Student privacy compromised by directory


Due to a flaw in the Whitworth directory, for an unknown period of time students were able to log in to the faculty-level directory. The information systems department solved the glitch Friday, May 3.

On the faculty/staff version, when searching for students, a student could find the usual name, phone number, email, student box number and major of almost any student in the system.  In addition, unlike the student version, the faculty/staff version allowed access to students’ dorm name and room number. They could also find phone and home addresses for professors.

Tom Ryan, who works in information systems, said the access capability was not intentional and that they do not know how long the problem existed.

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), “schools may disclose, without consent, ‘directory’ information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance,” according to the Department of Education.

A subsequent clause states that schools must tell parents and students about directory information, and allow them a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information.

Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (by special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

Records manager William Carruthers said the information on a student’s profile is often obtained through the student’s application, where it is downloaded to a student’s record.  If  students make any changes, they can submit an address change form that will update new cell phone, home phone and address information.

Carruthers confirmed that no exists law that requires them to prevent students from having access to other students’ room locations.

“There’s nothing in the regulation that says we have to keep that private,” Carruthers said.  “Having said that, that doesn’t mean you have to publish everything you know, but it does mean that FERPA allows us to give a student’s address out, unless that student has placed a directory hold on their record.”

The university sends out an advisory to students through email each year, giving them direction on how to opt out of the directory before the information goes up on the intranet, Carruthers said.  Students can also submit a directory hold request at any time during the year. Making said request, however, comes at a cost.

After the request is processed, the student will not appear in a search on either the student or the faculty/staff version of the campus directory. The downside is that a student who submits a directory hold request becomes ‘invisible’ from a third party’s standpoint.  This means that students can not have their name printed on the Dean’s List or in the Commencement program at graduation, according to the directory hold request form.

“If in fact they do this, if somebody like a third party, like a prospective employer or somebody from student loans would contact us and ask for information, we’re going to say, ‘We don’t have anything on that student’ so it can be very detrimental for a student to put this on if they don’t realize the ramifications,” Carruthers said.  “Now it’s very important, too, because if you have somebody who has a stalking issue or an ex-boyfriend who’s trying to get in touch with some of our coeds on campus, we definitely want them to have the ability to hide their information. So, it is useful and necessary, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a catch-all just to get stuff off the intranet just because it really has far-reaching effects.”

Disclosing room information is not something resident assistants and resident directors generally do.

Ballard, Cornerstone and McMillan resident director Matthew Baker said that resident assistants are told not to give out information such as room and cell phone numbers.

“Not all RA’s know who is a student and who is not so it is a safer bet to say if that person is someone you don’t know, it’s better to not give out that information, as far as what room someone lives in.  [This is] also to protect that student’s wishes as far as, ‘Yes, this is my room but I don’t want just anyone knowing that I live here,’” Baker said.  “There can be some parts in some person’s story in history that makes them want to be more private about that and so we want RA’s to respect that privacy before just giving it away without someone giving you that consent.”

Due to the far-reaching ramifications of a directory hold request, the question turns to the possibility of a more selective system in which students could pick and choose which specifics aspects of their personal information were displayed on the directory. However, administrators said it’s not that simple.

Interim Provost Barbara Sanders said that while picking and choosing may be conducive to a student’s preference, the question is whether that process is even an option in this system.

“While [all options in regards to student profile information] are probably legitimate options, one needs to consider the time and resources involved in being able to make those play out,” Sanders said.

Registrar Beverly Kleeman said the administration is working with the data warehouse to see if they can prevent student phone numbers from being shown if the student does not want it to appear there.

“Bill [Carruthers] has had people ask him about that in the past and all he’s been able to say is that they could put the directory hold on, because that’s really the only capability that we have right now to block that phone number,” Kleeman said.  However, Kleeman said that the directory hold blocks everything, and due to the ramifications, the hold is not the ideal way to handle it.

Connor Soudani Staff Writer

Contact Connor Soudani at


Stained-glass ceiling: Considering women in ministry

Stained glass graphic

Women’s leadership is a topic that has long been debated by the Christian church. Different denominations have different ways of approaching the subject, and often disagree even among themselves, said women’s and gender studies professor Pamela Parker.

“Almost every denomination has ended up having splintering over this issue,” Parker said.

Different branches of the Anglican church have divided opinions on women’s ordination. Episcopal Church in the USA affirms women in leadership, while the Anglican Catholic Church does not affirm women holding positions as bishops, priests and deacons, according to

Senior Abbey Cook said she was discouraged from her career path at Whitworth’s Women in Ministry panel this past March. Cook, who said she hopes to teach faith and politics at the university level, said that many panel participants told her she shouldn’t.

“I was told by three people that I ought to reevaluate that call,” Cook said. “I’ve never been outright told ‘No, you are sinning by doing this.’”

Cook said the incident was upsetting, but pushed her to establish Whitworth’s chapter of X2, a club that seeks to address issues of women’s equality. Cook said the club, which was chartered last month, has three main focuses: education, mentorship and advocacy.

The mentorship aspect of the group is still in development, Cook said, but the goal is to pair female Whitworth upperclassmen with professional women in the same field, and underclassmen with junior and senior women in the same area of study, as mentors. She said that women are less likely to go into careers where they see no female role models.

“It is often more difficult for women to find mentors,” Cook said. “We think it’s important that they have women to look up to.”

Mentorship, as well as education and advocacy, is also important for women on campus because of the low levels of confidence Whitworth women have reported, Cook said. She said the most recent NSSE statistics report dramatically lower numbers of women feeling intellectually and socially confident than Whitworth men. Next year, X2 will work on developing and implementing the mentorship program, and bringing awareness to issues of gender disparity within and beyond the Whitworth campus.

Jennifer Brown, head of Women and Gender studies at Whitworth, said there will be another panel on campus next year comprised mainly of women in ministry roles. The idea is not to have a debate, Brown said, but to get women’s voices heard.

Parker said there are “sticky passages” in the Bible that elicit disagreement between Christians.

One such passage is from 1 Tim. 2:12-13: “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet, (13) For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.”

Parker said that this passage and others should be examined from a broader cultural perspective, which takes into consideration the relationships of that society.

English professor Thomas Caraway, like Parker, said that cultural context of the texts should be thoroughly examined. He added he believes that changes in our interpretation of scripture are the result of cultural changes.

He said he believes that some Christians, particularly in the Protestant and Evangelical traditions, often pick and choose which Bible passages to obey, depending on the community.

“We selectively interpret it to the way we want it to be,” Caraway said. “So where do you draw the line?”

Caraway attends a non-denominational church in Spokane where women are not allowed to be elders. He believes using Bible passages to explain the exclusion of women from leadership fails to address the real issue at hand, he said.

“It seems more like apologetics for implicitly sexist attitudes,” Caraway said.

He said that applying universal significance to the material in Paul’s letters is overly legalistic.

“I think that beyond the direct words, parables and actions of Jesus, we have to be really careful about saying this is the only way something can be done,” Caraway said. “It’s only Jesus whose motivations can’t be questioned.”

Liv Larson-Andrews has been the pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Spokane for nearly three years. She said she has not faced a lot of direct opposition in her church - a branch of the Episcopal Lutheran Church of America  - which has been ordaining women for more than 40 years.  She said Christians are often not in dialogue with one another on disagreements.

“More and more it seems like there are circles of the church that just don’t touch,” Larson-Andrews said.

She said in her personal experience she had the full support of her congregation, who have allowed her to integrate her roles as both pastor and mother. However, some women are encouraged not to go into ministry at all.

“I find myself having conversations with other young women who are told by their mentors to think about youth ministry, think about teaching, think about some other sort of social assistance ministry, but don’t think about being a pastor, because that’s not okay,” Larson-Andrews said.

Theology professor James Edwards said that scripture is not clear on the ordination of women because ordination as it is today did not exist in the New Testament church. He said there remains a plausible argument for women’s ordination, due to the treatment of women as leaders in the New Testament.

“The same Paul that made that command of Timothy [in 1 Tim. 2:12], evidently works with women in more or less ministry roles,” Edwards said, citing Priscilla and Phoebe as examples.

Edwards affirms the inclusion of women in ministry, but maintains that there is no concrete scriptural clarity. However unclear, he said he believes the topic does not need to be as divisive as it is today.

“I think given the fact that the exact role of women in ministry is not clearly defined, Christians need to be tolerant of those who disagree with one another on this issue without breaking fellowship,” Edwards said.

The Roman Catholic church stands in opposition to the ordination of women, arguing that their belief is based on Jesus’ own practices and not on cultural or personal ideals.

Reverend Christopher J. Coyne, in an article published on, wrote that the church does not have a right to decide who to ordain. Rather, the church is bound to following Christ in his practices.

“ In accepting and handing on [ordination] , the Church is bound by fidelity to the example of Christ to reserve ordination to males who have legitimately received this call from God and who are accepted by the Church as having received this call,” Coyne wrote.

Senior Josh Trevathan studies theology at Whitworth, and is getting his certification for ministry. He said he believes that, while women hold the same worth as men, God has designated them for different positions.

“In complementarian tradition, we acknowledge that certain duties and roles are designed for [women], and men have other roles. However, their dignity and value is the same,” Trevathan said. “My opinion is biblically centered, in that I believe men and women are different.”

Trevathan said that Christians who reinterpret parts of the Bible, often do so to accommodate their personal moral beliefs, and doing so ignores the objective realities of right and wrong.

“Because society has a different opinion, we’ve decided to try to mold the Bible to it, and that’s very dangerous.”

Larson-Andrews said the Bible forbidding the practice of women teaching and leading is not so matter-of-fact.

“The thing that gets to me is when people say ‘scripture is clear,’ if anything, it’s unclear,” Larson-Andrews said. “It’s a diversity of voices, and that’s one of the things that’s wonderful about the Bible.”

However, Larson-Andrews said she believes there is scriptural support of women holding pastoral positions and other positions of leadership.

“We read scripture alongside the movement and speaking of the Holy Spirit today,” Larson-Andrews said. “If women are experiencing the Holy Spirit calling them, I think we have scriptural precedence to listen.”

Katherine Knoll Staff Writer

Contact Katherine Knoll at

After the smoke cleared: A Whitworth Alumna who ran the Boston Marathon, a student in Washington D.C. tell their stories

The Boston bombing on April 15 proved to be an experience that would impact the lives of all who were involved.  For Whitworth alumna Lesley Williams ‘96, that day will always live in infamy.

Williams was competing in the Boston Marathon day and crossed the line about two minutes before the bombs went off.

After crossing the line, Williams said she was burnt out because of the difficulty of the marathon.  There was a procession after the race, and on her way to get water, she heard it.

“It sounded like an explosion, it didn’t sound like anything else.  There was no doubt that  it was an explosion...There was a lot of surprise, shock,” Williams said.  “I turned around, there was smoke coming up in the air, but I was too far away to see anything once I saw the smoke in the air...and then the second one went off and, I just knew it was a bomb.  Everyone around me knew it was a bomb.”

Williams said that the marathon volunteers kept telling her and the other runners to keep moving forward and move away from the finish line.  In the midst of it all, Williams said there was chaos but not panic.

“People had their phones with them and they started calling people.  We heard the word ‘bomb’ at that point.  I proceeded...two blocks to the buses where our dry clothes were to get my phone, to call my husband,” Williams said.  “He was panicked because he heard about the explosion too and I think he said a good ten or twenty minutes he had trying to get ahold of me, but since I didn’t have my phone, he couldn’t.”

Williams that after some discussion, she organized for her husband and the people that were cheering her on to meet her at a nearby hotel.  She sat in the lobby and waited until they came to pick her up.

Despite the events from this marathon, Williams said that everyone she talked to in the running community talks about doing Boston again next year.

“I don’t expect Boston to be the same.  I’m sure that any running event is going to be different from now on,” Williams said.  “I don’t think anybody is going to stop putting on a marathon because of this.  I think they just have to be more vigilant or more aware that anything could be a target.”

Farther south, Whitworth junior Nathan Reid said through email that he was presenting his policy recommendation on the CISPA Internet Security Bill to the Legislative Correspondent in US Senator Jeff Merkley’s office when he first heard of the bombings.  The next day, April 16, Reid said he and his fellow interns saw an obvious increase of overall security, intended to thwart any follow up attacks after the Boston bombing.

In addition to the events in Boston, the ricin-laced letters sent to Senators provided an additional area for American concern.  On the morning of April 16, Reid  received an email that the U.S. Capitol Police were notified by the Senate mail-handling facility that they had received an envelope containing a white powder that was intended to be sent to a Senate office just down the hallway from where Reid worked.

“After the preliminary tests indicated the substance was ricin, we were told that the mail service would be shut down for the next few days, which really impacted our office,” Reid said.  “The rest of the day went smoothly, and I left the building without any worries.”

On April 17, Reid said the day began just like the day before with increased security screening upon entering the Senate building. Then at about 11 a.m. they were notified to “shelter in place” due to suspicious packages being left around the building and because a suspicious man had been delivering letters with powder in it to Senate offices around the building. One of the packages was just down the hall from their office, and they were unable to leave to go to a more secure place.

Reid said that they were instructed to simply shelter in place until the Capitol Police could deal with the situation.

“At the time it was fairly frightening because I had never thought I would be in this type of situation. Additionally, to think that someone was sending Ricin, a deadly powder, to offices in the same building was nerve-wracking,” Reid said.  “Thankfully, the Capitol Police were able to respond to the packages, which were benign, and after about an hour and a half we were given the all clear and able to leave our office.”

Despite their different experiences, both Reid and Williams had similar responses to the end of the chase to find the suspects in the Boston bombing.

“My initial reaction to the death of the first suspect was upsetting because I know that the police were trying to capture both of the suspects to interrogate them to find the motive behind the attacks,” Reid said.

Williams said through email that she was glued to the television during the manhunt, hoping and praying they would be taken alive.

“I feel very grateful to the officers and analysts who tracked them down.  I am relieved to know they cannot do something like this again,” Williams said.  “As far as the one being killed, I wish he had lived.  He seems more like the ringleader of the two and I wish he was around to answer questions.  But they captured one and that will be enough for me. I look forward to his trial.”

Connor Soudani

Staff Writer

Contact Connor Soudani at

Students prepare to move off-campus

As the school year comes to an end, students are preparing either to head home or move into their new apartments or houses. Many students may be unclear about what the process of moving off-campus involves, and there are often misconceptions about Whitworth’s requirements involving housing situations. Associate director of housing Alan Jacob said that roughly a third of Whitworth students live off-campus.

Reasons for Living Off-Campus

Annalisa Wells graduated from Whitworth in January. She said she lived off-campus for her senior year for several reasons.

“I wanted to learn how to be independent. The older you get, the more you begin to notice the age gap between yourself and the freshmen, and you need a change of scenery,” Wells said.

Kelsey Mix is a freshman who moved off-campus during Jan-term break. She currently lives with some good friends of her family who live nearby.

Mix said she moved off-campus because of her job.

“I work downtown. It takes half an hour to get down there, and I come home late at night. I felt bad about waking up my roommate,” Mix said.

Michelle Youngbloom and Elisabeth Spencer are juniors who have lived on-campus for the past three years. They are planning to live off-campus next year. Youngbloom said she decided to move off-campus for health and sustainability reasons.

“We’re going to have chickens and make our own food,” Youngbloom said.

Spencer said the reason she lived on-campus this year was because it was practical.

“I enjoyed the resources provided by the university, the professors and the academic buildings, but I’m ready to move on with my life,” Spencer said.

Youngbloom and Spencer plan to grow most of their own food in a garden next year.

Finding a Place to Live

Wells said she used a number of resources in her search for an apartment.

“I am a researcher at heart, so I looked online a lot,” Wells said.

She said she narrowed down her findings to five houses and showed the options to her future housemates. Together they narrowed the options down to three houses, which they all visited.

She also said that students should ask their professors and friends if they know of available houses or apartments.

“Some of the best deals are heard by word of mouth,” Wells said.

Wells said she advises people to start their search for an apartment early, even though landlords may not rent until later in the year. She said this helped her find the best living arrangement more quickly.

“There are places that won’t rent until February or later, so keep your options open and know what you want,” Wells said.


Wells lives in a house with five other girls.

“You should definitely take time to think about who you want as housemates—don’t just base it on prior friendship,” Wells said.

Wells said people will experience difficulties even if they know their roommates before they move in with them.

“Expect hardship. It’s a learning experience that’s part of growing up,” Wells said.

Wells also said that people shouldn’t necessarily live with their best friends.

“Don’t live with people you’re close to unless you know you can live with them. Not everyone has the same standards, so honesty and communication really make a difference,” Wells said.

Wells said that people should be open and flexible in their approach to their new living situation.

“This is the first house you’re getting on your own, and you are going to be sharing it with a lot of people,” Wells said.

Spencer said people should fill their houses with housemates they like.

“If you only live with two or three people, you’ll get lonely,” Spencer said.


Wells said that each person in her house pays $320 a month for rent. In addition to rent they each pay between $20 and $40 a month for utilities, electricity, garbage and internet.

“How much you pay for internet really depends on what deal you get,” Wells said.

Kelsey Mix said that she pays $150 a month and occasionally brings home dinner. She said she doesn’t have to pay utilities because she lives with a family.

Youngbloom said that everyone in their house will pay $250 for rent each month. The lease includes free internet.

Jacob said he recommends students visit, which shows comparisons of rent in the area.

“There’s a section to help you understand the jargon of a lease. With landlord-tenant leases, what you have written down is the law,” Jacob said.

He said that students often don’t appreciate the gravity of their lease.

“They get blindsided because they don’t understand the situation they’re in,” Jacob said.


Spencer said the landlord of her house was very helpful.

“He went over everything, and he was being very honest. He said that he would tell us before comes over,” Spencer said.

Youngbloom said the landlord also promised to repair anything they needed.

Jacob said it’s good for students to know their rights as a tenant.

“You need to know what kind of services you can expect and what safety issues landlords need to address immediately. There are laws about these things that students aren’t aware of,” Jacob said.

If students are unfamiliar with Washington’s laws regarding landlord-tenet policies, they can visit, which links to several websites that explain those policies.

Whitworth Housing Policy

“Students are required to live on campus until two years after their high school graduation date,” Jacob said.

Jacob said that this has been the policy for the past eight years.

“The policy wasn’t defined clearly enough before then. We just changed the wording, not the implementation,” Jacob said.

Jacob said that there are several exceptions to the housing requirements. A person is exempt from the requirements if they are living in Spokane with a member of their immediate family, if they have a medical issue or condition that Whitworth is unable to accommodate, if they are married, or if they have a child listed as a dependent on their taxes.

Jacob said that finances are not taken into consideration.

“Whitworth is a product—an expensive product. If you only wanted to pay for half a car, you couldn’t do that,” Jacob said.

Jacob said living on campus is a vital part of the Whitworth experience.

“It’s like Core; it’s part of going to school here,” Jacob said.

He said that the school doesn’t try to hide its costs, policies or requirements.

“As students, you have to make a decision--do I like this education enough that I’m going to pay the money for it?” Jacob said.

Jacob said that Whitworth expenses are necessary to maintaining a strong program that benefits students. He said that the residence life program is much more important to Whitworth than creating revenue.

“Campus housing and meal plans do create revenue for the university, but that’s not why we do it; it’s just how we pay our bills,” Jacob said.

The Process of Moving Off-Campus

Mix said that she sent a letter to the housing department saying why she wanted to live off-campus. Both her parents and the family she was living with had to sign a waiver.

“It was a really easy process,” Mix said.

Jacob said that students who aren’t required to live on-campus anymore simply don’t sign up for the housing lottery. If a student is still required to live on-campus but wishes to move off-campus, they can go to and fill out the waiver posted there.

“Then they submit it, and I try to get it done in about two weeks,” Jacob said.

Reasons to Stay On-Campus

Jacob said that students who live on–campus are more likely to benefit from what the university has to offer.

“They are also more likely to graduate from Whitworth and graduate on time,” Jacob said.

He said that Whitworth has a high four-year graduation rate because students are required to live on campus for a certain amount of time. He said that on-campus students are also more likely to have a higher GPA and more likely to feel connected with fellow students, faculty and staff and the school culture.

Molly Daniels

Staff Writer

Contact Molly Daniels at

WU develops new relationships with religious groups

Whitworth's ties

Last week, the Board of Trustees decided that Whitworth will remain affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). In addition to maintaining a relationship with the PC(USA), the university will start developing relationships with other denominations and Presbyterian organizations, as well as refining theological language that describes the religious identity of the university.


Importance of Partnerships


Dean of spiritual life Terry McGonigal said partnering with organizations outside of Whitworth is important because of the benefits those relationships provide for both the students and the organizations.

“Our first responsibility is the education of the students. This is the way in which the university also serves churches,” McGonigal said.

He said that churches often look to Whitworth for certain resources, such as ministry interns. Whitworth also has connections with many non-Presbyterian churches in Spokane.

“We are thrilled that our students are involved with a variety of churches in Spokane. We’re glad to have these relationships, and we want to deepen them,” McGonigal said.

Professor of theology Keith Beebe said Whitworth will not be exclusively related to the PC(USA) in the future, but will instead maintain its reformed and evangelical  identity and expand its interests by exploring new relationships.


Presbyterian Churches Leaving the PC(USA)


The PC(USA) is the oldest and largest of the nation’s three most prominent Presbyterian organizations. According to the PC(USA) website, more than two million people worship in the 10,000 churches affiliated with the PC(USA).

Some churches have left the PC(USA) due to the recent positions that the organization has taken on certain social issues. Beebe said there have been changes made to the Book of Order—a set of directions for Presbyterian church government, worship and rules of discipline—to make it more flexible. The PC(USA) changed their definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage, and it has approved the ordination of homosexuals.

“Underlying issues give rise to others. The more conservative side sees this as symptomatic and having to do with the authority of scripture,” Beebe said.

Whitworth alumna Amy Erickson ’12 is an intern at First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. The church left the PC(USA) and joined another Presbyterian association, the Evangelical Covenant Order (ECO), in April 2012. Erickson was at Whitworth when the decision to leave the PC(USA) was made.

“The body of elders had a session, and they decided to recommend to the congregation that they leave the PC(USA),” Erickson said.

Erickson said that her congregation’s reason for leaving the PC(USA) was that they thought the views it promoted were a distraction from what the church valued.

“We thought that being in this organization isn’t helping us perform Christ’s mission,” Erickson said.

The elders held a straw vote to determine if the congregation supported the idea of leaving, and the majority of the congregation was in agreement with the motion. In late April there was an official vote to leave the PC(USA).

Some church members worried the church would not be able to keep the property on which it was built, but the church reached an agreement with its former presbytery.

“The church was part of the Pueblo Presbytery, and they owned the land. They used the gracious dismissal policy so we didn’t have to buy the property. The church still has to pay dues based on headcount, but eventually they won’t have to pay anymore,” Erickson said.

She said she knows of other cases in which presbyteries were less willing to compromise with departing churches.

Erickson said that she thought the process went well overall.

“It’s never easy to go through this kind of divorce, but it was easier because the whole congregation was on board. This kind of thing often splits the church,” Erickson said.

Erickson said she still recognizes the benefits of the PC(USA) and that her congregation’s decision was not meant to make a statement against the organization.

“There wasn’t an ‘us vs. them’ mentality. We know that there are so many faithful people in the PC(USA). We just knew that we can be more effective for Christ—and do what we feel to be best for ministry—by partnering with other organizations,” Erickson said.




Beebe said five to seven churches leave the PC(USA) each week. Those churches will often join a more conservative organization. ECO, founded in 2012, and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), founded in 1981, tend to take  more traditional stances than the PC(USA) does on social issues.

“ECO and the EPC are the most viable options. Other ones tend to be smaller and much more conservative,” Beebe said.

Beebe is an ordained pastor, and he said that he has been asked by some pastors in Spokane to speak to congregations about the idea of leaving the PC(USA).

He said he talked about dealing with conflicts and how the congregation could think about the current state of the denomination. He said he also told the congregation about the history of previous controversies in the Presbyterian Church.

“A year and a half ago, a number of leaders in the more conservative part of the denomination left to form a new one,” he said. This new denomination became the ECO. Beebe said that a number of other conservative churches have left the PC(USA) and joined the EPC.

“If a church doesn’t like what’s going on in the denomination, they have several choices. They can stay in the denomination; they can go to the EPC, which has been around for about 30 years; they can go to ECO,” Beebe said.

Erickson said her church has not changed significantly since becoming part of ECO.

“It’s not that different, but in the long term it gives the church a lot more freedom, more accountability and healthier relationships with other churches we’re partnering with,” Erickson said.

McGonigal said that as churches leave the PC(USA), some choose not to join another organization. They may decide instead to function independently, which means that new denominations are now being created under Presbyterianism.

“Some students here are a part of these new denominations, and we want to support these students,” McGonigal said.

McGonigal said one of the problems is that Whitworth has not changed its financial aid policy toward Presbyterian students. He gave the example of the Samuel Robinson Scholarship Association.

“One of the requirements is that the student must be a member of a PC(USA) Church. If the student’s church has left the PC(USA), they do not qualify for the award,” McGonigal said.


Making Connections


Whitworth University is currently working on several different connections with Presbyterian organizations, including some local and regional Presbyterian churches, as well as the Presbytery of the Inland Northwest and the North Puget Sound Presbytery, which are affiliated with the PC(USA), McGonigal said.

“We’ve always had these wonderful relationships, but they weren’t as targeted and specific as we intend them to be moving forward,” McGonigal said.

Whitworth is now trying to make those relationships more beneficial to both students and the communities.

“We’re trying to help the students with specific connections for summer ministry internships,” McGonigal said.


Whitworth Defined Theologically


McGonigal said that over the past year, the school has been using input from current students, faculty, staff, alumni, board members and other friends of the university to develop language that describes Whitworth theologically. They came up with seven words: Christian, reformed, evangelical, ecumenical, global, missional and Presbyterian. In the next year, the university will pursue an ongoing dialogue about what those words mean. There may be Prime Time discussions, panels or lectures to talk about the meaning of those words.

“If you take any of these words out, you don’t have a complete theological description of Whitworth,” McGonigal said.

Students will have to take into account the relationships Whitworth has with various outside organizations, as well as the changes being made in Whitworth’s religious affiliation, if they are to have a correct understanding of how the university relates to these seven words.


Molly Daniels

Staff Writer

Contact Molly Daniels at

Board of Trustees decides on denominational relationships, student handbook

Denominational Ties

Whitworth will continue to hold onto its ties with the Presbyterian Church (USA) but also expand its partnerships with other groups, including different Presbyterian organizations and other denominations or churches. The Whitworth Board of Trustees announced its decision, in response to changes in the structure of the PC(USA), after its executive session Friday, April 12.

“I think the board made a strong and courageous decision to acknowledge on the one hand our historical relationship with the PC(USA) and on the other the opportunity to expand [other] relationships more formally to best represent where Whitworth already is in terms of its ability to reach out to other denominations,” President Beck Taylor said.

The board’s message also emphasized that Whitworth’s theological identity is shaped by three main ideas—reformed theology, evangelical  tradition and ecumenical connections.

Taylor noted that those words can mean different things for different people.

“If Whitworth is going to go around and use some of those words that we need to come to a shared understanding in the community about the meaning of those words and more specifically how those words can help shape the mission and life of the university,” Taylor said.

Taylor said students will have a role in shaping that understanding. Most of the conversation, however, will occur this fall.


Student Handbook

The board also revisited a proposal to change some of the language of the student handbook.

The proposal was brought up in the October meeting, but tabled as the board did not have sufficient time to discuss it. After renewed conversation they decided to remove a statement in the handbook’s cohabitation policy that defined marriage as between “one man and one woman.”

The Student Life Committee proposed the change in response to comments from Whitworth community members including students and alumni who questioned the inclusion of this language in light of Whitworth’s policy of not taking sides on issues on which faithful Christians disagree.

“I think really it was constituents of the university saying we hear one thing said about the university but we read something else in our policy,” Taylor said.

One of the Board’s roles is to ensure that Whitworth’s policies and procedures align with the school’s mission and identity.

“Whitworth has historically decided that it would cast its Christian mission in the context of a belief in the centrality of Christ and the authority of holy scripture,” Taylor said.

Still, Christians can believe those things and still come to a variety of conclusions on certain issues, Taylor said.

“Instead of claims that the university has a monopoly on truth on any particular issue we’ve always elevated the role of the university as a place where ideas can be discussed,” Taylor said.

The revised wording does not make any changes to the prohibition of cohabitation itself.

Taylor described both decisions as “descriptive” of how Whitworth already is, as opposed to “prescriptive.”

“Students shouldn’t expect a new Whitworth as a result of these changes, but rather I think the board’s direction and decision only affirms and strengthens who and what Whitworth already is,” Taylor said.


History of the cohabitation policy

Prohibition against cohabitation appears in the 1981 student handbook, said Dick Mandeville, vice president for student life.

“There are slight differences in the language every year for six years, and then the language that we would recognize appears in 1987,” Mandeville said.

As with the other aspects of the Big Three, the cohabitation policy states the rule, and then outlines values that inform the rule. The former policy defined marriage in its description of the values.

According to the former student handbook, “The Whitworth community’s commitment to the authority of scripture leads us to believe that the genital sexual relationship is to be understood and experienced within the context of that mutually acknowledged commitment to lifelong union known as marriage. We also believe that this union is to be understood as a committed relationship between one man and one woman (heterosexual monogamy).”

As he was working on rewriting the language of the handbook, Mandeville contacted Greg Hamann, former director of resident life, and Glenn Smith, former director of student activities. Hamann and Smith authored the original language.

“The first thing they each said separately was ‘that language [defining marriage] really shouldn’t have been in the student handbook,’” Mandeville said.

Student leaders were the first to make Mandeville aware of the inconsistency between the handbook’s explicit stance and Whitworth’s policy of not taking sides in these kinds of issues. During training for student leaders, some questioned the inclusion of the position.

“It came from a student conversation that led to a conversation with the Student Services Committee of the Board of Trustees,” Mandeville said.

Last spring the Student Services Committee asked the Student Life Committee to rewrite the policy.

The newly-approved policy removes the definition of marriage, now stating, “The Whitworth community’s commitment to the authority of scripture leads us to believe that the genital sexual relationship is to be understood and experienced within the context of marriage, and that to express it otherwise would diminish the high regard we have for this gift from God.”

For Mandeville, the change allows the university to be more consistent with the messages it sends to the student body.

“I think for us to be inconsistent is always a problem because it creates a credibility gap with students,” Mandeville said. “There have been students who have spoken to me and said that the policy makes them feel uncomfortable, unwelcome or marginalized, and I’ve had students come in and say ‘regardless of what I believe about this, it affects me that it is in our handbook and it is inconsistent.’”

Mandeville said a university is a good place for people who believe different things to discuss their views.

“We ought to be able to engage in those conversations civilly,” he said. “I think anyone who comes to this place ought to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of what their positions are.”


Whitworth’s Direction

Taylor said that the decisions to expand denominational ties and change the student handbook wording were not made based on a political or ideological spectrum.

“Some might view that we’re moving to the right, some might view that we’re moving to the left, on either one or both of those issues,” Taylor said. “Actually, I think that perfectly captures Whitworth, in the sense that it’s not about ideological, theological or political ideas. It’s about how we can best create the most fertile, constructive and healthy learning environment in the context of our university’s Christian mission.”

The Board of Trustees is entrusted with the goal of keeping Whitworth healthy and strong, both for current and future students, Taylor said.

“The board members are the protectors and the chief proponents of the mission of the university,” Taylor said.

The Board’s statement on Whitworth University’s Denominational Relationships as well as an FAQ are available on the Whitworth website.

Evanne Montoya

News Editor

Contact Evanne Montoya at

Sign vandalism a pricey problem for Whitworth

Whitworth sign

Since January, there have been several incidents of vandalism on the Whitworth campus. Two letters were pried from the Whitworth University sign across from Cornerstone with a crowbar on March 1. The letters have not been recovered.

“It’s happened before. A couple of years ago some kids stole some letters,” security services supervisor Jacquelyn Christensen said. “From what I understand this is a recurring problem.”

The letters “T” and “H” were recently stolen. Christensen said each letter costs $750.

The facilities department must replace the letters whenever they are stolen, said Dick Pettis, the trade supervisor and manager of facilities maintenance.

“I’ve worked at Whitworth for over 18 years, and the most vandalism we get is on our letters,” Pettis said.

He said some people who have stolen letters have been caught before.

“Security found people just walking with the letters,” Pettis said.

People have also posted pictures on Facebook of themselves holding the letters, Christensen said.

“It seems like there’s some kind of status with stealing the letters,” she said.

In April 2011, a car crashed into the Whitworth sign. Junior Krisula Steiger  remembers the accident.

“The car crash took half the sign out. There were a few letters on the ground, and people started taking those,” Steiger said.

Steiger said that the sign remained in disrepair and people began to take the letters left on the intact half of the sign. She said that people probably wouldn’t have started stealing the letters if the sign had been fixed earlier.

“The crash happened on Good Friday, and they fixed it over the summer,” she said.

The letters on the sign were made of solid brass at the time. Now they are made of a more slender metal, and they are backlit by LED lights.

Christensen said she thinks the format should be changed in order to deter people from taking the letters.

“It’s pretty common sense. If a door gets broken into, you lock it,” Christensen said.

Changing the format of the sign in order to drive down the cost of replacing letters would cost $20,000. Facilities services is considering reverting to the old solid letters and using ground lights to illuminate them. Possible alternative designs include cut-out steel letters and letters engraved in concrete.

“The problem with those kind of letters is that they’re not brass; they’re not traditional,” Pettis said.

Pettis said that vandals need to realize the significance of the expense of their offense.

The “H” and the “T” have not been replaced yet. Instead, the old, solid-metal letters have been temporarily refastened.  It would take a total of $2,054 to buy and refasten both letters. The replacement of the “Founded in 1890” sign after it was vandalized cost $1,890, and it cost $2,934 to replace a “1” and a “0” on that sign.

“It doesn’t make a statement about Whitworth students. It’s just students making bad choices,” Christensen said. “The main concern is that the letters are obviously expensive.”

There are currently no suspects. There is an offered reward of $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

Molly Daniels Staff Writer Contact Molly Daniels at

Barnes & Noble College will run WU bookstore

Bookstore statistics

The Whitworth University Bookstore will have a new operator this fall. With students now purchasing books via the internet or using e-books, the university decided it was time to obtain help in adapting to the constantly changing market.

“A lot of schools over the years have been grappling with doing their own auxiliary enterprise,” said Brian Benzel, vice president of finance and administration.

An auxiliary enterprise is an outside business that offers services for academic environments. Whitworth currently has three: Sodexo, the resident halls and now the bookstore.

The university is under pressure to utilize the money that students pay to attend Whitworth. When students buy books from the bookstore, it brings down tuition because the money is utilized in an area that is making a profit. However, when students buy books from an outside source, it increases tuition because the money put into buying books for the store is not being reimbursed and no profit is being made, Benzel said. By making the bookstore an auxiliary enterprise, this problem should decrease, although Benzel said it is a problem that can never be fully fixed.

“The university feels like we can stay a player by partnering with a bigger operation to get help,” bookstore manager Nancy Loomis said.

Loomis said that the topic of a new store operator has been mentioned throughout the past few years but was discussed more thoroughly this past year. A committee was created which included Benzel, Loomis, two students and other faculty members. The committee came together in the fall of 2012 and met numerous times to discuss the topic and the steps necessary to address and fix the problem.

Four companies were invited by the university to propose their ideas to the committee. It was narrowed down to two companies, both of which presented in front of the committee and representatives from both continuing studies and public relations. From this selection, Barnes & Noble College was chosen to be the new operator of the bookstore.

Barnes & Noble College is a separate branch of the Barnes & Noble franchise, according to their website. B&N College comes alongside universities in order to enhance their bookstores and to make it an experience that amplifies students’ academic and social lives. B&N College operates 14 stores in Washington, according to their website.

One of the main features of the B&N College operator is the management program that is offered at its college stores. A student could go through this program while working at the bookstore, and receive their certificate from Barnes & Noble. From there, they will automatically receive a job offer to manage one of Barnes & Noble’s stores. This will be available to any bookstore employee and can be completed while in school. Two employees from the B&N College store at Washington State University have gone through this program and are now full time employees at Barnes & Noble, Loomis said.

Whitworth Bookstore

Barnes & Noble will also provide funding for the renovation of the bookstore, Benzel said. It will be closed the week of May 27-31 and will reopen on June 3 operated by B&N College. Only some of the remodeling will take place during the summer. The more extensive work will be done during fall of 2013.

Not only will the appearance of the store change, but the bookstore website will undergo changes as well. There will be an announcement on the Whitworth website when the changes have taken effect.

Even though the bookstore will be operated by a new company, the current bookstore staff will remain next year and the years following. This new operation will not require new management. Also, the bookstore will not change names.

“It is not a cookie cutter store” the bookstore assistant Jody Valentine, said. “It will not be a Barnes & Noble store; it will still be the Whitworth store.”

Catherine Porter Staff Writer Contact Catherine Porter at

The threat of a dictator: Do we have something to fear?

North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as they are officially deemed, recently made provocative threats against the United States and South

North and South Korea

Korea.  While North Korea has made similar threats in the past, the unpredictability of their young leader, Kim Jong Un, has kept the world on alert for what could come next.

The statement initially issued by North Korea said that the nuclear threat posed by the U.S. would be “smashed by the strong will of all the united service personnel and people and cutting-edge smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear strike means of the DPRK (North Korea) and the merciless operation of its revolutionary armed forces.”

Despite the colorful rhetoric of this threat, Norman Thorpe, a Whitworth adjunct faculty member who formerly reported for the Wall Street Journal in South Korea, said that there is something many people are missing.

“They’re not empty threats, but if you look at the way they are phrased, most of them are stated in a conditional or reactive framework,” Thorpe said.  “So they’re not empty threats but they don’t indicate, I don’t believe, that North Korea is ready to launch all out war against South Korea or the United States at the current stage.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, according to CNN, ‘hinted at risks in reacting to North Korea, calling the tensions a “complicated, combustible situation” that could “explode into a worse situation.”’

Senior Hannah LeTourneau, who spent the fall of 2012 studying physics through International Student Exchange Programs at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, interpreted the situation differently.  She said that after studying North Korea’s rocket technology, she was fairly certain that even if this situation did lead to war at some point, North Korea would not be able to withstand any sustained conflict.

“They can definitely launch something but I don’t think they have the economic background to hold out for any kind of long term thing whatsoever under the combined power of China, South Korea and the U.S.,” LeTourneau said.  “He might do something crazy, but I don’t think it would be anything with a huge impact.”

Associate professor of Chinese history Anthony Clark wrote in an email that there is a good deal of evidence to support some additional underlying motives behind this staunch rhetoric. Clark is currently in China.

“Kim’s current rhetoric is not unlike what we have heard before,” Clark wrote.  “My guess, though one can’t know another’s inner intentions, is that he is appealing to his military, which is the center of his power.”

Additionally, Thorpe said that while Kim Jong Un may be trying to consolidate power locally, this tactic isn’t new.

“Domestically he is trying to consolidate power and show himself as a militarily strong leader,” Thorpe said.  “So the threats are maybe a little stronger, the language might be a little stronger than we’ve heard from North Korea in recent years, but there were strong threats voiced under previous leaders in North Korea also.”

He suggested that Kim Jong Un is in fact speaking to his power base and his constituency in North Korea more than to the United States or South Korea with his remarks about retaliating.

For South Korea, threats such as these recently made from the North produce unease, because of previous attacks by North Korea most recently in 2010 with the sinking of a South Korean battleship.  However, LeTourneau said that as far as South Korean citizens go, the amount of frightened reactions to these threats is minimal.

“There’s only so much more that you can reasonably do, so, from what I’ve seen, it’s more about constantly being prepared rather than responding too much to a specific incident,” LeTourneau said.

According to an article titled “Threats of annihilation normal for South Koreans,” which illustrated South Koreans in Seoul smiling and going about their daily lives, the writer, Jim Clancy, made a connection.

Clancy said that after pausing in the city and examining the landscape, he felt obligated to consider where he would seek shelter in the wake of a North Korean missile strike.  After realizing that his best bet would be in the subway system and calculating much to his discomfort how long it would take for him to get there, he decided to think about something else.

Despite this history of relative inaction since the armistice ending the Korean War, the South Korean government has claimed, according to The Guardian, that “South Korea also adopted more proactive deterrence strategy after attacks by the North in 2010, threatening to respond with disproportionate force to any future provocation.”

In the end, a lasting peace will be difficult to obtain, as it has been historically.

Thorpe said that North Korea most likely wants to have some kind of peaceful relationship with the U.S. and not have to worry about the United States as a possible source of an attack.  Despite this hopeful goal, Thorpe also said that North Korea is going to want to continue to have its nuclear capability.

“[North Korea] says that that is not on the bargaining table because of events that it’s seen in the past.  It feels safest to have [nuclear capabilities]. North Korea also wants the United States to take its troops out of South Korea.  I don’t think the United States will do that.  I think that’s probably not on the bargaining table either,” Thorpe said.  “If setting those two things aside, there’s someway to work things out more peacefully, that would certainly be to everyone’s advantage, but whether or not that will be possible, I don’t know.”

Clark wrote he believes that as East Asia has become more powerful, economically and militarily, the North Korea issue has become a problem of “face” for China.

“We also need to remember that China is growing more nationalistic and has reasserted its own Communist paradigm,” Clark wrote.  “My expectation is that China and North Korea, as Communist countries, will continue to rally together as defenders of Marxist ideals.”

Connor Soudani Staff Writer

Contact Connor Soudani at

All the Kanes and Wahines

Hawaiian Club’s upcoming lu’au will break routine and return to true island tradition  The 43rd annual lu’au put on by Whitworth’s Hawaiian Club is going back to the basics and sticking to the theme of traditional Hawaiian culture. In recent years, the lu’au has brought in a few more modern dances and music. This year, though, the whole event will be of a more traditional style.

Senior Anthony Gaspar, president of the Hawaiian Club, said the purpose of the change in this year’s show is to give an accurate representation of what one would actually see at a lu’au.

“Everything about the lu’au screams Hawaiian culture,” Gaspar said. “It’s a great way to show ourselves to the Whitworth community and to the greater Spokane community.”

Tanner Scholten | Photographer Vickie Puente, senior Anthony Gaspar, and junior Cassie Kaleohano-Hauanio will perform at the 43rd annual lu’au in these traditional kahiko garments.

Gaspar said that what is meant by “traditional” is that they are not sacrificing the cultural integrity of the show. The goal of the event is to represent Hawaiian culture, not to please the audience with alterations and additions, he said.

In previous years, some of the dances were modified to accomodate the various skill levels of performers, as well as the limited amount of preparation time. That is not so this year.

“The level of the performances won’t be sacrificed just to put on an easier show,” Gaspar said.

The songs chosen for the dances aren’t necessarily easy, but are ones everyone should be able to learn. This year’s lu’au consists of the most performers ever to be involved — around 80 dancers — and Gaspar said that in a short amount of time, everyone has done well because of a combination of skill level and dedication.

The haka dance in particular is a traditional dance performed with ancestral war chants, which will be reworked to be more what you would see at a real Hawaiian lu’au.

“People should leave knowing, ‘Wow, that was the haka,’” Gaspar said.

Senior Kathrine Tadeo, who will be dancing as well as serving food at the lu’au, said preparation for the event has been intense. There have been practices every weekend since the beginning of February, and the week of the event practices are every day.

While Tadeo is a performer in the lu’au, she said she is most excited about the food.

Traditional Hawaiian food is a major part of the lu’au. Every year the menu stays traditional and basically the same. Two typical dishes include the lomi salmon and the shoyu chicken. The lomi salmon is flavored with chopped green onions, diced tomatoes and salt. The shoyu chicken is sweeter and covered with soy sauce.

“It is buffet-style and all-you-can-eat so you can definitely go back for thirds and fourths,” Gasper said.

Senior Aaron Kurashima was put in charge of the food for this year’s lu’au. He ordered all the food through Sodexo, but will be preparing the dishes along with about 16 additional workers. Food preparation will be an all day process, from 7 a.m. up until the start of the event.

However, Kurashima said that he will be cooking the kalua pig, a favorite Hawaiian dish, in advance. The process consists of rubbing salt and liquid smoke (a seasoning) on pork shoulder and cooking it in the oven for several hours. Then it is shredded by hand.

“Hawaiian food is something that everyone should try and enjoy,” Kurashima said.

The final touch to this aspect of the event are the slices of pineapple on each table, which lu’au members constantly replenish.

The overall decoration of the lu’au will be simple because of the huge area, said Vickie Puente, who is in charge of decor and attire. There will be a lot of flowers and foliage. Since the flowers are actually from Hawaii, Puente had to make sure the flowers would be delivered at the right date to be fresh for the event.

“I’m really proud of how the lu’au is shaping up this year,” Gaspar said.

Fast Facts:

Place: Whitworth Fieldhouse

Date: Saturday, April 13

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. when the buffet-style dinner will be served and pre-show entertainment will begin. Learn basic hula steps, see a hula hoop competition, snap pictures in a photobooth with a Hawaiian backdrop, and play ‘Ulu Maika, a traditional Hawaiian game. The performances begin at 7:30.

Cost: $12 for students, seniors and children 12 and under; $22 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased at the Hixson Union Building Information Desk. Get $2 off of tickets bought on or before April 12.

Christina Spencer Staff Writer

Contact Christina Spencer at

Whitworthian Endorsements ASWU 2013

President: Ian Robins

Executive Vice President: No endorsement -- see below

Financial Vice President: Matt Valdez


President: Ian Robins

This editorial board believes Ian Robins is the best suited candidate. Robins’ experience in ASWU and his clear-sighted vision for next year would be an asset to this position and to ASWU’s executive team.

The guiding factor in our decision was Robins’ experience. Robins has served in ASWU since arriving on the Whitworth campus, and expresses a love for student government that dates back to middle school. In addition to being a Warren representative his freshman year and the current Warren senator, Robins has served on five committees within Whitworth and has worked in the admissions department.

This board believes Robins has a very clear idea of what the role of president has been in the past and how he plans to implement his ideas in that position. His experience on committees leaves us confident that he will be able to assert the student body’s voice and best interests in decisions involving administration or other faculty. This board also finds the fact that Robins has two years left at Whitworth a strength because he has the ability to bring consistency for two years as ASWU president, if re-elected.

Robins acknowledges the power of the student body, and wants to make sure they have as much influence as possible. His ideas for campus engagement, through his proposed “State of the University” address or involving appropriate students (either ASWU members or not) in committees, would give voice to a wider number of students and would also inform them.


While Trevor Zajicek shows many strengths that would lend themselves to leadership on campus, this editorial board believes his strengths are not tailored to the role of ASWU president.

We don’t doubt Zajicek’s qualifications and relationality, but we feel he lacks the experience that is needed for ASWU president. While certain aspects of ASWU can be learned, this board believes the president should come into the position with a solid foundation and understanding of the job at hand.

Both candidates have impressive drive, initiative and ideas, but this board believes Robins is the best fit for this role.


Executive Vice President: No endorsement

The two candidates for executive vice president are Audrey Evans and Remi Omodara. Omodara is the opinions editor for The Whitworthian. The editorial board does not feel it is appropriate to endorse either candidate because of this conflict of interest. This board encourages you to read our Voter’s Guide and transcript of the ASWU debates when making your decision.


Financial Vice President: Matt Valdez

This board believes Matt Valdez will continue to do a good job as financial vice president because of his experience on ASWU. His experience has given him insight as to how he can build on what he did this academic year. We applaud Valdez in admitting his faults and areas of needed growth, which is something this board believes opens the door for him to improve on his performance.

We encourage Valdez to implement his ideas to improve communication with clubs and make financial matters easier and accessible to students.


Students harassed based on sexual orientation

Several Whitworth students were victims of bias-based harassment this fall. Julian Jordan

Sophomore Audrey Gudeman, president of Whitworth’s Gay-Straight Alliance, reported the issue to Associated Students of Whitworth University on Oct. 17.

She said she knew of cases of repeated harassment to at least four students, and classified three of them as felony-level hate crimes.

Washington State Law classifies a hate crime as a person committing a malicious and intentional act of either physical harm, damage to property or threatening action toward a person or group based on his or her perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or mental, physical or sensory handicap.

Gudeman said much of the hostility was targeted at the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning community.

“It’s manifesting in an anti-LGBTQ way at this particular moment. It’s happening to other people too, they’re just particularly nasty to [this] group at this time,” Gudeman said during an interview in November.

Freshman Julian Jordan was one victim of repeated harassment and threats. He said that, upon returning from class one day, he found a hateful note on his door. After subsequent notes of encouragement had been left by Jordan’s friends, still more slurs and derogatory comments were posted, including a note which read “fuck fags.” Jordan said someone even slid notes into his room telling him to kill himself.

Jordan said he was saddened by how closed-minded some people can be.

“We are supposed to be a Christian university; I would expect people to be more mature,” Jordan said.

He also said the notes and letters he received were frightening.

“It made me realize people were getting closer to my only safe zone,” Jordan said.

Not only did Jordan fear for his safety, but he said the derogatory treatment had a strong emotional impact on him.

“The people made me feel useless and broke my thick skin. There’s only so much a person can take,” he said.

Despite his difficult circumstances, Jordan said he felt a great deal of support from his peers in Stewart and student leadership. He said he hadn’t planned to report the incidents, but his friends notified a resident assistant. Jordan said that the RAs, RD, his friends and the other students of Stewart provided a support system for him.

Later in fall semester, Gudeman said she also found a derogatory note on her door. In the note, Gudeman was referred to as a “dyke” and told to “get out,” she said.

She reported the incident, and an email was sent out about it in her dorm. She said because it was a single, indirect incident, there wasn’t much that could be done in response.

Though Gudeman reported her incident, she said she believes the majority of harassment victims do not.

“If this is happening to people, they need to come forward...There’s nothing the school can do if they don’t know about it,” Gudeman said.

Campus Security According to Whitworth’s public crime log, there were four reports of harassment during the fall semester, and one report of a hate crime. All the reported incidents took place between late September and early January, and there have been no new reports of harassment since that time.

Marisha Hamm, manager of environment health and safety and risk management, said that reports do not always go through security. Similar to Jordan’s case, incidents are often reported to residence life. Hamm said security is not always involved, unless a situation appears to be criminal. She said the security department is closely involved with residence life, and they are able to work together to find solutions for students. For example, if a student needs to be relocated to a new living situation for their safety, that kind of work can be done through residence life, Hamm said.

Whether reported to security or elsewhere, the educational code dictates that felony crimes be reported to the sheriff’s department, said security supervisor Jacquelyn Christensen. Only one incident has been reported to the police this year, Hamm said. She could not reveal the type or nature of the crime.

Hamm said that the reported statistics do not reflect the reality of what is going on, because incidents of this kind often do not get reported.

“I can’t say enough about encouraging reporting,” Hamm said. “The more we know, the better we can help prevent things.”

Officers are able to give rides to students who feel unsafe, or offer them safety advice. However, the primary function of the security department is to report, Hamm said. She said that security is a vehicle of reporting to the school, or, given illegal activity, the higher authorities.

“Our goal is to encourage people to report to us. That means being present. Security wants to be out in the community so we can encourage reporting of all kinds,” Hamm said.

New additions to campus should aid in increased reporting, Hamm said. She said the implementation of bystander intervention model Green Dot, as well as the placement of seven emergency blue light poles around campus are two new ways to encourage students to report.

“The blue light phones are a physical representation that we want a safe campus. That coupled with Green Dot [and more] will increase the reporting of harassment and other incidents,” Hamm said.

She said many people are afraid of reporting things that have happened to them; however, the university has in place an anti-retaliation policy for those reporting. While that does not eliminate the threat of students being retaliated against, it establishes a procedure for dealing with offenders, and discourages retaliation, Hamm said. There are also means for anyone to report anonymously using the Campus Conduct Hotline, Hamm said. The hot-line is run off-site by a third party, and is available for anyone to report incidents with complete anonymity, Hamm said. Reports received through the hotline are directed to the appropriate department to deal with them.

Investigation of bias-based harassment incidents Jolyn Dahlvig, associate dean of students, is primarily responsible for conducting investigations of bias incidents and harassment. She said the process of investigation is greatly determined by the wishes of the person coming forward.

“These situations tend to be pretty interpersonal, so it depends a lot on what the complainant wishes to happen. As the victim, they get to be in the driver’s seat, determining a lot of how we proceed,” Dahlvig said. “Hopefully we can work closely with the victim and figure out what steps they’d like to take.”

Dahlvig has conducted two investigations this year. To gather information, she interviews involved parties and witnesses of either side, as well as collecting any related data available, including text messages, Facebook posts or security camera footage.

There are two procedures, she said—formal and informal. In a formal grievance process, a conduct meeting is held. If it is proven that a policy has been violated, appropriate sanctions are then applied. Because harassment is categorized as a violation of the Big Three, sanctions can range from a $50 fine to suspension.

Informal grievances are typically resolved through conversation and mediation, Dahlvig said, and the victim can change methods at any point in the grievance process. She said the work of Green Dot, the recently launched bystander intervention model, could be an effective model for reducing bias incidents.

“Green Dot is doing a great job of bystander education,” Dahlvig said. “It would be great to have a bias-incident response group similar to Green Dot.”

Dahlvig is also a member of the Student Success Team, which Nicole Boymook and Randy Michaelis started this year. The team seeks to provide support for students who are struggling in any way —personally, emotionally, academically or physically. Dahlvig said one of the benefits of the small, five-person group is that they can meet on short notice to respond to urgent needs. If a student is involved in a bias-based harassment incident, for example, the SST can help them move housing, change classes or provide other help as needed, Dahlvig said.

Action to address bias-incidents Lawrence Burnley, assistant vice president for diversity and intercultural relations and chair of Whitworth’s newly established Institutional Diversity Committee, was recently appointed by President Beck Taylor to head a sub-committee of the new Institutional Diversity Committee. The sub-committee examined Whitworth’s harassment policy and existing investigative and disciplinary protocols.

Along with Burnley, the sub-committee was comprised of Gudeman, Hamm, Dahlvig, Esther Louie, assistant dean for intercultural student affairs, and Marisol Rosado, coordinator for cultural programs in ASWU.

The goal of the sub-committee, Burnley said, was to examine the strengths and challenges of the current policies and resources, and make sure they have been clearly articulated to students.

He said he wants students to be able to rely on the administration.

“Are students experiencing various forms of either harassment,  micro-aggression or bias language and just kind of sucking it up and not saying anything? And if that’s the case, what can we do not only to make them feel a sense of safety to report, but to have the confidence in the institution and the administration that, if reported, steps will be taken to investigate? We want to build confidence,” Burnley said.

Recommendations made by the sub-committee were presented to the University Council. The council, which is the university’s chief strategic planning committee, is made up of 29 members, including the President’s cabinet and representatives from every department.

Chief of Staff Rhosetta Rhodes convenes the University Council.

As part of the recommendations given by Burnley’s committee, the council is looking at enhancing communication, including improving the current reporting process,  making reporting procedures, policies and protocols clear and providing information for students  to know to whom and where they should go for support, Rhodes said.

She said some of the support systems already in place need to be better communicated, such as the resources of the counseling center and the Student Success Team.

“This is a comprehensive effort to ensure information is available to everyone who needs it,” Rhodes said.

The council is also working to develop a training process for students, faculty and staff to provide information about who to report to, what the process is, where students can go for help, and what bias incidents and harassment look like. That training could be incorporated as part of staff or freshmen orientations, Rhodes said.

The training would be one method of preventative action, she said.

“Sometimes we are unsure of what denotes a bias incident. We can prevent some of these incidents through education,” Rhodes said.

Kenneth Brown, director of information systems and member of University Council, is involved in the development of an anonymous online reporting system, one of the recommendations of Burnley’s sub-committee.

He said the system needs to be appropriately controlled and secure, but also must be easy to find and utilize.

Brown said he thinks students will be more willing to report issues if they are not required to identify themselves.

“I think it’s important having a means of having people report in a way they’re comfortable reporting, in order to help solve and mitigate. It’s hard to solve things when you don’t know there’s something that needs to be solved,”  Brown said.

There will likely be additional challenges having an anonymous mechanism, Brown said; however, he expects it to increase reports.

“When you have an anonymous system, things may be reported that are not necessarily accurate or true. We have to be discreet about all the information we get,” Brown said. “These are things that we need to be addressing, whether it’s difficult or not. The challenges are worth wading through to make this a better and safer place.”

Brown was also involved in the implementation of the blue light poles. The harassment incidents were not the motivation behind installing the poles, which had been planned for more than a year, Brown said, but were one reason for adding the poles so soon. Brown said that the poles were not originally part of the budget for this year.

In addition to the new technology and recommendations made by the sub-committee, the IDC has hired consulting firm Halualani & Associates to conduct a multi-layered assessment of Whitworth’s diversity, equity and inclusion. They will assess the campus environment, including general education requirements relating to diversity, and will conduct a campus climate survey next fall for all members of the Whitworth community. The results of the survey, Rhodes said, will help inform the development of related training and education programs.

Hate crime discussed on campus “The Laramie Project,” a play centering on the aftermath of the murder of  a gay young man, Matthew Shepard, in Laramie, Wyo., premiered Friday, March 8, at Whitworth.

The play is a docu-drama, theatre chair Diana Trotter said. The script is comprised of real court transcripts and testimonials of Laramie residents related to Shepard’s murder.

While the play is relevant to the issues of bias-based harassment that have taken place on campus, it was not a response to them, Trotter said. She said the play was scheduled for last fall, when Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, came to speak at Whitworth. However, administration asked Trotter not to do the events in the same semester.

“It was so it didn’t seem like the one semester where we’re focusing on hate crimes. I think it’s important to the university to have a variety of different kinds of stuff every semester,” Trotter said.

She said the administration was not against putting on “The Laramie Project,” as some may think. They even provided the grant for students to be able to attend the show for free.

Following the Saturday March 9, performance of the play, Trotter, Terry McGonigal, dean of spiritual life, and the cast hosted a panel discussion on hate crime. Prompted by audience questions, they discussed forgiveness, censorship and the issues of hate crime on the Whitworth campus.

Katie Knoll Staff Writer

Contact Katie Knoll at

ASWU executives conduct mid-year self-evaluation

Molly Hough Spring is the season of change. It is also the time of year to start preparing for the election of new ASWU executives for next year. As the changes begin, President Molly Hough, Executive Vice President Timothy Gjefle and Financial Vice President Matthew Valdez were asked to reflect upon what they have accomplished in their term thus far and what goals they strive to achieve before their time is up.

Accomplishments and Challenges

Hough said the mission of ASWU is to inspire growth, passion and action within the student body and community.

One of the ways Hough has attempted to fulfill this goal is through Unite.

“We hope people find what they’re passionate about and pursue it,” Hough said.

Unite has put on many programs throughout the year. The group brought speakers such as Mark Kadel from World Relief and Jason Soucinek from ProjectSix19. They also hosted workshops with the Not For Sale Academy World Tour and put on a “Dream Workshop.” The “Dream Workshop” consisted of students, professors and community members coming together and sharing their ideas on how to stand against human trafficking.

One of the ideas dreamed up was to create a video, which is now part of the current Unite project, “Ellen’s Unite Challenge.” The video will be sent in to Ellen Degeneres, asking her to be a leader in standing up against human trafficking.

Though it originated at Whitworth, Unite has expanded its vision, and local churches, high schools and nonprofit organizations have gotten involved.

“It is fun to be a part of something bigger than Whitworth,” Hough said.

Along with her commitment to Unite as well as being ASWU President, Hough has had to also balance her involvement with BELIEF, a program that provides Spokane high school students in low-income areas with resources and practical tools to make higher education an obtainable goal.

Hough made a promise during her campaign to give up some of her responsibilities with BELIEF but  now admits balancing both BELIEF and ASWU has been a struggle.

Timothy Gjefle

“I have an incredible team of people at BELIEF who are supportive and understand the roles we both have,” Hough said.

A big focus of the ASWU team has been to build relationship between the leadership teams, clubs and students.

EVP Gjefle promised during his campaign to connect with students by attending Prime Times in specific dorms regularly.

“I love being at Prime Times. I was an RA for two years so I am used to that atmosphere,” Gjefle said.

Building relationships is at the core of what an EVP does.

“The beauty of my job is that I have had the opportunity to sit down with different members of ASWU leadership and learn how I can support them,” Gjefle said.

He meets with senators and representatives every two weeks and coordinators once a month to follow up on their progress and also to find out how they are doing.

Organizing the clubs was a campaign goal set by FVP Valdez. Carrying out this commitment was a major focus during Jan Term.

“I saw a lot of clubs willing to collaborate with each other this last semester,” Valdez said.

He said he believes the clubs have become more organized and involved with ASWU.

“I do my best to be open to conversation and hear what individuals from around campus have to say,” Gjefle said.

During his campaign, Gjefle said that diversity was a problem at a Whitworth University.

One of the ways he has been working on that issue is by collaborating with the Independent Colleges of Washington, an association of 10 private, nonprofit colleges in the state.

Gjefle represented Whitworth at a meeting with the association three weeks ago. Together, they are working on lobbying for grants for students that come from low-income families — such as Pell Grants and National Science Foundation funds.

“This has been an opportunity for me to take action. It is an important action for our community,” Gjefle said.

Part of connecting with students included showing them who the leadership team was.

Matthew Valdez

“We want students to know we are accessible and approachable,” Hough said.

Multimedia is used as the main connection source to students. Hough sent out videos which explained what was covered in the latest ASWU meeting.

During the campaign last year, one of Valdez’s goals was to make students more aware of what was being done with funds.

“I would give myself a low mark on this task,” Valdez said.

He plans to get more information about funding out to the students through the Whitworthian this next semester.

The team is still working on how to bridge the gap between ASWU and students.

“The hardest challenge is making financial decisions with the best interests for students. It is hard to judge which programs to give money to that will most affect students,” Valdez said.

For example, study programs receive funding but only affect a small group of students.

Goals for This Semester

ASWU conducted a survey Wednesday, Feb. 20, which asked students to give feedback on a variety of topics.

The results showed many students are still unaware of the opportunities ASWU provides for them, such as meetings being open for students to attend.

“We would love for the student body to be in the ASWU meetings,” Gjefle said.

Inviting different groups to ASWU meetings was a promise Gjefle had made in his campaign last year. He admits he has not successfully fulfilled this goal.

The leadership intends to involve groups in ASWU meetings more this semester, especially when the meetings will be covering specific speakers that would pertain to said group.

“We strive toward continuing to reach students and keep them motivated to get involved. We hope to be a source of information to them,” Hough said.

Gjefle also mentioned he wants to see ASWU attend Prime Times as a team during the semester.

“I am thankful we still have time to make these changes,” Gjefle said.

Future Endeavors The end of the year festival for students and community known as Springfest will be called “Spokane Block Party” this year. The themes of this event are “Spring to Action” and “Unite the Block”.

The celebration will be held at the Service Station. It will consist of family-oriented activities, performances by local dance groups and improv groups, and possibly a basketball competition between law enforcement and firefighters.

“It is going to be such a cool celebration of our community,” Hough said.

Local churches, law enforcements, high school Unite clubs, and non-profit organizations will be attending the event as well. Hough is also working with the Gonzaga student government to get them involved in the event. She wants to collaborate with them to bring in a band for a benefit concert to conclude the celebration.

“I am excited for the events that are coming this spring,” Gjefle said. “Our coordinators are phenomenal.”

Events to look forward to this spring include concerts, different senior events and outdoor recreation adventures.

As for next year’s campaign, Hough said she cannot wait to provide guidance for next year’s team and is excited about what changes could be made.

“I want to show them what we’ve done and ask what they would like to do. I want what we’ve done to be built upon rather than have everything start over,” Hough said.

Similarly, Valdez said he hopes to set up the FVP positio

n to be more organized for the next person by leaving a list of leaders of the clubs along with contact information. Overall, the executive leaders agree that the year has gone smoothly.

“This has been a great group of people. We’re excited, we’re learning, and getting ready for the rest of the year,” Hough said.

Rebekah Bresee Staff Writer Contact Rebekah Bresee at

Whitworth students navigate the pursuit of a unversity education with ADHD

Nearly one in every 20 children is affected by ADHD according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine College is a demanding beast. It takes a student’s time, energy and guile. For a diploma, a four-year brawl with the beast is required. Yet some students begin the fight with a hand tied behind their back. Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who decide to tangle with the beast often struggle with seemingly impossible deadlines. Time and time again, ADHD students can’t keep up because their brains won’t slow down.

“One of the misnomers that you often hear about ADHD is that they have an inability to focus. If anything, it’s an inability to filter out distractions,” said Andrew Pyrc, director of educational support services at Whitworth University. “They want to try to focus on everything and take everything in. And that’s where the challenge lies.” Students with ADHD shouldn’t feel they are doomed to fail. In fact, these students find themselves in the company of some of history’s finest statesmen, innovators, artists and scientists. Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin are all believed to have had some form of ADHD. Today, ADHD affects nearly one out of every 20 American children, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Tyler McGinnis, a former Whitworth freshman, was diagnosed with ADHD in the first grade when his behavior became an issue in the classroom.

“I would just burst out in class, saying things and doing things really sporadically. No hesitation. I wouldn’t think about what I was doing,” McGinnis said.

Impulse control problems aren’t uncommon in young people with ADHD. However, the disorder has a different shape for everyone, and can vary greatly from one person to the next.

In the broadest sense, ADHD is a brain disorder characterized by hyperactivity, impulsiveness and difficulty maintaining attention. Studies have linked ADHD symptoms to a lack of norepinephrine (NE), a chemical in the brain that helps regulate awareness, according to Mayo Clinic.

NE shortages in different parts of the brain can lead to vastly different symptoms. A lack of NE in the limbic system, which handles emotions and memories, could cause emotional outbursts and problems remembering things. By contrast, not enough NE in the frontal cortex can lead to inattentiveness and problems with organizing.

People with ADHD usually lean toward the hyperactive-impulsive subtype, or the inattentive subtype (formerly known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD). Most people fall somewhere in the middle. There’s rarely a “typical” case of ADHD.

The symptoms may change with age, as they did with McGinnis. As he grew up, he “mellowed out,” and was no longer a distraction to his peers.

McGinnis describes himself as a good student, but he’s sometimes bored by the subject matter. If he’s genuinely interested in something, it’s difficult to pull him away. He says he has a tendency to focus on one thing and block out everything else. McGinnis admits he still struggles with managing his time well.

McGinnis was prescribed Adderall, a stimulant used to treat people with ADHD. McGinnis still takes Adderall twice a day. He takes it in the morning to get going, and then later in the afternoon to tackle his homework.

While ADHD is rooted in the brain’s biology, treatment requires both medicine and behavioral therapy, said Ryan Townsend, an advanced registered nurse practitioner at Eastern Washington University. Occasionally, Townsend receives referrals from Whitworth University if a student thinks he or she has ADHD, but isn’t certain. ADHD won’t show up in an x-ray or in a blood sample. To properly diagnose a student, Townsend has to rule everything else out.

“I think some people rush to judgment,” Townsend said.

When a child is acting dysfunctionally in school, Townsend said, some parents and physicians are quick to blame problems on ADHD without looking at the bigger picture.

“We have to look at the parenting, we have to look at the household, we have to look at the school. It’s not clean cut, ever,” Townsend said.

A daily regimen of medicine will only help a person with ADHD get so far, Townsend said.

“Therapy and medication seems to beat just medication, or just therapy,” Townsend said. “You’re going about multiple ways to treat a problem.”

Senior Chip Goodrich, another student with ADHD, said plenty of physical activity “helps keep him sane.” After his prescription medication led to mood swings and anxiety, he began to look for different approaches to manage his symptoms.

Goodrich said that Whitworth’s educational resources department was a large part of why he enrolled.

“I picked a smaller school because I knew I wouldn’t fall through the cracks,” Goodrich said. “I’m a slow reader, so it takes me a lot more time than most people to go through tests, or write out an essay where it’s coherent and concise and well-organized.”

With Pyrc’s assistance, he is now able to take exams in distraction-free environments, with extra time to gather his thoughts. Pyrc also worked with Goodrich to develop time management skills.

While Goodrich avoided seeking out accommodations for his ADHD in high school for fear of judgment, he advises other ADHD students to take ownership of their disorder.

“Try and understand where your shortcomings are with [ADHD], and accept them. If you feel people have labeled you in a certain way and that’s not the way you see yourself, don’t let other people define you,” Goodrich said. “Advocate for yourself.”

From Pyrc’s perspective, people with ADHD aren’t lesser than “normal” people. He said he believes it might not be a disorder at all. With treatment, Pyrc said that it’s possible to have ADHD and function normally without it getting in the way of their school work, relationships or everyday life.

“What’s better, a short story or a novel? They’re different, and they’re both good. There’s a place for both,” Pyrc said. “If it interferes and impacts you negatively, say in your work environment, then it’s a bad thing.”

Despite the difficulties Goodrich experiences because of ADHD, it also has an up side, he said.

“One of the beautiful things about ADHD is that it gives you such a different perspective a lot of the time. You’re able to think outside the box, turn something around, and look at a problem from a different angle” he said. “You have the ability to see connections where others don’t see any.

For Goodrich, ADHD is a blessing and a curse.

“You’re constantly able to see things differently, but you’re never able to stop thinking,” Goodrich said. “I literally cannot stop and clear my head. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to do that. It’s not possible. I’m always, always, always thinking.”

Lucas Thayer Staff Writer Contact Lucas Thayer at

Anonymity builds community in ‘confessions’ group

Whitworth Confessions GraphicNobody’s perfect. Regardless, most Whitworth students can attest to the pressure of keeping up appearances. Whitworth Confessions, a page on the site Facebook, was created late last month to let people share openly without being judged. Word of the page has spread quickly, and in under a month the page has attracted over 1,100 followers. Whitworth students — and the occasional Sodexo staff member — are encouraged to anonymously disclose anything they might be too afraid to admit with names attached. Cheers, jeers and confessions of secret admiration appear daily.

The submissions range from the mundane: “Okay here it goes... I used to cheat at heads up seven-up” to the risqué: “I like wearing lingerie on a daily basis. Just because it makes me feel sexy.” No subject is taboo, and according to a number of submissions, more than a few students are busy breaking the Big Three.

The page’s creator and administrator, who wishes to remain anonymous, would only agree to an interview over Facebook.

The founder got the idea from the University of Oregon’s Confessions page, and decided to follow a similar format. The confessions are collected through the data collection site, meaning the identity of the “confessor” is anonymous.

“I thought it was really cool and wanted it for my school. The idea of having a safe environment for people to express themselves anonymously and not be judged really appealed to me,” the founder said.

Over the past week, the site’s fan base grew at a rate of roughly 25 new followers each day. It’s even sparked a spin-off page, Whitworth Compliments.

“There is also so much support from the community through comments on some of the confessions and I think it’s encouraging for people to see others going through the same things they are,” the founder said.

It’s reminiscent of an anonymous confession that upperclassmen may recall.

Two years ago, a PostSecret program began at Whitworth, modeled after the popular website Whitworth students wrote anonymous confessions which were posted in the hallway outside of Sodexo.

While the program was only supposed to last the duration of  cultural awareness week, it was extended due to public support.

PostSecret ended last year after a student found the material to be “objectifying,” said Marisol Rosado, current chair of the Multicultural Advisory Committee.

Anonymous disclosures like those featured on Whitworth Confessions worry senior Caleb McIlraith. McIlraith said he is concerned about the real-world implications of online posts in his community, where there’s potential for real harm.

McIlraith is concerned that some of the posts on the page aren’t confessional, but for the sole purpose of gaining “likes.”

“There’s a lot of power in a confession. It’s tragic when it becomes spectacle,” McIlraith said. “There’s meaning in those posts far beyond the context of where they were said.”

Late last week, the Multicultural Advisory Committee voted to restart the PostSecret program. Rosado believes it will be a good way to raise awareness about issues affecting Whitworth students.

“There are students out there who might not feel comfortable sharing their views on campus,” Rosado said. “To realize that there are people who did not feel welcomed or part of this community, for one reason or another, is something that a lot of people don’t actually think happens on this campus.”

If complaints are filed against PostSecret again, Rosado said she is prepared to put up a fight for the program.

Rosado said that while discussions about uncomfortable topics can’t happen solely through anonymous confession, it’s a good way to get the conversation started.

“Everyone has their own experience, everyone has their own perspective on things. But it’s about whether or not the campus community is willing to listen to their voice, which is what I think Whitworth Confessions and PostSecret are trying to stimulate,” Rosado said.

 Lucas Thayer Staff Writer Contact Lucas Thayer at


Undocumented students work for the right to learn

There is a hole in the barricade, just large enough for a person to crawl through. A mother climbs through with her 11-month-old daughter in her arms. This child grows up in the public school system and has no idea of her immigration status.

She wants to apply for college and discovers that she does not have a social security number. She is an undocumented student.

In 2010, there were over 2.2 million undocumented college-aged students in the United States, according to Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Immigration is currently a hot topic in the media. The election coverage featured each candidate’s immigration policy specifically relating to undocumented or “illegal” immigrants.

“Immigrant rights advocates said the senators’ legislation, without a pathway to citizenship, would create a group of second-class Americans. Those who favor a crackdown on illegal immigration said any legal status would reward lawbreaking and that it is essentially an amnesty,” according to the Washington Times.

Freshman Cinthia Illan-Vazquez is originally from Mexico and is an undocumented student.

“I came to the United States when I was 6 years old, so pretty much I have grown up in America my entire life. The reason why I came here was because my parents wanted a better education for me,” she said.

Illan-Vazquez arrived in the United States on a Saturday and started first grade the following Monday. The immersion in school allowed her to her learn English.

“It was really difficult  growing up simply because my parents didn’t know English. So at a very young age I was their translator for everything, especially for medical stuff,” Illan-Vazquez said.

Upon graduation from high school, Illan-Vazquez received an Act Six scholarship. This is a privately funded full-tuition scholarship.

“The Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative is the Northwest’s only full-tuition, full-need scholarship for emerging urban and community leaders who want to use their college education to make a difference on campus and in their communities at home,” according to the Act Six website.

Illan-Vazquez is now studying political science on the pre-law track. She is pursuing politics with the intention of advocating for undocumented students like herself.

Sophomore Alma Aguilar is an undocumented student as well. She has lived in the United States almost her whole life yet does not have a social security number.

“Basically I don’t have permission to be living in the United States. I wasn’t born inside the United States and I don’t have any other way of saying that I am a resident or a citizen,” Aguilar said.

Originally from Mexico, Aguilar’s mother crossed the border when Aguilar was almost a year old.

“I was about 11 months. My mom said there was a hole in the wall on the border between the United States and Mexico, she just crossed under and here we are,” she said.

However, growing up Aguilar did not realize that her immigration status was different.

“Especially in the state of Washington, I can still go to school. I still have health coverage. I have education from K-12, I have medical coupons until I am 19. So no, I didn’t really realize until I started applying for scholarships and for schools,” she said.

Lulu Gonzalez, coordinator of international student affairs, pointed out that students often don’t know because their parents have kept the topic secret.

“For a lot of undocumented students reality hits when they are encouraged by high school counselors to apply to go to college.  They often do not know they don’t have a Social Security number.  The family keeps it a secret.” Gonzalez said.

A student without a social security number does not qualify for any state or federal financial aid. That significantly decreases the amount of aid that a student can receive to attend college.

“Basically the funds that I can get, at least from Whitworth, are private sponsors and alumni funds and those kind of things. Any resource that Whitworth has that isn’t federally funded,” Aguilar said.

Though a student qualifies for less aid, the process of admissions does not change.

“Whitworth accepts applications from undocumented students and uses the same admissions criteria for them as for any student when reviewing the application file,” said Greg Orwig, vice president of admissions and financial aid. “One important difference, which is beyond our control, is that undocumented students don’t currently qualify for federal and state student aid. Whitworth does award them any institutional aid that they qualify for.”

The political sphere has tackled the issue of immigration recently with two different pieces of legislation: the Dream Act and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Dream Act would allow undocumented students in good standing to pursue citizenship.

The bill was originally introduced to Congress in August of 2001 as the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. It was reintroduced in 2009.

“The Dream Act would allow you to become a citizen eventually, which would be awesome because you would get a social security number,” Aguilar said.

With a social security number a student could apply for federal loans.

“It would be the perfect solution for a lot of students in my position,” she said.

The bill does not address parents or family of a student who seeks to gain citizenship. The situation of undocumented youth was changed by the DACA program, which President Obama implemented on June 15.

“Illegal immigrant youths who were brought to the U.S. by their parents are among the most difficult cases. President Obama announced this year that he would stop deporting such immigrants and instead would grant them work permits — though they wouldn’t have permanent legal status,” according to the Washington Times.

This program allows a current student in good standing to apply for a legal two-year work permit, giving them a social security number.

“The DACA is not an amnesty and is not a path for residency; it’s just a relief that allows undocumented students to work for two years,” Gonzalez said.

The permit is valid for two years and can be reapplied for once, four years total. Unlike citizenship and the Dream Act, it can be revoked and the next president can repeal the program.

“It’s kind of like a spin off of the Dream Act, except it doesn’t give you citizenship; it just gives you a work permit. This is more of a short-term fix to a hard situation,” Aguilar said.

Caitlyn Starkey Staff Writer

Contact Caitlyn Starkey at


‘Naked Face’ asks women to reflect on makeup motives

No makeup. This idea may panic most women, but when roommates Kate Rapacz and Krisula Steiger heard about The Naked Face Project, a program where women go six days without makeup, they decided to go for it. Their experience influenced them to make it a campus-wide event.

“We realized that it was really empowering so we talked about how awesome it would be to have other women do it,” Rapacz said.

Rapacz and Steiger coordinated bringing the Naked Face Project to Whitworth.

“The Naked Face Project is a time for men and women to come together and learn about the struggles women face with regards to makeup, beauty and modesty in connection to the media and pop culture,” Steiger said. “The purpose of it is to improve self-esteem and self-image for women and to give guys an opportunity to promote that self-esteem in women and help them with their challenges.”

The event kicked off on Tuesday Nov. 13. Founder of The Naked Face Project, Caitlyn Boyle, was on campus to speak about negative self-talk, media influences, Operation Beautiful — a project where people post anonymous encouraging sticky notes in public places — and the Naked Face Project. Students were challenged to go the next six days with no makeup.

Whitworth English lecturer Brooke Watts said she hopes students will try it.

“Whitworth is a safe enough environment to try,” Watts said. “Why not? What’s the worst that can happen? And there are not just students participating, but also faculty and staff. I am participating and other faculty are as well. We want this to be campus wide.”

For non-makeup wearing students, participation can involve going without doing other activities, such as styling hair, Rapacz said.

Participation also takes the form of supporting other students. As students go the week without makeup, they are encouraged to post encouraging statuses on the Whitworth Naked Face Project Facebook page and leave encouraging sticky notes throughout campus. Guys especially can play a big supportive role.

“We can encourage ladies who are doing the project,” freshman Joel Silvius said. “We can acknowledge beauty even when people aren’t wearing makeup, because if men show they support less use of makeup, then it might actually happen.”

The hope is that students will reflect throughout the week. For women who wear makeup, the idea is to think about the reason and heart behind wearing makeup. The goal is not to be makeup haters.

“I honestly don’t think that there’s anything wrong with makeup,” Steiger said. “I think its the heart behind it. When I am putting on makeup, am I putting on “my face” and who I am or am I just dressing up for fun? Feeling confident when you are not wearing makeup and knowing beauty comes from within, is all that matters.”

The project can inspire reflection beyond the use of makeup as well.

“I think the project speaks beyond the level of makeup,” Watts said. “I hope students can think about the body as a whole and how we try to make it conform through diet, exercise, plastic surgery and so on.”

Part of the reflection is considering the influence of media and pop culture on society’s standards of beauty.

“We like to think we make decisions fully on our own, but we don’t,” Watts said. “We make them within society full of expectations and influences that we don’t always think about.”

Society’s influence can even create unrealistic standards of beauty.

“I think pop culture has exaggerated beauty to an unattainable level,” Silvius said. “It would be nice to refocus our ideas of beauty and for society to move its standards to more natural."

On Saturday, Nov. 17, there will be a panel of guys discussing their opinions on beauty, makeup and modesty.

“I think it’s good to promote self-image and beauty that is not dependent on makeup,” Silvius said. “I can appreciate a little bit of makeup but it’s really easy to overdo. I also really value girls who don’t wear makeup. It displays natural beauty and displays confidence, which is attractive. I think most guys like less makeup than girls think we do.”

The goal is that at the end of the six-day makeup fast, students will have reflected and learned. Last year, when Rapacz and Steiger accepted the Naked Face Project challenge, they learned a lot.

“It totally transformed my thought process,” Steiger said. “I learned a lot about my insecurities even though it was only a few days. I’m not someone who is tied to makeup every single day. I felt like I had a good view of makeup but it was really convicting for me. I did think, ‘Why do I feel so ugly today’ or feel like I do need to wear makeup. I was surprised I had those feelings. I didn’t know I felt that way until I had to go a whole six days.”

For Rapacz, the experience solidified the idea that physical appearance does not define beauty.

“You are not defined by what you look like on the outside,” Rapacz said.

Madison Garner Staff Writer   

Contact Madison Garner at

IGNITE program sparks student volunteering

Freshmen are not the only newbies on campus. This year, the Service Learning Center has a new program called IGNITE. It is a program  that connects students with opportunities to serve. The program is run by Director of Service Learning Keith Kelley as well as student leaders. IGNITE commitment levels range from a spring break service trip to working a year-long commitment as hired staff.

Students choose areas to volunteer which fit their skills and interests.

Students interested in business can help in the small business support center.

“[The program] gives students opportunities to have dynamic, real-world experiences working on projects involving small businesses,” Kelley said.

Students wanting to mentor a child can serve through a program called RISE.

“RISE is the student development branch of IGNITE,” said senior and worker Andrew Pearce. “We target 15 or so schools in the Spokane area. We assemble teams of five students to meet once a week to walk alongside the kids.”

Students with a passion for cultural advocacy can volunteer with an upcoming program. IGNITE worker and senior Grady Kepler is working alongside junior Gifti Abbo, the other cultural enrichment advocate, on this project.

“We hope to create a program focusing on cultural identity and advocacy at Holmes Elementary,” Kepler said.

Many organizations in Spokane allow students to volunteer. One aspect that sets IGNITE apart from other volunteer services is the opportunity for leadership.

“IGNITE allows for a much more developed opportunity for leadership students to engage in high-level positions and situations that allow for them to get involved in the community and understand elements at play and to be a part of that effort,” Kelley said. “It transcends the basic volunteering model.”

One of the key components of IGNITE is the asset-based approach. As opposed to a charity model, the focus is working with strengths and resources already present in the community.

“We focus on leading from behind, not being the central and upfront role,” IGNITE worker and senior Ryan Knight said. “We support programs already in progress. We partner with West Central, learn from them, and do good things with them.”

This approach allows community members to take ownership and play a part in the change, instead of only being on the receiving end.

Those who serve end up benefiting as well. Students learn and grow.

“There’s so much growth and fulfillment that volunteers get to experience,” Kelley said. “It goes a long way to help us understand cultural difference and to be able to understand the world better and be more effective doctors, lawyers, whatever, later on in life.”

Kepler said students are already equipped to serve the community.

“Don’t wait until you have a degree to go out and make a difference,”  Kepler said.  “It’s really beneficial to do alongside your degree. Go serve.”

Students wishing to get involved can contact Kelley at

Here are some possible areas where students can volunteer with IGNITE:

Sustainable living — Work in West Central to cultivate healthy, local food options and aid families in making their homes more energy efficient.

Small business — Volunteer in the small business support center.

Culture enrichment — Work with the RISE program to work with English language development.

Mentoring and tutoring kids — Work with kids through the RISE program.

Serving abroad — IGNITE offers spring break service trips that provides students with many options to serve abroad.

Madison Garner Staff Writer

Contact Madison Garner at

Whitworth alumni teach to fight educational inequality

Whitworth’s motto is an Education of Mind and Heart. Teach for America is a program similarly focused on reaching students on a more holistic level, regardless of their background. Nov. 2 marks the application deadline for Teach for America. This year that due date has been extended to Nov. 5 as a result of the damages on the east coast caused by hurricane Sandy.

The organization, founded in 1990, selects and trains candidates to work in high-need schools. Corps members are required to fulfill a two-year teaching commitment in their placement school.

“Teach for America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty,” said Justin Yan, Northwest Director of Recruitment.

According to the Teach for America website, the organization began as the undergraduate thesis of Princeton University alumna, Wendy Kopp. The first charter consisted of 500 recent college graduates on a mission to fight educational inequity.

“Today more than 10,000 corps members are teaching in 46 urban and rural regions across the country, while nearly 28,000 alumni are working across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education,” said Yan.

Since 1990, at least 40 Whitworth alumni have participated in this program.

“In the past two years, 12 Whitworth grads have joined Teach For America and are working as corps members and alumni to ensure that every student, regardless of their zip code or family income, have access to an excellent education,” said Yan.

2012 Whitworth graduate and theology major, Travis Walker, is currently working for Teach for America in Alamo, Texas. Walker first heard of the organization through word of mouth. Previously, he had no intention of teaching. Walker admits that he did not feel prepared to teach, even following the training program, although Walker said most first year teachers don’t.

Additionally, the students that attend the schools partnering with the Teach for America program are not your average students. These are high-needs school reaching students dealing with various factors of educational inequity.

“Students don’t show up to learn, they show up because they have to,” Walker said.

Walker said that because he works in a charter school that already has so much oversight, Teach for America can feel like more of a burden than a supporting resource.

“It’s not so much about the content, the material. It’s about finding creative ways to teach, to entice students,” Walker said. “It’s really a matter of motivation and presentation.”

2012 Whitworth graduate and biology major, Delsey Olds, is currently working for Teach for America in Goodyear, AZ. Like Walker, Olds heard about Teach for America through word of mouth, did not plan on a career in education and did not initially feel prepared.

“Honestly, I felt extremely unprepared to enter the classroom. I relied a lot on my adaptability and flexibility. So much of teaching is just experience; it is hard to be truly prepared for teaching without just jumping in and trying it and gaining that experience one day at a time,” said Olds.

Olds said Teach for America has been both extremely challenging and insightful, describing the program as one of very high expectations.

“There have been many highs and lows to being a teacher so far. There have been some experiences that have been extremely difficult and hard to battle through, but there have also been some very rewarding and wonderful experiences,” said Olds.

Senior Macy Olivas  is working for the second year with Teach For America's Northwest team as Whitworth’s Campus Campaign Coordinator.

“Through my work with Teach For America I hope to inform students about the educational inequality that exists in our country and what they can tangibly do to work towards helping students who are specifically growing up in impoverished neighborhoods,” said Olivas.

Olivas encourages students with leadership experience and a desire to see change in our current public education system and in our country to consider applying for Teach for America.

The initial application process includes submission of personal information, academic history and leadership experience along with a resume and letter of intent.

The next application deadlines are Jan. 11, 2013 and Feb. 15, 2013.

Laryssa Lynch Staff Writer

Contact Laryssa Lynch at


Cafe moves to fair trade options

In an effort to make Whitworth a completely fair trade university, UNITE has asked Sodexo to remove any snack products from the café that are not made by fair trade companies. Fair trade products are those which come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated.

Molly Hough, ASWU and UNITE president, presented the idea to Dan King, the operations manager of Sodexo, at the beginning of the year.

"Unite is a movement that connects students, nonprofits, businesses, high schools, legislature, law enforcement, churches, etc. to each other to stand up and speak out against modern day slavery,” Hough said.

King made the decision to aid the UNITE program in their efforts. He said he had no problem making this decision.

“I would rather serve healthier options anyway,” King said. Candy has been replaced with snacks such as different varieties of trail mix, mixed nuts, and granola bars.

Changing the products in the café to fair trade is part of the UNITE movement.

The Sodexo staff conducted research on which products were not fair trade and Molly showed them the products listed on the Not for Sale website. Not for Sale is an organization which fights human trafficking and modern-day slavery around the world.

"Sodexo was so great and so cooperative," Hough said.

Hershey’s and Mars candy companies are labeled as “medium risk” companies on the “Free2Work”  smart phone application by Not for Sale.

Free2Work draws risk data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s “List of Goods Produced with Child Labor or Forced Labor.”

They base the ranking of products by the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons’ Trafficking in Persons Report “Tier Placements.” These “tiers” measure governmental efforts to prevent trafficking.

A “medium risk product” means that zero of the top five countries from which the company sources are on the DOL List but not all of the top five countries from which the company sources are listed in “Tier 1.”

King took quick action on eliminating these candy brands from the café merchandise, replacing them with more local, sustainable and fair trade products. However, King said he cannot guarantee all the products being served in the café are from fair trade companies.

This is because not all of the food in the café has been researched. UNITE and Sodexo are continuing to work together to find local, healthy and high quality products.

“Changing the products is a work in progress,” King said. “I definitely plan to expand the options of fair trade products.”

If there is a product in the café that is not fair trade, the Sodexo team looks for a similar item for replacement.

Both Hough and King said they have received no negative feedback about the changes being made to the food to their offices.

However, Sodexo staff member Laura Steele said she occasionally gets complaints from the students.

“Many students ask when we are going to get candy bars or wonder where the gum is,” Steele said.

Although having the option of candy bars is missed, student response to the healthier snacks has been positive.

“I get quite a few students who say: ‘I like healthy.’ They like the Nutri-Grain bars and trail mix,” Steele said.

When questioned by students about the changes, Steele said she tries to explain to them about the fair trade movement.

Hough said an information sheet is going up in the cafeteria to inform students  about why the changes have been made and to educate them on fair trade.

Getting rid of candy bars in the café is one step of the beginning stages to make Whitworth a completely fair trade university.

"We are working towards becoming the first fair trade university in Washington," Hough said.

According to, Whitworth University and Eastern Washington University are the only colleges in Washington that are in the process of creating fair trade campuses.

Becoming a fair trade university will  mean securing institutional commitment to implant fair trade principles and practices within administrative policy.

Hough said other changes that may be implemented include altering the coffee in the coffee shop, finding other food products in Sodexo, and locating where products in the bookstore  come from.

Recently, a committee has been formed by the university to find out which vendors the bookstore is using for their products. On the committee are two ASWU representatives who are advocates for fair trade.

Students on the committee are pushing for the bookstore vendors to say their products are ethically sourced.

"It is hard to ask a business to shed light on things that they may not want to shed light on," Hough said.

Yet these students are willing to ask a business to reveal the origin of their merchandise and request that they make a change in order to create a campus that supports fair trade and fair trade products.

Though these are just the beginning steps, Hough said she hopes that making these changes will set an example for students and other businesses on campus.

"Students are not afraid to voice their opinion and make changes," Hough said. "I am really excited to be a fair trade college."

Students who have questions about fair trade or any other UNITE movements can email Molly and the UNITE team at


Rebekah Bresee Staff Writer

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