Club Focus: Serving Growing Student Interest

A new club hopes to serve students an opportunity to play a beloved sport.

The group first started off with casual meetups in the student recreation center with a capacity of 10 students. These started informally back in December 2021, during the end of the fall quarter, and began to grow gradually.

Alan Ngeow, Badminton Club president, decided to create the group when he realized that for many of the international students these sessions were a smashing success and they felt right at home.

“I wanted to create a space where people in this campus can share the love for badminton,” Ngeow said.

For the club to form, Alan was required to have more active members participating. It took only two weeks for the club members to promote the weekly matches and spread the word to get active participation. The sessions grew as big as 20 participants, and the journey to becoming a club started.

The Associated Students of Whatcom Community College Badminton Club attended their first club event on April 19, held on campus at the Syre Auditorium, as a Club Fair event. The club gathered 40 signatures of students who were interested.

The badminton session has a capacity of up to 40 students, which then exposed the issue of not having enough sporting equipment. The club’s treasurer worked diligently to request additional funding to cater to the current participation rate and was successful.

After receiving funding, the club announced its next agenda: the Intramural Badminton League, to be hosted in the Student Recreation Center where their badminton sessions are usually held. The competition days are on Monday and Friday for three weeks starting May 16 and ending June 3.

With the announcement out, they hope to have many students sign up for the competition and have promised participation medals and prizes for the winners. The ASWCC Badminton Club is looking forward to the upcoming competition. For further information regarding the competition contact Badminton Club President Alan Ngeow at YNgeow5613@student.whatcom.edu.

WCC Partners With Whatcom Museum to Bring REDress Project to Community

Whatcom Community College recently partnered with Whatcom Museum to bring a display of empty red dresses to downtown Bellingham.

The REDress Project is designed to bring awareness to the data, or lack thereof, regarding missing and murdered Indigenous women. Métis Nation member Jaime Black began the original REDress Project in 2011. She displayed a collection of red dresses on clothing hangers in Winnipeg to bring awareness to crimes against Aboriginal women in Canada.

Red dresses hang in the courtyard of the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building on May 14. Photo Credit: @davidloudon_photography

“It’s easy to see Native people as history, but we can be seen outside history, we are here, present.” said the Interim College Equity Officer at WCC, Terri Thayer, an enrolled member of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation.

Thayer proposed bringing The REDress Project to the Whatcom Museum, following an exhibit at the college in 2019. She intends to arrange the dresses annually and hopes that the project continues to grow.

“Bringing diversity and equity as a community is important,” said Thayer of the partnership with the museum.

A red dress hangs from a tree in the courtyard of the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building on May 14. Photo Credit: @davidloudon_photography

Whatcom Museum Marketing and Public Relations Manager Christina Claasen said the partnership is part of an Indigenous initiative . The campaign is meant to shine a light on traditional Salish art and bring the community closer together through understanding.

“The museum has always focused on Salish peoples,” said Claasen, “but in the last five years we’ve had more partnership with native tribes.”

A red dress hangs in the courtyard of the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building on May 14. Photo Credit: @davidloudon_photography

This idea of partnership has encouraged stronger relationship building between the museum and the local tribal communities.

“I feel like people are too afraid to talk about it, or they’re ignorant because no one is talking about it,” said Devin James, a member of the Lummi Nation. “So I love the installation, if the whole world acted like this everything would be different.”

The art installation was displayed in the courtyard of Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building May 5, Murdered and Missing Indigenous People’s Day, through May 15. 

Club Focus: What is Neurodiversity?

There’s a new club on campus.

“Awareness, Acceptance, Advocacy,” a handmade sign advertises a new organization for WCC. 

One of Whatcom Community College’s newest clubs hopes to create a safe space for neurodivergent students.

Per Harvard Health, neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits.

“Destigmatizing and educating students and faculty about normalizing the diversity of the human condition is the goal,” said Associated Students of Whatcom Community College Neurodiversity Club President Cian Maes.

Jax Bayne, another member of the club, says there are over 30 students currently signed up. He joined to connect with other neurodivergent students and help create solutions to common problems.

 “There is an immense overlap between neurodivergence, chronic illness, disability, and other medical & health-related conditions,” he added, “especially psychological trauma from early childhood, so there is a need for members of the club to be as trauma-informed as possible.”

Students mingle during the Associated Students of Whatcom Community College Club Fair in the Syre Student Center on April 19. Photo by Erik Cruz, Horizon Staff

Neurodiversity club member and ASWCC President Carlyn Finerty is helping to create this safe space for neurodivergent students to get together, connect, support and advocate for each other.

“I’ve been pretty vocal about the lack of conversation around mental health and neurodiversity,” she said during the Welcome Back event on campus April 14. “Making more room and space for conversations that are sometimes uncomfortable to have.”

Upcoming planned activities include a “Build Your Own Stim Kit” event for Orca Day and neurodiverse dating workshops.

The club meets Fridays 10-11 a.m. in Syre Student Center Room 216. Contact Cian Maes for more information at cmaes8114@student.whatcom.edu.

Music Review: Is Wet Leg 2022’s Hottest Band?

You’ve heard them creeping into your algorithms. (At least if you have similar tastes in curating your streaming services as I do). The eponymous debut from one of 2022’s hottest bands arrived on April 8. When Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers found themselves on top of a Ferris wheel one night in their native Isle of Wight, it was the culmination of a friendship that started in college ten years prior. From that night, a new partnership was born; they decided to start a band. That band is Wet Leg.

Why Wet Leg? According to the girls, they wanted a name that could be spelled with emojis. Rhian expounded to News OnTheWight:

We started the band just for fun as we were both working full time jobs that demanded a lot of our time and energy, so we took a little while choosing the name Wet Leg. We basically chose it after hitting 💦 and 🦵 on the emoji keyboard. We were playing a sort of game where we’d make band names out of different emoji combinations. Then we got to wet leg and it just kind of stuck.

Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers
Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers of the band Wet Leg. Photo Credit: Parri Thomas for NME

They signed with Domino Recording Company in 2019 and their debut single “Chaise Longue” (loud-quiet-loud earworm), released in June 2021, was a viral smash hit – notching millions of streams and views. A few months later saw this success followed by “Wet Dream” (dance-inducing vision complete with finger snaps) and soon after, “Too Late Now” (spoken word verse and all) and “Oh No” (surprisingly sophisticated guitar work and vocal range). Shortly before the release of the album, those tracks were joined by “Angelica” (intoxicated loop around a party they want to leave) and “Ur Mum” (cheeky “taking the piss” out of an ex). The videos for these are low-budget indie affairs ranging from cottagecore aesthetic, roadside makeovers, picnics and lighthouses.

These songs have a strong throughline of sardonic silliness, snarky sarcasm and just plain catchy hooks. Essentially, they are a throwback to old-school Britpop guitar rock, something audiences have been starved for recently. Masters of the “hip three-minute diddy” (thanks Blues Traveler) – these singles are the highlights of the album, including topics such as post-college life, supermarkets, dating apps, exes, the trap of endless scrolling, lusty party scenes and even bubble baths. The deadpan delivery of these lyrics comes wrapped in punk/pop minimalism. No guitar solos here.

The touring band also includes Ellis Durand on bass, Henry Holmes on drums and Josh Mobaraki on guitar and synth. Their show on March 26 in Seattle was sold out months prior to the show. For PNW locals there are still opportunities to see them live – coming to Vancouver on Aug. 4 and Port Townsend for the THING festival on Aug. 26.