Since 1962

Since 1962

Written by: Hannah Field | News Editor Western’s average first-year student would never pass by Campbell Hall and consider that something is missing. The building blends in with the rest of the old architecture — a staple to Western’s image. Before 1962, however, it had a whole section of rooms and even a bell tower that was lost to the Columbus Day Storm that wrecked the West coast — blowing in dangerous winds and torrents of rain statewide. Student Wes Luchau photographed the devastation in action, a photo blasted to national media that even ended up earning Luchau 400 dollars which would be equivalent to four thousand dollars in today’s currency. There is more of this hidden history that exists in the Western archives —  residing in the library archives and passed on in stories. According to “Since 1856… Historical Views of the College at Monmouth,” a book kept shelved in Western’s Wayne & Lynn Hamersly Library, the enrollment in 1962 was at 1200 students.  The book states, “The College attracted a student body most of whom were first generation college-bound,” which corresponds today with Western program SEP., specific to first-generation students, a trait Western has incorporated for over 60 years. At this time, Western was not yet Western Oregon University, but the Oregon College of Education, and would go by this name until the year 1981. The sixties arranged a period of rapid growth for the college, tripling their numbers by the end of the decade. More educational programs were established, as well as programs related to the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.  The college underwent...

Albany’s Veterans Day parade

Albany’s Veterans Day parade

Written by: Hannah Field | News Editor Families camped out on the sidewalks in Albany with hot chocolate and puffy coats in what was the 72nd annual Veterans Day Parade, an event that locals claim to be the biggest parade west of the Mississippi. Technically, Albany’s Veterans Day Parade used to be the biggest parade west of the Mississippi, but Los Angeles holds that title now. “Per capita, Albany is much larger,” said Christine Ferguson, the Linn County Oregon Veterans Day Parade Committee president.  Still, the 2023 parade was expected to host thousands of people, both in the parade and on the sidelines. Spectators lined up for blocks to observe the parade despite the chilly November morning air. In the past, the parade has racked up over 45,000 spectators. Ferguson is hoping for a similar turnout. The parade consisted of 160 units, besides the motorcycles, and was projected to last around three hours. “We have everything — from dads pulling their kids in wagons, classic cars, we have military units, we have high school units, equestrian units, we have businesses,” stated Ferguson. “There’s all different kinds of people. That’s what’s so great about it.” Ferguson brought in food trucks, bleachers, additional trash cans and porta potties to kick off the traditional Veterans Day parade in addition to handling all sponsorships and paperwork.  The parade, as tradition goes, begins with hundreds of motorcycles revving and riding down the streets of Albany, followed by floats, clubs, school teams and so on. War tankards clunk down the streets as well as antique cars — some of which carry local Veterans to be...

A timeline of the Israel-Hamas conflict

A timeline of the Israel-Hamas conflict

Written by: Cami Ansley | Copy Editor As of Tuesday, Nov. 7, the Israel-Hamas conflict has officially surpassed a month with no end in sight. Since the initial attack on Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7, Israel has been consistently retaliating against Hamas, a militant group located in and governing the Gaza Strip. As of Nov. 13, the death toll has reached more than 1,400 Israelis and over 11,180 Palestinians. Here is a timeline of key events in the Israel-Hamas conflict. During the early morning hours of Saturday, Oct. 7, Hamas launched a barrage of thousands of rockets targeting Southern and Central Israel and infiltrated small towns and Kibbutz, slaughtering and kidnapping men, women and children. One of these targeted locations was the Negev Desert, where the Supernova Universo Paralello Festival was being celebrated. Thousands of people were sent running for their lives as Hamas militants paraglided into the area and sprayed bullets in their direction. Some attendees took to hiding in bushes, finding refuge in nearby buildings, and playing dead. At least 260 Israeli bodies were recovered from the Festival site, while an unspecified number of people are still missing and/or are suspected of being taken as hostages.  On Oct. 9, the Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza, starting by cutting electricity, food, water and fuel from entering the territory, and mobilizing 300,000 troops — the most Israel has ever gathered in such a short amount of time. On Oct. 13, leaflets were dropped over Gaza ordering all citizens to move South to avoid being hit by the upcoming missile attacks from Israel....

Oregon graduation requirements changed

Oregon graduation requirements changed

Written by: Libby Thoma | Freelancer Oregon’s essential skills requirement has been dropped at least until the graduation of the class of 2029 due to Senate Bill 774.  The essential skills requirement, known as the Assessment of Essential Skills, is the requirement of students to pass a standardized test containing basic skills such as reading, writing and math skills.  Senate Bill 774 is a bill addressing the decrease in education and learning due to the pandemic.  The test was dropped not only because of the amount of learning and education decreasing during lockdown but also because the standardized test format was found harmful to marginalized students. Marginalized students include students of color, students with disabilities, students with English as their second language and more.  Many argue that taking away this test also takes away the ability for students to get the extra help in school they need. Others argue that the test holds marginalized students back, not just grade wise or diploma wise, but also by taking away their ability to join an elective because of tutoring. The school board claims there’s a lack of evidence that the extra education stemming from the test helps students progress toward college or work. Those in favor of disbanding the tests believe in the harmfulness to marginalized students. Those for keeping the standardized test believe that not testing students for essential skills leads to the value of a diploma decreasing and making achieving a diploma “easier” — as they believe — are not helpful for students.  Oregon doesn’t have much room to do worse in education, as Oregon is 42nd in the...

A fireside chat with the President

A fireside chat with the President

Written by: Gretchen Sims | Edition-in-Chief Western’s President, Jesse Peters, joined by the Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Dominique Vargas, and the Vice President of Student Affairs, Tina Fulch, got down to earth by meeting students face-to-face in a very casual manner — around the fireplace in the Richard Woodcock Educational Center no less. This Nov. 2 meeting was a way for students to bring their concerns to the attention of people who have the power to take them into consideration and enact real change.  The chat offered a comfortable environment that encouraged students to speak their minds — the inclusion of hot chocolate, tea and sweet treats also helped students feel invited to bring forth their grievances. One of the first topics brought up by students was the mysterious disappearance of scholarship funds. Many students were missing scholarships this school year. Many were forced to pay their student bills without finding out what had happened to their money — despite many unhelpful and uninformative calls to the financial aid office.  Tina Fulch answered this question with great concern, stating that if this has happened to any student, they should not give up on their scholarships. The financial aid office is horrendously understaffed and it is taking longer than usual to distribute funds.  If one has already paid their student bill before getting some or all of their scholarships, the funds will be returned in the form of a reimbursement check at the end of the term.  Another issue raised by students was the unreliability and impractical design of the school’s portal — citing that the widgets...

Climate change, causes and effects

Climate change, causes and effects

Written by: Libby Thoma | Freelance Writer Climate change affects every being on Mother Earth — even humans. Worries surrounding climate change have been rising for years and continue to rise daily. So, are these concerns valid? The short answer is yes, but there will most likely not be devastating effects directly to the current generations. However, if there isn’t major change, then there could be devastating effects to not only the earth, but to the future of humanity.  Although the effects of climate change may not be critical yet, there are still effects of climate change to our generation, as well as those after us such as a rise in heat, more severe weather, drought, flooding, decrease in food availability and human health — with air quality, diseases spreading and food not being as healthy.  These effects will continue to worsen with the temperature rise. What actually is climate change? Climate change, simply put, is changes in weather patterns and temperatures. Climate change is caused by greenhouse gasses getting trapped in the atmosphere and trapping the heat from the sun in the earth.  This causes icebergs to warm and melt into the ocean, not only decreasing drinking water, but also decreasing albedo feedback — reflection of heat — and continuing to trap more heat. This also ruins land and sea creatures’ habitats.  Climate change is destroying the earth and humanity. The current state of climate change continues to worsen, temperatures are rising twice as fast as they previously were as of 1981, and earth’s temperature has risen 2° F in total since 1880. The 10 warmest years ever recorded...

The faster the fashion the faster the controversy

The faster the fashion the faster the controversy

Written by: Taylor Duff | Freelancer Fast fashion populates many people’s homes and lifestyles, making familiar fashion brands such as Nike, H&M, and the cheapest on the market, Shein, extremely popular.  The brand has become highly desired on the internet because of the thousands of influencers who participate in showing clothing hauls — to sway customers to make mass purchases of items due to their impossible-to-beat prices. The prices of clothing on Shein are just a fraction of what all other clothing brands charge — making over-consumerism undeniable.  Shein is an internet-based retailer in Nanjing, China that was founded in 2008. Due to the rise of social media, Shein became an overwhelming success in 2020. As popular as the company is, Shein has been followed by much controversy throughout its standing. One example of this is speculation on whether or not the company properly pays its employees or that its employees are being subjected to rigorous hours — also known as forced labor.  With the mass amount of clothing being produced, and trends changing constantly, it’s hard for many consumers to believe that clothing items can be made and shipped promptly without constant movement.  Another complaint with fast fashion, with Shein at the core of the debate, is that, because of the large consumerism especially with social media influencers, a lot of this clothing is contributing to landfill pollution. Many fast fashion companies, like Shein, have been accused of burning their unused clothing to keep up with seasonal trend demands for new and more sought-after pieces.  Many high-end brands such as Ralph Lauren and Doc Martens have sued Shein...

Weed’s positives and negatives for college students

Weed’s positives and negatives for college students

Written by: Libby Thoma | Freelance Writer Everyone has heard of the negatives of marijuana use, especially those of us who are in college. In 2020, college student’s marijuana use escalated so much that one in 12 college students used marijuana daily, and this statistic continues to rise. Therefore, if there are so many known negative effects of marijuana, why do so many people use it and rely on it, given that marijuana isn’t technically addictive? The students of Western should be aware, not only of the negative effects of marijuana, but also the positive effects that many know exist.  The effects of marajuana, particularly on students who are attending college, are overwhelmingly negative. There are three main ways it has been proven to affect students, mainly occurring during marijuana use and for up to 24 hours after use while the drug is wearing off.  Attention is the first ability to be affected, which is necessary for understanding topics in class, understanding and finishing homework. The second of these effects is memory. College students are very aware of how important memory is for learning and achieving good grades. Memory isn’t just crucial for memorization for tests, but for making connections between the course material, building upon subjects and remembering what was learned throughout class. Finally, articles state ‘learning’ as another detriment of smoking weed while being a college student. This seems to mean overall learning through slower processing speed.  Now, onto the positive effects of marijuana use. Positive effects from marijuana mostly stem from helping specific health issues. These specific health issues include; epilepsy, cancer and the negative effects...

Learn about Western National Student Exchange Program

Learn about Western National Student Exchange Program

Written by: Sierra Porter | Staff Writer In high school, some of us stressed to get straight A’s, some stressed to live their most active social lives and some just attempted to get by each day. Regardless of how we lived our high school careers, all of us had to reach the difficult decision regarding what we wanted to do after we walked across that stage.  For those of us that choose to go to college, there comes the second decision of choosing which college to attend. Thankfully, students here at Western have the chance to take advantage of the National Exchange Program (NSE) with universities from 50 states, Canada, Guam, The US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  What are the requirements? Full time enrollment at Western, at least one completed academic term and at least 45 completed credits by the time of the exchange — freshmen, don’t worry, that just means there is plenty of time to plan where you want to go. When it comes to grades, you must have at least a 2.5 GPA, including at the time of exchange, and no incomplete grades from previous terms. Lastly, students must also be in good academic standing and must not be on any probationary status or any pending legal judgments — on or off campus.  The first step of the application process is to visit the NSE website, to gather more information about the program and make an appointment with the NSE Coordinator, Cameron Mortensen, to discuss what options are best for you. Next, make sure you’ve applied for FAFSA for the next academic year and take...

Critical nationwide blood shortage manifests in PNW

Critical nationwide blood shortage manifests in PNW

Written by: Aubrey Laine Baker | Freelancer According to the American Red Cross, a critical, nationwide blood shortage has the medical demands of hospitals quickly outpacing their supply of blood donations. Aside from a general decline in donors, the nation’s low blood supply is also in part due to the effects of Hurricane Idalia. The cancellation of more than 12 blood drives resulted in a loss of 30,000 blood donations. Without a sufficient amount of blood donations, patients with cancer, trauma, sickle cell anemia, burns or chronic diseases may suffer from an increasing scarcity of life saving treatment options. Even organ transplant patients require blood from donors — resulting in a dearth of blood donations can also negatively affect the process and supplies of organ replacement procedures. Donors of all blood types are urgently needed, but the deficit of platelet and type O blood donors is especially crucial to address.  Beyond giving blood, there are also a multitude of volunteer opportunities to support the blood donation process and serve one’s community.  Bloodworks Northwest, an independent, non-profit organization that provides blood supplies to 95% of hospitals in the Pacific Northwest, reports a blood shortage in the region that mirrors the deficit of the nation as a whole. Known previously as Puget Sound Blood Center, the organization has been a long standing, trusted cornerstone of healthcare in the region. Information on their blood center locations, appointment scheduling and detailed blood donation FAQs can be accessed through the official website of Bloodworks Northwest. In an interview with KOIN Portland, Jacob Cole, the donor services supervisor of the organization, disclosed that a new...