CWU Observer – Fall 2020, Issue 4

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Vol. 117 NO. 4 October 6 - October 13, 2020


Ensuring your vote is counted Ty McPhee Staff Reporter

ASCWU will be providing a safe and clean environment to ensure that student votes are collected and counted towards this year’s 2020 presidential election. ASCWU Director of Governmental Affairs Edgar Espino wanted to remind students to register to vote before Oct. 26 which is the last day to register to vote by mail and online. Same day voter registration will be offered at the Student Engagement Hubs on campus, as well as the Auditor’s office, which run election centers. “Those who you elect at a local level will have a more direct impact on your daily lives than, say, the President of the United States would,” Espino said. “That’s one thing that people don’t realize half the time when they just don’t vote.” Voters between the ages of 18 and 29 are the voting demographic with the lowest turnout in the United States, according to the United States Census Bureau. Kittitas County Auditor Jerry Pettit said they’re expecting a high turnout this

ASCWU hosts annual meet the presidents and provost event David Hartless Staff Reporter

Source: United States Census Bureau

year even if there aren’t that many students on campus. “We’ve done this, all of us have worked together for 10 years to do this so it’s not something new to us, it’s what we do,” Pettit said. The only big changes coming this year, as opposed to previous years, is the difference in location. Instead of the two rooms

downstairs in the SURC, they’ll be upstairs in the ballroom to accommodate for spacing between people. The included map was made to visualize how students would be guided through the process. Someone will ask if you’re registered or unregistered and will then direct you to the line or to the waiting area. Each ballot station will have enhanced cleaning. For those unsure about mail-in ballots, Pettit published a press release on Sept. 29 talking about it. Voters can check online through voter.votewa. gov to ensure that their ballot has been counted and tallied. He also published another press release Oct. 2 over the concerns surrounding ballot box security. Ballot boxes have logs for who access each one and who is transporting ballots from a ballot box is also logged. The Student Engagement Hubs where students will be able to register to vote as well as submit their ballots will be held on campus Nov. 2 from noon to 8 p.m. and Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, ASCWU hosted their annual Meet the Presidents and Provost event virtually. President James L. Gaudino, ASCWU President Mickael Candelaria and Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Life Michelle DenBeste were speakers at the event. During the hour-long event, each panel member was asked an array of questions from the moderator Jeff Rosenberry, executive director of student involvement. The panel was asked a selected number of predetermined questions, as well as questions from people who joined in the virtual audience. After discussing their backgrounds and answering a few predetermined questions, such as what their favorite quarantine snack has been, the Q&A session with attendees began. One attendee asked if CWU will be setting standards for professors with online learning. “There is a big learning curve for some professors. Some have never taught online and last spring was their first time doing it,” DenBeste said. She also asked students to be transparent with any issues they may be having with online learning and encouraged students to reach out to their professors for help.

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President Gaudino announces layoffs Mitchell Roland Editor-in-Chief

Citing a decline in students enrolled and living on campus as well as a challenging financial outlook, CWU announced 56 layoffs on Sept. 30 that will impact 48 employees tied to residential services. Soon after the announcement, Director of Human Resources Staci Sleigh-Layman joined President James L. Gaudino, Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs Joel Klucking and Vice

In This Issue 1-4 5-7 8-9 10-11 12

News Scene Opinion Sports Engagement

President of Enrollment Management Josh Hibbard on a Zoom call to discuss the layoffs as well as the financial outlook of the university. The layoffs will occur in five departments: housing, dining services, facilities, computing and supervision. Layoffs in supervision occur when a group of employees overseen by a supervisor is laid off and that supervisor no longer has employees working underneath them. In addition to the 56 layoffs, CWU has also eliminated 140 open positions since

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Hispanic Heritage Month

spring 2020 as the school grapples with how to deal with a projected $8.5 million loss in enterprise funding. Before the pandemic, the school projected a net positive of $3.5 million in enterprise funding. “That is really a terrible outcome for the enterprise funds. It represents two and a half to three years’ worth of results. Money that has been put in the bank to improve housing stock that we will not be able to do,” Klucking said. “We can sustain that for maybe one year, but not more than one year.”

Page 5 Ellensburg fall activities

The layoffs are the result of a combination of lost revenue as well as fewer students and employees living, working and attending on-campus classes. Klucking said a drop in 600 enrolled students will cost the school about $2.5 million in tuition over the course of the year, while the 60% dorm vacancy rate means a loss of $28 million compared to a typical year. “The impact of the pandemic has obviously been substantial,” Klucking said.

Continued on Page 3 Page 11 Are you up for a challenge?

2 October 6, 2020

Designed by Bekah Blum


Ellensburg sees rainfall after weeks of smoke CWU hosts Star Diavolikis Staff Reporter

On Sept. 23, Ellensburg had rainfall for the first time since classes started, bringing relief from the recently smoky air. This marks the beginning of the wet season for Ellensburg, as Ellensburg is in a drier region of Washington. “During the summer it’s really our dry season,” Geology Professor Susan Kaspari said. “Usually we start getting precipitation right about now, then precipitates through until the spring.” According to Weather Underground, the amount of rainfall for September this year totaled 0.48 inches. In September of 2019, the total amount of rainfall for the month was 0.63 in. Ellensburg doesn’t get rain often as it is in a large rain shadow. A rain shadow is when the clouds from large bodies of water do not quite reach a region, Kaspari said. “The majority of moisture that falls out is precipitation over the crest of the Cascades,” Kaspari said. “By the time the air masses start to come down on the east side of the Cascades, the majority of that moisture’s already fallen out.”

According to Kaspari, Snoqualmie Pass can have around 100 inches of rain a year. However, here in Ellensburg, we only get around nine inches a year. The recent rainfall hinted towards the upcoming wet season. Oct. 1 marked the beginning of this phase of Ellensburg’s weather cycles, and it raises the question of what form precipitation will be during the cold months this year: either rain or snow. “We rely tremendously on the precipitation for uses during the summer months when it is really dry,” Kaspari said. “Right now, we store a lot of water that accumulates from precipitation in the winter months for use in the summer months for agriculture and other uses. The way we do that is through reservoirs.” Kaspari said when precipitation falls as rain during the winter months, it goes into the rivers which lead out to the ocean, and it is unable to be collected in reservoirs. This causes an impact on the Ellensburg area, and lowers the amount of water saved for activities such as agriculture during the upcoming seasons.

Correction In issue 3’s climate change News story, Barry Brunson was reported as retired from the University of Kentucky. However, he is retired from Western Kentucky University.

annual meet the presidents and provost event Continued from Page 1

Bailey Tomlinson/The Observer

A student out enjoying the unexpected rainfall.

“More and more of that wintertime precipitation is falling as rain as opposed to snow. When that precipitation falls as snow, it gets stored in the snow pack, then it releases slowly in the spring into the summer months. And that is advantageous for us for a lot of ecological reasons also,” Kaspari said. Kaspari said with the climate getting warmer, causing precipitation to be presented as rain versus snow during winter months, it creates an impact on our retention efforts and Ellensburg may see less snow this winter.

Gaudino said that CWU is trying to figure out what is working, and if a student feels that a professor is not doing a good job to reach out to the department chair or even himself if they feel the need. Another question asked during the Q&A was why CWU decided so early to make spring a mainly hybrid learning modality. Gaudino said to look at the spring quarter like a spectrum, where one side is most cautious and one side is less cautious. If the quarter begins with more precautions in place and things get safer, it will begin to be moved in the other direction and less restrictions will be needed. However, he also said that there will still be health and safety precautions present in the spring. On the question of graduation, Gaudino said, “as of right now, graduation is not canceled. … We have to wait and see how the information rolls in. Not just in the county, but overall, to see if it’s safe.”

Observer Staff Editor-in-Chief

Mitchell Roland

Managing Editor

Amy Morris

Online Editor

Amy Morris

News Editor

Staff Reporters Sean Bessette

Jayce Kadoun

Rachel Degnan

Ty McPhee

Star Diavolikis

Ryan Nakamura

Bailey Tomlinson

Jared Galanti

Jessica Perez

Scene Editor

Abigail Duchow

Derek Harper

Gabriel Strasbaugh

Sports Editor

Rey Green

Dave Hartless

Photo Editor

Casey Rothgeb

Copy Desk Staff

Opinion Editor

Aeryn Kauffman

Addie Adkins

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Riel Hanson

Graphic Designer

Bekah Blum

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Tiffany Tablang


Cait Dalton Email: Central Washington University 400 East University Way Lind Hall 109 Ellensburg, WA 98926

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Cynthia Mitchell / Editorial Policy: The Observer is a public forum for student expression, in which student editors make policy and content decisions. The mission of The Observer is two-fold: to serve Central Washington University as a 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 information that is vital to the decision making of the community at large. It provides a forum for students to learn the ethics, values and skills needed to succeed in their chosen career. If you have questions or concerns, email us at


October 6, 2020


Designed by Bekah Blum

Looking closer at tax dollars and police funding David Hartless Staff Reporter The topic of defunding the police has recently taken center stage, with #DefundThePolice trending on Twitter and people around the country protesting against police violence. Most people know that their tax dollars are what pay for services like the police department and fire department. However, taking a look inside the Washington state tax code may show that some of the money is used in a way that many taxpayers may not know about.

The money for police departments comes from taxpayer dollars. Taxpayers can see where the money goes by going to the Washington State Department of Revenue website. The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) shows that when it comes to police spending, it has vague restrictions on what police departments can do with it. “Moneys distributed under this section must be expended exclusively for criminal justice purposes and may not be used to replace or supplant existing funding,” RCW 82.14.310 reads. “Criminal justice purposes are defined as activities that substantially assist the criminal justice system,

which may include circumstances where ancillary benefit to the civil or juvenile justice system occurs.” This code authorizes counties to administer a 0.10% criminal justice sales tax. This amount is part of the total 10.1% sales tax in Seattle, or the 8.4% sales tax in Ellensburg, meaning 0.10% of that sales tax goes towards the criminal justice fund. This tax has few limitations for local governments, except that it must be used on criminal justice activities, section three of RCW 82.14.310 says. It does not say what it can be spent on, or how much of it police have to use.

According to the Washington State Department of Revenue, in 2019, Washington state collected over $188 million of sales tax revenue in Washington state. Seattle received almost $30 million and the City of Ellensburg received almost $500,000. There is no way taxpayers can clearly see how this money was spent. In an article from The Seattle Times, it states that the Seattle Police Department spent over $34 million in 2019 on overtime. Taxpayers may utilize their power to make change by calling upon representatives to amend the RCWs and ask that money be spent in a way that is more transparent overall.

CWU announces layoffs, outlines budget shortfall Continued from Page 1 And while CWU had a record number of applicants and the decrease in enrollment met projections, Klucking said “strong enrollment helps for sure, but it doesn’t solve everything.” The 5% decrease in enrollment would impact all “fee-funded areas across the university,” Klucking said. As a result of the pandemic, CWU plans to spend a large amount of its reserve money. “We’re going to dip very deeply into our reserves, and I don’t see any other options,” Klucking said. Klucking said CWU has also been told to prepare for a $10 million reduction, roughly 15%, in state funding in the upcoming session, although that decision hasn’t been finalized. Klucking said Washington is forecasting a $4.5 billion deficit over the next four years. This $4.5 billion budget deficit is an improvement over an $8 billion deficit the state had previously forecasted. “We don’t necessarily know what the state is going to do, and we will find out when the session convenes in January,” Klucking said. While layoffs were announced on Sept. 30, the impacted employees will not be notified until Oct. 8, and their last day of employment will be Nov. 6. Gaudino said the layoffs marked “truly a sad day” at the university, and that any potential future layoffs would be heavily dependent on student enrollment. “Our methodology was to look at where the work need has been reduced or in some cases eliminated and eliminate those positions,” Gaudino said. If an outbreak were to occur on campus and the dorms closed again, similar to spring 2021, Sleigh-Layman said more jobs on campus could be in jeopardy. “In many ways, those residential students are job security for many other employees at CWU,” Sleigh-Layman said. In response to several audience questions regarding CWU’s decision to an-

Casey Rothgeb/The Observer

Last week’s announced layoffs account for roughly 3% of employees on CWU’s Ellensburg campus, with the potential for more in 2021. nounce layoffs and the impacted departments over a week before impacted employees would be notified, Sleigh-Layman said the university tried to balance “transparency with anxiety” in the decision. And while the notification would increase anxiety for some, Sleigh-Layman said she hoped it would lessen the anxiety that some employees felt. “I was a proponent of being as transparent as could be,” Sleigh-Layman said. “We struggled a lot as to whether to give you the details of the layoffs that are coming.” Gaudino also said since the decision on layoffs had been made, he wanted to ensure people heard the news from the university instead of other means.

Layoff Timeline Sept. 30 - CWU announces 54 layoffs. Oct. 8 - Impacted employees will be notified. Nov. 6 - Impacted employees last day of employment No additional layoffs are expected in 2020

Gaudino addressed a question regarding renovations to CWU’s presidential residence and said the work involved new carpeting and blinds and was akin to work done in between long term tenants of an apartment.

Gaudino did not address several audience questions regarding his salary during the session. “I didn’t want [Gaudino] in a position to have to answer those questions,” Sleigh-Layman said.


October 6, 2020


Designed by Tiffany Tablang

West coast fires impact students Ryan Nakamura Staff Reporter It is months into 2020, and far more than the pandemic is worrying the students of the westernmost states of the U.S. Having started in the summer, wildfires continue to rage in every state of the west coast, burning over 3.7 million acres of land, according to the Center for Disease Philanthropy. Tens of thousands of people evacuated, ash fell from the sky and air quality index numbers briefly exceeded the scale’s maximum value of 500 in Oregon. Don Schmidt, a WSU senior marketing major based out of Spokane, said for a household of asthmatics the smoke was bad, but it became much more difficult when his air conditioning failed during the worst of it. He said his only options were to “let the smoke in or cook in his own home.” “It was something out of a horror movie. I thought it couldn’t get any worse,” Schmidt said. Unfortunately, his family’s second home in southern California burned to the ground. They were informed by a relative in the area.

Graphic by Tiffany Tablang

James Lee, a CWU sophomore business management major from Long Beach, California said, “[California] is always on fire. It’s not like this seemed like anything new.” As heavy smoke and ash made its way to Long Beach, Lee was working on the frontlines of a grocery co-op. When the air quality reached a level

of upwards of 90 on the air quality index, he reached a level of panic he’d not been familiar with and suffered his first panic attack. As things have gone on, his relationship with his parents has suffered a blow.

cause we do have the protestors that go out and support Trump.” According to the City of Ellensburg’s community profile in their comprehensive plan, the Hispanic/ Latino population was 2.8% of the Ellenburg population in 1990. This number rose to 10.5% in 2015. According to the World Population Review, the current Hispanic/Latino population living in Ellenburg is 12% of the city’s population and it will likely continue to grow. “Ellensburg is one of the top 10 microregions in the nation for population growth. That’s per the census,” Reich said. “What we are seeing with that population growth is an increase in diversity in the people who choose to make Ellensburg their home.” In efforts to help recognize the diversity in town, The ECC created a subcommittee called Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE). This group is responsible for going on the listening tours and determining common things residents of Ellensburg would like to see happen. When these listening tours are complete, the subcommittee will file a report and present it to the council for review. “I’ll be very honest, this is a starting point for us,” Reich said. “We know from the listening sessions that one of the things we can do better is to raise awareness and to raise visibility and we’re taking steps in that direction.” Rios said she would be all for the formation of this commission and the creation of a multicultural center on CWU’s campus. Another goal ECC has is to increase accessibility to the information

the city provides. In efforts to provide more accessibility, this proclamation was also printed in Spanish. Rios said she’d like to see more places in town have signs and other information in multiple languages, so that everyone can understand what they are putting out. “I know school districts try to send things home in various languages but throughout the town, there could be more inclusivity towards Latinos,” Rios said. Rios added that this should have already been done. “I think we’re at a time where everything should be in different languages,” Rios said. Other specific actions the city will take to recognize minorities in town will be dependent on the formation of the IDE commission. Some of their plans include having celebrations to honor different groups in town. “We’ve got the rodeo, which celebrates the western culture, and we’ve got the Climber, which celebrates the western culture,” Reich said. “We don’t have anything that adds depth to our community.” Reich said the IDE wants to create depth in a sustainable way. An example she gave was if the city hosts a pride parade to do it every year, not once and then again five years later. Rios said she’d like to see events celebrating Hispanic heritage in Ellenburg like they do in other cities, when the city is able to do so. “I know at the Puyallup fair they have a whole mariachi and folklore dances there, and it’s really cool,” Rios said. “So, if Ellensburg were to

Lee’s parents told him he had a “ridiculous need to blame [himself] for how things are going instead of the people who caused all this.” Skylar Harry, a Columbia Basin College computer science student who’d been considering CWU from Richland, Washington has family members across the coast, several of whom have breathing issues. Harry said the fires were a weight on everyone’s minds. When asked about how it had affected his daily routines, Harry said all of his possible plans were canceled, including everything from shopping to veterinarian visits. His brother, whom he drives to work, had to call out of work for an entire week. He was grateful the effects weren’t worse. “Fortunately, routines are the only casualties my family has suffered,” Harry said. Harry said these fires and the resultant smoke could have been avoided by listening to science and being careful. As an “avid science enthusiast,” he said were it not for global warming, the fires wouldn’t have been the issue they have become. “It’s a scary time, sure, but if we look after each other and don’t let how scared we are divide us, we’ll make it. We always do,” Harry said.

Ellensburg City council proclaims month in honor of Hispanic American Achievement Jessica Perez Staff Reporter On Sept. 21, the Ellensburg City Council (ECC) passed a proclamation intended to recognize the achievements of Hispanic Americans in Ellensburg. This proclamation also declared Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 Hispanic Heritage Month. This proclamation was issued after Mayor Bruce Tabb, Council Member Nancy Goodloe and Council Member Nancy Lillquist went on listening tours intended to connect them with people living in marginalized communities in Ellensburg. Since Hispanic Heritage is celebrated during the month of September, ECC decided to make this proclamation, which encourages people in the community to recognize the achievements of Hispanic Americans living in Ellensburg. Margaret Reich, the communication and government relations officer for the City of Ellensburg, said this proclamation stemmed from the council’s awareness of changing demographics. “As a city, we need to do a better job of letting all people know that they are welcome here and that we would like to provide the resources each person needs to fulfill whatever dream they have while they are here,” Reich said. Hispanic student and MeCHA club member Jennifer Rios said having a proclamation honoring Hispanic heritage in Ellensburg makes her feel good. “I think it’s really cool,” Rios said. “It makes the community notice what the council is really for and not just what the community is showing be-

have something like that I feel like that would be pretty cool.” Reich also said people in Ellensburg are not exposed to other cultures very often and by including visual cues like a pride flag outside a door or a celebration, this increases their exposure and awareness of other people in town. “So many in our community may not have ever left Ellensburg, let alone Kittitas County, so their exposure to others is limited,” Reich said. “How can we provide them with information and raise awareness so they can understand the celebrations that we hope to have in the future?”

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Fall activities in the ‘Burg Jared Galanti Staff Reporter The sights and sounds of fall are once again upon the city of Ellensburg. Leaves are falling off the trees, pumpkins are being displayed and the overall feeling of school starting is here once again. Hilary Huffman, owner of The Patch, the local U-Pick pumpkin patch, said COVID-19 has definitely had an effect on her farm. “We also usually have the haunted forest going on Friday and Saturday nights,” Huffman said. ”We decided not to do it this year because we couldn’t give it the time and the resources that it needed to keep everybody safe.” However, she said there aren’t any major changes happening to The Patch this year, and only people who have been there before will notice. Some changes include the petting zoo becoming a “looking zoo” and a buried treasure corn game, where kids swim through corn kernels in a 10-foot diameter trough, being closed because they aren’t able to sanitize the container the kids swim in. Just as places outside campus are having to alter their plans, activities on campus have changed as well. Katie Doonan, a special events coordinator for Student Activities, said the annual Haunting at Central that happens in the SURC every year

is being moved to a virtual setting. The event that had activities such as moonlight bowling, escape rooms and a zombie zone is going to look very different this year. “As of right now we aren’t allowed to host it indoors,” Doonan said. “We’re taking a whole different turn.” Activities for the virtual event include a caricature artist and two escape rooms. One escape room is going to have a zombie theme while the other will have a wizard theme. Avery Cortinas, also a special event coordinator for Student Activities, said some of the activities they host for the city of Ellensburg will also be a little different. “Around Halloween we would offer Boo Central as an event for the community,” Cortinas said. “We would have booths set up and the community would bring kids and we would have an indoor trick-or-treating.” However, they had to adjust the way they give out candy this year. Cortinas said they are partnering with the Ellensburg Downtown Association to create an event called Halloweek in which there will be a candy pickup station for families with kids to pick up pre-packaged bags of candy. Cortinas said student volunteers are needed to come to the event in costume to line University Way in a parade, as a way to “help make the event even more special for the kids who show up with their families.”

Casey Rothgeb/The Observer Ellensburg’s “The Patch” will be open this fall, complying with COVID-19 regulations

GET Mobile gets stalled Ryan Nakamura Staff Reporter To help reduce the amount of people in the SURC at a time, CWU has been using “GET Mobile,” a phone application used to remotely order food. While this convenience is appreciated by students, some say it has its issues. Joe Reede, a freshman undeclared major, has had a number of problems but “only one big issue.” Among other things, he said the app does not notify him when his food is ready, so he has to wait for it to be called out, as well as the app doesn’t automatically update and it logs him out. When an order is submitted, an email is sent to the customer that gives a time the order will be ready. For Reede, this caused issues when his order wasn’t ready until 30 minutes after the time he was given. “I can’t say this is what I expected out of college. I thought classes would be the biggest hassle, not food,” Reede said. Jen Hansen, a sophomore education major’s issue was similar to Reede’s: time. Hansen had ordered

food without realizing that the place she’d ordered from would close five minutes after she ordered. According to Hansen, the app doesn’t seem to take closing time into account and allows customers to order up to the last possible moment. Hansen got her order the next day at noon. “I know it’s not the workers’ fault either. They’ve got to have it hard since they have to deal with this too,” Hansen said. Robert Steward, a freshman undeclared major, had one complaint: the app doesn’t default payment options. “It’s not that hard to have a default payment. I’ve seen plenty of things do it so why not this?” Steward said. On the Apple app store, there are over 100 complaints regarding GET Mobile, many of which revolve around connectivity issues from students across the country. This means that the issues are not exclusive to CWU. However, Steward said these frustrations shouldn’t be taken out on the workers. “God, you can’t help but feel bad for them. They’re probably suffering way worse than anyone but you have to imagine that people are giving them attitude,” Steward said.

Tune in on October 21 for CWU’s 2020 State of the University Address We ask that you set aside time at 10 a.m. to hear the presentation. Hosted by Professor Elvin Delgado Address delivered by President James L. Gaudino Address will be available at CWU is an EEO/AA/Title IX Institution. For accommodation email:

Bass fishing during the fall transition Written byJayce Kadoun With the fall season in full effect, any anglers looking to target largemouth bass will begin to notice fish habits changing as the temperature drops and will need to adjust their fishing styles accordingly. There are a variety of tactics for effectively catching bass this time of year. Many say under the right conditions, fall fishing can yield some of the best results all year. Austin Redding, a senior majoring in business and marketing, has been fishing around Ellensburg since the first day he arrived for freshman year.

Designed by Bekah Blum “Fall can be a great time of year to go fishing, especially if you are trying to catch a big one. [Bass] have been out deep all summer and it’s time for them to start feeding

and getting fat for the winter,” Redding said. Redding said the great part about fall fishing is the water isn’t as hot as it is during the summer months. When the

water starts to cool off, the fish start to get more active and it becomes a lot easier to catch them. “There is one bait in general that I love to throw in the fall

that I never throw in the summer months and that’s a big swimbait,” Redding said. “Like I said before, in the fall, the fish get active again because the water is cooling off and they need to fatten up before the winter. A big six inch or bigger swimbait is just the meal that the fish are looking for.” Swimbaits typically come in hard and soft plastic versions that resemble the type of forage fish bass like to eat. Redding said the best places to fish these types of lures changes with the season. “In my past experience, the best areas to target these fish are going to be mainly up shallow or right off the drops. When the water cools down, the bass should start moving out of their deep summer spots

and work their way up shallow and then back down deep when the winter months come along,” Redding said. Local bass angler Matt Kinne said some of the best places to fish in eastern Washington during the fall are within an hour drive of Ellensburg, and some are just outside city limits. “Moses Lake and Potholes Reservoir are some of the best lakes around, but if I don’t feel like driving all the way over there, I throw my jon boat in the back of the truck and head to the ponds out Canyon Road. The fishing there can be just as good especially this time of year,” Kinne said. Kinne’s favorite lures to throw this time of year include spinnerbaits, jigs and topwater baits. He said the spinning blades on the spin-

nerbait trick bass into thinking it’s a smaller fish and the jig presentation mimics a crawdad on the bottom. “These fish are aggressive and hungry right now. Even though I have some staple baits that I like to throw, I experiment with different stuff when i’m out on the water to see what they’re hungry for,” Kinne said. Karsen Rogers is an alumnus who continues to travel east every fall to fish the lakes and ponds he did while still in college. Compared to lakes in western Washington, he said he prefers to fish bodies of water around Kittitas County. “Some of my most productive days of fishing have been in September and October and I always make a trip [to Ellensburg] during

those months. The fishing is usually off the hook,” Rogers said. According to Rogers, now is the best time to fish if you’re just getting into the sport. He said the aggressive nature of the fish will allow for novice anglers to capitalize on more bites no matter what their skill level is.

“Fall can be a great time of year to go fishing, especially if you are trying to catch a big one.” -Austin Redding, senior business and marketing major

8 October 6, 2020


Designed by Riel Hanson

You aren’t seeing Marxism, you are seeing democracy in action David Hartless Columnist To say the year 2020 has been interesting is an understatement. There’s been a pandemic and civil unrest from the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, their deaths resulting in protests happening just not here but worldwide. There have been peaceful protests as well as riots in cities like Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland, just to name a few. With riots happening, President Trump has been quick to group peaceful protestors in with rioters and even calling the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement Marxist. In an interview with Fox, Trump said, “Black Lives Matter, when did it start? Marching down streets screaming, ‘Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon.’ They were talking about policemen … So all of a sudden, this has taken on this air of great respectability. Well, how does it start there? It’s a Marxist group.” That is a partially true statement. Yes, the co-founders of Black Lives Matter have called themselves trained Marxists. In an article by the New York Post, Patrisse Cullors said she and her fellow organizers are “trained Marxists.”

The thing that President Trump has left out is this: not all protestors who say that Black lives matter are a part of the BLM organization. Protesters around the world are marching for equality and an end to police violence. But since the word “Marxist” is not the correct term, what you are seeing is true democracy in action. Civil unrest is what America was founded on. No taxation without representation, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion are pillars of what our republic was built on. Basically, the colonies were tired of what was going on in London. When Thomas Jefferson wrote The Declaration of Independence, the first paragraph clearly states: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” There it is. If people do not like how the government is treating them, they

have a right to revolt against that government. That is exactly what people are doing by protesting. America is making its voices heard. The people are exercising their constitutional right to protest about things they deem to be unfair. America is tired. Americans are tired of the way things have been going and tired about the course in which they saw it happening. You combine coronavirus with police brutality and people being stuck at home and it’s a perfect recipe for people to say they have had enough. So no, what you are seeing is not Marxism. What you are seeing is democracy in action. If you are tired of the way things are going in society today, go out and get involved. You don’t have to go join a protest if you feel uncomfortable. There are many different ways a person can get involved in social change. You can go volunteer in a campaign for a person you believe in, you can volunteer and help the less fortunate. Heck, you don’t even need to join anything. You can get together a couple of friends and volunteer to clean up a highway or a park. Democracy does take many forms. For the first time in not only my life, but many others as well we are seeing true democracy in action.

Housing is a fundamental right, but the rental market doesn’t know that Addie Adkins Columnist Until recent history, humans have been able to make shelter for themselves. We could settle in a land, build a house without restrictions and live off the land. In this present world, homes and shelter are no longer guaranteed. Land must be purchased, a contractor hired, a building built, with each of these processes being expensive and heavily regulated by laws and ordinances. Because some don’t have the means to build or purchase their own homes, a lot of people rent. According to a study done by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, 35.6% of Americans rent, with over onethird of renters being under the age of 35. If you’ve ever rented, you know there is an application process with several minimum requirements to be met. Having previously worked in property management, I’ve said these words to prospective renters many times: “You need to make three times the amount of rent per month, you need good credit and you need two years of acceptable rental history.”

Most college students are 18 or 19 years old and have never lived alone. This creates unique challenges for these students because they haven’t had time to establish credit and have certainly not established a rental history. Because of this, some students aren’t able to rent without a cosigner and, sometimes, it prevents students from renting at all, either because the rental company doesn’t accept cosigners or because the student doesn’t have anyone willing to cosign the rental agreement with them. Aside from credit and rental history, another challenge that students face is providing income verification. Most financial aid and student loan awards won’t get anywhere near meeting most income requirements. There is also rental affordability to consider. A plague for any renter, market rent prices right now are downright stupid. A study produced by the National Low Income Housing Coalition lists the fair market rent of a one-bedroom rental at $1,286 per month and a two-bedroom at $1,584 per month.

According to my calculations, a minimum wage worker would need to work 66 hours per week in order to satisfy the common “gross monthly income of three times the amount of rent” requirement for a one-bedroom rental. This increases to a little over 81 hours per week for a two-bedroom rental. Housing stressors negatively affect students’ studies. According to the US Housing Authority, challenges such as housing insecurity, living in poverty, lack of sufficient financial aid and living off-campus likely affect college completion rates, which are just above 50% at four-year institutions. Adequate housing is a fundamental human right according to the United Nations. Yet, according to the US Housing Authority, in 2013 over 56,000 students indicated that they were experiencing homelessness. That’s 56,000 too many. One problem aiding in student homelessness and rental affordability is the number of available rentals on the market. And unfortunately, the rental market in Washington has seen a decrease in vacancy rates over the years.

University of Washington reported a decrease from 4.7% to a 4.3% vacancy rate in spring 2019. The decreasing vacancy rates in conjunction with increasing market rents and stagnant wages leads to a very sad story for a lot of people, but especially students. A variety of issues have led to the lack of rental availability. Seemingly the biggest issue I see facing the rental market is the lack of concentration on building affordable rentals. All I see being built right now are either high-end rentals or high-end houses. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution. But a good start would be more university or college-provided student housing. If there were more rentals aimed directly towards students, some of the challenges facing students might be dodged. Perhaps more difficult would be for rental companies to implement rental requirements that are more lenient and open up more opportunity to use cosigners. But since rental companies work for investment owners and protect their interests over the interests of the renter, there’s a fat chance of that happening. Graphics by Riel Hanson/The Observer

October 6, 2020 Designed by Riel Hanson



Five reasons why the Seahawks will win the 2021 Super Bowl Sean Bessette Columnist Since winning the 2013 Super Bowl and nearly winning the 2014 Super Bowl, the Seahawks have been a consistent playoff threat but not a Super Bowl contender. Here are five reasons why 2020 is different and the Seahawks will win the 2021 Super Bowl. Russell Wilson is playing at an unbelievable level (having an MVP caliber season so far) To say that Russell Wilson is playing spectacularly would be an understatement. Through week three, Wilson has completed 79 of 103 attempts for 925 yards. His completion percentage of 76.7% is the best among quarterbacks who have thrown for more than 800 yards. Wilson’s passer rating of 139.0 after week three leads the league. Furthermore, he set a new record for passing touchdowns through week three. Wilson’s 14 passing touchdowns broke Patrick Mahomes’ 2018 record of 13 passing touchdowns. It should be stated that Mahomes won the 2018 league MVP award. Hopefully, history will repeat itself for Wilson. The offensive philosophy has been completely overhauled The Seahawks of previous years heavily leaned on the run game. In 2020, the Seahawks are one of the pass-happiest teams in the league. Why the sudden change? It’s hard to say. It might be because the coaching staff has realized that the best way to win is by letting Russell Wilson throw. After week three, the Seahawks are passing on first and second down over 60% of the time. Last year, it was well under 50%. The renewed offensive philosophy follows the hashtag #LetRussCook that started on Twitter. The #LetRussCook campaign promotes Russell Wilson throwing the ball more often. The hashtag has gained so much popularity that it even got national spotlight on Sunday NFL Countdown in week three. The 2020 pass-happy Seahawks are fulfilling the wishes of the #LetRussCook

crowd. Super Bowl champions of previous years, such as the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year, were one of the pass-happiest teams. It only makes sense for the Seahawks to replicate that style with one of the best quarterbacks in the game.

and a sack in his first outing as a Seahawk. The energy he plays with is contagious. The leadership he shows is underrated. Adams has all the qualities of a super special player and the Seahawks are lucky to have him.

Jamal Adams makes the defense The receiving corps is very strong much more intimidating Tyler Lockett is one of the most dyWhen the Seahawks traded two first namic players in the league with the ball round picks and Bradley McDougald to in his hands. His chemistry with Wilson is exceptional. D.K. Metcalf had a phenomenal rookie season as he exceeded all expectations. He set a new record for most receiving yards in a playoff game as a rookie with 160 yards. The second half of the 2019 season showed flashes of Metcalf eventually becoming an elite receiver. The beginning of his 2020 campaign has been nothing shy of excellent through week three. He is on pace for 64 receptions, 1,584 yards and 16 touchdowns. Those are All-Pro numbers. David Moore is playing well. Once Phillip Dorsett gets healthy, he should be a reliable third option at wide receiver. Josh Gordon is also a Seahawk but he is awaiting reinstatement from the commissioner’s exempt list. That is just the wide receivers. That tight end room is very strong as well. Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Luke Willson and Jacob Hollister are all solid players that Wilson can rely on.

the New York Jets for Jamal Adams on July 25, they acquired a perennial AllPro talent. Adams is one of the best safeties in the league. The amount of talent he brings to the Seahawks defense is revolutionary. He can line up at almost every position on the defense and makes everyone around him better. As a safety, he is probably the Seahawks’ best pass rusher. His designed blitzes are mesmerizing. Adams’ presence was felt immediately when the Seahawks first took the field in Atlanta. He recorded 12 tackles

The offensive line looks good enough The Seahawks have a history of having subpar offensive lines. It has been a common theme over the past decade. The front office brought in a lot of guys over the offseason to create competition on the O-line and it seems to be working so far. Although Duane Brown is showing his age, the quality he possesses can still be seen. Mike Iupati has played very well to start the season. Ethan Pocic is having a strong start at center. Thirdround pick Damien Lewis was showing a lot of upside before picking up a little injury versus the Cowboys. Brandon Shell, who the Seahawks picked up from the New York Jets in free agency, has played well too.

Graphics by Riel Hanson/The Observer

10 October 6, 2020 Designed by Riel Hanson


A modified buildup to competition raises the possibility for more injuries in the upcoming season for CWU athletes Sean Bessette Staff Reporter With the lack of preseason games, more NFL players are getting injured through the first few weeks of the season. As seen in the NFL, when competition occurs, it’s possible the same thing could happen with players at CWU. Head Athletic Trainer Isaac Perry doesn’t think it’ll be an issue.

“I think it is a little different in the NCAA. Whenever we get to the competition stage, we will have had a lot of time where we can build up to that. In the NFL, they were doing it all in a shortened amount of time and then they were going straight into playing games,” Perry said. Since there aren’t any fall sports championships happening this year, the timeline in which coaches and trainers

need to get players ready for competition has been extended. “We have a ton of time and we want to use that to the best of our abilities. I think when we eventually get to competition, it won’t be in that same condensed timeline,” Perry said. Perry is also thankful for the administration and the Kittitas County Public Health Department for giving the team the opportunity to have controlled

Casey Rothgeb/The Observer

Head football coach Chris Fisk is confident that CWU’s football team will be able to build up their workouts to avoid injuries similar to the NFL.

workouts and to bring students back onto campus. “I think that’s going to pay dividends down the road when we are finally able to compete,” Perry said. Head coach Chris Fisk also said he doesn’t think a modified buildup will lead to more injuries. “We’ll have well over a month to practice and get acclimated before we see any live action,” Fisk said. Since large group practices can’t happen, the coaching staff is designing drills and rethinking ways to keep players safe from injuries during practice. “You definitely got to minimize the reps,” Assistant Coach AJ Cooper said. Although the team is looking ahead to practicing, right now its focus is on conditioning. The football team won’t start practicing until it’s ready. “We told our guys, ‘we won’t go into practice until we’re in shape,’ and that’s not because we want to have better practices but we want to keep them safe,” Cooper said. Many NFL players have gotten hurt over the first few weeks of the season to a wide array of injuries. Nick Bosa, Saquon Barkley and Courtland Sutton tore their ACLs in week two. Christian McCaffrey and Jimmy Garoppolo suffered high ankle sprains. For the Seattle Seahawks, starting linebacker Bruce Irvin and starting nickel back Marquise Blair suffered torn ACLs. Both players will be sidelined for the whole season. CWU’s coaches and strength staff are doing everything in their power to minimize any season ending injuries in the upcoming season.

Outdoor activity keeps the minds of staff and students fresh and ready Gabriel Strasbaugh Staff Reporter

there and just really took advantage of where we live,” Fisk said. Fisk added that the outdoors can More people are looking for things help get the players’ and staff minds off to do while our state and country remain the pandemic. This is common among somewhat closed. Students have decided traits shared by others who spend their to take this time to enjoy the fresh air and time outside to clear their heads from the outdoor activities this state offers, includ- pandemic, along with the desire to be in ing hunting, hiking touch with nature. and water activities Senior double like rafting, canoemajor in family & ing and fishing. consumer sciencI challenged our staff Football head to go enjoy their August. es and psychology coach Chris Fisk Djjin McCarter said We spent a lot of time and his players the outside is a peron the Columbia River spent a lot of time fect getaway from having a lot of fun down this offseason outthe stress of classes there and just really took to clear her head. doors with the advantage of where we postponement of “I’ve been able live. training camp. to get out and go “We told our hiking a couple - Chris Fisk, Head coach guys to enjoy themtimes. Just getting selves,” Fisk said. out and being by With football on the back burner, Fisk the water when I can is really what I said the team took to the water this spring do,” McCarter said. instead of the field. Prior to social distancing, hiking “I challenged our staff to go enjoy their by the water is something McCarter August. We spent a lot of time on the Co- has made a habit of in her four years lumbia River having a lot of fun down in Ellensburg.

“It’s what I enjoy anyway so it works out. I go hiking in the canyon quite a bit though. Even though we are getting into fall I would still love to go raft down the river,” McCarter said. While this helps students and residents enjoy this time in life, outdoor activities over the past few weeks have been far more diffi-

cult to partake in. The wildfires ravaging the west coast have forced the public to take precautions outside due to breathing unhealthy toxins from green wood smoke, according to the American Lung Association. Aside from the week of smoke, most activities are still taking place even with the Recreation Center not at maximum capacity.

Casey Rothgeb/The Observer

CWU athletes have been using the outdoors as an escape from COVID-19 and quarantine.

October 6, 2020 11 Designed by Riel Hanson


Are you up to the challenge? It’s time to show off your skills

RachelAnn Degnan Staff Reporter To supplement the lack of sports opportunities offered this quarter, the Recreation Center is offering brand new skill challenges in soccer, basketball and flag football. Intramural Sports & Special Events Coordinator Shana Kessler and her staff are excited to get more students involved. “Each of these events is designed for up to 64 students to participate,” Kessler said. “Then we break everyone up into a group of four or five people depending on if it’s indoors or outdoor activity.” In designing the competitions, the student-run team focused on creating an event where everyone can participate. Because of this, the Recreation Center has opened the skill challenges to be all-inclusive. “We believe sports are based on skills and not gender identity,” Kessler said. “So anybody can compete against anybody.” To ensure the event complies with Gov. Jay Inslee’s guidelines regarding COVID-19, Kessler and her staff have planned sanitizing breaks before every event.

“We have built-in time and equipment so that we can clean everything in between use,” Kessler said. “So not a single person is touching the same ball one after the other without it being properly cleaned and disinfected.” Senior and Intramural Manager Spencer Dalzell wants the skill challenges to be safe so that more activities can be planned this year. “Obviously, bring your mask, that is required inside or outside,” Dalzell said. “But also bring a good attitude and some excitement, because we are trying to find ways that we can allow people to participate in events.” Dalzell is looking forward to seeing some surprise athletes and hopes that the challenges can connect people to their community. “It’s always exciting to see a person who doesn’t look as athletically built as others who come to the event,” Dalzell said. “Then all of a sudden they show that they’re one of the most skilled and dominant players.” Dalzell’s co-worker, junior and Intramural Manager Emily McDonald, was given the task of designing the soccer challenge. “[The challenges] are a way for students to keep up with their skills,” Mc-

Casey Rothgeb/The Observer

The rec center is looking for new ways to get students involved, including skill competitions. Donald said. “I thought if I were doing this, what would I want to do?” McDonald loves soccer and wanted her challenge to “focus on all sorts of skills so people can show their strengths.” Though it is too late to sign up for this quarter’s basketball and soccer challenges, flag football signups are available through

The skill challenges are meant to be competitive, but McDonald sees them as another way to socialize and participate. “With COVID-19 this quarter, human contact is pretty limited,” McDonald said. “So we want everyone to feel like they are still important and that there is still a lot of stuff that we can do to feel relaxed and less pressured.”

Women’s soccer looks to score in a successful spring season

Casey Rothgeb/The Observer

Women’s Soccer team looking to kick off a potential spring season. The team has been working on staying in shape and forming team chemistry. The team looks forward to facing rival WWU. Derek Harper Staff Reporter The Women’s Soccer team is gearing up for a spring GNAC season, despite a canceled NCAA tournament this year, should they qualify. But that’s not stopping the team from eyeing the GNAC crown. Senior Madison Bradley and juniors Paige Devine and Sydney Lowe looked back on last year and talked about the upcoming season. “Over the past three years since my freshman year we started off kind of rough, my second year we got back

into it, and then last year was obviously a really good year for us. I think last year we were really good together as a team,” Bradley said. Last season the team finished 6-5-1 in the conference and 8-9-1 overall and got knocked out 2-1 in the GNAC tournament by the Western Washington University Vikings. The team started practice on Sept. 28. All workouts are socially distanced with the team split into groups. “We are all very motivated and I think [it is because of] the possibility of playing in the spring,” Devine said. “We are just

really working on the technical aspect of soccer and just trying to get that team bonding together.” Devine said despite knowing they wouldn’t have a fall season, they were more motivated to work harder as a team for the upcoming potential spring season. One thing the team is missing out on this season is pre-season games. Lowe explained how important it is to win pre-season games because of the impact it has on team seedings when it comes to post-season play. According to Lowe, the freshmen on the team will be the most impacted by the

schedule change with no pre-season because they won’t get to experience those important games. However, the upperclassmen are doing their best to help make the freshmen feel welcome and help them to learn how the team plays, according to Lowe. “That’s a really hard transition and it’s a really weird time so they don’t get to have the full experience and to have a pre-season,” Lowe said. “We don’t even really have a season, that’s hard for them to [adjust to] how we play because they can’t do any contact in practice.”

12 October 6, 2020


Designed by Tiffany Tablang


Oct. 7 - Oct. 14 Oct. 7 - 6-11 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - The Simpsons: Tree house wof Horror-thon 7-9 p.m. Trivia Wednesday - Marvel Trivia Virtual Location for Online Events Oct. 8 - 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Virtual Engineering Technologies, Safety, and Construction Fair

Virtual Location for Online Events

4:30 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Goosebumps (2015) 7 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - The Adams Family (1991) 9 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Addams Family Values

Oct. 9 - 8:55 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Hocus Pocus Oct. 10 - 3:35 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Casper (1995) 5:40 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Hotel Transylvania 7:45 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Hotel Transylvania 2 9:50 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation Oct. 11 - 2-5 p.m. Backyard Games Studen Union and Recreation Center North Lawn Area 9:50 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Twitches 11:55 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Twitches 2 Oct. 12 - 6-7 p.m. Plotting Your Career Virtual Location for Online Events 8-10:30 p.m. Monday Movie Madness: Elona Holmes Virtual Location for Online Events Oct. 13 - 7-9 p.m. RHA Central Talent Showcase Virtual Location for Online Events 8:20 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Hocus Pocus Oct. 14 - 12-12:45 p.m. Homecoming 2020: Golf Cart Parade Student Union and Recreation Center Patio East 9 p.m. 31 Nights of Halloween - Beetlejuice

Bloody Red Velvet Cheesecake By Tastemade

Crust: - Oreos - 4 tbsp. butter, melted Strawberry Blood: - 1/2 cup water - 2 cups strawberries, hulled -1/2 cup sugar

Ingredients Red Velvet Cheesecake Filling: - 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature - 1 cup sugar - 4 Eggs, room temperature - 3 tbsp. cocoa powder - 1 cup sour cream -1/4 cup buttermilk -1 tsp. vinegar -1 tsp. vanilla extract - 2 oz. red food coloring Steps

Cheesecake Crust: 1. In a food processor, pulse Oreos and melted butter together. 2. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Red Velvet Cheesecake Filling: 1. Using a mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar at medium-low speed for 1 min. 2. Add eggs and beat until combined. 3. Add cocoa powder, sour cream, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Mix until fully combined. 4. Pour batter into prepared crust. 5. Bake at 325°F for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300°F and bake for 1 hour, or until center is firm. 6. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. 7. Turn oven off. 8. Let cheesecake stand in oven for 30 minutes, then remove cheesecake from oven. 9. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. 10. Cover and chill overnight. Strawberry Blood: 1. In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves. Continue to boil for 10 minutes. 2. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes. 3. Pour strawberry blood into a measuring cup through a fine mesh strainer. 4. When ready to serve cheesecake, pour warmed strawberry blood over and top with whipped cream.

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