CWU Observer - Winter 2021, Issue 3

Page 1

January 26 - February 2, 2021

Vol. 118 NO. 3


MARCH Photos by Casey Rothgeb/The Observer

Chants for justice were heard across campus when students marched on Monday, Jan. 18 in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Marchers remembered George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others who have lost their life, and recognized there is still a fight going on every single day for equal justice in America.

In This Issue News








Sports Engagement

10-11 12

Page 2 COVID-19 IRL

Page 4 Replacing a four-way stop

Ellensburg City Council is in the works of combating local racism and discrimination Star Diavolikis Senior Reporter

The Ellensburg City Council is currently working on creating a commission dedicated to inclusion, diversity and equity, but it may not be established until late spring. Beginning in July 2020, a subcommittee consisting of Ellensburg Mayor Bruce Tabb and city council members Nancy Goodloe and Nancy Lillquist went on a hybrid virtual and in-person “listening tour.” This tour was for the committee to listen to discriminatory or racist experiences Ellensburg community members have faced, and kickstarted the city council’s efforts to combat local racism and discrimination. “I think when we started, we weren’t sure what kind of responses we were gonna get,” Goodloe said. “As it turned out, we got some very positive ones but we also heard some stories that were disturbing; there were some that were hard to hear just for the fact of what happened to folks. Almost every night after we finished, after we [had] done a listening tour, none of us slept very well.” Tabb said these racist experiences are very different from how white community members may be treated in their daily lives, which is why these listening tours were hosted so they could plan a course of action. He said one experience he heard was that a student of color was nervous during a traffic stop due to the cop’s behavior towards them. “It was overwhelming … When I get in my car, I don’t have to go out with the thought of fear. One of the experiences people had was [something] I don’t experience as a white person in this community,” Tabb said. Goodloe said the subcommittee provided a recommendation to the city council to form a city commission on diversity, equity and inclusion. This recommendation was approved, so currently the council is going through the city’s mandated process to get the commission in place. This requires an ordinance. This initiative is called Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. On the Ellensburg City Council website, there is a description of this initiative and their founding pillars. These founding pillars are listed as “Ellensburg cares,” “There are long-standing concerns about the treatment of people based on how they look, speak, or act, not by whom they are as a person” and “We can do better.”

See Ellensburg council, Page 3 Page 11 New opportunities for athletes


January 26, 2021


Resources for students in time of online learning Levi Shields Staff Reporter To help students through the struggles that may come with online learning, CWU’s Disability Services and Diversity and Equity Center (DEC) remain open to those who need them. A recent study done by the Gallup-Lumina Foundation, a study group that focuses on higher education, has shown that online learning is generally seen by students to be of lower quality than in-person classes, particularly to those who transitioned from in-person learning to fully online learning in fall 2020. “Currently enrolled associate and bachelor’s degree students who were forced online during the pandemic give lower quality ratings than their peers. Given these students’ desire for an in-person education experience, some frustration is to be expected,” the study reads. According to Disability Services’ academic accommodations webpage, their services include exam accommodations, early registration, accessible textbooks and communication access services. The webpage states that exam accommodations may be provided to students whose disability may interfere with their test-taking abilities. It can include extended time or use of assistive technology during exams.

Early registration is for students who require specific scheduling considerations as they may have physical limitations, attentional limitations or a psychological disability that is worsened by stress. These students may be allowed to register for classes early. Those who need to be provided textbooks in alternate formats, require sign language interpreters or speech-to-text transcribers may also be eligible for this service. “Services provided for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing include captioned video presentations, real-time captioning, and sign language interpreters,” the webpage reads. Students that need material to be formatted in braille or an electronic format due to visual impairment or learning disabilities may be eligible for accessible textbooks. They should request these as soon as they register for classes in order to get them in a timely manner. “Accommodations are determined based on the functional limitations of a student’s disability. The above list is not comprehensive and students needing accommodations not listed above should contact to discuss their specific situation” the webpage reads. Alongside Disability Services, the DEC also provides several resources that

Graphic data obtained from Gallup State of the Student Experience: fall 2020 report may be helpful to those struggling with identity-based challenges on top of the many transitions this year. The DEC webpage lists multiple resources for LGBTQ students who may need help, including the Student Counseling Clinic, which is open for appointments and can be called at 509963-1881 and Career Services, who

have career counselors that can discuss LGBTQ topics that are related to work, which can be called at 509-9631921. The DEC also is hosting multiple events and support groups that can be found on their webpage under the programs & initiatives tab. The DEC can be contacted by calling 509963-2127 or emailing

ASCWU’s COVID-19 IRL campaign hits social media Max Hughes Staff Reporter ASCWU’s COVID-19 In Real Life (IRL) campaign seeks to aid students in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and find new ways to socialize in a way that is more appealing to students. Western Washington University’s (WWU) student government organization, ASWWU, started their own COVID-19 IRL campaign back on Sept. 16, 2020. “I want to say it was Dr. Shawnté Elbert who was our former associate dean for health and wellness … basically she just absolutely loved the campaign,” Mickael Candelaria, the ASCWU president, said. The campaign ran by ASWWU posted a variety of information for students with titles like “Move the F*ck in,” and “Hit the books and Study up on COVID-19.” “ASWWU’s COVID IRL campaign was 110% started by students for students,” Candelaria said. “So a lot of the content for it is a little bit more relatable, personable, if you look at their content it’s sometimes vulgar which is really what appeals to people in our age group.”

Managing Editor Amy Morris Online Editor News Editor Scene Editor Sports Editor

“[WWU has] been able to maintain such great low numbers of [COVID-19] Covid cases, whereas we while we are maintaining great low numbers as well in comparison to other institutions we still knew that we had some work to do in reaching out to our off campus groups,” Candelaria said. The publicity center at CWU works with organizations on campus to publicize events. ASCWU’s Communication Director Leilani Salu works on the con-

Graphic Designer Meghan Salsbury Graphic Designer Ilse Orta Mederos

Bailey Tomlinson

Senior Reporters RachelAnn Degnan

Rey Green

Photo Editor Casey Rothgeb Opinion Editor Abigail Duchow Copy Desk Chief Abigail Duchow

Star Diavolikis

Photographer Abigail Stowell

Max Hughes Madalyn Banouvong

Gabriel Strasbaugh

Levi Shields

Ondrea Machin

Editorial Policy: The Observer is a public forum for student expression,

David Snyder

of The Observer is two-fold: to serve Central Washington University as a

Copy Desk Staff Katlyn White

Deacon Tuttle

Libby Williams

Clara Wetzel

Jackson Sorenson


Editorial Consultant Francesco Somaini

Jake Tilley

Nidia Torres

CWU Observer

Justin Zabel Milenne Quinonez

Hollis Zepp

Faculty Adviser Jennifer Green

Dakaline White

Derek Harper

Assistant Copy Editor Addie Adkins


Advertising Cait Dalton

Lead Designer Rebekah Blum

Amy Morris Sean Bessette

Staff Reporters

Information courtesy of the ASCWU Facebook page

The Observer Staff Editor-in-Chief Mitchell Roland

tent posted on social media and she works with the publicity center to get approval and graphic help according to Candelaria. ASCWU’s Communication Director Leilani Salu said, “Just to give credit where credit is due, this is a campaign started by [WWU’s] student government and they were doing it to be more direct and real with students to have that student on student messaging.” ASCWU feels that CWU students are looking for the more authentic mes-

saging and intend to use it to support students and throughout the quarter the campaign will post 2-3 times per month, according to Salu. “We just recently posted about MLK and how we can support Black businesses in Washington, and how we can also support ourselves and our peers and how we can still be safe while participating in activism events,” Salu said. The campaign is social media based and will be posted on Facebook and Twitter, but will be on Instagram the most, according to Salu. Future plans for the program include a post for Valentine’s Day that will give tips on ways to spend time with someone virtually or in person socially distanced according to Salu. Candelaria said ASCWU plans to release a co-campaign called Know Your Rights which goes over students rights at CWU. “So, the first one, we call it ‘New Year New Rights’ and it will basically talk about some of the basic ten rights every student has,” Candelaria said. Orientation was different last summer and the campaign will give newer students information about rights they may not have heard, according to Candelaria.

in which student editors make policy and content decisions. The mission newspaper and to provide training for students who are seeking a career in journalism. The Observer seeks to provide complete, accurate, dependable information to the campus and community; to provide a public forum for the free debate of issues, ideas and problems facing the community at large; and to be the best source of information, education and entertainment news. As a training program, The Observer is the practical application of the theories and principles of journalism. It teaches students to analyze and communicate

January 26, 2021 Ellensburg council from Page 1 The ordinance has been worked on with the city attorney, and a draft will be presented in February’s council meeting. This presentation will be open to discussion, public input and questions. “There will be notes of all of those things, and [the] council will decide what changes they want to make to the original draft to the ordinance,” Goodloe said. “Or, they might hear things they want to include in that ordinance, they may take some things out of the ordinance. The ordinance itself describes the commission, how many members, what their duties and responsibilities are gonna be, their terms of service on the commission [and] how they’re appointed.” After any edits to the ordinance are completed, it will be presented again for consideration.

Nancy Goodloe, Ellensburg council member



“Once that hearing is conducted, then speak, [before] it’s really visible,” Goodloe we go to the next meeting of council said. “That indicates we have a focused which will be the first meeting in March, effort going on in this community to adand that’s where we’ll conduct [a] sec- dress these issues.” ond reading,” Goodloe said. “And if [city] There were calls to schools, businesscouncil approves the ordinance on [the] es and the CWU campus to share findsecond reading, that gives us the green ings from the listening tours. The sublight to start advertising for the com- committee has met with the local school mission for district, people who sharing would like w h a t to be on the discrimdiversity, inatory equity and e x p e inclusion rienccommises they sion.” heard Goodloe about said there f r o m will be an c o m application munity process to members be on the w h i l e commison the sion, and listenthe city ing tour. council will T h e - Bruce Tabb, Ellensburg mayor hopefully school have selectdistrict is ed members interestby April. ed in col“We will laborathave a coming with mission by May for sure, if everything the city council, and Goodloe hopes goes like I’ve described,” Goodloe said. they will be collaborating with CWU, Both Tabb and Goodloe gave the same Chamber of Commerce and the Ellensidea that it will still be a few months until burg Downtown Association. locals see a solid commission put together “[CWU] has a lot going on in terms for the community. of diversity on the campus and they are “It’s gonna take a while before we ac- interested in working closely with us in tually see anything on the ground so to the future,” Goodloe said.

The challenge that we have in this country right now is that as long as they’re within legal boundaries, there’s a right to free speech.

Bruce Tabb, Ellensburg mayor

Tabb said as of now, there is not much city officials can do or have done for racist and discriminatory remarks. Currently, the main effort is Ellensburg police watching social media feeds in case hate groups attempt to plan an event through social media. He said there is not much that can be done about the white nationalist group that left propaganda on CWU’s campus over winter break as they have their right to freedom of speech. “The challenge that we have in this country right now is that as long as they’re within legal boundaries, there’s a right to free speech,” Tabb said. “It’s not clear what we can or cannot do other than ignore them and not give them a platform.” Tabb recently sent an email to certain individuals saying the city council will hold a proclamation Feb. 1 at the meeting to celebrate African American history month.

START RAISING THE BAR. Army Officers inspire strength in others. Make Army ROTC part of your college experience and be eligible for a full-tuition scholarship. Join the team that makes a difference.

Join CWU's Wildcat Battalion Army ROTC! Call (509) 963-3518 | email Stop by Lind Hall, Rm. 220 for more information.

©2018. Paid for by the United States Army. All rights reserved.


January 26, 2021


Ellensburg Downtown Association promotes local restaurants to help them survive winter slow down David Snyder Staff Reporter According to Taylor Villwock, public relations coordinator for the Ellensburg Downtown Association (EDA), the toughest financial stretch of the year for downtown Ellensburg restaurants is between January and February. That’s under normal circumstances. Under the current state health restrictions, the latter half of winter brings a harsh new set of challenges. “The rules [right now] are very strict towards restaurants,” Villwock said. “Outdoor dining in the summer was no big deal, but in the winter, obviously, it’s a lot harder because it’s cold.” Many are having to jump through hoops to acquire heaters and tents to make outdoor dining possible. Above everything, Villwock said she encourages people to eat locally downtown because of the personal struggle the owners are experiencing right now to keep their businesses afloat. “They never know what’s going to come next, and that really takes a toll on them … these people put everything into their businesses,” Villwock said. Normally, the EDA hosts in-person events around the winter holiday season that bring an economic spike to downtown, such as the “Holiday Girls Night Out” event. Without those events this past season, Villwock said restaurants don’t have the extra money to help get through winter. According to Villwock, the EDA has had to adapt its focus to smaller events and online promotions to keep people dining downtown. Jan. 26 marks the end of their “Takeout Tuesday” contest, which started back in late December. People could enter to win a $50 gift card to any downtown joint by commenting a photo of their Tuesday takeout on the EDA’s Facebook page.

Photograph by Casey Rothgeb/The Observer

Every restaurant in the historic downtown district will participate in Restaurant Month running from Feb. 10 through March 10.

Despite success with a similar promotion last summer, Villwock said there was a lack of participation this time around. However, she believes the event still served its intended purpose. “I would rather do something and have it be somewhat successful than not do anything,” Villwock said. “It not only [encouraged] people to go out to eat, but by having them post photos [on Facebook] or posting on their Instagram stories tagging the restaurants, it just brings additional promotion.” The EDA isn’t done with its giveaway contests for the winter just yet, because starting Feb. 10 is Restaurant Month. Until March 10, participating downtown restaurants will offer a special takeout meal for $20.21. In addition, the EDA will also be providing bingo cards to the community. Each box on the card will have a different activity or meal special that restaurants are offering during the month. If someone dines-out frequently and does everything on their card to get a “bingo,” they will be entered into a drawing. The

winner earns a gift card to every restaurant in the historic downtown district. Sarah Beauchamp said her cocktail bar, The Mule, plans on being involved in Restaurant Month although she doesn’t have any details on its planned specials yet. Like many, her restaurant was hit hard by Gov. Jay Inslee’s second lockdown order in November 2020. Beauchamp said the second lockdown was especially difficult because the restaurant wasn’t prepared for the extension. Right now, she’s still working with the city to get permits for outdoor seating. “It’s just been this tightrope walk of when to open and when to close, what to offer and what not to offer,” Beauchamp said. “We’ve been lucky enough to get some grants from the city and chamber [of commerce], but trying to navigate when to open, and then nobody comes [to buy] takeout, you’re losing money. I can’t afford to lose money.” Recently, The Mule celebrated its twoyear anniversary, since opening in 2019. According to Beauchamp, the restaurant’s

revenue was cut by more than half from its first year to its second year open. Also, her staff has dropped from seven people to three. While the financial loss has been significant, Beauchamp said she especially misses the sense of community the restaurant shared with its frequent customers. “We have a lot of people supporting us with to-go orders, but we would spend a lot of time just talking with our guests,” Beauchamp said. “We truly miss our connections with our customers and our community.” For The Mule, Beauchamp has been expanding the restaurant’s activity on Facebook by frequently posting videos to keep customers updated on what they’re doing. She said the EDA shares a lot of their posts, and because of that, it plays a critical role in helping them promote. “[The EDA] have been constant with their promotion of our business,” Beauchamp said. “People look to them to support the downtown, and I love how they support everybody.”

Ellensburg greenlights stoplights RachelAnn Degnan Senior Reporter For residents in the apartments on North Walnut Street and East 18 Avenue, the drive home is beginning to look a bit different. The intersection that once was a four-way stop has been upgraded to having a stoplight. Chloe Hopkins, a junior majoring in graphic design, currently lives in an apartment on Walnut Street and was caught off guard by the new upgrade. “I had noticed some construction work going on at that intersection, but I had no idea they were replacing the stop signs with a light,” Hopkins said. “I didn’t think people normally drove down Walnut unless they are going to the apartments or the little store and restaurant on the corner.” Even though the stoplight affects Hopkins’ day-to-day routine, she said she was interested in the impact the stoplight may have on traffic. “I, honestly, am not bothered by it,” Hopkins said. “It may add a minute or two to my commute, but perhaps it will also keep pedestrians and drivers safe.”

According to the City of Ellensburg’s Civil Engineer Hunter Slyfield, the stoplight was not random and had been planned out for several months. “When there is new development in an area in the city limits of any kind, and obviously [CWU] has done a lot of development over the years, they are required to perform what’s called a traffic impact analysis,” Slyfield said. “That traffic impact analysis says, ‘okay we are going to see X amount of additional vehicle trips through all the adjacent intersections.’” CWU’s recent remodeling and new construction projects required a traffic impact analysis, and it revealed a few traffic revisions were needed. “We have what’s called a level of service standard that we are committed to, and it is basically a grading system for how long you have to wait at an intersection,” Slyfield said. “We are committed to a level C, which is minimum waits. Basically, the [traffic impact] analysis showed that those intersections with just four-way stop signs would fail our level of service,

Photograph by Abigail Stowell/The Observer

Once marked by stop signs, the crossing of Walnut and 18th now has a new stoplight.

so we are required to signalize them, so they operate more efficiently.” A transportation improvement plan released by the City estimates the cost of one light is $636,000. “We have partnered with CWU, and we are basically funding one signal, and they are funding the other with traffic impact fees,” Slyfield said. “We began construction in July,

and at that time, I take over as the project manager. As of right now, they are on final completion, and we anticipate them being started up and turned on next week.” The lights are just the beginning of traffic revisions the City of Ellensburg has. To get more information, go to the Ellensburg City website and search for the transportation improvement plan.

January 26, 2021



Perms: The Modernized Trend Nidia Torres Staff Reporter According to local hair stylists, perms have become a trend lately, with people of all genders stopping by salons to get a curly new hairdo. From simple cuts and manly trims to sleek styles and womanly bobs, many people might not always venture out to show off an extraordinary hairstyle. Among the hairstyles that are ‘in’ right now, some people may not have known that perms have been a thing for many years. However, it might come as a surprise just how many people aren’t fully aware of just how perms work. Bluestone Academy of Cosmetology Stylist Instructor Alicha Mecham has been in the business of beauty for 14 years. According to Mecham, she’s had to do “more than a handful” of perms every now and then. Mecham said perms are a type of hairstyle that can be done with heat or with chemicals. At Bluestone, perms are done chemically. This means that they use anthe alkaline chemical to breach the hair’s cuticle, resulting in semi-permanently curly hair, lasting up to six months. Mecham saidstates that once the alkaline goes into the cuticle, it begins to break down the disulfide bonds, which then changes the hair’s form into the client’s desired one. While hair length is not an issue when it comes to perms, the type of hair does matter. “Fine hair is harder to perm, but you can perm any texture of hair,” said Mecham. “Fine

hair has a more compact cuticle.” Darlene Machin, an Ellensburg resident, has had her hair permed before. In Machin’s case, her fine hair didn’t pose an issue for her when she got her hair permed for the first time at age 10. “I have very fine hair and a perm made it look fuller,” Machin said. Machin continued to perm her hair until the age of 20. Two things she would have liked to know more about before getting her hair permed were the care and maintenance that came with it. While her hair did not suffer any damage, she did experience the after effects of having permed hair: the

Graphic by Ilse Orta Mederos

grow out. When a client’s hair does grows out, there is a mix of natural hair peaking at the top and the chemically altered curls still noticeable at the bottom. According to Mecham, perms can last quite a while and even longer with the proper maintenance. “As long as you’re using decent shampoo and conditioner, you can’t shampoo for 48 hours after your perm,” Mecham said. However, when a client’s hair does grow out, there is a mix of natural hair peaking at the top and the chemically altered curls still noticeable at the bottom. To better take care of permed hair, people should use a shampoo and conditioner

that does not contain any sulfates and sulfites that, according to Mecham, can damage your hair. Also using a hair mask once in a while can help maintain permed hair as well. The clientele Bluestone Academy has recently acquired consists of young adults and teens. “You know, we’ve been doing perms on younger people more lately,” Mecham said. “I would say I’ve been seeing more boys for perms than girls.” Mecham believes that perms started to become a trend among middle school and highschool boys about a year-and-a-half ago. “I think there was some celebrity that got a perm and the boys just loved it and we’ve done quite a few,” Mecham said. Chelsey Milner is a student at Bluestone Academy as well. She’s worked there for six months and can also vouch for Mecham about their recent clientele. According to Milner, she’s done about five perms on boys recently. “They’ve been getting, like, their mullets permed and then [the] younger kids get like the top of their head permed,” Milner said. According to data provided by Mecham, Bluestone Academy has done about 42 perms since the start of October. For the men and women considering perms, Mecham suggests to have realistic expectations. “A lot of people come in and they show me pictures of hair that has been thermally styled with a curling iron or flat iron and they want that to be their permed hair and it’s not realistic,” Mecham said. “The expectations are not always

Learning to cope during our first winter in a pandemic Libby Williams Staff Reporter Winter in Ellensburg could put a damper on anyone’s spirits, even under normal circumstances. Mixing shorter days and sub-freezing temperatures with isolation and other restrictions due to the pandemic has challenged students in finding ways to cope. Junior and history major Camille Shulz is no stranger to the feeling of winter blues, and said these feelings have been heightened due to isolation. “Typically, even pre-pandemic, I’ve always had some difficulties during the wintertime,” Schulz said. “I get a lack of motivation, and I’m more likely to feel sad or irritable.” Schulz said the weather, a “constant wall of grey,” has been depressing. However, she said she is doing what she can to keep herself motivated, like reading or going for walks. “It’s just important to take time to absorb the moments when you feel most happy,” Schulz said. Junior and psychology major Clara Wallace said she is normally a fan of winter, and in previous years she enjoyed going downtown to cafes, movies and restaurants with her friends. Since many of those activities have been restricted this year, she said she has had to adapt. “What’s so interesting about humanity is how creative we get … once we are isolated from each other, what we do with that,” Wallace said.

She said she found positives to the situation by making lists of things she always wanted to do, but never had the time for, such as spending more time with her roommates and reading. “It’s about doing the little things for yourself,” Wallace said. Despite her positive outlook, Wallace acknowledged the hardships people might experience navigating their first winter in a pandemic. She said as a psychology major, she understands what a lack of social experiences can do to someone’s wellbeing. “Human connection is something that’s very important,” Wallace said. “Without that and the sun like we had in the summer, I think that combination has made things harder than they were.” Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a term often used when discussing that sense of gloominess we feel during the colder months. Sabbath Jackson, the health promotions coordinator at the Wellness Center, has been educating about the disorder for years. “It’s actually not a super common diagnosis, it affects about 5% of the U.S. population,” Jackon said. “However, it is relevant to talk about, because there are components of it that can affect a lot more people who don’t necessarily have to have a diagnosis.” Some of the main components of SAD are a surplus of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that helps us sleep, as well as the urge to eat more, specifically

foods rich in carbohydrates and a vitamin D deficiency. Jackson shared some pandemic-safe tactics to cope with SAD or even similar symptoms. Exposure to light, especially in the morning, can help combat loss of vitamin D. It is also important to focus on sleep habits, especially as busy college students. “We want to try and mimic the natural rhythms around us,” Jackson said. Cindy Bruns, a counselor at the Student Counseling Center (SCS), also expressed the importance of sunlight and how that can affect our well-being. She acknowledged how much more difficult this is to manage during a pandemic. “People have to be much more intentional about doing the things … that help with mental health and with mood,” Bruns said.

Graphic by Ilse Orta Mederos

Bruns said students can call the SCS to set up a consultation meeting to see what their needs are. There are also support groups for a wide variety of situations, which could help students feel heard and understood when so much of our social life is currently missing. WildcatCare 365 is a new service being offered free for students providing year round, 24-hour services ranging from counseling services, medical care and wellness coaching. Students can find more info at www. “I want students to know that they don’t have to feel like it has to get really bad before they come and see us,” Bruns said. “We want to be there for the continuum for how we can best support them into wellness.”


“When you enter, the workers ask if you’ve completed your daily wellness check and they take your temperature,” Leslie Calaoagan, senior in the law and justice department

Written by Jackson Sorensen


he SURC gym opened its doors on Jan. 14 since the second wave of guidelines were placed. The gym looks a bit different than people might remember. Leslie Calaoagan, a senior in the law and justice department, who regularly frequents the gym since the new guidelines. “When you enter, the workers ask if you’ve completed your daily wellness check and they take your temperature,” Calaoagan said. There are three different sections that can be booked online, cardio, rock climbing and the weight room. The employees encourage students to stay in the area that they reserved online to respect the new guidelines. The courts downstairs are spaced out and mostly empty. The cardio machines upstairs are still up but lots of the equipment is still closed off to respect social distancing. What machines are open are six feet apart.

Designed by Meghan Salsbury

“Honestly the time spent in the gym should be longer,” Calaoagan said. “ I like to do cardio and weights but I feel like I have to choose one or the other because I’m only allowed 45 minutes.” Students often feel nervous about going to the gym during a pandemic. When booking a reservation, looking at how many spots are available can help students decide when the gym is not as busy. Students are encouraged to try and find a time to go to the gym that works best with their schedule and their own personal safety preferences. Mike Alden is a senior majoring in aviation and aviation management, visits the gym almost daily. He said that everyone who works at a desk is covered by glass and uses protective equipment. “You’ll swipe your card, they take your temperature and it’s just quiet. You can hear the music and you can hear people just breathing,” Alden said. “Normally you’d hear noises from people working out or even machine noises. It’s super spooky.” Alden said that 45 minute time slots is “nowhere near enough time.” His usu-

Photo by Abigail Stowell

al workouts take between one and two hours. He feels that he is not benefiting himself with the limited time slots. “As you go upstairs, the track is no longer in use because there’s a bunch of weight machines on it,” Alden said “45 minutes is nowhere near enough time. I go in and get one set done and ask ‘do I have enough time for my next one?’ and then they tell me that there’s five minutes left.” The weight room is limited to five people at a time, the climbing wall at two and the facility at 20. As the phases progress, more students will be allowed in at a time. “What some people might not realize is that the workers clean and kick everyone out at 15 to the hour and the reservations start again on the hour. So if you don’t book an appointment on the hour, you won’t get the entire 45 minutes,” Alden said. Alden encourages students to do their pre-workout routine before they even leave for the gym so that they can have that whole time to just workout.



January 26, 2021

Student athletes shouldn’t be paid Rey Green Columnist

I am a student first, athlete second. As a young kid with dreams and aspirations to become a professional athlete, my first thought of whether college level athletes deserve to be paid or not would have been yes they do. As of now since I have matured, I don’t believe student athletes should be paid. As a student athlete you are offered scholarships where tuition, room and board, meal plans and fees are completely covered. That means after college they will leave their university with a degree and no student loans. Knowledge is power and that’s why education is more valuable than money. College student athletes at the division one level also get a stipend. The stipend from colleges in major conferences like the Pacific Atlantic Conference (PAC)-12, Big 10 and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) give out $2,000 to $5,000 worth of money monthly. This money is directly deposited into the student athletes accounts. It can be inferred that it doesn’t cost $2,000 to live on any college campus. When it comes to rent, utilities, wifi and food. Looking at athletes in lower levels like Division II, III and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA), student athletes don’t receive a stipend because the school’s don’t make as much revenue from their sports programs because they don’t have a lot of T.V. exposure, ticket sales and merchandise sold at games/events. So from this perspective, there wouldn’t be enough money to pay all athletes. There also wouldn’t be enough money to pay all the sports equally but that’s another story. The only equal way to “pay” all athletes is to a scholarship, which schools already offer. If you look at athletes in the NFL once they are done playing football, 78% are bankrupt or are in financial stress according to a report by CNBC. The same report said that only 33% of players in the NFL have their college degree. From those statistics, there is a correlation showing that if student athletes don’t have a college degree they also end up being broke. Now imagine giving an 18 year old millions of dollars when they don’t have any idea of how to manage money, pay taxes or have proper spending habits. That’s a recipe for disaster and setting up kids for failure. My overall reasoning why student athletes shouldn’t be paid, is that I do not believe we would be able to handle the responsibility of money because in high school we are not taught how to do so. Graphic by Rebekah Blum

Fight off stress with pets

Photos courtesy of Ondrea Machin

All types of pets help people relax and maintain a routine. Not only typical pets like dogs and cats, but all kinds of pets help people with their mental health.

Ondrea Machin Columnist

There are many benefits to owning a pet. People who own pets are less likely to suffer from depression, playing with a dog or cat can boost serotonin and dopamine levels and even lower blood pressure, according to HelpGuide. And with everything going on in the world, how can one not be stressed, anxious, or depressed? I have been overwhelmed with school, work and moving but I have found myself finding comfort and relief from my pets. I have a 3-year-old Alaskan Malamute named Meeko, who is quite the talker, and my sister’s cat Moo gives the best cuddles. Both pets provide me with different ways to reduce my stress. Meeko reminds me to take breaks from homework by signaling that he wants outside or wants to play, and taking those breaks allows me to refresh my mind and take a second look at my homework that is causing me to stress out. Moo helps reduce my stress when I pet him or when he sits next to me while I am in class or doing homework. I find that petting Moo, or any animal for that matter, boosts my serotonin and gives me comfort. Also, my pets

can sense when I am not feeling 100% and they try to lift my spirits. A 2020 article published by HelpGuide said studies have shown that pets pick up on human behavior and emotions. For example, dogs understand many of the words we use, as well as our tone of voice, body language and gestures. By doing this, they can gauge what we are feeling and provide us with coziness. However, cats and dogs are not the only companions that benefit our health, even watching fish swim around can help reduce muscle tension. As I mentioned before, stroking an animal lowers my stress and anxiety levels and this is because I feel the most love through physical touch. Pets also reduce feelings of loneliness, which can cause depression, and caring for an animal makes me feel wanted and causes me to focus on other things instead of dwelling on my problems. Now, I know I get anxious from time to time and it can be challenging to overcome those thoughts, but our pets don’t have a care in the world of what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. They live their lives in the present moment and that helps me do the same because they offer comfort when anxious people decide they want to interact with the world.

HelpGuide also said that pets are great at keeping us on a daily routine and having a routine not only keeps our pets balanced and relaxed, but also provides owners with a routine that will keep them calm and balanced as well. I have talked a lot about dogs and cats, but I know for some people owning a dog or cat isn’t really an option, due to either being allergic or not enough space. Thankfully, there are many other pets that provide many of the same health benefits that dogs and cats do. A more exotic pet could be snakes and lizards, these reptiles may not be like other pets, but they are good for people with allergies to furry friends. Rabbits are also good for people who are allergic to dogs and cats. Rabbits are low maintenance and don’t require a lot of space, and they help reduce stress like dogs and cats according to HelpGuide. So whether it’s a cat, dog, rabbit, reptile, or fish, any and all types of pets support mental health. And I know times are hard right now but having a pet can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as support physical health which in-turn supports mental health.

Photos courtesy of Casey Rothgeb

January 26, 2021



How to conquer your freshman year at CWU Deacon Tuttle Columnist When I first glared into the eyes of the Wildcat statue, a seismic shift had already occurred. I was actually in college. Stepping foot into the SURC, reality struck me in the face. I’m positive that several people either had this experience already or are pushing through that now, but don’t worry, college is worth it. People say college is the time where you truly find yourself. Whether that is in your education, career, significant other, hobbies, passions or friends and family, this is present in the stories of those around us. However, there can also come extreme stress, anxiety, uncertainty and broken relationships. Let me provide you with a few ways to ensure that your college experience gets off on the right foot. CWU thrives off of the communal sense it brings. The options to meet diverse people in every sense of the word is incredibly exhilarating. Start with finding your people in the college community. I was grateful to find my home on campus in Resonate Church my first week. Instantly, they welcomed me with open arms and a sense of belonging. Search for people that speak to you on a personal level. This is the time in life to truly find long-lasting bonds with people encountering the same struggles and triumphs as yourself. Don’t be afraid to step out and be you.

Graphic by Ilse Orta Mederos

There are a plethora of ways to meet others on campus or off. The CWU Connect app has a social tab that allows for instant communication with other students to chat. Additionally, viewing the well over a hundred clubs offered on campus is a fantastic option and I highly recommend it. Of course, COVID-19 has changed the specifics of such offerings but these resources are still available to utilize. Managing your workload is a key component in college life, and when compared to high school it is far more independent. Branching out of your regular living space and finding a consistent location to hammer out assignments is most effective for me.

My preferred places include the James E. Brooks Library and the SURC upstairs, but I can’t forget to mention 1891 Bistro either, which has been closed because of COVID-19. Personally, to avoid procrastination I break down my homework into bite-sized bits. I don’t wait until the last second and submit everything in one fell-swoop or do it the day my professors assign it. Rather, I examine Canvas and choose one chunk of homework and I prioritize that. I complete it roughly 24 hours in advance. Segmenting by subject or date are my preferred methods. Hopefully, these tips can help mediate some issues on that front.

While most of us come to college to further our education, by no means does it indicate we can’t create incredibly fun memories along the way. Balancing the serious and dedicated work side with the spontaneous and creative side of life is essential. Last year, my fondest memories included participating in CWU’s events around campus both large and small. Entering 1891 Bistro to be at open mic night and listening to students singing or reading poetry made my day. I cherished going to the movie theater with my best friends to watch either classic or new films such as Knives Out. Also there was the ability to attend football, rugby, and basketball games while being an active member of the student body. Most of these situations have altered due to our current fight against COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean we are out of luck. Visit the CWU event page for daily updates because there is always something to do, whether it is in your wheelhouse or not. I implore everyone to connect with our community through activities because you will truly flourish when you become active with other Wildcats. When I first came to campus, I was reserved and perhaps even apprehensive. I knew that feeling would change but I didn’t think It would be practically instantaneous. My story and what I have endured so far are simply through my lenses, but I hope that these tips and insights can provide a semblance of clarity for those seeking it. I found my new home at CWU and I hope you can too.

Hades - Played it - Beat it - Great Game Max Hughes Columnist The first game on my list of 15 to beat by the end of the year, a new year’s resolution of sorts, was Hades. Hades combines the elements of so many types of games that I love making it easy to throw 40 hours at it to reach the credits sequence of the game. Prior to the 2020 Game Awards I had heard of Hades, but I have a problem with buying games and not finishing them hich is the reason behind my resolution of actually finishing the games I own. After the Game Awards however, with the help of some lighthearted peer pressure and a sale I picked it up. Supergiant Games describes their game as “a rogue-like dungeon crawler in which you defy the god of the dead as you hack and slash your way out of the Underworld of Greek myth.” Making it through the Underworld from the bottom up is a lot more fun than it sounds, especially when the gods of Olympus give you superpowers in the form of boons to blast your way to the top. The boons in this game give the main character, The Prince of the Underworld Zagreus a massive advantage over the mere mortal souls that try to stop him from reaching the top. The boons are the main source of power in the game and other items in the game are useful for

making them more effective, making escaping feel like a steady incline of difficulty and power. The most interesting variant in this game is the ways the player can modify the difficulty of escape attempts. A mechanic in the game known as the Pact of Punishment gives those t h a t are looking to increase the challenge of the Underworld a method for doing so. The pact has the ability to give bosses new abilities, increase the number of enemies necessary to slice through on the way to the top and even increase the damage of traps to lethal

percentages. Dying to a trap is the most frustrating form of punishment. Progressively gaining more skill and new abilities of my own from things like the Mirror of Darkness and upgrades to weapons gives the game a draw that some rogue-likes don’t always have for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll plunge into the depths of games like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth or Enter the Gungeon time and time again, but that feeling of progression in a game outside of skill growth keeps me more invested. What really draws me into the is the story of this kid trying to find his mom in spite of his dad’s attempts to keep him and the history of their family in the dark of their history. Fighting the final boss of the game Hades is rewarding. Each time Zagreus (and I) fought to the surface

I learn more and more about the history between the gods of Olympus, his parents and his own birth. The small storytelling elements given by minor characters throughout the game create an Underworld worthy of exploring. While most conversations take place in The House of Hades, those conversations give a better idea of what life in the Underworld is like for these characters. It is fun to see the relationships grow between Zagreus and the members of the house that see him run out into the Underworld saying this could be the day only to come back after about twenty minutes due to a pit of lava turning him to ash. The game even has a romance system for people that are into that. You can flirt with members of the house while also telling them one day you plan to leave. The variety of elements like romance, weapon advancement, difficulty enhancement, collection elements, I mean there’s even fishing Animal Crossing has nothing on this game There are so many dialogues that I don’t think I’ve seen someone say the exact same thing twice in all fifty hours I’ve played. Tie all that together with fun nods to Greek Mythology and interesting characters, Hades is the best game I’ve beaten in 2021. Graphic by Rebekah Blum



January 26, 2021

A new way to golf: COVID addition

“One of the reasons that we did choose the Opti2Shot simulator [is] it does help beginners to learn how to golf, COVID-19 hasn’t made it easy for stu- so it is open to everyone … and gives you dents to participate in recreational sports, the option for lessons or just practice,” but the new Opti2shot golf simulator at Wary said. A senior this year and President of the Recreation Center has provided a new the Golf Club Caleb Bryant said the way for students to golf. golf simuThis new lator runs program is through a fully simulatcomputed and allows er program students to called Opcreate an acPersonally, it helped me to mati2Shot and count and ture a lot, being able to realize looks like a login to the video game simulator you can connect to a completely on screen. and choose different group of people that The mat the course has built in they wish you’re not usually seeing on sensors that to play. a day-to-day basis, while also track the S p o r t club and ball Clubs Cobeing able to just, you know, do to give acordinator something fun outside, curate data S a m a n as if stutha Wary - Caleb Bryant, President of dents were said stuon a real dents have the Golf Club golf course. the option “Personally, to choose it helped me from 15 to mature different a lot, being courses, as able to rewell as the option to take lessons or just practice. The simulator is open to alize you can connect to a completely different group of people that you’re beginners and experienced golfers.

Ondrea Machin Staff Reporter

Photograph by Casey Rothgeb

not usually seeing on a day-to-day basis, while also being able to just, you know, do something fun outside,” Bryant said. Bryant also said that the new simulator gives the Golf Club the opportunity to practice in the winter and gets more students interested in joining the club. Wary said the new simulator gives students more inclusive access. “It gives students the opportunity, who may not be able to afford going to Suncadia or the Ellensburg Golf Course, to continue golfing. It also

opens up the possibility to help students learn to golf,” Wary said. There is limited equipment due to COVID-19 restrictions. Students need to bring their own golf clubs for safety and sanitation reasons and will need to follow mask requirements and social distancing. For students to be able to play the new simulator, they will need to reserve a 45 minute time slot through the Recreation Center’s online portal. The simulator is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3-5 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon.

CWU and Kittitas County are preparing as the next batch of COVID-19 vaccines get to students Gabriel Strasbaugh Staff Reporter Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CWU’s athletics have finally resumed practice after approximately 10 months. As of Jan. 19, Kittitas County has received 2,000 doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. While it is unlikely the majority of student athletes will have access to the vaccine in the winter, the spring has become a feasible option. Athletic Trainer Isaac Perry believes the university could see all students to decide on whether they want to take the shot or not at a later date when more information is discovered and reviewed. “The more you look into it or research it, the methodology of creating the vaccine was a little different than some of the other ones we’ve seen. So, just from there we don’t have a ton of data on it long term,” Perry said. Some athletes have questioned more than just whether the shot itself will have a substantial impact on themselves, but the team chemistry as well. Senior Offensive Lineman Will Ortner said he is ready for the shot tomorrow if the Athletic department required the vaccine. “To me getting that vaccine, not only would it allow me to play sports right away, it would allow me to see my family, [my] grandparents specifically,” Ortner said.

Photo courtsey of Abigail Stowell

The recreation center has a new look and is staying sanitary. The question then comes to mind of how players would react to members of the team who would opt out of receiving the vaccine. “If you have to take the vaccine to play, and you don’t take the vaccine, you’re not going to play. So, I really don’t have time to worry about that,” Ortner said. Senior Pitcher Lexie Strasser said the media could also play a role in how CWU athletes view the vaccine.

“You see the internet stuff and you see writing whatever and you never really know what’s true and stuff. I know I’ve seen a couple things like woman fertility may be an issue in the future and that’s where I’m turned off about the vaccine,” Strasser said. “This claim is unsubstantiated by current data” Strasser said the possibility of a future family is her number one consideration.

“Obviously, I want a family one day, but it’s the fact that is so new and nobody knows the long terms effects of it. But I also think it’s good that we have a vaccine. Obviously because [COVID-19] is bad and why we are in this situation,” Strasser said. For some athletes, the vaccine is a welcomed answer to the social distancing requirements of the team. Sophomore Outside Hitter Laynie Erickson said this will be a major help to the comfortability of the athletes. “For me, I would actually enjoy it just because if we are all vaccinated, I know that we wouldn’t have to wear masks at practice, which would be super nice. And our travel guidelines would be more lenient,” Erickson said. The CDC still recommends masks, social distancing and avoidance of crowds even after receiving both dosses of vaccine. Rather than the university dictating the vaccine, some players may be vaccinated prior to their first matchups from outside reasons. An example of this is the volunteer work of the volleyball team at the local Fish Food bank in Ellensburg. Erickson said the players who would choose to volunteer would have to be vaccinated prior to lending a hand. “That could be in the near future just specifically the volleyball team,” Erickson said. According to the website of Kittitas County Public Health the shipment of vaccines is set to begin distribution of the upper and lower county between Jan. 26 through Jan. 29.

January 26, 2021



An extra year of eligibility provides opportunity for athletes to adapt and tweak their learning styles to overcome this pandemic. “I think it has been really beneficial COVID-19 cut college athletes sea- for our program and it has put us in sons short or cut them out altogether. the right direction toward cultivating a The NCAA granted athletes an extra year successful program,” Boldt said. The football team never got a of eligibility for competition. The option of opting in or opting out was left to the chance to take the field to start their 2020-2021 season. athletes themselves to decide. Senior Senior Middle lineScrum-half backer DonSpencer Boldt te’ Hamilton of the womsaid, “We are en’s rugby not rushing team was nothings. We tified that the are taking rest of their time to un2020 season derstand the was canceled playbook and after a practo get our tice was canbodies right.” celed during Hamilton the week. said the team “For us it is prepared was really unfor the worst expected bebut is expectcause we were - Spencer Boldt, ing the best. sitting there senior scrum-half women’s rugby team Doing prepping for a the best game coming with what up that weekplayers are end,” Boldt providsaid. “We had ed and alno idea this lowed to do was even a is the best way to get through these possibility of getting shut down.” Boldt and the rugby team are using challenging and confusing times. Hamilton and Boldt’s respecthis time with no practice or games to build the culture of the team. Without tive sports are their passion and a being on the field the players have had commitment they have chosen to

Photo courtesy of CWU atheletics

Dakaline White Staff Reporter

I think it has been really beneficial for our program and it has put us in the right direction toward cultivating a successful program,

Redshirt Senior Donte Hamilton looks forward to possibly having his best season yet. stick with for another year, even if “I didn’t know that my last practice was that means spending more time as my last practice, or my last game was my last a student. game and that meant my college career was Hamilton said everyone on the over,” Boldt said. “I wasn’t okay with that.” team is on it because they love footNot knowingly, Boldt thought she walked ball, but they have their own specific off the field for the last time in a CWU jersey. reasons for being there. When given “I reached out to a lot of different people the option to stay and compete anothand had a lot of different conversations to get er year, with the uncertainty of jobs their perspective,” Boldt said. “I kept on getbeing available due to COVID-19, ting the green light.” Hamilton decided financially it would Boldt being an international stube in his best interest to opt in for andent, she had to think a little bit more other year. into opting in because she had to get After being hurt in part of the 2019- her visa extended and had to worry 2020 season, Hamilton has had over a about continuing her education. year to recover and after opting in for Athletes who opt-in for an extra the next season, we can expect him and year of eligibility now have the time the football team to be ready for the fall. to take extra classes they are interestBoldt said it took her a while ed in. They can continue their passion to come to terms with the decision for their sport all while expanding to opt-in. their education.

Get outdoors with CWU’s OPR

Due to the pandemic restrictions put forth by Gov. Jay Inslee, all excursions through OPR will be local Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals as they don’t yet have permission to (OPR) is open and offers gear for stu- transport students to White Pass, dents to rent with plans for local ex- Suncadia and Snoqualmie. He said cursions. If someone is looking to rent they follow the protocols put in place gear and go enjoy the snow, OPR has by Inslee and CWU so they can be them covered. open to rent gear to students. According to OPR’s Coordinator Despite Bradley the restricGasawski, tions howevOPR is er, they did offering get permisall sorts sion to offer of gear for a few things. rent and He said the in the two golf course weeks it’s in town is a been open spot where so far he people like to said, “it’s go sledding, been busy but that there and that’s are also snofantastic.” parks along Some the I-90 corof the ridor that al- Bradley Gasawski, gear OPR low sledding OPR’s coordinator offers inand tubing. c l u d e s One ims n o w portant piece tubes to of informago sledtion Gasawski d i n g , had for those c r o s s who rent country skis, alpine touring skis, equipment and head to the mounsnowshoes, avalanche beacon probe tains is for students to be familiar and shovel, avalanche pack and more. with the equipment and understand It also offers camping gear including avalanches happen. Gasawski said cookstoves, backpacking stoves, back- they should check the Northwest packs, tents, sleeping bags and more. Avalanche Center for the avalanche “Most of what we have is available and weather forecast for the area for rent,” Gasawski said. where they want to travel. Once out Derek Harper Staff Reporter

Most of what we have is available for rent,

Graphic by Meghan Salsbury

there, he said they should just make good decisions. He said it’s a good way to socially distance, but it depends on where you go and recreate. According to Gasawski, some areas are very busy right now, while others are not. On Saturdays in February, assuming there’s snow in town, OPR is planning to offer cross country skiing at Rotary Park. They’re currently planning a trip in early March to Manastash Ridge to go hiking or snowshoeing depending on snow conditions. For more information on that, Gasawski said students can go to

their website and click on recreation then get involved then OPR. OPR is also hosting a clinic on avalanche beacon training every other Wednesday evening from 6-9 p.m. For those who wish to learn more about OPR, Gasawski says the best way to do so is to visit. He said students should come in and say hi, talk to the student staff that work there as well as himself and find out what they’re about. For students who might be interested in working at OPR, Gasawski said they’re part of the recreation center so they go through their hiring process.


January 26, 2021


Photograph by Andrew Luu

Pisces - Life may be feeling a bit surreal lately, take some time to ground yourself through setting boundaries and some hardcore meditation.

Gemini - It’s time for some change and spontaneity, go for a trip, rearrange your room, anything to renew your energy flow.

Taurus - Use your momentum this week to take on tasks that direct effort toward your ambitions.

Scorpio - Surround yourself with people you love, whether it be in-person or virtually, and watch how it brings you positivity.

Aquarius - Happy Aquarius season, use your time to be creative and bold in whatever your pursuit is, and remember this is your time to shine.

Sagittarius - It’s time to kick into full gear and set your ideas in motion, be blunt about what you want to accomplish and get it going.

Leo - Be realistic about what you want and let the people around you know by being transparent about your needs.

Cancer - Take some time to relax, unwind and figure out what your goals for the month are and the direction you want to go in.

Aries - The world is up for grabs during Aquarius season, let your mad genius ideas flow and see where they land you.

Libra - You’ve got big ideas, use them as a confidence boost through Aquarius season and up your game in what you’re passionate about.

Capricorn - Look to collaborate with coworkers rather than taking everything into your own hands and your mental health will thank you.

Virgo - Pick up the pace by starting a workout routine or doing some do-it-yourself projects and enjoy what comes of it. Written by Abby Duchow

Weekly Calendar Jan. 27

Jan. 28

Jan. 29

Jan. 30

12-2 p.m. Find Your People: Non-traditional Students*

2-3 p.m. Internships 101*

12-1:30 p.m. Protest and State Violence in France: From Yellow Vests to Black Lives Matter*

8-10 p.m. Hollywood Murder Mystery*

Jan. 31

Feb. 1

Feb. 2

Feb. 3

National Backward Day

8 a.m. ASCWU Elections: Registration

3-4 p.m. Talking Gender Series*

National Missing Persons Day

6-7 p.m. How to Build a Better Resume*

12:45-1:45 p.m. Free Masks for Students -

3-4:30 p.m. Sustainability Cafe* 7-9 p.m. Trivia Wednesday*


SURC Table 4 *Virtual Location for Online Events


CWU Observer


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.