Vote Ted Cruz/Carly Fiorina in 2016

By James Silberman We are in a vicious period in the history of American politics. Frustrations have long been building due to a host of issues including a growing national debt, a stagnant economy and a workforce participation rate that is the lowest since the 70s, according to the Bureau of Labor. The past decade has been economically disastrous by just about every measure, and Americans on both ends of the political spectrum have become hostile towards America’s elite, which they have dubbed the “establishment”.

Warring factions are breaking out within the Republican and Democratic parties, and especially between them. The primary races are more hectic and convoluted than any in recent memory. Let me break down who the candidates are, and why voters should support Texas Senator Ted Cruz for president.

If you’re happy with the way things are going now, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ohio Governor John Kasich are your best options. Both are career politicians in their mid-sixties who have not promised to change a lot if elected president. They are the business-as-usual candidates. For this reason, I have crossed both off my list. If you look at America and see a place that is healing and improving and is on the right track, look harder.

If you’re angry, but you don’t really know why you’re angry, oh boy do I have a candidate for you. I am of course referring to Donald Trump. If the people who support this man understood why they were angry, they’d realize that Trump epitomizes everything they claim to despise: cronyism, deception and political pandering.

This leaves two candidates: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Cruz. The quintessential progressive vs. the quintessential conservative.

These two ideologies give vastly different diagnoses of America’s problems. Progressives blame the economically powerful and the free enterprise system, while conservatives blame the politically powerful and the expansion of the federal government beyond its constitutional limits.

In truth, both are correct in their criticisms. Both the financial elite at the Federal Reserve and other economic powerhouses and the political elite in the federal government have far too much central control over the American economy. The amount of power accumulated in those institutions is easily harnessable for those who wish to rig the system in their own favor.

So if both big business and big government are to blame, what then is the solution?

Sanders argues that bigger government will solve the problem. More taxes, more regulations and more power in the hands of politicians to keep businesses in check. Sounds good, right? The vast majority of our generation seems to think so, according to Pew Research.

However, this idea ignores something very important: The bigger the government, the bigger the corruption. That is not political rhetoric, but simply an observable fact of human nature. The bigger the government is, the more incentive there is for people to bribe politicians because of how much power politicians hold in a big-government society. The current application of this is lobbyists and special interest groups, who have an extraordinarily large impact on the running of our federal government today. This is a direct result of increased government power.

Also, the more access politicians have to the flow of money through the economy, the more corruption will inevitably follow. Under Sanders’ tax plan, roughly one-third of America’s GDP will be owned by federal government, according to the Tax Foundation. That’s not even taking into account state governments.

Right now, many of you are saying “But Bernie is all about protecting the little guy! Isn’t it a good thing if the government enforces higher taxes and has more regulatory power so they can take down the big businesses and help small ones?”

Not. In. The. Slightest.

Do you really think Coca-Cola or Nike or Costco are going to be affected by a tax hike or some regulations? No. They have the resources to hire lawyers and lobbyists who find ways to get around these regulations and skimp on taxes. It’s small businesses who get choked out by big government. It’s the local machinery plant, it’s the mom-and-pop bakery, it’s your favorite breakfast joint. The more power is harnessed by central institutions, including the government, the more those who wish to manipulate the system will be able to do so, and the more the economically and politically powerful will have a stranglehold on the American economy.

On the other hand, Ted Cruz has aspirations to shrink government by lowering federal taxes to a flat 10% individual rate with nothing paid on the first $36,000. This means that everyone, but especially low-income earners, get to keep the money they earn and become more economically empowered instead of being forced to send their earnings into the disappearing black hole of big government. It means an even playing field and the elimination of tax lobbyists who help big corporations find loopholes. It means a lower business tax rate that will incent companies to bring their offshore accounts back stateside.

Most importantly, Ted Cruz being elected President would mean no more central control of our economy. Along with shrinking government, Cruz would go after the banking elites at the Federal Reserve. He, along with Senate colleague Rand Paul, wrote the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015, which would have allowed for effective audits of the Fed. However, the bill didn’t pass through the senate, as 44 Democrats voted against it and President Barack Obama threatened to veto it. However, as president, Cruz would have the ability to hold America’s central bank accountable for its actions.

While Sanders wants more central control, Cruz wants to give economic power back to small businesses and individuals. That is what conservatism is all about. Cruz’s running mate, Carly Fiorina said it best: “power concentrated is power abused”.

Cruz is far and away, the most economically and constitutionally sound candidate in the field, and his plans will put an end to the collusion of big business and big government against the American people. For the above reasons, I encourage you to vote for Ted Cruz in the upcoming Washington State primary on May 24, and Ted Cruz/Carly Fiorina in the general election in November.

The faces we wear

By Jacob Schmidt The college experience is intrinsically tied to a search for identity, for defining oneself and aligning with groups. While this has been the case as long as institutions of higher education have existed, the invasive presence of social media platforms has accelerated, redefined, and most of all cheapened our understanding of identity.

The presented self often does not align with the lived self. Being present and honest with friends and relatives grows more difficult as we place more of our lives online, fitting our look to match one of several models conveniently provided for us by social media.

False representation of the self is a crime of which most of us are guilty. In my own life, I have clung to the title of cyclist, despite spending very little time on my bike. I felt like I was a cyclist. I owned all of the proper equipment. I had extensive knowledge of professional riders. I could properly use the words peloton and cadence. Yet I lacked the essential characteristic of cyclists--I didn’t ride my bike. By calling myself a cyclist, I was aligning myself with an identity which was not mine because it made me more interesting; it gave me respect which I didn’t deserve.

I suspect that each one of us--especially those in their first years of college--has an identity which we claim, but do not deserve. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat only make it easier to maintain these false fronts. One such identity which I have been in a position to see falsely presented by a great number of Whitworth students, is that Pacific Northwesterly brand of outdoorsiness. A cursory check of student Facebook and Instagram accounts shows myriad outdoor scenes captured through a set of filters. Yet, as a member of the outdoor rec staff, I have often found it difficult to get students to sign up for trips with many of the trips cancelling due to lack of participation. Speaking with students about trails and crags in the inland northwest, many are clueless about what is right in their backyard. Yet the hammock photos and Chaco clad foot pics continue to populate our news feeds, presenting the image of outdoorsiness without the effort. I like laying in a hammock as much as the next guy and I love my adventure sandals, but these are often used as a PNW membership card.

This lack of authenticity is not limited to outdoorsiness, there is a more general countercultural facade which many present. This is exemplified in the “Spokane doesn’t suck” t-shirt. While I agree with this campaign and the sentiment behind it, these shirts and stickers have shown up on the bodies and water bottles of many who never leave “the pine-cone curtain.” Spokane doesn’t suck, but if you really believe that, go down to west central and volunteer with Project Hope, ride the bus when you do it, interact with your non-Whitworth neighbors.

Perhaps I am just complaining too much. Maybe this article is the journalistic equivalent of an older dude at the skatepark yelling, “Poser!” at the kids that are new to the sport. I would like that to be the case, but my experience in the past four years has shown me an increasing problem of activity for the sake of appearances and identity over and above the actual, real benefits of that activity. There is beauty and fear and a connection with the divine that I believe is best actualized when one removes themselves from comfortable circumstances and embarks into the wilderness of either nature or the city.

EDITORS NOTE: Burning down the Pinecone Curtain

By Connor Soudani, Editor-in-chief Honor God, Follow Christ and Serve Humanity. It’s profound isn’t it? I don’t think we think about it enough. That message gets pounded into our innocent, unassuming skulls from day one and yet by the time we are seniors, those words are sometimes still just words to us. We are taught to be Christ-like in our endeavors not simply because many of us ought to as Christians, but because it is a great way to live in harmony with each other. As such, it is important to realize that embodying that Christ-like mission involves taking bold steps to eliminate the Pinecone Curtain from the equation for good.

For me as a non-Christian, I have tended to gravitate toward the last part of the phrase, “serve humanity” when I consider how best to make an impact that means something. Above all, I find that resource allocation aside from time becomes the most adequate form of giving back I am aware of. As such, after gaining experience in some of the underpinnings of ASWU, I propose the somewhat radical notion that we devote almost all $493,925 in the ASWU budget to charitable functions here in Spokane and beyond.

The ASWU budget funds everything from clubs to concerts to my salary. If we were to look through the line items, we would see a lot of fluffy expenditures (some more fluffy than others) that Whitworth and us as students could most certainly live without and would probably be better without. Allow me to break it down as follows:

Club funding on campus totaled to $13,596 for the last academic year. Salaries for ASWU student workers and ASWU administrators along with operations for everything from coordinators to executives to dorms to Whitworthian total $480,329. That’s a lot of money put into things we could mostly live without. Now, this is not to say that ASWU does not do a lot of great things or that the people involved within do not have good intentions for the funds they have to deal with. I just think there are better ways to utilize resources available to promote the mission of the university.

For club funding, I would propose we cut all funding for clubs except for clubs such as En Christo who largely deal with charitable giving anyway. In addition, I propose we cut all student salaries ($136,575) for ASWU positions and all operating costs for media as well as executive, coordinator and dorm operations. Many will argue with me about the need for such a practice, but I once again draw back on an appeal to helping the least of these in our Spokane community.

For an example of how such a system would be able to function, I turn to the example of The Whitworthian. Without ASWU funding, we would still be able to exist and publish. The revenue we gain from advertising would allow us to support functions such as our media conference trip as well as any contest entry fees we need to stay current on. We would lose the funding we needed to print our issue week-to-week, but with the advent of online capabilities, we would have no problem continuing to put out a consistent product.

In the case of clubs, each would be forced to fundraise the money they need in order to continue some of the functions they desire. However, it is important to note that there is no club or organization on campus currently funded under ASWU that would lose the ability to continue functioning under my proposed system.

ASWU would in effect become a charitable foundation run by students of the university who work as volunteers and manage the near-$500,000 budget as it is distributed in various charitable efforts around campus. The idea may seem radical in its entirety; however, when considering the mission of the university as well as the personal missions so many Whitworth students should try to be living out, finding constructive ways to utilize the massive ASWU budget aside from the ways we use it now may be the best way to finally serve humanity and in effect burn the Pinecone Curtain to the ground.

Aristotle, elevators and disability advocacy

By Josiah VanWingerden Before I transferred to Whitworth last fall, the first thing I considered was the accessibility of the campus for students with disabilities. I have cerebral palsy and in a wheelchair, so it was important for me to know that I could get around campus. Because I was a late applicant, I was in a unique situation: I did not have time to visit campus before the school year began. Nevertheless, I made several phone calls to the admissions and facilities offices to coordinate with them on the accessible areas of campus and get a picture of what it looked like.

When I was met with a resounding, “Yes, our campus is handicap accessible!” from various people over the phone, it was truly one of many deciding factors for me choosing this university.

When I arrived to campus for an interesting Traditiation experience, during which I saw my dormitory’s leadership team adapt around me to accommodate my physical needs, I could not help but feel that the university could do more for students like me.

During the first day of classes, I had several in Weyerhaeuser, where the handicap button to activate the automatic doors did not work. I recognize that sometimes technology is difficult to work with, so I brought it to the attention of the facilities office hoping that it would be fixed. It was not until the end of fall semester that I stopped having issues with that door. Additionally, Lindaman Center did not have handicap access until I arrived. There is something wrong with that.

Before I am misunderstood, however, I want to make my message in this article crystal clear: this is not an article to complain about Whitworth. The university has been willing to work with my needs and I am thankful for that. Rather, my intention is to bring Whitworth’s attention to a need on campus that needs to be addressed: disability advocacy.

No such place currently exists on campus that specifically represents and  advocates for students with physical disabilities and that needs to change. There are no events right now that bring physical disabilities to students or faculty's attention. If Whitworth’s message is one that promotes, “Diversity, equity and inclusion” yet it fails to include a certain demographic under that representation umbrella, then it might as well add an ellipsis and insert “for some” to the end of it.

Consequently, students like me are pushed out of agendas and have no voice to bring about change. That is why I am writing this article and why it is so important to me. There needs to be a place where students with disabilities feel represented. The same can be said for students with learning disabilities as well. No place exists for them either.

One might say that it has not been a need in the past for the university because there are not a lot of students here with physical disabilities here anyway. To that I say that now there is a need.  Students like me create it. Let us not confuse negligence with ignorance. Even so, ignorance should never be an excuse.

Whitworth should make a few changes to meet needs of students with disabilities. Possibly by installing elevators into more dorms. I know that because some of the dorms are older buildings, that this is costly and challenging. However, there are only two dorms on campus with elevators, Oliver and Duvall. Students like me are actively cut off from participating in events or activities hosted by those seven other communities.

That became apparent to me when I attended “Milk & Cookies” in Mac. It took five guys to haul me up the flight of stairs so that I could be a part of the tradition. I am not asking for elevators to be put in every dorm, but then again, why shouldn’t I be? I am just as much of a student here as any other, and yet I do not have equal opportunity to participate. That’s a shame.

This year, almost every candidate running for ASWU this year proposed cuts to the student-funded budget. Instead, what if those funds were repurposed into funding for an elevator? It may not end up being enough, but it may be enough to start a place of representation for students with disabilities.

Aristotle once observed “The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.”  I have had several conversations with students about how they never noticed things like the cracks in the sidewalks before they met me. Education to raise awareness of this issue is key to change.

Even if it does not accomplish either of those things right away, both students and faculty would become aware of the need and I hope work together to bring about meaningful change. Moreover, if Whitworth does take action to address the needs that I have mentioned, it would show students with physical and/or learning disabilities that our university cares.

Swipe left for finding love on Tinder

By Liz Jacobs Welcome to the twenty first century, where you carry a HD video camera in your pocket and you can talk to anyone with a few taps on a touch screen. We live in a drastically different world than our parents and it is affecting everything from how you frantically research for your Core 350 paper to how you meet your significant other.

Unfortunately, the advent of technology as a ubiquitous part of the millennial life has welcomed habits and applications that have serious consequences on relational development. The dating app Tinder is one of those harmful side effects. I will argue that Tinder is a negative aspect of new dating culture because it alters and damages standards of beauty.

If you are thinking that Tinder’s effects on dating don’t really matter because users are not looking for real, serious relationships, think again. Tinder CEO, Sean Rad, said 80 percent of Tinder users are seeking long term relationships. (Also, I wish all CEO’s had such RADicle last names).

Let’s say you are in the 80 percent of people looking for love on Tinder. What’s the problem?

Tinder is based on initial physical attraction. The dating scheme is simple, you swipe left if you like the potential match and right if you don’t. Some will say that people on Tinder also have profiles about their personality and interests, so it is not completely superficial. However, if you really want to look beyond physical appearance there are a hundreds of online dating websites with complicated algorithms that will determine compatibility beyond physical attraction. Tinder’s main selling point is quick connections based almost solely on external beauty.

Who you are is not on display, it’s all about those initial few seconds where people decide whether or not you fit their arbitrary standards for what is beautiful. Your worth as a romantic prospect is based on a few photos. This is intuitively harmful, most people agree that there is more to a human being than Instagram filters and “candid” photos.

This creates physical standards for attractiveness that set up broad implications for the way men and women behave in romantic scenarios. Participants are forced to mirror Instagram models. Ironically, those beacons of beauty are beginning to admit the unattainable nature of these unrealistic expectations.

Essena O’Neill had over half a million Instagram followers. In her photos, she looking stunning. She’s thin, well-dressed and seems effortlessly gorgeous. Eventually, she started making money on her account. O’Neill made about $1,500 per photo. She fit the standards that create awesome matches on Tinder.

However, O’Neill recently quit instagram and deleted 2,000 posts. She said although she achieved what society sees as the ultimate goal, she was miserable.

“We are a generation told to consume and consume, with no thought of where it all comes from and where it all goes,” O’Neill said.

This is an excellent example of how quickly visual-based media distorts reality and sets up unrealistic expectations. That is exactly what happens on Tinder. Users market themselves through photos. Quickly, this devolves into over-edited photos and ridiculous standards.

The more society reinforces outward beauty, the more it becomes important. Naomi Wolf reinforced this idea in her book “The Beauty Myth,” which claims that images of beauty in society harm both sexes. Media and culture create unfair standards that stagnate social progression.

Overall, Tinder focuses on one aspect of person. It elevates external aesthetics as the most important selling point to begin a romantic relationship. The negative impacts are not merely intuitive. People like O’Neill who seemingly achieve perfection are miserable. Both men and women are shamed based on a myth of beauty. It’s not worth it.

Some people may disagree with everything above, arguing that attractiveness is an important component of romance. I agree. Of course, physical attraction matters. People date people they find attractive.

Unfortunately, Tinder still fails on this front.  Attraction changes over time. Your initial perception is almost irrelevant. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who works for Match.com, said that a change in attraction over time is fairly common.  Tinder ignores the fluidity of attraction. Those first perceptions quickly fade, and Tinder doesn’t recognize that.

Tinder doesn’t help you find love, it’s a game. A man revealed his strategy for maximizing matches in AdWeek. He gained 2,000 matches using marketing techniques to increase his prospects. He broke down his approach to AdWeek so other social media experts could pick up his tricks to use in the business world.

Tinder isn’t evil. It’s just a some code you download on your phone. However, the way it’s used and the standards creates are detrimental to the people who use it.

Swipe left for Tinder. It’s not likeable.

Lessons learned from Umpqua

By James Silberman Some things in life are difficult to accept, with the existence of evil being probably the most difficult. But as much as we want to go about our lives smelling the roses and having a good time, it is foolish to live life without the proper safeguards for when evil inevitably does rear its ugly head.

College campuses have been an unfortunate hotspot for deadly shootings over the past few decades. This is a fact we have to confront. That doesn’t mean living in fear, but it does mean being prepared.

According to the Whitworth Student Bill of Rights, guns are prohibited on campus. This applies not only to students and faculty, but to security officers as well. This begs the question, if students are told they can’t protect themselves and campus security are disarmed, if there were to be an active shooter on campus, what is to stop him or her from killing people?

Google maps estimates that the Spokane Police Department is a fifteen minute drive from Whitworth’s campus with no traffic. It is reasonable to assume that police could make the trip in seven to eight minutes, but it would also take a few minutes for people to realize that a shooter was on campus. That gives a potential armed assailant roughly ten minutes do as much damage as they can; hardly an ideal response to such a serious situation.

Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon discovered this the hard way in October of 2015 when a gunman killed 10 people and injured nine more. According to former president of the school, Joe Olson, prior to the 2015–16 school year, there was contentious debate within the administration and student body over whether armed security would be present on campus. In the end, Umpqua opted to employ a single, unarmed guard who was obviously unable to provide the needed protection.

The only defense they did have was former Joint Base Lewis-McChord army veteran, Chris Mintz. Without a weapon, Mintz was still able to prevent more damage by running into the hall and pulling a fire alarm before making his way back to his classroom and confronting the shooter face-to-face. He tried to keep the door shut as the gunman attempted to enter, but was unsuccessful and Mintz was shot five times. Miraculously, he survived and is able to tell the story.

Judging from his Instagram account, Mintz is a gun enthusiast. If he had been allowed to concealed carry, as a former member of the Army, there is no question that he would have been able to stop the shooter completely.

This is a similar situation to that of Whitworth, with our officers being unarmed and practically unable to respond adequately should something tragic happen. Additionally, the Roseburg Police Department  is only 10 minutes from campus without traffic, much closer than Spokane Police Department is to Whitworth. Still, at Umpqua the shooter was still able to kill ten people.

There is evil in the world, and every person alive has the right to self-preservation. That being said, there are good arguments to be made for why students shouldn’t be allowed to carry firearms on campus. We are at Whitworth to learn, and carrying a gun around could be a distraction. Also, having possibly untrained people responding to an active shooter situation could make it worse.

However, I do not think there is any defensible argument for not having armed security guards. As long as they know only to use lethal force in the case of an active shooter or some other life or death situation, there is no legitimate downside that I can see. Surely there is no downside that outweighs the possible costs if something were to happen?

It is understandable if the university does choose to prohibit students from protecting themselves. But if Whitworth does prohibit concealed carry, that means that it is solely responsible for our protection. If the school fails to provide that protection, then the university should be held liable for the damage done should tragedy strike.

Get on board the intern-ship

By Josiah VanWingerden Several departments at Whitworth require an off-campus internship as a part of students’ undergraduate experience. It is common for students to fulfill that requirement during their junior or senior year. Some departments have a list of required credit hours and courses that students must take before being considered eligible to intern. However, other departments believe that it would be beneficial for the student to intern as early as possible.

The argument for students to intern sooner rather than later, particularly during their sophomore year, is that an internship can help students get past what is commonly known as “the sophomore slump.”

According to the Whitworth website, sophomore students are actually encouraged to attend the annual fall internship fair and the spring job fair, which are both hosted in the HUB. Students are also encouraged to go to the Career Services department to get help on resume building, interview preparation and exploring potential career options as the deadline to choose a major approaches. This will help students establish connections and exchange contact information with potential organizations that each student is interested in working for.

For most students, sophomore year is when they begin establishing relationships on a deeper more intimate level – not only with fellow students, but also with professors and in their communities. It is truly a crucial year. Students are allowed to apply for multiple leadership positions, volunteer for service projects, be a TA for professors and are encouraged to begin searching for potential majors and career interests.

Whitworth’s website argues the best way to combat the “sophomore slump” is to get involved around the community as much as possible. Internships provide a unique opportunity for students to do that. It makes sense why some departments encourage an early internship.

Some may say that students should not intern during sophomore year because they are unsure of what they want to pursue as a career. However, that’s exactly why they should intern! Students are beginning to explore the various options that Whitworth offers in terms of majors. The purpose of an internship is to provide the student with hands-on experience in a particular field of interest. A student could then assess whether she wants to continue down a career path after an internship experience, or switch before choosing a definite major to study. It could also relieve some stress that students have during their junior and senior years.

Mike Ingram, professor of communication studies, does not believe that students should intern in their second year. He is the internship coordinator for the department, and supports the department’s requirement for students to complete at least 18 credit hours in one of the three tracks offered before being eligible for an internship. He said that this requirement prepares the students to offer something to the place of the internship.

“It doesn’t make any sense for somebody who took Public Speaking, but not writing for Mass Media to get an internship at a newspaper,” Ingram said. “They’ve got to have some foundations there first.”

He would much rather see a student who is prepared, organized and responsible take on an internship, rather than someone just trying to get it over with. Because juniors and seniors have taken various upper division courses that they would have something to give the place where they intern because they know the field. This knowledge provides the best overall internship experience for both the student and place of the internship.

“Students who have taken Reporting [for Mass Media] with Dr. [Jim] McPherson and get a job at the Spokesman-Review newspaper get to see that Jim wasn’t just whistling Dixie,” Ingram said. “The process of thinking about stories, of interviewing people, asking legal questions in a particular way all really have value and cache.”

However, the value of an internship extends beyond helping students to choose their careers. Students can benefit and gain experience through an internship without having to take a required number classes. Internships present an opportunity for students to learn what a career field is like. Whitworth’s Career Services department refers to them as “test-drives” into potential careers. Juniors and seniors have to declare majors and are stuck to them. Sophomores are not bound to any major yet, which is why it is the perfect year to intern. Sophomores, get on board the internship!

EDITORIAL: Trustees should take time to know students

The trustees are a collection of businesspeople, philanthropists and clergy members who have donated and continue to donate large amounts of money to Whitworth University.Trustees make or approve most of the decisions that affect students on a day-to-day basis. While they hold  weight in the institutional advancement discussion, they also appear to put little stock in understanding student life. A recent survey done by The Whitworthian found that students largely cannot name a trustee member without seeing their names and even less students feel as though they could recognize a trustee member if they walked past one on the Hello Walk.

It appears that trustees are out of touch with the student body, which  contradicts reason as a planned strategy. When considering that trustees make important decisions that intimately influence students and life on campus, it seems that trustees should have some understanding of what students think. Student’s concerns should at least be a factor in future decisions concerning this institution.

We are not asking for trustees to attend prime times and join us in the student section of basketball games (although we won’t oppose it). Rather, we hope trustees will see the value in hearing student voices firsthand and gaining a perception of Whitworth not solely based on the views of ASWU President Justin Botejue and Whitworth President Beck Taylor. We recognize the difficulty many trustee members have in being on campus consistently, as a result of their distance from the campus and other important obligations they are apart of.

However, as significant investors in the futures of Whitworth and the students within it, we believe trustees need to make a more intentional effort to invest time as well as money in Whitworth’s future.

We appreciate Whitworth trustees and their continued investment in our community. Trustees are invested in this campus and the best interest of our university. We simply think students are a part of those decisions.

Computers will take over the world

By Josiah VanWingerden Last year, the Computer Science department at Whitworth experienced major turnover, losing two of its four full-time faculty members. However, the amount of interest among students has doubled in the past year, rising from 50 declared majors three years ago to around 100 this year

Although Whitworth faculty is happy to see the growth of the department, it has placed stress on the full-time faculty members, particularly during advising week. Right now, the department only has two full-time faculty members on staff.  Even though Whitworth hired two lecturers over the summer to help alleviate the stress, perhaps it is time for Whitworth to implement another possible solution.

For instance, if computer science were made a general education requirement, the demand for full-time faculty members would increase. This designation would help sooth some of the concerns facing the department. The mathematics department, for example, is a general education requirement and has nine full-time faculty members and three lecturers. I would be willing to bet the computer science department would increase as well.

As the department’s search for full-time faculty intensifies, potential professors would be encouraged to look into Whitworth seriously. They would earn a comfortable salary, guarantee themselves a long-term position and be a part of a committed program that wants to prepare students for success in the field.  It would benefit the current staff by splitting up the course load and number of advisees, which would allow them to be fully invested and energized.

Students would benefit the most. Funding for the department would naturally rise, enabling Whitworth faculty to add a third computer lab or a fifth faculty member. This increased emphasis would lead to a department that is robust and prepared for the growth it's experiencing.

This change would not happen overnight. I know that it would take a lot of logistical planning in order to make a computer science course a part of the general education requirements, but it is certainly possible and it makes sense. Technology is rapidly evolving and employers are looking for people who are equipped with basic computer programming skills.

The department chair, Pete Tucker, said that the number of jobs for computer science majors is expected to nearly double in just five years. It is anticipated to have the most job growth of all the other STEM majors.

“I know that parents are paying attention, I know that high school kids are paying attention to where the jobs are going to be, and computer science is where it is,” Tucker said. “I do think that there’s going to be a lot more interest in students as they come in, in computer science.”

Tucker went on further and said that 80 students have indicated computer science as a possible major next year. Even in the unlikely event that all 80 students do not choose to study computer science, it is still clear that interest is growing. This needs to be effectively accommodated.

Tucker said he fully believes that computer science should be a gen. ed. and is most likely on its way to becoming one, the number of professors available is small. There is more money to be made in the industry. He said that professors are out there and he is willing to be patient to find the right fit for Whitworth.

The computer science department has four faculty members in total. There is simply no way for the current faculty to keep track of that many potential students. Tucker himself currently advises 72 students and spoke about the need for more faculty.

“Where it really caused some strain is this week and last, which are advising weeks…” Tucker said. “The number of students that Kent [Jones] and I have to help get through advising week, internship searches, those kinds of things, that number doubled.”

The number of non-majors in computer science courses has risen as they are starting to take notice of the benefits of computer science skills. For example, this spring, Tucker offered a class called “How to Make Darn near Anything” and it was specifically developed to bring majors and non-majors together.

He said he originally thought twelve students would be enough. However, twenty- six students are currently enrolled in the class. Half of them are non-majors. Willingness among students to learn about computers is not lacking and interest will only grow with the prevalence of technology.

Whitworth needs to address the rapid growth of the computer science department and mounting student interest. Requiring computer science courses as a part of Whitworth’s general education requirements would tackle these problems.

It would benefit the students by enabling them to gain practical skills and set them up for success for their careers. It would motivate potential professors by showing them that our university is committed to changing with the times, placing more emphasis on a subject that deserves more respect. Finally, the move would necessitate a rise in number of faculty, leading to a better overall department for all students.

When computers take over the world, Whitworth should be prepared.

Whitworth ought to raise student wages

By Jacob Schmidt Before you make any assumptions about me, yes I did vote for Bernie Sanders, but this article is not about economics. Rather, I want to speak to the Christian imperative to do more than what is asked, to go the extra mile. I don’t want a living wage, I don’t want to bankrupt Whitworth, and I am not merely in this for myself. I simply wish for a symbolic gesture by which my school might honor its Christian identity. I think Whitworth should raise student wages.

For those who clamor for a hike in wages to that rhetorically powerful $15 per hour, I support your efforts, but do not wish to express them here. The source of the magic $15 number is the desire for working families to be able to earn a living wage. This is a noble goal, but not one which pertains so much to students directly, as few among us work full time or support a family - all praise and honor be unto those that do. In fact, there are government support services in place for students who work even 20 hours per week, so the question of a living wage is at least more complicated when it comes to student workers. For a more in depth look at the economic nuances of student wages, I would encourage readers to check out a recent article in Fortune magazine. While I believe that a $15 minimum wage ought to be considered for all, I will leave this debate to be settled in the political arena.

What I want from Whitworth need not be $15 per hour for my work as a tour guide, climbing wall attendant and shuttle driver. All I ask is to not be paid minimum wage. Were the minimum wage $11 or $12 or even $17 I would still be asking for this as a Christian gesture. It is at the very heart of the Judeo-Christian tradition that we are called to do more than what is asked of us by governing authorities. Take the practice of tithing for example, God calls upon His people to give, not of their left-overs, but of their first-fruits (Lev. 27:30, Prov. 3:9, Gen. 28:22). This practice encourages Christians to prioritize giving over all else, not to do only what is required of them. The notion of above-and-beyond giving is made even more clear in the New Testament as Jesus says that, “if anyone forces you to go with him one mile, go with him two miles” (Matt. 5:41 ESV). Many biblical historians  believe that this verse refers to a practice by which soldiers would have a civilian carry their bags for a mile. What we have in Jesus’ words is a direct commandment to do more than what the representatives of the government have insisted that you do. This message is reiterated by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7 ESV). It seems that paying your workers the minimum wage is a case of giving under compulsion.

These biblical examples make it clear that Whitworth ought to be paying student workers and other minimum wage campus employees greater than what the government mandates. Even if this was a mere $.25 per hour raise, the gesture would be felt. This modest raise may have some repercussions for Whitworth in terms of the number of student worker hours, requiring some areas such as the U-rec to employ fewer workers. To this I reply that Whitworth would better sell itself as an institution which cares about its student workers by hiring fewer of them at a decent wage than hiring large numbers of minimum wage workers for a couple of hours a week.

Let's go (volunteer) bucs!

By James Silberman Whitworth students, I’m calling you out. We all need to be a little more giving.

This may surprise some returning readers of the column who know that I espouse conservative principles on just about every issue, including economics. I am strictly opposed to expansive welfare programs, but that doesn’t mean us right-wingers are a bunch of Scrooges. It means that we recognize the deficiencies and harmful effects of state welfare programs. However, while we advocate for less charity from the federal government, we lobby for more charitable giving on the part of private citizens.

First, let me explain why federal charity doesn’t work. The money that goes to welfare programs comes from taxpayers and goes through a web of bureaucracy before reaching recipients. It also has to fund the (sometimes exorbitant) salaries of politicians. State welfare is an incredibly inefficient strategy for reducing poverty. Today, the U.S. government spends just under $1 trillion per year on anti-poverty programs. However, more than 50 years since Lyndon B. Johnson launched the so-called “War on Poverty”, the poverty rate still hovers around 15 percent, right where it was in 1964.

There are also documented negative consequences of government welfare. It creates a permanent underclass of people that live in a state of dependency. A study conducted by University of Ohio professors Lowell Galloway and Richard Vedder found that, among individuals below the poverty line, those who do not receive welfare payouts are two-and-a-half times more likely to escape poverty and be above the poverty line within a year compared to those who do.

Massive increases in welfare payouts beginning in the 1960s also had adverse social effects, especially on low-income families. The “War on Poverty” directly correlates with dramatic upticks in crime and the children born out of wedlock, which has been shown to be, far-and-away, the biggest factor leading to child poverty. Studies conducted by Ellen Freeman at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. June O’Neill at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirm not only correlation, but some degree of causation between welfare payouts and these unfortunate effects.

But as I mentioned earlier, if state charity decreases, we as individuals will be responsible for picking up the slack. Individual charity allows for more streamlined giving without the negative consequences. Food banks and soup kitchens personalize the giving process as volunteers often interact with the people they serve and show interest in their lives. The recipients also understand that private charity is provided for by willful givers and volunteers who dedicate their lives to helping people in need. This is a far cry from the government welfare system where recipients get in line to reload a food card every month from a taxpayer-funded government account.

Not only is private charity more effective than federal welfare, it is more rewarding. While paying taxes is the bane of our collective existence, study after study shows a correlation between charitable giving and positive changes in mood.

Given the adverse unintended consequences of state welfare programs, it is my firm belief that the money that is currently being taken in by the government would be much better served as a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for individuals who give to charity. So the first step is to lower taxes and put more money back in the hands of individuals and charity organizations, but the second step is for those individuals (AKA everyone reading this) to start giving! Whether it be of their time or of their money.

Former ASWU Presidential candidate, Mak Karge, pointed out a lack of volunteering among Whitworth students in a debate. I concur. In an interview, Karge said that students should be more purposeful about actively seeking out volunteer opportunities, and also thinks that the volunteer programs on campus currently being run need to be advertised.

If you are interested in giving or volunteering, get in touch with the people at the Dornsife Center on campus, or contact an organization directly. There are many great charities right here in Spokane such as Blessings Under the Bridge, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Project Hope, Union Gospel Mission and One Heart Spokane (links with more information about these organizations will be in the online version of this article at TheWhitworthian.com).

Give me a sign! On the promulgation of parking law on campus

By Jacob Schmidt Set aside race, gender, economic inequality, and even biblical hermeneutics for a second; we need to have a courageous conversation about parking. Even a cursory survey of student opinions should make it clear that something must change with regard to parking enforcement. I believe much of the outcry surrounding injustices in campus parking can be resolved by the clarification of signage, while another portion of the debate will only be resolved with a shift in the habits and mindset of Whitworth students as a whole.

Few topics have the power to elicit the sort of impassioned declarations from students of all stripes as does campus parking. Even those who do not own cars have heard enough of their friends’ complaints to carry on a debate over how best to store our vehicles on campus. Complaints about parking fall into two basic categories explained by two anonymous responses to our student survey: 1-“there isn’t enough parking” and 2-“getting a ticket should not be how we know [where] not to park.” I will be dealing primarily with the second of these concerns.

A recent poll of Whitworth students showed that 92 of 254 respondents had received a parking ticket on campus. That’s 36 percent of those participating in the survey. An even greater number (68 percent) expressed that Whitworth’s parking signage needs to be clarified in some way. While many other students and those in the security office have been quick to point out parking maps exist online and that the rules are detailed in the student handbook, the number of parking violations demonstrates the existing system could benefit from some clarity and visual reinforcement. In defense of this, I turn to a Thomistic account of parking justice.

St. Thomas Aquinas listed criteria for a just law, among which is the mandate of promulgation. Promulgation is a fancy word for informing people. In order for a law to be just, the people upon whom the law is enforced must be informed of the law. This does not mean simply that laws be written down somewhere, but that they must be accessible. Take the example of seat belt laws; while the legislation requiring seat belts in cars is in law books at the library, the government still finds it necessary to place signs on highways reading “click-it or ticket.”  Which parking lots are available to which vehicles can be read in the student handbook or online. Is this just promulgation? I argue that it is not.  There are numerous visitors to campus who cannot be expected to research parking prior to their arrival. In addition, I assume the 92 ticketed students mentioned above are not stupid, so something is not being made clear.

I propose new signs be placed in parking lots which indicate what permits are required and how long one can park there. As it stands several lots display only the lot number, and nothing else. This could be improved by a simple system each row with the colors red, green and yellow to indicate overnight permit, day permit and visitor spaces. I am aware that signage is expensive, however this only makes it more important that the process is done justly so that additional clarifying signs will not be called for in the near future. In the meantime, while this system is being implemented, I propose students receiving tickets be allowed to put a portion of their fine toward the purchase of a parking pass, such that paying a $60 ticket grants a student a coupon for a $30 parking permit.

To the objection that there simply is not enough parking on campus, I would remind students that having a car as an on-campus student is a privilege that not all colleges afford their students. As someone who survived seven semesters without a car and still managed to get out into the city and the surrounding wilderness, I think we can drive less.

My answers on each of the two points are summed up well by two respondents: “Make love, not tickets.” And “more people [ought] to bike/walk to campus.” The first of these can be done through the just installment of new signage and my fines-to-permit program. The second can only be accomplished by a revolution in consciousness, and warmer weather. At least one of those is starting to arrive.

What's wrong with Whitworth's cohab policy

By Emily Goodell When new students are welcomed to Whitworth, they are reminded they are only forbidden three things on campus: Cohabitation, drugs/alcohol and disturbance of peace. Seems pretty straightforward, right?

The principles themselves make sense, but the policies do not. While the administration’s rules governing the latter two are fairly explicit, the first of the three is an intimate matter that is hard to legislate. The nature of cohabitation means that the policy is less straightforward because what constitutes sex is ambiguous.

I believe that the fundamental conviction of the cohabitation policy is valid and necessary for a Christian university to uphold.  According to the student handbook, this policy exists because of Whitworth’s, “commitment to the authority of scripture leads us to believe that the genital sexual relationship is to be understood and experienced within the context of marriage, and that to express it otherwise would diminish the high regard we have for this gift from God.”

While I agree with the university's commitment to the value, I do not think that the policy is effective in upholding that value.

In order to understand the arguments against the effectiveness of the policy, we need to look at what cohabitation is and what it is not. The student handbook says, “We understand the term ‘cohabitation’ to include genital sexual contact outside marriage, and/or the spending of a night together by two people engaged in a romantic or sexual relationship or encounter.”

The handbook also provides a practical application definition of the policy: “persons who

spend extended hours of a night together, who sleep together, and/or who engage in genital contact even if it falls short of actual intercourse.”

Despite these regulations, 103 of 291 students said they have violated the cohabitation policy without getting caught according to a Whitworthian survey. While every policy has its share of violations, I believe that number is significant enough to indicate that the policy is not working effectively.

One problem is the process of investigation because it’s based on preponderance of evidence. Dean of Student Life Rhosetta Rhodes addressed this in an interview. She explained that when a complaint arises against a student, indicating that they may have violated the policy, Student Life talks to the student to see if they violated policy.

If the student in question says that he or she has not violated the policy, then the student is taken at their word unless enough evidence arises to prove differently. Much of the evidence that is brought forth refers to testimony from a witness or complainant.

Hypothetically, there could be an incident in which numerous witnesses  attest that a student violated the policy when they in truth did not. Rhodes addressed this, saying that the administration does not charge people on the basis of unfounded allegations.

“Someone comes up and alleges a policy violation, you’re going to do due diligence to investigating whether or not it happened,” Rhodes said.

However, the more problematic issue is that if there is not sufficient evidence against a student that has violated the policy, and they say that they haven’t violated the policy, they are taken at their word.

Another issue with the policy is its ambiguity or vagueness. The first definition that describes the actual premise of the policy is the foundation on which the policy rests. Seeing as administrators are not policing the grounds for cohabitation or in the room with the students witnessing the violation firsthand, they provide three extra definitions: spending extended hours of a night together, sleeping together and any kind of genital contact.

The no genital contact rule adheres with the “no sex” intention of the policy. However, the extended hours rule and sleeping rule are problematic. There is no mention of what counts as extended hours.

The vagueness is felt by the students. When surveyed, one anonymous respondent said, “I feel the current cohab policy is very ambiguous, hard to enforce and easy to break.”

Rhodes said that the vagueness is on purpose, because its intention is to apply to students who spend the night together. This still does not provide adequate information for students. With many dorms having 24-hour visitation policies, the phrase “extended hours of a night” is too vague to be effective.

The issue of the term “sleeping together” is that it is unclear if this refers to sleeping together in the connotative sexual manner or if they mean taking a nap. I assume it to be the former, or if it is the latter, I assume that it is because there are few ways for the administration to discern whether students are having sex if they are allowed to spend the night together. Either way, it needs to be more explicitly stated.

A survey respondent said, “I have violated cohab in the sense that I have accidentally fallen asleep in a room of the opposite gender whilst watching a movie. There is a huge distinction between sleeping and having sex and the current policy does not see that distinction.”

This indicates a startling lack of awareness for student rights and responsibilities regarding cohabitation.

This is important because this policy is foundational to Whitworth culture. We live by the Big Three religiously, literally. If there is an issue with one of those policies, however large or small, it affects every single student in this university.

I’d like to again point out that I am critiquing the cohabitation policy as being ineffective and needing further clarification, but am in no way criticizing the value or necessity of the policy itself. I have simply reviewed the effectiveness relative to ineffectiveness of the policy, indicating that there are issues that need to resolved.

I am advocating that students, as well as the administration,  review the policy to ascertain the presence of any flaws in the policy and  address whether changes need to be made to the policy. In order to fulfill Whitworth’s Christian commitment to maintain that its students adhere to scripture and not have sex until marriage, the cohabitation policy needs to be revisited.

In defense of conviction

By James Silberman Ontologically speaking, what separates human from animal is the conscience. The ability to discern right from wrong is one of the foundational aspects of being created in God’s image. If we have no conscience, or no ability to express our conscience, then we are barely human.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, citizens Rob Ingersoll and Curt Freed, and the ironically named American Civil Liberties Union are currently campaigning to take the freedom of conscience away from every Washington state citizen.

This is not about homosexuality and it’s not about Christianity. This is about the fundamental liberty of each one of us as American citizens to live our lives according to our deeply-held beliefs.

Baronelle Stutzman, 71, is a small business owner in Richland, Washington. In the summer of 2013, Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers, was approached by Ingersoll, a longtime friend and customer. Ingersoll was engaged to be married and wanted Stutzman to supply the flowers for the wedding between him and Freed, his husband-to-be.

“That was a real struggle to decide what to do with that,” Stutzman said in a video released by her defense attorney at Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF). “My husband and I talked it over, and as much as I loved Rob, I just couldn’t be a part of that. If I did Rob’s wedding, it would be from my heart, because he’s a really special person, and I would want to make it really special for him.”

Upon telling Ingersoll that her conscience would not allow her to provide flowers for the wedding, according to Stutzman, they hugged and left on good terms.

“It was a painful thing to try to explain to someone I cared about — one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life,” Stutzman said according to a Seattle Times article. “But Rob assured me he understood. And I suggested three other nearby florists... We seemed to part as friends. But then I was sued.”

Keep in mind that Stutzman does not refuse to serve to anybody. Ingersoll was a client of hers for more than nine years. She only refused to use her artistic abilities to participate in the celebration of something that she saw as immoral.

“Barronelle and many others like her around the country have been willing to serve any and all customers, but they are understandably not willing to promote any and all messages,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner in an ADF press release.

Stutzman and Ingersoll are now locked in a drawn-out court battle that will be heard by the Washington State Supreme Court. Based on the precedent being set by other similar cases from around the nation, everything Stutzman owns is at risk of being taken from her if she refuses to violate her convictions about marriage.

In New York, Cynthia and Robert Gifford, owners of Liberty Ridge Farm, were fined $13,000 for refusing to perform a gay marriage in their own backyard.

In Oregon, Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of a family bakery, were ordered to pay damages of $135,000 for refusing to cater a gay wedding. They were also given a gag order declaring that they must “cease and desist” from speaking publicly about the details of the case or their religious beliefs. Their business, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, has since closed down.

In Coeur d’Alene, ministers Donald and Evelyn Knapp were threatened with jail time, misdemeanor charges and thousands of dollars in fines by local officials if they refused to officiate same-sex weddings.

These are just a few cases among many.

For Christian small business owners everywhere, the government has made their position clear: spit on your own conscience or pay thousands of dollars while watching your business crumble.

Canadian philosopher, Stefan Molyneux, frames the issue rather succinctly. Molyneux is a libertarian, meaning that he believes gay marriage should be legal in the eyes of the government. But for the same reasons, he also believes that every individual must be free from government coercion in all areas of their lives.

“If you have no freedom of conscience, you have no freedom at all. Conscious must be inviolate. It’s the essence of who we are,” Molyneux said on his Freedomain Radio show. “When people can force you to go against what your conscience dictates, they own you more deeply than any slave master.”

If things continue to go the way they are going, the government will soon have the unchecked capability to strong-arm individuals of any race, religion or creed into acting in violation of their conscience. It is my hope that every individual, Christian and Atheist, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican, straight and gay, will reject that kind of totalitarianism.

Nothing is really free

By James Silberman The amount of debt being racked up by college students is a startling problem. Nationally, members of the class of 2015 graduated with an average of over $35,000 of debt according to education finance expert Mark Kantrowitz.

This is clearly an issue that must be addressed, and making state universities tuition-free appears to be the favored solution of college students. This is evidenced by the massive support among millennials for Bernie Sanders. But is it that simple? In other words, is making college tuition-free enough to solve the complex problem of rising tuition costs?

In short, no.

First of all, nothing is free. I know. Shocking, right? “Free” tuition simply shifts the burden from the student to the taxpayer. Second, free tuition does nothing to alleviate the root causes of rising tuition costs. In fact, it would worsen them. Dinesh D’Souza, a prominent political commentator, uses the following illustration to explain why the shift of this burden is neither efficient nor fair.

Let’s pretend the government decided to make food free. If college is human right, surely food is as well?

If food was free, customers would not be concerned with how much they spend on food, or how much of that food they end up wasting because they know that someone else is picking up the tab. Similarly, the grocery stores can jack up the prices because they know customers aren’t concerned with how much the food costs because someone else is paying for it.

It isn’t difficult to project what happens next. Whoever is picking up this tab is getting cheated, and it won’t be long before they’re out of money and the whole system collapses on itself.

So who is this third person? It’s the taxpayer; A.K.A. all of us.

As you can see, there are massive inefficiencies created when something becomes “free.” Just like the food illustration, if tuition is free to the student, universities have no reason to be efficient with their funds. They can build huge new buildings, and give themselves all a raise and spend however much money they want. In fact, it would benefit them to do so. Big, expensive facilities make a school look good to prospective students. Sure, that means the annual cost per student to attend the school is now $70,000 instead of $40,000, but who cares! It’s all free!

Thus it goes with government-run institutions. Nothing will run fairly or efficiently as long as the person receiving the service is not the person paying for the service.

The answer to our problem is not more government, but less government. Make schools streamline their budgets and compete for students by offering competitive prices. The free market used to provide a college education for a sum of money that one could reasonably obtain working as a dishwasher during the summer months.

And just for the record, I am a student who is going to graduate with a large amount of debt, in the same boat as most of the people reading this. I am not a political tool being used by the “one-percent” or “the establishment” to pull one over on you guys. Free market solutions really do work and they make life better for more people. So let’s treat the root causes of our rising tuition problem and cut it out with the free college nonsense, shall we?

Whit FM needs a podcast

Whitworth F.M. should create a downloadable podcast that students would be able to use offline from their mobile devices. Podcasts are increasingly popular in the United States and are becoming the future of radio. Downloadable podcasts are an easy, convenient ways to listen to radio programs or music on your mobile device, anywhere you find yourself.  Whitworth F.M. is losing out on a large group of potential listeners by not having joining the podcast community. Podcasts are on the rise and Whitworth F.M. should follow suit. POPULARITY OF PODCASTS

According to Pew Research Center, one-third of Americans listen to a podcast, and that number is steadily growing. NPR podcast downloads have increased from 37,965,370 in 2013 to 53,536,068 in 2014.

Podcasts are the future of radio. According to Forbes contributor Dorie Clark, everyone will listen to podcasts in the future. Clark notes that because of the increase in internet connectivity being programmed into cars, by the year 2025 everyone will have internet in their car and subsequently, will be listening to podcasts.

Some may argue that podcasts only appeal to an older demographic of people, however this belief is untrue. According to a study done by Edison Research in 2015, 18-34 year olds make up 27 percent of podcast listeners, and with podcasts like Serial coming into the market, this number is subject to inflate.

That means that college students, Whitworth F.M.’s chief demographic, are already listening to podcasts. They like podcasts. They want podcasts. Whitworth F.M. should break into this market.

PODCASTS ON MOBILE DEVICES

Whitworth FM as is, is an online streaming radio. They do not have a mobile application or compatibility with a mobile browser. That means that the only way to listen to Whitworth F.M. is to listen from a computer. If you don’t have access to the computer, you can’t listen.

This is problematic because key listeners are being lost due to inaccessibility. Edison research found that two- thirds of podcast consumers listen on a mobile device. That means that mobile device compatibility is necessary for a growing audience.

IMPLICATIONS FOR WHITWORTH FM

I’m not advocating that they should switch to podcasts only. There’s still a lot of value in online music radio streaming. Pandora and NPR have seen great success in online streaming.

Podcasts would just be another way to allow students to have their voice heard. According to a survey by Pearson, 83 percent of college students own a smartphone. That’s 83 percent of the Whitworth population that could be reached by having a podcast.

The students of Whitworth F.M. have a voice, a voice that needs to and deserves to be heard. Not having a podcast is restricting them from being able to access the amount of listeners that would love to listen to those voices with a podcast.

For Whitworth F.M., a podcast would mean better access to students listeners who could listen to podcasts anytime. It would distribute the wonderful content of Whitworth F.M. to students across campus whenever, wherever.

A modest proposal

By Jacob Schmidt November 17 is a date that Whitworth will not soon forget, as more than 100 of our beloved ponderosas came crashing to the ground. With loop repairs coming along, students and faculty are able to see the new face of their home, but while Whitworth certainly looks different this season need not be a time of despair. I propose that Whitworth find within this loss, an opportunity to make a fresh commitment to sustainable design and experiential learning.

The question of how to rebuild the loop cannot be answered without first understanding what led to the massive destruction of last fall’s windstorm, and the answer lies within the trees themselves. Ponderosa pines, and their distinctively large seed cones, are synonymous with Whitworth for many students and alumni. A brief look through admissions material and alumni newsletters reveals just how prominent the great Pondo’ is in our shared sense of place. This is not inherently a bad thing, as these trees were in residence long before Whitworth moved into the neighborhood. Yet, while Whitworth has maintained a laudable number of the native plants i.e. we have a forest where most schools have either a field or a brick square, we have not maintained the conditions which allowed these trees to thrive in the first place. As every student from the Puget Sound has likely noticed, the inland northwest has a dry climate. This took a while longer for me to realize coming from central Arizona, where relatives visit more often than do clouds. But according to the National Weather Service, Spokane gets 58 percent less rainfall annually than the national average. Spokane is in fact a dry place.

Whitworth is not a dry place. Every inch of Whitworth’s grass receives nearly an hour per night of full coverage from two rotating sprinklers dolling out two gallons of water per minute each. Trust me, I installed many of them last summer. This sort of watering sounds insane, but it is what’s necessary to keep grass green throughout the summer and fall in our dry climate. With this much water available in the soil, the already shallow rooted ponderosa grows lazy and does not grow an extensive root system. Think about how your behavior changes once you allow yourself to start eating in bed, and that is roughly how our ponderosas live. Our enabling of these lazy trees leaves them particularly prone to being pushed over by strong winds. If you don’t believe that overwatering has an effect on toppling trees, just look at how few trees fell in the back 40 compared to the loop. Keeping ponderosas in a well watered field has proven to be an objective hazard. This spring’s replanting represents an ultimatum for Whitworth’s image, either get rid of the grass, or plant different trees.

I am proposing a productive solution to this dilemma: the Whitworth Community Orchard. Before you flip to the sports section, indulge me for just a few sentences to sell you on the merits of this idea. Imagine a swath of the loop planted with apples, pears, plums, and cherries. These need not be in boring rows, but could be intentionally arranged by our own visual art faculty. These trees would be maintained during the school year by a dedicated group of students with hiring preference given to environmental studies minors. Think of the student jobs created, the opportunity for service learning, the reduction of imported produce in Sodexo, the possibility of giving excess produce to local food banks, and the lifelong commitment to environmental responsibility that this program could instil in students. The Whitworth Community Orchard could fundamentally change the Whitworth image for the better, attracting prospective students with a heart for botany or agriculture. American Diversity classes could use the space to give students an empathic connection to migrant agricultural workers. The benefits of such a program just keep piling up. You may be thinking that this plan would never get passed by facilities and administration. Well know this, I first got the idea from a member of the Grounds Department staff who is on good terms with Beck Taylor. If students pushed for a project like this, they would be heard. Think it over, how better might we memorialize last semester's destruction than this?

We should stop complaining about "Saga"

By Josiah VanWingerden When I transferred to Whitworth earlier this year, one of the first things I was told was to “watch out for Saga.” Chances are my first meal in our cafeteria was not even bad, but that comment had me on alert and I was ready to complain. So I did.

This negative stigma around Saga has to stop. We have to change our negative attitudes from ungrateful into thankful ones.

Approximately 2,685 undergraduates are enrolled here and more than half (57 percent) live on campus and have meal plans. That means Sodexo is responsible for feeding more than 1,500 students three meals and dessert options every day. It is not an easy job to begin with and the last thing they need is an entire student body breathing down their necks.

I think students should extend a little grace towards Sodexo and consider the hard they put into preparing our food and catering events around campus. There are 70 Sodexo employees who work from 3a.m. until midnight seven days a week who put in the effort to prepare the food to be served and improve its overall quality.

Additionally, Sodexo provides 65 jobs to students who also work similar hours. One student employee is junior Grant Rees, who said that Sodexo cares about students’ enjoyment of the food and caters to their opinions on how can increase food quality.

“Sodexo’s done a lot to appease the students,” Rees said. “Another thing that they did was have this board up on Valentine's Day where [students] could write their own ideas on what Sodexo should serve.”

This Spring, Sodexo added warm cookies, breads and pastries out of the bakery and works with Global Connections to provide more variety of food, such as Orange Chicken. They also brought back fresh fruit to the menu, per students’ requests, according to General Manager, Jim O’Brien.

Rees also spoke to the quality of food and said that he feels students take Sodexo for granted.

“The chances of you actually making better food than Sodexo is pretty slim,” Rees said. “Because you have to buy everything and if you’re on a low, shoestring budget, you’re not going to buying food that is as good as we have here.”

Sodexo recognizes that it is not a five-star restaurant, but the employees work tirelessly to improve the menu and listen to comments. They do all that they can to ensure that students have good quality food to eat every day.

Stop complaining. Pick up your forks and dig in. Bon Appetit.

Millennials have never been exposed to conservative ideas

By James Silberman Millennials have no idea what conservatism is. That’s not an accusation, merely an observation. Political correctness has made it so that most of the public square has been scrubbed clean of conservative ideas.

What our generation does know about conservatism, it generally doesn’t like. Conservatives are typically seen as intolerant and regressive, and this has manifested itself publicly all across the nation. Take for example this oft-used chant of Occupy protesters, "Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay. Tea Party Go Away."

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. If people have never heard the arguments for conservatism, they haven’t been forced to defend or think critically about their own views that they have come to see as progressive and objectively good. Thus, it stands to reason that millennials see conservative ideas as triggering and offensive. While at Tacoma Community College, I once detailed conservative, free market solutions in a presentation. A girl started crying. That’s a true story.

Now that I have illuminated the problem, here are the basics of conservative thought, brought to you by some of the greatest minds in the history of our nation.  

Conservative Economics

“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer,” Ben Franklin said in 1766.

This is the basis of conservative economics. The premise is that a nation’s economic success is defined not by how many of its people receive government handouts, but by how many are able to live their lives independent of them.

Which brings us to our next point…

Conservative Opposition to Socialism and Big Government

“Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have,” said Barry Goldwater in 1964.

When one relies on the government to provide for them, they are at the whim of said government. Politicians are free to dictate that someone else needs that aid more, or more likely, they decide to give themselves a pay raise, and the needy citizen is left out to dry. This is the basis of the conservative view of limited government.

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking is freedom,” said Dwight Eisenhower in 1953.

Free healthcare, free education, expanded food stamp programs and income redistribution all sound great when politicians get up on stage and promise to give them to you. However, what they don’t tell you is what you lose in the process: your freedom. For the government to give these things to you, taxes have to be so high that you are unable to provide for yourself. You become dependent on the government for your very existence, giving up your independence for comfort and a false sense of security. This is the basis for conservative opposition to socialism in any form.

Conservative Foreign Policy

"[He] had seen firsthand the horrific results of appeasement. It was a path chosen by feebleminded people who were morally incapable of confronting evil,” Vince Flynn said in his 2012 book Kill Shot.

Something I’ve never been able to wrap my mind around is the way that pacifism is seen as the moral high-ground nowadays. Let me be perfectly clear: There is nothing compassionate about sitting idly and allowing ISIS to roam the Middle East and North Africa sawing off the heads of journalists and burning apostates in cages when our military has the capacity to do something about it. War is hell, no one denies that. But sometimes, it is necessary in order to confront great evil and protect those who cannot protect themselves. If America had given in to the allures of pacifism during the mid-twentieth century, Hitler likely wins World War II and we’d all be speaking German right now.

The left can say whatever they want about the cost of war, but we must also take into consideration the cost of doing nothing. Weighing these considerations, and being willing to confront perpetrators of evil if necessary is the basis of conservative foreign policy.

The Foundation of the Conservative Worldview

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence.

This is the big one. This is the bedrock on which every other conservative idea rests. Free enterprise, freedom of speech, of association and of religion, the right to bear arms and the rest of the Bill of Rights all stem from this revolutionary idea that our freedoms don’t come from government. They are endowed to us by our creator, thus, no earthly authority can rightfully take them away. But that doesn’t stop them from trying.

In conclusion, the conservative seeks freedom for all. Where the liberal strives to create equality of outcome, the conservative seeks equality of opportunity. It is important to note that the Declaration of Independence does not guarantee happiness, but the pursuit of happiness. The role of government is not to give us things but to remove barriers to our ascent in life and allow us to become self-sufficient adults and contributing Americans.

For you were strangers in the land of Egypt

By Jacob Schmidt Every year, Spokane welcomes around 500 refugees to call our city home. Many of those people live within a few blocks of Whitworth. Despite what you may have heard from cable news or your Facebook-happy uncle, they are not dangerous. In fact, they could really use your help.

As a nation, we seem to have a short attention span and faulty memory. I have been astonished by the number of people who act as if they had never heard the word “refugee” prior to this past fall. While the “global refugee crisis” has certainly increased the number of displaced peoples, the United States has been taking in a constant stream of asylum seekers for centuries. In fact, many of the churches you may attend have likely taken special offerings to support an organization called World Relief, a Christ-centered refugee resettlement organization. But we all seem to have ignored or forgotten about this, as I hear more buzzword-laden talk about how dangerous and “un-vettable” these people are. This is simply not the case.

All immigrants and visitors to the U.S. have to pass certain security checks through the departments of State and Homeland Security (DHS). These are just ordinary tourists and legal immigrants; for refugees, the process is much longer. A displaced person looking to resettle here must first apply for an interview with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) and if she passes this, another interview with the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. This process can take years.

Meanwhile, the majority of them are living in camps in which they are not allowed to hold a job and thus become completely dependant on the support provided by the UN and local groups. The UNHCR restricts employment in order to avoid the transformation of refugee camps into a source of slave labor. The largest of these camps are in Kenya and Jordan, with some housing as many as 330,000 people in a crowded array of tents. These people do not want to live in the Kenyan or Jordanian desert. They would have preferred to stay in their homes. However, because of civil wars, religious persecution, or the vast unintended consequences of our global war on terror, returning home is not an option.

For someone lucky enough to make it through the interview process proceed to U.S. interagency biographical security checks performed by the DHS, FBI, NCCIC, and State Department. If this search does not unearth any criminal history, she will be interviewed by the DHS. Then another round of background checks by the Department of Defense. Then even more database cross referencing until finally, she is allowed to get on a plane and come to the United States. Upon arrival, she will be given 90 days of support before she must apply to other government programs to receive assistance. During this time she must pay back the cost of her travel to the U.S.

It should be clear from all of this that these people are not simply walking off the battlefield and onto a plane. In fact they are the most heavily vetted people in this country. If someone wished to carry out an attack on the United States, they would be far wiser to pose as a tourist than a refugee. To claim that we should not be helping these people because of inflated fears about the very groups that many of them are fleeing is to disregard Christian teaching and basic human morality.

If any of this is even remotely compelling to you, if you have even a shard of guilt for the damage your country has done in the Middle East, and especially if you take seriously the Christian imperative to welcome the stranger into your home, then please contact World Relief Spokane. I have been working with this wonderful organization for the past year as a mentor and employment specialist. We are always in need of volunteers to help refugees learn their way around Spokane, figure out the bus schedule, go grocery shopping or practice their English. My interactions with Spokane’s vibrant refugee population has taught me so much about the world we live in and what it looks like to build the Kingdom of God, I ask that you join me.