Brains behind the brilliance: ‘We Are Pirates’

Student-created video showcasing Whitworth athletics becomes viral hit

During Midnight Madness, five Whitworth students premiered a music video that has become a viral hit both inside and outside the Whitworth community.

Junior Cody DeJardin, junior Peter Delap, senior Shannon Winant, junior Jesse Salzwedel and senior Drew Goranson created the video which featured a majority of Whitworth’s athletic teams. Almost all of the teams participated in the making of the video.

“They wanted to contribute, but they also wanted to see themselves in the video so it was cool that they wanted to participate and were participating willingly,” Salzwedel said.

They started with a goal of promoting Whitworth athletics and uniting the fan base behind a common Pirate identity for all Whitworth sports.

“The goal was to unite all of Whitworth, all of students, faculty, staff, alumni, the greater community,” Winant said. “Unite them toward the athletic program like letting them know that athletes are real people, too; they’re not separate. We’re Whitworth Pirates too. Everybody’s a Pirate, not just athletes.”

Head men’s basketball coach Matt Logie saw the video and was impressed.

“I thought that was awesome,” Logie said. “The guys did a great job putting that video and song together and to have that much involvement, from student athletes and cheerleaders and students all the way up to President Taylor, is just a neat way to showcase the university.”

The video has been shared by many students and faculty on social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.

“So many people have shared it, and so many people are all ‘I love my Pirates, this is the best school in the world, my school has swag,’” Winant said.

DeJardin said the video took a lot of time and effort to make but things seemed to work out well.

“Everything fell in place while making it,” DeJardin said. “All the teams that we had texted to meet at a certain time came and then they left and the new team came, it was just like they rotated super perfectly.”

Premiering the video after releasing a teaser earlier in the week was a big deal to these guys.

“I’ll be honest; I peed a little when it started,” Delap said jokingly.

However, the men were more concerned about the logistics of playing the video than the nerves of showing their project to the Whitworth community.

“I wasn’t nervous because we weren’t performing live I think people knew that this isn’t what we want to do for a career, so they aren’t judging us by our talent and our rapping ability, but in reality they’re like we’re just a couple of kids just trying to do something fun but also promote our school’s athletics,” Salzwedel said.

“It was very creative and it really showed off great Whitworth spirit,” freshman Justin Botejue said.

The creators have enjoyed some recognition on campus as a result of the video.

“I’ve got like four more Facebook friends,” DeJardin said.

The video has over 11,000 hits on YouTube and was also featured on a local news station.

For those interested, the video can be viewed on YouTube by searching “Whitworth We are Pirates” and clicking on the first result.

“We made the video, but we had nothing to do with how much it took off,” Delap said. “It’s all the fans, everybody at Whitworth had a part of this. All of Whitworth community made this popular. It wasn’t anything that we did.”

Whitney Carter Staff Writer

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In the Loop: Whitworth ought to be grateful in the midst of first-world problems

How much time do you spend complaining about lack of sleep, overabundance of homework or internet connection problems? UNICEF New Zealand, partnering with UMR research, surveyed New Zealanders about their “First World Problems” and the results were striking. Although New Zealand is far different from the United States, we share a commonality: we don’t realize how good we have it. Some of the biggest problems from the survey included slow internet speed, the barista not making good enough coffee, getting a bad haircut and an uncomfortable couch. Most of us can relate to some of these and even think of some of our own. Whitworth’s “First World Problems” may be annoyance with Blackboard not working, not being able to access email, not being able to access the Internet in our dorm or our cell phone service not working in certain buildings around campus.

As students today, technology and internet are increasingly part of not only our entertainment world, but also our academic endeavors. We rely heavily on technology throughout the day. Fast internet can be the difference between finding three great sources for your next essay in fifteen minutes, and spending an afternoon waiting as each page loads at a painfully slow rate. If you can’t access Blackboard, it can mean not having access to materials you need for an assignment, or not being able to turn in an assignment on time. And, let’s be honest: Slow internet means it’s difficult to stream your favorite TV show via Netflix when you don’t have ready access to a TV. While some of these challenges are valid, it’s important to look at the bigger picture.

We often consider our community to be within the “Pinecone Curtain” of the Whitworth pine trees and are encouraged to get involved outside of campus in the Spokane community. We should also take time to consider our situation in the “Pinecone Curtain” as it pertains to the situation we are blessed with at Whitworth. On campus, we have campus-wide internet access and are constantly building and improving facilities to state-of-the-art measures. These blessings  among others create an exceptional living and learning environment, even by first world standards.

It is important to be grateful that we have these options available to us. Our “First World Problems” are incomparable to those of other countries; we are well-equipped with a great community that surrounds us, clothes on our back, food prepared for us, fresh, clean water at our disposal and an opportunity for education that will help us in the future. Not many people have the opportunity to have what we do -- we are privileged to be in the situation and place we are currently in.

Not every college student’s problems are all trivial. Some students manage a chronic illness, balancing their school work and other responsibilities with trips to the doctor and all of the things they have to do to manage their illness. Many work multiple jobs to pay for school and living expenses, and still will come out of school with debt. Figuring out what path to take after graduation is a serious issue that everyone has to deal with at some point as well. Others may be dealing with family issues, struggling to make it through a day without the weight of those issues bearing down on them, causing them stress.

Still, the fact that you are here means that somewhere along the way you received some pretty incredible advantages. This board is not saying people should never complain, but advocates putting things into perspective. Let’s face it, we all have those days where we need to vent, but it shouldn’t allow us to focus strictly on ourselves.

When your “First World Problems” arise, perhaps you can use it as an opportunity to think about the many ways in which you have it good.  Or, even go further into finding a way to help out those whose problems are a little more serious than your own.

Whitworthian Editoral Board

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Changing traditions to maintain deeper missions

It’s September once again on the Whitworth campus, and the air is abuzz with the sound of excited freshmen. They have come with their pencils sharpened, their class schedules in hand and their personal renditions of classic love songs prepared. However, as of this school year, one of these things is undergoing a change. For the first time, the practice known as “wooing” was not included as a part of the elaborate traditiation rituals for freshmen in Whitworth dorms.

Instead, the dorms have a new tradition: “hall-ing”. Both wooing and “hall-ing” involve giggling, self-conscious freshmen singing their hearts out all over campus, but there is a definite difference.

Whitworth was founded in 1890, during a time when the dual purpose of attending college was to acquire a degree and also a spouse. According to the US Census Bureau, up until the 1980s, the median age men and women were getting married hovered between 20 and 24.

East Hall resident assistant and junior Mackenzie Young said the marriage-related legends specific to Whitworth are numerous; catch one of the falling pinecones and you’ll be married within the year, get beaned in the head by a Frisbee and the thrower is your soul mate.

Wooing was born out of a similar notion, wherein young Whitworth men sing songs to young Whitworth women, all with an air of flirtatious teasing.

“It’s a chance for the women from every dorm to meet men from every dorm,” Young said.

At its heart, this is true; however, Young is the first to acknowledge that there are aspects of the tradition that are not as pleasant for many. The wooing ritual often involved couples who are relative strangers dancing with one another, or sitting on each other’s laps. For freshman students who are still unsure of themselves, that can be intimidating or downright uncomfortable.

“I was uncomfortable my freshman year, because I wanted to meet a man as a friend, instead of immediately trying to win him over,” Young said.

As an RA, this year is her second overseeing traditiation, and she said she approves of the changes being made.

“Now it’s more, ‘I want to meet you’, instead of ‘I want to woo you’,” Young said.

“Hall-ing”, the reworked version of “wooing”, involves entire dorms singing as a group, emphasizing a sense of community and connection that is one of the hallmarks of Whitworth. Jolyn Dahlvig, associate dean of students, affirms the new emphasis. “Hall-ing” is now an opportunity to show dorm pride, rather than an encouragement to find a potential mate, she said.

“There’s less pressure to hook up, with more of an emphasis on community,” Young said.

Young added that thus far she hasn’t heard any negative feedback from students or faculty regarding the changes.

While the idea of changing such long-held and cherished traditions can be unpleasant for some, Whitworth President Dr. Beck Taylor said that it is important for students and faculty both to remember that such rituals are not a rigid set of rules.

Taylor has fond memories of serenading his wife of 20 years when he was attending Baylor University in Texas. His song of choice was the Righteous Brothers’ 1988 hit, “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” But Taylor added that campus traditions, while important, are prone to change.

“Contrary to popular belief, traditions that are a part of Traditiation are not age-old. They evolve and they change over time,” he said.

Indeed, wooing is not the only aspect of Whitworth traditiation that has changed over the years. Gone are the military-esque physical tests of push-ups and sprinting, as well as the particularly unpleasant ritual known as “sliming the freshmen.” In that ritual, new students were covered with garbage from the cafeteria and required to run across campus, Taylor said. The sliming tradition has not been practiced since 1997, according to a Spokesman-Review article from that year, when complaints from uncomfortable students prompted a change of the rituals.

Similarly, it was the changing needs and desires of a new generation of students that spurred this latest adjustment, and it is the same thing that will likely prompt changes in the future.

“Traditiation has one goal; to introduce and welcome Whitworth’s new citizens to their new homes,” Taylor said.

Jolie Baldwin Staff Writer

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