Western alumni helped The Seattle Times win their 10th Pulitzer Prize this year for breaking news for their coverage of the landslide in Oso, Washington, that took 43 lives. The Western alumni who shared in the staff award include Gina Cole, Jack Broom, Laura Gordon, Coral Garnick, Paige Collins, Mark Higgins, Katie Greene Cotterill, Ron Judd and Colin Diltz. The award, which was announced Monday, April 20, is shared by the entire newspaper’s staff. Among the Western alumni on the staff was Garnick who graduated with a journalism degree in 2009. “Winning for breaking news is a hard one to win for because it inevitably means something tragic happened,” Garnick said. “So it’s a hard thing for all of us to look back on such a tragic situation and feel excited and happy about the coverage that we did.” Paige Collins, who graduated from Western in 2012 with a journalism degree, spoke about the bittersweet feeling that comes with winning an award for covering a tragic event. “The award is something to celebrate because we did our jobs well and we are proud of the journalism we produced, but you don’t want to celebrate too much,” Collins said. The coverage of the landslide, which happened after a hillside collapsed above the Stillaguamish River and bore its way through the Steelhead Haven neighborhood, included stories, graphics, photos and videos. There was also a detailed victims page that was continuously updated as information became available after the slide. Collins spent most of her time producing the victims page. The page started out as a list of confirmed missing people and overtime grew to be more of an interactive memorial for the victims, Collins said. “By the end of this project I had all of the names of all of these people memorized and I could tell you information about their lives just off the top of my head,” Collins said. “The hardest part of that was plowing through the effort to get the work done and shoving aside the emotional aspect.” At just 27, Garnick said that winning a Pulitzer prize was never something she thought would happen this early in her career. “On my bucket list was winning a Pulitzer, to be able to say that I’m part of that is just incredible,” Garnick said. The Pulitzer Prize is awarded annually in 21 different categories that award achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition in the United States. This is the second Pulitzer for breaking news for the Seattle Times in five years.
Belina Seare was the only Associated Students presidential candidate who sat on the stage of the Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room Thursday, April 23, for what would have been the presidential debate leading up to next week’s AS elections.
In this year's Associated Students election, four candidates for vice president positions are running unopposed. These candidates spoke about their platforms and goals for their positions at the AS VP debate on Tuesday, April 21, in Academic West 204.
Juniors Jesse Doran and Patrick Eckroth debated voting accessibility and issues involved with running for Associated Students Vice President for Governmental Affairs. This position acts as a liaison between the AS and the University Relations division, the city and county governments, the State of Washington, as well as the U.S. federal government.
Junior Zachary Dove and sophomore Gabriel Alejandro Ibanez went head-to-head at a debate for Vice President of Academic Affairs, a position tasked with increasing student awareness and involvement about academic affairs of the university, as stated on the Associated Students Board of Directors website.
Designs for a new 419-tenant apartment complex for 910 N. Forest St. will be sent to the city planning director for final approval. The complex, which is aimed at students, would replace the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, according to the Design Review Board meeting.
Tribes from around the Pacific Northwest gathered, competed in and celebrated Native American culture with Western and the community at the Native American Student Union (NASU) Pow-Wow in Sam Carver Gymnasium.
Western’s industrial design department is turning the technology of tea steeping upside down with its original magnetic tea-brewing vessel design.
Around 30 Whatcom County residents marched from Fred Meyer on Lakeway Drive to City Hall as a way to remember the Holocaust in Bellingham’s fifth “March of Remembrance” on Sunday, April 19.
After more than 40 years on campus, the Environmental Studies building is trying to get a fresh, new look in the coming years.
Paul Merriman, president of Merriman Financial Education Foundation, asked a lecture hall full of Western students if they had their 401(k)s under control. No one lifted a finger.
Donations days for the Homeless Resource and Clothing Drive have been extended to Thursday, April 23. Dr. Tara Perry and two of her classes in the communications department are holding the Homeless Resource and Clothing Drive to provide the homeless with the necessities that they need for everyday life. The drive is looking for socks, knitted hats, toiletries, brightly colored backpacks, blankets, reusable water bottles and any other everyday use item you can imagine. Once the items have been gathered they will be organized into backpacks and distributed to the homeless community in downtown Bellingham. On Saturday, April 25, students will meet at AB Crepes to pass out the backpacks. AB Crepes will be opening early for the event and will be giving out a free crepe and cup of coffee to every homeless person that arrives. Junior communications major Colton Edwards is a student in one of Perry’s classes and feels a personal connection to this event. Growing up in a town with little to no homeless interaction, he felt a culture shock when he moved to Bellingham and saw the large homeless presence, Edwards said. “Service learning is all about getting in the community and helping out so they are definitely a community we wanted to reach out to,” Edwards said. Edwards is part of a three-person social media team that posts on the Twitter account for the event. The Homeless Resource and Clothing Drive is a part of Western’s Active Minds Changing Lives week, where different clubs and organizations around campus put on events, demonstrations and workshops in the effort to be active change makers not only on Westerns campus but in their own lives as well. Donations are being collected from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Communications Facility 294 and near the Wilson Library exit facing Old Main. For more information on the event and to follow their progress go to the event’s Twitter page @Bellingpacks.