership

The Whitworthian is the independent, student-run newspaper of Whitworth University, serving the student body and Whitworth community. We work to stay informed of stories and events relating to the Whitworth community, and appreciate any constructive feedback — positive or negative — that we can receive. We would like to remind the student body that we are part of the student body, and that we serve the Whitworth community. Thus, any form of direct, constructive communication is appreciated and helps student media stay in touch with readership.

At the end of each story, we attach contact information for the writer. We allot space every week, in every issue, for a letter to the editor.

We have heard indirect feedback via word of mouth from students on campus from time to time, yet we have only received one letter to the editor the entire year. We have rarely had a direct response to any of our articles, yet we have heard through the grapevine of complaints regarding stories.

We would like to amend our wrongs and explain our choices, but it is tough to do so if we are not held directly accountable.

We are students and, as student journalists, we make mistakes. We are taught journalistic integrity; we follow a code of ethics. We make our choices based on what we think is best at the time, but we are open and willing to discuss any opinion otherwise.

We work hard to be informed journalists and serve our readership. For example, we are working to have a Whitworthian mobile app available on three app markets for the 2014-15 school year. We have also redesigned our website, and have a goal to increase our web presence. These are attempts to make sure we are connecting with our readership. Whether it be these improvements or others, we can be better shaped to serve the readership if we are given feedback.

That is where you come in.

We believe accountability works both ways. We work for you, but it’s difficult to do so when we don’t get direct feedback from our readers. Take charge. Write us a letter. Let us know how to be your Whitworthian.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of four editors. 

Response: RA compensation justified due to considerable responsibility for residence life

In the previous print edition of The Whitworthian two weeks ago, there was an article on Resident Assistant responsibilities and compensation that deserves a response from someone in the position, as I am. The article did not recognize all of the “extras” that RAs have to deal with to help residents succeed. The question should not be if RAs are overpaid, but rather that specialist positions might be underpaid for their responsibilities.

“Building community and growing adults” is the Student Life motto and RAs play a huge role in student development within the residence halls on campus. That is not to say that other leadership positions, such as Small Group Coordinators or Cultural Diversity Advocates, do not play a significant part in resident life, but their roles differ.

The article from two weeks ago did not note the 24/7 nature of the RA position. RAs are expected to maintain “a visible presence in the residence hall through…adherence to an ‘open door’ policy,” according to the Resident Assistant position description from Residence Life.

“Dealing with things surrounding conduct, confrontation and conduct meetings is the most stressful,” said junior Joel Silvius, current RA in Stewart Hall. “Also, being available to residents, even when I have a lot going on.”

RAs have to confront and document policy violations; they also deal with and attend conduct meetings.

Carter’s article discussed Prime Times. He mentioned that CDAs and SGCs  have to attend and help plan Prime Times, much like RAs do, but CDAs and SGCs only have to attend two Prime Times a month. RAs are required to plan and attend eight Prime Times a month.

“I think that it’s a lot more time consuming than most of the specialist positions,” said sophomore Ryan Worthington, SGC to the Stewville community.

RA training is almost a full week longer than the training for other leadership positions, simply because RAs deal with a bigger range of responsibilities related to residents.

“We also handle almost anything that a resident needs like roommate mediation or letting people into the RA closet,” Silvius said. “The biggest thing is trying to keep in touch with everyone in the hall.”

There are also some basic inaccuracies within Carter’s story. RAs, like all students that live on campus, are required to have a meal plan. They are compensated at the second-highest plan, Traditional B. They can apply this toward their tuition to pay for a meal plan or they can take this amount in a paycheck.

The room part of room and board comes in a rebate off of a RA’s financial aid. They cannot take that as a salary.

Carter mentions the monthly hall activities that RAs have to put on. They also have to attend an on-campus activity with their hall once a month called a “tap-in” and are required to have a weekly standing appointment with their hall.

By no means do I want to belittle the other leadership positions on campus. They are all important, but the comparisons in Carter’s article were superficial and did not cover the full depth and breadth of issues, responsibilities and topics that RAs are required to deal with.

The pay for RAs is justified based on their position and duties. It could be said that the other leadership positions deserve to make more money, but not that RAs should be paid less.

“It’s completely fair that RAs get an extra incentive,” Worthington said, “While it’s not always the case, it’s more expected that RAs are more invested in building relationships with residents. I don’t think they’re overpaid.”

Whitney Carter

Columnist

Contact Whitney Carter at wcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

Ponder this: First impressions

The search for summer employment has begun. When preparing for an interview, you may be forgetting one of the most important parts: the first impression. A first impression is powerful because people view future interactions through the lens of the first impression, according to Social Information Processing Theory. A positive first impression in an interview can help the rest of the interview be seen positively, while a negative first impression can make it difficult to achieve a good interview.

Several factors go into a first impression. Physical aspects (such as clothing and attractiveness), communication characteristics (such as rate or tone of voice) and  non-verbal cues (such as how far away a person stands or a person’s use of touch), can influence a first impression.

Research differs on how quickly a first impression is formed, from 30 seconds to three seconds. Applicants should be proactive within this narrow window of time to help create a positive lens through which their future actions can be viewed.

Before the interview, pick an outfit that conveys a positive, professional message. Find out the office dress code from the front desk before the interview, and wear something nicer, according to a US News and World Report article.

Smile and make eye contact when meeting the interviewer. Facial expressions influence a first impression, and a friendly smile conveys fun and warmth, according to a Business Insider article. Avoiding eye contact conveys passivity and weakness.

“To make a good first impression make sure you lock eyes with the interviewer as soon as you enter the room and maintain it whilst you shake hands and introduce yourself,” according to a Business Insider article.

In the first moments of meeting, shake the interviewer’s hand, even if you have to initiate the handshake, according to a Mashable article. Introduce yourself during the handshake, prompting them to introduce themselves.

“You can reply ‘lovely to meet you’ or something similar. It breaks the tension and gives the first few seconds a conversation topic,” according to a Business Insider article.

Applying these techniques can help applicants create a positive first impression, which sets the foundation for what employers think of them. Whether the interview is for a competitive internship for a Fortune 500 company or for an entry-level job at a local coffee shop, a positive impression can be the difference between passed over and employed.

Madison Garner 

Columnist

Contact Madison Garner at mgarner16@my.whitworth.edu

Sexual assault: 'I didn't ask for it'

I have written many articles over the past few years regarding self-confidence, self-respect and standing up for oneself. Most recently, I wrote an article about how harassment and crime is handled at Whitworth and an explanation of Federal Laws for students to know their rights. When writing any of these articles, I never once thought that I would be the victim of anything more than a lack of self-confidence. I never had an issue with being silent about anything that bothered me or affected me directly. My words were my shield and my sword — with them I was not silent and I was not alone.

As a journalism major with a deep interest in law, I wanted to talk to someone who has experienced or was a victim of  harassment or crime at Whitworth, but I could never get a student to talk to me about it. I had a firm belief that there were students who had experienced this and the silence overwhelmed me. And I never understood why — that is, until I became a victim of it myself.

Since I am a junior and of legal drinking age, I like to participate in the usual traditions for a 20-something — go out to a party with some friends and have a good time. I have heard all sorts of stories about college parties — that people get too rowdy, too carried away, and sometimes, to the extent of crime. I never expected that to happen at a party with Whitworth students.

There’s an image that’s portrayed of Whitworth students — that they’re good, high achieving, generally Christian students. We can leave our backpacks unattended in the HUB; leave our expensive smartphones and keys on tables in the cafeteria. The same philosophy followed me to off-campus parties. We’re all Whitworth students, we can trust each other, right?

A group of friends and I went to a house party thrown by Whitworth students — typical for a Saturday night, armed with a few Smirnoff Ices and Budweisers each, aiming for a low-key night. I went through my drinks over a few hours, and I was just slightly tipsy. Not even close to drunk, and that’s how I wanted to be that night.

A few friends and I went outside to talk to incoming guests and share a cigarette. We were outside for about a half hour.

And that’s all that I remember.

I woke up the next day in my bed, wearing the clothes from the previous night, makeup smeared all over my face. My friends were sleeping on the floor. They told me they found me passed out in the house and had to carry me to the car and back home, that I kept saying that somebody hurt me and to call the police. My jeans were dirty, I had bruises all over my body, my shirt dirty and lopsided. That’s when the panic set in.

Student Life investigated the case, interviewing everyone involved and trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together; pieces that I couldn’t remember. I eventually found out that I was sexually assaulted. I was passed around to various faculty and counselors and I recounted all that I knew — only what my friends told me. I did not, and still do not, remember a thing beyond standing on the porch that night.

I had never felt so much guilt in my life. I was ashamed of myself and I blamed myself for all that had happened. I thought if I didn’t drink that night, if I stayed inside with my other friends, none of this would have happened. I didn’t ask for it — I wasn’t being provocative. I felt guilt that my friends were getting interviewed and interrogated and that they had to waste any of their time on this. I spent days debating if I should get a rape kit at the hospital. If I didn’t remember anything, how could I press charges, I thought.

Days became weeks, and I buried myself in work to forget about it. Eventually, Student Life closed the case since I did not ask them to press charges. All I could bring myself to agree to was a restraining order — even though I don’t even remember his face. I finally broke, and I had to write about my experience.

It took me a long time to come to terms with what happened. I fight with fear, guilt and shame every day. I’ve let my anger turn into words, and if there is one good thing to come out of this, it will be letting someone else know that they are not alone. No one asks to be violated; to feel burdened with guilt, shame and fear. No one should be labeled a victim. No matter what you may have experienced, whether you have words or friends — you are not alone.

Shelby Harding

Guest Columnist

Contact Shelby Harding at sharding15@my.whitworth.edu

Ponder This: Contexts for communication

The Bible tells us to kill babies against rocks to be happy (Psalm 137:9), a man is clean when he becomes bald (Leviticus 13:40), and to drink up when we are in pain (Proverbs 31:6). Most people agree meaning of Bible verses go beyond select words alone, including context of the passage, culture, historical significance, etc.

Understanding communication also requires more than words alone. The Coordinated Management of Meaning Theory states there are six contexts involved in making meaning when communicating. The theory shows it is important to understand the context of a comment before judging the meaning of a statement.

The first context is the content, or what is said. Take the statement “you’re such a dork”.

The second is the action performed by speaking. The statement could be joking, insulting, complimenting, etc.

The third is a set interaction guided by rules. The statement could be said during a date, in which it is a playful flirtation. The statement could be said during an argument, meant to hurt.

The fourth is the relationship between the people communicating. A professor calling someone a dork results in a different response than a close friend.

The fifth is the view of self of the person receiving the statement. Someone with low self-esteem is more likely to be offended at the comment than someone with confidence.

The sixth is culture and sub-culture. Older generations probably would view this comment negatively, while younger generations likely view it as a joking comment.

The simple statement “you’re such a dork” can have drastically different meanings depending on the six contexts.

In communication situations, such as teasing and swearing, people often make judgements of a comment based upon the words alone. With teasing, the content is an insult. Similar to the “you’re such a dork” statement, the message could be intended as a positive interaction displaying closeness and fun. Instead of becoming offended at someone teasing, think about all the areas of context to get a holistic picture of their intent.

Another situation is swearing. The content is a harsh word. Using the rest of the areas of context, the message may not be out to offend. The message could be providing emphasis, expressing negative emotions, joking through exaggeration, etc. Instead of taking offense at a swear word, take the other factors of the message into account.

Most people wouldn’t read the Bible by taking one verse out of context and ignoring other important factors that help give a full picture of its meaning. People shouldn’t communicate with that method either. Coming to conclusions based upon words alone is ineffective and can create conflict. Communication is more than the words said, and the meaning behind a message is more than the words in it. Avoid hasty conclusions based upon words alone by keeping the six contexts for meaning in mind.

Madison Garner 

Columnist

Contact Madison Garner at mgarner16@my.whitworth.edu

Gender ratio fluctuation cause for concern

It seems like the gender ratio at Whitworth has fluctuated each year. The ratio creates a variety of issues that seriously limit the kind of education we have access to at Whitworth for a variety of reasons. It is a national issue that should create a discourse about why young men are not going to college and the high school postgraduate career choices they are making instead.

A gender ratio imbalance is not a problem that is unique to our campus. The sing-song rhyme from our school days “girls go to college to get more knowledge” is ringing true in colleges across America. At Whitworth our ratio is about 60 percent female and 40 percent male, according to the Whitworth website.

While it is wonderful that more young women are attending college, we are losing a significant voice by having fewer men on campus.  The disproportionateness is reflected in the fact that Baldwin Jenkins Hall had only one hall of freshmen men this year and Boppell Hall will be making the switch to an all-female hall next year.

The discussion that we should be having is that in the push to get more young women into college, have we neglected the young men? I believe that the answer is yes, and as a result, the women are missing out on a piece of their education. The men are missing out on vital university education as well.

It is not the fault of women that more females are going to college than males. In fact, these numbers should start a conversation. We should discover why more men are not going to college. We need to look at where they are going instead. One explanation could be that there are harder and heavy labor intensive jobs that are open to young men, which could pay relatively well, particularly compared to minimum wage positions that would be open to young women.

College degrees are becoming more integral in the workplace. If young men are looking to places other than universities for advancement, will this lead to a problem down the road with men lacking the education and skills to join the workplace? Have we pushed too far in getting women into college?

There has been a big push nationally to get underrepresented groups into colleges, which applies to Whitworth, and women count as an underrepresented group within universities and the workplace. We have been left with a push too far to one side. Men are becoming less represented. We need to acknowledge that this leaves us with a gap being underrepresented.

Whitney Carter

Columnist

Contact Whitney Carter at wcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

Decision to make Boppell all-female dorm less than ideal for campus housing options

Anticipating a large class of freshmen women in the fall of 2014, housing administration has decided to turn Boppell Hall, the school’s only apartment style on-campus housing, into an all-female dorm. The news has stirred up much controversy, as Boppell is traditionally a top choice for many upperclassmen living on campus. Regardless of the situation, making a unique dorm like Boppell available to only females does not seem like the right decision.

Before the announcement, Whitworth already had two all-female dorms in Ballard and Cornerstone Hall, as well as an all-male dorm in McMillan Hall. Along with the transformation of Boppell into an all-female dorm, Baldwin-Jenkins Hall will go back to its usual 50:50 gender ratio split of freshmen males and females. Although one gender dorms are not rare at Whitworth, the changes to Boppell merit a few surface level concerns.

Imagine that you are a sophomore or junior male at Whitworth this year. You applied to live in Boppell last year, but for whatever reasons, didn’t receive a room. Oh well, there’s always next year, right? Wrong. Boppell is no longer an option for them, and they have been forced to completely rethink their living situation for the 2014-2015 school year.

What about those currently living in Boppell who were planning to exercise the “same room” option for the following school year? Even worse than not receiving a room, these students are now being forced out of their former residences. Now, it is also important to note the other side of the story.

Whitworth has to make room for new students, there are no two ways about it. They certainly recognize that the change is not ideal, but Alan Jacob, the Associate Director of Housing at Whitworth spoke on why the change is necessary during a recent ASWU meeting.

“We delineate in groups of 30 not groups of two, so we look at room by floor rather than by room,” Jacob said. “We were reaching the point where we needed a whole floor of overflow women.”

Jacob also addressed more specifically the issue of current Boppell residents who were planning to live in the same room next year. According to Jacob, this is not an issue.

“Last year we only had three rooms go during the in-house process and only one was male, meaning the majority of that building turns over year after year,” Jacob said.

As a student, is this satisfying? Not really.

Change is necessary, yes, but Boppell is known by many students as one of the best overall dorms on campus. Starting next school year, that dorm will only be available to a portion of female students. Regardless of the questions concerning dorm gender assignments, the decision has been made that making Boppell Hall an all-female dorm is the best option.

Max Carter

Columnist

Contact Max Carter at mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

Bill regarding Photoshop use in advertising needs to be a priority

The debate regarding the extent of appropriate use photoshopping in advertising is not a new one, but a group is pushing to make photoshopping guidelines a legal issue and require organizations to report on the use of Photoshop.The Truth in Advertising Act of 2014 is a bill that would be a tremendous help to the media industry. It would hold organizations accountable for the damage that they have created by constructing ideal women and men using Photoshop.

We should respond and inform our government representatives that this bill is a priority for us as voters.

The bill was introduced to the House of Representatives on March 27. It was sponsored by the author of the bill Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, which means that she wrote the bill and also introduced it to the floor of the house. Ros-Lehtinen is a Republican representative for Florida's 27th Congressional District. The Eating Disorders Coalition, who is lobbying the bill, does not take issue with advertisements themselves, but with the alteration of the bodies within the advertisements, according to article from Time Magazine. The problem remains that companies purport that these bodies are real and attainable, if a person uses, wears, eats, or tries their product. Presenting something that is impossible as attainable is false advertising.

The goal of The Truth in Advertising Act of 2014l is to “direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to submit to Congress a report on the use, in advertising and other media for the promotion of commercial products, of images that have been altered to materially change the physical characteristics of the faces and bodies of the individuals depicted,” according to the actual text of the bill, found on GovTracker.com.

In short, Congress would require the FTC to report when people in images have been digitally altered in ads or other promotions. This bill would force business to be held accountable and would be helpful to our society.

“Members of the Eating Disorders Coalition met with over 50 lawmakers about the Truth in Advertising Act of 2014…which they say could prompt the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the impact digitally retouched images have on society,” according to an article from Time Magazine.

The bill links the use of Photoshop and altered images to emotional, mental and physical disorders, particularly for women and young girls. Young girls do not realize how altered the images that they see are compared to the originals. Altered images create an unrealistic and often physically impossible ideal.

“Several research studies have found that higher exposure to beauty and fashion magazines increase the likelihood that young girls will develop negative body image and eating disorders,” according to the Times article.

Now is the time to respond. We should let our representatives know that The Truth in Advertising Act of 2014 is a priority. While we have been raised to believe that the media presents truth, it is now the time to hold them accountable for their falsehoods.

Whitney Carter

Columnist

Contact Whitney Carter at wcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

Media literacy needed to combat warped perceptions shown by television messages

The television industry amasses billions of dollars in revenue each year, while simultaneously warping the public’s perception of reality. Television shows, while captivating in nature, tend to present exaggerated ideals, leading to drastic discrepancies between perceived and real. Television’s portrayal of reality does a significant disservice to us in terms of exposure. For example, a lack of exposure to a certain race can make one vulnerable to believing television’s depiction of it. In terms of incarceration, this holds true. African Americans are four times as likely to be depicted as criminals instead of portrayed as police officers on television. The presentation is inconsistent with the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics, according to the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.

Another aspect of television that leads to the discrepancy is the portrayal of violence. Crime occurs on television 10 times more than in real life and leads to a fear of victimization, according to psmag.com.

Abby Nyberg|Graphic Artist

While it is beneficial to be cautious, such fear is a disadvantage because it limits the activities that one feels safe conducting.

In addition, relationships are misrepresented. Television leads us to believe that relationships are more turbulent than in actuality, featuring high divorce rates, excessive cheating and multiple partners.

While these are valid issues, television takes them to the extreme, according to psmag.com. Doing so leads to excessive distrust and fear of relationships, which hinders our actual relationships and our ability to take risks with others.

Women are typically misrepresented on television when it comes to roles. Television often fails to capture progression, depicting women in gender-stereotypical roles.

Less than 20 percent of TV’s married women with children work outside of the home, according to Modern Mythmaker. However, that number is more than 50 percent in real life. The negative portrayal promotes stereotypes as the standard, perpetuating inequalities and leading to a general lack of progression awareness.

The issue boils down to digesting what television is feeding us. It’s important to be wise in all areas of media consumption, basic television included.

While important due to entertainment value, television pushes us over the edge of extreme and leads us to draw untrue conclusions about the world.

Television seeks to portray reality, yet it recreates it. Immersing oneself in the all-encompassing realm of television is often soothing; however, it can be detrimental. It’s important to take television with a grain of salt and realize that life is not as extreme as television would lead us to believe.

 

Remi Omodara

Columnist

Contact Remi Omodara at romodara14@my.whitworth.edu

Ponder This: Elaboration Likelihood Model Theory

You may think you voted in last week’s ASWU elections based upon candidate qualifications. However, you were likely persuaded by factors you are unaware of, which Elaboration Likelihood Model Theory calls peripheral routes of persuasion. People can respond to a persuasive message centrally (carefully making a decision based upon an argument’s merits) and peripherally (making a decision based on factors other than the argument’s merit).

Individuals process peripherally for reasons such as laziness and prioritizing time for more important decisions. They may also recognize a message contains many arguments but choose not to think about them one by one. People may feel unable to think about the message, but that it is OK to agree with the message for other reasons than the message’s merit, according to Dr. William Benoit’s article in the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship.

Peripheral cues are often used in temporary decisions, such as voting. Peripheral cues were present during the ASWU election, even if the candidates were unaware they employed them, and if voters were unaware they used them in making a decision.

One cue is social proof, the idea that everyone else is doing it. Social proof was achieved with candidates using Facebook to add peers to a Vote For Candidate X page or friends of candidates posting comments expressing their support of the candidate. The problem here is a candidate’s qualification for a position may not be accurately reflected in the number of people posting about them on Facebook.

Another cue is liking the person presenting the argument. For most students, free food and desserts helped make candidates more likable. However, a candidate’s baking skills are not a strong correlation to their ability to be competent at a position.

A third cue is authority, such as a candidate saying to vote for him or her without giving reasons  why. Do this action not because I provided reasons to, but because I said so. Students should vote for a candidate for reasons relating to their ability to serve in the position, not because the candidate said to.

By now, students probably forgot candidate stances or why they voted for certain candidates. Peripheral cues likely influenced their vote more than they realized. In big decisions such as picking student leaders of Whitworth, students should go above being informed on candidates. They should be informed of the subtle attempts candidates make trying to get their vote.

Madison Garner 

Columnist

Contact Madison Garner at mgarner16@my.whitworth.edu

RA responsibilities and compensation inconsistent with other on-campus jobs

Resident Assistant: a title that, at Whitworth, is much larger than just two words. Each year about halfway through the spring semester, freshmen, sophomores and juniors alike turn in applications and go through a comprehensive hiring process, all with the same goal — to become a RA. RAs are vital to the health and success of any dorm. However, it seems that at Whitworth, the perception of the term RA is one of both respect and superiority.

If the previous paragraph seems like inaccurate, biased ranting, let’s take a look at the numbers.

Simon Puzankov|Graphic Artist

The President of the Associated Students of Whitworth University is paid at minimum wage for 80 hours per month, eight months out of the year, with a maximum salary capped at 40 percent of tuition, according to the Whitworth University website. That means that his or her total minimum salary is roughly $6,000 and the total maximum salary is roughly $14,000. The salary for a RA is either payment for room and board or the equivalent amount of money paid throughout the school year, according to the Resident Assistant job description on the university website. With a double room and the Traditional A-plan for meals, a RA’s salary comes out to roughly $10,000. Does it still seem like ranting?

Let’s look at some more salaries for student leadership positions.

Small Group Coordinators and Cultural Diversity Advocates make roughly $3,000 a year. Health Advocates make roughly $4,000 a year, according to the university website. The Financial Vice President and Executive Vice President are paid the same as the ASWU President, making between $6,000 and $14,000 a year depending on tuition caps. Lastly, Dorm Senators make roughly $2,000 a year. These are the numbers, they don’t lie.

With the exception of monthly hall activities, RAs have similar responsibilities to Health Advocates, Cultural Diversity Advocates and Dorm Senators. Responsibilities range from running Prime Time, encouraging a strong dorm community and addressing issues in a dorm or hall. Why, then, do RAs receive significantly more money than the other members of their leadership team? This is the question that should be addressed.

This column is not meant to knock RAs. Resident Assistants are important members of the Whitworth community who have gone through a rigorous application process and have contributed greatly to their dorms. This column is meant to bring attention to the perception of Resident Assistants that seems to exist at Whitworth.

It seems as if RAs are put on a pedestal above the other members on their leadership teams, as well as above the average Whitworth student. This is made clear by the amount of money an RA is paid for his or her position.

Whether you agree with that or not, the numbers are undeniable. Being a RA is a commendable and prestigious position, and those holding it deserve credit. But let’s not forget the Dorm Senators, Cultural Diversity Advocates, Small Group Coordinators and all of the other student leaders that help make Whitworth student life run smoothly. And most importantly, let’s not forget the other 2,300 students that attend this university.

Max Carter

Columnist

Contact Max Carter at mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

In the Loop: Women underrepresented in positions of political power locally, nationally

Last week the Whitworth student body elected the three male executives of Associated Students of Whitworth University. In the past two academic years, the ASWU executive board has been composed of two male leaders and one female leader. Specifically at Whitworth, the correlation between student body gender ratio and ASWU executive candidates does not correlate proportionately year after year. Next year, the university’s ratio will be approximately 60 percent female to 40 percent male. Only two females participated in the ASWU elections this year, with only one advancing past primaries.

This board wishes to raise the question: Why aren’t more women in prominent positions in politics?

Although women make up the majority — only slightly, in the case of the United States, or by a growing margin, as in the case of Whitworth — those who hold office are not representative of the electorate.

Research shows that “women get less encouragement to run for office, men are more likely to get involved in College Democrats or Republicans or read political news, and women are less likely than men to think they’ll be qualified to run for office,” according to an article in PolicyMic.com.

Nationally, women hold only 99 of 535 seats in the 113th Congress, 20 of the 100 seats in Senate and 79 of 435 seats in the House of Representatives, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. However, the ratio of females to males in the United States is 50.8 to 49.2, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

This board does not condemn the ASWU executives for their gender, as The Whitworthian election board endorsed three male candidates, and we anticipate each will do an admirable job in leading the student body next year.

However, this board would encourage the women of Whitworth University to consider positions of leadership; in their dorms, in ASWU, and in all spheres foreign and domestic in order to accurately represent — and serve — your fellow students and citizens.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of four editors. 

 

Under review: Expanded MLB replay proves accuracy reigns supreme over game duration

Major League Baseball took a step into the present last Monday when the new replay system was used for the first time. It is still unclear whether the system will be effective or not, but at the moment, it seems to be the right move. The MLB introduced an instant replay system in 2008, but only for questionable home run calls. With the new system, managers have one challenge per game, and are awarded an extra challenge if their first is successful. Certainly the change has stirred up much discussion throughout the league.

Baseball has always been a sport rich with the human error factor, with umpire errors accepted as part of the game. Now, wrong calls will be rare, if not nonexistent. Some think that the new replay system undermines the integrity of the game, and they may have a point.

But here’s the problem.

In the world we live in, people want everything fast, whether it be information, food, etc. Yet at the same time, there is also a contradictory desire for thoroughness. The new replay system will undoubtedly result in longer games, but will ensure that a poor call does not change the outcome of a game.

Major League Baseball is not just a sport, as unfortunate as that may be. It is also a massive business, with teams now spending upward of $20 million per year on a single player, in the hope of winning a World Series championship. With so much money invested by owners throughout the league, it is important that each game is officiated as fairly as possible.

This is why the replay system is a good idea.

The NFL has had a challenge and replay system for years, and it has never been a problem. In fact, the NFL review system has become a regular part of televised games, providing excitement and suspense for viewers (and convenient opportunities for commercial breaks).

Yes, this is a big change for a league that until now has done its best to avoid replay. However, it is the 21st century and there is a lot of technology that has become available in recent years.

Some worry that eventually down the road, umpires will become obsolete, replaced by robots or computer-controlled officiating systems. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure — the system is working. After the first week of the MLB regular season, there have already been numerous calls overturned after being challenged.

At this point, the question is not whether or not the system will work. The question is that of an age-old debate — quality or quantity, or perhaps more fittingly, speed or accuracy? Think what you will, but for now, it seems that in the MLB, accuracy reigns supreme.

Max Carter

Columnist

Contact Max Carter at mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu