The Observer, Spring 2024 – Issue3

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Why do creators create?It could be argued that someone’s creative endeavor speaks to who they are as a person, that it’s a way of sharing who they are with the world around them. What matters to them? What do they have to say? Why share at all?

After speaking as part of CWU’s Lion’s Rock Visiting Writers series, author Callum Angus sat down with The Observer to discuss the creative process and what it means for him to put pen to paper.

Callum Angus is an author and journal editor hailing from Portland, Ore. According to Angus, writing is in his blood; with many family members having also been published writers, including his father, grandfather and grandmother. “I really resisted wanting to be a published writer for a while,” Angus said. “I thought, ‘Let’s see what other ways of being in the world there are before I commit to this.’”

While in college, Angus studied several fields and subjects, earning a bachelor’s degree in geography and majoring in science as an undergraduate. However, Angus still found time to study English, magazine and short story writing. “Spending that time invested in a different discipline, I think, really shaped how a lot of my writing has progressed,” Angus said. “From that, I write a lot and think a lot about other organisms, other ways of being, biology and ecology are really important to my process.”

After college, Angus spent some time interning at a newspaper, but



found that journalism wasn’t for him. Instead, Angus chose to go back to his roots and write in a discipline he felt he could use to express himself—fiction.

Since then, Angus has published a number of pieces, including his short story collection “A Natural History Of Transition.” The collection features a number of tales that “disrupts the notion that trans people can only have one transformation,” according to the description on Angus’ website, and features a surrealist style of storytelling.

Angus, who is transgender himself, expressed dissatisfaction with how queer writers have been treated in the wider literary world. “During my MFA experience, we had not been assigned to any trans or queer authors in my creative writing classes,” Angus said, frustrated with the lack of representation.

The natural world is a subject that Angus often writes about as it’s one very important to him, but he feels that it’s a topic not many transgender writers are given the opportunity to speak on. “It felt like the places where environmental writing was happening, or eco writing was happening, they didn’t think that trans writers were, quote-unquote, ‘natural enough to be included,’ and they didn’t really care about our perspectives or struggles,” Angus said. This was Angus’ primary motivation for starting the literary journal “Smoke And Mold” in 2019. The goal of the journal is to help bridge that gap and show that transgender people have a lot to contribute

to the subject of nature writing, climate change and the natural world. “I mean, trans people are changing their bodies, they’re changing names, they’re thinking about their relationships to their families, and communities,” Angus said, “All of this is inherent to what I think nature writing is.”

When asked if he thought publishers had ever passed up his work due to his status as a queer writer or the fact that it’s often a subject matter of his work, Angus said it was hard to know. According to Angus, publishers don’t often state reasons for rejection. Despite this, he’s never felt deterred from publishing his work. “I decided I didn’t want to go chasing down, you know, affirmation or publication from bigger publishers, from agents. I was just going to look for a press that had my values and trans writing at its core,”Angus said.

Angus also provided a window into his creative process and shared some tips for aspiring writers. Angus shared that one of his motivations to write, aside from his relationship with the natural world, is actually failure. “Even a finished short story that I like never really comes out exactly how I imagined it in my head and that failure or that disappointment is a big part of what keeps me writing because I want to try it again,” Angus said. “And I think if I ever stopped feeling that I would probably stop writing, but so far, I haven’t.”

Another part of the writing process for Angus is immersing himself in other disciplines, such as gardening, taking walks in nature and listening to music, which he finds all inspire him artistically. Angus also added some thoughts regarding the rules and structures of writing. “It depends on what you want to write,” Angus said. “But also, I think there’s a lot of different sets of rules and different ways to engage with these modalities.” Angus detailed that he would advise students writers to engage with the rules of their craft in a way that makes them curious and provides them with options to explore. He says that while breaking rules can be great, it also helps to have some constraints to narrow down your vision.

Angus’ most important piece of advice for young writers boils down to hesitation. “Just start, don’t wait for permission,” Angus said. “Don’t wait for the right idea, just start writing every day, work through a body of work.” Angus argued that the more you write, the better you will become at it, as you’ll always be striving to improve upon your previous work. He also adds that you shouldn’t be in a rush to publish your first story anyway. “They’re never as good as you think they are,” Angus said. “But they will be helpful and they will help you figure out who you want to be in conversation with your work.”

Readers can find Angus’ body of work at and follow his editorial work at

Our resident Swifities rank Taylor’s albums See Pages 6 and 7 Baseball coach hits massive milestone See Page 8 Serving our Hispanic community See Page 10 Vol. 128 NO. 1 April 18, 2024
Callum Angus. (Photos courtesy of Ebenezer Galluzzo)



Local National Global

Between Feb. and June 2023, Nea Alfaro, the Health Promotion Specialist for Kittitas County Public Health, led a project handing out over 100 ‘quit kits’ to nicotine-addicted youth in Kittitas County. After handing out these kits, the county saw an approximate 6% decrease in usage, according to the Daily Record.

Representatives from Helen House stood outside of Ellensburg High School last Friday to show support for LGBTQ students on the Day of Silence. While the intention was to show these students that they are both seen and supported by adults in the community, the display received mixed reactions according to the Daily Record.

A Yakima man was found guilty of attempted rape of who he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. After a hearing last Friday, Kittitas County Superior Court Judge L. Candace Hooper sentenced Richins to more than seven years in prison according to the Daily Record.

Canadian singer Grimes apologized to fans on Saturday after her Coachella set earlier that evening was beset by technical issues that caused her to scream into the microphone in frustration, according to CNN. “I want to apologize for the technical issues with the show tonight,” she wrote on X. “Usually I always handle every aspect of my show myself – to save time this was one of the first times I’ve outsourced essential things…”

The National Park Service is seeking help from the public to find two men who were captured on camera toppling an ancient natural rock formation at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada last week, officials said on Monday, according to The New York Times.

The University of Southern California cancels valedictorian’s speech after pro-Israel groups object, citing security concerns at graduation, according to The New York Times. Asna Tabassum, who is Muslim, said the school was “succumbing to a campaign of hate meant to silence my voice.”

On April 14, Iran fired over 300 projectiles including drones and missiles at Israel in response to the alleged drone attacks of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, according to CNN.

96 people fleeing a cholera outbreak died when an overcrowded ferry capsized off Mozambique, according to The Economist.

After a raid of a Mexican embassy, Mexico has cut off diplomatic relations with Ecuador, according to The Economist.

Isaac, every conversation we share reminds me of Seinfeld. Now, thats probably because of all the stupid jokes I make, but you’re one of my favorite people to be silly with. Additionally, your creative input is incredible, and evaluates my designs tenfold. Thanks for being a great boss, and a great friend. -ZM

Isaac you are a real fun guy to hang out with even if you are technically my boss. Having someone to have lunch with on Tuesdays is always nice to get to know you better. Tuesday lunch day buddies for life! -BD

May your pen chip and shatter, Your Observer staff

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@CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver April 18, 2024
LETTER from the EDITOR (Photo by Francesco Somaini) Because our beloved Editor-in-chief Isaac Hinson is out of the office tonight, we took the opportunity to commandeer his usual spot with some notes from the staff. Isaac, design night was weird without you, but we’re all so proud of you for living your DREAM, and your fit was fantastic. -AP<3 It’s awesome to see you grow professionally. Keep it snazzy with the fits and don’t get all pretentious when you get back. -LB Feeling blessed to share a name with you brother. I don’t think I could be following in the footsteps of a better (former) Scene Editor or person. Deeply appreciate all your support, guidance and love over the year—and missing our brave captain. -ID From poking fun at your taste in teams as a reporter to now, shamelessly taking over your job as Sports Editor, it’s certainly been quite the plot twist. Thanks for always being a good sport and paving the way for me to get to where I am now. I appreciate you more than you know, as my boss and my bestie. -CJ I got to know you as you stepped into the role of EIC and you have been immaculate as a boss and a friend. Too bad that “all you are is mean.
What Up Wildcats, Editorial Policy: The Observer is a public forum for student expression, in which student editors make policy and content decisions. The mission of The Observer is two-fold: to serve Central Washington University as a newspaper and to provide training for students who are seeking a career in journalism. The Observer seeks to provide complete, accurate, dependable information to the campus and community; to provide a public forum for the free debate of issues, ideas and problems facing the community at large; and to be the best source of information, education and entertainment news. As a training program, The Observer is the practical application of the theories and principles of journalism. It teaches students to analyze and communicate information that is vital to the decision making of the community at large. It provides a forum for students to learn the ethics, values and skills needed to succeed in their chosen career. If you have questions or concerns, email us at Faculty Adviser / Editorial Consultant Francesco Somaini Copy Desk Lead / Opinion Editor Megan Foster Editor-in-chief Isaac Hinson Lead Graphic Designer Brandon Davis Junior Graphic Designer Z Morris STAFF Scene Editor Isaac Dobmeier Sports Editor Charis Jones News Editor Astor Powell-Pedersen Misspelled: President Wohlparts name in “Chalking it up to controversy” on page 3. Corrections from Previous Issue Assistant Copy Desk Lee Beck Online Editor Winnie Killingsworth Sports Reporters Jackson Roberts Devanee Lopez Cristopher Comp Scene Reporters Gabriela Gonzalez Hayley James Gunner Stuns May Borges News Reporters Melanie Pulido Lopez Layla Taha Nic Palaia Photographers Brandon Mattesich Abril Fernandez You are one of my favorite people personally and professionally, and I admire you an astronomical amount. Proud to know you,
to work with you and
to be your
And a liar. And pathetic. And alone in life. And mean.” Try not to miss design night next week. -WK
friend. Rooting for
always, in each and every endeavor. -MF



While CWU’s track & field team recently entered the midpoint of their outdoor season, senior mid-distance runner Johan Correa has shown that he’s only just scratched the surface of his potential. On Friday, April 5 during the John Knight Twilight meet in Monmouth, Oregon, Correa dominated the competition with a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) provisional qualifying time, two new personal records (PR) and two additions to the CWU all-time top-10. These accomplishments led to his third-career recognition as the track & field athlete of the week.

“I think we take him for granted a little bit, being a national qualifier in cross [country] the expectation was kind of that he would just do it all the time,” head cross country and track & field coach Johnathan Hill said. “But that’s not how sports work, our conference and our division is really competitive. So Johan is proving that he’s backing up his words: he’s going to stay steady, he’s going to stay consistent, and he’s going to work on the process, whether things are going well or not.”

In his first outdoor 800 meter race since the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championships in May of last year, Correa blazed to

a NCAA provisional qualifying time and new PR of 1:50.47. “It felt good being able to run that fast when I least expected it,” Correa said. His achievement not only marked the fastest time in the GNAC this season but also positioned Correa at number 10 in Division II this year.

Up against 41 other competitors, Correa’s second PR of the day came from the 1500 meter dash. While he won this race with a staggering time of 3:54.06, he also became the first Wildcat in nine years to secure a spot in the CWU all-time top-10 list for the event. Correa is now ranked at number eight in CWU history and number seven in the GNAC this season.

“Leaving the meet with personal bests in both the 800 and 1500 is a testament to his strength, hard work and competitiveness that he shows day-in and day-out,” Matt Layten, the assistant cross country and track & field coach, said after the meet, according to “He sets a tremendous example for our team and it is awesome to see him ranked among the nation’s best middle distance runners after this weekend.”

Correa stressed the importance of adhering to a comprehensive training regimen to prime his body for such competitions, including warm-up and cool-down drills alongside focused workout sessions. “During my work-

out is where I practice the things I can do during the race,” Correa said.

However, despite his recent successes Correa acknowledged the hurdles that often come with being an athlete and provided insight into managing these challenges. Whether it’s dealing with injuries, unexpected losses, or performance dips, he explained that the key to perseverance lies in keeping a “Positive attitude and [trusting] the process while keeping the end goal in mind,” Correa said.

Hill echoed this sentiment saying that Correa keeps the track & field program motivated and moving in the right direction through his optimistic mindset as well as his willingness to do whatever he can for the benefit of the team.

“The number one thing that he does as a leader is he is willing to put his individual goals secondary to the team goals,” Hill said. “Johan was named our indoor track & field MVP as he was our high point scorer at the conference championship … to him winning as a team and being a good leader is just as important as him winning an individual title. That was demonstrat ed by him tripling at the conference championship, and probably hurting his chances individually of making the national meet because he made that team decision to try and score as many points as he could. I call that heroism.”

“The number one thing that he does as a leader is he is willing to put his individual goals secondary to the team goals”
- Johnathan Hill

As Correa continues to make waves on the track, he expressed that his focus remains on not only achieving personal milestones such as making it to the national meet, but also on guiding his team towards collective success and becoming GNAC champions.

Last week, the team clinched victories in both the men’s and women’s meets at the Whitworth Twilight meet, followed by another triumph at the Lewis and Clark competition in Portland, Oregon. Additionally, Correa’s athlete of the week award marked the team’s fifth category win, including throws, jumps, sprints, hurdles and multi-events.

With the halfway mark of the season now behind them, the team stands poised to harness their momentum and strive for a successful conclusion, fueled by Correa’s leadership and determination.

CWU track & field will compete next on Saturday, April 20 during the CWU Wildcat Invitational hosted at the university’s Recreation Sports Complex in Ellensburg, Washington.

April 18, 2024
@CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver
Correa’s athlete of the week award marked his second of the season. Photos courtesy of Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Media Charis Jones Sports Editor

Old Skools vintage vibes and local talent

Nestled on Main Street in the heart of Ellensburg stands Old Skool’s; the only place in town where you can buy a record and thrift a vintage jacket all while listening to live music. Old Skool’s represents the life, passion and dedication of business owner Carol Cox. Since 2005, Cox has owned and operated the small business that has grown into a staple of the Ellensburg music scene. “So much community involvement and support” was Cox’s unhesitant response when asked what kept her motivated. In turn, she serves her community through a unique outlet by offering the backroom of her shop for open mic nights and shows.

For CWU students and Ellensburg locals alike, weekends are synonymous with visits to Old Skool’s as both entertainers and audience members. The unassuming venue provides an intimate atmosphere for the local talent. “It’s a great place for people to share their work,” Ruth Bresee, a senior communication major, said. As a frequent audience member at the weekly open mic nights, Bresee described Old Skool’s backroom performance space as a low-pressure environment. “It was very supportive of artists just trying to find their voice and their style,” Bresee said. “I think that’s really cool because you don’t see that in a lot of places.’’ Her point of view reflects a popular consensus.


Repeat open mic night performer, vocalist and guitarist Brenden Fuller, felt similarly. “I really like how open everybody is to like hearing new things and new people go up,” he explained. Fuller encourages seasoned and rookie performers to visit Old Skool’s any chance they get. “It’s really nice because once you start doing it a couple times people start recognizing you and people get excited to see you play, and they are like ‘Oh my gosh please come out the next time.’”

What keeps performers and audiences coming back to Old Skool’s week after week, and garners the praise of Bresee and Fuller, is the diversity. “There’s something for everyone here… they all have their unique interests,” Cox fondly remarked. Fuller describes the music scene in more detail, explaining that “You don’t have to feel like it has to be punk, it doesn’t have to be country, it can be whatever. It’s very flexible that way…” Each night at Old Skool’s is different, you’ll never get the same performance twice.

Besides weekly open mic nights on Sundays at 7 p.m., Old Skool’s enthusiastically hosts shows that feature local bands and solo acts. “We pretty much do a show every weekend,” Cox said. These shows highlight talent from around the Ellensburg area such as local bands House of Ash and The Sleepers. Cox also graciously offers her venue to touring acts, never charging the artists for use of her space. Upcoming shows include Boogie Man and Windy City Sound on May 3 at 7 p.m.

Brandon Mattesich & Jackson Roberts


Delete Later” where he snapped back at Kendrick Lamar for his diss on “Like

from Future and Metro Boomin’s album “WE DON’T TRUST YOU.’’ Days after the release, J. Cole apologized at his Dreamville Festival in his hometown of North Carolina saying it was some of the lamest stuff he’s ever done because of the respect he has for Kendrick.

This upset much of the rap community, but some fans have stayed loyal and are still there to back up J. Cole. He’s now removed his diss track “7 Minute Drill” from all major streaming services and to the surprise of many, he featured on Future and Metro’s follow-up album “WE STILL DON’T TRUST YOU” on “Red Leather.”

Aside from J. Cole’s shocking feature, the new album is much more tame than the original from Metro and Future’s repertoire. The first disc of the album is more pop-focused, with the only real upset coming from the multiple Weeknd features in which he takes minor shots at Drake.

The second disc is where the main meat of the album is found, with features by Lil Baby and A$AP Rocky. The inclusion of A$AP Rocky on the track should not be understated, as in recent years he has been releasing less and less music. With J. Cole switching sides, and A$AP Rocky joining the fight, this “civil war” is becoming more of a dog pile against Drake.

Drake has allegedly had his response leaked. The response, regardless of its validity, has already sparked much controversy online, with SZA and The Weeknd posting reaction images on their respective Instagrams. While Drake has yet to confirm anything regarding the leak, most sources are speculating it is in fact his response. If it is, it is a strong attack toward Kendrick and reaches into personal levels previously unseen in this beef.


Isaac Dobmeier Columnist

‘TL;DR’ - Bladee, Ecco2k, Thaiboy Digital

Yeah, this latest Drain Gang track is a heater. Bladee delivers an utterly chilling verse towards the end that’s a huge standout and Ecco brings back his patented “deep voice” that hasn’t seen the light of day for nearly a decade on his own respective verse (exciting stuff!) while a densely layered instrumental from frequent collaborator Whitearmer roars under the performances. Instant classic for me. Drain sweep 2024.

‘2007’ - Ripsquad

‘2007’ pretty much solely interpolates Tegan and Sara’s ‘The Con’, sweeping up the intro to the original track with some of the crispest production I’ve ever heard. I’m such a slut for Ripsquad production and this is an absolute earworm that I haven’t stopped humming for days on end.

‘So What If I’m A Freak’ - Snow Strippers

The electro-pop duo stuns with their brandnew single. The production is otherworldly (gun sounds!), harkening images of grimy, tightly-packed European clubs, and the minimalistic vocals shine when the chorus echoes. I’m real excited for their upcoming album and they just might be an early frontrunner for my Spotify Wrapped top artist.

April 18, 2024 Page 05
@CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver
COLUMN YUM! Welcome to this week’s issue of Sound Bite! Recently J. Cole released “Might
(Photo courtesy of
Photo and Design by Brandon Mattesich House of Ash performance at Old Skools. (Photo by Brenden Fuller) House of Ash performers having a laugh. (Photo by Brenden Fuller)

With “The Tortured Poets Department’’ being released tomorrow on Poetry & The Creative Mind Day (April 19), it’s the perfect time to talk about superstar Taylor Swift’s first 10 albums, coming to you from the two self-proclaimed biggest Swifties on campus. …Ready for it?


10. ‘Taylor Swift’

Isaac - Favorite song: “Picture to Burn”

Winnie - Favorite song: “Should’ve Said No”

8. ‘Lover’

Isaac - Favorite song: “False God”

Winnie - Favorite song: “The Archer”

I: Admittedly, this is the album that I have listened to the least, it’s the one that I have the least exposure to. And I do really appreciate a lot of the songs on it like “Tim McGraw,” “Picture to Burn,” “Teardrops On My Guitar” and “Our Song,” but it’s not one that I go back to nearly as often as the rest. Maybe that is just in part due to the fact that it came out when I was three, but I imagine once the Taylor’s Version comes out it’ll be something that I come back to more.

9. ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’

Isaac - Favorite song: “You All Over Me (Feat. Marren Morris) (From The Vault)”

Winnie - Favorite song: “White Horse (Taylor’s Version)”

W: This album screams trying new things and finding your own way to me. It’s all about being young and not being jaded by life yet. Hope is everywhere. As Isaac described it, it feels like spring. Watching people freak out whenever she performed songs from this album as surprise songs on The Eras Tour highlights to me how long she has captured how people feel and put it to music for them to process and understand those emotions.

W: This album was the first pop album of Taylor’s that I fell in love with. It’s such a bop. It made me believe in love even more. It’s weird to listen to this album after the five Apple Music playlists that Taylor released at the beginning of April that are themed on #The5StagesOfHeartbreak. Songs from this album are on three of the five playlists. It adds another layer to these songs for me. Some people say this has ruined them. “The Archer” is on the playlist called “Am I Allowed to Cry?” which Taylor describes in a voice note at the beginning of the playlist as that feeling when “you’re trying to make deals with yourself or someone that you care about” doesn’t change how I feel about that song. It’s hauntingly beautiful about the vulnerability of love.

6. ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’

Isaac - Favorite song: “I Wish You Would (Taylor’s Version)”

Winnie - Favorite song: “Slut! (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)”

7. ‘Reputation’

Isaac - Favorite song: “Dress”

Winnie - Favorite song: “Call It What You Want”

I: This was the first album of hers where I was really there for the rollout. I remember so vividly being on the tail end of my drive home from school with my Dad the day that “Look What You Made Me Do” dropped and forcing him to listen to the song. I don’t remember what his reaction was, but I do remember how vibrant I was about the song. Removed from the hype train, that song isn’t incredible, but like the rest of the album, it is a GREAT concert song. Even though I wasn’t able to attend when it happened, the “Taylor Swift: Reputation Stadium Tour” movie is a feat of concert filmmaking and highlights how each of the songs plays in a concert setting.

Beyond that, “...Ready For It?” is one of her best opening tracks to an album and really is a great tone-setter, and I also really think that this was one of the few instances where Taylor absolutely chose the best songs to be singles. “Delicate,” “Gorgeous” and “End Game” are all bangers. “Call It What You Want,” “Dress” and “Getaway Car” are also all some of her ALL-TIME best songs, there’s truly nothing like belting the “Getaway Car” bridge in a car with one of your friends (Shout out Laci).

W: This album is amazing. I remember so many people wondering if Taylor could make the transition to pop or if her castles would crumble because she left the country genre. As we all know, she made the transition just fine and popped off with this album.

Summer has never had a better album to represent it and it never will. It’s basically a requirement to drive with the windows down in the car blasting “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Style,” “Shake It Off” and “Suburban Legends” on a hot, sunny day. “New Romantics” will never not be a good song to listen to for a mood lift.

When “Slut!” was announced as one of the vault tracks, I was expecting another song of the summer. In my mind, it was going to be similar to “Shake It Off” but I was wrong. It’s soft and intimate. I love this style that Taylor has made synonymous with who she is. Her power with the written word leaves me speechless. 13/10

5. ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)’

Isaac - Favorite song: “Timeless (Taylor’s Version)”

Winnie - Favorite song: “Back to December (Taylor’s Version)”

W: This has been my favorite album ever since it was released. I had just turned 15 and “Back to December” was the only song I could afford to buy on iTunes. Boy did I get my money’s worth with the many hours I’ve listened to that 4-minute and 55-second track.

The melancholy present in this album weaves through the soul and leaves stardust in its wake. I adore the reflection of life and love that one who wrote every song by herself before she was 21 logically should not have. The vault tracks only reinforced this. “Foolish One,” “I Can See You,” “Castles Crumbling,” “Timeless” and “When Emma Falls in Love” are perfection.

This album will never not have a piece of my heart. There are albums I love more but none that I’ve loved longer.

Page 06
Isaac Hinson & Winnie Killingsworth Columnists Shot of Lumen Feild for night two fo the The Eras T our in Seattle. (Photo by Winnie Killsworth)

4. ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’

Isaac - Favorite song: “Better Man (From The Vault) (Taylor’s Version)”

Winnie - Favorite song: “I Bet You Think About Me (feat. Chris Stapleton) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”

I: This is the project where Taylor’s writing begins to feel very lived in. Outside of the two big pop powerhouse bangers “22” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” this album to me is primarily about this young woman really coming to terms with what adult heartbreak looks like and learning to live with that. It’s really tragic. The album is fueled by this overwhelming sense of melancholy that Taylor is feeling which is really put on display in songs like “Treacherous,” “I Almost Do,” “Sad Beautiful Tragic,” “Come Back… Be Here” and of course “All Too Well.”

Taylor’s Version of “Red” is a moment that I will remember for a long time. That album came to me after my freshman year situationship like a bullet train. Everything surrounding the ten-minute version of “All Too Well” just brings me back to a time that I wish I had valued more. The song itself, the incredible short film, and the most important text of all to me: the SNL performance, which I still frequently revisit. What a moment.

3. ‘folklore’

Isaac - Favorite song: “hoax”

Winnie - Favorite song: “mad woman”

W: I don’t even know where to start. With everything this album is, it blows my mind that there are ones we consider “better” than it. Every part of this album is magic in written form. It’s all SO good. For me, “the last great american dynasty” and “my tears ricochet” and “illicit affairs” (I can go on with the examples) are just a couple examples of that magic.

When I was first prescribed antidepressants, the line “I’m on some new shit” from “the 1” became my foundation. It gave me peace and power in moments when I felt lost and weak, desperate for change but unsure of everything. And “the 1” is only the first song on this album. There are 16 more songs on the deluxe version of this album.

Boy, do those 16 songs go off. This album is abso-fucking-lutely amazing.

2. ‘Midnights’

Isaac - Favorite song: “Mastermind”

Winnie - Favorite song: “Sweet Nothing”

I: This album came out right before I went on the trip to Washington, D.C. with a bunch of other student media people, so an already extremely formative trip for me where I really got to connect and grow with a lot of my close friends ended up being nearly completely soundtracked by this album. And outside of that, I was meeting so many amazing new people back here in Ellensburg, and having such incredible experiences, all backtracked by “Midnights.” So to say it is important to me would be an understatement.

But, to talk about the actual music, this is the perfect fusion of the lyricism that Taylor flexed on “folklore” and “evermore” with her pop background, and they come crashing together to create this extremely moody atmosphere that is just addicting. And this collision of sound, lyricism and mood makes the album feel a lot smaller and more intimate than her other pop endeavors. Songs like “Maroon,” “Midnight Rain,” “Labyrinth” and my personal favorite “Mastermind” are just perfect displays of this unique evolution that Taylor has undergone with her sound that I can’t help but be drawn to like a magnet.

1. ‘evermore’

Isaac - Favorite song: “cowboy like me”

Winnie - Favorite song: “tolerate it”

I: Many people — for some unfathomable reason — do not like this album at all. I’ve never understood why. To me, this is so clearly Taylor’s most polished album. From the cohesive sound to the devastating and grounded lyrics, this is Taylor at her peak. She takes the sound she developed on “folklore” and really hones in on it and pressurizes it like a diamond. She’s writing from a place now of real maturity, responsibility, humility and importantly transparency, no longer masquerading behind the fairy tale of “folklore.”

Songs like “champagne problems,” “‘tis the damn season,” “tolerate it,” “ivy” and “right where you left me” really demonstrate Taylor pushing herself, her insecurities and her sins to the forefront in a way that she had previously been averse to. The vulnerability and remorse she writes with is powerful, heartbreaking and agonizing all at once.

I like to listen to Taylor’s music in accordance with the seasons. “1989,” “Lover” and “folklore” in the summer, and “Speak Now” and “Fearless” in the spring, that sort of thing. But I always find myself most anticipating the fall, where I permit myself to really dig deep into “Red” and “evermore.” Where “folklore” plays as a summer bottled in time, forever and always a moment so rooted in the present, “evermore” feels like the reckoning of that high, dealing with the consequences of letting yourself get enveloped in a moment like that. People move on, how will you — Taylor, or the listener — cope with that?



On Saturday, March 30 the CWU women’s rugby season came to an end when they played the Life University Running Eagles. The game ended with a 3-28 score, which caused them to fall out of the semifinal round of the USA Rugby D1 Elite Playoffs. CWU’s three points were scored by senior fullback Kai Brandt-Templeton who was able to score a penalty kick in the 10th minute. The men’s team ended in a similar match when they lost to Brigham Young University (BYU) 24-40 in the D1A playoffs quarterfinals.

“I’m just very proud of this group and at the end of the day, I’m very thankful,” CWU women’s rugby head coach Matt Ramirez said, according to “We had our battles in the lead up to the contest, but there weren’t any excuses. They just went to work. We had to have some younger players step up for us, and that bodes well for the future.”

The Wildcats ended the season with a final record of 4-5. Their most striking win was back in November against Boise State University (BSU) when CWU took total control of the game with a 103-0 final score.

“I believe the team’s biggest weakness this season was probably maintaining the same mindset throughout the whole game,” junior forward Winnie Namosimala said. “Having 22 other teammates playing alongside me maintaining the same drive for a full 80 is pretty difficult. Let alone a number of players slowly began to drop, being held together by tape and glue.”

Throughout the years these women have been relentless in making the playoffs, but every year there is another obstacle thrown at them. The team’s atmosphere however is what gives them the perseverance to keep going. “I believe this culture we pride ourselves in on this team is one of the biggest weapons we have against any other team.

I can only imagine how great this program will be in the future years as the culture continues to grow,” Namosimala stated.

Earlier in the season the Wildcats were able to honor their seniors with a win against BYU and a final score of 22-20. Among those seniors was captain of the rugby team Tessa Hann. Hann is one of the finalists for the MA Sorensen Award, which recognizes the best women’s collegiate player in the country.

The award was named after World Cup winner MA Sorensen, a trailblazer in the sport as a player, coach and physician. Last season, Keia Mae Sagapolu Sanele, a former teammate of Hann’s at CWU, became the first Wildcat to win the award. She currently plays professionally in England.

CWU will take the field next on Friday, May 3 for The College Rugby Association of America USA Rugby College Women’s Premier 7’s National Championship.

@CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver April 18, 2024 Page 08
The CWU women’s rugby team dominated against BSU last November at Tomlinson Stadium. Photos courtesy of Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Media


Head coach of CWU’s baseball team, Desi Storey, reached a career milestone of 700 career wins in his time coaching here in Ellensburg, Washington. Storey has spent 33 seasons as the head coach of the Wildcats as well as playing here in his college days.

This achievement came after junior pitcher Jonathen Garza II threw a no-hitter against Saint Martin’s University on April 6, distracting Storey from realizing his own milestone.

“To be honest I didn’t even know,” Storey said. “I was more excited about John’s no hitter and the fact we got

the sweep. I’m proud of what our guys have done over the years.”

Thirty years is a long time to stay in the same place, though Storey has had no issues with it as he has met plenty of great people from his time playing at CWU to his time now as a coach.

“I love the place,” Storey said. “I had a lot of success here. The opportunity to come back was just awesome. Having the groups of guys I’ve had for 30 plus years, that is what kind of keeps me going because those guys are awesome.”

Throughout his time at CWU, Storey has been put into situations where he’s learned things about himself as well. Storey credited many of his coaches that he’s had over the years

for what he’s discovered about himself and how it has carried over into his coaching practices.

“I’ve learned to be myself. I was fortunate to have a lot of great coaches when I was playing and probably the biggest thing they told me was just be yourself,” Storey said. “And you know, maybe I am a little bit unorthodox at times, but I think it works.”

Alex Reffner is a senior student assistant coach and has been part of the team since 2022. Reffner praised how Storey has helped him improve as a coach as well as how he’s been able to create a family-like culture at CWU.

“Coach Storey is a great mentor,” Reffner said. “I like how he adjusted

my coaching with kids being the same age and older than me by being an instructor. When I came aboard he welcomed me instantly and taught me how things are done here at Central.” Sophomore starting first baseman Andrew Sharp mentioned how he appreciates the personable and approachable nature of Storey, and said that his main goal is to see his players succeed. “He has helped me a lot as a player just adjusting my mindset to this level of baseball,” Sharp said. “He also has pushed me to be a better player by keeping me accountable for my actions on the field.”

“I was fortunate to have a lot of great coaches when I was playing and probably the biggest thing they told me was just be yourself.”
- Desi Storey
April 18 , 2024 Page 09 @CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver
Coach Desi Storey giving a pep talk in GNAC championship game. Jackson Roberts Staff Reporter Photos courtesy of Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Media Coach Desi Storey during their series against Western Oregon University.

Becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution

The federal government defines Hispanic Serving Institutions, or HSIs, as accredited institutions of higher education where 25% or more of the undergraduate population are Hispanic, with at least 50% of the Hispanic student body being considered low-income. These institutions are then able to apply to receive grant money from the federal government to better support their Hispanic student base. At this point in time, CWU is considered an emerging HSI, a designation created by Excelencia in Education to track the growth of HSIs. Currently, CWU is at about 22% Hispanic enrollment and is in the process of increasing our numbers to become a full HSI.

In 2023, the Biden-Harris administration awarded more than $40 million in order to support HSIs. But it isn’t just about the money, “There’s a larger component here,” Dr. Rodrigo Renteria-Valencia, an associate professor in anthropology, as well as interim associate dean for graduate studies and research, said. “Since this designation emerged, many institutions have used the opportunity of becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution to create — and this is the most fundamental part of the conversation — a critical lens that allows us to reflect on our practices, on our programs, on our curricular offerings and on [the composition] of our staff, faculty and administration; to look at how we go about things on a daily basis and how we can improve

our practices and our services, and how do we better serve Hispanic students, but also, all of our students.”

One of the key differences between the HSI designation and many other diversity-related institutional designations that a university can receive is that universities must apply to intentionally become an HSI. To many like Renteria-Valencia, becoming an HSI is less about the money, and more about the intentional steps that a university has to take to reflect on its practices and services in order to reach more students in the way that they need.

In order to reach the goal of not just becoming an HSI, but also creating a more equitable space for all of those around us, CWU has come up with a strategic plan with four main values, and step-by-step goals along the way. These values are student success, engagement, belonging and stewardship. Laid out within these core values are initiatives to push for their implementation, focusing on goals such as developing clear pathways for equitable access to higher education, elevating culture, nurturing authentic relationships in the community and much more. CWU’s mission states, “In order to build a community of equity and belonging, Central Washington University nurtures culturally sustaining practices that expand access and success to all students. We are committed to fostering high impact practices, sustainability and authentic community partnerships that are grounded in meaningful relationships.”

Becoming an HSI, is, ultimately, for the students, but also their families and communities, “This initiative is asking the university to rethink a lot of their processes and priorities,” Malik Cantu, a third-year theater performance major and the CWU student body president, said. “We operate in structures that create obstacles for Hispanic and other marginalized students and this initiative will spark conversations about deconstructing that. This will allow many students to experience college in ways that work for them and their families, which will ultimately help them grow without sacrificing crucial parts of themselves. Personally, I hope the initiative will one day progress to a point where the university is supporting Hispanic students, as well as their families. There is so much that Hispanic and other marginalized students have to navigate with their families when pursuing college which makes the journey difficult. I hope the university can develop support - financial, emotional, and social - that is felt directly by students on campus and their families back at home.”

To support this initiative, as well as the Hispanic/Latinx community on campus, Cantu advises students of all backgrounds to reach out to their student leadership and engage with MEChA, Latinx Student Organization (LSO) and the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) by attending events and meetings.

Left to right: Michelle Carrillo, Angela Eustaquio, Malik Cantu, Yari Granados and Noel Trujillo-Garcia at Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). (Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Renteria-Valencia)
@CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver
CWU administrators, facualty and students at Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) (Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Renteria-Valencia)

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?

CWU Alumna & Staff

Brittany Cinderella is an alumna who graduated from CWU in spring of 2023. Cinderella double majored and double minored here at CWU. She graduated with a bachelor’s degrees in creative and professional writing and physics, and minors in astronomy and math. After graduation, Cinderella found her way back onto the CWU campus to work in the College in High School office.

How have bachelor’s degrees in creative and professional writing and physics helped you in your personal and professional life since graduating?

“In terms of my English degree, I use the techniques I’ve learned every day in my personal and professional writing. From emails to texts, I can find some form of AP style correction or tone variation that needs to be fixed before sending. With my Physics degree, it taught me how to pause before a situation, assess it and problem solve as I go. Physics was a lot of complex problems that required me to stop and think first.“

What is your fondest memory with your time at The Observer?

“That’s a really tough question. I enjoyed all of it. It was the first time I had been asked to copyedit and I found it to be one of my other passions in life. My biggest achievement was probably when I got to attend last year’s CWU Mariners Night and cover the opening pitch on the field. I remember my mom trying to get a photo of me on the field since she couldn’t believe I had managed to make it to have a media pass.”

Are there any skills from your time as copy desk lead that you brought into your work post graduation?

“In terms of my job, I use copyediting skills every day. Coworkers might ask me to review some paperwork, an email or even just when I send my own personal documents. I also have a much easier time typing or speaking professionally, given my classes that taught me about tone.”

How and when did you come up with Oscar the Observant? What is his role at the paper?

“Oscar the Observant became a thing during one of our design nights. I was looking at a lot of websites and brands and felt that the Observer needed some sort of character or logo. I took our original O logo, added some judging eyes and had him read the latest edition we had worked on. His role was mostly to be a fun little mascot for us at design nights, I never thought he’d turn into a sticker or still be around after I graduated. I still remember thinking that we needed something goofy that we could dress up for any holidays but I didn’t end up having time to design more.”

Thank you Oscar. April 2023 - April 2024

Edith Vizcarra
April 18, 2024 Page 11 @CWUObserver CWU Observer @CWUObserver
Submit a letter to the editor or a guest column on our website!
Max Gale Soph. Graphic Design
Sr. Communications
Anthony Burtonshaw Fr. Paramed “Mini grizzly bear.” “Rock.”
Oscar the Observant. (Design by Brittany Cinderella)
See Full Q&A Online Sam Mansfield Soph. Art Education and Secondary Education
“Bat.” Josh Boast Fr. Clinical Physiology Q&A compiled by Megan Foster. (Photo courtesy of Brittany&Oscar) Q&A Q&A 18 THURS 19 FRI 20 SAT 21 SUN 22 MON 23 TUES 24 WED 2 to 3 p.m. - Social Justice Through Arts and Humanities: “Irish Women’s Prisons Writing” - on Zoom 4 to 6 p.m. - Digging for Goals: Brooks Library 152 5 to 6 p.m. - S&A Committee Meeting: on Zoom 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Spring Day of Service: Nicholson Arena 4 to 9 p.m. - OPR: Sunset Hike - Recreation Center 9 to 10:30 p.m. - Hot New Jam: SURC Theatre Earth Day 6 to 9 p.m. - Monday Movie Madness: “Wall-E” - SURC Theatre 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Dress for Success: SURC 137 2 to 3 p.m. - Translating Your Military Experience: SURC 202 5 to 7 p.m. - Pizza Punctuality: Slice Your TimeBrooks Library 101 National Cat Lady Day National Dog Parent Appreciation Day 8 to 10 p.m. - Showtime at Central: SURC Ballroom 3 to 4:30 p.m. - Sustainability Forum: SURC 137 4 to 5 p.m. - Tips for Interviewing: on Zoom 5 to 6 p.m. - CWU Libraries: Cultural Conversations with Claudia Wright - Hal Holmes Community Center and on Zoom 5 to 7 p.m. - Pizza Punctuality: Slice Your Time - Brooks Library 101
Brittany Cinderella
“Grizzly bear.”


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