Mount Hood

Letter to the Editor

From Campus Recreation Facility Supervisors

We have been happy to see all of the students back in the Health and Wellness Center this Fall term. Already this term we have seen over 50 percent of the student population through our doors which is fantastic. Yet, the last thing we want to do is make all these people feel attacked or uncomfortable to workout or be in our facility. Over the summer, staff at Campus Recreation had numerous discussions about how we should enforce, or quite plainly if we should even have a dress code. This is a hot topic of discussion at collegiate gyms all across our country at the moment. For us here at WOU Campus Recreation and most other collegiate gyms, we do not want our dress code to be about what is appropriate or not, we want it to be about the safety and health of our students and peers.

We (Campus Recreation) have researched the topic and are more than willing to sit down with any student or student group to explain the risk factors about skin infections within gyms and recreation centers. An example of this type of skin infectious bacteria is CAMRSA (Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) which is transferred from the skin to any surface. Hypothetically, if you are sitting on a piece of equipment or pad with your skin directly touching it and the person before you didn’t clean off where their skin touched, this can transmit that bacterium to you. Even if you have a sweaty shirt on you still have a barrier to the equipment or pad which has the potential of reducing disease transmission.

Our main thing here is that we want to limit your skin contact with all these gross bacteria. Yes, we try and clean the equipment as much as we can, and we ask that you clean the equipment before and after you use it as well, but you can never be too careful. Of course, we can’t prevent you from sweating at the gym and working hard, but we ask everyone to consider your health and safety when you are choosing what to wear to help us keep everyone healthy. By cleaning equipment, personal hygiene, and wearing proper workout materials that cover your body, (students can take) important (actions) to prevent the spread of germs and diseases.  

To clarify, wearing a tank top or razor back tank top is not against our clothing policy. Our only goal is to educate everyone. However, you still need to wear a shirt that covers your chest, abdomen, back and side areas from hip to armpit (including your midsection) at all times while in our facility. All our staff is also working through how to approach this issue, so if you ever have questions or concerns don’t be afraid to have a conversation with us at the front desk or talk to the staff member upstairs!

We want all students to leave as healthy as they were when they came in.


This letter is in response to an editorial titled “The reality of gym dress-codes” published in Issue 2 of the Western Howl.

Review: “Halloween”

Caity Healy | Editor-in-Chief

As Sheriff Brackett put it in the 1978 film by the same name, “It’s Halloween — everyone’s entitled to one good scare.” With the 2018 “Halloween” release on Oct. 19, audiences everywhere got just that, as they were invited into the next generation of horror.

As an avid “Halloween” fan, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with this sequel. Choosing to ignore “Halloween 2” through “Halloween: Resurrection,” this installment simply took place 40 years after the infamous 1978 Halloween night — a decision that ultimately paid off, as, in my opinion, it has been the best installment in the series thus far, aside from the original.

Three generations of “final-women,” two new scream queens and the same knife-wielding villain took the screen for a slasher filled with more gore, and a far higher body count, than its predecessor.

While the film is generally enjoyable, especially for someone looking for a fun, slasher flick, it did have its flaws.

The character development felt drastic to me. Laurie Strode, the heroine, had one of the most obvious changes. A scared, 17 year old in the original film, morphed into a revenge-seeking, ultra-protective grandmother in the sequel was a significant change.

However, the character development that I mostly struggled with was Michael Myers. In the original film, his kills were methodical. He stalked, watching from afar and moved in a slow, menacing way. In this new installment, he moved more quickly and killed anyone that crossed his path. My guess is that it had to do with pent up aggression from being locked up for four decades.

His character also felt more human. For a good portion of the movie, he was unmasked. It made him feel more real, and in my opinion that took away from the inherent evilness that inhabits him.

The plot involved a lot of unnecessary detail that didn’t really add anything to the storyline. It almost felt as if they were trying to include as many nods to the previous installments as they could, and in doing so, added extra fluff.

That being said, I was actually a huge fan of the small references to the original series. The gas station from “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers,” the woman with hair curlers from “Halloween 2,” and even short lines from the original were enough to make me smile when watching this film.

Overall, the film was enjoyable. However, it wasn’t very scary. Most of the scares are seen in the trailer, so I’d recommend seeing it without watching the trailer first.

I found the film to be entertaining, and it’s one that’s sure to please any generation of “Halloween” fans.


Overall Rating: I recommend this film.


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A Cappella club discusses plans for this year

Chrys Weedon | Entertainment Editor

“Last year was our…first time integrating and so now we’re starting out this year strong,” said A Cappella club President Violet Trammel. At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, Western’s two A cappella groups — Suspended and 15 Miles West — integrated and became one coed group. Since then, they have been focusing on performing more events, and gaining more visibility through community outreach.

“What’s cool about this year, opposed to last year, we’re actually doing a fall concert,” said Vice President Cole Aldred, “we didn’t last year because it was kind of a hard transition to get the new cohesive group in motion.”

Last year, The West of Us was part of the ICCA competition: the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. The event took up a lot of time, which resulted in the club being MIA for most of the year.

“Sometimes people are like ‘we have an acapella group?’” said Trammel when asked why she wanted to focus on getting more visibility on campus.

The A Cappella club is completely student-led. Most of the songs performed by the club are arranged by its members. There are 16 members total, which helps the group achieve things they weren’t able to when there were two separate clubs.

“Overall, in terms of musicality and things that we’re able to achieve, integrating has been the best for us. We can make so much more and we can do so much more with our songs having a larger group,” remarked Trammel.

Both the President and the Vice President agree that their favorite part of being involved in A Cappella is the friendships they’ve formed during their time in the club.

“The friendships you make in A Capella are super lasting and they’ve been the closest people to me,” commented Trammel.

The West of Us holds auditions for performance roles every fall term: “We’re looking for people that wanna have fun, that are musically inclined, and that want to have a good time on stage,” said Trammel.

The club’s next performance is their fall concert on Nov. 12 (location and time TBD).


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Photo courtesy of Paul F. Davis

Lacy M. Johnson writes a new book of essays about hot-button topics

Chrys Weedon | Entertainment Editor

You probably want him dead, strangers tell me.” This quote contains the main theme of the first essay in Lacy M. Johnson’s “The Reckonings.” In an essay by the same name, Johnson analyzes a culture that glorifies and searches for revenge— American culture. She has faced this culture directly many times, especially when she started telling her story. In her 20s, Johnson was kidnapped by her then-boyfriend who attempted to kill her. But she doesn’t want revenge.

“‘I don’t want him dead. I want him to admit all the things he did, to my face, in public, and then to spend the rest of his life in service to other people’s joy,’” writes Johnson. Johnson calls this a reckoning; she writes that wishing suffering on people who hurt us only compounds sorrow and injustice instead of cancelling it out.

This book contains 12 essays that cover topics from sexual assault, to environmental activism to racism. Johnson’s book is covertly a discussion of philosophy and ethics, with memoir stirred in.

“We human beings are not born with prejudices. Always they are made for us by someone who wants something,” commented Johnson in the essay “Goliath.”

Each essay is itself a new beginning, and covers a topic that is as serious and worth contemplation as the others.

“Silence is pathological. Apathy is pathological,” Johnson says in her chapter about white supremacy: “On Whiteness.” In this essay and in many others, Johnson dives into the idea that anyone who considers themselves innocent is out of touch with the world and the systems of privilege that exist within it.

The themes discussed in this book are very relevant and would be considered by the general population as hot-button issues. Johnson’s handle on these topics and her poetic style leave her sentiments with the audience long after this book is read.


Overall Rating: I would strongly recommend this book.


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Campus art feature: “Iberian Venus” sculpture by Manuel Izquierdo

Chrys Weedon | Entertainment Editor

Located in a back corner of the Grove, surrounded by beauty bark and concrete, is Manuel Izquierdo’s sculpture “Iberian Venus.” The marble sand once covering its exterior is mostly eroded away, leaving smooth white patches in its curves and crevices. Moss and crumbling concrete remain.

Installed in September 1975, “Iberian Venus” was commissioned, according to library archives, by Western’s student body. Funding was provided by what was then called the Associated Students of OCE, which would be equivalent to ASWOU now. The sculpture was supposed to include a reflection pool at its base, but upon observation, it doesn’t appear to have one.

Manuel Izquierdo arrived in Portland, Oregon in the 1940s. Izquierdo was born in Madrid, Spain and travelled to Oregon as a refugee from a war-torn Europe. In his career, Izquierdo created 27 corporate and public commissioned pieces and has participated in 25 solo exhibitions. Izquierdo died from illness on July 17, 2009.

The library archive article titled “Outdoor Sculptures on Campus” reports some controversy among Western’s students upon installation of the statue. It was argued by some students that the final sculpture did not resemble the original proposal approved by the committee.

Paula Booth, assistant art professor and director of the Cannon Gallery of Art in Campbell hall spent most of her interview brushing leaves, cobwebs and moss off the sculpture to the best of her ability, but there’s only so much one can do if they’re not trained in refurbishing art.

“It kind of breaks my heart, to be honest. I feel like it’s so neglected, and it’s by one of Oregon’s most prominent sculptors,” commented Booth.

In a secluded corner and blocked on three sides by a grassy slope, this sculpture doesn’t stand out, especially now that its white marble sand coating has been reduced to nothing. It can’t be easily seen from the surrounding sidewalks or roadways.

“Especially when you have art outdoors, you need to have it properly cleaned periodically, you need to have it fixed periodically,” Booth remarked after examining the sculpture’s deteriorating state. “It’s completely not how the artist intended it to be.”


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Photo courtesy of Ashlynn Norton

Self-care tips for midterms

Rebecca Meyers | lifestyle editor

Midterms are notorious for bringing in a lot of stress. Some students find this time of the term especially difficult as it is challenging to balance school work and basic survival needs. However, it’s important to remember not only the importance of self-care for students under lots of stress, but it will likely help your grades in the long run.

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember the basics. Physical health has an effect on energy and focus, and will therefore help in class. This means it’s important for each student to know their own limits and habits and plan accordingly, like making sure there’s enough time to get a decent amount of sleep or plan a meal instead of ordering takeout every day for the week.

It may seem difficult to schedule time in for things like these, especially for those unlucky students who have their midterms lumped together rather than spread out over two weeks. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of work there is to do, which can feel paralyzing when it’s hard to tell where to start. When this happens, it’s helpful to take a step back and organize priorities. Questions to ask, for example, are: what work has to be done first? Which will take the most time? Can any studying be done in a group so that any questions will be answered quicker?

Another important reminder to students is that asking for help can be productive, whether this means using a professor’s office hours or asking friends to be mindful of one’s time and space during midterms. Many professors will offer study guides, and if assignments pile up onto a small space of time, it never hurts to see if they’ll be understanding and be more lenient with deadlines. Also, while having a social life is important to most students, sometimes it’s also important to set aside time with no social or academic obligations for both mental and physical rest.


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The best locations for fall photoshoots

Rebecca Meyers | Lifestyle editor

Midterms are arriving quickly, but many students are still finding ways to enjoy fall while it’s here. One way to do this is to find a friend, a camera and a nearby scenic place and take a fall photoshoot. Finding the first two is usually the easy part, so we’ve helped with the final step and compiled a list of scenic places that are only a short drive away.

Dallas City Park, Dallas

Address: SW Academy St Dallas, 97338

The largest park in Dallas, this site includes wooded trails, an arboretum and a Japanese garden.

Bush Pasture Park, Salem

Address: 890 Mission St, SE Salem, 97302

Bush Pasture Park, located not far from the capitol, includes a gazebo, garden, and an open area with lots of trees perfect for fall photos.

Minto Brown Island Park, Salem

Address: 2200 Minto Island Rd SW Salem, 87302

Found just off River Road on the way to Salem, this park is a large, wooded area with a number of different trails.

Fitton Green Natural Area, Philomath

Address: Location does not have specific address. For directions, search “Fitton Green Trail”. Directions should end on Chaparral Dr.

This spot, which is just west of the popular hiking spot Bald Hill, is located on a hillside and offers a scenic backdrop.

Peavy Arboretum, Corvallis

Address: NW Peavy Arboretum Rd, Corvallis 97330

Part of Oregon State’s McDonald research forest, this large site is perfect for woodsy fall photos.


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Photo courtesy of Ashlynn Norton