To the editor and editorial board of The Western Front, Several of The Western Front’s recent articles were about campus safety in case of active shooters. Others have been about the safety of the neighborhood from burglars and voyeurs. With the increase in attention given to public safety and the dangers of insecure homes and classrooms, I believe it is time to rethink Western’s weapon policy. Currently, only law enforcement officers, authorized contractors, or permitted members of U.S. government agencies may carry firearms on campus, according to WAC 516-52-020, which is available to view on Western’s website. I believe that rule should be reexamined with current events in mind and evaluated by professionals to determine whether or not licensed students should be allowed to carry firearms on campus. If students are to be allowed to carry on campus, proper safety measures should be taken. Mental checks, registry with campus police and demonstration of firearm handling should be prerequisites for students to carry a weapon. If firearms are still to be restricted, I believe it should be encouraged for students to carry nonlethal self-defense measures such as pepper spray or Tasers. These are easy to use, easy to carry and can serve as a deterrent and defense against burglaries, personal assault or other threats. In any case, self-defense awareness and readiness should be encouraged in order to prevent harm to oneself and one’s property. People may accuse me and other self-defense advocates as alarmists who contribute to a culture of fear on campus. I believe that the news points to a need for readiness and that it is better to over-prepare than to underprepare. Instead of a culture of fear on campus, I advocate for a culture of empowerment and preparedness. Sincerely, John Simmons
Monuments honoring the Confederacy are still widespread across the country, but whether they should remain has become an important topic of discussion.
When I first heard that Washington’s most recent bathroom bill was defeated, I wanted to feel relieved, ecstatic, joyful. It was just past noon on the day of Bellingham’s Pride Festival, and I stood on the edge of the concrete, watching a parade of lavishly decorated individuals and organizations weave their way past the crowds on their route to the center of the city. A group in matching rainbow suspenders passed in front of us, holding up signs that read, “We Said No To I-1552! Washington Won’t Discriminate!”
The name Eric Bostrom may be extremely familiar to students who have attended school on Western’s campus in past years. He has spent many school days in Red Square with Donald Trump signs and hateful signs directed towards LGBTQ+ individuals.
The number of students utilizing Western’s counseling center doubled from 2011 to 2016, according to data the univeristy reported to The National College Health Assessment survey. Unfortunately, the school’s limited resources have not caught up with the rising demand.
Letter to the editor response from the editorial board: Student convicted of sexual assault readmittedBy The Western Front and Suzanna Leung | July 7
Content warning: This story contains references to sexual assault.
Content warning: This article contains references to sexual assault
On April 28, Western’s student body elected Ana Ramirez as the Associated Students vice president of governmental affairs. She is also the first undocumented student to be elected to the AS Board. However, administrators could remove Ramirez from her position due to her lack of work authorization. This should not be the case.
As seen among universities across the country, campus sexual assaults aren’t isolated incidents — 11.2 percent of all students experience rape or sexual assault. Western’s campus is no exception.
The latest Western Front editorial, "Western's greedy business hurts students" fails to look beyond our campus (as is common), and misses the primary culprit of many problems - systemic underfunding of our public institutions.
Western is a business. In order to run a good business, costs must be low and profits must be high. Western’s sure-fire way to ensure profit is through students’ tuition. In that case, it’s no wonder student enrollment reaches a new all-time high every fall quarter.
Parents send their children off to college with peace of mind, believing the safety of students will be the university’s top priority. When their safety is jeopardized, it’s expected that the school will hold people accountable and that steps are taken to redress the situation.
Students are being left out in the cold due to the Whatcom Transportation Authority’s route changes. Those who rely on the bus system hold mixed feelings over the revisions implemented on March 19.