Mount Hood

Opinion: The price tag on Black Friday

Rebecca Meyers | Lifestyle Editor

According to the American Marketing Association, Americans spent $7.9 billion just in the 24 hour Black Friday period in 2017. That’s not counting Cyber Monday, weekend sales or sales that began on Thanksgiving.

It’s been pointed out time and time again, and yet it still remains relevant: Americans spend a day being thankful for what they have, and then turn around and spend the next day fighting in lines to spend tons of money on material items.

Well, that’s not completely true anymore; it’s 2018 and many sales will likely happen online. There’s now a safer way to spend too much money during the holidays.

No one in my family ever participated in Black Friday, but a few years ago a friend convinced me to go with her. I decided to see what all the fuss was about and agreed to go. I left my house where my family was still celebrating on Thanksgiving night, and we drove to the nearest outlet mall.

I found the experience mostly underwhelming, and yet I still left with multiple bags from different stores. The signs and advertising had been screaming about deals for weeks, so my expectations were high. I went in to one shop looking for some new clothes and found…sweaters for 20% off. Or, I could buy discounted jeans, but I had to buy at least three pairs. Basically, I could have done better on a regular day in a clearance section. Or at a different store for that matter; one higher end store was selling clothes for the same price as a different retail store.

I didn’t buy that much, and I can’t even imagine spending hundreds of dollars on Black Friday. Besides the fact that I could use a new laptop, I don’t think I even need hundreds of dollars worth of material things. I don’t think anyone really does, but it’s easy to get swept up in the culture of spending and purchasing as much as possible. It seems like it should be obvious; it’s part of advertisers’ jobs to make sure people believe they need a new TV, two more new electronics and a ton of clothes. Knowing this but not caring is a privilege not everyone has.

This day essentially does nothing but add to the reasons that holidays are unenjoyable for some. It’s already heartbreaking enough to think that some people are too stressed to be truly happy during the holidays, a time that’s supposed to be about appreciating what you have, giving what you can and enjoying the festivities. Yet, events like Black Friday help taint the holiday experience for some.

Sure, people can brag about buying the most expensive gifts for their families; but, does it even cross their mind that there might be someone listening who isn’t sure their kids are going to get anything? Did they think to donate, as it’s supposed to be the season of giving? If they did donate, how does it compare to the price tags under their Christmas tree? Would they still fight tooth and nail to spend their money on someone less fortunate?

And that’s not even touching on what retail workers have to endure. Those unlucky workers that don’t have seniority will be forced to leave their families on Thanksgiving, if they get any of the day off at all. Then they have to be on the front lines of the chaos that other countries look on with horror, grateful for the distance between them and America on Black Friday.

I’m by no means innocent; as mentioned before I have participated in Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Even now, I find myself considering all the advertisements for online deals for just about every store. There’s nothing inherently wrong with enjoying shopping, or with wanting to get good deals — everyone can relate to that. However, we’ve glorified it so much that the holiday dedicated to sales has brought in extra millions every year, and every year we see on the news that some people were willing to resort to physical violence.

Blind enthusiasm for Black Friday has become a phenomenon that has spiraled out of control and ultimately brought mostly negativity to what could otherwise be a season of being grateful for what we have and helping those that have less.


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Quick and easy Thanksgiving sides

Rebecca Meyers | Lifestyle editor

Thanksgiving is nearly here, and most students are looking forward to their own Thanksgiving dinner with friends or family. For some, this means finding a way to contribute to the holiday meal. Fortunately, Thanksgiving dinner is about having an abundance of food and varieties of dishes, meaning there’s still time to find a quick and easy side or dish to bring to the celebration.

The following dishes are common staples to any Thanksgiving meal and do not require extensive culinary skill to make. Specific instructions and variations on recipes can be found online at websites such as and[fruitful_tabs type=”accordion” width=”100%” fit=”false”][fruitful_tab title=”Candied Yams or Sweet Potatoes”]This popular Thanksgiving side takes some time to cook, but the prep is fairly simple and only requires a few ingredients. Recipes vary, but the simple version can be made with only sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar and marshmallows. The dish usually takes at least half an hour to cook if fresh sweet potatoes are used. [/fruitful_tab]
[fruitful_tab title=”Mashed Potatoes”]Another popular dish that will definitely go quickly is mashed potatoes. Simply boil the desired amount of potatoes, mash and add butter, salt and other dairy product, such as half and half, depending on the recipe. Optional additional ingredients include sour cream and shredded cheese. [/fruitful_tab]
[fruitful_tab title=”Cranberry Relish”]A classic side that will go with any Thanksgiving meal, cranberries are an easy dish that require only one main ingredient. This versatile dish requires just frozen cranberries warmed in a pan with a little water, sugar and citrus juice added. [/fruitful_tab][fruitful_tab title=”Green Beans with Bacon”]If all of the more traditional dishes have been made, cooked green beans sauteed with bacon and garlic is another easy — yet tasty — side to go with dinner. Add seasoning to taste, including red pepper flakes if desired. Some recipe add onions or pecans as well, so adjustments can be made based on preferred flavors and textures. [/fruitful_tab]

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Photo courtesy of Paul F. Davis



Turkeys for Thanksgiving

Bailey Thompson | News Editor

Preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, The WOU Food Pantry compiled 50 Thanksgiving dinner baskets for families in need in the community. After assembling the baskets on Nov. 19 and 20, The Food Pantry was ready to pass out the baskets on Nov. 21 in the Werner University Center. Students and community members alike were able to sign up for baskets ahead of time which would be ready to pick up later on.

Leading the efforts to organize the event, Libby Vigil, senior sociology major and WOU Food Pantry Campus Outreach Coordinator, explained why WOU Food Pantry had hosted this outreach program for a number of years.

“We like to do events for people, and we know that the holidays can be kind of hard,” said Vigil. “So just being able to provide a meal for those in our community is the most important thing.”

Vigil explained that the centerpiece of the meals — the hams and turkeys — had been donated by an anonymous source who has done this for a number of years. For the rest of the items in the meals, however, Vigil explained that the food was provided by a number of individuals in the community.

“We send out an email to faculty and staff, as well as retired faculty and staff and alumni,” said Vigil. “We ask if they are interested in donating items to our Thanksgiving baskets…(and) they can do a monetary donation as well.”

With the proceeds from this year’s Thanksgiving baskets, Vigil was able to go with her supervisor to the grocery store and fill two shopping carts with any elements of the baskets that were remaining: stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole supplies, potatoes, cranberry sauce and more.

Although The WOU Food Pantry was able to help a number of families in years past, Vigil shared that the donations for baskets this year had exceeded their expectations.

“There’s 50 of them, which is 20 more than there was last year,” said Vigil.

In discussing the hope that she had for this event, Vigil shared the value she perceived in distributing these baskets.

“Food is a really big thing that brings people together in general — no matter if it’s this holiday, or a family dinner, or if you’re not family but you really care about each other,” said Vigil. Furthermore, she explained that “It takes the weight off (of families); there’s a social pressure during this holiday to have a big meal, but we do have a large problem with food insecurity — not only in this community, but also as a country and in the world,” said Vigil.

Then, in discussing the way that The WOU Food Pantry hopes to continue reaching out to the community beyond this holiday, Vigil shared some of the things that she wishes Western students knew about their resource.

“A lot of pantries limit people according to their income or how many people they have…but we don’t really keep track of that since we’re a smaller pantry,” said Vigil. She also wanted to remind people that WOU Food Pantry is “not only for students, but also for community members as well.”

Moving forward, Vigil wanted Western community members to know that she and the rest of the staff are so grateful for their generosity, and that if they are interested in volunteering, the WOU Food Pantry is a very rewarding opportunity. If students would like to volunteer, they can email Vigil at And, if anyone is would like to visit the pantry, they are located in the Oregon Military Academy Building and their hours are posted on Western’s website.


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Photo courtesy of Bailey Thompson

Upcoming concerts in Portland, OR

Chrys Weedon | Entertainment Editor

Living in a rural area sometimes has its perks, like less traffic and friendly faces. However, it has its drawbacks as well. One of those drawbacks is being far away from all the best music venues. Thankfully, we are only an hour away from the home of some of the most popular music venues in western Oregon — Portland. Here are some of the big names coming to Portland before the new year.


Nov. 24: Trans Siberian Orchestra

Venue: The Moda Center

Address: 1 N Center Ct St, 97227, Portland, OR

After two years away, the Trans Siberian Orchestra is returning to Portland. Tickets cost between $41.00 and $75.50, depending on where you sit. Tickets for the Orchestra sell notoriously fast, so be sure to grab tickets soon. Tickets can be purchased at Doors open at 3:30 p.m.


Dec. 3: Mt. Joy

Venue: McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom

Address: 1332 W. Burnside St, 97209, Portland, OR

Mt. Joy is performing as the headliner, preceded by the band The Weather Machine. Mt. Joy currently has one self-titled album. Tickets are $17.50 and the show is all ages. Tickets can be purchased on Doors open at 6:30 p.m.


Dec. 8: Rosanne Cash

Venue: Revolution Hall

Address: 1300 SE Stark St, 97214, Portland, OR

Rosanne is an accomplished, Grammy award-winning artist who is also the eldest daughter of Johnny Cash and his first wife. Tickets are $42.50 and the show is all ages. Tickets can be purchased on Doors open at 8 p.m.


Dec. 12: Death Cab for Cutie

Venue: McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom

Address: 1332 W. Burnside St, 97209, Portland, OR

Pacific Northwest native Death Cab for Cutie is touring their eighth studio album. Tickets are $62.50 and the show is all ages. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.


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Photo courtesy of Trans Siberian OrchestraMt. Joy, Rossane Cash, Death Cab for Cutie


Wolves trounce Cougars in the second home match

Lake Larsen | Sports Editor

Coming off of a season and home-opening win against the Warner Pacific University, the Wolves looked the continue their defense of the home court. Prior to this game the Colorado Christian University Cougars had only found themselves in the winning column once while Western was far more dominant, being undefeated coming into the game.

The first minutes of action saw the Cougars jump to an early lead over the Wolves. Fouls by Western led to back to back successful free throws to put Colorado Christian on top. But the Wolves were just warming up.

After the early minutes deficit, Western came alive. The Wolves forced turnover after turnover to retake the lead over the Cougars. This lead stayed slim with the offense of Colorado Christian continuing to challenge Western, matching many of the shots the Wolves made. But as the end of the half approached, the Wolves went on a quick nine-point flury that the Cougars could not respond to.

After the half, the Wolves asserted their dominance over Colorado Christian. Western forced countless turnovers in which they capitalized on to widen the lead over the Cougars.

This lack of defensive showing by Colorado Christian allowed the offense the thrive. Junior business major Buster Souza led the offensive assault of the Wolves. Souza’s performance was increasingly notable due to his scoring a perfect seven of seven shots from the field. This made Souza the third player in the school’s history since joining the NCAA that had been perfect from the field totaling at least seven shots.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Wolves had beat Colorado Christian not just on the board but in nearly every statistical category. The second half saw the Wolves lead the Cougars by over 30 points several times and never saw Western fall behind. With the 29 point win in their past, the Wolves look forward to heading to Utah to play Westminster University Nov. 23.


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Photo courtesy of Ashlynn Norton

Wolves women’s basketball outlast Mavericks in a road win

Lake Larsen | Sports Editor

Unable to find a win in their first match against Dixie State University on the previous day, the Wolves hoped for a different outcome against Colorado Mesa University on Nov. 17. Colorado Mesa had won their match the previous day setting up a challenging scenario for the Wolves coming into the game.

Coming out of the gates, the Wolves were ready for a fight. After a short stint in the lead the Wolves quickly jumped right back in front of the Maverick. An unstoppable Western offense pushed the Wolves to tripling the score of Colorado Mesa 24-8 by the end of the first quarter.

The lopsided score came to a quick end as Colorado Mesa took their turn controlling the game. Points were traded back and forth but the frequency of scores fell more in favor of the Mavericks. As the time left in the first half dwindled, Western barely clung onto their lead, going into halftime on top only by eight.

The score gap continued to narrow as both teams traded blows back and forth. An impressive offensive effort by Colorado Mesa was matched by an equally vicious defensive attack from Western. The game continued to close as Colorado Mesa claimed the third quarter but still trailed by six to the Wolves.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Wolves knew that if they wanted to win, they had to outlast the Mavericks final push. Colorado Mesa’s assault on the Wolves pushed the leading gap smaller and smaller. But the Wolves’s defense held off a late run, preventing a comeback.

The end of the game showed that Westerns first quarter lead was enough to eke out a win. The second, third, and fourth quarter all saw Colorado Mesa outscore the Wolves by varying amounts but never enough to overtake the Wolves’s lead. The Wolves picked up a crucial victory bringing them to .500 on the season.


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Opinion: Why to avoid using dating apps

Paul F. Davis | Managing Editor

I had just broken up with my high school girlfriend of three years and I was devastated, but also interestingly at ease. The relationship was great for the majority of the time we were together but it needed to end. We started to become distant. The time we spent together felt more like a habit than it was rewarding, we were growing apart, and we weren’t right for each other — but I knew someone was.

So what were my options? Go to the bar and find the one — well, no, I was only eighteen; flirt with everyone who I ran to — obviously, but that was too slow. I wanted something fast to help with the withdrawal of touch, of intimacy, of affection. So I went to the exact place I knew I could find someone — Tinder.

I made my profile, added pictures, typed some bio that was so forgettable I don’t even remember it now, and started swiping. It was fun, I got to look at so many beautiful people in various stages of undress and it was exciting to say the least.

“Ping,” you have your first match. Dopamine rushed, I was already hooked and the conversation started off with the most interesting sentence: “hey :).” I felt like a Casanova, smooth and ready for anything, so I kept swiping and it continued to be great. I felt like this was what I had been promised dating was like — being single was great.

But weeks later, that initial rush wore off and the good feeling that app gave me in the beginning started to change. I would talk to someone and we talked about everything; I felt sparks fly. She was cute, she was smart, she was incredible by all measures. I would type well thought out responses to everything she said. Laughing crying emojis flowed like koi through a pond… I was naively smitten. I would press send and wait for a response, but none ever came. I was crushed. I felt like just another guy (what’s his name?) in a stack of cards. Reflecting back it made sense to why they didn’t respond. I was over-eager, and what did it matter if they didn’t respond to me? They could always find another person to talk to. I was part of the game and that was my value, just another step along the road. I was just as lost as I had been before joining — being single was awful.

So I became jaded but addicted and kept swiping, doing exactly what they had done to me, talking and sometimes never responding to them, making them feel just as devalued as I had felt before. But, like me, they were just another card in a deck so it didn’t matter. With time I started to say things and make decisions I wish I hadn’t said or made. I was still single, but worse, I was becoming a monster that I despised.

Tinder never made me feel any of these things directly or made me make the decisions I had made, but when you insert thousands of horny or heartsick (or both) young adults into one app, it’s doomed to happen. So for those still wanting to be a part of Tinder, or any other dating app for that matter, please discover enough self-love to know that you are more than a card in a stack. And have enough respect for the people behind those cards to know that they deserve your respect too. Ohh… and I’m still single.


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Photo courtesy of Paul F. Davis