Mount Hood

How to save money

Written by: Libby Thoma | Staff Writer

Saving is always important, as a little bit of savings can help in case of an emergency. This is close to impossible for most, especially those in college. This article is meant to give some ideas, but many are living paycheck to paycheck, and it is important to note that it is a privilege to be able to save money. 

Couponing — Although many are embarrassed to use coupons, couponing can save a person up to one thousand dollars per year. found that Americans can save about $1,465 per year. Coupon codes can be found through the mail, newspapers and magazines, apps and even in-store.

Budgeting — This is when one plans how and when to spend money, beginning with necessities. Start by calculating income, tracking spending, setting realistic goals, making a plan and sticking to it. Rocket Money is a safe online financial service that can help with budgeting. 

Scholarships and grants — Scholarships can be found on the Western Portal in the scholarship icon at the top of the page. Grants are money from the government that do not need to be repaid, these are given based on need. Grants can be found through websites such as Oregon Student Aid. One must ensure to fill out FAFSA before filing for scholarships and grants.

Work on one’s own time — College students looking for a job that fits with their schedule should consider working on their own time at jobs such as Instacart, DoorDash, Uber Eats and other services that allow one to choose their hours. These jobs are a way to earn money on a busy college — or other — schedule. This money can be an extra source of income to put into savings.

Set goals — Setting goals is an important step in saving money. Begin with setting a specific and realistic goal. Setting a deadline, and getting a savings account can assist with reaching said goal.

There are hundreds of ways to save money; to find more, find reputable websites to look over for ideas. 

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Meet the director

Written by: Hannah Field | News Editor

Content warning: this article includes mentions of assault and violence

Kristen Perry has her dream job.

Her first time applying for Director of Abby’s House at Western, Perry didn’t get the position — derailing her career path, although only temporarily. After graduating from Western, she experimented with other positions, jobs she loved and couldn’t keep, but found herself back in Monmouth. It was what she truly wanted to do — and maybe that’s why six months later, the position opened, as if it was waiting for her.

Since November 2021, Perry has been the Director of Abby’s House.

“In a way, I don’t like the title,” explained Perry sheepishly. “It’s like, oh, I’m talking to the most important person at Abby’s House — and that’s not necessarily true.”

What is true, however, is the very real existence of Abby’s House advocacy.

Perry is a confidential advocate — which, she stresses, is not the same as a therapist. The title, supported by a lengthy training program, allows for Perry to speak with individuals about a vast range of topics — often centering on trauma — and she cannot share that information with anyone else.

“I myself have experienced sexual assault and I experienced that while I was in college, which is why I got involved,” said Perry. “I get to work with survivors who are at their lowest. And I get to help bring them up — lift them up, mentor them — and also help them work through their trauma. I feel very special and very honored that people feel comfortable telling me their stories.”

Abby’s House represents a comfortable, open space — a sentiment Perry has promoted in the seemingly smallest of choices, like the decision to find a new name.

“Abby’s House, the Center for Equity and Gender Justice — nobody knows what Abby’s House means … that (it) doesn’t portray everything we encompass,” said Perry. After multiple name changes in the past, Perry’s on the hunt for an acronym that will better suit all of Abby’s House’s purposes. Some examples of which include internships, basic needs, safety training, violence prevention, providing resources and more.

The Abby’s House website will be updated to be easier on the eyes and more accurate. Abby’s House will also grow to encompass the Stonewall Center in the fall.

“I just want people to know we are truly here for everyone,” said Perry. “We will do the extra research. We will provide any extra resources.”

Perry has made it clear that she won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

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This week in completely made up horoscopes

The signs during Spring break:


Taurus: Doing nothing but cooking, sleeping and recovering 

Gemini: already in hot girl summer gear

Cancer: Thrifting a whole new wardrobe 

Leo: Making friends with everyone at the beach

Virgo: passive aggressive spring cleaning

Libra: aggressive spring cleaning

Scorpio: cry.

Sagittarius: taking their free time out on others 🙂

Capricorn: trying to be an arsonist but isn’t succeeding

Aquarius: sleep.

Pisces: feet in the sand with a drink in each hand 

Spring Awakening

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor

Content warning: this article contains spoilers

Written in 1891 and adapted to Broadway as a rock musical in 2006, “Spring Awakening” is a story that is still relevant today. The musical goes back and forth between modern alternative rock and themes from the 19th century. The WOU Theatre Department took on this multidimensional musical and worked to create something special with it.

Every single show was ASL interpreted. There was a reason for this — the interpreters interacted with the actors, adding a unique dynamic to the production. Parts of the songs were signed by the actors themselves, which gave the story more depth and emotion, as well as accessibility.

“Spring Awakening” is not a story to be taken lightly. Topics such as suicide, sex and abortion can make the play uncomfortable for some, but it is still a crucial story to tell. Today, the main themes of the musical continue to resonate with audiences.

Jacob Fritts and Kelsey Wallace brought maximum energy to the stage as Melchior and Wendla. They captured the audience’s attention both together and apart. The dynamics of each character made the story intriguing and relatable.

Moritz, a tormented young man, was played by Frank Kern, a second-year at Western. “Spring Awakening is themed heavily around how we raise our kids today, how we teach and support them… I feel it is important to recognize the impact that my performance might have on the audience, particularly my peers… audience members see the character of Moritz through the lens of me, a transgender actor, which inherently added a level of delicacy to how I approached my portrayal of his journey,” Kern said. There wasn’t a single dry eye in the audience when Moritz passed away.

Maddux Gillett, a sophomore who played Georg, a classmate of Mortiz and piano player, said, “…Georg’s solo in ‘Touch Me’ is near and dear to my heart… it is so freeing to own the song and share that with the audience.” Gillett’s energy lit up all of Rice Auditorium. 

Lexy Bolsinger, a senior at Western and “Spring Awakening’s” assistant director and fight choreographer, said, “My favorite part was bringing Hanschen and Ernst’s story to life. As a queer person, it is an honor to share all aspects of sex education. It was beautiful to hear audience members walking out feeling seen.”

All the cast and crew worked hard to make sure every detail was in place. Whether it was intimacy, fights or dance, each choreographed move was intentional. Each song and line was clearly rehearsed many times over. The WOU Theatre Department has once again impressed audiences with its talent and will continue to do so in the future.

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The rise of physical media

Written by: Lili Minato | Freelancer

In 2023, Best Buy announced that they were going to stop selling DVDs in 2024. DVD sales have also been declining for the past 16 years, but with the rise of fan culture, especially on social media, DVDs and other forms of physical media have the chance to make a comeback.

Social media has allowed people from around the world to build connections with one another, especially when it comes to the shared love of media like film and music. Within these communities, there is a presence of commercialism. Artists make merchandise to sell to adoring fans, and people post about their purchases such as the discovery of new or vintage items relating to the media. It’s a large part of the culture. 

The urge to buy merchandise from favorite artists allows businesses like The Criterion Collection to rise in sales. Criterion is a company that makes special editions of classic and contemporary films. They sell DVDs with new covers and designs; their DVDs usually house exclusive commentary, merchandise and scenes from the director, which is a big selling point for fans. 

Even with new companies like Criterion, the purchasing of brand-new DVDs is still on the decline; this may be because many fans are giving thrifted and vintage DVDs a new life. The more obscure the merchandise is, the better it is for enthusiastic devotees. It is also very cost-effective, considering many DVDs only cost a couple of dollars at a thrift store.

Still, some may find the purchasing of DVDs to be a waste of money because of the accessibility of movies through streaming services. For many others though, the ability to own their favorite movie heavily outweighs being able to easily watch it through Netflix. 

In contrast to the steady decrease in DVD sales, vinyl sales have been rapidly increasing. In 2023, Americans purchased 49 million vinyl records, which is 14 percent more compared to previous years. Vinyls have also outsold CDs consecutively in the past three years. Fans and social media have contributed to this increase. Exclusive vinyls with limited merchandise inside have enthralled followers of popular musicians. 

Taylor Swift sold the most vinyl albums in 2023. Swift’s fan base has been known to have an obsession with merchandise, official or not, and with the combination of that and Swift selling many limited edition CDs and vinyl that included many treasures inside — such as photos and posters — there’s no debating why Swift conquered the charts in that category. 

Physical media will most likely never regain its position above streaming services, but for fans of popular and alternative media alike, personalized ownership will always win over the convenience and availability of streaming platforms.

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It’s a smash

Written by: Sophie Taylor | Designer

“F—–g Your Culture” — $uicideboy$

“I duckinf hatw u” — Ghostemane

“Floor 555” — XXXTENTACION

“CtrlAltDelete” — BONES

“G WALKIN’ ON YO COFFIN, Pt. 1” — Lil Boodang

“GENOCIDE” — Lil Darkie

“Memoirs of a Gorilla” — $uicideboy$

“Aftershock” — Pouya


“Nightmare on the Northside” — Scrim

“Psycho Pass” — Xavier Wulf

“MARCELINE” — Lil God Dan

“Y’all Want A Single” — Korn

“Two Twelve Subwoofer” — 99zed, Saliva Grey

“Sacrilege” — Ghostemane

“You’re Now Tuning into 66.6 FM with DJ Rapture” — $uicideboy$

“AWKWARD CAR DRIVE” — Germ, $uicideboy$

“Heroin As a Recreational Activity” — DUCKBOY

“The 9th Circle” — MAKAVELIGODD

“Flesh” — Ghostemane

“4Peat” — XXXTENTACION, Ski Mask The Slump God

“Deadboy98” — REDZED

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So much for (2our) dust…

Written by: Jaylin Hardin | Sports Editor

On Feb. 28, Fall Out Boy kicked off the second North American leg of their “So Much for (2our) Dust…” tour in a sold-out show at the Moda Center in Portland. I had the opportunity to attend this show, something I have wanted to do since middle school. 

Fall Out Boy was opened by Daisy Grenade, The Main and Jimmy Eat World. Even though Jimmy Eat World was an opener, Fall Out Boy, Daisy Grenade and The Main are all influenced by Jimmy Eat World, which was a cool experience for everyone. Starting at 6 p.m., each opening artist had 45 minutes to perform onstage, with Jimmy Eat World finishing their set at 8:45 p.m.

While waiting for Fall Out Boy to come on stage, the sound tech played various popular alternative songs, including “Dear Maria Count Me In” and “Dial Drunk,” before they capped it off with Fall Out Boy’s modern “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Immediately after, the intro played and out they came.

After playing “Love From the Other Side,” guitarist Pete Wentz gave a brief introduction and they launched into their set. Many of the songs were accompanied by pyrotechnics, smoke screens, fireworks and a fire-covered guitar, played by Wentz. 

During the portion of the show where they played “Sugar We’re Going Down,” “Uma Thurman” and “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More ‘Touch Me’,” the band had a puppeteered snail on stage, along with inflatable cacti and a crew member wearing a white rabbit suit. The rabbit vibed along with the music onstage, ultimately ending up headbanging with the snail.

The band also eventually brought out an inflatable Doberman head — which was controlled by the same person who wore the rabbit suit — and had a mouth that had full movement to open and shut. During “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” the mouth was utilized to sing “God d–n” with the audience. 

The setlist was mostly comprised of the band’s own songs from their “Save Rock and Roll,” “Take This to Your Grave” and “So Much (For) Stardust” albums; however, they did perform partial covers: “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne and “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. The latter was preluded by a piano medley of “Young and Menace” and “What a Catch, Donnie” — “Young and Menace” had not been played since Oct. 10, 2018. 

Overall, it was an extremely enjoyable experience. I have been a fan of Fall Out Boy since middle school, and it has always been on my bucket list to see them in concert. I was partially disappointed that they did not play more from their album “MANIA” or that they didn’t play the song “Save Rock and Roll,” but it was still an amazing experience overall. 

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