Campus Briefs

The tax man cometh, but so too cometh help

Students, low-income families, and low-income seniors can get help with their tax returns at Whatcom Community College thanks to VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).

The service is being provided by Whatcom Business Club students and certified community volunteers, and will be available in Whatcom’s Heiner Center lobby every Monday (5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.), Tuesday (5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.), and Friday (9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) between now and April 18, with the exception of several dates (Feb. 21-24, March 25-April 4).

Those interested who qualify for help should bring Social Security cards for themselves as well as for any spouses or dependents, a copy of their previous year’s return (if possible), all W-2 forms, all 1099s received, all forms showing federal income tax paid and economic recovery payment, unemployment compensation benefits, any 1098 or other forms from your college (if applicable), or any other material needed to complete a return.

Volunteers will only be able to file six to eight returns a day due to having only two laptops, so those unable to wait for help can also contact the Bellingham Public Library at (360) 778-7323 for information on their help dates and times.

Free ‘resume re-design’ workshop

Students and community members ages 50 and up can attend a free resume design workshop, “Redesign Your Resume for Transitional Times,” on Thursday, March 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Whatcom’s Foundation Building, room 201C.

For more information, contact Kristi Slette at, or by phone at (360) 383-3195. Space is limited to 30 people, so those interested should RSVP.

Whatcom winter quarter concert

Whatcom Community College’s Chamber and Collegiate Choirs,  along with the college’s Jazz Band, present a concert on Tuesday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Heiner Center Auditorium. The program includes Renaissance madrigals, Vietnamese songs, Faure’s Pavane op. 50, jazz both hot and cool, and Irving Berlin songs with big band. Admission is free.

International Night is coming!

Whatcom’s annual celebration of cultural diversity, “International Night,” is just a week away.

The event, presented by the college’s International Programs office and the International Friendship Club, will take place on Thursday, March 3, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Syre Student Center Auditorium, and will feature international food, dances, and other performances, including juggling and martial arts. A prize drawing will also be held.

Admission is $3 per person, but free to children 12 and under, as well as to those who bring food.


Whatcom’s men’s basketball team is playoff-bound after locking up the fourth and final playoff berth in the NWAACC North Region. The team most recently lost 60-57 to Bellevue Community College on Feb. 21, snapping a six-game winning streak. The Orcas had a 10-4 league record as of press time on Feb. 22, tied for third place in the north with Skagit Valley, whom they’ll play next on Feb. 23. There are two regular season games left.

Meanwhile, the Whatcom women’s basketball team has also secured a postseason spot, sitting in second place in the North Region, with a 12-2 league record. They most recently won their seventh-straight game, 67-61, against Bellevue on Feb. 21, and will next play first-place North team Skagit Valley, on the road, on Feb. 23.

Kumquat Poetry Challenge Announced

Whatcom Community College’s fifth annual Kumquat Poetry Challenge, in celebration of April’s National Poetry Month, has been announced.

A creation of Whatcom’s library staff, the challenge is open to all past and present students, faculty, staff, and board members of the college. The challenge consists of having to write a poem that must include 10 specific words. This year’s words: circle, expect, indelible, knot, lodge, poise, rock, storm, translucent, watch.

The words can be in pluralized or “-ing” suffix form, but the whole words must be used. The top three winners of the contest will receive their choice of a plate of cookies, brownies, or scones, home-baked by library staff.

Light or serious poems are all welcome. Submissions, in Word document form, should be e-mailed to no later than April 18 at 8 a.m. A publishing party for the contest will be held on April 27. Those with questions about the contest can contact Ara Taylor at

18th Annual Plant Sale and Expo

Pre-orders are now being accepted by the Whatcom Conservation District for their annual Native Plant Sale, to be held at Whatcom Community College’s Roe Studio on March 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Plant Sale and Expo features low cost native plants, seedlings, and shrubs for sale, as well as the appearance of several local nursery vendors and environmental organizations. The event’s purpose is to “promote the stewardship and conservation of our natural resources.”

Pre-orders must be received at the WCD office by Friday, March 4, and require a $100 minimum purchase, with a 50 percent deposit due upon pre-order placement. Payments must be made by cash or check. Pick up for the orders will be available on Friday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the site of the sale.

All day-of-sale purchases, however, are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Order forms and plant descriptions are available on the WCD’s Web site,, or upon request from the WCD office at (360) 354-2035 ext. 3, or by e-mail at

Street Law at Whatcom

Talk to a lawyer for free at Whatcom during this quarter’s “Street Law” sessions. Those interested can inquire about several kinds of legal problems.

“Street Law”  will be set up in Whatcom’s Career Center, located in Laidlaw 117. The sessions take place on Wed., March 2, and Wed., March 16. Both dates feature sessions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Student Success Workshops

Whatcom continues to offer their Student Success Workshops this quarter. The workshops take place every Monday from 1 to 2 p.m. in Cascade 101. Topics include test taking skills (Feb. 28), time management (March 7), and test anxiety (March 14).

For more information, contact Entry and Advising at (360) 383-3080.

Free Help Desk

The IT Professionals of Tomorrow are available to help any Whatcom students with their computer issues with their free, student-run help desk. The help desk will be located outside of the Student Access Lab in Heiner 105, and will be available on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Services include virus removal, diagnostics, and installations.

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