Whitman College is generally known for its beautiful location in Walla Walla’s wine country, for being the most expensive University in Washington State, and for appearing on many trendy top 10 lists for national liberal arts colleges (hence the price tag).
And it used to be known for its mascot – the Missionaries – until the current administration decided it was dropping that moniker. According to reports, “campus officials said the Missionaries’ mascot was considered noninclusive, imperialistic and incorrectly implied that Whitman was a religious school.
Evidently, Missionaries were imperialists before imperialism was cool.
And last month, the school chose the stunningly boring nickname of the “Blues”, which seems like a microaggression against people who get depressed from time to time, but perhaps that was overlooked since it least it can’t be perceived as potentially religious.
Now the still relatively-new Whitman President, Kathleen Murray, is carving out new politically correct ground in the aftermath of Tuesday’s election. She was kind enough to share with Whitman parents the special message of “inclusion” that she had provided the Whitman community on Wednesday.
Evidently Murray was worried that her campus’ young charges might have been shattered by the exercise in democracy on Tuesday, writing “I know this morning much of the country and campus is dealing with feelings of uncertainty and concern for our nation, regardless of political beliefs.”
Murray went on to semi-define how the school could come together in the aftermath of the election, noting the “Whitman Community is made up of people with many different beliefs, but it is those that we share that define us: inclusion, respect for difference, care for one another, willingness to engage in challenging conversations.”
One might ask whether Murray would have sent such a note had Hillary Clinton won the election. Or whether the “respect for difference” she notes includes the Republican students on her campus, who just might be offended at the tone of her email as they “process and understand the implications of the election.”
But President Murray wasn’t just settling for sharing her PC point-of-view with the community, as she leapt into action, telling “the staff of the Intercultural Center to make the Glover Alston Center available throughout today and tomorrow as a space where members of our community can gather to share their thoughts, feelings and questions in a supportive environment. Pizza will be provided.”
Because evidently nothing says “inclusion” and “respect for difference” to college students like free pizza.
As long as its gluten free. And vegetarian-only.
There’s some good news here. Remember the flap over the church handing out free pizza to high school students? (Shift May 25 post, I did a search for “Seattle church free pizza” to find it.)
Union boss Dave Westberg condemned the church because the “(supposedly) nutritious pizza” was taking away hours from the school’s union cafeteria workers. I trust he is not a complete hypocrite and will slam the college and its president for serving this dangerous pizza. It would be interesting to know if the college used its own staff and facilities to cook the pizza (if so, good for them) which, by the way, likely hurt the bottom line of nearby locally owned restaurants. If they dared to order it in, and if the college’s restaurant workers are union (2 ifs I acknowledge I have no idea about), I’m 100% sure Mr. Westberg will roundly criticize them.