Students and faculty share their experiences from the Hawaii missile threat

Cambria Pilger| Staff Writer

On Jan. 20, 2018 at around 8:05 a.m., an Amber Alert was sent out across Hawaii detailing a ballistic missile attack headed towards the state. At the time a group of 27 students and two faculty members from Whitworth were in Mokulēʻia, O’ahu for the month of January. They received the message while they were eating breakfast and preparing for an exam later that day. At the time of the receival, the professors took cautionary action, informing all the students about the warning and asking them to gather important items from their rooms before quickly heading to an emergency site. The group loaded into their van, pausing for a moment to pray before driving to the local high school. The professors were trained on the protocols for many emergency situations and knew the high school would be the best location to go in case of an attack. Once the students and faculty arrived, they awaited further confirmation of the missile. Some students contacted parents, friends, and relatives to say goodbye while others debated whether or not to.

“How do you react if you have thirty minutes to live?” freshman Chris Roberts said.

About 38 minutes into the alert, the group received another message: “There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii. Repeat. False Alarm.”

Upon returning to the camp after the false alarm report, the professors gathered the group together to debrief, inviting the students to talk about what they were dealing with or share how they felt throughout it all, said multiple of the students. Some students offered to listen and help others work through their responses.

One of these students, freshman Rachel Coy, said that she felt calm throughout the incident, more concerned for how her fellow classmates were dealing with it than herself.

“I was so proud of our students because they were so composed. Nobody freaked out. They cared about each other very well and made dealing with that situation about as positive as it could be,” said Ron Pyle, professor of the month-long interpersonal communications course.

Pyle said that he did not think about calling his kids until after the threat ended because he was focused on what he needed to do for the students.

“What flashed through my mind was, ‘If this is real, I’m living a [fundamental] turning point in world history,” Pyle said.

Without the support of professor Terry McGonigal and his wife, the experience wouldn’t have been the same for Pyle, he said.

Pyle said the group took time to pray again after the debrief, and the students were allowed time to reflect and respond to the event in whatever ways they needed to. Freshman Laura Waltar said she watched the waves and called her family after the event, and Roberts said the professors allowed the students the rest of the day to take their test without stress.

“It was all super fast. We got back to camp, and we just went right back to breakfast. Our food wasn’t even cold yet,” freshman Justin Li said.

He sent a few messages to his parents during the evacuation and another when the threat had been disproved. Li’s parents did not see them until after the alert had settled, leaving them more relieved than concerned, he said.

Li said multiple students explained that their friends and family heard about the circumstance after the threat had been settled, but many others contacted their family throughout the incident.

Freshmen Kristopher Seumanutafa-Noa and Faith Kahulamu, both native Hawaiians, were also in Hawaii when they were woken up by the Amber Alert message, they said. The students were in one of the families’ homes when Kahulamu’s phone vibrated. Immediately she woke Seumanutafa-Noa, telling him to call his parents and showing him the notification. They gathered with the rest of the family and waited.

Photo courtesy of Ron Pyle The interpersonal communications students pose after their hike to the western-most tip of O’ahu, Ka’ena Point. Top row (left to right): Kiana Pieli, Jacob Howe, Justin Li, Andrew Wiebers, Ben Crews, Alyssa Peterson, Jacqui McPeck, Abby Burnett; Bottom row (left to right): Anna Rajala, Erica Sung, Laura Waltar, Sarah Sugano, Madi Binyon, Kaeden Schmidt

Photo courtesy of Ron Pyle

The interpersonal communications students pose after their hike to the western-most tip of O’ahu, Ka’ena Point. Top row (left to right): Kiana Pieli, Jacob Howe, Justin Li, Andrew Wiebers, Ben Crews, Alyssa Peterson, Jacqui McPeck, Abby Burnett; Bottom row (left to right): Anna Rajala, Erica Sung, Laura Waltar, Sarah Sugano, Madi Binyon, Kaeden Schmidt

“What you have to do is just stay inside the house and wait until something happens,” Seumanutafa-Noa said. “That was the longest thirteen minutes of my life, and we just sat there; just waited until something happened.”

After checking in on his parents Seumanutafa-Noa described reaching a point of acceptance, faithfully believing that, “No matter what, we would just see each other again.”

Kahulamu’s response was similar: “So many people were getting prepared to die...The entire world was different for [thirteen] minutes.”

However, Kahulamu said she would rather have been in Hawaii with her family than anywhere else, knowing they were all doing whatever they could and getting to talk to each person one final time.

“It gives you a new sense of things...You look at everything differently...You realize what’s important, and things that used to stress you out are nothing,” Kahulamu said.

There was a wide range of responses from students throughout the entire incident; some felt emotional while others remained calm, said Roberts. Many agreed it was an experience that brought the group closer together and gave them a new perspective on the rest of the trip. When asked to select three words to describe how they felt during the experience, the responses were all different.

Li described it at surreal, tense, and scary. Waltar, on the other hand, described it as caught-off-guard, peaceful, and reflective.

Pyle said he felt very proud of the group and relieved when the threat settled.

“That sense of togetherness has never been there at any other point in my life in a similar situation,” Sanjay Philip, a freshman on the trip, said.

Waltar saw the missile threat as an unexpected, humbling circumstance that brought many close together and allowed one another to think more reflectively about life. The professors, Ron Pyle and Terry McGonigal, encouraged their students to think about certain questions such as, ‘Where do you find security in an unsecure world?’ and, ‘What ultimately matters?’, and students connected with each other through prayer and conversation, Pyle said.

“If I were going to go with a class and have that happen to me again, I would choose those same people, and I would be so glad that we’d taken that amount of time, and we’d bonded so much,” Philip said. “Everyone’s come back with a new piece of them, and they’ve brought that to their friends and their family, and that’s been really important.”

Whitworth Counseling Center participates in Annual Healthy Minds survey

Michell Marufu| Contributing Writer 

In April 2017, the Whitworth University Counseling Centre participated and administered the Healthy Minds Survey to determine the health of undergraduate student in the school.

The Healthy Minds Survey is an annual web-based survey which examines mental health, service utilization, and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students. Through its involvement with the JED Campus foundation, the Counseling center embarked on a process of comprehensive systems, program and policy development to build on existing student mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention efforts. Founded by Donna & Phil Satow in 1998, the JED foundation is a non-profit
organisation that partners with colleges and high schools to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for the nation’s teens and young adults.

The survey found that only 52 percent of the participating Whitworth students scored positive for psychological well-being. Psychological well-being is measured by the Flourishing scale, an eight-item summary measure of respondents’ self-esteem, sense of purpose and optimism. The scale was authored by seven psychological scientists in 2009. The scores range from 8-56, where 48 is the threshold for positive mental health. 32 percent of the students scored positive for mild depression, 14 percent for moderate depression, and 11 percent for severe depression. 49 percent of the students scored positive for some level of anxiety, and a devastating 36 percent had either thought of or engaged in either suicidal or non-suicidal self-injury. Four percent of the students had made a suicide plan and one percent had made a suicide attempt in the past year.

The results of this survey brought into center stage some very serious issues about the experiences of students on campus. Seven hundred and
thirty seven Whitworth students, the majority of whom were 18-22 years old, non-athletes, permanent campus residing students, religious, heterosexual and Caucasian participated in the survey. Seventy percent were female and 30 percent male. Apart from the gender discrepancy, these demographics were taken as representative of Whitworth’s position.

Whitworth will participate in the survey again in 2020 to assess the effectiveness of the methods to improve mental health by determining the new percentage of students with positive mental health, confidence, and utilization of support services.

Mental health .jpg

Executive vice president of AWSU Dylan Reyes said that as a student leader, he understood how some of these numbers could come to be.

“As a student, workload is definitely a factor for poor mental health, but I don’t know if it’s the major factor,” Reyes said. “I know that home life, financial situations, and social pressures are also very significant in depression and anxiety. Especially at Whitworth, the stress of school just heightens already existing stress, which leads to these numbers that we are seeing. Students have to deal with a lot of things at the same time, and it can be difficult.”

This study determined that 87 percent of the students felt that they had a good support system for students going through difficult times, yet only 12 percent reported to have been seeing a counselor either on or off campus.

“This discrepancy between students’ opinions of the campus’s support system and their involvement with it is largely caused by the social stigma and stereotypes surrounding mental illness and receiving help for mental health. I know a lot of students who have the information about the resources that we have on campus, but don’t go because they are worried about what their peers will think of them. Some of them do eventually go to the counseling center after struggling to deal with things themselves and hurting themselves for a long time,” sophomore Utsal Shrestha said.

Having participated in a student panel to address mental health issues on campus, senior Connor Bruce said he recognized the benefits of the time they provide for worried students. He complimented the panels as a way for students to voice their concerns and ask questions which they might not otherwise have the space to ask, as well as learn about resources that they can make use of on campus.

“I think that many students are not aware of the specific type of help that they can receive through the counseling center,” Bruce said.

This help includes 10 free individual counseling sessions, group counseling sessions as well as assistance with academic and planning issues through the student success team other academic departments.

In a discussion about the effects of Whitworth’s “happy culture” on the students, Bruce said that the expectation of happiness contributed to students’ hesitation to talking about negative mental states.

“I think that by hiding your emotions all the time, you suppress some things that are detrimental to your health. People have to realize that you don’t have to be happy all the time, and you can ask for help when you need it,” Bruce said.

Happiness and positivity are some of the descriptors of Whitworth as a community and it makes sense that some students feel the pressure of having to appear happy so as to avoid criticism from their peers. However, this severely reduces the number spaces for those students who are in difficult mental states to voice their struggles, Bruce said

“Information about campus resources should be highlighted and covered more in the course syllabi that students receive at the beginning of the semester,” Bruce said. “This information is definitely alluded to, but nothing to the effect of how exactly students can receive help is described, and most students do not follow through on finding out information that is not covered in the syllabi.”

The Whitworth Counseling Center is located in Schumacher Hall, and student appointments can be made by email, phone and on-site.

Second annual Yule Ball ushers in the Christmas season


Jordan Coleman | Staff Writer

The second annual Yule Ball was combined with the Deck the Halls event hosted by Arend Hall. The connected event is one of the first to kick off the winter holidays.

The Yule Ball, on Saturday, Dec. 2, was created last year by senior Eugene Bell who is the swing and ballroom dance club (SBDC)president.

“I had a dream of it happening and so I made it happen,” Bell said.

The ball was created to add another dance to the event calendar. Bell originally promised prospective freshman, while he worked for the admissions office, that the dance existed before it was officially established.

Last year the Yule Ball and Deck the Halls were on the same day, but were not associated, causing students to have to choose which event they would attend. This year, the organizers of the two events decided to work together to promote each other’s event.

“We are basically working together so that it can be on the same night,” Arend senator junior Amber Van Brunt said. “Since Deck the Halls is a short event, only being a 15-minute experience, and the Yule Ball is a long event, we thought it would be better to work together to do it on the same night instead of competing.”

Both functions are Christmas-themed, yet they created different experiences. The Yule Ball was Harry Potter themed, providing a semi-formal holiday dance.

“We have a house cup competition where each guest drops a colored marble into their Hogwart house,” Bell said. “We also have Harry Potter themed refreshments like butter beer which is cream soda with butterscotch syrup and marshmallow cream on top.”

Compared to the ball, Deck the Halls was “an interactive Christmas experience,” Van Brunt said. It involved recreations of scenes from the movies “Home Alone” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Grinch. Arend’s hallways reflected special scenes using decorations and student actors.

The Yule Ball is special to Whitworth’s campus as Bell believes that one cannot find anything else like it.

“It’s a Christmas party unlike other Christmas parties on campus because you won’t have the same feel like you will have at a social dance with swing dancing and live music with special refreshments,” Bell said. “There’s nothing like the Yule Ball.”

Some people think the theme of Harry Potter brings people together through the love for the story.

“I had a good time because it created a community that I wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to at Whitworth,” junior Gina Marzo said.

The ball incorporated student musicians, to promote student talents. Last year, the musicians were from Jazz I and II. Junior Shaun Fisher and senior Melia Deters sang a variety of Christmas tunes at the event such as classics like the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Blue Christmas” and “Let it Snow.” Along with Fisher and Deters, a Whitworth jazz combo of five men called Puddle of Blorp performed instrumental jazz music. With the music, Bell offered swing dance lessons before the event for students who wanted to learn.

“I loved the live jazz music and the ambiance of the dance,” junior Bordeaux Milette said. “It was a great way to start celebrating the holidays.”

Fisher performed at the Yule Ball the previous year with the vocal jazz club. From his experience with the dance, he felt like this year’s combination with Deck the Halls was a good idea and the event is always a good time.

“I really enjoyed that they [did] a collaboration with Arend with Deck the Halls,” Fisher said. “I think that is a great idea and will draw more people to both events. I like how it is Harry Potter Themed…and the SBDC always puts on fantastic events and are very educated about swing and ballroom dancing.”

The Yule Ball and Deck the Halls event was a way to connect the Whitworth community during the holidays.

“It [was] a really great way to get excited about the holiday season and see other students demonstrate what they are good at and care about,” Van Brunt said. “A lot of people get really into it. It’s just fun.”

This year’s event brought in 175 people dancing and enjoying the music provided by their peers, while also participating in some of Harry Potter’s favorites.


Contact Jordan Coleman at


Forensics takes fourth place

Chris Reichert|Staff Writer


Earlier this November, the Whitworth University Forensics team, “The Arguing Bucs” placed 4th out of 32 at the 87th annual Mahaffey Tournament at Linfield College, with all attending team members making it to finals in at least one event.

“Every Pirate brought home an award from the tournament,” said Mike Ingram, professor of communication studies and the team’s coach.  

This success continues the team’s trend of strong showings this year.

“Whitworth is consistently competing well academically against our peers from across the region,” Ingram said.

Photo courtesy of Rylee Walter Forensics team members sophomore Tucker Wilson and junior Sara Muscente perform while volunteering with the North Central High school team, where team member Rylee Walter coaches. This is one way the team serves the Spokane community.

Photo courtesy of Rylee Walter

Forensics team members sophomore Tucker Wilson and junior Sara Muscente perform while volunteering with the North Central High school team, where team member Rylee Walter coaches. This is one way the team serves the Spokane community.

The Forensic Team participates in eight or nine tournaments over the course of a school year, with students competing in 11 speaking events ranging from pre-prepared informative speeches about gravitational waves to impromptu debates on postmodernism and its relation to President Trump.

“Forensics means a search for the truth…so as a team, we try to learn the skills helpful in doing that,” junior Sara Muscente said.

These skills are far-reaching in both their scope and their impact.

“No matter what you’re going to do, you’re probably going to need to talk to people, you’re probably going to need to communicate ideas, you’re probably going to need to be able to understand new information, and that’s kind of what’s at the core of forensics you understand information, you synthesize it whatever way you need to, and you are then able to communicate it to someone else,” sophomore Tucker Wilson said, tournament champion amongst novice and junior varsity students in the team’s most recent competition.

“I don’t think that you can be an effective really anything without an at least somewhat rounded repertoire of knowledge,” Muscente said.

The team attributes this year’s success to many factors, including Whitworth’s commitment to the liberal arts.

“It’s the breadth of the liberal arts that’s a real strength…we can help each other in really thoughtful and intelligent ways based on our knowledge base…If we were all comm, or all poli-sci, or all French majors, it would be less interesting,” Ingram said.

The forensics team is comprised of students of nine majors. The team members see this as an advantage.

“That’s something that our team in particular has always had as a really great strength, not just in our ability to help each other prepare for things like debates…but in addition, to just the actual action, we have a huge knowledge base,” Wilson said. Knowing how to learn is as important as what you learn, Ingram said.

“At Whitworth we’ve talked about the liberal arts teaching you how to learn, and how to continue being a lifelong learner. I think in a 30-minute contest we’re better equipped than students who are in a more narrow academic program at some larger universities. That speaks again to the power of the liberal arts,” Ingram said.

“Very quickly, everyone on the team gets very, very close to each other…Because we all become such good friends, it’s a better environment for us to grow,” Wilson said.

In such an environment, team members are better able to discuss ideas amongst themselves, which improves their performance on the debate floor and in their own lives in general, Wilson said.

Wilson considers this close bond of trust and support to be essential for a forensics team.

“A good teammate is someone who is, one, willing to give criticism, and two, can take criticism, and three, someone who’s very supportive,” Wilson said.  

Wilson sees this mutual support and growth as the foundation of everything forensics stands for.

“This is civil discourse. It’s based on solid argumentation…the types of people we debate with, on our team and without, they know that we’re here to grow intellectually,” Wilson said.

“If you’re there just to win, you probably shouldn’t be there.”

The team hopes their commitment to the liberal arts and to conversational versus combative debate embodies everything Whitworth stands for.

“I’d like to think that we represent [Whitworth] very, very well…I think we do quite a bit for promoting Whitworth’s image,” Wilson said.

The Arguing Bucs have at least four tournaments remaining in the spring, and in March will host the National International Public Debate Association tournament for the first time.


Contact Chris Reichert at


Whitworth celebrates multiculturalism

Chris Reichert| Staff Writer 

Tonight the International Club is hosting its 32nd annual International Festival to wrap up a week dedicated to celebrating multiculturalism on campus, which included last Sunday’s Top Chef Competition, featuring foods from various cultures, and a separately hosted international forum on Thursday.

The festival begins at 5 p.m. in the dining hall with an hour of Japanese Taiko drums, which will be followed in the MPR at 7 p.m. by a flag procession representing 24 different countries, a fashion show and a talent contest featuring music, dance, poetry and more.

“The international festival is bringing all these different cultures together to share…to show it off to the community,”  said sophomore Deedee Kagawa-Burke, cultural diversity advocate for Warren Hall.

These exhibitions also take on an educational aspect. The fashion show will feature traditional clothing from the represented cultures, with explanations on the origins and history behind some of the garments.



“You see the diversity in one night…it’s really cool to learn from them about their country. For me, that’s the best part – you are having fun, but at the same time, you are learning,” sophomore Roland Baez said.

Baez is not there only to learn, but to also participate in the talent show for a second year, dancing to two separate songs and carrying the Paraguayan flag in the procession.

“I am really excited because I really like dancing,” Baez said. Last year, I really wanted to show a little bit more about our culture in Latin America by showing off a dance, but I just couldn’t do it last year. This year I am able to do that, to show more about our culture.”

He encouraged as many students to attend as possible saying, “It’s going to be super fun!”

The international festival is not the only time students can interact with and learn more about the many cultures represented at Whitworth, as the International Club is open to all students. The Intercultural Student Center in Hendricks Hall often offers a place for both international and local students to meet.

“You’ll always find someone from a different background…Every day is international day in here,” said junior Mutsa Chiromo, president of the International Club.

Chiromo believes the International Festival is something special, she said.

“It’s only once a year when you get to see over 40 countries represented in one and a half hours, and so I would encourage everyone and anyone who wants to know more about what’s happening in the world and about culture to definitely be there,” Chiromo said.


Temporary changes to Title IX guidelines

Abebaye Bekele|News Editor 

Whitworth has adopted the changes in Title IX guidelines put into effect by the Trump administration.

“My perspective is they were not a lot of real sweeping overturning changes,” Craig Chatriand associate dean for community standards and compliance said. “It is important to note they are interim changes so they are temporary until more permanent changes could be put in place.”

In an interview with CBS News Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the changes are a process and not an event.

The changes mainly focus on methods of resolution and standards of proof.

“The two biggest changes are that we are allowed to do what we would call informal resolution and included in that is meditation between two parties for resolution. The former guidelines said we were not allowed to do mediation and so the new guidance says we can,” Chatriand said.

Mediation occurs only if both parties agree on it, they will not be forced to do mediation. If both parties agree then the process will be conducted by a trained mediator, Chatriand said.

“We would never do mediation for instances of sexual violence and sexual assault, rape but I am happy that there is a mediation tool for the times where students will want to resolve it between themselves,” Chatriand said.

Mediation is used only in the case of sexual harassment not in the cases of sexual violence, Chatriand said.

The second change is on evidentiary standard used by institutions. Institutions now have a choice between using the preponderance or clear and convincing standard.

“Previous guidance said all institutions are supposed to use a preponderance of the evidence, that is more likely than not. The new guidance says we can use the preponderance standard or we can use what is called clear and convincing,” Chatriand said.

Preponderance of evidence is like 50 percent+1 while clear and convincing is more like a 75 percent, this is an easy way to explain it, Chatriand said.

“That change I don’t think is going to impact Whitworth. To my knowledge, we have always used preponderance of the evidence standard,” Chatriand said.

Title IX is important because it helps protect against sexual assault which happens and which cannot simply be ignored, senior Austriauna Brooks said.

“I think they are interim and temporary and I am interested to see what the more permanent regulations would say. There is some more clear guidance which is helpful as somebody who is trying to practically put this in place than what we had before. Our practice has already met these regulations so we are in the right spot as an institution in how to meet compliance,” Chatriand said.

Whitworth also works on prevention and education about sexual assault, harassment, and violence in cooperation with Green Dot.

“Green Dot is the program on campus that trains people to be active bystanders to prevent red dot situations where there could be violence. It is just training people to be more open-minded,” said Rhiana Everest, Green Dot program specialist.

“I think it is important for schools to be active with Title IX because I am sure there a lot of cases that go through but how many are reported into the stats?” Brooks said.

Conversations about sexual assault and violence are important to have because that is how awareness is raised, Brooks said.

Even though Whitworth is a Christian institution things do happen here and we should talk about them, Everest said.

“I feel like we should not pretend like these things don’t happen because they most certainly do. I think that we need to have more conversations because we are under this assumption that Whitworth is this bubble and everyone loves each other and this is a safe space but I think instead of being the safe space can you be a brave space and have the courageous conversations about what is actually happening on campus,” Brooks said.

The difference between sexual violence and harassment should be taught, Brooks said.

“People should take more Women and Gender Studies classes because that is where we learned about the differences in sexual assault, harassment, and violence,” Brooks said.

There is a need to raise awareness because people live behind “the pinecone curtain” here, Everest said.

“I would also encourage to confront sexist remarks when they hear them and learn about rape culture and how to work against that,” Chatriand said.

Students should attend Green Dot’s bystander training so that they know what to do when the situation arises, Chatriand said.  

“When you are reacting to a situation that is happening we have what we call the 3 Ds. you can directly get involved, you can distract the people who are in the situation or you can delegate,” Everest said.

“Work to make the conversation around sexual assault more positive, making it so that people are not afraid to talk about it, encouraging people to talk about it in a way that is not triggering,” Everest said.




Whitworth educates the student body about core values

Chris Reichert| Staff Writer 

Whitworth is partnering with Beyond the Pines, a student-run public relations agency, to inform students and faculty about the university’s upcoming accreditation review.

“It’s a seven- year cycle where we have to basically address our mission and core themes and show that we are meeting those and that we are sustainable.” Said Deanna Ojennus, director of assessment and accreditation.

This coming April, faculty from other Northwest universities will tour the campus and review the university’s prepared report in an attempt to ascertain whether or not Whitworth is accomplishing its goals. Afterwards, the group will present their findings to the university along with their recommendations. The process will start over with next year, year 1, seeing the university reevaluate its mission based on feedback received this year. Two years later, in year 3, a deeper financial evaluation will be completed to eventually be compiled into a report for the next accreditation review.

Innovate Value by Design Venn Diagram.png

To prepare for the visit in the spring, Ojennus is trying to re-familiarize students and faculty with some of the university’s objectives.

“Most people are familiar with Whitworth’s mission, but the three core themes are not as familiar,” she said.

The University mission, as stated on the Whitworth 2021 web page is, “to provide its diverse student body an education of the mind and the heart, equipping its graduates to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.”

According to that same page, these values include promoting the development of students’ worldviews, academics rooted in liberal arts and sciences and an inclusive and multicultural campus.

Beyond the Pines has begun work on the campaign and students may soon notice these core values popping up around the campus on posters and stickers.

“We analyze what is going to be the best way for students to naturally pick up these themes,” Said Izzy Broussard, account manager with Beyond the Pines. “How do we make it accessible…and fun, and beautiful?”

The Beyond the Pines team is developing various techniques to best spread their message. “We’re trying to take the focus away from accreditation, and put more focus on this is what Whitworth is, and we should be proud of that,” Broussard said.

Overall, Broussard is excited about the project. “This job incorporates design, it incorporates working with a lot of clients hands-on, with the university, and it’s [a] big budget. Those are things that you wouldn’t normally see.”

Despite these advantages, she admits that Whitworth isn’t typical of Beyond the Pines’ usual non-profit clients.


“I could see how it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re working for Whitworth – for free!’” She added, “I think Whitworth was really smart by going through Beyond the Pines, since the team of people that is working on this is students I think it’s bringing in a new level of creativity…if you see something that’s student made, student designed, and is appealing to the eye, that’s going to stick, and you might actually read it.”

This is not the first time Beyond the Pines completed projects for Whitworth.

“We have worked with the university in the past on specific outreach projects when it was an entity or a part of the university that really needed to better connect with the university community,” said Erica Salkin, advisor for Beyond the Pines, adding that the group had assisted Student Life informing students about changes to Title IX.

“Sometimes, if you’re trying to connect with students, having a student team create those messages gives you a leg up. It’s an opportunity to work with people who speak the language,” Salkin said.

Ultimately Broussard hopes her team’s message goes beyond accreditation.

“It’s really easy to ignore the foundation of what Whitworth is…I would challenge students to actually care and be interested in what their university stands for and be proud of it,” Broussard said.

Further information concerning accreditation and Whitworth’s themes and values can be found on the university’s website. Those interested in becoming involved with Beyond the Pines can contact Erica Salkin or Izzy Broussard.


Students discuss NFL controversy at ASWU town hall

Chris Reichert | Staff Writer

ASWU kicked off the first of its “town hall” series. Approximately 50 people attended the event, titled “Take a Stand or Take a Knee: Social Justice, Free Speech, and Patriotism in the United States,” and sought to explore the ideas behind recent controversial NFL protests, which have seen as many 200 NFL players kneel during the national anthem at Sunday football games.

Luke Parker| Photographer financial vice president Shaun Fischer further explains guidelines for the night alongside president Jeff DeBray and executive vice president Dylan Reyes.  

Luke Parker| Photographer

financial vice president Shaun Fischer further explains guidelines for the night alongside president Jeff DeBray and executive vice president Dylan Reyes.


ASWU executives began the evening by establishing guidelines for the evening’s dialogue. President Jeff DeBray urged courage and honesty but stressed to the audience the importance of patience and humility.

Following statements from the executives, Kathryn Lee,  professor of political science, introduced the topic to the audience. She began with a timeline of the protests, describing how they were sparked by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in August. After this, Lee briefly introduced some arguments from each side before those in attendance divided into small groups to discuss questions prepared by ASWU, for approximately 20 minutes.

After the discussion, DeBray reconvened the group as a whole to further discuss questions surrounding the protests. For 30 minutes those present debated several questions posed by ASWU, including what kneeling during the national anthem represented versus standing, whether or not the NFL protests have been effective or are appropriate, and what it means to be a patriot.

DeBray considered ASWU’s first ever town hall to be a success, he said.

“I felt overall very good. I think people were thoughtful and they brought in a perspective of learning but also were willing to engage and there was a level of honesty that I appreciate too,” DeBray said.

Luke Parker| Photographer A small group of students discusses issues surrounding kneeling in the NFL

Luke Parker| Photographer

A small group of students discusses issues surrounding kneeling in the NFL

DeBray announced ASWU’s next town hall, which is titled, “Destigmatizing Mental Health and Debunking the Hello Walk Mentality.”

“This will give space for…people to reflect on how we can change campus culture to better meet those real difficult times,” DeBray said.

The next town hall will be held on Monday, Nov. 13 at 6 PM in the HUB MPR.


Forensics places second at the Lewis & Clark college tournament

Joshua Worden| Staff Writer

The Whitworth University Forensics Team took second place overall at the Lewis & Clark College tournament, their first competition of the season.

Over 41 schools from 12 states were represented, including the Air Force Academy, Rice University, and Oregon State University. In addition to their overall second place ranking, many of the Forensics Team’s 13 members took home individual awards in the competition’s 11 categories, which include debate, extemporaneous and informative speaking.

In total, the team brought home nine awards in debate and 12 awards in speech at the tournament.

Three of those awards were won by sophomore Tucker Wilson, who ranked first in IPDA debate, first in extemporaneous speaking, and second in impromptu speaking.

Wilson competed in the junior division, which is the middle skill-level in speech and debate.

Wilson started debate last year, in the novice division, he said.

“I never did it in high school, I didn’t have any speech and debate experience. I basically just liked talking in front of people. [Coach Ingram] took a shot on me and let me on the team,” Wilson said.

This tournament marked a new high point for Wilson’s accomplishments in debate, he said.

“I was the only one moving on to finals, so the whole team was prepping me, or at least the handful that I wanted. I would shoo the rest away because it was overwhelming,” Wilson said. “My coach was running the tournament for that form of debate, so he got to announce it and hand me my award. That was very, very cool.”

Forensics teams have been active infrequently throughout Whitworth's history, said Mike Ingram, professor of communication and the coach of the Whitworth Forensics Team. This iteration has only been around since 2011, but it has already made a name for itself on the national level.

“We’re one of the top five programs in the whole country in IPDA,” Ingram said.

The team’s reputation attracts students to Whitworth, like Damian Sanchez, a freshman who competed at the tournament in the Novice division.

Sanchez won first-place in the novice division for “after-dinner speaking.”

“I didn’t know I was going to get that award, I thought I hadn’t done that hot,” Sanchez said.

“[Coach Ingram really preps his novices well.”

While Sanchez did well in his first outing, he recognized that he made some mistakes. In one of his events, Sanchez accidentally prepared to defend the wrong side of an argument, only realizing his mistake seven minutes before he was to present his case.

“I scrambled,” Sanchez said. “I basically went into the room and just made a really petty argument, and I came out and just [said], ‘Ugh, that hurt.’”

Although two-thirds of the team is new, Ingram is optimistic about the coming season. “We have a lot of freshmen on the team. Some of them have forensics backgrounds and some do not, but so far, they’ve brought great intellect and great enthusiasm,” Ingram said.

Although the speeches and debates are solo events, Ingram emphasized the importance of teamwork.

“The heart of our success is how well our team prepares together,” Ingram said. “Students can help each other, they can leverage what it is they know.”

The team’s next tournament is will be the Jim McPherson Classic, located at Whitworth on Oct. 22 and 23., Look for schedules posted in the HUB.


ASWU launches first "town hall" series

Chris Reichert | Staff Writer  

Whitworth’s student government, ASWU will launch its town hall series with an event titled “Take a Stand or Take a Knee: Social Justice, Free Speech, and Patriotism in The United States.” The series will feature a introduction on a topic which students will then be given a chance to discuss.

“The execs, and ASWU as a whole have been thinking about a lot of ways how we can engage students on multiple issues affecting both the country and the university specifically,” ASWU president Jeff DeBray said. “One way that we came up with was this town hall series.”

ASWU leadership hopes this series will not only foster dialogue between students, but also promote learning about the topics in question.

“One of our goals is to create space for education to happen,”  ASWU executive vice president Dylan Reyes said. “The more that we learn about something, the more we appreciate it.”

DeBray agreed, summing up his hopes for the series as a learning and engagement experience, he said.

Some students are excited by the idea of town hall meetings. “I think with doing a town hall series, with getting groups of people who probably have different opinions…and being able to come together and see their faces and see each other’s positions as a person to a person and as a group of people to a group of people rather than some nameless, faceless liberal versus conservative, football player versus social justice warrior – I think these things are essential to the campus,” sophomore Daniel Robert said.

Robert’s statement echoes the executives’ hopes for the meetings.

“That’s the point, to just kind of see the other person as a human,” Reyes said, adding that asking questions is the best path towards understanding other viewpoints. “I understand that which I’m abrasive towards if I ask more questions.”

However, not all students are as keen on the notion, raising concerns as to whether or not such sessions could devolve into mere rhetorical fireworks.

“I think that’s a great idea, unless there’s people there who are just coming to pick an argument and not to learn,”  sophomore Carly Bair said. “It would depend on the attitude of the people there I guess, but hopefully it would go well.”

DeBray hopes to prevent disorderly arguments as well.

“[There will be] some guidelines for dialogue, just to make sure that everyone is coming in engaging in a civil and respectful manner,” DeBray said.

Reyes sees a town hall format as a way to prevent such arguments from occurring in the first place, he said.

“It’s good to have a space in general to have dialogue on these situations…it kind of cuts out that need to argue in a passive way, or to argue in a way that’s belittling, or discouraging, or non-educational” Reyes said.

ASWU hasn’t announced the topics of any future events but is putting together a list for the rest of the year.  

Students like Roberts are optimistic about the future of the series.

“Political things I would like to see, cultural things I would like to see, even theological things I would like to see because I think these are all discussions that we should have as citizens, as people really,” Roberts said.

Ultimately Reyes encourages all students to come.

“Every student has thoughts on those topics….We want students to come, whether or not they feel like they have anything to share they’ll still walk away with some sort of educational, informational experience,” Reyes said.

The town hall will be held Monday, Oct. 23 at 6:00 p.m. in the Hixon Union Building’s Multi Purpose Room.

Spokane Mayor David A. Condon declares October 9 international students and scholars’ day

Abebaye Bekele| News Editor

October 9 was declared international students and scholars’ day in Spokane by Mayor David A. Condon.

To celebrate the day, Condon held a gathering at city hall for international students enrolled in higher institutions of  Spokane.

Anesu Mujenge| Staff writer Whitworth sophomore Theresa Vimbanayi Chowa, Mayor David A. Condon and Whitworth sophomore Karen Sbobtafo

Anesu Mujenge| Staff writer Whitworth sophomore Theresa Vimbanayi Chowa, Mayor David A. Condon and Whitworth sophomore Karen Sbobtafo

“It is an effort to connect all of the international students and scholars and welcome them to our city and be able to also allow them to meet other students that are in the area so that they know that it is not just students at Whitworth or just students at Gonzaga but we have a big community of international students and scholars,” said Gloria Ochoa-Bruck, director of multicultural affairs for the city of Spokane.

Staff, faculty and international students from Whitworth University, Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, community colleges of Spokane and Washington State University Spokane were all in attendance.

“We are welcoming them [international students and scholars] to Spokane we want them to also have an opportunity learn about the services the city has,” Ochoa-Bruck said.

Mayor Condon, representatives from each school and Sister Cities Association of Spokane gave speeches welcoming students and guests.  

Sister Cities Association is an organization that works to build opportunities for Spokane residents by developing ties of friendship, culture, and business around the world, according to the sister cities association website.

“Back in July, the senior international officers of Whitworth, Gonzaga, Eastern, WSU Spokane and the community colleges, we got an email from the mayor saying in this sort of current climate he wanted to be sure that international students would feel welcome in Spokane and he wanted us to work on some kind of an event to make that happen,” said Sue Jackson, Director Of The International Education Center At Whitworth.

Representatives of the city of Spokane, the police department, fire department, parks and recreation, Spokane transit and Sister Cities Association of Spokane also attended the event.

“What is going on right now we really wanted specifically the students that are visiting our city to know that they are welcome here that we are very thankful they choose Spokane for their higher education and we hope they have a wonderful experience because this community is welcoming them,” Ochoa-Bruck said.

“For the city so publicly to say we are a welcoming city I think is very important especially now in these kinds of political times,”  Jackson said.

Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer was among the people that attended the event

“I can’t believe we have not done this before,” Schaeffer said.

Students can meet the firefighters by going and scheduling a meeting in our fire stations that are located in every neighborhood, Schaeffer said.

“An American that was born here and grows up here sees a badge and they reference that with safety, security or justice. In other countries it may not be the same situation often times it is seen as fearful,” Schaeffer said. “What we really need to do is show our students that are coming from abroad the reality here. All the public safety is here for their protection.”

Abebaye Bekele| News Editor Guests listening to speeches given at the event 

Abebaye Bekele| News Editor Guests listening to speeches given at the event 

After the speeches were given students had the chance to interact with one another and representatives of institutions that were present. The mayor also took pictures with students before leaving for his council meeting.

The police were there to show students that they are friendly because that may not be the case in many parts of the world, Jackson said.

We are trying to get connected to students through the institutions they attend, Schaeffer said.

“We need to make it as easy as we can for people from other countries to be able to not just survive and thrive in our community. That is a lot more complex than a simple statement like that,” Schaeffer said.

Feedback from students is very important. It tells us what we can do for you, Schaeffer said.



Whitworth Freshman Canni Nwokorie-Vincent from Nigeria was present at the event.

“We got to talk with the mayor and dab with the mayor. We also got to witness the first international students day,” Nwokorie-Vincent said.

Sometimes I feel like we are alone here but at the event, I saw so many people from different schools and I saw that we had a community of international students here. Whitworth international students also got a chance to bond with one another, Nwokorie-Vincent said.

“One little event with food and speeches is very nice but it is not what continues to make Spokane a welcoming place for international students,” Jackson said. “People in Spokane need to know that there are international students here. Maybe that’s our job as international institutions to remind the community that we have international students here.”

One great way is inviting more people to the annual international festival Whitworth holds, Jackson said.  

Different schools were also inviting us to different events, Nwokorie-Vincent said.

“That was the beginning. There will be ongoing things,” Jackson said.

Students can get involved in Spokane through different clubs and the Dornsife Center.


Whitworth has a new Social Justice coordinator

Chris Reichert| Staff Writer

Campus Ministries has partnered with The Dornsife Center for Community Engagement to establish a new student position as a campus Social Justice Coordinator, who will work to involve students in various service positions throughout the community and provide opportunities for them to expand their horizons and open themselves to new service possibilities.  

“What I want to do this year is introduce people more and more to the realities that their brothers and sisters face every day,” Alexis Chan said Whitworth’s new Social Justice Coordinator.  “My job is to aid students in taking tiny steps towards being uncomfortable, [and] stepping outside of themselves.”

Chan is moving towards her goal, leading a group of over thirty students as they slept outside in downtown Spokane for World Homelessness Day, on Oct. 10.

“I think it was eye-opening from what I’ve heard from a lot of other students,” Chan Said.

Caitlin Thomas, one of the students who participated in the event agreed.

“It just really made think about how uncomfortable I was that night, and only getting a couple hours of sleep and just people who sleep that way every day,” Thomas said.

This underscores the other primary goal of the Social Justice Coordinator: immersion and education.

“We get to go learn about ways that Christian ministries are engaging in this work of justice in Spokane,” Said Forrest Buckner, Whitworth’s Dean of Spiritual Life. “That’s something that any student can jump in on and have an opportunity to say, I want to figure out ways to live out my Christian faith and connect to justice and care about people in this community.”

Chan reiterated the importance of awareness when it comes to social justice.

“How can you truly serve out of a place of ignorance?” Chan said. “You can drop off food at someone’s door, but it’s so much more powerful to have that relationship with them. Because then service isn’t about you anymore, service is about the other person.”
Thomas seems to believe that goal of education is being met.

Domenica Cooke-Tassone| Photo Editor Senior Lexi Chan is Whitworth’s new social justice coordinator.

Domenica Cooke-Tassone| Photo Editor Senior Lexi Chan is Whitworth’s new social justice coordinator.

“I felt like I just had a greater awareness, even coming back and going to school that morning,” Thomas said.

Chan plans to assist at further events with the Open Doors family shelter, as well as a Campus Ministry spring break trip to San Diego potentially working with border patrol, immigration activists, and others.

“The point is learning from peacemakers on the ground,” said Buckner, “so that we can come back and be peacemakers here.”

While Chan and Buckner acknowledge that working under the title of “Social Justice Coordinator” may potentially draw criticism in an ever increasingly polarized political atmosphere, they don’t want politics to cloud their mission.

“Christians should care about justice, seriously, because God does, not because it’s political,” Chan said.

Buckner agreed as well. “My hope is we’re redefining [social justice] for what we mean by it here at Whitworth – that social justice isn’t a choice that’s opposed to Christian faith,” Buckner said.

Both see this semester, especially in light of that brittle political climate, as a prime time for outreach and ministry, and that Whitworth students are ready to make a difference.

“My heart’s for serving the community and I think that a lot of students have that in their hearts, and I’ve seen it stirring on campus already,” Chan said.

While both Chan and Buckner speak of social justice in Christian terms, they make it clear that all backgrounds are welcome to serve.

“They don’t have to be Christian to come…anyone is welcome,”  Buckner said.

Similarly, Thomas encouraged all walks of students to get involved. “I think that it’s really important if we talk about diversity and inclusion that we realize there’s a community around us full of people who come from completely different backgrounds...finding ways to get involved in our community in a way that makes a difference I think is valuable for everyone,” Chan said.

Ultimately, the Social Justice Coordinator’s message to students is one of action.  

“Tell me what they’re passionate about and we’ll get them plugged in somewhere,” Chan said. “Be ready to say yes.”

The Campaign for Whitworth reaches its one hundred million dollar goal

Chris Reichert| staff writer 

Friday, Oct. 13 President Beck Taylor addressed a crowd in the Hixon Union Building, announcing that the university’s fundraising campaign, “The Campaign for Whitworth,” has reached its one hundred million dollar goal.

Launched in 2014, “The Campaign for Whitworth” is an effort “to fund endowment, capital projects…and to secure future gifts,” Taylor said.

More specifically, the university’s website notes that these funds are “earmarked for scholarships, music and facilities and programs.”

Ian Busik| Photographer President Beck Taylor announcing Whitworth reaching its million dollar goal 

Ian Busik| Photographer President Beck Taylor announcing Whitworth reaching its million dollar goal 

Some highlighted achievements include the completed Robinson Science Hall, Cowles Music Center renovations, nearly 100 new endowed scholarships and five new endowed professorships and chairs. Future projects include a renovation of the Beeksma Family Center for Theology and an Athletics Leadership Center.

The president attributed the Campaign’s success to “gifts of all sizes,” and thanked university trustees as well as the campaign’s co-chairs, Scott and Sue Chandler.

“One hundred million dollars is a tremendous achievement, but it’s much more about the impact made through those gifts,” Taylor said.  

He reaffirmed this message by reporting that in the same time span, Whitworth community members have logged over 111,000 hours as volunteers, a monetary equivalent of $3 million.

The president cautioned that this is not the end and that Whitworth will continue its fundraising efforts.

“While we are so pleased, there is also so much more to do,” Taylor said.


Ian Busik| Photographer Students, faculty and staff attending the announcement

Ian Busik| Photographer Students, faculty and staff attending the announcement

ASWU approves proposed changes to club chartering policy


Abebaye Bekele| News Editor 

Proposed changes to club chartering policy were approved by ASWU on Sept. 13.

The changes focus on four areas of the club chartering policy.

Faculty and staff are reviewing the proposed changes now then their feedback will be reviewed by ASWU and students again, ASWU President Jeff DeBray said.  

“Last year President Beck called us to put together a task force regarding club policy and club chartering that is what has begun in the fall,” DeBray said. “Rhosetta Rhodes and I are the co-chairs of that task force with faculty and students at large, there were more students there than any other group that is represented.”

The changes will be on the rules about national affiliation of clubs and the role of club advisors. They will also discuss changing the person who approves club from vice president of student life to director of student activities. The committee will also look to change the process of approval for bringing speakers to campus, DeBray said, according to the Sept. 20 ASWU meeting minutes.

The proposed changes will allow to clubs to have national affiliations. These affiliations have to be approved by ASWU.

“The mission statement of the national affiliate will be submitted to ASWU and it will be checked if it is aligned with the school’s and ASWU’s mission and if it is in the best interest of students to be aligned with the national affiliation,” said DeBray.

“As far as national affiliations go, I think as a university, if Whitworth wants to be a university and not a college being involved with national associations regardless of what they are is something we should be doing,” Oliver senator Hannah Underwood said.

Underwood voted against the proposed changes.

"I voted to oppose because we shouldn’t have the power to have people come onto campus or not and I think that director of activities decide," Underwood said, according to the Sept. 20 ASWU meeting.

“I think there should probably be some changes,” Underwood said. “I don’t think the ones people have proposed are the right ones.”

These affiliations should not be with hate groups or hate speech, Underwood said.  

“The proposed change is to allow all clubs to have national affiliation, if they choose to do so. A lot of our clubs already do have that,” Bell said.

The clubs have to inform the Financial Vice President of any financial contribution they gain from their national affiliates so that ASWU funds are divided among clubs fairly, DeBray said.

“It does bring a lot of non-Whitworth influence into our student clubs. It really brings the student-ness out of the ‘Associated Students of Whitworth University.’ It turns it into ‘associated students and affiliated parties of Whitworth,’” Eugene Bell the president of Swing and Ballroom dance club and the secretary of Pep Band said.

“It kind of takes away from our individuality and Whitworth’s mission to encourage good dialogue between students,” Bell said. “When you bring in outside parties they don’t know the Whitworth mission while you can educate their liaison, it is not going to be the same as Whitworth faculty being an advisor. It is not going to be of students by students it’s going to be an extension of someone else.”

Advisers are expected to be more engaged with their clubs according to the proposed changes.

“An adviser is going to be more knowledgeable about things like liability and signing contracts just so a club is able to do that well and responsibly and timely and maximize their capacity,” DeBray said.“Advisors are going to be attending club meetings they will hopefully be submitting reports on what’s going on with their club to the financial vice president and more involved.”

Increasing the role of advisers helps students get connected to more resources and it also helps to make sure a club is active, DeBray said.

“I think [increasing an adviser’s role] is a good idea for many clubs because student-faculty relations is a big part of this campus, I mean with ‘Dine with a Mind,’ it just seems fitting that even in our clubs it will be nice to have a little bit of faculty involvement,” Bell said.

Advisers will be a real source of support for clubs not just people on paper as a requirement for a club to exist, Bell said.

“Right now what they have decided is that the voting members of ASWU have to vote on when a club wants to bring a speaker or an artist to campus we have to vote whether they can come or not,” Underwood said. “I don’t think it is our position at all to decide as students who can come and come who can go.”

If funds are to be requisitioned from ASWU the Finance Committee must approve, if the requested funds are greater than 300 dollars then the assembly votes on it, according to the ASWU website.  

If you need to requisition funds to bring a speaker to campus, ASWU has to approve them so, in a way, they already approve the speakers that come to campus, Bell said.

“I am of the opinion that our director of student activities, Celisse, should be in charge of giving a yes or no,” Underwood said.  

Asking the right questions before a club brings a speaker to campus is important. We will be considering if the speaker represents the interests of students, if the speaker meets the mission of the university and ASWU, DeBray said.

“It is an interesting proposal I can see where it could get iffy in terms of like with more social justice clubs although I have faith in our student government that they would be more uplifting and encouraging about bringing good diverse dialogue onto campus,” Bell said.

Bell suggested changes to be considered with regards to the current ASWU financial meeting rules.

“At the end of the year, there is a Budget Committee [meeting]. Clubs present for 15 minutes about events you had and the money they spent and how much they need next year they might tweak things,” Bell said.

It would be nice to meet twice a year to discuss where a club is at with regards to their finances, Bell said.

We are making it a requirement to have each club meet at least once per month to be chartered, DeBray said, according to the Sept. 20 ASWU meeting minutes.

“The recommendations we are pushing forward meet a certain amount of accountability that we are trying to create in ASWU by making it more specific and providing process and steps that clubs and club speakers need to go through while at the same time increasing the student engagement piece,” DeBray said.

Students who want to be a part of this ongoing discussion can talk to their senators for more information and also come to ASWU meetings every Wednesday at 5 p.m.


In the Oct. 11 issue of the Whitworthian the story originally said that ASWU was considering changing the person who approves club from director of student activities to vice president of student life. This version of the story has been corrected to say they are changing the person who approves club from vice president of student life to director of student activities.

Fitness club re-brands itself

Joshua Worden| Staff Writer

Whitworth’s weightlifting Club has changed its name to the “Fitness Club” in order to better reflect the diverse exercise preferences of its members.

The Fitness Club is among Whitworth’s newest clubs, having been chartered just last spring as the Weightlifting Club.

“My friends and I, we had an idea to start a fitness based club, and we were surprised [that] Whitworth didn’t [already] have something like this,” Fitness Club president Jacob Sokol said.

“We met people who we had known for a long time at the gym, and then we used that to create other relationships to people,” club’s vice-president, Alamin Yusuf, said.

Once the club began operating, they quickly discovered that their members had interests in different kinds of exercise, which sparked the change in name to the Fitness Club.

“This year we transitioned to the Fitness Club because we found out that most people coming in, there were different likes and different wants from different people,” Yusuf said.“That’s all fitness, that’s all integrated together.”

By expanding the club’s scope, they hope to build a stronger fitness community at Whitworth, Yusuf said.

This semester the Fitness Club is beginning to organize groups for running, swimming and Olympic lifting, and is working on affiliating with the independent pilates program, Yusuf said.

Several of the club’s members have experience in fitness training. “Those who come and want some supplemental instruction on form and whatnot, we’re there to help,” Sokol said.

“Especially with compound movements and technical lifts, for a beginner, if you’re not doing it right, it’s not good, the person could get injured,” Sokol said. “Hands-on instruction is completely different from watching YouTube videos,”

Members also meet one-on-one with the club’s leadership to talk about their fitness goals, and to receive guidance in choosing exercises that will suit those goals, Sokol said.

The freshly renamed Fitness Club meets from 7 - 8 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Scotford Strength and Conditioning Center next to the Aquatic Center. Pilates meets in the U-Rec at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Students rally at Cathy McMorris Rodger's office in support of DACA

WEDNESDAY Sep. 20—Whitworth students, along with students from Gonzaga and Eastern Washington University, marched to the downtown office of U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers to demand the defense of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and immigration reform.

The march started at Gonzaga and ended with at Gonzaga, the majority time of the march was spent outside U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ downtown office, in the Captain Peyton building.

Groups of about four marchers at a time took turns going in to speak with representatives of the McMorris Rodgers, and the rest waited outside the office.The group did not have a scheduled appointment with McMorris Rodgers.

While the remaining group waited outside, organizers gave speeches. Whitworth alumnus Mark Finner offered his services as a lawyer to DACA-receiving students at a reduced price.

According to a press statement released by Rodgers on Sep. 5, “We must protect children who are already here in this country and those who are currently protected under DACA”. The collegiate marchers present on Wednesday demanded that Rodgers go further.

“We would like the congresswoman to sponsor legislation that protects DACA recipients (that’s me), without harming their parents or their neighbors or their community,”  Whitworth student Kamau Chege said. “We don’t want them to miss that we are asking for a clean dream act, and for sponsorship of legislation that protects DACA recipients without harming their parents or endangering other immigrants.”

“What we want to know is if you are able to relay that very simple message,” said Chege, “It’s incumbent on us to come back and ask these nice staffers if they heard what we said today, because there is clearly a short memory,”

The most public representation of these demands,were given over the course of 10 minutes to Rodgers’ chief of staff, Ian Field, as he tried to thank us for coming and answer quick follow-up questions.

Whitworth students demanded that Field remain outside and repeat back exactly what their demands were. This was done without regard for Field’s other duties or work and lasted a full 10 minutes.

There were still calm moments of solidarity, where students came together not in a feeling of anger or arrogance, but of compassion. Their demands were based in a hope for the safety of their fellow students and students’ families. In the words of Mark Finner, 03’, “We will stand with you in the rain.”

Steven Dunn

Staff writer

ASWU leaders take a personal approach to zone rep recruitment

Courtney Murphy | Editor-in-Chief

This fall ASWU leaders faced a new challenge when it came to recruitment for zone representative applicants, senior executive vice president Dylan Reyes said. In years past the application was advertised heavily through all-campus emails, but this year ASWU leaders have a reduced ability to send out those emails.

“[Not being able to send our emails] really makes my job more difficult,’s made me more creative about how I go about approaching the zone rep application,” Reyes said.

Reyes said he and the leadership team have opted for a more personable approach, talking to students individually instead of mass advertising. This strategy corresponds with Reye’s goal of making the application process, and student leadership in general, more accessible and equitable, he said.

“I know there are individuals who because of the way the system was set up in the past haven’t always had easy access to that application because they don’t know the right people to talk to,” Reyes said”. I’ve been making an effort to whenever I talk about it with people, make sure I’m reaching all areas of students, both the students that are like me and student leaders, but also students that are completely not like me.”

Some groups of students in the past have felt the opportunity to run for zone representative was inaccessible to them. First generation college students and others who don’t fit the “Whitworth mold” may not feel equipped for the position, Reyes said.

The typical Whitworth student leader has traditionally been someone who is outgoing, knows everyone, takes a lot of credits and actively involved in many things, Reyes said. While these qualities often make it easy for students to run and get elected for positions, they are not the only valuable qualities.

“In my mind a healthy applicant is someone who is willing to be uncomfortable, willing to be someone who's able to talk to the most students possible and create healthy conclusions based on who they interact with,” Reyes said. “That isn’t always the same type of student that’s historically been a Whitworth mold kind of leader...I don’t want to neglect leaders that currently do that well, but has the system and application process been bent toward one type of leader?”

Arend senator junior Amber Van Brunt said that ASWU hasn’t traditionally been a very diverse group of people, but “there are different qualities needed for a leader than just being outgoing and enjoying events.”

“International students don’t know [running for zone representative] is an option for them,” Van Brunt said. Van Brunt served as zone representative in Arend last year as a sophomore  before becoming senator. As senator, Van Brunt has been talking to her residents personally about the zone representative application and showing them how to apply, she said. One strategy she has is talking to people who are involved in dorm activities and ask questions about how to improve the dorm community.

Despite Reyes’ and Van Brunt’s efforts to be more inclusive during recruitment, many students are intimidated by the application. The application for zone rep is almost identical to the ASWU applications for positions like special events coordinator and sustainability coordinator, Reyes said, which may prevent some students from applying. Because zone representative is an elected position, after the application students still need to campaign.

“‘I don’t have time [to fill out the application]’ is the biggest thing we hear,” Reyes said.

The purpose of the application as he understands it is to make sure students running for leadership positions are able to be good students too, so there are certain GPA and resume requirements, Reyes said. However, many students feel inhibited from running because of the lengthy application process.

The application is good to have to show a person is serious about running, but it is extensive and students can feel they will be rejected from the position based on their application, Van Brunt said. However, the application is more of a screening device and applicants don’t need to have perfect responses, she said.


“People are worried that those things like the resume and GPA are things that inhibit them from being leaders in general, not just running and being in the position but also does something psychologically to students where it tells them they aren’t good enough or smart enough to be leaders,” Reyes said.

Reyes hopes to revise the application process for elected positions before the spring elections, he said.

Despite the lengthy application process and reduced ability to send campus-wide emails, Reyes is optimistic about the new recruiting strategies because it causes him and other leaders to be more creative, he said.

“Whenever I’ve told students they are able to do something, it’s so cool to see the lightbulb moment in them,” Reyes said. “I think that’s the funnest thing about jobs in leadership is we get to tell people they can do things, and equip them to do things well. If we don’t utilize the different voices and stories we have on’s going to take away from our experience too, as students and as leaders.”

Zone representative applications are open until 8 p.m. today, Sept. 22. If you would like to apply contact your dorm senator or pick up an application from the ASWU front desk.



Spokane Dream Project hosts "community response" meeting in response to DACA legislation


In response to the recent announcement from the Trump administration that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection will be phased out a community response meeting was held on Sunday, September 10 in the intercultural student center.

This event was organized by the Spokane Dream Project, a club that advocates for undocumented students on campus. The meeting was focused on informing people about DACA and threats to DACA.

Sophomore Lacy Nguyen, a co-leader of the Spokane Dream Project, was one of the organizers of this event.

“This event was basically a way for the community to come together and talk about what DACA is and why it got revoked and how it got revoked and what are the implications now for undocumented students nationwide and at Whitworth,” Nguyen said. “How the community can respond in order to support undocumented students and undocumented people in general.”

The attendees included Whitworth, Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University students and faculty, people from churches around the area and a other allies of the cause.

ASWU cultural events coordinator and former president of Spokane Dream Project Senior Kamau Chege helped lead the event with the Spokane Dream Project officers.

“I have DACA and I feel that president Trump phasing out the program was outrageous but also un-American,” Chege said. “We all consider ourselves to be American I can’t imagine anything more offensive than to strip protections for your fellow Americans and to put them in danger of being deported.”  

“If you are undocumented in the age of the Trump administration the best way to keep yourself and your family safe is to join an organization to be in community with people who are ready to defend you who will defend you maybe when you get detained who are ready to give you resources you may need,” Chege said.

Undocumented Whitworth students should go to the intercultural student center for resources or talk to the officers of Spokane Dream Project, Nguyen said.  

Senior Carlo Juntilla, student body president at Gonzaga university attended the event.

“I came today because I am passionate about the issue,” Juntilla said. “Also because of my position in leadership I am in a place where I can advocate on a greater scale for our fellow students.”  

Event organizers speak at the community response meeting. Photo courtesy of Catalina Corvalan.

Event organizers speak at the community response meeting. Photo courtesy of Catalina Corvalan.

The event organizers expected a few people to attend the event but there were more than 50 people in the room, Chege said.

“There are so many people who are ready to defend their immigrant neighbors,” Chege said.

Sam Abbott, resident director in Arend hall was also in attendance.

“Whitworth has a voice in the Spokane community and I think if we use that well we can invite people into this work we are trying to be about,” Abbott said.

The Whitworth community should listen to undocumented students and also do the work that is necessary to better the situation, Nguyen said.

“You can’t just be a social media ally, you have to show up and do the work you have to be there at the protests and making the phone calls,” Nguyen said. “We want to pressure legislators to support a clean dream act bill. We want people to write emails, text messages and make phone calls.”  

The opportunity to learn from these student leaders and seeing what steps are being taken in the community was good, Abbott said.

“Stay educated. Once you know more about issue, the more you care about it,” Juntilla said. “Stay alert and[don’t] be complacent because being complacent is just being compliant with injustice.”

“Some of the best things we can do at a higher profile level is advocating for good legislation that creates an actual solution to a really complex problem,” Abbott said. “Many of us at Whitworth are working together to provide support and care for undocumented students in every way that we can.”

The Spokane Dream Project has more events planned this semester to deal with the uncertainty of DACA. A rally will be held on September 20. Contact Lacy Nguyen at for more information on this and other Spokane Dream Project events.

Abebaye Bekele

News Editor