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

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

Student Life caters to Whitworth ideal

Whitworth prides itself on the close-knit community that has been established through Student Life. The idea of community here is a strong selling point for most. Student Life works hard every year to ensure that residents have the best possible experience. Resident Assistants are given extensive training and taught how to handle most situations to best meet the needs of residents. The year begins with Traditiation, which is in place to build community within the first few nights on campus. The Traditiation experience sticks with people and, in some cases, defines their college experience. That time is for making long-lasting friendships, feeling comfortable on a foreign campus and starting a new chapter of life. Whitworth’s student life has put together a creative orientation experience.

There are also seminars for students to engage in during the first week on campus. Seminars such as “I am from...” or “Valuing a Diverse Community” serve the purpose of introducing students to a new culture. While these are wonderful seminars for information, they don’t function well in allowing students to create relationships with others.

These are often seminars to be attended with parents and there is little communication between students and leadership.

“Hopefully there are places for everyone to plug in and feel connected,” said Kathy Storm, vice president of Student Life.

However, these experiences can, at times, focus on a specific type of student who is outgoing and generally speaking, an extrovert.

Some students are uncomfortable with participating in Traditiation activities. Being with that many people doing activities meant to quickly create bonds can be overwhelming, yet there aren’t many attractive alternatives. If students do not join in, they risk not being plugged in right away or not making these crucial, initial friendships.

“We did try one year to offer an opportunity for students to meet and have coffee with faculty members in lieu of traditiation, but no one showed,” Storm said.

While this was a good move by Student Life, the students who are likely to be uncomfortable with Traditiation are also likely to be uncomfortable with meeting faculty in a one-on-one setting so early in the year.

This board understands that appealing to the needs of everyone is impossible. However, we also believe that more could be done to cater to a wide range of needs.

One possible alternative is engaging students more with RAs on a personal level during the orientation season. Typically, four to six RAs are in charge of Traditiation in each dorm community. If the resident assistants who were not in charge initiated outside events for students who were uncomfortable with Traditiation, more students could be effectively assimilated into the community. More could also be done during orientation in the individual halls, with the exception of hall meetings, to get students acquainted with their RA and neighbors.

More personal interaction within the first few days could be beneficial for comfortability. Whitworth prides itself on wonderful community and although traditiation is beneficial for most, community also begins with one-one-one relationships for some.


Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the editorial board, which is made up of five editors.


Biblical judgment corresponds with love

I often hear self-proclaimed Christians criticizing the church for a lack of love. Indeed, the modern church is largely perceived as hateful, judgmental and hypocritical. Unfortunately, however, the type of love people often advocate, which is undiscerning, universal and non-judgmental, is not the kind of love that is portrayed in the Bible. While the church admittedly has a long way to go, her accusers, even those within the church, are not without fault. It’s time for a bigger view of Christian love.

While it may feel right in our hearts to believe we should love and celebrate everyone and everything equally, Jeremiah 17:9 points out that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Thus, if we are to examine Christian love in light of scripture, we have to filter out what we personally feel long enough to hear what scripture actually says.

Jesus gives these directions in Matthew 18:15: “If your brother or sister sins go and point out their fault” in private. If the person continues in sin, take the matter before one or two believers. If nothing changes, the matter should go before the church. What is this if not judgment? We are directed to confront others about sin. Yet the whole purpose is to restore the person in love.

Ezekiel 3:18 explains the concept further when God says to Ezekiel: “When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.” Given that sin harms the sinner, is it truly loving to uncritically accept them and their sin? Surely not. True love desires to keep people from harm.

Yet Matthew 7:1 appears to prohibit such judgment. Jesus says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” However, Christ is referring specifically to hypocritical judgment. Jesus clarifies himself later in the passage: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Jesus is not telling us not to judge the speck, but to address ourselves first.

Christ is not advocating judgment in the sense that we normally think of it. While we tend to think of judgment as anything negative or critical we say or think of another person, the Bible is not this simplistic. Jesus models proper judgment for us throughout the Gospels. John 8:1-11 is particularly profound. Jesus has just been confronted by an angry mob of Pharisees that have found an adulterous woman and want to stone her. Jesus says to the crowd: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” At this, those in the crowd realize their own sin and slowly disperse.

Verses 10 and 11 finish the story: Jesus asks the woman: “Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” In Greek, the word Jesus uses for “condemn” is defined by Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words as meaning to “pass sentence upon” or to judge worthy of punishment.

In not condemning the woman, Jesus is not writing her off. Yet his instruction to her to leave her “life of sin” is clearly a form of judgment and an expression of disapproval. He was not angry at the woman, but he wanted her to change for the better. In John 16:8, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit “will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” The Greek word for “reprove” means to bring embarrassment or to call someone to account for the purpose of correction. Thus the difference between correct and hypocritical judgment is the difference between conviction and condemnation.

Yes, Jesus hung out with tax collectors, prostitutes and all manner of sinners. Though he accepted them as they were, he did not leave them that way. Just as he said to the woman in John 8, Jesus commanded those who would follow him to leave their sin behind.

If Christians are to model Christ to all people of the world, we must recognize that though Jesus accepted all people, he did not provide for sin. Judgment must be carried out humbly, not hypocritically, and it must always have the restoration of the sinner as its goal. In this way, correction fits as an integral aspect of love. The words of Paul in Galatians 6:1-2 encapsulate the concept: “If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.”

If the church has failed, it has done so not because it has recognized some things as wrong, but because it has failed to be gentle in its correction; however, just because the church has failed in correction does not mean that it should give it up altogether. True love cannot exist apart from correction, for love involves seeking the best for its recipient. By all means, the church needs to love. It just needs to remember to do it properly.


Story by Maxford Nelsen Columnist

Nelsen is a senior majoring in political science. Comments can be sent to

Populous churches offer rewarding opportunities

I use to attend a church that had two Saturday night services, three Sunday morning services and a Sunday night service. Each service could hold over 700 people and the overflow room was frequently used. That church falls under the definition of a megachurch. Many times when I tell people those statistics, I get replies that usually go along the lines of “you attended a concert, not a church.” That is all people see, but megachurches are much more. If people just took the time to get involved and did not judge it from the outside appearance or from one attendance, then they would realize that.

By no means am I saying that a megachurch is better then a smaller church, my point is that too many people judge the megachurch and don’t take time to see the impact and good the church is doing. There are two important aspects a megachurch can offer that many people overlook: a community and opportunities.

An argument that I have become tired of hearing is that mega churches do not have community. Yes, small churches offer a great community, everyone knows your name and everything about you, and that is great, however a megachurch offers that too. People don’t stay long enough to get involved and don’t get connected. The leaders and pastors of the church can only do so much to reach out to the people in their congregation; you have to put in some effort, too.

Small groups are offered at almost any megachurch and allow you to form a group of 10 to 15 people that foster tighter, more intimate connections throughout the church.

People need to stop using the argument that mega-churches don’t have any community. It may not be a type of community that appeals to you or that you thrive in and that is fine, but it does have a sense of community that people love being part of.

Opportunities offered within a megachurch are vast and diverse. With a large congregation, there are many doors open for people to get involved.

Such opportunities can include mission work.  A large church can send out many teams overseas to serve on the mission field. With so many teams, more people are able to take part and serve God and his people in ways they may never get the chance to do again.

Other opportunities include jobs. Many larger churches have cafes and coffee shops that are not only run by volunteers but also paid staff members.  This is true for media, maintenance and ministries, all areas that have many volunteers taking part but are also providing people with well-paying jobs.

There are also many opportunities the church offers to simply help people in their own congregation and in the community. Megachurches can bring together people with specific skills or passions and use them to renovate houses for the elderly, tutor at-risk youth or provide a place for rehab for someone who is struggling to change their life.

The positive aspects of a megachurch don’t stop there. The worship is done by volunteers, or paid staff, who are talented musicians and recognized that God has blessed them with the gift of music. At some churches, the pastors are not only recognized by the congregation and community, but are recognized worldwide because they preach in areas that don’t get to hear the Gospel. They have the ability to do that because a larger church with a large supportive congregation is able provide the resources necessary.

If you love going to a small church and that is where you grow and are challenged with your faith, then that is great, and you shouldn’t stop going. But if all you know is a small church environment and think that is the only way church should be done, give a megachurch a chance. In the end, all that matters is that you are growing in your faith. A megachurch changed my life. I challenge you to give it the chance to change yours.


Story by Haley Williams Columnist

Graphic art by Eva Kiviranta

Williamson is a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication. Comments can be sent to

Whitworth purity culture can be harmful

Whitworth student leadership was recently invited to a lecture by Dr. Donna Freitas, author of “Sex and the Soul.” As a theology professor at Boston University, her students’ interest in the prevalence of “hook-up culture” on college campuses spurred her to initiate an in-depth study across the nation on the correlations between spirituality and sexuality. Her results were astounding, and she found that hook-up culture was decidedly disliked by the majority of college students, who felt obligated to participate in it so they would fit in with their peers. Her research also led to some shocking results. She found that the evangelical schools (Whitworth is an example of one, though she did not mention whether it participated in her study) were a completely separate species from the other universities in her study. Rather than a prevalent hook-up culture, evangelical schools showed a strong “purity culture,” where students felt a very strong pressure toward being abstinent and sexually pure. Freitas mentioned that she had to change her interview techniques when collecting data from evangelical schools. Rather than asking, “Have you ever had sex?” she started these interviews with, “Have you ever been kissed?”

When she shared this particular story, there were quite a few stifled chuckles in the audience, because,  let’s face it, we all recognize that Whitworth fits well into this category of purity culture. And it’s not a bad thing. I personally have never experienced the hook-up culture, where students feel more obligated to become sexually active but remain emotionally unattached in order to fit in. If anything, being surrounded by a purity culture has, for the most part, been a positive influence on students. Right?

Well, here’s the kicker. Freitas mentioned the negative side-effects that she witnessed in the purity culture. First, students often mentioned that there was a secrecy around sexual activity. This built an environment of taboo, distrust and deception among students. Second, students complained that their sexuality was being oppressed. According to the interviews, students felt they could not be honest about their sexuality or seek support or advice on the subject because they would be judged.

When Freitas mentioned the problems associated with purity culture, the audience seemed to agree. And, as a senior at Whitworth who has lived on campus for three years, I can confidently agree with the accuracy of these sentiments. Perhaps not everyone has felt it, but one thing is certain: it is impossible to be perfect. Moral perfection can never be attained. It’s a lesson that comes inevitably on the journey of a Christian, which explains the need for God’s grace to humanity.

That being said, purity culture, where there is a strong moral standard for college students to meet in their personal lives in a social environment, is oppressive. I’m sure that oppression is an unintentional sentiment, but it’s true. College students, who generally range from 17 to 25 years old, need to know they are in a safe environment, where tough questions can be asked without judgment.

I once heard the saying, “Turn on the light, and the darkness disappears.” I strongly disagree. Jesus came into a dark world of sinners so he could bring us into the light. Likewise, we cannot ignore the “dark areas” or difficult subjects. Sexuality is a real thing, and whether it is at a public secular university or Whitworth, it is a present issue. If there is one goal that purity culture has, it is this: to understand the true, God-given purpose of our sexuality and use it properly. If there is secrecy, judgment and oppression tied to purity culture, true understanding of this purpose will be lost to the community. God made us, man and woman, sexual organs and all. So, why ignore the conversation?

If you have any questions or want to speak to someone, do not hesitate to contact the Health Center. You can also talk to any professor whom you trust, an RA, other student leader or a friend. The greatest problem with purity culture is the attached assumption that the community will not be supportive. If there is anything I have learned at Whitworth, it is that we are never alone. We are never without a shoulder to lean on or a helping hand to hold.


Story by Rosie Brown Columnist

Graphic art by Hannah Charlton

Brown is a senior majoring in international business. Comments can be sent to

In the Loop April 4

Recently, Whitworth’s campus has experienced a profuse amount of vandalism. Crimes ranging from the stealing of the gold letters at Whitworth’s entrances to the Mr. T graffiti that has become prominent have greatly affected the community. Not only has property been defaced, charges have been incurred by the university as the perpetrators of the crimes have yet to be caught.

This board would like to point out that those actions do not align with the prestigious nature of the institution or the values held by the university as a whole. As part of the Whitworth community, we have often prided ourselves on the beauty of our campus. Yet over the past several months, beit considered a practical joke, a way to bond with a roommate or a rite of passage, the thefts and vandalism incidents have brought embarrassment. This board would like students to understand those incidents have surpassed the point of being funny, if they ever were. At this point, the price of replacement and repair has risen insurmountably.

“The university has incurred over $10,000 in sign repair costs plus labor and considerable ‘opportunity’ costs associated with attention to this issue to the detriment of other needs on campus,” said Brian Benzel, vice president for Finance and Administration.

This cost is a result of theft alone and does not reflect the destruction of the main entrance sign at the end of last year.

Benzel goes on further to say the damage is considered among the most severe experienced by the university in recent years.

As the prevalence of theft continues, the university plans to implement enhanced video surveillance to monitor activity around the sign. Benzel said those enhancements would cost the school upwards of $25,000 to provide.

Although a lofty price tag, this board recognizes that those involved in the decision making around the sign are left with very few other options. Whitworth has been a unique place in that it is an institution that places value on truth, honesty and responsibility. This board argues that the actions of those involved with the theft are in direct violation of the trust bestowed upon us.

That money could be used to update the campus and on general equipment maintenance. Yet there is now a need elsewhere, a need that should not be present in the first place if those in this community would respect the property around us.

This board challenges those in the Whitworth community to stand up and fight back against such acts of theft and vandalism. Members of the Whitworth community have raised standards of respect to neighbors in Spokane and promoted a peaceful atmosphere on campus before. However, such peace cannot continue without the integrity and responsibility that the Whitworth community has been entrusted with.

The Whitworth community, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods, must remember a basic principle that has been upheld among communities throughout the world and throughout all time: do not do unto others that you would not want done unto you. That basic principle of respect and reciprocity benefits everyone and should not be passed over so easily.

The thought of spending $25,000 on security updates and cameras is painful, but given the actions of a few, the entire campus is forced to bear the brunt of the cost.


Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the editorial board, which is made up of five editors.


Ineffective top-down communication the most evident issue with honors program

The goal of this board and editorial isn’t to criticize the honors program — we want that to be clear to our readers. Instead, what we would like to bring to the attention of those involved in the planning and implementation of this program is the frustration felt by the student body relating to a general lack of communication. We applaud faculty and staff in charge of the honors program for working with ASWU to put together a forum Thursday night to answer questions raised by students. Yet this board feels that could have been executed more effectively. Emails informing the student body about the forum were not sent out to students until Tuesday, only two days before the forum took place. Upper administration was made aware of student concerns about the program Wednesday, Feb. 29 during an ASWU meeting and the forum was tentatively planned by Thursday, March 1. This board is concerned about why information was not disseminated sooner.

Students tend to be apathetic; this board recognizes that, but that should not be an excuse for a lack of effort to communicate. Given the impact this program has not only on academic life, but also on residence life, measures should have been taken to ensure students were informed. Although ASWU is in place to act as a pathway of communication between upper administration and the student body and vice versa, this lack of communication does not solely fall on the shoulders of ASWU. It is the opinion of this board that information was not properly given to the ASWU assembly pertaining to details related to the honors program. ASWU meeting minutes show the honors program was discussed in little detail Oct. 26, by President Beck Taylor in response to a question posed by an assembly member. According to the minutes, the first detailed discussion did not take place until Feb. 29, when Taylor returned per the request of student body president Melinda Leavitt.

We recognize it is a nicety and not necessarily a requirement to discuss topics that affect students such as this with student leaders, but when the mode of communication lies heavily with ASWU then it becomes imperative that the assembly know almost as much as faculty and staff if they are to disseminate accurate information. This board believes this method of communicating with students could have been executed more effectively and ways to ensure better communication between ASWU and upper administration should be examined by faculty and staff. The ASWU executive team should also do what it can to remain proactive in the future on issues that affect students. With all of this said, the honors forum held Thursday was a step in the right direction, but should in no way be looked at as the final step. Conversation held at the forum should be looked at as the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, and this kind of dialogue should continue even into next year. If the goal of this program is to shape and mold it as time progresses, faculty and staff in charge of the program need to recognize students will want to continue the discussion as these changes are implemented.

If faculty and staff recognized a need for a program such as this, then we applaud them for acting in a way that filled that need. With that said, Whitworth has been a place that has prided itself on community and unfortunately not including students in the discussion of the honors program creates a stark dichotomy between administration and students. This gap should lessen, not grow, and efforts by faculty and staff involved not only in the honors program, but also other areas of academia and student life should continue in urging student involvement and participation. It is in the university’s best interest if ASWU, administration and other leadership take time to recognize this breakdown in communication and concentrate their efforts on making sure a situation like this does not happen again.

Editorials in the "In the Loop" section reflect the majority of the opinion of the editorial board, which is made up of five editors.

Premarital move-in should be up to couples

Like with all things, living with someone before marriage has its pros and cons. For me, I want to live with my future boyfriend or fiancé before we get married; however, I respect that there are plenty of other people out there who do not believe the same as I do. Moving in with someone is one of the hardest decisions to make but it is also one that nearly everyone has to face at some point in life. To help those that are considering moving in with a significant other, here are some pros and cons. First, living together before marriage can help one figure out whether he or she can actually live with that other person. This is crucial be- cause some people have gotten married and divorced quickly due to the fact that they can’t stand living with the other person. It could be that the woman in the relationship is incredibly messy to the point where the man can’t take it or that the man snores so loudly that the woman can’t sleep. Living together before marriage is like a test run to prepare for the real thing. The couple can figure out whether or not it is going to work before they seal the deal by getting married.

On the other hand, moving in together can ruin things. Couples can move in together too soon and things won’t work out. If they would have waited until marriage or until they had grown more in love, the living arrangement could have ended up working. Instead, a good relationship ends due to lack of patience. Sometimes the things I mentioned before could be overcome if the couple is in love enough, but if the couple moves in before their love has blossomed, the little things could destroy everything.

Sex is also a big part of moving in together. If you are a Whitworth student who wants to have sex with your significant other, moving off campus is a way not to break one of the Big Three. According to a study conducted at the University of Denver, 70 percent of couples are having sex before marriage. It shouldn’t be a shock to know that there are Whitworth students that fall under that percentage of people. An easy way to respect the university and still have sex is to move off campus.

I’m not saying that everyone who moves in together is having sex. Some people are able to fight the temptation and still wait until marriage, which is the Christian way. Temptation is hard to resist though. If you are the type of person who couldn’t resist the temptation of having sex with your significant other but you want to save your virginity for marriage, then moving in together wouldn’t be a good idea. Sticking to your morals is far more important than doing a live-in test run.

The most important thing is to be open with your significant other before moving in together. Make sure you know what the sexual relationship will be. If it turns out that one person can’t resist temptation and one can, then moving in wouldn’t be wise. If one person is unsure about the longevity of the relationship then moving in could result in one person not having a place to live if the relationship ends. This decision is a tough one that should take a lot of careful thought. My advice is: don’t rush this process. Think it through and don’t hold back.

Story by Jasmine Barnes Columnist

Barnes is a freshman majoring in English and secondary education. Comments can be sent to

Music industry ought to embrace change

Just like any other industry, the music industry is weary of change. Unfortunately for them, change is all the rage due to the surge in information and access made available through the Internet. The fear is that the music industry is losing money because of the easy accessibility of music via the Internet. And the truth is, the music industry has lost money. In fact, from 1999 to 2008 the worldwide revenue of the music industry fell from $24 billion to $14 billion. Though the labels might see a hit, the musicians don’t have to. Musicians, especially those who are not in the ultra-famous realm, are met with a new age of music that actually promotes entertaining, high quality live shows. This encourages communities of music listeners to support their favorite bands, and gives a chance for bands to stay true to their own sound. All music is available at the click of a button. While this availability has helped small names spread their music and enabled many artists such as Death Cab for Cutie to blow up due to viral fame, it has also taken away the close relationship that people used to have with the music that they listened to. More sharing doesn’t necessarily mean more engagement.

Growing up, my mother had a pile of vinyl records and we would listen to an album in its entirety. With the rise of iTunes and online music engines such as Spotify, we have been given the luxury of creating personal playlists. Though sharing music becomes simple and easy, it takes away a very important element of an album. An album is a piece of artwork, and the tracks on a well-made album are crafted specifically to be on that album, in that order, for a reason.

When you sit down and listen to an album in its entirety, you foster a relationship with the album, and your connection to the music becomes stronger. You have this experience at shows as well. Now that there is much less money to be found in online sales, bands have to work harder at their live shows. Though I don’t know the ins and outs of every label deal, I do know that for independent artists, the pathway to success is putting on a good show. Musicians are in an era in which being a live performer can be everything. Bands can live off their music now if they can put on a show, and they don’t have to fake it.

Larry and His Flask, a band you may not be familiar with, has been together for almost eight years. Over those eight years, they have only put out two records, but in the last year they played 300 shows. This is a group of men who are very talented musicians that know how to have a good time and engage the audience. Their lives center around music, and they are sure to make you dance. They are where music is heading.

When an audience engages with a live show, it’s comparable to engaging with an entire album. A good show leads to album sales, even if you can pirate the music for free. When you are in awe at a live show, you immediately want to support the music being created.

This change demands that audiences pay attention to what is being said by musicians. I have several qualms with many pop artists today. There is a point when music can just be fun. It doesn’t always have to have the most meaningful and profound lyrics. Sometimes it can just make you dance. However, there seems to be, especially in the pop industry, times when the music is just killing brain cells.

As live shows for bands grow in popularity, so does the opportunity for musicians to stay true to their sound- an important and controversial issue in the music industry. Yet, art is art, and it shouldn’t be com- promised at the hands of the mainstream industry. With a new surge in live shows, bands have the opportunity to share their music as they intended. This is when the Internet helps. With the availability of music, one band leads to another and a community of listeners begins to form.

Though the music industry is facing great changes and new hurdles, I believe it is changing for the better. Though this change might not be noticed in the top 20, the musicians flying under your radar will certainly notice it. It comes down to this: If more people are listening to music, and more people are then going to shows, more bands can be successful without having to compromise their sound to meet a label’s mainstream needs. Musicians can create habitats for their music and create communities catered to their specific style. Somehow, the Internet has indirectly eliminated the need for conformity. Musicians have an opportunity to once again be free to purely create their art.

Story by Sarah Berentson Columnist

Berentson is a senior majoring in English and Spanish. Comments can be sent to

Acceptance of same-sex marriage is crucial

As I hope you have heard, Washington state will soon be the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage. As contentious as this issue is, it is a step in the right direction and a victory for humanity. This argument is key in the presidential campaigns, and generally the stance on this one particular issue can make or break a candidate’s chance at election. Opponents have aggressively vowed to gather signatures in order to overturn the new law. However, it is strange that this issue is such a controversial argument when the government should be seemingly unbiased, and respect separation of church and state, among other things. And yet, same-sex marriage continues to be at the forefront of political strife, backed by arguments that don’t hold up against the Constitution.

Despite the separation of church and state, religious groups seem to be spearheading the fight against same-sex marriage in order to protect traditional marriage and uphold the values taught in the Bible. Leaving Old Testament ideas of marriage aside, the New Testament doesn’t provide the most moral implications regarding marriage either.

For example, the apostle Paul regarded marriage to be only for those who could not contain their lustful desires. Today’s concept of marriage is by no means scripted from the Bible. Polygamy, no longer sanctioned today, was a valid manifestation of marriage in the Bible. What would Jacob, or Abraham say now, if he had to choose only one wife? A book that does blatantly condemn homosexuality is Leviticus, a book that hardly contains modern universal truths.

Leviticus also condemns eating shellfish, provides punishments for adultery that range from being burnt to death to being condemned to isolation, and women must be isolated during menstruation. It even provides us with a cure for leprosy consisting of two dead birds and cedar.

Though someone can certainly disapprove of something he or she feels goes against their belief, it is unjust and unconstitutional to enforce those beliefs on an entire country.

If the Bible doesn’t provide the idea of traditional marriage and a legitimate abomination of homosexuality, this argument does not lie in the teachings of the Bible, but in the tradition of marriage. Many argue that we should not change the definition of marriage. Well, in the world of linguistics, that is all but wishful thinking. Anyone who has studied the English language understands its fluid and ever-changing nature. Definitions change all of the time.

Bill Bryson, an award-winning author, writes about, and studies the English language. In “The Mother Tongue” he notes that, “more than half of all words adopted into English from Latin now have a meaning quite different from the original ones” (78). For example, the word “nice” originally meant stupid or foolish. Its meaning has changed from elegant, to slothful, to luxurious, to modest, and by 1769, it meant pleasant and agreeable. If changing the definition of this particular word is such a contentious issue, than there should be outraged uprising regarding the progression of the entire English language.

Aside from religious groups, many people against same-sex marriage are simply uncomfortable with the idea. That attitude reflects fear of what is different from us, and what we don’t understand. It seems much worse to oppose same-sex marriage because it is something foreign to you. At least religious arguments provide something considerable more substantial than their comfort level.  I wonder if people who hold this opinion have any friends who are gay. Just because something is foreign to you does not make it wrong.

Though it really shouldn’t matter one way or another, America is preoccupied with the question “is homosexuality a choice?” I debated if I should even touch on this argument, as it is one that people are hardly persuaded on. I will just say this: Though I have no biological proof to validate my opinion, it is absolutely not a choice. When homosexuality is such a controversial issue, and we live in a society that has only just started recognizing homosexuals as equals, and further, in the religious it often condemns them to hell, would anyone choose to be gay? People that are homosexual can’t hand you biological proof that shows why they are gay, but they will certainly tell you that it is what feels right. You’ll notice the same argument goes for religion; you cannot produce physical proof that your religion is truth, but it feels right to you, and that is faith.

If it were up to me, I would try to find a way to eliminate the government from playing any role in marriage; but as it goes, eliminating the government’s role in marriage would only cause more problems regarding divorce, child custody, property rights and more.

The fact is, the government does play a role in marriage, but it is unconstitutional for the government to discriminate based on religion, or tradition of a particular community. Two adults should be able to marry whomever they choose. Same-sex marriage will not threaten the tradition of heterosexual marriage, just as my neighbor’s marriage would not affect my own. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and the legalization of same-sex marriage does not enforce the acceptance of homosexuality, though I hope it will encourage it.

I am proud of Washington, and excited for those who are now able to equally and justly declare their love for their significant other. This will not only promote a society of acceptance, but also hopefully will put an end to hate-crimes, an end to bullying, and will create more awareness about these issues. It will finally encourage, if not demand, humanity to accept what they don’t understand.

I hope that this is a step towards living in a society that revolves around love in all facets of life. An equal opportunity to marry, and to receive equal marital rights, but more importantly, a society that can love and accept one another despite our differences. In the words of Mother Teresa, “if you love until it hurts, there can no more hurt, and only more love.” And there can never be enough love.

Story by Sarah Berentson Columnist

Berentson is a senior majoring in English, Spanish. Comments can be sent to

Graphic Artist: Hannah Charlton