CWU Observer Winter 2020 - Issue 9

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Gemstone unique to Kittitas County

COVID-19 affecting local industries

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See Ellensburg | Page 5

Vol. 115 NO. 9 |March 12 - March 18, 2020

CWU Track and Field sends two to nationals

Mariah Valles Managing Editor

See COVID-19 | Page 8

See Yes | Page 6 | @CWUObserver

All finals moved online in response to COVID-19 All final examinations have been moved online, according to an email sent by CWU Interim Provost Lynn Franken on March 10. Franken said final examinations, March 17-20, will not be given in class, in laboratories or in any face-to-face setting. “Exceptions, including exceptions related to disability accommodations, will be considered on a case-by-case basis, through recommendation by the department chair and approval by the dean of the college,” Franken wrote. Franken said students will be notified of all approved exceptions. “Throughout this process, three guiding principles have informed our decision-making: safeguarding our community; protecting the continuity and quality of the educational experience of our students, and participating in the international effort to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Franken wrote. All classes will be taught as normal for the remaining of the week. Franken’s notice states that as the COVID-19 status in the area becomes clear, the university may have to make adjustments for spring quarter. “To ensure readiness in case it may become necessary, faculty members are encouraged to prepare for transitioning in-class course work to modalities that would allow students to work from their residence halls or from home,” Franken wrote.

How to be more body positive

Della Babcock & Taylor Clark Staff Reporters

Photos courtesy of Lauren Orr/GNAC Office

Seniors Samantha La Rue (top) Erykah Weems (bottom) will be representing CWU in the NCAA DII Indoor National Championships.

As the CWU Track and Field indoor season comes to a close, some of the athletes on the team are gearing up for the NCAA DII Indoor National Championships. Seniors Samantha La Rue and Erykah Weems will be competing and representing CWU at the event. Head coach Kevin Adkisson will be accompanying both La Rue and Weems as they compete on March 1314 in Birmingham, Alabama. Adkisson said both athletes have been on the upswing. Adkisson is confident both

of the athletes can improve or at least match marks they’ve achieved throughout the season. “When you have an athlete like these two, who have been building through the season and producing great marks all the way up to the final meet, that just tells you they’re ready,” Adkisson said. “When [La Rue and Weems] go to the meet and continue to show that type of competition and improvement, they’re going to have a great chance to make the final.”

See Weems | Page 13

Women at CWU inspire and empower others Harleen Kaur Staff Reporter

A woman can be a mother, a wife, a student and a boss. She can be anything she wants to be. March 8 was International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate women and their stories. At CWU there are women in every department who are working towards their dreams. From being homeless to being the first African-Amer-

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ican student president, Jasmin Washington overcame her struggles. Washington is ASCWU president and a senior majoring in public health. “I turned in my application to run on the last day, last hour, last minute,” Washington said. “I had the package fully filled out, but I felt like there were other people who were more qualified than I was. But I had to talk to myself and let myself know that nobody was as passionate

about the issues as I was.” Mickael Candelaria, a junior majoring in business administration with a specialization in human resource management, is the ASCWU vice president for student life and facilities. Candelaria said Washington is like the “mom” of the office. According to him, she takes care of everyone and everything. He also said Washington inspires other students and makes sure underrepresented students are heard in the community.

“Empowering is the biggest word that I would use for Jasmin,” Candelaria said. “She is the first African American woman to ever serve as the student body president, which is inspiring other young people of color and women that they too can be student body president of 13,000 students.”

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News 2 March 12, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker

Letter to the Editor Marissa Barrientos

Inorganic Chemestry Lecturer

Central Washington University continually proclaims its commitment to diversity and recently was awarded the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award for its commitment to diversity and inclusion. On November 14, 2019 a Workforce Diversity Plan was emailed to all faculty and staff outlining President Gaudino’s priorities for the university. Part of this plan includes the statement, “Bringing together people of various backgrounds with different life experiences can generate ideas or perspectives that others may not have considered.” This then brings into question the hiring practices of the chemistry department and why I, the only Hispanic female in the department, was not even interviewed for the open faculty position despite applying and meeting all the minimum job qualifications. The department instead hired another white male to join a faculty that already includes several white male professors, and no women of color in a tenured position. In the Recruitment & Hiring Checklist provided by CWU for the Search Committee it says: “After the Appointing Authority has deemed the applicant pool sufficient, begin screening: If you have a question about whether or not a particular applicant meets the minimum qualifications, move them forward. The next phase will eliminate them if they have minimal experience. Keep in mind who is being eliminated with the screening tool. Is diversity being eliminated? Take another look at the screening tool. Examine what is happening. Make changes as necessary.” This criteria was not met. The university policy clearly states to move a candidate forward if they meet the minimum requirements. The policy even emphasizes to examine whether diversity is being eliminated. I strongly feel that was the case in my situation,

as I am both a minority and a woman, two groups that have been historically underrepresented in STEM. Any questions about my capabilities or experience could have been addressed with me in the form of an interview. Instead I was unfairly passed over, and not even given the opportunity to vie for the position. The CWU Workforce Diversity Plan includes the following: Mission: • To build a workforce where students see themselves reflected in the staff, faculty, and curriculum • To attract, develop and retain people of high potential and impact from all walks of life, experiences and backgrounds Vision: • Establish a culture of inclusion where all individuals are respected, treated fairly, provided work-life balance, and an opportunity to excel in their chosen careers Rather than providing me “an opportunity to excel in [my] chosen career” the search committee through their actions reaffirmed the narrative that women of color do not belong in research-oriented positions in STEM. Another unfortunate consequence of this is that when students “see themselves reflected in the staff and faculty” they will not have a woman of color in chemistry in a tenured line to identify with. This is an interesting contrast to other departments who have formed special committees to travel to conferences and other networking events to actively recruit diverse candidates. Meanwhile, in failing to acknowledge my application, the chemistry department ignored a diverse and qualified candidate that was readily available but was summarily excluded from the pool of applicants. I do not feel like I “belong here.” Instead I see exploitative practices, especially by the hiring committee. I was approached by one of the search com-

mittee members to rent one her houses for $1750/month. She is in a position to know my salary, and also is aware that as a low-paid lecturer I am in a position of housing insecurity. She also has a conflict of interest in wanting to bring in new faculty to potentially be renters for her property as I declined her offer. This exacerbates the wealth gap between socioeconomic classes as well since lowest paid faculty are then supplementing the much higher incomes of their colleagues, further oppressing the most vulnerable populations. I also question their hiring practices as they failed to verify that my predecessor had the legal right to work here and they were later deported by ICE. Does this make me the next expendable lecturer to be tossed aside? Before you think this is isolated, please read the tweet from a person that was interviewed for the position: she detected sexist and discriminatory undertones during her interview. In my short time here, I have made an incredible impact on my students, especially with females and students of color who frequently tell me I am the only woman of color in the Science building. Seeing my proficiency in chemistry instills in them the confidence and inspiration to set higher goals and to work toward achieving them. All my coworkers will agree that I always have students in my office, and that I love teaching and mentoring them. Unfortunately, without a tenured position, I will eventually have to leave CWU, and this does not align with CWU’s Workforce Diversity plan to “retain people of high potential and impact from all walks of life, experiences and backgrounds” CWU must do more than simply proclaim its commitment to embrace diversity in its hiring practices. CWU must demonstrate its willingness to actually implement this policy by recruiting, hiring and retaining its diverse workforce. Only then will the students’ needs be better served.

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

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

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


The voice of the people March 12, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker


How votes are counted, parties are declared, and student voices are being heard in upcoming elections

Washington State Presidential Primaries Sanders 32.7%

Biden 32.5%

Warren 12.3%

335,498 votes

333,414 votes

126,093 votes

Bennet Booker Buttigieg Delaney Gabbard

0.2% 0.1% 5.8% 0.1% 0.8%

Klobuchar Patrick Steyer Yang Uncommitted Delegates

3.1% 0.1% 0.3% 0.5% 0.5%

Bloomberg 11.1%

See Below

113,422 votes

Total Votes


Last updated March 11 at 11:59 a.m.

Bailey Tomlinson Staff Reporter

As the primaries come to a close, Americans are beginning to turn their eyes toward the November presidential election. Though it’s a democractic right, voters aged 18-24 are the smallest voting demographic in Kittitas County. Students now have the opportunity to make sure their voices are heard. “I think [voting] is important, especially for young people, to realize that they do have a voice,” Freshman Laurel Glassley said. Glassley said she is registered to vote and thinks it’s important to participate in the process. On-Campus Voting Resources A student engagement center is held in the SURC around each election date. ASCWU VP of Legislative Affairs Zackary Turner said some of the services available at the student engagement center will include voting, registering students, changing voting addresses and providing voting information resources. That last function, Turner said, is to help give students official information so they don’t have to turn to unvetted sources. “Don’t get your news from social media.” Turner said. “Check your sources.” Turner said there will be extra cleaning done and precautions taken at the student engagement center so students can participate without fear of contracting COVID-19. At the first ASCWU meeting of the year, Semir Ibrahimovic, policy director for the vice president of legislative affairs, said CWU was revolutionary in how it provided these student engagement centers. At the student engagement center held on Nov. 5 2019, almost 500 students voted and around 50 new voters were registered. “It was the first in the state at a college where we had voter registration and a voting booth in the same place,” Ibrahimovic said. The Voting System According to County Auditor Jerry Pettit, the vote counting process is a lengthy one. First, when ballots are received at the courthouse, they’re initially counted so a total number can be tracked through the process. Following this, the signatures on each ballot envelope are verified. If a signature does not match, or an envelope is unsigned, the ballot is set aside at this step and the voter is contacted via letter. They then have a chance to verify their signature or fix any mistake that may have been made on the envelope. Because party declaration is required for this primary, an extra step is added after signatures have been verified. Ballots are stacked by the indicated party as they’re removed from their envelopes, and party declaration is recorded in the voter registration database. Then, all of the ballots are removed from

Graphics by Teagan Kimbro

their envelopes but remain within their secrecy sleeves (also known as a security envelope). This is to ensure nobody can match the ballot to the individual voter. The envelopes are then set aside and each ballot is removed from its secrecy sleeve. Each ballot is then manually inspected for issues that may invalidate it, such as stray marks or voting for more than the allotted number of options. Ballots that don’t pass these manual inspections are not valid, and it’s too late in the process to get it corrected by the voter. Once the manual inspection is finished, the ballots are electronically scanned into a system. This system will inform the team counting the votes of problems like overvotes and undervotes. It requires two people to perform this process, and their login information is recorded for security. The computer that does this is a “totally separate, not connected to anything computer system,” Pettit said. Up to this point, the entirety of this process happens prior to election night. After 8 p.m. on election night, all of this data is downloaded onto a card and moved over to the tally system, which delivers results. Like the ballot scanning system, the tally system is a computer that isn’t connected to the internet in any way. “For security, neither of those two is accessible from outside, inside or between each other so that we keep those processes separate,” Pettit said. Declaring a Party A large reason party declarations must be made this year is because the primaries are a party nomination process, according to Pettit. “To a large extent, this is run by the parties for the parties’ purposes, and they want to make sure that people who are voting in that particular party are those people who … can be assured that they want to be a part of that party nomination process,” Pettit said. Part of the reason why party declaration must be marked on the outside of the envelope is to ensure ballots can be correctly organized while still remaining unidentifiable after being separated from the envelope. Ballots are sorted by indicated party to ensure that votes are cast that coincide with the indicated party. Votes cast for candidates that are not of the same party as the one indicated are invalid. However, this is not the only reason. “There’s been a lot of questions on why that declaration is on the outside of the ballot. … One reason is its public information,” Pettit said. “When you choose to vote in this election and you declare a party, that information is put in the voter registration data system and is available to the public from us for sixty days after the election. It’s public. Not how you voted, but whether or not you voted and which party declaration you marked.”

After 60 days, that information is automatically removed from the voter registration database. Pettit added that the Secretary of State’s office stores the information publicly for 22 months before discarding it. The Secretary of State’s website states that the party you declare now will not affect how voters may vote in future elections, and in the November general election a party declaration will not be done. What if my candidate dropped out? If ballots have been cast for candidates who have dropped out of the running, those ballots are still counted, and, according to Pettit, are still just as important. Vote counts are used to allocate delegates to the national

conventions. Regardless of whether a candidate is still running or not, those votes still count for those candidates. “We count every ballot with the exception of those, of course, that don’t work right, so we track every candidate,” Pettit said. “Just because a candidate dropped out doesn’t mean that those ballots aren’t counted.” The Secretary of State’s website confirms this, stating, “it’s possible for candidates to suspend their campaigns before March 10, but every voted ballot returned to the local elections office will be processed and all results reported. Once your ballot has been processed by your local county elections office, it’s not possible to change your vote.”






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4 Editor: Nicholas Tucker

March 12, 2020

COVID-19 hits local hay industry Mary Park

For The Observer

The coronavirus outbreak is not only impacting the healthcare system but the global supply chain as well. In Kittitas County, the loss is trickling down to hay farmers and exporters. China has the world’s second largest economy and the closure and slowdown of factories are causing significant damage to the global market. The decline of imports into the U.S. has led to fewer empty shipping containers that hay exporters use to fill and send to international markets. Hay is a major cash crop in Kittitas County, producing about $50 million annually, according to the Employment Security Department (ESD) of Washington State. Stone Wings II, LLC. is a hay export company with headquarters in Ellensburg. Its primary market is in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. General Manager Bill Haberman said he has seen some shipping lines avoid countries that have a higher risk of virus infection or countries with port lockdowns like Kuwait. “This will cause us to have to step back, we will not be able to move hay as efficiently and on schedule as we’ve been doing in the past,” Haberman said. “Without containers, without a vessel, the hay just sits here.” According to Haberman, shipping lines normally allow them to book a number of containers on a vessel within two to three weeks. Recently, their salesman could only find a booking that is eight weeks away, at the end of April. “So, if that’s the case, then we’re going to have effectively two months where we’re not able to move as much product,” Haberman said. He explained that the slowdown of hay movement will also have a ripple effect on the farmers. “We’ll continue to harvest, the farmer has to cut the hay, he has to plant, got to continue his business,” Haberman said. “We’ll have to take a look and see when we could move that hay and let the farmer know to our best of knowledge [that] we’ll have to store it for a

Mary Park/For The Observer Anderson Hay & Grain Co., Inc. usually exports about 15,000 containers of hay in a year. They are currently facing shipping container shortages due to the coronavirus outbreak.

certain period of time.” With 5% or less of their sales in the domestic market, Haberman says there are not many options but to wait for the situation to get better. “We’ll just have to ride this storm out,” he said. Anderson Hay & Grain Co., Inc. is a local hay exporter that usually exports about 15,000 containers of hay in a year. Laura Daniels is Anderson Hay’s ocean shipping coordinator. Daniels said they are facing challenges of container and vessel shortages. “The carriers have avoided 105 sailings from China [and] over 100 sailings to the U.S., to the West Coast,” Daniels said in an interview on Feb 28. “And if the ships don’t come in, then those ships are not available for us to export our goods.” She said all they can do is find every space available and every container they can in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region.

“It’s not realistic to truck your container down to California and have it export there, where there may be more available sailings,” Daniels said. “People exporting from the PNW, I mean we are kind of stuck with whatever [vessel] is coming into the PNW.” According to Daniels, because of the decreased number of ships at the port, terminals are minimizing their operation hours. “The days that terminals are closed, we can’t truck so our trucks are down,” Daniels said. “And if we can’t truck, we can’t get empty containers in front of our production line, so they’re down, it has a big ripple effect.” Daniels expressed that it’s still early to tell how big of a revenue loss Anderson Hay faces in the hay exported to international markets. “[The hay will] still move, just not in the week they were originally planned,” she said. “So they trickle down, if more vessels skip, that just builds a bigger snowball.”

No. 9 Hay L.L.C. is a hay producing and exporting company in Ellensburg that ships products primarily to Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea. Bob Haberman, is co-owner and brother of Bill Haberman. Bob Haberman said the coronavirus situation has affected their export business due to the lack of shipping containers. “[I’m] frustrated that it’s having such an impact in the everyday lives of everybody in the world,” Bob Haberman said. “Life has to go on and you do what you can to protect yourself and you keep moving forward.” While the weather and the coronavirus situation could affect things, No. 9 Hay plans to plant and harvest hay to yield more output this year than that of 2019, according to Bob Haberman. “[To] put up our high quality as possible as every year,” Bob Haberman said. “That’s our every year goal.”

Clubs get new president, new website Abigail Duchow Staff Reporter

With the impending removal of the VP of Clubs and Organizations, a new elected position has opened up. Among concerns about space for club advertisements and a new website, the new position was one of the main topics that was discussed at the most recent club council meeting. Interclub Associate President The VP of Clubs and Organizations, Ashley Klippert, described the new position that will be replacing her current position. The new position is titled Interclub Associate (ICA) President, and will be effective next year assuming the ASCWU constitution changes pass. The new position will be responsible for supporting CWU clubs, assisting in organization recognition and assisting in developing club officer training. “The position won’t be the VP of Clubs and Orgs, it will be the Interclub Associate President. There will be a bit more clarity of what their job actually is,” Klippert said. The ICA president will also be in charge of running the club council meetings, as well as reporting to the student engagement coordinator, Michael Middleton. “The intent as it stands is for that VP posi-

tion to transform into the president of the ICA position,” Middleton said. “Currently, in the model in which student government is set up in...our VP for clubs has very little time out of their supposed 20 hour work week. There’s a lot of stuff they just can’t get to because of their other student government requirements.” Middleton described this time in student government as a transitional period. As ASCWU works on changing its constitution, the clubs and organizations area of ASCWU will transition away from student government and become more incorporated into the student engagement sector. “All 20 hours of their work is just going to be about how we can better the experience of clubs on campus,” Middleton said. The application deadline for this position is two business days before the April club council meeting. Voting will open after the club council’s May meeting, during which each club will cast one vote. New Website Middleton also introduced a website for showcasing and organizing clubs and organizations. The website was first launched in early winter quarter and is not fully developed yet. The site, called Presence, is projected by Middleton to have a hard launch in fall 2020. When the website is fully functional, it will have several different functions.

Riel Hanson/The Observer The Club Council hopes their new website will be fully developed by spring 2020. They’re hoping the new website will make it easier for students to navigate the different clubs and their events.

Through the website, clubs will get their own pages. On their pages, clubs will be able to describe what their club is, provide contact information and state how to join their club. Clubs and organizations will also be able to list events on the website. The website should allow clubs to check in the people who attend their events. This will allow clubs to see who came to their events. “I know it’ll alleviate a lot of stress that clubs go through with recognition, club membership, and students finding out what clubs there are and what they’re all about,”

Klippert said. The site has a section for forms which will eliminate the need for paper packets that students currently have to turn in. Instead of turning in paper packets, club members will now be able to fill out forms directly on the website. The URL for the website is cwu.presence. io and is currently the only way to access it. It should be easily accessible through CWU’s website at some point in the future. “We want to set it up so that you all have to go through as little as possible to get the things that you need done, done,” Middleton said.


Ellensburg’s heart of blue March 12, 2020

Editor: Nicholas Tucker


Abigail Duchow Staff Reporter

Ellensburg blue agate is a gemstone that is unique because it is only found in Kittitas County. It was discovered in 1905 by the first mayor of Ellensburg, Austin Miers. It has since become a staple of Ellensburg, nominee for Washington’s state gem and sought after by many people. Ellensburg blue is the only agate considered to be a semi-precious gem. It can only be found in northwest Kittitas County, particularly around Green Canyon and Reecer Creek Roads. Angela Halfpenny is an Engineering Technician in the CWU Geology Department. She has been researching Ellensburg blues. Specifically, she has been researching what makes Ellensburg blues unique from other blue agates and how they can be properly distinguished from others. “The reason it’s more important than the other blues, like a Holly blue, Turkish Blue, Mojave Blue or a Blue Lace, is the fact that because it’s rarer, it’s worth a lot more money per gram. So, that’s why some people are very interested in it,” said Halfpenny. State Gem Thayer is one of the people that testified for House Bill 2757, a bill calling for Ellensburg blue to be named the official gem of the state of Washington. The current state gem, petrified wood, would be renamed as the official vegetative fossil of the state of Washington. The bill passed in the house with 91 yeas and seven nays, and was passed to the senate. However, the senate never got to hear the bill due to a missed deadline. “We had critical dates that we had to meet, and unfortunately we didn’t meet one of those, and that’s why it had to be stalled,” Thayer said. The bill’s next opportunity to be brought back to its current status of in committee in the senate will be Jan. 2021, the next legislative cycle. “It gives us a chance and an opportunity to cultivate support and get the word out.” Thayer said of the wait, “After election season is over and we see who our state representatives and senators are, we can start promoting to them and saying ‘here’s a bill you should be aware of, and here’s why it’s important to say yes.’”

Wikimedia Commons

Blue Gold Sadie Thayer has been the director of the Kittitas County Historical Museum since 2010. She said the museum has had its Ellensburg blue exhibit since it opened in 1961. Thayer said Ellensburg blues are mainly sold to jewelers to be cut and made into jewelry. She said there is another market for Ellensburg blues with people who collect them. The ones that aren’t sold to jewelers are usually raw and aren’t gemstone quality. A problem that arises from Ellensburg blues being worth so much is Ellensburg blue fraud. Some people have taken stones that look similar to Ellensburg blue, cut it in the shape that Ellensburg blue is usually cut in, and try to sell it for as much as an Ellensburg blue would be sold for. Ellensburg blues can be sold for as much as $250 per karat. “[Ellensburg blue fraud] is common, folks can pass off blue lace agate, which has a similar property and similar look to Ellensburg blue, and claim it as Ellensburg blue,” Thayer said. While Ellensburg blue has always been rare, over time it has gotten even harder to find. Thayer described how in the 1970s there was a major push called the “rock days.” During that time the interest in Ellensburg blues grew even more. The Ellensburg blue was celebrated among rock hunters, and promoted more ever since. Since this time of immense popularity, it has become harder to find Ellensburg blues.

Riel Hanson/The Observer First discovered in 1905, the Ellensburg blue agate is a semi-precious gemstone that is found only in Kittitas County.

History Thayer talked about how Ellensburg blues have had a vibrant history. She described how the first mayor of Ellensburg, Austin Miers, sent two “beautiful pieces” of Ellensburg blue to a jeweler in Seattle to be made into rings. Thayer also talked about J.N.O. Thompson, a man who had a jewelry store in Ellensburg from 1913 to the 1940s. She said Thomspson’s “go-to stone” was the Ellensburg blue, which was a factor in popularizing the Ellensburg blue. The jeweler’s son, John Prentiss Thompson, became a geologist and wrote a book about Ellensburg blues. According to History Link, a website that contains history about Washington state, Ellensburg blues were shown to John Prentiss Thompson by local Native American tribes. The tribes used Ellensburg blues to make arrowheads as well as to trade with. The Ellensburg blues even caught the attention of Tiffany & Co in the late 1920s. According to Thayer, a Tiffany & Co salesman came to Ellensburg, saw the Ellensburg blue, and promoted all over America.

How to Make One Angela Halfpenny described how Ellensburg blues are formed, and how they got to Ellensburg. According to Halfpenny, Ellensburg blue is chemically distinct from other blue agates due to variations in trace element chemical signatures and crystallography. Halfpenny said Ellensburg blues are a vein-hosted mineralization. They form when fluid pressurizes deep in the earth and cracks up a solid chunk of basalt. The fluid goes up the crack, mineralizes, and grows out from the walls and into the middle of the crack. “We theorize that there was a river that brought the Ellensburg Blues from up behind First Creek, where they were initially formed.” Halfpenny said, “A whole heap of rock has been eroded off the top of First Creek, so that’s where [Ellensburg Blues] separated out, and that’s what got deposited and people are now finding in their gardens and things like that if you live up Reecer Creek Road or around Green Canyon.”

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Scene 6 March 12, 2020

Editor: Amy Morris

‘Yes, I am fat’

People share ways to overcome body insecurity and become more body positive

Teagan Kimbro/The Observer

Harleen Kaur Staff Reporter

As she stared at herself in the mirror, she was ashamed and disgusted. The person looking back at her was not who she was in love with. It all started when the boys would verbally abuse her and call her fat. For twenty years, she hated her body. Virgie Tovar is an activist, author and one of the nation’s leading experts on body positivity and fat discrimination. According to Tovar, at the age of five, children start to learn about fat and start noticing different shapes and sizes. Tovar, however, didn’t learn about body shame in her household. She was raised in a family where everyone had the same body type. Instead, she was first exposed to body shame at the school playground as a kindergartener. “I grew up in a really loving household,” Tovar said. “I would run to the bathroom when I would take off all my clothes as a little fat four year old. And I would run back out to see my grandmother. And I would spread out my arms and legs and I would jiggle for her.” By the age of 11, Tovar was determined to change her body. She wanted to impress her crush and hoped that if she lost weight, he would want to walk into the sunset with her. Tovar lost a significant amount of weight. What she didn’t realize was her body went into starvation mode. People around started to notice the change and it encouraged her to keep going, but it wasn’t a healthy way to lose weight, Tovar said. Her doctor was proud of her and told her if she continued losing weight,

maybe she could date his son. According to Tovar’s research, 68% of women in the U.S. are plus size. A plus size woman spends an additional $9,000 to $19,000 every year towards basic needs and weight loss products, according to a 2014 Guardian article. One of the biggest issues, Tovar said, is discrimination towards fat people: fatphobia. Fatphobia is a form of bigotry and discrimination. It is a social problem that positions fat people as inferior in society. It positions weight gain as a sign of moral failure and lack of self-control, according to Tovar. The only solution to ending fatphobia is not asking fat people to become thin, Tovar said. It’s simply ending fatphobia, Tovar said. Meghan Hoeye, a senior majoring in family and child life, works at the Wellness Center. In the Wellness Center, Hoeye is responsible for covering topic areas such as nutrition, body image and exercise. “I have had a lot of issues with my own body and self-image, and it’s something that I’ve been passionate about for a very long time,” Hoeye said. Hoeye said the weight on the scale does not define anyone and everyone is different. Hoeye said this is a topic that can affect a person’s mental health and their ability to function on a daily basis. “You don’t need to change to be worthy of existing. You don’t need to change anything about yourself,” Hoeye said.“You’re still worthy of your education, you’re still worthy of having a partner, you’re still worthy of having a job, you’re worthy of traveling, you’re worthy of anything that you want to do. You don’t have to change.”

The best thing to do is to surround yourself in a positive atmosphere. This can be accomplished by unfollowing social media pages that don’t promote self-love and surrounding yourself with positive people, Hoeye said. “Seek help and talk to people, so your friends, your family,” Hoeye said. “Surround yourself with people who are going to be supportive of you. Tell them that you’re struggling and ask them to not say body-negative things to you.” Sabeth Jackson is a health education coordinator at the Wellness Center. According to Jackson, teens and young adults are very conscious about their appearance and body image. Through the process of losing weight many young adults develop unhealthy habits that can affect their health in the long term. Many of these thoughts and ideas are stereotypes from society and the body image presented on media platforms. Disney movies and Barbie dolls create a slim body image in the minds of girls at a young age, according to Jackson. “People who read like fashion magazines will feel markedly more depressed after they have read them and like, more critical of their bodies after they’ve read them. And the reason is because we’re seeing image after image after image of what we think,” Jackson said. Jackson has a two-year-old daughter who she wants to have a strong mindset and love towards her body. Jackson said it can be hard to create a positive mindset, especially with all the toxic messages we are surrounded with. “Try to treat yourself the way you would want to treat other people, you know, with kindness,” Jackson said.


Editor: Amy Morris

March 12, 2020


Following in the footsteps of strong women

Continued from Page 1 Washington grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. She and her family moved to Washington after Hurricane Katrina. They were homeless for some time but her parents worked hard to provide for her and her four siblings, Washington said. Growing up she was the most powerful woman she knew. “I’ve seen my mother get up and decide to go get her associates degree, which has never even been done before in my family and she worked her butt off to become a teacher. That was during the time where you didn’t need a bachelors degree to be a teacher,” Washington said. “Just so that we could have food on the table and have a place to stay.” Being on the streets taught Washington to have a survival trait and to be strong. When Washington first came to CWU, she had no money. All she knew was she wanted an education. Washington almost got kicked out because of financial reasons, but President Gaudino helped her. According to Washington, she wouldn’t have received an education if it wasn’t for him. Washington is going to get her master’s in public health after graduating from CWU. She hopes to work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After a couple of years working in the industry, Washington said she will go back and get her PhD. She hopes to inspire young girls to be and do anything they want to. “You are more than your circumstance. You are an overcomer. Always remember that there are generations attached to your name so there’s no way you can fail,” Washington said. “There are women that fought for you to be able to be where you are today.” Melanie Crispin Garza, a senior majoring in accounting and music, is another powerful woman at CWU.

Garza was Miss East Cascade in 2018, representing five counties in Washington and is a trained concert pianist for 18 years. Growing up, Garza wanted to be the woman her five-year-old self could look up to and be proud of. Although there have been times when she did not succeed with this goal, this has not stopped her from growing and helping others reach their goal, Garza said. “I believe in the value of mentorship, the value of taking care of people and wanting to see them succeed. I want to see the people around me be proud of themselves and excited for what is to come next. I love being a part of a person’s journey,” Garza said. According to Garza the one thing that makes her so strong and powerful is herself. There have been people that encourage her to be her best self, but she can only rise within her own power. Garza said instead of telling herself she got lucky for the success in her life, she tells herself that she earned it. Garza said the difficulties she faced during her childhood manifested into her highschool years. “I was five years old the first time I was called fat, I looked like a normal little girl. However, this has stuck with me for the rest of my life,” Garza said. Garza said she was one of the very

Teagan Kimbro/The Observer

few ethnic minority students in a white community. Garza said her looks were not described in a positive light by adults and peers. “I had people constantly telling me to straighten my hair, that my eyes were too dark, etc. As a child growing up this made me form a very negative image of myself, just for being a person of color,” Garza said. At the age of 15, Garza lost her brother, who was her best friend, to cancer. This caused Garza to fall into depression and feel as if her world had come to an end. According to Garza, this was the darkest time of her life. Garza fought out of it and it shaped her for the rest of her life. Garza learned to love, care for and appreciate the people in her life. After graduation from CWU Garza plans on moving to Wenatchee. Garza plans on getting her master’s in accounting and hopes to be more involved in the community. “Never forget the power that you hold. It is very easy to doubt ourselves,” Garza said. “We tend to compare ourselves too much to someone else’s success, we get told we’re not good enough, or smart enough, our dreams and goals get belittled by people that are scared of them. Remind yourself that you can, that you are smart enough, that you are driven enough, that you are important, every single day. The constant

affirmation of yourself will change your mindset and you can achieve anything.” Kathryn Martell, a professor of management at CWU, is a woman who has worked her way to the top. Martell moved from New Jersey in 2012 for her high school sweetheart. She started to work at CWU as a professor and was then the dean of the college of business. Martell missed the interaction she had with students, so she went back to teaching. Martell earned her undergraduate degree in economics in the University of Chicago and her PhD in management at the University of Maryland. Martell has two daughters, whom she raised as a single mother. Martell said one of the hardest things is being a working mother. For 15 years Martell travelled around the world giving speeches about assessment of student learning and as her daughters got older, she was able to take them with her. “I divorced their dad, when my girls were four and six. And he really checked out. So there was no child support,” Martell said. Growing up, Martell came from a lower-middle class family. Martell’s mother was also a single mother who raised her and her siblings. Martell recalls the time she would get hand-me-downs from her aunt since there were a lot of things her family couldn’t afford. Martell had to start working at a young age, doing various jobs. According to Martell, there was a time when girls were not allowed to work, so she would deliver newspapers using a boy’s name. “We were lower-middle class family. I’m the oldest of six children, and then my parents split up when I was probably about 15 and my dad dropped out for a while,” Martell said. Martell is planning on retiring in five years. She plans on traveling around the world with her husband, who is retiring this March. Martell also plans on doing volunteering work in a hospice.



KITTITAS COUNTY TWO CONFIRMED CASES IN THE COUNTY, FINALS MOVED ONLINE, STUDY ABROAD CANCELLED Story by Mariah Valles | Contributions by Nicholas Tucker | Design by Aiden Knabel

Continued from Page 1 Professor in Voluntary Quarantine

Study Abroad

A CWU Theatre department professor emailed students on Monday, March 9, stating class procedures would be moved online following his exposure to COVID-19. The email was provided to The Observer by a student. “I have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus and have been quarantined at home for the next 2 weeks. I am fine, though I am just getting over a cold I have had since early last week,” the professor said in the email. On March 9, CWU public affairs officials said they could not speak on the matter and to contact the Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) for information. KCPHD Public Information Officer Kasey Knutson said she could not legally disclose medical information, citing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws. “We take confidentiality very seriously and are also required by law to not disclose medical information,” Knutson said. Following the email from the professor to students, Theatre Department Chair Christina Barrigan announced that all finals would be moved online. “On Friday, [professor’s name] reported to me that his partner had been ‘quarantined by the state’ due to potential exposure to COVID-19,” Barrigan wrote. “After a conversation with Dean Hernandez, we have asked him to observe the quarantine too as a preventative measure.” According to the email Barrigan wrote, there are no testing kits available to him or his partner at this time to confirm exposure or illness from COVID-19.

CWU has cancelled all study abroad and international travel until the end of spring quarter. The university is also requesting that all students, faculty and staff currently working or studying abroad return to the U.S. In addition to cancellation, CWU is requesting those who return from international travel to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus. The university says to contact instructors to discuss accommodations. “We have encouraged instructors to work with students who are absent because of illness by offering makeup exams, alternate assignments or alternate weighting of missed work,” the university’s website says. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set guidelines for institutions of higher education with international travel or study abroad programs. “Given the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) institutes of higher education (IHE) should consider postponing or canceling upcoming student international travel programs,” the CDC’s website says. “IHE should consider asking current program participants to return to their home country.” CWU has created an expense reimbursement request form for unrecoverable study abroad fees. “This form is for CWU students and employees affected by the university’s decision to cancel all international travel until the end of Spring Quarter due to the COVID-19 outbreak to request refunds of unrecoverable expenses,” the form’s description states. Those who ignore CWU’s recommendations may face consequences. “Any member of the CWU community who chooses to disregard university recommendations for international travel must understand they will do so at their own risk and may face difficulties in return travel to the U.S. and/or possible restricted access to the CWU campus,” CWU’s website says.

Kittitas County The Washington State Department of Health confirmed COVID-19 test results for a Kittitas County woman on March 9. The woman is 67 years old and as of March 11, is being evaluated for hospitalization, according to KCPHD. Health officials also confirmed on March 11 a second case of COVID-19 in the county, a family member of the 67-year-old woman. The family member is stable and does not require hospitalization at this time, according to KCPHD. Prior to confirming any positive COVID-19 cases in Kittitas County, KCPHD declared a state of emergency. Their reason, according to press releases, was to be able to have more resources readily available. The Ellensburg City Council declared a state of emergency on March 9 for similar reasons. Kittitas County is one of at least nine counties to have confirmed cases of COVID-19. In Washington, according to the state health department, there have been 24 deaths as of March 10.

*Story last updated March 11


Y Confirmed Cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Washington State 267 CONFIRMED



*Updated as of March 10, 2020


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

10 - 49

50 - 99

Kittitas County Public Health Department


State Health Department


10 Editor: Amy Morris

March 12, 2020

Behind the scenes of the cosplay club

Photos by Riel Hanson/The Observer

The cosplay club discussed inclusion and diversity among their club members during last week’s meeting. Cosplay is a community of people who come together to portray characters from books, anime, pop culture, movies, podcasts and more.

Tamara Sevao Staff Reporter

Imagine walking through a venue, shoulder to shoulder with your favorite television show characters. Well, comic conventions (comic cons) are a place where various characters come to life. The cosplay club is led by senior Illyana Peckham who is majoring in secondary math education. This is Peckham’s third year as president of the club. Peckham said her mantra is anyone can cosplay anything. “Some people might think they are too tall to cosplay a character,” Peckham said. “But you need to just do it anyway. If it makes you happy and you’re comfortable doing that, then go for it.” According to Peckhma, cosplay is a community of people who come together to portray characters from books, anime, pop culture, movies, podcasts and more. She said there are no guidelines

for cosplaying and that people should not fall into gatekeeping stigmas such as weight and gender. Some club members choose to buy pieces for their costume, or they make them. Hope Pringle, a freshman majoring in theater, is one member from the club who truly takes pride in her work. In the past year, Pringle has made at least six different costumes and still has five more to make by the fall. On average, she finds herself spending about $150 per costume. Pringle’s most recent project is an Elsa costume costing $187 that’s taken 60 hours of work so far. Her Elsa costume contains 13,000 rhinestones which were sewn on by hand. “I enjoy problem solving and figuring out how something works,” Pringle said. “When I look at other costume designs, it might look cool but because I know how to make clothes, I know what they did is near impossible but I try it anyways.” Some members go to comic cons on their own. Emerald City Comic Con is a popular one. This year, Emerald City was postponed to Summer 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak in western Washington. While there are solo conventions, everyone goes to one together as a club. Sakura-Con will be held April 10-12 in Seattle. An announcement on March 3 stated the convention would proceed regardless of COVID-19 cases. It might not be considered “con-crunching” time quite yet but it will be here fast. Peckham said it will be here shortly and then the real panic will begin. “Con-crunching” is another way to express procrastination. A few weeks out from a comic con is when cosplayers realize they have so much to do still. This can include ordering costume pieces or finishing the costume. Pringle said her favorite part about cosplaying is the friends she has made in this club. She even has a cosplay mentor she sees only at conventions. On top of that, Pringle enjoys doing partner cosplay which means connecting, or even dressing up with, people of similar interests. Cosplay club secretary McKenna Woodyard (Soda), a sophomore majoring in art, agrees with Pringle. She said if there is someone who doesn’t like what you’re into, then there will definitely be someone else who does. Over-

all, everyone in the club is interested in one common thing and that is cosplay. “You can be literally anyone,” Soda said. “You are still yourself but you can be anyone at the same time. It doesn’t matter your gender or anything like that.” Peckham said their club is really helpful when it comes to teaching skills which can include sewing. She said it’s okay to have to work with someone from the ground up. Students don’t need to have prequalified cosplay skills to join

March 12, 2020


Editor: Nick Jahnke / Design: Teagan Kimbro 11

orget acebook Aeryn Kauffman Columnist

I’m a little surprised it isn’t a more widespread practice to delete Facebook. They’ve been pushing the limits for years, seeing just how much data they can take from us before we stop living in comfortable complacency. Not only do they not care about privacy, but they’re just not original anymore, not to mention it’s become almost useless to have one. Issue one is the most obvious: Facebook records you. They monitor your searches and clicks. I’m sure there’s even a shadow account of me out there, despite not having an account for years now. I deleted my Facebook account in 2016 amidst the absolute spectacle that preceded the Clinton/Trump election. Not only did I feel disenchanted with the superficial “friendships” which involved likes and heart emojis on my photos, but Facebook found themselves the subject of negative attention once again. The Cambridge Analytica scandal was already well underway and I was doing what everyone else was doing: plugging my ears and hoping it all goes away soon. I was tethered to the idea that I need my Facebook and without it, I will not be connected, both in terms of staying informed about the news and keeping up with my friends. It turns out you don’t need it. In fact, amidst the 2016 fake news epidemic, trust in mass media reached an all time low of 32%, according to a Gallup poll. It’s no longer enough to trust what you see posted by your friends on social media. Extensive information literacy training is needed to avoid believing a fake news article. However, I’m not here to preach about what many people already know. Yeah, Facebook was a major passive contributor to fake news, has been involved in numerous privacy scandals and continues to collect user data. So what? You don’t need Facebook to keep up with your friends. I wanted to feel more authenticity in my friendships with others, which was another reason I deleted my account. In the week leading up to my decision to delete my account, I posted several times about my intentions, along with how to stay in contact with me if people chose to. It was a quick way to find out who wanted to make the effort to keep in contact with me, and my friendships got stronger as a result. I found myself happier without Facebook too.

Healthline, a reputable health and wellness site run by a board of doctors, found a study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology which shows a “causal link between the use of social media and negative effects on well-being, primarily depression and loneliness.” Somehow, Facebook paradoxically increases feelings of loneliness. Isn’t this contradictory to its purpose? Dr. Jeremy Nobel from Harvard Health Publishing speculates it is due to fear of missing out (FOMO). “By its very nature, Facebook posts are highly comparative, and may have a ‘showoff’ character that can’t help but make us compare our life with others,” Dr. Nobel wrote. FOMO can happen on any site, right? Especially Instagram, with its focus on godlike, chiseled bodies and beautiful, healthy plates of food. “Instagram allows a bit more creative expression, especially for images,” Nobel wrote. This may be the key when browsing a site like Instagram or Twitter: knowing the photos are artful in nature. In addition, they need to be used sparingly to avoid FOMO. When I use Instagram, I will scroll for just a few minutes, looking for workout motivation or recipe inspiration. At the risk of sounding edgy and not like those other girls, I use Reddit the most. The setup is text focused and identity optional. Plus, there’s a subreddit for just about anything you can think of. LinkedIn is becoming the way to go if you want to have a professional online presence that allows you to stay connected in the career world. Facebook pales in comparison. In addition, Facebook is trying to be the site for everything. Since I left, Facebook has implemented Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Dating. There seems to be nothing which makes it unique from other social media sites, now. You can look pretty mysterious, too, when you tell a potential love interest you don’t have a Facebook account. They don’t get to Google you and find out all about you, anymore. They have to learn about you the hard way: actual face-to-face interaction. Lead the change. Rip off the shackles and delete your Facebook account.

I was tethered to the idea that I need my Facebook and without it, I will not be connected...


12 Editor: Nick Jahnke / Design: Teagan Kimbro

March 12, 2020

to another Pixar film Jackson McMurray Staff Contributer

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is back in a big way. This new resurgence with young adults might be a product of the affinity for the fantasy genre that comes from growing up with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, or a desensitization to increasingly lifelike video games, or maybe just a result of the same 30-year nostalgia cycle that made Stranger Things a hit. Whatever the reason, it’s hard to deny the 18-24 demographic is big into tabletop roleplay again. Only very recently has traditional media caught on, and suddenly it seems like everybody is fighting for the chance to capitalize on not just the licenced property of Gary Gygax’s “Dungeons and Dragons,” but the broader 1980s roleplay game (RPG) aesthetic. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldsmith are currently attached to direct a 2021 “Dungeons and Dragons” movie for Paramount. NBC recently ordered a pilot based on the popular D&D Podcast “The Adventure Zone,” and even “Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder” has a poster with a distinctly Gygaxian vibe. But seemingly first among this new wave of retro RPG content is Pixar’s newest film “Onward.” “Onward” takes place in a world in which the elves, gnomes and trolls of a traditional fantasy world grew up and invented smartphones, khakis and station wagons. The protagonists, played by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, are two brothers whose father died when they were very young. In the first act, the brothers discover their dad left behind a spell that could resurrect him for 24 hours, only to botch the execution and resurrect only their father’s bottom half. The quest that ensues, as per RPG tradition, is a fairly episodic one, where the protagonists encounter various obstacles in sequence preventing them from reaching their goal: a magical gem that would allow them to meet their father’s top part. Each detour serves less as a cause-and-effect plot necessity and more as an opportunity to learn about and explore the lives of the heroes. Each episode of their journey, in true Pixar fashion, is a methodical stepping stone building towards the perfectly crafted catharsis at the end of the film. Pixar is perhaps the most prestigious name in modern feature animation, which

Onward (2020) Disney

means each new film they produce has enormous shoes to fill. No matter what happens their movies have to sit alongside genuine masterpieces like “The Incredibles” and “Toy Story” on that “Pixar” tab on Disney Plus. Each year it becomes more and more impressive that their films don’t collapse under their own weight. Even under that tremendous pressure, Onward is a meticulously created story that puts characters and ideas first, building to a final act that is among the most gutsy and affecting in the Pixar catalogue, all anchored by a phenomenal voice cast. It’s easy to write off Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as the handsome faces of thoughtless blockbuster cinema, but it has

to be noted they got to be that way by first being incredibly talented actors. Both give absolutely stellar voice performances in this film. Pratt has a doofy charm and roguish energy that is always endearing and never grating, and Holland, who has lived in England his whole life, is continuing to demonstrate an insane mastery of American dialects. His Northwestern-sounding character in Onward sounds completely unlike his New York-infused performance as Spider-Man in subtle but effective ways. If “Onward” is a good indicator of what the new era of D&D-inspired filmmaking is to be, we have plenty of reason to be excited. It lovingly borrows tropes

and iconography from role playing games without being scared to modulate and adjust them to fit their vision of a clear, meaningful story. Whether it’s taking literal fantasy creatures and items and recontextualizing them into a modern world, or co-opting storytelling structures from role playing games and manipulating them to make them feel effective in a 90-minute feature film, “Onward” is committed to respecting its inspirations without being obsessed with leaving them untouched. “Onward” feels like an intelligently conceptualized and well-rendered kickstart to a new phase of pop culture, as well as an original film that lives up to its place among the giants in the Pixar catalogue.

These classes generally include subjects like English, math, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. According to Lumerit Unbound, a website sponsored by Pearson Education, general education classes usually take up one third to one half of a degree which seems like too much to me. CWU requires 180 credits to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Out of those 180 credits, 60 of those are required gen eds. Now take a student like me, who pays for college almost completely with loans. According to CWU’s website, before the average amount of aid, it costs $23,201 to attend CWU for one year. Based on the math in the previous paragraph, it would cost roughly $30,934 just to take general education classes. General education classes should be taught in high school, so when students

graduate they can dive right into the field they want to go into. As a public relations major, I did not do well in Geology of the Pacific Northwest, nor did I put full effort into it, as it’s not something I am directing my career towards. If gen eds were taught in high school, it could save students literally tens of thousands of dollars. I have been at CWU for just two quarters now, and I have already accrued almost $16,000 in debt. Luckily, I took the route of doing Running Start through Wenatchee Valley College and don’t have to take general education classes. Based on how much debt I’m in already though, I can’t imagine having to pay for over a year’s worth of classes that have nothing to do with my major. Students in Washington who are still in high school should definitely take advantage of college in the high school classes.

Building up college credits while remaining tuition-free is a great route to take. Going beyond that, the Running Start program is an immensely helpful way to avoid crippling student debt. I did Running Start, and if I hadn’t, I’d be about $96,000 (probably more with interest) in debt by the end of my college career. I know general education classes are considered useful for being a well-rounded and intelligent person, but I think they should be taught before students are in college. Reforming the entire education system would be quite a large task, but the amount of time and money that go into these classes that don’t have anything to do with students’ majors is overwhelming. Students should try to take general education classes that are associated with their major, and if at all possible, advocate for less of these near useless classes.

General Education generally overrated

Abigail Duchow Columnist

General education classes (gen eds) seem like a waste of money. The classes could be removed, or at least reduced. According to the US Department of Education, the average cost of attending CWU is $14,382 per year after the average amount of financial aid. Say a student is taking 15 credits per quarter and completing their gen eds. It would take four quarters, or a whole school year plus roughly three months, for that student to complete their gen eds. Those classes cost that student, based on the average, about $19,176. To me, paying this much for classes that aren’t major-based seems ridiculous. General education classes are the classes college students have to take before they start taking their major-specific classes.


Editor: Austin Lane 13

March 12, 2020

Weems and La Rue ready for ‘Bama as rest of team preps for outdoor

As CWU Track and Field send Samantha La Rue and Erykah Weems to the indoor national championships in Birmingham, Alabama, the rest of the team is preparing for outdoor season to begin this weekend

Photo courtesy of CWU Athletic Communications

Seniors Erykah Weems and Samantha La Rue have both qualified for the NCAA DII Indoor National Championships. Weems will be competing in the 60-meter hurdles and La Rue will be competing in the shot put. It is both athletes’ first trip to Indoor National Championships.

Continued from Page 1 La Rue La Rue is competing in shot put. To prepare for the championships, La Rue is sticking to the same practice plan she and her teammates did before the last meet. La Rue said the plan worked well for her and she feels as prepared as she can be for the championships. “My main goal is to walk away and to not ever think that I didn’t do the best that I could,” La Rue said. “I want to make sure I show up and do all that I can. Whatever ends up happening will be awesome.” La Rue is entering national championships ranked 14th in the country with a mark of 48 feet in the shot put. She hit this mark earlier this season at the NCAA DII Indoor Last Chance Qualifier. The throw was a personal record (PR), beating her previous best throw by over a foot. The current leader in shot put nationally is senior Payton Roberts from Missouri Southern State University, with a throw of 52 feet, 11 inches. Weems Erykah Weems is competing in the 60-meter hurdles. Weems said she is very excited for the upcoming meet and is hoping for the best. She said she has come a long way in the 60m hurdles and it is now one of her stronger events. It’s an event she feels prepared to compete in nationally. “I know as long as I stay level headed, trust in my process, my coaching and in

myself then I’ll be able to accomplish all I want to accomplish,” Weems said. Weems enters the national championships ranked 12th nationally in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.61 seconds. Weems hit this time earlier this season at the GNAC Indoor Championships. The current leader in the 60m hurdles nationally is freshman Denisha Cartwright from Central State University, Ohio, with a time of 8.49 seconds.

and being really patient,” Adkisson said. “We’re excited to see what they’re ready to do.” Adkisson is excited for the outdoor season for various reasons, one of them being the added events the outdoor season brings that the indoor season doesn’t have. Some events are the javelin, discus, 400m hurdles and the steeplechase. “We have people in those events that can score,” Adkisson said. “That’s an exciting zone What’s Next for us.” Indoor Adkisson season is comsaid the team I know as long as I stay ing to a close, is looking forlevel headed, trust in my which means ward to comprocess, my coaching outdoor season peting against for the track conference and in myself then I’ll be and field athrival Western able to accomplish all I letes at CWU Wa s h i n g t o n want to accomplish. is about to beUniversity gin. Outdoor (WWU). AdErykah Weems, senior season allows kisson said a track and field goal for the to widen the size of their roster, meaning team is to reach WWU’s level of competition. more athletes get to actively compete. “We want to close that gap as best we Adkisson is looking forward to hav- can, and see if we can put some pressure ing all of his athletes competing in the on them,” Adkisson said. outdoor season. He said the athletes have During her outdoor season, La Rue’s been training diligently and working hard main events are discus, shot put and hamto ensure they are ready to compete in the mer. She is looking forward to her final upcoming weeks. The track and field team outdoor season. She is focusing on matchis expected to have newcomers that will ing her indoor shot put mark and also help the team take steps in the right direc- wants to set a personal record in discus. tion. Adkisson said they are looking for“It would be great to PR in discus,” La ward to the newcomers on both the men’s Rue said. “That’s something I’m going to and women’s side who will contribute to be having some fun with.” the outdoor season. La Rue is focusing on staying healthy “They’ve been working really hard so she can compete well in the outdoor

season. On top of La Rue striving to stay healthy and finishing her indoor season strong, she is also focusing on staying in touch with her teammates who have already been training for outdoor. She does this by asking her outdoor teammates about their own personal goals, how they are feeling and if they’re having fun outside. “I’m just making sure I’m still connected,” La Rue said. “It’s great to hear those updates and know we’re all still working for the same goals.” Weems is looking forward to seeing how their 4x400 relay will compete in the outdoor season. She is hoping to go to the NCAA DII Outdoor National Championships in the 400m hurdles. Weems is also looking forward to the 100m hurdles, an event she didn’t get to compete in during her indoor season. “It should be a really great transition,” Weems said. “I’m feeling really strong and very confident within the race.” Weems is striving to stay as healthy as possible. This is to ensure she is ready to compete in her outdoor season once she finishes the last of her indoor season. “I’m listening to my body and making sure I’m going to the trainers,” Weems said. “I’m looking forward to it for sure.” Weems is excited to be competing alongside some of her teammates in the outdoor season. Weems said her teammates are great competitors and create a great atmosphere, which has been building their new program. “Those ladies are always an honor and a pleasure to run with,” Weems said. “They bring so much to the team.”

Sports March 12, 2020

14 Editor: Austin Lane

Women’s basketball season ends in Seattle

Despite being down 12 points with four minutes left to the number one team in the GNAC, CWU Women’s Basketball still had some fight left in them. Alaska Anchorage saw their lead fade over the final minutes of the game, but ultimately won the contest, 79-77, ending the Wildcats’ season

Scott Wilson/Central News Watch

After missing the first free throw out of three to be taken, two Wildcats meet with their teammate Brianna Phiakhamngon at the free throw line. Phiakhamngon missed the next two free throws and the Wildcats were unable to get the rebound on the last miss, giving Alaska Anchorage the win.

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CWU Women’s Basketball entered the GNAC championships last weekend as the number five seed in the tournament. In the first round, the team took on Simon Fraser University (SFU), the number four seed in the tournament. CWU came out playing some of their best defense all season, holding SFU to only seven first quarter points. The Wildcats led the Clan 34-28 at halftime. Senior guard Alexis Pana went into halftime with only two points, but scored 11 in the second half to finish with 13 points in the game. Her strong second half performance helped carry CWU to victory, beating SFU 76-60. After the win, head coach Randi Richardson-Thornley gave her team credit for being able to win a “grind-it-out” type of game. “I don’t think things came all that easy to us on both sides of the ball,” Richardson-Thornley said. “Our girls stayed with it, stayed the course, didn’t get deterred and continued to fight.” The win gave CWU a birth into the semifinals where top seeded University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) awaited them. UAA was 19-1 in conference play during the regular season and 2-0 against CWU going into the matchup. CWU found themselves down by as many as 15 points in the second half, but the Wildcats went on a run that gave the team a chance to cement their names into CWU athletics history. With UAA up nine and 2:14 left in the game, senior guard Taylor Shaw knocked down a three, but UAA answered with two free throws. Sophomore guard Brianna Phiakhamngon knocked down a three pointer, then Pana hit another three

to cut the lead down to two points with 50 seconds left. Both teams went back and forth until nine seconds were left on the clock and Phiakhmangon was fouled on a three point shot attempt, sending her to the line to shoot three free throws with CWU down 79-77. Phiakhamngon missed the first two free throws, forcing her to purposely miss the last one. CWU did not come up with the rebound and in the matter of thirty seconds CWU went from playing in the GNAC championship game, to potentially playing their final game of the season. UAA won the game 79-77. After the game, Richardson-Thornley got emotional talking about the team’s ability to stick with UAA and not give up until the final whistle. “I couldn’t be more proud of the group,” Richardson-Thornley said. “It was a tough game for us... they faced adversity in many facets of the game tonight and they stood the course and did enough to stay in the game.” The Wildcats still had a shot at making the West Regional tournament, but the NCAA DII voting committee chose to take Cal Poly Pomona instead, ending the Wildcats’ season and ending the collegiate careers of five seniors on the team. One of those seniors, forward Taylor Shaw, said she was confident the committee would select CWU. “It’s okay, we can still be playing,” Shaw said to her mom after the UAA game was over. “It was sad after the game, but we were all still so focused, so ready to keep playing,” Shaw said. “We had so much confidence in ourselves and how we’ve been playing lately with our best basketball, so we were really confident the committee would see that and choose us to keep playing.”


Editor: Austin Lane 15

March 12, 2020

Women’s rugby taking on Oregon Sports Union Rugby Phoebe Lai Staff Reporter

CWU Women’s Rugby will take on Oregon Sports Union Rugby (ORSU) on March 14. ORSU is a Portland premier rugby club and not a collegiate team. Their website states that the team attracts and develops rugby players from all backgrounds that live in the greater Portland area. CWU senior inside center Suiluana Sooialo A’au said the match will help her become a better player and senior flanker Michel Navarro is excited about the match. “We haven’t had a lot of games this season and we’re hoping to get a good match so that we can prepare for the [Bay Area Semi-Final],” Navarro said. “So we can fully get the full experience.” Navarro said ORSU has a very strong forward pack, which makes for an interesting match. “It’s gonna make it more competitive since we are both good at those,” Navarro said.

Preparation When it comes to the preparation of the team, Navarro said it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. She said junk food is not going to give players the nutrients they need to build muscle. “Eating healthy is a big part of it and also just practicing, training together [and] trying to get our

structure together,” Navarro said. Head coach Trevor Richards said it’s important for the team to be physical to match the physicality. He also said the team has shown that their defensive system is excellent when it’s run well. “In order to stop [ORSU], we’re really going to have to

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maintain line speed,” Richards said. “That defensive launch to get off the line and perfect and provide pressure on attack.” Expectation Navarro expects the match to help the team build off each other’s strengths in order to prepare for the semi-finals. Navarro and A’au both said making sure the team flows smoothly is important. “We wanna practice hard and become united as a family more… so we can play together and flow better,” Navarro said. “We’re not frantic, everything is natural in our force.” “Getting that high level competition will really help us so that we can figure out what we need to work on and what things are working, so that we can continue doing those and bring it into the matches ahead of us,” Navarro said. A’au said the match against OSUR is the process of the preparation for playoffs. “We want to make sure that we’re winning every game that we have in front of us from now through the end of the season,” Richards said. “That’s going to give us really positive momentum heading into playoffs.”

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March 12, 2020

16 Design: Teagan Kimbro

COVIDFAQs Unscramble for the answers 1. One symptom of the virus icouggnh 2. Where to be if you are sick ohem 3. Location of the first death in the U.S. stletae 4. Where the out break started hiacn 5. Cleaner effective against coronavirus osyll 6. Transmission type roaneibr 7. 0-14 Day ______ period icnonauitb 8. Does race or ethnicity affect who is sick no 9. Avoid touching your cefa 10. A second symptom eevfr 1. Coughing, 2. Home, 3. Seattle, 4. China, 5. Lysol, 6. Airborne, 7. Incubation, 8. No, 9. Face, 10. Fever

03.12 03.13 03.14 03.15 03.16 03.17 03.18


Girl Scout Day “AFRICA” by Toto Earmuff Day Handwashing chorus: “It’s gonna take a Celebrate Scientists Day lot to drag me away from you / There’s Dumbstruck Day nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do / I bless the rains down in Act Happy Day Africa / Gonna take some time to do the Saint Patrick’s Day things we never had” Awkward Illustrations Day This chorus is 20 seconds long. Sing while washing your hands.

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