Whitman unveils new Environmental Studies–Hypocrisy major to accommodate vegan, H&M-wearing students

Annelise Ellingboe, Hamburglar's Cousin

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Thursday, 9 a.m.  PST

Whitman College has officially unveiled its new major, Environmental Studies-Hypocrisy, in order to accommodate a growing population of ES students who wish to discuss environmental actions, but leave the solutions in the classroom.

Sarah, a junior who has helped pioneer the ES-H major, talked with us a little about her experience. “You know, coming to Whitman I really thought I would have to stop shopping at my favorite fast-fashion stores, start buying local foods, stop using plastic water bottles… But now, with ES-H, I can alleviate my guilt in an academic way. It feels really good to think about environmental issues, you know?” Others, like Thomas, feel similar to Sarah. Thomas, a sophomore climber considering an ES-H major, feels that ES-H is a great option for those students who feel environmentalism should only go so far. “Yeah, dude, it’s just really rad because I love sitting in the classroom and discussing all this stuff, but it’s like sometimes you just want to drive three hours to go climbing and you just don’t want to consider how that stuff impacts the earth. I mean, thinking about that stuff is what the classroom is for, not my free time!” Thomas’s outdoorsiness joined with his disinterest in considering how his trips affect the environment could make him an outstanding candidate for an honors thesis. Halfway commitment, or what Whitties have taken to calling “Vegan in a Leather Jacket” Syndrome, is key to the ES-H program.

Environmental studies professor Mitch Markle, too, jumped on board immediately. He has been saying Whitman needed a program like ES-H since he arrived. He claims. “Whitman is filled with bright, talented scholars–real world-changers–but no one as rich as a Whitman kid should be forced to give up the wastefulness that wealth has afforded them, like their BirchBox subscription or Amazon habit. This major allows them to do their part for the environment by thinking, rather than acting.”

Perhaps Environmental Studies-Hypocrisy is for you. Inquire about this new program in the registrar’s office, or pick up one of our non-recyclable flyers (otherwise we’ll just throw ‘em away!).

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