Page 1

February 13, 2012 • Issue 5 • Volume 17

declining financial aid limits access to higher ed PALS features national expert on tuition and financial aid


The WSU Vancouver Public Affairs Lecture Series celebrated its 10th anniversary this month with a presentation by Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. In his address, “From Public Good to Personal Gain: Shifting Higher Education Funding,” Draeger focused on the issue of rising tuition and lack of financial aid for today’s college students. According to Draeger, a college education is becoming less realistic for many American students. Extensive cuts in federal financial aid over the past two years have shifted the financial burden of paying for higher education away from the federal government and toward families and students. The federal Pell grant is still intact, but stiffer eligibility requirements have diminished the number of students who qualify. There have also been reductions in federal work-study programs. Draeger said the number of students relying on loans to pay for college is increasing. In particular, a rising number of independent students – those over the age of 24 – now rely on federal student aid. Student loan debt has steadily increased over

recent years while mortgage, credit card, and consumer debt have decreased, said Draeger. Where does this leave students from the lowest income brackets? A study by the Pell Institute in 2007 said that degree completion rates for low-income students in the United States have increased from six to 12 percent between 1970 and 2005. In comparison, degree completion rates for high-income students rose from 40 to 73 percent over the same period. High-income students are, in effect, six times more likely to complete a four-year degree. Draeger said many Americans oppose maintaining or increasing federal financial aid for higher education. “They believe there are just too many college students,” said Draeger. “The fact is, the more educated individuals there are in a society, the greater benefit society will experience.” Draeger quoted the Collegeboard publication “Education Pays” which correlates higher education with higher wages, lower unemployment rates, and less dependence on welfare and food stamps. College graduates are also less likely to drink or smoke and are more likely to exercise, volunteer and live longer

lives, according to the Collegeboard publication. “We don’t have an overcapacity of students, we have an undercapacity to meet the needs of our future” said Draeger. He referenced a recent study by George Washington University which forecasts a shortage of approximately 20 million qualified workers in the United States over the next 10 years. Draeger pointed to decreases in federal financial aid as a key limitation in America’s ability to provide secondary education to all qualified students. Even if the government cut every dollar used to fund education, it would barely impact the national deficit, said Draeger. Draeger warned that financial aid may continue to decline without public debate regarding financial aid legislation. If the public does not demand open discussion, decisions that affect access to higher education in America will be made behind closed doors and will continue to have a negative impact, he said. “I have to ask, was this what we wanted? Was this what we as a country decided? Or is this where we ended up?” said Draeger. For more information about this topic, visit

Photo courtesy of Justin Draeger

Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, delivered PALS keynote address on Feb. 1.

Life is not a dream for undocumented students

Justin Draeger addresses the DREAM Act in presentation at WSU Vancouver by CYNDIE MEYER, The VanCougar

Many American kids look forward to getting a driver’s license, finding their first job and planning for college or the military. If they have good grades, ambition and financial support, these students can be confident in making their dreams come true. This is not the case for the 65,000 children of illegal immigrants who graduate from American high schools every year. Because they were brought to America illegally by their parents, these dreams are denied. These students have become culturally American and many are unaware of their undocumented status until they try to get a driver’s license or apply for a job. Unable to legally drive, vote, hold a job, accrue social security, join the military, or apply for financial

aid or admittance to many colleges or universities, their future is bleak. They face a constant threat of deportation to a country that is unfamiliar and must live their lives with a stigma passed down by their parents for a choice they did not make. According to Draeger, an only five to 10 percent of undocumented high-school graduates go to college—not because they do not want to, but because they cannot afford it or because some schools will not allow them to enroll. There is often little incentive for them to finish high school, leading to high

drop-out rates and an increased risk of gang involvement or illegal activity. Because of the uncertainty associated with their undocumented status, these individuals are less likely to invest in college, open a bank account or

to achieve their full potential as American citizens. They will never contribute to the American economy as taxpayers, they will remain disinvested in the democratic process and they are more likely to continue the cycle of disenfranchised poverty in this country. The DREAM Act (an acronym for the Development, Education and Relief for Alien Minors) is bi-partisan legislation that aims to correct this problem. It was first introduced to Congress in 2001 and has been re-introduced and defeated 11 times since then. Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the

“These students are not criminals and should not be punished for the crimes of their parents.” – Justin Draeger buy a home. Draeger pointed out that America suffers when undocumented students are kept in legal limbo. These students are unable

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, believes this is due to misconceptions about the intent and reach of the legislation. In his presentation “Uncovering the Dreamers” at WSU Vancouver, Draeger set about putting these myths to rest. If passed into law, the DREAM Act would provide six years of conditional, lawful, permanent, resident status to undocumented students of good moral character who graduate from U.S. high schools, are younger than 20 years of age, arrived in the U.S. at age 16 or younger, registered for the selective service and lived in America continuously for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment. See DREAM on page 9

Washington State University Vancouver



The VanCougar is a student-run newspaper serving the students, faculty and staff of WSU Vancouver. Copies of the VanCougar are available at campus distribution sites free of charge.

We have a winner!

Location Classroom building (VCLS) Room 212 14024 NW Salmon Creek Ave. Vancouver, Wash. 98686 Phone: 360-546-9524

Congratulations to WSU Vancouver junior, Marzee Dyer! Marzee submitted a VanCougar survey last month and won the drawing for a $50 gift certificate to the Bookie.

Corrections Policy It is the policy of The VanCougar to correct errors. Please contact the editors by email at Representation The existence of advertising in The VanCougar is not meant as endorsement of any product, service or individual by anyone except the advertiser.

Check The VanCougar’s next issue for our spring contest. Win a prize and get your name in print!

Employment Policy Washington State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action educator and employer.

Monday, February 13 Blazers v. Miami tickets ($55) Game is March 1 10 a.m., Cashier’s Desk VADM 129 Science Seminar (Free) Chad Kruger, CSANR Director, WSU Wenatchee, “Climate Friendly Farming: Sustaining Pacific Northwest Agriculture & Food Systems in the Context of a Changing Climate” 3 – 4 p.m., VELS 12 Tuesday, February 14 Pilates Class (Free) Repeats every Tuesday through March 27 5 p.m. Fitness Center Circuit Training (Free) Tuesday, Feb 14 and every Tuesday through March 27 12 noon – 1 p.m. Fitness Center

GotQuestions? aboutyouraccounts?

Advising Awareness Day 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons Get the information you need from advisors and staff members. Food! Prizes! Information!

Ask@theLibrary ManageyourWSULibrary,SummitandILLiad accounts,includingrenewalsanddatedue confirmations,online.Clickonthelinkfromthe Library’’sHomepageorgodirectlyto: libraryaccounts

Wednesday, February 15 Cougs for College: Budgeting & Funding of Higher Ed (Free) 12 – 1:30 p.m., VADM 129 Career and Internship Fair (Free) General business companies 3 – 5:30 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons

The VanCougar Staff Editor-in-chief Cyndie Meyer

Managing Editor Emily Uhde

Layout and Design Louise Tollisen & Team

Copy Editor Christine Watson

Team Editors Sarah Cusanelli Haley Sharp Margarita Topal Joshua Wagner Writers Kevin Alvarez, Adam Baldwin, Ryan Burke, Inahlee Bauer, Teresa Lane, Kenneth Lowe, Kaitlyn McClain, Andrea Nelms, Emily Ostrowski, Alex Smith, Emily Smith, Kelsey Smith, Kylo Stever, Nicole Tolmie, Jiheng Zhao Contact Information: VanCougar Office Phone 360-546-9524 Editor-in-chief Managing Editor Advertising Manager Advisors Brenda Alling, Director of Marketing and Communications Casey Payseno, Student Involvement Advisor

Washington State University Vancouver

Professional Writers’ Series (Free) Brian Doyle, “Noticing What Goes Unnoticed” 7 – 9 p.m., Library Room 264

KUDOS! The VanCougar is a student-operated organization that thrives because of the effort and commitment of WSU Vancouver students. Each month, the editorial staff recognizes two individuals for outstanding effort and achievement. Congratulations to the following employees: Employee of the month Haley Sharp (December) Louise Tollisen (January) Reporter of the month Nicole Tolmie (December) Alex Smith (January)

Thursday, February 16 Circuit Training (Free) Repeats every Thursday through March 29 12 noon – 1 p.m., Fitness Center Career and Internship Fair Government, non-profit, science and engineering companies 3 – 5:30 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons Combat Test Anxiety – SRC Workshop (Free) 12 noon – 1 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons A-Z of Finanical Aid and Scholarhips (Free) 7 – 8 p.m., Dengerink Admin. building, Room 110 Saturday, February 19 Source Rock Climbing Sign up by Feb. 15 in the Recreation Office Fee: $5 / $10 (with gear) Non-students: $10/$15 All day

Sunday, February 19 Student Ambassador Program Applications due Apply online at Monday, February 20 President’s Day – No Classes Campus offices open Spring Gala Tickets ($10) 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. OSI Front Desk Learn More From Lectures – SRC Workshop (Free) 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. Firstenburg Student Commons Travel Cafe Photo Submission Deadline Submit up to 3 photos to Wednesday, February 22 Travel Cafe Photo Contest (Free) 11 a.m.– 4 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Workshop (Free) 3 – 5 p.m., VMMC Room 202Q RSVP to the Student Resource Center (360-5469155) Online assessment must be taken prior to workshop Interviewing Skills – SRC Workshop (Free) 4 – 5 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons Thursday, February 23 A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, A Prayer (Free) An OSI sexual violence awareness event 12 –1 p.m., OSI Front Desk ASWSUV Candidate Debate (Free) 2 – 4 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons Share the Love (Free) Sign up ahead to volunteer at local shelter 4:30 – 7:30 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons Friday, February 24 - Sunday, February 26 Mount Bachelor Ski Trip Bend, Ore. Wednesday, February 29 Stress Management – SRC Workshop (Free) 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons Diversity Council Research & Curriculum Spring Panel (Free) “Bridging the Political Divide: How Social Movements Will Impact the 2012 Election” 12 noon – 1:00 p.m. VMMC Room 6 Strong Inventory Interest – SRC Workshop (Free) 4 – 5 p.m., Firstenburg Student Commons

The VanCougar is on the prowl for a few great reporters. Interested? Contact the editor at

Student Involvement 3

ASWSUV senators care about other students Do you know your campus senators? by Cyndie Meyer, The VanCougar

Every year, the WSU Vancouver student body elects 11 fellow students to fill leadership positions in the ASWSUV senate. Senators vote on campus legislation and decide how to spend AWSUV funds. They also promote student involvement in activities and organizations. Senators plan events and campaigns throughout the year to raise student awareness about causes they deem important. This year, senators focused on organ donation and local poverty as two key issues. The external affairs committee is planning “Hunger for Change,” an event taking place in March. The best way to reach a senator? Stop by ASWSUV at the Office of Student Involvement in the Firstenburg Student Center or send an email to aswsuv.senate@ Amira Ajami is proud of the leadership skills she has gained while involved in ASWSUV. Drawing on her expertise as a senior majoring in accounting, Ajami has focused on budgeting and finance during her term in office. In her free time, Ajami enjoys being with her family. Jenna Connolly is a freshman majoring in elementary education who hopes to someday work in schools that serve low-income populations. Connolly became involved in campus leadership because of her desire to be involved in more than “just

classes.” She says her experience as a senator, focusing on student clubs, activities, events and competitions, has helped her become a better leader. Michael Gay is committed to community service and has been awarded two President’s Volunteer Service Awards from the Obama administration. He is a junior majoring in history and plans to earn a Ph.D. in the subject with a possible double major in anthropology. His long-term goal is to work in academia and to be involved in politics. Gay hopes to work in an executive staff position or to contribute as a student ambassador next year. “As a senator I have had a great opportunity to enhance my leadership skills and learn new legislative skills. Student government [supports] personal development while [allowing] you to represent and assist your fellow students,” said Gay. Larrson Gepford is a senior biology major who is hoping to go on to medical school. He volunteers as a lab technician at the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington in his free time. Gepford has served two terms as an ASWSUV senator and is helping to plan the spring event “Hunger for Change.” Gepford says the best thing about being a senator has been the lasting friendships he has forged with

Photo by Cyndie Meyer | VanCougar Staff


Standing (from left): Michael Gay, Jenna Connolly, Anita Wagner, Narek Daniyelyan (vice president), Brad Johnston, Jonathan Pitchlynn, Casey Karlson Front row (from left): Amira Ajami, Vanessa Valentine, Daniel Nguyen Not pictured: Sue Anne McWatters, Larsson Gepford

members of OSI and ASWSUV. Brad Johnston is a self-proclaimed “automotive junkie” and a former Ford Motor Company mechanic who will graduate with a degree in history this spring. He hopes to find a job in cultural resource management. Long term, he would like to direct a museum and teach community history classes. Johnston believes the campus political process is important.

“I wish to do my small part to be informative and helpful to my constituents,” said Johnston. Johnston is the chairman of the external affairs committee (EAC). Johnston feels his greatest gains as an ASWSUV senator include better time management skills and the opportunity to increase student awareness of community issues. Casey Karlsen is a junior majoring in business administration. She enjoys snowboarding and spends every weekend on Mount Hood where she is an instructor at Mount Hood Meadows. Karlsen plans to run for office again this spring. “I have learned how to represent students and act on their behalf. I have gotten to know many new people, which has made my days at school fly by,” said Karlsen. Karlsen is trying to familiarize students with student government representatives through interviews on KOUG Radio and through The VanCougar. She points out that students who want to meet their senators face-to-face are always welcome to stop by the ASWSUV office to chat. SueAnn McWatters is soon to graduate with a degree in finance and a concentration in management information systems. She hopes to find employment in finance or fraud prevention with Nike or Intel. In her free time, McWatters loves to play volleyball and “shred fresh pow” (snowboard) on Mount Hood. McWatters enjoys helping students who have questions or concerns. She serves on the senate finance committee where she works on establishing a reasonable and fair budget. “I chose to participate in student government because I liked the idea of becoming the ‘voice of the students.’ The role of senate is a powerful one and allows us to represent any and all of the students of WSU Vancouver,” said McWatters.

Daniel Nguyen is a junior with a double major in psychology and biology who hopes to make a career in higher education. His role in the senate is to manage the senate office and to increase awareness of student organizations on campus. Nguyen’s hobbies include film and performing arts and he is very active in the Performing Arts Club. He is running for executive office this spring and hopes he will lead the campus as president of ASWSUV next fall. Jonathan Pitchlynn is a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering who hopes to own his own engineering firm someday. Pitchlynn became involved in student government to maximize his role as a WSU Vancouver student and to help other students. He plans to run for office again this spring. Pitchlynn appreciates the business experience he has gained from following ASWSUV procedures and the tasks he performs as senator. Vanessa Valentine is a member of the Washington Army National Guard. She is a senior majoring in human resource management and will soon be seeking a position as an international recruiter or career development counselor. Valentine recommends student government as a way to gain lifelong leadership skills and make friends. As a senator, she focuses on getting students involved in campus activities. Anita Wagner is a senior psychology major who hopes to work as a counselor for teens. In her internship at a residential crisis shelter, she has the opportunity to improve the counseling skills she will use in her future career as a therapist. Wagner became involved with ASWSUV to help improve campus life for her fellow students. She credits her experience as a senator with improving her leadership skills.

Washington State University Vancouver

4 Student Involvement

ROCKSOLID Teen Center offers volunteer opportunities College students mentor teens and kids at community center by haley sharp, The VanCougar

WSU Vancouver students from all fields of study are welcome to volunteer at ROCKSOLID Community Teen Center. ROCKSOLID is a local, non-profit organization offering a safe place where fifth to 12th grade students can spend time after school. Located in Brush Prairie, ROCKSOLID serves students from 11 schools in Battle Ground, Brush Prairie and Hockinson. “ROCKSOLID is looking for college students to become mentors for our kids. We need older youths who will speak to them about their life experiences,” said Nancy Miller, director of ROCKSOLID. More than 30 kids visit the teen center every afternoon from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. They need volunteers

to help entertain the kids while teaching them important life skills. Students interested in education and fitness are needed to lead gym activities and promote healthy lifestyles. On March 30, ROCKSOLID will co-sponsor a dance with the PREVENT! Coalition of Clark County to promote drug- and alcohol-free lifestyles among Clark County youth. The event is planned for 7 – 10 p.m. and volunteers are needed. Volunteers are also needed for a health fair and 5K marathon that ROCKSOLID and Get Bold Events is planning for April 27 to promote healthy living for kids. College students interested in the business side of non-profit organizations may volunteer with

ROCKSOLID to gain experience in marketing, advertising and fundraising. The youth organization also needs student volunteers to help with website design and technology. “ROCKSOLID is willing to create internship positions for motivated and dedicated students who would like to help improve the teen center,” said Miller. This could be an opportunity for someone who wants to earn internship credits while giving back to the community. More information on ROCKSOLID Teen Center can be found at Those interested in volunteering can contact Nancy Miller by phone at 360-885-2181, or by email at

Photo courtesy of ROCKSOLID Community Teen Center

School children prepare for an outing with ROCKSOLID.

Get Involved!

Involvement Fair helps students maximize their college experience by MARGARITA TOPAL, The VanCougar

Attending class is only part of what college has to offer. Student organizations offer a wide variety of opportunities to gain leadership skills, make new friends and explore new interests. Students who choose to get involved make the most of their college experience. On Jan. 23 – 24, ASWSUV and the Office of Student Involvement sponsored the Involvement Fair, an event in the Firstenburg Students Commons that helped students expand their roles on campus to include student leadership, recreational organizations and other activities. Twenty-five of WSU Vancouver’s 37 registered student organizations, three media entities and ASWSUV exhibited at this semester’s event, according to Casey Payseno, WSU Vancouver student involvement adviser and event organizer. This gave students an opportunity to learn about and join organizations that focus on academics, recreation, sports, student government, religion, media, politics and other interests. “The fall Involvement Fair usually sees higher attendance, since it is outdoors and more groups are prepared to participate,” said Payseno. “Every registered student organization and many departments are invited to the Involvement Fair, and reservations [for exhibit space] are made on a first-come-first-served basis. Attendance for this event has steadily increased since its inception.” Payseno said the two-day fair drew approximately 800 people who explored their options while munching on free tacos provided by the Office of Student Involvement (OSI). New clubs, including the Pantheon Club and the Ski or Snowboard Club, joined the ranks of established campus organizations.

Cassaundra Krueger, a junior biology major, was at the fair to promote the Pantheon Club, a new organization that offers a safe atmosphere in which to celebrate religious diversity. “I attended the fair because I figured it would be the best way for me to bring new members [to] my new club [which is] open to all faiths, beliefs [and] philosophies,” Krueger said. “I will always attend [the fair], either as a student or [to represent] a club because it is a great chance to see what is available on campus and meet new people.” The Psychology Club provided donuts, Campus Conservatives provided political viewpoints, and KOUG Radio gave out t-shirts to students who signed their email list. The Gardening Club gave away potted plants, the Performing Arts Club recruited “extras” for their upcoming film and free candy and pens were scattered beneath colorful billboards on most tables. The biggest prize given away at the event was an Xbox with Kinect which ASWSUV used to attract students to the fair. To qualify for the Xbox drawing, participants collected stamps from participating organizations on a card titled “Passport to Involvement.” The room buzzed with excitement when the drawing took place and Christy Luse, a junior English major, was announced the winner. “That was certainly a surprise!” said Luse. “I would love to thank ASWSUV! They rock! You may rest assured that [the Xbox] will be put to good use, as I have plans to indulge my inner nerd for way too many hours over the next few weeks.”Luse attended the fair to represent the Performing Arts Club and joined Coug Cru, a campus prayer group, while she was there. “The involvement fair was great! I was greeted with a very enthusiastic welcome the moment I walked in and I learned about what

a lot of the clubs on campus had to offer,” Luse said. “I am definitely anxious to get more involved with our awesome school and continue getting to know all these great people.” Marcus Dupont, a Fitness Center lead and a junior majoring in business administration, attended the fair looking to become more involved, especially with active sports clubs and student government. “I already knew many of the things WSU Vancouver offers, but [the fair] gave me the motivation to actually sign up,” Dupont said. “I knew I was interested in student government, but I didn’t take the initiative to apply for a position. During the involvement fair, I was handed an application packet, and that is all I needed to take the step to apply!” Dupont, who started the Ski or Snowboard Club with his friend Dallas Morrison, said ”The club’s primary purpose is to coordinate carpooling to Mount Hood, with other planned events throughout the semester.” Joseph Hollibaugh, a senior majoring in human development, decided to attend the Involvement Fair to see what opportunities were available this semester. “I was delightfully surprised to see more religious groups making an appearance,” said Hollibaugh. “The clubs that are on campus this semester look like they will not only be entertaining, but also intellectually enriching.” To learn more about WSU Vancouver’s student organizations, go to CougSync. If you have never visited the site, log on to orgsync. com and follow the directions to become a member. CougSync lists club descriptions, meeting times and other information. For more information about getting involved, contact the Office of Student Involvement at 360-5469163 or

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie Washington State University Vancouver

Photo by Cyndie Meyer | VanCougar Staff

Office of Student Involvement staff (from left): Casey Payseno, Michelle McIlvoy, Bola Majekobaje, Anthony Deringer

Photo by Cyndie Meyer | VanCougar Staff

Seniors (from left) Catt Williams, Planning Committee Chair, and president Kimberly Lauman provide information about Pyschology Club to interested students

SUPPORT YOUR PAPER! Join us on: CougSync VanCougar Newspaper @VanCougarNewspaper

Arts, Culture and Entertainment

Brautigan Library honors the writer in us all


Professor John Barber hopes to expand collection through digital imaging By Teresa lane, The VanCougar

The Brautigan Library occupies a cozy corner in the Clark County Historical Museum, where it quietly pays tribute to the writer in all of us. This collection of approximately 300 unpublished manuscripts represents the work of writers from 31 American states, Canada, France, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. These unrelated works are like no other in that they serve as a testament to the democratic literacy originally imagined by Washington-born writer Richard Brautigan. In his novel “The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966,” Brautigan envisioned a library where writers could house their unpublished work, free of restrictions regarding subject, content or quality. Brautigan hoped such a place would promote the expression of individual voices in the community while capturing a society’s ideas and observations through writing. This unique library has a special place in the heart of John Barber, WSU Vancouver faculty member in the creative media and digital culture program, who has studied the life and writing of Richard Brautigan for more than 20 years.

“I like to look at the manuscripts collectively, take them as a whole, as a body of knowledge representing a vision of the world,” said Barber. “The collection includes tributes, memoirs, plays, novels, history, visions and voices that are generally not heard.” The library did not start out in Vancouver, but ended up here thanks to the Barber’s vision and effort. The collection was originally assembled in 1990 when writer Todd Lockwood founded the country’s first library of unpublished work in Burlington, VT. Six years later, the collection moved to the Fletcher Free Library, also in Burlington. Eventually, it ended up in storage due to a lack of financial support. Barber and Lockwood became acquainted because of Barber’s research. When Barber moved to Vancouver, he thought it fitting to bring Brautigan’s library to the author’s home state. With support from Susan Tissot, executive director of the Clark County Historical Society, and permission from Brautigan’s daughter, the library was packed on a truck and moved across the country. “The whole thing fit on one pallet and included Brautigan’s

typewriter, reading glasses and the original library sign,” said Barber. “The manuscripts and the cost of moving them were donated by Lockwood.” The library is not organized by the traditional Dewey Decimal System, but rather by Brautigan’s own “mayonnaise system,” which the author discussed in “Trout Fishing in America,” one of his most famous works. Instead of categorizing books as fiction, non-fiction, reference and so on, books are categorized by topics, such as the meaning of life, war and peace, spirituality and the future. Lockwood once said, “If you waste too much time trying to find the practical in this, you’ll miss the real inner beauty.” This collection celebrates stories that might otherwise have gone untold. For example, the library includes a children’s book titled “Tommy Gets a Tyrannosaur,” and a collection of poetry and prose written by high school students titled “Women with Funny Haircuts and Men Who Make Fun of Them.” In this sense, the Brautigan Library is perfectly American, a true homage to the man that was Richard Brautigan and to the

democratic voice that is the written word. At present, the Brautigan Library is closed to additional submissions due to lack of space and the cost professional binding. Barber hopes that one day, through a partnership between the museum and WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture program, it will be possible to offer the library online. “I hope we will be able to open the library to digital submissions someday, but we need financial support and skilled volunteers,” said Barber.

The Brautigan Library manuscripts may not be checked out, but they can be enjoyed in a reading area within the Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main Street, Vancouver. The library is open from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 5 – 9 p.m. on First Thursdays. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for students or seniors and $2 for children. For more information about the Brautigan Library, visit or the Clark County Historical Society and Museum (

Photo by Cyndie Meyer | VanCougar Staff

Kimberly Lawrence, WSU Vancouver sophomore, enjoys a few quiet moments in the Brautigan Library.

Writers develop their craft at Brautigan-inspired workshop

Unpublished Writers’ Day may go international next year By Cyndie Meyer, The VanCougar

John Barber, faculty in the WSU Vancouver creative media and digital culture program at WSU Vancouver, enthusiastically welcomed writers and volunteers to the Clark County Historical Museum on the afternoon of Jan. 29. They came to attend the second National Unpublished Writers’ Day event, a program which Barber developed last year to publicize the opening of the Brautigan Library. The event was planned through a partnership between the museum and WSU Vancouver’s CMDC program and the university writing center. Reflecting a true community effort, it offered a unique celebration of the love of writing, inspired by the passion of people who enjoy the power, beauty and fun of words. It was an opportunity to learn more about the craft of writing and the people who practice it, and the museum, which historically served as Vancouver’s first public library and which currently houses the Brautigan Library, seemed a perfect venue. Literary-minded volunteers from WSU Vancouver and the local community worked at 14 “creative stations” on the main floor of the museum. Short seminars, such as a hands-on poetry workshop, took place nearby.

At the poetry station, Christopher Luna and Toni Partington, local editors and owners of Printed Matter, a small printing press, offered advice on preparing and polishing poetry for publication. They recently published an anthology of poems by local writers titled “Ghost Town Poetry” which they offered for sale at $10 per volume. “We have a loyal following of local poets. Publishing this anthology seemed like a great way to say ‘thank you’,” said Partington. Partington suggested that poets attend the Ghost Town Poetry “open mic” which is held at Cover to Cover Books, 6300 N.E. St. James Road in Vancouver. Contact christopherjluna@gmail. com for a schedule and more information. At a station on “very, very, very short stories,” Josh Erdahl, a WSU Vancouver senior in creative writing and writing coach at the campus writing center, showcased “99 Ways to Die (and Other Party Tricks),” an anthology edited by Richard Yates, a fellow writing center employee. The book features stories by 23 local writers— many of whom are WSU students. Yates self-published the book through Amazon. com. Stories range from two characters in length to a maxi-

mum of five paragraphs. Author Richard Yates was busy at another station demonstrating how to create zines, handmade or computer-produced booklets produced for a limited audience. Some resemble comic books and others appeal to the counter-culture. Steffen Silvis, another senior English major and writing center staff member, distributed copies of “Centerpoint” a quarterly newsletter published by the WSU Writing Center. Inspiration for “Centerpoint” came from WSU Vancouver students who seek the center’s help on term papers for various academic departments. In response, the writing center began to solicit and publish essays written by WSU Vancouver faculty on the styles best suited to their area of academia. Four issues have been published so far, with another issue due out the third week of February. The current issue of “Centerpoint” is available in the WSU Vancouver library, writing center, the cafeteria and academic department offices. Back issues are archived in the writing center. Radio writing was the focus of a creative station manned by Sam Mowry of Willamette Radio Workshop and Joe Medina and

Jamie Lawson, the award-winning writers and producers of Ollin Productions. “Audio drama is a lost art in the United States, but is still a vibrant art form in the United Kingdom,” said Mowry. He explained that the internet has sparked new interest in audio dramas which were a mainstay of American entertainment in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Mowry credits the internet and technology with the resurgence of audio drama. “The equipment required to produce radio programming was once very expensive. Now, a highquality computer microphone costs me around $60 compared with $900 just a few years ago. And, my ability to broadcast over the internet from my laptop is 90 percent more effective than a traditional radio broadcast,” said Mowry. “People from all over the world can meet up at the same time and place thanks to the internet.” Medina and Lawson specialize in sci-fi, horror and suspense dramas. CD’s of their shows were available for purchase. They said their best-sellers include “Blood Bath at the Giallo Hotel” and “Dead Peasants.” “This story genre plays really well in audio drama because it

creates images in the minds of listeners,” said Medina. “Listening to the silence creates more dread and terror than if you saw it.” More information about Willamette Radio Workshiop is available at, and podcasts of Ollin productions audio dramas can be heard at The producers warn that these recordings are for mature listeners only. Other creative stations addressed humor, resume and family history writing as well as writing for a particular audience, writing to evoke emotion, and writing groups. By 2 p.m., approximately 130 participants were buzzing through the stations and Barber said the event was well on its way to hitting the goal of 200 attendees. Next year, Barber hopes to expand this “national” event into an international one. “A group of writers in the United Kingdom is interested in coordinating simultaneous conferences. Perhaps next year we can connect with them via Skype or video feed. Because of the time difference, the event could go on for over 24 hours,” said Barber. Now, that’s a lot of writing!

Washington State University Vancouver


Arts, Culture and Entertainment

Vancouver student combines faith and art

Acrylics by Danica Wixom are on display in Dengerink Administration building through March 14 by Teresa Lane, The VanCougar

Danica Wixom, a Vancouver native attending WSU in Pullman, has made a name for herself in the art community with her bright paintings and multimedia pieces. Inspired by her life journey and religious beliefs, Wixom has found a way make art both therapeutic and relatable for viewers. Since a young age, Wixom used paintbrushes and acrylics to explore the events of her life and celebrate her faith. The Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, an arts magnet middle and high school in downtown Vancouver, nurtured her love of visual art. Her passion for art became especially healing at the age of 12 when her father suddenly passed away. “My grief process was a journey of questioning my life’s course— my everything. All of my ‘answers’ collided with pieces of paper and canvas,” said Wixom. Wixom continued to create art after she graduated from VSAA and moved to Pullman in 2009 to pursue a double major in humanities and Spanish. There she joined the WSU Art Club, an experience, according to Wixom, which connected her to people who support her passions and help her grow. Wixom’s collection “Imago

Dei,” (Image of God) is on display in the Dengerink Administration building gallery through March 14. Wixom has also had the opportunity to show her work in the Compton Union building gallery and the office of the dean of students in Pullman. Wixom founded an artists circle at her church in Pullman to provide a

place where artists can discuss their work in relation to their spiritual beliefs. Last summer, Wixom taught art in Nicaragua where the women she worked with opened up to discuss larger topics, including their dreams for the future. “For these women, art became

a community activity that allowed them to grow and learn more about themselves and each other,” said Wixom. “Community art is a product of someone’s passion, or someone’s desire to communicate a message,” Wixom said. Through her experiences with her community and her church, Wixom’s art and vision has

Artwork (above and lower right) by Danica Wixom is on display through March 14th in Dengerink

Share the Love

Join us at the Share Valley Homestead to create fun crafts with the children at the shelter, enjoy a pizza dinner and share the love! Thursday Feb 23, 2012 4:30-7:30pm

Sign up starting Monday Jan 30, 2012 in OSI Washington State University Vancouver

reached beyond the campus and the art community to touch others. The art on display in Dengerink Administration building rotates on a regular basis to showcase works by various local artists. If you are interested in displaying your work in this campus gallery, contact Barbara Holder,

Photos by Cyndie Meyer | VanCougar Staff

Arts, Culture and Entertainment 7

Submersed in the city: What makes Portland tick? Jorge Lizarraga takes students on a ride through time, history and culture by EMILy SMITH, The VanCougar

On a cold but sunny Friday morning, WSU Vancouver liberal arts professor Jorge Lizárraga led a group of students enrolled in his upper division history course, “The Modern City,” on a journey through Portland, Ore. After meeting at the urban center’s bustling Pioneer Square at 10 a.m., students and teacher took a step back in time to see Portland at its beginning, and to trace how its architectural and structural history gives it a modern identity of that melds antiquity with innovation. “The modern city is the most complex and powerful cultural artifact we humans have ever created,” said Lizárraga. Portland is by no means an exception. The tour began with a focus on the Pioneer Square block itself, which Lizárraga described as one of the best uses of urban space in all of America’s major cities. The Square is used both day and night by diverse groups of people, organizations and entrepreneurs. In fact, during the tour, a large group of children gathered on the Square’s cascading steps for a school function. Lizarraga said the open plot inspires community, harkening back to the public common grounds of ancient Greco-Roman civilizations. While many cities have attempted to create their own lively communal spaces, few have succeeded in the way that Pioneer Square has. Directly across from Pioneer Square sits the Pioneer Courthouse. “This restoration is one of the best I’ve seen in the United States,” Lizárraga said. The Courthouse survived a fire that ravaged the city in the late 19th century, and its reconstruction is a testimony of Portland’s resilience and interest in architectural strength. Many of Portland’s buildings are constructed to send specific messages, reflecting the goals of cities and the minds that fashion them. As WSU Vancouver students explored the urban landscape, Lizárraga described how many buildings were sheathed in white in order to brighten a city well acquainted with clouds and rain. Some buildings feature intricate craftsmanship, such as the Charles F. Berg building. Built in 1902, its exterior boasts hand-carved gold façades, the likes of which are rarely used for commercial centers. The Union

Bank Tower, designed by a Californian firm, features the same dimensions as ancient Greco-Roman temples. A.E. Doyle’s work with the United States National Bank merges the grandeur of classic form with the marvels of modernity to produce a building that speaks to the power of the bank operating within it. These buildings scrape the sky in height as well as ingenuity, showcasing the visions of experts and businesses seeking to thrive in a modern world. The trip took students by Portland’s food cart pods, where outdoor vendors presented foods of nearly every major ethnic cuisine. The CBS’s hit TV show “The Amazing Race” had its competitors try to find the Russian cart among these Alder Street pods on its 13th race. “Every area of Portland has its own fascinating story and aesthetic uniqueness,” Lizárraga said. “I’m much more interested in [the city], that’s for sure,” said “Modern City” student Matthew Dennis after the tour. “I’ve always seen Portland as a dirty, crowded urban center… now I see it [in light of] some very interesting history and modern innovations.” Lizárraga takes many of his classes on Portland excursions, focusing on different intricacies of the city with each tour. This semester he will take his Modern City students on another trip, as well as lead trips with Foreign Language 220, “Global Theory & Regional Reality” and Humanities 304, “Destruction of Cities” courses. “The life and culture of cities is responsible for the innovation and creation we see in everything from the arts and music to modern technology and economics,” said Lizárraga about the significance of understanding the city. “Cities are still where most of the jobs are, whether it’s Portland, Seattle, New York, London or Shanghai. But more importantly, cities provide a rich environment that enhances our lives. Rather than fear them, or avoid them, our students should become familiar with cities in general, and learn about those particular cities that will affect them.” Guests are welcome and encouraged to join, and the tours are free. For more information about Lizárraga’s courses and areas of expertise, visit his website at

Photos this page by Emily Smith | VanCougar Staff

Above: Detail on the Charles F. Berg building, one of Portland’s early 20th century art-deco marvels.

Above: Matthew Richard Dennis, WSU Vancouver student, takes in the Portland cityscape.

Washington State University Vancouver


Arts, Culture and Entertainment

Spring TV line-up offers thrills and entertainment “Alcatraz” is big on mystery, slow on character development

“SMASH” premiere does not disappoint


“Alcatraz,” a new program on FOX TV this spring, centers on the infamous federal prison of the same name. Expectations for exciting drama and mystery are high for this show produced by J.J. Abrams, creator of “Lost” and “Alias.” “Alcatraz,” which premiered Jan. 16, is not the first show to conjure up the nearly inescapable prison located in the San Francisco Bay. Two films, “Escape from Alcatraz” (1979) and “The Rock” (1996) revolved around the long-closed prison that has become a popular tourist attraction. During the show’s opening credits, narrator Emerson Hauser (Sam Neil) lets us in on a little secret. “On March 21, 1963, Alcatraz officially closed... All the prisoners were transferred off the island. Only that’s not what happened. Not at all.” In the first episode, viewers learn that 302 men disappeared on the night of March 20, 1963, never to be seen nor heard from again. The show returns to the present and the prisoners (who have not aged a day) mysteriously return one by one to resume a killing spree on the streets of San Francisco.

FBI Agent Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill) heads up a secret branch of the FBI solely dedicated to tracking these returning Alcatraz killers. He is aided by up-and-coming San Francisco Detective Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones) and Alcatraz expert, Dr. Diego Soto, played by Jorge Garcia. The show’s premise is an interesting one. Like “Lost,” “Alcatraz” is high on intrigue and includes enough plot twists to keep viewers on their toes. However, “Lost” never solved many of the mysterious questions it raised. Viewers can only hope that “Alcatraz” will. Also like “Lost,” each episode splits its time between the present and flashbacks to the time when prisoners lived in Alcatraz. These flashbacks are the most interesting part of the show and provide viewers a better understanding of the characters and their motivations. Each flashback also hints at the suspicious activities that occurred within the prison administration shortly before all prisoners disappeared. The least interesting part of the show is the three main characters, who lack appeal and fill stereotypical roles. Detective Madsen is a standard television

female detective, complete with sarcasm, bravado and stylish leather jacket. Emerson Hauser is a shady FBI agent. He appears cold, calculating and quite possibly evil. Lastly, there is Dr. Diego Soto, a character eerily similar to Hurley (Garcia’s character on “Lost”). The only clear difference is that Soto, who has a Ph.D. in both criminology and Civil War history, is smarter than “Lost’s” counterpart. The show is only a few episodes into development, so viewers can hope that the characters will progress as the season moves forward. The real problem is that the characters lack anything to compel the audience’s curiosity. They are a mechanism used to move the plot forward, but nothing is revealed about what makes them “tick.” For now, the intrigue and mystery presented in the first few episodes of “Alcatraz” may keep viewers tuning in to see what happens. However, the program needs to offer some explanations and deeper character development to hold its audience’s interest. “Alcatraz” airs at 9 p.m. Mondays on FOX Channel 12.

“Smash” is a new and much hyped NBC musical drama produced by Steven Spielberg. The show tells the story of what it takes to make it on Broadway and what goes on behind the scenes of a production. The plot follows established creative duo Julia Houston (Debra Messing) and Tom Levitt (Christian Borle) as they develop a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Julia, who was planning to take a break from writing musicals so that she and her husband could focus on adopting a child, becomes inspired by a quote from Monroe’s final interview in which Monroe said, “Please don’t make a joke out of me.” We follow Julia as she juggles the challenges of creating and casting a new Broadway show with an increasingly demanding family life. The other main drama of the show exists between actresses Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty). Karen moved from Iowa to New York City with hopes of performing on Broadway. She is talented, fresh-faced and completely inexperienced, working as a waitress as a way to pay the bills between auditions. Ivy is a classically trained performer and

seasoned chorus girl, who longs to step out from the background and into the spotlight. As auditions for the Marilyn musical heat up, these two become the clear favorites, and therefore, each other’s main competition. With all the promotion and the months of media hype, “Smash” had high expectations to live up to, and it absolutely did. The season premiere was compelling and fresh. The original music numbers were wonderfully composed. Hilty and McPhee are a pleasure to listen to, and the acting was spot on, with Messing and Hilty turning in especially strong performances. While the legendary Anjelica Huston was only briefly in the pilot, audiences will no doubt be looking forward to seeing more of her as powerful producer Eileen Rand as the season progresses. In its premiere, “Smash” was engaging, illuminating and very entertaining. Viewers can only hope it continues down this promising path. “Smash” airs at 10 p.m. Mondays on NBC.

Student Ambassador program seeks applicants WSU students may apply online for campus leadership roles by Nicole Tolmie, The VanCougar

“Step up! Be an ambassador!” read the flyers posted around the WSU Vancouver campus. Feb. 19 is the deadline for students to apply to the student ambassador program for the 2012-2013 school year. WSU Vancouver Student ambassadors are a select group of outstanding students who represent the university to prospective students, campus and the community. Student ambassadors provide services that help new and prospective students feel comfortable and welcome on campus. They lead campus tours and share insights with students who are considering WSU Vancouver. As ROAR orientation leaders, they serve as a student resource, helping students navigate campus during each semester’s Week of Welcome. They mentor new students, guide families and represent WSU Vancouver at off-campus events. Ambassadors also volunteer at numerous on-campus events including the recent FAFSA Feed. “Student ambassadors all share a passion for higher education,” said Kendal Mantzke, lead ambassador and WSU Vancouver student majoring in personnel psychology and human resource management. “An ambassador’s goal is not necessarily to recruit new WSU Cougs,” said Mantzke.

Instead, their role is to inform potential students of the options at WSU Vancouver. “Ambassadors are critical throughout the orientation process. They help students get acquainted and have a smooth transition into WSU,” said Natalie Brusseau, admissions counselor and co-advisor with Anthony Deringer for prospective students and their families. Brusseau helps provide leadership training for new ambassadors. This year’s ambassadors pursue majors in a variety of disciplines including psychology, anthropology, computer science, creative media and digital culture, engineering and public affairs. “When you work with eleven other ambassadors from diverse backgrounds, it really widens your perspective and lets you be open to other’s ideas,” said Mantzke. Becoming an ambassador requires training and learning to work as a team, but also offers many fun moments. “We are like a family, it’s more than a position on campus,” said Mantzke who served as a marketing intern in the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) before becoming a student ambassador. Mantze said the “rigorous” summer trainings include learning about university departments, developing professionalism and

Washington State University Vancouver

learning how to represent the university. Ambassadors gain professional development and leadership skills, and have access to a professional networking website. Brusseau said that past ambassadors have often referred to experiences gained through the program while interviewing with future employers. Students interested in applying to the ambassador program may apply online at www.vancouver. Applications are due Sunday, Feb. 19.

Ambassador Qualifications • • • • • • • • •

Anticipate a graduation date of May 2013 or later Maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA Enroll in six or more credits for the 2012-2013 spring and fall term Attend mandatory summer trainings Dedicate an average of six office hours per week Enroll in a two-credit leadership class offered fall semester Attend bi-monthly meetings during spring semester Serve as a ROAR orientation leader Serve as a campus representative and a resource to students

WSU Student Ambassadors 2012: (Back row, from left) Brian, Michael, Austin, Darius, Hsuan Hsuan, Kendal, Daniel (Front row, from left) Aaron, Karmen, Shyanna, Marisa, Kristy

Photo by Natalie Brusseau

Student Life

Your best semester yet


Continued from page 1 During this time, students would be allowed to work legally, go to school or join the U.S. military. They would also be eligible for student loans and federal work-study programs, but would not be eligible for federal financial aid such as Pell Grants. The conditional aspect of residency status would be lifted at the end of six years if the individual successfully completes two years in the military or two years at a four-year institution of higher learning. As a permanent resident, the individual would then be eligible to legally pursue U.S. citizenship. Draeger said some call the DREAM act “an amnesty program in disguise.” “These students are not criminals and should not be punished for the crimes of their parents,” he said. Some people fear the DREAM act will give scarce aid to non-citizens, said Draeger. “The fact is that students attending college under the DREAM act would not be eligible for grants, work/study programs or scholarships.” Draeger also pointed out that loans are a money-maker for the government. The extra income from these loans, which Draeger called “good business,” would shore up the higher education system in America. Draeger stressed that the DREAM Act would have a positive impact on the U.S. economy. Better education can


lead to better jobs, which in turn means more taxable income. He quoted a 2010 study by UCLA North American Integration Development Center which estimates that the total earnings of DREAM Act beneficiaries over the course of their working lives would be between $1.4 trillion and $3.6 trillion. Lastly, Draeger dispelled a myth that the DREAM act would have a magnet effect, attracting more illegal immigrants across U.S. borders. Draeger quoted data from the Heritage Foundation, the Economist and the Brookings Institute that indicate net migration from Mexico has decreased in response to the depressed American economy. His conclusion is that economic advantage drives illegal immigration, not the potential to become American citizens. Patti Winder, associate director of the WSU office of financial aid and scholarships, was also on hand to discuss the treatment of undocumented students in Washington state. She said that, as a land-grant university, it is WSU’s mission to provide access to higher education for all residents. Winder said WSU does not ask for proof of citizenship when students register. Document verification is not required by law, and most institutions lack the personnel to perform this check anyway. Winder said when Governor Gary Locke approved Washington



State House Bill 1079 in 2003, all Washington universities and colleges extend in-state tuition rates to undocumented students who graduate from a Washington state high school, live the prior three years in Washington and meet college admission requirements. She also said WSU counselors work closely with students they suspect may not be legal residents. Counselors try to help these students address the challenges they face and identify their options after graduation. Without resident status of some type, students have limited choices. Legally, they may pursue graduate school, work outside the country or get legal counsel to pursue citizenship. If you support the DREAM act, contact your congressperson and let them know.

How Students Learn 10 percent from reading 20 percent from hearing 30 percent from seeing 50 percent from seeing and hearing 70 percent from discussion with others 80 percent from personal experiences 95 percent by teaching someone else


Can you be a better student? By Nicole Tolmie, VanCougar Staff

Have you hit a mid-year slump? For many students, keeping the study-power on through the winter months is challenging. At the “Best Semester Yet” workshop, students were offered study advice, motivational insight and tips to help them be successful this semester and into the future. The workshop, sponsored by the Student Resource Center and presented by Bill Stahley, WSU Vancouver academic coordinator, was held in the Firstenburg Student Commons on Jan. 23. Successful students gain greater benefits from taking classes than simply receiving a transcript showing they survived college, said Stahley. They can also learn organizational, time-management and study skills that will serve them well in their careers. Stahley identified foundational strategies that lead to success. He recommended that students attend to basic personal needs, remember their purpose, stay motivated and establish an effective learning environment at home and in the classroom. If distractions prevent students from focusing in school, Stahley recommended they acknowledge what is bothering them so they can refocus. Creating a “to-do” list is another valuable tool for focusing on the task at hand. Stahley emphasized the importance of time management and handed out a large-scale calendar which he calls a “semester on a page.” By recording due dates and other commitments on a visible month-tomonth calendar, students can plan ahead for busy weeks. Stahley suggests using the time before things get hectic to study ahead and attend to health and personal needs. “I think [planning ahead] keeps a sense of urgency that helps students from being sunk later,” said Stahley. “A schedule is supposed to serve you, rather than you serving it. If it isn’t working, change it.” Most students are classic optimists and underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task, said Stahley. He suggested that students leave time

in their schedules for real life— things like running errands and grooming. Students should evaluate their personal “energy peaks,” and accomplish their most challenging tasks during those times. After discussing time management, Stahley addressed study skills. “The more senses you connect in the learning process the more likely you are to retain [the information],” said Stahley. To improve comprehension, Stahley recommended that students teach what they are learning to others and recite or state what they are learning out loud. According to Stahley, most people begin to forget new information within the first day it is presented. Retention decreases to 30 percent after the first day and continues to drop after that. Stahley recommends that serious students improve their reading skills, write concise notes instead of highlighting pages and review them for 15 minutes per day per class. Biology major Nicole Smith attended the workshop. The calendar concept was new to her and she thought it would be helpful. Smith said she plans to follow Stahley’s advice and develop a new ethic toward studying. “I’ve never had to [study ahead] before, but now I am,” said Smith. Another workshop participant suggested reading ahead. “I’ve noticed on all my semesters here, that finishing the reading the night before allows you to feel better in a way, because you feel prepared to attend class,” he said. Stahley mentioned that a variety of campus resources are available to students. WSU Vancouver offers tutoring both on campus and online at Other services include supplemental instruction, the math lab in the Undergraduate Classroom building Room 102, and student counseling and disability services. Stahley is involved at the Student Resource Center and Student Affairs and offers student success workshops throughout the year.

Bill Stahley’s Top 10 Tips for Student Success 1. Attend to your basic needs and non-school life. 2. Remind yourself of your purpose and motivation. 3. Make an “action items” or “to-do” list. Prioritize items and check them off as you complete them. 4. Use your time well and overestimate the time required for tasks. 5. Use a weekly and daily schedule. 6. Improve your reading skills. 7. Attend class, listen actively and participate. 8. Read notes after class. (Recall drops from 30 – 100 percent after the first day.) 9. Teach others. 10. Use campus resources.

Washington State University Vancouver


Opinion and Features

Star Wars lives up to stellar expectations

Video games: toys or art?

by Adam Baldwin, The VanCougar

by Alex Smith, The VanCougar

“The Old Republic” is expensive but worth the investment. When it comes to massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs, or just MMOs), it is almost impossible to avoid mentioning Blizzard Entertainment’s juggernaut “World of Warcraft,” which entered the PC gaming scene in 2004 and has ruled the MMO market ever since. Many games have tried to compete with or even dethrone “Warcraft,” but have generally met with no success. So when “Star Wars: The Old Republic”—another MMO contender—arrived just in time for the 2011 holiday season, many gamers asked the usual question: Is this one worth the money? The answers may surprise you. In fact, “surprising” is the word that best describes “The Old Republic,” from its goals to its overall quality. When it was first announced in 2008, developing company BioWare told the gaming community they wanted to make an MMO with a heavy focus on story, character development and player choice; elements for which BioWare receives high praise in their other works. In an MMO, however, where there is no clear ending and the in-game universe has to be large enough to house literally thousands of players at once. That turns out to be a very tall order. Many gamers doubted it could be accomplished. And yet this is exactly what “The Old Republic” does. The game draws upon many of the core elements familiar to Star Wars fans—the Republic, the Empire, the Sith and Jedi, the Force, light sabers, blasters and starships. However, it turns back the clock by several thousand years before the events depicted in the blockbuster “Star Wars” movies. The result is a setting that feels like a “Star Wars” story, but with new characters and conflicts that

keep things fresh and interesting. Players choose from a variety of classes based on iconic figures in the Star Wars universe, from Jedi Knights and Republic troopers to Sith assassins and Imperial spies. These classes capture their source of inspiration well, invoking gadgets, light-saber techniques and Force powers that bring vivid color and life to the gameplay. Each class archetype has a unique story that takes the player to the ends of the galaxy, with each planet also having its own overarching story. Along the way, players are given all kinds of choices to make, ranging from simple dialogue responses to very clear “light side” and “dark side” decisions, all of which add up to provide a feeling of personalization for the player’s character; no easy feat in a game with thousands of people playing the same handful of classes and stories. The game’s dialogue also deserves special mention. Far from the usual MMO standard of presenting players with simple text instructions, nearly every single quest or mission briefing in “The Old Republic” is voiced as a two-way conversation between the player and the non-player character. At certain intervals, players are given a handful of responses to choose from to continue the conversation. Some are neutral inquiries, while others are sarcastic jokes or sympathetic reassurances. A cast of quality voice actors helps bring these conversations to life, drawing on talent from well-known video game voice actors like David Hayter (“Metal Gear Solid” series), Jennifer Hale (“Mass Effect” series), and Nolan North (“Uncharted” series). The sheer amount of effort and sincerity put into it shines through in even the shortest and most basic of the game’s verbal exchanges. Unfortunately, “The Old

Republic” fails to escape some flaws. In particular, it suffers from many common post-release MMO issues such as graphical glitches and bugged mechanics. Most are inconsequential, but others are frustrating, such as not receiving credit for a mission or having a powerful enemy reset back to full health while fighting. Additionally, while the story leading up to the maximum level is exceptional, it ends there. At the level cap, the game primarily offers group challenges and competitive play with other players which may not be attractive to all players. The game also lacks an expedient and streamlined method of locating other players who share interests. That said, the nature of an MMO is one of perpetual update and change. BioWare has already released a number of patches since the game’s release in order to correct bugs and other issues. Future patches promise to bring new content and continue the story, making many of these problems temporary. At the end of the day, “The Old Republic” is a game that surpasses expectations, offering a level of immersion, storytelling and character focus unrivaled by other MMOs while also maintaining a generally high degree of gameplay flow and quality. The price is a bit steep—$60 up front with a $15 monthly subscription fee—but the story experience alone is well worth it. If you have the budget for it, pick up a copy at any computer electronics or PC gaming store and give it a try for a month or two. Will “The Old Republic” oust “World of Warcraft” from the MMO throne? Doubtful. The better question is this: Is there room for another solid MMO on the market? I think there is.

The medium will evolve—if given the respect it deserves I was surprised at a recent VanCougar staff meeting to hear that our readers’ feedback indicates an interest in hearing more about video games. Why does this shock me? Maybe because I still see video gaming as it was perceived a decade ago—as a fringe activity for “nerds.” I was surprised and pleased to think that gaming has entered the mainstream. Perhaps I need not hold back when I discuss games, as I have in the past. Don’t fear. This is not a “gaming” column. My fellow reporter, Adam Baldwin, is covering that subject in this issue. What I will discuss is the modern landscape of gaming: why video games and their players still aren’t treated as they ought to be. Something that I want to get straight is the distinction between what has been dubbed “casual” versus “hardcore” players. There is an idea going around that people who play games like “Farmville” and Wii “Sports” are casual players, while those who play “Call of Duty” and other actionoriented games are hardcore. This image is largely wrong. You see, there is more depth to the world of video games than can be summed up with these monikers. What separates gamers is not the games they play, but their level of involvement with the genre. There are gamers who care, and those who do not. Some who play “Call of Duty” don’t really care about video gaming as a whole. Alternatively, some “Farmville” players are deeply involved in the world of gaming. The people I would characterize as true hardcore gamers are people who see gaming as a lifestyle and who care deeply about it as a creative medium. Video games have long been viewed as toys. This explains why many people worry about their impact on children. But gaming has moved beyond that point, and

will progress even further. Games are still a new genre in the world of creative works and art. Many debate whether games are art or whether they ever can be. Although they may not have entirely reached that elevated status, the interactive capability of the medium is unique and will never be attained by other creative forms. Misconceptions about the world of video games range from misinformation to blatant lies. If video games are to continue growing as a genre, public acceptance will need to escape these hindrances. Some video games present an odd fusion of unique storytelling style melded with interactive challenges. This is the case in “Bastion” or ‘Half Life 2.” Other games focus primarily on a single element. For example, “Final Fantasy XIII,” focuses on storytelling and “Just Cause 2” stresses interactive challenges. Sometimes this works and customers get creations that completely ignore the artistic potential that exists within the medium in favor of what is deemed most profitable. I’m not saying all games need to be deep or fancy. After all, games are supposed to be fun and there are a number of different, yet valid ways to go about achieving that. However, I am hopeful that the public will treat games and gamers with more respect. As long as the world thinks of games as nothing but toys, we are missing out. With more respect for the medium, impressive things can be done as we explore the possibilities associated with their unique interactive element—particularly as a storytelling tool. This will take time. For now, I look forward to seeing what happens when we give games and gamers the interest and respect they deserve.

These fun blue and orange flameless LED lit candles light up when you blow on them. Just don’t forget the batteries. 4-inch diameter, available in 4-inch and 6-inch heights.

watch movie for the romantic in us all.

Valentine’s Day gifts under $20

You don’t have to break the bank to show your love by Emily Uhde, The VanCougar

If you are still searching for a Valentine’s Day gift for that special person, but don’t have the cash to splurge at Tiffany’s, try one of these romantic gifts that our staff members love. If you miss Valentine’s Day, remember that you don’t need a holiday to do something nice for people you love. Seattle Chocolates Truffle Bars $3.49 each at New Seasons Market The Seattle-based chocolatier’s Red Hot truffle bar contains dark chocolate with crushed cinnamon candies. The Rainier Cherry is dark chocolate filled with dried cherries and pecans praline. Either one will melt your sweetie’s heart. Stainless Steel Magnetic Frames $2.95 - $4.95 at

Give these stainless steel magnetmounted frames to your loved one with a picture of the two of you together. Available in 2.3 x 2.5 inch and 4 x 6-inch sizes. Heart Mug $6 each at West Elm stores and Adorable white porcelain mugs feature a sketched red heart and curly handle. Best given with breakfast in bed. Dishwasher and microwave safe. Proper Attire Condoms by Rebecca Minkoff $5.99 per 3 pack at Planned Parenthood Clinics and These limited edition condoms from Proper Attire feature packaging by fashion designer Re-

Washington State University Vancouver

becca Minkoff. Nothing is sexier than playing it safe. Available in dots, basic and sheer. Stephan & Co. Heart Stud Earrings $6 at Nordstrom stores and Available in both gold and silver antique finishes, these tiny heartshaped earrings are a fun and cute way to express your love. Danielle Love Compact Mirror $8.99 at Ulta stores and The top of this mirror features a white background with the word love written in different black fonts. The perfect size to carry in a purse or pocket. Bi-Color LED Blow On-Off Candles $11.99 - $14.99 at

White Heart Boxers $18.50 at Banana Republic stores and These comfortable red boxers with tiny white hearts and black arrows are sure to be a hit. 100 percent cotton with elastic waistband. “Love Actually” on DVD or Blu-ray $9.99 for the DVD and $19.99 on Blue-ray at Target stores and A classic story about the many forms of love. This is a must-

Juliet Scwrabble Tile Necklace $19 at Something Silver stores and Created from a reclaimed Scrabble tile, this necklace is printed with a quote from “Romeo and Juliet.” Nickel plated, 17-inch chain and 3/4-inch square pendant.

Opinion and Features

Advertisement Research Participants Wanted for the study titled: “Relationship of racial-ethnic microaggressions, mental health variables,and academic outcomes among students of color” You may qualify for the study if you are: a18 years of age or older aA current student and plan to be an enrolled student through the end of spring semester of 2012 aSelf-identify as a student of color or as a member of one of the following racial or ethnic groups: African American or Black; Alaska Native or American Indian; Asian America; Hispanic, Latino, or Chicano; Native Hawaiian, Native Samoan, or Pacific Islander; OR self-identify as a member of two or more races or ethnicities You would not qualify for this study if: You are under age 18 or self-identify as White, Caucasian, or European American only

If you qualify, you could earn up to $30 in gift cards for completion of the study If interested and want more information, contact us at (360)546-9497 or at (360)546-9414. Thank you!

WSU Vancouver supports the needs of Southwest Washington


By Steve Hortenstein and Lynn Valenter

The following opinion appeared in the Columbian on Sunday, Feb. 5. Washington State University Vancouver was established in Southwest Washington in 1989 with great purpose, and dare we say, foresight. The citizens in this region asked for access to higher education and continue to benefit from having a growing university nearby. A recent study published by the University of Pennsylvania criticizes higher education in the state of Washington. The study found that due to limited resources, the institutions of higher education in our state do not produce enough bachelor’s degrees, forcing employers to hire workers from out of state—and from out of country. That’s the precise problem WSU Vancouver has been tackling right here in our own community for 23 years. The university’s full-time equivalent enrollment has increased 82 percent from fall 2005 to fall 2011. Nearly 3,200 students are taking classes spring semester. Today there are more than 9,500 WSU Vancouver alumni, 75 percent of whom remain in our community to live, work and raise their families. These alumni are direct contributors to the economic fiber of Southwest Washington. And we have no intention of stopping. The state’s economy is one of the most technology-intensive in the nation. The Penn researchers

say that by 2018, 67 percent of all jobs in Washington will require workers who have at least some postsecondary education or training. Okay, bring it on. In January WSU Vancouver opened a new Engineering and Computer Science building—thanks in large part to the unwavering support of state and local elected officials and the community at large. The grand opening may be in our rearview mirror, but the support keeps rolling in. The Clark County High Tech Council, Columbia Credit Union and Tektronix have voted with their dollars. Each has supported research laboratories and programs in the School of Engineering and Computer Science because they understand the need for well-educated, high-tech graduates in our community, and they believe in WSU Vancouver’s ability to fulfill that need. We won’t let you down. We do not stop with engineers. WSU Vancouver graduates students who serve the largest industry sectors in the Portland/ Southwest Washington including health and education services and the largest employers including Evergreen Public Schools and PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center. We currently offer 18 bachelor’s degrees, nine master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. Cougar “paw prints” are all over this community. If we had one wish it would be that you embrace the benefits

of living near a university. WSU Vancouver offers a huge assortment of services to this community. On Jan. 22 WSU Vancouver hosted College Goal Sunday. This national program offers students interested in any form of postsecondary education an opportunity to come to campus and get free help from financial aid experts in filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is the gateway to accessing financial aid resources such as federal and state grants, school loans and scholarships. Our event is not only the largest in the state, it is also the only College Goal Sunday event offered in three languages— English, Russian and Spanish. The issues raised by the University of Pennsylvania study are real ones. We need more higher education access and capacity. We need to produce more of the engineering and high-tech graduates that Tektronix, Boeing and other high-tech companies in our community and in our state need to thrive. WSU Vancouver is the only four-year, public research institution in Southwest Washington and we are committed to expanding regional access to baccalaureate and master’s level degrees. We look forward to being a key partner in solving this problem for our community and beyond. Steve Hortenstein is chair, WSU Vancouver Campus Advisory Council and Lynn Valenter is interim chancellor, WSU Vancouver

Will the Kindle Fire burn its competitors?

Amazon’s latest model of the Kindle is the new contender in the tablet market By Alex Smith, The VanCougar

Of all the e-book reader (or e-reader) devices on the market today, the Kindle is one of the most popular. Recently, Amazon released their newest version of the device, a full-color tablet known as the Kindle Fire. In functionality, it is more akin to tablet PCs than the e-readers of the past. The Kindle Fire not only features the ability to display books, but it also plays movies, accesses the Internet, offers games and runs various applications. Perhaps the Fire’s most noticeable advancement over its predecessors is that the previously mentioned functions are now shown in full color, as opposed to strictly black and white. Kindle Fire represents a large leap from the series’ origins by attempting to excel at a wide variety of none-book-related functions in this manner. Selling on Amazon for $200, Kindle Fire is competitively priced to enter a tablet PC market dominated by Apple’s iPad, which retails closer to $500. While still a member of the Kindle family, it is difficult to call the Kindle Fire anything less than a full-fledged tablet. Because of their convenience, e-readers have made a lasting impression since hitting the market in 2007. They carry their library digitally, providing access to a

large number of books instantly and without the weight of traditional books. Many e-readers also feature a unique screen technology called electronic paper or electronic ink that draws minimal battery power. They remain highly readable, even in sunlight, a weakness of screens on other types of devices. The Kindle Fire does away with electronic paper in favor of a full-color screen, necessary to display video, web, color applications and other advanced capabilities. The Kindle Fire can still be used to read e-books and still has plenty of support from Amazon, which, in addition to making the Kindle, also happens to be a very successful book (electronic and otherwise) retailer. The Kindle Fire is relatively small, weighing in at 14.6 ounces with a screen size of 7 inches compared to iPad 2’s 21.28 ounces and 9.7 inch screen. Although smaller, the Kindle Fire matches the iPad 2’s 1.0 gigahertz dualcore processor. However, it does not match the iPad 2’s built in hard drive space, with only 8 gigabytes compared to iPad’s minimum of 16 gigabytes. The Kindle Fire compensates for the smaller hard drive with access to cloud storage for all Amazon content. In keeping with its smaller size, the Fire also boasts a smaller battery,

which Amazon describes as being “8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off.” When wireless is on, your results may vary. The iPad 2 claims to operate for up to 10 hours on battery support. The Kindle Fire supports a wide variety of electronic file formats. In addition to common audio and image files including .mp3 and .jpeg, it can read Microsoft Word documents (.doc and .docx) and Adobe .pdf files. Those who keep their media libraries in an uncommon format may want to check Amazon’s Kindle Fire webpage for the full list. Finally, the Kindle Fire boasts a highly durable screen and a unique “cloud-accelerated” web browsing technology known as Amazon Silk. This technology purportedly passes some of the work of loading a web page to “the cloud,” which in this case is Amazon’s set of powerful remote servers. Because the device doesn’t have to do all of the work itself, the experience is presumably faster. The biggest factors to consider when deciding whether or not to purchase the Kindle Fire over another tablet are price, physical size, memory and battery life. In terms of price, the Kindle Fire wins against the iPad 2 and most other tablets and e-readers.

However, if memory or screen size is a key factor for the user, an alternative product might be the better choice. Gary Smith, an avid reader and new Kindle Fire owner, primarily uses his e-reader for reading. “It’s very handy,” said Smith. He was particularly impressed with the size of the selection and ability to download almost any book he wanted. He also found the interface to be very userfriendly. This is an important point if the Kindle hopes to com-



pete with Apple, which has always marketed itself as being simple and intuitive. Overall, the Kindle Fire’s low price point and new features over its previous iterations make it a reasonable choice for those looking to buy a new e-reader or tablet. Its support from Amazon means it has a large library of books, and more than a few movies and music tracks. Die-hard Apple fans may not be swayed so easily, but otherwise it’s definitely worth a look.

Top 3 Features

Amazon Kindle (4th generation)


E-Ink screen, battery life, inexpensive

Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch


E-Ink screen, touchscreen, expandable memory

Amazon Kindle Touch $99189

E-Ink screen, 3G model available, touchscreen

Kobo eReader Touch


E-Ink, touchscreen, affordable

Barnes & Noble Nook Color


Full color, runs apps, expandable memory

Amazon Kindle Fire


Affordable, color screen, supports audio, video, and books

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet


Full color, high built-in memory, expandable memory

Amazon Kindle DX


E-Ink, large screen, physical keyboard

Apple iPad 2


Full color, front and rear cameras, relatively thin

Washington State University Vancouver



New talent strengthens the Portland Timbers Busy off-season scouting introduces new players By Sarah Cusanelli, The VanCougar

Spring Gala Please join us for a journey to the past....

Jump, Jive & Jazz!

Saturday 4/21/12 8pm-12am The Hilton Hotel Vancouver

Tickets on sale in OSI: Monday 2/20/12 $10/Ticket ! Casino tables ! Dancing & DJ ! Hors D’oeuvres ! Photobooth ! Magician Suggested attire is Flapper Fab, Jaunty Jazz or Speak Easy Swagger

There is new talent on the field at Portland Timbers games this spring, filling the spots that Kenny Cooper and David Horst vacated in the 2012 lineup. Cooper was traded to the New York Red Bulls in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2013. Cooper, a forward, was the leading scorer in 2011 with eight goals, but he failed to reach his full potential with the Timbers. Defender David Horst is still recovering from hip surgery and is expected to be out for five to seven months. That leaves the Timbers’ defense thin with Eric Brunner, Mamadou “Futty” Danso and Steve Purdy alone in back. Head coach John Spencer and his staff have been busy this off-season building the roster with new young players. The Timbers picked Andrew Jean-Baptiste, a 19-year-old defender, in the first round of the Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft this year. Jean-Baptiste was the 8th overall pick in the draft. He played two seasons at University of Connecticut and was named the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year in the Big East Conference. With Horst out, Jean-Baptiste will hopefully bring some depth to the Timbers’ defense. Twenty-year-old forward Jose Adolfo Valencia joined the Timbers in December as a Young Designated Player. A native Colombian, Valencia played for Independiente Santa Fe from age 16. Valencia also played for the Under-20 National Team for Colombia in 2011. Valencia’s father, Adolfo Valencia, played professional soccer for 16 years, including two FIFA World Cup appearances for Colombia. His nickname “El Tren,” or “the Train” in English, passed on to his son. Jose Adolfo Valencia is nicknamed “El Trencito” or “the Little Train.” As of Feb. 3, Valencia is scheduled for knee surgery and is expected to be out for six to 12 months. He will be on the Timbers’ disabled list this season. The team is committed to their investment in Valencia and looks forward to his return to full health. Another Colombian addition for 2012 is defender Hanyer Mosquera. Mosquera played six professional seasons in Colombia for Corporación Deportes Quindío and Club Deportivo La Equidad Seguros. In 2011, he helped La Equidad reach their league finals and qualify for the South American Cup. Mosquera was signed onto the Timbers team on Jan. 17. Mosquera adds to Portland’s Colombian players as he and Valencia join Diego Chara and Jorge Perlaza. Chara and Perlaza hopefully will ease the newcomers’ transition to a new country and a new league. To bring some power to the front line, the Timbers acquired forward Kris Boyd. Boyd, 28, is from Scotland and is a Designated Player. (See the accompanying side bar for definitions of soccer terminology.) He is the Scottish Premier League’s leading scorer with 164 goals in ten seasons. From 2006-2010, Boyd was part of the Rangers FC team that won three Scottish League Cup titles. Boyd also played in English and Turkish Leagues, as well as the Scotland National Team. He will be added to the roster as soon as his visa clears and he completes a physical. “Kris is a proven goal-scorer at the highest levels of the game, and we expect that to continue here in Portland,” said Spencer. Brent Richards was signed on to the team on Jan. 4 as the Timbers’ first Homegrown Player. Richards played soccer for Camas High School, University of Washington and the Timbers U-23 team. He was the leading scorer after three seasons for the U-23s and was part of the undefeated championship team in 2010. Last year he scored eight goals for the Timbers U-23s. Over four years playing for the Huskies, Richards scored 31 goals and led the team in scoring. The Timbers snagged midfielder Brendan King in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. King played for University of Notre Dame and helped his team qualify for the Big East Conference championship tournament last year. He scored six goals and 14 assists over 81 games. King has a chance to compete for a place on the roster during the preseason. Joining King for the chance at a roster spot are players from the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft. Midfielders Logan McDaniel and Miguel Ibarra, goalkeeper Doug Herrick and Ryan Kawulok were all picked by the Timbers. Kawulok is a defender from University of Portland who also was part of the Timbers U-23 team for two years. Nobody knows who this season’s starters will be for sure, but there is definitely some stiff competition for the roles. Preseason games are going on now. The Timbers’ first game of the season is a home game on March 12 versus the Philadelphia Union.

Sound like a pro with Major League soccer terminology Designated Player (DP) slots are used to bring new players to the league. DP salaries exceed budget charges. Each team is allowed three DP slots. The Timbers DPs are Diego Chara and Kris Boyd. Jose Adolfo Valencia is a Young Designated Player. Young DPs are age 23 and under and have a lower salary cap hit. Home Grown Players have participated in a club’s youth development program and met other league criteria. This program allows players to “go pro” without entering the SuperDraft. Brent Richards is the Timbers’ first Home Grown Player. Generation Adidas (a program between MLS and Adidas) places young players in the SuperDraft. These players are off-budget. Darlington Nagbe and Andrew Jean-Baptiste are Generation Adidas players. MLS SuperDraft consists of three rounds of 18 picks from college players, Generation Adidas players and international players. The SuperDraft is followed by a Supplemental Draft. The Timbers picked two players in the 2012 SuperDraft and four in the Supplemental Draft.

Issue 5  

Volume 17 Issue 5

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you