CWU Observer Winter 2020 - Issue 7

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Showtime at Central Lobbying for students GNAC Championship

Showtime | Page 7

Undocumented | Page 5

Vol. 115 NO. 7 | Feb. 27- March 4, 2020

Wildcats| Page 8 | @CWUObserver

ELECTROPOLIS LIVE EDM music was brought to life at CWU by 88.1 The ‘Burg DJs last Saturday

Riel Hanson/The Observer

Tamara Sevao Staff Reporter

About 100 people crowded into the SURC ballroom. Some students are headbanging while others are dancing. The lights are choreographed to flash to the music and CO2 cannons are being fired. Every Friday, Electropolis hits the airwaves on 88.1 The ‘Burg. Electronic dance music (EDM) was brought to life by the Electropolis DJs for the first time on Feb. 22. Students interested in EDM, like senior Monica Rodriguez, majoring in social services, said the event was very important because a lot of students identify with EDM. “EDM music can touch people the same way other genres of music can,” Rodriguez said. “It’s really something that can bring people together more than drift them apart, so I think it’s important that Ellensburg has this unity.”

See Electropolis | Page 6

Gaudino steps down

Mariah Valles Managing Editor

CWU President James L. Gaudino announced that he will be stepping down from his position on July 31, 2021. “Serving you has been an honor. I look forward to our continued successes during the next year and a half, and, perhaps, as a faculty colleague in the years to come,” Gaudino wrote in an email to the campus community. “Even more, I look forward to many continued friendships.” Gaudino stated at a press conference on Feb. 19 that he chose to announce his step down so far in advance in order to give the Board of Trustees

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plenty of time to find his replacement. Gaudino became CWU’s President in 2009. Prior to his position, Gaudino was the executive director of the National Communication Association and was a faculty member at Michigan State University’s advertising department. “During his tenure, Central has experienced a record infusion of state construction funding, completed a comprehensive overhaul and updating of information systems, initiated a modernization of budget and management systems, and sought to create a safe and inclusive campus environment,” CWU’s website says.

See Gaudino | Page 3

Téa Green/The Observer



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News 2

February 27, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker

Observation Deck Hey Wildcats! I hope everyone has had a great week. This time of year can be stressful as campus gears up for finals, so this week’s issue features two engagement pages full of activities to keep you entertained. Flip to our back pages to help yourself destress! Last Wednesday, President James L. Gaudino announced he would be stepping down from his position after 11 years. To discover more about why he stepped down, as well as student reactions, take a look at the news section. There, you can also read about the bill that several students are lobbying for which aims to create an undocumented student loan program. In Scene this week, read up about two major events that happened last weekend: Electropolis and Showtime at Central. In this week’s Sports section, find out

how student athletes balance school and sports, and discover how our men’s and women’s basketball teams plan to secure their spots in the playoffs. You can also turn to our center spread for a full recap on the track and field indoor GNAC championship last weekend. If there is anything you ever want to see covered in The Observer, or you have art, poetry, a letter to the editor or any other work you would like to submit, please reach out to us at cwuobserver@ We love having the opportunity to feature our readers! To keep up with us on a day-to-day basis, you can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @cwuobserver. Have a great week everyone!

Paneal Holland/The Observer On Jan. 18 CWU men’s basketball team played an intense game against Alaska. The players did their best, but took an unfortunate loss with a score of 60-78.”

Cassandra Hays Editor-in-Chief

Quote of the Week

“The thing I love most about [EDM] music is that it brings people together, it tells a story. For me, this is my life. This is what I hope to spend my life doing.”

Matthew Weimals, Electropolis DJ

Paneal Holland/The Observer Christine Chafin is one of the fitness instructors at CWU. She helps students stay on track with their fitness by teaching Group X. She makes exercising fun and enjoyable by instructing Cycling & P90X.

The Observer Staff Editor-in-Chief: Cassandra Hays Managing Editor: Mariah Valles News Editor: Nicholas Tucker Scene Editor: Amy Morris Sports Editor: Austin Lane Photo Editor: Téa Green Online & Opinion Editor: Nick Jahnke Graphic Designers: Aiden Knabel & Teagan Kimbro 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

Correction In a story about provost candidates, Amy Claridge’s last name was incorrectly spelled “Calridge.” Britt Rios-Ellis was also incorrectly written with the last name “Ross-Ellis.”

Staff Reporters Della Babcock Taylor Clark Abigail Duchow Jake Freeman Photographers Riel Hanson Paneal Holland

Phoebe Lai Tamara Sevao Bailey Tomlinson Harleen Kaur Copy Desk

Aeryn Kauffman

Faculty Adviser: Cynthia Mitchell Email: Advertising: Cait Dalton Email: Central Washington University 400 East University Way Lind Hall 114A Ellensburg, WA 98926

News February 27, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker


Gaudino announces retirement Continued from Page 1

Gaudino at a glance

Gaudino became CWU’s President in 2009. Prior to his position, Gaudino was the executive director of the National Communication Association and was a faculty member at Michigan State University’s advertising department. “During his tenure, Central has experienced a record infusion of state construction funding, completed a comprehensive overhaul and updating of information systems, initiated a modernization of budget and management systems, and sought to create a safe and inclusive campus environment,” CWU’s website says. Freshman Josue Ochoa hopes Gaudino’s successor is able to represent the university like Gaudino did for 11 years. “I just hope that the next person that steps up is someone that can represent Central correctly,” Ochoa said. “I would hope that they don’t think they have to … fill in the shoes of someone, but create a new pathway for someone else.”

- Started as CWU President Jan 1, 2009 - Will retire from position July 31, 2021 Accomplishments: - Barto, Samuelson renova tions - Dugmore Hall and Northside Commons - Groundbreaking of Health Sciences Building - Helped CWU survive Great Recession after 2009 - Set long-term diversity, sustainability goals for CWU Téa Green/The Observer

Dear CWU Community,

After 11 years as CWU President, I have decided to step down effective July 31, 2021. I will officially inform the Board of Trustees at this weeks’ meeting, providing them sufficient time to search for my successor. During my tenure, it has been an honor to work alongside faculty, staff, students, alumni, Trustees, legislators, and community members to build the strength and reputation of CWU as a welcoming community for all persons seeking a first-class University education.


I credit each of you for your hard work, your caring, and your shared belief that we must always, always, strive to be better tomorrow than we are today.

Serving you has been an honor. I look forward to our continued successes during the next year and a half, and, perhaps, as a faculty colleague in the years to come. Even more, I look forward to many continued friendships. -James L. Gaudino

S&A budget falls short Bailey Tomlinson Staff Reporter

A motion was made at the Feb. 12 Services and Activities (S&A) committee meeting to cease consideration for all future supplemental funding requests until a decision could be made about how best to address a shortage of funds. The motion, proposed by Committee Parliamentarian Eric Bennett, was seconded by ASCWU Executive Vice President Alejandro Alcantar, but ultimately did not pass. Before hearing requests for supplemenPhotos by Nicholas Tucker/The Observer tal funding for the meeting, the floor was S&A committee member Dane Gillian (second from left) speaks on Committee Parliamentarian Eric Bennett’s (with lanyard) proposal to halt funding request. opened to committee members to discuss concerns about the current status of the budget. S&A Committee Chair Brandon job of the committee. to have supplemental [funds],” Bryant said. which the committee is allocating funds, but Wear-Grimm suggested making a decision “I think the question is: ‘do we make Reaching the end of the budget is not an she did feel as though the current system faon whether or not to expand this year’s an adjustment to the budget?’” Gillin said. unusual circumstance for the committee, but vors early requestors. Hogan said she felt as budget once all the funds had been allocat- “I don’t think the question is: ‘do we stop members have spoken to it happening earlier though requests made while funds are high ed. Bennet raised concerns about having all funding?’ I think that’s a little drastic.” this year than it has in years prior. needed less merit to be approved than those to turn requestors down The committee bud“We have been in this circumstance be- made when funds are lower. during a period of decigeted $300,000 for sup- fore, but it usually happens “I felt bad, because sion making where funds plemental funding this towards the end of spring I’m almost positive that if may not be available. almost any of those clubs I think we need to end year and currently has quarter. So we are a little I don’t think the ques- requested money … when “Whatever we decide any future requests, be- around $26,000 left. ahead of time than we norwith the current requests, cause all it’s going to do S&A Fee Commit- mally have been,” Student tion is: ‘do we stop all the funds were higher I I think we need to end is just make that pot of tee Advisor Joseph Bry- Funds Financial Manager funding?’ I think that’s a don’t think it would have little drastic. any future requests, be- requests grow. ant said supplemental Lacy Lampkins said. really been a considercause all it’s going to do funding is one time use, Lampkins speculates ation for the board to apis just make that pot of pulled from a reserve that the funds being spent prove them or not. I think Dane Gillian, Eric Bennett, requests grow with no that doesn’t have an on- so quickly may be due to they would have been apCommittee Member decision at the moment Committee Parliamentarian going intake of money new deadlines the commitproved.” Hogan said. to increase the budget to replace what is taken. tee has put in place for students and groups Wear-Grimm wants to remain transparent or not,” Bennett said during the meeting. The committee’s budget comes from S&A who want to be heard. with students on the status of the committee’s “And I just think we should be fair to peo- fees applied to students at the beginning This year is the first year that submit- funds. He said he believes in the committee to ple that have not requested yet to say we of the year, and unless enrollment is un- ting requests by a certain deadline ensures find the best solution to this problem. aren’t taking anymore.” expectedly high, there is usually no extra a place on the S&A docket. “I want all students to know that if Though concerns about the budget money to put in the reserve. Law and Justice and Philosophy double they’re thinking about S&A funding that were voiced throughout the commit“Right now what they have to do, and this major Mariah Hogan, who was one of the I hope that they see this and that they’re tee, the motion was met with resistance. is where you get the divergent viewpoints, is students requesting funds at the meeting, has aware of the situation that the S&A supCommittee member Dane Gillin said in balancing the requests that we have now and requested supplemental funding for Mock plemental budget’s in,” Wear-Grimm said. response to the motion that assessing the the demands for the students right now bring- Trial Club for the past two years. Hogan “Nothing’s for certain, but I want people value of each request was inherent to the ing forward versus the longevity of being able said she was unsurprised by the speed at to just be aware of this.”

News 4

February 27, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker

Racism still impacts students in 2020

Harleen Kaur Staff Reporter

It’s a cold fall night in Washington state and the high school stadium is packed with a large crowd. The night lights turn on and the cheerleaders grab their pom poms to cheer for their star football players. The home team runs onto the field and the crowd goes wild. The opponent team approaches. Suddenly, a large group of people started to yell derogatory and racial terms toward the black players, according to Windy Isaia, a sophomore majoring in communications. Isaia never experienced anything similar before, though he heard stories about similar instances. Isaia is originally from California, but his family moved to Washington. According to Isaia, racism still occurs even though Washington is a diverse state. “It’s just not right in general. Like me, I got friends of all colors, all races. No matter if you black, white, orange, yellow, it doesn’t matter to me. As long as you are a good person,” Isaia said. “People just can’t judge people based on their skin color. You don’t know how people grew up.” CWU Diversity According to CWU diversity and inclusivity statistics, there has been a seven percentage-point increase in diversity in the last five years. In fall 2019, there were about 11,500 students enrolled at CWU. Of those students, 55.2% identified as European/Middle Eastern/White; 18.1% as Hispanic/Latino; 7.9% as Multiracial; 4.7% as Asian; and 4.2% as African American/Black. According to a poll conducted by NBC News in 2018, 64% of Americans say racism is still a major concern and issue. According to the same poll 30% of Americans

agree racism exists but isn’t an issue. Jasmin Washington, ASCWU President and senior public health major, thinks back to a time when she faced racism at CWU. Washington said she had a roommate who seemed genuine and outgoing. But Washington said after the first day of living together, she noticed the roommate and the roommate’s family were making antagonizing comments directed at her. “Her brother said some pretty messed up things to me,” Washington said. According to Washington, the roommate’s brother said black people are drug dealers and uneducated. Washington said she invited her roommate to attend a Black Student Union meeting. According to Washington, her roommate did not like that there was a black student union and didn’t believe racism existed. According to Washington, she and her roommate got into an argument about racism and slavery. The argument led to both Washington and the roommate meeting with a resident assistant, according to Washington. Washington said both she and her roommate had to attend a conduct meeting where, according to Washington, she was forced to move out. “That’s when I realized white people do have an advantage and privilege,” Washington said. “I looked like – once again – the bad guy, when I was simply trying to defend the color of my skin.” Sankeet Katta, clinical physiology major, went to the Watershed Country Music Festival two years ago. According to Katta, an intoxicated person was trying to unload their belongings from a truck. Katta and his friends saw the person struggling and reached out to help. “When I asked, ‘Do you need help?’

Graphic by Teagan Kimbro/The Observer

The man replied, ‘Not from you sand monkey’,” Katta said. “First of all, I am not Arab. Second of all, the man decided to curse me when I was trying to help him.” While Katta said while he could’ve gotten aggressive and physical towards the person, he chose not to. “Yes, the person was racist and said something hurtful,” Katta said. “But he was lost, and he needed to find his friends. It’s not fair to treat someone differently, because they said something bad.” CWU Resources The Diversity and Equity Center (DEC) is an on-campus resource for students. The DEC’s mission is to cultivate a sense of belonging and community on campus, according to the DEC’s website. Throughout the quarter, the DEC hosts events to coincide with its mission. Students who face adversity have the

ability to fill out a behaviors of concern form. “The Behavior of Concern report is an online reporting mechanism for all members of the CWU Community through Guardian Conduct,” CWU’s website says. “You can log in with your CWU credentials OR reports can be submitted anonymously by clicking the button below.” There are seven incident types you can report, one relating to bias-related incidents. These are incidents that include “hostile or negative behavior, speech, or expression based upon persons’ actual or perceived: color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation or other protected status.” Discrimination and racism can be experienced in any environment, whether it’s in the workplace, a college campus, a concert or at the gym.

City approves construction

$2.1 million allocated by Ellensburg City Council for bike lanes, storm drains, road improvements and construction. Jake Freeman Staff Reporter

At the latest city council meeting, council members discussed recent city improvement projects. The city council holds meetings on the first and third Monday of each month. There are a few construction projects scheduled for the coming months which will improve on roads and other

city utilities infrastructure. At the most recent meeting, the city council accepted the project to improve the University and Wildcat Way intersection as well as the Main Street extension project as complete. The projects were divided into three portions with a total budget of $2.1 million. Portion “A” was allocated $1.1 million, portion “B” had a budget of $1 million

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and portion “C” had a budget of about $7,000. The project improved traffic lights, added left turn lanes and improved some of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) features among other things. City council approved funding for the first of five construction projects involving South Willow Street. This project will widen the street and improve the gutters, bike lanes and storm drains while also adding trees and buffer strips to the road. The city awarded about $1.2 million to Belsaas & Smith Construction in order to complete the project. Once this project is finished there will be more proposals to follow in order to obtain funding for the next phases of the project. The next four projects all deal with utilities improvements. Schedule “B” will improve water utilities with work on the water main and is estimated to cost $38,000. Schedule “C” will work on the sewer main and is estimated to cost $121,000. Schedule “D” will expand power distribution by installing new electrical conduits under the roadway and is estimated to cost $26,000. Schedule “E” will make some improvements to the gas main and is estimated to cost about $10,000. There was a plan made in 2014 to build a setback levee along the Yakima Nation property line from West Dolar-

way Road to University Way. The plan was not completed since an agreement between landowners and project managers could not be reached. Because of this, the project was moved further east. The city was forced to delay the project in 2014 because of an inability to negotiate easements and landowner agreements. The levee will now be constructed in the 56 acres of land north of Center Point Business Park. The plan is to build a levee, flood swales and a 35-foot bridge which is fish passable. The plan will help mitigate flooding in western Ellensburg and allow for Whiskey Creek to be rerouted and allow for the construction of a pedestrian trail. The land purchased by the city for the project is valued at approximately $2.8 million. The plan is outlined with a completion date of 2021. The city has a new assistant city attorney and city prosecutor named Aaron Reiman. He was born and raised in Washington and attended college at both University of Washington and Gonzaga University. He has 20 years of experience and has been a prosecutor in the city of Yakima for the past six years. Ellensburg also has a new planning manager, Jamey Ayling, who is a CWU graduate. At CWU, he earned a bachelor’s degree in geography with a minor in environmental studies.

News February 27, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker


Undocumented student loan bill reaches state House of Reps

Courtesy of Zack Turner (From left) Maggie Dunham (UW graduate student lobbyist), Nancy Canales Montiel (ASCWU Director of Legislative Affairs), Zack Turner (ASCWU VP for Legislative Affairs), Senator Liias, Samantha Cruz Mendoza (ASCWU Pullman Director of Gov. Affairs) and Guillermo Rogel (WSA Executive Director).

Bailey Tomlinson Staff Reporter

Senate Bill (SB) 6561, which aims to create an undocumented student loan program, passed through the Senate on Feb. 18 and now must make it through the House of Representatives. The most recent version of the bill, called the second substitute version, states it “intends to increase access to those students who are ineligible for federal fi-

nancial aid by creating a state-funded and state-administered student loan program.� The bill intends for the program to provide loans that are comparable to federal loans. It also intends to offer several options for repayment, making it easier on students who take them out. Guillermo Rogel, executive director of the Washington Student Association (WSA), said students having to take out loans is not ideal, but for students who would not be able to pursue higher ed-

Democrat Republican ucation without them the option should be there. “That’s our number one priority,� ASCWU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Zackary Turner said. “Making sure our students can go to college.� A 2020 WSA legislative agenda says under the current federal law, undocumented students cannot receive any federally funded financial aid. They can, however, receive state financial aid as long as they meet state residency requirements. For a student to be eligible for the loan program, they would need to meet certain requirements, such as demonstrating financial need and not qualifying for federal aid due to citizenship status. These requirements may be subject to change in future versions of the bill as it’s still a work in progress. “[SB 6561] is our way of providing our own form of financial aid,� Rogel said. “The federal government has no role in that.� The bill received bipartisan support in the Senate, with six Republican senators voting in favor of it. These senators are

Graphic by Teagan Kimbro

King, Muzzall, O’Ban, Walsh, Warnick and Zeiger. “With recent threats to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, we subsequently see the presence and retention of our undocumented students under attack,� the WSA legislative agenda says. “With no clear indication from the federal government that DACA students will be protected, the WSA is advocating for a student loan financial aid program to specifically serve our undocumented graduate & undergraduate students in Washington State.� The bill is scheduled for public hearing in the House Committee at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 26 and an executive session on Feb. 27. The House Committee is one of several steps it must still pass before it is able to be signed into law. If passed, the bill will take effect July 1, 2021. A resource guide for undocumented students attending CWU is in the process of being developed, Director of the Diversity and Equity Center Abby Chien said.

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Scene 6 February 27, 2020

Editor: Amy Morris

Photos by Riel Hanson/The Observer

DJ God King Apollo kicked off the night by filling the room with all sorts of electronic dance music (EDM). Electropolis featured live DJs from the EDM show that plays on 88.1 The ‘Burg every Friday at 9 p.m.-1 a..m.

Electropolis Live: From your radio to the SURC Continued from Page 1 Ever since getting into raves and EDM, Rodriguez has noticed the large fan base here on campus. According to Rodriguez, rave culture is filled with acceptance, positivity and people who just want you to have a good time. She believes EDM gives people the opportunity to grow and create a community where there might not be one. Bringing Electropolis to life also gives students the opportunity to look forward to something that hasn’t been around in this town, Rodriguez said. Electropolis Live showcased four DJs: SP3RROW, LYNX, P!xel Panda and God King Apollo. They have been DJing for the 88.1 The ‘Burg Electropolis show every Friday alongside a few others. The show has been airing since at least 2011.

When the opportunity came up to bring the show to life, the original four DJs were chosen to perform. Campus Activities and 88.1 The ‘Burg have been talking about doing a live EDM show since the Wildfest event last spring, according to sophomore SP3RROW (Matt Wiemals). The planning for this joint project officially began in November. Wiemals performed at Wildfest as well. “For me, this is my life. This is what I hope to spend my life doing,” Wiemals said. “The thing I love most about this music is that it brings people together, it tells a story.” Electropolis radio is 88.1 The ‘Burg’s most listened to show, according to senior Apollo Whyte (God King Apollo). Wiemals said there has always been an appetite for EDM, especially among CWU students. “I think it’s really important that we do this show to sort of help everyone on campus get on the same page,” Whyte said. “To help find each other,

to meet more people that are into the same kind of music and to just bring people together.” 88.1 The ‘Burg got approval to fire CO2 cannons during the show. According to Whyte, the fire department had to be there because fire alarm sensors needed to be turned off to use the cannons. “I love CO2 cannons,” Wiemals said. “I don’t know what it is but it’s a whole different energy, a whole different vibe. It sets a really fun tone and it makes everything a hundred times more energetic.” 88.1 The ‘Burg was nominated for the most innovative and creative program at The National College Radio Awards last year. People don’t realize this live EDM show can also be listened to every week, both Wiemals and Whyte said. “It’s the same thing as going to a festival and hearing a DJ play for an hour,” Wiemals said. “Or if you listen to their radio show, it’s the exact same thing.”


Editor: Amy Morris

February 27, 2020


Cassandra Hays/The Observer

Showtime at Central let the audience decide Nick Jahnke Online Editor

The Dr. Wayne S. Hertz Concert Hall was buzzing last Friday evening for Showtime at Central, the event where talent is judged by the audience and many poor souls get booed off stage. There were at least thirty talent showcases throughout the evening. Performances consisted of singing, rapping, dancing, spoken word and comedy.

The event was hosted by Atlanta based comedian Nick Banks AKA Mr. Bankshot. He kept things moving with an endless flow of jokes and interactions with the audience. Showtime at Central, modeled after Showtime at APOLLO,works by giving each talent showcase 45 seconds to either woo the crowd or get booed by the crowd. If they make it past that mark, they are able to continue their performance. If

not, they are escorted off stage as a room full of people voice their discontent. The winners were decided by how loud the audience cheered. The prize for first place was $250, taken home by Zhanea June who received a standing ovation for her singing performance.June sang while Jasmin Washington and Jeremiah Williams performed a contemporary dance alongside. The performance, according to June, had not been rehearsed at all be-

fore the event. “I still don’t even know what the dance looks like,” June said. June said she hadn’t come out expecting to win anything but was pleasantly surprised by the reception the performance received. This wasn’t Junes first performance at CWU. She also perfomed at the Rock Against Rape event last April. June said she isn’t sure when she will come back to sing again, but she enjoys doing so.

TO 29




MARCH 5th AT CWU is an EEO/AA/Title IX Institution. For accommodation email:


find success

in nampa Men’s Track and Field

Women’s Track and Field

Going into the event, senior Aidan Cain held the GNAC reSenior Erykah Weems won both the 200-meter and cord for weight throw, with a throw of 61 feet and 10 1/4 inches 400-meter races. In the 200, she finished with a time earlier this season. Cain won the weight throw with a throw of of 24.56 seconds, which puts her in 17th place in the 61 feet and 2 inches, a new meet record. With the win, Cain country. In the 400, she finished with a time of 56.69 also took home the award for Men’s Performance of the Meet. seconds, putting her at 11th nationally for the event. “Definitely another year of experience,” Cain said in an inIn an interview with the GNAC after the 200 and terview with the GNAC on the biggest difference for him this 400, when asked about pulling away at the end of the year. “Coming back, knowing where I was last year, seeing the 200-meter race to win, Weems said hitting the last cormarks every day [and] practicing hard every day.” ner hard and coming back to win near the end of the Despite the record-breaking performances by Cain this searace is one of her favorite things to do. son, he is still on the outside looking in for a spot at national Weems will more than likely qualify for nationals for championships. Cain is currently sitting at 18th in the country for the 400. Currently, going into the final weekend before DII, but in order to qualify for nationals, he will need to make it national championships, Weems would have to fall six into the top 16 this weekend at the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) spots to miss the event. As for the 200, Weems will be trymeet at Seattle Pacific University. ing to squeeze into the top 16 this weekend at the LCQ. Senior Zach Whittaker was another athlete who took home a Weems was also a part of the winning team of herwin, this time in the triple jump. Whittaker set a mark of 48 feet self, junior Sidney Trinidad, senior Noelia Juarez and and 4 1/2 inches, which was tied by an athlete from the Univerfreshman McCall DeChenne in the women’s 4x400-mesity of Alaska Anchorage. The first tiebreaker is an athlete’s next ter relay race. The team finished with a time of 3 minutes best mark, giving the win to Whittaker as his second best mark and 49.73 seconds, a new CWU record. was better than the other athletes’. The team now sits at 23rd nationally, it will need an “You really gotta be on your game the entire time,” Whiteven better result this weekend to qualify for nationals. taker said in an interview with the GNAC after the event. “I’m Senior Halle Irvine won the women’s pole vault event really grateful I was able to pull it out.” with a mark of 12 feet and 3/4 inches. Sophomore Tysen Campbell won the men’s pole vault event with a mark of 15 feet and 7 inches. Campbell won the event by nearly a foot and a half, as the athlete who finished second finished with a mark of 14 feet and 1 1/4 inches.

Er yka

The CWU Track and Field team competed in the GNAC Indoor Championship on Feb. 21-22 in Nampa, Idaho. Both the men’s and women’s side took third place out of 10 teams in the event. The men finished behind Western Washington University and Concordia University, while the women finished behind Concordia University and Seattle Pacific University. Despite both teams finishing third, many athletes for CWU won their individual events.


Story by Austin Lane | Photos courtesy of Lauren Orr/GNAC office | Design by Aiden Knabel

What’s Next The team will take athletes to the NCAA DII Last Chance Qualifier this weekend at Seattle Pacific University. Athletes who are currently in the top 16 in the country in their respective events will go to try and stay in the top 16, while athletes who are on the bubble will try to qualify for national championships by getting into the top 16. The LCQ is this Saturday, Feb. 29. Luke Simonson/Junior






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Daniel Calderon-Hernandez/Senior

Erykah Weems/Senior

Sidney Trinidad/Junior

Yareli Ochoa/Sophomore


10 Editor: Nick Jahnke / Design: Teagan Kimbro

Living Alone:

Not so lonely

Nick Jahnke Columnist


or most, college is a time of growth and transitions. The average student is still on the front end of a long journey. They have a lot to figure out and more to learn. During this time, it is extremely important to build a base of knowledge about yourself. It can be more difficult to do this when living with others, whether that be with a partner or roommates. This is not meant to be a promotion of antisocial tendencies. There are few things worse than feeling a lack of social interaction or friendship. The college years are meant to be fun and we will all be hard-pressed to find another situation where socialization comes more easily or is more accessible. However, spending most or all of your time around another person can blur the line of where their personality ends and yours begins. Psychologist Shilagh Mirgain said in a UW Medicine article that happiness and mood are not simply personal experiences, instead, they are also affected by those around you. “How an individual feels can ripple through his or her social groups and actually influence how the group feels in general,” Mirgain said in a UW Medicine article. “In some ways, our emotional states are like a virus – we can spread the positive and negative experience to those around us, even with strangers.” If your mood can be so heavily affected by the moods of those around you, it shouldn’t be a huge leap to say that personal growth or personality development is affected in a similar way. From the experience of someone who has lived both with roommates and alone, being around others the majority of the time is a big distraction. Especially when living in a house with multiple people, a group mentality can start to form. We’ve all heard the say-

ing, “you are who your friends are.” This may take the shape of tailoring your opinions to fit in better with the group or taking on the traits of the others. Spending time alone has a lot of potential benefits. Without the constant outside influence of others, one has more freedom for independent thought and reflection. For some, that may be a scary thing. Without proper distraction, one may have no choice but to think about the problems or stresses in their life. Although sometimes unpleasant, it is in these moments that we begin to find out more about ourselves. It should be said this is not suggesting you should live alone your whole life. There are benefits to independent living but also drawbacks. One of the most glaring drawbacks is the risk of loneliness. According to an NBC article, there is a need on a biological level for humans to live in close proximity to one another. The article states that being lonely is linked directly to physical and emotional health. Beyond the mental effects of constant social interaction, there are practical and economic benefits to sharing your space. Some examples could be a cheaper living situation, shared transportation or just having someone around were you to have an accident. All in all, there are plenty of arguments for and against living alone. The threat of becoming isolated and lonely is a very real one and this is certainly not meant to promote isolating yourself. The important idea is there is a huge benefit to giving yourself the time and the opportunity to let your mind go where it may, unadulterated by distractions. This may as well be a public service announcement for meditation. For those who feel they are struggling to organize their thoughts and keep up with our fast-paced society, this may be for you.

There is a huge benefit to giving yourself the time and the opportunity to let your mind go where it may, unadulterated by distractions.

February 27, 2020

Editor: Nick Jahnke / Design: Teagan Kimbro 11

February 27, 2020

AP Style is wrong.

We should


be using ford Aeryn Kauffman Columnist

After winning “America’s Next Top Model,” Jessica thanked her parents, God and Tyra Banks. I wish my parents were God and Tyra Banks. You can avoid an embarrassing mistake like this by using the Oxford comma. The Oxford comma occurs before the “and” in the following sentence: I like dogs, cats, and birds. There are a few main reasons to use it. In my view, it comes down to better communication and visual consistency. The sentence, “I like dogs, cats, and birds” looks visually correct because

Scribendi, an editing and proofreading company, attributes the first use of the modern comma to Aldus Manutius, a 15th century Italian printer. However, the Oxford comma wasn’t recognized until 1912 when Frederick Howard Collins, a British indexer and writer, first mentioned it in his book, “Author & Printer: A Guide for Authors, Editors, Printers, Correctors of the Press, Compositors, and Typists.” It was still not referred to as the Oxford comma until 1978 when author Peter Sutcliffe wrote about it in “The Oxford University Press: An Informal History.” In Sutcliffe’s book, he names it the Oxford comma because Horace Hart, printer and controller of the Oxford University Press in the late 19th century to early 20th century, wrote a style guide for Oxford employees to use. The style guide advised against the use of it. The main reason I’ve heard why the Oxford comma was historically avoided was so early printing presses could save paper. This is confirmed in Harvey R. Levenson’s paper, “Hidden Influences on Clear Communication—From Punctuation to Technology…How Business Decisions Impact Print,” published in the June 2015 International Journal of Linguistics and Communication. Levenson, PhD at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, California, wrote, “the [Oxford] comma was removed to save space… to help [printing companies] cut costs to increase profits.” Alright, so the comma was banned from use to save money. A tiny mark makes that big of a difference. Cool, so then do people think there is any other reason to refrain from using it? “People then started rationalizing its removal for other reasons. However, the reality is that its removal was a ‘bottom-line’ cost-saving business decision,” Levenson’s article says.

there is a comma after “dogs,” so there should be a comma after “cats,” too. It also prompts the reader to take a small pause before moving onto the next word. Further, using the Oxford comma ensures there is no miscommunication. I’ve always wondered why it’s called the Oxford comma. I’ve always used it in my writing. Learning AP Style, which loathes commas, has been a challenge as a comma-happy English major. “Other than the period, the comma is the most common punctuation mark in English,” according to

com mas

Arguments Arguments For Use Against Use

Researching reasons to NOT use the Oxford comma came up rather dry, but I went ahead and gave the few articles a fair shot. A 2013 Business Insider article rejects its use, calling it “extremely overrated.” The article argues if there is ambiguity in a sentence, the sentence should be rephrased. It said the Oxford comma is a “waste of space” and it interrupts the flow of a sentence. A 2017 blog post, “I Hate the Oxford Comma: Why You Don’t Need the Oxford Comma” by blogger Sara Woznicki agrees with this perspective, arguing that people should write better sentences so Oxford commas are unnecessary. I, too, am a fan of the is/ought fallacy, but we need to be realistic.

Using the Oxford comma is the best way to ensure your audience understands your meaning. Miscommunications can cost millions and result in humiliation, misunderstandings or worse.


,, ,


The Oxford comma mirrors the way people actually speak. If you say, “I love my dogs, pizza and chocolate,” out loud, you will naturally not take a pause before you say, “and chocolate,” leading someone to think your dogs are named Pizza and Chocolate. If you say, “I love my dogs, pizza, and chocolate,” out loud, you will naturally pause before “and chocolate,” leaving no room for miscommunication. Miscommunications are usually just annoying, but they can sometimes lead to monetary losses. A 2017 New York Times article wrote of a court case in Portland, Maine, where a state law omitted an Oxford comma in the following policy, which exempted overtime rules in the case of: “The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods.” This led to three employees at a dairy company suing for denied overtime pay, since there was no comma before “or distribution.” The employees, delivery truck drivers, effectively argued the law could be construed to exempt those who pack and distribute, but not those who just distribute. Further, a comma after each item in a list ensures visual consistency. If you write, “postal carriers deliver in rain, snow, sleet and hail,” it is natural to expect a comma after “sleet.” I don’t have a great argument for this except it just looks right. Using the Oxford comma is the best way to ensure your audience understands your meaning. Miscommunications can cost millions and result in humiliation, misunderstandings or worse. The sentence, “we invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin,” is a prime example. Nobody wants to see JFK and Stalin stripping.


February 27, 2020

12 Editor: Austin Lane

ics by



Knab Aiden



CWU Men’s and Women’s Basketball haven’t clinched a spot in the GNAC postseason. They also haven’t been eliminated. Entering the final weekend of the regular season, the women will need one win to get in, while the men will need some help from other teams in the conference. Photos

by Pan

eal Holl


in [the playoffs] and if we do, we’ll see what happens.” The men’s team is currently ranked 7th in the GNAC. For playoffs, the team would need to be 6th or higher in the conference to clinch a playoff spot.

e Obser


Taylor Clark Staff Reporter

As the season is winding down, both CWU Men’s and Women’s Basketball are looking to clinch a playoff spot over the course of the next two games. To make the playoffs, both teams have to finish in the top six spots in the GNAC. Men’s basketball head coach Brandon Rinta and women’s basketball head coach Randi Richardson-Thornley are hoping to finish the year strong. Men’s Basketball Rinta said the biggest challenge, if the team made the postseason, would be how much preparation each team in the GNAC puts in before every game. “There’s no secrets,” Rinta said. “Everybody knows everything about every-

body and everyone is well prepared.” Rinta said the team has had high energy and has been playing well defensively. Rinta also said a lot of the team’s success seems to come down to how well the team takes care of the basketball and how the team eliminates turnovers. As a result, the team was able to win five games in a row. Sophomore forward Matt Poquette said he is feeling good about the rest of the season. Poquette said he has a positive outlook and thinks the team has a chance to make the playoffs, focusing on one game at a time and getting better each day. “We’ve really hit our stride over the last few weeks and really have come together as a team,” Poquette said. “We trust in each other, offensively and defensively. Again, taking it one day at a time, just hoping to get

Men’s Basketball Schedule

Feb. 22

CU W, 69-66

Feb. 27

@ SMU 7:30 p.m.

Women’s Basketball Richardson-Thornley said the team’s goal was to sweep both teams last weekend, and that’s exactly what the women did. The Wildcats beat Western Oregon University, 70-46, and Concordia University, 82-45. “We have to take care of business each and every night,” Richardson-Thornley said. “Knocking down shots is big and just competing. It’s a matter of who can stay healthy, who has the energy.” The women are scheduled to play their next two games on the road, Thursday, Feb. 27 at 5:15 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 29 at 2 p.m. The men are also scheduled to play these days but at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 4:15 p.m. on Saturday. The women are currently ranked 5th in the GNAC. They are, as it stands now, in the playoffs but it all comes down to the last two games of the season.

Playoff Scenarios Both teams are finishing off their last conference games on the road at Saint Martin’s University (SMU) and Seattle Pacific University (SPU). The women will play at 5:15 p.m. at SMU on Thursday, Feb. 27 and at 2 p.m. at SPU on Saturday, Feb. 29. The men will finish out their conference games on the same days, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 4:15 p.m. on Saturday. If the women’s team wins one game, they are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. If they do not win one of their final two games, they will need either Montana State University Billings or Saint Martin’s University to lose one game. One way the men’s team can make the playoffs is if they win their final two games and the University of Alaska Anchorage loses their final two games. Another way they could get in is if they win the final game of the season against Seattle Pacific University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks loses their final two games. Among other scenarios, if Western Oregon University loses their final two games, CWU will miss the playoffs.

Women’s Basketball Schedule

Feb. 29

@ SPU 4:15 p.m.

March 5-7

GNAC MBB Championship

Feb. 22

CU W, 82-45

Feb. 27

@ SMU 5:15 p.m.

Feb. 29 @ SPU 2 p.m.

March 5-7

GNAC WBB Championship


Editor: Austin Lane 13

February 27, 2020

What it takes to be a DII Track and Field athlete Della Babcock Staff Reporter

The track athletes at CWU train year round to compete successfully in their events. Athletes competing in a variety of different events all aspire to be both mentally and physically fit in order to succeed when meet day comes. Junior Bobby Widmar explained what it takes to reach this level. “You’ve got to be dedicated, disciplined and motivated,” Widmar said. Widmar is both an indoor and outdoor track competitor. He focuses specifically on sprints. Widmar has been competing in track for 10 years and strives to better himself every day in his own personal events as well as the relays he competes in. Widmar tore his hamstring and had to fully relearn how to sprint. Widmar is proud of the progress he has made and the work he has put in. He focuses on the mental aspect of the sport so he can pin down mental traits that determine how well he does when race day comes. “Being confident and owning the show is a good mindset to have,” Widmar said. “I try to carry that with me every track meet.” Widmar has competed against a variety of track athletes including athletes at

the DI level. He believes that is one of the most fun parts about being a track athlete at this level. “I think it’s just fun to compete against everybody,” Widmar said. “It’s cool that I also get the opportunity to be on that stage.” Sophomore Meagan Smallbeck, who competes in throwing events, said her CWU Track athlete Sydney events are similar to Trinidad sprinting events because they also take mental and physical strength to compete. Due to how throwing events are structured, athletes get three attempts when competing for the results they want. Smallbeck said starting off with a bad throw could put a block in an athlete’s mental game. Smallbeck believes throwing is 70% mental. She had to overcome nervousness she used to deal with when competing in her high school career. But now, competing at the collegiate level, Smallbeck feels she has overcome the difficulties she encountered mentally in the past and now has a stronger mental game than ever before.

“I come into every meet now knowing I’m one of the top dogs and can outcompete a lot of people,” Smallbeck said. “It’s paid off.” Smallbeck finds a lot of joy in having the opportunity to compete against top level athletes across divisions at certain meets. Smallbeck said Photo courbeating DI athtesy of Lauren letes is an inOrr/GNAC office sane feeling. “When you have a good meet, you are beating Pac-12 schools,” Smallbeck said. “It’s insane that I was able to do that.” One thing Smallbeck really focuses on throughout her track career is simply loving the sport itself. “You are training for this sport year round,” Smallbeck said. “If you don’t love it, you are going to get burnt out. So loving and having the discipline for it, is definitely a huge thing.” Another athlete who trains throughout the year is junior Trevor Allen. Allen partakes in distance events for CWU. On

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top of training his body to be able to run distance races, he strives to stay focused while doing it. Allen’s mental game primarily revolves around trying to stay focused for long periods of time in long distance races, which he said is difficult at times. Allen is continuously reminding himself he can get through the event, mentally breaking down the race. “I take it lap by lap, every step I just take one at a time.” Allen said. “It’s all part of a big process and there’s a bigger picture at the end. So I train for that.” There are two other big things Allen believes are important traits to have when you are a distance runner at this level: patience and time management. This is due to being a student athlete on top of having to train seven days a week. Allen is proud of some of the accomplishments he reached in his fall season. He was ranked top 10 in the conference for the first time. “I had a lot of fun doing that,” Allen said. ”And just being able to train with all my teammates has been awesome.” This weekend the track and field team will be competing at the NCAA DII Last Chance Qualifier before taking some athletes to Birmingham, Alabama on March 13-14 for the NCAA DII Indoor Championships.

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1200 E. Helena Ave. Ellensburg, WA 98926 Track and Field Schedule

Feb. 29

NCAA DII Last Chance Qualifier

March 13-14

NCAA DII Indoor Championships

Rugby Schedule Men’s

March 14

@ PLU (First Outdoor Meet)

March 19-20 @ Sam Adams Classic

Feb. 22

Utah W, 30-0 (Forfeit)

Feb. 29 BYU 12 p.m.


Feb. 22

@ Lindenwood L, 29-53

Feb. 22 EWU 2 p.m.


Editor: Austin Lane 14

February 27, 2020

Graphic by Teagan Kimbro/The Observer

Balancing sports and school Phoebe Lai Staff Reporter

Not only do college athletes have to deal with homework, studying and tests, but they have to stay on top of those things while also practicing and competing. No matter what sport an athlete competes in, their routine is similar. CWU Women’s Basketball forward Kassidy Malcolm has team practices six days a week in fall, winter and spring. Each practice usually lasts from two to four hours. “I guess coming into college at first, it was a little bit of a difference because first of all college sports are way more competitive than high school and it’s kind of a big jump,” Malcolm said. Malcolm has been playing sports since middle school. She said one major difference in college is the road trips, which are a lot farther because the team travels out of state. Malcolm said it’s important to understand what she has to get done on

time in regards to classes. She said she keeps a team calendar for basketball. “It has all of our practices, wait times, when our games are, when we’re traveling,” Malcolm said. “Definitely keeping a calendar is also a key for sure because there’s lots going on.” Junior softball infielder Sydney Brown said some days she felt like the whole world was crashing down, but she always seeks chances to balance both sides. “We don’t take our time for granted, we have free time and we do our homework,” Brown said. “We bust it out, we get it done and then we go socialise if we have time.” Another difficulty for Brown is that the softball team’s outdoor practice schedule is not fixed, making planning outside of athletics hard. She said any changes to her schedule makes balancing sports and academics difficult. “Practice varies day to day, so you’re never sure exactly when practice is going to be, until noon before

Baseball Schedule

Feb. 14-15

@ Corban 1/3 games won

Feb. 28-29

NNU 4-game series

that day,” Brown said. “Then, your classes, you never know when you’re going to get thrown into assignment.” Brown also said sometimes class schedules change throughout the quarter. Brown also mentioned the importance of calendars and planners in her daily life. Brown said she lives by her planner. She lists all the things she needs to do and crosses things out when she accomplishes tasks. “I think lists in the planners are the biggest things that can help you as well as establishing study groups,” Brown said. Brown’s studying habits were established freshman year, with a mandatory study session in the library each week for a certain amount of time. Brown said her other two roommates are athletes like her, so they will go to the library together as much as possible to get assignments done. “We kind of keep each other in check. We need to go to the library so we hold each other accountable,” Brown said.

Senior men’s basketball guard Gamaun Boykin said balancing sports and academic studies is doable but challenging and is not that difficult for him. At times, after long practices, long travel days or games, it might be tough to be able to sit down and focus. Boykin said he loves to play basketball and put in time in the gym and because of that, it is easier for him to stay on top of things during the season. “Everybody may deal with time management and being able to manage your time right, they know if they have practice to get it done early,” Boykin said. Boykin said the Canvas calendar is a very important tool for him to track everything in academics. Boykin mentioned he would go through each week’s assignments ahead of time and make plans. He would do the assignments that take most amount of time to complete first and leave the quick assignments for later in the week.

Softball Schedule

March 7-8

WOU 4-game series

March 13-14 @ MSUB 4-game series

Feb. 22

@ PLU 2/2 games won

March 7

CU 2-game series

March 8

WOU 2-game series

March 14

SFU 2-game series February 27, 2020



Design: Teagan Kimbro 15


It’s been a ________ adjective

winter quarter here at CWU, but spring break is finally approaching. It’s time to buckle down, hit the _____ and finish the noun

quarter strong. The _____ is my favorite place

place to study. Not only is it _____, but there are adjective

plenty of _______ to plural noun

help you out. I have a final in _________ that class

I’m nervous about because ________ is a hard professor

grader, but with enough _________ , I know I can noun

ace it!

When I’m done studying, I like to go home and _______ with my ______ noun


to help myself destress. I always make sure to get ______ hours of sleep so number

I can do my best during finals week. When spring break finally comes, my _______ and noun

I are going to _________ place

for vacation! We’re going to drink ______, eat lots beverage, plural

of ______ and ______ activity

favorite food

all day. We’ll be staying in a(n) _________ hotel adjective

right by ______, so there place

will be plenty to do. I can’t wait to _______ afverb

ter all my hard work this quarter!

Engagement February 27, 2020

16 Design: Teagan Kimbro


W H AT ’ S H A P P E N I N G ALL WEEK Call for Capital Submit your ideas for CWU’s next construction priorities. Visit to view, comment, vote on and submit recommendations for future capital projects. Register for 3v3 Basketball Register for Recreation’s 3v3 basketball tournament on Feb. 29 at

Extra Twentyninth Leap year

Twentytwenty Four Day

Calendar February Orbit








ASCWU wants to change the structure from 7 elected student seats to 29 elected student seats for a stronger, louder student voice. Vote online at on March 5 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.


ASCWU Special Ballot

THURS. FEB. 27 Employer Panel & Education Career Fair 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. • SURC Ballroom • Free Meet with recruiters from 60+ school districts, all recruiting education majors.













Eating Disorder Awareness Panel Discussion 1-2 p.m. • SURC Pit • Free A panel about eating disorders, disordered eating, treatment and resources. Open Mic Night 7:30 p.m. signups, 8 p.m. show starts • 1891 Bistro • Free, CWU students Sign up and perform, or just enjoy the show from the crowd! SAT. FEB. 29 Backcountry Skiing and Touring 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. • Meet at OPR, shuttle to Cascade Mountains $35/CWU students, $43/Non-students Pre-registration and pre-trip meeting required. Learn how to backcountry ski, set a skin track and enjoy fresh powder with OPR. Equipment included. MON. MAR. 2 Monday Movie Madness: “Cats” 7 & 9:30 p.m. • SURC Theatre Free, CWU students with ID; $3, GA A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer.

HOLIDAYS OF THE WEEK 02.27 02.28 02.29 03.01

Digital Learning Day Floral Design Day Bachelor’s Day Namesake Day

03.02 Old Stuff Day 03.03 33 Flavors Day 03.04 National Pound Cake Day

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

TUES. MAR. 3 Stella Moreno Collection Dedication and Poetry Reading 4-5:30 p.m. • Brooks Library 4th Floor Free Honor Stella Moreno at this collection dedication and listen to readings from Moreno’s book “Poetics Without Borders/ Poetica Sin Fronteras.”

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