Mount Hood

The Year in Review

Written by:Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

Content warning: contains mentions of distressing content

From the rising of prices due to inflation, to the onslaught of a major catastrophic invasion, 2022 has been a year plagued with tragedy and chaos. 2022 contained some of the most destructive events in recent history — a result of humanity at its lowest point. 

In early January 2022, it was revealed that the United States had reached a new record of COVID-19 cases. Omicron, the most prevalent COVID variant thus far, accounted for 95% of such COVID cases. 

However, it was not until Jan. 31 that omicron was officially declared a health emergency, forcing many countries to enforce restrictive steps.

February saw Russian troops entering Ukrainian territory for a “special military operation,” acting on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Two days later, on Feb. 24, Russian missiles and airstrikes hit Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, as well as several other Ukrainian cities. 

On that same day, Feb. 24, the U.S. and its allies came to the decision to impose strict sanctions against Russia — with the aim to cut off their economy from the world.

Frustrated with the results of their Ukraine invasion, Russian troops took to a different military approach— targeting civilian areas. As of early 2023, the conflict in Ukraine has yet to be resolved.

On Mar. 7, more heartbreaking news came to light. The global death toll for COVID surpassed six million.

In April, two years after the pandemic was originally declared, the U.S. finally left the pandemic stage. 

The month of May left millions across the country angry and heartbroken. On May 14, a gunman shot 13 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing ten and wounding three. Merely ten days later, a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two teachers.

Then, just as the world began to feel the loosening restraints of the COVID pandemic, the United States saw prices hit by inflation, with food and fuel accounting for over half of inflation. Accelerating inflation was a tight labor market, a result of lingering COVID health risks. In June, inflation peaked at a record high of 9.1%.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade made history in June of 2022, reversing the landmark piece of legislation that guaranteed federal rights to abortions, and consequently creating a tremulous political and societal shift amid rising tensions.

In July, the World Health Organization, also known as WHO, officially declared monkeypox a public health emergency, leaving national media and the public in a state of panic. Later, the death of Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri — who aided in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks —  was announced to the public. 

Former president Donald Trump was subjected to an FBI search of his Mar-A-Lago, Florida home on Aug. 8, seizing multiple boxes of classified materials. Meanwhile, in the White House, President Joe Biden announced his plans to forgive a large majority of student loan debt.

On Sept. 8, the death of British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was announced, sending a ripple of shock both nationally and internationally. The Queen was 96 years old.

On Sept. 17, civil rights protests erupted in Iran as a response to the death of Masha Imini, a woman detained by Iran’s morality police after allegedly wearing her hijab in an “inappropriate” manner. 

In the midst of inflation and unemployment, October saw Elon Musk taking over Twitter, followed by a giant round of layoffs and societal backlash.

The small college town of Moscow, Idaho was left reeling after four University of Idaho students were found murdered in their home on Nov. 13. It would take nearly two months, on Dec. 31, for the police to identify and arrest suspect Bryan Kohberger and charge him with four counts of first-degree murder.

Contact the author at howlnews@wou.edu

Love for 3

Written by:Nicholas Sarysz

Buffalo Bills’ Safety, Damar Hamlin, suffered cardiac arrest just eight minutes into the first Monday Night Football game of the year. Medical professional Denny Kellington performed CPR and administered a defibrillator within minutes of the initial tackle that led to Hamlin’s collapse. 

The scene on the field was one of sadness and horror, as players and fans were clearly in no state of mind to continue with the game. On the television broadcast, announcers were left with minimal knowledge of the situation, leaving fans at home in a state of confusion and fear for most of the evening.

Shortly after the injury, both teams and the officials were told they had to prepare to finish the game. About an hour later, it was decided it was in everyone’s best interest to postpone the game — which the National Football League Commissioner, Roger Goodell, eventually decided to cancel.

This is the first game in NFL history to be postponed and canceled due to a traumatic injury to a player. Multiple times this season there have been serious injuries that teams have been required to play through, most notably quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s week four concussion. The controversy surrounding the NFL and its lack of regard for player safety likely played a role in the Damar Hamlin situation.

The 24-year-old from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, remained in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for eight days following the incident. Hamlin was then transported to the Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute to continue his recovery. The medical center plans to perform tests and observations in order to determine more specifics on the cause of Hamlin’s injury, as well as when he will be fit for release.

The Bills played their final game this Sunday, Jan. 1 against the New England Patriots. The players supported Hamlin by wearing number three patches on their jerseys, and fans displayed their support with signs and cheers. Their first playoff game is Sunday, Jan. 15 where they will face off against the Miami Dolphins, which they hope Hamlin will be able to watch from the comfort of his own home.

Contact the author at howlstaffwriter@wou.edu

Witness Western Wins

Written by: Jude Bokovoy 

There are many reasons for students to attend Western home games. Going to home games provides a way to support student-athletes and show school spirit. The games are a great place to hang out with friends or go on a fun weekend date. On top of that, all home games are free to attend for Western students. Many of the 2023 basketball games have interactive flair such as fan color coordination, cheerleaders to rile up the crowd, halftime shows and other activities. Check out the list below to fill one’s calendar with home games to attend this term.

Men’s Basketball

  • Jan 19 at 5:15 p.m. versus University of Alaska Anchorage (Yellow Out)
  • Jan 21 at 4:15 p.m. versus University of Alaska Fairbanks (Red Out)
  • Feb 9 at 7:30 p.m. versus Montana State University Billings (Black History Month celebration game)
  • Feb 11 at 4:15 p.m. versus Seattle Pacific University (SAAC Game)
  • Feb 23 at 7:30 p.m. versus Northwest Nazarene University (White Out)
  • Feb 25 at 4:15 p.m. versus Central Washington University (Senior Day)

Women’s Basketball

  • Jan 19 at 7:30 p.m. versus University of Alaska Anchorage (Yellow Out)
  • Jan 21 at 2 p.m. versus University of Alaska Fairbanks (Red Out)
  • Jan 28 at 2 p.m. versus Saint Martin’s University (Title IX 50 year anniversary game)
  • Feb 9 at 5:15 p.m. versus Western Washington University (Black History Month celebration game)
  • Feb 11 at 2 p.m. versus Simon Fraser University (SAAC game)
  • Feb 23 at 5:15 p.m. versus Northwest Nazarene University (White Out)
  • Feb 25 at 2 p.m. versus Central Washington University (Senior Day)

Cheerleading

  • Jan 19 at men’s basketball at 5:15 p.m., women’s basketball at 7:30 p.m. (Yellow Out)
  • Jan 21 at women’s basketball at 2 p.m., men’s basketball at 4:15 p.m (Red Out)
  • Feb 9 at women’s basketball at 5:15 p.m., men’s basketball at 7:30 p.m. (Black History Month celebration game)
  • Feb 11 at women’s basketball at 2 p.m., men’s basketball at 4:15 p.m. (SAAC game)
  • Feb 23 at women’s basketball at 5:15 p.m., men’s basketball at 7:30 p.m (Senior Day and White Out)

Baseball

  • Feb 18 at 11 a.m. versus Eastern Oregon University
  • Feb 19 at 11 a.m. versus Eastern Oregon University
  • Mar 3 at 12 p.m. versus Northwest Nazarene University
  • Mar 4 at 12 p.m. versus Northwest Nazarene University
  • Mar 7 versus George Fox University
  • Mar 11 at 12 p.m. versus Central Washington University
  • Mar 12 at 12 p.m. versus Central Washington University
  • Mar 15 at 2 p.m. versus Bushnell University

Softball

  • Feb 1 at 11 a.m. versus Bushnell University
  • Feb 25 at 11 a.m. versus Central Washington University
  • Feb 26 at 11 a.m. versus Central Washington University

Track and Field

  • Mar 4 at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon

Contact the author at howllifestyle@mail.wou.edu

What is Happening Over at Twitter?

Written by: Mirella Barrera

On April 25, 2022, Twitter announced its plans for Elon Musk to take ownership of the platform — a deal that valued the company at $44 billion.

Since CEO Musk’s Twitter takeover, a plethora of changes have been made to the “microblogging” platform, the recent of which includes long-form tweets — allowing users to tweet a whopping 4,000 characters. 

Other changes enacted include the option for users to receive a blue verification mark — previously only available for celebrities, politicians and other public figures — for a monthly subscription of $8. Twitter Blue, as the subscription was dubbed, was suspended after a string of accounts attempted to impersonate public figures, including Musk himself. The feature was relaunched in December, with more thorough review of accounts.

Such changes to the platform brought forth backlash from many Twitter users, with many arguing that the alterations would take away from the platform’s main appeal; tweets that are short and to the point.

Aiding the turmoil were a mix of erratic decisions made by the company, from laying off more than half of its employees to the reinstatement of former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account. 

On Saturday, Jan. 7, laid off employees finally received their severance payments, after Musk promised these employees would receive three months of severance compensation. However, the compensation turned out to be much less than anticipated.

In late 2022, with a shocking statement, Musk revealed that he would be resigning from the role of CEO of Twitter after tweeting a Twitter poll posing the question, “Should I step down as head of Twitter?” The poll has since closed, with 57% out of nearly 18k of users voting “Yes.” 

Since, Musk has confirmed that he will be stepping down as chief executive and has begun the search for his replacement. Although no timeline has been given, it is evident that Musk will remain a prominent figure at the company.

The chaos and disarray at Twitter eventually bled into Tesla’s shares. A large portion of Musk’s — who is also chief executive at Tesla and SpaceX — wealth is attributed to the electric car company. Since Musk’s takeover of the company, Tesla’s shares have fallen significantly, losing 65% of its stock value in 2022.

This is bad news for Musk, whose net worth has fallen below that of Bernard Arnault, CEO and chair of LVMH — a luxury good’s company. On Jan. 10, Guinness World Record recognized Musk as the person with the largest drop in net worth.

Contact the author at howlnews@wou.edu

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.

Contact the author at howlnews@wou.edu



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 www.ci.monmouth.or.us for further updates. 

Contact the author at howleditor@wou.edu



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.

Contact the author at howlnews@wou.edu