The Observer - Fall 2021 - Issue 7

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November 11, 2021

Vol. 120 NO. 7

Community celebrates veterans and their service Local first

Photos courtesy of those picture, (Left to right) Joseph Paolilli, Ralf Greenwald, Ruben Cardenas, Veterans reflect on their days in the service by sharing photos of those times.

By Noah Wright Contributor On Nov. 11, 1918, at 11 a.m. the world saw the end of World War I. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month ended four years of violence which impacted the entire globe. More than 100 years later, the U.S. still celebrates Veterans Day with time off to remember those who have served the U.S. military. However, Nov. 11 is much more than just a day off from school and work. Though Veterans Day is on Thursday this year, there will be events on campus and in Ellensburg during what is known as Remember Everyone Deployed (R.E.D) week to show support. Ruben Cardenas, director of the CWU Veterans and a veteran who served n the Washington National Guard from 2004 to 2010, said, “We have started a tradition of leaving flags on campus every 10 feet” for the celebratory week. On Monday Nov. 8, mem-

bers of the CWU Veterans Center along with cadets from the Air Force and Army ROTC programs placed flags from University Way to Dean Nicholson. On Tuesday, there was a showing of “Unbroken”, the Louis Zamperini story. Wednesday, the school celebrated the Marine Corps Birthday, and on Friday, the flag display will be taken down. While the campus will be closed Thursday for observation, Cardenas said, “In town there is a Veterans parade. It’s amazing how many vets we have in the community.” Cardenas said he enjoys the parade because it is a time where the community can be happy, forget our differences and come together for an important and common cause. “Veterans Day is a great day because it emphasizes that there are sacrifices that people make while serving,” Major David Liapis, Air Force ROTC assistant professor of aerospace studies, said. “Serving in the Military is very rewarding, but people can be physically

or mentally injured. Only 1% of the population of the United States, the other 99% don’t have an idea of what Vets really have to go through.” Liapis, who has been a part of the military for a little over 17 years and was part of the foundational team that built the Space Force, said that while Memorial Day honors those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives defending the United States, Veterans Day is important because it acknowledges that even the service members who return home gives something while they are fighting. At CWU, there is a lot of support for student veterans, according to Ralf Greenwald, associate professor of psychology and Navy Veteran who served for six years from 1988 to 1994. Greenwald said some “people forget that they are not just people that served the country. Now they are also students and they tend to be really good students who have a lot to offer. I think it’s nice

to recognize that there is a population of CWU that has a very different life experience.” Greenwald said CWU has a good sized student veteran population and that he is appreciative of the “commitment that CWU has to the community.” Not only does CWU have a Veteran Book Club, where students can come together to share experiences through literature, but according to Greenwald, CWU is the first institution in the Pacific Northwest to have a Veteran’s National Honors Society. For those who are unsure how to honor veterans in the community, Maj. Joseph Paolilli, department chair and professor of military science who has been part of the U.S. Army for over 20 years, said that there are a couple ways to show your support. “Firstly, veterans are everywhere, whether you realize it or not,” Paolilli said. “Thank people for their service, there’s always that.” You can also find a veteran service organization, such as the Veterans Center, because they have programs designed to help. Or you can just take part in the events that are going on around the campus during the week. “There are people that serve and those that don’t, but it has caused a disconnect,” Paolilli said. “Finding ways to reconnect the general public with our service men and women will allow people to support better.” And for those who do not feel comfortable with Veterans Day, for any reason it may be. While Liapis, Cardenas, Greenwald and Paolilli all agreed that is your right as an American citizen, Paolilli said, “don’t be hateful, you might not want to celebrate but keep it to yourself.” Greenwald added that “if you know a veteran, if you have one in your family, taking the time to show your appreciation is great. However, it is not something that anyone expects.”

responders and police work to combat fentanyl overdoses Opioid-related overdoses have doubled from 2019 to 2021 By Omar Benitez Contributor

Four to six minutes. That’s all the time EMS teams have to try to prevent permanent brain damage in a person who is overdosing on fentanyl and has stopped breathing, according to Rich Elliot, deputy chief of Kittitas Valley Fire & Rescue. Once the clock reaches 10 minutes after someone has overdosed, they are brain dead and there is nothing anyone can do for them. The city of Ellensburg is on pace to see a doubling in the number of narcotic opioid-related overdoses this year, and fentanyl continues to take lives in the community. According to Elliot, the total number of first responder/EMS calls involving narcotic opioids has risen from 12 in 2019 to 24 in just the first 10 months of 2021. Six Ellensburg residents have died of fentanyl-related overdoses this year. That figure is likely to rise, particularly with a synthetic opioid as potent as fentanyl so easily accessible. Local officials are working to address the situation through treatment, prevention and awareness. Potency Captain Dan Hansberry of the Ellensburg Police Department said the community started to see an increase of fentanyl about a year ago. The problem has been widespread elsewhere in the United States, and the drug is coming “largely over the southern border from Mexico.”

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November 11, 2021

Letter to the Editor:

Clarifications: Clarification #1:

Hello, My name is Sydney Remsberg and I was interviewed for a story in the Observer last week. Leah Shepherd interviewed me, and only me, and wrote a story about how “Women’s sports at CWU are lacking staff members”. I felt I was misquoted, my words were taken out of context, and I have been approached by several people in the athletic department who know me and know I wouldn’t say these things. At the beginning of our interview when asked about the equality of men’s and women’s sports I made a point to say that at CWU I felt we were treated fairly and equally. When Shepard pried more about men and women’s sports inequalities I brought up situations at the D1 level. I referred to the NCAA March Madness tournament and other examples not at CWU. After further conversation the CWU soccer team came up. As a CWU volleyball player I am NOT very knowledgeable about what the happenings are on the soccer team, however I have heard that their coaches quit and the GA had to step into the role as a coach. I was quoted saying “The volleyball team is actually the only women’s sport team that has an assistant coach, the rest all have GA’s”. First of all, this is far from the truth. We have several women’s sports teams with assistant coaches. I felt the quote was taken completely out of context, and I wasn’t even the one to bring it up. My roommate, a non-athlete, was listening to the interview and mentioned that she had heard volleyball was the only team with a full-time assistant coach, I then replied in conversation that “my roommate mentioned…” The article continued to make the assumption (based upon no facts or knowledge of the athletic department and how it works) that “If this was a men’s team an assistant coach would then step up and take the reins”. I don’t know much about what challenges the soccer program is facing but I do know that struggling to find a coach during the season had nothing to do with gender. It was a claim that I felt Shepard credited me for saying without interviewing or asking anyone else, when it is far from the truth. The article only made me look worse by bracketing a quote that was COMPLETELY taken out of context. When questioned more about the soccer coach quitting, I continued to say how bad I felt for the poor GA that had to step in his position. I recognized all the work our assistant coach does for us, citing the airplane tickets, bus fare, hotel rooms, scouting reports, and all the other things that coaches are responsible for that could make it a stressful job. I empathized with the GA saying how coaching is more than people think, it is not just teaching skills, it is everything behind the scenes that makes being a coach difficult. I was quoted saying “[Emmy Koflanovich is] young and doesn’t really know how to coach an entire women’s soccer team.” I made it clear in my interview that I 100% believe that this GA stepping into the coaching position has the ability and talent to coach an entire soccer team. The quote was pulled from me explaining that she may not be knowledgeable about how to plan travel trips, book flights, and do all the behind the scenes that is required as a coach. Not because she isn’t capable, but because she has not had the experience. Not because soccer is a women’s sport, but because she has only learned the responsibilities of a GA. They are struggling as a team right now as it is, and I felt my quote made it sound like an attack on her coaching thus far. Who is a volleyball player to say that they don’t think that she is capable? I 100% support the soccer program and athletics department as a whole and felt that this quote was taken out of context and did not portray my character. The last line I am quoted practically discouraging fans from volleyball games and pitying other women’s sports. I never felt this was part of our conversation and even the way the quote is used, the brackets and ellipsis, doesn’t seem to convey my idea. As a social media coordinator on the SAAC Executive Committee, I communicate and am a member in leadership over all our athletic sports. I am a liaison between coaches, players, and members on the athletics staff and felt that this article interfered with my relationships with some of my peers. I value myself as a captain on the volleyball team and pride myself in representing our volleyball program. I think that this article was a defamation of character and poor journalism. I am all for supporting women and gender equality. I think it is a real issue and needs to be addressed. I do not think that this article helped highlight inequality in women’s sports and felt it was a regression to the progress we are making at CWU. I don’t believe there was a story to be made here and if there was, I was not the person to talk to. I was an easy contact, but if Shepherd really cared to bring light to this issue she would have worked to interview more than one person. Even an interview with a soccer player would have been better than the story that was posted into the Observer. Overall, I am disappointed in the way this article was written. I love student journalism and am always willing to interview with the school’s paper, however after this instance our coach has recommended we go through our public affairs department. It is unfortunate to see that someone’s reputation can be sacrificed so a student can get a good grade in a class. I would appreciate any retractions you could make to take my name off of the article. Thank you, Sydney Remsberg

The Observer Staff Editor-in-Chief Sean Bessette News Editor Star Diavolikis Scene Editor Libby Williams Opinion Editor Addie Adkins

Copy Desk Chief

Addie Adkins

Assistant Copy Editor Katlyn White Copy Desk Staff Kate Caviezel Graphic Designer Meghan Salsbury

Sports Editor Jared Galanti Online Editor Crystal Clausen

The Observer story from the Oct. 28 issue titled “Women’s sports in CWU are lacking staff members” has been removed from our website due to inaccuracies in reporting and the story’s inappropriate reliance on one student source, women’s volleyball player Sydney Remsberg, for a larger story about women’s teams in general. The Observer erroneously reported that every men’s team at CWU gets an assistant coach (AC) and a general assistant (GA), while the women’s teams don’t “have that luxury,” and that if the head coach of a men’s team steps down, an assistant will always take their place. The story also reported that the volleyball team is the only women’s sport to have an AC while all the others have GAs. In fact, every women’s team has at least one AC and one GA, according to data on the athletics website, except rugby, which has a head coach and faculty affiliation. We should have gotten more sources from the athletic department to confirm the numbers and clarify how the system works. It is true, according to the same data, that four men’s teams have 23 AC’s while six women’s teams have just eight. We believe the idea for our original article has merit, and we will follow up on it. The story assigned Emmy Koflanovich the wrong title of GA before becoming head coach for women’s soccer, when in fact she was AC. Further, we regret if the story appeared to have suggested Koflanovich was unqualified for the new role: that was not Remsberg’s intent nor was it ours. The transcripts show that our reporter quoted Remsberg correctly and in context, but it is clear that her statements were in some cases given as outside opinion rather than as an expert with direct knowledge. In one case, Remsberg was repeating information from her roommate, and our reporter left that out. Our reporter and her editors should have double-checked all facts and found additional sources before publishing this story. We should not have tried to draw a larger trend or broader conclusions about the athletic department from only one student interview. We strive for accuracy in reporting and giving you, our readers, correct facts on stories happening on and around the CWU campus. We apologize when we misstep. The Observer is continuing to report on this story and will update our website soon. Clarification #2: Due to a typo, The Observer misprinted JJ Lemming as “JJ Flemming.” The typo has been corrected in the article posted on our website.

Beyond Our Coverage: Local The Institute of Museum and Library Services American Rescue Plan grant was awarded to CWU’s Libraries to put on a monthly series of mental health programs, according to CWU’s website. CWU Residence Hall Association and Tom Ogg Chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary won the 2021 Pacific Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls Program of the Year, according to the CWU website. A lawsuit has been filed against Washington’s new long-term care tax that will be implemented in January 2022, according to The Olympian.

Celebration of life for Maria Roditeleva-Wibe, tenured music instructor who passed away Oct. 2, will take place Saturday, Nov. 13 in McIntyre Hall 174.

Staff Reporters

Faculty Adviser Jennifer Green

Jamie Bass Stephen Martin Katherine Camarata Andrew Prouse

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

Danny Dang Joseph Stanger

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

Stephanie Davison Leah Shepherd

journalism. The Observer seeks to provide complete, accurate, dependable

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in which student editors make policy and content decisions. The mission newspaper and to provide training for students who are seeking a career in information to the campus and community; to provide a public forum for the free debate of issues, ideas and problems facing the community at large; and to be the best source of information, education and entertainment news. As a training program, The Observer is the practical application of the theories and principles of journalism. It teaches students to analyze and communicate information that is vital to the decision making of the community at large. It provides a forum for students to learn the ethics, values and skills needed to succeed in their chosen career. If you have questions or concerns, email us at

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November 11, 2021


‘LGBTQ2IA+ teach-in’ educated community on inclusivity and issues surrounding it By Stephen Martin Staff Reporter Faculty, students and community members came together Monday night for an “LGBTQ2IA+” teach-in in front of the Brooks Library. This teach-in was an action taken by the library in response to a vandalism incident that involved a person writing homophobic slurs and politically partisan statements throughout the library. Participants took turns delivering speeches about their experiences being queer in Ellensburg and what administrators can do to make CWU more inclusive. Along with speakers, there was poster making, sidewalk art and warm drinks. The speeches were also livestreamed on Zoom. There were over a dozen speakers in total, who touched on subjects ranging from previous hate crimes, how language can be used to dehumanize others and the AIDS epidemic. Griff Tester, an associate professor in sociology, outlined what he thinks CWU needs to do to make campus more inclusive. “There needs to be a complete review of every policy on this campus to look at its anti-discrimination policies and remove all non-inclusive language,” Tester said. “Campus healthcare and counseling must be inclusive, including the coverage of needs of trans and non-binary students.” Tylene Carnell, an organizer with the Pride Foundation and Helen House, said that she is tired of people who claim Ellensburg does not have a problem with inclusivity without having ever experienced what it’s like to be a member of a marginalized group. “I hear things like ‘we don’t have a race problem in this community,’ ‘we don’t

Photos by Stephen Martin/The Observer, (From left to right) EQUAL students table at the teach-in, chalk art was created during the event, Geraldine O’Mahony gave a speech and CWU students and community members attended the teach-in together, bringing families and friends.

have an LGBTQ problem in this community,’” Carnell said. “My question to them is always, ‘When was the last time you walked down the sidewalk as a young Black man in this community? When was the last time you sat in a restaurant or in a bar in this community as a trans woman? When was the last time you walked through a store or walked down a sidewalk during the middle of a pandemic as a young Asian student?’” A student speaker, who chose to remain anonymous, said they are concerned about communication between campus police and the town police, after numerous incidents. This includes a situa-

tion where the town police knew their friend’s name and where they lived on campus despite never having called the police before. “I want to know why there seems to be communication between the campus police and the Ellensburg police without any precedent for student privacy or safety,” they said. “A large portion of this campus’ marketing is specifically around how we’re centered around diversity. Diversity means nothing when there is no equity and no safety in this primarily white town at all. I do not feel safe on this campus, I don’t feel safe in this town, and I’m white and I’m cis passing.”

President Jim Wohlpart, who was in attendance, said he plans to take the messages shared to heart and make administrative changes. “The perspectives that have been shared have deepened my understanding of the culture we have here and the work we need to do,” Wohlpart said. “I took notes on some of the things that were brought up as elements that we still need to work on.” Dean of Libraries Rebecca Lubas said that she was happy with the turnout, especially considering the event went on into the bitter cold of the night. “I’m very happy with how many people turned out giv-

en how cold it was,” Lubas said. “I would have liked a little bigger crowd, because I think this is the kind of thing you can’t have a big enough crowd for. But I think given how chilly it was, I thought it was a great turn out.” She also said that she hopes the event helps make the library feel like a welcoming space again. “What happened was really a violation of everything we stand for, because we’re supposed to be welcoming and inclusive for people, and that made people feel unwelcome,” Lubas said. “It was a fundamental violation of what we stand for, and we want to hopefully regain that sense of safety and trust.”

Blewett Pass accident causes fatality of CWU student By Star Diavolikis News Editor

Photos Courtesy of @cwu_cheerleading.

Kyra Nelson, a 23-yearold CWU student from Wenatchee, passed away from an accident on Blewett Pass Saturday afternoon. Her 2007 Toyota Corolla crossed the median line into oncoming traffic, spun, and was struck by 52-yearold Robert J. Spraggon in

a 2014 Ford F150 pickup truck, according to an article by NCW Life. Nelson was a cheerleader of the CWU team, and the cheer and stunt team online expressed their sentiments through social media posts. “You have truly left a legacy not only on this team but within the CWU community,” a Facebook

post from the CWU Cheer/ Stunt Team page. “You were everyone’s biggest cheerleader and anything anyone could’ve asked for in a teammate. You truly wanted the best for everyone around you [heart emoji].” Spraggon and his passenger Stephanie Spraggon were taken to Central Washington Hospital for injuries.


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November 11, 2021

Breaking the Stigma: Anxiety By Katherine Camarata Staff Reporter “You have your conscience in your head telling you what is good and what is bad,” freshman theatre design and production major Annemarie Albright said. “[With anxiety], it feels like I have two of them. One of them is normal, what everyone would experience, but the other one is really negative and it tends to be louder.” According to Albright, this negative internal voice often tells her that people are judging her or that things are going wrong and she nitpicks every action she does. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5) characterizes anxiety disorders as excessive worry that may lead to physical symptoms like increased heart rate, trembling, muscle tension, irritability, fatigue and difficulty sleeping. According to the DSM-5, there are a variety of anxiety disorders including specific phobias in response to stimuli like spiders, social anxiety, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder that persists more often than not. Approximately 28.8% of the population experiences some form of anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime, according to an article by Pubmed/National Library of Medicine website. Anxiety manifests differently for different people. “Anxiety for me is just a lot of worrying about the future. It’s a constant sense of dread,” junior history and social studies education major Danielle Hegarty said. According to senior psychology major Leia McWilliams, anxiety can involve feeling shaky, out of breath and very hot.

“If I said something dumb, [I worry that] they think that I’m stupid, they don’t like me. My thoughts spiral,” McWilliams said. Albright said her anxiety takes her away from certain situations such as being on the phone or talking in front of the class. “I will get sick to my stomach to the point where I’ll want to leave, but it’s not always the situation where I can leave so I just kind of push through it,” Albright said. While anxiety is a common struggle, it can often go untreated if a person is too anxious to go to a doctor or therapist. Hegarty didn’t go to a doctor at first, which she said “didn’t do much good for me in the long run.” Hegarty said that her symptoms have been lessened with medication and highly recommended talking to a professional and finding treatment that works for people individually. According to Licensed Family Counselor Martha Burns, helpful coping methods include writing a list of activities that help you feel calm and engaging in sensory activities, such as taking a hot shower or lighting a scented candle. Burns also recommended exercise for anxiety. “A tired body will give your mind a break,” Burns said. Burns said certain substances like caffeine act in the same way that gasoline does to a campfire. Reducing caffeine intake can be an effective way to reduce anxiety. McWilliams said she recently learned a grounding strategy to help when she feels overwhelmed. She said she starts by listing off five things she can hear, in her head or out loud, such as birds chirping or a clock ticking. Next, she lists off four

Photos courtesy of those pictured, (Left to right) CWU Students Annemarie Albright, Danielle Hegarty, Leia McWilliams.

things she can see. Then, she lists off three things she can smell. Then, two things she can taste. Finally, she lists off one thing she can feel. “By the time you get to one, you feel more calm and more grounded in the present moment,” McWilliams said. Hegarty said that scheduling alone time to decompress and keeping an organized schedule of daily activities helps her cope. Not every coping strategy will work for every single person, but it’s important to find strategies that work for you specifically, according to McWilliams. She said communicating with the people around you can be an effective way to conquer anxiety. “I tend to step out and say, ‘Hey, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed,’” McWilliams said. “I stop for a minute and take a couple deep breaths.” Albright recommended shutting out anxious thoughts as soon as possible by reassuring yourself that it’s just the anxiety talking. “I try to say out loud more positive stuff,” Albright said. “The more I say it out loud, the more I’ll believe it. When you hear negative stuff, that’s more likely to stick. I just try to drown out the negative with all the pos-

itive things I like about myself.” Albright recommended offering those with anxiety a blanket or pillow to hold, or giving them a hug or a hand to hold if everybody is comfortable with that. While deep breathing can be helpful, it is not an end-all be-all solution. Hegarty said while addressing people who have anxiety, it’s important to avoid minimizing their struggle by making dismissive statements. “It’s not something you can just breathe out,” Hegarty said. “It’s a mental illness. It’s a chemical imbalance in your brain.” McWilliams said that being patient and understanding is important when approaching people who have anxiety. Sometimes people get impatient with her for being indecisive due to anxiety, and that while these worries are small to them, for her mind, they are big. McWilliams recommended sympathizing with those who have anxiety by saying something like, “I may not understand what you’re going through, but I’m here for you. I know this is troubling you and I want to help you as best as I can.” According to Albright, it can be difficult to spot anxiety in others and it may come across as though somebody is just being shy or quiet.

“What you think is not always what’s going on,” Albright said. “Don’t be scared to say ‘hi’, because personally I would love people to come talk to me, but I’m always too scared to make the first move.” McWilliams said it’s important to find people who understand anxiety and won’t criticize you for your experience. “Finding a good group of people may be hard, but it’s not impossible,” McWilliams said. “They are out there. Just keep trying if you feel alone, and I know you will find them eventually. Don’t give up, it will work out.” It’s important to gauge whether your anxiety is productive worry versus unproductive worry, according to Burns. She said that productive worry involves problem-solving that you have control over, while unproductive worry involves repetitive thoughts that keep you awake at night. Albright recommended focusing on ways that anxiety can be helpful instead of hindering you. She said that being a perfectionist can help her get stuff done, but it’s important to keep anxiety in check. “Try not to let it consume you,” Albright said. “Don’t let it control your life.”

CWU gives new purpose to fallen leaves By Joseph Stanger Staff Reporter It’s fall, which means it’s time for the leaves to float down from their branches and end up all over walkways, streets and in the gutters. But, instead of leaving them to decompose, become slipping hazards, kill the grass and get stuck in storm drains, CWU collects the leaves to serve a more important purpose. “It makes great fill for when we’re doing a new planting area,” CWU Grounds Supervisor Blair McNeillie said. “We facilitate a lot of our small projects with that material.” The process of collecting the leaves has become

a yearly routine for CWU’s groundskeepers. “It all gets swept up or picked up or raked up in some fashion and we take it to a big composting area north of 18th close to Brooklane village,” McNeillie said. “We just compost all the material and generally that’s used back on campus in the form of some sort of mulch. We might mix it in with some sort of wood compost and make a mulch product, or it turns into topsoil over time.” McNeillie said the school picks up about 150 to 170 cubic yards of leaf material each year, which is used to make a few hundred yards of topsoil. “We don’t have to pick up every single [leaf] or any-

thing like that, we’re not trying to make it perfect,” McNeillie said. “Some of the leaf material goes back in the ground and it’s good compost as it is.” McNeillie said this year the leaves came down faster than normal due to rain and wind. Usually, in November, there would be more leaves still on the trees. “Usually, the sooner they come down the better, so we can get them all cleaned up,” McNeillie said. In Ellensburg, the city has asked its residents to properly dispose of their leaves and yard debris by either using compost bins provided by Waste Management or taking their yard debris to the

Kittitas County Solid Waste Ellensburg Transfer Station. There, residents can drop off their yard debris for a small fee, which gets grinded and turned into compost and mulch, which can be purchased at $60 per ton. Ellensburg resident and professor of Philosophy, Cynthia Coe, said she collects around 25-30 large garbage bags of leaves and debris from her yard each year, which she stores and eventually empties into her compost bin. She said that even though they require a bit of work, the leaves serve as a nice reminder of the changing seasons. “I used to live in Vermont, where leaf season was a big

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thing. People would travel to come see the leaves changing on the hills,” Coe said. “We don’t quite have that here, but it’s just nice to have that sense of summer being over and winter coming.” Coe said she’s lived in places where residents can simply rake piles of leaves on the curb where they’re sucked up by a vacuum on a truck. “That’s convenient, but I think it’s probably a good thing that you have to rake up leaves because they can clog drains and stuff like that and create hazards,” Coe said. “But composting is a way to make them … do some work even after they come off the tree.”

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November 11, 2021


Thirteen artists share unique voices using various mediums El Zodíaco Familiar exhibit blends Chinese zodiac with Mexican and Chicano By Katherine Camarata Staff Reporter Upon entering the El Zodíaco Familiar exhibit at the Sarah Spurgeon Gallery, dozens of students, faculty and community members encountered a vast array of vibrantly-decorated creature heads mounted along the stark white walls. The crowd buzzed with inquisitive cheer while marveling at the ceramic and mixed media sculptures on Thursday evening, Nov. 4. The exhibit was created by El Paso, Texas native George Rodriguez, with the intent to blend the concept of the Chinese zodiac and the heritage of 13 other Mexican and Chicano artists as collaborators. Each collaborator worked on the creature corresponding with their birth year and Chinese zodiac animal. According to Rodriguez, he searched diligently to fill each zodiac position with an artist that would bring a unique vision to the project. “This isn’t just an art exhibit,” said Heather Horn Johnson, the

vidual artwork of the collaborators,” Rodriguez said. “I worked with them because they’re all amazing.” The collaborators include: Javier Barboza, Alejandra Carrillo-Estrada, Eric J. García, Jon Gomez, Carolina Jiménez, Gabriel Marquez, Gustavo Martinez, Marilyn Montúfar, Gabriela

va Nepantla” jaguar sculpture by Alejandra Carrillo-Estrada).

“La Cabra-Cabron Cabrona,” by Gustavo Martinez

Many sculptures focused on ceramics with technicolor painting, jewelry and even glitter as featured on the “Grillx” chapulín “Burro Mezcladero,” by Christie Tirado

Ramírez Michel, Yosimar Reyes, Moises Salazar, Samirah Steinmeyer and Christie Tirado. “The fact that George collaborated with 13 artists to put together this show is unique and meaningful,” Horn Johnson said. “Oftentimes one artist makes their own particular work, but

George Rodriguez standing next to his solo piece in the gallery, Photos by Katherine Camarata/The Observer.

“La Peyotera,” by Gabriela Ramírez Michel

sculpture by Moises Salazar, representing the rat. The Águila (eagle) sculpture by Jon Gomez and Javier Barboza included “alternate reality” art visible only by “1977,” by Eric J. García

Sarah Spurgeon Gallery manager. “We’re talking about culture and the melding of culture. You see their unique backgrounds and influences emerging in these different zodiac pieces.” Rodriguez hosted an artist’s talk in the SURC Theatre before the reception at the gallery,

“Espíritu del Viento,” by Gabriel Marquez

here it’s a blend of artistic sensibilities and approaches that makes it really special.” The collaborators’ occupations range from photographers, educators, jewelers and tattoo artists, according to Rodriguez. Their mediums range from spoken word poetry (in the sculpture “Guerrero” of the Quetzalcoatl by Yosimar Reyes,

“Recollections - Atravesando con el Toro,” by Marilyn Montúfar

scanning a code on a phone. Rodriguez said his favorite sculpture in the exhibit fluctuates based on his mood. “Some days, I’ll go in and the brightness of this piece in front of

“Brava Napantla,” by Alejandra Carrillo-Estrada

during which he presented information about the background and involvement of each collaborator. The collaborators are from places like Rodriguez’s hometown El Paso, Arizona, California, various locations in Mexico and on the east coast. “I hope that people come in and see my artwork, but I also hope that they research the indi-

“Grillx,” by Moises Salazar

representing the dragon), woven threads and fabrics (in the “Venado Azul de los Cielos Claros” sculpture by Carolina Jiménez) and metalsmithing (in the “Bra-

“Venado Azul de los Cielos Claros,” by Carolina Jiménez

me, ‘La Peyotera’ [the monkey], the vibrancy of the color uplifts me and I’m feeling that kind of joy,” Rodriguez said. “Sometimes I need something that’s a little bit more grounding and a little more somber, so ‘La Cabra’ [the goat] back there has a weight to it.” The goat sculpture by Gustavo Martinez, “La Cabra-Cabron Cabrona,” was a favorite of numerous event-goers for its life-like qualities. “When I looked at the goat, it made me feel almost as if it was an actual animal head,” junior graphic design major Paola García said. García also appreciated the jaguar sculpture because she said it looked both human and animalistic at the same time. The “Cacomixtle del Desierto Sonorense” sculpture by Samirah Steinmeyer was one of Horn Johnson’s favorite pieces. “It’s made out of a different clay than the other zodiac heads,” Horn Johnson said. “It’s from the Sonoran desert, the region where the artist lives. She uses the earth that’s beneath her. I like the stripes, the color and the luminous eyes.” Other attendees appreciated pieces with surprise elements, like the “Recollections - Atravesando con el Toro” sculpture by Marilyn Montúfar. Senior Studio Art and Visual Art Teaching and Secondary Education major Maya Stoker said the glass on the sculpture was unexpected, because “horns are seen as aggressive, so seeing them as this clear glass that’s really delicate is really interesting.” Rodriguez said he hopes viewers of the exhibit will feel a sense of childlike joy that isn’t always present in a gallery setting. “With the storytelling of the animals, it’s playful,” Rodriguez said. “I hope that people will find their birth year and make a con-

nection to that animal, whether good or bad.” El Zodíaco Familiar is the fifth iteration of the Chinese zodiac sculptures created by Rodriguez. Rodriguez said he started by creating a ceramic head for each creature using the molds from past iterations. Each head was made in the color that the collaborator requested. He then sent the heads to some of the artists, while others traveled to work with him in Philadelphia where his studio is located. Each artist added their own interpretation to their zodiac creatures which created a diverse medley of perspectives. The collaborators focused on various cultural aspects of immigration and migrant work, as well as queer identities and how they are perceived in Mexican and Chicano culture. The project was born out of the pandemic, when Rodriguez said he was misplaced from his studio and couldn’t travel to his other studio. He hoped to organize a collaboration that would make the most out of the quarantine. “We’re happy to be able to have public programs again after not doing it for quite some time,” Horn Johnson said. Johnson said that the artist’s statements and poetry are available in both Spanish and English to promote inclusivity and allow viewers to practice their language skills. Rodriguez said he hopes to show people who are unaware that art can be a career path how they can find ways to showcase their art like he does. “My community inspires me most,” Rodriguez said. “The impetus for me to make work is to have a little bit of representation through my own story.” Rodriguez said that he aspires to take the El Zodíaco Familiar exhibit to California, Arizona, El Paso, Philadelphia and more locations in the future.

Drugs Overview Opioid-related overdoses continued from page 1 According to Hansberry, fentanyl is now being packaged in small blue counterfeit pills, which are sold for as low as $15 to $20, as well as in powder form. “They think they’re buying Percocet, and they don’t know what they’re buying is a counterfeit. It’s made to look like Percocet, but it has an unknown, unmeasured amount of fentanyl, and so just one of those pills can be deadly,” Hansberry said. And that’s the real danger of fentanyl – just how much the potency can vary from pill to pill. “The real main point that we’ve wanted to get out there is it just takes one pill. This isn’t overdosing on alcohol, where it potentially takes large volumes, or any other drug,” Hansberry said. “The potency levels are so unknown, and one pill can have such a different potency than another pill that really one pill could be all that it takes.” For someone who is looking to experiment with drugs, the dangers of an overdose or drug-related death are very high with fentanyl, Hansberry said. The effects of fentanyl must be counteracted quickly. According to Elliott, on fentanyl overdose calls, people often need to be resuscitated in a “relatively short window” using Narcan. They often bring along law enforcement for back-up in case the situation gets violent. “Sometimes we don’t fix the problems, and that’s horrible,” Elliott said, especially in cases of young people and teenagers whose parents have to then be notified. With such a small window to realize something is wrong and get help, awareness may be the most essential thing community members can have in helping prevent drug-related

deaths. Being aware of the dangers of fentanyl, but more importantly acting when someone is in danger of overdosing, could potentially save your life or the life of a friend or loved one. After treatment, a person who has overdosed can go back into respiratory arrest or try to self-medicate once the Narcan wears off. That’s why it’s important to get people who have overdosed to the emergency room, even if they’ve been resuscitated. “There are no criminal consequences to an overdose,” or to calling 911 for help, Elliott noted. Prevention & Awareness The rise of opioids in a community can have certain effects, including addiction. Addiction to opioids can be a very hard thing to overcome, so people need to know that they are not alone, that there are programs and resources available to them to help aid them in recovery, Hansberry and Elliott said. The latest numbers and trends suggest that the issue could worsen before it improves. “I think it’s going to get worse in our community,” Elliott said. “I hope it gets better, and there are lots of people trying to make it better. But this is not this is not a safe drug to mess around with.” For both Elliot and Hansberry, it’s important that the community is well-informed and offers support to those in need in order to prevent any more deaths. Officials have also been getting educational resources into schools and hosting talks, like one recently at Morgan Middle School. “Unfortunately, through the deaths of these six people that have died just this year, the community is now aware of it,” Hansberry said. “I am very hopeful that that’s going to make an impact.”

Total Overdoses

Narcan Use


2019 5

2 24

2020 6

4 29

2021 YTD


6 32

(according to the presentation given by the Ellensburg Police Department)

“ Presentation given at local middle school to raise opioid awareness By Danny Dang Staff Reporter Morgan Middle School brought together the Ellensburg school district, Ellensburg Police Department and many medical health resource representatives to talk about the trends of opioid related cases within the community. The event, which took place Oct. 28, was hosted by District Safety Director of Ellensburg High School Neil Musser, Sergeant Cameron Clasen and Investigator John Bean. They presented data and statistics showing the increase of opioid abuse in our community through the years, and what they have planned to counter it. “An amazing number of resources are available to help keep our families safe from opioid and overdose

issues in our community,” Musser said. Musser explained the risks to public health of opioid abuse rising through the years. He said there are many different variants of opioids and counterfeits of them surfacing, and, more often than not, they find them laced with the dangerous drug fentanyl. Sergeant Cameron Clasen from the Ellensburg Police Department, spoke of recent cases in the past that lead to cases where people would obtain some of these drugs through the dark web. According to Musser, the recent cases triggered the urge to really push this information and education out. “To start educating the public, law enforcement is working on fighting against it, and the public should also know,” Musser said.


of pills tested by DEA contain lethal doses of Fentanyl. (according to the presentation given by the Ellensburg Police Department)

Narcan use is covered under the Good Samaritian Law. A person cannot be charged with drug possession, use, etc. if they are an overdose victim or trying to help an overdose victim. (according to the presentation given by the Ellensburg Police Department)

Resources Treatment/Detox CMH 509-925-9861 Substance Use Disorders (Merit) 509-925-9821 Recovery Advocate Dr. David Douglas 509-306-9910 Community Health of Central Washington Hopesource Kittitas County Public Health Kittitas County Recovery Community Organization KVH Addiction Medicine Kittitas County Juvenile Court Services Ellensburg Healthy Youth Coalition Ellensburg School District


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November 11, 2021

Cooking is good for the soul Ask the Aunties Edith and Ethel: By ‘Edith and Ethel’ Columnists Dear Aunties, What are the best ways to make friends on campus? Signed, Lonely and Searching for a Squad Edith: I… don’t have many friends. Let’s start out with that. What advice I do give is either something that worked in the past or something that I imagine works. Ethel: As an ornery and cantankerous old bat, I feel like I’m really the wrong person to ask. I have few pleasures left in this world, and meeting new people is not one of those pleasures. Edith: Ethel is vibing. On her own. And that’s okay. I honestly think reaching out through classes and any student jobs you have would be a great start. I do have friends I made, but they’re almost all coworkers or classmates that have had to work with me. Is it because they’re forced to be nice to me daily? Maybe. But, here we are. Ethel: Okay, okay. Since Edith is giving advice on this, I must have my say. The best way I’ve met people on campus is by being a part of a student organization. Being part of the Observer family, I’ve met some amazing people that I would do many things for. Edith: Or, alternatively, just continue to pester the people around you until they give you their Snapchat. I’m sure that works. Pushing friendship on people is such a cool thing to do! Ethel: Okay, I wouldn’t do THAT. But I would do other things. Maybe, put out an ad on Craigslist? I’ve heard of people using Tinder to trick people into friendship? Okay, I wouldn’t do those things either, honestly. Edith: You can get people’s Snapchats through class and work, however please don’t expect them to reply. I have a stickler who has sent me at least a message every two days. Since the school year started. It killed any motivation to even say hi to them - let people respond on their own time. Ethel: I hope this helps Lonely and Searching. Just do your best to get out there and say hi! After plenty of weird looks and some side-eye, I’m sure someone will want to hang out. After all, everyone is always looking for a new friend.

Write in!

submit your questions to (all questions will remain anonymous)

By Milenne Quinonez Columnist I grew up in a family where cooking was a way for all my family to come together after a long day and enjoy a meal together. My mom would work long shifts on her feet and still managed to come home and cook a warm delicious meal. I never understood the serenity and comfort cooking meant to her. The kitchen was her domain and she had control over it, which is something I would soon learn. College is stressful, and for some who live in the dorms, being confined by four walls might cause people to miss home a little more. Especially home cooked meals, after eating the same food that is

served at the Central Market or Holmes Dining. Luckily, I have the privilege of living off campus and in an apartment where I can fully utilize my kitchen. Which at first was intimidating, I could not imagine having to cook every day for myself. But I knew living off ramen was not something I could do; well I could, but chose not to. Eventually as I cooked more, I realized how de-stressing it was for me. It was a way for me to forget my stressful assignments, and challenge my creative side. It also allowed me to stay connected with my mom, since I called her for basically every dish I made. I learned patience, how

to follow instructions and, most importantly, how to relax and treat food like an art and I was learning to express my creative side in the kitchen. Mind you, I am not artistic at all, but this made me feel like an artist. Although this idea is not scientifically proven there are some people who do believe that it is therapeutic. According to Southern Living “These activities alleviate depression by ‘increasing goal-oriented behavior and curbing procrastination.’” Cooking is a good emotional release; I think it’s something about getting my hands dirty in the kitchen. It’s almost stimulating to my brain, since I normally use my hands to type on

a computer or write, using my hands to slice vegetables is like a tension release that I find comfort in. According to Psychology Today, the article describes observing food in the kitchen, like a tangerine. Examine the color, the touch and the smell. The way you peel the section of the fruit, noticing the moment-to-moment sensation. “When you’re focusing on the moment this way, you’re not ruminating over past slights or worrying about future problems. Mindfulness also helps reduce stress and promotes greater gusto for life.” These are just a few examples and my own personal experiences of why I think cooking is good for the soul.

Recipes for National Vegan Month By Katlyn White Columnist To all my vegans out there, it is your month; November is National Vegan Month. I am not vegan, I am vegetarian, but a lot of the recipes I have saved over the years are vegan recipes. I thought I would share my favorites with The Observer audience.

Photo courtesy of Green Evi.

Loaded Vegan Potato Skins This is my favorite because I love Who doesn’t?


6 russet potatoes 2 cloves garlic chopped ½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk 1 tablespoon mustard 1 can chickpeas 1 shallot chopped 3 tablespoons capers 5 sun-dried tomatoes 1 scallion chopped Salt and black pepper To make, bake the potatoes until they are tender for about an hour. Once the potatoes are ready, cut them in half and scoop out the middle. Use the potato “flesh” and mix in the chickpeas, milk, mustard and garlic, then mash them all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. The last step is to fill the potatoes and then cook for 1020 more minutes. For more in-depth instruction go to Forks Over Knives to find the recipe. They have a sauce that goes with it that I usually skip.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel Courtesy of Pexels.

Vegan Mug Cake

I can’t forget the dessert. This is the best mug cake I have found. I love mug cakes because they are easy to make in dorms and usually have an easy clean-up. 3 tbsp plant-based milk A pinch of lemon zest 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tbsp sunflower oil 4 tbsp self-raising flour 2 tbsp sugar A pinch of baking soda 4 fresh or frozen raspberries Add the milk, lemon zest and lemon juice to a mug and let sit for a few minutes. Once it gets grainy, stir in the sunflower oil, baking soda, flour and sugar. After that mixture is smooth, drop the raspberries in. Cook this in the microwave for one and a half minutes or until cooked through. Serve with dairy-free ice cream too. For in-depth instructions, check out BBC Good Food. These are some of my favorite recipes. To all vegans out there, I hope that you celebrate and have a good month.

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November 11, 2021


Experiencing the ASTROWORLD tragedy By Sean Bessette Columnist I attended ASTROWORLD Festival 2021, an event that’ll go down as the deadliest concert crowd tragedy in U.S. history to date. This was my experience. First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the eight victims and the hundreds injured. I’ve been distraught trying to come to terms with the events that took place last Friday night. I was lucky enough to make it home, but others weren’t as fortunate as me. Following the festival, I’ve tried to figure out what happened and why, along with who’s to blame. I’ve been looking to attend an ASTROWORLD Festival for years, dating back to when Travis Scott released ASTROWORLD in 2018. This year, all the pieces came together to make it happen. Last Thursday, I traveled to Houston along with one of my friends, Robbie Blanch, and got to our hotel pretty late. Day one of the two-day festival was Friday, so I struggled to sleep Thursday night in anticipation. The Road to Chaos We woke up at 7 a.m. and left the hotel at about 8 a.m. We walked about 45 minutes to NRG Stadium, where the COVID-19 security checkpoint was across the street from NRG Park, the main venue. A group of people who had camped out overnight and/or arrived very early in the morning were up along a tall chain link fence. Another group of people, where I was, was separated using metal barricades. Important to note, gates weren’t supposed to open until 1 p.m. At this point, it was about 9:15 a.m. As we were waiting, people started throwing an assortment of items in the crowd. Empty water bottles and jugs, cans and even lawn chairs. People started holding blankets above their heads to avoid getting liquid dumped over their body or hit in the head. The section I was in got impatient and eventually people began to break through the barricades to get to the front group. At this point, everyone was together. History repeated itself and the whole group became impatient enough to break through the tall chain link fences, hours before the venue was set to open. A stampede started as the crowd broke through the COVID-19 checkpoint and everyone rushed along a trail, passing multiple Houston Police (HPD) officers on horse, over a skyway, down multiple flights of stairs to the general security checkpoint. Adrenaline had kicked in for everyone involved.

Fortunately enough, my friend and I made it towards the front of the line in general security. It was still hours before we were supposed to be there. Close to 10 a.m., they started letting people through general security. I had my bag checked and I had to scan my wristband to get through. There was no stampeding at this point from where I was. Inside the Venue Right after making it through general security was the main merchandise booth with metal barricades formed horizontally for crowd control. Those barricades didn’t stand a chance. Concertgoers went through the barricades and instead of creating a line, there was a pit of hundreds of bodies trying to get merch. I was in a crowd of a few hundred people, body-to-body, for about 3 hours, trying to weave my way to the front so I could get chosen to purchase merchandise. It was quite the chaotic and uncomfortable situation, but I didn’t feel like I couldn’t breath at any point. I just really wanted merchandise. HPD officers began to threaten to tase people, as the crowd became more aggressive. There was nothing any certain individual could do, we were so tightly packed in. Around 1 p.m., authorities pushed us all back to the start of the line and made a formed line for people to wait in. I got shuffled to the back and was not about to wait for hours. I gave up on merch, for the time being. Master P was finishing up his set as we got to the “Thrills Stage,” the stage everyone was performing on prior to Scott’s performance at “Utopia Mountain.” The crowd wasn’t too big at this point and my friend and I got towards the front for Yves Tumor’s set at 2:30 p.m. I stayed towards the front until the end of Toro y Moi’s set at about 4:00 p.m. Mosh pits were popping up left and right. The crowd was swaying constantly, partially because people were just enjoying the music but also because of the amount of drugs and alcohol being consumed. At this point the crowd had grown exponentially because Don Toliver was up next. My shoes had become untied and I was too tired to stay up at the front. I really wanted to see Toliver but to enjoy the music, I needed to move back. When I was at the front, I was more focused on keeping my balance rather than enjoying the music. After snaking through the crowd for roughly 20 minutes, I was able to get far enough back to tie my shoes and enjoy Toliver’s set. He had the best set so far, although Toro y Moi and Yves Tumor’s sets were very good too. Blanch and I went to get food and water after Toliver’s

waiting two and a half hours, but we eventually got merch. Looking back, skipping a couple sets to get merch was well worth it.

Photo courtesy of Sean Bessette.

set. There were only two water stations for over 50,000 concertgoers. The lines were way too long. We had brought plastic water bottles to refill, but waiting an hour was not worth it. We just bought new, cold water bottles for $5 at the food booths anytime we wanted water. The food we got was worth the expensive price. I had one of the best quesadillas I’ve ever had.

We made it back to the “Thrills Stage’’ just in time for Roddy Ricch’s set at 5:30 p.m. We were tired, so we stayed in the middle of the crowd, rather than pushing up to the front. Ricch’s set was amazing, even though we were quite far away. Instead of staying to see Lil Baby and SZA, we went back to merch lines and this time they were moving. We ended up

Travis Scott’s Set We had to quickly get over to “Utopia Mountain” for Scott’s set that was supposed to begin at 8:45 p.m. We got there and got positioned towards the middle of the crowd. We intentionally stayed away from the front because we wanted to enjoy the set and not worry about getting pushed or fallen over. Given the intensity of the event, I knew the front of the crowd was going to be a mess, but I never thought it could get as bad as it did. There was a countdown on stage leading up to Travis’ performance. When the countdown ended, he came out to his new single, “Escape Plan.” This is when the crowd surge happened, according to multiple reports. I didn’t witness it, but that’s because I was focused on Scott’s performance. I should make this very clear, I had the time of my life. Scott’s set was one of the best things I’ve ever witnessed. Everyone around me seemed to be having a good time.

Read the full article online

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Page 10

November 11, 2021

CWU football will use January try-outs to fill roster spots By Evan Couch Contributor With lower numbers than usual, the football program is looking to find players through their January try-outs. The try-out process is often confused with the term “walk-on.” What you may think of as a walk-on player, someone who came out to practices unrecruited and made the team, is actually termed a “try-out” player. “A lot of people feel they can come out and just start going to practice in the fall,” said Director of Athletics Dennis Francois. “It just doesn’t work that way.” Francois explained the difference between walk-on players and try-out players. Walk-on players receive a roster spot during the fall season but typically do not receive financial aid. Tryout players are any students who want to play football and attend January try-outs. “Some kids get invited to walk-on, where they are not getting any athletic aid but have a spot on the 105- or 110-man roster,” Francois said. “That’s what you would consider to be a walk-on.” During the fall season, CWU will hold anywhere from 105 to 110 players on their roster, as set by the NCAA and Title IX rules. According to Francois, depending on the state of the

Photo Courtesy of Nathan Blauman, Nathan Blauman #23 is trying to make the CWU football team during January tryouts.

program, these numbers often change. Due to COVID-19 and players’ personal choices, assistant head coach and tight ends coach John Picha said this year they have been looking harder to find players. Picha discussed outlets used to get the word out on try-outs this winter. “We posted it on Facebook and Twitter and tried to hit a few of those outlets,” Picha said. “Just to let people know that we’re having a trial.” “This year is obviously its own situation,” Picha said. “That’s why we were looking pretty hard to find guys to come out and fill spots.” Picha also explained how many players they typically pick up from the try-out process. “We have about 30 guys that come in at that time to

work out,” Picha said. “We probably pick five to ten of them, we do an academic check on them and that will knock a few of them off, so we usually pick up two or three guys during that period.” After taking these players through spring ball, only one or two will actually make the roster for the fall season, according to Picha. “This year I think we brought in like six or eight guys,” Picha said. “Not all made it.” [Walk-on and try-out players] “come in with a fire in their belly to prove themselves,” Picha said. Nathan Blauman, a firstyear student here at CWU, is one of the guys trying to prove themselves. Blauman has been working with the team since fall camp started in August doing man-

agerial work. His tasks include equipment, coaching help, setting up practice, running music and any other tasks that the team may need. He hopes to make the team as a running back during the January try-outs. Blauman played high school football for the Wenatchee Panthers, where he had some outstanding seasons and impressive accolades as varsity running back. He had a couple of offers from smaller schools as well as attending a visit here at CWU. He reached out to coaches at Washington State University (WSU) and was offered a preferred walk-on to WSU’s football program. After graduation in 2020, Blauman planned to play ball with WSU. However, COVID-19 had a severe impact on his decision to do so. “They didn’t let the walkons go because of COVID,”

Blauman said. “I did online school for a bit, and then I ended up withdrawing last November because it wasn’t really worth the time or the money to stay at home during school.” This decision is what led Blauman to withdraw from WSU and pursue a try-out spot as a running back at CWU. “This is kind of my last chance,” Blauman said. “I want to make it count.” Thanks to Blauman’s opportunity to work with the team since August, he has been able to form relationships and build connections. “It’s helped a lot with building relationships with a lot of the players,” Blauman said. “If I would have just come in as a walk-on, it would have been a lot harder to build some of those connections and relationships.” With try-outs in January, Blauman has been preparing by working out to cut weight, as well as observing and studying during practices. “I try to keep my distance,” said Blauman. “I just watch and kind of see what they do,” Blauman is experiencing first-hand how difficult this process is. If he could offer advice to others in his position, he said he’d tell them: “Just believe in yourself, work really hard and prepare mentally physically and emotionally so when you have that try-out, you’re prepared for it.”

Athletic training makes an impact on student athletes By Andrew Prouse Staff Reporter Athletic training is a big part of a student athlete’s routine. Athletic trainers help student athletes avoid injuries, and help them balance the demands of being both a student and athlete. Assistant athletic trainer Jake Decker said having frequent meetings with athletic trainers allow them to do their job. “Personally I like to see everybody everyday,’’ Decker said. “Which makes my life kind of crazy sometimes, but I’d rather see them and see what is going on versus just seeing them once or twice a week and sending them home with stuff. I like to know that they are doing stuff and know that they are getting better.” Decker said trust is an important thing for athletic trainers to build with their clients.

“It is important that they feel comfortable when they come into the athletic training room. And that we build that rapor,” Decker said. “Not just patient to clinician but as person to person. We are medical providers and we are medical help. We just want them to come in and feel comfortable.” Making sure an athlete feels comfortable and safe in the athletic training facility is key, Decker said. Former CWU track athlete, and current junior exercise science major Dani Taylor explained how athletic training impacted her. “I don’t do track anymore due to busy schedule and work, but I still utilize the elements of athletic training since I lift 4-5 days a week and hope to compete in Olympic lifting competitions in the future,” Taylor said. Taylor said working with the athletic trainers gave her

solutions to problems, from new exercises to try to treatment options. “Athletic training to me is really important just because it helps so many athletes prepare and recover from their sport,” Taylor said. “Being a college athlete is really exhausting, so it’s an hour or less out of your day that you can decompress and recover from a hard week or to prepare for competition.” Taylor also explained how an athlete can use athletic training on their own without a trainer. “You can do forms of athletic training on your own. There’s so many types of recovery or rehab you can do at home,” Taylor said. “For example, I have my own cupping set and scraper so that I can recover on my own without having to go into the trainers.” While athletic training is a consistent part of prima-

ry sports programs, athletic training in club sports looks a bit different. Junior construction management major Drew Harris plays for CWU men’s soccer club. He explained how he approaches athletic training as an athlete. “To stay in shape is the main goal,” Harris said. “One of the most important things is to get a good warm up. That is one of the best ways to avoid injuries.” Harris said the men’s soccer club has to stay healthy without a personal athletic trainer. “Men’s club soccer team does not have a specific trainer assigned to it,” Harris said. “But it would be a good idea to check up with one regardless. They help make sure you are doing all the right workouts and warm ups.” According to Matthew Boyer, director of recreational services, club teams don’t get personal trainers like other regular

sports programs may get due to the amount of athletic trainers near CWU. “Sports clubs traditionally, in a national perspective, do not have athletic trainers assigned to them,” Boyer said. “We attempt to have athletic trainers present at home competitions, yet due to the increasing difficulty in finding athletic trainers in this area we are often instead using EMT’s for support.” Boyer said due to lack of staff members, other alternatives are being looked at to help club sports athletes in the same way as student athletes. “We looked into entering agreements with local Athletic training services, yet they are short staffed as well,” Boyer said. “The athletic trainers working in CWU athletics don’t have the capacity to bring in more teams under their care, so we are constantly exploring other options to keep our club athletes healthy.”

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November 11, 2021


CWU sports heat up as winter nears By Jamie Bass Staff Reporter There’s a lot coming up for sports at CWU with many upcoming games for women’s soccer and volleyball, as well as both men and women’s basketball. Women’s soccer will be traveling to Bellingham, Washington for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament. This is after their victory over Montana State University with a score of 3-2. Two goals were scored by CWU’s senior midfielder Sophia Keenan and the winning goal was scored by sophomore midfielder Emily Darcy. Upcoming for women’s volleyball on Nov. 11 is a game against Saint Martin’s University. History between the two teams favors CWU with a previous game record of 35-2. In their most recent game on Oct. 16, CWU took victory with a score of 3-0. The preseason started strong for CWU women’s basketball with a 78-72 victory over Seattle University with four consecutive free throws by junior center Samantha Bowman. In their second game of the preseason

Photos Courtesy of (left to right) @thompsonsportsphotos, @cwu_volleyball, @cwu_soccer.

CWU was defeated by Gonzaga with a score of 78-42. The regular season starts with upcoming games for the CCAA-GNAC crossover against California State Uni-

versity (CSU) Stainislaus on Nov. 12 and CSU East Bay on Nov. 13. Similar to women’s basketball, CWU men’s basketball also had a strong start to

the preseason with a 90-72 victory over Lincoln University. Their first game of the season for men’s basketball is against CSU Monterey Bay on Nov. 12. History be-

tween the two teams is in favor of CWU with no recorded losses and four wins with their most recent matchup in November 2019 with a score of 93-73.

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November 11, 2021

Wildcat Words: What does Veterans Day mean to you?

Jo hn L ange


era n z a Pra d



fga n g Wool

T h a il

y G a rib a


B e n G la n d ar

Jr. Mechanical Engineering

Fr. Biology

Sr. History/Social Studies Teaching

Fr. Environmental Science

Fr. Music

“It makes me think of my family members that have served.”

“A day where we can celebrate those who have served in the military.”

“ Veterans Day is a time to think about our history as Americans, both the good and the bad. Our military history, in regards to conflicts where our involvement was just, as well as the times where it was not. It is a time to remember those who have fought, as well as those who had no choice in the conflict and were following orders. ”

“I think of Veterans Day as an opportunity to celebrate the people who have given their time and their lives to ensure our safety.”

“Veterans Day is a holiday I’ve never really thought of. I honestly see it as more of a day for vacation.”

Q& A

with Christina Torres García

Meet Christina Torres García, CWU’s new director of the Latin American Studies Program and assistant professor in the Department of Communication (who will soon be moving to the Department of World Languages and Cultures in January). Torres García earned her doctorate in Cultural Studies and Social Thoughts in Education as well as her MBA at Washington State University. Torres García utilizes her expertise by serving as a powerful advocate for the Latino community. Q: What got you interested in the field of Cultural Studies and Social Thoughts in Education? A: As an immigrant from a farm working background, who spent her childhood selling goods in the streets of Mexico, I wanted to open my own business. I completed my Business Administration in Management Information System and Finance. Then, my Master in Business Administration. Later, I noticed that my passion was changing into teaching, so I applied to Cultural Studies and Social Thoughts in Education. What interested me in this field was the focus on issues of culture and power in the contemporary and historical contexts of education. My research focus lies at the intersections of social justice, Chicana feminist epistemologies, and critical race studies, which assisted me in my long advocacy and dedication to the values of equity and inclusion, and student success. Q: You’ve mentioned how CWU has the resources to become the first four-year-University as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). What exactly is an HSI, and what could we do to accomplish this goal? A: In the most technical sense, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) are public and private, two- and four-year, not-for-profit, degree-granting postsecondary institutions that enroll at least 25% full-time equivalent enrollment (FTE) Latinx undergraduate students. Technically, the enrollment threshold is used to determine eligibility for federal designation as an HSI and eligible to receive additional grant funding. Yet, becoming an HSI is more than meeting a quota. In my opinion, becoming an HSI is centralizing efforts and resources to become the best serving institutions for Latinx and other racially minoritized, low-income, and first-generation students. Of course, we might enter into a discussion about what it means to serve these students, which is precisely what the Equity Scorecard Steering Committee is already doing. CWU recognized that becoming a serving institution of diverse populations requires educational advancement and outcomes for students while also embracing their racial and cultural ways of knowing. Therefore, I see a great opportunity and strong potential for CWU to become the first four-year Hispanic Serving Institution in Washington State. For instance, our advantages include our geographic location, the robust platform of federally funded student services programs already established, the active student body, the faculty and staff’s passion and commitment to serve, and of course, El Centro, which not only provide a minor in Latino, Latin American Studies but also several other certificates and services for all students not only Latinxs students. We can accomplish this goal by increasing our desire to learn and grow toward an equitable, inclusive and anti-racist community, building unity and investing in our future generations, which projects more diverse than ever. Q: You’ve mentioned how a transformation and progression of culture begins at a personal level. If one wanted to enact change, how should one begin? A: What I meant in my previous interview is that in order “to overcome the nation’s structural inequities, it is necessary to lead a transformative change within our own culture. We also must remember that transformation begins at a personal level. We need to pay attention to our own lives, work, and relationships as a first-place to practice justice and alignment with each other.” In other words, embarking on a path to overcome our structural inequities would require a profound transformation of how we think and act. For instance, we make hundreds of decisions a day; how many are focused on environmental sustainability, anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-xenophobia, or even countering overt injustices, to name a few. To simplify my point, how many decisions do we make during our day focusing on building relations instead of destroying them, supporting inclusion and equity initiatives instead of maintaining status quo, open to transformative change instead of resisting it. As individuals, we should reflect on how our power and privilege could be utilized to advocate for equitable decisions. I firmly believe that we have an obligation to each other to go the extra mile and make sure we eliminate structural inequalities for our students. Q: What are your favorite hobbies? A: My favorite hobby is spending time with my family and my two dogs, Oso and Paloma (a German Shepherd and a Yellow Lab). I also love to harvest honey from our beehive and garden. But the most rewarding moments are spending time in conversations with my students who are climbing their ladders of academic success.

weekly events 11 THURS

12 FRI

13 SAT

14 15 SUN


16 17

Veterans Day 11-12 p.m. Veterans Day Parade @ the corner of Pearl and 1st street.

10-11 p.m. Improv Night The Hot New Jam @ SURC Theater 210

1-4 p.m. Varsity Football vs. Simon Fraser University @ Tomlinson Stadium 6-8 p.m. Maria Roditeleva-Wibe A Celebration @ McIntyre Hall 174 National Pickle Day

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. ASCWU Public Meeting @ SURC Pit (100C) 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Monday Movie Madness @ SURC Theater 210 8-9 p.m. Flute Choir Concert @ McIntyre Hall 175



7-8 p.m. Composition Studio Recital @ McIntyre Hall 174

Q: What are your favorite foods? A: Aguachile! As its name implies, Aguachile translates to “Chili water,” a much spicier version of Ceviche. Aguachile is reportedly originating in the Sinaloa region. Aguachile is made with shrimp, cucumber, onion, and lime juice, and the chilies are usually blended with water to create the marinade. This food is delicious, especially in hot summer. Photo taken by Martín Meráz García, Wildcat Words and Q&A reported by Stephanie Davison.


CWU Observer


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