Editorial: Why "Masks" was retracted

On May 14, The Whitworthian published a story in the opinions section called “Masks: one student’s story of discrimination on campus.” This story was published anonymously. While publishing anonymously is not ideal in most situations, The Whitworthian’s policies allow for anonymity when there is evidence that revealing the identity of people represented or quoted in an article may cause undue harm, emotional, physical or other, and when an editor determines there is sufficient verification of the facts, events, quotations, etc. present in the anonymous account.

In the case of “Masks,” editors felt the article both earned anonymity and could be verified. Anonymity was granted because the intent of the story was not meant to target specific individuals, but to bring to light the fact that despite Whitworth’s efforts to be supportive and inclusive, some students do not feel it is as welcoming as it seems. Identifying figures in the account may have caused readers to instead focus on individuals rather than the larger problem outlined in the story. As it was published in the opinions section, the story was not intended to be taken as a news account, but as the perspective of one student.

After much thought, the editors have decided to take “Masks” down. We appreciate the author’s perspective and respect people who share their experiences, but believe there are reasons the article should not remain posted. This is not a response to any pressure from administration or other outside parties.

First, while it is mentioned above we believe that “Masks” deserved anonymity, its anonymous status has caused some readers to try to guess who the author is, or who other people in the story might be. The Whitworthian is responsible for protecting the anonymity of such sources, and not protecting anonymity could be harmful for people involved. Second, the editors feel there are more effective ways this story could be told. There are always many sides to each situation, and since the publishing of “Masks,” the editors have heard differing perspectives on this issue.  “Masks” in its current state, with its combination of anonymity and a singular source, may not provide the most accurate information to enter this complex conversation as it could if told in a different form. Finally, according to the May 15 statement by Lorna Hernandez Jarvis, chief diversity officer and associate vice president for diversity, equity & inclusion, the university is still continuing its formal inquiry into the issue. The publication of “Masks” could interfere with this investigation.

It is for these reasons that “Masks” was removed from thewhitworthian.news. The Whitworthian editors appreciate the bravery of the “Masks” author for coming forward with their experience, and hope that for those that read it, it served as a catalyst for necessary dialogue on campus. Based on the online response, it’s clear that fighting discrimination and injustice is something Whitworthian readers take very seriously. We hope to continue to bring a voice to these issues in the future.

Editorials in the "In the Loop" section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.

 

So You Feel Overlooked? Let’s Talk: A Response to "Conservative opinions overlooked"

Josiah Van Wingerden, '17

I am writing this letter to respond to the article titled, “Conservative Opinions Overlooked at Whitworth,” published in the Whitworthian Opinions Section on March 21.

The purpose of my response is not to shame or condemn the author or school newspaper; rather, my hope is to start a constructive conversation about political opinions, affiliations and the environment of Whitworth. To anyone who may read this letter, I ask that you read carefully and thoroughly.

I’ll respond to each major point made in the article, so I apologize if the letter is a bit lengthy. But it’s so important.

In the first paragraph of the article, the author states that he is a proud conservative, that he loves this country, its laws and guns, that he does not support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legislation and that he will not apologize for his race (or gender)— Caucasian and male.

Let me be clear that I have absolutely no issue whatsoever with him being conservative or with what he believes. We have the right as people to express our views. And I’m actually glad that he is. It just may be the spark that starts conversations and inspires us to listen to one another.

However, I believe the author is gravely mistaken on multiple fronts. It is because of this belief that I felt compelled to respond to the article and offer a difference of perspective and values.

Universities and colleges are supposed to be places where people come not only for education, but also to be exposed to different people, beliefs, values and views. So that people can be more thoughtful and compassionate. So people can think critically about our society and thus, be better equipped to “serve humanity.” And that means all of humanity. I hope the author understands that.

Regarding the idea of apologizing for race, no one asked him to. As a person of color who attended Whitworth the same time as the author, I never asked him to. The thought of that never even crossed my mind.

The color of a person’s skin is determined biologically during development, influenced by the genetic makeup of the parents. This means that a person has literally no control over what he or she will look like.

We have no control over what color our skin will be, what our body can and cannot do, what socioeconomic class we’ll be born into, where we’ll be born or if we’ll even be born at all.

On the other hand, “race” is a man-made historical construct designed to categorize people and to falsely “define” what it means to be black, brown, tan and white.

People of color are not asking white people to apologize for being white. Trust me, we don’t want it. Why would we ask someone to apologize for something they have no control over? That does not make sense.

Rather, it has been white people who have been asking people who are not white to stop talking about how their races have affected the way we interact in this country. But we are not going to stop talking about it.

It seems like the author is playing the victim throughout the whole article— saying that he as a conservative, middle-class, white male— feels that he cannot adequately articulate himself without fear of ridicule.

However, since the inception of the United States, white men have never had to apologize for being white. White men have never been unwelcomed in this country or at colleges. White men have always had the power in this country and thus, the ability to enact legislation and place systems and structures that benefit them.

White men are the only major people group that has not experienced some form of marginalization based on race or biological predisposition. Almost every other major race of people has.

This is called “white-privilege.” This is all people of color like myself want you and others to acknowledge. We do not want pity or apologies, but a desire to learn about others and an attempt to reach a mutual understanding of history.

Acknowledge the fact that white people, heterosexual men specifically, have had and still have the upper hand and more opportunity to succeed in this country. And they’ve had it for a long time.

This country was founded by white men and for white men, to promote ideas and enact laws that specifically benefited them and no one else. Including educational institutions like Whitworth.

In the second and third paragraphs, the author states the theme of the whole piece—that he feels unwelcome at Whitworth because he is a conservative and Whitworth is a “liberal” institution that pushes for diversity. He also says he disagrees with the student government’s decision to support DACA.

First, supporting DACA does not mean that Whitworth is a liberal institution. Or that the majority of its students are liberal; let’s not get confused. I’d actually suggest the opposite and so do recent decisions made by administration and faculty members, which were supported by its students just last year.

For example, the administration of Whitworth cut ties with Planned Parenthood last year. Beck Taylor stated that the university would no longer offer experience or internship credits for its students through the organization.

Additionally, the Students for Life and Young Americans for Freedom clubs, both outwardly rooted in conservative beliefs, have a significant presence on and off campus.

Those two clubs are also affiliated with the national organizations. And both were chartered by the student government with support from their peers.

Conversely, the “pro-choice” student club, Generation Action, was not allowed to have affiliation with any national organization. It was not chartered due to lack of support.

So no, Whitworth is not a “liberal” institution, as the author claims. It is still rooted in and supports conservative beliefs and ideas, like other institutions before it.

And, I truly mean no disrespect to anyone when I say this—especially David Garcia, Shawn Washington, Lulu Gonzalez or Beck Taylor for their efforts—but Whitworth is not a diverse institution.

While it is true that the number of underrepresented students has jumped significantly in recent years, Whitworth still has a long way to go to achieve its diversity goals.

Black, Hispanic, Asian and LGBT faculty, staff members and students are still underrepresented at Whitworth and in Christian Higher Education in general, as are people with varying levels of physical and mental abilities.

Whitworth students, staff, faculty and administration members are all still predominantly white, conservative, Christian and middle-to-upper class.

So, I guess I am having a hard time understanding why the author feels so unwelcome at a place that was made for him.

In response to loving guns and opposing stricter regulations, gun control does not mean taking all guns away. Gun control does not mean changing the Second Amendment.

It is the idea that we as a society should make it harder for a person to abuse gun ownership by running more thorough background checks and comprehensive gun safety courses. Gun violence has to stop. I think we can all agree on that.

It seems like the author randomly throws a jab at DACA, saying he doesn’t support it, but doesn’t give a reason why. I am not saying that he has to necessarily, but it’s a cheap shot. Does he want members of the Whitworth community to be subject and vulnerable to deportation? If so, why?

DACA is not a political issue— it is a human one. That is why it is “preached” in the chapel.

By the way, the forum on Planned Parenthood when Beck made his statement was held in the chapel and I didn’t hear conservative or liberal students complain about that. Liberal students actually showed up to the forum.

Many families leave their countries because of political unrest, oppression, violence and turmoil. They are constantly told that “America is the land of opportunity,” and they just want those opportunities, hopes and dreams for a better life here.

That is why they are called “DREAMers.” DREAMers go to Whitworth. They pay the same amount of tuition and fees every year as you. They are there for the same reason as you are: education.

They grew up in this country. They have jobs. They pay taxes. They contribute heavily to society. They are talented. They do not attack, harm or hurt you in any way.

They were not brought here of their own accord; they had no choice. Neither did their parents and families. Why should we punish them for that?

Their fear of being deported and having their lives fundamentally changed because of that is real. I want you, the author, to understand that fact.

I understand that you, the author, will believe what you want to and that my response is not going to fundamentally change those beliefs. I get that. I respect that. I just hope you take the time to read this and understand the point of view that I’m coming from.

The author asked for others to be more considerate and thoughtful at the end of his piece, so I am asking something of him to end mine.

Before he says he feels unwelcome again, I’d ask that he consider who and where he is, what he believes, what he can do and where he comes from, and what that means for him, not only at Whitworth, but also in society as a whole.

His voice has always been heard. He is welcome at Whitworth and anywhere he goes. He has been for the longest time.

 

Female autonomy rooted in Christianity

Abby Nye

Last week, President Trump made the decision to allow employers to choose whether or not they would provide free birth control through insurance for female employees. This decision was made to accommodate for employers’ religious beliefs, according to ABC News’ article, “Women’s health docs say Trump ignores birth control science”. What employers decide to do will say a lot about how the church views female autonomy. If many employers decided to take away that right to free birth control, it will be a nod toward the controlling tendency of a few church members over women’s rights. Autonomy is defined as acting on reasons that are one’s own, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Trump’s recent act provides employers with the right to take away a woman’s choice of contraception, and therefore her autonomy.

The decision is related to the one Whitworth President Beck Taylor made last spring to end Whitworth’s affiliation with Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides free and accessible birth control to women without insurance. Both the national and school decision are reflections of how the church views female autonomy. President Taylor claimed that making the Planned Parenthood decision didn’t reflect the school’s opinion on female autonomy, but was a reflection of the church’s popular view against abortion.

Degrading a medical center that caters to the independent choices of women speaks to the underlying sexism pervasive in the Christian church. Similarly, Trump’s decision potentially prevents women from being able to make an independent and personal decision on the basis of religious beliefs. Both decisions reveal the popular fear the church has of female autonomy. If free birth control is one aspect of female autonomy, we must look at what it would mean to take it away, especially within a church context. To me, this decision is a direct refutation of the way that Jesus viewed women.

In Genesis 1:27 we are given the image of the creation of man and woman, both created equally in the image of God. In John 8, we see Jesus defending a woman who committed adultery. In John 4, Jesus calls a Samaritan woman to go and preach his word. In Luke 8, Jesus heals a woman who is debilitated with a reproductive ailment, and raises a young girl from the dead. Time and time again, we are provided examples of female equality, empowerment and autonomy supported by Jesus himself.  

Before any decision is made on behalf of all women on the basis of religious beliefs, it is imperative to understand where these beliefs come from. If it were really a decision made to accommodate for the church, then women should be provided with the choice of all medical decisions, especially her own birth control option. This decision seems to have been made to give more control to male government officials, and out of fear for female autonomy. Let us not forget that Jesus himself was the divine advocate for female autonomy and empowerment, and our decisions as Christians should be modeled after him.

Contact Abby Nye at anye19@my.whitworth.edu

Guest column: Excluding Planned Parenthood diminishes campus conversation

Nicole Sheets, faculty

 

In the mid-1990s, a few weeks into my first semester at a big state school, I joined a handful of other students from our campus pro-life club and held a giant poster of an aborted fetus. It was one of those big, gory color photos, the kind favored by street preachers or demonstrators along the Bloomsday course. We stood near a cluster of historic buildings to face the crawling Friday traffic. I felt the rush of doing something bold for God, proclaiming a truth that was unpopular, even unpalatable, but necessary. It was only afterwards, sitting in my friend Sarah’s dorm room, that we considered the usefulness of what we’d done. I experienced a sort of a spiritual indigestion. Even if our message was right, I thought, the delivery was all wrong.

About a year and a half ago, my spouse and I attended a demonstration in Spokane in support of Planned Parenthood. Instead of holding a sign, I wore our four-month-old daughter in one of those cumbersome wraps. I stood with this group not least because, when I was a graduate student in the 2000s, I went to the Planned Parenthood closest to campus for their affordable care. My experiences of pregnancy and motherhood have made the conversation about access to health care, particularly women’s health care, much more real for me. 

I was surprised and disappointed at the administration’s recent decision not to allow students or clubs to partner with Planned Parenthood. One of the features of Whitworth that I most cherish, that won me over from the start, is that this place doesn’t mandate that you live your faith according to one mold (and for students, of course, it doesn’t require that you have a faith at all). This leaves open room for all kinds of uncomfortable and, one hopes, healthy disagreement. It would be so much easier to have everyone sign a statement of belief and be done with it. I’m grateful for a university willing to ask, again and again, what this open-ended approach to faith looks like, and that this question is approached with prayer and careful thought.

Many concerns about this decision regarding Planned Parenthood have already been well expressed in the opinions section of “The Whitworthian” and by students and faculty at the recent community forum. One of my biggest objections is that for a university that prides itself on “courageous conversations,” this move mutes important conversations before they can even begin. 

We have a lot to learn from people involved in Whitworth’s pro-life student groups. There are many different ways to be pro-life, and I’m interested in the diversity of ideas and actions in that movement. Also, I imagine it’s changed quite a bit in the last 20-plus years (surely the posters are more tasteful and compassionate). 

The reverse is also true: those who identify as pro-life can learn from other views. 

Labels like “pro-life progressive” or “prayerfully pro-choice” would not have made sense to me as an undergraduate, but there’s middle ground between the poles of “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” For example, for those of us who would like to reduce the number of abortions, regardless of where we fall on this spectrum—why not join forces to make health care more readily available, including contraception? 

Generation Action supports Planned Parenthood’s mission to make reproductive health care more accessible for everyone and to promote fact-based education about human sexuality. If our existing pro-life clubs are discussing issues like this, then please turn up the volume. If not, then it’s even more obvious why Whitworth should welcome—officially and with equal resources—groups that would like to get us talking.

 

 

Nicole Sheets is an associate professor of English. She can be reached at nsheets@whitworth.edu.

 

Thank you to retiring Whitworthian adviser Jim McPherson

Journalism professor Jim McPherson accepted a temporary, one-year position upon coming to Whitworth 17 years ago. For the next two-and-a-half weeks before retirement, he will continue to occupy the basement of Lindaman, enter battle on Twitter, teach all aspects of media, using neckwear to illustrate his points, and, most relevant to us on the editorial board, advise The Whitworthian. We on the editorial board could not ask for a better adviser.

Jim has a story for everything: teaching at an all-women’s college, misadventures from his small logging hometown in Idaho, living in a renovated school bus for a year and being a migrant farmer, among others. His stories provide a wide range of life experiences that teach and assist in any situation.

As one letter to the editor in this week’s issue said, Whitworth professors are notoriously kind and generous to their students. Jim extends that sentiment to providing a space for students in his office, complete with candy, to discuss academic difficulties, personal problems or the seemingly never ending hurdles that come with an undergraduate degree. Aside from the time spent hiding from colleagues and students in his truck, trying to catch up on the day’s paper and eat his lunch, Jim never turns away a student who has a small question or a large crisis.

Jim teaches and exemplifies what it is to be a caring and loving spouse. Everyone who has taken a class from him probably feels like they know Jim’s wife Joanna. He exudes his love for her by praising her ability to raise and support her children alone. His feminist streak comes out as he proudly describes Joanna’s journey from a high school dropout to working in a male dominated technology field to earning a college degree.

Those lucky enough to be in his classes know that Jim is, one might say, not an easy grader. He is the first to admit this, proudly. His classes are challenging in the best way. He gives the grades students deserve, with a genuine desire to help students improve and to find out what they want to be.

Jim has been a committed, supportive and thoughtful adviser to The Whitworthian for the past 17 years, minus a sabbatical or two. He understands the value of learning throughout the process of creating a newspaper. This year’s Editorial Board, and editors throughout the years, faced many controversies and tough decisions. With cliffs and obstacles lurking ahead, Jim would often point out the missteps in judgment that led to problems, but let editors and the paper as whole fall and experience failure. He encourages us to take on tough issues and challenges rather than play it safe. And when we do fall, he is there to pick us up and steer us in the right direction.

Jim allows The Whitworthian to function as a true student newspaper, offering assistance when the paper needs it, but emphasizing student ownership. He exemplifies how the position of “adviser” should look.

The editors may have made mistakes, but with Jim’s hands-off style, editors and writers were allowed to understand the ramifications of their mistakes and learn how to manage the aftermath. No matter the gravity of the situation or amount of faculty or administrators upset, Jim remains a calm and steadfast advocate for the paper and supports the staff’s ability to produce the paper each week. His support means everything to us.

In the days before Jim retires from Whitworth, we wanted to use this page space and opportunity to thank him. For the time spent in his office crying or laughing or listening to his stories. For passionate and fascinating lectures on media history and feminism. For the innumerable AP style corrections he has provided. For a story to go with every tie. For the hours and hours he spent with us and 17 years of previous editors in the media office reading and editing copy, and eating candy. Most of all, for teaching us how to be better writers, editors, media critics, ethical journalists and people.

Editorial: The implications of Beck Taylor’s decision

The administration’s decision last week to end the university’s formal relationship with Planned Parenthood created a passionate stir across campus, social media and Spokane, and reached national news organizations. As the administration and the Whitworth community move forward to contemplate the ramifications and later effects of the separation, the educational goals and student life activities of students should be closely examined.

The problem with this decision is not necessarily the fact that the university took a side, although many would and have argued that this is a problem. The university is constantly pressured to make decisions like this one, in which both sides of the argument believe firmly that they have the moral high ground. Sometimes the administration takes a side and sometimes it doesn’t; in this case it did.

The problem we at the editorial board feel is most significant to students is the infringement on their rights as students that this decision presents. The decision to disallow the club from associating with national organization Planned Parenthood, and to prevent students from interning at the organization, involves the university’s stance on a matter in students’ lives, which is not OK.

The Students for Life club, which was chartered about five years ago, receives brochures, educational tools, support and speaker opportunities from their national organization partner, Students for Life of America. Generation Action, a pro-choice group, attempted to charter in December but was denied by Student Life due to the club’s desire to partner with Planned Parenthood.

Once a club proposal is approved by club chartering committee it is sent to Rhosetta Rhodes, vice president for student life and dean of students, for approval before the ASWU assembly votes to charter the club.

“It’s almost always a rubber stamp, but it goes to [Rhodes] for approval. Generation Action was passed through ASWU [club council] originally, it stopped at the administration,” said ASWU financial vice president Jeff DeBray in last week’s ASWU meeting.

Student life and administration’s intervention in the chartering process raises questions over the breadth of the administration’s power over ASWU and student activities. The ASWU Bylaws state the vice president of student life “must also agree with the proposed charter before moving on to the assembly for a vote.” However, the Bylaws do not outline why student life, an entity outside ASWU, has approval or veto power over clubs.

Aside from providing a “rubber stamp” for club charters, Rhodes has little involvement with ASWU and student organizations. A position more closely tied with students, such as the assistant dean and director of student activities, that attends ASWU meetings, works closely with the student government members and oversees student events and clubs would be able to make more informed decisions about the best route for student groups.

ASWU has devoted time in multiple meetings this year to discussing constituency reports and reports from senators that address a range of groups on campus feeling pushed aside, unheard or unaccepted on campus. It is the job of ASWU execs to relay those issues to Rhodes and other administrators who were not present at the meetings, but someone present during those discussions may have made a more informed decision on the chartering of a club looking to promote more conversation on campus.

ASWU Club Chartering Committee’s approval of Generation Action signaled that the group was not in violation of the university’s “standards of conduct, or conflict with the mission, policies, practices, or goals of the university,” which ASWU outlines in its club chartering policy. 

The administration’s decision last week to end the university’s involvement with Planned Parenthood communicates the “policies, practices, or goals of the university” needed to be altered in order for Generation Action to be in violation of university standards and not be chartered. While President Beck Taylor branded the announcement as Whitworth becoming neutral on a politically charged topic, the choice pushed the university’s beliefs toward one side of the debate.

ASWU also maintains that approval of a student organization “no way implies consent or endorsement of the positions or points of view espoused publicly or privately by members of the organization.” While ASWU was able to make the distinction between chartering a club and making an endorsement, the administration failed to examine how student organizations provide opportunities for dialogue and student involvement, not political statements.

“The idea that a Christian university would partner with an organization that provides, among other things, abortion-related services is understandably difficult for some to reconcile,” Taylor wrote in the email announcement last week. However, the choice to pull away from one side while continuing to support SFL’s affiliation with their national organization communicates Whitworth’s allegiance with one side of the debate.

Creating the space for a diversity of opinions and experiences, which Taylor expressed the university will continue to do despite the decision, would allow for students to interact with both sides of an issue and make an informed choice about their personal views. Stopping a club from providing resources and a platform for students to experience new ideas diffuses the possibility for that diversity. Even if the university itself holds one position, should that mean all its students and student groups should as well? Of course not. That is where the diversity of opinions comes in. ASWU exists to serve the student body, not the university donors.

“We talked about equity in my political science class today,” freshman Lacy Nguyen said in last week’s ASWU meeting according to the meeting minutes. “The Young Americans for Freedom and Students for Life [clubs] are affiliated with national organizations. Generation Action is not allowed to be affiliated [with Planned Parenthood]. I wonder, and heard from students, what is equitable? There is a question of what clubs can get what? Should we cancel all associations with national organizations?” 

A chartered club has the ability to request funding from ASWU, reserve campus facilities, post flyers and banners on campus to advertise meetings and events, advertise on Whitworth.fm and The Whitworthian at a reduced rate, take part in club fairs and be included in ASWU club mailing lists and information for students. Unchartered clubs cannot use Whitworth or ASWU’s name, equipment, grounds or funds.

The news of Generation Action’s denial led many within ASWU to suggest the club rename, rebrand and recharter. While Generation Action regroups, SFL continues to receive the benefits of being a chartered club and its partnership with Students for Life of America. SFL’s relationship with and support from their national organization allows SFL to provide students with brochures, flyers, club members with information about their goals and values, along with bringing in speakers and events to campus.    

SFL will welcome Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, on May 9 to present a speech advertised as “Feminism and Planned Parenthood.” While all advertisements posted on campus must be approved by the Info Desk, the ASWU club manual does not specify if Rhodes or ASWU approves speakers, brochures, handouts, table tents, banners, events or social media posts. ASWU’s club manual requests all clubs comply with university policies and standards, but regulation of those guidelines appear lax when national or regional organizations’ material are passing through campus without oversight.

The issue comes down to this: Despite claiming to desire a diversity of opinions, the university not only gives preference to groups with certain opinions, but prevents other groups with differing opinions from forming and having access to the same benefits. This in itself undermines the very concept of a diversity of opinions.

Editorials in the "In the Loop" section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.

Contact Katie Shaw, the opinions editor, at

kshaw17@my.whitworth.edu

Dropped credit ceiling? Dropped potential

Karlin Andersen
Editor-in-Chief

 

A reduction in the maximum allowed credits from 17 to 16 may be moved to a tier two priority based on student feedback, Carol Simon, provost and executive vice president, said in last week’s ASWU town hall meeting that addressed the budget prioritization process. However, this proposal should not be delayed until the university needs the estimated $200,000 in savings, but omitted altogether due to its adverse effects on students across disciplines.


Tier one of the budget proposal, if approved by the trustees, will be implemented in the next few years. Tier two is a contingency plan if tier one is not effective.


As outlined in the budget prioritization plan, if the credit ceiling were to be reduced in fall of 2019 it would not only help the university monetarily but aid students whose “academic performance and learning outcomes” are “arguably, compromised” when they exceed 16 credits.


Students taking 17 or more credits may experience an increased amount of stress compared to their peers taking below 16 credits. However, each semester students pick their classes based on a graduation plan and their load is approved by one or more advisers who are tasked with aiding that student in graduating and monitoring their credit load to assure the student can complete their courses.


A student can always choose not to take more than 16 credits, but often their major(s) is designed in such a way that requires overload or near overload. Of the nine students who spoke at last week’s ASWU meeting, five addressed the credit ceiling and several were involved with music or the performing arts. Their concerns had a similar thread— limit our credits and we cannot participate in classes our major requires, including multiple ensemble groups, mandatory lessons or theory classes.


Senior Denin Koch, majoring in music, expressed a worry that pressing students to take only necessary courses would limit them from experiencing classes outside their major including language classes that are vital to singing and reading lyrics in different languages.
Others argued credit limits would deter prospective students who may attend community college to gain general education credits before coming to Whitworth to focus on their major.


Before student comments, Simon presented statistics that showed Whitworth provides 92 percent of credits toward graduation within three years, which is 2-17 percentage points higher than other schools in Washington. Neither the statistics nor Simon addressed how courses rotate in and out of department catalogues, are offered at intervals or in specific semesters or are only taught by one professor with limited class sizes. A well-organized student who knows his or her major their first day at Whitworth, and does not change his or her major, may achieve 92 percent of classes toward graduation within three years, but it is unlikely every student will.


The biggest reason for lowering the credit ceiling is not the threat those last few credits brings to student mental health or academic retention, it is the cost to the university. Currently Whitworth loses $500,000 to students who graduate a semester or year early, or transfer from a community college.


The cost of early graduation scares Whitworth. A student like me scares Whitworth.
I brought in 32 credits from high school and had a sophomore standing, which allowed me to take only two of the three Core classes and skip many of the general education requirements. Those high school credits and Whitworth’s high credit limit allowed me to pick a major with a high credit requirement for graduation, two minors, still take some history classes I was interested in and graduate a year early.


Taking 17 credits per semester allowed me to graduate from Whitworth. Not just graduate early, but graduate. Every semester my family struggled to pay tuition and with my brother entering college next year, I would not be able to afford a fourth year. At taking an average 17 credits each semester I would have had to make the choice to either pay the overload charge or take the cheaper option of leaving Whitworth to finish my final year at another institution.


I understand Whitworth’s worries for its future financial security and its desire to maintain an institution for students for another 125 years. But students should not be limited or discouraged because they want to graduate early, need a large number of credits to sit exams such as the CPA, the MCAT or teacher certifications, need to take more credits because of their major requirements, need room in their semesters to fit in classes that are not offered consistently, or just want to take something outside their major— a feature a liberal arts university flaunts.


Other tier two changes the prioritization proposal floated included phasing out language and coaching minors if they could not increase enrollment or cut costs. In the ASWU meeting Simon encouraged those concerned about the minors to tell their friends to take the classes within the minor and even register for the minor—an option that may be closed if students can take fewer credits.


The 16 credits per semester and four credits in Jan Term proposed limit would allow students to take a maximum of 144 credits over four years. Currently, only 15 percent of students who graduate in four years have taken that maximum. Students may not be achieving the full 144 credits en mass, but students often take fewer classes as upperclassmen to balance out 400 level courses or to allow time for internships and off-campus jobs. However, the option to take 17 credits, which could allow a student to take an entire class if they were at 14 credits, should not be closed off because on paper the university does not see students taking advantage of the extra credit.


This May I will graduate with 146 credits, a B.A. in English and two minors, because of the freedom of 17 credits; I only earned 114 of those credits at Whitworth. Since I am placing a deep strain on the university maybe I should stay an extra year and boost my journalism minor to a major and get the history minor that evaded me. After all, I only have one more year of 17 credits.

Contact Karlin Andersen at
kandersen18@my.whitworth.edu

Whitworth takes positive steps toward protecting all students

Katie Shaw

Opinions Editor

 

“We at @Whitworth stand in solidarity with our international and undocumented students. They are us. We are Whitworth.”


Those words, posted on Facebook by President Beck Taylor on Jan. 30 were neither written nor taken lightly. To some, they were an affirming mark of Whitworth’s administration’s stand with its students. Others took the post and the stance Taylor’s administration has taken as resistance to the Trump administration and to the government. This is precisely why this action was so brave.


Taylor must have been aware of the consequences, both negative and positive. Whenever universities take a stance on anything, there is bound to be consequences, both in terms of image and reputation, and actual finances. Several comments on Taylor’s post implied that the stance would sway the writers from donating to or even attending Whitworth.


Deciding whether or not to align with one position or another is an ongoing struggle for universities, particularly for religious institutions like Whitworth, which has to consider the position of its associated church.


Taylor was right when he called the issue “personal” in an interview for The Whitworthian (see story here).


When the issue is as simultaneously personal and politically contentious as immigration, it makes sense that the notion of a “sanctuary campus” has become a common topic of discussion and deliberation. Gonzaga administration, for instance, is “determined to protect undocumented students,” according to The Gonzaga Bulletin. Trustees at EWU, meanwhile, responded to a petition from students by reaffirming commitment to students, but declining the official label of “sanctuary,” according to KREM 2.


Taylor and the administration did not necessarily choose the easy path, but they made a decision that was both noble and smart.


They could have accepted the term “sanctuary campus,” which a petition signed by 1,117 members of the Whitworth community called Taylor to do. However, Taylor makes an excellent point in the official statement titled “Statement on Recent Events Affecting Undocumented and International Students at Whitworth”: “The term “sanctuary campus” is vague and highly charged. It seems to have more utility in making political statements than in ensuring any real and meaningful protection for undocumented persons.”


He goes on to say that he is eager to implement policies protecting the rights of undocumented students, effectively making Whitworth a sanctuary campus without having to say so. He shouldn’t be blamed for this; the term “sanctuary campus,” referring to a campus with any amount of protective policy, is vague, and frequently misunderstood. Instead, Taylor defined his intentions in a well-written statement, while avoiding any misunderstandings or misguided conclusions.


On the other hand, Taylor and his administration could have declined to take an official stance, although the pressure for universities to do so must be intense.


This action shows a dedication to studentsrather than to its image, and is a noble one. Through this action, Whitworth exemplifies its Christian mission, and acts as an example for other universities to be just as welcoming.

 

Contact Katie Shaw at kshaw17@my.whitworth.edu

Home for the holidays? Bring a friend!

Emily Goodell
Columnist

Everyone should bring someone home for the holidays. Not a romantic someone per se, but a friend or an acquaintance. Many people do not have anywhere to go for the holiday season. Either they have no family, are estranged from their family or cannot afford to go home. Many other reasons exist besides these, but the fact remains that many do not have somewhere to go.

Regardless of faith background, religious practices (or lack thereof) or what holidays one celebrates, there is a general consensus that the winter time in the U.S. is the “holiday season” in which people celebrate love, joy, hope and peace. By that logic, it is safe to assume that being without people during this time can be difficult.

Some are hesitant to bring someone new into an intimate holiday setting, and while that is understandable, it is much less so if one weighs the issues on a scale. If one is more worried about the potential consequences of bringing a friend into their family than the mental and emotional consequences for one’s friend being alone instead of being in a place where they are affirmed and provided for, therein may lie a problem.

This is not to say that there are not circumstances in which one should not bring someone home with them for the holidays. If one is not financially able or the familial environment would create unnecessary harm or stress for family or friends, this would possibly be a reason to decline to bring a friend home.

Rainier Emerick | Graphics Editor

The benefits that come from bringing someone into one’s home are not only for those coming into the home, but those hosting as well. There is a kind of joy that comes from giving others joy that can be found in adopting a friend for the holidays as well as the benefit of getting to know said friend better.

However, the fact is that people deserve people. They deserve people to share moments with. And if one person is able to make a profound difference in another’s holiday, doing so is a necessity.

Contact Emily Goodell at
egoodell18@my.whitworth.edu

Post-election thoughts: To my fellow Whitworthians

Katie Shaw

Opinions Editor

In the last week, you have probably read dozens of iterations of some variation of the following opinion on Facebook, or heard the essence of the arguments in person. I know I have.

All of these posts and opinions have one thing in common: they come from a perspective, a mind and an experience completely unique from every other.

It has been theorized that the pre-election predictions of Clinton’s win were so skewed because Trump supporters were reluctant to admit to the pollsters that they were voting for Trump. Although this may indicate the poorness of his candidacy, it could also reflect the polarizing nature of the rhetoric not only from the candidates themselves, but from supporters on both sides.

Despite our generation’s limited experience in presidential elections, it’s safe to assume that no election in recent history has been as divisive or aggressive. Hateful comments by and toward both Trump and Clinton supporters have been a standard part of the campaigns. Admitting publicly to be in favor of either candidate, but especially Trump, was and is stigmatizing.

This is a problem.

Liberal friends: The fear you feel, the anger you feel, I feel it too, although as a white woman, I cannot understand the extent of the fear and marginalization that people of color, Muslims, and other marginalized groups currently feel.

Protest peacefully, make your arguments, use your anger as constructively as you can and rely on support from your allies to express the remaining anger. However, consider remembering that people vote for a candidate for many reasons. Some hated Trump and his rhetoric, and voted for him still. I have seen too many posts denouncing Trump and every single one of his supporters. To write off almost half of those who voted as hopeless seems both close-minded and unproductive.

Conservative friends: Please protect those who have been harmed by this election. Most of you do not share the hateful sentiments of Donald Trump, and hopefully, his harmful comments against women, Muslims, Mexicans, etc. during and before the election will not carry too negatively into his policies. However, whether or not his voters support that, that rhetoric has been affirmed by his election, and people who subscribe to those negative thoughts have had their hate validated.

Everyone: Respectful consideration and conversation on both sides has never been more important. Regardless of your political opinions and your background, please consider that each person is not a member of one “side,” but an individual who has formulated an opinion. Remember the signs in the HUB reminding minorities they are important; listen to opinions that differ from your own, even if they are harmful. Opinions can be changed, but only if the barrier of “the other” is not limiting the conversation.

Contact Katie Shaw at

kshaw17@my.whitworth.edu

 

Also read:

"To my fellow conservatives"

"To my fellow liberals"

 

 

Post election thoughts: To my fellow liberals

Emily Goodell
Columnist

We have lost. We have mourned. We have gathered together through long nights and longer days to discuss what this means for us, how this could have happened.

After the results of the 2016 presidential election, the nation has been in disarray. Protests, rioting and acts of violence toward people of color, Muslims, women, LGBT people have been frequent occurrences over the past week.

We have gone through the stages of grief. Denial as the polls came in and Donald Trump was announced to be the president elect. Anger as we realized that the world was not what we thought it was. Bargaining, as we tried to figure out how to turn back time, recount the vote and change what is already the past. Depression as we wept with one another for the fear that we may now live in a world in which everything that Trump has said and done is acceptable and may be said and done by others to others without reproach.

Out of the five stages of grief, only one is left: acceptance. Let me be clear, this does not mean that we accept Trump’s actions or rhetoric as being OK. This is not an endorsement of his election or a shrug of the shoulders. This does not mean that you are not allowed to return to the other stages at any point. Your feelings are valid and true and deserve to be heard.

What acceptance means is what is done is done. Trump will be inaugurated in January, whether we like it or not. We must now gather together to fight, not with our fists or with brutal violence, but with the strength and unity of the different voices that make up our democracy.

We must reconvene and demand that social progress be upheld and flourish. We must relearn what it means to be politically active and part of a democracy. We must also, along with our passion and drive to create a better world, listen. We need to listen to those who said that Trump is the answer to their concerns, to their needs.

This may be painful, because to listen to people’s beliefs when they vehemently contradict your own is a difficult thing. But if our main concern as a community is with our voices not being heard, how can we push to be heard if we refuse to listen?

That being said, we must protect all people from acts of hatred, violence, intolerance or indignity. That includes those voices that contradict our own. They are a part of our community. As much as we may disagree with their opinions, beliefs or rhetoric, they are human beings who deserve safety, dignity and respect.

In order to move forward, to create a world that is fair and equal and just and provides opportunity to all individuals regardless of any differences they may have, we must be willing to work together. That means listening to the other side, to learn how they feel, to understand why they feel that way. Then and only then can we move forward to create an America free of hatred, discrimination, intolerance and cruelty.

Contact Emily Goodell at
egoodell18@my.whitworth.edu

Also read:

"To my fellow conservatives"

"To my fellow Whitworthians"

 

Post election thoughts: To my fellow conservatives

James Silberman

Columnist

To my friends on the right, it may be tempting to gloat and rest easy in the massive wins at almost all levels of government which we have won. However, we have some soul-searching to do.

Some conservatives were excited at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency, some reluctantly gave him their vote considering him the lesser evil and some rejected him entirely, opting to vote third-party or not vote at all. No matter what camp you are in, there is no denying that the Republican nominee and president-elect made blatant appeals to racism throughout the past 18 months.

Conservatives spend most of their political endeavors fighting off claims of racism, sexism and all the rest of the “isms”. To some extent, there’s no winning that battle. Many on the left will label conservatives these things no matter what they do and no matter who they nominate. For example, in February, Salon wrote an article called saying that “Rubio and Cruz are the real monsters.” In 2012, Joe Biden said to a gathering of African-American people that “[Mitt Romney] is going to put y’all back in chains.”

Given these constant attacks on their character, conservatives reflexively defend themselves against claims of racism, sexism and every other form of vicious discrimination. However, conservatives must be intellectually honest.

President-elect Trump said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

That isn’t “telling it like it is.” That isn’t being politically incorrect. That is depraved, and conservatives should be even more upset with him than the left are. For better or worse, he represents us now, and we cannot accept this as the new normal.

There’s a big difference between being politically incorrect and just being a horrible person. Political incorrectness is about speaking tough truths to people that don’t want to hear them. A politically incorrect person would have said that an insecure border causes chaos in areas close to the border on both sides, and that 42 percent of all federal crimes filed in the U.S. in the 2013-14 fiscal year occurred in five districts in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California, according to a Department of Justice report. A horrible person flippantly throws incendiary buzz words at the problem to stir up resentment that they can take advantage of.
Being willing to speak tough truths is a crucial aspect of conservatism, meaning that blurring the lines between political incorrectness and poor character would be disastrous to the conservative cause.

While it is my hope that, in the future, the left will not throw the racism label at every conservative within yelling distance and reserve their claims of racism for actual racism, it is even more important that conservatives are able to admit where discrimination or unnecessarily hurtful words do exist on our side. If there is going to be any reconciliation between the two sides, it begins with conservatives acknowledging and condemning the blatant depravity of some of President-elect Trump’s comments.

Contact James Silberman at
jsilberman17@my.whitworth.edu

Also read:

"To my fellow liberals"

"To my fellow Whitworthians"

Unhappy with the president? Life goes on

James Silberman

Columnist

It is Wednesday, Nov. 9 which means that, barring a recount, the 45th president has been selected.

Our new leader is either an (alleged) rapist or a slanderer of (alleged) rape victims.

Either a man who lies about his foundation’s charitable giving or a woman whose foundation receives millions of dollars from foreign dictators.

Either a man who plans to crack down on the freedom of Muslims or a woman who plans to crack down on the freedom of Christians.

Either a man who plays fast and loose with NSFW obscenities or a woman who plays fast and loose with classified secrets.

Either a man whose life is defined by an insatiable pursuit of wealth and pleasure or a woman whose life is defined by an insatiable pursuit of power and control.

Supporters of both candidates accuse the other of preparing to bring an end to America as we know it. Former GOP member of the United States House of Representatives Michele Bachmann thinks that a Hillary Clinton win means the end of democracy.

“Well, I don’t want to be melodramatic but I do want to be truthful,” Bachmann said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. “I believe without a shadow of a doubt this is the last election. This is it. This is the last election.”

President Barack Obama claimed that literally everything is in the balance at a Clinton campaign rally in North Carolina last Thursday.

“The fate of the world is teetering,” Obama said. “I hate to put a little pressure on you, but the fate of the republic rests on your shoulders.”

There’s no question that whichever one of these two has won the presidency is a national embarrassment. However, the situation is not as grim as the extremes on either side claim it to be.

Our new president does not possess the political talent necessary to garner support for his or her cause. The two major party nominees of 2016 are the two most despised presidential candidates in the history of presidential polling, according to prominent political data analyst FiveThirtyEight.

Those concerned with the moral corruption of our new president should take solace knowing that the U.S. Constitution significantly limits their power. This is a country where despite significant growth in the power of the executive office, American presidents are not monarchs.

While many seek to erode Constitutional limits, they are still, for the most part, in effect.
In addition, because of their vastly tarnished reputation, our new president is almost certainly going to lose in 2020. Four years is not enough time for anyone to destroy a country such as ours.

Don’t let yourself be tricked into thinking that this president will make or break America. Our new president will likely be an ineffectual leader unable to accomplish much of anything. They will go down with the Zachary Taylors and John Tylers of history, and the phantasmagoric embarrassment that was 2016 will be something that our grandkids never need to know about.

Contact James Silberman at
jsilberman17@my.whitworth.edu

Sodexo is more considerate than you think

Emily Goodell

Columnist

 

Hating the food at college may be a time-honored tradition, but it’s one that needs to stop at Whitworth.

Students are allowed to have opinions on Sodexo, whether they like the food, hours or cost. Students have that freedom, but when complaining about the food service is all that they do, without working to change the things they do not like or even asking those in charge if they can make said changes, it devalues the hard work people in food service do to ensure that students are fed, and fed well.

“People always have a perception a lot of times that school food is not good,” Whitworth Sodexo Executive Chef Timothy Grayson said.

When students complain without working to change the factors they are complaining about, they create a negative culture surrounding food service that devalues the thorough preparation and hard work that food service employees put into getting food to the plates.

Whatever a student may think about Sodexo, they are nationally recognized for the work they put into improving the quality of life of those that they serve, which is their mission according to the Sodexo website.

Sodexo has received multiple awards this year for its continued work toward healthy and sustainable food service. According to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) website, Sodexo was awarded PHA’s Partner of the Year in 2016 for “working to ensure the health of our nation’s youth.”


Based on the numerous accolades Sodexo has won, commitment to providing healthy food and hiring a diverse workforce, students can quantitatively assume that Sodexo is a great company for food service.

Looking qualitatively at the food service from Sodexo, students can see that Whitworth specifically has good food service on an individual level. Sodexo works to provide food options on for students with diverse eating needs, dietary restrictions or preferred diets. Many options are available to students they may not be aware of, Grayson said.

“As far as dietary needs, we have really made, I think, a trend-setting effort to try to improve in those areas,” Grayson said.

In order to accommodate individuals with those needs, Sodexo provides many options. For individuals with celiac disease or who are gluten-intolerant, there is gluten-free alternative section in the dining hall with pre-packaged gluten free products.
“It’s not cheap, that stuff,” Grayson said. “We’re not sparing expense or cutting corners to keep these people safe.”

While it’s always possible for mistakes to happen and that something could go wrong, the employees at Sodexo make every effort to prevent things such as cross-contamination of allergen-containing foods.

Other considerations exist for those who are vegan or vegetarian, and even for individuals who are simply more health conscious.

In order to prevent individuals from accidentally digesting an allergen, Sodexo labels food containing nuts and other allergens near the food and on the digital menu board.

“Every single thing is not labeled, unfortunately, but we try to do as much as we can,” Grayson said.

Students at Whitworth are oftentimes not aware of their options, said Grayson, who personally meets with students who request it to customize meal plans.

There are some individuals whose diets are so restricted that food service workers prepare them meals from scratch in the kitchen. They also make sack lunches that are gluten free.
For some students with very restricted diets, Grayson buys a selection of pre-packaged foods they are able to eat to take back to their dorm, so that they don’t go hungry between meals.

“We can’t know everything that’s going on unless somebody communicates to us,” Grayson said. “If somebody’s having issues then we need to know so we can address how we are going to handle it with [them]. It’s a two-way effort.”

One reason students may not come forward about having certain dietary needs is the perception of a stigma surrounding having such needs, Grayson said. He assures students that Sodexo does not stigmatize anyone with dietary restrictions, and that having such problems is not uncommon.

If a student is struggling with a dietary restriction such as allergies, celiac disease or any other health concern, Grayson said he wants them to come talk to him, and he will work to help them.
Although students may look at the dining hall in a negative light, unless they’ve tried to actively work with people like Grayson in charge of food services to change whatever they do not like, they should stop complaining.  

Students’ concerns may be legitimate, but without working proactively toward solutions together, simply complaining to nearby people doesn’t do any good. It just devalues the hard work people do in order to bring food to the table.

 

Whitworth: Cut ties with Planned Parenthood

Whitworth has a number of “community partners”—organizations that the university collaborates with in different ways, typically involving volunteer opportunities or student learning. There are 151 of these organizations listed on the Whitworth Serves webpage.

Planned Parenthood is one of those partners. While investigating the issue further, it became clear that there are numerous connections between Whitworth and Planned Parenthood and a number of ways in which the school is supporting the abortion industry.

According to students who had taken Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS 201), Planned Parenthood is portrayed in a positive light. The textbook being used supports that sentiment.

In a WSG 201 textbook, “Women’s Voices Feminist Visions,” there’s a section devoted to abortion. There’s an essay from “Ms. Magazine” in the book called, “The Anti-Abortion Clinic Across the Street,” which depicts pro-life people as violent misogynists. The hatred Kathryn Joyce, author of the essay, feels toward pro-life individuals is palpable. Two other essays and commentary from the book’s authors reinforce this narrative.

These tactics aren’t confined to WGS. The textbook for Health Science 385, Sexuality and Society, regurgitates similar pro-abortion talking points. Throughout the chapter about pregnancy, the book highlights benefits of abortion while severely downplaying the negatives, including the emotional impact on the mother and the immorality of taking an innocent human life. The most egregious example is on page 310 where the book claims that women who have an abortion before the age of 21 fare better in life than those who don’t. This willful blindness to the realities of abortion in a university textbook is astonishing.

What’s truly tragic is that the students in these classes are being fed malicious lies. Study after study on abortion trauma show that abortion harms women.

A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research by researchers at Bowling Green University found causation between abortion and a host of mental disorders. “What is most notable in this study is that abortion contributed significant independent effects to numerous mental health problems above and beyond a variety of other traumatizing and stressful life experiences. The strongest effects based on the attributable risks indicated that abortion is responsible for more than 10% of the population incidence of alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, drug dependence, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and bipolar disorder in the population. Lower percentages were identified for 6 additional diagnoses.”

These findings are corroborated by dozens of other similar studies. All of this is hidden from students by the abortion industry and university textbooks because, for many Progressives, pushing the agenda of the sexual revolution is more important than intellectual honesty or the well-being of women.

On walls around campus, there are flyer cards referring pregnant women to Planned Parenthood. To the school’s credit, there is also a crisis pregnancy center on the card, but any reference of students to Planned Parenthood is damning enough.

Whitworth referring pregnant women to Planned Parenthood is tantamount to referring them for an abortion. There are three pregnancy-specific services provided to pregnant women by Planned Parenthood, according to Planned Parenthood data reports: prenatal care, adoption referral and abortion. In 2014-2015, 94 percent of their pregnancy related services (323,999 out of 343,422) were abortions. The organization does everything they can to steer women toward abortion by giving each of their facilities an abortion quota according to former employees. Here is former clinic director, Sue Thayer, discussing the quotas. Pictures taken at a Planned Parenthood in Aurora, CO indicate that facilities which exceed those quotas are given awards.

In March, Whitworth sponsored a community fetal tissue research event. A recap of the event published on the website of the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research shows Planned Parenthood was defended against claims of wrongdoing. Furthermore, the event highlighted a supposed upside of abortion: using the body parts of preborn human beings for science. The event was called “Reflection on Precious Gifts: The Stewardship of Fetal Tissue.”

Whitworth also signs off on accredited internships done through Planned Parenthood. This can be found in Planned Parenthood’s annual report archives, and was confirmed by multiple Planned Parenthood representatives.

Two weeks ago, Whitworth included a Planned Parenthood booth at the school volunteer fair. Multiple students signed up with the organization’s employee.

When asked about the aforementioned actions in regard to abortion and Planned Parenthood, Associate Provost, Randy Michaelis, who was speaking on behalf of school administration, said that “well-meaning, thoughtful Christians disagree about a number of social issues.” About most social issues, I would concur. However, this issue is not one where well-meaning, thoughtful people can disagree. Here’s why.

Planned Parenthood has an ugly history. It was founded in 1916 by Margaret Sanger. Sanger was a self-described eugenicist, meaning she advocated for population control of groups of people she deemed “undesirable.” Here is one example among many from Sanger describing her vision for Planned Parenthood and how she would use eugenics to cleanse the world of undesirables in a New York Times article: “Birth Control means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”      

In addition to a history of disparaging rhetoric, Planned Parenthood continues to take morally unconscionable actions. In April, Indiana passed a law that banned abortions based on sex, race or disability. Planned Parenthood sued the state so that preborn children could be aborted based solely on his or her sex, race or disability.

Planned Parenthood lobbies for infanticide. In 2013, one of their representatives, Alisa LaPolt Snow, argued in a legislative session in Florida against a born-alive protection act which mandated that children gain full human rights when they are born. Snow contended that children who survive botched abortions and are born alive should be left alone to die if still unwanted.

If you are well-meaning and you think about these things happening inside Planned Parenthood, the only conclusion you can come to is that it is absolutely wrong and that a Christian institution whose mission is “equipping its graduates to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity” should have nothing to do with it.

The mere fact that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest human butcher shop should be enough for the school to cut ties. Through the manipulation of language, Planned Parenthood frames itself as an organization that does good and provides health care. However, real health care providers don’t stop tens of thousands of beating hearts each year. Real health care providers don't end human life, they preserve it. Planned Parenthood doesn’t “terminate a pregnancy.” They tear apart a living human being limb-from-limb while the child squirms away from the clamps. They tear young boys and girls apart until all that’s left is a bloody pile of human flesh and bone that gets vacuum-sealed and thrown in a freezer. This is immoral, and it is not something that well-meaning, thoughtful people can disagree on.

There are some topics of discussion that are morally gray, and on those issues, Whitworth is perfectly justified in remaining in its place atop the “narrow ridge.” But this is not one of those issues. Whitworth trustees, administration and applicable faculty have a responsibility to take a stand on the issue of abortion and Planned Parenthood. To those whom this applies: If you have any semblance of a working moral compass, if you care anything about the ethical standing of this university and if you have any regard whatsoever for your God-given responsibility to defend the defenseless and stand for what is right, take the following steps.

First, remove Planned Parenthood from your list of volunteer community partners and do not allow Planned Parenthood to recruit student volunteers and interns on campus in the future.

Second, remove Planned Parenthood cards from campus walls.

Third, review the textbooks being used in classrooms. Discuss the content and accuracy of the claims being made in reference to abortion and consider getting new books.

Fourth, publicly condemn the bloodshed that goes on inside Planned Parenthood.

Fifth, be a part of the solution. Develop a community partnership with I-Choice, a crisis pregnancy center just a few miles away on North Ash. I-Choice provides free pre- and post-natal care for pregnant mothers, as well as emotional and relational support. They even provide free shelter and a loving family atmosphere for those mothers and/or fathers who have nowhere to go.

The only mitigating factor of my distaste towards the actions of the school in regard to Planned Parenthood and abortion is the fact that I know this isn’t just a Whitworth problem.

To students around the country, especially those attending other Christian institutions, look into whether or not your school is supporting the abortion industry. If they are, find out to what extent and bring it into the light. Submit articles to campus publications or start a Students for Life club at your school. Contact me at the email below if you would like help doing either. It’s up to the Pro-Life generation to put a stop to this.

Proverbs 24:11-13: “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?’”

 

Contact James Silberman at jsilberman17@my.whitworth.edu

Classrooms should use debate to facilitate learning

All Whitworth classrooms should utilize debate as a teaching tool.

Classroom debates can provide an environment where students may take the information learned through lecturing and homework and apply it in a meaningful way to better understand the information.

University debate teams such as the Whitworth Forensics team, which I am a part of, provide the opportunity to debate in a structured environment against other people from schools regionally, nationally and internationally.

In a study published in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Bloomsburg University professor  Ruth Kennedy said that in-class debates are, “fertile ground for active learning and the cultivation of critical thinking and oral communication skills.”

The benefits gleaned from participating on a university’s competitive debate team should not be constrained to just those students, as principles of the competitive debate format can and should apply to all classes.

According to the National Dropout Prevention Center, active learning is defined as “a general term for teaching and learning strategies that engage and involve students in the learning process.”

The center also states that active learning activities such as debate reduce boredom, prevent dropout and give students control of their education.

Critical thinking is a skill significantly improved by participating in classroom debate, and has been shown to be significantly lower than expected among college students, according to Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, a book by New York University sociologist Richard Arum. 

The book is based by a study done on college students that found that 45 percent of college students in their first two years made no significant improvement in critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills. After four years, 36 percent showed no significant gains in their critical thinking skills.

According to a Job Outlook 2011 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employment (NACE), recent college graduates lack oral communication skills that are necessary to be effective employees.

Since presumably the reason for students to attend college is to gain an education and better job prospects, employable skills are necessary to learn.

Debate does those things. If professors utilize debate, either as individuals doing a formalized debate or a as classwide discussion arguing issues at hand, students will be able to actively learn and develop critical thinking and oral communication skills, which will hopefully result in a more employable student after graduation.

Emily Goodell

Columnist

egoodell18@my.whitworth.edu

All students should work during college

Emily Goodell

Columnist

College is a busy time for everyone. There are assignments to do, tests to take, extracurricular involvements to manage and friendships to maintain. The last problem a college student needs is another obligation, right?

Whether a parent(s) or legal guardian(s) is financing the student’s education in part or in full or the student is paying the balance themselves, employment during college is important. 

Many students are already working. According to the U.S. Department of Education in 2014, more than 78 percent of undergraduate students have some form of employment during their college career. That being said, the benefit received from working as a student should be a priority to all students.

Working during school makes successful students, according to a 2015 study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “Learning While Earning: e New Normal.” The study found that obtaining early work experience establishes good habits like time management and budgeting and allow students to make connections that will be useful in their future careers.

According to Whitworth’s website, 69 percent of Whitworth students receive federal student loans while at Whitworth. Considering that the average student loan repayment for 20 to 30 year olds was $351 a month in 2015, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Consumer Credit Panel, lowering student loan debt is crucial to a student’s future financial well-being.

One counterargument against student employment is the constrained amount of time students have which prohibits them from working; however, there are ways to mitigate that problem.

According to BTIG research, the average Netflix subscriber consumes two hours of television or movies per day. According to a study done by Geoffrey Graybeal, a media and communications professor at Texas Tech University, nine out of 10 college students use Netflix. Using those numbers, it can be inferred that 90 percent of college students spend more than 10 hours a week watching Netflix.

The above number does not include non-required reading, social media usage, cable TV or time spent with friends. This does not mean that any of those things are bad or that they are things that do not have value, but they are things that could be decreased in order to make room for a job.

The minimum wage in Washington is $9.47, according to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. If a Whitworth student worked 10 hours a week for a month, approximately two hours a weekday, before taxes are taken out, that student would make $378.

That may not seem like much money to some people, and it is a lot to others, but it is money that a student earns themselves to do with what they want. The more money they have saved up, the easier it will be to maintain personal and financial stability in the future. Sickness, theft or accidents could happen that would require extra funds. Or a student could be offered an opportunity for service, study abroad or vacation for which they have insufficient funds.

Regardless of a student’s current financial status, the future is uncertain. Although money is not the sole measure of happiness or success in the world, life is easier for people when they know that they have enough money saved up to deal with worst case scenarios.

Another argument against student employment is that it negatively impacts students’ grades, but according to a joint study by Ohio University and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that is not the case. This study found that the average GPA of freshmen at four-year universities who worked one to 20 hours per week was 3.13, and those students who were not employed had an average GPA of 3.04. This means that working some during college can positively impact a student’s GPA.

However, the study also found that working more than 20 hours a week was detrimental to academics. Freshmen who worked over 20 hours a week had an average GPA of 2.95. This means that whether student employment positively or negatively affects GPA is determined by the amount of hours worked per week.

A final concern about students working is feasibility of finding and keeping a job while in school. Concerns like transportation, availability and the job market are not unfounded, but are manageable and will result in a return investment in the future.

Eventually most students will be living alone on their own dime. Even if that is not currently the case, it is good to start learning how to do it now.

Having a job is hard. Having a job and going to school is harder. Balancing life and work and school and everything else on a student’s plate is hard. Though it may be harder to have a job while in school, it is manageable and profitable in the long run. 

 

Contact Emily Goodell at egoodell18@my.whitworth.edu

Why people should prioritize mental health above all else

Emily Goodell

Columnist

Your mental health is more important than your grades. It is more important than your future. It is even more important than your physical health. Why?


Because caring for your mental health is the foundation for achieving good grades, being successful in the future, and maintaining physical health.


According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 has a diagnosable mental illness. This means that Whitworth, which has an undergraduate population of around 2,346 students, has approximately 586 students on this campus may have a mental illness.


Mental health is the most important health consideration during your years at college. This is a formative time; you are all alone, having new experiences, getting out in the world. This means you have a lot of stress and worry about the future. Not seeking out mental health resources is detrimental to you.


If you are hesitant to believe that you have issues with mental health, it may be because of the stigma regarding mental health issues and seeking treatment for them. NAMI statistics show that more than 40 percent of college students feel more than an average amount of stress. More than 80 percent of students feel overwhelmed and 45 percent have felt that things were hopeless. This goes to show that even if you do not have a diagnosable mental illness, you still may not be mentally healthy.


If you currently have good mental health, that does not mean it is going to stay that way. Anything can happen to affect your mental health, including trauma, stress or changes in your life, as well as possibly developing a mental illness later on in life. Prioritizing it now gives you ways to manage future obstacles.


Whether you have a diagnosable mental illness, are struggling with mental health, or are in good mental health, mental health is important. It is more important than everything because of the dire consequences that can occur from not taking care of your mental health.
Last year was a difficult year for me. I was taking a full load and was stressed and overwhelmed with trying to keep up with those obligations. The toll that stress took on my body was significant. I was so busy and stressed that I was getting less than six hours of sleep a night, and sometimes less than four.


Last spring, I ended up coming down with a double ear infection and a sinus infection simultaneously. Then I added bronchitis on top of that. From that, I developed pneumonia. I was unable to get out of bed. I had to be taken to the urgent care center, the emergency room and a family physician. I was out of school, work and my extracurriculars for weeks. Due to the nature of pneumonia, I was unable to participate fully in anything for the rest of the school year. Months later, I am still not 100 percent.

Think of your body (physical health) as a ship, and your brain (mental health) as the captain.


According to the Mayo Clinic, when you are stressed, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, which is a response from your adrenal gland. Adrenaline pumps through your body, much like it does when you are attacked or feel threatened. This overuse of the adrenal gland can lead to immune system problems.


That is what happened to me. After months of being in a constant state of adrenaline, my immune system was weakened and had trouble fighting infections. The more stress I had, the sicker I became, and the sicker I became, the more stressed I was. This cycle spiraled until I ended up in the hospital.


Stress is a mental health issue. So are anxiety and depression, symptoms that many college students experience, according to NAMI. The American College Health Association reported that in 2011, students said the main issues impeding their academic performance were anxiety and depression.


Think of your body (physical health) as a ship, and your brain (mental health) as the captain. If there is no captain, the ship will not move. If the captain is sick, the ship will not move well and is in danger of sinking. In order to navigate difficult waters (your future, academics), you need to be ship-shape.


In order to do anything, you need to take care of your mental health. To do that, you need to know how.


Receiving help for mental health issues does not mean that you have a diagnosable mental illness, and having a diagnosed mental illness does not mean that you cannot succeed in college. What will prevent you from succeeding, diagnosis or not, is lacking proper mental health care.


Whitworth provides a number of resources for students. There is the counseling center, the Marriage and Family Wellness center and the Student Success team.
You can talk to your adviser, reach out to a friend or practice meditation. If you are stressed out and not sleeping, you can skip class for a day to rest. You can hammock, read or binge-watch a show on Netflix. Sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you need help. That is ok. What is not ok is not taking care of yourself.

Inner city lives matter: Detroit’s disadvantage

James Silberman
Columnist


Millions of Americans feel that their lives don’t matter. They believe they are in a system that prevents them from rising.


Upon examination of the places where these people live, one cannot possibly disagree.
The American inner city is plagued by broken families, failing schools, poverty, violent crime, drugs and unemployment. This is still America, and even those who grow up in these grief-stricken regions have the opportunity to better themselves if they make good decisions in life, but there is no questioning the fact that the people growing up in American inner cities are at a disadvantage.


There is no restoration in sight for these communities. This is because there is little serious political discussion about how so many black communities have become broken, and who has presided over this malaise for decades.


Consider this from prominent social activist, Dumisami Washington: “You can take a knee during the Anthem, refuse to acknowledge the flag; dissect the country’s slave and Jim Crow past; change the names of streets, cities, and historical buildings that honor racists and slaveholders; change whose face is on the currency; put a black man or woman in the White House for the next 50 years, or listen to ‘Fight the Power’ for the 1 millionth time. None of that is going to restore our broken homes, fix the schools that are failing our children, or create business owners and entrepreneurs.”


Life in the inner city sucks, and political posturing and virtue signaling don’t do a thing to help those in need. What they need is new policies. Is it not fair to ascribe much of the blame to the political overseers of inner cities?


Since World War II, Detroit has had exactly one Republican on its city council. And in 54 years, there has never been a mayor who wasn’t a Democrat.


Baltimore has had Democratic mayors for 43 consecutive years and has had an all-Democrat city council for 73 consecutive years.


Chicago has had a Democratic mayor for 85 years running and only two Republican city council members in the last 32 years.


In L.A., Philadelphia, Seattle and just about every other major metropolitan area, the story is much the same. Even in conservative states such as Louisiana, Texas and Georgia, the left controls the major cities like New Orleans, Houston and Atlanta. Democrats have virtually monopolized the American inner city since black families, schools and communities began their tragic economic and social decline.


A large portion of this decline is directly connected to the Democratic Party’s social, economic and educational policies.


First, the social.


Marx, Trotsky, Alinsky, Horkheimer and all the great left-wing thinkers of history have known that if the state can dissolve the nuclear family, it can take over the essence of a nation. The American Left has succeeded at doing just that in inner cities.


First, they used the sexual revolution to separate sex from marriage. Then they waged the “War on Poverty” in 1964, which subsidized bad decision-making and promiscuous sexual activity.

Through the massive expansion of the welfare state, the government essentially replaced the inner city male by taking over his share of financial responsibility for the family. If a mother was single, she received significant aid from the government. But if she got married, the benefits were cut off. The increase in the rate of single-parenthood in the black community since the War on Poverty has been shocking, increasing from 21 percent in 1960 to 72 percent in 2010, according to a study done at Princeton. Due to the War on Poverty and the sexual revolution, inner-city families have successfully been broken up and the surviving individuals are completely dependent upon the government.
Second, the economic.


Detroit was once the epicenter of the American Dream and upward mobility. According to the US Census Bureau, in 1960, Detroit had the highest income per capita of any major American city. But 50 years of progressive Democratic governance has turned that prosperity into unprecedented poverty.


The first in Detroit’s string of Democratic mayors was Jerome Cavanagh (1962-70). He expanded economic regulations, raised taxes and increased welfare. Cavanagh’s successors built upon his progressive, welfare-city reforms for over 40 years until Detroit’s economic growth had been wholly strangled.


In July of 2013, the city of Detroit declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy. It is the largest public entity ever to do so in the United States. According to the Brookings Institution, Detroit’s poverty rate currently stands at 40 percent, the highest among the 25 major U.S. metropolitan areas.
Third, the educational.


Democrats have become the party of the public-sector union. Teachers' unions spend massive amounts of money to help elect Democrats, who then stand in the way of vital educational reforms like charter schools and vouchers. In most inner cities, families that can’t afford private schools and can’t afford to move to better school districts have no choice but to send their children to the failing local public school.


Because of opposition to school choice from the Democrats, these schools have no incentive to improve. The best incentive would be competition, but wherever and whenever inner-city families have a charter school option, the waiting lists for these charters are massive, indicating how desperate people are to escape the failing public school system.


Over the past 50+ years, the progressive monopoly on inner cities has trapped millions in generational poverty and depression. Those people need pro-growth economic policy, choice-based education policy and pro-family social policy. In other words, inner cities need conservatism. If we’re serious about fixing our inner cities, there’s no better place to start than changing the leadership and the policies that have managed their decline.