The Observer, Spring 2021 – Issue 6

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May 12, 2021

Vol. 119 NO. 6

COVID-19 vaccine to be required on campus in the fall By Mitchell Roland

By Jared Galanti

CWU has announced that all students, staff and faculty will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before coming to campus in the fall. Students who have not been vaccinated before their arrival will receive a vaccine upon coming to campus. President James L. Gaudino made the announcement on May 6. In the announcement, Gaudino said the decision is “based on the advice of local, state, and national health department officials.” Gaudino said the requirement is necessary because the vaccine is the most effective way of preventing transmission of the virus. There are vaccine exemptions for personal, religious and medical reasons. These are the same exemptions CWU has for other vaccines students are required to get. According to CWU’s current vaccine exemption form, students who are “granted a medical exemption may be excluded from the university during a disease outbreak.” Students who come to campus will be required to prove they have been vaccinated. Gaudino said the university is still sorting out how they will enforce the vaccine requirement policy. Gaudino has previously called the enforcement of a vaccine requirement the “big issue.” Gaudino said in the announcement that FDA approval played a role in CWU’s vaccine requirement. “The decision is also based on the expectation that the coronavirus vaccines currently approved for emergency use will receive full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the summer,” Gaudino said in his announcement. “FDA approval is a key factor in our consideration of a vaccine mandate.” This decision came after several other local universities, including WSU, UW and WWU, announced a similar requirement for students. Of the six public universities in Washington, only EWU has announced that vaccines will not be required for students on their campus. While the six university presidents discussed vaccine requirements during their biweekly conference calls, Gaudino said there was general agreement among them that a vaccine requirement was necessary. Additionally, Gaudino discussed the plan beforehand with incoming President A. James Wohlpart. Gaudino has previously said that while he wanted to implement a vaccine requirement, the plan would need to be approved by Wohlpart. Wohlpart has joined in on the biweekly conference calls with the college presidents. Members of the board of trustees and the members of the faculty senate were briefed on the proposal before Gaudino announced it. During a visit to campus on April 27, Gov. Jay Inslee said the state was mulling a vaccine requirement on all college campuses in the fall. “I was just talking to the presidents about this,” Inslee said during his visit to campus. “What I can say is it’s extremely important to have a high rate of vaccination.” During his visit, Inslee stressed the importance of the vaccine, and cited how much of Ellensburg’s population is made up of college students. “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.” Photo by David Dick Edit by Rebekah Blum

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COVID-19, Page 8 Page 6 Victoria Chang reading

Wildcats split double header with Vikings, Clinch 2nd seed in GNAC tournament The CWU Wildcats softball split a doubleheader with the Western Washington University Vikings on Sunday May 2 winning 4-1 in game one and falling 5-1 in game two. With the one win, they clinched the 2nd seed in the upcoming Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournament that starts May 8. They will take on the No. 3 seed WWU Vikings to start that tournament. The Wildcats (17-14 overall 9-7 GNAC) took game one on the back of the pitching of junior Samantha Stainfield. Stanifield ( 6-4 3.05 ERA) pitched six innings giving up just eight hits, one earned run and one strikeout. Senior Lexi Stausser closed it out with a scoreless bottom of the seventh for her second save of the season. The Wildcats got on the board first after senior Alycia Bannon singled to start the top of the second and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a flyout and a strikeout, sophomore Myiah Seaton singled Bannon to third and senior Sydney Brown singled both of them home but was thrown out attempting to advance to third base. The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the third where the WWU Vikings got back to back two out singles which the latter was able to bring across a run after a stolen base to make it 2-1. The Wildcats immediately answered in the top of the fourth with a walk to Bannon and senior Maddie Zer being HBP. After both runners were replaced with pinch runners, a flyout that advanced both runners and a strikeout put runners on second and third with two outs. Sydney Brown again came up big by putting the ball in play to the shortstop. The shortstop made a good throw, but the first baseman dropped it allowing both runners to score. Stainfield took it from there and induced 11 ground ball outs through her six innings of work. Game two was more of a struggle for the Wildcats as they took on Vikings ace Anna Kasner, who had the

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WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE

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In 2019, Americans spent $225 billion on mental health treatment. This has risen by 52% over a decade. According to CNBC, an hour-long session with a therapist can cost anywhere between $65 to $250. On average, a patient with major depression spends $10,836 a year on treatment. Simply put, it is incredibly expensive to seek medical attention for mental illness. Another reason that mental health is often ignored is stigma. Like any other condition, mental illness should be treated by a medical professional. However, over half of all people with mental illness do not receive treatment. There are things that you can do in your day-to-day life to improve your mental health. Among the things the University of Michigan recommends are drinking plenty of water, exercise and avoiding alcohol or other controlled substances. They also recommend asking for help when it’s needed. Beyond the individual changes, there needs to be a shift in how society views mental health. It can no longer be an afterthought, and it can no longer be ignored. We need to destigmatize mental health and stop viewing those who struggle with their mental wellbeing as weak. And we must make adequate, affordable mental health a priority in this country.

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Editorial: There is a mental health crisis in America ver the past year, there has been a drastic and concerning rise in people reporting mental health issues in America. According to a study published by Boston University, half of all college students screened positive for either depression or anxiety in the fall of 2020. The same study found that 66% of college students say they are struggling with loneliness and isolation. Struggles with mental health are impacting work in the classroom. The Boston University study found 83% of students say their academic performance has been impacted by their mental health in the past month. This mental health crisis isn’t just impacting students. A study by the U.S. Census Bureau in December shows that 42% of adults reported symptoms of depression or anxiety. This is up from the 11% that the census bureau found in previous years. One in five adults in America experiences some type of mental illness each year. These statistics have very real consequences. According to Health and Human Services, 12% of students experience suicide ideation during college. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people between 10 and 34 years old. And while many people struggle with their mental health, the reality is it often goes untreated. One of the reasons for this is the costs.

May 12, 2021

WIDE ANGLE

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NEWS

Cultural Conversations: Learning about another culture through storytelling

By Ondrea Machin Learning about a different culture can be a fun and interesting experience, but it can also be difficult. On May 4, the Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) and Brooks Library held its quarterly Cultural Conversations, which offered students and staff the opportunity to learn about a new culture through storytelling. The City of Bellevue launched Cultural Conversations in 2010 and it was developed to help create diversity within the community. CWU adopted the program in January 2019 in efforts to bring more diversity to CWU and the community of Ellensburg. Student Engagement and Community Outreach Librarian Maureen Rust said before adopting this program there wasn’t a place for people to interact or experience other cultures, so this program gave the community the opportunity to hear other non-Ellensburg natives talk about their culture. “A friend, who [used] to work at the Diversity and Equity Center, shared how difficult it was to live in this community as a person of color because of the reactions they would get from people in town,” Rust said. The intent behind this program is to have a guest speaker tell their story and give listeners an opportunity to make a connection, have conversations, meet new people and broaden their experiences of the program, according to Rust. The May 4 Cultural Conversation featured guest speaker Keiko Walsh. Walsh was raised in the Japanese prefecture of Tottori, she came to Ellensburg in the mid-’90s and has lived in Ellensburg for 25 years. At

first, Walsh did not want to come to the U.S., it was her mother’s idea and her mother signed Walsh up to attend summer quarter at CWU, according to Walsh. As an English as a Second Language student, Walsh learned English for three quarters through singing music, reading children’s books and poetry, as well as sports. Walsh said going from Japanese culture to U.S. culture was not hard at all. She did have some difficulty adjusting to U.S. culture, but it was not as difficult as some other Japanese people experienced.

In fact, Walsh found it funny and interesting. What was interesting to her is how Americans will say “excuse me” after sneezing, but when they blow their nose they don’t. In Japan, they don’t blow their nose in public. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” Walsh said. “That’s not really all that true, in my opinion, I am representing myself, I am not representing Japan … when we meet people in a different culture you have to meet them as a person not the culture.” Rust said this program has benefited the relationship between the library and OISP, as well as formed many friendships with international students.

“Going virtual has really eliminated geographical borders which has been great, so we’ve had a lot of participation both from folks at the centers and then just people who are interested,” Rust said. CWU Brooks Library was awarded a $3,000 grant from the American Library Association which will help fund the quarterly Cultural Conversations as well as adding books, aligned with the speakers’ home country, to both the Brooks Library and Ellensburg Public Library.

Photo by Ondrea Machin/The Observer

The equestrian team hits the trails for some equine environmentalism By Sam Harris On Tuesday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 4 the equestrian team organized a cleanup of Durr Road, a dirt road just off of Umptanum Road, where they cleaned up 1,400 pounds of trash. One day, the equestrian team’s barn manager, Maddy Ziegler and her husband were on an outing for shooting when they noticed how much litter and debris was on the trail. When Ziegler saw this, she decided to “take the reins” and enlist the efforts of her team. “Durr Road is known as the perfect place to go and shoot. We chose this location because we don’t want to see it get shut down for future shooting and also because we want the local wildlife to not have to suffer from a few bad apples that choose to leave their garbage,” Ziegler said. Locals have told the team people dump their old couches, TVs and lawn mowers on Durr Road. According to Ziegler, this year was not as bad as locals have put it. Because of the potential gunfire, Ziegler and the equestrians did not bring their horses to the cleanup, but they hope to bring them in the future now that the trail has been cleared of debris. According to the club’s President Alicia Mahler, the equestrian team is a fully student-run club for student equine enthusiasts of all levels. “People join this club to gain and share knowledge about horses and their care, as

Photo courtesy of CWU Equestrian team The CWU equestrian team cleaned up 1,400 pounds of trash over a two day period.

well as to get to know other students and broaden their social horizons; this club has helped me meet some of the coolest people I’ve ever known!” Mahler said. At weekly meetings, club officers communicate club events, update and

answer questions. Occasionally, the club will use this time for education sessions, trivia nights, ride nights, volunteer opportunities and more. The club has a team barn where students can bring their horses for events.

The Equestrian Club meets at 7 p.m. every Wednesday, and any CWU undergraduate student enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours in good academic standing can join.


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NEWS

May 12, 2021

A sign of the times:

Ellensburg resident uses homemade signs to mark violence By Libby Williams On a corner down North Main Street sits a house like any other, until you notice the 23 wood signs, with the names of 23 black people killed in America burned into each one. Marie Goheen, an Ellensburg local since she moved here in 1996 when she was 21, made each of the signs, starting after the murder of George Floyd on May 25 of last year. “It was right after George Floyd was killed … I had heard about Ahmaud [Arbery] and a little about Breonna [Taylor], and then that happened and it was just fully right there in front of your face,” Goheen said. “I felt like I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t stop crying. So, finally, I just decided I needed to do something beautiful for humans that have been mistreated so badly by society, by police, by whatever happened to get that person on my sign.” Goheen said she’s been making wood burned signs for many years for family and friends, and had been wanting to make something that symbolized peace when everything in the media seemed to revolve around violence. “The idea of putting something out there was already in my mind, so I just felt like something needed to be done, and it needed to be visible to a whole bunch of people,” Goheen said. “It was basically heartache that I couldn’t

control, that was the reason that I felt that I needed to do something.” Originally, Goheen said the first sign was meant to serve as a memorial. But as more and more black people were being killed, she added more signs, and she hoped the issue would become undeniable to passersby. “I figured the more signs I added, people would be like, ‘okay, yeah we get it, we understand,’ and then eventually be like, ‘holy crap, this is a serious problem.’” Goheen said that since she started, the reactions from the community have only been positive. She said people have pulled over to take a closer look and snap a photo, and she’s had some people come up to the door to thank her for making the signs. She said she’s a bit amazed that no one has had any negative comments, which was a concern of hers. “That was kind of one of my worries too, because I have kids, and I was worried about people seeing them outside playing and maybe stopping and saying something to them,” Goheen said. “I’m not wanting to put my children in danger, but it needs to be there and visible … something beautiful to remember them by.” For the last year, Goheen has homeschooled three of her four children, and they’ve done a lot of work to learn about these issues. They went to the protests downtown, read Stamped (For Kids) by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason

Photo by Libby Williams/The Observer Each sign outside Goheen’s house is homemade, with every name burned into their respective signs.

Reynolds and they’ve been watching lots of educational movies. “I’m trying to get them well rounded,” Goheen said. “We try to, as much as we can, highlight the good things that are out in the world because of black people.” Goheen said it’s important for people to keep open minds and learn as much as possible about issues surrounding racism in order to grow their own worldview. “If you think something is one way, and somebody tells you it’s not, then it’s your job to do some investigating,” Go-

heen said. “Go digging, look around to see what they see, and then you can empathize with them.” She said that part of bringing about change is calling people out when they’re in the wrong. “If you see something, say something,” Goheen said. “I think standing up to people that we know and love when they do something that we know is hurtful or hateful, put a stop to it right away, instantly. If you need to, then you say, ‘this is not allowed around me,’ or, ‘I refuse to be a part of this conversation…’ I think it’s very important to hold people accountable for their actions.” Photo by Libby Williams/The Observer

CWU community invited to attend an antiracism webinar with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi By Jackson Sorensen

New York Times bestselling author Dr. Ibram X. Kendi will meet with members of the CWU community on Wednesday, May 12, during a special one-hour webinar. The event will be taking place virtually on Zoom from 4 p.m.- 5 p.m. Kandee Cleary, the vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at CWU, is part of the team planning this event. “We chose Dr. Kendi because his book has been used on campus be-

fore and it seemed like the perfect opportunity,” Cleary said. “Kendi is engaging and doesn’t hold back with his content.” Kendi has been regarded as one of the nation’s leading antiracism scholars. He is the founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracism Research. Kendi is known for his books “How to Be an Antiracist,” “The Black Campus Movement” and “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.”

“How to Be an Antiracist” became an international bestseller and was translated into several different languages. Kendi won the National Book Award in 2016 for “Stamped from the Beginning.” Kendi serves as a racial justice contributor for CBS News. He was named the 2020-21 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Times magazine deemed Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Cleary recommends registering for the event beforehand, as the capacity is capped at 225. “This webinar will take us from great to greatness,” Cleary said. “It will make us even better and will better our equity and our sense of belonging that people tend to associate with CWU.” The event can be accessed through the events calendar on Central Today. To learn more about Kendi and his work, visit his website at www.ibramxkendi.com.


May 12, 2021

NEWS

College of Arts and Humanities hires Veratta Pegram-Floyd as Director of Advising By Jackie Tran Mark Meister, the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities said he was thrilled to hire Veratta Pegram-Floyd as the new Director of Advising for the college. She will begin work on June 15 and will supervise four academic advisors, oversee the advising program and have the opportunity to design an advising program for the departments making up the college. The College of Arts and Humanities is made up of 8 departments: Art and Design, Communications, English, History, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies and World Languages and Culture. “Together we are a community of teachers, staff and students who are committed in providing students with opportunity for a transformative experience,” Meister said. The college aims to create opportunities for leadership as well as introduce vocational career options in the form of internships and externships, sometimes sending students across the country. “Our primary focus is providing opportunities for students to engage in their

leadership potential,” Meister said. “The reason we make that emphasis is so that we can show students vocational career opportunities that they may not think of when they think of a degree program in English or music or art design.” The director of advising position is focused around helping students work over difficulties and graduate. “The director will oversee all advising and career services for students. They’ll supervise the four academic advisors.” Meister said. The director may also help students explore further with activities like service learning in the community and creating clear goals for first generation college students, a group that currently makes up 20% of CWU’s student population. Overall, they will also work to improve graduation rates. “They’ll be designing a whole series of programs and initiatives that will help students return and graduate from CWU,” Meister said. Pegram-Floyd is a Seattle native and a first generation college student. She is currently working at Tykeson College

in the University of Oregon, and in her current position as an academic and career coordinator she supervises 8 advisors who, in turn, advise 3,500 students. According to Pegram-Floyd, she has worked in property management, nonprofit organizations, student affairs, a diversity committee, creative writing and more. “I have varied experiences across the board professionally and I think that’s important for students to know as well,” Pegram-Floyd said. Her current program is nationally recognized and has won awards from the National Advising Collegiate Association. At CWU, Pegram-Floyd plans to work on process and policy improvement as well as look for areas to develop. From her understanding, CWU has a very inclusive environment that emphasizes access, equity, diversity and inclusion in a close-knit community, all factors that she supports and would like to grow on. Having a system that encourages support and meaningful engagement is also very important to her.

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“Support and meaningful engagement is both essential to the [campus] community and then the surrounding community as well,” Pegram-Floyd said. She also brings experience as a first generation student that she would like to use in advising to make the processes as clear as possible and help students be proactive not reactive. Moving from a large university to CWU, Pegram-Floyd said she always looks at the position and then the institution. While she said she may need to adjust to the new infrastructure, she appreciates the supportive home unit that CWU maintains. “Quite frankly, I found that [the people were] very refreshing. I appreciated the honesty,” Pegram-Floyd said. Having been at multiple universities, Meister said she has had a lot of training and will bring forward several perspectives. “She’s bringing to Central a whole wealth of experience that is directly and immediately going to benefit our students,” Meister said.

SOURCE goes virtual for a second year The 2021 CWU SOURCE event will be viewable online the week of May 16 - May 22 By Justin Zabel For the second year in a row, the Board of Undergraduate Research will conduct the annual SOURCE presentations completely virtually. The way these presentations work is undergrad and graduate students can prerecord their presentation, have them uploaded to an organization’s website to be able to present the research they discovered in the process, along with their end results. “We got to partner with an organization called the Student Opportunity Center. We partner with them all year round. They provide opportunities and research opportunities for students. They have actually partnered with us to provide the platform for the virtual conference,” Erin Cone, the program coordinator for the office of undergraduate research said. “We don’t have to code a website or anything like that. They accept pre-recorded presentations that students submit for both poster and oral presentations.

Erin Cone

Everything is pre-recorded. That takes away the technology glitching during a live presentation.” During previous SOURCE presentations, judges and several audience or community members observed presentations. Now with the event virtual, there are still judges, but more community and audience members can sit in and observe. “Judges and audience members can make comments on that site. They are also monitored. Everything is good comments. They take away negative comments that don’t provide any feedback,” Cone said. With COVID-19 turning this event virtual for the second year, this affected the amount of presentations and participation. “The presentations were cut in half about. That means we went from 500 to 250. A decent amount of participation given the circumstances,” Cone said. “But it has given us a chance to have more viewers involved. More community members and audience members than our in person event.” However, alumna Meghan Gilbert said the virtual event gives more opportunities and provides more students a way to present even if they are not even in Ellensburg. “I think it opens up an opportunity for more students to participate because sometimes there are students who have graduated who can’t come back and present on the work they have done through the year or there is scheduling conflicts,” Gilbert said. “With this ability to record ahead of time and upload your presentation. I think it actually opens the doors for more to participate.” The number of students participating in SOURCE may have decreased rapidly, however, that doesn’t stop everyone from presenting. Cone gave a rough estimate

of how many presentations would take place for each department presenting in this year’s virtual event. “I know we have 90 presentations from the College of Education and Professional Studies. About the same number for the sciences. Then 30 from the CAH and a small number from College of Business, but that is typical,” Cone said. With the estimates of presentations, that did not stop Gilbert from presenting her research during her final year at CWU. “I am presenting alongside an undergraduate student on the Strengthening Interdisciplinary Leadership Teams Through Team Development Intervention,” Gilbert said. “It is some work we did last year that we received a grant on campus for. A requirement of that grant is to present at SOURCE.” Not only in her final year she had time for her own research, Gilbert also made sure she could co-mentor an on campus club’s research. “I also help co-mentor a presentation by Students With a Purpose, which

is a club here on campus. They will be presenting the Effectiveness of Balance-Scorecard Performance Management on Organizational Team Innovation and Sustainability: Interdisciplinary Team Development Intervention (TID) Phase II. It’s essentially connected to the work we did last year,” Gilbert said. Shifting SOURCE virtually hurt the number of presentations. However, it is following guidelines and giving opportunities for students to still be able to present. With not knowing what the next year held, some may wonder if the event will stay virtual. “I think we’re aiming for something hybrid,” Cone said. “Having some in person elements but also keeping the virtual aspect because it allows so many people to see our event. I think we are going to try and keep that as a current part. We definitely want to make it back on campus, but that just depends on what happens. We’re fine putting on another virtual event, but we’ll see what happens in the next year.”


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SCENE

May 12, 2021

WiseCrax: My Heart Pumps for the Golden Arches By Libby Williams McDonald’s, bottom of the lunch rush in the dead of summer. It’s hot out here people, you can see it in the crew member’s glazed over eyes, but they’re still pushing for the corporate man upstairs. They’re hungry for that hourly $13.69, but the customer is hungry too. Hungry for Big Mac’s, hungry for vengeance. Let’s get the cameras in on Libby Williams, she’s playing offense on the window, handing out bags like her life depends on it; and in a way folks, it does, wouldn’t you say so? Look at that focus, that monotonous almost drone like pass, that dead inside “here you go, have a nice day.” This kid’s clearly a natural! But do you hear that? The low rumble? We’ve got a big wheeler pulling up, ladies and gents, your classic over-compensator!

They’re at the window now, she hands the bag to the husband driving. A smooth transfer, maybe it’s a clean play—no, what’s this? The wife in the passenger seat is asking for something, I can’t seem to hear it… she’s whispering and the roar of that engine is loud, folks... “canwegetsomesaltpackets” I certainly can’t make it out, let’s see how Williams handles it… “I’m so sorry, I missed what you said, what can I get for you?” Wonderful form from Williams, even heeled, I don’t see this going poorly for her at al“SOME $%!&*#@ SALT PACKETS!” Oh, my goodness, folks, the passenger seat wife has pulled a surprise play on Williams! I don’t know who coached this woman, but they have a lot of nerve letting her get away with that kind of aggression on the field.

And Williams hits them with the classic patient smile, boy I tell ya, I would have blown a fuse at this poin- oh, wait, she’s leaning down to the sauce rack, she seems to be muttering something. Let’s cut to a close-up: “I’ll show you where you can shove some salt packets, lady…” Ooh, a risky play on her end, but there’s no way little miss Sharron could have heard her over that Ford F-1BiteMe. Let’s cut back to that salt transfer, they’ve got the packet now-oh, look at that, the passenger seat wife is showing Williams a wild bird… no, wait, two wild birds, both local to the third knuckle region. Looks like Williams’ coach is switching up her position, she’ll be receiving payments at the first window, something a little calmer for the exhausted athlete. She’s about to pull new gloves on now, but oh, looks like we have a gentleman ready to pay.

This guy can’t be younger than 104, folks. He’s paying with quarters from the Lincoln era. Williams still doesn’t have gloves on, looks like she’s risking the bare hand play. Fumble! Fumble! Pops has dropped the change between his legs where the sun doesn’t shine, ladies and gents, and he’s digging for silver! Williams looks flustered, she’s not close enough to a box of gloves for that added defense, look at her hand hanging out of the window like a limp noodle! And touch down! Crotch change is in the palm, you can see it in her face, Williams is going wild! Gramps pulls away and she’s in a dead sprint for that sink, she’ll be there for at least a full minute after a play like that. Thanks for watching today, folks, be sure to tune in next week, we hear Wiliams is considering a trade to the Ellensburg Sonic (she likes the uniform color better).

Lion Rock Visiting Writer Series: Victoria Chang Virtual Reading By Milenne Quinonez CWU Lion Rock Visiting Writer Series invited their second author of the quarter, novelist Victoria Chang featured in two virtual live readings. “Victoria Chang is known for her sharp wit and her ability to weave humor with grief, social commentary with literary allusion and lineage,” Maya Zeller said. Chang’s writing varies across genres, with topics of race, class, grief and humor. Chang’s most recent titles are “OBIT,” and “Love, Love.” According to Wiki “OBIT” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Voeckler Award and long listed for the National Book Award.

“Love, Love” has received critical praise, and is popular with younger readers and adults alike. Recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Victoria Chang was born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in the suburb of West Bloomfield. Her parents were immigrants from Taiwan. Chang graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Asian Studies, Harvard University with an MA in Asian Studies and Stanford Business School with an MBA. During the May 4 virtual reading, Chang read from her novels “OBIT” and “Love, Love.” In “OBIT,” Chang extracted her grief during a feverish two weeks by writing several poetic obituaries for all the things she lost in the world.

“Love, Love” is a novel about a young Chinese American girl dealing with school bullies, trying to find the mystery of her sister’s strange illness and strength and validity at the local tennis court. Gabby Trianna is a senior at CWU majoring in English Language and Literature, with a minor in Creative Writing and an intern at the Lion Rock Visiting Writer Series center. Trianna was able to open for Chang by reading two of her own pieces, “Visiting Soldotna, Alaska,”a poem about the town she grew up in, and “Sestina for Dead Words,” a poem about language. Trianna wanted to read these pieces of her own because of the connection she felt between her writing and Chang’s, “Both in terms of aesthetic and

subject matter with the visiting author,” Trianna said. On May 5 Chang delivered a craft talk where she discussed the decisions she made with form, genre and other literary moves, as well as how to write about difficult topics like grief and timely discourse around immigrant identity. Chang was able to share through a PowerPoint all the poems she wrote by hand, and scribbles of what she chose to leave out and what she chose to include. The audience was able to connect with her as she gave her honest techniques and how the process of writing a poem goes for her. “I just think the series is a really great chance for anyone to have opportunities to connect and work with professional authors that do what we want to do,” Trianna said.

Bye CWU, hello University of Iowa! A profile of Madeline Wilson, previous editor-in-chief of PULSE magazine By Lexi Wicks Now that it is spring quarter, many students are gearing up for graduation. The finish line is in sight and their time at CWU is coming to a close. One of these seniors is Madeline Wilson. She will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social services, with a minor in non-profit organization management and she is also receiving a professional writing certificate. But Wilson is much more than her degree, she was also heavily involved within the school and community as well. She said although she is sad to leave Ellensburg behind, she is excited to continue to walk her path with education and eventually live a wandering yet fulfilling lifestyle in the near future. Who is Madeline Wilson? Wilson is a 21-year-old soon to be graduate, who grew up in Roseville, California. She moved to Washington her freshman year of college

and fell in love with CWU and the Ellensburg community. During her time at CWU, she was editor-in-chief of PULSE Magazine for five quarters, she worked for Habitat for Humanity, worked at the tutoring center, interned at Youth Services of Kittitas County, interned at Worksource of Kittitas County and still volunteers there today. She is going to the University of Iowa to study higher education student affairs in the fall and plans to live an ambitious and uncommon lifestyle. CWU Some things Wilson is most proud of achieving during her time at CWU was the winter 2020 issue of PULSE Magazine. “That issue was a favorite of mine because I felt like it showcased students in a different light,” Wilson said. “I felt like that story was really close to me, even though I didn’t know the student personally, I felt like seeing that in print and ... just seeing his face when we handed him the issue was just such an amazing mo-

ment. It made me proud of the work we were doing and proud that my name was on that as EIC.” Wilson is proud of the work she was able to put out in PULSE while being editor-in-chief of the magazine. Looking back at her time at CWU, Wilson noticed CWU provided her with a sense of belonging. She believes this... helped her decide to go study higher education because she wants to be a part of a university that does the same thing for students. “Not all students are treated equally, and not all students feel the same way about their college campus, but if I could be that person who, like Jennifer Green was for me, or my internship advisors, or my professors, and just all the people I interacted with; they helped me to be who I am and to be involved on the campus and so I think that definitely helped my future,” Wilson said. Obstacles “I’d say the biggest obstacle for me was learning to not compare myself to oth-

er people because everybody has different experiences, everybody has different things going on in their life, and different stressors,” Wilson said. “Comparing yourself to others is the biggest waste of time.” Wilson went to a college prep high school back in her hometown. Despite being a good student, her efforts were seen as average due to the rigor of the classes and other students. However, this experience led her to CWU. “I wanted to go somewhere that fostered collaboration over competition and that is also part of the reason I chose [University of] Iowa is because I hate competing with other people,” Wilson said. “Life isn’t a competition.” Finding her path after graduation After completing multiple internships during her time at CWU, Wilson began to realize social work was something she couldn’t see herself doing in the future.

Read the full story online at cwuobserver.com


May 12, 2021

7

SCENE

Who you gonna call? Ghost Hunters! By Joshua Smith

In addition to technology, however, the team also utilizes the skills of four psychics, also known as mediums. “Tonya here is a psychic medium,” Dormier said. “She senses things a little differently from the rest of us.” Tonya Creasman, psychic medium, was quick to retort.

If there’s something strange In your neighborhood Who you gonna call? The Ghost Hunters of Kittitas County, a group of individuals brought together through a mutual passion for all things paranormal, have managed to find a medium to direct their shared energies. According to their Facebook page, the Ghost Hunters describe themselves as “a team of gifted and regular people who investigate paranormal activity in homes, businesses and areas with unexplained activity.” Gayle Dormier, a member of the team, however, describes them more simply as a good group of friends. Dormier had created an online ad looking for others who shared her passion for - Gayle Dormier, ghost hunter the paranormal. Finally, at the beginning of 2021 she, in addition to the rest of her team, founded the Ghost Hunters of Kittitas County. In less than six months the team has produced eight episodes with another three “I feel like Gayle’s describing me as having been filmed and getting ready one of our tools,” Creasman said. “For for publishing. Jackie McNely, the team’s videog- me, I receive images, emotions, feelings, rapher, said, “we magically meshed energies. When I’m channeling them I get really hot … Normally it’s like a silent really well.” Using a variety of tools such as EMF movie, I don’t really hear voices. I don’t readers, lasers and cameras, the team get a lot of information through that. I works to find evidence of the unexplained. can only describe what I’m seeing.”

We believe that the spirit world does cross over and communicate with us when they are able and willing.

But it’s not the same for all mediums. Creasman’s sister, also a psychic but not involved in the group, gets cold. Others, such as Laura White, a member of the Ghosthunters and a psychic medium, experiences something else entirely. “I usually get really sick to my stomach. I feel like I’m going to throw up,” White said. “There are a lot of different things that happen that depend on the spirit themselves.” And sometimes these spirits aren’t the most friendly. Malevolent spirits exist, according to the team, but they explained that the definition of a malevolent spirit may be different than what films depict. “Malevolent normally comes through a non-human entity,” Creasman said. “It’s an energy more than anything. But it’s never had physical form.” According to Dormier, a malevolent spirit may be referred to as “a shadow person.” She explained that these beings were never human, but come from another realm entirely. “One of our mediums saw a shadow person,” Dormier said. “[The mediums] sensed that this shadow person could have been malevolent. But [the spirit] never pursued us or caused us any problems.” The group hopes to continue their work. However, they rely on the permission of businesses and landowners to follow through on investigations. Although they do offer anonymity to the owners should they request it, the group also offers publicity for businesses that are open to it. “We don’t get paid for this,” McNely said. “Gayle is retired, but the majority of us have day jobs. We don’t get paid for ghost hunting.”

You can learn more about the Ghost Hunters of Kittitas County on Youtube, Tiktok, Facebook and Instagram.

Episode 8:

Pearl Bar & Grill By Jamie Wyatt As expected, there are a lot of things happening in the Ghost Hunters of Kittitas County’s YouTube video, “Episode 8: Pearl Bar & Grill” in one of the oldest buildings in Ellensburg. The team of general investigators includes Ashley, Anji, Jackie and Cheryl. The Ghost Hunters of Kittitas County also have a team of special investigators including psychic sensitive Tanya and medium Tiffany; with two recurring guests, Scott and Ryan. The team has visible and audible readings from the KII EMF device, an REM pod and a voice box in multiple areas of the building. These devices read electromagnetic energy and the REM pod in particular must detect the energy within 1 inch of its antenna. Much of the action takes place about halfway into the video when the owner, Blake, gets into the crawl space beneath the bar. The REM pod and KII device respond to Blake multiple times. As the video wraps up, the last 15 minutes of the video have clear phrases being emitted from the voice box as the team converses with two different entities.

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Students respond to fall vaccine requirement COVID-19 from Page 1 By Sean Bessette Following CWU’s announcement mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for fall 2021 quarter, students took to social media to share their feedback. On CWU’s Instagram post regarding the mandate, over 750 comments were made, making it their most interacted post this school year by far. The feedback was fairly split, with students sharing their opinions for and against the vaccine mandate. Joanna Ortiz Senior public health major Joanna Ortiz believes the vaccination mandate is necessary. “I believe if we want things to go back to normal, this is the only available approach,” Ortiz said. The social distancing and mask wearing requirements have gone on for too long and not a lot of students follow the guidelines anymore, according to Ortiz. She said this is the only way to ensure the safety of wellbeing of everyone. “We have to adapt to this pandemic, and this is our best option,” Ortiz said. Jenson Ellars Jenson Ellars, junior business administration major with a specialization in finance, finds the vaccine requirement to be unnecessary. He said he’s not against the vaccine but he said it should not be a mandate. “I do find that a vaccine that has only been out for a few months, without FDA approval, should not be required for students,” Ellars said. President James Gaudino said FDA approval is a “key factor” in the univer-

Photo by David Dick

Edit by Rebekah Blum

sity’s consideration of a vaccine mandate in his initial announcement. On May 7, Pfizer-BioNTech started their application to request full approval by the FDA for their COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are expected to submit similar requests before too long, according to ABC News. The process for full approval is more rigorous than the process to receive emergency use authorization, and it is expected the FDA will take several weeks to review Pfizer-BioNTech’s application, according to NBC News. “On top of the risks, I see that many people have personal, medical and religious reasons as to why they would not consent to taking the vaccine,” Ellars said. “Many schools have agreed to push for students taking the vaccine which is fine, but they have allowed there to be options.” In CWU’s initial announcement, nothing was said about exceptions for medical, religious or other personal reasons unlike other universities, such as the University of Washington and Washington State University, who have announced similar mandates but included information about exceptions. “This whole situation I feel makes a divide in the school between the right and left,” Ellars said. “I also feel that this decision has put some students at social disadvantages due to people arguing amongst each other, going as far as students telling other students, ‘If you don’t like the vaccine, then we don’t want you here.’”

Sierra Straub Sophomore Sierra Straub said she is thankful for CWU’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Straub said a lot of the community in Ellensburg is high risk due to age and that it’s important for students to be protected as well. “By requiring a fully vaccinated campus, CWU is able to protect the local community and students who are exempt for the right reasons,” Straub said. Straub is fully vaccinated and said it’s been “wonderful” to get back together safely with others. She was in a biomedical program throughout high school and spent an entire year studying different types of vaccines and how they work.

Moss also questioned what’ll change because of the mandate. He’s unsure if masks and daily health checks will still be required. “Everyone wants the world to go back to normal and this might be a step in that direction if all those rules are lifted,” Moss said. “But if we still have to wear masks and all that, then why do I need a vaccine?” Moss also said that this announcement seems late and he doesn’t know what his plan for next year is. “What if people want to transfer schools because of this rule?” Moss said. “Now they have three to four months to transfer credits, find a place to stay and move everything to their new place if that’s what they choose.”

Ridge Moss Junior business major Ridge Moss doesn’t think anyone should have to be vaccinated to be on campus.

Mae Myklegard Freshman Mae Myklegard supports CWU’s decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for fall 2021. Myklegard chose to do school completely online because of the pandemic. “I will feel a lot better about moving on campus knowing everyone is vaccinated,” Myklegard said.

For Moss, it’s not whether someone should or shouldn’t get the vaccine, but it’s more about a mandate forcing the vaccinations. “I think that will lead to lots of people telling the college they can’t get the vaccine for personal or religious reasons to bypass that rule,” Moss said.



10

OPINION

May 12, 2021

You should eat an orange in the shower By Rebekah Blum

There’s nothing better than eating oranges in the shower. Yes, you read that right, the good old giver of vitamin C. It’s a worry-free activity and having the freedom to do so is incredibly enlightening. Imagine it. You just woke up, you had night sweats and need a little pick me up so you decide to take a nice shower, but this time … you bring an orange. There’s no better time than in the shower to eat an orange. Let’s start at the idea that first inspired me to try an orange in the shower. I am not the first person to do this. In fact, there’s a whole sub-reddit called ShowerOrange that has over 68.4 thousand members. So, if you think I’m bizarre I’m happy to tell you there are over 68 thousand more people out there who are just as wild. Alright, now we can move on to the good stuff … my orange-eatingin-the-shower awakening. Let’s break it down. Here are six reasons why you should try an orange in the shower. It’s a Good Messy. This one’s obvious. One thing I hate about oranges is how incredibly messy they are. Your hands get all sticky and it’s just shameful to lick them in public. So, combine this sticky mess with a shower and the problem is solved! You can peel, bite, eat, chew, drink all you want in the shower and you can lick your fingers in peace, since I’m presuming most showers you take are alone. You are also surrounded by nice hot steam, enhancing the orange-eating experience. It Could Save You Time If you’re rushing off to an interview but you need breakfast and a shower. You only have time for one, right? Wrong. Eat the orange in the shower and it’s like combining two tasks into one. You’re welcome. It’s a Yummy Snack Oranges are such a good and healthy snack! They’re fast and they can be taken anywhere. You can get your vitamin C anywhere you go if you just have an orange. It’s Perfect if You Don’t Like Germs Say one evening you feel like taking a nice shower and you think an apple would be the perfect fruit to eat. Suddenly, just as the water was reaching a nice temperature the apple slips through your fingers and rolls all around the bottom of your shower. It probably picked up a few

hairs and maybe some shampoo that dropped from a previous shower. You now probably wouldn’t want to eat that apple now. With an orange though, because it has a protective peel, you don’t have to worry about dropping it during a shower. It’s all about the experience, do it for the bucket list I am a kinesthetic kind of girl. That means I learn by physical activities. There’s something enlightening about eating the orange in the shower. Maybe it’s because I was never allowed to have any food outside the dinner table or maybe it’s because it’s an experience like no other. Feeling the peels in your hands and the juices going every which way as you bite without a care of the mess is absolutely liberating. I also learned all about the technique of peeling an orange. Disclaimer, there’s no technique, but in the shower, you can use whatever “technique” you please. It’s a satisfying and multi-pur-

pose fruit. Oranges are the most satisfying fruit. They’re both sweet and sour at the same time, and they smell heavenly. Ultimately though, they’re satisfying in the shower because they’re messy. They’re not even my favorite fruit (it’s watermelon, thanks for asking) and they’re still top tier. I know some people who hate getting the orange peel under their fingernails but in this case, it’ll just wash away. The only thing that might last is a slight delicious citrus

smell, so people will be asking you where you get your body care products (boom, multi-purpose)! Eating an orange in a shower might change your life. I’d recommend you join the 68 thousand others in this group, we won’t judge you based on what you decide to eat in the shower. If you are allergic to oranges or hate citrus try a new fruit! Before I peel out, I have to ask you … orange you glad you read this?


May 12, 2021

Mini-Opinions: OPINION

11

Pop Culture

Mariana Gonzalez

Addie Adkins

Farron Knechtel

Gabriel Strasbaugh

I love the Kardashians. People bash on Kim for only becoming famous because of her sex tape, but if anything, that just makes her more impressive. If something like that happened to me, I would hide forever in shame. Kim used what would’ve been an embarrassing event for most of us to jump start her career in the spotlight. That takes guts, brains and strong mental health. You know, stuff all of the Kardashian-bashers seriously lack.

Snooki is my spirit animal, and I will die on this hill. Going from train wreck to a “mawma” boss with her own business, she has faced a ton of criticism and obstacles, and she just doesn’t give a care. She continues to live her “meatball” life with her family and friends, and honestly, it’s commendable. I lived my 20s vicariously through her in Jersey Shore, and Jersey Shore: Family Vacation is honestly #bestfriendgoals.

I spent a little over five bucks on Butterfinger candies so I could get a “free” mount my character can ride in Final Fantasy XIV. The ads claim this mount is a $25 value for $5 worth of candy. This left me wondering what the monetary value of my time and effort was, considering I had a friend pick out the candy and take it home due to my allergies. My friend doesn’t even like Butterfinger that much.

Drew Brees. He optimizes excellence both on and off the field. His drive to be the greatest player possible is inspiring. But not as inspiring as his drive to be the best husband and father. He has never let anything stand in his way. Becoming a world champion, check. All-time passing leader, check. Essentially owning the record book, check. He inspires me to reach for the trophy at the end of the season. Become a world champion in my own life.

Kate Caviezel

Katlyn White

Milenne Quinonez

Ondrea Machin

One of the best and most underrated crime shows is Bones. The two main characters, Agent Booth and Dr. Brennan have the best partner-in-crime dynamic, and they add a little comedy and romance to the show. I love watching the two characters solve crimes together and it’s my favorite out of all the crime shows that I’ve watched.

5 Seconds of Summer is my favorite band. The albums they have are amazing and relatable. They opened me up into the world of punk rock which I never would have gotten into before them. They are caring and have the most caring fanbase in the world. I also think they are pretty cute so that may be a huge influence on my opinion.

Sam Harris

Jamie Wyatt

Ever since I was a small child, I have loved the magic of Disney and even at 23 years old I still believe in the magic that embodies Disney. People think Disney is just for kids and after a certain age it’s time to grow up, but I don’t want to grow up. While Disney magic isn’t “real life,” embracing the magic reminds me of my childhood and that there is magic in our world. In the great words of Peter Pan “All it takes is faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust.”

I think Jon Heder, aka Napoleon Dynamite, was dropped by Hollywood. Since his signature role of Napoleon Dynamite, his career has taken a downward spiral. I think the last time I saw him in a movie was Blades of Glory, and he hasn’t starred in anything notable since. Come on Hollywood, where is Napoleon Dynamite?

I started collecting Funko’s Pop! figures when I became involved in Instagram’s ‘bookstagram’ community. Since many of Funko’s Pop! collections are traditional fairytale characters or bookto-movie collections, it was an easy transition. Now, I have somewhere between 400-500 Funko Pop! figures that will adorn my book photography.

I would just like to say we need to create more reality TV shows about rich people. I know we all agreed to dislike The Kardashians but I can’t help but watch them. Netflix came out with Bling Empire, which is about a rich group of Asian friends, and it was the real-life Crazy Rich Asians. I was completely hooked. Yeah, they might have been a little clueless on real world issues but they were entertaining, and it was a great Asian cast! It highlighted other cultures well and it wasn’t boring because it was different. Sometimes I like to escape my realities and focus on the things rich people worry about. Sorry not sorry.

Why ‘Big Hero 6’ is an underrated movie By Star Diavolikis “Big Hero 6” has been tossed aside due to “Frozen’s” signature songs, when it deserved more respect. This movie touched on many subjects in ways children can understand, such as depression and death, while containing no pressure on a romantic storyline and promoting the STEM field. Discussing depression Spoiler alert, Hiro’s brother Tadashi dies within a few minutes of the movie starting. Once Tadashi dies, Hiro goes into a depression. The movie depicts Hiro attending the funeral and his mourning process. Days passed, and plates full of food were shown being left on his windowsill and him lifelessly looking out the window.

Hiro doesn’t go to school and doesn’t open any letters or messages. These are real depictions of what depression and mourning can be like, pictured in a digestible way that children can understand. It is difficult for children’s shows and movies to do this, and Big Hero 6 depicted it perfectly. Early exposure to this can help children understand that it is okay to feel this way, as they genuinely cannot help having depression. Discussing death Tadashi died in a building fire trying to save somebody. Many children’s movies only imply that somebody died, however Big Hero 6 showed the building exploding which confirmed he died. Addressing death like this may seem harsh,but introducing death in

an easy way for children to understand is a good move in case they happen to have a family member pass away. No focus on romance When I hear Disney or children’s movies in general, I think of a prince saving a princess. They fall in love and live happily ever after. This movie doesn’t focus on that. The movie ends with Hiro fighting evil alongside his friends and keeping his late brother Tadashi in his heart. That’s it. No kisses, no marriage, nothing. Not even for Aunt Cass. This opens the idea to children that you don’t always need to focus on romance. You can be successful and make a change without it being for a romantic partner. You can have friends and don’t need to make it romantic.

Promoting the STEM field Hiro graduated high school before 18. His late brother Tadashi was attending an institution revolving around creative STEM productions. When at this institution, the movie shows the many creations these characters made using science and other technological concepts. Tadashi worked on developing Baymax, a healthcare nurse robot. GoGo worked on an innovative, electromagnetic-axel motorcycle. Honey Lemon worked on the idea of chemical metal embrittlement. Wasabi worked on laser induced plasma with magnetic concepts for precision. And Fred was, well, Fred. He just hung out. Showing these amazing creations in these labs presented children with the idea of just how many cool things you can make with science.


12

May 12, 2021

SPORTS

Opinion: Playing sports at a young age can be very beneficial for kids By Isaiah Salevao

At a young age, kids have a lot of free time outside of school, and they usually use it to watch tv, play video games or play outside. Any type of sport that allows kids to build a friendship with their teammates, learn the basics of the sport and keep them busy gives kids the opportunity to mature before other kids who aren’t involved in any sports. If you are questioning if you should allow your children to play sports then here are four examples of why you should. Teaches Discipline There are often kids who are troublemakers and have no discipline. They either have never been taught what is right versus what is wrong or aren’t punished for the mistakes they make. Sports can teach kids to be disciplined and when they do make a mistake or don’t listen to their coach there will be a punishment which is often running. Sports allow kids to become more disciplined and learn that

when they do the wrong thing it will come with consequences and so it will prevent them from making mistakes.

Photo courtesy of Isaiah Salevao

Socialization A big thing the kids struggle with is making friends and meeting new people. Some kids are very shy and afraid to make friends, but sports allow them to meet new kids and build a friendship with each other. When you are a part of a team you build relationships that last a lifetime. For example, I am still very close with people I mean when I was 12 years old playing for a youth football team. I was very shy and quiet as a kid but playing football with other kids my age allowed me to express myself more and now, I am an adult I still am very close with the same kids that were on my team. Teaches Core Values Parents are often hesitant to put their kids in sports are afraid of their kid being injured, but every time a kid Photo courtesy of Isaiah Salevao

Isaiah Salevao when he was younger playing in a basketball league.

is injured they make their way back into the sport because their love for the sport and their teammates is stronger. Injuries come with the sports but what also comes with playing sports are core values like responsibility, teamwork, discipline, leadership and many more. All these core values are tough for parents to teach but when kids are in sport they learn them quicker. At the end of the day parents want their kids to be happy and having fun; something that sports can provide for them. Offers Lifelong Opportunities One of the toughest things in life is growing up and maturing into an adult. Not only can sports provide that but it gives kids an

Softball from Page 1 day before taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning of eventual 2-1 Wildcat win. Kasner was also just four strikeouts away from becoming the GNAC’s all time strikeout leader. The Wildcats had a chance in the first when they loaded the bases with two outs, but were unable to cash it in when sophomore Alysa Bentagen struk out to end the inning. Kasner at one point retired 13 batters in a row. The Wildcats got on the board in top of the sixth on a two out RBI single by Alicia Bannon, but by then it was too little too late for any sort of comeback. Junior Isabell Womback (3-5 9.08 ERA) took the loss despite pitching 2.2 innings giving up 5 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts.

opportunity to find what they truly enjoy doing. If it’s not sports then that’s fine but you never know until you give it a chance. As kids get older, they can continue to play sports in high school. It can be used as a source to get away from school and just enjoy time with their friends. Sports also give kids an opportunity to travel and be recruited by colleges. All parents want their kids to go to college and be successful, sports are a big source for that. Give it a chance and I promise it will bring the best out of your kid and give them a purpose to be motivated and work hard to be successful.

Photo courtesy of CWU Athletics

Jeff Evans WWU Athletics Communications. Samantha Steinfield pitched 6 solid innings in game one of the Wildcats Doubleheader on May 3.


May 12, 2021

13

SPORTS

The 2021 Wildcat Gala: A week of philanthropy By Noah Wright The annual Wildcat Gala and Hall of Fame induction ceremony, usually known as an “evening of celebration and philanthropy,” is an important night for CWU Athletics. However, COVID-19 has caused the 2021 Wildcat Gala to become something different than normal due to restrictions.. “The Wildcat Gala is a fundraising element that partners with the year’s Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony,” Director of Athletics Dennis Francois said. According to Francois, while the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and auctions have been going on since 2013, the “Wildcat Gala” is a new event. “The year before I started working here, they started introducing silent auction items to the ceremony and that evolved into a live auction event in 2019,” Francois said. “[2019] was also the first year the event became known as the Wildcat Gala.” According to Francois, the gala was not held last year because of COVID-19. While the event was recently renamed, the focus of the event is still the induction of the year’s Hall of Fame class. “The gala was created to elevate the status of the night. While we take the chance to fundraise during the night, the main focus is celebrating the Hall of Fame inductees that have contributed so much to CWU athletics,” Francois said. According to Troy Nealey, associate athletic director of development, even though the main event of the

Wildcat Gala this year was held virtually last year and was still successful. night is the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the gala is still one of the most important fundraising events for CWU Athletics. “The funds from the auction go into a student-athlete scholarship known as the Hall of Fame endowment,” Nealey said. The endowment goes to one male and one female athlete, said Nealey. The scholarship is incredibly important. “Nominees for the endowment are given by each sport,” Nealey said. “The recipients are then chosen based on who most represents the qualities

and core values of CWU athletics.” With over $75,000 raised in 2019, Nealey said that the Wildcat Athletic Association has the goal of raising over $100,000 in this year’s gala. “This year is going to be a bit different,” Nealey said, “rather than a combined event, we are going to hold the auction and induction as separate events.” According to Nealey, the auction will be held virtually on May 9-16 while the Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held in October during the homecoming game.

“The pandemic has gone longer than expected, but we couldn’t go another year without raising funds for our student athletes,” Nealey said. According to Nealey, the separation of the Gala and induction ceremony means that this year’s gala will solely be focused on fundraising. “There are a lot of good items in this year’s auction, like a signed Super Bowl XLVIII jersey, that people will have to constantly check on to see if they are the top bidder,” Nealey said. Nealey compared this year’s gala to eBay, saying that it will be a week-long bidding battle between participants. “You won’t have the same feel with a virtual auction as an in-person auction because you aren’t going to be in the moment,” Francois said. “But people will still feel competitive to win the items.” According to Nealey the Wildcat Athletic Association is shifting from an in person to virtual auction very well because their website has a feature that allows them to hold the virtual auction. “The only real problem we are facing is reminding people about why the auction is worth participating in,” Nealey said. According to Francois, it was easy to get participation before because the induction ceremony attendees were an already captive audience. But now they have to get people to participate on their own. “We won’t know how the shift from in person to virtual will affect participation until we get to the event,” Nealey said, “but we are hoping that the event will be successful so that we can continue to support the future of our student-athletes.”

When’s the next CWU esports event? By Simon Lafita Turn on a console and warm up those fingers, CWU’s electronic sports (esports) is looking to host another tournament. The next Recreation Readiness tournament is a work-in-progress but it should be happening within this month. “We’re currently working on a Rocket League tournament for the end of May,” said Shana Kessler, the intramural sports and special events coordinator. “We’re also planning on a Call of Duty and The Warrant tournament after finals are done.” To participate in these tournaments and future events students must have a Discord account. “With Discord being a free service, and gamers already being familiar with the app, we try to keep everything centralized in one place,” Kessler said. With a click of a button students can download the free instant-messaging and voice over internet app, Discord. With this app students can engage with the community, sign-up for upcoming esports events and share their expertise. With the pandemic still limiting gatherings, esports tournaments have experienced some changes. Instead of all the events being held in person, the intramural staff has been working on

Photo courtesy of Danny DeBock

CWU ESports has partnered with discord and will live stream some events on Twitch. virtual gaming tournament options. With a link provided, student’s will sign up with their basic information: name, student ID number, student email address and gamertag to participate from the comfort of their home.

As the Discord community continues to expand, it has turned into more than just a gaming space. The app has seen interactions from incoming students, alumni and current students. The Discord is evolving into a place where stu-

dents can choose to hangout, chat and build relationships. With many sports being canceled due to COVID-19, esports have become the healthy alternative for entertainment and social interactions.


14

May 12, 2021

SPORTS

CWU adds another Pepper to their basketball history By Gabriel Strasbaugh A family tradition continues at CWU. Selah forward Noah Pepper has committed to the Wildcats at the end of his senior year. This is the third man of the Pepper family to put their stamp on CWU’s men’s basketball. Both his father Ryan Pepper, and his uncle, Jason Pepper, are inducted into the CWU Athletic Hall of Fame. The 6-foot-4-inch forward follows directly in his father’s footsteps with some big shoes to fill as his father still holds the all-time points record for a career with 2,254. “We’ve just grown up in a basketball family,” Noah Pepper said. “My dad was a different type of animal.” Noah Pepper said his skill set makes him the most well rounded in his family. When compared to his dad, Noah Pepper said there are some similarities in their game. “There’s some similar pieces and there’s some not so similar pieces,” Noah Pepper said. “I have more of an all-around game than he did; meaning I can take a little guy down to the post if I need to. He wasn’t big enough to do that, but I would say his guard play is better.” According to Noah Pepper, living under the same roof for so long is the reason he and his dad have similar traits when it comes to the game. “Our basketball IQs are very similar as we’ve grown in the same household,” Noah Pepper said. “I think something else that is similar is our mid-range pull up game. He’s taught me so much in the past three years on how to get in the middle of the paint and shoot little pull ups.” Growing up around the game, Ryan Pepper said the lessons and way to play the game is the exact way he taught his sons. “Growing up the way I was taught to play, and how I played too, is very similar to how I taught them,” Ryan Photo courtesy of CWU archives

Ryan Pepper, Noah’s father at CWU.

Photo courtesy of Noah Pepper Noah Pepper (white) will be coming to CWU’s basketball team looking to make an instant impact for the team.

Pepper said. “To be real thinkers of the game, to be smart. My dad always told me and I’d tell them hey your papa always told me basketball is a thinking man’s game.” Never giving up on the study of the film and the knowledge of the game is the key to being a successful player and teammate according to Ryan Pepper. “Your legs will fail you, your jumping ability will fail you, all kinds of things that have to do with our body,” Ryan Pepper said. “Your brain is more powerful than you think. Really teaching them from that aspect and the fundamentals; how to dribble, how to shoot. I don’t care if you’re a big guy or a little guy, how to post up small guys sometimes, how to play outside, how to be able to make jump shots sometimes and how to work on your shot.” Working on his shot has been the forefront of Noah’s development with his dad over the past two years. “Noah had some things he wanted to fix, so his last two years we worked on a lot of adjustments,” Ryan Pepper said. “In my own opinion, you’re talking shot, ha I scored points, he’s got a really nice shot. His shot will only get better and more consistent and that takes a lot of discipline.” The knowledge and experience with the fundamentals of the game are why Ryan Pepper believes Noah will transition well to the collegiate level. Knowing the small details, being able to read other players and playing hard and with heart are aspects of the game he said are overlooked. “Know when to be a good player and know when to make your players around you better,” Ryan Pepper said. “It’s not all about scoring.” Ryan Pepper said Noah’s love for the game of basketball developed at a young age. The experiences he witnessed as Ryan played professionally overseas. “I went to Australia and played for six or seven years and Noah was born

over there,” Ryan Pepper said. “At the very earliest darn age they were around basketball at the gym with me, rebounding. It was a cool thing with us.” Ryan Pepper said that basketball is natural for his family. “It’s in our blood,” Ryan Pepper said. “I was just talking to guys within the last year that I used to go and play pickup games with, and they remember me bringing Elijah and Noah, my boys. They still remember that they would come to open gym and they would be on the side doing their thing.” Noah Pepper’s play at Selah did not go unnoticed after a career best 26.8 points per game in his junior season. Each season saw an increase in stats across the board prior to the 2019-2020 season being cut short due to COVID-19. “Look what we’ve been able to accomplish without having to dunk over people, and people take this lightly, but because we can play basketball and play basketball the right way,” Ryan Pepper said. “Play hard and play with

heart and that comes back to the defensive part too because defense is nothing more than a willingness to get dirty and Noah optimizes that to the max.” Noah’s play on defense is unlike anything Ryan said he has seen before. “I’ve never, never, in my life seen anybody that can take a charge like Noah,” Ryan Pepper said. “You see some guys in the league who put their body on the line, but in three years he has taken 100 charges. Really think about that and it will blow you away, he took 60 charges in one season alone.” Ryan Pepper said his son’s ability to take a charge on defense has shifted the tide of a ballgame. “I’ve seen them win a game on the charges he takes alone,” Ryan Pepper said. “I’ve seen him take over a game. He takes man charges, he’s not shy and turns sideways, no he takes them hard. The willingness to take 100 is why I think he’ll do great in college because he’ll do what it takes as an all-around player.”

Photo courtesy of Noah Pepper Noah Pepper at the free throw line during a game in 2018.


May 12, 2021

15

SPORTS

Keia Mae Sagapolu named finalist for national award By Kenia Reynosa CWU’s Keia Mae Sagapolu has been named a finalist for the MA Sorensen Award. The Sorensen is presented annually to the top women’s rugby college player in the country. The other three finalists for the award are Susan Adegoke from Life University, Richelle Stephens from Lindenwood University and Kathryn Stowers from Brigham Young University. The award is sponsored by the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle and named after MaryAnne Sorensen. Sorensen, who is now a doctor, was a pioneer in women’s rugby both as a player and coach. She was also part of the winning 1991 USA women’s rugby world cup team. Sagapolu is a junior communications major from Tacoma. She has been with the team since her freshman year and is a tighthead prop. Sagapolu decided to join after seeing the team on YouTube and liked how close everyone was and the culture of the team. This was one of the main reasons she decided to attend CWU. Sagapolu joined the team just days before the season began as a walk-on, which is a player that isn’t recruited. “Mae was a walk-on, which is pretty crazy. She wasn’t even on our radar and she just emailed us and said if there was a walk-on spot, and we said sure. She ended up being freshman of the year and has

grown ever since,” head coach Trevor Richards said. What sets her apart from the rest of the nominees is Sagapolu’s position. She’s the only prop that was nominated this year. This position is on the frontline and is considered one of the most important positions on the field. Being a prop requires a lot of physical strength as they take many hits during a match. “She’s at the heart of the scrum,” Richards said. “She has played a big part of our dominant scrum this season. Combined with her ball skills, athleticism and speed, she’s a very strong person both physically and as a human being. I’m really proud and excited for her because she’s getting the recognition that she deserves.” Sagapolu said she never imagined herself getting to this point, but rugby changed her as a person. Joining the rugby team was one of the best decisions she has made. It taught her the importance of how to balance both school and her sport. “I feel like I’m a better teammate and student because of it,” Sagapolu said. She’s grateful for the matches they got to play this year and plays every match as if it were her last. Sagapolu said the reason she’s gotten this far is because of her teammates, coaches and family who have motivated her to be the best she can be. “I didn’t think I was gonna make it this far,” Sagapolu said. “I came in freshman

Keia Mae Sagapolu runs through BYU defenders to score a try. year with little to nothing of experience and they kept pushing me.” Many players have been nominated for this award in the past, however no one from CWU has won it so far. Sagapolu said winning this award would mean that she’s doing something right and her hard work and efforts have paid off. She also wants to make her team and family proud and wants her

little siblings to see that anything is possible when you’re determined and work hard. “It would put our team and program on the map and show how good we are and hopefully will get us more recruits,” Sagapolu said. The winner will be selected by the MA Sorensen panel and announced later this month.

All photos courtesy of CWU athletics


16

May 12, 2021

ENGAGEMENT

PULSE Magazine presents a Q&A with

COOL CAT: zack turner Interview by Jane Pham | Photo by Career Services | Design by Itzel Montoya

Zack Turner, CWU alumnus class of 2020, says he believes in community and rejects individualism. After receiving a bachelor’s in Political Science with a Communications Studies specialization, Zack is currently an executive director at Washington Student Association. Turner has high hopes of forging a long career with the State Legislature, getting involved and utilizing his passion for politics. Here is why you should know this Cool Cat.

FAVORITE CHILDHOOD MEMORY:

I remember my aunt and uncle had a vacation house. We would go and visit during the summer. It’s not like a specific memory, but every time we would go, it was always a lot of fun to hang out with family.

Tell us about your hobbies:

There’s not a lot of stuff to do right now because [of the] pandemic, which is kind of lame. But I really like to volunteer for political campaigns. I would normally do a lot of volunteer work. I also like swimming a lot.

Tell us about your personal goals:

I really just try to take opportunities that come my way. But I’m really interested in staying in public service and working for the government, doing work around public policy and non-profits.

Tell us more about your career goals:

My only goal, I think, is to just be able to work with the State Legislature for a long time. I don’t know to what capacity, but I really like doing that.

Quote you live by:

I really believe in community and reject individualism. I believe that we need to focus a lot on how things affect not only ourselves but also with the people around us and using empathy as a lens for decision making.

Where can you find zack:

I just moved to Seattle and this whole time, I just don’t know anyone or anywhere to go, so I would love for people to share with me.

THIS WEEK ON CAMPUS

12 WED

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 2021 Law & Justice Career Fair* 5-8 p.m. Pop-Up Dinner: Sushi Night - SURC Holmes Dining Room, Student Union Marketplace Dining

16 SUN

National Honor Our LGBTQ Elders Day National Barbecue Day

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13 THURS

12-1 p.m. International Cafe*

17 MON

2-3 p.m. ASCWU Public Meetings* 8-10 p.m. Monday Movie Madness: Toy Story 2 - SURC Theatre Rm 210, SURC North Lawn Area, Recreation Sports Complex, *

CWU Observer

8-10 p.m. Open Mic Night SURC Pit (100C), *

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*Virtual Location for Online Events

14 FRI

4-6 p.m. The Hot New Jam Free Play - SURC Theatre Rm 210 7-9 p.m. “The Battle for Normal and the Queering of Korea” Webinar*

18 TUES

6-7 p.m. Crafting Effective Cover Letters*

15 SAT

International Family Day

19 WED

4-7 p.m. Fresh Check Day - SURC, SURC Patio East, SURCNorth Lawn Area 5:30-6:30 p.m. Multiple Marginalization: The Intersection of Gender, Sexuality and Immigration Public Lecture*

cwuobserver@gmail.com

International Astronomy Day

cwuobserver.com