With the Whatcom Community College cross-country team’s season just
around the corner, a group of young athletes are preparing to compete
for the first time as an Orca runner. A collective of fourteen athletes
make up the team, six on the women’s and eight on the men’s.
Since the unexpected outbreak of COVID-19, they had to adjust to the
uncertainty and possible disappointment of their season. Intended to
begin in Fall 2020, the cross-country season was postponed. Last
August, was supposed to be their first meet, but also was cancelled due
to safety and precautions.
Coach Jay Sloane said that with the circumstances of this year, there
have been a lot of obstacles to face.
Ijeoma Olou appealed in an address to the students and faculty at Whatcom to be the root of change in the colleges we attend and work at during the “Awakening the Legacy” virtual event Jan. 18 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
“If there is any place that could create systemic change, why would it not be in our colleges and universities? Why would it not be in a place that’s supposed to be wed to new ideas?” Olou said.
Being a college athlete is hard as it is but being a student athlete in college might just be harder. During a regular season, the Whatcom volleyball team has a packed schedule, but who knew that during a worldwide pandemic, we are still working just as hard.
I’m a returning player for Whatcom’s volleyball team. I played last year as the starting Libero, which is a defensive specialist, for the team, where we placed first in the Northern Region of the Northwestern Athletic Conference and placed in the top eight at the NWAC Championship. We worked hard every day, sometimes practicing up to four hours a day. A lot of people have asked what we are doing to practice as a team while being safe and conscious of COVID-19 guidelines.
Fall in Bellingham is truly a great experience, there are many fun and unique events to enjoy and the great outdoors is beautiful this time of year. However, this season most in-person activities and events have been cancelled, according to the Bellingham.org website.
The Pandemic may have struck a blow on the usual bonanza of local events around Whatcom County, but luckily many local organizations have pulled together to create some safe ways to celebrate. Stony Ridge, Bellewood Acres, Bellingham Farmers Market, SeaFeast, and local churches are just some of the many instigators of alternative events.
Earlier this year, WCC was forced to move online for classes due to Covid-19. After two full quarters and a dramatic change in class structure, what do the students and staff at WCC prefer? Online or in person classes?
“In person! Connecting and creating a dynamic, shared learning space is easier when we’re face to face.” answered Melanie Sehman, an Associate Professor who has been working at WCC since 2013.
“With in-person classes, it’s easier to provide immediate feedback for students and answer questions right away.” she explains.