Students fight for clean air on the airwaves

by Madeleine Danusiar|Staff Writer

Katie Thompson | Photographer
Seniors Mike Christie and Whitney Jester host their radio show on Sept. 27.

“From the Ground Up” is a new radio show run bysenior Whitney Jester, sustainability coordinator, and senior Mike Christie, spiritual life coordinator, that combines sustainability and spirituality on Whitworth.FM. This show, which airs on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m., looks at both the physical preservation of the environment and religion in relationship with the environment.

“We had the idea that sustainability and spirituality are not two separate conversations but are two conversations that are constantly dancing around one another,” Christie said. “We thought it would be a good idea to discuss a little bit about those themes, and how, if you are a spiritual person, you should care about sustainable things, and sustainable things ultimately point to a lot of spiritual metaphors. That’s why we’re here!”

Jester is a peace studies major and environmental studies minor, and Christie is a communications major with a double minor in philosophy and theology. Jester and Christie started the show to join in conversation as people from different faith backgrounds, Christie is a Christian while Jester is not.

“One of my goals is just to raise awareness for sustainability on our campus,” Jester said. “I am trying to alleviate the apathetic attitude that can oftentimes go towards it. Also, I want to show the Whitworth community that these kinds of dialogues can happen. That a Christian like Mike, and a non-Christian like myself, can engage in these conversations and be friends and agree on things despite our different faith backgrounds.”

I want to show the Whitworth community that these kinds of dialogues can happen.”

— Whitney Jester, sustainability coordinator

There are a multitude of shows put on by students on Whitworth.FM. Evan Jaeger, Whitworth.FM general manager commented on how the show combines discussion with music.

“They have a distinct purpose I guess you could say,” Jaeger said, “[The show] is arguing for something, and a lot of our other shows are kinda fun shows. We really don’t have too many pointed, argumentative shows.”

While the intent is to join topics of sustainability and spirituality, Jester and Christie do not have a specific agenda for each broadcast.

“We just ask, ‘What do you want to talk about?’… And Mike was like, ‘let’s talk about dirt!’”

Jester said. “So then, what we do is we will have a list going in our head of songs that we can play that are somewhat related, or that we like. Generally, I will talk about the science and the ecological perspective of the topic… and Mike will take a spiritual, metaphorical approach to talk about what he talks about.”

United by their common passion for environmental care, Christie has a deep conviction for why he wanted to create the broadcast in a spiritual sense.

“Humanity should always come before ideology,” Christie said. “In the same sense, ecology should come before ideology, I think.”

Christie seeks to emphasize that nature and spirituality are intertwined, and one can look to nature to find a link to spirituality. People are a part of the physical world, and Christie wants to expound on this tie to environmental observance in spirituality. Ultimately, the broadcast was created to link spirituality and sustainability together, and generate earnest conversation.

“We try to discuss sustainability not just in ecological environmental sustainability, but lifestyle sustainability and building a community that is sustainable… in finding balance,” Jester said.

Anyone can tune into the “From the Ground Up” broadcast on Tuesdays by Googling Whitworth.FM online.  

Contact Madeleine Danusiar at