CWU Observer- Fall 2020, Issue 9

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Vol. 117 NO. 9

November 10-November 17, 2020

‘Dialogues:’ BIPOC creators in theatre Star Diavolikis Staff Reporter “Dialogues: Voices From Performance” is an ongoing series addressing racism within the performing arts. According to Natashia Lindsey, head of the theatre department, there is an ongoing nationwide callout against theatre for being racist. A large misconception of theatre is that it revolves around dead white men such as Shakespeare. Theatre extends beyond Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies. “The theatre is not just for white, able-bodied, cisgendered men,” Lindsey said. “The theatre’s to be for everyone, but [the stereotype] is a consistent narrative that we really have to combat. … Not everything is Shakespeare.” Lindsey said Shakespeare and Greek theatre are the common defaults people think of on the topic of theatre. She wants people to rethink what theatre is and what the field can be, and

Flyer Depicting Ellensburg residents, elected officials, found online and around town Mitchell Roland Editor-in-Chief A flyer featuring caricatures and nicknames mocking several Ellensburg activists and elected officials, as well as a letter, was found throughout the Ellensburg area and on social media over the past several weeks. Among those on the flyer, which labels the group as “K-Valley Most Wanted” are Ellensburg Mayor Bruce Tabb and every Ellensburg City Council member. A CWU alumnus as well as a current student are also on the flyer which refers to them as “useful idiots aka minions.” The anonymous letter, dated Oct. 18 and signed by an individual or group calling themselves SHIELD, is riddled with grammatical errors and is directed at the Ellensburg City Council in response to the council’s Equity, Diversity and Arts subcommittee. Specifically, the letter objects to agenda item 11.D from the Oct. 5 Ellensburg City Council meeting, which was a report from the Equity, Diversity and Arts subcommittee on a “call for art” in the community. According to the proposal, the project is a “two-dimensional painting on exterior windows on a city-owned structure” and recommends the City of Ellensburg Visitor Center building. The subcommittee is also considering creating an “Equity and Diversity” themed arts program, which would “recognize

the value and contributions of historically marginalized people of color as a reflection of our community values.” The proposal states the subcommittee will look for “additional direction from the City Council, Arts Commission, and public” before the project is formally recommended. The SHIELD letter says the program would do “much of what the divisive Black Lives Matter Street Mural would have done, if approved by the council.” The letter claims this is also the “Ellensburg Councils’ (sic) way of ‘taking on’ the citizens who objected to and testified against the Black Lives Matters street mural.” The letter calls Black Lives Matter (BLM) a “Self-identified Marxist Organization,” and claims BLM wants to “get control of the schools” and “use student riots to format public protest” while also infiltrating the press. While the crude drawings depict elected officials and community activists, several of the people whose drawings were on the flyer said their first reaction was dismissive. Ellensburg Mayor Bruce Tabb’s first response to the flyer and letter was to chuckle when he saw it on Facebook. While Tabb said people have the right to express themselves, they do not have the right to threaten people, though the flyer “in and of itself was not threatening.”

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Union representatives speak out on layoffs Jessica Perez Staff Reporter Last week at a Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting, Skip Jenson, a CWU employee and president of the local Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union, spoke out against the 56 layoffs President James Gaudino announced on Sept. 30. Jenson felt it was his responsibility to speak out in hopes the trustees would understand the impact the layoffs will have on employees. “It is part of my job to communicate members’ concerns with management,” Jenson said. During the public comment portion of the BOT meeting, Jenson spoke at length about how CWU is laying off essential employees needed during the pandemic. “The question is why you have targeted the facilities department when these are your frontline workers?” Jenson asked the board.

Continued on Page 4 In This Issue 1-4 5-7 8-10 11-12 13-15 16

News Scene News Opinion Sports Engagement

Page 7 Seasonal depression

Page 8-9

Racism and discrimination in Ellensburg

Continued on Page 3 Page 15 New signee for football


November 10, 2020


Designed by Tiffany Tablang

Presidential search enters next phase Mitchell Roland Editor-in-Chief

As the search for a new university president continues, the process has reached a new milestone with five candidates being named finalists for the position. While the names of the candidates have yet to be released, an Oct. 30 press release gave information on the background of the finalists. The next president will replace outgoing President James L. Gaudino, who announced earlier this year that he would be retiring from his position next July. According to the press release, the deadline for applicants to apply was Sept. 30, and the Trustees Search Advisory Committee (TSAC) reviewed applications in October before interviewing 10 applicants. After the interviews, the committee officially recommended five applicants to the CWU Board of Trustees, who accepted the applications unanimously. Among the finalists for the position are three women and two people of

Photo by Casey Rothgeb/The Observer While the finalists were not named, CWU announced plans to interview five people to be the next university president. color. While all of the candidates have earned tenure at a university, three currently work as provosts, one is currently a president and one is a CEO. In the press release TSAC chair, CWU Trustee Erin Black said the ap-

Presidential search timeline Sept. 30

10 interviews conducted


80 candidates apply by deadline


5 finalists interviewed

Potential naming of new president


plication process produced a diverse application pool of more than 80 people from around the world. “We were delighted to have an extremely diverse and talented pool of candidates,” Black said. “These are remarkable individuals, and each would bring unique strengths and experiences to the role of president.” CWU Trustee Jeff Hensler indicated in the press release that the next phase of interviews would take place in person. “Hiring a president is the most important responsibility of the trustees,” Hensler said. “It’s important to meet

Observer Staff Editor-in-Chief

Mitchell Roland

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Amy Morris

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Amy Morris

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Bailey Tomlinson

Scene Editor

Abigail Duchow

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Rey Green

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Casey Rothgeb

Opinion Editor

Aeryn Kauffman

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Rebekah Blum

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Riel Hanson

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Tiffany Tablang


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

the next leader of our university faceto-face and truly understand what has brought them to this search and how they intend to lead our university. Since the Board of Trustees has approved the list of finalists, the board will now interview the candidates throughout November, with the goal of announcing the next president before the end of the year. While President Gaudino has said he would step down on July 31, 2021, the press release says it is currently unclear when the new president would take over.

Staff Reporters Sean Bessette

Jayce Kadoun

RachelAnn Degnan

Ty McPhee

Star Diavolikis

Ryan Nakamura

Jared Galanti

Jessica Perez

Derek Harper

Gabriel Strasbaugh

Dave Hartless

Copy Desk Staff Addie Adkins

Faculty Adviser

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

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Designed by Bekah Blum

‘Dialogues’ is starting conversations Continued from Page 1 ensure they are acknowledging the histories that have existed for millenia. Lindsey said the inspiration for this series is based on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the protests against police violence occuring around the nation. “There was a call by [Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)] artists for theatre to really look at itself and question the racism that it continues to perpetuate as a field,” Lindsey said. “One of the things I wanted to do was create a series where we could bring in artists, scholars, activists, whatever, in the field of theatre, dance and performance studies to really talk with us and engage with us. Not only the department, but across the university. Everybody is welcome to the events.” The series is continuing throughout the year and is focused on BIPOC creators speaking about racism within the arts. “I didn’t ask these folks to come here to just talk about race. I want them to share how they enter into the field of theatre and dance performance studies. And that in it of itself, is what we’d kinda call in critical race theory, ‘counter storytelling,’” Lindsey said. “So just listening to the work and hearing the work and interacting with the work of these Black scholars and artists, we’re

already challenging that ‘dead white man’ narrative.” So far, two speakers have presented for the series already: Dotun Ayobade, PhD and Charles Anderson, artistic director of Charles O. Anderson/dance theatre X. Ayobade’s presentation titled “Facing the Music: AIDS, Social Death and Gendered Survival after Fela Kuti” was held on Sept. 25 and discussed matters from a Nigerian perspective. Anderson’s presentation titled “(Re)current Unrest and the Fire This Time: Choreographic Strategies in response to BLM” discussed the conflict of the American dream and treatment of BIPOC. “This year, we are really focusing on Black artists and scholars because of everything happening in this moment,” Lindsey said. “So I started reaching out to Black artists and scholars whose work I am familiar with and just asking them if they’d like to participate in this. … Everyone has been really excited about it.” The next event is on Nov. 13 with Lisa Thompson, PhD. Thompson’s presentation will include discussing her work and process of being a playwright and writing about Black women and Black feminism. Thompson will also read from one of her plays, “The Mamalogues,” before ending the session with a Q&A.

Graphic by Bekah Blum

Washington Federation of State Employees union representatives speak out about 56 layoffs Continued from Page 1 Jenson continued by saying these workers perform duties needed to keep the university running. He also said the school wouldn’t save enough money to decrease their deficit by laying off these employees. “Some of the laid-off staff are the lowest paid of all employees at CWU,” Jenson said. “The maintenance, custodians and others in facilities are the ones who make this place work.” According to WFSE, the positions that are being laid off are one furniture repairer, six maintenance mechanics, one warehouse operator, nine custodians, one waste collector, two grounds and nursery services specialists and one equipment technician lead. BOT chair Ron Erickson responded to Jenson’s comments by thanking him for his feedback. Erickson said it is always helpful to hear from people inside the university who are impacted by the board’s decisions and that Jenson’s feedback would push them to ask better questions as difficult decisions continue to be made. WFSE Director of Advocacy Jenny Ho believes more could have been done by CWU before laying people off. The WFSE contract gives CWU the option to cut hours or furlough

Bailey Tomlinson/The Observer

Skip Jenson makes public comment via Zoom at the Board of Trustees Oct. 29 meeting.

employees instead of laying them off. According to Ho, CWU decided against doing so. “[The university] wouldn’t have to pay [furloughed employees] to come in, but it would at the very least keep our members as employees so they could stay covered by their health insurance, and [CWU] declined,” Ho said. According to Ho, the university told her that they believe the

COVID-19 changes to campus, such as fewer students living in the residence halls, are permanent changes. That is why they decided to lay people off. “[CWU] provided some reason, but it’s not compelling,” Ho said. “Additionally, it’s not permanent. I can’t say next year students will be back on campus, but I think it’s fair to say the [COVID-19] impacts are temporary.”

Ho said she was aware of some hours being reduced in the summer and about 60 furlough days for some employees, but that the university had the power to extend that. Under the WFSE contract article 32.5, employees get 90 furlough days, but the university has the option to expand it as necessary in emergency situations. Ho said the University of Washington chose to utilize this option and she wishes CWU would have done the same. “The university had reserves and those are for these unique emergency situations,” Ho said. “You would think the university would explore all the options to keep employees who have been there for decades.” While CWU chose not to furlough employees, they have extended employee benefits for people laid off an additional month. “Healthcare will end at the end of November, so bless them for doing that and offering any kind of help they can,” Jenson said. According to Ho, CWU met all contractual obligations for the layoffs. Under article 32.1 of the WFSE contract, CWU must provide as much notice as possible but not less than 30 days. They also must provide the opportunity to meet with the affected employees before officially laying them off.

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Designed by Bekah Blum

Handout depicting city councilmembers, activists found in Ellensburg Omrani said. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, but they’re putting us … on what’s called a most wanted poster. Like, they The way the flyer was distributed called it that. It’s not me calling it that, could potentially be illegal, Tabb said. or anyone else.” The flyer was found on car windshields Omrani said she has been targeted and in other places throughout town, since moving to Ellensburg, though not to though Tabb did not know the status this extent, and called herself “a lightning of the investigation into the flyer. rod” and said, “these people want a face for “What we’re seeing is a reflection of this faceless antifa and Black Lives Matter, where we are, not just in this communi- they want someone to blame.” ty, but in the country,” Tabb said. “Peo“Because I have been so visible, that ple are shouting from their own corner person is me,” Omrani said. rather than being willing to engage Tre Gardner, who also saw the in that dialogue. And I feel like that’s flyer on Facebook, said his initial repart of what action to the we’re seeing poster was to here.” laugh. S a r a What we’re seeing is a re“I thought Omrani, it was absoflection of where we are, not lutely hilariwho is also depicted on just in this community, but in ous,” Gardner the flyer the country. People are shout- said.With plaid and is a current CWU ing from their own corner and sunglassstudent, rather than being willing to es on, Gardcalled the ner said he is flyer “irre- engage in that dialogue. And portrayed as a s p o n s i b l e ” I feel like that’s part of what “thug” on the and said she poster, who first heard we’re seeing here. was “coming about it straight out of - Ellensburg Mayor Bruce Tabb through a NWA.” group chat. “Nobody’s Omrani said really seen me in she has two shades,” Gardner responses to the flyer, one humorous said. “I’m not a shades type of guy.” and one more serious. Gardner said the people who know “The use of comic sans is so offen- him know that “I’m not a thug like sive to me,” Omrani said. “And I don’t that, I’m a very well articulated, eduunderstand why they drew me like cated and well-mannered individual.” Skeletor because I have never been Gardner thinks he was included on that thin in my entire life. Like, they the poster because at the beginning of made me look emaciated.” the BLM protests in Ellensburg he was On a serious note, Omrani said as the “the face of the movement” and bedaughter of political refugees, she under- cause they object to the “BIPOC Board stands there are “risks in activism.” Om- of Diversity that focuses on like diverrani also thinks this is SHIELD’s effort to sity, equity, inclusivity of people of cause a problem in the community. color in the community.” “People were like ‘oh, but there’s Gardner said some community no actual threats of violence in there,’” members have not been responsive to

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Photo courtesy of Tre Gardner

Ellensburg City council

this because they believe the city council is going forward with the proposal as a “punishment for not going through with the mural.” That’s not the case, Gardner said. “They’re really upset because there won’t be any European Americans on that board,” Gardner said. “Primarily for the fact that the city council is completely European American.” Gardner said this board was created to allow Black, Indigenous and People of Col-

or (BIPOC) members of the community to speak with the city council directly. “A lot of people don’t realize that when you’re a minority, you want to see somebody and talk to somebody that looks familiar,” Gardner said. “In a way, you feel that they can understand and be more empathetic to your situation because they’ve kind of been through the situation before.”

Photo courtesy of Sara Omrani

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Designed by Tiffany Tablang

The origami elephant

One student’s mission to bring joy, luck through an ancient art Aeryn Kauffman Copy Desk Chief/Opinion Editor If you’ve walked through the SURC on a weekday, you may have seen a student with glasses and a long, origami nose. He may have handed you a piece of origami in the shape of a heart, or a paper flower with the words ‘Yas queen’ handwritten on the petals. This is how many students first meet Benjamin ‘Ben’ Lee, a sophomore physical education major with a paper art making hobby. On Halloween, he wore white paper glasses taped to his black-framed prescription specs, a black face mask, black bowtie, black vest and his signature origami nose. Lee was dressed as Tuxedo Mask from the anime series “Sailor Moon.” Lee was missing Tuxedo Mask’s distinctive black top hat, however. “I think it was somewhere in the final battle, [Tuxedo Mask] was without a top hat,” Lee said. In addition to anime, Lee takes inspiration for his paper art from some of his favorite video games, such as Kingdom Hearts, The Legend of Zelda franchise and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. His paper nose is in the shape of an origami swan, but he began wearing it on

Graphic by Tiffany Tablang his face like a nose to make others happy. “A lot of people ask me that. ‘Is this an elephant nose?’ And I was like, ‘Yes,’” Lee said. In his senior year of high school after wanting to find a new hobby, Lee began folding origami. He watched do-it-yourself videos on YouTube and was intrigued by the

origami videos. Lee started out using just origami paper to make his paper art, but then he began using other materials such as copy paper, construction paper, plastic utensils, water bottles and wooden chopsticks. To begin his paper art making process, Lee starts with drawing a silhouette. He cuts out the silhouette and re-

peats as necessary, adding other materials, folding the paper or attaching materials with tape. He often draws on his creations. Some of the paper art pieces Lee is most proud of are his origami nose, Link’s shield from The Legend of Zelda franchise and a cosplay-sized Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts. Lee made the Keyblade using copy paper, wooden chopsticks, plastic knives and black electrical tape. Paper crafting, for Lee, means to “create ideas.” He thinks of an idea and finds an image online to help him picture how it should look. Then, he crafts. “It helps me to relax,” Lee said. In Kingdom Hearts, the character receives charms, like those on a charm bracelet. These charms attach to the character’s weapon, the Keyblade. Lee adopted this idea and now makes paper art to represent good luck charms. He started handing out origami and cutout drawings to his friends, but he soon began handing them out to passersby on campus as a “reminder not to be alone.” Since paper crafting is a stress reliever for Lee, he hopes his artwork is a stress reliever for others. “You’re not alone,” Lee said. “There’s always hope.”

Photo by Aeryn Kauffman/The Observer Benjamin ‘Ben’ Lee was encouraged by his mother to make origami in high school. It’s a habit he has continued for the past year, handing creations out in the SURC.

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Designed by Riel Hanson

Theatre’s tell-tale performance Shadow puppetry, devising, rapping, movement pieces and more at “The Tell-Tale Gaze” exhibit

Abigail Duchow/The Observer

“The Five O’Clock Hour: Masquerade” was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Masque of the Red Death.” The story is about partygoers catching a plague, or the “Red Death.” Aeryn Kauffman Copy Desk Chief/Opinion Editor Theatre students performed live editions of popular works of Edgar Allan Poe, such as “The Raven,” “The Premature Burial,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Masque of the Red Death” on the evenings of Oct. 29-31 and Nov. 5-7. Described by the event advertisement as an exploration of “the mystery and the macabre of Poe’s mind,” audience members were invited to watch Poe’s texts “come to life” through the windows of McConnell Hall. After getting tickets scanned at a table outside the west entrance of Samuelson Hall, attendees received a link to an online program to guide them through their experience. Audience members were then divided into small groups and assigned a Roman numeral from one through 12. At various map points, the groups could find their Roman numeral attached to a wall or window of McConnell Hall. The sound of a clocktower tolling signified to each group to move to the next map point to see the next performance. With each bong of the clocktower, audience members were pulled along by invisible puppet strings, much like one performance, “Cask Shadow.”

Inspired by Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” this performance at the main entrance of McConnell Hall featured one performer controlling another with imaginary marionettes, set to narration of excerpts from the story. Another rendition, “Into the Pit,” inspired by Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum,” was an audio-only experience in an alleyway wedged between McConnell and Barge Hall. The audience’s imagination was a key element in this performance, with only a slightly ajar door to stare at while narrated snippets from “The Pit and the Pendulum” played over a speaker. The audio echoed off the walls in the narrow alleyway, allowing the audience to feel the audio, adding extra submersion to the experience. At “The Two O’clock Hour: Alone,” a pre-recorded performance inspired by Poe’s poem “Alone” played on a screen. Senior theatre performance major Luis Hernandez-Mejia, the star of “Alone” and an actor in “The Masque of the Red Death,” did not feel limited by wearing a mask during his performances. “I think wearing a mask allows you to embody and embrace a character that you’re supposed to portray,” Hernandez-Mejia said. “Going into the mask, I need to imagine, ‘Okay, I’m wearing this mask. Who is

Jackson Stoffel starred in “The Three O’clock Hour: Premature Burial.”

my character? Who am I portraying, and how can I embody and show the characteristics of this character?’” The performance was unique for Hernandez-Mejia. He describes the exhibit as a “dark ride experience” similar to “The Haunted Mansion” at Disneyland. “When it comes to acting or in theatre in general, I don’t think it should always be limited to the theatre because if you expand beyond that, if you make the whole building your set, there’s just so much creativity and so much potential there, that I think it could be sometimes overlooked,” Hernandez-Mejia said. Along with using the whole building as their set, the performers used mixed media to create a performance, “In the Shadows,” that included no actors. Inspired by Poe’s “The Black Cat,” “In the Shadows” was a shadow puppet performance projected onto the windows of the east side of McConnell Hall, using soundscape such as ambient music and cat meowing to complement the puppetry. “The Tell-Tale Gaze” exhibit was a collaborative process between many members of the theatre department, according to Kathryn Stahl, the director for the exhibit and a lecturer in the theatre department for theatre performance and education. Stahl said the idea to use works by Edgar Allan Poe to create movement pieces

was decided on well before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “Originally it was going to be something totally different,” Stahl said. “And then [COVID-19] hit, and it became, ‘How can we still do live theatre in this time?’” Through conversations with staff and students, Stahl decided to situate some of the performances in the era in which Poe lived, the early 19th century. However, some were modernized with the use of Zoom. Devised theatre, which is theatre that begins without a script, allowed the department more creative freedom, which resulted in something the theatre department has never done before, Stahl said. “This opportunity said, ‘How can you turn any space into a performance space?’ and ‘How can you bring life within the frame?’” Stahl said. COVID-19 allowed students and directors to create a more “intimate” experience, according to Stahl, and it was easy to integrate technologies such as Zoom and Microsoft Sway, the software used to create the program for the exhibit. In addition, many themes found in Poe’s work can be found during this “time of [COVID-19],” Stahl said. “All of the themes of romance, of death, of distance, of the fear of premature death, are all things that are so relevant to the now,” Stahl said.

Luis Hernandez-Mejia starred in “The Two O’clock Hour: Alone” and “The Masque of the Red Death.”

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Designed by Tiffany Tablang

SAD hits during the holidays

Students face high stress situations through a low season Ryan Nakamura Staff Reporter

stress people are already feeling, she had some tips and tricks she personally makes use of during the holiday season. “First thing that you have to do is The holiday season is swiftly ap- make time for yourself,” MacDonald proaching and that means seasonal de- said. “I like to take a bubble bath with pression is coming around once again some scented candles. Otherwise it’s to take its yearly toll. just way too easy to tense up and bottle This time, however, it has assistance all that negativity up and let it overin the form of pandemic depression. come you.” For those who are unfamiliar, seaShe said for those in her situation sonal depression or seasonal affec- not dealing very well with the state tive disorder (SAD) as it’s officially of things in the world, it could be a known, generally starts in late fall or good idea to opt out of the more decaearly winter. dent and unhealthy According foods usually eaten to the Nationfor Thanksgiving al Institute of and Christmas. Mental Health, “It might not be symptoms what people’s famgenerally last ilies want, because for four to five everybody wants months out of the turkey and the year. gravy and all but Combined right now it would with the probably be better findings of to just grill some JAMA Netchicken breasts and work Open, a make a salad,” Macmonthly jourDonald said. - Stacy MacDonald, nal published W i l l i a m freshman by the AmerO’Brien, a reican Medical search psycholoAssociation, gist and father of that during a CWU student, the pandemic the depression rate went into his chosen profession behas tripled in U.S. adults, this could cause of a personal relationship with mean an even higher surge as the mental health issues. season progresses. He was happy to share some Stacy MacDonald, an undeclared insight he felt would be good to freshman, has struggled with pandemic know, especially for students who depression since the start of the year. may already be feeling symptoms Despite some worries as to how of depression in the time preceding SAD will contribute to the amount of SAD’s peak.

First thing that you have to do is make time for yourself.

SAD Fast Facts: • Symptoms generally last for four to five months • Since beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, depression rate has tripled in U.S. adults • Drinking may worsen symptoms • SAMSA’s national helpline: 1-800-662-4357

Graphic by Tiffany Tablang “The biggest piece of advice I can offer to anyone is make use of your support networks ... I can’t speak for all parents but I’m a dad first and that means I’m here for my kids,” O’Brien said. He also said while drinking is fine for students age 21 and over, it should not be done to excess as it won’t solve the issues leading up to it, and in some cases it could make the depression worse. Mandy Wallace, a prospective CWU junior transfer, has experience

with depression in her family and as a result has developed a number of coping mechanisms. One bit she wanted to make clear for those who are in a more stable place mentally mirrors O’Brien’s. “If you know somebody is going through [depression], be there for them,” Wallace said. “We’re all in this together and tomorrow you might be the one feeling like death. You’re somebody’s support so try to be the best one you can.”

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City council subcommittee and saac talk racism and discrimination in ellensburg Written by Abigail Duchow Designed by Bekah Blum


WU students on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) described their experiences with racism and discrimination in Ellensburg to a subcommittee of the city council in a Zoom listening session that took place in October. The subcommittee of city council, including Mayor Bruce Tabb and members Nancy Goodloe and Nancy Lilquist, has done 17 listening sessions, listening to the stories of over 100 people, in a “listening tour” to better understand the diversity of Ellensburg. A report written by the subcommittee to recommend ways to create a safer and welcoming community in Ellensburg will be released in the council packet on Dec. 3 and discussed in the Dec. 7 city council meeting. Mayor Bruce Tabb said the subcommittee has listened to stories from people of color, LGBTQ community members, people with disabilities and more in an effort to do better for these communities in Ellensburg, as well as create equity, support and celebration. Tabb said the conversation between the subcommittee and SAAC was “frightening and humbling.” He said the subcommittee and city council are figuring out how to address these problems in Ellensburg and create space for leaders to step in and make a change. “Ultimately, this has got to be a safe community for everyone,” Tabb said. Tabb said there have been groups spreading misinformation and rumors about initiatives done by city council, such as a false rumor that city council has forced businesses to hire people of color or pay a fee as a consequence. He recommended running for city council as a way to advocate for change in Ellensburg. The SAAC is a way for student athletes to have a voice in the NCAA. According to the NCAA website, “each committee is made up of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience and offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on campus.” The SAAC members were asked if they feel welcome in Ellensburg, about any situations or conditions that impact their safety in Ellensburg, how the city can accommodate the growing and diverse population and how the city can provide resources, among others.

The questions were asked with the intention of opening up a conversation about inclusivity and equity in Ellensburg. Lapic, who identifies as Japanese American, said he had experienced side-glances and comments in public that made him uncomfortable, and he had to start disregarding them in response. In addition to feeling unwelcome in Ellensburg in general, he said another reason he felt unwelcome was because he is a part of the LGBTQ community. Lapic said there is a disconnect with student athletes and Ellensburg locals because there are no places for locals and students to meet and connect. He said the closest thing there currently is to this is Fred Meyer. “People see the university and city separately,” Lapic said. During the listening session, Lapic shared a video that protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement captured of a man shouting racial slurs at the protesters, intimidating them and calling them “Muslim women” for wearing masks. “It hurts me to know people are engaging in this sort of hateful manner,” Lapic said. “This was caught on video, but there’s so much that’s not. ... That’s why a lot of people feel unwelcome.” Lapic said the police budget in Ellensburg has been rising while other programs are being cut, which he said shows there is something wrong. “Choosing what we fund is power,” Lapic said.



1.8% 2.6% 0.9% 1.6%


“We don’t hate anybody, we just want to be included.” - AJ Cooper, assistant football coach

In the city’s 2019-20 biennial budget, the Ellensburg Police Department’s budget is $11,727,730, which is an increase of $248,483 since the 2017-18 biennial budget. CWU’s University Police and Public Safety budget has also been steadily increasing with each fiscal year. While the amount the city has spent on the police department increased, the budget for 2019-20 is 7.17% of the city’s total budget. This is less than it was in 2017-18, when the police budget was 8.16% of the total budget.

He said he’d noticed people who aren’t from Ellensburg and people of color being made to feel uncomfortable by other Ellensburg citizens. Cooper also said he had problems with people who support President Trump who had been protesting in town. He said athletic recruitment might be negatively impacted if potential recruits see things like the video Lapic showed of the man intimidating BLM protesters. “You don’t have to go very far to get this experience. … You have to figure out who your allies are in Ellensburg,” Cooper said. Cooper said people should be okay with living in the same place and disagreeing about different topics and issues. “We don’t hate anybody, we just want to be included,” Cooper said. Xavier Smith, a guard on the CWU men’s basketball team, said he only feels comfortable with the basketball team and feels uncomfortable off campus. Smith, who Data retrieved from U.S. census Bureau identifies as an African American man, said er population not understanding the he had been pulled over three or four times in younger population, there is a lack of Ellensburg. He said if something were to hapability to experience and appreciate pen, he wasn’t sure calling the police would be in his best interest. other cultures in Ellensburg. “The lack of having a safety net for people He said being able to experience other cultures in Ellensburg would en- in Ellensburg is something that makes me feel compass experiencing different music, unsafe,” Smith said. Smith said some ways the city could accomlifestyles and foods, such as soul food. According to Cooper, these are some of modate the growing population and diversity is the reasons CWU alumni leave Ellensburg by doing research about and including all cultures as part of the city. after graduating and don’t come back. He said part of the university and In regard to safety off campus, Cooper said he had experienced situations city’s jobs is to provide places where that made him feel uncomfortable in gro- people from all cultures are comfortcery stores and other places around town. able in town. He said there isn’t even a “After this Zoom meeting ends, we really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Lapic said. Assistant Football Coach AJ Cooper said he feels most comfortable on campus, but not so comfortable off campus. Cooper, who identifies as a Black man, said one of the reasons he feels less comfortable off campus is the lack of Black police officers and minority owned businesses. Cooper said along with the old-

g racial/ethnic demographic pie chart 2019 Census info:


White Alone

Hispanic or Latino

Two or More Races


American Indian and Alaska Native


Lapic said he had observed that people either don’t want to listen about the problems in Ellensburg or they don’t think it’s their problem. Lapic said his family doesn’t like to come visit him in Ellensburg after the experiences he has had here. He said he doesn’t feel welcome in general and will not be returning to Ellensburg after finishing his master’s degree. As for how the city can help with these issues, Lapic said the best way is by showing the city council cares about these problems and shows they are making an effort to put a stop to racism and prejudice in Ellensburg.

Black or African American

place in town to get a haircut with the texture of hair he has. Rey Green is a running back for CWU’s football team, SAAC member and The Observer sports editor. During the listening session, Green described an experience he had with a police officer. Green said he was a passenger in a car that got pulled over in Ellensburg. He said all four passengers, including him, were Black men. He said the driver was very nervous and was visibly shaking. He said he put his hands up on the back of the back of the driver’s seat so they were visible to the police officer, and everyone else in the car put their hands somewhere visible as well. Green said the first thing the police officer asked was if there were any weapons in the vehicle, and said he noticed the officer kept his hand on the gun on his belt. He said he is cautious about the cops in Ellensburg. Green said whenever the opportunity is presented to him, he always goes back to his hometown to feel comfortable. He said while CWU claims to be the most diverse school in Washington, he never sees Black teachers on campus or Black students in the library. He said he doesn’t actually “feel the diversity” of people of color or LGBTQ community on campus. Cross country and track and field athlete and SAAC member Ethan Lapic said there is no time when he is off campus that he feels welcome. Lapic referred to being off campus as a “neutral at best or negative experience.” Taylor Stephens, a guard on CWU’s women’s basketball team, said she was at a protest with her team when a woman supporting President Trump got in an argument with one of her teammates and “got in her [teammate’s] face.” Stephens said a problem in Ellensburg is that locals only see people of color as temporary because many of them are students. Lauren Odette, a lock on CWU’s women’s rugby team and SAAC member, said student athletes are trying to be more involved in the off-campus community by participating in off-campus events. She said the rugby team is diverse and that there are Pacific Islander people on the team that have nowhere to go to get comfort food. She said more diverse food options off campus could encourage people to go off campus more. Odette said it’s important to let people know athletes aren’t just “crazy college students.” She said many athletes maintain a good grade point average and are here to play the sport they love and get an education.

10 November 10, 2020


Designed by Bekah Blum

Study abroad projected to continue after spring 2021 dents wishing to study abroad the opportunity to do so. The projected date could be pushed Students seeking study abroad opportuni- back further into 2021, but they are hopeties may be happy to hear that the program is ful they can continue with the program. The study abroad program has been looking forward to opening after spring 2021. Due to travel restrictions that have been doing virtual exchanges to encourage in place since the start of the COVID-19 pan- students to continue their interests in an demic, plans for some programs have been eventual program. Cook said Japanese language students halted until given the all-clear for travel again. The Office of International Studies have been connecting with students at Shimane University in and Programs ofJapan to do virtual lanfers over 500 difguage exchanges. ferent programs Study Abroad Programs Students have the of learning in over choice of going through 75 different counemail or Zoom, and foltries worldwide. Virtual language exchanges low guided conversations These can last in their target language. anywhere from one “That’s happened week to an entire for Japanese, Koreacademic year. Guest lecturers from other an and Russian and Associate Director countries we’re trying to work of Education Abroad on getting French and Steve Cook spoke Spanish going as well,” about the plans that VIrtual pen pal exchange Cook said. have been made for the This type of exchange study abroad program opportunity was tested spring amid the pandemic. Information sessions quarter with Korean, Japanese “We’re letting and Russian. [students] know There was demand for that with the current [COVID-19] situation that we have sus- the Japanese exchanges to continue, as well as pended through the end of the spring and are lining up with the exchange school’s academic monitoring conditions for making decisions calendar, so the program continued during the summer quarter. beyond that,” Cook said. Cook also noted that Associate Professor Cook said that they are operating under the assumption that, come in the History Department Jason Dormady summer 2021, the program will be has connected with a partner university in able to open back up and allow stu- Yucatán, Mexico to have guest lecturers for Ty McPhee Staff Reporter

• • • •

Graphic by Bekah Blum

his Latin studies and Latin American studies classes, and has connected students with Mexican students for a virtual pen pal exchange. Students can attend study abroad information sessions on Tuesdays and

Wednesdays at 11 a.m. via Zoom that go over financial aid help, how to look for a program, how to apply for programs and the benefits of choosing to study abroad.

CWU encourages students to stay on campus David Hartless Staff Reporter When CWU decided to reopen the campus for this upcoming school year, students were encouraged to stay on campus and not travel home on the weekends. “If you look at the science behind the spread of [COVID-19], it’s important for students to create and stay

within the environment they’re in,” Dean of Student Success Gregg Heinselman said. “With the age of the college population students tend to be asymptomatic, so students may be a carrier and they don’t even know it. So when they leave an environment and head home to their family and friends it could distribute throughout the community.”

If you have to travel, Heinselman sug“It’s just going to be a mindset shift for gests taking some precautions. students who only expect one type of col“If you have to travel, be aware, and prac- lege experience,” Elbert said. tice social distancing. If you can isolate for two If you don’t travel, staying on campus weeks, or monitor your symptoms and if you offers some great opportunities. Recreation have any symptoms at all, go get tested.” has created more programs, some virtual Seeing what and socially distanced other schools activities. did gave CWU “This is a chance a chance to for students to be Free COVID-19 Testing learn from othengaged on campus, er schools that become active on opened earlier. campus instead of just “Within two going home on the weeks, other uniweekends like stuversities were shutdents used to do in the ting down after past,” Elbert said. welcoming students Being involved back and switching on campus now can back to just remote have a positive imlearning. By watchpact on students who ing other schools are looking for inand what some did ternships and comright also helped munity involvement CWU to make when students gradthe decision to end uate from CWU. the quarter before “Stay on campus, Thanksgiving,” get to know your Associate Dean of facility, and your Health and Wellness Shawnté Elbert said. peers, so when you go to interview for Other schools did not take this approach an internship you can show them what and are now operating fully remotely and things you have done on campus and have only essential employees on campus, create experience people are looking Elbert said. for,” Elbert said. “In the past, students With CWU being only two hours wouldn’t have the experience, but now away from the west side, it’s tempting is the perfect time to take advantage of for students to leave campus. everything that CWU has to offer.”

• •

Casey Rothgeb/The Observer

Students are encouraged for health and safety to not travel home and back on the weekends.

November 10, 2020 11 Designed by Riel Hanson


Saying what needs to be said Rey Green Columnist Call me crazy but Donald Trump becoming president was a good thing for America. I know, even I am in shock typing this out. It doesn’t even sound right. I can not put it in any better words than former Democratic Mayor of Dallas Michael Scott Rawlings. “It may get worse before it gets better, but it will get better,” Rawlings said. I believe that America didn’t appreciate the common sense, morality, integrity, loyalty and devotion that former President Barack Obama brought to office. I was, along with many other young adults in this country, naive to believe that Trump would never become president. Once he did, we the people were in a culture shock. Instant regret and shame clouded over all of us who didn’t vote. My stomach was sick once I realized what I allowed to get into office. Trump was quoted for saying a gargantuan amount of ignorant, outlandish quotes during speeches and via Twitter such as: On immigration. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” On Black Lives Matter protests following George Floyd’s death. “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. … Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Graphic by Riel Hanson

On not condemning White supremacists, right-wing militias and the Proud Boys. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” After everything that’s happened leading up to 2020 and in this year alone I have felt the culture change of our world. I believe since Trump became president we as people have become divided. I have made the decision that if my socalled “friends” are going to be supportive of a cowardly man who doesn’t condemn white supremacy and has a history of mistreating and disrespecting women, I can no longer label them as a friend of mine. There are two quotes that have stuck with me for a long period of time and have been implemented into my life that really speak to my soul. My grandfather is an intellectual and has always been in my ear sharing wisdom and speaking life into me. I’ve always said, if I can be half the man my grandfather is, I’ll be a good person. “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” Alexander Hamilton said. “If you’re not ready to die for it, take the word freedom out of your vocabulary” Malcolm X said. As of right now, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is leading the popularity vote of the American people. So far, America has spoken. The only positive take away from Trump being president is now it’s easier to identify who’s for you and who’s against you. I, us, we are sick and tired of the 45th president of America. I have learned my lesson and I feel a sense of peace and relief knowing that the majority of America agrees.

A look back on an adventurous quarter Mitchell Emil Roland Editor-in-Chief As the quarter ends and The Observer prints our last issue until our January return, I felt a need to reflect on the businesses of the quarter. Over the past two months, The Observer staff has covered a turbulent and constantly active news environment. Our reporters and editors wrote about the layoffs at CWU while also covering the budget outlook. We wrote about the continued COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak that occurred in a residence hall. We wrote extensively about the 2020 election and tried our best to cover the issues that would have the biggest impact on students and the broader community. We wrote about a verbal altercation that led to CWU shutting down a feature on a popular app. We’ve covered ongoing Black Lives Matter protests as a racial reckoning continues in America. We wrote about changes to Title IX policy at colleges around the country and looked at how that will impact our campus. There was never a time this quarter where our staff didn’t have enough content to write about. Even still, there are still more issues we plan on tackling in the future.

As our staff continues to grow and become more comfortable journalists we plan on tackling even bigger projects in the future, because there is still more to report. We plan on covering the 2021 legislative session, as Washington looks to handle an ongoing budget deficit. Our staff will continue to cover the ongoing pandemic, and we will do our best to deliver readers the most relevant information. We will continue to cover CWU’s budget cuts, and how students will be affected. And when a new president is named, we will report on the impact it will have on the university going forward. At the beginning of the quarter, I wrote while the staff was largely new, the mission of The Observer to deliver news that impacts students and the community will remain. While there are always areas where we can improve, I hope that we have met that mark in the reader’s eyes. We will continue to try not only to meet this standard in the future, but exceed it. While this is The Observer’s final issue of 2020, I hope you will continue to follow our coverage until we return in the new year. We plan to continue to publish articles that impact students and the community alike on our website, and these will also continue to be available on our social media pages.

Photo courtesy of Mitchell Roland

12 November 10, 2020


Designed by Riel Hanson

Secularism: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion Abigail Duchow Columnist

their policies and what they plan to do for the country. Politicians can, of course, draw upon their religion for guidance, but gaining votes through claiming to be a part of a religion is an exploitation of people’s religions and beliefs.

In an ideal world, I shouldn’t know a politician’s or Supreme Court justice’s religious beliefs. I think religion should be a private matter that isn’t used to garner support from voters and other people. I especially don’t think taxpayer dollars should be allocated to churches. Churches Have Seen an Increase in Federal Funds According to NPR, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump and Vice President Pence “made sure” churches would be included in the Small Business Administration (SBA) providing economic relief. Under the Trump administration, the federal government has already been providing funds directly to churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious organizations, according to NPR. In 2018, the Federal Emergency Management Agency changed its rules to make houses of worship eligible for disaster aid. The new SBA program significantly increased federal funding of religious institutions. Under the new Paycheck Protection Program, businesses with fewer than 500 employees, including faith-based organizations, are eligible to receive loans of up to $10 million, with at least 75% of the money going to cover payroll costs. The loans are largely forgivable, so churches and other houses of worship don’t have to worry about paying all the money back. Bankruptcy Exceptions According to Associated Press, four dioceses sued the federal government to receive loans, even though they had entered bankruptcy proceedings due to the mounting number of clergy sexual abuse claims. The Small Business Administration rules prohibit loans to applicants in bankruptcy. However, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, a now-closed and notorious treatment center for predator priests, prevailed in court, receiving nearly $1 million. On the U.S. territory of Guam, well over 200 clergy abuse lawsuits led the Archdiocese of Agana to seek bankruptcy protection, but they received at least $1.7 million.

Graphic by Abigail Duchow

Pandemic Relief According to Associated Press, the U.S. Roman Catholic Church’s haul of federal aid may have reached, or even exceeded, $3.5 billion, making them among the biggest winners in the U.S. government’s pandemic relief efforts. So, while according to the Internal Revenue Service, “churches and religious organizations are generally exempt from income tax and receive other favorable treatment under the tax law,” they are receiving billions in taxpayer funds that they are largely not contributing to in the first place. Meanwhile, many small businesses that do not have mounting numbers of sexual abuse cases and bankruptcy found themselves with a dire lack of aid, causing thousands of businesses across the country to close their doors either temporarily or permanently. These bailouts were a gross misuse of emergency aid. ‘In God We Trust’ The phrase “In God We Trust” should absolutely not be the official motto of the U.S., nor should it be printed on our money. In 1956, President Eisenhower (R) signed a law making “In God We Trust” the official U.S. motto. The law also mandated that the motto must be printed on all U.S. currency. In an entry in The Society Pages, Lisa Wade, an author with a PhD in sociology, wrote that the political motivation behind the new official motto was not to appease Christian Americans, but to claim moral high ground over and demonize the Soviet Union. Wade wrote, “Placing ‘In God We Trust’ on the U.S. dollar was a way to establish the United States as a Christian nation and differentiate them from their enemy.” But, the U.S. is not a Christian nation. According to Pew Research Center, only 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. About 26% of Americans describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” up by 9% since 2009. This means about 85.3 million people in the U.S. do not affiliate with a religion. Besides the decline of Christi-

anity, a nation founded on valuing a secular government should not be endorsing a deity of any kind in its official national motto. Instead, we should be using our original de facto motto, “E pluribus unum,” which is Latin for “out of many, one.” This motto was put on the Great Seal by the Founding Fathers. Or, come up with a new one altogether. ‘Under God…’ I also strongly believe the phrase “under God” should be taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance. According to, the Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by a socialist minister named Francis Bellamy. Originally, the pledge didn’t have “under God” in it. It wasn’t until 1954 that President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add “under God” to the pledge, an obvious violation of religious freedom. While no one is forced to say the pledge, it doesn’t make sense for a part of it to be directly citing God, a deity many people in the U.S. don’t believe in. On top of that, having God in the pledge directly infringes on the Bill of Rights. In the very first amendment, the Bill of Rights states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Putting God in the pledge is prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Public Schooling The unwilling indoctrination of children into a religion should not be taxpayer-funded, meaning prayer and religious religious rituals should definitely be kept out of public schools. Children and their families can practice whatever they’d like in private schools and at home, but following a religion should not be part of what public schools teach.

Religious Symbols on Government Property In addition to these things, religious symbolism should not be displayed on government property. With the exception of someone’s private office, any symbolism of religion on government property violates the first amendment. If any religious symbolism is displayed, then symbolism from all other religions should be displayed as well. If this is not the case, then it is discriminatory. What if it Weren’t Judeo-Christianity? If anyone objects to the principle of separation of church and state, I ask you, would you be okay with your tax money being funneled into a religion you are not a part of? Your child being taught a religion that you don’t believe in public school? How about religious symbolism from a religion you oppose on government property? It is easy to turn a blind eye, or even support it, when a religion that is being funded by the government is a religion you’re a part of. The church and state should not coincide with each other. Politicians shouldn’t be endorsing churches and vice versa. Taxpayer money should absolutely not be given to any religious organization, and if the church expects bailouts then they need to start contributing taxes. According to the Bill of Rights Institute, Thomas Jefferson, a Founding Father, writer of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the U.S., wrote in a letter to a Baptist Church: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

Political Campaigns and Religion Politicians should not make their religion one of their main campaign themes to encourage people to vote for them. Instead, they should prove they are ethical through

Graphics by Riel Hanson

November 10, 2020 13


Designed by Tiffany Tablang

Target shooting in the ‘Burg

Photo by Casey Rothgeb/The Observer Ian Salvisberg is bringing history back to life with his Mosin Nagant out on Durr Road. Durr Road is about 15 to 20 minutes away from Ellensburg proper. Jayce Kadoun Staff Reporter Whether it’s out in the sticks or at the local range, Ellensburg provides a number of opportunities and safe locations for local marksmen to sharpen their shooting skills. The sites nearby where shooters can legally discharge firearms cater to many different styles of shooting at both long and short ranges. Student Kidder Mckee said some of the best areas to shoot are within a 15 minute drive from town. He said he prefers to head into the hills to shoot on public land because it’s laidback and allows him to shoot whenever he wants. “It’s nice to be able to take off and head up there anytime I want to shoot clays with shotguns or sight in a rifle,” Mckee said. “There’s a lot of different kinds of spots off the road where you can shoot close or far, which is nice.” According to Mckee, the pull-offs on Durr Road are some of the best areas around to go target shooting at. He said it’s sometimes busy with other shooters, but there is usually at least one area available. “It seems like everyone has the same idea whenever my buddies and me decide to go shoot because it’s usually pretty packed up there, but we can usually find a spot to set up far enough away from everyone else,” Mckee said.

Michael Clausen, a senior in the paramedic program said he enjoys going deeper into the wilderness to target shoot. He said the Manastash area holds some of his favorite long range shooting sites around. “I like to get out there aways, especially if I’m rifle shooting, because I can set up targets at those longer distances I want to shoot at without worrying about other people around,” Clausen said. “It gets kind of sketchy shooting over 300 [yards] if you don’t really know where they’re at.” Clausen said although he likes venturing out into woods to shoot, he wants to look for an established range nearby. He said he can’t always pack all the amenities he prefers to have with him out where he usually goes. “If I had the option, I’d definitely rather shoot from a solid table with a lead sled or at least something else solid I can rest the gun on,” Clausen said. “A lot of times when I head up in the hills, I have to shoot laying down and it kind of sucks.” Cascade Field and Stream Club President Brad Coffey said the club owns a private range in the county, but the option to join is available to anyone in the public. “The club owns 200 plus acres on top of Hayward Hill in Kittitas county,” Coffey said. “We have an archery area, pistol range, shotgun range, rifle range and a clubhouse/meeting building. Fish and Wildlife also work with the club to offer hunter safety classes at the range.”

Ranges around town:

• Pull-offs on Durr Road • Manastash area • Hayward Hill shooting range

Coffey also said the range has rifle targets at 500 yards, a trap shooting area and pistol shooting competitions. He said the club hopes to host a lot

more member activities in 2021 including trainings, competitions and a finished shotgun area with a trap/skeet house complete with electric throwers.



Faculty, staff and the community too!


ADVERTISE WITH CWU STUDENT MEDIA! Contact: Cait Dalton Phone: (509) 963-1026 Email:

14 November 10, 2020 Designed by Riel Hanson


Cheer and dance teams look to have compact team size for future socially distanced performances Gabriel Strasbaugh Staff Reporter The 2020-21 season for the cheer and dance teams has certainly not been one to dance and cheer about. With live sports and large gatherings prohibited, the teams have yet to come together for practices. The return of sports will see a return in numbers for the teams but in a more condensed format. Members of the teams are still preparing on their own time with tryouts still in the wings for newcomers. Dance team veteran and co-captain Kearia Duncan said the club finally has a plan of practices and performances. “With winter quarter coming up we were kind of able to fix practice and we’d be able to perform. But that is with five dancers,” Duncan said. Roster size usually ranges from 17-22 dancers with a maximum of 25. The five positions would include the team’s captain, co-captain, fundraising and social media managers. Duncan finds it a struggle to see only a handful of dancers at a time. “The amount of work and effort we would put into it wouldn’t really rival what we could do as a team,” Duncan said. Duncan has now taken her same passion and energy she normally puts towards dance into her studies. Duncan continues her senior year as a double major in both Family and Child Life with a Family Science specialization along with an American Sign Language degree. Junior sociology major Auricia Johnson said cheer was her deciding factor in attending CWU.

Photo courtesy of CWU Athletics

CWU Cheerleader and Dancer, Amelia Elliot, cheering at a CWU’s homecoming football game in 2019. The team looks forward to cheering again. With no games to cheer at, Johnson says one of the most important parts of her focus is staying in shape at a constant rate. “When you’re in cheer or a sport, whatever sport, you can work out and get away with not doing it on another day,” Johnson said. Johnson said the news that cheer was going to be cancelled conflicted with the events she had been witness to around the country and on television. “It was a total shock because it’s upsetting seeing other states, like more in the south

and even with NFL cheer teams, seeing them being able to cheer with masks and six feet apart. They’re making it work,” Johnson said. The frustration Johnson feels stems from a lack of execution from the department to produce a season more than being shut down. “It was really difficult to hear we couldn’t at least try, but I do understand the circumstances because it happened so quick and we are a college campus,” Johnson said. According to Johnson, the team re-

ceived the go-ahead from Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs Tyler Unsicker for the cheerleaders to be present at the basketball games this season with limited numbers. The GNAC has said it plans to release a full sport schedule in the upcoming weeks for winter and spring. A more accurate timeline for the cheer team’s return will then be laid out. As for now, the dance team’s online tryouts are scheduled for Nov. 18.

Water polo club practicing for when competition resumes The water polo team is taking part in limited practices doing what it can to stay ready for when competition resumes. According to junior and water polo club Vice President Tyler Pospichal, the team didn’t have any practices during spring quarter since sports clubs practices were shut down for the quarter. This quarter, only 10 people can be in the pool at a time and they must stay six feet apart.

Because of this, the team hasn’t been able to do all the drills they usually would. They can’t practice man-on-man and other drills that require players to be closer than six feet or have contact. According to Pospichal, right now without competition, the team is focusing on the basics such as passing, treading water and other basic drills. Water polo club Secretary Brian McDarment had no prior experience until joining the club so even if you have no experience, they’ll welcome you.

Photo courtesy of Tyler Pospichal

CWU water polo club poses together for a photo back in 2019 after a successful competition.

McDarment said the team’s main goal During practices, players will bounce is to learn to play the game, work together ideas off each other of what they need to and achieve every win they can. work on. Something each player touched on was The team has participated in tournateam bonding and friends they made. ments throughout the region including Or“I think the people that you meet is egon, Idaho, Washington and even one in probably my favorite part,” senior Dillon British Columbia, Canada. Goodell said. Most of the For potential tournaments hapstudents that might pen in the fall and join the team, Goodspring quarters. ell made it clear it’s a If the team good workout. goes to a tourna“It’s definitely ment and plays five going to be a hard games, but wins exercise and getting just one, then that’s into it may be diffistill a huge success cult if you haven’t for members. done swimming McDarment before, but it’s defisaid the team celnitely worth the ebrates and re- Dillion Goodell, senior while,” Goodell said. members the win He said the and that it’s a good exercise is one good time. reason somebody McDarment should join the team or if they’re looking said what makes it worth it for the team for a good social interaction while also still members is when they’re able to put what being able to social distance from others. they learned in practice into competition. According to Pospichal, the team helps If students are interested in joining new people learn water polo skills since the club they can contact one of the it’s a difficult sport and that no matter head officers or reach out through sowhat skill level you are, there’s always cial media on Facebook or on Instagram something to learn. @cwu_waterpolo.

I think the people that you meet is probably my favorite part.

Derek Harper Staff Reporter

November 10, 2020 15 Designed by Riel Hanson


The Recreation Center staff doesn’t plan to drop the ball for the new year RachelAnn Degnan Staff Reporter

The sound of the ball dropping to end 2020 will not only be a sign of a new year but will also be a metaphor for new hope. Senior Spencer Dalzell has high hopes for this “fresh” new year. “As a student, I feel like we have to take it one day at a time,” Dalzell said. “Since there is more [COVID-19] testing going on, I think there is still a chance we will get to go back on campus at least in some variety. I am honestly just trying to not stress out about it and just take it one day at a time.” As an intramural manager, Dalzell plans on bringing in new activities while continuing well-received and highly praised events from fall quarter. “We are still waiting for final approval, and since the whole on-campus thing is being reevaluated constantly, we can’t predict what will be approved,” Dalzell said. “Everything is going to come down to the wire.” In Ellensburg, winter is known to bring lots of snow, and because it is harder to accommodate social distancing indoors, the Recreation Center has to be more creative with its activities. “We have a few tentative ideas already,” Dalzell said. “We hope to have a snowball dodgeball fight, but of course, we need snow. Other winter events like the indoor Iron Man and a healthy water drinking challenge are still planned to take place.” Dalzell is proud of his team’s creativity and is excited to see what events will be approved. “We try to throw everything down on a Photo courtesy of Sanket Katta The Rec Center is working to hold in-person events in the future. Safety precautions will be taken. piece of paper and see what sticks,” Dalzell

said. “It’s a real testament to the strength and creativity of our team.” Dalzell’s coworker Intramural Manager Emily McDonald’s favorite sport will always be soccer, but she is excited about the winter quarter’s multiple possibilities. “We are hoping to be able to offer double and maybe even triple the number of events we offered this last quarter,” McDonald said. “Depending on what the government mandates, there may be a possibility of bringing back contact sports.” Dalzell and McDonald’s boss, Intramural Sports & Special Events Coordinator Shana Kessler, has taught her team to think of next year as a growing year. “I am optimistic that we can take what we learned from spring and fall 2020 and turn that into something bigger and better in 2021,” Kessler said. “Instead of looking at all the things that didn’t go well, we should focus on what can be changed.” The Recreation Center spent fall quarter improving their COVID-19-safe and socially distant activities. “We have learned from this quarter that students are kind of tired of virtual events,” Kessler said. “So we are coming up with plans to offer safer in-person activities and trying to limit how many virtual events happen each week.” The Recreation team is always trying to create interesting and fun events for the student body. “There are so many different possibilities, and none of them are concrete yet, but we would love to collaborate more with students, departments and clubs across campus to come up with new ideas,” Kessler said.

Football team announces signing of new top recruit Jarred Francis

Sean Bessette Staff Reporter Football has signed a new star player. On Oct. 16, the team announced the signing of Jarred Francis, a 2021 top recruit from Team IMPACT. Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization located in Boston, Massachusetts with the goal to “improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of teams, forming life-long bonds, and life-changing outcomes,” according to Francis currently attends Morgan Middle School in Ellensburg and is from Aberdeen, Washington, according to “He’s got a good demeanor about him. He’s got a joy for a lot of things, a great smile, he loves his mama and just really enjoys what we’re doing here,” football head coach Chris Fisk said about his first impressions of Francis. Defensive line coach Grant Torgerson knew this signing was going to be beneficial for everyone based on his first impressions of Francis. “I could tell first impression wise that this was going to be an awesome

thing not only for him but for our football team,” Torgerson said. Offensive coordinator Zach Tinker echoed similar praise about the addition of Francis. “He’s someone who’s adding value to the program and he’s already had a good impact on several of the guys on the team,” Tinker said. “He brings energy to our players.” Tinker said Francis has faced a lot of adversity and it serves as a good reminder to the players of all of the good they have in their lives. “I think he’s an inspiration to the guys in that way,” Tinker said. Additionally, Fisk recognized this signing as an opportunity to do something bigger than the game of football. “It gives us a chance to give back to the community and teach some really valuable life lessons,” Fisk said. “When you’re out on the field and you see the guys interact with Jarred, he’s giving back just as much to us as we’re giving to him.” Torgerson also shared that Francis’ signing is about being an inspiration to others. “I think we always talk about that playing football is about being a part of

Photo courtesy of CWU Athletics

Top recruit from Team IMPACT, Jarred Francis (middle) signed with CWU football for 2021. something that’s bigger than yourself and I think Jarred is a great example of that,” Torgerson said. Fisk noted the importance of giving back to the community and welcomed the idea of doing more things like this in the future.

“As we send our players into life and they become men, husbands and fathers, the lesson of giving back to your community is huge,” Fisk said. Fisk said the process of signing Francis started in the spring when they got a letter from Team IMPACT.

16 November 10, 2020



Designed by Tiffany Tablang

Pumpkin Pie Recipe!

Nov. 11 - Nov. 18

Nov. 11•

8-10 p.m. Geek Out, Game Out Student Union and Recreation Center Rm 135, 140, 137A, 137B

Nov. 12•

7:30-9:30 p.m. Fall Concert Series Virtual Location for Online Events

Nov. 13- No Events Nov. 14- No Events Nov. 15- No Events Nov. 16•

8 a.m. International Education Week Office of International Studies and Programs

8-10:30 p.m. Monday Movie Madness: Interna- tional Center presents The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Recipe provided by

• • • • • • •


1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin 1 (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk 2 large eggs 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 1/2 tsp salt 1 (9 in.) pie crust


1. Preheat oven to 435 degrees F. 2. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. 3. Pour mixture into crust and bake 15 mins. 4. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 35 to 40 mins. or until knife inserted comes out clean. 5. Garnish as desired!

Virtual Location for Online Events

Nov. 17- No Events Nov. 18-

• 7-9 p.m. Trivia Wednesday - International Virtual Location for Online Events Graphic by Tiffany Tablang

Comic by Tiffany Tablang

Quote of the Week: “That’s not Christmas, that’s just eggnog.”