Whitworthian Endorsements ASWU 2015

President: Naji Saker Executive Vice President: Chase Weholt

Financial Vice President: Skyler Lamberd


President: Naji Saker

This board, though very torn on this difficult decision, endorses Naji Saker for ASWU president. For Saker, it seems as if the presidency is the culmination of his time at Whitworth. Although he has not had a position on ASWU before, as an RA for two years, he has demonstrated his leadership abilities within the Whitworth community. The other endorsements from this board have ASWU experience, and, if all three are elected, we think that it will be an effective team. Being an RA for two years and being a leader on the track team also show his ability to relate to, befriend and lead his peers, an important aspect of the presidential role. Saker also has a long list of connections at Whitworth and in the Spokane area, which is a great asset to bring to ASWU. Saker would be a face of needed diversity in ASWU and has the ability to represent the minority voices at Whitworth.

Although we have not endorsed Justin Botejue, after interviewing the candidates, this board thinks either of them would do a great job as president. They each bring a unique set of skills to the program that has the potential to impact the student body in a very positive way. Botejue has done an incredibly thorough job of making life better for his residents in Stewville and his range of experiences in and out of Whitworth leadership is impressive. We thoroughly applaud his consistent and tireless efforts to improve the quality of student life on campus.



Executive Vice President: Chase Weholt

This board endorses Chase Weholt for the position of executive vice president (EVP). Weholt has spent the past two years in leadership roles, first as senator, then as RA. He stated plainly that if he is elected, he will limit activities outside classes to the EVP position alone; this dedication convinced us of his passion and commitment to ASWU and to Whitworth. Weholt also has a wealth of experience in working on and in ASWU committees despite not having a position this year. This affirms that he is both qualified to serve as EVP and again, that he has dedicated a significant amount of time already to ASWU and to serving the student body.

Although this board has chosen not to endorse Savanna Jenkins, we do not doubt her passion or ability to relate to and connect with her colleagues in ASWU. She would serve Whitworth well in the position of executive vice president. However, the position of EVP is time-consuming; Jenkins will be taking a nearly full course-load and participating in many of Whitworth's music programs, which might limit her from performing in her job as well as she would with a freer schedule.


Financial Vice President: Skyler Lamberd

This board endorses Skyler Lamberd for the position of financial vice president (FVP). As Duvall senator, Lamberd has experienced ASWU. He has also served on both the finance and the club chartering committees, which are directly headed by the FVP. Understanding how those committees are run and why they are needed is crucial for the FVP, and Lamberd is one step ahead by already having that knowledge. Being a math major will also be useful for Lamberd as he handles the ASWU budget.

Brett Pray, although we have not chosen to endorse him, would be an excellent FVP as well. Our main concern was that he has not had any leadership experience at Whitworth, although that is not for lack of trying, as he did apply to be an RA. Pray’s relational skills and his obvious desire to give back to Whitworth are assets. Pray’s economics background and familiarity with budgeting would be useful, but are not the most important part of the FVP’s job, and the position does not require an extensive financial background to be successful.

Editorial: IN THE LOOP Black history month needs more substance

History is constantly evolving to be more inclusive than it has traditionally been. In light of that, it feels like the current status of Black History Month is outdated at best, and paternalistic at worst.Relegating “black history” to one month of the year implies separate status, as if black history is important for February, but does nothing to impact the things that we learn or, more importantly, teach for the rest of the year. Rather than being seen as full contributors to the whole host of American and global history as it has developed, black history has been consigned to a single, short, month. An article from The Guardian argued that, in its current state, black history month amounts to little more than hero-worship of a couple of figures. A few significant figures are studied and idolized. Everyone knows Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, but there are many other facets to black history that transcend the Civil Rights Movement, like important, though controversial, contributions to science through Henrietta Lacks or contributions to feminist theory through author and social activist bell hooks. Black history emerged from a conscious recognition that the contribution of African Americans and black people were being overlooked and blatantly ignored as a part of history. It became an official month of celebration thanks to President Gerald Ford who said citizens should “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,” according to the government website for African American history month. Black history month as an opportunity to raise awareness, to highlight black contributions to history that are often overlooked, is a good thing. It is an essential thing. We need it. However, its current status leaves much to be desired. An argument for black history month is that it allows a platform for stories to be told that might be usually ignored. At least some stories are being told, people are aware that black people have contributed to history. But, in this day and age, why can’t we hope and push for more? We should push for black history to be included and highlighted within American history curriculum, rather than set apart, so that stories of the achievements of the black community will not be overlooked.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.

Editorial: IN THE LOOP What we should learn from Alex Sengoba

The Whitworth community has been reeling since learning of Alex Sengoba’s apparent suicide. The last suicide on campus occurred in 1990, and it’s as shocking now as it was then. One of the only things we as a community can do in a time like this is to remember Alex fondly and to learn to be more aware. As confused as we are right now, we can and should learn from the tragedy.

Alex taught us that to be a friend is to listen. At his memorial service, alumnus and friend Jack Dunbar shared about his friendship with Alex when he was first at Whitworth. “I could sit down with Alex for a whole breakfast and not hear a word about him,” Dunbar said. “He was committed to being a friend to people.”

We are ever reminded of the wonderful community we are part of. Whitworth students who had never been friends with Alex, who had never so much as met him, cried at his memorial service. They wrote notes to his family and prayed for his friends. It is not only the people closest to him that grieve, but the Whitworth community as a whole.

Alex reminded us that we never know the full story. Although Alex suffered internally, everyone who spoke at the memorial service commented on Alex’s brilliant, ever-present smile.

As a community and as individuals, we need to be aware of the people around us. Too often we become caught up in our own problems and struggles that we do not consider those of another.

Even the happiest, brightest person we know may be suffering. Students gets six free sessions at the counseling center. Please utilize this valuable resource if you are struggling. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or having suicidal thoughts, please take advantage of these resources:

Whitworth Health and Counseling Center

Phone: (509) 777-4450

Suicide Prevention Hotline

Local: (509) 838-4428

National: 1-800-273-TALK


Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.


In the Loop: NFL response to domestic violence too little too late

In response to the domestic violence incident involving former NFL running back Ray Rice and the league’s poor response system, the NFL recently hired three domestic violence experts as league advisors in addition to a former White House official as senior vice president of public policy and affairs. They also promoted their vice president of community affairs and philanthropy to vice president of social affairs and responsibility. All five of them are women. This news comes amidst the onslaught of recently revealed domestic violence cases concerning NFL players and the highly criticized methods of punishment involved. In addition to Ray Rice, players such as Ray McDonald, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy have been cited for domestic violence. A media storm has risen in response to these incidents branching out to several advertisers seeking to lessen or sever ties with various teams.

While all recent appointees boast extensive qualifications in multiple branches of domestic violence prevention, these efforts to curb the waves of criticism the NFL received are not going to be enough. This may be a step in the right direction, but in order for the NFL to show us in believable fashion that they truly wish to end domestic violence cases in the league, they need to do much more.

They need to go to the source of the problem. They should send a message to Pop Warner football teams, Division I collegiate teams and everything in between that as a man, you need to have the wherewithal to respect women, children and people in general.

The NFL is doing great things by appointing these experts and advisers, but the critics and the disappointed fans will not become a thing of the past until the NFL works with current league players and begins to actively engage with future professionals denouncing horrible acts.

Until then, the NFL will continue to be a league who does not make a priority of denouncing basic character flaws in its employees.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.