Female Athlete of the Year: Makayla Lefever

The Whitworthian has selected junior pitcher Makayla Lefever as the female athlete of the year. When Lefever injured her knee her freshman year, there were some questions about what the future of her career would look like with the Pirates. After an up-and-down freshman year due to the injury, Lefever returned for her sophomore season with renewed strength and focus, putting together a nice 2015 campaign. As the 2015 season developed, Lefever and junior Madi Perez were swapping starts for head coach Cristal Brown.

“Sophomore year she came back over the summer, and she was just a completely new pitcher,” senior Alyssa Hall said. “All of her pitches were just great, she was hitting her spots and increased her velocity a lot. It was really cool to see those changes that she had made after just one season.”

One of the most noticeable changes that Lefever made between freshman and sophomore year was her spinning pitches. Throughout her sophomore year, Lefever consistently produced swings and misses.

Then came 2016, in which all of Lefever’s hard work resulted in some of the best numbers in the league. Lefever earned first-team All-Northwest Conference honors with a record of 19-4 and a second-place ranked ERA of 1.98, leading the Northwest Conference in wins. In 2016, however, the opposition knew what to expect from Lefever and the Pirates’ ace had to make some adjustments.

“Makayla’s strength has always been putting spin on her pitches,” coach Brown said. “She has a great high screw, but hitters knew to expect that this season, so she had to reinvent herself as the season went on.”

Though she put together a fantastic athletic career and a mind-boggling 2016 season on the mound, Lefever made a difficult decision to end her softball career and pursue her academic goals. Lefever will head to Washington State University’s nursing school in Spokane this upcoming fall.

“We knew last year at the end of season that nursing school was in the future for Makayla,” Coach Brown said. “She really has her priorities straight, and while she has accomplished some great things in softball, being accepted to nursing school is a very exciting achievement for her.”

“The friendships I’ve made, I’ll always keep that with me,” Lefever said. “I’ll also still be really close with the girls, even though I won’t be on the team anymore.”

“It’s been really cool to form all of these bonds, and it’s totally off the field too,” senior Megan John said. “We don’t just show up and all of a sudden we are all ‘buddy-buddy’, it’s all of the time.”

As Lefever ends her Whitworth career and the 2016 season comes to an end, there is no doubt she was a force to be reckoned with.

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Softball Recap 4/23/2016

After winning the opening game of the NWC Tournament on Friday at Marks Field, Mother Nature had some different plans for Whitworth Softball as the Bucs fell to Linfield in the semifinal game. The Pirates opened up a commanding 6-1 lead through four innings over the Wildcats before lightning struck for Linfield--both literally and physically.

With a four-run top of the fifth, Linfield had pulled within one as thunder and lightning storms became scattered throughout the Inland Northwest, temporarily stopping play. The lightning ceased and the game resumed around 10 am pacific standard time.

The delay worked in Linfield’s favor, as they scored two in the top of the seventh to take a one-run lead. With a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly, Linfield brought in the crucial runs, advancing to the championship game.

With the loss, Whitworth would face George Fox, the winner of the loser’s bracket game in which Pacific (Or.) was eliminated from the tournament.

The game was hard fought, with both pitchers turning in valiant efforts. In the end, George Fox prevailed behind the arm of sophomore Madison Sorenson, who threw a complete-game shutout, allowing only four hits and five baserunners.

Whitworth junior Makayla Lefever started every game for the Bucs in the NWC Tourney. The loss on Saturday morning was only her fourth of 2016, in which she compiled 19 wins and a 1.98 ERA over 148.1 innings of work.

Though the season may not have ended in the way the Pirates wanted, it was a fantastic year and an exciting weekend for the Whitworth Softball program. The first two seniors recruited by head coach Cristal Brown--catcher Megan John and outfielder Alyssa Hall--will be graduating this May. According to Brown, the two have done a wonderful job of instilling the Whitworth Softball culture for years to come. With the epic arm of Makayla Lefever and two straight regular season NWC championships, 2017 is sure to bring riches for Brown and the Pirates.

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Softball Recap 4/22

Junior Makayla Lefever continued her dominant season on Friday morning with seven more epic innings, allowing only two runs and striking out five as she led the Bucs to a 4-2 victory over the Pacific (Or.) Boxers in the opening game of the 2016 Northwest Conference Tournament. Last weekend, Lefever fired off 15 straight innings in games two and three of their quad with Linfield to secure two crucial victories, and a regular season NWC championship.

“We had a lot of resting time during the week so we could prepare to go in fresh this weekend,” Lefever said. “I think that helped with our success this morning. We weren’t tired and we knew that we prepared well.”

On the other side of the diamond, Pacific senior Marissa Reichard threw the ball well, but the Bucs’ offense got the job done when it mattered.

Sophomore Kelsey Downey picked up a pair of hits and scored two runs, one of which she scored on sophomore Michelle Silva’s two-run bomb with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Morgan Portlock got a piece of the action as well, notching a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to pad the Pirates’ lead.

With one tournament victory in the bag, the Pirates are far from done, as their sights are set beyond the confines of Marks Field and their Northwest Conference opponents. The Bucs will play again this afternoon at 4:30 pm against the winner of George Fox vs. Linfield.

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Bucs play intense final home games

Following a rough 15-2 loss to visiting Linfield on Saturday morning, the Bucs held a slim one-game lead over the Wildcats with three games remaining in the weekend quad. However, the Pirates followed the crushing defeat with two crucial, well-fought victories to win their second straight regular season Northwest Conference championship. Led by their two seniors, Alyssa Hall and Megan John, the Pirates have become a close-knit, relationship-focused team. Hall and John have been the driving force for head coach Cristal Brown in helping to establish that atmosphere over the last four years.

“They were our first two recruits, and they both have bought into the culture of Whitworth softball and the vision that we had for that,” Brown said. “They have been the centerpiece for carrying that out and making that transformation from year to year.”

While winning is the primary goal for the Pirates when they take to the diamond, the victories and achievements are not what Hall will remember when she hangs up her cleats.

“I’ll take away the personal relationships, memories and the social aspect of it more than the softball,” Hall said. “Yeah, I’ll always love the sport, but the more important part is the relationships that I’ve made and how that has impacted my life.”

Although Hall and John will be graduating in May, Brown and her team are in good shape for the future, with six players set to return as seniors in 2017. Juniors Makayla Lefever, Shannon Wessel and Tessa Matthews are three of those six, and they all stepped up when it mattered this weekend. But despite pulling off the victory in game two on Saturday, it didn’t look very good for the Bucs until late in the contest.

After the Wildcats scored three in the fifth inning and one in the sixth, the Bucs found themselves down 5-1. Then, in the bottom of the seventh inning, an RBI single from sophomore Chelsey Hayes gave the Pirates the opening they needed.

Down to their final out with the bases loaded, sophomore Kelsey Downey ripped a bases-clearing triple to right field to level the score and send the game into extras. With the score tied 5-5, Lefever pitched a scoreless eighth to get the bats in the Pirates’ hands once again. Following two quick outs, Matthews stepped up to the plate and crushed a walk-off homer to center field to end the game and return the two-game NWC lead to the Pirates.

Of all the fantastic play by the Pirates, the performance on the mound by Lefever was likely the most impressive part of the Bucs’ weekend. There is a reason why Lefever has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the NWC in 2016, assistant coach Bob Castle said.

“It goes back to how hard coach Brown works with the pitchers and catchers to focus on working pitch by pitch,” Castle said.

With the regular season NWC championship in their possession, the Pirates have the upper hand as they will host the NWC tournament as the No. 1 seed. The tournament will open on Friday, April 22 at 9 a.m. as the Pirates take on the No. 4 seed Pacific Boxers.

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Golf plays Spring Classic

After a career-best round of four-under par 68 on Saturday at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, senior Austin Billeter followed with a solid two-over par round of 74 on Sunday to finish in sole possession of third place. Billeter’s performance gave him sole possession of first-place after day one, and helped lead the Whitworth men to a second place team finish, falling short of Willamette by only one stroke. In addition to the good showing by the men’s team, the women had a solid fourth place finish, largely in thanks to an opening round of four-over par 76 from senior Chelsea Bayley. Junior Michal Schuster closed out the weekend well, carding a five-over par 77 for the women on Sunday, the Bucs’ only sub-80 round on day two.

For the men, senior Andrew Dodge fired a bogey free five-under par 67 for the low round of the day Sunday, bolstering the strong Sunday efforts from Billeter and senior Oliver Rudnicki, who carded a round of one-under par 71 on day 2. According to head golf coach Warren Friedrichs, the competition is strong this season and the Northwest Conference Championship in Sunriver, Oregon will be a true test.

“We knew it would be close, Willamette is tough this year,” Friedrichs said. “Crosswater will test all phases of your game. It’s a really good course, but we’ll have to be on top of our game.”

Before the Pirates head to Sunriver, Oregon for the NWC Tournament, they will first try and get some hardware in Bend, Oregon at the Willamette Spring Thaw. That will be a big tournament for the men, who are looking to establish their dominance over their close rivals--and the hosts of the tournament--the Willamette Bearcats.

As it stands, the men’s team is tied with Willamette for first place in the Northwest Conference. As far as conference points go, the only remaining event is the NWC Tournament at Crosswater Golf Club. Both Willamette and Whitworth sit at the top with 15 points.

Max Carter

Multimedia Specialist

Golf teams say goodbye to nine graduating athletes

With six seniors on the Whitworth men’s golf team and three for the women, an unusually large group will look to finish off a superb four years. The Senior Six

When Whitworth head golf coach Warren Friedrichs entered the recruiting season in the spring of 2012, he didn’t expect the talent of the commits that the men’s golf team received. Since then, one member graduated, while another made the decision to focus on academics.

With a roster bolstered by six seniors, five of which have experience in the D-III national championship, the Pirates will look to put the finishing touches on an eventful four years. The senior six, consisting of Austin Billeter, Andrew Dodge, Ryan Hodl, Tyler McQuilkin, Lyle Rudnicki and Oliver Rudnicki, have racked up NWC championships in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. Strong leadership over the last three to four years has enabled the Bucs to excel, and much of that can be attributed to the example set by Jesse Salzwedel, ‘14 and the contributions of Samson Martinez, ‘16, who graduated last spring in only three years.

“I became pretty close with Jesse sophomore year,” McQuilkin said. “It was a great experience because he was a good leader as far as being a student-athlete. We would talk a lot about how to manage group projects, plus all of your homework and then also take care of practice, while still being a good teammate.”

While at Whitworth, Salzwedel and Martinez were not only successful golfers, but were superior students as well, setting the bar high for future generations of Pirate golfers. That example has clearly paid off for Friedrichs and his seniors, taking the meaning of “student-athlete” to a new level in the golf program.

“The academics have been awesome,” Friedrichs said. “We had our highest team GPA last fall, a 3.59 cumulative with everybody on the team.”

As the class of 2016 nears the finish line, the six seniors will compete in their final months as a team, and it seems, a brotherhood. That said, golf aside, the Pirate men have prepared themselves well for a bright future beyond their college golf careers.

A Passing of the Torch

Coming off a third place finish in the 2014-2015 NWC conference championships, the Whitworth women’s golf team will look to achieve more success this spring, led by seniors Chelsea Bayley, Yvonne LaCoursiere and Cindy Tapia.

That being said, there is a torch to be passed, as junior Michal Schuster will be the lone senior on the roster in the fall of 2016. As Schuster begins to prepare herself for an increased leadership role, Tapia wants to encourage her to remember to keep the team loose and having fun.

“Golf is really easy to get tired of and it’s not always fun,” Tapia said. “I think it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, it’s about the friendships and the relationships that you make.”

While Tapia fills the role of the fun-loving, relaxed leader, Bayley and LaCoursiere provide leadership from their own unique angles.

“They all bring a lot of different perspectives, which is good,” Schuster said. “Chelsea is really intense and competitive, Cindy puts forth the fun atmosphere and Yvonne is steady and constant; she’s the thinker.”

The three contrasting leadership styles have struck a balance that has felt very comfortable, Schuster said. Heading into the 2016-2017 season, Schuster hopes to continue to build on what the class of ‘16 has established.

“I would really like to try and continue the legacy that they’ve built by pulling on each of their different influences,” Schuster said. “I want make sure all of the incoming freshmen get to experience those balanced perspectives as well.”

 

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Day 2 of Swimming Championships Recap

Senior Wes Walton continued his successful run in Greensboro with a 13th place finish in the men’s 400 IM, earning four more points for the Pirates on Thursday with a time of 4:00:49. After 19 events, the Whitworth men are tied for 21st out of 44 teams, with a team total of 20 points. 16 of those points have come from Walton. Walton will get the day off from competition today.

The Whitworth Men will look to close in on the lead on Friday, with the relay team competing in the 800 Freestyle, and sophomores Patrick Wilber and Jason Smith competing in the 100 Back. Junior Jackie Beal will look to get the Whitworth Women on the board today as she competes in the 100 Back

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Day 1 of Swimming Championships Recap

After day one of the NCAA D-III Swimming National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. the Whitworth men’s swimmers sit in 15th place with 16 total points, while the women did not receive any points. Junior Jackie Beal is the sole female competing for the Pirates, and will continue her efforts on Friday and Saturday in the 100 and 200 Back, respectively.

Senior Wes Walton won 12 points for the Pirates on his way to placing seventh in the nation in the 200 IM with a time of 1:50:63. Walton’s effort was especially commendable considering that the 2016 200 IM national champion broke the all-time NCAA record en route to his victory. Jackson Lindell—a junior at Denison University in Granville, Ohio—finished with a time of 1:46:00, surpassing the previous record by 23 hundredths of a second.

Sophomore Jason Smith placed 15th in the 200 IM with a time of 1:52:35, acquiring two points for the Bucs. The men’s 200 Medley team snagged another two points as well, placing in 16th with a time of 1:32:36. Members of the placing Medley team were sophomore Patrick Wilber, senior Trevor Case, freshman Eben Schumann and senior Kyle Wicks.

While Beal gets the day off tomorrow for the women, competing tomorrow for the men will be Walton and Case in the 400 IM and Schumann in the 100 Fly. Stay updated on each day of competition for the next three mornings, right here at The Whitworthian.

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Bryan Olson selected as women’s soccer head coach

As Bryan Olson descended Snoqualmie Pass on Feb. 26, 2016, he was completely unaware of the invisible, life-changing data pouring into his cellphone. Pulling into North Bend to take a break from the rainy drive, the former Whitworth men’s soccer assistant coach opened his phone to see a voicemail from Whitworth University director of athletics Tim Demant. Demant let Olson know he had just been hired as the new head coach of the women’s soccer team at Whitworth. When Jael Hagerott announced that she was stepping down as head coach of the Whitworth women’s soccer team on Nov. 9, 2015, it shocked many, including Olson.

“I was surprised. Just knowing Jael and her ties to this community and this place—I know it’s a place that she’s loved her experience at,” Olson said. “She grew up with her dad coaching the women’s program and he taught here, so it’s been a huge part of her life.”

After hearing the news of Hagerott’s decision back in November, junior defender Hannah Langbehn had to find a way to help herself and her teammates maintain the progress and camaraderie they have worked to establish over the last year.

“It was a tough time for sure, not knowing. As upperclassmen we just got everybody together, and Jael was very helpful in setting up weightlifting and indoor times,” Langbehn said. “We tried to be very intentional with our time together and tried to really strive to just get better for ourselves.”

Even with strong leadership from upperclassmen like Langbehn and junior forward Dallas Nelson, the transition to a new head coach is not always easy. That being said, sophomore midfielder Katie Bischoff said Coach Olson has already taken the steps necessary to make the transition a positive experience.

“Before Spring Break, each of us is having a 30-minute meeting with him so that he can get to know us—what our dreams are, what our goals are, who we are as people,” Bischoff said. “It’s pretty exciting that he has reached out to really get to know us all individually.”

A hometown product of Spokane, Bischoff has memories of playing for coach Olson when she was 12 years old. The sophomore midfielder used to play for the same soccer club that Olson coached, though Olson was never the head coach of Bischoff’s club team. However, coach Olson would occasionally fill in when the coach for Bischoff’s team was gone.

“My desire is to set a standard for our culture and communication right from the start,” Olson said. “I want to find out who these players are as people, what drives them, where they’ve been, where they are now and where they would like to go.“

As far as the on-field performance goes, coach Olson will encourage his players to move the ball all over the pitch with conviction and confidence. Langbehn said the women will play a much more independent kind of soccer in 2016 and beyond.

“Bo has really emphasized that he wants us to be doing the decision making on the field,” Langbehn said. “When we are out on the field, he wants us to be prepared to make the decisions. He can’t call a timeout, so it really comes down to us making our own decisions in the game.”

With his style of soccer now effectively communicated, coach Olson is expressed optimism about his first season as the head coach of the women’s soccer team, and has his eyes fixed on immediate success.

“I think we are going to play the best soccer in the country,” Olson said. “We are going to be a team that is very intelligent, a team that solves problems, a team that can think and a team that can be selfless.”

With the coaching situation sorted out and the 2015-2016 school year quickly nearing its end, the Whitworth women’s soccer program finds itself at the beginning of a new era. Coach Olson’s first contest is six months away, which means he has half a year to turn a team that went 6-11-3 last season into the best team in the nation.

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Golf teams take fourth at PLU Invitational

Whitworth golf hopped onto I-90 this weekend for their first tournament of 2016, heading to the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Complex for the Pacific Lutheran University Logger Invitational. Both the men and women finished in fourth place in the rainy conditions of Bremerton, Washington. Senior Oliver Rudnicki led the Whitworth men with a two-day performance of 72-73 (+1), while senior Michal Shuster paced the women with a score of 76-80 (+12). Rudnicki finished in eighth place individually, while Schuster placed fifth.

With a strong core of seniors led by twin brothers Oliver and Lyle Rudnicki, head golf coach Warren Friedrichs and the Whitworth men are looking to build on their second place finish at the NWC Championship last spring. According to Friedrichs, putting and short game are the areas in which the Pirates need to make some improvements.

Seniors Austin Billeter, Andrew Dodge and Ryan Hodl all finished in the top-15. Billeter fired a two-day total of 148 for a T-11th finish and Dodge was right behind him, shooting 76-74 to finish tied for 13th. Hodl opened the tournament with a strong round of 73 on Saturday before the skies opened up, carding a 79 on Sunday for a T-15th finish.

With a talented and proven team of experienced players, the Pirates are in a position to have a nice spring in 2016. Much of their success will hinge on the play of Lyle Rudnicki, who has been searching for the form that earned him second-team all-NWC honors in 2013. Of the regular starters for coach Friedrichs, junior Jamie Carroll is the only athlete that will be returning next season.

It will be interesting to see what coach Friedrichs has planned for next year, when he will be losing six of his eight golfers to graduation, but for now the Pirates are focused on playing well and building on the past successes of their experienced roster.

Friedrichs and his team will have some time to tighten up the screws, getting the next three weeks off from tournament play before heading to La Verne, California for The West Cup on March 28 and 29. The Whitworth women will play next in Pacific Grove, California at the UCSC Invitational on March 19 and 20.

 

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Tennis finds first win at home

The Whitworth women’s tennis team picked up their first win of 2016 at home with a 9-0 victory over the Willamette Bearcats on Sunday, improving to 1-5 on the season. The Bearcats have not fared well this year either, falling to 0-3 following Sunday’s loss at Whitworth. Despite Whitworth’s early struggles, the Pirates have continued to move forward and hold their heads high. Following the graduation of seniors Caylee Lamm, Morgan McDivitt and Saryn Mooney, the team has become much younger. The Pirates have turned to juniors like co-captain Bella Hoyos for crucial leadership and experience from an 0-2 start last season.

“With such a small team, a lot of my focus as one of the team captains has been on building each other up and playing well, even if that doesn’t mean winning every match,” Hoyos said. “We have definitely focused more this season on team building and working together, as opposed to simply winning.”

The Pirates certainly seemed focused on Sunday, winning their first five matches handily over Willamette to quickly secure the victory. With the overall match already decided, Hoyos was putting the finishing touches on a singles match.

“This season is the best tennis that I’ve ever played, but at the same time, I haven’t won a singles match yet,” Hoyos said. “I feel like I am playing very well, but our conference is so tough this year that I haven’t been getting the score results that I would like.”

Hoyos finally got the results she was looking for, winning her match against sophomore Mikaila Smith, two sets to none. It was a heated contest, with the women relentlessly exchanging forehands and lobs, point after point.

Yet through it all, the look on Hoyos’ face didn’t change once, exhibiting the same confidence and tenacity that she has preached to her teammates in the early stages of this 2016 season. With a convincing win under their belt and their number one with a singles victory finally in her pocket, the 1-5 Lady Pirates have a long road ahead.

The Pirates will get a bit of a break in the coming weeks, hosting Whitman on Saturday, March 5 before a week-long break. Following the home match against the Fighting Missionaries, the women will be heading to McMinnville on Saturday, March 12 to take on the 6-3 Linfield Wildcats.

Max Carter

Staff Writer

A cacophony of euphemisms reveals male feelings about sex on campus

Men all over the world, including men in the Whitworth community, have different words and terms for the act of sex.

In a brief survey, men at Whitworth revealed which euphemisms for sex they have heard on campus.

The sex euphemism heard most often by men on campus at Whitworth is “sleep with”, which is surprising to me. The vast majority of sexual euphemisms used by men are aggressive and often violent.

Of the 13 euphemisms listed in the survey, there are 10 associated with rape culture and aggression, while three were associated with romance and love. In a close second was “f-ck” and not far behind in third was “bang.” As much optimism as the most commonly heard euphemism may instill, there seems to be no question that Whitworth is not immune to the deep, lasting influence that pop culture has had on establishing rape culture in America. But that’s another conversation...

The survey does indicate that there is a significant body of men at Whitworth who often hear sex referred to in a romantic way. The euphemism “make love” came in fourth place, while the third positively oriented euphemism, “shag,” was dead last.

It definitely seems that men at Whitworth talk about sex in differing ways, and while one can only speculate based on limited data, some trends in the survey raise intriguing questions.

There is a stark contrast between the euphemisms “sleep with” and “f-ck.” By definition, “sleep with” has a positive, romantic con- notation. On the other hand, “f-ck” tends to have aggressive connotations. Yet they were close in votes.

After gathering the data, we categorized each euphemism in the survey as either a “rape culture” euphemism or“non-rapeculture” euphemism. These categorizations were based on the non-sexual definition of the word(s).

As another example, one of the other options on the survey, “slay,” is extremely violent by definition. In fact, to “slay” means to kill. Clearly, that is not the meaning of the term “slay” when used in a sexual context, but there are, nonetheless, violent connotations.

These conversations run deep in our media-driven society, and can only be properly addressed with in-depth, analytical studies. Yet, they can still be addressed to our best abilities.

At Whitworth, a private Christian university, many students are deeply devoted to their faith. On the flip-side, as a university that does not require a statement of faith, there are also students that practice religions other than Christianity, or who are not religious at all. Because of the differing religious views at Whitworth, there is diversity in worldviews throughout the community.

While the data gathered in the survey does not provide any concrete conclusions regarding how men at Whitworth talk and think about sex, it is useful in beginning the conversation.

With all of this in mind, one can’t help but ponder how the religious views of men at Whitworth University may influence the way they talk about sex.

 

Max Carter

Columnist

Contact Max Carter at

mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

Whitworth.FM provides broadcasting experience

Led by general manager and senior Jordan Runk, Whitworth’s radio station Whitworth.FM offers shows of all genres throughout the week. A member of Whitworth.FM since his freshman year, Runk has a vision for where he would like the station go in the future.

“There’s going to be more people recording, doing promotions for other events, talking to people about those events, advertising Whitworth events,” Runk said. “I want to take apart what it used to be, and kind of build off of that.”

One way that Runk is implementing change at Whitworth.FM is by decreasing his class load this semester and putting more time and focus into equipping students to create high-quality content for their shows.

There are eight shows this year, ranging from rap, electronic, indie and even European music. Runk encourages the students to get creative with their show names and that is apparent, with monikers such as “The Transient” and “Intrepid Grooves.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-31 at 4.32.42 PM

Runk is passionate about the success of Whitworth.FM, and this year aims to expand its audience with the help of three exchange students, Runk said.

Seniors Emma De Cocker, Eva Arochena Garcia and Sara Laguna Garcia are international students at Whitworth this year. De Cocker is from Belgium and Arochena Garcia and Laguna Garcia are both from Spain. Those women have teamed up to bring the sounds of their cultures to the ears of Whitworth students.

Every Thursday night at 9 p.m., tune in to Whitworth.FM for “Euro Sound,” which highlights the best independent European music from Belgium, Spain and other countries all over the continent. Arochena Garcia and De Cocker both have past experience in radio, giving the show some serious potential.

“We have a radio station at our school, but I mostly made news pieces for it,” De Cocker said. “So I would like to discover more about the actual radio making and the whole show and playing the music.”

While De Cocker has experience with college radio, Arochena Garcia hosted a show for a community radio station in her home town. Arochena Garcia hopes to be able to use her past experience to create new, exciting ideas for “Euro Sound” as the year progresses, she said. Despite their past experience with radio, the three hosts have still had to overcome challenges in establishing their show.

“The biggest challenge for me is to play music that is appropriate,” De Cocker said. “Belgian artists sing in English most of the time, and they don’t get censored, so...we are trying to get that figured out the best we can.”

For Laguna Garcia, her university in Spain did not offer a radio class, but her goal is to use her experience at Whitworth to change that.

“I suggested it once and my university didn’t want to add a radio station,” Laguna Garcia said. “I hope to be able to take this experience back home and use it to create a better platform to propose a radio station.”

For De Cocker, Arochena Garcia and Laguna Garcia, Whitworth.FM provides an opportunity to get involved on campus and to become a part of student life at their new university.

 

Max Carter

Staff Writer

Contact Max Carter at

mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

Student feedback and input makes Whitworth better

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column highlighting the fantastic dialogue that exists between students and faculty at Whitworth. Generally, faculty are happy to engage with students in conversation on just about any topic and faculty members generally express interest in the feedback of their students as well. As a matter of fact, out of all the things that Whitworth University does well, listening to the students may be one of the best.

At a larger college like University of Washington, if students are unhappy with a certain aspect of campus, chances are their voices will never reach further than their living room. Those changes will likely never be made and if they are, it is very unlikely that the change was caused by the students. Here, students influence change all the time.

Take the new study room on the first floor of the library for example. What used to be a room housing neglected newspapers and the occasional book sale is now an elegant, peaceful study room. Furnished with gorgeous couches and several tables, that glass- windowed room on your right as you enter the library is now actually worth checking out. The best part about it? The study room was a result of a student survey last school year.

Several other student-influenced changes on campus have occurred over the last year or two, including the addition of the single study rooms on the second floor of the library. Since those rooms were installed, rarely will you find one of them unoccupied.

Even the 100-year-old tradition of locker room-style showers in McMillan Hall has changed after student life listened to the voice of the students. There were recently dividers installed in parts of the showers in Mac—much to the chagrin of the more traditionalist “Mac Men”. And although it is always difficult to see a decade old tradition change, times have changed, and change is how a university excels.

There are many reasons why Whitworth has serious staying power as a university. From the diversity, the robust faculty, the energized student life and even the food in Sodexo (you’ll understand when you live off-campus), Whitworth offers an above average experience all the way across the board. But at the end of the day, it is the constant evolution and changing of the university that will bring it life for years to come.

With tuition levels at an all-time high, it is comforting as a student to know that our money is paying for something. Whether it is your parent’s money, your money or the government’s money, if nothing else, that over $45,000 is paying for you to have a voice. So whether you are a freshman, or somebody that just feels lost amongst the crowd here at Whitworth, remember, you do have a voice.

In fact, next time you have an idea for change on campus, tell somebody. You may be surprised what you can accomplish by simply expressing your voice at this university. For all you know, that statue of George Whitworth and his neck beard that you’ve been dreaming of could one day be a reality.

Max Carter

Columnist

Contact Max at

mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

Religious requirements for student leadership limits applicant pool

There is a certain standard that Whitworth University expects from its students, especially from students in leadership positions. As a Christian university, the descriptions of the requirements and duties for a student leader calls the student to demonstrate “responsible behavior personally, academically, and socially both on campus and in the community,” according to the Resident Assistant Selection Process Packet. Fair enough.

Most would agree that this is a reasonable request. But when this code is breached, and a small group coordinator or a resident assistant is fired because of their actions, an interesting question arises. Is there a division between students on leadership at Whitworth University and students that are not?

Members of the Whitworth community know how much effort our university puts into creating diversity across campus, from ethnicity to religion. There is no required faith statement in order to be admitted to Whitworth, and I have many close friends here that are not Christians. While dissecting this question about leadership and student body at Whitworth, I noticed a particularly juicy part of the resident assistant application.

Item “A” of Section II in the resident assistant application reads as follows: “(Serve as a positive role model by) affirming the mission, goals and Christian heritage of Whitworth University.” I have some problems with that.

Do not misunderstand. I am a follower of Christ and I am very grateful for the experiences that I have had at Whitworth in my faith. However, I am also proud of the diversity of thought and belief systems that is – supposedly – fostered at our university. Only, when important campus leaders like resident assistants are required to “affirm the Christian heritage of Whitworth,” some problems are created.

By including this requirement (or any similar requirement) there is a fairly significant population at Whitworth that is ostracized from applying or participating in leadership. Student leadership is supposed to accurately and effectively represent our student body and make informed decisions on the student body’s behalf. This makes me wonder how many students at Whitworth have thought about applying for a leadership position, but decided against it because their religious beliefs or lifestyles don’t fit Whitworth’s requirements. What does that say about the student body at Whitworth?

It says that there are voices at Whitworth that are potentially being quieted. What happens if a Muslim student wants to be a resident assistant? Do they have to help “affirm the Christian heritage of Whitworth”? What about a student that likes to party on the weekends but has a vision for positive change at our university? How do those voices get heard?

I agree that resident assistants in particular should be responsible, well-behaved role models. RAs need to set a positive example for their younger residents. But do they need to be Christians in order to do that? Based on the resident assistant application, it seems that way.

I want you to think about this: Are there groups at Whitworth that have no platform to let their voices be heard? Is it, or is it not appropriate for Whitworth University, a Christian institution, to require their student leaders to adhere to a Christian-based code of ethics? I don’t have the answers, but together as a student body, we do.

 

Max Carter

Columnist

Contact Max at

mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu

University president Beck Taylor builds community throughout campus

If you are a member of the community at Whitworth University, you know some things. You know that each student attempts to catch a pine cone before they graduate. You know how to analyze a worldview. You know that breaking a plate is actually not a bad thing. And you know that Whitworth President Beck Taylor is extremely involved on campus, a quality that is admired by faculty and students alike. You might see Taylor in the Mind and Hearth, chatting it up with a smiling group of students. You might see him in the UREC, dishing dimes and swishing threes on the basketball court. And now, you might see him this winter at Fox Theatre, singing a beautiful, joyous harmony. Actually, you will definitely see that, because President Taylor will be singing with the Whitworth Men’s Chorus this school year.

beck graphic

You might be thinking, “Oh my gosh, I couldn’t imagine singing in front of the president of my university, that would be so nerve wracking!” Well, as a member of the Men’s Chorus at Whitworth, let me tell you that any inkling of that was erased on Taylor’s first day of class. The environment was fun and comfortable, as Taylor reassured us that he was just “one of the guys."

Obviously, it is not common at a university for the president to be this relational with the students. But Whitworth is different. Whitworth is a community-centered university, and Taylor is right smack dab in the center of that community. I would argue that Taylor is the fuel behind the incredibly relational atmosphere that exists at Whitworth.

With his example of presence on campus, Beck seems to encourage professors to meet with students outside of class, whether it be school related or not. Most students that I know feel comfortable approaching their professors with questions or concerns, or even just for a casual conversation about anything. At a larger university, you most likely would not be able to say that.

I personally am so grateful to have this kind of transparent, open dialogue between students and faculty at Whitworth. I feel that it encourages growth in students’ social skills, speaking abilities and invokes confidence in even the shiest of individuals.

Although our university has received much recognition and credentials over the years, the faculty, for the most part, remain humble. The students more or less do the same. But nobody is a better image of humility than our president. Do you think that students at Washington State University see interim President Daniel J. Bernardo in shorts and a T-shirt, playing intramural basketball with students? No chance. If you didn’t know any better, you wouldn’t see Taylor as the president of a nationally recognized university. You would probably just see him as one of the guys.

 

Max Carter

Columnist

Contact Max at

mcarter16@my.whitworth.edu