The Observer- Spring 2021, Issue 4

Page 1

April 28, 2021

Vol. 119 NO. 4

Vaccine requirement under consideration Baseball games Governor visits campus to discuss vaccine rollout, tour clinic

canceled due to positive COVID-19 test

Photo by Mitchell Roland/The Observer

By Jared Galanti

By Mitchell Roland While Washington’s public universities are currently set to decide, Gov. Jay Inslee said a state vaccination requirement for students to attend classes on college campuses in the fall is “under consideration.” Inslee made the comments during a visit to campus on April 27, where he toured the vaccine clinic in the SURC. Inslee was joined by several other local officials, including President James L. Gaudino and Ellensburg Mayor Bruce Tabb. Inslee said right now, the state is “looking at some of the legal options we have” to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for college students statewide, though it is currently under the “individual jurisdiction” of universities. This comes after several public and private universities have announced that students will be required to get vaccinated. Last week both the California State University and University of California college systems, which have over one million students combined, announced they would require vaccines for students returning in the fall. “I was just talking to the [university] presidents about this,” Inslee said. “What I can say is it’s extremely important to have a high rate of vaccination.” While stressing vaccine importance, Inslee pointed out college students make up about half of Ellensburg. “All of a sudden, you have half your population coming back,” Inslee said. “We need to act, effectively, to boost these vaccination rates. It is imperative for their personal safety, and it is imperative for the larger community.” Inslee said there’s been some “irresponsible behavior” in Pullman with Washington State University students, which resulted in an increase in cases. Whitman county, where WSU’s campus is located, moved back to phase 2 of the reopening plan on April 16 due to that increase in. “That affects the whole community there,” Inslee said. Gaudino said if it were up to him, he would require a COVID-19 vaccine for students in the fall, and his vaccine plan will

Page 3 In-person campus tours

Inslee said the state could require students on campus in the fall to get vaccinated.

recommend the university do so. However, the decision will be made by incoming President A. James Wohlpart, who will officially take over for Gaudino on June 7. CWU is currently discussing how they would implement a mandate, and Gaudino said that enforcement “is the big issue.” “That’s a legal question more than it is a policy question,” Gaudino said. “If I could do it, I would absolutely do it.” One option is an attestation, where students would submit a form saying they’ve been vaccinated. “If 80, 85 percent of us get vaccinated, Central will look the same next year as it did before the pandemic,” Gaudino said. “If it’s less than that, we’re going to have to have restrictions, some restrictions.” Gaudino said the number of restrictions on campus would depend on the infection rate in the fall. “Right now, we’re on a trajectory to open more or less normally,” Gaudino said. “I’m expecting that the vaccination rate will not be sufficient that we don’t have to wear [masks] all the time, while we’re out and about, and in our classes.” Inslee repeatedly said how important it is to get vaccinated, and said the state has “a very intensive public campaign going on” to increase vaccination rates.

“There has to be some mechanism to get these vaccination rates up,” Inslee said. “One way or another, we have to get these vaccination rates up. And one of the ways to do that is to create more incentive.” Some of the incentives Inslee cited include relaxing COVID-19 restrictions that are in place. “If that’s the route we have to look down, we need to consider these issues,” Inslee said. “Now, we’re not waiting for that.” Beyond the public information campaign, Inslee said the state is engaging with medical experts to encourage the vaccine. “We know that the most credible messengers on this are the nurses and the physicians and dentists and physical therapists,” Inslee said. “We have found this is the most persuasive way.” During his visit, Inslee was complimentary of the vaccine clinic on campus, and how easy it is for students to get vaccinated. Inslee cited the clinic’s location on campus, and said it was “very well accepted by students.” “The kind of operation here at Central, to allow them to have it right on campus is fantastic,” Inslee said. “We want all colleges to follow the leadership going on here.” Inslee said part of the state’s strategy for increasing vaccination rates is stressing how easy it is for people to get vaccinated.

Page 7 Create a creature

Page 10 You should hike

The baseball team was scheduled to play four games this past weekend against Western Oregon University, but a positive COVID-19 test caused those plans to change. The next four games scheduled for April 23-24 against Northwest Nazarene University are also canceled due to the positive test. In a statement put out by the athletics department, they state the cancellation of these games “are out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of student athletes and staff.” Director of Athletics Dennis Francois echoed this statement, saying they are merely following the guidelines that the GNAC conference decided on when they agreed to restart spring sports. “Our conference has agreed along with our institution to follow NCAA guidelines when it comes to COVID[-19] protocol,” Francois said. “That is essentially what we are doing. Once we receive a positive test within our tier 1 in accordance with the NCAA guidelines and contact tracing is done, we have to make a determination based on the impact on that contact tracing and make a determination of if we have enough players to continue or if it is safe enough to continue.” Francois said after doing the contact tracing, the athletic department determined that the team needed to quarantine for 14 days before resuming action. Once the quarantine is over the team will be able to resume practice and possibly games as scheduled. “We are in our conference schedule so we have played our conference knowing this year would be a little bit of this anomaly,” Francois said. “We made sure that we established guidelines in terms of what would be the minimum number of games that a team needs to compete in to qualify for the conference tournament. We established that at 50%.” Francois said that CWU has hit that 50% threshold of games and that the way the conference will determine the seeding in the tournament will be based on winning percentage. He also said he is hopeful they can resume in time to play their final two series of the season and have a good

Baseball canceled, Page 12 Page 15 Student athletes and eligibility



April 28, 2021



Last week, online

Women’s rugby to face Life University at home.

Editorial: Derek Chauvin convicted on all counts for murder of George Floyd Last week, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. On April 20, Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The jury debated three charges for 10 hours, which suggested that they came to their decision without much hesitation or needed deliberation. Criminal charges against police officers are extremely rare. This was only the second time that a police officer in Minnesota had been convicted of murder for actions that took place on the job. Most people think the verdict was the right decision. According to a USA Today-Ipsos poll, 71% of Americans agree the verdict was correct. The Minneapolis police chief testified that Chauvin’s actions were against department policy and are not something officers are trained to do. However, if the incident had not been recorded, the reality is the outcome could have been very different. Chauvin may not have been convicted, or he may not have even been prosecuted at all. An early press release from the Minneapolis Police Department describes an event that is different than what the world saw. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance,” the release reads. “He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.” The release goes on to say no weapons were used in the incident, and that the officers involved were wearing body cameras.

NFL new rules about single digit numbers.

Update on football team.



This description of the event is very different from what the world witnessed. The world heard Floyd’s pleas for help while handcuffed and laying on the ground. The world heard Floyd saying that he couldn’t breathe. The world heard Floyd begging for his mother to help him. They saw Chauvin carelessly kneeling on Floyd’s neck, refusing the pleas of onlookers to get off. They saw three other police officers, who were unwilling to step in and save Floyd’s life. Had someone not filmed Floyd’s death, and had the officers involved not worn body cameras, it would have been much easier for the Minneapolis police department to stick to their original story. At that point, it would be the officer’s word against the bystanders. Though Chauvin faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced in the coming weeks, there is still more that needs to be done. Body cameras must become standard for all police officers. A police misconduct registry would make it easier to track misconduct complaints, discipline records and termination records for officers, so an officer who is fired for misconduct cannot be rehired by a new department. Ending qualified immunity for officers would make it easier for them to be held responsible for misconduct on the job. While Chauvin’s guilty verdict was the right decision, much more will be needed to increase the public’s trust in the police.

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April 28, 2021


CWU campus tours are back


By Sam Harris

The end of the academic year usually means one thing for universities: a sudden demand for on-campus tours with families, and this year is no different. “The biggest difference [this year] regarding COVID [would have to be] making sure that everyone is safe,” Student Ambassador Haven Gabriel said. According to the CWU tour website, the tour is about a mile long, so visitors should bring comfortable walking shoes. Visitors are also recommended to visit while classes are in session to see how the campus operates on a normal day. This year, visitors are required to wear face masks over their nose and maintain social distancing during in-person tours. Gabriel said she feels confident in her team that COVID-19 guidelines are being met to keep visitors safe. On top of the required masks and social distancing, tour routes this year will no longer include residence halls or classrooms. The tour will however include a walkthrough of one academic building. Each tour allows up to five visiting students per tour, and each student is allowed to bring up to two guests. Visitors will be given a handout, as well as multiple

Photo by Kassidy Malcom/The Observer

Five students are allowed per tour, and each student is allowed to bring up to two guests, adding up to 15 people per tour.

emails to ensure that tours are following COVID-19 restrictions. “Since we have gone in-person, a lot of our tours are now booked,” Gabriel said. “I think a lot of people are excited to be able to come on campus and get that

experience over our virtual tours that we previously have had for winter quarter.” Tours are offered from Tuesday through Saturday, and guests must book three days beforehand. Tours can also be accommodated for visitors

with disabilities. Walk-in visitors will not be accommodated. More information regarding available tour dates and visit guidelines can be found on the admissions website at

Central Transit moves to new app, Transit By Jackson Sorensen Central Transit joined 200+ cities around the world by using an app called Transit, which helps bus users keep updated on their bus route. Betsy Dunbar, the transit manager for the City of Ellensburg, has been with the city for one year, but worked as the director of transportation at MedStar for over 12 years. She came to Ellensburg after she saw the job posting for a transit manager. “I saw the job posting and thought it was the perfect fit for me,” Dunbar said. “I am loving it too!” Dunbar’s first project that she took on in this role was to see how the transportation system worked. She started the process off by riding the buses and talking to passengers. She noticed a common trend among the riders. “Passengers would say that it was sometimes hard to figure out when your bus was arriving,” Dunbar said.

The app plans out the entire itinerary for the user. Users will input a destination of where they want to go and the app will highlight what routes lead to that location and when they arrive at each bus stop. If the user has to walk to a bus stop, the app will notify the user when to start walking towards the bus stop. “The app will notify the passenger if there are any detours of changes to their route,” Dunbar said. “The app will even tell you to walk a little faster in order to make it to the bus stop.” Dunbar said that one of the most asked questions in the world of transportation is “where’s my bus?” Prior to Dunbar coming to Ellensburg, Dunbar had already known about Transit. She knew that it would be a great addition to Central Transit. “Each bus is equipped with a GPS tracker that updates the app every 10 seconds,” Dunbar said.

Photo by Samantha Cabeza/The Observer

Each bus is now equipped with a GPS tracker that updates the Transit app every 10 seconds.

“This ensures that passengers will always know where their bus is, when it’ll arrive, and when they should start heading towards a bus stop.” When Dunbar first approached this project, she said she looked at how Central Transit operated and how she could

Photo by Samantha Cabeza/The Observer

The Transit app makes the bus riding experience much more user friendly for those taking busses in and around Ellensburg.

make it better. She said she commended Central Transit for running smoothly and for being professional. “Central Transit was already performing great, but how can I fine-tune this and make it even better,” Dunbar said. “One of the things that I really felt could help was a mobile app. The Transit app specifically.” Dunbar wanted to push this app into the mainstream because she heard from students that they wanted something easy. The students that rode the bus did not want to try and memorize bus books or remember times when certain busses will be at that location. She knew how user-friendly the app was and how easy it made tracking and scheduling a trip. “The app is like your own personal robot. It plans your journey for you,” Dunbar said. Dunbar’s next project will be to connect the Transit app to various bike paths and walking trails. “The Transit app takes the guesswork out of transportation,” Dunbar said. “You will always know where your bus is and when you should start heading to the bus stop. It’s really that simple.” The app is free to download on the Apple and Google app stores.


April 28, 2021


Continuing to create sustainability on campus By Ondrea Machin Recycling bins around campus, Bike to Campus Day, Student Food Access Coalition and many other sustainability projects were put into effect at CWU, after previous Sustainability Cafes were held in order to make CWU more sustainable. For the last four years, CWU has been hosting sustainability cafes and implementing sustainability projects to improve the campus. Professor of Geological Sciences Susan Kaspari said there are always people who care about sustainability on campus. Kaspari said the cafe is a place where people can come together and discuss topics or ideas with the intent to continue making sustainability a priority at CWU. Sustainability Coordinator of University Operations Kathleen Klaniecki said the cafes are gathering places for staff and students to engage with a campus community of “like-minded individuals.” “It’s been a really powerful way for people to come together, to build community around sustainability, and to advance sustainability when there hasn’t perhaps been the institutional capacity to do so,” Klaniecki said. The cafes are all about working together on sustainability projects and implementing them at CWU, as well as providing opportunities for people to contribute new ideas. Curriculum Sustainability The curriculum sustainability is about finding ways to implement the 17 goals set by the United Nations under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Some of the goals include zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, quality education, affordable and clean energy and other goals. “The idea is that there’s some places where faculty and some institutions are using this as the framework in their teaching,” Kaspari said. “And so what’s really great about it is that you’re able to take what’s being taught in different courses and make it relevant to these big global goals that we as humankind share across the world.” One goal CWU has planned is to continue the Sustainability Certificate Program, which is in its second year running, Kaspari said. The certificate is open to students from all majors and colleges, and it gives students the opportunity to “develop experiential, service-learning projects that focus on improving sustainability needs of the university or a community partner,” according to the environmental studies program website. Landscaping Sustainability This project brings unique and cost effective plants to CWU. The idea behind this project is to plant more wildflowers and native plants on campus because these plants tend to take less maintenance and would save CWU money in the long run, according to graduate student Savannah Fields. This is an ongoing project and is currently located outside the entrance that faces the lawn at Dean Hall. The goals for this project are to plant perennial wildflowers in the beds, making the cost of the wildflowers a one time purchase compared to the $1,500-$2,000

yearly cost of buying and maintaining annual plants. “The plants that I chose, I really tried looking at when the flowers are going to blossom so that way it’s always having a blossom of flowers of some kind throughout the years,” Fields said. Over time, the perennial flowers will need to be replaced, but Fields said the hope is to plant more of these perennial wildflowers and native plants across campus. Waste and Recycling The waste and recycling sustainability project is an ongoing project to help reduce the amount of waste on campus and encourage people to recycle. Issues that this project aims to combat are the use of single-use plastic bags and plastic to-go boxes from the Central MarketPlace. One idea presented by a café participant to help reduce the use of plastic containers was to make reusable containers that students can bring back to the food court. The reusable containers would be washed and sanitized before their next use and paired with the idea to offer 5 cents towards the student’s next meal in order to get students in the habit of bringing the containers back. The idea to help reduce the use of plastic bags is to start charging 10 cents per bag and offer reusable bags for people to purchase at the counter. This will help reduce the amount of plastic bags being used and remind people to bring their reusable bags, a café participant said. The ultimate goal is to eventually get rid of plastic bags completely at CWU.

Sustainability Cafe overview Each quarter the sustainability café takes place, it allows students and staff to come together and gives them the opportunity to share their different visions for sustainability projects, Kaspari said. Both Kaspari and Klaniecki said they are excited to continue the cafés in the fall, as well as the projects from previous quarters. The 2021 Sustainability Champions Awards nominations are open until May 7 and awards will be announced on May 19 at 3 p.m. at the Sustainability End-ofYear celebration ( sustainability/awards).

Graphics by Meghan Salsbury

April 28, 2021

CWU’s sixth annual Diversity Award ceremony By Milenne Quinonez

This year’s sixth annual Diversity Award ceremony event felt different. Pre-COVID-19, the event would have been held at the SURC ballroom where family and friends could attend and cheer on their loved ones as they accepted their awards in person by President James L. Gaudino. This time around family and friends were congratulating loved ones via Zoom, over chat. The atmosphere was not the same this time around without the loud excited people in the distance. The Diversity Award ceremony is held to recognize students, faculty and staff who have helped CWU become a more diverse and inclusive space for all individuals. This year, the award ceremony recognized 13 students, faculty and staff members, and the recipient of the Bobby Cummings award. As Gaudino attended his final Diversity Award ceremony at CWU, he welcomed the attendees to the virtual event and talked about the significance of the individuals recognized. “These are individuals that speak up, that stand up, that let us know when we are doing well, so that they’ll do it again and let us know when we’re not doing as well so we can improve that,” Gaudino said. Beginning with the nominees, each division provides nominations. The president asks each vice president to nominate three people, except for ASL which nominates six because they are two-thirds of the university. Then there is a community nomination, and an “at large” nomination, which allows wildcats to nominate someone as well. The recipient of the second annual Bobby Cummings award was Keith Champagne. Champagne was the Associate Dean of Student Success and has now served as the vice chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since December of 2017. “It is very important to me to be receiving an award named after Dr. Bobby Cummings, my mentor and role model,” Champagne said. Kandee Cleary, Vice President of Inclusivity and Diversity and Sociology faculty, said the Bobby Cummings Lifetime Diversity award was developed by Gaudino last year. “It doesn’t happen every year, it only happens for those who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging, equity over time,” Cleary said. This is something Keith Champagne demonstrated during his time at CWU and now continues to do that equity work for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “I’m just really thankful for all the work that is being done across the university to make this place more belonging, for students, faculty, and staff,” Cleary said.



ASCWU election results announced; final round of debates held By Jackie Tran Several student leaders gathered on Zoom for the second ASCWU virtual debate on April 21, all putting their best foot forward as they presented their promises to improve the school. Voting opened April 23 and concluded April 27. The student body positions all work to improve the school through communication between the students and faculty and in representing students in legislative matters. This year there is one candidate each for president, executive vice president, senate speaker, and director of Governmental Affairs. The positions for both director of Student Life and Facilities and director of Equity and Multicultural Affairs had two candidates each. Following a set format, each candidate had a minute to introduce themselves before being presented with the debate questions. Opposing candidates were allowed a rebuttal in response to their opponent if they so wished. The debate wrapped up a little after an hour. Asking a variety of prepared questions and those that were submitted by the audience, Dean Gregg Heinselman gave each candidate a chance to speak starting with the candidate for president. Presidential candidate Madeline Koval, a Douglass Honors College student, stressed the importance of sitting down and having honest conversations with each other when asked how she would represent different ideals than hers. Candidates for the director of Equity and Multicultural Affairs, Paige Hall and Mariah Minjarez, shared a similar opinion on open com-

munication when asked about how they would work with both students and the new access and equity administrators. The concerns of COVID-19 and how events next year would be regulated were a common topic, leading to Heinselman asking the question, “How do you plan to adapt large-scale campus life events to COVID-19 restrictions?” The candidates for director of Student Life and Facilities both offered their solutions. Syafiq M. Suhaimi opted for specific and detailed planning paired with educating students and providing aid wherever possible in the form of masks, hand sanitizer and markings for spacing among other things. Alejandra Cruz-Martinez agreed that COVID-19 protocol was important to plan for and saluted students for bearing with all the extra precautions the school has put in place for everyone’s safety. The candidates as a whole encourage students to attend events and discussions to be a part of the campus community. Hoping to involve students more, the candidate for senate speaker, Rachael Medalia, said she would like to do more social media promotion and tabling events to interact with the students and increase communication and involvement. In a similar pattern, Edgar Espino, candidate for director of Governmental Affairs, expressed his plan of encouraging students to engage in voting and lobbying as well as participating in groups like SLAP.

ASCWU poll results President:

Madeline Koval: #145 Executive Vice President:

Geoffrey Odoch: #142 Senate Speaker:

Rachael Medalia: #138 Director of Student Life and Facilities:

Alejandra Cruz-Martinez: #109 Syafiq Mohd-Suhaimi: #49 Director of Governmental Affairs:

Edgar Espino: #142 *Director of Equity and Multicultural Affairs:

Mariah Minijarez: #5 Paige Hall: #2 *Elected by a board of seven.

In all pursuits, executive vice president candidate, Geoffrey Odoch, advocates for being held accountable, going as far as possible and equity across campus. Candidates brought strong cases to the debate this year, with student wellness at the forefront of their goals. The ASCWU student body members all are working to represent their peers. To watch the debate recording, it is available on the associated students site.

WiseCrax: Summer Lovin’ By Libby Williams

The mid afternoon hits the mid 70s and dips down to 30 degrees by 8:30. You snooze in the grass through another Zoom class because you simply cannot be bothered anymore. A wind gusts through those white fluffy trees, spreading the smell of fishy cat pee through your neighborhood. It can only mean one thing: summer in the ‘Burg is back. You’ve probably seen the trend going around social media; thousands of eager, cooped up people ready to claim this summer after being stuck alone for so long. Many are calling it “white boy summer” or “hot girl summer.” Don’t get it twisted, “hot girl summer” does not and should not equate to intense workouts to become “hot.” It means getting out there and doing what makes you happy, like the bad (redacted) you are. That’s the hottest thing in the world. But frankly, I don’t think there are enough options for what kind of summer you can have. Hot girl summer and white boy summer simply aren’t versatile enough, so here are a few more choices.

Nostalgia Trip Summer

Not to be one of those people that tells you to disconnect and get back to your roots, but disconnect and get back to your roots. Fire up the old GameCube, blast some Avril Lavigne and OG Taylor Swift, and go look at some bugs. Sure, you could think about joining the adult world, maybe send off some resumes, or you can revert to your mid 2000s childhood. You’ve had

a stressful year, it’s okay if you regress for a few months, as a treat. All the cool kids are doing it.

Guy Fieri Summer

You read it right. Get a spiky haircut, frost those tips, and get out on the town. Flavor town. You want to talk to me about hot girl summer? What’s hotter than a man in a flaming bowling shirt? This is your time to explore the culinary world. More specifically, have your friends who are actually good at cooking make all the food, dip your finger in it, then go on a five minute tangent about the texture. Then drive off in your red Camaro without paying. You’re Guy Fieri, and this is “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” They should be paying you.

Gardener Gal Summer

Kick off your shoes and feel the grass between your toes my friend, you are a child of the oat grain now. It’s time to put on a long, art teacher-esque skirt and begin a strange obsession with Nature Valley bars. Sow your wild seeds, literally. If you have the means, sign up for a local community garden and grow your own food. Make sure you passive-aggressively rub in everyone’s faces how much better a person you are than them for doing this. When you finally yield your crops, be sure to harvest at 3 a.m., eating the veggies raw from the dirt, howling at the full moon and dancing on the compost pile. Plus, wide brimmed sun hats are totally in this year.


April 28, 2021


Students fill the SURC to create a creature

Poets laureate By Joshua Smith Powerful. This was how viewers described the presenters’ readings on the At Home with Poetry: A Live Reading Celebrating National Poetry Month that occurred on April 21. A mix of individuals participated in the reading which included current Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest and CWU students Joseph Powell, Jen Lynn, Adrija Basu, Emily Page Wilson, Diego Garcia and Oliver Beck. Inspired by the theme “Home,” the presenting poets read from personal works taking on the literal interpretation of home as a physical place, to the metaphorical idea of home that comes from things such as language and even one’s own body. The following is an excerpt from Priest’s poem, ‘Tempweekson’ or ‘Gooseberry Point’, one of several poems read by the author during the event: “And then there is mother, home from the canary, covered in the scales of hundreds of gutted fish. She shimmers like a mermaid, ‘Long day?’ I ask.” Beyond the readings, the hosts Marie Marchand and Gabby Triana along with CWU Librarian Gerard Hogan interviewed the newly appointed Laureate asking her to describe her goals for bringing poetry to Washington over the next two years. “One of the things I would like to do is put, you know how when you visit a park or a beautiful place, and there always is a placard there with information about the flora and the fauna and maybe some local history, I would like to see poetry included in that,” Priest said. “It could add this beautiful layer of understanding in the place that you’re in, especially if viewed through a poet who cherishes and treasures that place or has a deep history there so visitors could also have that experience, and hopefully treasure it more.” A recording of the event is available at

By Lexi Wicks Online classes can burn out students quickly, but Campus Activities plans events in order to help students hit the reset button. On April 22, Campus Activities hosted the Create a Creature event that allowed students to build and take home their own stuffed animals. Students were given the choice to build one of three different animals, either a cow, panda or kangaroo. Each packet provided the animal, stuffing, a plain t-shirt and a certificate. Once students stuffed and created their creature, they had the opportunity to design a T-shirt for the animal to wear and fill out a certificate in order to officially give their new friend a name. This event had an incredible turn out. Students filled the second story of the SURC waiting for their chance to create a creature. The line wrapped around the balcony and chatter filled the building. After getting all the supplies, many students scattered to other parts of the campus in order to keep a safe distance from the crowded line. Smiling faces filled the room as students began to bring their new companions to life. Campus activities are “all student driven events, [that] plan a lot of small and large scale events,” said Katie Doonan, Campus Activities programmer. “This is what students want,” Doonan said. Make-it-Take-it events is a theme throughout spring quarter. These events are truly for the student population’s benefit, according to Doonan. Doonan said it is a mixture of providing college experiences, social interaction and improving mental health. She is excited to see what all these events can do now that students are able to meet in person as well as online. Campus Activities are always looking for new ideas and feedback on what the student population wants to see in upcoming events. If you have any suggestions for events feel free to pitch your ideas to Campus Activities through their Instagram (@cwucampusactivities) or via email at You can find upcoming make it and take it events for spring quarter on the CWU events calendar or advertised on the Campus Activities’ Instagram.

See pictures on next page.

Humaira Abid speaks to CWU students in Artist Talk Webinar series By Mariana Gonzalez

Artist Humaira Abid always has the same goal when she creates a new piece of art: to start a conversation with viewers. Abid explained this to students during an Artist Talk webinar. The webinar is part of a series the Art & Design department is hosting this year. This artist talk was co-sponsored by the Student Muslim Association. The webinar was held on April 20 from 4-5 p.m. over Zoom. Abid, a Seattle resident born in Pakistan, focuses on the details in her artwork. A professional of miniature paintings and wood sculptures, Abid explained the steps of her process from inspiration to showcase. Abid shared the real-life inspirations behind her art. Her art piece, “The Stains are Forever,” a piece featuring bloodied pacifiers being swept up was inspired by gory photos of a school clean up where multiple children had lost their lives in the 2014 Peshawar school massacre. The news of the massacre hit Abid hard. Abid explained she kept thinking what if it was her daughter. All but one of the victims in the Peshawar school massacre were boys. Abid recounted how the

only girl that was killed was the same age as Abid’s daughter and it had been her first day at school. Abid explained the reason for the disparity as in the region of the attack losing a boy is considered more tragic to a family than losing a daughter. Abid said her intention with her artwork is to start a conversation is successful as she doesn’t shy away from tough or taboo topics. Abid’s series of paintings titled “Fragments of Home” depict different situations she witnessed first-hand or in the news. The paintings were done on wood sculpted to look like rearview mirrors. Abid spoke of one of the paintings which feature two young boys running away from violence holding a plastic bag. Abid said the bag in her painting contained all of the boys’ possessions. Other paintings were inspired by real refugee children, according to Abid. One of the paintings features Leila Fatima, a five-year-old girl from Zambia. Abid explained Fatima’s story as one riddled with abuse from her parents and instability. Heather Johnson, Manager of the Sarah Spurgeon gallery described her hopes for the event. “I’m hoping [Abid’s Artist Talk event] will encourage people to

Photo by Joshua Smith/The Observer

Fatima’s family background caused Abid to choose her as her subject.

think about other perspectives, the perspectives of people from other countries, and different experiences.” The talk was open to all CWU students including those not in the Art & Design department. Abid answered additional questions on her process and materials from the audi-

ence towards the end of the webinar. Abid revealed she uses empty shells to mix and hold her paints and never has extra material lying around as she doesn’t want the material to tell her what to do. More information on Humaira Abid and her artwork can be found on her website

April 28, 2021



Students gather in the SURC with their chosen creatures to take home. Photos by Samantha Cabeza/The Observer

Pints for Primates: Drink beer and support local chimpanzee By Jamie Wyatt

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Graphics by Rebekah Blum

Don’t miss the opportunity to drink beer for a cause at “Pints for Primates” at Dru Bru. You can kick back, support the local community, drink beer, buy a pint glass, bid on auction items and feel good about supporting primates and women at the same time. The Primate Awareness Network (PAN) club is hosting a second fundraiser for Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW) on May 1. From April 26-May 1, PAN will be setting up an information table and auction to be held at Dru Bru at 1015 East 2nd Street in Cle Elum. PAN representatives will be hosting the auction right up until the event on May 1, in which $1 for every pint sold will be donated to CSNW for the care of the chimpanzees. In addition to auction items, a commemorative limited edition glass featuring the club’s name, CSNW’s name and a logo of a chimpanzee on patrol will be available for purchase throughout the event. According to Jenna Skinner, a PAN member and graduate student in the Primate Behavior and Ecology program, the logo featured on the limited edition glass is a nod to the chimpanzees cared for at the sanctuary. “Chimpanzees do [patrols] every day in the wild and they also do that everyday at the sanctuary,” Skinner said. “They kind of take a stroll around their area, which is like walking around the exterior.” The venue was suggested by Diana Goodrich, co-director of CSNW, for a specific reason: they have a beer called Alpha Female. At CSNW, there is a female leader of the chimpanzees, known as an alpha female, and the label supports women. The auction part of the fundraiser will be open all week, in person at Dru Bru.



April 28, 2021

Farmers prepare for the season


By Justin Zabel pringtime has arrived, which means it’s that time of year again for locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables. The farmers plan out their season starting at the beginning of the year. Most of the farmers order their seed for planting in late January. Some of the time, ordering the seed depends on if the company the farmers order it through has it in stock. A majority of the time these companies do. “A lot of them have greenhouses and wind tunnels to start things before it’s time to plant outside,” the Manager of the Ellensburg Farmers Market, Colin Lamb said. Learning that these are the ways of preparing seeds, how do farmers know it is time to move their crops outside? Many times it really depends on the weather, but usually spring rolls around in April and people begin to plant their crops outside. “Spring moves north 30 miles a day. It’s time to plant in Sunnyside, then the next day or so, it’s time to plant in Yakima, and a day or so after that, it’ll be time to plant in Ellensburg,” Lamb said. “We’re not supposed to plant here till May 1 which always seems too late and people plant in April and then it snows in April.”

Once the final winter storm passes through, farmers are ready to begin bringing their crops outdoors and get them planted and prepared to grow fully. However, there are plants that have already grown in the greenhouse to be shared with others. “When market opens up on May 1, we’ll have a lot of leafy greens and onion and potatoes from last year and stuff. And we will start seeing the crops we’re used to starting in June and July. The berries usually show up at the end of May,” Lamb said. “Orchard crops and stoned fruits show up in July. Fresh potatoes happen in September and October, so there’s still fresh stuff coming through as the season progresses.” COVID-19 has not stopped farmers from growing their crops and selling them. “As far as farmers, they don’t have to worry about getting into the market or not. I will always have room for them. It’s the crafters that are on the chopping block,” Lamb said. Being in this pandemic, last year farmers had record sales of the products at the market. However, the sales for the 2020 farmers’ market was slightly under the 2019 sales. This is due to the farmer’s market starting three weeks late, but it picked up an extra weekend at the end of the market year.

Photos by Kassidy Malcolm/The Obsever

April 28, 2021



Farmers market returns on Fourth Street


By Libby Williams he Ellensburg Farmers Market has been a top event for locals from May to October since it started in 1993. On May 1, the market will begin its 28th run on Fourth Street, with vendors ranging from local farmers to crafters selling handmade goods. It will run every Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. until Oct. 30. “The farmers’ market is a great way to get to know who grows your food,” market manager Collin Lamb said. “These farmers … some come from over a hundred miles away to do this market on Saturday mornings. Everyone who is working at the booth at this farmers’ market works on the farm and knows the product, and that’s a requirement we have.” This will be Lamb’s fourth year managing the market since he started in 2018, and he said the team has been working hard and is looking forward to another fun and safe summer at the market. “Now obviously it’s COVID, so we have things spread out and we’re all going to be wearing masks,” Lamb said. “But aside from that, it’s a fun thing to do.” Similar to last year, the market will be limited to about 35 vendors as opposed to a typical year, where he’d be able to fit about 50. However, Lamb said he’s not worried about the market’s success. “Last year, I could only fit about 35 vendors max, but all of the farmers had record sales,” Lamb said. “They all did better than they had ever done before. The total market sales for 2020 were very comparable to 2019, they were nearly identical. For there being less vendors and how crazy everything was, the farmers did very well.” While the main focus of the market is the farmers and their fresh produce, there are also vendors selling crafted

items. Retired postman Pat McPhillips has been selling his hand-carved wood items at the Ellensburg Farmers Market since 2012 and has even grown a small business out of it. “When I retired in 2006, I started to make quite a few wooden boxes with quilt patterns in them,” McPhillips said. “The first two I made for my wife, and then I just kept making them. She said, ‘what are you gonna do with all these boxes?’ So I thought, well maybe I’ll go to the market.” McPhilips said since then, his small business has grown, and he even has people reach out throughout the year for custom gifts. He makes cheese boards, wooden utensils and Lazy Susans, and his best seller is his one-of-akind cribbage boards. McPhillips said the market team has done a great job of keeping everyone safe during the pandemic while still providing a family friendly activity for when the weather is nice. “They do a real good job of spreading us out … in fact, I don’t get to go every weekend … because it’s a farmers’ market, they have priority,” McPhillips said. “A lot of those folks, they’re making their living doing that.” Both Lamb and McPhillips noted the delicious produce you can only experience at a farmers’ market. “The produce is amazing that you get! It’s delicious!” Lamb said. “I’d never had a tomato until I had a farm grown organic tomato … it’s good for you and you can support local farmers.” You can find more information on the Ellensburg Farmers Market at, or by looking up Ellensburg Farmers Market on Facebook. Pat McPhillips sells his available products all year long on his website

Photos courtesy of Phil Klucking, contributions by Ellensburg Farmers Market members, friends and staff


April 28, 2021


Everyone should hike this spring Hikes near CWU EASY: Umtanum Creek Falls Trail - 1.9mi, Est. 45 min Rotary Park and Irene Reinhart Waterfront Trail - 3.7mi, Est. 1hr 30min. MODERATE: Baldy Mountain - 4.2mi, Est. 3hr Robinson Canyon Loop - 4.3 mi, Est. 2hr 15 min. Umtanum Creek Canyon Trail - Est. 8.2mi, 3hr, 41min. HARD: Manastash Ridge Trail - 3.6mi, Est. 2hr 31min. Rattlesnake Dance Ridge Trail - Est. 1.8mi, 1hr 33min.

By Lexi Wicks Going from winter quarter to spring quarter is a breath of fresh air. If you are anything like me, the constant dark days and cold weather can take a toll, especially while juggling the stress of online classes. The days of being cooped up inside are coming to end. The sun is shining, flowers are blooming and it’s time to get outside. Nothing makes me happier than a good hike. Lucky for us, we live in a town that is surrounded by beautiful nature trails. You don’t have to be able to scale mountains in order to go hiking. Very little gear is needed, and it is something that will give you a great break, improve your health and most likely give you some banging Instagram photos. A study published on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health has found that walking in nature can help us recover from what they refer to as “attention overload.”

In other words, nature can help us heal from the mental stress that comes from being on devices all day. Students are experiencing more “attention overload” than ever due to online classes. Hiking can do more than just improve mental health, it improves your physical health as well. According to the University of Cumberlands, hiking can also help reduce body fat and obesity, increase muscle strength, improve concentration, improve sleep and help manage things like blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. In other words, hiking is a productive way to escape technology. It is hard to feel guilty about spending your time hiking while procrastinating on your homework. Justifications as important as mental and physical health cannot be ignored and for most, it can be a fun morning or afternoon hobby. Call your friends, find a trailhead and get hiking. Your body will thank you. Lexi Wicks (Junior), the first photo also features Bailey Feinauer (Senior).

I should not pay full tuition for a fraction of the college experience By Sam Harris Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have often pondered this question many times: why am I paying full price for tuition when I’m not getting the full college experience? I did a quick calculation based on the current undergraduate tuition and the student population. CWU rakes in at least $90 million per quarter, and that’s without considering out-ofstate tuition, room and board, vending, merchandise, books, meal plans and many other fees.

Sure, my tuition pays for many on-campus activities like the rec center, health center, and the library, but these amenities are mostly incentivized for the <1,800 students who live on-campus. Even on-campus students do not get the full college experience, since most of their classes are online. Really the only on-campus students getting anything close to a full experience are our athletic students, since they get to train with their teammates in-person. For the first two quarters of last year, I was making friends left and

right as an independent college student. I was even encouraged to make new friends in my classes by collaborating on projects requiring full group participation. Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve met no peers outside of class who I didn’t know previously. My professors have all been online, in their homes and not even on the CWU campus. Every single quarter since spring 2020, I have had at least one class in my schedule where the professor doesn’t even host a single Zoom meeting. Some of my pro-

fessors would hardly even show their face outside of pre-recorded lectures. They just posted all of our assignments and left us out to dry. Now, I’m not saying that I learned nothing from these classes. What I am saying is that this behavior is lazy, disappointing and disrespectful to the people paying CWU tens of millions of dollars per quarter. My tuition should not be going towards classes that I can finish before finals week, and I think we all deserve a refund if we cannot see our tuition dollars at work.

April 28, 2021



Why I’m team Captain America

By Kate Caviezel For Marvel fans, there was a big debate following the movie “Captain America: Civil War,” where people chose to be either team Iron Man or team Captain America. The Avengers were divided and half of them chose the wrong side. In Marvel’s overview it explains that Captain America and the team’s latest mission ended with collateral damage causing the government to step in to oversee the Avengers. This political pressure, called the Sokovia Accords, split the team into two, one lead by Captain America and one lead by Iron Man, or Tony Stark. After I first watched this movie, I immediately wondered who could be on Iron Man’s side when Captain America is just trying to be a hero. To my surprise, many fans were on team Iron Man. I have always considered Captain America to be my favorite Avenger and the way he viewed the Sokovia Accords made me favor him even more. Captain America believed that these accords should not be signed because it would be signing away their freedom to save the world without approval from the United Nations (U.N.). This seems ridiculous because why should they need permission to save everyone. I completely agree with the views of Captain America, if we lived in the Marvel Cinematic Universe wouldn’t we want to be protected by powerful beings? I would not want my safety to be in the hands of the U.N. members voting wheth-

er or not the Avengers should help, especially if I was caught in the middle of a possible world-ending disaster. The government is not reliable enough when it comes to saving the world. The Avengers were assembled to help protect Earth and its inhabitants after realizing that there are great threats from all over the universe. Without them, the alien attack on New

Photo courtesy of Kate Caviezel/The Obsever

York prior to this movie, as well as a couple of other incidents, would have wiped out cities. The Sokovia Accords were created because in “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, Sokovia was destroyed completely while the Avengers were trying to stop a threat. This is what made the government believe that they need to harness the Avengers’ freedom.

The government wanted to protect the cities, but what’s a city without any people? Captain America didn’t want to be held back from a fight when he could be saving people. Government oversight may not seem so bad in this context, however, the U.N. could easily never put the Avengers in action ever again. It’s possible the government would not want to risk any collateral damage and retire the Avengers for good. The worst part of all is that Steve and Tony became good friends over the course of these movies, yet they fought against each other. They weren’t just Captain America and Iron Man who worked together. Rotten Tomatoes critic, Dan Buffa, described the deeper plot of the movie to be about two friends being separated by their different ideologies. The two of them viewed the state of the world differently and it tore the Avengers apart. It was hard for me to see Tony and Steve disagree throughout the movie. I wish Tony would have seen that the Sokovia Accords were unnecessary and that it was up to the Avengers to protect the world. Tony wanted to protect the world from the dangers of the members of the Avengers while Steve knew that only the Avengers would be able to protect the world from greater threats. The Sokovia Accords could not guarantee that the people in this world would be saved. The only way to keep the world safe was with the protection that the Avengers could provide, team Captain America is the side to be on.

Surviving a long-distance relationship while quarantining By Justin Zabel Relationships take time and effort on a regular basis. You have to communicate, ask each other questions, make sure each person is okay and make sure the love and care is always there for each other. However, with COVID-19, there has been a lot of quarantining, much going out and traveling. Not being able to see your significant other who is 3,000 miles away would be hard. Not only would it make you worry more and put those negative thoughts in your head, but you may start losing that hope, love and care for each other. A way to not do that is to make sure you are communicating, communicating, communicating with your significant other. On the website Travel + Leisure, they give you six different key concepts to a healthy long-distance relationship in quarantine. When reading these six key concepts, the one that stood out to me is communication. “The key to finding success within a relationship is communication, loyalty, and empathy,” said Nikki Lewis, one of the co-founders of a popular bespoke matchmaking service. “Whether they’re good or bad, being transparent with your feelings will make your relationship much more stable. There will be different periods when you will have to give more and take less, and vice versa. It sounds simple enough, but empathy

plays a big role when life takes some unexpected turns.” Reading these key concepts really brought perspective into my past long-distance relationships. Most of the time I was able to communicate with my partner. I was able to check on him and make sure he was doing well. We would facetime almost every day. But then all sudden, being apart for so long started to put a dent in each other, but also in the relationship itself. I began imagining what he may be doing, how he is doing it, why he is doing it. ll these thoughts, but do you think I once thought to communicate these feelings to him? No I did not. I chose to keep all my worries, thoughts and feelings all bottled up instead of communicating in my long-distance relationship. The longer we stay in this pandemic, I wonder how all these long distance couples worked it out. How have they been able to build the life they want to build? This pandemic has given each one of us ample time to sit indoors, be more tech-savvy and spend more time with our loved ones, even if it is over a video chat. These couples have been able to communicate, plan their future dates and future , and have been able to spend quality time even if they are 3,000 miles away. This is how couples have survived their long-distance relationship while quarantining.


SOURCE 2021 SAVE THE DATE! May 16-22, 2021 A completely virtual event in partnership with the Student Opportunity Center. PLEASE EMAIL SOURCE@CWU.EDU IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS


April 28, 2021


Opinion: Rugby is superior to football By Noah Wright

When I am asked what my favorite sport is I unquestionably say, “Rugby,” to which people usually reply, “isn’t that like football?” As someone who has played both sports for more than 10 years, I can comfortably say that the two sports are only similar in their high contact load. Rugby is a much better sport than football will ever be. Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in America at the moment, with a cult-like following and incredible fame for players. Rugby is the more popular sport internationally and has recently started gaining attention in the US. This is not to say that rugby is a new sport in the US; in fact it has been around for some time. According to Britannica, “Rugby rules appeared in North America before the 1870s,” but the sport lost some recognition when football was created for some unknown reason. Popularity aside, rugby is the superior sport for a few reasons.


While no sport is ever going to be completely safe because athletes are always pushing themselves to their limit. Football is as dangerous as it is popular. The most common injury that occurs in football is the concussion. In a New York Times article, it says that “from 1996 to 2001, the N.F.L. gathered data in an effort to study the dangers of concussions … There were 887 concussions recorded in all.” This is scary because concussions, more specifically the repeated concussions sustained in football, bring with them the chance of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Photo courtesy of Noah Wright

While there is still research being done into CTE, a clear danger is the link it has to patient suicide and dementia. The cause of these injuries is very simple. In high school, I was once asked how I could run around and take the hits that I did, to which I replied, “I don’t really feel it because of the pads.” The “protective” equipment you wear in football makes you feel almost indestructible, but at the same time it is the main reason that players get seriously injured. If you were asked to jump off a chair, would you do it? What if you looked down and saw that there was padding on the ground? This is the basic idea behind why football is so dangerous. Players are more likely to go into collisions without any second thoughts for their well-being because they believe the pads will help them. But sadly, players commonly lead with their helmets like missiles because they are sure that they will be safe.

With football being so dangerous, why is rugby, an almost equally physical sport, safer? Firstly, let’s go back to the question I asked earlier. If football is jumping off of the chair with a pad on the floor, then rugby is jumping off the chair with nothing on the ground. When forced into a dangerous situation without any assurance of protection, a person is always going to be more thoughtful about what they are doing. In rugby, there are no pads to cushion the collisions. The only pieces of required equipment, other than your body and your mind, are a mouthpiece and clothing. As a result, the contact in rugby is not as big. The contact is much more frequent, but you aren’t going to hear any loud hits or see someone lifted off their feet because the players are always thinking of ways to be physical while also protecting themselves. Usually this is done through the contact technique. In football, we were always taught to get our head and body across to stop the person’s movement because every yard counts. In rugby, there are no sets of downs so there is no need to worry about a couple of extra meters. As a result, we are taught to get “cheek to cheek” on the near side so that our head is free from the contact area. Another reason rugby is safer is because there are rules in place at all levels to protect the players. In rugby, contact is a non-negotiable area or law. We have a penalty that is known as a “high tackle,” any contact above the ribs is constituted as a high tackle and players run the risk of ejection due to this penalty.

In football, the contact area is a free-for-all. With people flying in from every direction, there are very few rules to stop players from seriously injuring opponents.

Francois said that the main goal of the athletic department is to keep student athletes and staff healthy and the protocols that are in place are doing that. “Throughout the entire year first and foremost we put the health of our student

athletes first and of course our coaching staff as well as our other support staff that are involved with our programs,” Francois said. “This is a situation where we have to rely on that plan and make sure we are looking out for their health and safety first and foremost.”

If all tests come back negative after the 14 day quarantine the baseball team will resume action on May 7 when they are on the road to take on the Montana State Billings for a four game series.

Photo courtesy of Noah Wright

Baseball canceled from Page 1 enough record to make it to the conference tournament.


Another reason rugby is better than football is because of its availability, both to play professionally and for women. With football, there is really only the NFL and CFL for athletes who want to play professionally. As a result, many college athletes will spend years of their lives devoted to the sport just to have it end with college. Rugby, on the other hand, has professional leagues all over the world. There is Super Rugby in New Zealand and Australia, Top League in Japan, Premiership in England and many more. The US created professional rugby, the MLR, in 2017. For women, rugby is a sport that they can play and succeed in as well. Unlike football, which is a male dominated sport, women’s rugby is available from youth age to the professional level, with many schools having a women’s rugby team. Beyond college, men’s and women’s rugby is also an Olympic sport. Meaning athletes have the chance to represent their country on the world stage playing rugby, something unavailable with football. There are many more reasons why rugby is the better sport when compared to football. Whether it is playing or watching, the safety and opportunities for men and women are more than enough reasons why you should choose to support rugby.

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