Circuit 6 Letter from the Editor

Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander '13, Editor-in-Chief.  Photo by Faith Bernstein.
Rachel Alexander ’13, Editor-in-Chief. Photo by Faith Bernstein.

When The Pioneer‘s editors sat down to plan this issue, we thought about doing a magazine focused on the future. After brainstorming article ideas, we quickly realized that focusing only on where the world is going is nearly impossible without discussing the past. So instead of an issue on history or the future, we’ve made this issue about progression: the changes over time that are shaping our campus and the culture and community it’s situated in.

In this issue, we delve into the serious and not-so-serious progressions of culture and life, at Whitman and beyond. Catie Bergman and Shelly Le take us through four years of residents in campus dorm rooms (pg. 7), while Aleida Fernandez and Adam Brayton predict which trends will be out of style in 10 years (pg. 32). Lachlan Johnson has looked into our own history, exploring issues of the Pio from the early 1900s to the present day. We also uncovered the origins of Whitman’s Greek system (hint: cockroaches are involved) and tracked down the college’s oldest living alum (who used to work for the Pio).

As a senior getting ready to graduate, the idea of progression seems especially appropriate for this time of year. Whitman has shaped  the person I am today in ways that would have been unimaginable to the nervous first-year who first unpacked her suitcases in Jewett 4-West, and, like my fellow seniors, I’ll be leaving campus for the wider world in a few short months. The next progression in my life seems like a bit of a black box, but it’s comforting to remember that setting foot in the halls of the Science Building for the first time freshman year felt more or less the same way, and that generations of seniors before me have taken the same step in life and, presumably, survived. Even if you’re not graduating, you’re probably facing choices about shaping your identity at Whitman, whether it’s choosing a major or getting involved in a campus organization. I hope this issue can offer those of you who have a bit more time than I do some perspective on this campus: how it’s become the place it is today, and where it might go from here.