Mount Hood

Campus Voices: sharing their feelings on the mask mandate lifting

Western students answer the question: “What is your raw, honest, unfiltered, opinion about the recent lifting of the mask mandate?

Gretchen Sims | Freelancer

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Name: Ruth Simonsen

Class standing: sophomore

Major: psychology

Pronouns: She/her

“I like seeing people’s faces. I like knowing when I smile at them that they will smile back. I like seeing the faces of people in my clases. Of course there are still fears, but I like being able to put a face to a name and a name to a face. I feel like when you can see people’s faces and can smile at them, it is easier to be friendly. It’s just a better vibe.” 


Name: Makaela Calonder

Class standing: first-year

Major: pre-education

Pronouns: She/her

“Personally, I am very excited about not having to wear masks. I work at a pool, so in general — in my daily life ⏤ it is nice because it gets very hot and sweaty in the mask. Here at WOU it is nice not having to worry about not having one on me at all times. Of course I respect everyone who still chooses to wear a mask, but for me it is really nice.”


Name: Kamryn Bolan

Class standing: first-year

Major: business

Pronouns: She/her

“So far this year, especially as a freshman, I have felt very distant from the community of students here. Over the past two years, it’s like we have forgotten how to socialize. I think there is so much personality revealed in a person’s face, so when you cover half of it up, you have trouble connecting with the person you just met. Going into spring term with masks off has given me a new sort of motivation for going to class. It’s crazy how much seeing the teacher’s face can amplify your engagement.” 


Name: Sienna Painter 

Class standing: junior

Major: American Sign Language studies

Pronouns: She/they

“Throughout the pandemic, I have been very cautious through shutdowns. (I) was not going anywhere other than like the forest during the shutdown. I started wearing a mask in January of 2020 — long before everything. I already had masks because I have been wearing masks since like 2018 whenever I felt sick or whatever, so I was already really comfortable with masks to begin with. For mask mandates being lifted, right now, I am very skeptical–mainly because of Spring Break. We lifted the mask mandate in all of Oregon, California and Washington right before Spring Break — right where all of WOU students would be traveling too. That’s why I am still wearing a mask to all of my classes and will be especially more cautious over the next two weeks. Also, I am like f—–g scared of COVID because of all of the variants and waves and stuff. I have never really minded with masks, but I do think because of our (WOU’s) high vaccination rates, and WOU is a pretty small campus, and people are fairly responsible, I am fairly comfortable with other people not wearing their masks. I also have not felt pressure to take my mask off. I was afraid I would be the only person in my classes not wearing a mask, but people have been pretty chill.”


Name: Max Brayton 

Class standing: first-year

Major: psychology

Pronouns: They/Them

“My parents are more conservative and Republican so they have been against the masks since the beginning and it’s nice to not hear s–t from them anymore. But, you know, with them as my parents, I see different perspectives which is interesting. Although I don’t agree with them, it is nice to have that perspective. I am from southern California and even down there, they are not being as safe as we are (in Oregon). I feel more comfortable not having my mask on here because I know, at least at our school, that more than ninety percent of people are vaccinated. Everyone has been really safe and respectful. Like I feel comfortable wearing, or not wearing, my mask here. I feel like this community has been very welcoming and inclusive and I feel like it’s about time (the mask mandate was lifted). I am a little nervous though. I saw a New York Times article this morning that a new COVID wave is hitting, but I feel like as long as everyone is being safe, I like to have my mask off ⏤ you really connect to people more.”

Honoring our graduating track and field Wolves

Western track and field team hit personal bests

Mollie Herron | News Editor

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Western hosted its only home track and field meet on Friday, April 8. John Knight Twilight was the only outdoor home meet that the Wolves held for the 2021–22 season, in which they invited universities from all over Oregon as well as multiple running clubs.

They honored 11 seniors for senior day: Gabe Arce-Torres, Kaylin Cantu, Samuel Cole, Owen Collins, Justin Crosswhite, Moana Gianotti, Austin Goldstein, Aaron Hanible, Devin Hasher, Logan Jackson and Taryn Wilson.

Collins placed second in shot put with a distance of 46-4 and hit a new personal record in the hammer throw. He threw a distance of 165-7 earning him runner up behind Western’s own Samuel Cole who threw 166-8.

Crosswhite won the 800 meter with a time of 1:53.55 and joined runners Emmet Klus, Timothy Rambo and Keeton Sanchez in the 4×400 relay to end the day. The group finished first with a time of 3:27.35 with everyone left on the track cheering them on.

Goldstein placed first in men’s javelin with a distance of 194-10. The crowd cheered Goldstein with a slow clap that increased in speed as he ran with the javelin turning into a full cheer as it soared through the air.

Hanible ran a time of 56.67 in the 400 meter hurdles which put him in first place. He also started the men’s 4×100 with Danny Cossette, Amari Hendrix and James Mazzio where they won with a time of 44.69.

Maya Hopwood, Taryn Wilson, Ana Popchock and Maliyah Thompson ran a time of 48.91 placing them in first for the women’s 4×100 relay. Western also won the women’s 4×400 relay with runners Macy Clemens, Amity Deters, Jenelle Hurley and Jessy Hart completing it in 4:17.44.

The Wolves will compete in the Mt. Sac Relay, Long Beach Invitational and the Bryan Clay Invitational from April 13 – 16 in California.

Vibrant Black identities in art

An exhibition of Black identities through a variety of materials

Camille Lenning | Entertainment Editor

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The colors of spring have slowly washed over campus, and in response, the Cannon Gallery of Art has debuted a vibrant exhibition, “thank you, black materials.” The pieces on display — curated by award winning Portland artist Intisar Abioto — feature six Oregon artists expressing the Black experience through their mediums. 

The inspiration behind this exhibition came to Abioto through her ongoing research on Black artist culture in Oregon. This research allowed her to interact with elder Black artists and develop an appreciation for their resilience, ingenuity and the materials they used in their work. 

Though the majority of her work has focused on these elder artists and their impact, “thank you, black materials” features poignant modern creators with connections to Abioto herself. 

“With this (show) I just decided to focus on artists who I admired, and who I felt that — even though they’re not doing the same thing — I felt that there was some kind of kinship in …  their approach,” Abioto said of her decision to include contemporary artists. “I just think they’re doing insightful things. It was also the show that I wanted to see very much.” 

Abioto’s selections for this exhibition include acrylic portraits, ceramics, prints and performance art by artists Jeremy Okai Davis, Nikesha Breeze, Ni Abioto, Rob Lewis, Ebin Lee and sidony o’neal. 

“I just think these are vibrant thinkers,” Abioto said. “I hope (viewers) are able to approach with curiosity and are able to sense something of truthful relevance for them.” 

The “thank you, black materials” exhibition will be open in the Cannon Gallery until May 6. Stop by between building hours 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to experience these works firsthand.

The sea of sexualities: Western’s 25th drag show

Entertainment Editor reviews the 25th annual drag show

Camille Lenning | Entertainment Editor

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April 2022 brought Western’s 25th annual drag show, “Down Where It’s Wetter,” a nonstop celebration of all Queer identities. The Triangle Alliance sponsored show explored sexuality and relationships through the stories of multiple characters finding and accepting themselves under the sea.

Narrated by the aptly named “Rainbow Fish,” the performance was far more story-oriented than the average drag show. It followed our main character, a human named Quinn, who knows she isn’t straight but doesn’t know what her label is. She is approached by lesbian mermaid princess Leah, who offers to help guide Quinn on her journey of self exploration by turning her into a mermaid. 

This transformation was marked with the iconic “H2O” theme song “No Ordinary Girl” by Indiana Evans — which was not only a fitting choice for such an event but also enjoyable for those who grew up with the show, like myself. 

Honestly, all the music choices were fantastic. Songs ranged from “Call Me Mother” by RuPaul to “Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse, covering a wide array of genres and all choreographed to perfection. 

One thing I didn’t expect from this drag show was to be brought to tears by the story of a polyamorous relationship who’s third partner has to be kept a secret. 

Trey, a shark, is in a polyamorous relationship with mermaid Kai and jellyfish Noni, but can’t tell anyone because they’re afraid of judgment. In a dance choreographed to Harry Styles’ “Falling,” Trey pines after the two as they are forced to ignore him in public. I was a mess throughout the whole song. 

The story made a point to acknowledge the many gender expressions, relationships and sexualities out there, with special emphasis on the validity of polyamorous relationships and Queer, aromantic and genderfluid individuals. 

Throughout the show, the energy in the room was immaculate — I’ve never heard an audience scream so loudly. The performers gave it their all, and I left Rice Auditorium with a scratchy voice and ringing ears.

This was my first drag show, so I walked in not knowing what to expect, and I was blown away by the effort that was so clearly put into this performance. Altogether, it’s clear the 25th annual drag show was a resounding success. 9.5/10. 

Spring term athletics event

Check out the spring schedule for Western athletics

Mollie Herron | News Editor

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Come support our athletes by attending some of our home games this term and keep an eye out for our away matches further below!

Home games:

  • April 8 – Track and Field vs John Knight Twilight (mens and womens)
  • April 22 – 1 p.m. baseball vs Northwest Nazarene University
  • April 23 – 12 p.m. baseball vs Northwest Nazarene University
  • April 23 – 12 p.m. softball vs Western Washington University
  • April 24 – 12 p.m. softball vs Western Washington University

Away games:

  • April 8 – 12 p.m. baseball at Montana State University Billings
  • April 9 – 11 a.m. baseball at Montana State University Billings
  • April 13–16 – Track and field at Mt Sac Relays
  • April 14–16 – Track and field at Bryan Clay Invitational
  • April 14–16 – Track and field at Long Beach Invitationals
  • April 15 – 12 p.m. baseball at Central Washington University
  • April 15 – 2 p.m. softball at Northwest Nazarene University
  • April 16 – 12 p.m. baseball at Central Washington University
  • April 16 – 12 p.m. softball at Northwest Nazarene University
  • April 19 – 4 p.m. baseball at Bushnell University
  • April 21–23 – Track and field at Oregon Relays
  • April 29–30 – Track and field at Oregon State High Performance
  • April 30 – 1 p.m. softball at Central Washington University
  • May 1 – 1 p.m. softball at Central Washington University
  • May 5 – 1 p.m. baseball at Saint Martin’s University
  • May 6 – 1 p.m. baseball at Saint Martin’s University


Western Wolves baseball team wins against the Saint

Wolves win 3 of their 4 games against Saint Martin’s Saints

Mollie Herron | News Editor

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Western’s baseball team faced off against the Saint Martin’s Saints on April 1 and 2. 

The Wolves split with the Saints on Friday, winning the first game 9-2 and losing the second 3-2. The next day the Wolves had a clean sweep and beat the Saints 2-1 and 8-0.

Mike Peterson pitched eight of the nine innings of the first game in the sun and allowed only 2 runs from the Saints in the fourth. Top scorers of the game included Justin Herzog, Anthony Zellner and Spencer Weston. Herzog led the team with 3 runs with Weston and Zellner scoring the second most at 2 runs each. Levi Cummings and Jacob Maiben both had 1 run in the bottom of the fourth inning to get the Wolves at an 8-2 lead before Herzog scored the final run of the game in the seventh. 

The second game was a pitchers battle as both teams were low scoring. Our own Wolves only had two hits and 2 runs, one each by Herzog and Derek Maiben. Unfortunately, those 2 runs were not enough and the Saints scored the final run of the game at the top of the fifth.

On Saturday, the Wolves had a slow start as the Saints scored an early lead of 1-0 in the first inning and continued to hold it until the fourth inning. At the bottom of the fourth Derek Maiben and Logan Ho each scored, putting the wolves at a 2-1 lead. The Saints had one hit the next inning with no runs, with the rest of the game in a standoff with no further hits or runs for either team leaving the Wolves with the victory score of 2-1.

The Wolves shut out the Saints in their second game on Saturday when Parker Johnson pitched seven innings with only one hit from the Saints in the first. At the bottom of the third, brothers Jacob and Derek Maiben both scored, earning a comfortable 2-0 lead. In the fifth, the Maiben brothers each scored again along with Cummings creating a larger gap for the Saints to try and come back from. Johnson kept the Saints from scoring and Cummings, Herzog and Zach Valdez scored 1 run each in the seventh, ending the game with a score of 8-0 when the Saints failed to get a run at the top of the eighth.

The next home game for the baseball team is Friday, April 22 at 1 p.m. against Northwest Nazarene University. Support the Wolves while breathing in fresh air and soaking up the sunlight during their game against the Nighthawks. 

WOU scavenger hunt

I traveled to the city for spring break and this is what happened

Cole Boeck | Copy Editor

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Western’s Board Game Club has started a scavenger hunt that encourages students to explore around campus and learn about different resources. Co-hosted by the Residence Hall Association, Star Trek Club and ASL Club, this event is composed of two sessions. The sessions are divided into weeks, starting on Mondays and ending Sundays, with new clues and puzzles introduced each week.
The first session runs through weeks one through three of spring term and the second session will run through weeks six through eight.
In addition to the physical scavenger hunts in which participants search for clues on campus, there is a virtual version for those who are remote. The virtual hunt encourages students to learn about which resources are accessible online. Each week has a different set of puzzles which can be found at
Week one included five individual puzzles, covering a wide range of genres including sudoku, jigsaw and nonograms. The event is ongoing and has prizes at the end for student participants, though staff and faculty are also encouraged to take part. This event provides fun trivia and an opportunity to learn more about Western’s campus. Take a breather and solve some puzzles.

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