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April 16, 2018

VanCougar THE

First copy free

Vol. 28 Issue 14

JUDICIAL RULING 2018 ASWSUV PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION INVALID. Special election to be held fall semester. pg. 5

THE SKINNY: (4/18) Screening of “Underwater

(4/23) Graduate School Information

2:15-3:30 p.m. in Firstenburg Student Commons. Watch a documentary about the four sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants who build an underwater robot.

10:10-11:00 a.m. in Undergraduate Building, Room 107. An informational session about how to apply and prepare for graduate school and what to expect.


(4/19) Deadline to apply for ASWSUV interim president.


(4/24) Salmon Creek Journal Launch


11:30 a.m. in Firstenburg Student Commons, (4/19) VanCoug Leadership Awards Room 104. Attend for the Salmon Creek 4-5:30 p.m. in Firstenburg Student Commons. Journal’s this year’s release to grab your own free copy! Open to all. (4/19) The Voices of DACA and Undocumented Students (4/27) Early E-Lit Live Traversal 12:00-1:15 p.m. in Dengerink Administration 12:00-2:00 p.m. in Multimedia Classroom Building, Room 110. Learn about DACA, its Building, Room 211B. Experience the digital updates, and its impacts. performance on the legacy hardware and software that it was designed for.

Extended Hours for Dead & Finals Week The Library’s hours April 21- May 4th: Saturday/Sunday April 21& 22: 10am -7pm Mon. April 23 – Thur. April 26: 7:30am-11pm Friday April 27: 7:30am – 7pm Saturday/Sunday April 28 & 29: 10am – 7pm Mon. April 30 – Thur. May 3: 7:30am – 11pm Friday May 4: 7:30am – 7pm

Saturday, May 5: Closed for Commencement

Mission Statement: 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 The VanCougar may be viewed online at Correction Policy: It is the policy of The VanCougar to correct errors. Please contact the editor via email at On the Cover: The gavel rests on a table at a student government Senate meeting. The 2018 presidential election was invalidated in a recent judicial ruling. Read the story on page 7. (Sofia Grande/The VanCougar)







3 Women honored at campus



8 A blast from the past

Dancing the decade away at the 2018 Spring Gala

9 Answer the Rooster’s call, help

10th Annual Women of Distinction event

4 Hand-drawn therapy

a neighbor

Helping children through ar

Online resources to better a local community

5 Student government election 10 Dangerous heights

Student rock-climbing club competes in local league

What happened? What now?

VanCougar THE




TEAM EDITORS Bailley Simms Nikki Johnson

PHOTOGRAPHER Adeena Wade REPORTERS Alejandra Barriere Ginger Clarke Alex Duffield Sofia Grande Henry Holloway Cameron Kast Katherine O’Boyle


Women honored at campus celebration 10th Annual Women of Distinction event

Katie O’Boyle Reporter On March 29, WSU Vancouver hosted the 10th Annual Women of Distinction event. The event recognizes women who have made contributions and exhibited leadership in our community. This year over 200 community members were nominated for three awards. This event celebrated strong and selfless women. Michelle Mcllvoy was one of the people recognized at this year’s event for founding the event 10 years ago. She received the Lifetime Achievement award for reminding all to take a moment and appreciate women in the WSU Vancouver community. Special guest keynote speaker, WSU’s First Lady, Noel Shultz, was also there to empower those in attendance with her words about women in the workforce. Three awards were given out: a WSU student award, a WSU faculty/staff award and a community member award. The student award was awarded two two women: Maggie Handran and Diana Larson. The WSU faculty award was then announced, which was awarded to Faulty Sujatha Shynne who is also a student professor. Within this category, an honorable mention was given to Allison Ramsing. The Community Member award was given to Audrey Miller, with Peggy McNabb being recognized with an honorable mention. These women won awards because they followed three ways of life as described in the event pamphlet; inspire, mentor and empower. At the event, WSU first lady Noel Schulz thanked Chancellor Mel Netzhammer for putting women into powerful positions, like Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Nancy Youlden as well as many others. In her speech Schulz repeatedly encouraged everyone to go for powerful places and to not stop trying if you get knocked down. In addition to being the first lady to WSU, Noel Schulz is also a professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science on the Pullman campus. “One of my biggest

reasons why I became an electrical engineer is because of my dad,” Schulz said. “He was an electrical engineer and was one of my biggest influences. In middle school, I wanted to be a veterinarian and then when I got to high school I knew I wanted to be an engineer but I didn’t know which kind until the end.” Schulz defines her position of being WSU’s First Lady as being the number one cheerleader for WSU and its programs. She also likes to connect programs together that may be useful to one another. In her career, Dr. Schulz’s research has been focused on power systems modeling and analysis, smart grid applications, microgrids, renewable energy and shipboard power systems. With her research Noel advocates for using efficient and clean energy. Schulz is also the president of the Power and Energy Society in Pullman, in addition to many other clubs specific for women in engineering. Noel Schulz said that some of the things she likes to do on a rare, sunny day in Washington, is playing outside with her two corgi dogs, going camping and being out in nature. In the summer she likes to go to the beach and lay out on the sand with her husband, WSU President Kirk Schulz. “One of the most important things to experience in college is not only classes (because classes are important), but getting involved with clubs,” Noel Schulz said. “WSU Vancouver is our only location that is right in the middle of a city, which means its a lot easier to get internships.” Schulz also said that it is important to recognize what women are doing and to show support for women in male dominated fields. Being a woman of distinction herself, Noel Schulz is more than just the number one cheerleader for WSU, she has inspired women to go after what they want, even if the odds are against them.

Nominees and winners of awards pose at the 2018 Women of Distinction celebration. (WSU Vancouver Flickr)

Hand-drawn therapy Helping children through art

Maggie Handran believes art is a natural way to help others. (Ginger Clarke/The VanCougar)

“I want people to kind of see what’s in my head, but it also creates a dialogue between the artist and the viewer.” – student artist Maggie Handran

“Sunday” by Maggie Handran. She says art is a therapeutic way of expressing emotion.

Ginger Clarke Reporter WSU Vancouver may not offer a fine arts major, but that does not mean there aren’t any artists on campus. Unable to pick art as a major, Maggie Handran decided to minor in fine arts instead. Handran had her eyes set on working at a hospital as an art therapist, in order to work with children patients. She knew she wanted art to be a part of her career, but said she knew how unstable an artist by trade could be. She first discovered the impact art therapists had on children when she visited her cousin who was being treated for leukemia. “Why not take helping people, children specifically, and combining it with art, because I find art therapeutic. And boom – I’ve got what I love but it’s also stable and I have my passion of helping people,” she enthused. Outside of her goal to be an art therapist, art for Handran is inherently therapeutic. She says the goal she strives to achieve through her art is a strong connection with her viewers. “Trying to connect with emotion. I want people to kind of see what’s in my head, but it also creates a dialogue between the artist and the viewer,” says Handran. “It’s how I’m feeling, portraying emotion, or a controversial topic.” Some of the ideas she wants to portray could be considered controversial, such as her own experience with sexual violence. Handran found help from several people within the Fine Arts program, such as Associate professors, Avantika Bawa; Harrison Higgs; and Dale Strouse, a technician. Bawa, Handran said, challenged her skillset in terms of technique when creating art. “She doesn’t let you settle,” Hanran explained. “She knows you can go further.” Higgs helped Handran develop the thought process, the concept behind her artwork, allowing her work to become more than surface level. Strouse, however, brought it all together. “He gets you the materials you need. He’s the one who’s here all the time to answer any questions. He’s kind of like the one who’s always here and reminds you you’re human and that it’s OK,” mused Handran. For more information on how to become part of the Fine Arts program or to learn about upcoming events, please contact Harrison Higgs at


Student government election

What happened? What now? Cameran Kast, Reporter Steven Cooper, Editor-in-Chief Five years ago, The VanCougar reported on what it deemed the “Electionocalypse.” A student government presidential ticket had set up an unauthorized polling station, so the school’s Judicial Board ordered a second “special election” before the end of March in which all candidates were eligible to run. This year, WSU Vancouver is experiencing Electionocalypse 2.0. This election, there have been at least six allegations against multiple candidates and the Election Board itself. Instead of a ruling by WSU Vancouver’s Judicial Board, this time Pullman’s Judicial Board rendered a verdict. This year, one candidate is also barred from running again and the special election to replace the invalid one won’t be held until fall semester. On March 7, presidential candidate Vince Chavez and vice-presidential candidate Davina Cepeda were announced as the winners of the 2018 election. On April 5, the Pullman ASWSU Judicial Board invalidated the election in response to multiple complaints brought by the presidential ticket of Caroline Brenner and Zeke Estes. In a story published April 10 at, we reported: The majority decision written by Pullman Chief Justice Bailey Fillinger invalidated the presidential election under their interpretation of ASWSUV Bylaw 610.05. That Bylaw prohibits a member of the Elections Board for running for a student government position in the same year they serve on the board. Because Vice President-Elect Davina Cepeda served on the Elections Board for the first part of the 20172018 academic year before resigning, the justices ruled her candidacy invalid. The ruling also prohibits

the Election Board. “I feel like that ruling should have been provided with more details,” she said. She emphasized that although she was appointed to Election Board, she does not believe it should meet the definition of serving on the board. She says she resigned before the board ever met or went through training. “The bylaws were way too ambiguous,” she added. “I feel like J-Board did try their best.” Gershun had similar opinions about the ruling. He said he believes Justice Board did not take all the circumstances into consideration. “I was a little

her from running in any student government election to fill positions for the 2018-2019 academic year. At the hearing, Cepeda argued that she was only on the Elections Board for July and August of 2017 and that she did not actually serve on the board because the board never met or conducted business. In the same decision, the Judicial Board also addressed complaints filed by Presidential Candidate Caroline Brenner against the WSU Vancouver Election Board. Four members served on the board: Danick Gershun, Sarah Martinez, Alejandra Barriere and Christopher Feener. Pullman’s Judicial Board ruled the “ASWSUV Election Board to be ineffective and unable to provide oversight during an ASWSUV election.” The ruling further stated, “We request that the ASWSUV Election Board be disbanded and new Election Board members be appointed.” Based on the justices’ evaluation of the Election Board’s performance, the ruling states that the “ASWSU Judicial Board requires that the ASWSUV Presidential Election for the 2018/2019 school year be invalidated.”

The following day the ASWSUV announced the remedy for the invalidated election. As suggested by Pullman’s ASWSU Judicial Board, a special election will take place within the first four weeks of fall semester. During the summer, an interim president will lead student government. ASWSUV is accepting applications for the position until April 19.

The Response

In response to the ruling, Cepeda said she was “devastated at first” and that “she gave it her all.” “I never thought that [the allegations] would reach this level,” Cepeda said. “It does kind of question the ethicality of this. Is this bullying? Am I being victimized? I felt like I was being attacked.” She said she also believes that the Judicial Board did not have the necessary information to understand her role on

Zeke Estes and Caroline Brenner (left) and Vince Ch presidential deba

disappointed in a portion of that ruling— specifically where they were attacking Election Board, saying we were unfit to do our duties. I feel that was them not being very aware of the circumstances surrounding us and the timelines we were given.” He specifically says Judicial Board should have taken into account the lack of training Election Board members experienced. “We never had a formal orientation,” he said. “It’s a little unreasonable to expect us know every single detail. It is the administration’s duty to advise us.”

havez and Davina Cepeda (right) compete in a ate Feb. 28.

In an interview with The VanCougar prior to the ruling, Brenner and Estes said they filed the complaints because they believed the Election Board was not fulfilling their responsibilities and was inconsistently enforcing bylaws in a way that disadvantaged certain candidates. “We felt we were playing by a different set of rules,” said Brenner. “At the end of the day we felt like we were running a different campaign than other candidates.” Estes said they were most concerned by what they perceived as the Election Board’s failure rather than specific actions by the Chavez/Cepeda ticket. “And at the end of the day we may have some complaints about their campaign, but that is not our place,” he explained. “We believe that it’s the elections board’s responsibility to enforce those rules and the fact that they weren’t we believe shows bias and negligence.” In a statement to The VanCougar after the ruling, Brenner said, “Zeke and I are appreciative of the ASWSU Judicial board for their time and deliberation. We are also thankful for all the support from friends and family throughout this process, and are relieved as our concerns have been addressed and validated.”

Moving Forward

Both Cepeda and Gershun said they plan to advocate for changes to the current ASWSUV bylaws. Cepeda said she would like to create an entire section of bylaws regarding social media and social media campaigning. Gershun said he believes the bylaws should be updated to explicitly prohibit campaigning once voting starts—something the Judicial Board ruled Election Board does not currently have the authority to prohibit.

Gershun believes students can be unfairly influenced by campaigning during voting. The Judicial Board has yet to rule on some allegations voiced at the April 5 hearings. Megan Thomas, chair of the Student Activities Board, voiced concerns that Cepeda allegedly campaigned at an SAB event where campaigning was prohibited. Cepeda denies the accusations. Benner and Estes also filed a complaint against Cepeda, Chavez and Senate candidate Colten Sullivent. The complaint accused them of campaigning through social media after campaigning was supposed to have ceased. Brenner and Estes also accused Cepeda and Chavez of violating a bylaw that prevents the use of WSU-branded items in campaigning by posting a photo of Chavez wearing a Cougar shirt. Gershun also filed a complaint against Brenner and Estes accusing them of circumventing Election Board by taking questions to Assistant Director of Student Involvement Nikki Hinshaw and Student Activities Advisor Brian Van Gundy instead of to the board. When contacted by The VanCougar, Hinshaw and Van Gundy declined to comment. In the email announcing the first ruling, Chief Justice Bailey Fillinger said the Judicial Board planned to issue a ruling on the other complaints by April 12. However, as of noon on April 14, no additional rulings have been issued. Despite the allegations and ruling, Gershun said he is proud of the number of students who voted this year. Last year, only 12 percent of the student body voted. This election, voter turnout surpassed 21 percent. Gershun said, “That’s an incredible feat and we are very proud of that.”

Read the Judicial Board ruling at Read the proposed remedy at Read our previous and future coverage of the election at Apply for the interim president position by April 19 at interimPres


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A blast from the past

Dancing the decade away at the 2018 Spring Gala “[My friends] forced me to come, and told me it would be fun. I didn’t think I would have a good time but I really had lots of fun. I’m really glad I ended up coming.”

The party included 90s themed photo booths. (Student Activities Board)

Sofia Grande Reporter VanCougs joined to celebrate the Spring Gala with friends on April 6. When the sound of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” blew through the speakers, everyone hit the dance floor in a sea of denim jackets and plaid shirts, before splitting to take photos on the green screen or creating memories at the button station. WSU’s Student Activities Board hosted the Spring Gala at Warehouse 23 in downtown Vancouver where students danced and socialized with friends. The theme of the night was “Dance Through the Decades.” Students were encouraged to dress in iconic outfits from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. The main purpose of the Gala was to give students one night of worry-free fun amongst peers prior to the dread of dead week and finals. The night was documented by two photo booths with different accessories and backdrops that matched the time periods. Huge screens at the edge of the dance floors showed music videos from the 80s to the 2000s, and started the “dance attacks”. Students crowded the dance floor and enjoy music that ranged from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.”

Once the clock struck 11 p.m., VanCougs continued to dance and enjoyed a night without apparent worries. When the last song played over the speakers, many students left full of glee, while others weren’t as cheerful and didn’t want the night to end. During the night, the attitude of the Gala changed. Many party-goers came with a group, while others felt obligated to attend--but ended up enjoying themselves. As the Gala winded down, As the night came to an end, many of the guests made their exit and one stopped to chat through passing. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to come but I ended up having a great time.” Another student said she was glad her friends forced her to attend the Spring Gala. “[My friends] forced me to come, and told me it would be fun. I didn’t think I would have a good time but I really had lots of fun. I’m really glad I ended up coming.”


Answer the Rooster’s call, help a neighbor

Online resources to better a local community Tali Saar is the CEO and founder of Rooster. (Tali Saar/Rooster)

Ginger Clarke Reporter As students, many of us are on a continual quests to save money and conserve resources. A Portland-based community and website can help. Rooster originated in Palo Alto, California as a mailing list, but took off in Portland, Oregon when it transitioned to being a community website. What makes Rooster different from other websites like Craigslist is that is prohibits the exchange of money for services—participants provide services and items for free. Instead, when a user is helped by another, a thank you is posted online. Everything from physical items like furniture to services like dog walking or tutoring can be exchanged on the site. CEO Tali Saar explained how Rooster can aid WSU Vancouver students. Sarr mentioned students who furnished their entire dorms or apartments for free due to the generosity of local Rooster users. All posted content is visible on user profiles in order to establish credibility, with further verification through Facebook and cell phone usage. Trust and users safety are key to help those in the community, such as screening new member applications before they are able to post content. One of the key components that drives the website and its members is the concept of free trading, something Saar claims is human nature. College students can benefit from people willing to help them, but those same students may not have much to give back to the community. Saar said those students should still use Rooster for what they need. She also explained that even for busy college students, many people can give something back— even if its walking someone’s dog. “We’re counting on that human nature to reciprocate,”says Sarr. Rooster can also be a place to inform larger audiences about campus-based charities, events, or other information. Rooster has a plan in place to avoid people that wish to take advantage of the system. All posts a user makes will show up on their profile. If someone only has posts asking for free things and hasn’t contributed, Saar believes this allows the community the ability to “weed out” those bad apples.

The team overseeing the Rooster movement say it promotes human connections. (Tali Saar/Rooster)

Rooster can also be a place for students to find friends, gym buddies, musicians to jam out with, and so on. However, Rooster is not a place for finding dates. When posting on the category “activity partners and new friends” the website says “No dating on here. Other sites are better for that.” As a last comment on the topic of students, Saar says, “In the last couple of months, we’re starting to see more and more students and 20 year olds joining in and forming their own circles on Rooster, so I really hope that continues. We welcome everyone. We really want to have the students on there. I don’t want to commit to anything, but we would definitely want to have Rooster on campuses that’s specific for students. It’s kind of a dream of mine.” To join the Rooster community, sign up at www.

Dangerous heights Henry Holloway Reporter Daniel Dulo exhales sharply as he grips each handhold with three fingers. His teammates watch with anticipation as he prepares for the next move. If Dulo can complete the route on his first try, he will earn an extra point for his team. Daniel leverages his momentum and grabs the top of the wall. He then lets go and allows the automatic belay machine to lower him toward the high-fives of his teammates. The WSUV Rock Climbing Club is currently competing in the Source Climbing Center’s climbing league. The season consists of three sessions, with the team currently competing in the last session, lasting from April 5 to 18. The championship session, which begins at the end of April, allows the top five scoring teams to compete for first place. On the last day of the competition, the Source Climbing Center is hosting a party for all the teams and their supporters to enjoy.

In a move known as “crimping” Daniel Dulo grips handholds

Dulo, the founder of WSU Vancouver’s Rock Climbing Club, currently a sophomore majoring in environmental science, wasn’t concerned with performance when signing the club up to compete in the league; his motivation came from a desire to cultivate comradery. “Rock Dulo’s rock climbing club competes in a climbing league. (Henry Hollow/The VanCougar) climbing is mainly an individual sport, so whenever I get the chance where we members registered on CougSync, Dulo can do something together as a group, it estimates that only 15 climbed with the helps build our relationship with each club during the fall, and this spring as few other,” he explained. as five. Although attendance is sporadic, This is also part of the reason Dulo he remains optimistic and confident chose to start the club. His busy schedule that membership will bounce back, freshman year prevented him from and focuses on fostering an accepting joining other clubs he was interested environment for the club. “This club is in, so he decided to start his own club. for anybody,” Dulo explained, “it doesn’t In addition, Dulo felt this would be a matter how strong you are, or how much constructive and entertaining way for of a climber you are.” This reflects the students to be involved on campus. The attitude he has towards the competition club meets every Friday night at 6:30 to fit as a whole; performance is not nearly as as many people’s schedules as possible. important to the club as having fun and Reflecting on his time leading the building friendships. club, Dulo admits that communication and member involvement both need improvement. Despite having over 40 with just the tips of his fingers.

(Henry Holloway/The VanCougar)

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The Vancougar Volume 28 Issue 14  
The Vancougar Volume 28 Issue 14