October 6, 2008

Volume 3, issue 7
October 6, 2008
The Fountain

Staff Breakfast Wednesday, Oct. 8

President Bridges will host the next Staff Breakfast Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 8:30 a.m. in Olin 130. Among agenda items will be an overview of recent and upcoming reunion events, an announcement of the community open house for the Fouts Center for Visual Arts, and an update on Sherwood and Olin remodeling. There will be time for Q+A. Refreshments will be served; please bring your own coffee mug or glass to help support conservation efforts. No RSVP required.

No more tubs — Whitman Debate Team goes paperless

First place is no stranger to the members of Whitman’s Debate Team, but this fall they took the lead in a new race: Whitman’s paperless debaters are the greenest in the country.

Whitman has been one of the most technologically advanced programs in the country for many years, said Jim Hanson, professor of forensics and debate coach. Until this fall, however, the team still printed thousands of pages of research materials that needed to be transported to every tournament in large, cumbersome plastic tubs.

Hanson planned to move toward computer-only debate in the 2009-2010 academic year, but the airline industry’s implementation of ever-higher fees for luggage — and large plastic tubs of paper — jump-started the effort to go paperless. Determined, cutting-edge macro programming by Aaron Hardy, policy debate coach, and the team’s willingness to try, said Hanson, have the team debating with laptops this fall.

“The switch is saving trees and printing costs, and it has made getting to and from tournaments much easier,” said Hanson, three-time debate coach of the year (once national, once Washington State and a third from a Pepperdine tournament.) “We’ve talked to many other teams interested in moving to paperless debating.” A Denver team made an attempt several years ago, but without the macro program for setting up speaking documents that Whitman now has, so it didn’t catch on.

The paperless approach seems to agree with his team; click here for an update on team results.

Multimedia development is state of the art at Whitman

David Sprunger, assistant director, multimedia development and services, reports that the state of the art IS at Whitman.

“With the opening of the new Fouts Center for Visual Arts comes Whitman's most expansive multimedia computer lab yet. Drawing heavily on the Multimedia Development Lab (MDL) for design and function, it has been designed specifically with artists in mind. Features include professional grade large format and photo printers, Mac Pro workstations with Wacom graphic tablets, and two massive 65" flat screen LCD screens capable of displaying the contents of any of the Mac Pro workstations. Though targeted primarily to art students and faculty, the Greg Hickman Digital Arts Lab is a general access computing facility available for the entire Whitman campus.” For open lab hours and more information contact Sprunger, sprungde@whitman.edu.

Also, Sprunger reports that the Multimedia Development Lab (MDL) has moved to a striking new location, Hunter 108. “The new lab features exciting enhancements and upgrades. In addition to two new digital work stations and new lighting and room designs, the lab has added three 54" LCD flat screens cable of displaying the contents of any of the digital workstations. We studied nearly a decade of usage by the Whitman community, which enabled us to give careful attention to the needs of individual and group projects in the redesign.” For more information e-mail mdl@whitman.edu.

Professors, Baker Boyer bankers provide glimpse into financial crisis

Several hundred students, faculty and staff members were given an invaluable glimpse into the current financial crisis last week through the eyes of Baker Boyer Bank executives and Whitman’s own experts on the history, economics and banking realities that have created the current “House of Cards.”

Taking time to address the issue very much on everyone’s mind were David Schmitz, Robert Allen Skotheim chair of history and Denise Hazlett, professor of economics, and, from Baker Boyer Bank, Megan Clubb ’79, president and CEO and Whitman trustee, and Mark Kajita, vice president and senior portfolio manager and Whitman overseer.

The panel members each described different pieces of a very complex puzzle, which included:

  • The financial crisis is so complex that, even now, no one knows the value of the investments in question.
  • Certain grey areas of trade and finance need to be more closely monitored.
  • Part of the problem is due to simple greed, but there’s plenty of blame to go around.
  • Action of some kind is necessary to avoid even further financial pain in the country.

In the question-and-answer session, the panel addressed the question of a bailout’s “fairness.” The consensus was that “Even though it may not be the 'fair’ answer, it is the correct one.” Clubb noted that Baker Boyer Bank is in very good shape and doesn’t need a bailout, but agreed that some government intervention is necessary to stabilize the U.S. economy. In thinking about the bailout, Kajita offered an analogy. He asked the audience members to imagine they were driving on a multi-lane highway to a job interview. All of a sudden, traffic in all lanes comes to a total halt, unable to move anywhere because up ahead a truck has jack-knifed, hit other vehicles and completely blocked all lanes. If the truck doesn’t get help, no one can go anywhere, including you to your job interview.

Flu shots for faculty and staff

Again this year, the college will provide flu shots for all employees through the Welty Health Center. The shots will be available beginning Oct. 21; watch e-mail for announcements about the schedule of locations and times on campus.

Also — The Department of Health is holding its annual Walla Walla County Flu Shot Round-Up, Oct. 21, 22 and 23 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Walla Walla Fairgrounds Community Center. Flu shots will cost $30 for adults and $10 for children. Pneumonia shots will cost $45 for adults and $10 for children. Medicare and Washington Medicaid billing will be available. They will NOT bill any other insurance.

Muslim community and guests celebrate Eid ul-Fitr

Last week, Whitman Muslim students and faculty were joined by Muslim high school exchange students, their host families, and guests for Eid ul-Fitr, a joyous, fast-breaking meal celebrated at the end of Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict fast, and it is a time of spiritual renewal. Adam Kirtley, Stuart coordinator of religious and spiritual life, reports that there were about 30 participants and that this is the third year the event has been hosted by his office.

“This is one of several gatherings hosted by the college throughout the year for religious groups during their holy days,” Kirtley says. Among others: a Chanukah dinner and a Lenten brunch.

Whitman is tops for wind turbines on college lands

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has produced a list of colleges with wind turbine installations on their campus lands. The list, which can be seen here, puts Whitman clearly at the top of the list.

The AASHE makes this resource available to the public as a part of its participation in the Campus Climate Challenge, a project made up of more than 30 leading youth organizations throughout the United States and Canada. The Challenge leverages the power of young people to organize on campuses across the two countries to win 100 percent clean energy policies in their schools.

Value added-politics professors offer comments after presidential debate

The next presidential debate on Tuesday, Oct. 7, will be screened in Maxey Auditorium from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and the Jackson lecture, “Oil, war and Geopolitics: America’s Energy Dilemma in the 21st Century,” will follow at 8 p.m. In the half hour between these two events, says Susanne Beechey, assistant professor of politics, members of the politics faculty, including Paul Apostolidis, associate professor of politics and Judge and Mrs. Timothy A. Paul Chair of Political Science, and Shampa Biswas, associate professor of politics, will offer some comments on the debate intended to spark critical reflection on the debate and the campaign. “We have had a strong turn out for the previous two debates that included students, faculty and staff members, and a few community members,” she added. “We expect a strong turnout this Tuesday.” Refreshments will be available in the lobby.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise stated

TODAY, Monday, Oct. 6
Lecture: Kris Nyrop, former director of Street Outreach Services, Seattle, presents an O’Donnell Lecture, “Politics and Public Health: Lessons from the AIDS Epidemic.” 7 p.m., Olin 130.

TODAY, Monday, Oct. 6
Lecture: “Impacts of Globalization and Planning Your Future,” the annual William Allen-Boeing Lecture by John Medica, former senior vice president of Dell, Inc. 7:30 p.m., Kimball Auditorium, Hunter Conservatory.

Tuesday, Oct. 7
Presidential Debate: Join campus community members to watch the next Presidential Debate from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium, prior to the Jackson Lecture, which begins at 8 p.m. From 7:30 to 8 p.m., politics faculty members will comment on the debate.

Tuesday, Oct. 7
Lecture: “Oil, War and Geopolitics: America’s Dilemma in the 21st Century,” the 2008 Jackson Lecture, will be presented by Michael Klare. 8 p.m., Maxey Auditorium.

Wednesday, Oct. 8
Concert: Whitman College Hall of Music presents guest artist Jonathan Mann, piano, University of Idaho, and Robert Auler, SUNY. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall. Note: This event was listed incorrectly last week as happening on Tuesday, Oct. 7.

Thursday, Oct. 9
Concert: The Whitman College Department of Music presents Divertimento Chamber Orchestra Concert, Lee Mills '09, conductor. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall.

Thursday, Oct. 16
Reading: Visiting Writers Reading Series presents Robert Wrigley. 7 p.m., Kimball Auditorium, Hunter Conservatory.

Thursday, Oct. 16
Lecture: Robert Stacey presents the annual Robert Allen Skotheim Lecture in History, “Writing the History of the Jews of Medieval England: Why It Matters.” 7:30 p.m., Olin 130.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Staff Breakfast
Debaters Go Paperless
Digital Arts Lab
Insight Into Financial Crisis
Flu Shots
Eid ul-Fitr
Whitman Tops AASHE List
Value-Added Debate Preview
Coming Events

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to Editor Lenel Parish at thefountain@whitman.edu. Photos are accepted. Submissions are due by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the following week's issue. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: www.whitman.edu/fountain