‘Title IX Tuesday’: a celebration of women in Whitman Athletics

Tenzin Uden, Campus Life Reporter

Whitman Athletics has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX by using Instagram to spotlight accomplishments of women’s sports teams and student athletes throughout the history of the college.

Photo contributed by Lindsay Pasena-Littlesky.

Lindsey Pasena-Littlesky is a first-year Šináata Scholar playing for the Women’s Soccer and Women’s Lacrosse teams. 

“[When] I was in third grade, I was introduced to lacrosse by my father-figure, Robby Bill. The way Robby taught me the creator’s game [of lacrosse] was [that] it was a game given to the people by the creator as a form to heal themselves and to have a game for the creator to watch,” Pasena-Littlesky said. “He always told me that this game was a form of medicine, and he instilled in me playing with only the highest spirit because when you are playing. You are praying, so just have a good attitude and be respectful [towards] the game.” 

Pasena-Littlesky overcame issues such as limited opportunities in the area and challenges surrounding her body image during her journey of playing multiple childhood sports. She instilled mental resilience in herself where she understood that what mattered was her faith, potential, support and investment – not her body. 

“To me, [sports] create a warrior mentality for both genders, and this is crucial for having a diverse society,” Pasena-Littlesky said. “Sports impact genders, and they should promote gender equality.”

Pasena-Littlesky’s Native American background also gives her a unique approach to the diverse and powerful roles of women in society.

“As a Native American, my culture has instilled in me an attention to my wellness. I understand that my role in society is to give as a woman, although sports have input in me a warrior, helping me advance and shape who I am,” Pasena-Littlesky said. 

Sophomore Ariana Castellanos has been playing for the tennis team since 2021, winning the NWC Freshman of the Year award. 

“My priority is my [academics], but Whitman gave me the opportunity to still play a sport that I’ve been playing my entire life,” Castellanos said. 

Her athletic achievements include winning the double ITAs and many more.

“The college gave me the full support to come here. Although the college has a lot of resources, sometimes students might not know much about things like Title IX and the available resources,” Castellanos said. “There might be certain discriminations happening against women where they get diminished, but around my circles, I haven’t experienced such at Whitman. I have all the resources that I need, and I know that the people are willing and able to help.”

Sophomore Allegria Iteka is a frequent spectator at the Women’s Lacrosse games. 

“I think the [Women’s Lacrosse team] is awesome and has great players. The environment seems safe to me, based on how the games went and how appropriately the audience, players, coaches and everyone acted,” Iteka said.

She further added that the College could still do much better in implementing rules and regulations that could put a hold on unprecedented events of abuse and much more. She encouraged not just ending things in bureaucracy, but also taking a stand and protecting students equally to create a safe place for everyone.  

More information on upcoming tournaments for Whitman’s women’s teams can be found on the Whitman Athletics website.