Whitman Pioneer Fall 2011 Issue 7

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The Oct. 20 edition.

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<ul><li><p>page 4 page 4</p><p>Web Exclusive</p><p>OCT</p><p>202011 www.whitmanpioneer.com | Whitman news since 1896 | Walla Walla, Washington</p><p>ISSUE</p><p>7</p><p>For an update on the potential growthof Whitman Colleges dual-flush toilet program, log on to our website atwww.whitmanpioneer.com</p><p>Columnists deliberate over the impact of new findings about neutrinos</p><p>Greek athletes discuss experience of balancing sports, Greek life </p><p>OPINION, PAGE 10SPORTS, PAGE 8</p><p>Web ExclusiveOpinionSports</p><p>W hen people talk about autism . . . they think of the person doing their own thing in the back of the room, said Randall, a first-year. But you dont think of the kid who approaches people but doesnt know how to do it.</p><p>Randall has Aspergers syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism characterized by intense interests and by difficulties understanding nonverbal expressions and showing empathy. Individuals with Aspergers are often highly intelligent and, unlike people with certain severe forms of autism, can communicate with verbal language.</p><p>There are no official numbers on Whitman students with Aspergers, though Director of Academic Resources Juli Dunn said she works with a small handful. For Whitman students with Aspergers, their differences affect their experiences both in the classroom and in Whitmans broader social sphere. The Pioneer talked with two Whitties with Aspergers, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not out publicly as individuals with Aspergers. Both students are identified by pseudonyms of their choice.</p><p>Understanding facial gestures and body language is something most people take for granted. Individuals with Aspergers, however, often do not pick up on these cues.</p><p>Occasionally I miss a social cue or I miss something someone is trying to tell me, said Randall. Having the trait of Aspergers means I can intensely focus on something while screening everything else out, which can seem insensitive.</p><p>Mary, a sophomore with Aspergers, agreed, noting that she often does not pick up on sarcasm.</p><p>W hitman students stood alongside other Washington residents to express their dissatisfaction with the current political and economic climate in the United States at the Occupy Tri-Cities and Occupy Walla Walla general assemblies on Oct. 14 and 15. The movements, which have grown out of the leaderless Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City, aim to serve as a forum for free expression and democratic decision-making among citizens.</p><p>Occupy Tri-Cities general assembly took place in Richlands John Dam Plaza and followed the model of public discussions taking place on Wall Street. Participants took turns expressing their frustrations and ideas aloud. Afterwards, the assembly participants spread out along the sidewalk, carrying signs adorned with slogans such as We Are the 99 percent.</p><p>What brings us here is </p><p>the lack of accountability in America, the growing inequality and the corporate domination of government, said Mark Mansperger, clinical assistant professor of anthropology at Washington State University.</p><p>Theres been a real awakening to what were asking for, said Jason Caryl, the facilitator of the event. Were not a bunch of hippie leftist takers. We are people who are involved in our communities, people who are educated, people who have careers, and we are all affected by the same things.</p><p>Caryl, a Richland resident, was laid off from his position as a sheet metal worker in December 2010. Others at the assembly reported their frustration in dealing with unemployment as well as concern about the larger economic picture.</p><p>I think that theres a collective frustration with the financial system . . . Were not in charge of our destiny. I think </p><p>people feel like theyre being told how its going to be, said Richland resident David Willis.</p><p>Representatives from labor unions turned out in force, including members of the local teachers association and the Teamsters union.</p><p>This is not a union gathering, explained preschool teacher and Teamster member Tina Urban. Its not a left or a right [movement]. The middle class is deteriorating and going away.</p><p>It started on Wall Street [but] were seeing it everywhere. We cant just let other workers and other unions take action without doing something locally to bring awareness to everybody, said union representative Tony Flores.</p><p>Junior Robby Seager was one of the Whitman students present at the Tri-Cities general assembly and also the facilitator of Occupy Walla Walla.</p><p>I really enjoyed [Occupy Tri-Cities]. I think I learned a few </p><p>things from the general assembly in terms of how to facilitate the group and how important it is to reflect the goals of the movement within every meeting, said Seager.</p><p>Walla Wallas first general assembly occurred on Oct. 16, when community members gathered to meet other participants in the movement and share their own ideas for the movements future.</p><p>Utilizing the same democratic process as other Occupy gatherings nationwide, the assembly determined through a series of group discussions and votes to schedule its next meeting for Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. The assembly also voted to split into smaller working groups to discuss more specific plans for future courses of action.</p><p>Participants in the event seemed to have high hopes for the movements future, but only if it is able to attract more attention locally and remains unified.</p><p>Skotheim Chair of History David Schmitz and Professor of Politics and Paul Chair of Political Science Paul Apostolidis spoke to a nearly full house in Olin 130 on Sept. 13 on the topic of Class Inequalities and Class Warfare. The panel was sponsored by First Generation/Working Class Whitman Students (FGWC) to educate Whitman students and Walla Walla community members about current economic issues.</p><p>FGWC co-presidents Omar Ihmoda and Elizabeeth Reetz organized the event in part to address conservative politicians negative and dismissive responses to complaints about the current economic climate.</p><p>At a time when were at a historic rate of poverty, we have people who arewith a straight facesaying it is class warfare to tax the rich. Were responding to this total absurdity, said Reetz.</p><p>Ihmoda and Reetz enlisted Schmitz to outline the historical circumstances leading up to the current economic situation in the United States.</p><p>I really thought the main thing I could do was provide context for how we got to such economic disparities in society, said Schmitz. I think its important because this is a critical issue in American society right now. Were in a financial-economic crisis that is of a nature we havent </p><p>seen since the 1930s. This is not production recession or a slowdown of spending, this is a fully blown financial crisis that has deep structural implications. Its not merely an academic concern; its a concern for all people.</p><p>In his presentation, Schmitz traced the concentration of wealth and power in America from the end of the Great Depression through deregulation in the 1980s to the present day, blaming the current crisis on lack of historical awareness and unregulated capitalism.</p><p>History cant tell us exactly what to do, but it can tell us that the government has a role, and that role has to be to restore some kind of balance. There has to be reform, there has to be regulation, and there has to be stimulation of the economy to move out of this type of crisis, said Schmitz.</p><p>Apostolidis followed Schmitzs lecture by speaking on the use of the term class warfare in modern political rhetoric. Apostolidis examined the ways in which right-wing politicians and pundits use the term to condemn movements for government regulation of business and taxation of the wealthy.</p><p>I think that calling a policy proposal a form of warfare preempts any reasonable discussion of the problem that policy-makers or activists on Wall Street are trying to solve, Apostolidis said.</p><p>Citing his research on the lives of immigrant workers in Washington, Apostolidis described </p><p>situations to which he felt the term class struggle could be more accurately applied, such as the pressure placed upon workers not to unionize or complain about working conditions.</p><p>Thats class struggle: when people who possess economic power are using that power in a way that subjects a broad group of people to the need to submit to the conditions of labor that are imposed upon them, he said.</p><p>The lecture segment of the event was followed by a brief question-and-answer session. Audience members inquired about current economic and political issues, including the Occupy Wall Street movement.</p><p>Its not just about occupying; its about organizing. Its about learning how to organize in new ways to meet the challenges of the current moment, said Apostolidis on the future of activism for economic justice.</p><p>Ihmoda and Reetz said they were pleased with the turnout at the event and hoped it would signal the beginning of a new era for FGWC.</p><p>Were taking [FGWC] away from just focusing on the Whitman community and the grievances of FGWC students with regards to their Whitman peers and looking at larger political patterns and things that are more conducive to unity than conflict, said Ihmoda. Were trying to stress things that unify us across class lines while still bringing class into the conversation.</p><p>Students speak aboutliving with Aspergers</p><p>Professors examine Class Warfare at lecture sponsored by FGWCby EMILY LIN-JONESStaff Reporter</p><p>by JOSH GOODMANStaff Reporter</p><p>Robert Allen Skotheirm Chair of History David Schmitz cited concentration of wealth as the source of economic problems, urging government regulation. Photo by Bernstein</p><p>see ASPERGERS, page 3see OCCUPY MOVEMENT, page 3</p><p>OCCUPY Wall Street wave </p><p>hits Tri-Cities, Walla Walla</p><p>On Oct. 14 and 15, locals responded to the recent Wall Street protests, taking to the streets to express their political, economic and social frustrations.Photos contributed by Lerchin.</p><p>by EMILY LIN-JONESStaff Reporter</p><p>volume cxxix</p><p>EnterprisingWhitties make </p><p>bank in business</p><p>Special: Guide toWalla Walla wineries</p><p>Feature profiles several self-started student </p><p>entrepreneurs</p><p>The Pioneer provides a map of local wineries in a special Family Weekend section </p><p>page 9 pages 4-5</p></li><li><p>Oct</p><p>202011</p><p>PAGE</p><p>2NEWSNUMBERS IN </p><p>THE NEWS</p><p>10.6Percent unemployment rate in the Western United States.</p><p>8.2Percent unemployment rate in the Northeastern United States.</p><p>$1.2The amount in interest 27 states had to pay to the federal government in September 2011. This amount is on top of the $37.5 billion they borrowed to continue paying unemployment benefits.</p><p>165,547Number of workers laid off of work in the United States in August 2011.</p><p>5.1Percent unemployment rate for recent college graduates.</p><p>27,000The median starting salary for students graduating from four-year colleges in 2010.</p><p>$17,711The average per student debt for the Whitman class of 2011.</p><p>SOURcES: tHE NEW YORK tIMES, tHE UNItED StAtES BUREAU OF LABOR StAtIStIcS, USA tODAY, tHE WHItMAN cOLLEGE OFFIcE OF INStItUtIONAL RESEARcH</p><p>by shelly leNews Editor</p><p>Around the World event sparks discussion</p><p>Bon Apptit accomodates dietary differences</p><p>This week, students may have noticed several dif-ferent multicultural events happening around campus. This is all part of Around the World in Five Days, sponsored by the Lan-guage Learning Center (LLC). The week-long event, in its second year on campus, aims to bring in-formation about different world cultures to students and pro-mote connections around campus.</p><p>The event is manifested in sev-eral different ways around cam-pus. Each weekday, two to four countries are highlighted. Lunch-time table conversations occur in the LLC in Olin Hall with ta-ble captains and native speakers.</p><p>If youre interested in any of these countries and you want to talk to people whove actual-ly been there or are from there, this is a great time to come, said Language Learning Cen-ter Coordinator Jennifer Mouat.</p><p>Table captains who have lived or studied in the various countries volunteered to lead discussions.</p><p>Students come and sit around the round tables and chat, said Mouat. Anyones wel-come. Its a very informal con-versation about really what-ever anyones interested in.</p><p>Mouat generally tries to get two to three table captains for each country, but had as many as nine </p><p>volunteers for some countries this year. The conversations are en-tirely up to the people present, but topics can range from study-ing in a certain country to work-ing or informally traveling there.</p><p>Tuesdays conversation, a dis-cussion of Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa and Tanzania, had about 15 attendees who participated in a free-form discussion spanning things to do in each country to ex-perience with the language and in-teracting with citizens. The ta-ble captains were a mix of inter-national students and students who had studied abroad in Ke-nya and Tanzania for a semester.</p><p>If weve got a lot of peo-ple you can get a lot of dif-ferent views, said Mouat.</p><p>The discussions promote inter-est, and questions are encouraged.</p><p>I think its a really good op-portunity for people to get to know these cultures, said Vane-sa Vega Dorado, the Spanish na-tive speaker. Whether theyre thinking of going to study abroad, its a really cool way to get to know people who have studied there and the native speakers.</p><p>Table captains share ex-pertise or general opin-ions with lunch attendees.</p><p>The native speakers [are] involved with the lunches each day, said Vega Dorado. Each of us will be whichever country were from. Were there answer-ing questions about the cultures and how it is to live in the coun-</p><p>try and to study in that country.In addition to the lunchtime </p><p>events, several language interest houses hold evening open houses, and the week will culminate Fri-day afternoon and evening with a celebration and rugby-watch-ing at the Glover Alston Center.</p><p>Last year I lived in the French house my first semester before be-coming an RA, said Zoe Inger-son, the RA of the Spanish Inter-est House. We did cookie dec-orating and [it was] just a low-pressure way to learn about the houses, get to know the resi-dents and the native speakers and the RAs and just talk about it.</p><p>The event is an educational one.Its a really good opportu-</p><p>nity for different parts of cam-pus to work together, said Inger-son. As the RA of a language house, I feel like [Vega Dorado] is really involved with the LLC but I feel kind of removed from that.</p><p>Ingerson said the event is a good way to tie the LLC togeth-er with Off Campus Studies and different people around cam-pus in a way that theyre not nor-mally connected. The event start-ed last year as an attempt to pro-mote intercultural interaction.</p><p>One of the first things that I wanted to do was build bridges to other areas on campus with sim-ilar goals, said Mouat, who start-ed in her position as LLC coor-dinator last August. Of course, one of the first things I thought of was the Intercultural Center.</p><p>Representatives from both centers sat down and brainstormed ways to bring cultural awareness to campus, coming up with the idea of a multicultural celebration.</p><p>T...</p></li></ul>