The Observer, Spring 2024 – Issue 2

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By the students, for the students



This past Saturday, April 6, the CWU men’s rugby team won big against the University of Arizona (UA), to take home the opening round of the division one national playoffs (D1A) with a final score of 23-17. Senior Jac Tregoning, otherwise known as “The Dragon,” was positioned at FlyHalf and gave CWU the upper hand in their match against Arizona.

Arizona’s attempt at scoring came from position seven; they converted it, but were still behind 8-7. With the help of his teammates’ combined effort Drew Ferrington, a junior and 8-man for the team, increased their lead shortly before halftime with a try off a lineout. After a long shot, Tregoning made the conversion, making the score 15-7. After a deft pass from senior wing Oscar Treacy during a lineout play, Treacy increased their lead with a second try in the 47th minute. CWU led easily, 23-7. This kind of lead was nothing new for the team since CWU also shut them down in February with a closer match of 19-17. CWU holds an 8-1 historical record against UA, having emerged victorious in their past five encounters. They secured wins in both matches held on their home turf, while also boasting a 3-1 record in games played in Tucson, Arizona. CWU is currently the 2-seed, allowing them advance to the second round against the 3-seed, Brigham Young University (BYU), which will be held at CWU this upcoming Saturday, April 13.

The last time CWU and BYU met, the Wildcats were able to put them away with a 21-12 score. This was only the second time in program his tory that CWU has beaten BYU. “We are pleased to advance but our per formance was one that will need to grow significantly to have any chance of even competing next week,” Todd Thornley, the CWU head coach, said according to “Credit to Arizona, they were well prepared and turned us over a lot. I’m proud of our grit but we will need a big week of prep going into another big battle with an old foe next week.”

These playoff games are now life or death for CWU; if they lose, they’re out and the season will come to a pain ful end. Approaching their next match, the team’s biggest worry is staying healthy. “We only have one team, we don’t have a lot of depth, we’re independent,” senior center Calvin Liulamaga said. “We’re dealing with a lot of injuries which is causing other players who don’t have much experi ence to go in. We fought through a lot and the way we’re going has exceeded my expectations for the team.”

Liulamaga was also just nominated for the “Rudy Scholz” award, which is given to the best men’s collegiate rugby player in the nation, presented by the Washington Athletic Club.

Finalists for the award will be an nounced in the upcoming weeks.

Discourse surrounds the Diversity Awards See Page 3 CWU’s dazzling rendition of a classic opera See Page 4 A bright future for men’s basketball See Page 8 Vol. 128 NO. 2 April 11, 2024
CWU men’s rugby finished the regular season with an 8-3 record. Photos courtesy of Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Media



Local National Global

26-year-old Ellensburg Local Perry Osborne Berger was arrested after allegedly choking a woman and pulling out a switchblade when she attempted to kick him out of her house. Berger was jailed on suspicion of second-degree assault, according to the Daily Record.

A 43-year-old truck driver from Illinois was arrested near Snoqualmie Pass, driving a semi-truck stolen from his former employer, according to the Daily Record

Loren Culp, former Washington gubernatorial (referring to governor) candidate is facing backlash after referring to Rep. Jaquelyn Maycumber, and other female GOP politicians as “bitches” according to the Daily Record.

A 4.8 magnitude earthquake rocked New Jersey and shook residents in surrounding states on Friday morning, according to USA Today. The tremor, one of the strongest in state history, was reported about 5 miles north of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, at about 10:23 a.m. Friday, according to the United States Geological Survey. The epicenter was about 45 miles from New York City, where residents reported shaking furniture and floors.

The University of Connecticut and the University of South Carolina triumph over Purdue University and The University of Iowa, respectively, taking home the crown in the annual men’s and women’s March Madness basketball tournaments, according to the NCAA.

President Biden announces new plans to provide student debt relief for more than 30 million Americans during a visit to Madison, Wisconsin, according to NBC News.

Millions across North America witnessed the moon block out the sun during a total solar eclipse on Monday, according to the Associated Press. The eclipse’s path of totality stretched from Mazatlán, Mexico to Newfoundland, an area that crosses 15 U.S. states and is home to 44 million people. The next such spectacle won’t occur until 2045.

The Vatican has condemned the practices of gender-affirming surgery and maternal surrogacy in a new document, declaring both are inconsistent with God’s plan for human life, according to CBS News. The Catholic Church’s document puts both practices on a par with abortion and euthanasia in terms of their perceived negative impact on human dignity.

Mexico is breaking diplomatic ties with Ecuador after police raided its embassy in Quito to arrest former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who had been seeking asylum there, according to CNN. Mexico decried the raid as “an outrage against international law,” while the United Nations voiced concern. Under diplomatic norms, embassies are generally considered protected spaces.


First of all, happy early birthday to my brother Alex, who definitely does not read these. He wants to celebrate his birthday by watching every single “John Wick” movie, and that’s how I know he’s my brother by blood. It has been a great quarter for us so far at The Observer, our new staff reporters are shining, our new editing staff has been great and our designers are in the lab like always.

I’m hoping that the second issue of this quarter can join the great sequels of all time. “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Dune: Part Two” and issue 2. With our content this week, I think it has a chance.

We have a plethora of great scene stories from our new reporters, detailing operas, open mic nights and more. For news, Layla cooked up a story about the happenings at the diversity awards last month; and in the sports world, we have stories about the future of the men’s basketball team and the upcoming Gold Star Family softball game. We also have a PACKED opinion page this week, including a movie review from someone who is not me, a column from someone who is not me and a sports story from someone who is not me. What have I let happen to this once prestigious outlet? See you on the flip, Isaac

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Let us know. 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 Faculty Adviser / Editorial Consultant Francesco Somaini Copy Desk Lead / Opinion Editor Megan Foster Editor-in-chief Isaac Hinson Lead Graphic Designer Brandon Davis Junior Graphic Designer Z Morris STAFF Scene Editor Isaac Dobmeier Sports Editor Charis Jones News Editor Astor Powell-Pedersen Assistant Copy Desk Lee Beck Online Editor Winnie Killingsworth Sports Reporters Jackson Roberts Devanee Lopez Cristopher Comp Scene Reporters Gabriela Gonzalez Hayley James Nic Palaia Gunner Stuns May Borges News Reporters Melanie Pulido Lopez Layla Taha Photographers Brandon Mattesich Abril Fernandez
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s many in the CWU community were gearing up to celebrate the school’s 10th annual Diversity Awards on March 7, others in the community were mobilizing against the seemingly unproblematic ceremony. This mobilization allegedly cost one CWU staff member their job.

Prior to the awards themself, CWU students and community members alike gathered in front of the SURC to “Chalk and Talk”, sharing their disapproval of the ceremony.

Landis Hanson, the aforementioned terminated CWU staff member, was the organizer of “Chalk and Talk:” an event where mobilizers shared their stance through the use of chalk and discourse among folks passing by.

Hanson explained that their disapproval of the ceremony stemmed from the fact that the stand-alone Multi-Cultural Center building, a building the diverse CWU student population has been fighting for for over a decade, was set in motion to be built but was then abruptly pulled as there were financial constraints.

Instead of publicizing the diverse community on campus, mobilizers believed that CWU should invest in its diverse community by continuing efforts towards the stand-

alone Multi-Cultural Center.

“Our position is that Central uses our diverse student body in order to recruit, in order to publicize, but then doesn’t actually give [diverse] students much, if anything,” Hanson added. “A Multi-Cultural Center would be something concrete to give students, and it’s been something that students have been demanding for more than 10 years.”

Before this “Chalk and Talk” event, Hanson received the news that they were being fired from their job as a financial aid counselor within the Financial Aid department at CWU on March 4.

While Hanson wasn’t told that they were fired on the count of organizing a counter-event to the Diversity Awards but was instead fired “without stated cause,” Hanson strongly believes that their mobilization effort was the cause of their termination.

The day after Hanson’s firing, they were made aware of an email chain that circulated on March 3 between Margaret Ortega, vice president for the Division of Student Engagement and Success, their boss, and Mal Stewman, the head of the Diversity and Equity Center.

In the email that Stewman sent to Ortega, he relayed information he received from a student. The student’s words read as follows:

“Good evening, I just got informed from a student that Landis let them know for the protest on Thursday, Landis’ group plans on rallying outside and then doing a sit-in with signs at the awards ceremony. I figured I should let the both of you [Stewman and Ortega] know about this and see how we can proceed.”

The next day, Hanson was fired after a meeting with Ortega, making Hanson suspect that their mobilization efforts were the cause of their firing.

In the letter of termination Hanson received from Ortega, she wrote, “Dear Landis: This letter serves to provide you written notice of my decision to terminate your appointment as Financial Aid Counselor at Central Washington University effective today, day, March 4, 2024, in accordance with CWUP 6-40-030 - Notice of Separation (without stated cause).”

When reached for comment, Ortega said: “They [Hanson] were a former employee and I cannot comment on personnel matters.”

When asked for a statement, Stewman said: “As an employee of the University our goal is to be prepared and my email, if you see, is very simple. [It] is a heads up to what’s happening; students are planning to protest. I don’t know anything about the status of why Landis [Hanson] was fired.”

While the sit-in and rally did not occur, Hanson and the other protestors instead shared their message through conversations with students and community members entering the SURC and through artistic expression with the use of chalk.

According to the lead organizer for the Diversity Awards, Sarah Scott, “The goal of the [Diversity Awards] is to bring…people in the community and Central Washington University community together to celebrate those who do the work every day to make a difference to make sure all people are welcome.”

The event’s guest speaker Rosa Clemente, a Black-Puerto Rican journalist and political activist, left the guests of this award ceremony with an air of awkwardness as she called out the land acknowledgment President Wolphart gave at the beginning of the ceremony.

“I do these all the time, these land acknowledgments mean nothing,” Clemente said. “Give indigenous people back their land,” Clemente said. President Wolphart was at a loss for words when he returned to the podium.

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Community Award
- Angela Eustaquio - Maura Santamaria Munoz
- Timothy Beng
- Andrea Herrea- Dulcet
- Nelson Pichardo Almanzar
Staff Awards
- Griff Tester
- Carolina Barr
- Wendy Holden
- Chad Schone
- Katrina Whitney
- Kristen Jentges
- Kerri Larson
- Caroyln Porter
of the Bobby Cummings Lifetime Achievement Award
Mobilizers with signs outside of the SURC left to right: Junpier Deigel, Landis Hanson, Jessica Berkey, and Jaden Thacker. (Photo credits of @psl_easternwa on Instagram)
- Lisa Vickers Winner
- Teresa Divine

Staff Reporter

BBefore scandal, elaborate schemes and cheating spouses were the popular topic of TV shows and celebrity gossip, crowds in 1874 Vienna flocked to the opera house to see these plot lines come to life in “Die Fledermaus.” On April 11, a modern adaptation of “Die Fledermaus”— commonly known as “The Revenge of the Bat” in English — will hit the stage at the McConnell Auditorium. The production will be accompanied by CWU’s award-winning chamber orchestra under the direction of Nikolas Caoile.

efore scandal, elaborate schemes and cheating spouses were the popular topic of TV shows and celebrity gossip, crowds in 1874 Vienna flocked to the opera house to see these plot lines come to life in “Die Fledermaus.” On April 11, a modern adaptation of “Die Fledermaus”— commonly known as “The Revenge of the Bat” in English — will hit the stage at the McConnell Auditorium. The production will be accompanied by CWU’s award-winning chamber orchestra under the direction of Dr. Nikolas Caoile.

Die Fledermaus Die Fledermaus

A fresh take on a timeless classic

Director Gayla Blaisdell likens the comedic opera to a rom-com, reminding audiences that “People need to remember that… what they think of as opera is only a very specific sliver of opera,” and that what they’ll see on stage is far from the serious black tie affair that dominates popular assumptions. The sentiment was echoed by student performer Moira Mcgregor who will be playing the leading role of Rosalinda in two shows. Mcgregor assures her peers that “We’re college students too… we wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t enjoy it, and we wouldn’t be putting it on the stage for others to come and enjoy if we didn’t think it was approachable.”

Director Dr. Gayla Blaisdell likens the comedic opera to a rom-com, reminding audiences that “People need to remember that… what they think of as opera is only a very specific sliver of opera,” and that what they’ll see on stage is far from the serious black tie affair that dominates popular assumptions. The sentiment was echoed by student performer Moira Mcgregor who will be playing the leading role of Rosalinda in two shows. Mcgregor assures her peers that “We’re college students too… we wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t enjoy it, and we wouldn’t be putting it on the stage for others to come and enjoy if we didn’t think it was approachable.”

The focus on making the production accessible and enjoyable to all audiences harkens back to the department’s mantra: “Opera is for Everyone.” Blaisdell and her crew of performers are confident that modern touches and timeless themes are sure to entertain and break down stigmas about opera. “Die Fledermaus” is for more than just a select group of people, it is for anyone looking for a night of laughter, talent and a performance they can connect to. “It’s not as scary as people think,” were the words of Velia Saldivar who will play the role of Adele in two performances. Saldivar compares the production to a sporting event; a place to come and feel comfortable, embrace emotions and get lost in the drama.

The focus on making the production accessible and enjoyable to all audiences harkens back to the department’s mantra: “Opera is for Everyone.” Dr. Blaisdell and her crew of performers are confident that modern touches and timeless themes are sure to entertain and break down stigmas about opera. “Die Fledermaus” is for more than just a select group of people- it is for anyone looking for a night of laughter, talent, and a performance they can connect to. “It’s not as scary as people think,” were the words of Velia Saldivar who will play the role of Adele in two performances. Saldivar compares the production to a sporting event; a place to come and feel comfortable, embrace emotions and get lost in the drama.

“Die Fledermaus” is double casted; two separate casts will take turns putting on the production. Every performance will be infused with the interpretations and spirit of its performers. Each night, audiences will enjoy the unique cumulative ef -

“Die Fledermaus” is double casted—two separate casts will take turns putting on the production. Every performance will be infused with the interpretations and spirit of its performers. Each night, audiences will enjoy the unique cumulative effort of a talented cast. “When we’re on

fort of a talented cast. “When we’re on stage, we’re characters,” Salvidar explains. “But we are also ourselves, just a little bit bigger and a little bit brighter.” McConnell auditorium will open its doors on opening night to show audiences the aforementioned big and bright. Performances will be held on April 11-13 at 7 p.m., followed by a closing performance on April 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students with ID, $20 for general admission and $17 for seniors and alumni.

stage, we’re characters. But we are also ourselves, just a little bit bigger and a little bit brighter…,” explains Saldivar. McConnell auditorium will open its doors on opening night to show audiences the aforementioned big and bright. Performances will be held on April 11-13 at 7 p.m., followed by a closing performance on April 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students with ID, $20 for general admission and $17 for seniors and alumni.

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Gabriela Gonzalez StaffReporter
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Gabriel von Eisenstein in a heated argument with his lawyer, Dr. Blind. A heartbroken Rosalinde von Eisenstein (played by Moira Mcgregor) with her husband Gabriel von Eisenstein. Gabriel von Eisenstein onstage Photos by Brandon Mattesich Gabriela Gonzalez


SHOW’S The all yours

As you make your way up the aisle and to the stage, each footstep feels like your shoes are filled with lead. Heart thumping in your chest, you turn to face your adoring crowd, each of their faces alight with excitement and anticipation. Your breath steadies when you remember they came to watch and support, not judge or attack. Before you stands a microphone, an open one, yours for the taking. Another deep breath and it is time to show your talents off to the world like you’ve never been able to before. The stage is your oyster.

Many faces were present at CWU’s Open Mic Night on March 28. While staff members of the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement (SLICE) encouraged a welcoming environment, it could potentially still feel intimidating for students to go before a seated room of their peers and perform, particularly if they’d never done anything like it prior. The Observer had the opportunity to speak with three students who attended the Open Mic Night to get their perspectives on the prospect of participating in the event.

History major Jaleigh Stubblefield-Jacobs was quick to respond when asked what her thought process was on stepping up to the microphone. “I didn’t sign up, I just kind of did it on the fly but it looked like fun,” Stubblefield-Jacobs said. There came a point in the evening when the students who had physically used the sign-up sheet had all performed, causing SLICE staff to encourage the crowd to come up and show off their talents.

Among the first to step onto the stage was Stubblefield-Jacobs, who worked the crowd with her impromptu standup act. Perhaps the most impressive part about it though, was the fact that according to Stubblefield-Jacobs herself, it was completely unplanned. “I was considering doing a few different things, but comedy is just what I landed on, because, I don’t know, I like making people laugh sometimes,” Stubblefield-Jacobs said.

She was also the first to admit that she feels her comedy could have been better, and she would have liked to prepare better next time, but that it didn’t impair her from enjoying her time on stage. “I had fun going up there and trying something new,” Stubblefield-Jacobs said. “I’ve never really done that before. I had a fun time just seeing everything.”

Another impressive act, and a double one at that, was performed by music performance major Eliasib Alvarado alongside math education major Jonathan Fritz. The pair performed the song “Part Of Your World” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” with Alvarado on vocals and Fritz pretending to play the piano parts.

It was not Alvarado’s first time attending an Open Mic Night at CWU, as he says “I actually did it in winter quarter, when I first transferred here, but I was really scared to do it at first.” Alvarado credited Fritz with being the main reason he was able to perform, citing his presence as a big help. Fritz on the other hand was more modest about his contributions. “I didn’t help that much,” Fritz said. “He sings and I don’t do anything talented, so I pretended to play the piano, which was also really fun and kind of on the fly.” When asked why he chose to sing, Alvarado acknowledged that it had to do with his musical experience with his major. “I’m a music performance major, but I actually play Viola, so I’m not actually singing all the time,” Alvarado said. “But I do like to sing in my free time.” While Alvarado feels that he may not be the best singer or the best comedian, he resolved to combine the two in order to create a fun environment for everyone in attendance.

Once again, Fritz was humble about his own contributions to the performance. “I don’t actually play piano,” Fritz said. “If you couldn’t tell that I was not playing. I’m really good at fake piano apparently.” Alvarado felt that his experience at the Open Mic was very much a positive one and that he was excited to be able to be involved in the event. “I’m running for student office and I’m running for student body president,” said Alvarado. “And I want to be more involved—as much as I

possibly can.” Fritz also felt that the experience was a fun one for him. “I honestly didn’t expect we would be here for an hour and a half,” said Fritz. “It was fun to stay here and watch everyone perform.”

Whether you’re a comedian, musician or have something else to share entirely, these students feel that there’s a place for you at the Open Mic Night. Even if you don’t feel an urge to perform, it can be a great experience just to watch. As Fritz said, “I would do it again. Even just come back and watch again. I think it’s different every single time.”

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Photo coutesy of Photo courtesy of

Setting the stage for Women in spikeball

Roundnet, often referred to as spikeball, is a ball sport that has become popular in the last decade. It shares similarities with four square and beach volleyball. The sport is largely popular with college-age athletes, with many participating in tournaments and other events across the country. Despite the sport’s recent success, the player base is largely male-dominated.

For the sport to grow, it is necessary to find ways to reach out to women and encourage them to join these spikeball communities. One way that this has been done already is through the introduction of women’s divisions in Spikeball Tour Series tournaments around the United States. Having a dedicated division for female players to compete amongst themselves is a great opportunity. Also, the same organization held a series of female-only tournaments properly named “Queen of the Realm,” inviting lady Spike-ballers far and wide. Another effort to draw women to the sport is the “Women’s Roundnet” movement started by Spikeball

employee Joelle Nguyen. This includes multiple social media pages dedicated to sharing content and videos of female players in the sport.

Here at CWU, the club team’s demographic is no different from the typical Roundnet scene, as I am one of the only women involved. Due to this, I practice with almost exclusively men, but look forward to opportunities to play in women’s divisions in certain tournaments. It is important to be an ambassador and foster a welcoming environment for girls to join this great sport.

Overall, the sport is fun, engaging, and easy to learn and the community around the sport is nothing but kind, welcoming, and supportive. This is a great sport to get into, it can help you with your physical fitness and staying active, while also giving you the opportunity to build great relationships and meet new people. It is such a wonderful community to be a part of, no matter your skill level or athleticism, this community embraces and supports you through it all.

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Hayley James Columnist Stacked up spikeballs. (Photo courtesy of Hayley James) The local spikeball club at CWU. (Photo courtesy of Hayley James)

A Clash between Titans!

A Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire Review SOUND BITE

If you say that “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” isn’t the very definition of an epic Blockbuster, then I don’t know what is. With explosive action and set pieces, the audience is never bored whenever a monster is on the screen. This film, however, stands as the best of Warner Bros. Discovery MonsterVerse.

The film gives the monsters a surprising amount of screen time compared to their earlier entries, and the extra time spent with the monsters is both a huge benefit and a huge hindrance to the pacing of the film. This movie can be all over the place. The plot constantly bounced back and forth between the monster’s stories and the humans.

Some scenes went on for way too long. While I found myself excited whenever the camera would cut back to a long scene with Kong, I would also feel a strong sense of dread because I knew that I would be spending the next 20 minutes after this scene with just the human characters. While the human parts of the movie aren’t bad per se, it’s just less interesting than whatever Kong or Godzilla are doing.

The story takes place two years after the events of “Godzilla vs. Kong” (2021), with the secret organization Monarch continuing to monitor and safeguard the titans; large beastly creatures that wander the earth and protect nature from human involvement. Our two main human characters are Jia and her adopted mother Dr. Ilene Andrews. The pair are currently having a hard time adapting to the world after the events that unfolded during “Godzilla vs. Kong.” When Godzilla starts to lose it and power up on energy, tensions around the world rise. While this is happening, Kong is endlessly searching for other apes like him.

A Monarch outpost from inside Hollow Earth is destroyed, causing a team of scientists to go down and figure out what happened. Kong descends deeper into Hollow Earth and stumbles upon more apes like him.

The fight scenes are where this movie is at its strongest. This film does a good job of highlighting the brutality of the world that these animals live in. From the very first time we see Kong running away from a pack of hyena monsters, we immediately understand that it’s a do-or-die world. Whenever the monsters kill one another it’s either just for food or defense. This inter-

pretation of Kong is very different from past iterations. Gone are the days when Kong was just a basic ape that fell for the beauty of Ann Darrows. Kong now uses weapons and sets up traps. This Kong is extremely innovative and often shares a lot of emotion.

The motion capture (mo-cap) for Kong allowed the visual effects team (VFX) to create a really good model for Kong. Kong’s interaction with the environment is extremely natural and honestly the effects overall are pretty good. The only times where the computer-generated imagery (CGI) was lacking was whenever Godzilla was stampeding through a city. But similar to “Godzilla Minus One,” I find this excusable because it’s still impressive what the VFX team was able to do with their relatively smaller budget. I know $135 million is a lot of money but it’s a lot smaller in comparison to the blockbuster movies of today.

Overall “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” stands as a triumph for Godzilla and King Kong fans, with its awesome special effects and action-packed monster fight scenes. This film is the antithesis of your inner 4th-grade self and it’s an absolute blast from start to finish. And with that “Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” gets three and a half potatoes out of five. For more reviews follow me on Instagram @sensai_movieman

Welcome to Sound Bite, a new column that aims towhich covers any and all major musical triumphs, tragedies or controversies fromof the past week. I’ll end every column with a list of personal thoughts and recommendations, but for the most part my goal is to update you on all major musical news in the most unbiased manner that I can.

Just the other week one of the biggest developments of recent rap history has unfolded with the release of Future and Metro Boomin’s newest album “WE DON’T TRUST YOU” which features the likes of Travis Scott, Playboi Carti and The Weeknd.

The album is facing critical and societal success, with multiple songs such as “Type Shit” and “Cinderella” already having more than thirty-ninethirty nine million streams on Spotify alone. There is one song on this album however that stands above the rest.

“Like That” has debuted as Metro Boomin’s first-everfirst ever number-onenumber one hit song and is easily the highlight of the album. Beyond the complex use of samples that makes the beat so unique, there is one other factor that is propelling this song to record-breakingrecord breaking heights. That factor is Kendrick Lamar.


Director and Producer Adam Wingard would monitor his cat’s ‘mischief’s’ mischievous movements as inspiration for how Godzilla would act in the film. Funny enough though, Godzilla Minus one director Takashi Yamazaki also used his cat as inspiration whenit came to the characteristics of his version of Godzilla.

Since our writer Nic comes from the faraway land of Idaho, we believe that a one to five potato scale would be the most appropriate rating system for him to use.

In Kendrick’s controversial feature, he takes shots at not only J. Cole, one of his biggest contemporaries, but Drake as well. Kendrick comes out swinging, attacking Drake’s latest hits, his fame and his latest albums. While this is not the first time Kendrick has made it known he has beef with Drake, it certainly is the most forward example of it.

This song has led to what many fans are calling the latest Rap Civil War, with Metro Boomin himself stating “Onceonce you pick a side stay there.”. Ironically, so far the only response Drake himself has given to the situation is a few cryptic Instagram captions and a small remark at one of his concerts.

J. Cole on the other hand recently released a whole album, with the final song entitled “7 Minute Drill” in which he takes shots back at Kendrick. Fan reactions to J. Cole’s diss have been a bit polarizing within the rap community. While his diss does have a few great bars nestled in it, a vast majority of it is much slower and less aggressive than the Kendrick Lamar feature which started the whole thing.

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Brandon Mattesich Columnist
Veiw more SOUND BITE Online
Photo and Design by Brandon Mattesich (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)




Following a historical season of CWU men’s basketball winning the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament, the Wildcats will be losing key seniors to graduation. The 2024-2025 season is not a wash for the Wildcats though, as throughout their championship run four freshmen made important contributions all starting in multiple games. Forward Maverick Sanders started in every game this season while guards Jordan Clark and Bradley Swillie started in over half of the games. Guard Cavin Holden started several games as well and was an efficient scorer off the bench.

Sanders out of Spokane, Washington stands at 6 feet 6 inches and weighs in at 200 pounds giving him a great frame to contribute on the defensive end. Along with his defense, he averaged 8.0 points per game while shooting very efficiently with 56% of his shots dropping this year. He is also a capable rebounder as he was second on the team in rebounds per game with 4.1. Sanders showed off his scoring upside dropping a career high against Alaska Fairbanks University in a regular season matchup. Shooting 10-17 and 2-5 from three-point range, Sanders was able to put up a team-leading 26 points in that game to put the Wildcats out on top.

“I feel like for a freshman I contributed a lot,” Sanders said. “Coming in I was able to help our team get stops at times, get boards and then go get buckets when we needed to.”

Coming out of Seattle, Washington is Clark, weighing 190 pounds and standing at 6 feet 2 inches tall. He’s brought scoring to the team having had many games where he scored 15 or more points while averaging 7 points per game. In the GNAC semifinals vs. Montana State Billings University, Clark led the team in scoring with 18 points in one of the most important games of his career.

“Obviously at the time it was the biggest game of the year and it was a great win,” Clark said. “I just wanted to help the team win and we really got it done. It was big for me because that game meant so much to the whole team.”

Holden is also a 6 feet 2 inch tall guard but weighs in at 160 pounds and is out of Apple Valley, California. He has both passing and scoring abilities and has been known to go on hot streaks after coming off of the bench for CWU. He’s brought a lot of intensity to his game and is able to hype up the crowd with almost anything he does which led to big momentum swings this past season. He averaged 6.2 points per game and dropped a career-high of 25 off the bench vs Simon Fraser University where he shot 11-14.

“I came off the bench and I’d say I brought a lot of energy,” Holden said. “I think my teammates and coaches, they trusted me with the ball. I think I was good at creating for my teammates, getting them open shots and I have an open shot then I’ll shoot.”

feet 5 inches tall and 185 pounds. Swillie was a key part of why the Wildcats were able to make it to the GNAC championship. Following two missed free throws that would have sealed the game from Montana State Billings, the Wildcats were down by two with 14 seconds to go. Swillie grabbed the rebound and pushed it down the court where with five seconds he made the headsup play to pass it out to senior forward Samaad Hector who hit the three-point shot with three seconds to go to ultimately advance CWU to the playoffs.

Swillie gave his thought process through the play that saved CWU’s season. “I’ll be honest, as soon as he missed the second free throw everything just kind of stopped,” Swillie said. “So I had my man at the top so I’m like I’m gonna go get a layup and we will go to overtime. Then I see him gap and I hit Samaad and he shot it. Everything was still quiet and once he hit it, it was the first time I was able to hear the crowd again. It was just crazy. It was like something you see on TV. It’s a memory I won’t ever forget.”

Swillie was the third leading scorer on the team with 9.4 points per game coming out of Tacoma, Washington. He has brought height at the guard position standing at 6

CWU basketball has a lot of youth and young talent that they will be looking to develop going into next season as they will be searching for back-to-back GNAC championship wins. However, that is not all they are looking for. The freshmen felt they could’ve gone farther in the national tournament this past season. They look forward to competing for that title again next year, seeking a second ring for their sophomore season.

@CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver April 11, 2024 Page 08
Left to right: Cavin Holden facilitating the offense, Maverick Sanders tossing up a jumper, Jordan Clark shooting a three point shot, Bradley Swillie driving to the basket. Photos courtesy of Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Media


Coming up next Saturday, April 13, the CWU softball team will be taking on the Western Oregon University Wolves during the annual Gold Star Family game. The purpose of this game is to honor the families of fallen soldiers, airmen, marines and seamen that lost their lives overseas. This game has been a tradition for the university for several years, and started before the head softball coach, Joe DiPietro, even came to CWU.

“I was down at University [of the] Incarnate Word in San Antonio,” DiPietro said. “Before I came here, and we did [Gold Star Family games] there, obviously San Antonio is a big military city.”

DiPietro went on to explain how he drew inspiration from his friend Joe Spina from Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Chaos Softball team games during their seasons.

“[T]hey would have almost like a flag kind of jersey,” DiPietro explained about the jerseys they wore. “They’d have the stars and stripes on it, then their girls’ numbers, and then underneath that would have a name of a fallen person. And each girl would honor that individual. And I saw that and I thought it was pretty cool.”

DiPietro brought the Gold Star Family games to the university with the help of the Professor of Military Science, Lieutenant Colonel Paolilli. The event is a collaboration between the Wildcat Battalion ROTC pro

“So Joe Paolilli actually came one day and sat in the dugout with [the team] and told them what the meaning of Gold Star is,” DiPietro stated. “Now he wasn’t long, but they were really interested, like they asked him questions. You know they were invested because some of their grandparents or parents … were military people too.”

This year, the CWU softball team will be honoring 13 families during the game as well as wearing jerseys that will have the name of those fallen members and an embroidered gold star on the back.

With Memorial Day coming up in a month, DiPietro talked about the significance he wishes to impart on the softball players.

According to the American Gold Stars Family Organization, Gold Star Families are those who have lost an immediate family member who died as a result of active duty service. As such, it is an emotional game every season for the athletes on the softball team. Assistant coach and former player Rhaney Harris commented on the impact that these games have had on her. “It was always a very emotional event for me, just because I don’t have very many close family members who have ever been enlisted, but seeing the emotion and just the lights on a little kid’s eyes when we give them a ball or we give them the plaque or whatever it is, I think,” Rhaney said. “I think it’s important that the girls see that and understand that because those families have gone through a lot and some of our girls don’t understand that.”

“I think that’s the other thing,” DiPietro explained. “Unless you’ve been involved with a family like that, that’s lost someone, you just go about your business you know. But when you’re involved with someone who made that sacrifice, it hits you different. It really does. When you read about that stuff or you know, you see a video of … a fallen soldier being transported back home and like the family meets him at the airport, when they take them off the plane and stuff like that. It kind of hits you again.”

The Gold Star game will be a double game day starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, with a follow up game at 3 p.m.

“...seeing the emotion and just the lights on a little kids eyes when we give them a ball...”
- Rhaney Harris
April 11 , 2024 Page 09 @CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver
CWU softball player handing a softball to a child of family of a fallen soldier. Softball player representing Captain Antonio Crawford for last year’s Gold Star Game. Photos courtesy of Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Media

March 25, 2024 will forever go down in history as the first release of an artificial intelligence (AI) generated film. On this day, the first ever short film completely made through AI was released to the world. In the one minute short film, “Air Head,” the viewers are shown a variety of generated images, all following what seems to be a man with a yellow balloon for a head. Each image is artificially generated, with all sorts of random pictures flying across the screen. The film was created by the OpenAI tool Sora. Sora is an AI tool that “allows” artists to create videos using this program. In the past few years, people have only been able to create 20-second videos, but recent technological advancements have allowed the masses to produce professional-quality AI content.

“We’re teaching AI to understand and simulate the physical world in motion, with the goal of training models that help people solve problems that require real-world interaction,” according to the Sora website.However this comes with plenty of drawbacks. While this could be seen as a way for companies to help showcase major solutions, this completely undoes the entire point of the idea of film. These aspects of raw filmmaking stand as creative showcases, where tons of love and effort is put into these projects. Even since the film’s first inception in 1888 the whole idea of a moving picture was completely unheard of. And yet with this one simple concept people have been able to expand upon this artform in so many different ways. Filmmaking is an extremely hard business to work in. And so many people try their hardest in this regard. Planning scenes, writing, acting, sound! All of these features are done to provide a unique viewing experience. This problem has only been getting worse. With people now using this tool to re- create classic films. With the first ever being a short film adaptation of the French film “The Red Balloon.”

But what does this mean for the future of filmmaking? “This is groundbreaking technology,” Michael Caldwell, senior lecturer of the film program at CWU, said. “I think this is going to absolutely revolutionize the way we physically make movies. In terms of set design, set construction, going on locations, visu -

al effects, all of that is at risk because of this new technology.” This technology is ever-expanding, and many production companies are starting to look at AI as a cheaper alternative to raw, human filmmaking.

Jason Tucholke, a senior lecturer for the film and theater arts, also weighed in on the subject. Tucholke is a specialist in audio production, and when asked about AI’s usage in audio technology he described the importance of legislation. Tucholke said that through legislation, people need to find a way to protect artists from AI. Tucholke discussed the state of Tennessee’s new Elvis Law, this law t has been established as a way for artists to be protected from the misuse of AI.

But what can people really do about AI? Is there a place for AI in art? Or how can artists protect themselves from AI? Artists are no longer only competing with each other but now machines as well. All might seem lost, but there are some solutions. For example both Caldwell and Tucholke share the opinion that AI does have a place in art. However, both heavily advise that AI must be used very sparingly.

Tucholke recommended that AI could be used as a research aid for screenwriters. So if a screenwriter was working on a Biopic about a very famous person then maybe they could use AI to help make sure that what their writing is historically accurate. AI could even be used to help expand some special effects but only in very, very small amounts. At the end of the day what truly separates real artists from the machines is something that no machine today has been able to replicate yet. “Humans have the ability to tell human stories, stories about the human condition, stories that actually have something to say and aren’t just a series of random images on a screen,” Caldwell said. Filmmaking is a major art form, and it’s up to people how this art form will be preserved.

Photo courtesy of
April 11 , 2024 Page 11 @CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver

When and how did you know you wanted to be a teacher?

“I would say early in high school, most likely Sophomore year. I feel like most people have some kind of idea of what they are interested in by that time, and for me, I had already had TONS of experience working with kids. This work included helping in special needs environments in and out of school, and assistant coaching with my dad for my brother’s sports teams (6 years younger). These were all things I enjoyed, and wanted to continue doing…and what better job is there for that than teaching?!”

Did you have any teachers that inspired you to teach? If so, how?

“Absolutely. Mr. Alonso was my Spanish 1 and Civics teacher. I had him Freshman (Spanish) and Senior (Civics) years in high school. The thing I appreciated most about Mr. Alonso, was his ability to have fun in class and connect with his students WHILE getting school work done. I specifically remember working so hard in his Spanish class Freshman year because I had such a huge amount of respect for him. To me, a lack of performance in Mr. Alonso’s class was never an option, and the fact that I had that mindset couldn’t be a better reflection of him as a teacher. I still have regular contact with Mr. Alonso, and he is very much aware of his role in my wanting to become a teacher!”

What do you think is the most important quality a teacher can have? Why?

“The best teachers are able to create connections with various types of students. The power of a student-teacher relationship can be immeasurable. With such a wide range of backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses that students come from, teachers who are able to form relationships with students regardless of anything are the absolute best, and one I absolutely hope to be. My greatest goal is to be a teacher that my students remember. I want to have an affect on my students similar to how Mr. Alonso has affected me.”

How’re you adjusting to life after college? What’s one tip for your fellow graduates? “I believe I have adjusted pretty well. I have been really busy in the classroom but have been greatly enjoying it. I would say the hardest part is dealing with boredom. I miss my friends everyday, and have to substitute spending time with them with something else. Thankfully, I have a great selection of hobbies to choose from. And that is where my advice for fellow graduates comes in. Find hobbies! You can’t really prepare for the change in your social life after college other than finding things you enjoy doing, big or small.”

Charlotte Barrett Jr. Environmental Science Biology “Ladyfingers”-Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass April 11, 2024 Page 12 @CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver Alexis Gardner Fr. Psychology “Mr. Rager” -Kid Cudi Submit a letter to the editor or a guest column on our website! WILDCAT WORDS Juniper Diegel Jr. Political Science “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)”-Kate Bush What is the last song you cried to? WEEKLY EVENTS Tristan Redman is a CWU student who recently finished his studies. At the end of fall quarter, Redman returned home after completing the necessary courses to obtain his Bachelor of Arts in education and is now working in a sixth grade classroom as a student teacher. Oscar the Observant. (Design by Brittany Cinderella) Education Major See Full Q&A Online Andrew Wilson Jr. Computer Science Griffin Bailey Soph. Graphic Design Tristan Redman “I’m A Controversy”-Ado Owen Gallagher Jr. Film “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”-Jeff Buckley Q&A compiled by Megan Foster. (Photo courtesy of Tristan Redman ) Q&A Q&A 11 THURS 12 FRI 13 SAT 14 SUN 15 MON 16 TUES 17 WED Noon to 1:30 p.m. - Callum Angus: Craft TalkBrooks LIbrary, Student Commons 6 to 7:30 - Callum Angus: Public ReadingBrooks LIbrary, Student Commons 7 to 9 p.m. - CWU Opera: “Die Fledermaus”McConnell Auditorium All Day - OPR: Day Hike 4 to 6 p.m. - Digging for Goals - Brooks Library 152 6 to 9 p.m. - Monday Movie Madness: “Anyone But You” - SURC Theatre 5 to 6 p.m. - Top Rope Clinic - Recreation Center 2 to 5 p.m. - CPR and First Aid Training - SURC 301 6 to 8 p.m. - Una Noche Para SeimpreSURC Ballroom 7 to 9 p.m. - CWU Opera: “Die Fledermaus”McConnell Auditorium 7 to 9 p.m. - CWU Opera: “Die Fledermaus” - McConnell Auditorium 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. - Industry DaySURC Ballroom
“Jigsaw Falling Into Place”-Radiohead

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