Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

“For the last three years,” the recent ASWC press release on international travel reads, “there has been a ban on college funding going to any international travel.” That statement is remarkably incorrect. That statement overlooks $20,725 that ASWC has spent to fund the uniquely positioned Whitman Direct Action projects to Guatemala over the last three years. Almost $7,000 is a lot to drop on one club every year, but Whitman Direct Action has been one of the strongest enablers of the lifting of this ban than any other student effort through assiduous work with the college and serving as a guinea pig of sorts for international travel since 2005. I am appalled that there has been no recognition of WDA’s efforts in this process and only a severe, debilitating withdrawal of ASWC financial support from WDA. A budget cut by over 75 percent will
cause unethical compromises to not only WDA’s functionality but to our established Guatemalan partner community that is expectant of continued relations with the college.

We globally extend Whitman’s mission and values through cultivating a partnership of trust and reciprocation, and these cuts may result in tangible loss such as the inability to provide our planned water purification curriculum to help the community prevent, and recover from, water contamination. Rapid fund slashing and contradictory guidance on funding throughout the years do not promote the holistic learning and leading opportunities I believed our student government supported. I can only hope to see greater long-term consistency in ASWC’s priorities for its clubs as well as increased diplomacy when faced with the need to encourage decreased dependence on ASWC funding.

Natalie Jamerson ’13