CWU Observer, Winter 2020 - Issue 1

Page 1

Vol. 115 NO. 1 | January 16 - January 22, 2020 | @CWUObserver

Inslee proposes $3.28M for campus security Mariah Valles Managing Editor

Téa Green/The Observer

Allied People Offering Year-Round Outreach (APOYO), a non-profit food and clothing bank, has been housed on CWU’s campus since 2001. Their lease with the university will end in June 2020, giving the organization about six months to find a new space to continue operating.

APOYO lease will not be renewed Cassandra Hays Editor-in-Chief

CWU has decided not to renew the lease with APOYO based on lack of student engagement and the physical condition of the building. The organization will have to find a new space by June 30, 2020 in order to continue operating. APOYO, which is also Spanish for “support,” is a non-profit food and clothing bank that has served the lower income community in Ellensburg and surrounding areas since 1999. According to the organization’s website, APOYO provides “ethnically sensitive food and support to a diverse population in our area.” APOYO also serves as a social center for the Mexicano community, according to Founder and President Philip Garrison. While not affiliated with the uni-

versity, APOYO has been located on CWU’s campus since 2001. Over its time on campus, APOYO has been moved three times. Most recently in 2015, the organization was moved to a building near the Brooklane apartments. “When we came into this [building] we complained that it was too small,” Philip said. He added that originally, APOYO was only going to be given half of the space in the building. To make up for lack of space, two shipping containers are kept on the property for donated items that can’t fit inside of the building, such as furniture, appliances and toys. Patricia said that even with the shipping containers, there is not enough space on the property for the amount of items donated to APOYO. “Moving us into our current location

In this issue... Washington minimum wage increased to $13.50

Page 4

Peggy Morache chosen as Person of the Year Page 8

was an insult to our clients,” Patricia said. “This level of disrespect is an even greater insult to the Hispanic students and the community that Central hopes to serve.” Lease Agreement with CWU APOYO keeps its space with CWU based on the conditions outlined in a lease agreement with the university. The lease agreement is renewed on a yearto-year basis. Patricia Garrison, secretary and treasurer of APOYO, said the organization was not directly informed by CWU that the agreement would not be renewed for next year’s occupancy. She said they were told indirectly by the Friends in Serving Humanity (FISH) food bank.

Continued on Page 5

Students give their perspective on current foreign affairs Page 6

Gov. Jay Inslee proposed giving $3.28 million dollars to CWU’s main campus for security enhancements. $1.8 million would go towards installing electronic locking systems on buildings, $622,000 towards a campus-wide video security system and $820,000 towards upgrading the light emergency towers. A supplemental budget session, where legislators meet for 60 days to review proposals, began on Jan. 13. This is where legislators will decide whether to approve, modify or reject the governor’s proposal. On Feb. 6, 2019 there were multiple false reports of gunshots and shooters in buildings on campus. According to CWU’s website, that was when the security needs were identified. “First responders lacked video monitoring systems to verify the information and had no way to lock down automatically,” CWU’s website says. Security Cameras More than half a million dollars would go towards adding video security on campus. Currently, this asset is only in the SURC. According to CWU’s website, the security system would “provide an additional layer of security at remote areas and those that are hard to patrol.” CWU Chief of Police Jason Berthon-Koch called the system a “non-monitored” security system. “We’re not going to have somebody sitting behind a desk watching these monitors 24/7,” Berthon-Koch said.

Continued on Page 3

Alison Mitchell hired as new head softball coach Page 11



January 16, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker

Observation S&A responds to FIRE letter Deck Amy Morris

Cassandra Hays Editor-in-Chief

Welcome back Wildcats! Thanks for picking up our first issue of 2020! The Observer staff is happy to be back in the newsroom, working hard to bring you a fresh newspaper every Thursday. If there’s ever something you’d like to see covered, email us at cwuobserver@ Our goal is to incorporate as many different topics, cultures and voices as we can. Inside this issue you’ll find news, scene and sports stories. From the news section, you can read about how Gov. Jay Inslee proposed giving CWU $3.2 billion to support campus security enhancements. Locally, read about how FISH Community Food Bank’s Peggy Morache won The Daily Record’s “Person of the Year” award. In sports, learn about CWU Softball’s new head coach and her goals for the upcoming season. On top of news, sports and scene, you can read an opinion about being an Uber driver in Ellensburg. With most people getting their news from social media, The Observer is excited to announce its launch of a new digital team. We will be publishing a weekly podcast, The Rundown, where Managing Editor Mariah Valles and News Editor Nick Tucker will be breaking down weekly news. Expect regular guest appearances by other staff members from The Observer. Keep your eye out on our social platforms for more information! On top of the podcast, each week a short video summarizing what’s in the newspaper will be posted on our social media accounts. Which reminds me...If you’re not following us, you should! Find us on Facebook (/ CWUObserver) and on Twitter and Instagram (@ CWUObserver). All of us at The Observer are looking forward to another quarter with new opportunities for the paper and our readers; to tell new stories in modern ways while staying true to our central mission.

Scene Editor

The Services and Activities Committee (S&A) listened to a proposal to defund student media at a meeting on Nov. 20, 2019. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) became aware of this and sent S&A a letter in hopes that the committee would not further entertain any proposals to defund student media in response to content. FIRE is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending basic freedoms–including freedom of speech and of the press–or students and faculty on America’s college campuses. Universities using the power of the funds to censor student media isn’t uncommon, according to FIRE. As advocates for student rights, including student press rights, FIRE sent the letter to encourage the S&A Committee to respect its obligations under the First Amendment. Specifically, FIRE aimed to remind the S&A Committee that funding decisions based on content violate the First Amendment and Washington’s New Voices Act. In the letter FIRE sent, it stated that FIRE and the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) were concerned about the state of freedom of expression, including freedom of the press at CWU. The concern stemmed from the recent discussion by the S&A Committee about withholding base funding for student media. The letter went over the events leading up to the proposal of defunding student media. The letter also went over the issue of censorship regarding administration requesting interview questions ahead of interviews. FIRE stated in the letter that the S&A Committee could not investigate or defund CWU student media because to do so would be to act in a viewpoint-discriminatory and retaliatory manner in contravention of constitutional and state law. At the end of the letter, FIRE requested

that the S&A Committee publicly clarify that they would not retaliate against CWU student media or act in a viewpoint-discriminatory fashion. FIRE also requested that the S&A Committee publicly clarify that no student organization or program—including student media—would risk defunding for engaging in protected expression. The S&A Committee talked about the letter FIRE sent them at their meeting on Jan. 8. The S&A Committee responded to the letter FIRE sent, stating: “Thank you for your communication regarding recent discussions involving CWU student media. The S&A Fee Committee is in agreement regarding any concerns of viewpoint-discriminatory and retaliatory actions taken against any protected speech or expression. The S&A Fee Committee does stand firmly behind the commitment to uphold all protected speech and expression. As the committee discussed in response to a public comment on the subject, the particular content of funded programs or services is outside the scope of authority of the committee. The S&A Fee Committee takes their roles as stewards of the student money very seriously and will continue to remain vigilant in their roles as a recommending budgetary body regarding student services and activities fee allocations.” FIRE wants the public to understand that student newspapers and other student media are meant to be controlled by the students. First Amendment legal theory and Washington’s New Voices law both recognize that the editorial control of a student publication solely belongs to its student editors. When a public university threatens that editorial independence, it’s a threat to the basic tenets of freedom of speech and of the press upon which this nation was founded, according to FIRE.

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January 16, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker

$3.28M proposed for campus security

Continued from Page 1 There are two general scenarios where video cameras will be used: while an emergency is occurring and during a crime investigation. Berthon-Koch addressed concerns about people not wanting to be monitored or watched while on campus. “There’s going to be policies and procedures in place that will restrict that,” Berthon-Koch said. For example, during a criminal investigation, if a police officer wanted to get video footage, they would have to write out a request following “similar standards of a search warrant” according to Berthon-Koch. Berthon-Koch would then have to sign off on the request in order to take the footage off the system. The second scenario when the security cameras would be used is when an event is happening. Berthon-Koch suggested using commencement as an example. Having security cameras would allow the police department to monitor commencement more efficiently when it comes to safety.

He mentioned an “incident command” center where safety officials are standing by in case of an incident or emergency. Having video cameras at the incident command center would allow for one person to watch cameras and talk to those at the scene to be able to make “quicker” and more “strategic” decisions according to Berthon-Koch. “The cameras are going to provide us another layer of security for our students, faculty and staff,” he said. “I’m excited that we’ve taken the initial step, that it’s in the governor’s budget, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to get it.” Blue Light Towers If the proposal is approved, 28 emergency blue light phones would be upgraded. This upgrade includes enabling the towers to become a mass audio notification system. Berthon-Koch said the audio notifications would be beneficial for those running outside and anybody who’s outside and not paying attention to their phones while being on campus. Locking Doors Only the newest buildings on campus have key card access according to CWU’s website. Having buildings with key card access and electronically lockable doors allows emergency response teams to lockdown buildings without having to be physically at the building. Berthon-Koch said events, not just the one in February, revealed the need to be able to lock, and unlock, buildings on campus in the event of an emergency.

Graphics by Teagan Kimbro





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“Key card access to buildings is going to allow us to lock buildings down, and-or unlock buildings by my phone,” Berthon-Koch said. Only certain people will have the ability to lockdown buildings. According to Berthon-Koch, people are only stopped from entering buildings, not exiting buildings, in a lockdown situation. Berthon-Koch said if approved, once the money is received, it would take about a year for the project to be completed.



January 16, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker

Min. wage increased to $13.50 Nicholas Tucker News Editor

The Washington state minimum wage has been increased to $13.50 from $12.00 per hour, raising the wages of over two thousand student employees. The wage increase happened on Jan. 1 in accordance with Initiative 1433 which was approved by Washington voters in 2016. The initiative increased the minimum wage by between $1 and $1.50 at the start of every year until 2020. Every year starting in 2021 will bring a minimum wage increase based on the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries’ cost of living analysis. The change was generally received well by student employees who are glad to be paid more. Aliana Sandifer, a senior and barista at The 1891 Bistro said that the minimum wage increase is a great thing that she thinks should continue as long as it doesn’t lead to a rise in the cost of living. Senior Chris Olsen who works at the Samuelson help desk agrees. “It’s important [to keep increasing minimum wage], especially for students because we’re all broke,” Olsen said. “It’s hard sometimes, there’s living expenses and it makes people rely on loans.” Olsen said the money he makes from the wage increase will go to supporting his family. For most students, the hours they work won’t change. This is because CWU offi-

cials have known about the yearly wage increase since Initiative 1433 was passed, and have been able to budget for it according to Monique Gonzalez, student employment specialist for human resources. “Nothing’s changed as far as how many jobs are being offered or how many students that we will, in the future, hire,” Gonzalez said. “Each department on campus does have specific budget requirements.”

One student who wished to remain anonymous expressed frustration that they were being paid higher than the previous minimum wage for performing extra supervising responsibilities and didn’t receive a proportionate wage. “The minimum wage increase itself is good,” the student said. “However, I am frustrated with the university. I was making $13.50 for supervising and $12 when

Graphic by Teagan Kimbro

I was not. I now get paid $13.50 for both, which is great because I’m making more money, except I’m not being paid proportionally for the extra responsibilities.” All CWU departments are responsible for complying with minimum wage standards for their employees but are, according to Gonzalez, free to work within their budgets to pay students what they deem is warranted.

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Editor: Mariah Valles

Téa Green/The Observer

APOYO, a food and clothing bank located on campus, provided food to nearly 400 families last month. The organization provides “ethnically sensitive food and support to a diverse population” in the Ellensburg area.

CWU isn’t renewing lease, APOYO in need Continued from Page 1 Dean of Student Success Gregg Heinselman said Philip reached out to facilities in regards to the leased space in fall. CWU Facilities directed Philip to the student success department and Heinselman met with Philip on Nov. 26. During their meeting, Heinselman informed Philip that the lease might not be extended. Heinselman said Philip has been formally notified through email about the termination of the lease, but he has not yet responded. The lease states either party can choose to terminate the agreement with 30 days written notice. APOYO’s lease will end on June 30, 2020, at which point it will not be renewed, Heinselman said. This gives APOYO about six months to find a new space. “We wanted to be fair and give them as much notice as possible,” Heinselman said. Reasons For Termination Student engagement is a condition within the lease agreement. According to the lease, CWU and APOYO are to arrange opportunities for students to participate as volunteers, interns or otherwise. Heinselman said students have not been engaging with the space. “We’ve offered it to the student community for service opportunities, but to date, there’s almost been little-to-no participation,” Heinselman said. Another condition is that CWU can end the lease based on the physical condition of the facility. Buildings on campus are assessed each year and are rated on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the worst condition. The building currently

housing APOYO has a condition rating of 4.49, which is the worst condition of any facility on campus. “APOYO’s been in a building for a couple years that...we shouldn’t be using as a structure for any purpose other than probably storage,” Heinselman said. Whether or not the building will be demolished is up to CWU Facilities, Heinselman said, and given the current condition of the space, it’s not likely to be around much longer.

FISH and APOYO The Washington state legislative capital budget for 2019-21 included almost $81 million toward the 13th Legislative district, with $772,000 going towards the FISH community food bank for a new space. Heinselman said FISH has reached out to APOYO to collaborate with them in a new space, which is another reason that CWU has decided to terminate the lease. “It’s a nice opportunity for them to partner with the community and grow what’s available in a facility that’s designed and is appropriate and collaborates with other community resources,” Heinselman said. “As a state institution, it’s the right approach for us to take... knowing that there’s an opportunity for them at the end.” According to Patricia, APOYO provides services that other food banks such as FISH doesn’t provide. Nearly every person who works and volunteers for APOYO is bilingual. According to Patricia, unlike FISH, APOYO doesn’t keep any information about any of their clients. Another main difference is that nobody is turned away from APOYO. Every Wednesday and Saturday, anyone can come to APOYO and walk away with a box of food. A basic package includes a whole frozen

chicken, rice, beans, masa, oatmeal, bread and whatever canned goods and produce are available. APOYO does not limit its services to Kittitas county, according to Patricia. Last month, the organization fed 369 families from all over the region, some as far away as Mattawa. In addition to food, APOYO also provides clothing, toys, furniture and appliances. The organization will also deliver food to people who are unable to make it to APOYO, or in case of emergencies. According to APOYO’s website, 106,000 pounds of food were distrib-

uted to 3,500 households consisting of 12,600 individuals, an increase of 36% percent from the previous year. Phillip and Patricia said one reason for the increase in clients is the recent cut to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The differences in how the two organizations are run would cause problems if APOYO were to share a space with FISH, according to both Philip and Patricia. “If we lose this place we have nowhere else to go, that’s the end of it,” Philip said.

Téa Green/The Observer

Every Wednesday and Saturday anybody can come to APOYO and pick up a box of food. A basic package includes a whole frozen chicken, rice, beans, masa, oatmeal, bread and any available canned goods.

What’s going on in the Middle East? Is it WWIII? Story by Nicholas Tucker | Design by Aiden Knabel What do students know? The dominating news for the early weeks of 2020 has been the ongoing tensions and military conflict between the United States and Iran. When CWU students were asked for their knowledge on the situation, nearly all heard that the United States is sending troops to the Middle East and most reported that their knowledge came from what they had seen and read on social media. “As long as it doesn’t go to what the memes are telling me I should be fine, they’re all talking about World War Three,” one student said. “I know that someone got assassinated and the media has been making this person out to be the worst person ever, which I think is interesting when we’ve never heard of this person,” another student said.

The Perspective of an Iranian CWU Student While many Americans and CWU students are learning about the conflict through memes of being drafted into World War Three, there are those here who have personal experiences with both countries. Mohsen Asadalla is a senior whose family is from Iran. He was born and raised in Bahrain where he lived until he was 15 before immigrating to the United States to play basketball. “I got crushed pretty quick,” Asadalla said of his basketball career. “It was difficult for me in the beginning. I was 15 years old and the difference in culture, not being with my parents and family was very hard.” Asadalla is about to graduate from CWU with a political science degree. He hopes the degree will help him get a job related to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. He wants to bring awareness to the complexity of countries like Iran and the similarities between average people in the U.S. and the Middle East. “We wake up, go to work, meet family because we’re very family oriented,” Asadilla said. “People so shallowly analyze the Middle East not knowing the cultural and religious complexities of the region…and that’s why the conflicts never end.” For the past two decades, the largest military engagements the US military has taken part in within the Middle East have been in Iraq. This, according to Asadalla, can lead to people seeing most middle eastern countries through the lens of Iraq which can lead to underestimating Iran’s level of development. “Iran is much different,” Asadalla said. “It would resist anything from the U.S. even though it realizes that it’s much weaker in terms of military capabilities. The people have a resistance factor, not giving in to a system that they’re not willing to give in to.”

Who is Qasem Soleimani?

Qasem Soleimani was a 62-year-old major general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was regarded as the second most powerful person in Iran behind Supreme Leader Khamenei. On Jan. 3 General Soleimani was killed by an American drone strike at the Baghdad International Airport. Soleimani was a popular and heroic figure in Iran according to a public opinion study by the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland and a decorated veteran in the Iran-Iraq war. According to Time, Soleimani directly collaborated with the U.S. to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan and helped oversee the Kurdish and Iraqi forces as they worked to eliminate ISIS. However, he also worked closely with the government of Bashar al-Assad throughout the Syrian Civil War, helping Russia further its goals in the region and leading to the deaths of hundreds of American service members according to the New York Times. Soleimani was sanctioned by the United Nations and European Union in 2011 and was designated as a terrorist by the U.S.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Timeline of Events Dec. 27, 2019 7:20 p.m. K-1 Air Base hit by missiles K-1 Air Base in Iraq is one of many which hosts American and British forces tasked with combating ISIS. The base was hit by rockets on Dec. 27, 2019 which killed seven, including four U.S. service members and an American civilian contractor. Kata’ib Hezbollah denies responsibility for the attack.

Dec. 31, 2019 - Jan. 1, 2020 Kata’ib Hezbollah militia attacks US embassy in Iraq

Dec. 29, 2019 U.S. airstrikes Kata’ib Hezbollah militia locations According to BBC and the New York Times, after the K-1 Air Base attack, the U.S. blamed the Iranian-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah militia and launched airstrikes on several militia weapon storage facilities and command centers “What we did is take a decisive response that makes clear what President Trump has said for months and months and months, which is that we will not stand for the Islamic Republic of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. The Iraqi government condemned the airstrikes with Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi calling them “a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and a dangerous escalation and threat to the security of Iraq and the region.”

A protest develops at the American Embassy in Iraq which quickly turns into a violent attack. The Iranian government once again denied responsibility, with Supreme Leader Khamenei tweeting that “if Iran wants to fight a country, it will strike directly.”

Jan. 2, 2020 U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announces that the U.S. would begin preemptively striking Iranian-backed paramilitary groups.

Jan. 3, 2020-1:00 a.m Qasem Soleimani killed in drone strike

Jan. 8, 2020 Operation Martyr Soleimani

Jan. 10, 2020 Trump Administration imposes economic sanctions on Iran

Iran fires 16 missiles at US-Iraqi coalition air bases according to defense secretary Esper. The attack resulted in no casualties and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif tweeted: “Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense...We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.” This prompted President Donald Trump to make an announcement that: “Iran appears to be standing down,” though according to US officials speaking to CNN, troops and missile batteries stationed in Iraq remain on high alert.

Jan. 12, 2020 Hezbollah Secretary General calls for Iran, Syria, and allies to unite against U.S. Photo sources:,,, Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office, MEHR News Agency, Middleburry Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Ministry of Defense (Israeli), Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader, U.S. Air Force



January 16, 2020

Editor: Amy Morris

The impactful work of Peggy Morache

Téa Green/The Observer

Amy Morris Scene Editor

Going into nonprofit work is not what Peggy Morache planned to do, it found her. She is, however, glad she ended up in a nonprofit because she likes knowing her work is helping people instead of a business. Morache is the executive director of Friends and Services for Humanity (FISH) in Ellensburg. Morache is the Executive Director of Friends and Services for Humanity (FISH) in Ellensburg, and was recently selected as The Daily Record’s Person of the Year. “The most rewarding thing is when I see someone’s life is completely changed because we were here to help them,” Morache said. Morache grew up in Atlanta, Georgia

and moved to New York when she was in her 30s for a job position and was there for about 30 years. Throughout her life, Morache has moved around multiple times because of her husband’s job, which is running healthcare facilities. For college Morache went to the University of Western Georgia where she got her degree in English. She then attended the University of Rochester where she studied women’s studies for two years. Before working at FISH, Morache worked at the social ministries for the five Methodist churches in the Las Vegas valley. Another job she had included directing a Red Cross chapter. She also has directed the national events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. Morache originally moved to Ellensburg in following her husband’s work, but her nonprofit experience landed her an opportunity at FISH. A board member knew she had nonprofit experience and asked her to be a consultant at FISH. FISH then decided to make a change in their executive management and Morache was hired as the executive director. Morache has now lived in Ellensburg for four years, working at FISH for three. Bruce Tabb, the mayor of Ellensburg, met Morache when she came on the board of directors at Elmview and has known her for around four years. Tabb believes the work Morache does is important because she approaches her work for FISH with a vision of building a broader community. “I think she brought both that vision, the ability to articulate that vision,” Tabb

said. He went on to say that she consistently works at attaining her visions. Morache’s position at FISH consists of working on what is ahead for the nonprofit. Right now, her main goal at FISH is to get land for a new building as all programs at FISH are growing and space is needed. Other duties she has are administering grants and ensuring the financial stability of the organization. The value of obtaining the new building is that it helps support all the people in the community to live with dignity and be seen as integral parts of making it all work Tabb said. Marcus Bowman, the president of the board of directors at FISH, has known Morache since she started working for FISH. While Bowman is in charge of overseeing the mission of FISH and carrying out its vision, Morache is in charge of the execution of plans. Bowman believes Morache has done a good job setting up the organization to live beyond her in terms of creating a good structure and making sure their are good people in charge of all the programs. Another way Morache has made an impact is in searching for different sources of funding for FISH other than donations. Morache has been active in searching for different grants and contracts, according to Morache. Morache has achieved many accomplishments over the years. She expanded the programs at FISH dramatically which as a result has doubled the personnel over the last year. She is also proud of the work she accomplished to help stabilize the social ministries in Las Vegas. She started a

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prison ministry that helped a lot of women who were trying to re-establish their lives after prison. “Most of them had been drug addicts and prostitutes and they were turning their lives around and I am really proud of that ministry,” Morache said. When Morache is not working she is caring for her pug, gardening and cooking. She also enjoys going to plays and movies. As far as life goals go, Morache plans to travel more. This summer Morache and her husband are going to France for a river cruise. Another goal Morache has is writing a book on angels and miracles. “I have seen so many miracles in this job, so many times there has been divine intervention to help us get where we are,” Morache said.

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January 16, 2020

Drive... and get paid for it Design: Teagan Kimbro

Nick Jahnke Columnist

Driving with Uber is a great way for students to make extra money during the week and weekend and driving in a small town like Ellensburg is a lot more leisurely and rewarding than driving in a big city like Seattle. Student-drivers are usually busy during the week with classes and extracurriculars, so it makes sense that they would only be able to drive on the weekends. This works out, as that’s when all the business seems to occur. Unlike a bigger city that has more business, the only time to make any real money in Ellensburg is Thursday through Saturday night. That being said, the experience of driving in Ellensburg is preferable and it’s a great way for students to make some extra dough. The most stark difference between driving in Seattle and Ellensburg is the difficulty and distance of rides. Seattle can be an insane place for motorists, especially during bad weather. The majority of rides in Seattle are 10-45 minutes long, and may require some tricky navigation through the often confusing streets of the city. In Ellensburg, the bulk of rides are from the residential area near campus and downtown. These rides rarely take more than five minutes to complete. There’s never any real traffic here. Easy money.

Then there’s the people. If you, like me, choose to drive on the weekends here, they will be drunk. This might be a problem for some, but it’s vastly entertaining for me. I get to meet a lot of people over the weekends, a lot of which are actually friendly and want to talk to their driver. People in Seattle seem much more withdrawn. Driving around weekend partiers has other benefits as well. Most everyone is down to bump some hip-hop or other high energy music and have a good time on the way to the bars or home from them. Every drive feels like a miniature party. I may even get a little disco ball. As for the money, there’s a solid opportunity to line ones pockets by the end of the weekend. On an average weekend night in Ellensburg, its common to walk away with 100 dollars from rider fees alone. It’s not uncommon to make a little more in tips, which a select few people in this town will actually give you. It is also important

(509) 963-1073

to note that driving until the end of the night means going until around 2 a.m. 2 a.m. may seem like a bit of a stretch, but not to worry, it doesn’t require that one drives the whole time. There are often small lulls throughout the night during which the driver is free to go watch some tv or get some grub. Also, the app lets you go on and off the clock as you please. For anyone who has thought about joining and becoming a driver, the process has some caveats and can be lengthy. The first step is the car. To be eligible, your car must be no more than ten years old. If you have an eligible car, you’ll have to upload a few documents and submit to a background check. It can take up

to 15 business days to clear. Once that’s finished, the last major step is to get your vehicle to pass an inspection. This can be pricey as the local mechanics won’t do it for less than 100 dollars. I was able to find a website called rideshare mechanic that does the whole inspection over video chat and if the inspection is passed, charges only 30 dollars. That’s basically it. If you can jump through those hoops, Uber does the rest of the work and acquires the proper licenses on your behalf.

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January 16, 2020

Editor: Austin Lane

Transfers make impact on court

Austin Lane Sports Editor

Despite a 1-5 conference start, the CWU Men’s Basketball team has seen positive signs from some of the transfers on the team that are new to CWU this season. One athlete that has been making his presence felt so far is senior guard Davon Bolton. Bolton is averaging 9.1 points per game and has been trending upward, scoring double digits in four out of the last six games. In the team’s first conference road game of the season against Western Washington University, Bolton had 18 points, two assists and five rebounds. Two games prior, the senior had a season-high 19-point game against Multnomah University. “I’m just being more aggressive, picking my shots better,” Bolton said. Head coach Brandon Rinta knows there are some challenges that come with being in the program for only one season, but that Bolton has made the necessary adjustments. “He’s adjusted quickly and has been a big part of what we are doing,” Rinta said. “We needed another ball handler and a guy that is capable of scoring the basketball from outside and at the rim and he’s been able to prove he can do that in this conference.” Another athlete that is playing well for the team is junior forward Kevin Baker. After coming back from an injury that kept him out for the first couple weeks of the season, Baker is now averaging 14.4 points per game and 5.1 rebounds per game. Baker has scored double digits in seven out of the eight games he has

played so far this season. Against Montana State University Billings (MSUB) on Saturday night, the junior had 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and a season-high three steals. “I think the guys just accepted me in,” Baker said. “We all know how to play off each other’s strengths and they’re just getting me in my spots and I’m just making shots right now.” Rinta attributes Baker’s success to his feel for the game. Rinta said Baker is an extremely skilled and intelligent basketball player. “He, more often than not, makes the right reads, whether it’s dribbling, shooting or passing it. That’s what this team desperately needed,” Rinta said. Sophomore forward Tariq Woody, a transfer from Wheeling Jesuit University, had a breakout game against MSUB on Saturday. The 6-foot-8 forward went for a season-high 29 points to go along with six rebounds and one assist. Woody was on the court for 20 minutes and shot 72.2% on the night, putting up 18 shots and knocking down 13 of them. The team is gearing up for a two-game home stand against Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks this week. The Anchorage game starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 and the Fairbanks game starts at 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18. Rinta said the team needs to get back to .500 by winning one game at a time. “Everybody wants to win, nobody wants to lose. It’s a long season, we’re just starting to really get into GNAC play,” Rinta said. “That first weekend wasn’t how we wanted to start out at home and so what that does is it puts us in a position where we’ve gotta find ways to get more wins on the road.”

Téa Green/The Observer

After recovering from an injury, Kevin Baker (left) immediately made a difference on offense, using skills and knowledge to his advantage.

JANUARY 8 - 21, 2020



FOR NEXT ACADEMIC YEAR The first 100 students who sign up for priority selection will receive a free shirt, and everyone who signs up during January 8 - 21 are entered to



Téa Green/The Observer

Visit MyHousing through MyCWU or


Davon Bolton was quick to adapt to his new team and his aggressive strategy has shown positive results recently.

Men’s Basketball schedule

Jan. 11

@ MSUB L, 91-92 (OT)

Jan. 16

UAA 7:30 p.m.

Women’s Basketball schedule

Jan. 18

UAF 7:15 p.m.

Jan. 23

@ CU 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 11

@ UAF W, 68-65

Jan. 16

WWU 5:15 p.m.

Jan. 18 SFU 5 p.m.

Jan. 23

@ CU 5:15 p.m.



January 16, 2020

Editor: Austin Lane

Mitchell steps up to the plate Austin Lane Sports Editor

CWU Athletic Director Dennis Francois has made his choice. Alison Mitchell will take over as CWU’s new head coach for the softball program after previous head coach Mike Larabee left the program in October. Mitchell has had no previous coaching experience at the collegiate level, but has quite the resumé coaching high school softball. At Redmond High School (RHS), Mitchell was an assistant coach from 2013-15 and the head coach since 201619. Since 2013, RHS placed top 10 in the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association (WIAA) state tournament every season. In 2017, RHS was the 3A state champion. Outside of that, the team won three division titles, two King county titles and a district title. Mitchell previously coached at Skyline High School and Eastside Catholic High School, leading both to multiple WIAA postseason appearances. Mitchell was simultaneously the

head coach for the a student of the Washington Ladygame,” Mitchell hawks, a softball said. “I look at travel organization the game in a tofor middle and tally different way high school aththan someone who letes that is unafhas had college filiated with school experience and athletics. With has been trained the Ladyhawks, by other people. Mitchell was a reYou’re going to cruiting coach and teach what you infield and outfield know and what I instructor from know is how to 2006-09. In 2009, analyze the game Mitchell became a Courtesy of CWU Athletic Communications from an outsiders head coach for the point of view to program. During her time what makes sense and coaching the Ladyhawks, what gets the best results We’re gonna win the for players.” the program produced conference again. athletes that went on to Celine Huerta, a forplay collegiate softball in Alison Mitchell, head coach mer athlete who played the PAC-12, Southeastunder Mitchell for the ern Conference, Atlantic Ladyhawks and graduatCoast Conference and ed from CWU in 2018, other prestigious DI conferences. said Mitchell has many skills that make “Developing those athletes to pre- her a good choice for the position. Some pare them for this level has made me of those skills are a high intelligence for

“ ”

the game, knowing how to relate to players and the ability to draw people in with her personality. In an interview with The Observer in October 2019, Francois said he was looking for a coach that has integrity and is “hungry” to have a competitive and successful program. “I think all those things were validated during our pretty in-depth reference check with coach Mitchell,” Francois said. Mitchell will take over for a program that has been successful for multiple years. Since 2016, the Wildcats have had a conference record over .500 every season, one GNAC tournament win, one NCAA Division II West Regional tournament win and an appearance in the NCAA Division II West Super Regional tournament. “We’re gonna win the conference again,” Mitchell said. “My realistic expectation is to continue what we’ve been doing. We’re not only going to win the conference again, I’m expecting that we will make a charge to win the postseason tournament and go to regionals.”


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Join CWU's Wildcat Battalion Army ROTC! Call (509) 963-3518 - email Stop by Lind Hall, Rm. 220 or visit for more information. ©2019. Paid for by the United States Army. All rights reserved.

Track and Field schedule

Jan. 18 @ UW TBD

Jan. 23 @ UI 10 a.m.

Rugby schedule Men’s

Jan. 31-Feb. 1 @ UW TBD

Feb. 7-8 @ BSU TBD

Jan. 18 @ OSU 1 p.m.

Jan. 16

@ WWU 1 p.m.


Jan. 25

Seattle Saracens 1 p.m.

Feb. 1


12 January 16, 2020

W H AT ’ S H A P P E N I N G ALL WEEK Winter 2020 Group X Schedule Check out the new schedule of Group X offerings for Winter Quarter and register at Indoor Ironman Registration ends 2/1 • $15 Sign up for an Indoor Ironman at CWU during the month of February. Register at the Recreation Center front desk. Housing Priority Selection Jan. 8-21 Current housing students may sign up for housing priority selection. The first 100 students to sign up receive a t-shirt and everyone who signs up by Jan. 21 is entered to win free housing for the year 2020-2021. Functional 50 Sign up by 1/20 • Rec Center Desk Commit to your fitness this year, and sign up for Functional 50 - 50 minutes of mobility, stability, strength, and conditioning training 3 days a week.


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Manastash Call for Submissions Due 2/14 • ManastashLiteraryJournal. Submit your academic writing, creative non-fiction, graphic design, poetry and short stories to Manastash, CWU’s annual student literary journal. THURS. JAN. 16 Financial Aid Workshop 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. • Black Hall 226 • Free Stop by this workshop for dedicated time to work on the FAFSA with a counselor. Opening for Natalie Krick Exhibit Artist talk 4 p.m. Opening reception 5 p.m. Sarah Spurgeon Gallery • Free Join photographer Natalie Krick for the opening reception of her exhibit. Open Mic Night 7:30 p.m. signups, 8 p.m. perform • 1891 Bistro • Free Sign up and perform, or just listen! MON. JAN. 20 Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No Classes Monday Movie Madness: “Harriet” 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. • SURC Theatre Free for CWU Students, $3/GA Based on the life of iconic American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman. TUE. JAN. 21 It’s Yo Birthday 12-1 p.m. • SURC Pit • Free, Students Stop by for a cupcake to celebrate your birthday for 2020. WED. JAN. 22 ASCWU Constitution Changes Forum 4-6 p.m. • SURC Pit • Free ASCWU Student Government has proposed some changes to how your student government is structured! Join this open forum to discuss these changes, ask questions, and give feedback! We want your input!


your n i r e t t kitty li it e r o t S stuck, t e g you snow. e car. If h t t l e elp m h n a c safe! e v i r D


01.16 01.17 01.18 01.19

National Fig Newton Day Michelle Obama’s Birthday National Winnie the Pooh Day National Popcorn Day

01.21 01.22

National Cheese Lover’s Day Celebration of Life Day

01.20 Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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