Whitman Wire

Op-Ed: An open letter to the Whitman Coronavirus Task Force

Jake Wang, First-year

October 24, 2020

Dear Chair Peter Harvey, We, select members of the class of 2024, appreciate the hard work you and the Whitman Coronavirus Task Force have done in the past many months in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Balancing the desire for in-person learning, the needs of each class, and the needs of the ...

Birds are disappearing. Here’s why you should care

Illustration by Lily Buller.

Sile Surman, Columnist

October 22, 2020

Last year in Walla Walla, my environmental studies class visited Mill Creek on several different occasions. I remember noticing a small gray bird dipping into the water to catch food. The aptly-named American Dipper swims in cold-water streams for aquatic insects and fish eggs. Unfortunately, Dippers fa...

Op-Ed: Social justice or social capital: Venmo payments and land acknowledgements

Walker Orr, Senior

October 22, 2020

If you follow social justice education efforts at Whitman, on Instagram or Twitter, or Podcasts, you’re probably familiar with the request to support content creators via Venmo. Venmo payment requests featured in presentations at the 2019 Power and Privilege Symposium, and were discontinued in 2020...

Anti-violence and the Black Lives Matter movement

Ava Liponis, Columnist

October 22, 2020

The 1960s Black Power activist formerly known as H. Rap Brown once said that violence is “as American as cherry pie.” Black Lives Matter protests in June and July were sites of alarming acts of violence. In Charleston, South Carolina, dozens of police officers in full riot gear came upon a peaceful protes...

Universal healthcare: Just for the president or a basic human right?

Illustration by Hayden Cooper.

Scout Hutchinson, Columnist

October 22, 2020

When President Donald Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19, he had access to healthcare that is not available for the vast majority of Americans, and he knows it.  After being released from the hospital, Trump insinuated through a series of statements that his free healthcare, paid for by taxpayer ...

Op-Ed: Between two worlds

Jake Lorang, Senior

October 22, 2020

One of my favorite TV shows is “Downton Abbey.” One reason why I love this show so much is that it captures the ways in which values and constraints vary between the servants and the family who owns the estate. Both are limited in the way they are able to exert their will on the world into which...

The business of fake news: How algorithms influence our opinions

Scout Hutchinson, Columnist

October 15, 2020

The spread of information, news, personal ideas and stories through the internet has created a world where it seems like everything is at your fingertips. However, these online spaces have also created one of the biggest landscapes for business and uncontrolled capitalism. Information and knowledge have ...

On imperfection

Illustration by Lily Buller.

Victoria Helmer, Columnist

October 15, 2020

A few weeks ago, I cut myself with the sharp edge of a freshly opened chickpea can, and it was honestly pretty gross. It sucked because some of my blood made its way into the can, so my friend had to rinse the beans extra clean. My blood also squirted onto our kitchen counter, so we had to wipe that...

The Climate Clock is ticking, but for whom?

Illustration by Annika Bauerle.

Sile Surman, Columnist

October 8, 2020

In the last several weeks, you may have come across a picture circulating around social media of a large digital timer in New York City. An Instagram post of the 15-digit clock from Washington Post garnered well over one million likes. The Climate Clock, created by Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd, faces Union...

Neutrality in the age of the quantified self

Illustration by Allyson Kim.

Victoria Helmer, Columnist

October 8, 2020

From test scores to fitness trackers, many of us are quantitatively evaluated on a daily basis, and these ratings can come with a host of spiritual side effects. A classic example of this is social media. As ex-Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya has stated, “We get rewarded by hearts, likes, thumbs up and we conflate that with value and we conflate it with truth....

Four Day isn’t the break we deserve

Dana Walden, Opinion Editor

October 8, 2020

 I am — quite literally — the only person I know who did not have an exam, paper or project due at the end of Four Day. Even then, I was still working my ass off; like many students, I have several jobs and a large amount of regular schoolwork. Four Day was supposed to be an opportunity for me to ...

Ableism in the general election

Ava Liponis, Columnist

October 8, 2020

In the wake of the first 2020 Presidential Debate and President Trump’s positive COVID-19 test, we have seen heightened scrutiny placed on both candidates’ mental and physical health and their "fitness" for office.  Instead of making an argument that either of them are unqualified, lack leader...

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