Task force to explore Whitworth’s options in a changing religious landscape

Board of Trustees chair Walter Oliver announced the formation of a task force to advise the board regarding Whitworth’s response to changes in the Presbyterian Church (USA) as well as the church as a whole April 23. Jerry Sittser, professor of theology and a member of the task force, said the formation of the group was sparked in part by recent debate within the Presbyterian denomination.

“The narrow issue has to do with standards of ordination, but also how the denomination governs its affairs,” Sittser said. “There’s been a pretty dramatic shift in both over the last year.”

The PC(USA) voted in July of 2011 to change some of the wording in the Book of Order. This involved changing what was known as the “fidelity and chastity” clause, which stated that those who hold a church office must fulfill certain standards.

“Among these standards is the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness,” the old “Book of Order” stated.

It has been changed to say that church officers should practice “joyful submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ in all aspects of life.

Future ASWU president junior Molly Hough said she has heard many students discussing this topic.

“I think one of the biggest issues has been coming up on campus recently, and that is homosexuality and sexual orientation of pastors,” she said.

Sittser noted, however, that these questions are only part of the subject matter the board plans to address.

“I think there’s a larger issue going on, and that has to do with how you just function as a church, and how you identify yourself with American culture,” he said.

Part of that has to do with the changing church landscape. Until recently, Sittser said, the mainline churches such as the Presbyterian church were the dominant religious presence in the United States.

That has changed over the past 30 or 40 years.

“All of the mainline protestant churches have suffered precipitous declines,” he said.

The largest percentage of students that identified themselves as Christian at Whitworth 25 years ago came from the PC(USA). Now more come from independent churches, Sittser said.

“I think it’s forcing Whitworth to rethink how it relates to those various religious bodies,” he said.

“We’ve been affiliated with the PC(USA) for our entire history, and I see no reason why that should stop. But the landscape of religion in America is changing and we need to think about what that means for the way we do education here.”

Hough said the task force will work to make an informed decision.

“We are going to do the best that we can in knowing the issues at stake and making ourselves as knowledgeable as possible,” Hough said.

She, president Beck Taylor, and chief of staff Rhosetta Rhodes will soon be discussing the best ways of keeping students apprised of the situation and allowing their input.

“We are having this conversation because it’s been an issue that has come up, and so we’re listening to that,” Hough said. We are trying to form the best possible plan of action that we can use to address these issues.”

The goal is to decide on a plan by April of next year, Hough said.


Story by Evanne Montoya Staff Writer

Contact Evanne Montoya at emontoya13@my.whitworth.edu.

Spotted from the crow's nest: Daniel Redfern, men's tennis

Senior tennis player Daniel Redfern has made the most of his two-year Pirate career. Since joining the program from Skagit Valley Community College in 2011, Redfern has had two All-Northwest Conference seasons.

“Daniel can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the conference,” head coach Mike Shanks said. “He has the best forehand in the conference and he’s amazingly quick. It’s been a pleasure to watch him perform.”

Redfern, a math major from Camano Island, Wash., was the Pirates’ No. 1 singles player the past two seasons and was also part of the No. 1 doubles team this year and part of last year. He has a combined 40=++ wins in these two seasons, his best season coming this year with 22 total wins.

“Daniel is a great teammate,” junior Cameron Williams said. “It’s awesome to see him raise his game to the next level.”

Before Whitworth, Redfern played two years at Skagit Valley Community College where he won the singles conference championship as a freshman and placed second as a sophomore.

“It really was fun,” Redfern said of his experience. “The competition wasn’t the greatest because there were only four teams in the conference and there was only really one guy that consistently challenged me, but I still learned a lot.”

After transferring to Whitworth, Redfern earned NWC Player of the Week honors three times and was also named first team All-NWC in 2011 and 2012. Of all of his great accomplishments and experiences at Whitworth, there were two moments Redfern will always remember.

“Personally my favorite moment was when we were in Dallas over Spring Break last year,” Redfern said. “I was losing badly in the first set of my match, but I came back and won the set. I lost in the second set and I started cramping, but both the men’s and the women’s teams were there watching and supporting me. They helped me persevere through the pain and I won the third set.”

That match was against LeToureau University in Sherman, Texas, where Whitworth won 7-2. Every set in Redfern’s match was decided by at least two games, the final score being 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-4. Redfern played his best tennis in that match, but his favorite team moment came when he didn’t have his best personal day.

“My favorite moment as a team was when we were playing at Linfield last year,” Redfern said. “We lost all of our doubles matches and I lost my singles match, meaning we had to win five straight singles matches for the victory. We had some guys pull out some close matches and we ended up winning 5-4, taking third in conference because of that.”

Even though his Pirate tennis career might be over, Redfern still plans to be a part of next year’s team. Redfern is a junior academically but has senior eligibility in tennis so he will return next season to be an assistant coach on the team while finishing his degree.


Story by Nathan Webber Staff Writer

Photographer: Linnea Goold


Contact Nathan Webber at nathanwebber13@my.whitworth.edu.

Student athlete slam dunks the standards

Senior considers his first-team academic All-American honor finest accolade

Four years ago, Felix Friedt had hardly heard of Whitworth. Four years later, the senior center for the Whitworth basketball team has been named the Male Athlete of the Year by The Whitworthian sports section staff.

Friedt was quick to give the credit to his team.

“This honor is more a reflection of a team accomplishment,” Friedt said. “I couldn’t do it by myself or [without] the people who came before me.”

Friedt’s senior season was the exclamation point to an already stellar Whitworth career, on and off the court. He led the Pirates to their sixth consecutive NCAA Division III tournament and their third Sweet 16 appearance in four years. Following an impressive post-season performance, the 6-foot-8 German native was named Second Team All-West Region and received Third Team All-West Region honors. In addition, he was named First Team All-Northwest Conference.

Behind the scenes, Friedt has worked hard for his accomplishments. Junior point guard and teammate Wade Gebbers recalled Friedt’s dedication in the weight room and his intense work ethic, such as doing curls for an hour straight.

“The reason he does that is because of his determination to be great,” Gebbers said. “He has that determination but follows up on it and you can see that in everything he does, whether it’s playing or in school.”

When Friedt wasn’t in the Fieldhouse or the weight room, he hit the books. The economics and international business double major said despite the plethora of other awards he has received this year, being honored as First Team Academic All-American is his proudest accomplishment.

“He has left one of the best examples of a student athlete that he could leave,” Gebbers said.

First year head basketball coach Matt Logie recalled a particular weekend during conference play when Friedt’s dedication to athletics, academics and his resilience stood out. Whitworth traveled to Newberg, Ore., to play George Fox on a Friday night. Early Saturday morning, Friedt left the team and drove three hours to take a standardized test for graduate school entrance and drove three hours back to Portland, Ore., to arrive about 90 minutes before tip off that night at Lewis & Clark. Friedt was also nursing a sprained ankle. Nevertheless, the anchor for the Bucs put up a double-double that night.

“To be able to will himself through all of that, that was very impressive as a coach,” Logie said of the weekend.

Friedt averaged upwards of 16 points a game for the Bucs, scoring over 500 points on this past season. That number is nearly half of his career 1130, which places him 13th among Whitworth’s all-time leading scorers. Friedt sunk 200 shots from behind the charity stripe this season, maintaining a free-throw shooting percentage of over 80 percent.

Still, Friedt was adamant that the year was not about him. His team came first. He specifically mentioned the drastic changes to the Whitworth coaching personnel and roster coming into the year.

“As a team, I thought it was great how much we came together, facing a coaching change at the beginning of the year,” Friedt said.  “Some people questioned if we could repeat what we did the year before because we lost a great deal of players. [This year] we had a great record, we won a conference championship, we went on the road and swept Texas [in the national tournament], all of those will be things I’ll remember forever.”

Logie commended Friedt on his efforts to make the coaching transition as smooth as possible.

“The biggest challenge that we faced together was just the adversity of having to learn a new offense, new defense, and build relationships with new coaches,” Logie said. “That’s a lot to ask of somebody going into their senior year. He handled it about as well as anybody could handle it.”

In his Whitworth Fieldhouse finale, Friedt drained a trey in the opening moments of the game, which was followed by an outburst of elation from the stands. He says it was his favorite moment of the year. “I’ll definitely miss playing in front of the fans, the crowd,” Friedt said. “Comparing it [to] any other place, this was the best place to play at.”

Friedt is an outstanding student and athlete, but even more than that, he is a teammate. The past three years, his team voted him best teammate.

“He might come off as just this seven-foot monster, but he genuinely cares about his teammates,” Gebbers said. “Felix is a big teddy bear.”

After graduation, Friedt plans to get married and attend graduate school at the University of Oregon to earn a Ph.D. in economics.

“I think on a national level [Felix] was about as productive of a basketball player as you could have,” Logie said. “At the same time I think he just displayed exemplary leadership and was a standout student in the classroom. I think he really exemplifies the male student athlete of the year award and what it should stand for.”


Story by Sena Hughes Staff Writer

Photographer: Tanner Scholten


Contact Sena Hughes at shughes15@my.whitworth.edu.

Know the organization you support

It is easy to walk down the sidewalk sporting your new TOMs with the recognized blue and white stripped flag stitched on the back of each heel, and yet have no real knowledge of the company or the founder. I find it sad that people will sport a brand and organization that is doing good in the world, but if approached about what the company is all about would not be able to say anything.

The founder of TOMs is Blake Mycoskie. He came up with the idea of TOMs after forcing himself to take a vacation and a break from work. However, going to Argentina was not just a random idea Blake had. He competed on the Amazing Race before and one of the countries he raced through was Argentina, he told himself he had to go back someday when the race was over.

When he went back he saw the need for shoes in Argentina to help prevent injuries and diseases. He decided to locate a shoemaker in Argentina, work with him and then bring the designs back home.

Then it took off. Soon he was posting adds for interns on Craigslist and working out of his small apartment in Venice, Calif..

The company took off once big name magazines such as Vogue and newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times began writing features on TOMs and soon Nordstrom picked up the trendy shoe, and to this day is their biggest buyer.

Did you know any of that? When walking around sporting the TOMs logo you are sporting so much more then the catch phrase ‘one for one.’ There is much more to your one pair of shoes than just the face value and the fact that you helped send a pair of shoes to a child in need.

You are walking around supporting one man’s dream to help a country he saw in need first hand. You are showing your peers that you support Blake and back him up as he has sacrificed everything and took a leap of faith to make his company work.

It is one thing to wear and support an organization and it is a whole different thing to support them and actually know what they are about, where they came from and what they have done to get where they are today.

Don’t just support TOMs or any organization for their face value; dig deep, educate yourself on the cause and their mission and be one of the few who are able to say, “Do you know how TOMs started? No, well let me tell you how, because it is an inspirational story.”


Story by Haley Williams Columnist

Williamson is a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication. Comments can be sent to hwilliamson15@my.whitworth.edu.

Commending campus and community

Having been unusually complacent in my college search, I ended up at Whitworth because I liked the trees, the abundance of pianos here and was luckily offered a spot on the soccer team. I didn’t put much thought into the Christian or conservative stigmas of Whitworth, but just enjoyed the idea of playing soccer and going to an academically excellent school.

Many athletes have a tough time here, as they come solely to be an athlete, and thus may have negative attitudes about the community at Whitworth. I, on the other hand, fell in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of times when I stared at my Buddha collection and asked myself, What on earth am I doing here? However, I always came around, never regretting my decision, even at the culmination of my four years here.

I would almost always recommend this school to any prospective student; of course there are circumstances when I’d say this isn’t the place for you. I think the academics here are outstanding. Here’s a shout-out to the English department whom I have spent much time with in the catacombs of Westminster. Alongside the benefits of class size here, I have found that the relationships developed with my professors compare to no other school my friends attended. I recently told my friend, who attends another university, that I was going to get my professor’s advice on something entirely personal and non-academic, and she was very confused. I had a hard time explaining that that is the way things work around here.

I could commend the professors and coaches here all day from a variety of departments, but I’ll stop short of being a brown-noser for obvious reasons, nobody likes a brown-noser! In a previous article, I discussed how the community at Whitworth stifles the opportunity to explore the community of Spokane, but what a wonderful problem to have. I love that everyone has a friend here, and I know that sounds awfully Bible camp-esque, but it’s true.

Whitworth is a diverse community regarding political, religious and societal views. There is a place for everyone, and a community that will understand you. There is something special on this campus, and I would always want another human being to share the experience that I had here. I have been challenged in ways I never would have been anywhere else, and have met some pretty amazing people along the way.


Story by Sarah Berentson Columnist

Berentson is a senior majoring in English and Spanish. Comments can be sent to sberentson12@my.whitworth.edu.

Men and women differ in leadership styles

Personally, I prefer to have a man in leadership positions. I was raised in a patriarchal family where my dad had the final say in just about everything.

I believe in gender roles within the household. I do believe that women should cook, clean and take care of the children. Men should fix things when they break and take out the children to play sports and such. I’m not the type who wants to be a housewife, but I would love to take care of my household on top of my job.

Even though I prefer a man in leadership, I believe women are perfectly capable of leading. I have many female friends who want to pursue leadership in the church and I only encourage them to do just that.

One friend in particular, Helene Mauser, and I had a lovely talk about the matter of women leadership and our talk encouraged me to write this article.

Mauser is currently a freshman here at Whitworth University and will be the Stewart-Boppell-Village small group coordinator next year. Mauser made many good points about women’s leadership that people need to hear.

“Men and women have many different gifts and abilities, and I know that a lot of people are afraid to say that because they don’t want to stereotype anyone, but men and women are different,” she said.

It is not stereotyping to state that fact. Anatomically, socially and psychologically, men and women are very different. Lately women have been trying to be more like men. I find it ironic that feminists try hard to act masculine in order to have respect. I respect a female leader who acts like a woman and uses the gifts God has given her in a feminine way. Men should lead like men and women should lead like women.

We need both forms of leadership.

“They are different in how they see the world and how they relate to the world and we need both of those kinds of people in leadership positions,” Mauser said.

Mauser also believes that women don’t have to lead like men to be strong leaders. Women should embrace a gentler form of leadership. Women are known to be gentler than men. They have a motherly nature to take care of other people with comfort and compassion. The women who try to be like men are just adding to the belief that women can’t lead.

If a woman must act like a man in order to lead, then we are saying that a woman who acts like a woman wouldn’t be a strong leader.

“I’m not an outgoing, crazy person, but I was one of the stronger counselors [at camp] because I was willing to admit that that wasn’t me,” Mauser said. Mauser is the type who sits one on one with people, but also supports the outgoing, bubbly leaders and their style of leadership as well. I think people can learn from her about how to lead. She shows that being yourself and using the gifts God has blessed you with are the true ways of leading.

Women out there who want to lead, don’t try to be like a man. Be proud of your femininity.


Story by Jasmine Barnes Columnist

Barnes is a freshman majoring in English and secondary education. Comments can be sent to jbarnes15@my.whitworth.edu.

Food review: Yuzen restaurant serves fresh Japanese food

This past week, April 21-29, the Spokane community hosted Japan Week, a Japanese cultural event. The event has been put on in April since 1992 and has a wide variety of sponsors  such as The Spokesman-Review and Spokane Falls Community College. The goal of the event is to allow the Spokane community to participate in various Japanese cultural activities and to raise awareness of  the deeply-rooted culture through traditional fine arts performances, food, lectures and festivals.

“It’s a great opportunity for people in Spokane to know Japanese culture,” said Yuko Taniguchi, who teaches Japanese at Whitworth. “Only a limited number of people know of the event and I hope that more people will come to know more about it.”

Not only has Japan Week Spokane 2012 interested the Spokane community, but it has also brought awareness to the Whitworth campus through Taniguchi. This year she assigned her students to go and participate in one of the activities from the event. She recommended the opening ceremony to students because it had a lot of  different  activities going on, such as a dynamic Japanese drumming performance and a martial arts demonstration.

In light of Japan Week, I decided to try out a Japanese restaurant: Yuzen Sushi Restaurant at 5204 North Division St.

The restaurant serves a wide variety, from sushi to hot food. Because sushi is such a staple food of Japan, and I think it’s delicious, I got a lunch platter called Bara-Sushi and Tempura Lunch for $6.95. The lunch platter was large enough to feed two people.

The meal consisted of a salmon cake harumaki, bara-sushi and mixed tempura. The salmon cake harumaki was a type of Japanese spring roll with spicy salmon. It was simple, not too greasy and had a subtle kick to it.

I had never heard of bara-sushi before I came to Yuzen. I was a bit nervous about it because it was out of my comfort zone, but I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who likes sushi. It did not look like your typical sushi roll. In a sense, it was a large cube of a rice mixture that consisted of chopped seaweed salad, albacore tuna, tuna, salmon, mackerel and tamago, which is an egg cake.

The fish tasted fresh and was not overpowering. The seaweed salad did not take over the sushi, but rather complemented the fish, and the tamago added a subtle sweetness to the whole dish. The mixed tempura included green beans, mushrooms, zucchini slices, carrot slices, broccoli and shrimp. Like the salmon cake harumaki, the tempura was hot, fresh and was not greasy with a nice crunch to it.

I am glad that I tried something new. I got a taste of fresh Japanese food and I would recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for something fresh, easy and inexpensive.

Story and photography by Elise Van Dam Staff Writer

Contact Elise Van Dam at evandam13@my.whitworth.edu.

Melendez brings her passion for addressing education inequality to New Mexico schools

Naticcia Melendez is a senior sociology major with a passion for the impoverished and downtrodden. She will be continuing on to teach secondary social studies in New Mexico through Teach For America.

Caitlyn Starkey: Describe your life growing up.

Naticcia Melendez: I grew up in Lakewood, Wash., which is just an outskirt of Tacoma. I grew up with my dad and brother. It was an interesting dynamic because I was growing up with a single father, and a typical single head of household was a single mother. That has definitely shaped and formed my identity today.

Our [Naticcia and her brother] childhood consisted of going to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club after school. Sometimes we would go to my dad’s work after Boy’s and Girl’s Club was done. I thought it was the coolest thing to sit in the warehouse and drink Coke and watch TV while every little kid I knew was in bed.

I grew up in a pretty impoverished neighborhood. We lived in an apartment complex for the majority of my life, and so most people around me were working a lot in order to maintain basic needs. That has kind of dictated the way I view poverty and the way I view wealth. Also my heart for impoverished neighborhoods, for the lower class, has been shaped because of that.

CS: Then how did you end up at Whitworth?

NM: I ended up at Whitworth through Act 6, which is a leadership initiative that pulls from underrepresented areas. Tacoma is one of the areas and brings the unrepresented population into predominantly white campuses.

The goal of Act 6 is for us as leaders to demonstrate our leadership skills, whether it’s through the classroom, whether it’s through a formal leadership, just being present on campus and fighting for what we believe in — allowing ourselves to grow and allowing others to grow as well. I am only here because of Act 6, its the only way I could attend.

CS: I understand you have gotten to travel. Can you explain more about your experiences?

NM: In my four years here I have been to South Korea, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Ireland.

I have loved and appreciated those traveling experiences. They have taught me a lot about myself, and have taught me so much about westernization of cultures and the impact the United States has had on other countries, whether it be positive or negative.

Even though it was hard to hear those things, like the country that I am from has done a lot of negative things, it’s just really opened my eyes and broadened my perspective and allowed me to see the United States in a different light.

CS: How do you think Whitworth prepared you for Teach For America?

NM: I’m pretty competent in knowing how underprivileged communities function because of the sociology classes I have taken. I am very culturally aware of the differences.

That’s not to say I am an expert by any means. I feel like I have been prepared in a social sense to go out and communicate with people of a different community.

In general, knowing that I have been empowered here, I have been trying to use that and empower others, even here at Whitworth.

I want to extend that out into the school that I will be teaching at. But on the other side of that I don’t feel competent in actually teaching because obviously I am not an education major. I am a sociology major and so I know I will have a lot of work to do, and I am prepared for that. I know that the first year of teaching is going to be extremely difficult, but I am ready to persevere through that.


Story by Caitlyn Starkey Staff Writer

Photographer: Gabrielle Perez


Contact Caitlyn Starkey at cstarkey14@my.whitworth.edu.

Follow the yellow brick road to ‘Wizdom’

Students collaborate with community on play about socioeconomic discrimination

With the sun shining and the end of the semester approaching, the last thing on one’s mind might be, ‘How do I feel about socioeconomic discrimination?’ Professor Brooke Kiener of the Whitworth theatre department said she wants to challenge students and community members to think deeper about this subject.

The Whitworth theatre department is putting on the production “Wizdom: Making Dollars and Sense” at the Bing Crosby Theatre May 6 at 7 p.m. The production is to inspire discussion and new perspectives on stereotypes and discrimination of socioeconomic status, Kiener said, who is directing the production.

The production itself is a parody of the Wizard of Oz, Kiener said. The main character, Dorothea, is a Whitworth student who falls asleep on a bench in the Loop and wakes up in downtown Spokane. Lost and confused, Dorothea tries to find her way back to campus and has a few run-ins with different community members.

“[While downtown] Dorothea meets a Native American woman named Tsuts Poo and she tells Dorothea to go on an adventure for wisdom,” Kiener said. “Dorothea misunderstands her and thinks she says to search for the wizard and on her journey she runs into Mr. Scarecrow, Mr. Tinman and Ms. Lion.”

The show was created to inspire a change in thought of community members, but not only about how people of lower socioeconomic status are perceived.

“We really didn’t want the show to only be about how the rich oppress the poor,” Kiener said. “We wanted the show to be about how we all have these preconceived notions about socioeconomics and discriminate across the board. There are plenty of nasty things we say about rich people, too.”

Freshman communications major Quincy Cooper is in Kiener’s theatre class that is putting on the production. Cooper spoke of the impact the production had on students involved.

“When I came into the class I really had no idea what it was about or exactly what being in a community-based theatre class entailed,” Cooper said. “It wasn’t until the first day of class that I found out it is all about making people aware of the economic injustices in Spokane. It’s been great being able to learn about things in our community that we don’t understand or are aware of.”

Another cast member, sophomore psychology and theatre major Katie Gary, said the production inspired her. She said the community members in the project are using “Wizdom” to tell stories of their lives, giving a personal feel to the project, and also making it relatable to the audience.

“I really feel that doing this project has lit a passion in me to be more aware of the issues this play touches on,” Gary said.

Patricia Bruininks, a psychology professor who focuses on social psychology, has students in her Psychology of Poverty and Social Class course complete a “Voices of the Poor” project. It requires the students to create a project that attempts to inform community members and other students about issues of poverty.

“The main purpose of this project is for the students to be able to see these issues from the perspective of those living in poverty, and so ‘Wizdom’ is a beautiful example of that same concept,” Bruininks said. “By including those who are of low income in the play’s production, ‘Wizdom’ is allowing the audience to understand these key issues from a lower socioeconomic status point of view.”

Although the production is happening this year, the actual development of the project started in 2004.

“In 2004 Julia Stronks in political science had a grant to do programming around campus on justice issues,”  Kiener said.

The grant provided funding to hire a company to come to Spokane for a week to do a theatre project on socioeconomic discrimination.

It was during that week that Kiener and a group called VOICEs got together and shared stories that helped create the script. VOICEs is a group of low income individuals who do advocacy work for issues that affect those who live on low incomes.

“We had over 50 people sharing stories on the first night, and we recorded all of them,” Kiener said.

The script was made, but not used right away. Kiener explained that the theatre department’s budget simply did not allow for the production to happen at that time.

“We don’t have any extra money in our budget for anything outside of the main stage productions,” Kiener said. “And this just didn’t fit the bill for a main stage production.”

So the script collected dust for eight years until Kiener got a phone call from Lynn Noland, Whitworth’s director of sponsored programs and IRB administrator of academic affairs, about a grant that made her think that “Wizdom” could become a reality.

“I was planning to teach my community-based theatre class this spring and it suddenly occurred to me [that] if we could get enough money to cover production, the class could work on putting up the show with those community members,” Kiener said.

Kiener applied for the grant, got back in touch with VOICEs, was accepted for the grant and then began work on the production immediately.

Kiener said she is excited to see a piece that has been in the making for eight years finally make its debut.

“I will be very proud,” Kiener said. “Whatever the show looks like, I will only see the good things. It will look amazing to me and will be a glorious moment making us all forget about the difficult moments up until then.”

Tickets are free for this production.

Story by Jacqueline Goldman Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of: Brooke Kiener

Contact Jacqueline Goldman at jgoldman13@my.whitworth.edu.

Whitworth hires new dean to lead business department

Timothy Wilkinson was appointed as the new dean of Whitworth’s School of Global Commerce and Management on April 20. Wilkinson is the former interim dean of the College of Business at Montana State University. Wilkinson will serve as dean for undergraduate majors in accounting, economics, business, international business and marketing. He will also be in charge of activating the community advisory board for the school in the fall. Senior Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Barbara Sanders said she thinks Wilkinson is a good match for Whitworth.

“He’s well qualified for the position and a strong Christian man,” Sanders said. “He has a history of proven leadership at his current institution and strong interpersonal skills. We are very excited and feel he is a good fit for the school.”

The search for a new dean was conducted on a national level through a private search firm. Faculty members who were in charge of choosing Wilkinson included Beck Taylor, Barb Sanders, Craig Hinnenkamp, John Hengesh and Heather Rogers.

Wilkinson worked as an associate director of the Institute for Global Business at the University of Akron and is a member of the Academy of International Business. Sanders said she thinks he will be able to bring his global expertise to the campus.

“Wilkinson has traveled a lot internationally and recruited international students to his current campus,” Sanders said. “I think his understanding of global business markets and travel experience will be beneficial. I am excited about his international connections that he can bring to us.”

Wilkinson has taught undergraduate courses in consumer behavior, market research, principles of marketing and entrepreneurial marketing.

Wilkinson will also help Whitworth in its attempt to ascertain accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

The AACSB would connect Whitworth with peer educators and institutions worldwide. Accreditation would consist of a long process that includes self-evaluations, peer-reviews, committee-reviews and the development of in-depth strategic plans for curriculum.

Wilkinson has experience with the AACSB and helped Montana State with the process of accreditation. Sanders said his experience will be beneficial when and if Whitworth decides to apply.

“He has strong [experience with] AACSB accreditation,” Sanders said. “He has worked with his current institution to take them through the AACSB program.”

Benefits of the program include the assurance that programs for students include relevant material and an allowance for a school to access funding.

Wilkinson has received many grants and awards for his work both on campuses and internationally.

He received the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs Research Award from Boise State University in 1997. Wilkinson also received a grant for Research and Creative Activities from Online Advertising in Romania in 2008.

Wilkinson’s bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and Ph.D. from the University of Utah were just the beginning of his extensive career. Wilkinson is expected to be seen on campus beginning fall 2012.


Story by Sandra Tully Staff Writer

Contact Sandra Tully at stully15@my.whitworth.edu.

Whitworth’s gospel choir concludes year with concert

Whitworth’s Exceptional Praise gospel choir performed their third annual spring concert on Saturday, April 28.

The evening was opened by Exceptional Praise director junior Joe Lawyer and was followed by a praise dance performed by his 5-year-old niece, Ruth McCain.

“My dad started me playing drums in church when I was 5 years old,” Lawyer said. “Somebody had to give me an opportunity so I was happy to give my niece an opportunity.”

The evening included performances from past director and Lawyer’s sister Miracle Lawyer, her sister Rakisha McCain who wrote and performed the song “Let Your Glory Fill This Place” and family friend Chelsea Jones.

This is the second year performing with the group for Exceptional Praise choir member senior Delia Garza.

“My favorite song was called ‘Get Ready,’ which was led by Miracle,” Garza said. “It’s an anthem of encouragement. You have to keep going and to not give up.”

Garza led the song “I Will Run” and said she felt blessed to perform with the choir.

“We have such a good group of young women,” Garza said. “We always have a good time when we come together, learning news songs and worshiping together.”

Garza said she appreciates gospel music because it allows people to actively worship God.

“It’s another style of music,” Garza said. “It encourages people to move out of their seats and gets people excited to worship. People enjoy it because it feels good.”

Exceptional Praise’s concert included a performance by Gonzaga’s gospel choir, Holy Fusion.

Kierra Irwin started singing at 16 and joined Holy Fusion last year.

“It was a blast,” Irwin said. “This was my first time visiting the campus but we sang with Joe one time last year at our concert and we had so much fun.”

Holy Fusion performed “Everywhere I Go” and “He Reigns.”

“My favorite songs would probably be ‘I Belong To You’ and ‘Lift Him Up,’” Irwin said. “That one was a jam, you know it had a kind of jazzy flavour to it.”

Irwin said she loves gospel music because of its upbeat rhythm.

“I love the soulfulness of the music, and the message it has,” Irwin said. “I wasn’t always a Christian and I would listen to gospel music even before I was saved. It’s really uplifting and hearty.”

The night of praise had the theme “I Will Run,” inspired by 1 Corinthians 9.

Minister Kevin McCain from Tacoma spoke to the audience about the importance of living a good Christian life and compared it to training for and running a race.

Audience member junior Zach Wilkes said he appreciated the message of the evening.

“It’s important to keep running the race,” Wilkes said. “The race to and for the kingdom of God.”

Wilkes also said he liked what gospel music has to offer.

“I go to church on Sundays but this is a different kind of style of worship, it’s more loud and upbeat,” Wilkes said. “It’s another side of Christ that I don’t get to see much and it was really well done.”

Freshman Eugen Lazarenco said the gospel worship was an amazing experience as it’s so different from Whitworth’s usual style of worship, which he said is more mellow.

“These events are great because they promote culture,” Lazarenco said. “They give a different view on Christianity and obviously they promote diversity, which Whitworth seeks.”


Story and photography by Samantha Payne Staff Writer

Contact Samantha Payne at spayne15@my.whitworth.edu.

Criticism and a Christian institution: the unique opportunity for growth

This final editorial is a bit unconventional, but as I start counting down the days before I graduate and hand off the title and responsibilities of my job to someone else, I wanted to take the time to reflect on two topics that have been raised at various points during the last four years: criticism and the role of a student publication at a private institution. The format has changed, but the goal of The Whitworthian has remained relatively the same over the course of its existence: to seek out information and tell the truth. It is inevitable that a student publication receives flak over what is published; ultimately it is why the editor-in-chief position exists — to act as a sounding board for criticism from our audience. As a general rule of thumb, a paper that does not create conversation is a paper that is selling itself short and ultimately not doing its job. Yes, we have received criticism this year, but we have also facilitated conversation through our content, and for that, I am grateful. At no point has our job been to please everyone on this campus, and at no point was that our goal this year. Instead, we did what we knew how to do best: tell the stories of those in this community, even if those stories and those beliefs went against the majority.

Contrary to popular belief, a student publication is not necessarily the soap box of student government or the school it is associated with, even if some would wish that to be true. With that said, this idea is dependent largely on how much freedom student publications are given by upper administration and the Board of Trustees.

I recently had a conversation with another editor at a small private college in Illinois. Similar in many ways to Whitworth, the structure of this particular paper reflected an administration and Board that was relatively leery of placing the power in the hands of a student group. The Board of Trustees and the President’s Cabinet played a significant role in anything from deciding what is published to how the editor-in-chief is selected. Very little was not monitored by upper administration. Only in the last several months did the paper get permission to have a website where they were allowed to post stories dubbed the best of the week. When I started talking about the climate here at Whitworth, she was surprised to hear that I didn’t share the same outside pressures, nor did I have to rely on a voluntary team of staff writers with very little incentive to treat their role as a job.

This conversation reminded me that Whitworth is a unique place. Although the paper receives criticism, I am grateful that we are largely supported by faculty, staff and administration who are free to voice their concerns about what we publish, but leave editorial discretion up to us.

It is a foreign concept to many private institutions in this country, but one that has made me proud to call myself a Whitworth student and honored to be a part of this publication. This freedom has allowed us to strive for a level of success and professionalism that is not always found at other collegiate publications. Yes, we make mistakes — those are inevitable, but above all else we are given the opportunity to learn from those mistakes and turn it into an opportunity for growth.

Honor God, follow Christ, serve humanity: the mantra I have heard repeated countless times by others. I can say that my time over the last four years spent working in various roles on this publication, from copy editor to editor-in-chief, have prepared me to do just that. Story by Jessica Valencia Editor-in-chief

Contact Jessica Valencia at jvalencia12@my.whitworth.edu.

Live for more than a degree

When I tell students that I’m graduating this May 13, I get either of two generic responses. Upperclassmen ask, “Why haven’t I seen you before?” Underclassmen stare for a moment before saying, “Oh, you must have done Running Start.” Yes, I’m graduating early. Two years ahead of schedule, in fact, at the unripe age of 19. While other seniors may be planning to celebrate with their friends over drinks, I’m on campus with the friends who I feel like I only just met and will soon leave behind.

After learning of my early graduation, their next question is usually, “Are you excited?” To which I briskly reply, “No.” Instead of excited, it feels as if I’m cheating myself out of two more years at a place I’ve loved since my first visit. So why am I not staying two more years? I’m still waiting for a generous donor to make that possible, if you know any.

This column isn’t meant as a diatribe against the cruelties of early graduation, though. Instead, I’m writing a letter of advice to you, the students who will be here next year.

As one of my professors, Jim McPherson, likes to remind his classes, students do not come to Whitworth for a degree. If all they wanted was a degree to be successful, they could get any public higher education for less tuition. No, we come to Whitworth to learn about more than science or art. The problem is you can miss everything worth learning if you only show up to classes and do the homework.

If you’re the average Whitworth student, you’ll stay here four years and leave. Those years are shorter than they appear at Traditiation. They’ll disappear if you are not quick to grab onto the memorable moments that matter. What those moments will be depend on you, but in my experience, they are the moments when you reflect one-on-one with your professor on how what you’re learning applies to your life, when you go to a campus club on your own just because it sounded interesting and you want to meet more people, when you ask someone to hear more about their life beyond schoolwork.

I knew coming into Whitworth that I would have half as much time here as a traditional student. I didn’t want to waste any time being hesitant about meeting people. My first semester, I asked Keith Beebe, my D-group leader, to coffee through the Dine With a Mind program. I have used the program to talk with other professors every semester since then.

I also invite friends to coffee who I would like to know on a deeper level but don’t see often when left to our regular schedules. Sometimes I’ve only met these students once and know I might not have the opportunity to talk with them again unless I make it a priority. I gladly put off homework until the last minute if it means creating a closer relationship and hearing someone’s life story. That’s living intentionally.

Living by purposeful, meaningful choices, like putting a person ahead of a grade, means refusing to float through life. The easy but less satisfying way to live is by letting the current sweep you up. You get into a routine of classes, a job, homework, and eating meals with the same people. You perfect your schedule and memorize it until you can go through an entire day without making any choice more serious than eating either chicken nuggets or pizza. You might get to the end of the day and wonder where the day went in the second before falling asleep.

Intentionality means leaving the beaten path to do something unexpected and different. Intentional choices take thought. They are not part of autopilot programming.

On my part, I enjoy asking to coffee people I want to know better. I don’t wait until there’s a break in my busy life. I don’t wait until the other person makes the “first move.” I swallow any nerves and just ask to set a time. If the person refuses and doesn’t want to talk, what have I lost? My pride? Maybe it damages my confidence, but that will heal by my next coffee date.

Most seniors seem to give up meeting new people by their last semester. What’s the point when they probably won’t see the new people again? In my case, though, I’ve done the opposite. For these last few weeks, I planned coffee and lunch dates with anyone I want to get to know a little more before my departure. I’m still seeking new friends even in this final hour. I don’t want to regret after graduation that I didn’t spend more time with other people in my last weeks as a Whitworth student.

In ten years, I doubt I will remember the scores I get on my finals. I will not care to think back on nights spent staying up late to finish a big essay. Those won’t be memories I will cherish. When I look back on my short time at Whitworth, I want memories of connecting with people I have nothing in common with and hearing their stories. I want to remember late nights when the speech filters come off and people say what scares them and what makes them impassioned.

But I won’t have these memorable moments if I don’t make them a priority and live with the intention of finding them. They won’t happen if I have excuses or get distracted making less important memories.

So my challenge for you, the continuing students, is to discover those memories you want of Whitworth. What is most important to you beyond a degree and impressive résumé? If you intentionally make those moments a priority, you’ll find you have time in these four years to make them happen.


Story by Emily Roth Staff Writer

Contact Emily Roth at eroth13@my.whitworth.edu.

Senior Kaimi Rocha leaves strong legacy

Pirates senior outside hitter led conference in multiple offensive categories

Whitworth head volleyball coach Steve Rupe said that senior Kaimi Rocha might be the hardest-working player he has coached in his 14 years at Whitworth.

“When we talked about [how] it’s time to work hard and practice hard; she was always working hardest and practicing hardest,” Rupe said. “There was never an off day for her.”

Despite being described as friendly, fun, happy and approachable, the 5-foot-9 outside hitter is a monster on the volleyball court.

Her humility disguises the fact that she has earned back-to-back Northwest Conference Player of the Year awards, has been selected twice to First Team All-West Region and was most recently honored this season as Second Team All-American.

“She was our go-to person,” Rupe said. “Everybody in the conference knew it and they still couldn’t stop her. She was heads and tails above everybody else.”

At one point this year, she was named Division III Volleyball Player of the Week — a national recognition. She led the NWC points per set, kills per set and total kills in her senior season for Whitworth.

It is for those reasons that Kaimi Rocha has been named the Female Athlete of the Year by The Whitworthian sports section staff.

Rocha has her twin sister and teammate, Ka’ipo Rocha, to thank for spurring her competitive drive and love for volleyball.  At age 11, the highly athletic Rocha twins started playing volleyball. Ka’ipo stuck with it, while Kaimi sat on the sidelines for a few months after deciding she didn’t like volleyball. That changed quickly.

“When she saw me get good she decided she wanted to get good too,” Ka’ipo — or “Eeep”, as her sister affectionately calls her on the court — said. “She’s very competitive.”

The Rocha sisters’ chemistry is unique and will be missed by Whitworth volleyball.

“I’ve had some great, great young ladies come through my program,” Rupe said. “But [Kaimi and Ka’ipo], I miss a lot of people, but I’m really going to miss them.”

Overshadowing Kaimi Rocha’s highly driven spirit is her surreal selflessness.

“The best part about Kaimi is she’s selfless,” said Bree Riddle, senior setter and teammate. “She’s never attention oriented. She’s always putting her attention back on the team.”

Likewise, Kaimi Rocha is as dedicated as they come. Ka’ipo Rocha laughed when she recalled how Kaimi likes to remind Ka’ipo that Kaimi never missed a practice in four years of playing.

“Which is hard because I’ve missed a bunch,” Ka’ipo Rocha said. “I’m proud of her work ethic.”

Her incredible determination is one of the reasons why Kaimi Rocha is such an effective leader. Her teammates and coach all said she leads by example.

“She wasn’t going to give you some motivational words to get you going, but she worked hard and she didn’t stop,” Riddle said. “She made everyone better. Being a setter to Kaimi, I’d throw a ball out there that wasn’t even close to a perfect set and she’d kill it and say ‘great job’. I’d say ‘sorry’ and she’d say, ‘don’t worry about it.’”

In addition to her individual honors this season, Kaimi Rocha led the Bucs to their second straight conference title and an impressive 19-7 overall record. One of Rocha’s favorite memories of the year was beating Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound — both reputably strong NWC teams — back-to-back nights in the Fieldhouse.

“It was one of our goals to make that happen,” Kaimi Rocha said. “It was great at the end of the week to have met our goal.”

The team-first attitude and passion for the game of volleyball shines through Kaimi Rocha.

“I realize that when I play for the love of the game, I do my best and that’s been my driving force, [rather than] to just play because I get recognition or because I want a certain amount of kills,” Kaimi Rocha said. “I just play to be around my teammates and do well so our team can come out on top.”

Kaimi Rocha credits the Whitworth volleyball program and her coaches for teaching her to be more than a volleyball player. She said she has gained irreplaceable skills like time management, working under pressure and overcoming adversity.

“Each year, she’s gotten better as a player and a teammate and senior year she came in and was the captain we needed her to be,” Riddle said. “I’m proud of her for being female athlete of the year. She deserves it.”

After graduation, both Rocha sisters plan on moving back home to the island of Maui in Hawaii, and apply to nursing school together.

“She’s just a quality human being,” Rupe said of Kaimi Rocha. “She led by example. She worked harder than anybody else. She was kind of the whole deal; she had the whole package.”


Story by Sena Hughes Staff Writer

Photographer: Tanner Scholten


Contact Sena Hughes at shughes15@my.whitworth.edu.

People-first language shapes individuality

I dedicate this last article I am writing for The Whitworthian to my dad and mom. Daddy, I am forever your little girl who thinks you are superman. Mom, thanks for teaching me to speak up in a quiet world.

People are not defined by ethnicity, the clothes they wear, the way they sound when they talk, what they look like or by a disability they have. People come first, and we should talk about people like that.

People-first language is a concept that was introduced to me by Dana Stevens, a professor in the special education department. The concept is that a disability does not define a person. So instead of saying the autistic child, you should say “the child with autism.” The idea is simple: Put the person first. A person has a disability, but that person could be a teacher, a doctor or someone who loves hiking or skiing. So why do we choose to label them with a disability first? This also goes for people without disabilities. With people-first language, you wouldn’t say that homeless man. You would say a person who is homeless.

An individual is so much more than one aspect. If you don’t believe me yet, or you just don’t think you can change your language, then listen to my story.

My dad was in college when he fell in love with teaching. Reaching out to students and making a difference in their lives became his passion. Dad fell in love with the students right away. The children he has taught in the last 30 years have been mostly from low socioeconomic backgrounds. School is their only constant, and coming to Mr. Fisher’s classroom is the highlight of their day.

My dad loves teaching these children, but he always wants to do more. So, he writes grants. He has written grants to start after-school programs such as a chess team, a cup stacking team and an archery team.

He also wrote grants for technology, new books and better curriculum.

Dad has done whatever he can to show every student in his classroom the potential they have. I remember coming home from school when I was in ninth grade and my dad had bought a pair of shoes for a student who couldn’t afford new ones. I didn’t understand why my dad had to buy that child shoes. He explained to me that being a teacher is more than a day job; it is a way of life.

Three years ago my dad was diagnosed with a brain condition that causes him physical disabilities. At that point in my life I had just become a special education major. Thanks to my dad I was able to see what the families and students I work with go through every day. It’s not easy going out into public and feeling as if the whole world is watching because you are with the clumsy guy with a cane. What isn’t easy about it is not embarrassment because you are with him, but rather the feeling of frustration because people are looking at my dad’s disability first and not him.

Many people don’t understand that disabilities are a part of life. A disability does not define a person. My dad was a brother, a husband, a father and a teacher before his disability, and after his disability he is still all of those things.

My mom is the bravest person I know. When my family’s world started to crumble she held us together. From the moment my dad was diagnosed she knew what our family was meant to do. I will never forget a conversation she and I had in the car once. “Kara, people are just scared of what they don’t know,” she said to me. “It’s our job to explain. It’s our job to teach people that because a person has a disability it doesn’t mean his life is over, or that it defines who he is. It just means he is a little different.”

After that conversation, I knew I had to write this article. This isn’t just about my dad. This is about an entire population. No one person is defined by one aspect.

I recognize it is not easy to change bad habits. But Mohandas Gandhi once said, “We need to be the change we wish to see in the world.”

So, I am being the change I wish to see. I am standing up and using my words to promote people first language. Join me in changing how we talk. Join me in changing how we think. Join me in changing, so that people put people first.


Story by Kara Fisher Sports Editor

Photo courtesy of: Kara Fisher


Fisher is a senior majoring in English and special education. Comments can be sent to karafisher12@my.whitworth.edu.

Technology deserves a round of applause

The global shift toward a world that is more reliant upon electronically based information is often criticized or condemned as an addiction. This attitude reflects the inability to separate use from abuse.

One area of electronic advancement that is relatively recent is the advent of social media. An ABC News article argued that modern technology, such as Facebook, wastes time, reduces motivation, disturbs values, provides second-hand knowledge and exposes youth to personally destructive material. Technology has been blamed for bad spelling habits, and, as many students know, teachers are quick to require non-electronic sources for papers, despite a vast wealth of online information that is easier to access.

Often, technology is demonized and viewed only based on its negative attributes, but there are also positives. Facebook is a prime example. While frequently labeled a waste of time, Facebook provides access to relationships that would otherwise be extremely difficult and occasionally impossible to maintain. It provides instant access to an individual anywhere in the world, and allows for conversation and community completely outside the necessity of physical proximity.

Even further, Facebook provides an opportunity for ministry. My church is a prime example of this. After Sunday sermons, my pastor is able to post a comment about the sermon and prompt discussion about it online. Church connections can be made in ways that are not possible outside the realm of Facebook, and even people who are unable or choose not to go to church have instant access to the ideas expressed in a sermon. Even outside the church, religious ideas can be exchanged with people halfway around the world who live in totally different cultures and spheres of influence.

On a global scale, social media has provided an outlet for political change, human rights advocacy, news correspondence, collective thought and has created its own type of community.

Another device that is attacked because of potentially detrimental side effects is the cell phone and teenagers in particular are characterized as “perpetual texters” who ignore the world around them. There are many ways in which cell phones provide similar instant long-distance relationship opportunities to those of Facebook. While excessive texting can be admittedly impolite, there are ways to carry on a conversation with a phone without taking away from the life happening off the screen at the same time.

But phones are becoming much more than just communication devices. New phones can have GPS, radio, wireless internet, higher quality video cameras, connections to bank accounts and can even allow small business owners to run their industries more efficiently.

A phone not only allows for instant communication but can be used in ways to make daily tasks more convenient and efficient. In today’s world,  we are often told that dependence on technology will undermine society and have massive consequences.

In many religious communities we are even told to fast from these technologies.

Excessive use of electronics is never a good thing, but almost anything in excess causes problems. Personal devices and websites are not inherently bad, and we need to stop associating them with those who use them to an extreme. Story by Ryan Stevens Columnist

Stevens is a sophomore majoring in English and French. Comments can be sent to rstevens15@my.whitworth.edu.

Exhibit commemorates King James Bible

 Did you know phrases such as “from time to time” and “the root of the matter” were popularized by the King James Bible? The King James translation introduced 18 classic phrases into the English language and made famous more than 240 of them, according to the December issue of National Geographic.

A crowd gathered in Robinson Teaching Theatre on April 23 for a panel presentation commemorating the 400-year anniversary of the King James Bible. The event was held as a part of the library exhibit “Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible,” which opened on April 11.

The panel consisted of English professor Leonard Oakland, assistant art professor Meredith Shimizu and professor of religious studies at Gonzaga University Linda Schearing.

Manifold Greatness” is a traveling exhibit organized by the American Library Association and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. It is staying at Whitworth as one of its 40 destinations nationwide. Whitworth and Gonzaga collaborated on the exhibition and panel.

“It’s not the first collaboration done by the two schools,” Schearing said. “It’s great. I hope we have more.”

The panel provided a look at the King James Bible from various angles, examining its history, its past influence, as well as its influence on the present culture.

“It’s a testament to the impact of the Kings James Bible that we’re even having this lecture 400 years later,” freshman theology major Sam Director said.

Oakland discussed the influence of the King James Bible on English literature. He revealed the large extent to which the important text has shaped our language.

Since its first publication in 1611, it had influenced notable figures of English letters, from Mary Wollstonecraft in the 18th century to John Hays Gardiner in the 19th century, Oakland said. It is also alluded to in the works of prominent American authors such as William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and Herman Melville. Oakland read passages from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and T.S. Eliot’s poems to demonstrate the mark the King James Bible has had on various literary movements.

It has also played a role in preserving particular elements of the English language, including words such as “thee,” “thou” and “unwittingly,” along with phrases still in everyday use such as “labor of love” and “sweat of your brow.”

Shimizu talked about art in the text as well as the presence of the Bible in art. She showed how the style of illustrated images in biblical texts changed over periods of time, notably from decorative ornamentation in early periods such as the late ninth century, to images more representative of the text’s narrative such as those in 16th century publications.

Having been such a significant part of culture in history, it’s no surprise that the Bible found itself as the object of many paintings in the past. Shimizu said it’s no different today, as demonstrated by artistic treatment of the Bible in our present culture. For example, Tauba Auerbach’s “The Alphabetized Bible” (2006) is an unconventional “translation” of the King James Bible, with every letter of the entire text rearranged in alphabetical order (such that the title reads “Bbe ehHi lloTy”). Its purpose is to express how any text, no matter its intellectual weight or sacred value, is merely a collection of letters.

Schearing discussed the Bible in popular culture. She said today, the Bible and its elements find themselves represented in various commercial products and advertising, as they connote meanings and themes that are widely recognized. Those included anything from the TV show “Desperate Housewives” to the marketing strategy of Original Sin Hard Cider.

Schearing said popular culture affects the production of new versions of the Bible. In order to sustain sales, Bible publishers treat it as a commodity that they tailor to particular market niches. We now see the Bible and its messages produced in a wide variety of forms, such as the animated show VeggieTales, teen magazines called “bible-zines” and versions catered to specific interests such as the “Holy Bible: Stock Car Racing Edition.”

Whether those adaptations are justified in their attempts to make the Bible more accessible is a question that may be disagreed upon, and not surprisingly so when there are such versions as “The Brick Testament,” a biblical story book with illustrations of Legos, Schearing said.

“Though the word of God can stand on its own, commercialization can in some ways take away its focus,” Director said. “The inherent problem with these cultural accommodations is that they can de-emphasize the importance of the Bible.”

Whatever the Bible’s role today, it’s no question that its historical significance warrants recognition.

“I think it’s important that we educate ourselves on what has influenced us,” Oakland said. “The King James Bible has had significant influence on us, especially those who have grown up with it.”

The exhibit will remain in the Whitworth library through commencement day on May 13.



Story by Jonathan Kim Staff Writer

Photographer: Ashley Minster


Contact Jonathan Kim at jonathankim15@my.whitworth.edu.

Students selected to join Teach For America

Eight Whitworth seniors have been selected to join the Teach For America corps with the intention to help change inequality in the current education system. Seniors Monica Calderon, Alison Gonzalez, Naticcia Melendez, Delsey Olds, Benjameen Quarless, Joshua Vance, Travis Walker and Patrick Yoho are now a part of the Teach For America corps.

Teach For America is a two-year post-graduate service opportunity in which corps members are placed in schools across the country to teach, specifically schools that are low-performing and low-income.

“All kids — no matter where they live, how much money their parents make or what their skin color is — deserve access to a great education,” according to the Teach For America website. “Teach For America’s mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by developing such leaders.”

Macy Olivas is the Teach For America campus campaign coordinator and president of the Students for Education Reform club.

“It’s kind of like AmeriCorp, kind of like some other post-graduate opportunities, except that high-performing, high-achieving undergraduate leaders get the chance to close our education achievement gap,” Olivas said. “Teach for America specifically focuses on getting these young rock stars to become teachers in the classroom.”

Vance was compelled to apply by urgency of education reform.

“There was a sign in Weyerhauser that said ‘grad school can wait, a child’s education can’t,’” Vance said. “Every time I saw that, it just compelled me and kind of hit a nerve. I realized that was the direction I was called to go in.”

Walker, a theology major, was applying to seminaries while pursuing Teach For America, but as the process continued, he discovered his passion for education reform.

“I was actually looking at graduate schools in theology, various seminaries,” Walker said. “The farther I got along in the process the more I realized my passion for educational opportunity and how in my mind that is the biggest root of poverty in America. I think we as the church have to address this situation in other ways than we have been doing.”

The Whitworth students have been placed all over the United States, including Texas, New Mexico and the Mississippi Delta.

Walker was placed in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and he said he is looking forward to the difference in comparison to Spokane.

“I am really excited; it’s going to be very different culturally from Spokane,” Walker said. “I was born in Spokane and lived here my entire life, never lived anywhere else. It’s going to be a different experience, now I am ready for it because I am kind of tired of this environment. I think the culture will be great. Obviously there are a lot of Spanish-speaking immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley, so it will be different as far as the culture and what people like to do and how they live. I am looking forward to that.”

Melendez said she is looking forward to using her Spanish language skills in New Mexico. She has studied abroad in South Korea, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Ireland.

“New Mexico was in my top five preferences,” Melendez said. “I was pleased to know that I got one of my top five. I wanted to be in a Latino community to utilize my Spanish a little more and learn more Spanish. I wanted to go somewhere different. I was really excited to see that I was placed in New Mexico. It’s really close to the border of Mexico so that has, of course, a lot of Hispanics living down there.”

Patrick Yoho said he recognizes the different dynamic between schools. In his assigned region, the Mississippi Delta, school sizes are smaller, meaning he will need to teach a wider range of subjects.

“I was placed to do secondary physics, so I could be anywhere between seventh and 12th. I assume high school because of the specific physics designation. I will probably be teaching something else too; schools down there are 450 to 500 kids so there is no way you can get a full teaching schedule with just physics,” Yoho said.

Olivas said she encouraged students interested in Teach For America to research the organization through its website and evaluate its motive.

“I say first step is to look on the Teach For America website, there are tons of videos. Really think about, ‘Can I see myself as a teacher? Is education reform something I am passionate about?’” Olivas said. Melendez said she agreed with Olivas. She started the application process by researching more about Teach For America.

“I did a lot of research on the Teach for America website,” Melendez said. “I really enjoyed seeing their vision and passion for equality in the education system. Also I kind of wanted to work with at-risk youth in the first place, and so I figured this would be a good opportunity to do so. Also because I am senior and it doesn’t do any harm to apply to as many things as possible.”


Story by Caitlyn Starkey Staff Writer


Contact Caitlyn Starkey at cstarkey14@my.whitworth.edu.

Sexual identity: A continuing conversation

Campus community voices its diverse opinions on the issue of homosexuality


By the time the last of the latecomers straggled into the chapel, a chair had become a hot commodity. As dozens of extras were put out and quickly filled, it became clear that the crowd had only one option: If they wanted to stay, they were going to have to stand.

Stand they did. Not for just a few minutes, but for more than an hour and a half, listening as four members of a panel, commissioned by president Beck Taylor, pondered and discussed one of the university’s most provocative topics, the issue of homosexuality.

As a courageous conversation about sexual orientation, the panel, held the night of April 18, brought together two Whitworth professors and two members of the Board of Trustees to dialogue about homosexuality from their various areas of expertise. Professor of theology James Edwards and professor of political science Julia Stronks spoke from their respective disciplines, and trustees Scott Dudley and David Myers addressed the issue from pastoral and psychological perspectives.

For moderator Terry McGonigal, the panel is yet another barometer of the persistent disagreement that has surrounded the issue of homosexuality ever since he signed on as Whitworth’s dean of spiritual life in 1994. Eighteen years later, homosexuality remains one of the university’s most controversial subjects.

However, professor of English Leonard Oakland said that has not always been the case.

Oakland, who has been teaching at Whitworth for 46 years, said when he arrived in 1966, homosexuality was not discussed often.

“As a community issue, it certainly did not emerge,” Oakland said. “It might form parts of individual conversations, or it might come in a course now and then, but it was not a live issue in the sense that it is now.”

It was with the arrival of Bill Robinson in 1993, Oakland said, that the issue was brought to light.

“Bill Robinson brought it to campus attention early in his presidency,” Oakland said. “Bill came to the conclusion that while his reading of Scripture led him to conclude that Scripture sees homosexuality as sinful, he went on to say — and this was something very new in the conversation — that homophobia was more sinful.”

Oakland said Robinson’s major contribution was articulating a “middle path” whereby Whitworth could uphold biblical teaching while embracing people of various backgrounds. In practice, Robinson’s administration walked this middle path by refusing to embrace an official university position on homosexuality.

Now, however, changes in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Whitworth’s affiliate denomination, provide a new backdrop to the homosexuality debate. In 2010, the PC (USA) modified its constitution to allow the ordination of practicing homosexuals, a stance that along with other changes in the PC (USA) have since prompted many churches to re-examine their denominational affiliation.

Less than a week after the panel, Walt Oliver, chairman of the Board of Trustees, announced the establishment of a task force that over the next year will explore Whitworth’s connection with the PC (USA).

But according to Trustee Clark Donnell, co-chair of the task force along with Taylor, homosexuality is not the task force’s main concern. Rather, he points to a decline in the PC (USA)’s demographics as well as what some view as the denomination’s gradual move away from the authority of Scripture.

For many, the authority of Scripture is central to the debate.

“You simply will not be able to find a place in Scripture that condones it,” Edwards said. “You could not go to Scripture and say that Scripture’s teaching on homosexuality is ambiguous. It is not. It is consistent. It is univocal.”

Some, however, are not so sure. Julia Stronks, another panelist, said she agrees that Scripture can be understood differently.

“Not all Christian theologians interpret biblical passages about sexual behavior in the same way,” Stronks said.

In the midst of so many perspectives, whether a new stance is needed to replace Robinson’s policy of neutrality remains a live question.

McGonigal said he believes neutrality should remain.

“It’s both our educational mission but also our Christian mission to provide you the opportunity to take a look at a variety of different ways of coming at a particular issue,” McGonigal said.

The administration taking a stand for or against homosexuality, McGonigal said, would necessarily undermine the courageous debate Whitworth intends to foster.

But Edwards said he finds it difficult to reconcile neutrality on homosexuality with the loyalty to Scripture Whitworth claims to embrace.

“I believe that the administration sees this issue as a potentially very divisive issue,” Edwards said, who sees Whitworth’s neutral stance as a pragmatic way to avoid conflict. “From a utilitarian and practical viewpoint, that is an appealing option.”

As campus dialogue indicates, the Whitworth community has yet to come to a consensus on this controversial topic, nor is it certain a consensus will emerge.

“I don’t think we’re going to see a winner-take-all solution to these problems,” Edwards said.

Instead, he said, Whitworth has two options.

“One of them is that we fight to the death like two stags who lock horns until either one of them kills the other or sometimes they both die together,” Edwards said. “The other option, which is the one I want to argue for, is that I grant you your right to your view, and you grant me my right to my view, and we continue talking.”


Story and graphic by Michael Bouterse Guest Writer


Contact Michael Bouterse at mbouterse14@my.whitworth.edu.

Baseball crowned kings of the diamond

Whitworth co-conference champions, ties school record for wins in a season

Sundays have officially become the Whitworth baseball team’s favorite day of the week. After sweeping Whitman College in a three game series this past weekend, the Bucs earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, their first ever appearance.

“For the program, this is huge,” senior first baseman JR Jarrell said. “When I was here as a freshman, we won 10 games total and now, four years later, we’re conference champs.”

Pacific stood in first place until a Boxer loss on Saturday allowed the tie. Whitworth holds the advantage against the Boxers in head-to-head play, which earns it the automatic bid in the tie situation.

Whitworth opened Saturday’s doubleheader with a 7-4 win.

“We knew going into the weekend that we’d have to get the sweep in order to win conference,” said senior third baseman Landon Scott. “We went out and got the job done.”

Freshman Dan Scheibe pitched a complete game for the Bucs and allowed Whitman just two hits in the first six innings. The Missionaries broke through in the top of the seventh, tying up the score when they rallied for all four of their runs.

“It wasn’t the greatest game defensively,” freshman shortstop Nick Motsinger said. “But offensively we did a fairly good job executing.”

Whitworth answered with four hits and three runs of its own to take the final lead of the game.

Neither team got on base in the eighth inning and after Whitman managed a single hit in the ninth, Scheibe secured the win for the Bucs with his 11th strikeout of the game.

“[Scheibe’s] been great for four straight weeks,” Scott said. “Whenever he pitches we feel like we’re going to win the game.”

Whitworth breezed past the Missionaries in game two, with a dominating 13-2 victory and earning the first place tie spot with Pacific.

Jarrell led the way with four hits which included his third home run of the season. Motsinger collected five RBIs with a two-run double, two-run single and a RBI sacrifice bunt.

“It’s really helpful for our pitchers’ confidence when we put up runs and get up early,” Motsinger said. “Keeping the pressure going all nine innings translated to good results on the defensive end.”

The Bucs took an early 2-0 lead when Jarrell’s single to center field scored Muelheims and then Niksarrian hit a single to right field to score Scott.

“The second game we put it on them really quick,” Motsinger said. “[We] put up runs every single inning, which is what you have to do to put a team away.”

In the sixth, Whitman loaded the bases with no outs, but freshman pitcher Carson Blumenthal struck out two in a row and then got the last batter to ground out. The Pirate offense responded with three runs of their own off a Motsinger double and Scott single.

Jarrell’s homer came in the seventh and Whitworth wrapped up its doubleheader sweep with four runs off three hits in the eighth inning. Motsinger drove a two-run single to center field, scoring the final two runners of the game for the Bucs.

“They kind of jumped back up on us when we had gotten comfortable,” Jarrell said. “But we executed like we needed to and got big hits like we needed to.”

Blumenthal tossed eight innings for Whitworth, allowing one run off six hits, while striking out six batters and giving up four walks. Senior James King pitched one inning of relief and gave up one run off three hits.

Sunday’s contest was the determining factor for Whitworth’s share of the NWC title and Whitman made the Bucs earn it. In a down-to-the-wire final game of the three-game series, Whitworth defeated the Missionaries 8-7, improving their record to 19-5 in NWC action and tying the school record with 26 games won in a single season.

“It’s the first conference championship since 1991,” Scott said. “At the end of the day, winning conference, you can’t really explain the excitement.”

The Bucs took a 3-1 lead after three innings.

“I think offensively we executed pretty well,” Jarrell said. “We put up enough runs to win but it was a lot closer than any of us wanted it to be.”

Whitman took a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth, but the Bucs answered in the bottom of the inning with five runs to regain the lead.

“I thought we were pressuring [ourselves] a little bit today,” Motsinger said. “Even though we had the lead we weren’t as loose as we have been in past games.”

Whitman challenged the Bucs’ lead again when it scored three runs in the eighth, but Whitworth was able to hold on and capture the one-run victory.

CJ Perry started for the Bucs and threw four innings, giving up one run off three hits. Taylor Isadore came in for just over an inning and allowed three runs off four hits before freshman Spencer Ansett pitched two innings and gave up three runs off two hits. Sophomore Jason Renner closed the game for the Bucs in one inning of relief, allowing no runs and one hit to earn the save.

“Today was senior day so CJ got the start,” Scott said. “Taylor Isadore is tied for the team lead in appearances, Ansett will keep us in the game every time and Renner has been our shut down guy all year.”

Whitworth celebrated its biggest win on Merkel Field in 20 years with a dog-pile near the pitcher’s mound and will travel to Linfield College May 16-20 for the West Regional games of the National Division III Tournament.


Story by Corina Gebbers Staff Writer

Photographer: Hope Barnes   


Contact Corina Gebbers at cgebbers15@my.whitworth.edu.