Mount Hood

Abby’s House Silent Auction

Written by: Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

On Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, Western’s Abby’s House will be holding their largest annual fundraising event of the year — just in time for Christmas.

In the days leading up to the Silent Auction, Abby’s House requests donations from the community, including local businesses and city residents. These donations can range from themed gift baskets, gift certificates to local businesses, wine pulls, and tickets to a plethora of  events, with everything from live theater to amusement park admission. 

The money received in donations to Abby’s House are split between two charitable contributions. 

This includes the Jeanne Dean Abby’s House Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded every year to 1 or 2 Western students. It is 100% financed by fundraisers held by Abby’s House — primarily the Silent Auction. 

While the scholarship is not included alongside Western’s general scholarship application, the scholarship is open for all eligible students, with the condition that the recipient must volunteer at Abby’s House a minimum of five hours per week each term throughout the following academic year.

Abby’s House also has its own Abby’s House Foundation where proceeds fund future events, as well as other fundraisers and new furniture for Abby’s House’s office.

During the two days of the Silent Auction, members of the local community, including students, can bid on items provided by donation.

The way it works is simple. Every item in the auction will have its own bidding sheet, where participants can write their name and the amount they wish to bid. In typical auction procedure, the individual with the highest bid over the two days wins. 

According to the Director of Abby’s House, Kristen Perry, there were tweaks made to the system in order to make the process run a bit more smoothly and fairly.

“We may have some one day bid sections, one table might only be able to be bid on Thursday, and one on Friday, so that anyone unable to make it on Friday can still potentially win a basket,” said Perry. “This can get pretty competitive, and people even send representatives to bid on their behalf if they can’t make it!”

If they do not want to bid on items, there are other ways participants can “win” prizes. There is a mystery wine pull — participants must be 21 or older — available for purchase for $20, Abby’s House mugs and a packet of hot chocolate for only $10 and the option for a “blind date with a book” for $3, in which the book is wrapped to conceal its title..

The Silent Auction will be held in the Abby’s House office, located on the first floor of the Werner University Center, room 106, on Thursday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Students are welcome to walk around and enjoy the complimentary hot chocolate and cookies, or bid on any item they wish.

Spread the word to support local scholarships and Holiday cheer.

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Indy-Mo to be offering Trolley Services 2023

Written by: Mikayla Coleman

In the late 1800s, a trolley routinely ran between the sister cities of Monmouth and Independence. In winter 2023, the cities will be reunited with the implementation of a new trolley system. 

Funded by a 3 million dollar grant from the American Rescue Plan, the Monmouth-Independence trolley is set to begin its pilot service in the upcoming weeks. After the pilot service is completed, which could take up to two years, a long-term operation plan will be developed to ensure the continuation of this resource for years to come. 

The trolley will be managed and operated by Cherriots — a familiar name to residents. The use of a previously and actively used public transit system in both cities will make for a smooth transition for the new novelty mode of transportation. 

The new trolley system is expected to meet demands for intercity transit that will serve both cities’ communities. This includes Western students, as stated on the City of Monmouth’s official website, 

“The service will improve the campus life experience for WOU students by providing students with options to travel to/from campus, access recreational and job opportunities, and broaden engagement with the community.”

There have been three trolleys ordered for the project and two trolleys will be used to provide service each day. The trolleys are hybrid, meaning they will run on both electricity and gas — maintaining considerably low emissions. The trolleys will be accessible for those who use wheelchairs and mobility aids, including ramps to enter and exit the vehicles. 

They will run every day, with services operating on holidays from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Regular service is expected to operate Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., with the hope of rides being accessible every 20 minutes. 

The main route will travel between Main St. in Monmouth all the way to Monmouth St. in Independence, using existing and newly-created Cherriots stops placed a quarter mile apart. 

From west to east, stops will be located at Jackson St. and Monmouth Ave, Warren and Main Street, Ecols Street, Atwater Street, Roth’s Market, Talmadge Road, 13th Street, 8th Street, 5th Street and “C” Street and Riverview Park.

To keep up with new developments, check out the City of Monmouth’s website at for further updates. 

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Update on Western’s Current Development Project

Written by:Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

In early fall of 2021, Western received over $21,000 from the state of Oregon to fund the construction of a new building in the place of the existing Old Education Building on campus. The intended goal of the new construction project was for the Student Success Center to function as a space for students to comfortably receive academic support.

In September of the same year, the Student Success Center Stakeholder Committee was formed. According to Chelle Batchelor, one of the co-chairs of the project, alongside Mike Elliot, originally, the committee included three student representatives, in an effort to make the committee as inclusive to the campus community as possible.

The committee’s mission statement—which was written primarily by the committee’s student representatives—reads, “The Student Success Center is an inclusive gathering place that provides individualized support for every student to be successful in their academic goals. This welcoming and accessible campus hub provides complementary academic support resources, collaborative space and opportunities for the celebration of traditionally underrepresented student identities. In this non-judgmental community space, each student is the agent in their own learning.”

With this in mind, the role of the committee was to think critically about the mission of the building, while also considering it within a triangle of student needs and movement on campus, such as Hamersly Library and the Werner University Center — both of which are located at the heart of campus.

“What we were hearing loud and clear is that (students) feel like they just get run around all over campus trying to get what they need,” Batchelor said. “They would say: why is it that I have to go to this building down at the far end of campus this way to access disability services, or (to) go to the Writing Center, but then you know, we’ve got our health services way over here … They just feel like things are too far apart on campus that (need) to all be brought together.”

Such sentiments were reflected in the two focus groups held by Gensler — the architecture firm responsible for the construction of the Student Success Center — that provided students the opportunity to get involved in the preliminary design and planning of the building. 

Batchelor stated, “From the very beginning, even when we first talked with Gensler, we let them know that we were (going to) want student feedback to be really an important part of their process.”

Students who attended these focus groups were presented with a map of Western’s campus and asked questions such as, “Where do you like to be on campus? What are the places that make you feel included? What are the places that you want to go when you’re looking to study? What are the places that you want to go when you’re looking to socialize with other people? Where do you feel represented?” 

The results showed that Hamersly library provided students with a space for quiet, collaborative study time, while many saw the Werner University Center as a space for social activity and engagement. This left a gap in the triangle where student support should have been located.

“It’s all about supporting students, creating a campus core of student support that goes beyond the Student Success Center, and then also specifically offering those services of Disability Services, Career Pathways and advising and tutoring,” Batchelor said.

Student support services housed in the Student Success Center will include the Office of Disabilities, Academic Advising Center, Student Enrichment Program, Center for Career Pathways, Veterans Resource Center and Western’s tutoring services. The additions of new services are in discussion.

Students who missed out on the chance to attend the focus groups should not be discouraged. According to Batchelor, Gensler will be returning in January 2023 to garner more student opinion. Further details will be announced as the date approaches.

While the new construction for the Student Success Center is in its preliminary planning stage, the initial construction process is planned to begin summer 2023. The new Student Success Center is expected to be open and occupied by fall 2024.

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Western opens two exhibits for Veteran’s Day

Written by:Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

From Nov. 7 through Nov. 11, two Veteran’s Day themed exhibits were displayed for the Western community. 

These events were a collaboration between Western’s Veterans Resource Center, Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans of Foreign Affairs.

Students who visited Hamersly Library were presented with the “I Am Not Invisible” Oregon Women Veterans Exhibit in the first floor lobby. The exhibition displayed portraits of courageous female military veterans.

IANI is a campaign instituted in Oregon, meant to establish visibility and awareness for female veterans across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are roughly two million women amongst the Veteran population. However, many women veterans go unrecognized and many encounter barriers to necessary health care services.

The USVA website states, “With support from the Center for Women Veterans, this project has crossed 50 States, 75 cities, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 27 Native American/Alaska Native Nations to capture more than 3,200 women Veteran images.” 

In addition to the IANI exhibit, the Veterans of Foreign Wars generously loaned Western veterans uniforms for their VFW Uniform Showcase. The uniforms were on display in the Werner University Center, directly across from Caffé Allegro.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars’ mission is to provide veterans who fought in foreign lands, water or airspace with the essential health and financial assistance needed to live comfortable lives once out of active service.

At Western, veterans are recognized annually through events put on by the Veterans Resource Center. Their office is located in the downstairs level of the WUC. For more information, contact them by email at

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Oregon Election Results

Written by; Nicholas Sarysz

Oregon had a lot on the ballot for this year’s midterm elections, which most notably included four ballot measures and a gubernatorial race.

The ballot measure results are as follows. Measure 111, which is meant to establish a right to affordable, effective health care in the state constitution, passed by less than 2%. Measure 112, which calls to modify the state constitution to remove slavery and involuntary servitude as a punishment, passed with over 55% of the vote. Measure 113, which will disqualify lawmakers from re-election if they are absent from 10+ floor sessions, passed with a resounding 68.3% of the vote. Measure 114, which requires specific identification and permits to buy firearms, and limits the size of allowed ammunition magazines, barely passed with 50.7% of the vote.

Democrat Tina Kotek was the winner of the gubernatorial race. Kotek will take over as governor in place of Kate Brown, who was ineligible for re-election due to Oregon’s gubernatorial term limit. Kotek, the 56-year-old self-labeled “proven progressive fighter,” is most known for serving as the speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives from 2013 – 2022. She will now have the opportunity as governor to work with a democratic majority in the state legislature.

Also on the ballot this election was one of Oregon’s U.S. Senate positions, as well as four positions for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Winning the senate position was Democrat incumbent Ron Wyden, who has held the position since 1996. Previously, Wyden served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981–1996.

The House of Representatives’ results are as follows. Oregon’s 1st district was won by Democratic incumbent Suzanne Bonamici, who was first elected to the position in 2012. Oregon’s 2nd district was won by Republican incumbent Cliff Bentz, who has only held the position since last year. Oregon’s 3rd district was won by Democratic incumbent Earl Blumenauer, who has held the position since 1996. Oregon’s 4th district was won by Democrat Valerie Hoyle, who is a former member of the Oregon House of Representatives, and the current commissioner of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor.

Oregon’s 5th district was won by Republican Lori Chavez-DeRemer, who served as the mayor of Happy Valley, Oregon from 2010–2018. She also unsuccessfully ran for the Oregon House of Representatives twice in the last decade. 

Oregon’s 6th district was won by Democrat Andrea Salinas, who served in the Oregon House of Representatives since 2017.

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Strutting with Style

Written by:Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

On the evening of Nov. 17, the Stitch Closet held their second annual talent and fashion show. 

Though the Stitch Closet has been operating on the Western campus since 2020, they have not strayed from their foundational roots. Created to provide relief to the many college students lacking essential clothing needed to succeed in the academic and professional workplace, the organization’s mission is to provide quality clothing to students who may otherwise lack access to this basic need. 

This year’s fashion show, which doubled as a fundraiser, consisted of four segments: formal attire, casual attire, business attire and the recently added Disney inspired segment. 

Because the Stitch Closet runs primarily off of the volunteerism of students, the fashion show was made possible through the support of both former and current students. Before the show, students interested in volunteering were encouraged to apply for the opportunity to be a talent presenter or a model for the fashion show. 

In total, there were 12 volunteer student and alumni participants in the show — a major advancement from their first fashion show.

The Stitch Closet is integrated alongside Western’s diverse number of basic needs services, including Abby’s House and the Food Pantry. Consequently, this year’s Stitch Closet event saw numerous new faces, most significantly in their talent show line-up.

Dressed in vibrant Mexican skirts — a fashion statement in itself — sophomore student Brenda Martinez was one of the talented performers at the event with a traditional performance of ballet folklórico. 

Although Western alumni Liam Vance could not be physically present for the talent show, Vance shared a splendid guitar solo performance with the audience through a remote recording.

Abby’s House Director Kristen Perry was also present at the event. While Perry was not a talent presenter, she did evoke laughter in the audience with great jokes, to soothe the awaiting audience.

Much like other various departments at Western, the Stitch Closet prides itself on being student operated and is almost always looking for volunteers and clothing donations. To remain updated, students should follow their Instagram at @stitchcloset.wou.

Study abroad opportunities on campus

Written by; Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

Western is home to over 300 on campus clubs and organizations. With such a diverse number of student services and organizations, it can be easy to overlook the fact that Western offers students one of the most fundamental opportunities for the college experience. 

The Center for Professional Pathways is the parent service for Western’s Study Abroad Program — housing four different study abroad providers including IE3 Global, Campus Internationalizations Solutions Abroad, Cooperative Center for Study Abroad and Global Education Oregon — and over 200 programs to choose from. Students who choose to study abroad during their academic experience can have their credits transferred whilst also exploring different cultures. 

There are requirements to determine whether a student is eligible. In order to be approved for Study Abroad, students must meet the following criteria: good academic and judicial standing, meet the language requirements for one’s program of interest, have a passport valid six months beyond the end date of the program, as well as completion of all application materials highlighted in the next section.

While some providers present study abroad opportunities in English-speaking countries only, some, such as IE3 Global, offer study abroad opportunities in Ecuador, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Japan, South Korea and Mexico.

Although the application process may appear daunting, CPP and the Study Abroad program on campus are there to help every step of the way. 

How it works: Students should first complete the program’s general intake form — a simple Google form that provides the program with basic information about the student. From the information provided on this form, the program’s committee decides whether the applicant is eligible to study abroad.

Once the student has submitted the form, they can begin procuring their online profile through Terra Dotta. When starting an application, a $50 fee will be assessed. It is at this stage that the student should plan to meet with their academic advisor to plan their future schedule. The earlier, the better.

It is important to also keep in mind that some programs, such as IE3 and CCSA, have a second form students must fill out. This form may require a separate application fee.

Choosing a Program: Before meeting with a study abroad advisor — the next step in the application process — students must first decide where they would like to study. 

There are two ways in which students can search for study abroad opportunities. If they already have a destination in mind, they could search based on country or region. If they do not have a destination in mind, they could search based on their major or area of interest. Either method will concur results preferable to a student’s particular interests.

Students have the choice to select their destination based on whether they would like to study abroad or undergo an internship. Western provides very specific types of study abroad programs to students, including studying abroad for the acquisition of a language, internships, direct exchange programs into university and third-party sponsored programs.

Students considering applying for the program should start planning approximately a year in advance. For reference, if students wish to study abroad in Fall of the 2023-2024 academic year, they should begin the application process somewhere around Winter term of the previous year.

For more information about studying and interning abroad contact Graduate Assistant for Study Abroad Programs, Jacen Miller, at Students considering studying abroad are encouraged to schedule an appointment for further details about the application process. All forms can be found on the Study Abroad program’s website at

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