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.

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.

EDITORIAL BOARD-IN THE LOOP: ASWU President candidate interviews and endorsement

Mak Karge—Presidential Candidate What gets you excited about this job?

Being able to really help set the agenda for ASWU. Being a voting member this year, I have been kind of frustrated that I have had to vote on issues that I don’t think impact students. So next year I want to make sure that all of the things we vote on and all of the things we do in ASWU impact students directly.

It does feel like you are a little vague on “things that affect students.” Could you clarify?

A lot of the things we have dealt with recently in ASWU instead of having to do with student body or planning Springfest which is coming up soon, we have been engaging in a civil war between the elected members and the appointed members, which  I think is really unnecessary and something I want to strive to make sure we don’t have to go through these issues again next year.

Do you have any specific plans if you were elected?

It’s going to break down into three main things. First, I would like to not raise the ASWU fee next year. In addition, I would like to put a greater emphasis on engagement with the community—getting the Whitworth name out more in the community so people know more than just the name Whitworth, they know a couple things that we stand for. Third, I would like to adhere more to the Whitworth mission. Both engaging in ASWU with the education of mind and heart, being more engaged with the students and being able to talk to the students not as a superior, but as someone who represents them. Also to continue to build relationships with the administration and the board of trustees, which I have already started to do in the past few months.

You sound like a politician in a lot of these answers in the sense that the ideas sound nice, but they are more theoretical and not grounded in a lot of practical application. I am wondering if I can get a little bit more information into that specific application.

I can try to touch a little bit on each one of them. To be able to communicate with students a little bit more, I would like to create a Facebook page called ‘The Office of the President of the Student Association. ‘ I would post all of the minutes there from the ASWU meetings to make them more accessible to students so they would be able to understand a little bit more of what is going on and then I would give my own opinion where it is needed, where I am coming from, where the student body is coming from and where the administration is coming from to make it easier and communication more viable. Second, when relating to more time in the community and more service in the community, I’d like ASWU to do more partnerships with the Dornsife Center for Community Engagement. This is going to go with a lot of the senators’ jobs and a lot of the coordinators’ jobs, to be able to do weekend trips out into the community, serving the community and building relationships out there. Just like the UREC takes students out every weekend on adventures, I would like to take students out every weekend. Of course no one would be forced to do this, but if you have it in your heart that you want to do community service this weekend, we should have a program set up so you are able to do that.

Any crazy ideas that pop into your head that sound difficult to implement but you think would be great to bring into reality?

I’d like for all the senators from Day 1 next year to have a project that they are working on throughout the year. This year in Duvall, our senator Katie Holtzheimer has worked on trying to find out if all of the washing machines are the same size. What we found was that all of the washing machines on campus are the same size, but the opening is a lot smaller. So, just give the senators a project—something to work on. I’d like something of larger scale, but something they are passionate about and something they can accomplish throughout the ten months they are serving.

Is there anything you want to bring specifically to ASWU?

I’d like to move where we meet to a bigger room where we can have more student engagement. A big part of what I’ve been saying this entire time is that I want to listen to students and for them to be more informed. It’s hard to do that when we have a room that barely has enough space for us to get the ASWU members into it. So sure, I’d like first, to be able to move it into bigger room. If we could and we had the ability to, I’d like to move it into RTT and then  I would like to set it up so the elected members and the appointed members both have their name tags there so that people are able to identify, “Here’s my senator. Here’s where they are sitting,” so that they can sit by constituents. More community engagement, especially in the meetings.

What separates you from your fellow candidate?

Well as Bre mentioned in the debate, she doesn’t have an agenda going forward. When she said that during the debate, it concerned me. Failing to plan is planning to fail. I’ve already spoken to students and the job doesn’t start from the day you are elected—it starts two months before that. So I’ve been building relationships with administration and building relationships with the trustees, getting prepared to have this opportunity to serve. In addition, I see her as striving to do all these things as soon as we get back from the summer break and I think that is far too late to be starting on these things.

What do you want voters to know more than anything about you?

I want voters to know that it is not my opinions that are going to be broadcast throughout the student body next year. It is going to be their opinions. They can expect and should expect clear communication from ASWU through all major decisions that are made. I’m going to have my phone number and my email posted everywhere so that people are able to contact me at any moment they need.

Anything else you would like to add?

This process has been so fulfilling. First when I started campaigning, I was so scared. Every single door I knocked on, but the overwhelming support I received from people just down in Sodexo before I came up here. Someone stopped me that I spoke to once or twice before and asked if they could pray with me. It’s just been an overwhelming experience and I’m really excited to see where it takes us tomorrow.

Bre Lyons—Presidential Candidate

What gets you excited about this job?

It’s definitely been something I’ve been thinking about for the last three years and after talking with Molly Hough, Ian Robins and now with Justin Botejue and seeing what they brought into it and what they are really excited about, it really started to get me thinking about the things I want to do my senior year and the things I think Whitworth could improve in the next year. After having the experience of being senator and now a coordinator on ASWU, being able to see how things can change. I think we all really have great ideas and I think students have really good concerns and I feel with the past experience I have and the mentors I have, I would have the ability to actually enact those changes. So that’s what gets me excited is talking to students and hearing what their ideas are and what their concerns are and then being able to come up with ways to change those things.

Do you have any specific plans or ideas if you were to be elected?

I know I keep saying I don’t have an agenda. I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. Just that I feel that as ASWU, we should be responding to what students need during that current year. Things that have already been brought up this year and I assume will continue next year include mental health on campus being a really large issue. With the decline in mental health amongst students as well as anxiety and depression as we have already seen through the health center because they’ve done their own stuff. That’s something I am definitely passionate about and would love to support administration and the health center in any way that we can. That’s why I brought in Kevin Breel this year So that’s something I could see going on as well as the changes in the chapel and the SGCs so again just plugging in to movements that are already happening and then figuring out how ASWU can be a part of those things.

Do you have any big dream ideas?

I think it’s all practical things for students. Things that people have been frustrated about for a while now like parking and I know the goal would be to make this a walking campus and to move most of the parking off of the inner circle of campus. I think just moving toward that would be progress for students so that they can see something happening, but I think overall frustration with parking space, parking ticket price and just trying to make that transparent to students and show there is some form of progress so that students are being heard. I think that’s a big one. The other being study abroad trips. People are really frustrated. They say 80 percent of students get a study abroad experience, but I am really curious where that statistic lies and if it’s the same 80 percent of students because after talking with lots of people this week, that process is not very clear as to who is chosen and why. Making that application and criteria more well-known and accessible to all students is important.

Is there anything you would bring specifically to ASWU?

I think experience is the main thing. I have been around a little bit and I understand a lot of the policies and the back-end reasons why things are the way they are. I was also a conference assistant so I understand logistically how events are run and how programs are run. I had a lot of that funding barrier as we have to deal with buildings that were built on different grants and how even interpersonally how different departments interact. Having that knowledge, again, when I hear an idea I already start thinking about, ‘who do we talk to?’ What financial burden would that be on the institution?’ ‘What does that look like for the board?’ That base knowledge of knowing how and where to take ideas.

What separates you from your fellow candidate?

I’m not going to rely on that experience alone. I do think that is obvious in that my past jobs and interests have led me to this position and the qualifications but also just an open-mindedness. I’ve been here, but I also understand that this university is flawed and that it is going to go through growing periods. I think that is a lot of what we have seen in the last year and a half, especially after the windstorm. I think mental health is an indicator of what is going wrong. The open-mindedness to change and understanding where we came from and what the goals are for the institution, just because I have been around. Moving toward those to fulfill those needs I think is unique.

How do you plan to keep yourself accountable throughout the year if you don’t have a specific set of goals or an agenda in mind?

I’m a big, ‘you have to write it down’ person. I have already written down everything I have planned for this year and that I want to achieve. I think something that is overlooked in ASWU is that executive team itself—those three people I truly do believe are accountability partners. At the beginning of the year, I would be very intentional of saying, “Hey guys, what are our goals as an exec team? What are our goals independently? And then how are we going to help each other achieve those? I think that’s a very regular conversation that needs to be had to make sure you do stay on track as well as other leadership like Dayna Coleman-Jones and Linda Yochum. Having very real-time goals and making sure we are meeting those along the way.

When would you decide what those goals for you and your executive team are going to be?

Before ASWU even comes on campus, there is a solid week when execs are here first. That is when they do most of their training and team building. In that week, that’s really when you hit the ground running with those execs and you sit down and you are talking to Beck and you are talking to a lot of other departments on campus and throughout the summer I have to go, if I became president, and pitch to Beck what my vision for the year is and what his vision for the year is and how those can be united. Those are conversations that start very early so that by the time the rest of the ASWU team gets here for training, we have already established with the university, different ideas about how we can best work together. This isn’t where we necessarily figure out the plan for the year, but by creating those connections early and being realistic as student leaders as to what we can be doing and pushing by creating those early relationships with administration.

What do you want voters to know more than anything?

That they are the priority. I think right now that’s what the struggle we have seen is a drift between what the administration and its institutional advancement is going, versus necessarily what students are most concerned about. In the president position, you are an advocate for those students and the administration has to keep the doors open. It is creating that bridge. I really am here to listen to that student voice because sometimes it gets drowned out in administration. How many times do we sit on those budget meetings seeing how everything is broken up, when rarely are those reflected about what students are concerned about right now in their day to day and what will affect them in the next five to ten years after they graduate. I am ready to listen to those voices and build those connections and already have the base foundation to do so.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am really excited about this position. I am really passionate about it. I love Whitworth. I love what ASWU can be. I think it is a really good platform for student voice and I would also say most leadership does not happen on ASWU. I don’t like the idea that if you are an SGC or a CDA or a member of ASWU, now you have privilege as a leader. I think a lot of leadership happens behind closed doors. That’s what I think we are doing at Whitworth. Those are the voices I want to be able to elevate and give a platform to, not necessarily the 30 people with an ASWU title.

 

ENDORSEMENT

After two great interviews with two passionate candidates, it is the opinion of this editorial board that Breanna Lyons be elected for the role of ASWU President over her contender--Mak Karge. While both candidates seem to have an appreciation for the importance of the job in the Whitworth community, Lyons exhibits the strongest appeals to practicality in how she would run things from the big chair next year. While Lyons does not outwardly claim any agenda, she does exhibit a practice to work for communication between ASWU and students in many of the same ways Karge did. In addition, Karge seems rooted in the idea of listening to students as the basis for his platform, yet his motivation for external community engagement is rooted in his own personal experiences and not in the larger opinions and experiences of the student body. As in many elections such as this one, ASWU and the student body would benefit from having both Karge and Lyons in leadership positions on campus in order to allow that inner passion for student government to manifest itself. However, the ASWU President job has to fall to the person who has the greatest chance of being effective.

EDITORIAL BOARD-IN THE LOOP: Financial Vice President candidate interviews and endorsements

Jordan Dale—Financial Vice President Candidate What gets you excited about this job?

Executive positions that are associated with ASWU are something I have had an interest in for the past few years. I have really enjoyed my time in ASWU and I enjoyed the ability to meet so many people in the position. In Intramurals with its proximity to UREC, I have missed the presence and the involvement. I think there is a lot that has gone on this year that I haven’t been a part of and I was very involved last year. That could be my own fault and also I think it’s part of the separation of the two groups. Mid-year, I was looking at how I could get back involved with ASWU. I like intramurals but I like the student government part of it. I was going through the positions and what would be my best fit. Immediately accounting and numbers and Financial Vice President is kind of where I glided toward. Transparency and involvement are what I have been building on in this campaign and getting people involved is another aspect of the position that is exciting to me.

Do you have any specific plans for next year if you were to get the job?

I’m starting with the involvement aspect. Clubs do a great job on campus and they always want more members so how do we make that happen. I think our biggest target in terms of getting people involved in our clubs is targeting freshmen. Orientation is the time when people are most looking for stuff to do. Portraying those options as clearly as possible gives the best chance for participation. I would set up a table at orientation and we would set it up so there are incentives to go there. Whether it’s a sticker or whatever, and then they have to list four or five clubs they are interested in. In doing so, I would be able to provide club leadership with a contact list of people interested in what they were doing.

What separates you from your fellow candidate?

I think it’s definitely experience. In terms of experience with the budget, $30,000 versus a $670 budget is much more real opportunity for mistakes there and thus a lot more responsibility. I think in terms of awareness, students on this campus love to get involved but they need a helping hand. People like these incentives and reasons to get involved and so I think I bring a little more than Jeff does.

What do you want voters to know more than anything?

I refer to my passion for the position. I want voters to know that what I am saying now will carry through and I want to be held accountable for the things I campaigned on. I want to make sure they become a reality. I think a lot of people run for these positions and have these great ideas, but no one ever holds them accountable for actually putting them in place. I want these things to be publicized. I want to go through with what I promised to the students.

 

Jeff DeBray—Financial Vice President Candidate

What gets you excited about this job?

The biggest reason why I am running to be your next Financial Vice President is here everyone pays $230 toward an ASWU student fee. However, I feel like students don’t know where their money is going. As your FVP, I just want to make the spending of student money in our budget more accessible and transparent to the student body. I feel like students deserve to know where their money is being spent. Secondly, FVP also works very closely with clubs on campus, just empowering them in any way you can. One addition I would make to that job description is to meet with each club president and each club leadership one-on-one regularly to create a more personal environment. I feel like that kind of relationship can be more successful when you develop a personal relationship with them. Those are two of the biggest reasons why I am excited about running for FVP.

After watching the debate yesterday, it became clear to us that the FVP position has a different feel among voters. Not very many people know much about what the FVP does. It’s not a popularity contest, but rather feels more like a competence test. Both you and Jordan Dale spent much of your time at the debate talking about what the FVP does. Putting aside the fact that you both are competent in the field of finances, what separates you from your fellow candidate?

(Jeff discussed his qualifications at length including his work as a senator, his summer accounting job, his involvement with the ASWU club chartering and finance committee, finance and administration committee for board of trustees).

Something that some people don’t necessarily know: The FVP is often a face for ASWU more than any other position because they meet one on one with clubs and administration frequently to discuss finances. On a daily basis, they are dealing with deposits and balancing the books between ASWU and the business office here at Whitworth. They’re counting the money we receive each day and making sure those two things balance. The also are the chair of club chartering and finance committee as well as Budget committee in spring during May. The biggest thing I want to bring to this position is transparency and accessibility. Too few students just don’t know how their money is being spent and that’s over 500,000 dollars we are getting from students, but students just don’t know where it is going. I just think students deserve to know and that’s the biggest change I want to bring to this position.

You and Jordan are both very qualified, but oftentimes it is not simply about the qualifications, but more how one applies those qualifications.

Four or five weeks ago, I met one on one with Skyler to get an inside scoop on the position and he said it’s not that accounting experience that matters. It’s the communication that’s really important as well because you are the person who is talking to those clubs and your strong communication skills and being able to direct people and manage people as well as tell people yes or no when that is necessary and how they are spending their budget is all really important. I think students often think qualifications are the sole part of the position and that’s partially true. There is an extra piece though that I really plan on bringing to the table.

What do you want voters to know about you more than anything else?

I really care about this university and I have been continuously humbled and just impressed when meeting new students in this campaign. Them approaching me and expressing their support—expressing what they want to see happen from an FVP. So, I really have a desire to meet student needs and where they’re at and communicate accessibility and transparency to how we are spending student money. I hope this been communicated in my campaign, but I am in this for the university; I am in this for Whitworth. We can do better.

ENDORSEMENT

It is the opinion of this editorial board that Jeff DeBray be elected Financial Vice President over his contender--Jordan Dale. While Dale can claim a prominent money management position with his dealings in intramurals, DeBray claims a wider range of experience and can boast a prominent understanding of Whitworth financials on a student and administration level. It is also evident that DeBray is running for FVP with a larger purpose in mind of bettering the university, while Dale, who does support the idea of transparency along with DeBray, expressed his primary goal of being a personal one. While personal motivations are not necessarily a bad reasoning for wanting a job, we feel the larger purpose of serving the Whitworth community (as made evident from DeBray) plays a key role in evaluating the willingness of each candidate to go above and beyond their monetary call of duty. We would like to close by making clear that both candidates exhibit exemplary qualifications. We are fortunate to have two fantastic people running for the position, but in the case of ASWU FVP as in the case of many other ASWU positions, the question of who would make the best candidate is not solely defined by qualifications, but also what the candidates plan to do with those qualifications.

Editorial: An in-depth look at party culture at Whitworth

Party Houses

The idea that both a physical structure and a house name can implicate to over 350 students that parties are thrown at this location, is a semi-unique concept to Whitworth. At Whitworth a “party house” is an off-campus house that throw or host parties which are often spread by word of mouth or social media.

Despite new residents and the houses even moving location year to year, the party houses are still recognized by their names. The names of houses can coincide with the sports team living in the house, its geographical proximity to other landmarks around the area or negative-sounding phrases.

The reputation these houses gain through throwing parties often stays with the houses even after new residents decide to stop throwing parties or residents take the name of a party house to a new location, leaving the old structure with the connotation of party house. At Whitworth, students associate the names of houses and their locations with partying more than with the people who throw the parties.

 

Survey results

This week the members of a house and other individuals, listed in one of the online surveys about Whitworth party culture, approached the Editorial Board with concerns that by the Whitworthian printing their house’s name the residents’ on campus reputation and future job prospects would be damaged. The residents believed the survey and the upcoming Whitworthian issue was labeling their house as a “party house” and dividing the residents from other students who do not party.

This divide, and the party culture that exists at Whitworth, is the exact topic the editors desired to create a dialogue around through the information gathered from the surveys. Believing a divide exists on campus between students who do and do not party, the Whitworthian wanted to take a deeper look at the subculture of parties and how students on both sides of the divide feel about the other.

Originally, the surveys were sent out to gather information that would be used to create an informational graphic representing where, why and how Whitworth students party. Due to the controversial nature of this topic some opposition was expected, but we did not intend to alienate students.

The reaction that came after the surveys was concerning as we discovered the surveys unintentionally offended students; however, the divide the houses spoke of gave us reason to continue with the theme of our issue. The editorial board feels addressing the sometimes hostile, contrasting feelings between students who party and students who do not is crucial to creating a healthier environment for all Whitworth students.

Ultimately the decision to not print the names of the houses listed in the surveys or suggested in the “other” category was made after considering the validity and wording of the surveys themselves and how important the names of the houses were to the Whitworthian’s goal of addressing the party subculture. It was established that even without naming the houses, party culture at Whitworth could be discussed. The decision to exclude specific house names was not made out of the fear of houses or individuals feeling offended by their houses name appearing in print.

The Editorial Board feels the party houses around Whitworth became party houses well before the surveys went out last week. The houses became known as “party houses” through social media and word of mouth references to the house names, which often include negative connotations, and the parties they throw. By naming the houses in the survey the Whitworthian did not create the party house label, the paper merely brought a rarely discussed issue to the surface of public discussion.

 

No, I Don't Party. here's why:

“For the love of God, my grandparents and parents didn’t pay an accumulative of $30,000 for me to party my head off. They paid for me to get an education and work hard. I don’t understand these people who go out and party constantly, blows my mind.”

“It conflicts with my religious beliefs; I also do not see the appeal in intoxication in order to have fun. I am perfectly able to have a lot of fun without drinking alcohol or having to alter my perception on the world. I am confident without feeling the need to appease the social pressure to drink. ”

“I don’t need alcohol to have fun.”

“I don’t think partying is necessarily bad, but it has never appealed to me. I just prefer to spend my weekends doing something more relaxing and conducive to forming meaningful connections.”

“Whitworth parties are lame and the people who go to them are intolerably dumb.”

“Because I’ve been to parties and had to deal with drunk people and I don’t trust those around me. I’ll only drink if I’m in a safe place with people I trust. Just because Whitworth is a “nice” school doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen.”

 

Yes, I Party. here's why:

“Time to relax and hangout with friends. You’re probably thinking that this can be done in other ways as well. And that is true. But I think it’s fun do go play some beer pong and meet new people in an environment where you won’t be judged.”

“This is how I get to see my friends that aren’t in my classes or immediate friend group. This is also how I meet new people. To be able to attend these off-campus parties and be with these people is something I enjoy, alcohol or not. I go sober too.”

“To become a legend.”

“It is fun to see everyone outside of class! I love gathering with a ton of people I know and listening to music. It’s fun getting drunk.”

“Because it is fun and I know how to handle myself and only put myself into situations where I am in control and around people I know and trust.”

“I partied a lot more as an underclassman because I wanted to meet people and it kind of gave me a thrill. I don’t really do it as much now because I have my group of friends and I’m 22 and I like to just drink at my house instead of with 60 other drunk annoying people.”

 

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board. Responses are from an email survey of 415 students. Some submissions have been edited for clarity and length.

Editorial: There should be more transparency in the outcomes of the tenure process

In this issue of the Whitworthian, the news section has a story concerning the idea of tenure and how it is applied. However, writers and editors had a difficult time finding information about the tenure system. Sources contradicted each other and the editorial staff was left scratching their heads.

There is a clear lack of available information about the tenure system for students to educate themselves about it. Because student evaluations are used in the tenure process, the editorial staff believes that more transparency is deserved. Students deserve to know the professors and faculty that have been recently received, or currently have tenure.

Many of us have had faculty freely release information about who holds tenure and for how long. However, some sources have said that tenure is a confidential subject. We understand and respect the need for confidentiality in the process of granting tenure. However, unless faculty would experience an unnecessary negative consequence from releasing tenure information, students need more clarity. If tenure information should be withheld, the student body should at least know why.

There also seems to be a need for clarity among faculty and administration. With contradictions coming from various sources, there seems to be problem of misunderstanding. If there is no need for confidentiality, then faculty and administration should be able to willingly share the information.

We do not demand information on who is applying for tenure. Students deserve to know who has received tenure based in part on student evaluations.

 

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

Editorial: Improvements should be made to improve active shooter situation readiness

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 1.50.36 AMWhitworth recently conducted an active shooter drill on campus. The drill was meant to simulate the actions and procedures that would need to be taken by students, staff and faculty if an active shooter situation were to take place on campus. We conducted a survey for feedback on individual experiences and how people felt about their safety. Responses varied, but we believe that given the recent events around the country, these drills are important and should be taken seriously by students, faculty and the university administration.

We asked Whitworth students for specific suggestions on how the university could adequately prepare for a situation such as an active shooter on campus, while acknowledging that it is not possible to be fully prepared for a situation like this. We believe there are some changes that could be enacted to help students and professors be more prepared. It would be helpful for each student to have accessible information about what to do and where to go in these situations, based on your location. In the feedback we received, many respondents mentioned they were unaware where they should go or what actions they should take based on where they were.

Additionally, making facility updates to ensure doors actually lock, windows can be covered and that professors and students know how to lock the different types of doors would help ensure rooms are secure.

Debriefing faculty and staff on the proper procedures to follow for an active shooter situation would also be beneficial as they can then help students or other people on campus find a safe location.

We implore students, staff and faculty to take these drills seriously. It seems Whitworth is the last place that something like that could happen, but it is important to be ready.

 

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

Trustees should make efforts to enact LGBT resolution soon

Last year ASWU worked to get a resolution passed that adds sexual orientation to the list of protected identities in the staff and faculty handbook. If you weren’t here or you need a refresher, this would mean faculty and staff could not be fired for their sexual orientation and they would have recourse to protect themselves from harassment as a result of their sexual orientation.

Last year’s editorial board wrote a piece on the resolution prior to its passage last year. We expressed our disbelief at the fact that any enactment of this resolution will likely not take place until almost three years from now.

At the time, we strongly encouraged students to make their voices heard and to pass the resolution. ASWU did an excellent job of informing students, gathering opinions and allowing students’ voices to be heard. They hosted and funded a speaker series, with speakers representing multiple sides of the issue. They also presented students with in-depth survey options in order to reach a collective opinion that truly represented the Whitworth student body.

A survey approving this resolution was passed by last year’s student body with a two-thirds majority, ASWU passed the resolution and it is now in the hands of the Board of Trustees for their consideration before implementation. Seeing as this resolution was present almost a year ago, we are frustrated at the lack of change. Waiting three years to enact this policy means that most of the students who expressed their opinions will have graduated and moved on from Whitworth, but it is something that those students believe in.

We still believe that adding this policy would support the Whitworth mission and we implore the trustees to make more active efforts to enact this change in an expeditious manner.

The students have spoken and believe that this change would make Whitworth a better, more diverse and more inclusive space. It is time for the trustees so listen to student voices and add sexual orientation to the list of protected identities.

 

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

Editorial: Prime Times should be changed to meet goals

The initial purpose of Prime Times is to build the community within a residence hall. However, it is known that Prime Times are not the most well attended events. Are Prime Times fulfilling their purpose? Perhaps Prime Times need to be redesigned in order to successfully build community.

According to the Whitworth website, the goals of prime time are “...to build community and grow adults in an atmosphere where students can feel known, engaged, and welcomed.” In their current format, the effectiveness of Prime Times varies between each community on campus.

In a survey sent out to all Whitworth students, there was a question that asked what they believed the goal of primetime was. The most common responses were “to build community” and “to have fun.” While “building community” is mentioned in the Prime Time goal statement, the more important aspect is that students feel known, welcomed and engaged. In some cases, those goals are fulfilled by the Prime Time event, but in their current, nightly, two to three hour state, they often fall short of their goals.

This is not an accusation towards the student leaders on campus. They put in a ton of work to Prime Times to make them fun and engaging for students, but the nightly nature of Prime Times means that few are a hit, and many are not as effective.

In order to improve interest and attendance in Prime Times, they could be reformatted to occur only a few times a week or rotate dorms each week to attract a larger number of students. That would allow student leaders to have more planning time and would still meet the stated goals put forth by Student Life.

 

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

Students should be more educated on Title IX requirements

Staff, student leadership and most importantly students are not prepared or educated for Title IX mandatory reporting on campus. Staff were notified of their new role at different points before the beginning of the school year and many were caught off guard. After receiving limited training on how to deal with the wide variety of conversations that could arise surrounding sexual violence, staff and faculty are expected to help navigate and speak with students while also reporting sensitive details of their conversations to higher authorities. Some staff feel this requirement will bring more awareness around sexual violence, while others fear students will find solace in confidential outlets and stop coming to faculty.

Student leadership received initial training at their meetings before the general student body arrived, but leaders are mixed on how prepared they feel. Most understand the definition of Title IX and the responsibilities of being a Title IX reporter, but they desire to learn more. Resident assistants and small group coordinators have traditionally been the support team for students in the trenches of day to day college life. This year dynamics are different. Students can no longer expect complete confidentiality, now they may be directed towards the counseling department or receive a letter of investigation.

Ultimately, it is the average student who is entering this year blind. While many faculty alerted their students to staff’s new position as mandatory reporters, most students are unaware student leadership also reports. While mandatory reporting may help a victim of sexual violence find justice and healing, students have a right to fully understand what can and cannot be reported and by which individuals. A proposed solution is educating freshman during Freshman Seminars. A week devoted to the ins and outs of sexual violence, how to report, what Title IX is and who on campus is a mandatory reporter can be an effective start. The graduating class of 2016 may have been unprepared for this year’s changes, Whitworth should not allow the entering class of 2020 to also be blindsided.

 

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