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Learning through Involvement

The Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC)


Every Whitman student is a member of the Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC), our student government organization, which exists to support and advance student interests. ASWC sponsors clubs, activities, speakers, concerts, and student advocacy projects. As a member, you are welcome to participate in any ASWC supported event or program. In the next few pages, you will get a brief glance at many of the exciting opportunities ASWC has to offer.

The ASWC Congress

The ASWC Congress is an elected body made up of the Senate and Executive Council, with the president presiding over the chamber. The Senate is made up of four senators from each class. The Congress votes on issues concerning the bylaws that govern ASWC, budget allocations, student resolutions, media chairpersons, and committee member appointments. One of the best ways to get involved on campus is to be a senator or Executive Council officer. However, all meetings are open to the public and attending is an awesome way to find out what is taking place on campus.

The Executive Council

The Executive Council is elected annually to support campus organizations, manage the finances of student groups, and coordinate Senate meetings. The council is committed to developing and supporting an efficient system of student governance for Whitman College. Members share the goal of addressing relevant student issues, whether through the funding of clubs and organizations, or through the representation of ideas and concerns. Council members welcome input recommendations over the course of the next year, with respect to Congress itself and the general operation of your student government.

ASWC Activities

Whitman Events Board

The Whitman Events Board (WEB) is an ASWC-sponsored student group dedicated to bringing a balanced program of events to campus. WEB provides and supports a wide array of educational and entertaining events by maintaining contacts with artists and booking agencies, as well as generating original student-led programs. It is responsible for sponsoring the Drive-In Movie, Choral Contest, films, concerts, speakers, Casino Night and much more! To find out more call 509-522-4436 or email web@whitman.edu.

ASWC Media Organizations

The Wire

The Wire is the free weekly student newspaper. The purpose of the Wire is to inform, entertain, and provide both a catalyst and a forum for expression within the Whitman community. If you have an opinion about an issue on campus or around the world, submit an article and you might find your name in the next Wire. The Wire hires new staff members at the beginning of each semester and encourages anyone to apply.

blue moon

blue moon, a yearly publication, accepts submissions of poetry, prose, and art, as well as digital media such as film, from the Whitman community. It is distributed in May. Prizes are awarded for the best entry in each category. Contact the blue moon editor (bluemoon@whitman.edu) or the ASWC Director of Communications to find out how you can get involved or to submit your work. It really is a work of art.


Published four times a year, quarterlife is a literary journal featuring poetry, short fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, analytic essays, and alternative journalism by Whitman students. Each issue is composed around a given theme that acts as both a spark for individual creativity and a thematic axis for the issue. If you’re interested in submitting work or helping publish quarterlife, contact quarterlife@whitman.edu for more information.


Whitman’s yearbook, “Waiilatpu,” provides an annual record of life at Whitman College. Created entirely by students, the yearbook provides an excellent opportunity for students interested in photography, design and business practices to get involved and create a tangible artifact of the culture and environment at Whitman. To get involved, contact editor@whitmanyearbook.com.

KWCW 90.5 FM

KWCW, the college’s radio station, commonly referred to as “K-Dub,” is the college’s student and community run, free-format radio station that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you want to be a DJ for a few hours a week and play your favorite music, broadcast the news or host a talk show, stop by the K-Dub office on the Reid Campus Center Mezzanine to find out how you can get involved.

Student Clubs and Organizations

Most groups and organizations are student-run; nearly all involve students in planning and carrying out their programs. The largest of the self-governing groups is the Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC), of which every student is a member. ASWC conducts its affairs through an elected Executive Council and student Senate. In addition to advocating for student needs and planning all-campus activities and programs, ASWC is responsible for oversight and budget allocations for the Whitman Events Board, weekly newspaper, radio station KWCW-FM and more than 50 student clubs and media groups.

Campus clubs focus on specific interests such as sports, recreation, health, music, leadership, women's programs and religious interests. Information on student organizations can be found at https://whitman.presence.io/organizations.

Arts, Drama, Films, and Music


Coffeehouse, under the auspices of the Reid Campus Center, offers an opportunity for people of the Whitman community to enjoy a variety of artists as they perform in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere. The performances range from traditional American folk music to blues, jazz and soul. Whitman students and staff are encouraged to perform. For more information, contact the Coffeehouse Manager at musicent@whitman.edu.


Harper Joy Theatre presents a season of eight fully mounted plays in addition to lunchbox and late-night theatre. Auditions are open and admission is free to all Whitman students. Varsity Nordic, the Whitman improvisation group, holds auditions each semester and performs frequently. Live theatre can also be found in the community, at organizations like The Little Theatre, Gesa Power House Theatre, Walla Walla University and Walla Walla Community College.


From drive-in movies on the Reid Campus Center lawn and the Cinema Arts series, to the Banff Mountain Film Festival and Tamarac House’s own Tamarac Outdoor Film Festival, chances are you’ll find a film that suits your interests. If you have questions or would like to request a film to be played on campus, please email cinema@whitman.edu.

Whitman College Chorale

The 100-voice Whitman College Chorale is open to all Whitman students through audition. The choir learns many exciting pieces during the year and sings one major campus concert each semester.

Whitman Jazz Ensembles

The Whitman jazz ensemble is open to all students through audition. This group performs a major concert each semester, and plays short programs for a variety of other functions.

Whitman Symphony Orchestra

Students from a broad cross-section of the campus community play for the Whitman Orchestra. Concerts are given in the fall and spring and often feature student soloists. The orchestra plays a musical or opera annually and periodically takes a tour.

Whitman Wind Ensemble

The ensemble is a concert organization, playing the best of modern and classical music for winds and percussion. One or more formal concerts are presented each semester. The class is open to all brass, woodwind and percussion students by audition during the first week of classes.

Intercollegiate and Intramural Athletics

Whitman College affirms the classical ideal that physical fitness complements intellectual development. Whitman's programs of sport studies, recreation and athletics are designed to contribute to the liberal education of our students as they engage their minds and bodies in vigorous fitness, wellness, and competitive activity.

Whitman supports athletics for two reasons:

  1. as they train and strive to excel, student-athletes complement and strengthen the education they are pursuing; and
  2. athletics contributes in unique ways to campus life and fosters a strong sense of community.

To achieve these ends, the college provides the resources to enable teams and individuals to compete effectively in the NCAA Division III, and to enable those individuals and teams who qualify to compete at regional and national levels.

The athletics program at Whitman College is designed to support:

  • the overall institutional mission of the college;
  • the principles of fair play and amateur athletics, as defined by NCAA legislation;
  • the overall academic success of student-athletes;
  • the overall health and welfare of student-athletes;
  • the principle of equal access to athletic opportunities for all genders.

Whitman holds membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (Division III) and the Northwest Conference (NWC). The college fields multi-gender teams in basketball, swimming, tennis, soccer, cross country, and golf. There are women's teams in volleyball and lacrosse, and is a men's team in baseball. The NCAA III does not permit athletic scholarships; however, all students may apply for need based financial aid and academic scholarships.

Department of sport studies, recreation and athletics staff members supervise intramural programs; about 70 percent of Whitman students take part in such intramural sports as flag football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis and Ultimate Frisbee. The college also sponsors several club sports programs, including rugby, lacrosse, softball, Ultimate Frisbee and cycling. For a complete and updated list of club and intramural opportunities please see www.whitman.edu/athletics.

Sherwood Athletic Center, the main athletic complex, features a 1,200-seat gymnasium, a training room, a strength and conditioning room, a practice gym, batting cages, racquetball and squash courts, dance studios and a 7,000-square-foot indoor climbing wall.

The college has four indoor tennis courts in the Bratton Tennis Center as well as six outdoor courts.

Baker Ferguson Fitness Center offers a 10,000-square-foot fitness center, and the Paul and Louise Harvey Aquatic Center features a 30-meter swimming pool.

Baseball games take place at 3,000-seat Borleske Stadium, which also includes an indoor 3 tunnel batting cage. The golf team practices at 18-hole Memorial Golf Course, the Walla Walla Country Club, and Wine Valley Golf Club. The Whitman Athletic Complex hosts the soccer and women's lacrosse teams in addition to a variety of club and intramural competitions.

College Expectations for Sorority and Fraternity Organizations

The college supports a Sorority and Fraternity (Greek) experience that is consistent with the mission and aims of Whitman College. In order to ensure that Greek organizations are supporting the mission of the college, maximizing their contribution to the personal development of their members and maintaining a sound organization, it is expected that each chapter will engage in the following activities:

  1. Scholarship – The fraternity or sorority environment shall be conducive to study and support of each member’s academic efforts. This is a serious concern of the college and is a necessary ingredient of a Greek organization’s total contribution. Programs should be planned around the academic needs of members (e.g., study skills, tutoring and discussion groups, writing workshops, career planning). Formal scholarship programs and activities are strongly encouraged in order that members might learn from each other.
  2. Rules and Regulations – It is expected that all fraternity and sorority members have knowledge of and comply with college regulations and state and local laws. Further, it is important that each chapter have clearly stated internal rules that are responsibly enforced by the officers. Problem areas may include alcohol and drug abuse, hazing, sexual harassment, physical assaults, property damage, and noise. Failure to correct such problems when they arise threatens the continued recognition of the chapter.
  3. Recruitment – The purpose of recruitment is to present the fraternities and sororities to Whitman College students. As such it should be open and honest and introduce prospective members to all phases of a chapter’s activities, and to the personal and financial responsibilities that pledgeship entails. Therefore a recruitment program which concentrates on parties is developing an inaccurate view of the Greek experience and is not preparing its prospective pledges for responsible membership.
  4. New Member Education – In order to complement a recruitment program it is mandatory that each fraternity and sorority have a positive new member program. A wide variety of educational and related activities are necessary if each new member is to become familiar with and accept both the business and friendship aspects of his or her chapter. Examples of such activities are learning chapter management skills, how to recruit, financial obligations, and academic expectations of the college and the chapter. Conversely, practices which continue because of tradition and are based on fun at the expense of others are not constructive. Hazing does not encourage respect for others and is prohibited at Whitman College. Hazing is defined as any activity of physical or psychological abuse that is degrading or humiliating to another person. See further description and explanation on page 56 under “Hazing.”
  5. Finances and Chapter Operations – Financial obligations of chapters and individuals within their chapters are expected to be met. College regulations require that each organization be free of debt contracted through its current operations by the end of each fiscal year (June 30). Failure to remove indebtedness within a year will result in withdrawal of recognition of the organization. In addition, it is expected that the physical premises of each fraternity or sorority will be maintained in good repair and that all hazards to health or safety will be routinely eliminated.
  6. Social Activities – Fraternities and sororities provide a variety of social activities which contribute to members’ personal development and serve an integrative function for the greater campus. In addition to hosting responsible parties each chapter should provide a variety of activities which will expand each student’s experiences and include interaction with faculty and administrators, other campus organizations, and citizens of Walla Walla. Promoting positive interpersonal relations between individuals should be important for all college events.
  7. External Relations – Members and chapters must be concerned about community relations. Because the college is located in a residential area of Walla Walla, extra care should be taken not only to respect neighbors’ rights (including those living in residence halls) to privacy and quiet, but also to cultivate positive relationships through visits, newsletters, meetings with Walla Walla organizations (such as the police, fire department, etc.) and invitations to appropriate activities. Excellent opportunities exist for Greek organizations to make a positive impact through community and college service projects. A critical area of concern is inter-Greek relations. Raids, theft, and property damage have no place in the ideals espoused by the Greek organizations. Recognizing that alumni are a source of strength for both the college and the fraternities and sororities, it is crucial that each chapter devotes considerable effort toward cultivating a continued involvement with its graduates.
  8. Programming – Fraternities and sororities should take advantage of the combination of college resources and their own close friendships to significantly enhance the personal and academic lives of their members. For example, workshops or discussion sessions on leadership, personal finances, career planning and male/female awareness would be beneficial to all members.
  9. Evaluation – Each fraternity and sorority must annually review and evaluate whether or not it is realizing its full potential by serving its members and the college in the areas indicated in this document. Each November Greek organizations must complete an “Award of Excellence" Application. In the process of applying, fraternities and sororities must examine the year’s accomplishments and the congruence between stated philosophy, actual activities, and the mission of the college. A committee of faculty and staff will assess the applications and determine the award winners.

Expectations for Social Organizations

Student organizations and activities are subject to the supervision of the Dean of Students. Regulations for organizations and activities are established by the Dean of Students except in areas where authority is granted by the Board of Trustees or where legislation is specifically provided for by the faculty. Establishment of these regulations may be wholly or partly delegated to properly constituted student organizations or committees, subject to the approval of the Dean of Students.

Every organization must furnish a correct list of its officers and a copy of its constitution and bylaws to the faculty through the Student Activities Director, maintain a good standard of scholarship and conduct among its members, and have a college adviser appointed by the President of the college on recommendation of the Dean of Students or their designee and the student group concerned.

  • No meetings by social groups, clubs, or organizations, including the Associated Students, shall be held during the time of formal exercises scheduled by the college.
  • Membership in campus organizations shall be confined to students enrolled in the college except as the constitutions of the respective organizations may provide for honorary and other categories of membership.
  • All organized activities sponsored or directed by the college, the Associated Students, the social groups, service organizations, and any other groups of students and/or faculty should be registered on the Campus Events Office calendar in the Reid Campus Center no later than one week prior to the date of the event.
  • Social events and other activities held in off-campus locations will not normally be considered to be sponsored by the college. The responsibility for ensuring proper conduct at such events shall rest entirely with the group itself.
  • Social events and other activities conducted on the campus by student organizations are subject to college regulations concerning organizations and individual student behavior. Students or campus organizations that wish to use college-owned facilities for their social events or other organized activities must reserve the facilities with the appropriate office. The reservation must indicate who the responsible individual(s) will be in case of damage to college property or other problems stemming from the activity. In instances where college property or buildings are being used by students for such activities, the college reserves the right to require the presence of appropriate personnel such as firefighters, custodians, residence hall staff, security personnel, etc.
  • Students are encouraged to invite guests from all segments of the college community to their social events when appropriate.
  • Additional information on required procedures for the scheduling and holding of social events is available to everyone in the Reid Campus Center.
  • No publications may be issued by students, classes, or organizations in the name of the college without permission of the faculty or administration, as appropriate.
  • Each student organization must be free of debt contracted as a result of current operations by June 30 of each year. An organization in debt at that time will be automatically placed on probation for one year. During such probation the organization shall not contract further current indebtedness and shall remove all current financial obligations. If at the end of the year of probation the indebtedness is not removed, faculty authorization for the organization will be withdrawn.

College Committees

College committees are made up of faculty, administrators and students. They investigate, discuss and recommend college policy in a variety of areas. College committees are chaired by either faculty or administrators, but students play the extremely important role of voicing student needs and concerns. The ASWC Nominations Chair can tell you how to get involved in any of the committees. The Chair can be contacted at aswc_nominations@whitman.edu. Each year there are openings for students from every class. Getting on a committee is a great way to get your voice heard. ASWC appoints people to the following committees: Council on Student Affairs, Student Life Committee, General Studies Committee, Library Advisory Committee, Sustainability Committee, Student Technology Advisory Committee and Bon Appétit Advisory Committee. Students are also appointed to seven of the standing Board of Trustee Committees.

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