The Observer - Fall 2021 - Issue 3

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October 14, 2021

Vol. 120 NO. 3

Colleagues remember music professor Professor Maria Roditeleva-Wibe died of complications from COVID-19 By Chuck Dickson Staff Reporter Maria Roditeleva-Wibe, a tenured music instructor, passed away on Oct. 2 after a battle with COVID-19, according to her obituary. Secretary Supervisor Teresa Larsen provided insight into the background of Dr. Roditeleva-Wibe. “Dr. Wibe was rich in culture, music, history and personality,” Larsen said. “There were many stories she would share from her Russian heritage, her childhood, her mother, her cats which she dearly loved and various other areas of life.” Roditeleva-Wibe was a respected and brilliant instructor, according to her peers, with the general consensus being that she was universally loved. Dr. Anna Jensen, lecturer of Double Bass, commented on Roditeleva-Wibe’s character. “She was so dynamic! A true whirlwind of knowledge, passion and integrity. She was truly and authentically her own person,” Jensen said. “When I think through my life and all of the musicians that I have worked with, Maria was one of a kind. She had a playful side and a wonderful sense of humor, yet she demanded the very best of everyone at all times.”

Fall enrollment numbers released CWU sees roughly 8% decrease from 2020, 16.7% decrease from 2019 By Sean Bessette Editor-in-Chief

Photo Courtesy of CWU Music Youtube , A memorial service has been scheduled for Nov. 18 at a time and place to be determined.

Other staff members to comment on Dr. Roditeleva-Wibe included Professor Leslie Schneider. “Her students learned much from her and adored her on a personal level,” Schneider said. “The staff admired her as well, and she brought joy and excellence to everyone she touched.” Originally from Ufa, Bashkiria, Russia, Roditeleva-Wibe was an accomplished musician and instructor for over 20 years. She began playing the piano at age four.

According to her bio on the employee directory, after obtaining her master’s in musicology from the State Institute of Arts Conservatory, she completed her doctorate in ethnomusicology (world music) under Dr. Izaly Zemtsovsky at the Russian Institute of Arts History. She conducted research on the Russian folk song traditions in Bashkiria including traveling to Russia and making video and audio recordings of folk songs in Bashkiria.

Over 10,200 students are attending CWU’s Ellensburg campus and its eight sites and centers across Washington this fall, according to the 10-day census published in an article on The number is down from 11,100 in fall 2020, which is roughly an 8% decrease. This quarter’s enrollment numbers are roughly a 16.7% decrease from the 12,257 students reported in fall 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the article, President Jim Wohlpart said he was “pleased” with the enrollment numbers. Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs Joel Klucking didn’t echo the same sentiment. “Enrollment was not as high as we would have liked, but a surge at the end increased our numbers,” Klucking stated in the article. “We feel very fortunate that our students have chosen to remain with us through so much adversity.” In an interview with The Observer on Sept. 28, Wohlpart said

he was expecting to see a 5% decrease in enrollment numbers, but wasn’t sure at the time because the numbers aren’t recorded until the annual 10-day census. There will not be any major budget issues or degree programs being cut in the near future as a result of the enrollment decrease, according to Wohlpart. “We were able to address that on the front end right when I got here in June. We were prepared for the enrollment number so our budget will be fine,” Wohlpart said in the interview on Sept. 28. The 10-day census showed that 43% of new first-year students and 45% of transfer students come from traditionally underrepresented communities, moving the university closer to becoming a Minority Serving Institution (MSI). Designated by the U.S. Department of Education, MSI’s are rewarded “for their efforts to serve traditionally underrepresented communities.” The census also showed that 53% of first-year students are women and 92% are Washington residents.

New bike repair shop Ellensburg Bicycle opens for business By Joseph Stanger Staff Reporter At first, CWU alumnus Seth Mills said he was uncomfortable with the idea of opening near his previous place of employment, but once Ellensburg Bicycle started to become a reality, he reached out to his new competitor and found they were supportive. “You could be across town on a bicycle in two minutes,” Mills said. “Most of the streets are pretty qui-

et and the busy ones have bike paths. It’s a really easy community to get around in on a bicycle, which is what drew me here.” Mills had experience working in a few bike shops, including what was previously Ellensburg’s only bike shop, The ReCycle Shop. “The more the merrier. I love the ReCycle Shop. I worked for the ReCycle Shop for a long time,” Mills said. “I worried about it for three weeks before the ReCycle Shop knew I was

even opening up the store because I didn’t tell anybody. Finally, I wrote the email that I dreaded, and the owner of the ReCycle Shop was completely okay with it.” After his time working in bike shops and starting a family, Mills took a job as a trucker and gained an appreciation for being able to make his own decisions on the job. He said he hadn’t planned on starting a bike shop of his own, but when he saw the perfect space

available, he jumped at the opportunity. “I decided it was time to open my own store because I wanted to do it my way,” Mills said. “I didn’t want to work for anybody else anymore.” Mills said it took about a month to figure out how exactly to start his new business, acquire inventory and set up work benches before he opened the doors to his shop. He owns and operates the store entirely on his own and said he has no plans to

hire new employees for the foreseeable future. Depending on how busy the shop is and the kind of repairs needed, a repair at Ellenburg Bicycle could take anywhere from half a day to a week. “If something simple rolls in, like you need a tube repair, I’m not going to tell you to wait a week,” Mills said. “That’s an on-the-spot repair that should be done right there.”

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October 14, 2021

Beyond Our Coverage: Local



National Transfer Student Week will be Oct. 18-22. There will be workshops and activities to celebrate, as highlighted on CWU’s website.

COVID-19 pills have been developed by Merck & Co Inc. Merck applied for the pills to be authorized for use in the U.S as reported by Reuters.

India and China continue their military occupation on their borders when talks on Oct. 11 failed to defuse the tension, according to The Wall Street Journal.

CWU Libraries have joined the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance. According to CWU’s website, this move is to promote more diversity in the library professions.

An Afghan interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 in Afghanistan, Aman Khalili, has escaped the country according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Ethiopian government launched a new attack on Tigray, a rebellious north region, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Kittitas Public Utility District Commissioners approved a 4.5% rate increase which may raise residents’ utility bills up by $7 per month after Oct. 1, according to The Daily Record. Temperature dropping in the Pacific Ocean may lead Washington and the Seattle area into another La Niña winter which means that it could be a colder winter than usual, as reported by The Seattle Times. Healthcare workers in Washington will drop by 5% because of the vaccine mandate according to a survey as reported by The Spokesman.

US immigration authorities are no longer going to continue arresting unauthorized immigrants at work sites. CBS News reported that the Biden administration wants the focus to be put on employers. Southwest Airlines had to cancel 2000 flights this past weekend. According to CNN Business, Southwest has claimed that this is because of staffing shortages. A shootout occurred at a bar in Minnesota leaving one person dead and about 14 injured. USA Today reported that 3 people have been arrested in relation to the shooting.

As the Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to erupt in La Palma, 700 residents were evacuated out of their homes in the Canary Islands, according to Reuters. The European Union decided to pledge $1.15 billion in aid when G20 met to discuss the state of Afghanistan. According to The Washington Post, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “We must do all we can do to avert a major humanitarian and socioeconomic collapse in Afghanistan.”

The new Superman, Johnathon Kent, came out as said by DC Comics on Oct. 11 as reported by The New York Times.

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October 14, 2021


SLICE cleans Wilson Creek

By Stephen Martin Staff Reporter CWU’s Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLICE) club and the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group met at Wilson Creek on Saturday Oct. 9 to plant native grass species along the creek bank. Aaron Balagot, a CWU alumnus who works as a stewardship supervisor with the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group, explained that the project aimed to create more biodiversity and a healthier environment. “We just want to put as many native species as we can in there, like willows and cottonwoods, because there’s a big bloom of invasive species,” Balagot said. “And by providing a lot of shade cover, complexity to the creek, it will in turn provide more fish habitat.” Mid-Columbia Fisheries has done similar plantings throughout central Washington. Balagot said that previously they were in the Teanaway, “plugging in native grasses, like Idaho Fescue and bluebunch.” CWU’s SLICE has been partnered with Mid-Columbia Fisher-

Photos taken by Stephen Martin/The Observer, Community members and students joined together to pick up litter.

ies for several years. Kahlia Mafua, a senior and a marketing coordinator for SLICE, said that the club aims to connect students with the community through projects like this. “We’re just trying to promote more involvement on the campus,” Mafua said. “We’re trying to help develop people’s leadership skills, and trying to help better the wider Ellensburg community by

connecting students with opportunities like this.” Mafua said that she was satisfied with how many people turned out for the event, but that they always would appreciate more help. “I’m really pleased with the turnout. I think that we could always have more,” Mafua said. “The Mid-Columbia Fisheries has been working on the streams and rivers here for a long time,

and there’s a lot of work to be done. The environment is so important to our longevity of life as well, so I think the more students we have come out and do work the better.” The two groups were also accompanied by Girl Scouts troop 2001. Troop leader Cheri Didenhover said that it was an important learning experience for the children.

“So they’re learning about how to protect our environment and how to help it,” Didenhover said. “They’re learning about the native plants. They didn’t know what ‘native’ meant before today so they learned what ‘native’ means, and how to keep our waters clean.” SLICE is planning another cleanup on campus Saturday, Oct. 16. Interested students can meet SLICE at the SURC east patio at 8:30 a.m.

Career fair provides future opportunities for students By Katherine Camarata Staff Reporter The SURC Ballroom bustled with dozens of company booths and students eager to make career connections Thursday Oct. 7 during the first Engineering, Technologies, Safety and Construction Fair since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Companies were ready to be back in action. “A lot of the students come here not sure what they want, and I would really like them to all walk away with an idea of a career choice and a career path,” Jerilee Thurston, representative for J. H. Kelly, a commercial mechanical contracting company, said. Some students had never attended a career fair before, but were eager to reap the benefits. Josh Carnahan, a student at the fair, prepared for the event in advance. “I’m looking to get an internship this summer for my major, so I shopped around beforehand and came with a handful of com-

panies in mind and went and talked to them all,” Carnahan said. “It went pretty smoothly. My favorite booth was Ballard Marine Construction.” Many company representatives wanted students to find their own passions and be an individual in the workplace. Ballard Marine Construction representative Rebekah Troxell said, “I hope that we will be able to impart a little bit of our mission onto students, and hear their vision for their futures.” Other representatives expressed pride in their company and hoped their management style would draw students in. Ballard Marine Construction representative Jayme Newbigging said, “We purely run our company based on merit and how hard you work. We are proud of our company and think it can be appealing to a younger generation.” Students had an overall positive reaction to the career fair and felt a connection with the companies.

Photo taken by Katherine Camarata/The Observer, Ballard Marine Construction representatives were a student favorite at Thursday’s career fair.

Photo taken by Katherine Camarata/The Observer, Various companies attended the fair, reached out to students for internships and jobs.

“I had a very nice time today. A lot of the people running the booths were very informative about what they do as a company and what they’re passionate about,” Binyam Ayele, a student attending the fair, said. Most booths focused on construction, but the Lamb Weston booth was unique: their company manufactures french fries. “There’s more out there in safety than just construction,” Lamb Weston representative Mary McCurdy said. “We are hoping to get some high quality safety professionals to show interest in our company and come work for

us. Whether it’s an internship or full-time, CWU has a great program so we always have good luck with their students.” While many booth attendants said the traffic was a little slower than previous years, companies remained optimistic for the event. “There’s a lot of opportunities, even if it’s not directly in the major you’re looking for,” Caley Larson, a representative for Sellen Construction, said. “There’s a lot of overlap between different positions. Most companies you can find a fit with.” Many companies hoped that students would gain an understanding of their business function.

“My hope is that students take away what we do every day for work, because what we do with fire sprinklers isn’t very wellknown throughout the industry,” Jim Stewart, Western States Fire Protection Co. representative, said. “I’m hoping the students are getting comfortable … interacting with people who do hiring and get an understanding of what people in business expect.” The Engineering Technologies, Safety and Construction Fair will continue virtually on Friday, Oct. 15 from 1 - 3 p.m., where students can find more employment and internship opportunities.


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Continued from page 1 According to Mills, some bikes are damaged beyond repair or safety. So, if a bike is brought to the shop that he thinks is unsafe, he’ll make sure the owner is aware of it. “Anybody who brings a bike to me, I’m going to fix it to the best of my ability, and I’m going to tell you if there are some things on it you need to watch out for,” Mills said. According to Mills, a quiet fall and winter are to be expected for the bike shop, but he hopes that it will give him time to get the word out about his business so when spring and summer come around, local cyclists will know about Ellensburg Bicycle. Senior creative writing major Patrick Dennelly uses his bike to get to campus since he doesn’t have a license. He said it’s good that a new bike shop has opened in town because of how many students use their bikes to

October 14, 2021 get to classes. “You could go with scooters or roller blades, but I think biking is the fastest and one of the easiest ways to get around without a car,” Dennelly said. “I live at the Brooklane apartments which are pretty far away, so a bike is pretty necessary to get to campus on time.” While Mills believes that cycling is an important form of transportation, he also thinks it could be one of the ways to create a better world for everyone. He said hopes he and his shop will make biking in Ellensburg an even more common form of transportation. “I think the more people involved in cycling, the better,” Mills said. “Given what is going on in our world, with the climate crisis we’re in, cities that can’t expand anymore to accommodate bigger and wider streetways, people being out of shape and unhealthy because they spend so much time in their cars, cycling, I think, is (one of) the things that can save us.”

Photos taken by Joseph Stanger/The Observer, Owner of Ellensburg Bicycle, Seth Mills, greets customers with bicycle equipment in the store.

Multiple arrests made in connection to Ellensburg overdose By Sean Bessette, Stephen Martin Editor-in-Chief & Staff Reporter The Ellensburg Police Department (EPD) has announced a string of three arrests made in connection to multiple overdose cases according to their Facebook page. A 17-year-old Ellensburg resident was arrested on Oct. 11, in connection to the overdose death of 16-year-old Lauren Larson. The suspect’s name has not been released and the suspect has been turned over to Kittitas County Juvenile Services Department. The recommended charges include controlled substance homicide and making a false or misleading statement relating to the investigation. Ellensburg Police and Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue responded to a possible overdose of a 16-year-old on Sept. 16. The victim, identified as Larson, died at the scene. This is still an active investigation, according to EPD’s Facebook, as EPD continues to

Photo by Stephen Martin/The Observer, The Ellensburg Police Department has made three overdose-related arrests in eight days.

pursue other suspects in coordination with the delivery of the controlled substance leading to Larson’s death. “We know these deaths have impacted members of this community, and we will continue to proactively pursue criminal charges for anyone dealing drugs in our city,” the post of EPD’s Facebook stated.

A 24-year-old former Ellensburg resident and current Sedro Woolley resident was arrested on Thursday, Oct. 7, in connection to the overdose death of Darin Cole. The suspect’s name has not been released. Ellensburg Police responded to a call of a person, later identified as Darin Cole, pos-

sibly overdosing on LSD at an apartment on East Helena Ave on March 10, 2020. EPD was later able to identify the suspect who they believe delivered LSD to Cole. The suspect was booked into the Kittitas County Jail on charges of delivery of a controlled substance and controlled substance homicide.

A 19-year-old Ellensburg resident was arrested in Hawaii on Tuesday, Oct. 5, in connection with the overdose death of Sage Francois. According to a post on the EPD Facebook page, the suspect fled to Hawaii to avoid charges of delivery of a controlled substance and controlled substance homicide. Ellensburg detectives obtained an arrest warrant on Sep.14 and conducted the arrest in conjunction with the Yakima Federal Violent Crimes Task Force and the Honolulu Police Department. The suspect, whose name has not been released, is currently awaiting extradition back to Ellensburg. EPD is holding a community presentation on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Morgan Middle School. The presentation will include information on opioids, other drug trends, overdose interventions and resources in the community.

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October 14, 2021


Painting with Lindsey!

By Milenne Quinonez Staff Reporter “Paint social” with Lindsey Rebecca, organized by campus activities, has become a popular event that students have enjoyed over the past year. Last Saturday, students were able to paint with Rebecca over Zoom and in- person. It was a great way for students to relax as they get deeper into fall quarter. Rebecca is an artist from Pennsylvania. She grew up surrounded with art and painting, but decided to go to college and graduated with a Public Relations major. While working with the student activities board at her college she was inspired to do a paint event that was supposed to be an alternative to drinking and a way for students to destress. “I leaned on art during stressful times, so when I think about stress I think about college. It was nice to offer that,” Rebecca said. Rebecca said after graduating college, she was able to work with Neon Entertainment, a college booking agency which allowed her to include paint social as an event. Rebecca was able to travel to different schools and teach students how to paint.

Photo courtesy of CWU athletics

[left] Photo Courtesy of Lindsey Rebecca, [above] Photos taken by Milenne Quinonez/The Observer Students gathered in the SURC ballroom and followed Rebecca’s tutorial from a screen

She has been teaching her class for the last seven years. Rebecca said that a lot of her inspiration comes from Bob Ross, saying that her grandfather was obsessed with him and always remembered him painting and watching Bob Ross. “I also get really inspired by a lot of the small business entrepreneur artists that I follow on social media,” Rebecca said.

During the paint social event, students were provided with paint brushes, acrylic paint and a canvas. As students prepared their area with their water cups and paint. Rebecca introduced herself and what they would be painting, a sunset behind mountains in the background and a lake with a reflection of the sun. She shared helpful techniques with students on how

to achieve realistic texture for water, as well as trees. There were only five acrylic paints, but Rebecca instructed how to blend colors to achieve colors that they did not have. Alisa Muench, a senior musical theater student who works for Campus Activities, said Paint Social is one of the most successful events. She said they’ve offered it since spring of 2021,

and it has allowed students to participate in person or online. “We decided to bring her back, and because of the amazing technology and the way we discovered how well Zoom works, we didn’t need to fly her all the way here. We could just Zoom her in,” Meunch said. Lindsey Rebecca can be found on Instagram @PaintsocialwithLindsey

Do’s and Don’ts Dating in Ellensburg Written by Laynie Erickson First dates are tough even in the best of circumstances. Where to go, what to do, what to say and what not to say. So, in a small college town like Ellensburg, what are the tips and tricks for a successful first date? CWU political science and business senior Kajal Lang recounts a friend’s dating story that began like a fairytale, and ended as anything but. “One of my friends was going out with the girl of his dreams,” Lang said. He said the date seemed to be going okay, until his buddy decided to snag a kiss with what Lang describes as, “the worst pick up line that has ever existed.” When asking the girl to rate the date on a scale of 1-10, she chose a respectable 8. Lang continued the story, “so then he says, ‘you want to make it a 10 out of 10? and then he kisses her.” That would be the last time Lang’s friend would ever see his dream girl. China Paulman, a 22-yearold Ellensburg resident, de-

scribes what she looks for in a successful first date. “I want something planned out, that is fun and makes me feel special,” Paulman said. While she loves going out to dinner at many of Ellensburg’s hot spots like Julep, Back 40 or The Pearl Bar & Grill. She clarifies that a first date doesn’t have to break the bank. “We could go get some Dairy Queen and go up to the water tower, and talk about life and maybe watch the sunset on a blanket,” Paulman said. The Ellensburg water tower on Craig’s Hill seems to be a recurring recommendation, as Lang also placed it on his list of first date hot spots. “I think a lot of people go there because it’s more of an isolated place, kind of like if you ever had a make out pond by your school,” Lang said. “It’s kind of just what the water tower is, so college students who see other college students up there know

Designed by Meghan Salsbury what’s going on and don’t bother each other.” Junior and business marketing major Kody Phoxay suggested cost effective and active first dates. “Going on a hike, going to the water tower, playing basketball or doing something sporty.” Phoxay said. He reminded potential daters that “compliments go a long way and don’t cost money.” While he said he goes out on quite a few first dates, Phoxay has found success with the following tips: “keep it plain and simple, don’t overthink it and wear cologne.” He also recommends staying off the internet. “Dating in Ellensburg? Legitimately stay off tinder and try to find dates in person,” Phoxay said. While movies come up often as a first date activity, they are not for everyone. Paulman stresses the importance of planning activities specifically geared toward the person you are taking out.

“I think people should customize their dates depending on the person,” Paulman said. “Like, I hate watching movies, so if someone took me to the movies on a date it wouldn’t be very much fun.” So how does one know if the date is going well? Phoxay said that eye contact is key. “If she’s giving good eye contact while she’s talking to you, it’s probably going well,” Phoxay said. Paulman agrees that good communication is a sign things are on the right track. “I feel like it is going well once the butterflies go away and you’re just talking and it’s flowing and no one is checking their phones,” Paulman said. “That’s a sign of a good date.” When it comes to recognizing whether a date is going well or not, Lang simply shares the advice that his friend learned the hard way. “Certainly don’t ask her,” Lang said. “That’s just weird.”

Photos taken by Laynie Erickson and Kassidy Malcolm/The Observer.


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October 14, 2021

Opinion: No weary travelers here.

Traveling is good for the soul

By Kate Caviezel Columnist Traveling bring s happiness and peace of mind. The journey, the d estina tion and the memories in new places all add up to the ultimate experiences that a person can have in their lifetime. It may tend to break the bank, but it’s beneficial to a healthy lifestyle. When I travel, I feel stress-free and happy knowing that I get to explore a place that I have never been to before. It brings me joy and if I was feeling down before a trip, all that goes away as soon as I arrive at my destination. From my first time at Disneyland to my first time in Europe, I felt happy and free. According to the Yale Tribune, the planning of a trip alone can contribute to a person’s happiness. Traveling has also been scien tifically proven to reduce stress, which is always good for

Photos Courtesy of Kate Caviezel, [left to right] Eating pizza in Milan, Italy, View from the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, Jumping in the Swiss Alps in Grindelwald, Switzerland.

mental health. When I first stepped off the plane and into the Zurich airport in Switzerland, I felt so much excitement. For the two weeks I spent in Europe, I was care-free and enjoying my time to explore different

countries and experience different cultures. The happiness I feel when I get to escape my life for a vacation is the best feeling because I know that I get to view the world from a different perspective and learn

what I miss when I stay at home all the time. The world is a big place and there is so much to learn and see, since traveling makes people happier, why not explore as m a n y n ew pl aces as possible.

Opinion: The many sounds of studying By Danny Dang Columnist “Studying is so fun!” said no one ever. The idea of studying being fun is so foreign because of how stressful it can be and the context it is typically done in. Being that life can be stressful enough, I try to make things easier when it comes to studying. So to take off some of that stress and anxiety, I listen to some soothing sounds while studying. It can’t be just any music, because even though I listen to a wide variety of genres like HipHop, Rock, and RnB, those won’t help me. I simply can’t listen to my favorite everyday songs because I get too engulfed and distracted by the lyrics, or the instruments or just belching those high notes. “Music can distract. Students who listen to loud music can have trouble with reading comprehension and mood. Even soft music with loads of lyrics can distract and could have absorbed less

information,” according to Instead, I listen to those YouTube live feeds of “LoFi studying music.” It’s something about the smooth calming variations of songs that aren’t too heavy in bass or screaming in your ear, helps me stay focused when it comes to getting some work done. Although, when I really need to grind and I’m just at that point of the night where I can’t keep focus on my studies, I bust out the big guns. I listen to ambient white noises, with my go-to being “the oscillating fan.” Using this white noise helps block out any background noise from my surroundings and keep my thoughts from wandering. According to, “In some cases, students have found that music helps them with memorization, likely by creating a positive mood, which indirectly boosts memory formation.” So keep in mind what kind of music may help you study better.

Photo Courtesy of Robert Yew, In the search bar of the Spotify app, use the camera function to scan these codes to enjoy while studying.

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October 14, 2021

Opinion: Celebrate Day of the Dead this year to honor your loved ones By Milenne Quinonez Columnist As the weather gets colder, and the trees turn a brighter red and orange, we grow more and more excited about fall, those yummy seasonal Starbucks drinks and our favorite flannels we’ve shoved in the back of our closet. Not to mention nearly everyone’s favorite holiday, Halloween. I know everyone is ecstatic for spooky season and don’t get me wrong, I’m right there with you! Disney Halloween movies, classic horror films and all of Tim Burton’s movies! It’s truly a treat. I will admit whoever came up with the idea was truly a genius. Although America celebrates Halloween by dressing up as whoever you want to be, while collecting candy from door to door and yelling “trick O’ treat” all night, this holiday stems from another holiday celebrated in such an amazing country and culture. It makes you realize how sacred this holiday truly is. Even though I was born and raised in America, Halloween never really meant anything to me, it was just a day to dress up and get candy. But as a child of immigrant parents from Mexico, who also came here at a young age, Día De Los Muertos, or in English as everyone knows it, Day of the Dead, was traditionally celebrated in our home. Day of the Dead is a twoday celebration, beginning on Nov. 1 and ending on Nov. 2. It is a day where families get to celebrate the death of their loved ones. Not like mourning the dead, but instead celebrating life and the wonderful life that was lived. According to the online History website, “The roots of the Day of the Dead, celebrated in Mexico among those of Mexican heritage in the United States and around the world, go back some 3,000 years, to the rituals honoring the dead in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.” These two days are celebrated differently. Day one is to celebrate infants and children that have passed away, which are believed to have a special place in heaven, called ‘Angelitos’ also known as little angels. The second day is to honor the adults who have also passed away. A tradition that most families do during the Day

Photos Courtesy of Punta Sayulita, A traditional ofrenda, or alter, celebrates the life of someone who has died.

of the Dead is set up ‘ofrendas’ which are known as altars, using calaveras and Aztec marigold flowers. These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offering and the strong scents and color are to guide the souls to the cemeteries and to their families. These altars typically consist of pictures of deceased family members, with candles all around with food and bottles of tequila and mezcal. The food is normally the favorite of the deceased, and it is believed that the deceased eat the ‘spiritual essence’ of the offerings. Families can also be seen having picnics around their graves or building the altars in their home. This tradition is one I hold dear, after visiting Mexico for the first time in my life. I had the privilege to visit my great grandfather, and my great uncle’s grave. After hearing stories from my mom and grandmother, and more as I arrived in Mexico, it made me feel that much closer to home and them. I watched as my great aunt cleaned the grave, it was like a little house they had built around it, where some of my other family members were buried and it was touching to see how connected she was to the grave. There she had buried children and the love of her life. As she swept through the old leaves and flowers that were left, she maintained the grave as if it was their home and she was ex-

pecting them. The old age in her eyes could tell stories of her past, as she remembered those memories she smiled because death and life are temporary. My little cousin, who is only 5 years old, danced and sang to them. He was too young to understand the concept of death but to him and my family it wasn’t sad. It was a celebration of their life.

So, what I’m saying is yes enjoy Halloween for what it is. But even if your beliefs of death are different and you don’t believe in the afterlife that is ok. You don’t need to believe in that to celebrate the life of a loved one that has passed. Light a candle against a picture, take a shot of tequila and eat delicious food with them because even in death they deserve to be celebrated and most of all remembered.

Photos Courtesy of MarivalResorts, Marigolds line the streets of Mexico on Nov. 1 and 2 to help ancestors find their way to their families.


Edith and Ethel: Ask the Aunties By ‘Edith and Ethel’ Columnists Edith: Hello! I’m the younger auntie that will be a part of this column. Ethel: And I’m the auntie older than the hills. Edith: And we’re hosting Edith and Ethel! This will be a weekly advice column where we talk to anybody about anything they want advice on. This is advice coming from two different age points, where you can get two different perspectives on it. Will it be wildly different advice or similar advice? Ethel: We’ll find out every week! Who knows, it might not be advice at all. We are pretty crotchety. Edith: And we have a lot of back pain. Ethel: So, obviously, there will be some sass, because we just have very little cares left to give. Edith: We both have different upbringings, with me moving a lot when I was younger and living on the reservation and Ethel doing who-knows-what. My insight will come from these times, while hers will come from her vast experience with nonsense. Ethel: Hey now, I don’t know about “vast.” I have my fair share, but for the most part my insight comes from being an old bat who has varied experiences in life, like being raised by a single mom and raising my share of kids and, let’s face it, a couple adults too. Edith: Either way, we’re here for you all! We can provide insight on any topic, so please send us your questions! We want to give advice rather than ranting into the void. She’s definitely heard more than enough from me ever since we met, and I’ve heard just about enough from her. Ethel: So now, we’d like to share our ranting, I mean advice, with all of you. So please, give us the pleasure of helping us help you. Edith: Ethel, you probably shouldn’t claim we’ll help them… Ethel: Yeah, you’re probably right. But if you want to hear some advice from a couple of old aunties, we would love to impart our wisdom to you.

Write in!

submit your questions to

Photo Courtesy of VallartaNayaritBlog, Ofrendas are decorated with photos of loved ones who have passed and many of their favorite things.

(all questions will remain anonymous)


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October 14, 2021

Intramural sports regains in-person activities By Andrew Prouse Staff Reporter The Recreation Center has revived its in-person intramural sports component, but it might look a bit different than it did before 2020. Intramural sports are where members of the CWU community, such as students, staff and faculty, play against each other in various events, challenges, leagues and tournaments. Senior Coordinator for Sport and Youth Programs Samantha Wary said some of the sports have changed while others have stayed the same. There are no additional COVID-19 restrictions or protocols on intramural sports, rather participants will only need to follow CWU protocols, according to Wary. Not all intramural sports have returned but there are quite a few available, according to Wary. “(There is) six on six soccer, volleyball and self officiated badminton,” Wary said. “Three on three basketball and a climbing league and those are our traditional sports. That is what is currently available this quarter.” Wary went on to say there are also esports offered as part of intramural sports. This includes Rocket League, Apex Legends, Super Smash Brothers, Madden NFL and Call Of Duty.

Next quarter will see a return of more intramural sports students may have played before. “We will be having regular basketball, dodgeball and indoor soccer,” Wary said. “There will also be pickleball and badminton as well as mini esports tournaments every other Fri-

For students who wish to register for intramural sports or look to get involved in other sports, there is a new system for doing this. Everything is now integrated directly into your student profile (recreation.cwu. edu) with CWU. “Whatever is available based on your mem-

Photo Courtesy of Samantha Wary, 3 on 3 basketball is one of the intramural sports offered in fall quarter.

day. This provides a variety of events for students to participate in.” Wary said on Oct. 28 there will be an event called “Shivers and Quivers” where students come dressed in costume and play archery tag. Wary said the recreation department wants these events to be fun and unique one-off events. “We also do some special events through intramurals,” Wary said. “We are trying to do some kind of special event every quarter.”

bership, it will automatically sort that for you,” Wary said about the new online system. The system also has a new approach to gender specific sports when necessary. “You will be able to play wherever you identify, so the system will only show you sports you are eligible to participate in based on (gender identity),” Wary said. “If we have gender specifics we never have to question that. It’s just wherever you are comfortable playing.”

Wary continued to say that the feedback from students on the new online system has already been very positive. This system has also replaced the traditional IM league system. As for the future of intramural sports, sports

will be rotated so the same things are not always available. Flag football will be returning for spring quarter. Feedback is always encouraged and what is available can always be changed based on what students want to play.

Women’s volleyball loses two in Alaska By Leah Shepherd Staff Reporter Over the weekend CWU women’s volleyball went to Alaska and lost two games, one against Alaska Fairbanks University three sets to one and one against Alaska Anchorage University three sets to two. Head coach Mario Andaya, who has coached the team for 26 years said it was a little odd for the returning girls to have seven new teammates who had not played at the college level yet, but feels that they are acclimating well to the competition. Freshman libero Hannah Stires said after the first game against Alaska Anchorage the team fought all the way until the very end and encouraged fans to come and support the team when they play both teams again at home on Nov. 4 and Nov. 6. “[We] fought till the end,” Stires said. “[We] are ready for them to come to us. Having

Photo Courtesy of Thompsom Sports, Freshman Hannah Stires #13 huddles with Sophomore Ashley Kaufman #19

the fans back, [being] so loud [and] bringing the energy.” In their first game of the weekend the team started off dropping the first set 25-16. They bounced

back with back to back set wins by scores of 25-22 and 25-21. However, Alaska Anchorage took the final two sets 25-15 and 15-10 respectfully.

In their second game against Alaska Fairbanks University, they held their own by having close sets every time but lost the first set 25-17. They bounced

back with a 25-23 set win to tie it up at one to one. While both sides were able to get point after point against each other, CWU was unable to get a good rhythm in the final two sets which they ended up losing 2521 and 25-22. Though the women’s team lost the second game against Alaska Fairbanks University they still stayed positive about the trip as a whole. “[We had] small[er] things, locker rooms, time getting ready together, long bus rides and dinners,” Stires said. For the future Andaya said the goals he has for the team this season starts with the athletes being able to grow individually and as a team and getting better everyday, especially with the new girls on the team. The Wildcats return home to take on Western Oregon University Thursday Oct. 14 and Saint Martin’s University Oct.16 at Nicholson Pavilion.

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October 14, 2021


Recreation Center making a comeback Availability of facilities sees greater accessibility from last year’s restrictions

Photo Courtesy of @cwurecreation, Students have been able to utilize and enjoy the Recreation Center once again.

By Jamie Bass Staff Reporter

Photo Courtesy of @cwurecreation, The rockwall is another thing that is now open after being shutdown last school year..

COVID-19 restrictions are lifting and the need for limiting capacity and accommodations is becoming more lenient. Changes at the Recreation Center are following this trend. However, precautions are still in place to ensure the safety of all students. Sophomore Gia Arellano said students have been able to utilize and enjoy the Recreation Center once again. “You could almost never get to the things that you wanted to get to,” Arellano said. “Half to three quarters of the machines were closed, and you couldn’t use them for COVID reasons. But this year is definitely better now that more of the machines are open and more people can be in the weight room at a time.” Arellano was on campus last year as well. She de-

Photo Courtesy of @cwurecreation,Tennis courts are once again available after last year of flip floppling between opening and closing.

scribed struggling with visiting the Recreation Center because of closed off spaces and reservations. But with the changes made within the Recreation Center this year, those concerns have been resolved. This change has been noticed by staff at the Recreation Center as well. Recreation Center employee Morgan Fry said intramural and sport clubs are opening back up along with many more opportunities for students. “We’ve been having our volleyball nets open and we have ping pong, badminton, anything you could really want,” Fry said. “Our boxing is also open but unfortunately we aren’t renting out our boxing gloves anymore because they’re just too hard for us to disinfect with COVID and everything. But people can purchase them behind the desk if they want to.”

The Recreation Center is opening up but there are still practices in use to ensure the safety of students. “We do have spray bottles that we encourage everyone to use before and after they use the machines,” Fry said. “But not everyone does that so we have floor staff who walk around and make sure everyone’s mask is above their nose, and wipe down the equipment after everyone uses it just to make sure it’s clean.” Both Fry and Arellano mentioned a word of encouragement for those who may be hesitant to utilize the Recreation Center in their interviews. Both spoke on the environment in the facilities being very positive and that everyone at the Recreation Center is at a different place in their fitness journey and they are there to focus on themselves.

Wildcats lose to visiting Wolves, beat Saints By Isaiah Salevao Staff Reporter CWU women’s soccer team experienced their eighth loss in an 0-3 game against the visiting Western Oregon University (WOU) Wolves Thursday. The Wolves were the first to put a score on the board in minute 23 of the game. The shot, made by WOU freshman defender Jada Foster, was able to slide through junior goalkeeper Liz Canton’s fingers. Shortly after, the Wolves were able to get the ball down the field and freshman midfielder Piper Matson made another goal to put the Wolves up 2-0 in minute 25 of the game. The Wildcats were able to set up senior midfielder Sophia Keenan for a free kick in minute

33 of the game, but was blocked by the Wolves goalkeeper, sophomore Emily Wheeler. The Wolves were able to get the ball back into possession and attempted another shot at the goal. It was saved by sophomore defender Morgan Fischel and again saved by Canton. The Wildcats would make a change in goalkeeper at the half, bringing in senior Megan Fox. Canton finished the first half with three saves. Fox was tested early in the second half; at minute 50, the Wolves attempted a goal, but Fox was able to grab it and keep the Wildcats in the game. Junior defender Maci Parke had an opportunity to put the Wildcats on the board, but the ball contacted the crossbar, bouncing away from the goal. In minute 60 of the game, Fox

Photo Courtesy of Thompsom Sports, Senior forward Makinzie Packwood carries the ball during CWU’s 3-0 loss to Western Oregon University.

was able to block another goal, but WOU’s freshman forward/ midfielder Liz Parker was able to get a second chance and score the Wolves third and final point of the game. Senior midfielder Bella Brown had the highlight play for the Wildcats, a tunnel be-

tween the opponent’s legs that got the crowd the loudest it was all night. According to Wildcatsports. com, assistant coach Emmy Koflanovich said the team was able to play nearly a full 90 minutes, which is something the Wildcats hadn’t done yet. She said she

knows results will start showing as the team has improved with each game. CWU hosted the Saint Martin’s University Saints at Tomlinson Stadium on Saturday. The Wildcats won the game 4-1, taking the lead early on. The Saints responded quickly, leading to a stalemate that lasted the remainder of the first half. The Wildcats scored three goals in the second half, the first made by sophomore forward Grace Jackson in minute 52. Freshman midfielder Casey Park extended the lead in minute 62, and senior midfielder Sydney Lowe ended the night with her second goal in minute 88 of the game. The Wildcats are scheduled to host Seattle Pacific University on Oct. 14.


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October14, 2021




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J a x J ac k s o n

W y a tt C lo s e

Jr. Wine Studies

So. Film

5th year. Environmental Science

6th year Mathematics Secondary Teaching

“I would love to see something involving my major. Or maybe a club for hikers!”

“I’m not sure what clubs we have, but a D&D club would be cool. ”

“I haven’t really looked into the clubs here, but my roommate would love a club involving video games/E sports.”

“I think we have quite a lot of clubs! I’m in all the ones I would like to be in.”

Q& A




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Wildcat Words: Is there a club you wish we had at CWU?


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Fr. Elementary Education, Fr. Biology Pre Vet.

“A girls workout club would be amazing. ”

weekly events 14

7pm Soccer vs. Seattle Pacific University @ Tomlinson Stadium


with Asad Farooqui

Meet Asad Farooqui, one of Central Washington University’s Film Studies lecturers. Professor Farooqui has earned international acclaim from critics and peers alike for his recent short film Mabrook, which he screened at Palm Springs International Film Festival in June. The film will also soon be presented at the Atlanta Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival and the Bentonville (Arkansas) Film Festival. Q: What got you interested in film making? A: I could hear the clock ticking; that’s what Corporate American life can do to you. I had taken a Theater 101 class as a requirement as an undergraduate at Emory University and loved the collaborative process of theater. I auditioned for a play that same semester, having no background in acting, and ended up landing a lead role. It was euphoric to say the least: the teamwork, camaraderie, performances in front live audiences… that feeling, however, was short-lived. I graduated and started the 9 to 5 routine. I felt useless in that lifestyle. I had to try something different just to remain happy. I looked up how to write short films and ended up making four films in a period of five months. I applied to the Columbia University Graduate Film Program and got in. Q: What is it about your film, Mabrook, that makes it so universal and relatable to audiences of all backgrounds? A: The protagonist. He’s a struggling actor attempting to figure out life and do something that isn’t your conventional South Asian career. He obviously doesn’t have the kind of familial support that he wishes he could. I find that to be a universal subject. There aren’t too many support systems for people delving into creative careers. Then there’s the dysfunctional family, dinner table arguments, hidden relationships…surely, audiences can relate to those issues. Q: What are some of your favorite films? A: I have quite a few, but if I must pin it down to five, I’d have to say Do the Right Thing by Spike Lee; Monsoon Wedding by Mira Nair, La Strada by Federico Fellini, Close Up by Abbas Kiarostami, and American Beauty by Sam Mendes. Q: What are some of your favorite books? A: Catcher in the Rye. The impact this book had on me as an adolescent is like none other. I read it in one day and I didn’t think I was capable of such a feat at that time in my life. There’s [a] reason why so many American filmmakers such as Spielberg and Scorsese have tried to get the film rights for it but haven’t been successful. The story, that main character of Holden Caulfield, just everything Salinger did within the pages felt perfect. It’s the most honest book I’ve read. Other books that have impacted me are “Notes from Underground” and “The Idiot” by Dostoevsky; “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, “Our Lady of Alice Bhatti” by Mohammad Hanif, “A Thousand Splendid Sons” by Khaled Hosseini.

15 FRI

16 SAT

17 18 19 20 SUN




Q: What are some of your favorite hobbies?

7pm Volleyball vs. Western Oregon University @ Nicholson Pavilion

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

1 pm Volleyball vs. Saint Martin’s University @Nicholson Pavilion 2 pm Soccer vs. Northern Nazarene University @ Tomlinson Stadium

National Pasta Day

4pm Spooky Study Session @ Black Hall 105-01

7pm & 9:30pm Monday Movie Madness: Legally Blonde @ SURC Theater 210

National LGBT Center Awareness Day

11am State of the University

address @ Hertz Concert Hall and On Zoom 3pm How to Create Healthy Habits for Success in College * On Zoom

A: I mainly enjoy writing and playing basketball in my free time. I’d say watching films as well, but that’s also a part of work.

Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.

Written by Stephanie Davison


CWU Observer


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