Spotted from the Crow's Nest: Wade Gebbers, men's basketball

He may be fairly quiet and reserved, but as captain of the Whitworth men’s basketball team, senior Wade Gebbers may be one of the most respected people on the Whitworth campus. He is, as head men’s basketball coach Matt Logie put it, “our old wily vet on the team.”  And while he has become a role model for his teammates, has maintained strong academics, and begins to start a family of his own, he maintains a maturity beyond his years.

The Gebbers name has a legacy of its own.  It’s hard to be exposed to basketball circles in Washington without hearing the Gebbers name mentioned.  In his sophomore year at Whitworth, Wade was starting alongside his brother, Clay Gebbers, and his cousin Michael Taylor, who went on to become the NCAA Division III National Player of the Year.

“I come from a pretty small town,” Gebbers said.  “Even though we come from a pretty humble family, [Brewster] is now referred to sometimes as ‘Gebbers nation.’”

Now a senior, Gebbers has taken more of a leadership role.

“I used to be more of a distributor, and I still try to do that as a point guard,” Gebbers said. “But I have more responsibility now to make myself and the team better.”

His teammates, however, admire him for his character.

“He leads by example,” junior guard Dustin McConnell said.  “He doesn’t just talk a lot.”

“When we’re on the court, it’s his leadership that gets to you,” freshman guard George Valle said.  “He’ll look you in the eyes during a timeout and say, ‘We need you to score here,’ and you’ll really want to do it.’”

Gebbers’ passion for helping his teammates is almost equalled to his competitive attitude.

“I want to win,” Gebbers said. “But my main focus is to win while doing the right things, like helping my teammates out.”

Logie can tell that much is obvious.

“He’s got that sense for the moment; he’s not afraid of big shots, while he’s also as selfless a player as I’ve ever seen,” Logie said. “It’s a difficult balance.”

While his personality is obvious to those who have known him for so long, the first impressions some of his teammates have of him are a different story.

“There was this game against George Fox,” McConnell said. “And all of a sudden, he just went off for like 20 points in the second half.  That was the first time I thought that, ‘Geez, this guy is good.’”

Valle said his first impression came on his recruiting visit, early last year.

“I was there for a visit and Logie was introducing me to the team right before an open gym practice.  Wade is standing to Logie’s right, but as Logie goes around the circle, he forgets to give Wade an introduction.  He’s sitting there with his glasses on, all quiet and reserved, looking kind of nerdy,” Valle said.

This was only the beginning though, as Valle soon found out. “I’m thinking, ‘Who is this guy?’” Valle said.  “He must be some kind of joke if the coach forgets to introduce him.  I got matched up with him right off and I thought the guys were matching me up with one of the weaker players on the team, being nice to the recruit.  Next thing I know, he’s just lighting me up from all over the place.”

Gebbers might lead one of the most unconventional lives of any athlete at Whitworth.  After getting married in August of this past year, Gebbers is expecting a baby girl in February.

Although his somewhat unorthodox college life is different in comparison to those on the team, Gebbers says that it’s nothing new.

“I’ve never had the same routine as other guys, especially now,” Gebbers said.  “We’ll be in the locker room and guys will be talking about their weekends and what movie they’re going to see that night.  When they end up asking me what my plans are for the evening, I end up telling them that I’m hanging out with my wife and she’s making dinner.  They tell me I’m an old man,” Gebbers said, laughing.

While his early life decisions may fill up his busy life even more, his teammates know that he made them on his own terms.

“He was ready to make that choice to start a family, and I really admire him for that,” McConnell said.

At the same time, Gebbers said that he still wants to be competitive in basketball and pass some of his lessons on to the next generation of Pirate basketball players.

“Above winning, above highlights, what has been most satisfying to me is being a team player,” Gebbers said.  “I want them to enjoy this experience while they have it and understand how special it is to be here.  We’re doing this for each other.”

Connor Soudani Staff Writer

Contact Connor Soudani at csoudani16@my.whitworth.edu.

 

In The Chambers: Dec. 5

Well… it’s official. Christmas season has arrived and is in full swing! The campus is decorated and there are at least 10 Christmas parties to attend. I can’t wait to drink hot chocolate and drive around to look at all of the wonderful Christmas lights. Oh yeah, and somewhere in between all of the holiday cheer find time to do school work. Speaking of school… Aren’t finals coming up soon?! Anyway, remember to spread the holiday cheer and pay it forward to those around Whitworth. This week do a random act of kindness for someone you care about. This past week in the chambers we had Kerry Breno come to speak to ASWU about the sustainability efforts within the 2021 plan. There is a committee that meets regularly to ensure that sustainability within Whitworth is moving forward. They are focusing on things such as food and water conservation. Recently, Sodexo put on a sustainability challenge. Congratulations to the winners and keep up the good work! This committee is working very hard to keep themselves accountable to the sustainability goals planned out in the 2021 plan. They also have student representatives on this board. Please email Kerry if you have any questions or want to learn more.

This past Sunday Unite had its “Dream Workshop” where students, faculty and community members came together to dream big. Creative and intellectual ideas were presented on how to stand up and speak out against the issue of human trafficking. The Unite team is currently working on a video with Darrien Mack to further educate people and expand our reach. A grant is also being applied for to go toward the capstone week happening in the spring. We will be excited to celebrate with all of you because of everything that has been done this year in regard to combating the issue of human trafficking.

ASWU is extremely thankful for all of you! We are happy to be serving you this year and look forward to another semester. There is much more to come, but please let us know if there is anything you would like to be seeing on campus or within ASWU. Email me anytime and I would love to hear your thoughts! Don’t forget to check out our meetings next semester every Wednesday at 5 p.m. I look forward to seeing you around campus and make sure to say hello!

Live Bold. Be Fierce.

Molly Beth ASWU President

Contact Molly Hough atmhough13@my.whitworth.edu.

Spokane Symphony strikes

Whitworth faculty participate in the strike over terms of the August 2012 contract renewal

The Spokane Symphony announced earlier this month that its orchestra members were going on strike, and as a result all performances would be halted through November.

According to a press release sent out by the Spokane Symphony, the symphony board members and the union representing the symphony musicians were unable to reach an agreement on the terms of the August 2012 renewed contract, despite months of negotiations.

Director of Whitworth’s wind symphony Richard Strauch, who has been a member of the symphony for more than 11 years, said the strike against the new contract happened for three main reasons.

First, the new contract proposed a 13 percent pay cut for core orchestra members, who had already agreed to a voluntary salary freeze in 2009.

Second, the language in the contract includes an extremely restrictive leave policy, making it difficult for the musicians to participate in performances outside of the Spokane Symphony.

The third, and perhaps most troubling issue for the musicians, is a vague, proposed two-year contract agreement. The terms of the agreement are written out for the first year, while the second is blank, leaving employees unsure of the number of services they will be able to participate in, and therefore unaware of how much money they would make in the second year of the contract. Services are made up of rehearsals, educational events or concert performances.

According to a press release by the Spokane Symphony in October, the board members and the musicians’ union met with a federal mediator and while some progress was made, an agreement was not reached. According to the Musicians of the Spokane Symphony website, the orchestra members offered to settle by taking a 5 percent pay cut, and later a 7 percent reduction. The difference in cost between the union’s proposal and the terms of the board’s offer was around $50,000.

The two groups returned to the table on Nov. 1; however, the board remained firm on its previous contract offer. The musicians called for an official strike on Nov. 2.

Whitworth’s professor of bassoon Lynne Feller-Marshall, also a member of the symphony, said not just one person could go on strike. Since the entire orchestra functions as a unit, when the strike was called, all 36 core members and about 30-40 additional contract players were left without work.

“We voted as a group to not accept the contract offered by management,” Feller-Marshall said. “What was offered was so hopeless that we felt that there was simply no choice. The spokesman for the musicians has used the phrase, ‘They forced our hand,’ and I would agree.”

Feller-Marshall also said the contract would serve to discourage other musicians from auditioning for and accepting a position with the orchestra. She said that it was highly unlikely that prospective musicians would knowingly sign a contract that includes zero guarantee of future payment. Strauch agreed.

“No one in their right mind would sign a blank contract,” Strauch said. “For players to feel secure, they need a protected, reasonable compensation package. Otherwise, how can they expect to earn a living in Spokane with a poverty level income and a contract that doesn’t even guarantee some level of compensation in the second year?”

Strauch said that the proposed contract would make it very likely that a number of players may leave the Spokane Symphony to take jobs in other cities that might offer more services and better pay.

“The Spokane Symphony is a fully professional orchestra with accomplished and experienced players,” Strauch said. “People come from all over the world to audition there, many of whom have trained at Juilliard or other top music schools.”

The Symphony orchestra roster lists 89 musicians; 10 are Whitworth faculty members. While professor of percussion Paul Raymond teaches part-time at Whitworth, he made the majority of his income from the services he took part in with the Spokane Symphony. Raymond is one of 36 members that make up the core group of the orchestra, a fundamental part of the symphony.

Raymond said that no one in the orchestra would have primarily chosen to go on strike, but they felt as if a strike was their  only option.

Raymond said the symphony guarantees core musicians will be paid for 180 services. He said while the musicians are being paid for time spent in rehearsals and on stage, the problem is that for every hour spent on the clock three or four hours are spent off the clock in preparation for those services.

“It would be like telling a reporter that they’ll only be paid for the time it takes to type up a story, while all the background research is on the house,” Raymond said.

The new contract drafted by the board would have fewer guaranteed services. Raymond said that the new contract does not specify whether the musicians will be salaried employees, since they do most their work practicing off the clock, or if they will strictly receive per-service payments.

“In 2009 we agreed to freeze our salary increases in order to help the symphony in the harsh economy,” Raymond said. “The symphony is asking musicians from all over the country to stick around Spokane for a $17,000 and now $15,000-a-year salary?”

Raymond said that some musicians employed under the previous contract were hired with the promise of an advertised salary that they have still never seen.

“I hope that [people] realize that symphony musicians are real people, working real, challenging jobs, and that being able to continue to make a living at those jobs is difficult in these times of recession,” Feller-Marshall said. “The arts are vital to the hearts and souls of human beings, and losing the primary arts organization in the region would be a terrible loss indeed.”

A Spokane Symphony press release issued Nov. 7 said that due to the economic pressures along with a decline in income and ticket sales, the symphony board simply cannot support a service guarantee for its musicians anymore. They said the board’s priority is to be a good steward of its limited resources.

Feller-Marshall said that the symphony is not and never has been a for-profit business, and their fiscal responsibility should not be the no. 1 goal of a regional symphony orchestra.

“I appeal to those members of the symphony board of trustees who love this organization and want it to continue: please do whatever is necessary to run this orchestra as the live music-bringing, culture-enriching entity that it is,” Feller-Marshall said.

Raymond said the two groups will be meeting again at the end of the week to negotiate the contract.

“The Symphony board and the orchestra are not enemies, and too often it seems like that,” Raymond said. “We are merely on different sides of an argument, and while it’s not going to be solved immediately, it is a short-term problem.”

Two benefit concerts were held in November to help the musicians pay their health insurance minimums and aid those whose entire livelihood depended on symphony checks. Raymond said in all the 38 years he has played orchestra, the benefit concerts have had the most energy he’s ever felt from a crowd.

“The benefit concert was an amazing experience, and successful beyond our wildest expectations,” Raymond said. “We raised $19,000 and were packed. We had to turn nearly 150 people away.”

The orchestra held an additional concert Saturday Dec. 1 at Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ.

Both sides say they are eager to reach an agreement.

Jennifer Ingram Staff Writer

Contact Jennifer Ingram at jingram13@my.whitworth.edu.

 

Pinterest redefining traditional roles of women

In our culture, women tend to enjoy independence. They tend to live life in opposition to the domestic stereotype of the past. This domestic life revolved around cooking and baking in the kitchen, cleaning, knitting and sewing. Today, that lifestyle for women is essentially viewed with a negative eye.

When I go on the internet, I surpass Facebook, YouTube and email and go straight to Pinterest.  I think this action may be true for many other women.

Pinterest is an online bulletin board that posts pictures of anything ranging from recipes and do it yourself crafts to cleaning tips.  It also has fashion, fitness, photography and more.

If a picture appears that catches your eye, you pin it to your own personalized board, create a caption and allow your followers to see what you are interested in.

It doesn’t stop there; you can click on the picture posted and it may take you to its original website, providing more information about that pin.

You can click the picture and find full recipes, step-by-step knitting instructions and where clothing items can be purchased.

This website’s popularity continues to grow and attract new ‘pinners’ each day. With recipes just a click away, I have begun to spend more time in the kitchen testing out different dinners. I have talked to friends who have expressed that they have begun to cook most of their meals because Pinterest has given them ideas of what to make and how.

Now with the holiday season surrounding us, more and more sheets of cookies and pans of cakes have emerged throughout halls, houses and kitchens because Pinterest has been influential.

Also, women are finding fun ways to clean and organize the bathroom and bedroom.  They are seeing pictures of fun scarves to make by hand or how to mend articles of clothing.

Craft stores are loving the fact that people are pinning more crafts and are coming into their stores to buy fabric, sewing kits, yarn, needles and all sorts of various home-made craft basics.

See what I am getting at?

Without publicly calling themselves a ‘become-a- domestic-woman’ website, Pinterest is beginning to re-create the role of women.

This is by no means a bad thing, and I am not saying that any woman using Pinterest is now a stereotypical domestic woman and should wear an apron and have a vacuum ready at all times.

Pinterest has made such negatively viewed lifestyles both fun and enjoyable.  It gets women cooking and baking for the fun of it and not in a ‘submitting-to-their-husband-or-spouse’ kind of way.

It gets women to want to organize and clean things in creative ways because they want to, not because they have to.

Pinterest has created opportunities to try do-it-yourself projects that women may have never been exposed to or considered trying because of possible negative connotations.

Pinterest is shaping lives and is not only limited to women, but men use it as well and can get just as much out of it.

My challenge to you: if you don’t use Pinterest, simply make an account.  Begin to use it by trying out recipes, at-home fitness programs and admiring photography and art.

If you use Pinterest, good job, continue to let it shape daily habits, open up doors to further exploration and allow it to make stereotypical domestic lifestyles become more enjoyable opportunities.

Haley Williamson Columnist

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

Marijuana legalized in the state, but Federal and WU rules remain unchanged

Voters gave marijuana the green light in Washington and Colorado when they passed initiatives in both states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and over.

Possession of an ounce of dried marijuana, a pound of marijuana-infused product (such as  brownies) or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquid will become legal in Washington Dec. 6 due to Initiative 502.

Under I-502 the state has a year to establish a system of licensing growers, processors and retail stores, as well as a standard blood test limit for driving under the influence.

Though marijuana is now legal at the state level, federal law still classifies it as illegal.

That may cause issues for marijuana retailers, businesses that plan to sell marijuana-infused products and for workers whose employers require drug-free work environments.

“I think people who voted for 502 will be really surprised that if you use it in your own home, in accordance with the initiative, you can still get fired,” Seattle employment law attorney Michael Subit said to the Seattle Times.

The City of Seattle recently reminded its 10,500 employees that because it receives federal funding, it must remain a drug-free workplace. Other employers have followed suit, according to seattletimes.com.

Deputy Darrell Rohde of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office likewise expressed the need to uphold federal law in spite of state legalization.

“If we expect people to pay taxes, which is a federal practice, we should expect them to obey all federal laws. Right now, marijuana is still illegal according to federal law,” Rohde said.

Like many employers, I-502 has not changed the Sheriff’s office hiring or drug policies.

“For now, those that plan to seek a job with the Sheriff’s Office should steer clear of marijuana and other illegal drugs,” Rohde said.

An excerpt from the intent of I-502 states that it allows law enforcement to be focused on violent and property crimes, generates new state and local tax revenue for education, health care, research and substance abuse prevention and takes marijuana out of the hands of illegal drug organizations and brings it under a tightly regulated, state-licensed system similar to that for controlling hard alcohol.

A group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition supported legalization.

Some police officers believe continued prohibition takes resources away from pursuing dangerous criminals while helping fuel the Mexican drug war, according to fortworthstar-telegram.com.

The initiative proposes a heavy tax on marijuana, which could lead to new revenue. There will be a  25 percent tax imposed three times: when the grower sells to processor, the processor to retailer and the retailer to the customer, according to money.cnn.com.

State financial experts estimate $2 billion in tax revenue over the next five years if the federal government does not sue to block I-502, according to mynorthwest.com.

It is also estimated that legalization could take away $10 billion from cartels and dealers, according to forbes.com.

I-502 affects Whitworth students as well. Following the passage of the initiative, the Student Life committee met to discuss their response to the new law.

“Because we are a private institution, we are able to have different guidelines. We have chosen to be a dry campus; that means no alcohol for students, even those over 21, as well as faculty and staff,” said Dick Mandeville, vice president for student life.

The committee determined that marijuana, while legal by state law for those 21 and over, should be treated like alcohol and not allowed on campus, Mandeville said.

“We made that decision because of the impact on the individual using it, as well as the impact on those around who might not want to be exposed to it,” Mandeville said.

The student handbook explains in detail which substances are already prohibited on campus and for what reasons. Marijuana will be added to the list of substances, Mandeville said.

Kendra Stubbs Staff Writer

Contact Kendra Stubbs at kstubbs15@my.whitworth.edu.

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

Contact Whitney Carter at wcarter16@my.whitworth.edu.

Pirates continue hot play in home sweep

Whitworth women break century mark for the second time in last four games against Colorado College

The women’s basketball team racked up two more victories last weekend to advance their record to 6-1 (1-0 Northwest Conference). For the second time in a week, the Pirates dropped triple digits in a game, beating Colorado College 102-40 on Friday in their home opener. On Saturday, Whitworth opened their NWC play with a 72-53 win over Pacific Lutheran University.

“It’s really been a team effort,” head coach Helen Higgs said. “That’s what’s setting us apart. Our bench, our starters, everyone is stepping up.”

The Tigers of Colorado College scored the first bucket in Friday’s game, but the Bucs relentlessly controlled the  rest of the game. Whitworth cashed in 21 Tiger turnovers for 25 points in the first half and went into the locker room at halftime with a commanding 56-16 lead.

“We shot the ball really well on [Friday] night, which I think helped us get our offense going, too,” Higgs said.

The Bucs continued to pull ahead in the second half and moved into triple digits with 1:25 remaining in the game. Whitworth dominated the boards, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds and earning 21 second-chance points.

Freshman guard KC McConnell and junior guard Kayla Johnson led the team with 16 points each. Johnson was quick to credit her team.

“As a team, everyone played really well,” Johnson said. “Nobody had a bad game; that’s what is important.”

Three other Pirates were in double digits and 15 players scored, showing the depth of the Whitworth bench.

“This year we have a deep bench,” senior guard Lauren Picha said. “No matter who goes in you never have to worry because everyone contributes.”

Senior guard Emily Guthrie contributed 13 points, four rebounds, and two assists for the Bucs.

Saturday was Whitworth’s first NWC competition of the season, with a victory over the Lutes of PLU. The Bucs got off to a slow start but quickly gained control. With the Pirates up by 13 at halftime, the Lutes made a run that cut the Pirate lead to two midway through the second half. Whitworth’s defense was critical in maintaining command of the scoreboard. PLU committed 22 turnovers in the game, on which the Pirates capitalized to seal the victory.

“Our main goal is take it one game at a time and get weekend sweeps where we win back-to-back games [like this weekend],” Johnson said. “Our league is all pretty even for the most part; anybody can beat any given team on any given day. We think we’re going to be pretty strong and be able to compete. We’re ready for it.”

Junior forward Jamie Lyons led the Bucs with 12 points. Guthrie had eight boards and eight points. Picha finished with eight points, six assists and four steals.

“Lauren Picha really stood out Saturday night,” Higgs said. “That’s just a great night for a point guard.”

Off to a strong start, the Pirates’ hopes are high for the rest of the season.

“It’s a new season and it’s a different feel this year and we’re all really excited about it,” Johnson said.

Whitworth looks to continue their winning streak next weekend against the Loggers of the University of Puget Sound next on Saturday night at the Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.

“This was our first home sweep of the season and that was a goal [we accomplished],” Picha said. “So we’re just looking to sweep each weekend and make it a successful season.”

Sena Hughes Staff Writer

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

 

Whitworth re-examines its place in the Presbyterian Church (USA)

Changes are being made to how Whitworth will be affiliated with the Presbyterian church.

Whitworth University has been a Presbyterian school for 122 years and has been affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) since the PC (USA) was formed in 1983.

The PC (USA) is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination. Over the past couple of years, some Presbyterian congregations affiliated with the PC (USA) have been leaving the denomination due to disagreements and conflicts with its reformed traditions.

The Alaskan Northwest synod, a Presbyterian governmental structure that connects Whitworth to the PC (USA), is in “reduced function.” This means the synod is dissolving and will no longer exist by the summer of 2013.

“We want it to be clear that our covenant partnership is changing because the function and structure of the synod with which we have our partnership is radically going away,” said Terry McGonigal, the dean of spiritual life.

The Presbyterian governmental structure is made up of four levels.

Each Presbyterian church is a congregation. A presbytery is a formation of many congregations in an area. Presbyteries are organized within a geographical region to form a synod. The synods report to the General Assembly, the highest governing body of the PC (USA).

A task force has been formed to decide what path the university should take. Their main concern is in addressing the interests of the students as well as the faculty and staff.

“The task force wants to hear from students,” said Mindy Smith, a campus pastor and a member of the task force.

They are looking at alternative connections within the PC (USA) as well as other organizations with which Whitworth may affiliate with, such as the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians or the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

Right now, the task force is in the process of gathering information from other organizations, as well as from Whitworth students.

Molly Hough is the student representative on the task force.

“My job is to be the student voice. If students have comments or questions about what’s going on, I am the go-to person,” Hough said.

McGonigal, Hough and Smith held a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13 for students affiliated with Presbyterian churches.

In the meeting, the task force members explained how Whitworth students will be affected by what is occurring within the denomination and provided a time for students to ask questions and give feedback.

“Terminology is really difficult. One challenge we’re faced with is how to get students to care and understand what is being said,” Hough said.

Students at the meeting voiced concern over the future of financial aid and scholarships that are linked to the PC (USA) and PC (USA) affiliated churches.

How Whitworth allocates financial aid is not going to change. Yet nothing can be guaranteed as far as outside scholarships.

“We do not have total control over that situation because some Presbyterian scholarships and financial aid flow into students’ accounts from outside sources,” McGonigal said.

Smith said she would suggest that students communicate with their churches about the changes that may be coming.

“If you have a church that’s providing financial support, you should inform them of the changes going on at Whitworth. Students have a responsibility to that relationship with their home church,” Smith said.

A survey was sent out to the faculty and staff about what their views and concerns about the direction Whitworth should take. The task force received 400 responses. Most of the responses indicated that employees were mostly concerned with Whitworth remaining clear and firmly committed to its Christian mission.

“Even with a diverse faculty and staff there was unity. They want Whitworth to stay focused on its mission,” Smith said.

The faculty expressed that the mission of Whitworth should remain faithful to the gospel, engage in tough issues that are occurring in society and be involved in what is going on across the globe.

“The university is trying to be consistent with its Christian Presbyterian heritage and also relate to changing realities to provide students with a welcoming atmosphere,” McGonigal said.

Once the task force has finished its information-gathering stage it will bring the information to the Board of Trustees.

“The role of the task force is to present information to the Board of the Trustees. The Board will make the final decision,” Hough said.

At a board meeting in January, a sense of trajectory will be established and worked on throughout the spring. By April a final decision will most likely be made.

“We hope Whitworth will stay the same while the church changes,” Smith said.

The task force will work through the spring and summer to inform students what changes are being made and why. The goal of the task force is to find a trajectory that puts Whitworth in the best position for the future.

“We are looking to deepen the university’s relationship with the church and provide more opportunities for students to have experiences in the church,” McGonigal said.

Rebekah Bresee Staff Writer

Contact Rebekah Bresee at rbresee16@my.whitworth.edu.

 

Passion for knowledge compromised by the need for academic achievement

When we were growing up, we tinkered with toys, played outside in the dirt and learned because it was fun. Now we’re in college. The desire to truly learn has faded for many of us. We just want to get the grade. We want to be the know-it-all. We want to be at the top of our class.

School has changed the curiosity of our childhoods. We have little to no motivation to learn unless it will benefit one grade on the transcript of our $40,000-a-year education, yet we have so many other opportunities to grow.

There’s virtually a lecture every week in the Robinson Teaching Theatre, but most of the time you’ll only see the seats fill if there’s Core 150 extra credit involved. We only make the effort if there is a tangible incentive.

So, why aren’t we taking advantage of these opportunities? Shouldn’t growing in knowledge be incentive enough?

It seems as though there’s too much going on at Whitworth. We are bombarded with emails each day, blinded by posters walking into the HUB and, frankly, we just have other stuff on our plate.

Whitworth students tend to want to be involved in everything; we want to make positive changes, but it’s as if we’ve chosen quantity over quality. Most people do things they are passionate about. However, seldom do they branch out and gain insight on other topics that they haven’t explored or things that can only increase them in knowledge. We tend to want things that will get us points, look good on our resumes or get us ahead in some way.

That decision comes with the culture we live in today. We are told to only spend time on things that are “worth it,” things that will help us become “successful.” If there aren’t rewards, society tells us it’s not worth it.

In addition to the stresses of school, many of us are constantly reliant on smart phones and computers to keep us connected and updated with information. Although technology is a blessing in some regards, when its constant place in our lives is coupled with academic obligations, the result is a loss of learning motivation.

That’s not to say that we don’t benefit from what we learn in classes, but because of our priorities and schedules, the emphasis shifts to the grade we receive as the driving component of our academic agenda. If there is no incentive to increase our grade, we don’t try.

In reality, we have the time to explore new things. It doesn’t even have to be a lecture. If we spent just a few minutes a day immersing ourselves in new information, we would amaze ourselves with how much we could learn.

This editorial board encourages students to take into account the dynamic of balancing the busyness of academics and other campus commitments with learning and satisfying personal interests.

If we fail to grow in knowledge through exploring ideas without incentive, we fail to grow as people. Whitworth is a place that prides itself on preparing people for to be well-rounded individuals, fully equipped to take a meaningful place in society.

In its defense, Whitworth gives us the tools to do so; however, we don’t take those opportunities. The lectures that are offered are to expose students to different perspectives and ways of life. It’s time for us to do our parts. Whitworth can try to equip us in every way, but until we take advantage of that, it’s meaningless.

Ultimately, your grade is a number. It will likely impact you for the next couple of years as you apply for graduate school or jobs. However, once you start that job or degree, the number of points you got on your final exam will mean nothing.

What will have meaning is the information that had enough of an impact on you to stick, the experiences you have had, and the skills you have gained. These are not things that come from cramming for an exam, but rather from going to those lectures, discussing interesting topics with your friends or professors and delving into the things that interest you most. Go earn the points that count.

Whitworthian Editoral Board Contact the editorial board at croach14@my.whitworth.edu

 

Duvall posts highest Pirate finish at UW

The Whitworth women’s swimming team put up a strong performance at the Husky Invitational last weekend in Federal Way, Wash. The meet hosted over 1,000 swimmers and saw several Pirates produce season-best times in a number of different events. The annual three-day meet hosted by the University of Washington contained arguably the toughest competition the Pirates will face all year, including Oregon State, University of Calgary, Grand Canyon University and Simon Fraser University. Prior to the meet, the women had finished first in all of their meets this year.

Head coach Steve Schadt knew this weekend had a high chance of changing that, and saw many positive aspects of this competition.

“When you face stiff competition, it raises your level of swimming,” Schadt said. “Meets like this are really valuable.”

Schadt had quite a bit of evidence to support his case. In many races Pirate swimmers swam to new personal or lifelong-best times. Junior Kate Duvall posted the highest individual finish all weekend for the Pirates, with a 14th place finish in the “B” final of the 200-yard backstroke. Her time of 2:06.30 beat her personal record by four seconds.

“Racing against fast swimmers really does push you to swim faster,” Duvall said. “And that was higher competition than we have seen all season.”

The women’s relay teams also swam well, posting 24th and 26th finishes on day one, followed by 19th and 25th place finishes on day two. Sophomores Samantha Smith and Alisa Stang raced with most of these relay teams, as well as setting personal season records in individual events. Stang finished 28th in the 50-yard freestyle with a season-best time of 24.41. Smith set personal season records in the 200-yard butterfly (2:13.30) and 200-yard individual medley (2:12.97).

Another Pirate that fought her way into a final was senior Abby Pavelko. She managed a 31st place finish in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:19.42, a personal best. Equalling nearly a mile, this event was the weekend’s longest distance.

Freshman Bridget Louis finished just behind Pavelko in 32nd, shaving 12 seconds off her own personal best mark.

“I approached swimming differently this year than I have in the past,” Pavelko said. “My attitude has just been more positive.”

The swimmers won’t be competing again until the second week of January, but Schadt already knows this meet will help them in future meets.

“This meet forced us to swim fast and we did,” Schadt said. “If I had to grade it, I would definitely give it an ‘A’, they really did a nice job.”

The next meet for the Bucs will be a dual meet at Seattle University Jan. 12.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

Contact Korey Hope at khope16@my.whitworth.edu.

 

Societal consumerism has altered season’s meaning

Thanksgiving dinner took me more than 14 hours to prepare. I cooked more than ten dishes, which I placed in elegant cream-colored china and set atop a gold table runner. In the center of the table, I lit a golden candelabra with candles that perfectly matched the china.

Thanksgiving dinner itself lasted no more than half an hour at my house. I did more than fourteen hours of active preparation, months of agonizing over the menu, days of obsessing over the presentation and it was all for thirty minutes of family enjoyment.

After dinner, my family stayed in playing board games and visiting. But while many families like mine spent time together, according to the National Retail Federation, more than 35 million Americans were shopping on Thanksgiving evening. Others spent the day watching football or creating wish lists for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping.

I have to wonder at what point the holiday season became more about pretty tablescapes, good food, shopping and football than it is about family time.

According to folklore, Thanksgiving began as a celebration of thanks between the pilgrims and the Native Americans. Children’s books and popular culture describes the first Thanksgiving as a time when people came together, spending time being content in the simplicity of togetherness. Our culture idealizes this allegory, and I would argue this idealization is actually good.

There’s something highly attractive about the holidays marking a time of simplicity and quiet.

But that’s not what actually happens. Rather than bringing the restful time of year, the holidays bring a series of rush. There’s a rush Thanksgiving morning to get the turkey in the oven. There’s another rush at 9 p.m. when Target finally opens their doors. Again, a rush the morning of Black Friday. Then, a rush to get the house decorated for Christmas so it looks as good as the neighbors’.

It seems to me that even those of us who don’t shop on Thanksgiving or don’t watch football or wait until December to put up our Christmas trees still can’t overcome the haste of our culture during the holidays. And Christmas is no better than Thanksgiving.

Christmas always seems to move past the archetypal spirit of giving and into the contemporary reality of the spirit of getting.

It’s about having the most presents under the tree. It’s about getting the most bang for your buck during Cyber Monday. It’s about putting up the most lights on the block.

Where is the quiet? Where is the sloth and rest that we so desperately need just once per year? Where is the family connection, the satisfaction in simplicity?

We have got to learn how to reconnect with what the holidays are truly about—rest and relationships.

Lindsie Trego

Trego is a junior majoring in journalism and mass communication and English. Comments can be sent to lwagner14@my.whitworth.edu.

Food stamps pose problem of dependency

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for the many blessings that we are afforded each day and to spend quality time with loved ones. The last thing I would want to be thinking about is whether or not I can pay for a delicious meal.

Unfortunately, for many Americans struggling in this economy, that is exactly what they do have to worry about.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, “More Americans are using food stamps to help buy the basics this Thanksgiving than ever before.”

According to the business news website Bloomberg, there are currently 46 million Americans on food stamps; I find that fact heartbreaking.

I believe that the American dream means that  each individual has the ability to sustain him or herself and live independently, not on government handouts. As a college student, I know that is something I want to achieve after graduation.

It’s a sad reality that many people today do not have the ability to live this way, for a wide variety of reasons. The economic downturn has only made matters worse.

I would love to live in a society where food stamps don’t exist, simply because they don’t have to. This would mean a society where the economy is consistently growing, and when people struggle to get by, community members and non-governmental institutions (such as the Church) step up to help their neighbors through the tough times.

Of course, we are a long way away from being able to live like this. However, I believe that we can achieve that, or at least maintain these programs as the last resort.

The most important step is to get the economy roaring again. If the unemployment rate continues to linger just below eight percent, we will never get there. I believe Ronald Reagan explains it perfectly when he said, “I think the best possible social welfare program is a job.”

I wholeheartedly agree with that quote. Getting a job is the only way people can pull themselves up out of poverty; government handouts simply cannot do that. One of the primary ways to measure the growth of the economy is through gross domestic product (GDP).

According to Investopedia, GDP measures “the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.” It consists of four parts: consumer spending, government spending, investments and net exports.

According to Forbes, 70 percent of GDP consists of consumer spending, which is why we must stimulate spending. One of the most effective ways to get consumers spending again is through tax cuts.

According to Mike Patton at Forbes, “individuals will have more money in their pockets to spend, save, or pay down debt.”

As they spend more, it works as a ripple effect throughout the economy, and that money will continue being spent. In turn, this will create more jobs.

Once we create more jobs, we can impose stricter working requirements on food stamps for non-elderly, able-bodied people.

This will ensure that people are actually trying to live independently from the government, rather than becoming completely dependent.

I firmly believe that we can, as a country, significantly decrease the number of people who require food stamps as a means of getting by, through working together and stimulating the economy.

Lindsey Hubbart Columnist

Hubbart is a sophomore majoring in economics. Comments can be sent to lhubbart15@my.whitworth.edu.

The Smudge: The North Face

Raise your hand if you own a North Face product; that should be all of you. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been outside; that should be about seven of you. OK, before I continue, let me just set the record straight. I own about 38 North Face products, and I certainly am not slapping a horse I haven’t ridden (I’m pretty sure that’s a saying, right?). But let’s just say that there is definitely an inverse ratio between the number of North Face products you own and the amount of time you’ve actually spent exploring the outdoors. But I love the North Face, and here is why. The products allow you to create an illusion that you are adventurous and outdoorsy without actually needing to spend any time outdoors. Let’s be real, hiking and climbing are exhausting, risky, and make you all sweaty. Gross! But just in case, at least you got the gore-tex moisture-wicking technology base layer from their Fall 2012 lineup, right?

The North Face makes some quality products. I have no argument against that. Their goose-down jackets are capable of keeping you warm in even the most freezing temperatures and are just PERFECT for the adventurer who has to walk 50 yards from their dorm to the HUB on a crisp fall day. They also make some great rain jackets that will keep you dry even in the most torrential downpours, and are accented nicely by a cute pair of Uggs and yoga pants. Not interested in the North Face? Don’t worry, there are other options. If you are of the trendy, earth-conscious hipster variety, maybe you should consider Patagonia. You can find a nice purple fleece at any thrift store, or just steal that teal windbreaker from your Dad’s closet. Or maybe Columbia is more your thing, provided that you are a 38-year-old father with two kids and a mini-van. If neither of those tickle your fancy, then you can always become a rich 50 to 60 year-old retired businessman and go with Arc’tyrx at $600 a jacket, which you can then wear when you go on walks around the neighborhood with your wife.

There are so many options and ways to brand yourself as an adventurer, and I know it can be overwhelming. Whatever your jam is, just know that cool and trendy outdoor products are almost always the next best thing to spending time outdoors. Keep in mind the North Face’s call to “Never stop exploring,” but don’t feel like you need to take that TOO literally.   Jonny Strain Columnist

Questions? Comments? Complaints? Contact jstrain13@my.whitworth.edu

New in Brief Dec. 5

Founding dean of  the school of education to step down in June Dean Dennis Sterner announced Nov. 26 that he would be stepping down from his position. Sterner became the school’s dean with its founding in 1991. After a sabbatical, he will return to Whitworth as a professor of education.

Mexico inaugurates a new president

Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) was sworn in as Mexico’s president Saturday, Dec. 1. The inauguration took place amid violent protests. Demonstrators were protesting what they viewed as vote-buying by the campaign as well as the PRI’s return to power. The PRI held power for 71 years before 2000, and this is their first win since then. Nieto said his focus will be reducing violence in Mexico.

Egypt’s President sets the date to vote on the constitution

President Mohammed Morsi announced Dec. 1 that a public referendum on the draft of the constitution would take place Saturday, Dec. 15.  Morsi has been criticized for the amount of power he has seized recently.

The United Nations votes to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was successful in his attempt to upgrade Palestine’s diplomatic status. The vote passed with 138 members of the UN assembly in favor of the status change. Nine states, including Israel and the U.S. strongly opposed the decision, and 41 nations abstained from the vote. The Palestinians hope to be able to strengthen their chances for recognition as a sovereign state, whereas officials in the U.S. and Israel said this could prolong the absence of peace in the region.

Study shows increased global carbon dioxide emissions in 2012

A study published in the Nature Climate Change journal and then in Earth System Science Data Discussion showed a 2.6 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions levels from 2011. In 2012, 35.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide were emitted. The United States is one of the world’s top 10 polluters.

Sources | www.whitworth.edu, The Spokesman-Review, BBC, AlJazeera

Whitworth rolls over non-conference opponents

Pirates defeat Montana Tech, UCSC to enter NWC play with a three-game win streak

The Pirates finished the week with two strong wins, one last Wednesday against Montana Tech in Butte, Montana, and the second last Saturday against UC Santa Cruz in the Fieldhouse.

On Wednesday, the Pirates shot just over 60 percent from the field and 59 percent from beyond the arc while rolling to a 90-75 win over the Orediggers.

Freshman guard George Valle led Whitworth with a career-high 23 points.  Junior guard Dustin McConnell also dished out a career-high seven assists while starting at point guard for injured senior Wade Gebbers.

“While playing without Wade, we needed to make sure we continued to play the way we play,” Whitworth head coach Matt Logie said. “We ended up executing the basic elements of our offense really well.”

Preparation and execution were keys to the win.

“We spent all week preparing for the Montana Tech defense,” Valle said. “We shot the ball well due to ball movement, and passed up good shots for great shots.”

As the Pirates hit 16-27 3-point attempts, as junior guard Colton McCargar and senior forward Mack Larkin hit half of those with four apiece.  McCargar and Larkin each had 12 points and Larkin led the Pirates with six rebounds.

“Shots were just going in for us,” Logie said.  “A guy would take a good shot and I’d be thinking, ‘That was a good shot, it should go in,’ and then it would.”

Adam Greger ended up with 17 points to lead Montana Tech, with teammate Travis Peevey finishing with 16 points.  Bryan Bock also contributed 12 points and six rebounds for the Orediggers.

The goals the Whitworth men’s team have for themselves this season are high, one of which is to make a playoff run in March.

“We not only want to win conference but go to the national tournament and play well also,” Valle said.

That goal will likely be attainable for the Pirates this season as they have gone to the NCAA tournament the last six seasons.  This includes an Elite Eight showing and three Sweet Sixteen appearances.

As they approached Saturday night’s game against UCSC, the focus was on improving on their mistakes from Wednesday.

“We had a great offensive night on Wednesday, but we still gave up 75 points,” Logie said.  “We really want to improve some of that defensive intensity.”

Later in the week, the Pirates jumped on the opportunity to improve their defense against UCSC as Whitworth clinched a 61-48 win at the Fieldhouse with 875 people in attendance to advance to 3-1 in the regular season.

Valle led the way again for the Pirates with 17 points and five rebounds.  In addition, McCargar had an eight-point, nine-rebound game along with McConnell’s six points, five rebounds and six assists to cap off a strong showing despite lacking captain Gebbers for a second consecutive game.

“They played pretty well,” McCargar said.  “It was tough to get going and we didn’t end up shooting the ball very well.”

Despite Whitworth’s early slump and UCSC keeping it close well into the first half, the Banana Slugs, who only shot 36.4 percent from the field, ended up at 23.8 percent from the 3-point line and only 33.3 percent from foul shots, shooting 3-9 from the line.

“We definitely hit our goal of better defense this time around,” Logie said.  “We wanted to hold them under 38 percent shooting for the game and we pulled that off.”

Sophomore Adam Wilks had six points and seven rebounds in only 10 minutes of play, but his spark off the bench in the first half provided a key boost that helped allow Whitworth to retain its 31-23 lead over UCSC at the end of the first period.

“It’s an awesome feeling to play like this,” Wilks said.  “Our shots weren’t falling as well tonight, but we put our trust in our defense and it carried us through.”

As the Pirates shift their focus to next week’s games against Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound, their focus will not let up.

“[Pacific Lutheran] is a well-coached team and they play hard,” Logie said.  “It’ll be a hard fought battle next Friday.”

As the Pirates begin conference play, their goals for the season will be tested.

“As part of this program, we expect to win,” Logie said.  “These guys are self-motivated; us coaches just have to find the right buttons to push.”

Connor Soudani Staff Writer

Contact Connor Soudani at csoudani16@my.whitworth.edu.

 

Christmas giving on college student budget

DIY Christmas present ideas to save you the money you don’t actually have

Let’s face it, some of us are broke college students. So when Christmas rolls around, we find ourselves scraping together all the change we can find to buy somewhat acceptable gifts for our loved ones. But this time why not save your quarters and dimes for your late night Taco Bell runs and hand make this year’s Christmas presents? These gifts are little to no cost, and will please almost anyone as they open them Christmas morning.     Prepared   cookies-in-a-jar   recipe  

This recipe, from Pinterest, is perfect for the people who love spending time in the kitchen during the holiday season.

Cowboy Cookies: Start out with a one quart jar. You can use a recycled empty one you have sitting   around. Layer the ingredients in the jar like this: First: 1 ¼ cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, ¼ tsp salt Second: 1 cup cooking oats Third: ¾ cup brown M&M’s Fourth: ¾ cup chocolate chips Fifth: ½ cup brown sugar Sixth: ½ cup white sugar Seventh: ½ cup chopped pecans Pack each level down tightly. I mean it. Pack it in, or else it won’t all fit. To decorate the jar, cut some western bandana fabric into a 6-inch square and place on top of the jar. Tie some brown ribbon around the lid to hold it in place. Attach a small recipe card to the string with these steps written on it: Mix dry ingredients together. Then add 1 egg, ½ cup butter, and 1 tsp vanilla. Roll cookie dough into 1 ½ inch balls and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.     Movie night in a basket

This cheap and easy gift basket can be given to anyone who is an avid movie watcher. Take a large empty tub of popcorn and fill it with boxes of movie candy and popcorn from the dollar store. Add a couple of $5 DVD’s from Walmart, or for a cheaper option, pick up some of the offbeat DVDs at a thrift store. Now you’ve just gifted some Friday night entertainment.     Coffee mug message

This gift is something exceedingly easy to make, and is perfect for all you non-crafty people out there. All you need is a Sharpie pen and a plain, solid-colored coffee mug. Write a personalized message on the mug and then bake it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. It’s a great idea for all the hot-tea drinkers and coffee lovers you might know.     Easy scented candle

For the people who don’t like cookies or popcorn, candles are an excellent choice. A person can never have too many candles. This is an extremely easy gift that is sure to make the whole house smell wonderful. For this you will need a round, tall, unscented candle that is at least 3 inches in diameter, cinnamon sticks (which you can buy at the grocery store for a few dollars), scissors and a hot glue gun. Measure the candle height and cut the cinnamon sticks to that length. Run the hot glue along the cinnamon stick and stick it vertically to the side of the candle. Repeat to cover candle. Tie some colorful ribbon around the candle to give it a festive look.     Ashlynn Phillips Staff Writer    

Contact Ashlynn Phillips at aphillips15@my.whitworth.edu.

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 cstarkey13@my.whitworth.edu.

 

Battle of the wits

Cool Whip competes with students in improvisation class for upcoming show

Most people do not enjoy getting up in front of an audience and performing. However, senior Kyle Bohigian does so quite often, and he makes it up as he goes.

“It’s like you’re making up a play on the spot,” Bohigian said. “It’s really exciting and scary at the same time. You just have to trust your teammates that it will all go well.”

Bohigian is the leader of Cool Whip, Whitworth’s student improvisation group. They regularly host improv shows throughout the year, and their last one of the semester is Dec. 9 with the On the Spot Players.

The On the Spot Players are a group of students who have been taking improv classes during the semester. The two teams will compete in a variety of improv skits to see which one can win the approval of the audience.

Senior Preston Loomer, a member of Cool Whip for three years, said improvisation is very similar to acting.

“The only difference between us and other forms of acting is that we don’t have anything planned. We have to guess characters that our other members are acting out, and do certain scenes in a certain amount of time,” Loomer said. “You just go up there and let what happens happen.”

Cool Whip spends a lot of time working on their improv, as well as spending time together as a team to create trust and friendship among the members, Bohigian said. He and adjunct professor of theatre Kevin Benson — who is also the unofficial adviser of Cool Whip — implemented a new idea this year: to have the members of Cool Whip spend time together outside of rehearsal more often.

“We perform together at rehearsals and shows, but this extra time together is a bigger influence on getting to know each other,” Bohigian said.

Loomer said improv can be a difficult thing to pull off successfully, and it all depends on how well the members can get on the same page with each other.

“The absolute hardest part, in my experience, is that you really have to trust each other on stage and lean on each other,” Loomer said.

Benson has been teaching the improvisational class for about seven years off and on. All students interested in joining Cool Whip must take the class.

“Mostly improv is about trying to think quickly on your feet. I try to put the students in situations where they have to trust the people that they are with,” Benson said. “I want to teach them to trust each other, to take big risks and do crazy things. Since you are with this group of people that you can trust, some pretty cool and amazing things can happen.”

The On the Spot Players put on the show as a part of their improv class final, and they come up with many of the scene ideas for the competition. Benson said their ideas for this year are divided up into different structures, with categories such as guessing games and storytelling.

“My favorite game is one where they have to make up a scene, and then keep doing [all of] the scene, but with a time limit,” Benson said. “It’s fun to watch them try to get everything in when the time is short.”

Loomer said Cool Whip will help to keep the pressure off the less experienced team, while still letting them showcase what they’ve learned from their class.

“I like watching the class and seeing what they come up with,” Loomer said. “It’s just a fun way to invite more people into [Cool Whip]. Hopefully next year some of them will be joining us.”

Bohigian said improvisational acting can teach important things for later on in life.

“I’m a strong advocate in encouraging anyone to take an improv class,” Bohigian said. “You learn to be more accepting of people, and that’s a good attitude to have.”

Cool Whip bumped up the admission price to the show this year by one dollar. Bohigian said they want to earn enough money that will help them improve.

“We raised our rates to go primarily to Seattle, to a large workshop there,” he said. “We want to get better, enough so that we can compete in collegiate competitions.”

Benson said the audience plays a large part in the performances during the show, especially for the show coming up in a couple of weeks.

“Almost every game there is interactive,” he said. “It’s a pretty fun show, and the audience is going to have a great time because it’s going to be really fast-paced and really funny.”

Benson also said that it will be up to the audience to decide who will ultimately win the competition.

“The audience has to show up,” he said. “If they want the On The Spot Players to win, they have to cheer for them, and if they want Cool Whip to win, they have to cheer for them.”

The show will be in Cowles Auditorium Stage II at 9 p.m.

Meghan Dellinger Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Dellinger at mdellinger15@my.whitworth.edu.

Education experimentation

Application of Common Core Standards and introduction of charter schools to affect schools As early as elementary school, students begin to learn the proper way to conduct a scientific experiment. They learn that the process includes manipulated and controlled variables. In Washington state, educators, lawmakers and parents will be watching for the effects of two major changes in the education system: the adoption of Common Core Standards and introduction of charter schools.

For students in the Whitworth education department, these two changes may not be a prominent concern in the present. However, in years to come they may prove to have an impact on education courses. Likewise, they may provide new opportunities, challenges and complexities in their career of choice and in the ever-experimental stages of education reform.

 

Common Core Standards

In 2009, Washington state joined the initiative for developing Common Core of State Standards in English Language Arts and Mathematics. Washington is among the 48 states to have made that commitment, having joined the initiative in 2009 and adopted the standards in July 2011. The standards will not be fully implemented until the 2014-15 school year. This is the first manipulated variable in the equation.

There are certain benefits and drawbacks to voluntarily developing and enacting these standards across state lines. One positive aspect is increased consistency.

“Common standards certainly help students who move from state to state,” said Linda Buff, visiting instructor to the education department.

Additionally, Buff said the initiative intends to foster a more interdisciplinary approach to learning.

“There is an emphasis on literacy: reading, writing, speaking, listening,” Buff said.

Drawbacks may include difficulty in adoption of potential changes in curriculum, educational materials and standardized tests. Likewise, some teachers worry that there will be less room to personalize those aspects to meet the individualized needs of their students and the demographic differences of the community.

“Some see it as giving teachers less flexibility,” said James Uhlenkott, visiting assistant education professor. “In general, I think they can be a good thing. I think we do need standards.”

 

Initiative 1240

As a result of the election, Initiative 1240: To Allow Public Charter Schools in Washington, passed into law. Initiative 1240 is intended to provide for up to 40 public charter schools over the course of five years. As public charter schools, they must be tuition-free and non-profit. They will receive the same state and federal funding as a traditional school and cannot be run by a for-profit company or a religious organization. This second manipulated variable will go into effect Dec. 6.

Senior Sergio Jara Arroyos was a voice in support of Initiative 1240.

“I co-lead Students for Education Reform with Macy Olivas,” Jara Arroyos said. “We wanted to get students on campus politically mobilized.”

In Whitworth’s Hixson Union Building, Jara Arroyos and other members of Students for Education Reform provided information and promotional materials to students in support of the initiative.

“Similar bills have been introduced in the past, but failed,” Jara Arroyos said.

Prior to the election, Washington state was one of nine states without charter schools.

Public charter schools open up more opportunities to students and their families, Jara Arroyos said. That gives more options to families who are not in a financial position to afford private school.

Both Buff and Uhlenkott echoed the benefits of increased opportunities beyond traditional public schools.

“Charter schools offer to us more choices for students and families,” Buff said.

Another clear advantage is the ability to be more inventive in how the school approaches curriculum and assessment.

“They tend to be more innovative,” Buff said.

Unlike traditional schools, Buff said, charter schools have the potential to test out new methods that might be applied to traditional schools later on.

In that sense, charter schools have the capacity to be more experimental in their education methods.

“They have more leeway,” Uhlenkott said. “Charter schools are designed around a charter. How you write the charter is what defines the school.”

One final benefit is the spirit of competition that charter schools may provide. There is a free market effect that will cause the traditional school and the charter schools to be competitive against one another in providing the best education, Buff said.

There are, however, some disadvantages to consider. The passing of Initiative 1240 has sparked concern regarding a lack of consistency, an inability to re-create successful methodology,  harms to traditional public schools and uncertainty of specifics.

One of the potential damages to traditional schools is a loss of monetary funds.

“The concern is that they may drain money from traditional schools that still have a crucial role to play,” Buff said.

Uhlenkott and Buff both also voiced worries over the uncertainties of who will run the schools. The board for the charter schools will regulate, not the district.

“If the initiative had been written more clearly, I might have been more in favor,” Uhlenkott said.

Laryssa Lynch Staff Writer

Contact Laryssa Lynch at laryssalynch15@my.whitworth.edu