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To the Editor: An Open Letter of Support from Faculty

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Dear Editors and Staff,

Last week you announced a major change to this newspaper.

As faculty, we applaud the careful process of study and critical reflection that went into your decision.

As members of the larger community, we are grateful for your courageous and principled stance.

While, the word “pioneer” can have many positive connotations, at a college in the Inland Northwest it can never fully be separated from the painful and ongoing legacies of white settlement and indigenous dispossession.

Changing the name of a newspaper is, ultimately, a small act. But it is a step forward in a larger process of reckoning. For years Whitman erased its history by turning a blind eye to the “inconvenient” implications of its symbols. Whitman and other institutions across the country are now engaged in a broad process of grappling with the politics of their symbols. It may not be an easy process, but you have made a crucial contribution to it. We look forward to the conversations to come.


In gratitude,

Sharon Alker, Associate Professor of English

Paul Apostolidis, Professor of Politics

Susanne Beechey, Assistant Professor of Politics

Eunice Blavascunas, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies

Aaron Bobrow-Strain, Associate Professor of Politics

Melisa Casumbal-Salazar, Assistant Professor of Politics

Julie Charlip, Professor of History

Jen Cohen, Assistant Professor of Economics

Alissa Cordner, Assistant Professor of Sociology

John Cotts, Associate Professor of History

Brian Dott, Associate Professor of History

Tarik Elseewi, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies

Keith Farrington, Laura and Carl Peterson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences

Heather Hayes, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric Studies

Jack Jackson, Assistant Professor of Politics

Tim Kaufman-Osborn, Baker Ferguson Chair of Politics and Leadership

Christopher Leise, Associate Professor of English

Nina Lerman, Associate Professor of History

Bruce Magnusson, Associate Professor of Politics

Nicole Pietrantoni, Assistant Professor of Art

Matthew Reynolds, Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Culture Studies

Elyse Semerdjian, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Global Studies Initiative

Lynn Sharp, Associate Professor of History

Nicole Simek, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literature (French)

Don Snow, Senior Lecturer of Environmental Humanities, and Advisor to The Pioneer

Carlos Vargas-Salgado, Assistant Professor of Spanish

Zahi Zalloua, Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Literature (French)

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Whitman news since 1896
To the Editor: An Open Letter of Support from Faculty