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Bellingham
Sunday, June 7, 2020

Local adventure awaits at Outdoor Center

By Bethany Maciejewski

For a campus nestled between the North Cascades and the Puget Sound, Western loves to celebrate the surrounding beauty by putting a plethora of valuable resources into giving students a means to explore it. 

A combined effort of campus coordination and the Outdoor Center creates opportunities for students to appreciate the activities Western’s surrounding environment provides. In the past, the Outdoor Center held night hikes for the new moon and full moon, bike tours and their highly popular weekly yoga classes. These events help create a sense of community amid the outdoors lovers on campus. 

The Outdoor Center is planning to implement a rolling events calendar to better organize the information for those interested, which should feature new events like surfing at Hobuck Beach, according to Allijah Motika, the information coordinator. 

The new moon night hike on Oct. 28 was an opportunity for students to participate in a guided trek through the Chuckanut Mountains. Hosted in the past, the event has drawn enough attention to be held again. 

Stephen Magnuson, the program coordinator for the Outdoor Center, said that the student staff have “freedom to design and implement trips that they would like to lead, or that other students have suggested or like to see.” 

“The night hike, both new moon and full moon, have been offered in the past and are always a fun different thing for folks to get out and do some night hiking,” Magnuson said.

Choosing event ideas becomes a student-led process which adds an element of community involvement to the Outdoor Center. These decisions often come through Wendy Johnson, the event services manager at Western. Johnson said her role is to assist event coordinators with planning, securing resources and creating diagrams. She also supplies limited equipment inside and outside of the building, and schedules and supports her student staff, event staff,sound and light technicians. 

In her wheelhouse, Johnson commonly interacts with the events being held by the Outdoor Center. The support of Western administration in the operation of the Outdoor Center aides the student staff in putting on substantial and successful events. Without the cooperation of both entities, events like the upcoming night hike would not be possible.

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