Category Archives: FEATURES

Trivia Bee

By Jorge Cantu

Horizon Reporter

It is now the end of the quarter and with it comes finals, projects, and many other things due in class. However, the Communications Club and their advisor, Guy Smith, have been hard at work for most of the quarter to put on their big event, the annual trivia bee.

“There will be a much bigger turnout this year versus last year,” Smith said. “We are very excited, and I cannot tell you how many prizes we have.”

The trivia bee is built off of profits, meaning the money used to put on the event has come strictly from fundraising. Anyone can enter, and it consists of three-person teams. It costs $30 for a team to enter.

The club has four teams that were created to handle the different aspects of the event. The four teams consists of: a charity team, which is in charge of the food drive, an advertising team to make signs, a trivia team to come up with all of the questions, and a sponsorship team to get donations from the community.

“We just have so many prizes this year, some of them include DVDs, dinners, CDs, gas cards, ski lift tickets, etc,” Smith said. “I have boxes and boxes of free stuff that has been donated from various places around the community.”

Hana Kaneshige, who is part of the club, was sitting at a large table with all of the sign-up information for the trivia bee.

“Anyone is welcome to join to Communications Club,” she said. “It is a very good experience.”

Also, anyone can join the trivia bee. It consists of three-person teams, of whom students are welcome to join up with anybody to participate.

“The questions aren’t as difficult as last year either,” Kaneshige added.  “We worked on making them questions for the public, not just trivia fanatics.”

Since the event is run purely on profits, some leftover profits are used to help send students to communication conferences. Some of the places students have been sent to include Hawaii, Idaho, and Rochester New York, among others.

The trivia bee also ties into the food drive. If you donate one canned good item when you come, your admission fee for the event is $2 instead of the normal admission fee of $4.

“It is a way to get students to contribute more to the food drive,” Smith said.

With such an involvement from the community and the Communication club, it seems the event will be a big improvement over last year’s turnout. It will be held in the Syre Auditorium on December 9 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Communications Club holds its meetings on Thursdays at 2:45p.m. in Heiner 104.

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Winter Wonderland

By Jessica Daniel

Horizon Reporter

The winter can be a hard time for students, with little sun and cold weather. However, this area offers great opportunities for outdoor activities during the winter with some special deals for students.

One of the easiest ways to get involved is through Whatcom’s International Friendship club, which offers students’ activities such as ice skating, snowshoeing, and winter river float trips.

“Our trips are a great way to try out something new in a very safe way and at very low cost,” said Ulli Schraml, who is the advisor of the club activities. Schraml says that all activities involved put safety first, and can be adjusted so everyone has fun.

There are plenty of benefits for participating in the activities, Schraml said. “First of all, you get to meet people from all over the world and you will learn about other cultures,” he said.

Schraml said that all the activities are subsidized and very cheap, especially considering that transportation is included. “In short, it’s a great way to make new friends and to learn something as well: from cultural issues to how to snowshoe or kayak,” said Schraml. If interested, there are flyers at the International Programs office in Syre room 201.

If ice skating and snow shoeing aren’t your thing, how about snowboarding? Considered one of the more popular activities to the residents of Whatcom County, Mt. Baker is as close as it gets.

Student and snowboarder, T.J. Butenschoen, 21, has been snowboarding for the last two and a half years. He said he tries to get up to the mountain at least 20 times a year. One of his favorite runs at Mt. Baker is Sticky Wicket. “It’s really steep and fast,” he said. “I do mute and tail grabs, and occasionally a 180.”

Butenschoen said it costs about $65 with gas for a day pass to get up to Mt. Baker. He usually hitchhikes up to the mountain, but has a word of advice, “Hitch hike only if you are armed.”
The ski area is open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If gear is what you need, it can be rented at Mt. Baker along with a day pass ranging from $32.90 to $47.50.

If the season’s pass is what you’re looking for, they range from $535 to $730, with Whatcom students getting a discount for a season pass at $650.00.

However, there are College Pass Requirements. To get the discounted seasons pass, you must be currently enrolled for 12 or more credits, with proof that tuition has been paid for by showing a current registrar’s printout with a receipt of full tuition paid for a minimum of 12 credits along with a current I.D. The pass will not be made without this proof.

The Mt. Baker Cascade Adventure’s Baker Bus offers transportation from Kendall, Maple Falls and Glacier service that is scheduled every day of ski area operation. However, Bellingham service is available only on the weekends and holidays. The prices range from $6 to $12 for pick-up.

Students can also rent gear from Western Washington’s University’s Outdoor Center. Although Whatcom students don’t get a discount, Western has all types of gear available for a reasonable price.

Activities for January with the Friendship Club

01/15 Ice skating: about $5

01/30 Snow shoeing at Mt. Baker area: $10

Contact Information: 360-303-3244


2009-10 Mt. Baker ski area events

01/10 Baker Beacon Rally

01/18 Local’s Qualifier

Western Washington University‘s Outdoor Center

Monday through Friday 10am-4:30pm

Located at Viking Union 150 near the Garden St. entrance

(360) 650-3112

Upcoming Western Events:

Wednesday, December 9 to Sunday, December 13

Level 1 Avalanche Certification

When December 9th to December 13th 7 p.m. weekdays, 6 a.m. weekends

Where Outdoor Center

Cost $275 WWU students w/ ID, $290 guests

Saturday, December 12 to Monday, December 21

Wilderness First Responder certification class

When December 12th to December 21st 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where Outdoor Center

Cost $595.00

Saturday, January 9

Snowshoe Day Hike

When January 9th 8 a.m.

Where AS Outdoor Center

Cost $30 WWU students, $40 guests

Thursday, January 14

Ski/Snowboard Tuning Clinic

When January 14th 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where AS Outdoor Center

Cost $5.00

Snow Clinic

When January 14th 7 p.m.

Where AS Outdoor Center

Cost $8.0

Saturday, January 23

XC-Ski day trip

When January 23rd 8 a.m.

Where AS Outdoor Center

Cost $30 WWU students w/ ID, $35 guests

Sunday, January 24

Backcountry Ski/Board day trips

When January 24th 8 a.m.

Where AS Outdoor Center

Cost $35 WWU students w/ ID, $40 guests

Equipment Rentals for Western

We only accept cash or checks.

Climbing & Mountaineering

Day                             Weekend

Rock Shoes $4.00 $9.00
Crash Pad $4.00 $9.00
Helmet $2.00 $5.50
Mountaineering Boots $8.00 $18.00
Gaitors $1.50 $3.25
Crampons $3.00 $6.75
Ice Ax $3.00 $6.75

Snow Sports

Snowboard Package $14.00 $31.50
Snowboard $10.00 $22.50
Snowboard Boots $8.00 $18.00
XC Ski Package $7.00 $15.75
XCountry Skis $5.50 $12.25
XCountry Boots $4.00 $9.00
XCountry Poles $1.00 $2.25
Telemark Ski Package $15.00 $33.75
Telemark Skis $8.00 $18.00
TelemarkBoots $8.00 $18.00
Telemark Poles $1.00 $2.25
Climbing Skins $3.00 $6.75
Snowshoes $5.00 $11.25
Snowshoe Poles $1.00 $2.25
Avalanche Tranceiver $5.00 $11.25
Avalanche Probe $2.00 $4.50
Snow Shovel $3.00 $6.75
Snow Saw $1.50 $3.25

Weekend rentals may be picked up after 1 pm on Thursday (if available).

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SAL lab to move to Heiner next summer

By Matt Benoit
Horizon Editor
Kathryn Pace
Contributed to this story

SAL Lab (17)The Student Access Lab, or SAL computer lab located in Cascade Hall, will move to Heiner Center in the summer of 2010. The move is the first step in creating a temporary “Learning Commons,” a place where students can go to for tutoring, library resources, and computers, all in one place.



The move from Cascade Hall has stirred both opposition and support from students and staff.
SAL’s move from Cascade to Heiner was scheduled to take place in summer 2009, but more information and further discussion was needed by the planning committee because of the economic climate, said Ray White, vice president of administrative services at Whatcom.


The committee decided to postpone SAL’s move into the first floor of Heiner until summer 2010. Two of Heiner’s 35-seat classrooms will be converted for the SAL, while Cascade will gain a 26-seat classroom and a 45-seat classroom. The move is projected to cost $61,000 and will be paid from Whatcom’s student technology fees.


SAL Lab (13)After opposition to the move was expressed at a student council meeting in mid-October, White gave an overview about the SAL move at the next council meeting. He said that five years of survey information taken from students and faculty concluded that more access to computer labs and more centrally located computer labs were needed at Whatcom.


Some students do not want the learning access computer lab moved away from the close proximity of the tutoring labs. However, council members also reported that some of their constituents say tutoring labs have been overcrowded and not conducive to learning.


Dean Hagin, director of the Learning Center, said moving the SAL could result in the computers they house for students being more occupied.
SAL Lab (6)“This might have both positive aspects and not-so-positive aspects,” said Hagin. On the plus side, students might try to access the computers and wind up discovering all the student support services the center has. However, there will also be fewer computers near the center for students to use while they prepare or await tutoring sessions.
Linda Lambert, library director, said that the library would work with the learning center to cover the research needs of students, adding that there would still be a “first floor librarian presence” that would be limited unless the library budget expands.
Although the  SAL lab, will move to Heiner, the Learning Center and IT department will stay in Cascade. Ward Naf, director of the IT department—which will plan and implement the move—said moving the lab will greatly benefit students.
SAL Lab (1)“The basement of the Heiner building promises to be a better location to efficiently expand the number of computers available for students,” said Naf, adding that the lab’s current location makes expansion not feasible.
Other benefits of the move, said Naf, would be giving students an efficient and accessible way to get checkout materials from the library, as well as providing a start towards establishing the Learning Commons, a two-story, 69,210 square foot building that will be centrally located on Whatcom’s campus.
The building is expected to be completed by 2018 at a cost of nearly $40 million, and will provide eLearning support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With the SAL move, Heiner would become the de facto “learning commons,” synergizing library resources, tutoring, learning access labs, computers labs, study areas, computer kiosks, wireless connectivity and student collaborations (study groups) until the official Learning Commons Center is built.
The thinking, said White, is that students working on homework in SAL could seek impromptu help at the tutoring center which is just next door, head upstairs to the library for further research, or prepare to meet a study group.
A small test demonstration of how a learning lab could work in Heiner was set up by introducing comfortable chairs, vending machines, and open work areas with tables instead of desks in the first floor commons area and observing usage.
Anyone who has been to the first floor of Heiner can see that the common area is well used by students and study groups.
Computer logistics also come into play with the move. “SAL sharing technologies like printers and servers, and human resources like monitors and tutors all in one place also makes more dollar sense,” said White.





So what do students think?

Chandler Batiste, the executive vice president for the student council who is also chair of student advocacy, said she polled around 146 students, a majority of whom were in favor of the move. Batiste did say 95 percent of the survey was taken in the Syre Student Center, leading her to believe that the students spent at least some of their time near Heiner.

The other 5 percent of the survey, taken across campus, showed slim margins but overall was still in favor of the move. Batiste said students who do oppose the move do so at least in part to the convenience of where the lab is currently located, but added that the move is the first step to “slighting decreasing convenience for some in hopes of vastly increasing convenience for all.”
As for her personal stance, Batiste said she has an office as a student government member and, like many students, a laptop, and thus never uses the lab.
SAL Lab (7)One student proposed a compromise. Casey Lockhart, 22, is a Whatcom student who uses the SAL lab two days a week as part of his English 101 class, which splits their time evenly between the classroom and the lab. He says he thinks it would be nicer to have the labs in two different places than just one central location. “It seems more efficient,” he said.
Library director Linda Lambert, though, cast doubt on such a compromise, saying she didn’t know if the resources were available for two separate labs.
Sean Radwanski, 15, a full-time Running Start student who uses the lab almost every day to do homework, check e-mail, and write stories, said the lab move is helpful to students because it not only brings the lab closer to the library, but to other buildings as well.

“It’s more in the middle of everything,” Radwanski said of the future Heiner location.
Arturo Camejo, 19, works in the International Programs office and uses the SAL lab an average of four times a week to write essays and more. “I’m for it,” he said of the move to Heiner. “It’s more in the core of the campus.”
Josh Clark, 28, says he uses the computers in the library often, and thinks it’s a good idea to move the lab because it means he won’t have far to go to find other computers, and thus, he can avoid waiting in lines more often.
Clark recalls that in previous years at Whatcom, wait lines for computers used to be shorter. “This year’s not been like that, at all,” he said.

The opposite view was expressed by Crystal Bohm, 40, who seemed disappointed by the move, saying she enjoyed the access of the Cascade SAL lab due to the amount of time she spent in the science labs on that side of the campus.
“They were handy,” Bohm said of the SAL computers in Cascade.




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Testing the Watters

By Jessica Daniel
Horizon Reporter

“I see myself as a companion in the learning process as Aristotle saw himself to Alexander the Great,” said Tim Watters, as he explained that teaching is handing over knowledge.

Raised in the deep South of Aiken, South Carolina, Watters, a faculty member of Whatcom Community College since July 2002, teaches philosophy, world religions, communication, and interdisciplinary studies.
Watters has a triple bachelor’s degree in English, history and philosophy, and a Master’s in theology, civil law and European civil law. He plays the organ, and enjoys house renovating, parties, cooking, and weight training with low impact aerobics.
Watters enjoys teaching for what he sees in the students’ eyes. “That they get it; I enjoy what they teach me of life,” he said, calling Whatcom students the birth of our “future present.”Watters (5)
“Each student is in a rite of passage from the time of limited responsibility, to an age of informed leadership, leaving childhood behind,” Watters said. “The pressures upon them to meet this challenge are increasing exponentially as the nation struggles with an era of decline.”
Watters wants the students to understand the pressures in the real world. “If you’re not the one getting it, then you’ll be left behind,” Watters said.
During class, Watters encourages the students to get up in front of the class and explain to their peers what they’re discussing that day. By having a student do this, it shows them the pressure and competition of others, and pushes them to realize their potential.
“Instead of slowing down the tempo, we have to speed it up and put pressure on students to see what has been here all along, but never grabbed their attention,” Watters said. “It is a challenge we must accept. It’s not easy to broaden horizons.”
Watters said that every generation must do this, so the next generation can be succeeded, not replaced. “I try to refocus the students’ eyes on the larger ‘now’ then they have in their line of sight,” Watters said.Watters (3)
The Chinese have an ancient saying, said Watters, “The eyes are blind when the mind is elsewhere.”
“No one person can fulfill one duty,” Watters said. “It takes all of us together as a consciously formed community to be true to our national identity and purpose.”
Shane Everbeck is a student in Watters’ philosophy class. “He really cares and is a great teacher,” he said. “This class is really mind opening.”
Watters considers himself a professor of reality checks. “Students are leaving the arena of fairy tales, and becoming the authors of folk tales,” he said.
However, a major difference between the students and Watters is the life experience. “This I have to share,” Watters said. “This they have to acquire.”
Maddie Schatz is a student in Watters’ world religions class. “He’s a smart guy and knows what he’s talking about,” she said. “He’s a good teacher and is really laid back. That’s what I like about him.”
Watters spoke of the faculty, administrators and staff at Whatcom as an impressive crew. “They come together; there is no competition between them,” he said. Everyone wants the best for their colleagues.”Watters (1)
“Teaching is handing over knowledge and mentoring is the handing over of understanding,” Watters said. “This college does both. It is how future leaders are made.”
“The stars of this institution are the students. They are very intelligent; perhaps more than I am,” he added.
Recently in the hospital for eight days, starting with a diagnosis of the flu and leading to congestive heart, kidney and liver failure, Watters’ life was at risk.
He said the faculty sent letters and gave the students a chance to write cards and notes wishing for his health.
Kathi Hiyane-Brown, the President of Whatcom sent a heartfelt message of concern, along with Kim Reeves, a faculty member, encouraging people to send him chocolates, Watters said. Students and faculty came to visit him, “It was very uplifting,” he said.
The experience in the hospital left Watters with a new realization of fear. He said he does not fear death or the fear of dying, but rather the fear that a stranger will close his eyes in death.
“I want students to be my revenge on death,” Watters said. “The dead live on in the memory of the living.”
Something that Watters wishes to accomplish at Whatcom is to be deemed creditable, he said. “I’m not perfect or free from error, but I want to earn the students’ conscious trust, not the habitual trust they bring with them through the door.”
“If I am creditable, they will listen,” said Watters.
A dream of Watters is to win the lottery and invest the money in a foundation for the arts and humanities that will provide for the future through the present.
“Becoming comfortable with who I am not, and never will be; being comfortable in my own skin,” is what Watters is most proud of. He then quoted Plotinus. “The soul that beholds beauty becomes beautiful.”
Watters had a word of advice for students. “When you are 20, you worry what everyone thinks of you. When you are 40, you don’t care what anyone thinks about you. When you hit 60, very few have been thinking about you anyway.”
“So stop giving away your power to those who don’t even want it,” he said. “Learn what pleases you first; you may just learn your destiny.”

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