Larry Burnley announces move to University of Dayton

A farewell celebration for Dr. Larry Burnley, associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer was held Thursday afternoon commemorating Burnley’s time at Whitworth. Burnley is leaving Whitworth to take a similar position at the University of Dayton in Burnley’s home state of Ohio. President Beck Taylor remarked on Burnley’s work within his hired position as he expanded the diversity of Whitworth, but quickly pointed out Burnley’s contributions to Whitworth as a whole along with Burnley’s efforts to increase “courageous conversations” within Christian higher education. Taylor expressed thankfulness for the entire Burnley family along with Burnley’s wife, Naima’s, work within the Spokane community, most recently as president of the NAACP Spokane.

Burnley said that while leaving Whitworth was a hard decision, he and his family felt called by God to move to Ohio. Burnley expressed thankfulness to his friends at the celebration and the entire Whitworth community for accepting his family and creating an environment where his work could flourish.

Burnley’s time at Whitworth since January 2010 has developed as he has taken on more roles, with most recently becoming Whitworth’s first chief diversity officer. His tenure has also has been marked by a campus-wide desire to increase the university’s diversity while the administration and students grapple with what “diversity” means to the institution.

“With the help of Larry’s important contributions, Whitworth’s population of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic students, as well as first-generation college students, has doubled,” Taylor wrote in an announcement to the Whitworth community on May 26 after Burnley initially announced his resignation. “In addition to these achievements, Larry has brought a decidedly Christ-centered posture to [his] work, and he has been faithful to articulate Whitworth’s goals in these areas within the context of Whitworth’s mission to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.”

Taylor commended Burnley’s leadership throughout his time at Whitworth and the efforts he has made toward furthering the Whitworth 2021 goals, especially those relating to diversity.

With those challenges Burnley has served on Whitworth’s Institutional Diversity Committee and Diversity Cabinet, a leadership role Taylor believes has led the university to be on “the cusp of developing its first-ever Institutional Diversity Action Plan.”

Burnley’s focus has traveled outside racial minorities with his leadership on cabinets and involvement with students supporting all groups of marginalized individuals.

“One of the things I’ve wanted to do is cultivate a culture of conversation about, when we say ‘diversity,’ what are we talking about?” Burnley told the Whitworthian in 2013. “Is this something the university is doing for ‘them,’ whoever ‘they’ are,  or does the university see a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as being essential to the gospel of Jesus Christ and central to its mission?”

His influence at Whitworth also extended outside of administration as he taught history courses focusing on American diversity courses. Specific courses taught students the American history and authors students prior classes did not discuss along with examining the pattern of storytellers and how groups are oppressed through history.

The perspective of diversity of campus has shifted since Burnley came to Whitworth.

“I’ve seen a change in the way the institution understands how these issues pervade the entire life of Whitworth,” Burnley said in 2013. “It’s not just a student life thing, it’s not just an academic thing, it’s a Whitworth thing.”

Burnley assured attendees at his celebration that he was a lifetime Whitworthian and would return to visit the campus.

Karlin Andersen


Graduating with honors

This May the first class of students to complete the George Whitworth Honors Program will graduate. Three students out will walk with honors cords in a class of 529 graduates.The honors program began with around 160 eligible entering freshman four years ago and 60 enrolling in the program. Lilly Davis is one of the three graduating students in the honors program. Davis entered the program as a freshman and regularly met with other honor students at program meetings and her academic advisor, but said it was challenging to figure out the program requirements at times. “It was pretty cumbersome,” Davis said. “It’s tricky and they’re still trying to define what exactly counts as honors and what that process looks like. So on the bright side it gave me a little bit more flexibility on how I was able to do the program.” Davis was able to complete her required honors internship through the communications department. By writing an additional paper on top of the required hour log, reflection paper and journal Davis got the internship to count for honors. Her study abroad trip with the theology department also counted for honors credits with extra assignments and speaking with professors. “[The program requirements are] fairly flexible in that it heightens the level of whatever you’re doing,” Davis said. After attending a program meeting earlier this year Davis was encouraged by how the program has developed since she was a freshman. “Continue to build up more structure for the program,” Davis said, offering advice for the program. “Continue to provide more opportunities for students.” Program director Doug Sugano acknowledges the lack of retention from freshman to senior year. “There’s clearly an issue with retention, but there are several reasons for that,” Sugano said. “One is I don’t think students understand what the program has or what the benefits of the program are, that’s number one.” Sugano said he believes the large initial enrollment number is misleading as the program takes all eligible freshman, but many decide not to stay in the program throughout their four years. “The biggest reason being students don’t maintain the 3.75 [grade point average],” Sugano said. The graduating honors students will have completed at least 15 credits of honors classes with many courses being outside their major and at least four of six extra requirements including study abroad, an internship or a research project. Those requirements are to be met while graduating in the top 20 percent of one’s major(s) and with a minimum 3.75 GPA. Sugano believes the rigorous requirements do not hinder the benefits of the program.

“They’re just great classes and they’re classes where we try to build interesting and slightly different academic real life experience, that’s number one,” Sugano said. “Number two, I think what they’ll get out of most of the classes is not only will they get a great experience, but they can also take something from that class such as an experience.” Unknown to many students after entering Whitworth, students can enroll in the honors program if they meet and maintain the required GPA. Starting the program late can be challenging as students often have their four-year plans already set and may be multiple semesters into their academic careers. “I would say that if they’re interested in doing the honors program, and I highly recommend it because it’s going to look really good on their resumes and their grad school applications,” Sugano said. “I would say they can do it, but they’re going to have to really plan and have a really solid four-year plan that they stick with and that’s where the advising comes in.” The program mission statement continues to list the advantages of the program. “Our honors students benefit from the smaller class size of honors seminars, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow honors students in learning communities, and receive priority consideration for certain internships,” according to the Whitworth honors program website. Sugano said honors classes also provide an opportunity for students to build portfolios and resumes that can be later used to apply for jobs. Graduating with honors is beneficial to add to graduate school applications, Sugano said. “Some of the classes will have internships attached to them or other professional experiences attached to them that don’t necessarily take them to grad school but for example build a portfolio,” Sugano said. “Just about anyone coming for a job is going to need a portfolio.” Currently, the Jan Term Smithsonian Institute internship is initially opened to honors students, then non-honors students if spots are still available. Honors classes are open to all students regardless of enrollment in the honors program. “I feel like for the most part they were pretty similar,” Davis said on the difference between honors and non-honors courses. “In my Core 350 D-group I was actually the only one in there doing it for honors. So it really depends on the individual passions of the students in the class as to how much they get out of it.” Sugano said he believes honors classes can dive deeper into a subject than non-honors classes while being taught through untraditional methods. “They’re designed to be interdisciplinary, they’re designed to be more experimental,” Sugano said. “We like to think of it as more project -based learning. There is a curriculum and we want them to learn something specific, but we want them to do it by experiencing certain things or by working on a project together.” Working together and building community is something Davis would like to see more of in the program. “I think a big thing is community,” Davis said. “I think having a sense of community of we’re in this honors program together and doing this together even though we’re all doing different classes within that honors program would be beneficial.” To deal with the issue, Sugano hopes to begin two honors GE-125 classes next fall. With each class enrolling 20-30 students they would be better served in the program by specific major advisors and peer advisors while building community. Sugano believes the courses would also increase retention from freshman to sophomore year. He hopes to cap the program’s capacity at 90-120 students with currently 80-90 students in the program.  However, the number of enrolled students does not represent the actual number of honors graduates as students can remain in the honors program without remaining on track to graduate with honors. “I hope that takes care of it and I hope to get out the benefits of the program,” Sugano said. “I think the retention after the first year has been much better.”

Karlin Andersen

News Editor

Contact Karlin Andersen at

Students by day, workers by night

Before, between and after classes, many Whitworth students report to their jobs both on and off campus.Students benefit from having money to put toward tuition or other expenses. Staff and students agree, though it may be difficult at times, there are several other benefits that come along with working in college. Career Services helps students to find the perfect job. Career Services has records of about 700 students working on campus and about 80 students working off campus, according to Laurie Armstrong-Sargent, assistant director of student employment. There are many other students working in the Spokane community that Career Services does not keep on record. Armstrong-Sargent assists students in the job search and application process. She sits down with students, talks with them about their interests and skills and finds out if they are eligible for work study. From there, Armstrong-Sargent can determine what options the student has available. “I’ve hardly ever had a student we couldn’t find a job for,” Armstrong-Sargent said. “If I’m working with a motivated student, we can find one.” She makes calls across campus departments and searches WhitJobs to make it happen. “I don’t want students to feel frustrated when looking for a job,” Armstrong-Sargent added. “They can come see me and I’ll work with them.” Armstrong-Sargent strongly recommends working in college. “Studies have shown that students are more organized and do better in school because of their time-management skills,” Armstrong-Sargent said. Freshman Joel Trefry is an assistant grounds worker on campus. He has also had experience working off campus. He says there are benefits to both. He was given more hours at his off-campus job, but enjoys the flexibility and accommodations that come along with working on campus. “I was going to work in the custodial department and my hours did not match with their hours so they sent me to the grounds department and I got a job there,” Trefry said. He likes that he doesn’t have to stress about transportation and commute times because he can be at work whenever he needs to be. “I work in the morning, then I get off and go to my first class, then I go back to work until my next class, and so on,” Trefry said. Senior Andie Ingram works on campus as a WhitJobs manager. She researches people who come to Whitworth with job opportunities to make sure they are not fraudulent. She recommends working in college because students can start making connections and collecting references for future employment. “There are lots of benefits of having an on-campus job. One of them is how supervisors stress that we’re students first,” Ingram said. “So, if midterms come along and we are super stressed out and can’t come to work, my supervisor is very understanding.” She cautions students that WhitJobs are in high-demand. “If students want a job on campus, then they need to be ready,” Ingram said. “The first weekend of school is when positions become available and they fill up fast. Students ought to already have their resumes prepared.” On the other hand, freshman Bailey Dickinson loves working a part-time job, off campus. She started working at Lane Bryant in August. “It’s kind of nice because you can get away from your dorm and everyone else on campus,” Dickinson said. She likes being able to socialize with new people. “You definitely have to plan,” said Dickinson, in reference to juggling classes, work and her studies. Last semester, she had to leave class early so she could make it to work on time. “I always take my books to work so I can read on my break,” Dickinson added. She says she doesn’t always have as much time as she wants to get homework done, but she makes it work. Ingram has even been able to study abroad and her jobs were there waiting for her when she came back. This is one of the benefits of having an on-campus job. In listing the benefits of having a job in college, Ingram included the development of time-management skills, professionalism and responsibility. “Even if it’s not related to your career you are pursuing you are showing ‘I can respond to authority,’” Ingram said. Future employers value this ability. Career Services wants to meet specifically with freshman and alumni to help them in figuring out a career path. “We also meet with alumni,” Ingram said. “Whether you have graduated a year or two ago or if you are in your mid 40s looking for career change, we will work with you saying ‘Where have you been and where do you want to go?’ We help in that transition.” She wants students to know that whether they need help finding a part-time job while in school, or a career after graduation, Career Services is there to help them reap the benefits of working in college. Career Services can be found upstairs in the HUB.

Madeline Roscoe Staff Writer

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Ethics Bowl team wins second nationals title

Whitworth’s Ethics Bowl team won the national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition in Washington, D.C., bringing home their second national win in five years.The competition was a one-day affair, on Sunday, Feb. 21. The team arrived one day early to have a few final practice sessions. The Whitworth Ethics Bowl team argued well, displaying clear reasoning, excellent public speaking and respect for their opponents, communications professor and co-coach Mike Ingram said. At the tournament this year, the team won all three preliminary rounds and all three elimination rounds. “Nationals was a fantastic experience for our bowlers,” Ingram said. “They represented Whitworth well.” In the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB), each team receives a set of cases prior to the competition that raise issues in practical and professional ethics and prepares an analysis of each case, according to the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics (APPE). The competition is designed to showcase students’ knowledge of applied ethics, their communication and teamwork skills, and their ability to synthesize information on important issues and articulate effective responses. Despite the debate-like nature of an Ethics Bowl tournament, the objective between the two competing teams is to present the truth, discussing the most ethical and just solutions for each case. Between regional and national competitions, Whitworth University’s Ethics Bowl team competed against over 125 colleges and universities. Ingram co-coaches the Ethics Bowl team with philosophy professor Keith Wyma. “We compete against schools public and private, large and small,” Ingram said. “We finished ahead of Army, Navy, Northwestern University, Indiana University, and we beat North Carolina-Chapel Hill directly in the third round.” The combination of an ethicist (Wyma) and rhetorician (Ingram) as co-coaches yields a team that consistently ranks successfully at the national level. The team is trained to compete with excellent analytical and presentation skills. Some of the team members are also on Whitworth’s Forensics team, where techniques in debate are further enriched.

Ethics Bowl team members Kaitlin Barnes, James Eccles, co-coach Mike Ingram, Brennan Neal and TJ Westre hold the nationals trophy. Not pictured: team member Ellie Probus and co-coach Keith Wyma.

Whitworth’s Ethics Bowl team consists of five members: juniors Kaitlin Barnes and James Eccles and seniors TJ Westre, Ellie Probus and Brennan Neal. To prepare for competition, the team practiced together 10 hours per week for three weeks, including extensive individual study. “The Ethics Bowl program develops within students a tremendously valuable and versatile skill set,” Wyma said. This was Whitworth’s seventh trip to nationals in the past eight years. During the years of competition, Whitworth has finished as a quarter finalist, tied for fifth; semifinalist, tied for third; taken second in 2015 and taken first place in 2012 and 2016. As a national championship team, each of the members demonstrates academic prestige with an emphasis in philosophical and ethical reasoning. “Almost always, we have three or four philosophy majors,” Ingram said. “And often, the non-majors are minors, because they are interested in ethics and related concepts.” One of the team’s strengths, however, is its interdisciplinary nature. The coaches said that various majors are represented, allowing for a wide range of valuable skills. “We’ve had majors who have also been in communication studies, English, psychology, international studies, history, French, Spanish and chemistry,” Ingram said. To clarify, ethics is “theory informing practice,” Wyma explained. That means learned and internalized theory melds into practice to guide a person’s actions. Students who study ethics and hone their skills through competitive tournaments are equipped with a greater level of discernment when faced with some of today’s most debated issues. “Our students consistently demonstrate that a Whitworth liberal arts education prepares them well to engage in thoughtful discourse with peers from around the nation,” Ingram said. In the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl tournaments, school are not categorized by size or stature. Whitworth engaged with students from larger universities, whose philosophy programs are much broader and have more sub-specialties. As a smaller, private university, Whitworth faced secular public schools and elite institutions before winning nationals. “For us to go and to be able to compete, it shows that our students are very capable of excellent thinking, research, and analysis and applying the ideas that they’ve learned in their study to real-world situations,” Ingram said.

Autumn Kelley Staff Writer

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Professor remembered as ‘model of Whitworth’s mission’

On the second floor of Dixon Hall, former professor Adrian Teo’s name still resides on the faculty directory more than a month and a half after his death on Christmas Day, 2015. Even as the new year gets under way, those that knew him at Whitworth are trying to move on while remembering the man Teo was.

“I am quite certain Adrian will be remembered as about as good an example and model of Whitworth’s mission as a faculty member could be,” Professor Emeritus Jim Edwards said. Edwards was part of a group of professors along with Teo who met once a week for 14 years to connect.

Teo left students with a feeling of authenticity in the way he interacted with everyone, Edwards said.

“Every student who knew Adrian and every faculty knew that they were meeting the real person,” Edwards said. “There aren’t two or three or four different faces to Adrian Teo. There’s just one.” Teo also did not allow the stresses of student evaluations or promotion reviews to consume his thoughts. He instead found fulfillment in the day-to-day teaching of his students, a practice he carried out for as long as he was physically capable.

In the spring of 2015, Teo taught Psychology and the Christian Faith for the last time, a class he first created in 1997. Alumna Kirin Foster served as the teaching assistant for the class and remarked on Teo’s seemingly unending optimism even as his condition worsened. He used a cane at the beginning of the class and had to take the elevator to ascend the floors of buildings.

“It was just a really rare experience to learn from a person who says, “trust in God,’ and then is actually doing it so fully,” Foster said. “He was just so faithful, so sweet and encouraging and brilliant and passionate about that class.”

Even in July of 2015 when Teo lost the ability to speak, he was still adamant about teaching for the upcoming fall semester. It was only after two weeks into the Fall semester that Teo was forced to finally stop teaching, with Psychology and the Christian Faith being one of the last classes on his schedule.

Courtney Chapin was also in the Psychology and the Christian Faith class in Spring of 2015 and echoed many of the statements about Teo made by both Foster and Edwards.

“Even though he was suffering and his family was going through it, he always talked about how he wasn’t ready to give up and was trusting that the Lord would carry him through it,” Chapin said. Edwards visited Teo many times in the hospital, but one of his more notable encounters included a time when Teo used his finger to point up because he couldn’t speak or move any other parts of his body.

“I think he’ll be remembered for his joy and his humbleness and the way he trusted God in hard situations,” Courtney Chapin said. “I think what stood out to me most was that he never gave up on God. Even though he had been diagnosed with cancer before and it came back again, he never gave up.”

Edwards and other visitors in attendance took Teo’s gesture as a sign of Teo’s unending belief in God to the end. Teo is survived by his wife Tessa and his children: Rachel, Kevin, Ryan, Aaron and Isaak.

Connor Soudani


Contact Connor Soudani at

Preparing for emergencies

At the end of Chapel service last Thursday, an estimated over 200 students, staff and faculty sat in silence behind locked doors and closed windows as messages broadcasted across campus from phones, emails and Blue Light poles. The lockdown drill allowed security and facilities to test a large group of peoples’ response to an emergency in a controlled setting. “I think the drills are a huge step forward to prepare students,” Chris Eichorst, director of facilities, said.

After last semester’s drill a survey was sent to students, staff and faculty asked for feedback and comments on where participants were during the time of the drill and how individuals responded.


Over 500 people responded to the survey, and of those who answered the question, 32 percent said they were notified of the drill through the RAVE text messages closely followed by the Blue Light audio broadcasts.

Despite the effectiveness of the RAVE system, Eichorst says the university does not solely rely on the alert system and acknowledges the delays between cellphone carriers.

“RAVE is probably not our primary means of notifications; obviously it is if you’re off campus, or if you’re not in a building with an IP clock,” Eichorst said. “Because of that, that’s why we put the IP clocks and use the Blue Light, because they are a lot more reliable and we can count on them.”

Last Thursday’s drill involved coordination and planning to choose a time that would test the emergency system and the Whitworth community under new circumstances in order to combat “drill fatigue” a worry Eichorst’s department has that students and staff have become unresponsive to drills.

“Training creates good habits; it creates a response and a reaction that you don’t have to create or think of,” Eichorst said. “So that’s what we’re after, is so people get used to it.”

In early November, Eichorst and the university’s emergency response team carried out a table top scenario in which a disaster struck campus. Labeled “Ice Storm II” after the immense ice storm of 1996, the exercise played through how facilities, security and other departments would respond to power outages, the need to feed students and possible student relocation.


Ten days later, half of campus lost power, students, staff and faculty were fed for days by Sodexo and multiple dorms were rehoused due to the windstorm of Nov. 17.

“We used all the tools we had,” Eichorst said, adding that University Communications and President Beck Taylor also helped communicate to students and staff through social media, a medium Eichorst hopes to utilize more in the future.

While emergency decisions were made in the following days, ASWU President Justin Botejue believes students were left out of the conversation as neither he nor ASWU Executive Vice President Chase Weholt were contacted.

“They did not have any direct student consultation with policies moving forward and we recognize it was a time of an emergency, but ASWU would definitely like to stress the importance of having the student voice in any crisis,” Botejue said.

A survey has been sent via email and Pirate Port for students, staff and faculty to give feedback on last week’s lockdown drill.









Karlin Andersen

News Editor

Contact Karlin Andersen at

Whitworth student earns pageant crown over Jan Term

Nine women anxiously stood on stage hand in hand waiting for one of their names to be called. After many long moments under the hot lights, the emcee announced Whitworth junior Mikayla Scharnhorst as Miss Spokane 2016. Years before wearing the title crown, Scharnhorst wore a patient’s bracelet at Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane.

An elbow injury she suffered at age 3, combined with conflicting diagnoses and extended healing time, caused Scharnhorst to make many visits to Shriners Hospital. For the next year Scharnhorst will volunteer at Shriners Hospital and Sacred Heart Hospital while completing her year of community service for the pageant.

“One of my major goals was to volunteer at Shriners,” Scharnhorst said. “This is the hospital that I went to;because I came to [Shriners in Spokane] it is really close to my heart.”

“When kids are undergoing these adult diseases, adult injuries and illnesses and spending time in the hospital there is a huge stigma surrounding them so a lot of their normalcy is lost in that,” Scharnhorst said. “And Shriners in particular and other non-profit children’s hospitals do a really good job of being there for the kids.”


Scharnhorst’s opportunity to volunteer at Shriner’s comes with her win of the Miss Spokane title in January. She originally entered the pageant in 2014 and was encouraged to continue competing by 2013 title winner Hannah Schuerman.

“I wouldn’t have encouraged her if I knew it wasn’t worth it because of all the opportunities and networking that you get to do as Miss Spokane, of course Miss Washington and of course Miss America,” Schuerman said.

The Miss Spokane Scholarship Organization began in 1912. A local preliminary to the Miss America competition, the program aims “to build a better community by enabling young women through opportunities for scholarship, personal and professional growth, and community service,” according to the Miss Spokane website.

“The opportunities for service are really good through the program,” Scharnhorst said. “I kept doing it because I liked challenging myself and putting myself out there to grow.”

Along with interviews and technical and dress rehearsals for the pageant, contestants participate in service work in the months leading up to the competition. Contestants have the opportunity to win scholarships and awards through winning different parts of the pageant such as best interview or Director’s award as Scharnhorst did. The program’s emphasis is on interview and talent rather than beauty, Lauri Pounder, Miss Spokane’s executive director, said.

“I think that is something pageants can sometimes get a bad rap for the Miss America program in particular is very service-orientated and very academically-orientated,” Scharnhorst said.

Scharnhorst said she believes in tangible change in a community and hopes her service and fundraisers can impact the children being treated at the hospital. A possible fundraiser would partner with Build-a-Bear, allowing community members to build and donate bears on a designated day to patients in the hospital.

“When I was at Shriner’s one thing that I remember and still have a collection of at home, is you get a stuffed animal every single time you attend the hospital for a visit,” Scharnhorst said.

After the fundraiser was successfully held in Texas by friends, Scharnhorst decided to bring the fundraiser to Spokane.

“[Shriner’s is] going to want to use her as an advocate or an ambassador just like they did to me and I loved it, and I think she will really like it too,” Schuerman said. Scharnhorst already serves as an ambassador for the hospital through connecting with other organizations helping Shriners patients. Before the pageant Scharnhorst volunteered with Para Sport, a competitive athletic organization for children and adults with physical disabilities. Many of the athletes in the organization are also Shriners patients, Scharnhorst said.

“They really encourage you to not let your disability or your ailment define you, but let it be a part of your story but not your entire story,” Scharnhorst said. “A lot of those kids are from Shriners hospital too, and a lot of them don’t have arms, but they do competitive athletics. It’s not defining their story; it’s just a part of them.”

Scharnhorst’s appearances may bring her around the state for the next year while she participates in local parades and completes her service work to the Spokane community. Until the Miss Washington competition in June, Scharnhorst will practice her interview skills and take dance lessons.

Mikayla Scharnhorst (center) with other finalists in the Miss Spokane 2016 pageant.

Karlin Andersen

News Editor

Contact Karlin Andersen at

Diversity: Broadening the spectrum

An ASWU survey conducted by dorm senators this fall concluded 22 percent of on-campus students feel the term diversity is “promoted excessively” and has “negative connotations.” When asked what they felt when hearing the term diversity, student responses included “inauthentic,” “divisive” and “white shaming,” according to the Fall 2015 ASWU Constituents Survey.

“The university, is rightly, so trying to push diversity, but often people get tired of it,” sophomore Brendan Finch said.

So far this academic year, the university has sponsored around a dozen lectures and films discussing diversity. The majority have focused on race and ethnicity.

“[In] most of the administrative-led programming we pay a person to talk to students and students don’t interact or engage,” ASWU President Justin Botejue said.

University-sponsored events do cover a portion of diversity, but they may also be pushing the 22 percent of students to become frustrated with diversity as they clamor for other types of diversity to be discussed. One of the major flaws in the current pattern of events is the lack of space for conversation for the presenter and audience which can lead to tension, Botejue said.

“Speakers are generally more on the offensive side,” Botejue said. “They want to push a point across and often times the strategies that they employ are not aligned with the Whitworth culture of affirming one’s worth and inclusivity.”

At a 75 percent Caucasian university, the issues and voices of ethnic and racial minorities have the potential to go unheard. However, David Garcia, assistant dean of student diversity, equity and inclusion, argues diversity is more complex than skin color.

“Diversity does not only equal race and ethnicity,” Garcia said. “I find oftentimes they are used synonymously.”

Garcia said he believes diversity consists of an individual’s culture or literally one’s beliefs, values and assumptions. Through this definition all students are diverse through their cultural differences. ASWU Cultural Events Coordinator Kaysee-Li Tomkins echoes Garcia’s belief about the possible limiting scope the term diversity can have.

“That’s what we’re trying to promote, that diversity is not just for a subgroup.” Tomkins said. “It’s for every single student and this is what college is about bringing those differences and coming together.”

Both Garcia and Tomkins believe partnering students and staff together can create more effective and creative programs to educate students on all aspects of diversity. Diversity Monologues, an event slated for March 31, plans to share eight student stories reflecting on their journey to know community.

“My goal is to reach the students that don’t see themselves within diversity,” Garcia said.

An untraditional event such as Diversity Monologues that invites students from all backgrounds and beliefs to participate, is the type of more inclusive program Botejue hopes to see more of at Whitworth. Botejue also hopes to continue to link ASWU with departments throughout campus to plan improved events for students.

“We’ve had great experience with doing the programming and getting students to attend, and we’ve had great success with those,” Botejue said. “Now if administration could mirror that and work more closely with students to see what their interests are then I think we would have a more successful and less negative approach to the term diversity.”

The administration is trying to reach Botejue’s goal through one of the core values of the Whitworth 2021 Strategic Plan. Whitworth hopes to develop “students’ understanding of personal responsibility, justice, and love of neighbor in a global and inclusive university community,” according to the Whitworth 2021 plan.

The Strategic Plan also calls for undergraduate enrollment of underrepresented students to be increased by 15 students per year for 10 years, Greg Orwig said, vice president of admissions and financial aid.

Since beginning to increase enrollment of underrepresented students, or individuals who self report as “non-Caucasian,” Whitworth’s ethnic minority has grown 198 students since 2011, according to the Whitworth Institutional Report.

“I think the more perspectives, histories, experiences our students bring into the classrooms, into the residence halls, into the dining hall, the richer and fuller the educational experience is for our students, without a doubt,” Orwig said.

Orwig and the admissions department also look to admit students to create a more gender-balanced university along with varying geographic, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.

An increasingly diverse student body may achieve the administration’s goal of creating a “global and inclusive” university allowing students to teach each others about diversity, but current students are still being educated through lectures.

“I think going about it needs to be very gentle and not just be throwing numbers and statistics. It needs to be a conversation,” Finch said.

This academic year the Robinson Teaching Theatre has hosted highly educated individuals who spoke on the issues facing racial minorities. One event, Sex Signals, and a short lecture series from the theology department covered topics outside of race. Other types of diversity including sexual orientation, gender issues and religion receive little coverage outside of club activities.

“Based on the survey results we are led to believe that it’s not that students want the administration to do more on diversity, they want more student led initiatives and of course ASWU is the best place to do student programming,” Botejue said.

The administration-sponsored speakers have covered racial diversity. Student leaders and staff acknowledge diversity encompasses more than race and hope the programs educating students will soon begin to recognize this division and close the gap.

Karlin Andersen News Editor

Contact Karlin Andersen at

Should Pirates take up arms?

In 2015 there were 64 school shootings nationwide, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a database and research group. While most of those were minor with few or no injuries, some became headlines when multiple people were killed. Since school shootings became more prevalent in national news and politics after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, the debate over gun regulations and guns on campuses has escalated.

Currently, Washington State Legislature states the “possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals or other dangerous weapons or instrumentalities on the university campus” is listed under prohibited conduct. Whitworth’s Student Handbook echoes that, stating, “Whitworth is a weapons-free campus.”

“I cannot imagine walking into a classroom and thinking ‘someone in this class might have a gun,’” said political science professor Kathy Lee, moderator of a “God and Guns” panel discussing Christianity and gun ownership (see pg. 7). “So when I look at the University of Texas I completely understand why some faculty at the University of Texas are thinking ‘I’m not sure I either can or want to teach here anymore’ for reasons of personal safety as well as just is this a place where guns should be?”

Lindy Scott, world languages and cultures professor and a panelist on the “God and Guns” panel, echoed Lee’s concerns over faculty and student safety if guns were to come on campus in students’ hands.

“My personal opinion is that would probably heighten insecurity on campus, because many accidents take place,” Scott said.

Of the 284 respondents to a survey by The Whitworthian asking if students should be allowed to carry firearms on campus, some students brought up the threat of accidental injuries or deaths. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed believed students should not be allowed to carry guns on campus.

A minority percentage of those surveyed argued students should be allowed to carry guns with proper background checks and training. Some acknowledged safety risks, but believed firearms should be allowed for recreational purposes off campus including hunting and target shooting.

State legislature does allow exceptions for “authorized university purposes” including labs that would create explosions or utilize dangerous chemicals. Another exception is security guards.

“As security officers we should be allowed to carry weapons, because by virtue of our job we are ‘to be in harm’s way,’” security officer Mac McCall said. “But because we don’t have the tools necessary to fulfill those responsibilities to its fullest extent then we are in essence like the rest of the professors and staff. We can only do so much and we are limited.”

McCall believes without guns Whitworth security officers are restricted in their range of response to possible security threats to the campus.

“Now we’re the first responders,” McCall said. “If we get a call that there’s an active shooter let’s say in the HUB, we’re limited in our response because we don’t have the means to go in there and stop the bad guy. We’ll just be like one of the professors walking in there and he’s got all the power, and the motivation, and the intent and the capability to create mayhem and we have not the means to stop him because we don’t have a weapon.”

Sixty-three percent of survey respondents support allowing security officers to carry guns. Respondents cited student safety and the threat of active shooters as reasons for security guards to carry guns.

“I personally feel extremely unsafe knowing that our security officers do not carry,” a survey respondent said.

Faculty participants in the “God and Guns” panel support security carrying guns with significant training.

“If you’re going to have anyone trained and anyone responding it’s better to have a few people like security guards trained and able to mobilize very quickly, instead of a few or a bunch of profs and students who are not well trained,” Scott said.

Lee agreed extended training and retraining would be necessary if security guards would be given weapons. Survey respondents also suggested requiring bi-annual mandatory firearm training and mental evaluations along with policies describing where firearms can be kept on campus.

State laws and campus policies both allow exceptions for guards to carry weapons, but administration has not held a public discussion on the issue. Despite McCall’s concerns, security officers cannot currently protect campus to the fullest extent possible.

“These concerns have been brought up to the administration and the answers we have gotten back is that the university is not at this point willing to accept the liability associated with arming security personal,” McCall said.

Some supporters for guns on campuses argue an armed security force or students would prevent or diminish the injuries and deaths caused by campus shootings.

“That’s a known fact,” McCall said. “I’ve talked with police officers and they’ve stated that we have learned a lesson from Columbine, because when Columbine had their shooting the officers who responded had to wait for the response force, STOP teams to come in. Those were precious minutes wasted, and in those minutes more damage and mayhem was being performed.”

Some survey respondents agreed that armed security guards would better protect campus in the event of an emergency. Scott sees police officers and well trained security guards in a similar light when placed in an emergency setting.

“I think that would meet almost every argument for the safety of people on campus, ‘what about people on campus, Virginia Tech. kind of mass shootings?’” Scott said. “I think that would meet that criticism without opening up everyone or other people having guns which then leads to accidental shootings. I would have no problem with that.”

If the current state law changed to allow universities to decide campus weapons policies, Whitworth administration may begin the discussion of allowing all community members to carry guns onto a Christian campus.

As a Christian university the debate to allow or prohibit firearms includes both a legal and moral side. Referencing Luke 22:36, Scott believes Christians should not express their faith in a violent manner.

“It does not seem persuasive to me the argument that Jesus, after teaching nonviolence his whole ministry, after practicing nonviolence his whole ministry, is arguing for the use of the sword in a violent way,” Scott said.

Following Apostle Paul’s teaching, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone,” McCall believes Christians can live in peace until encountering an individual who desires to cause “mayhem” or “destruction” (Romans 12:18).

“Now when you talk about guns and Christianity, people have a misconception that Christians are not supposed to defend themselves, that the turning of the other cheek means you are supposed to be a punching bag and that is not what that verse means,” McCall said.

There are multiple views on gun safety, laws and regulations for on campus use. Each side offers a variety of options from no restrictions on gun citing Second Amendment rights to students with proper licenses being allowed to carry on campus with safety issues being brought up by both sides. The debate over security using firearms on campus could increase safety with proper training or lead to accidental shootings.

“Like so many of our social issues there’s room for debate,” Lee said.

Karlin Andersen News Editor

Contact Karlin Andersen at

Loop reconstruction: Beginning the process

It has been three months since the beginning of post-windstorm cleanup and administration expects another 18 months before the campus restoration process is complete. The Loop was hit the hardest during the windstorm in mid-November. Throughout the campus 136 trees were lost and nearby buildings were damaged. Chris Eichorst, director of facilities services, coordinated cleanup efforts and repair plans.

“It’s going to be four-to-five-hundred-thousand dollars,” Eichorst said.

The university’s insurance covers a majority of the expenditure, while administration is also petitioning for support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a federal disaster relief agency. Damage was caused to three academic buildings, concrete sidewalks, the Loop’s irrigation system and electrical lines to campus lamp posts.

Throughout the cleanup process, Eichorst will meet with a committee made up of faculty members, the manager of grounds and the university arborist. The committee is focused on developing a strategic plan to adapt and prevent future disasters of this kind. Administration will consult an architect and gather student input before moving forward with plans for the Loop.

Junior English major Jordin Connall hopes for only minor aesthetic changes.

“Not as many colleges have big open areas like the Loop and it serves as a common meeting place for students,” Connall said. “Maybe add a picnic table for people to eat or do homework outside.”

The fallen trees were planted in landscaped and irrigated areas. A team of arborists suggested that this may be a cause of their weakened root systems.

In an irrigated setting, pine trees can grow faster than those growing naturally. Eichorst explained that due to rushed growth, the roots were not forced to extend far enough underground as they received a constant source of water from the Loop’s sprinklers.

Most of the fallen trees were removed by two excavating companies, transported to a mill, turned into pulp and used as a mulch in the back forty. When the growing season begins, facilities services will hire a contractor to lay sod and restore the Loop’s grass. If more trees are planted in the Loop the type of trees and placement will be carefully planned, according to Eichorst.

Grounds staff will ensure buildings are no longer at risk of being hit by neighboring trees, even if some require removal. Eichorst considered many aspects of urban forest management, including pruning, parking and landscaping.

“The current budget we have for our tree management is inadequate,” Eichorst said. “If we want to do deadwooding, which is an expensive endeavor, that could be an increase in our budget.”

The cleanup process itself has caused its own destruction. About two-thirds of the concrete damage was due to the heavy excavators which passed across campus over sidewalks.

Daniel Prager is a senior chemistry major who was surprised at the damage caused to the campus.

“I figured it would take a long time to clean up since winter was coming,” Prager said.

The university plans to plant a few trees in place of missing ones in the Loop. The Loop has provided open space for live outdoor concerts, frolfing and hammocking during warmer months. The process to bring the Loop back to its original state may take months to plan and complete.

Autumn Kelley Staff Writer

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A Christian faculty open to all student faiths

Whitworth faculty members provide a variety of Christian perspectives while welcoming discussions of other theological ideas, Forrest Buckner, dean of spiritual life and campus pastor, said. “Whitworth is unique in Christian higher education in that we don’t have a doctrinal statement that every faculty member, or employee or student for that matter, sign off on, as many other Christian universities do,” Buckner said.

Instead, applicants for positions at Whitworth are required to submit an essay describing their own personal Christian faith. In those faith statements, they are not expected to commit to the same denominational affiliation, but rather to explain their beliefs around the core of Christianity.

“The whole spectrum of Christianity is seen and welcomed,” Buckner said. “It enriches the student experience.”

Students agree that the diversity allows for a rich environment. Having leaders with diverse perspectives of Christianity enables them to form their own convictions regarding Christianity.

“It allows us to study Christ through different views and to realize that he is such a big God and not just to see him through one lens,” pre-med student Nina Westcott said.

Within their faith statements, many applicants include a description of how their Christian faith will influence their position as a faculty member.

“It gives faculty members an opportunity to express their faith in the context of speaking and serving the institution,” communications senior lecturer Joe Vigil said.

Faculty members’ commitment to the mission can be seen in the classroom where they welcome difficult questions and discussion on social issues.

“This is something the science department does well,” Westcott said. “If you believe in creationism, it’s hard to find an open place to go where you can ask these questions and not feel like your opinion is wrong or like your questions are stupid.”

Some faculty and administrative members would agree that having a religiously diverse faculty would be beneficial, as it would encourage a respect for other religious viewpoints. However, they also recognize having faculty members of other faiths could undermine the goal of the institution.

“Whitworth is very honest about who we are so when students come here, they know they are coming to Christian liberal arts institution,” Buckner said.

The university’s goal is to model for students what it looks like to be a Christian and to carry that out in their vocation. This is why Christian faith statements are required.

Faculty and administration members still believe educating students on other religious beliefs is imperative.

“Learning about other religions is a beneficial thing,” Buckner said. “It helps us love other people better, to become better citizens of the world and not have stereotypes of other religions and it helps us to not make some of the same mistakes Christians have made in the past.”

Vigil hopes students with differing faith perspectives feel comfortable expressing themselves in his classroom. He recalls various instances of students relating the material to their personal experience with faith. He wants them to know it is a safe place for that to happen.

“I try to avoid approaching curriculum with a particular faith objective in mind, or I’ve got this scripture I want them to understand, as much as allowing conversations to naturally happen in the context of class,” Vigil said.

Buckner believes that all professors at Whitworth have the tools they need to create a comfortable environment for discussing religion.

“Our Christian faculty members are absolutely well qualified to enable that conversation to help respectfully encourage learning from one another and learning from other faith backgrounds,” Buckner said.

Professors are given tools for holding these discussions in the orientation process and at annual workshops.

While faculty faith statements ensure a God-centered team of leaders, students of all backgrounds are embraced.

“The goal isn’t to draw students who are like-minded but to draw students from any walk of life and give them an opportunity to make that connection,” Vigil said.

Madeline Roscoe Staff Writer

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Adrian Teo Memorial Service calls attention to courageous man

Over 130 people gathered in the chapel on Friday evening to remember the life of the late Adrian Teo--Whitworth professor of psychology--following his lost battle with a brain tumor on Christmas Day last year.The service was presided over by Reverend David Kruse and featured words of remembrance from psychology professor Noelle Wiersma, alum Kirin Foster and theology professor Jim Edwards. 

Edwards called attention to Teo’s desire to, “do the right thing and be the right person.”

Overall, friends of Teo recalled his positive attitude with students in his last teaching days. However, each one commended his unending adherence to his Christian faith throughout his painful process.

Teo is survived by his wife Tessa and his children: Rachel, Kevin, Ryan, Aaron and Isaac.

Below is an excerpt from the Song of Farewell sung by those in attendance as part of the conclusion to the ceremony.


Connor Soudani


Students to create undocumented students page on Whitworth website

Undocumented students at Whitworth and students wishing to enroll at the university may soon be able to find information about scholarships and other financial aid resources on the university website.

Senior political science major Cinthia Illan-Vasquez is working with a group of students to create a web page on the Whitworth University website that would provide information about applying for nancial aid and other resources for undocumented students at Whitworth.

“As the university works toward inclusivity, there’s a greater need to provide online resources for undocumented students,” Vasquez said. “The type of resources we can provide will be crucial.”

The movement for the web page is a student-led effort. Vasquez, an undocumented student herself, has been working to create the undocumented student page with two other undocumented students, senior Karen Fierro and junior Kamau Chege.

The students are working with and have submitted a proposal for the page to professor Larry Burnley.

Some students are in full support of an undocumented student web page.

“I think this is a fantastic idea to reinforce the value of all students at Whitworth regardless of their status as citizens or noncitizens. I hope it will perpetuate understanding between students and faculty and people outside the Whitworth community about what it means to be an undocumented student,” sophomore Hannah Howell said. “More understanding is always a good thing. I support this.”

Others have concerns about the impact of the web page.

“I understand why Whitworth is doing this; however, I don’t think there is any justification for rewarding someone for being in our country illegally,” freshman Gabe Oros said.

Vasquez is hopeful the page will be one of the many efforts toward the diversity, equity and inclusion in our campus.

Vasquez hopes that the web page will be on the homepage of the official Whitworth website, but could also be on the Intercultural Student Center page or another page dealing with diversity and inclusion, she said. “We have a need to provide resources for undocumented students,” Vasquez said. “Other universities do it. Whitworth should also take the initiative to do the same.”

Universities that provide information and resources for undocumented students on their websites include UCLA, Brown University, NYU and Pacific Lutheran University. Other schools such as George Fox University and the University of Mississippi do not.

Vasquez has applied for a grant for #WhitworthUnited and was awarded funding. There will be a conference next fall for undocumented students, parents and allies in Eastern Washington.


Emily Goodell

Staff Writer

Contact Emily Goodell at

The 126 trees uprooted during the storm will be made into pulp... and snowmen

Most of the fallen trees on Whitworth’s Campus are being disposed of rather than being transformed into art or coasters as suggested by multiple Whitworth students and alumni on Twitter.

Due to a smaller lumber market, the lumber from the fallen trees at Whitworth are being ground up into pulp, univeristy arborist Will Mellott said.

“Whitworth is not a lumber business it’s a university, and right now we are trying to clean up the campus as quickly, sufficiently and in the most economic way possible,” Mellott said.

The trees are initially chipped then go through a chemical process to be made into pulp to create new paper products. Due to their soft internal wood which is easy to break down in the chemical process, the pine trees that cover Whitworth’s campus are ideal for pulp production.

However, some of them are turned into pieces of art like the “snowmen” installed in the loop by Whitworth repair man Jeremiah White and groundskeeper August Larsen-Weil on Friday, Dec. 4.

Whitworth is saving money on the disposal cost of the trees through selling the lumber to mills that will further process the wood.


Sarah Haman

Staff Writer

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They’re going down, we’re yelling timber

The recent windstorm sent trees falling all around Whitworth, especially in the Loop.

Whitworth is ranked 20th in beauty for Christian campuses across the globe, according to Christian Universities Online. The campus has a grounds crew that helps maintain this standard through upkeep of the campus.


However, the unnatural growing conditions associated with this upkeep may have altered how the trees grow.

Some trees may have needed to be removed but were kept for their beauty. Others didn’t grow the way they needed to because of the sandy soil underneath much of Whitworth, university arborist Will Mellott said.

“Because of the soil, the trees’ roots can’t grow down, but have to grow out to reach water,” Mellott said. “This means that the roots are shallower and don’t provide as much support.”

Normally roots can extend out in equal proportion to the tree’s height in order to reach these nutrients. Because of the proximity of the trees they begin grafting which causes them to fall together, Mellott said.

Last year Whitworth experienced two small storms that uplifted almost 100 trees on campus. Because those trees fell, it left previously protected trees open to nature’s forces, Mellott said. Many of the trees that fell last summer had grafted roots, which caused them to fall in groups.

Mellott attributes the amount of trees that fell this year to the fact that this protection was gone.

It was those combined forces, along with the force of mother nature that ultimately caused the trees to fall.

“It is a combination of a bunch of factors, “ Mellott said. “Part of it is an action of God. Everything on this earth evolves and dies, and this is the way that the trees followed this course.”

Instead of looking at the destruction, he urges students to examine the future.

“This is an evolving landscape. As caretakers for God we are called to watch over them, but we can’t worship the creation,” Mellott said. “Just because the trees fell, doesn’t mean our responsibility to maintaining nature is over. Now we look to the future student and plant more other trees that do fit this system and follow the natural evolution.”


Parker Postlewait

Staff Writer

Contact Parker Postlewait at


After storm hit, many students forced out of dorms in search of power

Due to the aftermath of the most damaging windstorm to hit Whitworth’s campus, 650 students were evacuated from their dorms.


Classes were cancelled for two days in order to deal with the damage and power loss. The university lost 126 trees during the storm, including several power lines that left many students without power for days, according to last Wednesday’s ASWU meeting.

“I live in Warren and during the windstorm, a bunch of us in Warren were like watching the trees fall back and forth,” freshman Jesse Domingo said. “And it was kind of like we were just watching our whole campus be destroyed, which was sad, but entertaining at the same time.”


When the storm first began, students were kept updated through the blue light speakers and emergency response text messages and emails.

The first text message to be received by students, at 12:12 p.m. on Tuesday read, “Whitworth Alert: is is not a drill. Because of a fallen tree and high wind in the area, please evacuate the loop area. Use caution if outside or driving.”

A text message requested that students go immediately to their place of residence and take shelter until further notice was received by students at 12:37 p.m.

Cowles Memorial Library, Hawthorne Hall and the Lindaman Center were hit by trees and to deal with the logistical and safety issues of having students living in powerless dorms, the school evacuated hundreds of students into residence halls with power or houses off campus.

“For the rst time in my presidency, I cancelled classes, and we began the clean-up,” President Beck Taylor said in the December issue of the Mind and Heart newsletter. “Power was restored to campus late Wednesday night, after we’d moved 600 students to warmer dorms, not wanting them to spend another powerless, cold night in dark residence halls.”

In order to accommodate the influx of fleeing students, mattresses from powerless dorms were moved to provide sleeping arrangements for displaced students.

“That was when it stopped being fun,” freshman Elisah Winnika said. “I was kind of like, ‘Oh this is kind of like exciting!’ and then it was like ‘Now you have to move out of your dorms.’ And I was like ‘Okay. is is not exciting. is is stupid and annoying.’”

All classes resumed on Thursday, Nov. 19, leaving many students upset. Some students said they did not feel this was the right call on the university’s part.

“I was upset that classes were held so soon after the storm,” freshman Paige Rohrbach said. “I feel like whomever was deciding to make us go back thought it would get us back into the swing of things faster but I feel like it put unneeded worries on all of the students.”

“Students might be disappointed that we’re attempting to get back to some sense of normalcy, but we think it’s best to continue the educational programs to the extent we can,” Taylor said in a Nov. 18 Facebook post.

ASWU President Justin Botejue and Executive Vice President Chase Weholt brought snacks to displaced residents the night they had to evacuate from their residence halls. Botejue said that he disagreed with the university’s decision to resume classes Thursday.

“Though I understand why administration would like to have classes the day after our windstorm, I would like to advocate on behalf of all students,” Botejue said. “I would like to say that for their common good, we should have postponed classes until Friday just to give us a little bit more time to adjust, and professors as well.”

In order to help off-campus students affected by the power loss, Sodexo provided free meals for three days for faculty, staff and students.


Emily Goodell

Staff Writer

Contact Emily Goodell at

More students come to Whitworth for the sciences

Whitworth University has 921 students majoring in some category of the sciences. This is nearly 40 percent of the 2,349 undergraduate students. This number has been growing since 2011.

After the construction of the Robinson Science Hall four years ago, the health science major gained 52 more students in the program than the previous year according to the 2015 Whitworth University Fall Factbook.

Other science majors currently have more seniors in each of their departments than other grade levels. Seniors compose 33 percent of the students in the biology major. Chemistry seniors make up 39 of the 83 members of the department. They were the first graduating class after the dedication of the building, perhaps showing the effectiveness a new building can have.

“The architects, who had just done SPU’s new science area, told us that when a campus builds a new science building there is a kind of honeymoon period for an influx of science majors,” biology chair Craig Tsuchida said.

Students responses to the building indicate that this theory was accurate for Whitworth. “Robinson was one of the places they gave me tour of and seemed to want to sell me on and I have to say it worked,” senior Jordan Holmes said.

Another reason for the number of students in the sciences is the diversity within the de- partments. There are 22 subdivisions of science majors—including mathematics and engineering—that are offered. Of 600 students, 45 percent of the freshman class of 2019 declared themselves as one of these science majors, according to the admissions department.

Most of the 270 incoming students in the sciences declared in nursing, pre-medicine and biology.

These three majors within the science department accounted for 113 or 42 percent of the total science-related majors, according to information supplied by Admissions Vice President Greg Orwig.

Whitworth also has added four science majors since 2009.

In 2009 Whitworth added a health science major. Currently 182 students, nearly eight percent of undergraduate students, are health science majors, according to the Fall Factbook.

The number of health science majors has grown nearly every year since being added to the catalog, according to the Fall Factbook.

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 6.30.14 PM

However, these additions do not usually take away from other departments, but the sciences as a whole.

“We have a lot of students who come into the biology program wanting to be a doctor. But a lot transfer over to health science to pursue another form of healthcare,” Tsuchida said. “We used to have a lot more students who just stayed in our department to get those degrees.”

The department sees a lot of those students who just change majors because of grades and the difficulties, according to advisors across majors.

“The two main reasons I get for students choosing this major is they loved the subject in high school and that they want to work in the health care field,” Tscuchida said.

The latter may be a main cause. Some students choose the major because the United States is pushing for more scientists and health care positions, senior Rob Thullen said. In June 2015, 14.2 percent of job listings were for health care practitioners and technicians, according to an Indeed report of the Talent Driven Economy.


Parker Postlewait

Staff Writer

Contact Parker Postlewait at

Sex, drugs and rock and roll not allowed: The language of The Big Three

No Cohabitation

“There is to be no cohabitation on campus...[T]he practical application of the policy requires that it be used... to address 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.”

- The Whitworth Student Handbook

That last phrase of the rule leaves room for interpretation. What counts as extended hours?

Resident directors were given two situations comparing a long-term relationship to a one-night stand.

If people are having one-night stands, advisers would most likely help focus on how those actions could impact the two students later, McMillan RD Matthew Baker said.

“There is room for a little interpretation in the gray area and that’s because Student Life philosophy is that we want students to become decision makers, not rule followers,” Baker said.

The gray areas also allow for different ways for individual situations to be addressed. While wanting to be consistent in disciplining for policy violations, Student Life also wants to be fair to residents, Baker said.

In long-term relationships, the discipline would be similar, but leaders would focus on this being an intellectual experience in which they build a stronger relationship, Baker said.

“[The gray area] allows for healthy relationships, and allows for students to take ownership,” Arend RD Michael Ames said. “Students get to set limits on things.”

Usually, initial contact with the resident is made by the resident assistants, such as Resident Assistant Ben Olson.

“For the well-being of the person and the relationship, I might address them differently,” Olson said. “This job is less about getting people in trouble, and more about helping people towards growth and self-betterment.”

Residents should not take this as an invitation to break the rules, but to make decisions in order to grow closer to their community, Baker said.

No Drugs or Alcohol

“There is to be no on-campus possession, consumption, or distribution of alcohol, illegal drugs/ mood-altering substances or controlled medication without a prescription.”

- The Whitworth Student Handbook

When someone has been accused of violating a Big Three, one question that arises during conversation, is the topic of trust. Baker prefers to trust his residents, because he is unhappy with the idea of a community that do not trust one another, he said.

“However, it can be difficult when what someone says doesn’t line up with the evidence, what other people say or even what they had said earlier,” Baker said.

At that point, consistency in documentation can help when they pass on the case to Dean of Student Life Timothy Caldwell.

Honesty between residents and Student Life is really a matter of integrity on the part of the student and a matter of creating a positive community for student life, Ames said.

“If we have these things, students will feel like they can approach us with the truth, or with their own concerns and issues,” Ames said.

“We have to document any events that might look like a policy violation,” RA Cass Busch said. “However, addressing the situation should begin with conversation.”

By speaking with residents about a Big Three violation, she is able to shed some light on the situation when talking to the RD and share her observations, she said.

No Disturbing the Peace

“There is to be no violent or destructive behavior or other conduct that threatens or endangers the safety or emotional well-being of any person on campus. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, such behaviors as fighting, vandalism, and any behavior that results in destruction or loss of property (including theft), or disruption of community life. This prohibition also includes, but is not limited to, physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, and/or intimidation, as well as behaviors including assault, sexual assault, harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct.”

- The Whitworth Student Handbook

One question of Student Life is how approachable they are for students who want to confess to a Big Three violation or to report one they have seen.

“People can be a little turned off by reporting someone else, or by getting in trouble themselves, it just depends on the relationship we have,” Olson said.

Having a conversation does not mean you are guaranteed a Big Three punishment on your record. Often it is just that, a conversation, said Busch.

“We talk it out and handle it in a positive way,” Busch said. “People should talk more often because we are friends as well as advisers.”


Parker Postlewait

Staff Writer

Contact Parker Postlewait at

Solo cup stand-off: How does Whitworth’s party scene compare to other colleges and universities’?

Whitworth is ranked 11 out of 21 in College Niche’s “2016 Top Party Schools in Washington.” The rankings are based on student opinion of a school’s “party scene and access to bars,” according to the website.

Based on a response of 80 students, Whitworth scored a three out of ve for the party scene and a “A-” on access to bars. Pacific Lutheran University, Northwest University and Seattle Pacific University are ranked 14, 16 and 18 respectively. Perhaps the party scene at Whitworth is not as “lame” as some people may believe.

One of “The Big Three” explicitly prohibits the possession, consumption or distribution of alcohol, illegal drugs/mood-altering substances or controlled medication without a prescription, according to the student handbook. Residence Hall leadership collaborates with their residents to create “community building standards” which usually decided how late and how loud residents can be.

Those factors, and the fact that Whitworth does not have a Greek system, means the “party scene” on Whitworth campus is slim to none. Those regulations force parties beyond the pinecone curtain.

House parties—which the Whitworthian defines as an off campus event where alcohol is present, there is music and people are inebriated—near Whitworth are often held on the weekends. One party host said the purpose of their parties are to hang out with friends and have a fun time.

The occurrence and locations of parties are usually spread through social media or word of mouth. The party host gets people to his or her house by telling friends to come. Students have to know the right people, according to a review of the Whitworth party scene on College Niche.

Especially with a smaller community, it is often easy to identify where the party is located based on the number of people surrounding the house and loud music playing.

“Usually, I will set up beer pong with water in a common area and start playing music on the speakers,” a party host said about preparing for a party.

Beer pong and other drinking games are a common occurrence at those parties. Music is usually always playing for atmospheric effect and at least one group of people can be found dancing.

It is the volume of the music that often causes local law enforcement to get involved.

“Sometimes [the cops show up]; it depends on the location,” a party host said. “If so, they usually just ask to keep the noise down.”

About 50 to 100 people usually attend the parties, and they typically start at 10 p.m. and end at 2 a.m., the host said.

It seems Whitworth friendliness and decency is maintained at those parties, for the most part. The party host said the people attending their parties do not get particularly crazy. However, if people do get out of control, the party host said they would talk to whoever was acting up.

A party can end multiple ways. Sometimes the police show up and scare people away. Other times, word gets around that another party is occurring close by and people will leave to check it out or the host may decide it is time for the party to end and kick everyone out.

“The best part is socializing and making great memories with your friends and the worst part is having to clean up the following day,” a party host said. “I would rather attend [a party].”

While the party scene at Whitworth may not be as ”friendly and vibrant” as University of Washington or Washington State University—ranked one and two on College Niche’s “2016 Top Party Schools in Washington,” respectively—it is nonetheless present and active.


Rebekah Bresee


Contact Rebekah Bresee at

Let’s be friends! But first, do you party?

Students question whether close relationships between party-goers and non-party-goers are possible.

Many students said they find it difficult to build and maintain relationships when their friends party and they, themselves don't.

"I have a friend who definitely has a difficult time maintainting a close relationship with his friends who party," sophomore Sarah Dixit said. "I think going to a party is totally up to the individual, but it does shift the dynamic between friends, mainly if it’s negatively affecting the person without them realizing it.”

Other students said partying has not proven to interfere with relationships or school life in their experiences.

“I don’t see partying affecting grades or social lives,” sophomore Zachary Halma said.

Students who said they do feel there is a social divide claimed peer-pressure to party as a reason for why they didn’t believe the relationships worked. There is a lot of pressure on freshmen to explore and socialize off campus which can cause a rift between those not interested in partying and their roommates and hallmates who do, Resident Assistant Felicity Roe said.

“I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time around people who party because it is certainly telling of who they are as people,” freshman Abigail Hochberger said. “I try to surround myself with and build close relationships with people who are conscious about the choices they make on a daily basis, whether that is in how they spend their Friday nights or who they invite to sit with them at lunch. I don’t want to be in a situation to feel pressured to party.”

Sophomore Megan Escobar feels no pressure to party from other students who party here, and that students are very respectful about other student’s personal belief and decisions, she said.

However, partying can create an area of uncertainty amongst a hall or between roommates because students feel uncomfortable informing a RA about situations that involve alcohol, Roe said.

“Last year a friend of mine would come home from parties and other people would have to take care of them because they couldn’t take care of themselves,” Roe said. “It was hard on their friends and produced an awkward atmosphere, which isn’t the sort of thing we would cultivate here at Whitworth.”


Sarah Haman

Staff Writer

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