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The blue light alert system on Western Washington University’s campus will eventually be replaced by the new LiveSafe app, one of three projects that the Western Washington University Police Department is developing to improve accountability and community trust. The other projects include a pilot program for body cameras and a rigorous international accreditation process. // Photo by Jacob O’Donnell

University Police prepare to adopt new accountability measures

A Western Washington University student has to cross campus in the middle of the night and feels unsafe. The old, Blue Light Alert phones are nowhere to be seen, so they reach out to the university police on a newly installed safety app. Promptly, a campus police officer with the dim light glinting on the lens of their body camera comes to the student’s location and walks them safely across campus. This could be the future of policing on Western’s campus.

Western Washington University artist Rachel Rothberg stands next to her piece called Requiem, an oil painting of four colorful birds, on June 1, 2021. The Western Gallery Material Mind Exhibition showcases the thesis work of graduating Western students from the BFA program. // Photo by Crystal Tucker

"Material Mind" exhibition has begun

After a year of hard work and conceptualization, graduating Western Washington University students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program will finally get the chance to present their thesis projects to the public from now until June 11. 

Sunset on a spring evening on Western Washington University’s north campus. The Okanagan Charter provides a framework for promoting wellbeing in all aspects of university communities. // Photo by Zoë Parker

Western set to sign onto Okanagan Charter in the fall, committing to wellbeing

As part of President Sabah Randhawa’s Accessibility, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion timeline, Western Washington University is in the process of joining the Okanagan Charter, an international charter that aims to promote lifelong community health and wellbeing on college and university campuses through a wholistic, university-wide and collaborative set of goals and initiatives. 

An illustration depicts two individuals taking off their masks to kiss. Western Washington University students share their experiences with online dating during the COVID-19 pandemic. // Illustration by Tesla Kawakami

Dating during the pandemic

“Many people, especially right now, are really eager to connect. [Talking to people] is welcome,” she said. Boyd said that the anxiety of meeting a date in person is often self imposed, and there’s an idea that every encounter is either a success or a failure. Stepping out of the right-versus-wrong mindset and focusing on having fun is key to dating success, Boyd said.

Western Washington University students gather around the Communications Lawn during the 2018 Lawnstock event. Associated Student Productions encourage students to celebrate the upcoming seventh annual Lawnstock event on June 5. // Photo courtesy of Casey Hayden

Lawnstock is back — with a few small changes

Lawnstock, Western's outdoor spring festival, will bring students together on the Communications Facility lawn and listen to live music while enjoying free food, games and other activities. There won’t be live musical performers as the pandemic winds down, but KUGS 89.3 FM Radio will provide a livestream, and games like cornhole and other activities will be provided along with squared off areas for students to gather with their small group of friends on campus. 

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