Page 1

Love is in the air

IT update Learn about expanded Wi-Fi service and other tech upgrades Story on page 2

Good dates gone south

February 4, 2013

Stories on page 6

Monica Stonier discusses higher education support

Rep. Monica Stonier (D), Washington State University Vancouver alumna, recently took office in the 17th Legislative District. As an educator, Stonier understands the importance of higher education, giving WSU Vancouver an ally. Former Pacific Middle School educator and freshman legislator, Stonier said she is continually learning about the process while advocating for students in our state. Given Stonier’s background, her primary focus is providing

expertise to the Education Committee. Stonier is a member of the legislature’s Education, Capital Budget and Technology and Economic Development committees. Although she is not a member of the higher education committee, Stonier said she will be committed to higher education as well as primary education. Stonier said she would support bills that increase access to state need grants, make sure we have adequate financial aid for anyone who qualifies and make sure that tuition costs are reasonable and predictable for families and kids to plan their higher education timelines and careers.

Photo | Washington State Capitol Building Credit: Flikr, jimbowen0306

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Ten ways to save the environment Story on page 7


Issue 9 · Volume 19

Washington’s legislature convenes


Green tips

WSU Student Government Council meets in Vancouver ASWSUV executives host quarterly meeting By Shavenor Winters The VanCougar

Photo | Monica Stonier Credit:

Stonier’s teaching background was the primary motivating force behind her decision to run for office. “At the time when I was running, there were no current, active teachers in the legislature and that was a major problem for me. I have never worked in government relations before. My background is not in politics, but there is work to be done and I feel like I can be that person,” said Stonier. Stonier has introduced a bill to support teachers in Washington. By creating online learning modules for teachers to prepare and receive training or credit, she hopes to bring extra resources to the learning environment. Stonier is also working to develop a program to help assist school

See ‘legislature’ on p. 2

The Washington State University Student Government Council met on the WSU Vancouver campus Jan. 11 and 12. ASWSUV President Daniel Nguyen and Vice President Aaron Bruckner hosted the event. The WSU-SGC is comprised of the executive teams from all WSU campuses including Pullman, TriCities, Spokane, Vancouver, the online Global Campus and the Graduate Professional S t u d e n t Association. In past sessions, SGC has altered s t u d e n t g o v e r n m e n t ’s l o b b y i n g strategy, selected final candidates for the student regent and addressed increases in Service and Activities (S&A) fees. In contrast to previous years, in which SGC has taken a more active role, hosts Nguyen and Bruckner aimed to build camaraderie

among the WSU campuses at the Vancouver meeting. The meeting focused primarily on S&A fees. Students on every WSU campus currently pay the same $250 fee each semester. President Nguyen said that the uniformity in S&A fees places an inequitable burden on the students of the Vancouver campus. Nguyen wants to see students on each campus paying a fee more uniform with their respected campus life needs. President Nguyen “hopes to see S&A fee au t o n o my delivered to each campus by the b eg inning of next year.” Nguyen hopes the comaraderie built will equate to SGC’s ability to work together, to achieve the goal of S&A fee autonomy. The next SGC meeting will be held in April hosted by Pullman’s executives. n

1/30/13 11:38 AM

Washington State University Vancouver


Information Technology campus update


WSU Vancouver IT Director, Grisha Alpernas, shares news

Photo | Grisha Alpernas

Credit: Cyndie Meyer

By cyndie meyer The VanCougar

Alpernas said. “It is a question of when and what kind. It won’t be this school year. Any change must be planned, tested and prepared.” Alpernas said the university will look for a system with the right combination of price and functionality. Last year, WSU and other Washington colleges that use Angel were concerned when Blackboard bought the system. Blackboard initially said they would no longer support the learning management system. However, Alpernas said Blackboard has since decided to continue offering Angel due to the system’s popularity. The company’s decision reduced the pressure on WSU to select a new learning management system, at least this year. “Most of these discussions are happening in Pullman,” Alpernas said. “Our use of technology is only growing. It is not a luxury, it has become a necessity.” Gone phishing Not everything is good news in the world of information technology. Alpernas warns students to be wary of phishing attempts and viruses. “If you get a link in an email, remember you do not have to click it. If it came from someone you don’t know, it can harm you,” Alpernas said. “If it sounds like Christmas in July, like something for nothing or like you’ve been selected for a prize, it is most likely not true. Don’t open it.” IT Happens!

The latest news on potential computer threats, information security, technology tips and other relevant information is included in the campus IT department newsletter, “IT Happens!” Alpernas recommends students, staff and faculty read the newsletter each month to stay abreast of the latest information technology updates. The newsletter is accessible through the Information Technology link on the WSU Vancouver homepage: inside.vancouver.wsu. edu/vit-newsletter n

Campus Computer labs Library building (VLIB) Room 102 (360.546.9546) Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Engineering/Computer Science building (VECS) Room 123 (360.546.9671) Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday: Closed

districts in predicting the number of teachers they will need to hire each year. “There are things that I am trying to work on as I am learning the job. I also have other bigger ideas that aren’t quite formulated yet,” said Stonier. As the state legislature develops its statewide budget, Stonier will be a voice and advocate for WSU Vancouver. The 17th Legislative District encompasses the area of Vancouver east of Highway 205, west of 164th Avenue and south of Highway 503, including Washington State University Vancouver. Stonier is one of three representatives for WSU Vancouver in the legislature. For more information on 17th Legislative District representatives and the 2013 legislative session, visit leg. More information about Representative Stonier and her initiatives can be found at rep-Monica-Stonier/. n

Multimedia building (VMMC) Room 101 (360.546.9543) Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: Closed


WSU Vancouver students are finding it easier to connect on campus this year due to expanded wireless coverage. Grisha Alpernas, director of information technology at WSU Vancouver, said his department was receiving complaints of poor Wi-Fi reception in some campus buildings. To remedy the problem, the IT department installed 60 additional Wi-Fi access points across campus this fall, increasing the number of access points by 27 percent. Wi-Fi is now available on all floors of every campus building and within close proximity to all building exteriors. Improved connectivity comes at a price: Each transmitter cost

approximately $700. Be our guest Until this year, WSU Vancouver provided two internet networks: one for students and one for staff and faculty. In August, a third campus network went live. The new network, “WSU Vancouver Guest,” is intended for people who visit and do business on campus, but lack a network ID allowing them to sign in as an employee or student. “As soon as the guest network went live, students began using it,” Alpernas said. “The problem is, it’s a very slow network. It is not intended for doing school work.” Alpernas suggests students continue to log in to the more efficient and robust “WSU Student network.” Fresh Apples Alpernas said a fresh load of Apples is on its way to campus — Apple computers, that is. Because of heavy demand for Mac-based capability, IT is in the process of increasing the number of Macintosh computers in campus computer labs by 20 percent this year. An Angel among us A change in the university learning management system may also be in the works. WSU will use Angel Learning Management System throughout this school year, but Alpernas said various departments are looking at what to do next and are assessing the university’s options. “Change [in our learning management system] is inevitable,”

Continued from p. 1


THE OFFICIAL STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY VANCOUVER The VanCougar is a student-run newspaper serving the students, faculty and staff of WSU Vancouver. The VanCougar is available at distribution sites in the lobbies of most WSU Vancouver buildings.

Editor-in-chief..................................... Audrey Miller .

Correction Policy

Managing Editor................................. Haley Sharp .

It is the policy of The VanCougar to correct errors. Please contact the editor via e-mail at


Advertising Manager......................... Jayme Shoun . Web and Social Media Manager....... Emily Spannring Graphic Designer................................. KATIE FENNELLY

The existence of advertising in The VanCougar is not meant as an endorsement of any product, service or individual by anyone except the advertiser.



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

Letters to the Editor

The VanCougar welcomes brief letters (250 words or fewer) from members of the WSU Vancouver community on current issues. Letters must include the author’s full name, contact information and WSU affiliation, year and major for students, department for faculty and staff, degree and year graduated for alumni. The VanCougar does not publish anonymous letters. Priority is given to letters that relate directly to stories printed in The VanCougar. The VanCougar also welcomes guest commentaries of 550 words or fewer addressing issues of general interest to the WSU Vancouver community. Letters and commentaries should focus on issues, not personalities. Personal attacks and anonymous letters will not be considered for publication. The VanCougar reserves the right to edit for space, libel, obscene material and clarity. The views expressed are solely those of the individual authors. Letters and suggestions may be delivered to the Office of Student Involvement, the VanCougar office (VCLB 212), dropped in a suggestion box at a VanCougar distribution rack or e-mailed to

Sarah Cusanelli Darya Kornyushin

WRITERS Adam Baldwin Amanda Craven Jeremy Dunfield Trevor Elliott Alexander Feytser

The VanCougar | Classroom Building (VCLS) Room 212 | 14024 NW Salmon Creek Ave. | Vancouver, Wash. 98686 | 360-546-9524

Washington State University Vancouver

Shavenor Winters Cyndie Meyer

Evan Flanagan Janae Green Casey Karlsen Lake Konopaski Teresa Lane

Samantha Reel Cambri Shanahan Margarita Topal


CAMPUS EVENTS Monday, Feb. 4 Wednesday, Feb. 6

t Internships with the Federal Government Workshop 12 – 1 p.m. VFSC 104 Free t Reading for Retention Workshop 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. VFSC 104 Free t Science Seminar by Demetrios Gatziolis 3 – 4 p.m. VSCI 12 Free

t VanCoug Voices 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Quad Free

t Interviewing Skills 9 – 10 a.m. VFSC 104 Free

t Open Mic Poetry Night 5:30 p.m. VLIB 203 Free

t Wags and Whiskers 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Oregon Humane Society Sign up in OSI

Thursday, Feb. 7

t Skibowl Night Skiing Sign up in the Rec Office by Feb. 5 Students $10 Non-students $20

t Strong Interest Inventory Workshop Noon – 1 p.m. VSSC 108 Free

t Travel Cafe Phography Contest Submissions Due 11:59 p.m.

t EXPLORE: Spring Involvement Forum Noon – 1 and 4 – 5 p.m. VFSC 104 Free

Tuesday, Feb. 5 t Finding Stuff in the Library 1:30 – 2 p.m. VLIB 160B Free

t V-Day: A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant and a Prayer 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. VDEN 129 Free

t Making the Most of the Career Fair 4 – 5 p.m. VFSC 104 Free

t Professional Writers Series 7 – 9 p.m. VLIB 264 Free

t Rebuilding Rwanda: The Impacts of Volunteerism 6 – 8 p.m. VDEN 110 Free

Friday, Feb. 8

Monday, Feb. 11 t Improve Your Public Speaking — Toastmasters International Club Meeting 7 p.m. VDEN 110 Free Tuesday, Feb. 12 t Career and Internship Fair: General Business 3 – 5:30 p.m. VFSC Free t Learn More from Lectures Workshop 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. VSSC 101 Free

VSSC 108 Free

t Poker Tournament 6 – 10 p.m. VDEN 129 Free

t Maximize Test Performance Workshop 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. VFSC 104 Free

Wednesday, Feb. 13 t Career and Internship Fair: Nonprofit, Government, Science and Engineering 3 – 5:30 p.m. VFSC and VECS Free

t VanCoug American Democracy Project Day 2:30 p.m. VDEN 130, 236 and 129 RSVP at http://admin.

Thursday, Feb. 14 t Brown Bag Professional Development Series Noon – 1 p.m. VECS 125 Free

t A-Z of Financial Aid and Scholarships Workshop 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. VSSC 108 Free

Saturday, Feb. 16

Thursday, Feb. 21

t Overnight Snowshoeing Sign up in the Rec Office by Feb. 13 Students $10 Non-students $15

t Brown Bag Professional Development Series Noon – 1 p.m. VECS 125 Free

Tuesday, Feb. 19

t Professional Writers Series 7 – 9 p.m. VLIB 264 Free

t Zotero: A free tool to manage your citations and research 2 – 3 p.m. VLIB 160B Free Wednesday, Feb. 20 t Strong Interest Inventory Workshop 9 – 10 a.m.

VanCoug Democracy Day launch By Janae Green The VanCougar

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Washington State University Vancouver will host the VanCoug Democracy Day event on campus. WSU Vancouver Chancellor Mel Netzhammer will introduce the project as an initiative to advance social, political and civic programs to students and the community. Netzhammer will also receive The Plater Award at this event. “[VanCoug Democracy Project] focuses on the value civic engagement has on the overall educational experience,” said Audrey Miller, co-student lead for

the VanCoug Democracy Project. Miller is a graduate student in the WSU Vancouver masters of public affairs program. “This event will bring together the campus, surrounding community and collective higher education institutions to become educated about the possibilities of this new initiative. The breakout sessions and the keynote address will be such a great learning opportunity,” Miller said. George Mehaffy, vice president for academic leadership and change with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, will discuss the role of technology and civic engagement

in his keynote address. Mehaffy will also present the William M. Plater Award to Netzhammer. Netzhammer will receive the Plater award for his work as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Keene State College. The Plater Award recognizes excellence in leadership through the advancement of civic learning in programs serving the greater knowledge and development of skills for undergraduates. “Chancellor Netzhammer is receiving the award for his commitment to advancing the civic mission of Keene State College,” Miller said. The event will also provide

an opportunity for attendees to choose one of three workshops led by visiting Keene State College faculty–the workshops will focus on enhancing skills in civic engagement with co-curricular programming and to develop involvement and partnerships with the local community. Representatives from the WSU Center for Civic Engagement will also be special guests at the event to provide their expertise on engagement. The CCE’s mission is to develop partnerships with communities and facilitate student engagement. “[The CCE] fosters a sense of self, a sense of place, and a sense of purpose to effect positive

change,” as stated on the CCE’s webpage, “As the VanCoug Democracy Project grows we hope to bring members of the community and WSU Vancouver together often to discuss the concept of building engagement to nurture our democracy,” Miller said. The event is free and open to all students, faculty, staff and community members. For more information on the VanCoug Democracy Project or to RSVP online, visit: admin.vancouver. n

ASWSUV Senate Update •

Bill 22.018: Relating to the allocation of $1,810 from the senate allocation pool for funding the event “Recognition: A Conversation,” (History Club’s Spring Native Symposium on March 5-8 ,2013):11-0-0: Passed

Resolution 22.001: Relating to banning smoking on campus, offering smoking cessation programs and establishing smoking zones off and outside of the immediate campus: 6-3-1: Failed

Committee Status Bill 22.001: Relating to transforming the Student Activities Board from its current position within the executive branch to a senate committee: 10-0-0:

By-Law Amendment 22.005: Relating to the establishment of a permanent senate meeting time: 10-0-0: Passed


Got Questions?     Ask  @  the  Library   LIBRARY  WORKSHOP:   FINDING  STUFF   Learn  how  to  get  the     most  out  of  the  Library.   Tuesday,  February  5,  1:30-­‐2pm   Wednesday,  February  6,  1:30-­‐2pm   VLIB  160B  

Washington State University Vancouver

4 Meet the Staff

Meet The VanCougar staff Sarah Cusanelli | Environmental Science major | Junior Cusanelli said she never wears matching socks, loves to draw/doodle and loves to eat. She belives someone should work for The VanCougar because it is a great flexible job that allows you to meet new people and learn about campus activity. The story Cusanelli most enjoyed reporting this year was about rugby. “I wrote a story about rugby. It was very cool to learn so much about a new sport.”

Trevor Elliott | English major | Senior Elliot wants to use his English major to teach overseas in Japan or Korea. Elliot is also a self proclaimed computer nerd, “I’m a huge computer nerd, I love working on computers and creating networks/severs.” Concerning The VanCougar, Elliot says anyone interested in writing and wants to be involved on campus, should join the paper. Elliot raves about the workshops and group trainings as an opportunity to expand writing skills and develop new ones, such as photography. Elliot’s favorite story of the year was “Electronics in the classroom.” Elliot belives the use of electronic devices in the classroom can benefit and improve students cognitive abilities, “I’m very passionate about the subject.” Katie Fennelly | DTC major | Senior Archery is Fennelly’s favorite hobby, rain or shine. “My dad taught me how to shoot when I was six, and eighteen years later it’s still something I strive to perfect.” Fennelly also bakes and loves experimenting with new flavor combinations for brownies. Fennelly believes that students should work for The VanCougar to get involved and contribute to university culture.

Janae Green | English major | Junior At home, Green and her partner, Shea, love to collaborate on bizarre art projects - short films, fiction and photography. “Our current project is a short film about a tentacle monster that lives in an attic crawl space. We are keepin’ Portland weird.” In Green’s opinion, working for The VanCougar is an excellent opportunity to become more active in the Vancouver community by attending events both on and off campus. Green says working for The VanCougar takes you outside of the work-school-home monotony. This year, Green has most enjoyed working on her article about Portland comedy, “Local comedians crack the censors.” Green says that it was her favorite article because the “struggle with censorship was inspiring to me.”

Casey Karlsen | Business Administration major | Senior Karlsen plays piano, basketball and soccer, runs, snowboards and watches the NBA in his free time. Karlsen also owns a 1967 VW Bug. Karlsen works for The VanCougar because he believes it is a great way to grow as a student and enjoys the work experience. “Employees of the VanCougar get to meet new people, forge new relationships and grow as writers. Being a proficient writer is important no matter what career path one chooses.” The stories Karlsen enjoys working on the most have been about sports. Darya Kornyushin | Education major | Senior Kornyushin’s passion is singing. “I am constantly singing. It is one of my biggest passions. So if you ever hear a lone voice echoing in the hallway ... it will most likely be me.” Kornyushin believes that working for The VanCougar tosses you into the center of college life. She says “you become more educated about what goes on around you and learn many interesting things about your school as well as the people in it.” Kornyushin most enjoyed covering the story about the WSU Vancouver childcare center.

Samy Reel | Psychology major | Freshman Reel’s free time is spent singing to jazz and writing music. She plays a variety of instruments including the flute, piccolo and steel drums. Reel recommends working for The VanCougar because of the amazing experience. “You get to meet, work and learn about a variety of people. It’s a fantastic way to get involved.” The story about the Firstenburg Student Commons was Reel’s favorite story to write thus far. Reel says that she got the opportunity to meet some great movers and shakers that work in the office while writing the story.

Cambri Shanahan | Human Development major | Senior Shanahan is an outdoors girl. “ Just about anything outdoors speaks to me and takes me away.” Shanahan thinks students should work for The VanCougar because it builds their academic resume, writing skills, interperosnal skills and time managment skills. Shanahan believes The VanCougar is a place where you can put your work on display in a professional, academic and rewarding environment. Anything recreation are Shanahan’s favorite stories to write.

Washington State University Vancouver

A letter from the outgoing editor-in-chief: Time moves on, and so do college newspaper editors. Serving as editor-in-chief of The VanCougar has been an incredible experience for the past year and a half. Now it is my honor to pass the torch to graduate student, Audrey Miller, who will take the publication to new heights. On Feb. 4, The VanCougar will go online. Our staff has been preparing for this event all year and the site is finally ready. We hope you will visit often. Last year, we inaugurated a new campus event: First Amendment Monday. This celebration of our rights as Americans to freely express and absorb information is one we hope to augment this year. Watch for announcements! Looking back, I see how far our publication has come. WSU Vancouver is a small campus, and it lacks a journalism program. Nonetheless, our newspaper staff works hard to publicize information of interest to our student body. Because we have a very small staff and follow a bi-weekly (or longer) publication schedule, we seldom have breaking news to report. But we have tried to serve as something of a yearbook, recording events and campus functions. We attempt to inspire by including stories about service for others, leadership, new campus programs and our community. The VanCougar also offers an avenue for student involvement, a work experience, a chance to meet others and network on campus. Our paper is a forum where students may practice writing and publishing, management and design skills. Are we perfect? I’ll be the first to say it: Heck no! The VanCougar is a work in progress and will never be confused with The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times – or even The Columbian. But we are proud of trying, of putting ourselves out there and of supporting students on this campus who try to make a difference. We invite you to join us. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Brenda Alling, director of communications, and Michelle McIlvoy, manager of the Office of Student Involvement, who served as advisers to our publication while I was editor. To our staff of reporters, editors, web and graphic designers and our advertising manager, I can only say how privileged I feel to have worked with every one of you. This has been a memorable experience and I thank you for your hard work and courage. I would also like to recognize the leaders of ASWSUV – both past and present, the OSI staff, Professors Thabiti Lewis, Michael Rabby and writing center guru, Josh Erdahl, who provided support and training for our staff. And, finally, a sincere thank you to all the many folks on campus who allowed us to interview them, provided story ideas or simply gave us an occasional pat on the back. You have no idea how your encouragement has bolstered me personally and has helped our staff to keep trying. Always proud to be a ‘Coug, Cyndie Meyer VanCougar Editor-in-chief Sept. 2011 – Jan. 2013

A letter from the incoming editor-in-chief: As the new editor-in-chief, I am honored to be taking the helm from Cyndie Meyer. The revitalization of this newspaper was my inspiration for coming aboard. I want to continue the standard of excellence that made The VanCougar an award-winning paper over the past year. I am a graduate student in the Masters of Public Affairs program and received my bachelors of arts in public affairs from WSU Vancouver in 2012. While earning my undergraduate degree I was a heavily involved student. I recently decided to continue my involvement while I earn my masters degree and knew there was no better place than the VanCougar. I want to be an open and available editor-in-chief. Anytime someone wants to meet with me concerning the paper, its content or with any questions, comments or concerns, I will make time. During my tenure I want to increase the circulation of the newspaper to off campus locations, starting in Salmon Creek. I believe there is untapped value in connecting the surrounding community to the WSU Vancouver campus. The students, faculty and staff at WSU Vancouver do groundbreaking work on this campus. I want our community to learn about the gem they have hidden away on this hill. Concerning the website launch Feb. 4, I want to ensure the hard work that has gone into the production of the site over the past year will be successfully maintained. Once the site goes live I want to slowly increase the content and type of content visitors are able to interact with. The website will be an extension of the newspaper, a place were we are able to give our readers that which the paper cannot provide. Video reporting and extensive photo galleries to accompany print stories will be among the beginning of the supplemental content to appear on the site. As we transition from fall to spring semester, the VanCougar has several positions to fill. Please visit The VanCougar office to learn more about open positions. We have job applications posted outside our office and in the Office of Student Involvement. Here’s to a fantastic and exciting new year and thank you to Cyndie Meyer, former editor-in-chief, who has mentored me and handed me the torch of a top-notch publication. Audrey Miller VanCougar Editor-in-chief

Campus News 5

Therapy dogs help WSU Vancouver Child Development Center kindergartners to read Story and Photos by Darya Kornyushin The VanCougar Have you ever come across a child with reading difficulties, social insecurities or uneasiness toward household pets? Therapy Dogs International, an organization dedicated to providing comfort and companionship, has been reaching out to institutions such as the WSU Vancouver Child Development Center tending to these needs since 1976. TDI is a non-profit organization fueled by volunteers who train therapy dogs for visitations to hospitals, nursing homes, child development centers and many other facilities serving a variety of purposes. These four-footed therapists, as they are often called, are magically able to make connections with those who find it hard to open up to the people around them. Recently, TDI has made its way into the WSU Vancouver Child Development Center, working wonders in the kindergarten reading program. Stella, a kid-friendly Norwich Terrier, is a reading treat for the children at WSU Vancouver. When Stella’s handler, Krista Anderson, brings Stella to the center, the kid’s eyes instantly brighten-they know it’s time to read to Stella. Anderson lays down a quilt in the designated reading area, while Stella situates herself and prepares for some honest listening-she is all ears. As each child chooses and reads their weekly readings to Stella, she gives them her undivided attention and accepts their reading abilities just the way they are. She does not judge, correct or intimidate.

This acceptance is something the students definitely feel. “They think of her as a little person that loves them unconditionally,” says Anderson. The children in the development center have formed a relationship with Stella. As she helps them become better readers through her weekly visits, they develop in more ways than they realize. After reading to Stella for a few consecutive weeks, a student once exclaimed, “how long will it take us to teach Stella how to read?” Cheryl Johnson, coordinator of the Child Development Program at WSU Vancouver, said Stella’s visits have impacted the kindergartners in unexpected ways, “the shy kids have begun to slowly creep out of their shells, and the rowdy ones have actually become more tame. Students who used to fear dogs are growing more comfortable with animals in general since the start of Stella’s regular visits,” said Johnson. TDI’s “tail-waggin tutors” are trained, with characteristics that qualify them as therapy dogs. Before a dog may be certified to serve as a therapy dog, it must pass all 15 parts of the American Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Test. To learn more about therapy dogs and the certification required, visit n

Washington State University Vancouver

6 Valentine’s day

Be creative for your romantic Valentine’s Day date When cliché dates just are not enough, try something new

By Darya Kornyushin The VanCougar Is the Romantic within you anxious for a change this Valentine’s Day? There are many possibilities for memorable dates in the Clark County area, all you need to do is engage your creative mind and try something new. Contrary to popular belief, a date does not have to cost an arm and a leg to be a success. When it comes to having a good time, creativity is key. Esmeralda Garcia-Quiroz, a junior majoring in education, describes her creative date idea: “Spend the day running around town, acting like tourists and taking photos together with local monuments and historic sites...Or try go-carting at the Malibu Raceway in Portland.” Other low-cost and creative date ideas include: having a picnic in the great outdoors, watching the sunrise/sunset together and taking dance lessons. Always keep in mind that gifts, settings and surprises created using your own two hands can be heartwarming and meaningful additions to any date. Write your loved one a romantic love letter, lead them to you with a trail of rose petals or sing them your favorite love song. The more thought you put into preparing for your date, the more memorable it will be for the two of you.

For those who like to do something more inclusive for the romantic holiday, Tami Eldridge, a junior majoring in education, has ideas that keep you local while getting the most out of your 2013 Valentine’s Day. “McMenamins Edgefield is a great place for a date. There are so many great little spots located on one property. Start with wine tasting at the Wine Cellar Bar to choose a great wine for dinner, then head to the Black Rabbit Restaurant for a nice dinner. There’s pool, darts, and shuffleboard in the basement bar. Go for a nice stroll around the vineyard and gardens, then cozy up next to the fire outside the Little Red Shed bar,” Eldridge said. Not looking for a classically romantic activity? Consider the option of dedicating your time together to helping those in need. Visit any shelter or rescue mission to make a difference with the one you love. Helping hands, holding hands, is something you and your loved one may want to try this Valentine’s Day. This activity could make the date meaningful for you and others. For more information on where to find local homeless shelters and rescue mission centers, visit www. n

Romantic dates gone south

Have you had a bad date that turned into a great story?

By Casey Karlsen The VanCougar As Valentine’s Day approaches, people’s minds turn to great romantic moments of the past… as well as the one are that didn’t end up exactly as planned! Some dates go much differently than expected and often tend to result in great stories! Some students on campus volunteered to share their most embarrassing, unexpected and/ or awkward dates. Haley Sharp, a senior majoring in biology, had one such experience. Sharp was car shopping on craigslist and stumbled upon an enticing ad for a Porsche 944. After receiving advice from several friends, Haley decided to check out the car. Surprisingly, the car owner/seller wound up being “a very good looking young guy,” said Sharp. Afterward, Sharp discussed the car owner with the same friends who had earlier offered advice about the car. Jokingly, Sharps friends told her the car owner was probably a stripper. Unexpectedly, the car owner later contacted Sharp, asking her on a date. During the date, Sharp and the car owner discussed their occupations. Ironically, it turned out that the joke made by Sharp’s friends was accurate. The car owner was in fact a stripper. “I almost died!” said Sharp. “I pretty much immediately told him I wasn’t interested.” Sara Seyller, a graduate student in the Masters of Public Affairs program, is another student with a date-gone-wrong tale. On a first date, Sara and her date decided to go hiking and climbing on rocks by a frozen lake with some mutual friends. EvWashington State University Vancouver

erything started off well, until Seyller fell off a rock near the frozen lake, through the ice and into the freezing water. Fortunately, Seyller’s date and their mutual friends were able to rescue her. Once out of the water, the date went from bad to awkward. In order to avoid extreme hypothermia, Seyller had to remove her clothing-in front of her date and the other male friends-replacing them with her date’s clothing. While they were able to laugh about it later, this outing definitely proved to be quite different than either of them anticipated. Rachel Miles, a senior majoring in biology, did not necessarily have a bad date but had quite an unexpected experience. First day of class, Miles’s boyfriend brought her flowers, which he gave her in the parking lot next to her car. As Miles turned back to her car to grab something, she bumped her head on her car door, slicing open her gum and upper lip. When she turned back, blood was flowing down her mouth and chin. At this point, the romantic moment was thoroughly blindsided by this unexpected turn of events. Adding insult to injury, Rachel was late to her first day of class, and her face was swollen for the rest of the day. Dates like these do not always end perfectly, but they do make great stories! n


Sudoku Find solution @

Cost of Super Bowl commercials reaches $4 million for 30 seconds By Sarah Cusanelli The VanCougar

It is that time of year again. We have reached the end of the National Football League season, culminating into one glorious Sunday afternoon filled with friends, family, football, food and of course, the commercials. The commercials will be remembered long after the game is over. They have spawned heroes such as the eTrade baby and the Darth Vader kid. Their slogans have been handed down through generations. In 2013 commercials during the Super Bowl cost

advertisers $40 million for every 30 seconds of air time According to CBS, a 30-second spot averaged $3.8 million this year, and some sold for higher. That price is up from $3 million in 2011 and $3.5 million in 2012. Viewers expect to be well entertained by the usual beer, car and Doritos commercials. This year there were even commercials advertising Super Bowl commercials, commercials for commercials airing right after the Ravens and the 49ers each won their conference games. With an average of 111 million viewers for each of the past two

Super Bowls it is no wonder companies are willing to pay inflated prices to see their ad air during the Super Bowl. Over 60 companies paid for more than 47 total minutes of ad time in 2012. If you missed a commercial or just need to see it again, websites to find super bowl commercials include, superbowl-commercials. org and Past Super Bowl commercials also can be viewed by their year’s airdate from these sites. So don’t worry, even is you miss the game, you won’t miss a single commercial. n

Poisonous chemical turned lifesaver By Jeremy Dunfield The VanCougar

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Mark Roth, an affiliate biochemistry professor at University of Washington and lab director for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has discovered a way to use a poisonous chemical, hydrogen sulfide, to induce a state of suspended animation in humans. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, flammable gas that smells like rotten eggs. The gas is so deadly that one of the largest mass extinction events in history, the Permian Triassic Extinction, or “The Great Dying,” may have been caused by the chemical

compound. This event happened more than 250 million years ago when the oceans became depleted of oxygen and hydrogen sulfideproducing bacteria survived. As a result, approximately 70 percent of land animals died. At a level of 200 parts per million, equivalent to 200 drops in 13 gallons of water, hydrogen sulfide is deadly to humans within one to several breaths, but, as Roth has discovered, at 80 ppm, it can save a life. Roth’s discovery represents a breakthrough in emergency medicine. For critically ill patients whose status is predicated on catastrophic blood loss, hydrogen sulfide can slow the patient’s

metabolic functions to minimal activity for many hours, allowing the patient to be transported to an appropriate emergency care site. Roth’s preliminary studies on mice published in Science Magazine indicates that a mouse may be resuscitated with no long term health effects after six hours of suspended animation. Mark Roth helped to found the biomedical firm, Ikaria, which initiated clinical trials of hydrogen sulfide in 2010. If successful, scientists hope this gas can change the field of medicine and spur a new era of science and medicine that studies metabolic regulators. n

Ten easy ways you can help save the environment

Anyone can play a part to protect the planet with these simple steps By Sarah Cusanelli The VanCougar Not a tree hugger? You can still have a positive impact (or at least a less negative one) on the environment. Here are 10 ways to be kind to the earth. One. Unplug. “Vampire devices” such as phone chargers, laptops, kitchen equipment and radiossuck up electricity even when not in use. If they are off, unplug them and sever the drain. Two. Embrace the dark. Turn off lights when they are not in use. Pay attention to how many times you leave a light on in one room thinking you will return, only to be distracted, go to another area, and turn another light on. Get into a habit of turning off lights whenever you exit a room. The price of incandescent bulbs began inching up last January in an effort to discourage their use. Compact fluorescent bulbs last longer, use less energy and are beginning to cost less. Compact fluorescent bulbs can be recycled at Home Depot. Three. Shorten your shower. According to the Water Research Foundation, the average American showers for approximately 8

minutes. At a flow rate of 2 gallons per minute, cutting shower time to 5 minutes per day shaves off about 6 gallons of wasted water and energy. Try turning off the water when you shampoo, soap up or shave and switch your showerheads to a low-flow or adjustable-flow model. Four. Make friends with Tupperware. Cut your relationship with disposable plastic bags and invest in several sizes of re-useable containers instead. Add a reusable lunch bag and reduce your contribution to the landfill. Five. Plant native species. Resist planting fancy plants that need extra water and fertilizer. Instead, pick native species that grow well in local weather, soil and water conditions. Six. Adjust the temperature. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends keeping your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher in summer and 68 degrees or lower in winter. Turn the temp down at bedtime and when the house is empty. No need to worry that it will take more energy to reheat the house when you come home, studies show the closer a house is to the outside temperature, the less energy it loses. Seven. Hang out on campus. Got a long break between class-

es? Stick around. Less driving means cleaner air and there is always plenty to keep you busy. Pack a lunch or eat in the café or cafeteria. Spend time exploring the campus walking trails or visit the fitness center. Browse the Bookie or read a book in the library. Play a game in the Firstenburg Commons. Stick around and you can help save the atmosphere — as well as your parking spot. Eight. Combine trips. Headed to the store? Save up your errands and run to the post office, stop at the bank and visit a friend while you are out. Make every trip count. Take your reusable shopping bags with you. Nine. Use it up or use it again. Empty containers, plastic bags, and the backsides of school papers can all be used again. Don’t buy new–make do. Support recycle retailing and look for fashion bargains at secondhand-shops. Ten. Recycle or reuse this copy of The VanCougar! Use it to stuff your wet shoes, line your bird cage, wrap a present, start a fire to keep warm, make a paper boat or hat or pass it on to a friend — all after you finished reading it, of course. n Washington State University Vancouver


Play it safe: Wear a helmet

Student’s snowboard accident drives home the need for head protection By Cyndie meyer The VanCougar When Alex Feytser hit the slopes at Big Bear, Calif., in January, he never thought the choices he made would endanger his life. The sun was shining. The mountain was covered in fresh powder, and Feytser, an experienced snowboarder, was anxious to get on his board. Feytser snowboards every week during the season, preferring to ride curves in the snowboard park or to weave between the trees than to shoot down the slopes. “I like snowboarding better than skiing because it gives more control, more speed, more adrenaline, more everything,” Feytser said. Feytser loves to snowboard, but hates to wear a helmet. He was not wearing one on Jan. 3 when he turned quarter- and halfpipes in the snowpark on Bear Mountain. Perhaps that’s why he can remember little of what went wrong at 4 p.m. that afternoon, or much of the following day—or the day after that. All Feytser knows is what emergency workers told him: that he walked into the mountain’s medical center ⎯ bruised and bleeding ⎯ and immediately lost consciousness. An ambulance carried Feytser to the nearest hospital, where, according to Feytser, a CAT scan revealed a brain bleed and blood clot. Thinking he needed

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immediate brain surgery, emergency workers transported him by helicopter to a larger hospital with a neurosurgery department. There, a second scan showed the clot had disappeared — something the neurosurgeon called “a miracle.” Feytser stayed in the hospital overnight for observation and was confined to bed for two weeks thereafter. His headaches continued for a week and a half. “I feel really lucky,” Feytser said. “The

Photo | Alex Feytser Credit: Alex Feytser

doctor said I should have been dead and that brain surgery would have had life-changing effects.” According to a 2012 report by The Johns Hopkins University, 10 million Americans ski or snowboard each year in the United States, with approximately 600,000 injuries reported annually. The Eastern Association for Surgery for Trau-

ma reports that traumatic brain injury is often fatal among skiers and snowboarders of all ages, contributing to 42.5 to 88 percent of all injury-related deaths. Snowboarding is particularly dangerous. EAST reports that snowboarders have a 50 percent higher rate of head and neck injury as compared to skiers. Over the past decade, an average of 40 people have died each year while participating in snow sports, according to data from National Ski Areas Association. Feytser is still under medical observation and has had a total of five brain scans since the accident. His advice to others? “Be careful out there. You’ve got to know what you are doing.” By doctor’s order, Feytser will not be going to Mount Bachelor with fellow Cougs in February. Anthony Deringer, manager of the campus recreation program, has advice for others who plan to ski or snowboard during the campus-sponsored trip — or

anywhere else — this season. “Never ski or snowboard without a helmet! It is a $50 investment that can save your life,” Deringer said. Deringer and other members of the Rec Office staff encourage helmet use to anyone who rents winter sports equipment through them. “A helmet can make the difference between a concussion and a fatality,” Deringer said. Although the Rec Office recommends helmet use, they do not require helmets to participate in campus-sponsored winter sports activities, nor do they rent them through the campus rental program. Helmet integrity is compromised if it absorbs an impact, said Deringer. Because evidence of an impact may not be apparent, and the renter may not report it, future helmet-renters could be endangered. Deringer said few rental companies rent helmets for this reason. “If you have a helmet and you take a fall, you should get rid of it and get a new one,” Deringer said. “That applies whether it’s a bike or ski helmet. Unseen damage to the helmet’s inner liner could compromise its ability to protect your head in the future.” Feytser will sit out the rest of this season. The money he saves will go toward buying the high-tech, all-white ski helmet he plans to wear next year. n

Issue 9  

Volume 19, Issue 9

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