Category Archives: EVENTS

Global 6K: Running for clean water

By Eva Mo

The Covenant Kids Congo 6K for Water held by the Bellingham Covenant Church, was held on May 19 at Lake Padden Park.
The main organization of this event is World Vision. They have provided a website for people to register for the event by their own, and World Vision provided everything including decorations, signage, and mile markers.
The purpose of the event is to help fund water projects in communities where World Vision works. Therefore, each participant needs to pay $50 registration fee, which provides life-changing clean water for one person.
This year the church raised over $5,000 for the event, and there were over a hundred participants for the event this year, including 10 Whatcom Community College students from the Impact club.
Impact club provides the opportunity to make positive change in the community, through the voices and concerns of each member.
“I know that there are a lot of runners on campus,” said Rose Adam, the president of Impact club.
Due to county limitations, only a certain amount of people can run in the race. Therefor the church offered 25 spots for Whatcom students.
Steven Shetterly one of the organizers of the church, who helped set up the event mentioned that World Vision has sites around the world in hundreds of different countries.
Last year, 48,000 people around the world walked and ran this 6K in order to to bring clean water to over 63,000 people in need.
“It’s a very special event for our church,” said Shetterly.  “Our church has been working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa for over 80 years.”
According to a new report from UNICEF and the World Health Organization, 2.1 billion people around the world drink unsafe water every day. The task of providing water for households, falls disproportionately to women and girls, especially in rural areas.
Hannah Cranny, another organizer said that people who donate “generally are helping the girls at the same time,” because more girls are able to attend school.
“To able to attend schools and get more educated, better education for women basically in these communities,” said Cranny.
BarBat Goebal, one of the participants in the event said, “Most of us don’t even think about other people who are suffering in finding clean water, but we just turn on the tap.”
Another purpose of the event was to help people put themselves in someone else’s shoes, by going their distance.
The race runs six kilometers to represent the average distance a person in the developing world must walk to find water, which is often contaminated with life-threatening diseases.
“I think the church really enjoyed working with us this year,” said Adam. “We might have a partnership with the church again next year.”


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‘REDress Project’ on display at Whatcom

By Madison Roper

Five red dresses in front of Baker Hall are meant to bring attention to the missing or murdered aboriginal women of Canada.
The REDress Project, a project created by artist Jaime Black in 2011 was installed May 19.
“It is an installation art project, based on an aesthetic response to this critical national issue,” said Black, on the project website.
“Through the installation I hope to draw attention to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Aboriginal women, and to evoke a presence through the marking of absence.” Continue reading


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Orca Day planning in full swing

By Elisa Espinoza

Orca Day is a Whatcom Community College tradition that brings students together to celebrate the ending of the school year one week before finals, through activities and food.
This year, Orca Day will happen on June 5th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will take place between Syre Student Center and the Student Recreation Center, up to the roundabout between SRC and Laidlaw. Continue reading


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Foreign exchange students showcase cultures

By Eva Mo

The Whatcom Office Student Life and Development hosted the Global Cultural Night on May 2 to celebrate the cultural diversity on campus.
“We wanted to share cultural diversity on campus to Whatcom Community, build a campus community that celebrates diversity, and hope students make new friends on the event,” said Muhammad Adib Thaqif Taufe, the Associated Students of Whatcom Community College director for Campus Collaborative Programing.
Most students who went to the event thought that it related with the International Week that is held every quarter, however Student Life decided to hold two separate events to showcase the diverse student community.

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Poetry challenge in its 13th year

By Elisa Espinoza

The Whatcom Community College Library carried out and sponsored the 13th edition of the Kumquat Poetry Challenge in celebration of the National Poetry Month held every April.
Current and former students, faculty, and staff participated in this challenge, which consisted of writing a poem that must include 10 specific words.
This year’s words were: open, ardent, yearn, shimmer, keen, hour, mingle, intent, quarter and just.
The challenge has the purpose of encouraging students in poetry, but it also represents a way of making the community aware of the library as well as increasing engagement.
The first edition of the challenge took place in 2007, and the word “kumquat” was included on the list, giving birth to the challenge’s name. This also initiated the tradition of including a word that starts with a K every year.
This year there were 12 participants, and the judging panel was conformed by Anna Wolff and Brian Cope, members of the English faculty, Humanities faculty member Ben Kohn, World Languages department chair Anne George as well as last year’s challenge winner Betty Scott.
The challenge has been led by Ara Taylor since 2016. She is the program coordinator and manager of textbook collections for various Whatcom programs as well as the course reserves collection in the library.
Taylor explained the way the challenge is carried out. To pick the 10 words, she asks staff to submit random words. “Sometimes I get up to a hundred words,” she said.
The staff also helps her narrow down the words and to make the final decision of the 10 official words.
For the judging process, Taylor said “the poems are submitted to our judges with no names attached.” She added that it is “vital” that the judge’s decision is unbiased.
Every year different judges are invited to avoid favoring the same kind of poems, said Taylor.
To collect the poems, the participants submit their work through an email that’s set up for the challenge and Taylor is in charge of responding to them.
“I ask them if they feel comfortable with their poem, if I can print it and if they want their name attached,” she said.
Each year an anthology including all the poems and some illustrations is published. Ara is also the editor of the book and the printing is done by Whatcom copy center staff.
Contest judge and French instructor Anne George issued the challenge to her students, so this year’s book includes George’s class poems written in French next to their translations in English.
Last year the challenge had a special edition, in which an English as a Second Language instructor set up writing a poem for the challenge as an assignment for her students.
“A lot of these students were just learning English and they managed to make beautiful poems,” said Taylor.
“We’re hoping that next year we can expand it to maybe the Spanish instructors and other language instructors,” she added.
The challenge also hosts an event every year called the Kumquat Challenge Awards. This year, the event was celebrated on April 29th in Syre’s Black Box Theater, where the judges shared their thoughts on this year’s challenge, the winners were announced and the writers were also welcomed to read their poems.
This year’s winners under the category of students were Kristen Dietz in 1st place, Rem Naughton 2nd place and Mariia Neguliaeva 3rd place.
Winners under the category of community were Sally Sheedy 1st place, Alana Erickson 2nd place and J.S. Nahani 3rd place.
Alana Erickson also won second place last year as a student.
Erickson works as a tutor for the writing center and she’s also a former student. She transferred to Western Washington University where she’s currently getting her degree on English with an emphasis on creative writing.
Erickson decided to participate on the challenge because poetry and challenges are two things she really enjoys, she said.
Erickson said she didn’t spend much time writing the poems. Last year she wrote her poem during a quiet writing center shift at the library, “I just decide it to do it” she said.
Erickson heard the challenge was happening again and she decide it to participate. “I did it last year and I enjoyed it so I might as well do it this year,’’ she said.
Erickson said she likes working with words and explained how she managed to make up a poem out of the 10 words. “I to look at the definitions if I don’t know what they mean already and think of all the different scenarios I would use them in,” she said.
“I pick one of those words to focus on, or a line I really like and then I work from there,” she added.
Erickson said that it feels great to see her work in print but her work is never finished. “I always feel like there are ways in which I can improve my writing even after it’s published,” she said, and added that she would like to keep printing her writing.
This experience has encouraged Erickson to learn more about the publishing field.
“I want to know how their process works and how they make their creative decisions,” she said.
Erickson explained there are a lot of things she would like to do in the future, including being an English professor. “On the side I would like to publish poetry and nonfiction,” she said.
Erickson would like to see more people contributing and having more ways for poets to show their work.
“I think it would be cool to explore themes too so you could have themes to choose from,” she said, and added that she would also like to see the anthology’s design change each year.
As written in this year’s anthology, the challenge has created a sort of “Kumquat Family,” and they’re looking forward to uniting even more people, said Taylor.
“We have people that have taken classes here ten years ago or faculty that retired years ago that submit their poems every year,” she added.
Taylor believes the challenge is a very positive experience for the students. “A lot of these students submit their poems and when they find out that they’ve won, it almost becomes, like, life-changing.”
Taylor stressed her appreciation for the Kumquat Challenge.
“I’d like it to continue, as long as I’m here it will continue,” and “I hope it becomes part of the library tradition,” she said.


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