How should men respond to tough times?

By James Silberman “The lesson taught at this point by human experience is simply this, that the man who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down.”

This quote from the great 18th century philosopher, Frederick Douglass, illustrates a few things. First, for others to help you up, they have to know that you are down.

It also shows they  have to see you making an attempt to help yourself up.

With feminism driving thousands of pages of literature about what it means to be a woman in today’s world, the search for what is expected of men in today’s world is being neglected. Among the few descriptions of what it means to be a man, Douglas’ hits on something that the others miss; that both mental toughness and the ability to be vulnerable with others are invaluable and inseparable when one stumbles upon difficult times.

The New York Times ran a story back in September of 2015 detailing what it means to be a “Modern Man”. Among the depictions was “the modern man cries. He cries often.” Contrast that with the stereotypical man who holds everything inside and won’t let anyone in.

Unfortunately, these depictions of masculinity are two sides of the same coin; two different versions of the same man. Neither is an effective way to respond to tough times, and neither man does anything to actually help themselves up.

The last thing I want is for this to be received as a condemnation of your manhood. It’s a very difficult thing to be confident enough in your character to be willing to be vulnerable with someone and receive help. I have, on many occasions, been a spitting image of the self-pitier, namely two-years ago as a freshman. I was equal parts ignorant of how to receive help and unwilling to to help myself.

However, this is meant to be a call for those are down to start helping themselves up. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and go be real with somebody about what’s dragging you down. Believe me, you're going to have to do it now, or after everything falls apart and you hit rock bottom; I firmly advise the former.

The Whitworth counseling center provides six free sessions, according to the Whitworth website. Using this resource that the school makes available to us would have saved me a lot of time and upset. Yes, there is a cultural stigma around men and counseling sessions, but here’s another attribute of a man. A man doesn’t make decisions based on cultural stigmas. They do what they have to do to dust themselves off and keep moving forward. Winston Churchill phrases it like this, “A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures."

Heed the advice of Douglas and Churchill. Be someone who looks to help others who are down, of course, but also be someone willing to receive help when you are the one in need. But most importantly, couple your acceptance of help with the willingness to help yourself. That is how a man responds to adversity.

Trending: Log out of Facebook

By Josiah VanWingerden Social media outlets became one of the most popular communication methods among millennials at the turn of the 21st century. Several studies from the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine and other sources indicate millennials check social media up to forty-three times a day and spend as many as six hours on websites like Facebook and Instagram.

This data is alarming and with the advent of the smartphone unlimited access is even easier obtain. The fact in the matter is, millennials spend way too much time on social media and it has recently been linked to various health issues.

The Huffington Post interviewed Dr. Hugues Sampasa-Kanyinga about a study that he led on the effects of social media on teens. Researchers found that teens who spend more than two hours a day on social media are more likely to have mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

“The relationship between the use of social networking sites and mental health issues is complex,” Sampasa-Kanyinga said.

The relationship may be complex, but social media is connected to mental health issues. The National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2012 conducted a study that also found a significant correlation between social media use and depression in teens.

In addition to mental health concerns, social media use could be linked to obesity and other potentially harmful eating habits, according to a study by Harvard University.

As if things couldn’t be any worse for Whitworth students, grades are also affected by time spent on social media. Students with lower grades spent more time on social media than those with higher grades.

A study by the University of New Hampshire found that, “Students who have accessed social media sites during class often had lower grade point averages than students who never visit social media sites in class.”

The Pew Research Center echoed all of these concerns and noted this evolution in communication could have a negative effect on physical intimacy long term.

I did some research over Jan Term to see how all of this information related to Whitworth students. I issued a survey to twenty-six students and asked how often they get distracted by social media while doing homework.

Results indicated that most students (21) were distracted by sites like Facebook and Instagram. Whitworth students are not immune to this distraction. However, there are ways to fight it.

A simple solution is deleting social media applications of off your mobile device. Studies show that this not only increases the phone’s battery life by 20 percent, according to the Guardian, but also decreases the time spent on social media sites.

I am not calling for us to swear off social media forever because let’s face it, I love my social media as much as the next person. I am simply saying that we should be aware of how we spend our time and the harmful effects that too much social media can have on our health. After all, you could save a life… your battery life (zing)!

So, my fellow millennials: save your battery, raise your grades and hug someone near you. More importantly, close your phone and conquer the world!

Interfaith Dialogue

By Liz Jacobs The first day of school this spring, Whitworth extended a gesture of support to Islamic students on campus at the invocation address during convocation.

Karin Heller wrote the prayer for invocation and a graduate student named Haitham Al Mhana translated the prayer into Arabic. Mhana repeated the translated prayer in Arabic during the ceremony.

Heller said that she wrote the prayer for invocation in a way that Mhana could translate it. However, at the end of the prayer, she asked for all these things through Christ, God’s holy son and through the Holy Trinity.

A believing Muslim cannot pray that statement because in Islam does not believe in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit or Christ as God.

Dr. Heller said that Mhana translated the prayer, that was it. He did not pray the prayer, but recited it to show Whitworth’s openness to Islam.

“You cannot deny that there are different ways of viewing the Christian God and viewing the Islamic God,” Dr. Heller said.

Clearly, interfaith dialogue is important and as a community, Whitworth must be open to multiple religions. Whitworth intentionally welcomes other religions as demonstrated in this year’s invocation address.

Still, creating an atmosphere for interfaith conversations is challenging. In order to have honest, real dialogue, our community must face the differences in religion rather than glossing over disagreement.

As a campus, we must understand that different religions are diverse, and that is okay. For example, Islam and Christianity are both monotheistic, Abrahamic religions, but their conceptions of God have several key differences.

These contrasting conceptions of God create ripple effects in the theology Christianity and Islam. Many Christians see marriage as a parallel to the way Christ loves the Church. God is father and husband in the Christian understanding, but in the Qu’ran God is only father.

Many Christians, Catholics specifically, view marriage a sacrament. Islam professes that marriage is civil, not a sacrament. It is clear that different beliefs in the image of God do not align.

I am not arguing in this article that one belief in God is better than the other, but in order to have interfaith dialogue, it is important to acknowledge differences and have a conversation from there.

It starts with dialogue, and understanding that differences, even if they oppose each other, are not bad. The conversation dies when people refuse to understand that Islam, Christianity and often denominations of Christianity hold opposing beliefs.

I think that is a good thing. We shouldn’t shy away from difference, but discuss it. By realizing that dialogue isn’t about convincing someone to your side, but understanding another perspective, people can understand the world better.

Dr. Heller said that there is not a lot of interreligious dialogue campus, and she is right. She also said that in order to have dialogue, people have to understand their own beliefs.

So, take a moment to understand who you are and the faith or non-faith you hold, and be open to an opinion that completely opposes yours.

The invocation address was a positive gesture toward Islam, but more interfaith dialogue needs to happen on this campus for people to truly understand each other.

What “Good Guys” Can’t Solve

By Jacob Schmidt Last October, Malcolm Gladwell published a chilling article for the New Yorker entitled “Thresholds of Violence.” In it, the famed social analyst addresses the rise in frequency of school shootings by the application of riot theory. He posits that we each carry with us a certain threshold that determines the minimum provocation required for us to engage in a radical action. School shootings, Gladwell argues, have become a riot, and more people are joining in. As the frequency of shootings increases, so does the difficulty of pre-empting future incidents as more and more “normal” people are taking part in radical, violent activity. Some universities have responded to this trend by rolling back decades- old restrictions on students carrying guns, but does the introduction of more guns really make anyone safer?

An FBI study of active shooter events found that there were 160 such events between the years of 2000 and 2013, resulting in the deaths of 486 individuals. While this averages out to just over 11 events per year, the majority of these events are concentrated in the latter half of the period studied. In the three years since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, there have been 95 active shooter situations on school campuses alone, raising the average up to one event per week. Statistically, there will have been another school shooting by the time this article is published. With active shooter events on the rise, the question of how best to secure our communities, and in particular our school campuses, is certainly one worth asking before it is too late.

NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre has famously stated that, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” This line of thinking is repeated throughout the debate over firearms control in order to justify the degree to which the average American is allowed to arm themselves. While we may dismiss as hyperbole the notion that counterfire is the only means of bringing down a gunman, we still must address the premise that well- armed and civilians are capable of reducing casualties in an active shooter scenario. If LaPeirre’s assertion is true, then Whitworth ought to drop the current ban of firearms on campus which is detailed in the student handbook (pPage 65) in order that students might be best prepared for the worst. For this to be the case, a well- trained gun owner must be able to locate and take down a hostile shooter in less time than it would take the police to respond, and without creating any further casualties in the process. Taking the national average for police response times, this gives our “good guy” about ten minutes to get their gun and take down the shooter.

The people at the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Team have attempted to generate data about shooter situations with and without armed bystanders, almost all of which result in the “good guy” injuring innocents and being killed themselves by either the hostile shooter or the responding officers. These trainings and tests are being carried out by highly skilled officers, many of whom have previous military experience. Even in video games such as Call of Duty it takes a skilled marksman to have a positive kill-to-death-ratio. If even in our games and simulations, trained shooters often fail to take down a single armed target before being killed themselves, on what grounds do we believe that a minimally trained civilian is capable of taking down a real life shooter? Even assuming the utmost training, it is unlikely that the heroic citizen is near enough to the scene and even more unlikely that she is equipped with the sort of body armor and assistance that would make them a comparable to the officers en route.

School shootings are a societal problem which is only expanding. Taking into account Gladwell’s thresholds, preventing active shooter events may no longer be possible by carefully screening for deranged individuals. The data shows that adding additional firearms to the population being targeted does not result in fewer casualties. In fact the American Association of State Colleges and Universities has repeatedly demonstrated that campuses which allow students and faculty to carry weapons experience sharp increases in crime. Our only hope to curb this phenomenon lies in disarming the situation. If we enact laws such as buy back programs and further common sense restrictions to remove weapons from the system, the next school shooter may just start a fist fight, or an angry social media campaign.

Major shaming: It needs to stop.

By Emily Goodell Major-shaming happens when a person knowingly or unknowingly expresses a low opinion of someone’s intelligence, ambition or academic rigor based on their major of study.

When someone laughs at a major and says,“your classes must be so easy,” it shames that person into thinking that the area they have chosen to study is easier and therefore intellectually inferior to other majors.

The issue is not whether certain majors are easy or hard, but rather that having a negative view of a major delegitimizes some one’s intelligence and future career. The rhetoric students use to discuss each other’s majors can degrade an entire area of study. Major shaming happens, it’s harmful and it needs to stop.

Over 200 Whitworth students responded to a survey regarding the perceived level of difficulty of majors. Communications was consistently mentioned as the easiest major on campus, while biology was mentioned as being the most challenging. This shows that some majors are viewed as intellectually inferior.

One student from one of “the most challenging” majors anonymously shared their view on the difficulty of majors:

“I don't want to belittle anyone's major because I don't think any major is easy in college but they are definitely not equal. There are some majors that require more time and energy than others.”

Others detailed their experiences with major-shaming:

“I am a communications major and I am tired of people thinking I am wasting my time. Because I'm not... I am learning about something I love. I am learning about how people communicate and I get to put what I learn into practice every day, all day long, and strengthen all of my relationships...Why is that answer not good enough?”

Other students shared their experiences with negative perceptions of majors. Students in fields that were ranked easiest responded defensively.

When someone major-shames another person, it belittles their identity as a student and as a person. When people constantly refer to your major as “easy,” it implies that you are not intelligent enough to succeed in a “harder” major.

Coming from my own perspective as a communications major, I can say that I have experienced negative, minimizing attitudes.

People assume that because I am a communication studies student, I cannot express valuable opinions toward other subjects. I can’t talk about math or science or economics or philosophy because the assumption is that I am not intelligent enough to be able to discuss such things.

Whether the assumption is correct in my case or not, does not matter, because the premise of the assumption is what is harmful. Just because someone is a certain major does not give an indication of intelligence or knowledge.

Who are we to judge each other for what we want to do with our lives? Rather than listening to socially constructed prejudices about a nonexistent correlation between major and level of intelligence, we should be supporting each other in our major decisions and valuing each other for our unique abilities and differences. In the words of one communications student:

“I don't think majors should be judged on difficulty. People study different majors for different reasons, and who can say whether one person's' path is more difficult than someone else's?”

Editorial: Guns on Campus

The issue of whether or not to arm security guards on the Whitworth campus is another logical step to consider when taking on the general security of campus. However, it is not easy to fully support one side of the issue. If Whitworth were to arm security guards with firearms as they patrolled campus, Whitworth would be creating an entirely new set of opportunities for gun mistakes to occur. Whitworth remains a relatively safe campus in part because guns are not allowed on campus by students or security guards. While there are not any “good guys with guns” to stop the hypothetical campus shooter, there is also less likelihood a thief will be shot in the dark while trying to steal a bike. On the other hand, in the unlikely case Whitworth students encounter an active shooter on campus, the response time of the Spokane Police may not be quick enough. The closer proximity of trained security guards with handguns may provide a more immediate solution and save lives in the process.

It is the opinion of the editorial board that there is no solution to the arming of security guards issue that does not hold a certain degree of risk. However, it is important we stick to a decision that poses the least amount of risk to members of the Whitworth community. When assessing the pros and cons of each system, it makes little sense to absorb the inherent risks of security guards wielding firearms on campus when considering the probability of a situation at Whitworth warranting a need for those guns.

What is Socialism?

By James Silberman The connotations of words and ideas shift greatly over time. The term “socialism” is an apparent example. The vast majority of those among older generations are vehemently opposed to the idea of increased economic collectivism while younger generations seem to be more ready to embrace it.

According to Pew Research, 49 percent of millennials view socialism favorably, compared to 43 percent who view it unfavorably, for a net favorability rating of plus-six. By comparison, 46 percent view capitalism positively, while 47 percent have a negative view, giving capitalism a rating of minus-one. Every other age group surveyed preferred capitalism to socialism.

It is clear that younger voters are shifting toward a more favorable view of socialism. In classrooms around the country, the realities of socialism are being swept under the rug with deceptive banalities like “equality”. According to the Open Syllabus Project, Karl Marx, the father of modern economic collectivism, is referenced more than any other economist or philosopher. Socialism is being misrepresented by many in the media and academia, and millennials are misinformed on the issue.

Here are the realities of Socialism:

Socialism is slavery. Under a socialist system, one do not own the fruits of their labor. The state does, and they do with your resources what they see fit. The state gives you the opportunities that they think you deserve. You are owned by the state, and because the state is the only source of “free” education and healthcare, you are completely dependent on it for your existence.

Socialism is thievery and coercion. A certain 74-year old socialist from Vermont currently has plans to raise the top income brackets’ federal tax rate to 52 percent, which would put the total marginal tax rate over 73 percent between federal, state and payroll taxes. As with any tax system, this is coupled with the looming threat of men with guns showing up at the front door to take you away if you don’t cough up three-fourths of your earnings. This is because the state knows best and you are too stupid and selfish to know how to most wisely use your money, so they take it away from you by force. In the name of compassion and fairness, of course.

Some may argue that Democratic Socialism is completely different from the tyranny I am illustrating. It isn’t. Any democracy where the majority can vote away the rights of the minority is no democracy at all. Whether one is tyrannized by a small group of totalitarian politicians or a large group of totalitarian citizens makes no difference.

The heroes of the 20th century are those who protected the world from an onslaught of economic statism. This is no time to develop historical amnesia. One of those heroes, Winston Churchill, made this observation on this collectivist ideology that was taking root all around him,“Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery... It consists not nearly in a general leveling of mankind, but in keeping them level once they have been beaten down.”

By contrast, capitalism not only allows for economic freedom, but also brings about better lives for more people. While popular rhetoric indicates otherwise, capitalism is the greatest poverty-reducing economic system in human history. According to the American Enterprise Institute, the percentage of the world’s population living on less than $1 per day has fallen by 80 percent since 1970. These phenomena of reduced poverty and better lives for people in underdeveloped areas are not due to government-controlled economies or utopian ideals but of economic investment and growth. You know, things that actually lift people out of poverty.

Capitalism also facilitates charity. A study done by the Charities Aid Foundation found that Americans gave more time and money to charity than any other country over the past six years. This is because of the steep slide into socialism and the rise of the New Left in many parts of the developed world. Their reliance on a government safety net as their source of charity creates morally complacent individuals.

It isn’t perfect, but the moral superiority of capitalism over socialism is incredibly apparent. When done right, capitalism is equality of opportunity, whereas socialism is enforced equality of outcome. Some point out that Capitalism spreads prosperity unequally, and they are correct. However, the alternative is socialism, which provides equality by giving everyone an equal slice of the misery it brings.

Editorial: Diversity, for real this time

Whitworth administration needs to take a more prominent role in identifying diversity for the Whitworth culture. As a result of the Fall 2015 ASWU Constituent Survey, it has come to the attention of ASWU and this editorial board that students feel diversity is promoted excessively and has negative connotations. In addition, the survey also showcased student priority for ASWU to focus on diversity in 2016. While it is the opinion of this editorial board that ASWU is not responsible for the feelings of these students, it is also the opinion of this editorial board that the Whitworth administration needs to step up and make clear to students what exactly they mean by “diversity.”

Whitworth administration has made a number of positive steps in the way of diversity since Beck Taylor’s inauguration, but the efforts seem to be relegated to race and ethnicity diversification as opposed to diversity in the larger context of religious diversity, nationality diversity, socioeconomic diversity and diversity of sexual orientation.

While we recognize administration takes no stance on sexual orientation and does not officially deny faculty, staff or student applicants of differing faith backgrounds, there is still a need to more readily include these groups in order to make Whitworth more fulfilling in its education of mind and heart.

It seems administration is prepared to implement diversity for the sake of diversity, but not for the sake of Whitworth.

Millennials: the next generation of political voters.

By Josiah VanWingerden The millennial generation is a new pool of voters for both the Democrat and Republican parties to consider. They care about the issues on the backburner of previous political campaigns. They are changing politics as we know it.

That’s right, millennials, you’re here to stay. The future of voting lies in your hands. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard.

What does this mean for you? With great power, comes great responsibility, after all. You’ve got work to do. Perhaps the better question is what does this mean for Democratic and Republican parties?

For Republicans only the liberals have been able to cater to young people. According to the Pew Research Center (PRC) 51 percent of young voters (18-33) are liberal or lean left. Conversely, only 35 percent solidly Republican or lean right.

Social issues create the biggest difference: the PRC found that young voters are most likely to vote on issues of race, gender, education and sexual orientation. Only 4-6 percent of millennials are solidly conservative on these issues, while 16 percent are solidly liberal.

There is an obvious discrepancy in those numbers and the Republican party will not stay afloat if the trend continues.

In order to maintain relevance and attract the millennial generation, the GOP must be willing to compromise with millennials and show them that they care about the same social issues.

According to the Washington Post, “millennials see the GOP as old-fashioned and prejudiced.”

In her book, “The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials are Leading America...” political writer Kristen Soltis Anderson claims that the Republican Party could become obsolete if it fails to sway young voters.

“It’s no secret that the GOP has had a hard time winning over the millennial generation - the newest voters in the electorate - and that has made it increasingly difficult for Republicans to win elections,” Anderson said.

Never fear, young Republican! Not all hope is lost. There are still opportunities for the right to make a splash in the race for young voters.

I am not a political science major, but I think it is fair to say that first impressions are often hard to break. If  millennials see the GOP as white, rich, close-minded and old-fashioned, they need to prove to young voters that they care about the same issues.

They could start by addressing college education, tuition and student debt. None of Republican candidates in 2016 have presented a substantial plan to young voters that tackles the issues. For example, the GOP could look into technology and online classes to address college tuition.

The GOP is often perceived as being afraid of addressing race issues. It did not help when Republican candidate Ben Carson said that race doesn’t matter. Young voters believe that race matters.

Mass incarceration and criminal justice have to be addressed.  Liberals have confronted these issues, and have gained votes because of it. The GOP has to stop tip-toeing around these issues. Republicans hold to tough crime policies instead of acknowledging the race disparities of incarcerations.

 Promoting justice system reform would show millennials that the GOP does care about social issues and promote action to significantly address them. If they do not, Millennials will continue to see the party as stale.

Perhaps the GOP needs to reflect on Justin Bieber’s words in an effort to get connected with Millennials, “What about the children.We’re the generation, who’s gonna be the one to fight for it?”

Why you should consider studying abroad in Africa

By Emily Goodell  Over half of U.S. students attend a study abroad program in a European country compared to less than five percent studying in African countries, according to the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers. I, along with other Whitworth students, belong to the latter demographic.

WHY I WENT TO AFRICA

I had the opportunity to spend this past January term studying journalism and political science in South Africa. We traveled the Garden Route from Cape Town to Johannesburg. We toured townships, visited museums and spent time at a game reserve. We stayed with seven host families over the course of the trip, each one different from the last. It was an incredibly enriching experience that irrevocably changed the way I view the world.

When I was applying for trips, I considered going to a European country, but ultimately chose to go to South Africa because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Although Europe has a rich, complex history, it is culturally similar to the US.  It is westernized, Caucasian and English-speaking. It’s a fantastic place to vacation, and fairly accessible to do so. It’s not the best place to study abroad if you’re looking to be constantly exposed to ideas that contradict your own and cultures that are completely different from anything you have ever experienced.

Exploring other cultures opens up your world. It increases your intercultural communication skills and familiarizes the unfamiliar. We as humans have a tendency to interact primarily with people that are similar to us. That's not a bad thing, but it limits the scope of the perspectives that you are exposed to. In your life, you will encounter a variety of people and cultures, so knowing how to interact effectively with people that are different than you is a useful skill to utilize  in your life.

WHY I WILL NEVER REGRET IT

The purpose of studying abroad is not just to see beautiful places and amazing things and extraordinary people. Studying abroad is about challenging yourself, testing your limits and going out of your comfort zone. You want to see a country’s beauty, but you also need to see the people’s pain.

I was fortunate to see both during my time in South Africa.

I saw beauty in the view of the expansive Table Mountain.

I saw pain in Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island.

I saw beauty in the hospitality and graciousness of my host families as they welcomed me into their homes.

I saw pain in the indescribable inequality of ordinary people living extraordinary lives.

What I learned about myself and the world we live in by traveling to South Africa changed me for the better and forced me to open my eyes to what is going on around me and look out at the world beyond the United States.

As a country, we have a tendency to be narcissistic. The citizens of this country generally don't care very much what happens in other countries as long as it doesn't affect them. It's easy to lapse into an air of nonchalance when it comes to foreign affairs, especially when our country is large enough to be a world within itself.

We have a skewed perception of the identity of other countries in the world, other continents even. Take Africa, for example. When someone says, “Africa,” the first thing that comes to mind to people in the US is usually tribal peoples that live in the wild or lions walking through the streets. I was in “Africa” for almost a month and I shopped at H&M, ate McDonalds. At every gas station, I had a Coke and a bag of Lays potato chips. Africa is not what people think it is.

That's why it’s so important for American students to go to Africa. We need to keep educating ourselves about non-Americans and their culture. Every time someone says “Africa” and everyone else thinks of a wild place with nothing but poverty and disease, it kills the intellectual integrity of this country. When American students go to African countries, they learn what a small part of Africa is and what it has to offer the world.

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER

Study abroad is an investment into your personal growth and your future. These are reasons why an African country is a great study abroad destination:

  1. Studying abroad in a non-traditional location gives you an advantage in job and graduate school applications. Diversifying your application and giving you some notoriety. Many students use their study abroad experiences as a representation of their abilities to interact with people. So if the country you study in is more diverse, the assumption is, right or not, that your intercultural communication skills are better than those people who traveled to European countries.
  2. Studying abroad gives you the unique opportunity to travel to places that are difficult to navigate on your own. If you want to go to Africa, study abroad is the place to do it. You can do Europe on your own or with a friend.
  3. Being exposed to contrasting cultures increases global awareness and cultural competency. If you want to go into any job that requires you to interact with people different from you, having knowledge about the world you live in and the people that live in it is absolutely necessary for successful communication.
  4. If you are part of the majority in the U.S., it allows you to experience the perspective of being a minority. The majority of South Africans are non-white, so going there as a white person was valuable to me. I was often put in an uncomfortable position when people stared and whispered about me for being the only white person in the room. While having that small experience for a month is nowhere comparable to living the life of a minority in the U.S., the experience allowed me to get a small inkling as to what it’s like. That increased my ability to empathize with others’ experiences.

Whether you decide to study abroad in Africa or not, you can take away from this that Africa is a richly diverse, interesting country with a lot of knowledge and experience to offer.

Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s hero, liberator, and inspiration said it best: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

So educate yourself because if you want to fight for something or make something of yourself, you need to be knowledgeable. Don't be the person that thinks Africa is a country.

Television shapes perceptions of America unfairly

Television is known to bring forth a perception of violence in America—this is not necessarily the case in other countries.

People overthink how much violence permeates our society. We feel unsafe in certain situations when the likelihood of a dangerous situation is actually slim. People from other cultures may not perceive reality as violent because they might not watch as violent of television.

Most television shows portray society negatively with people having cruel intentions and creating certain stereotypes. is solidifies the perceived idea society is violent. In actuality, society is not as cruel and vicious as it seems.

In other countries, television is shown differently than in the U.S. Some international students at Whitworth shared how television influences their cultures and how it com- pares or contrasts to the prominence of television in the United States.

Senior psychology major Marianne Sfeir grew up in Beirut, Lebanon.

“A lot of the television we watch is American produced. In Lebanon, I don’t know the statistics for crime, but I am sure there is plenty of violence,” Sfeir said. “If I were to guess how much crime there is in Lebanon, I would probably overshoot how much violence there is.”

“Most of the television shows we get are from Russia. That might influence how we see the world because it is a biased opinion from Russia,” Olga Kvak, a freshman from Uzbekistan, said, “I don’t think people are that violent [in Uzbekistan].”

Sara Laguna Garcia is an international student from Spain who is studying English at Whitworth.

“I think American TV shows have more violence compared to Spanish ones,” Laguna Garcia said. “What people want to see on TV are things that they don’t have to think about like talk shows or comedies.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 10.10.43 PM

There is not much television violence in Taiwan, but it is found more on the news, said Martina Cho, a freshman from Taiwan.

“Everyone wants their opinions heard, but no one is really violent,” Cho said.

She does not think Taiwanese society is violent from the influence of television. Crime dramas are one of the most popular television genres, and they often show the most violence.

Crime dramas and genres which tend to portray more violence are the most popular, especially in America because they stimulate and captivate the audience. The most interesting aspect of these cultures were the producers of their television. In Uzbekistan, there was mainly Russian produced television. However, in Lebanon, most of the television is American-produced.

Americans interpret television violence differently than people from other cultures. We think our society is more violent than it truly is because there is so much violence on television.

I do not think we should perceive society as violent. It is not fair to assume people are dangerous when they are not. There is so much violence on television and we eventually start to think people are not as safe as they appear.

 

Skyler Noble

Columnist

Comments can be sent to

whitworthianopinion@gmail.com

Where did the paper plates go?

Sodexo’s new policy eliminating paper plates, which allows students to take food out of the dining hall to eat in their rooms or in between classes, is aimed to reduce Sodexo’s yearly deficit.Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 9.45.18 PM

While this may reduce costs to Sodexo it also eliminates any chance for students who have tight class schedules or do not want to eat in the dining hall to bring food outside. Prior to this new policy, students were sneaking excess food to their friends, but this policy also hurts students.

Sodexo should introduce a system that allows students to bring food out of Sodexo if their classes do not allow for a full lunch break. An alternative would be revising the current meal plan system to limit students to five swipes a day. This would allow ample meals per day while eliminating the possibility for students to pass their ID card to other students or bring food out for their friends.

 

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board. Results based on email survey of 233 students. Sizes of items correlates with number of mentions from the survey results.

Editor-In-Chief should not serve on ASWU anymore

The Whitworthian Editor-in-Chief (EIC) position is different from other ASWU positions. While the goal of the job is to take part in expressing the voices of the university—an underlying goal of all ASWU positions—the decisions made by the EIC often require putting their personal interests and associations aside. is becomes difficult when serving in a group of people who are supposed to be your team.

Every person who sits at the table on Wednesday nights deserves to be there. They truly care about this university and the people within it. I have enjoyed serving on such a team, which is why my position on ASWU creates a conflict of interest with my Whitworthian job.

If something goes awry within ASWU, it is my job to make sure those mistakes are covered in the Whitworthian. Furthermore, there is information shared at ASWU meetings and in the GE 330 class—a leadership class required for all ASWU members— that is not necessarily meant for publication, but definitely affects my thoughts and views on certain topics my staff covers.

I believe it is wise for the EIC to attend ASWU meetings to hear what is going on in ASWU and pick up story ideas. I believe it is beneficial for the EIC to take a leadership class in order to learn effective ways to manage a team of people. But being trained for an ASWU position under the idea that we are a team and we work to build each other up is not always realistic for the EIC.

While I have enjoyed serving on ASWU, I do think it is not a place for my position. Future EICs should take the responsibility of attending ASWU meetings to gather information and perhaps should be required to give a semester update. However, being a part of the ASWU team ultimately puts the EIC in a tough position in regards to the topics the Whitworthian covers.

 

Rebekah Bresee

Editor-in-chief

Contact Bresee at

rbresee16@my.whitworth.edu

Making the decision to not attend parties does not include judging those who do attend

I do not know the first thing about party etiquette, but it is not fair to assume I would judge anyone because they do party.

Recently, my friends invited me to a Halloween party they were hosting. I was put off when someone asked me if I was uncomfortable with their partying. Another asked me: “Do you judge me for partying?” I asked her why she thought I would judge her. She told me how she thought I was uncomfortable with her partying because I do not drink or party like everyone else she knew.

No, I will not judge you. You have a right to do whatever you want, but it is a personal choice of mine not to party. My opinion about partying is different from other people's, but it should not be an issue or affect the friendships I have.

It was never in my best interest in high school to go out and party. My best friends and I devoted our weekend nights to watching movies, going out to eat and having deep conversations which continued late into the night. We never thought about partying because we did not want to drink or talk to people from school who we barely knew. Even if I were to go to one, I would not know the first thing about party protocol. Not everyone has the mindset partying is bad. It can be a great way to meet new people and form relationships.

Personally, I choose not to party because I think there are other ways to have fun. There should not be an automatic assumption I will judge someone because they choose to party. If people do not judge me for my lack of partying, then it is safe to assume I will not judge them because of their partying.

 

Skyler Noble

Columnist

Whitworthianopinion@gmail.com

Whitworth’s supposed inclusive community is continually challenged by racial tensions

While Whitworth aims to be an inclusive community, the friendly demeanor of the university impedes this goal especially when it comes to addressing racial tensions and issues on campus.

When students of color talk about their experiences on campus, often times others claim that race has nothing to do with it. Students across campuses like University of Washington and Duke University stood in solidarity with the student movement of the University of Missouri after students of color at Missouri spoke out about a long history of racism on campus. What is happening at Missouri is similar to what is happening at Whitworth, on a much smaller scale.

Most people aren’t racist. Most students at Whitworth wouldn’t blatantly express hate for a certain racial group on campus. Yet, the way that some students dismiss the experiences of students of color is itself a form of racism. In today’s age, racism does not always manifest itself in overt ways but that does not mean that it no longer exists.

An employer at a clothing store who follows a person of color as they shop because they are suspicious that they might steal something does not necessarily hold a prejudice toward people of color. However, the images of people of color as criminals that the employee has seen in film, television and news contributes to the bias of said employee. This type of discrimination may not seem like the type of racism we are used to seeing: loud and violent. However, small experiences, or microaggressions, that people of color deal with on a daily basis contribute to a system of racism in our country.

The Whitworth community may be uncomfortable hearing about the discrimination that students of color face not only in our community but outside of it as well. Silencing students of color when they speak about how it feels to be a student of color on a predominantly white campus invalidates their stories and adds to the marginalization that some students of color feel on campuses including Whitworth.

These thoughts are not my own but rather a collection of the thoughts that I’ve heard many students of color communicate at Whitworth. None of these students are ill-intentioned when speaking about their experiences. There is not an “us” against “them” mentality. Rather, sharing these experiences with others helps some students of color feel like they have a voice that is being heard.

 

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Guest Columnist

Whitworthianopinion@gmail.com

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

Party Houses

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

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

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

 

Survey results

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

“I don’t need alcohol to have fun.”

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

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

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

 

Yes, I Party. here's why:

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

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

“To become a legend.”

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

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

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

 

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

Walking alone: Women take precautions at Whitworth to ensure safety

It is dark and I am alone as I walk to my car. Keys in hand and hyperaware of my surroundings, I think: “Maybe I should have listened to Grandma when she told me to keep bear spray on my keychain.”

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“Women are at far greater risk than men for stalking victimization,” according to the “Women in America,” a report written by White House officials. Both boys and girls are taught at a young age to not talk to strangers or to walk without a buddy. Yet, as adults, women have to maintain these rules because they are targeted more often than men. There are many horror stories about women being abducted in parking lots when they are alone. Women do not want to be the next news headline or on the next missing persons flier. An instinct forms in the back of women’s minds as they choose their potential method of defense.

Typically, I will hold my keys in my hand or I will park under a safety camera conveniently attached to a street light. If I happen to be with one of my guy friends, I will ask him to escort me to my car, just in case. In addition to those strategies, I will call my mother if I have to walk a longer distance so if something does happen, she will know and call for help.

Each woman has a different safety precaution looming in the back of her mind when walking alone. The Whitworthian conducted a survey to see what those precautions might be for women on campus. Men are not taught to be hyper-vigilant because they are not seen as being helpless. On the other hand, women have to worry more about their perceived vulnerability being taken advantage of.

A stranger can strike at any time and it is in a woman’s best interest to be somewhat prepared for a situation such as this. Though we live in the safety and comfort of the Pinecone Curtain, a potential danger is possible.

 

Skyler Noble

Columnist

Contact Skyler Noble at

snoble18@my.whitworth.edu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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