ASG prepare to spend, spend, spend

Members of the newly elected ASG staff have some ambitious and expensive plans to make on-campus life more enjoyable for students and staff.

One of the biggest investments the ASG will most likely be making is on a new scoreboard for the men’s soccer field. The field, which will soon become home to the women’s softball team, will now serve two purposes and is currently being renovated. The field will soon have seating, fencing and, if all goes according to plan, a scoreboard.

The women’s softball team has been playing their games at Robinswood Park, an unreliable location, and have had many games cancelled after the park has been shut down due to minor weather issues.

“A scoreboard is an opportunity to make a lasting difference on the College. It is something that brings women’s softball here, and is going to be here for 10 to 15 years.” said Joseph Root, ASG President

Under usual circumstances, the Athletic Department would pay for any changes they have in their department. Due to the fact that a scoreboard would be a major investment, and could cost as much as $10,000 before installation, the ASG was approached for financial help.

The scoreboard appeared as an informational item in last week’s Board of Directors meetings and Bill O’Connor, Athletic Director at BC, had suggested that the ASG contributed half of the funds to have a scoreboard installed at the College.

Most people agreed that the scoreboard would be a good use of funds and the item is waiting for a Request for Proposal.

“We nickel and dime everything [at Bellevue College], and the scoreboard is a symbol of our support,” said Root.

Chapman Chung, Vice President of Finance and Communication, is currently in the process of working out a budget for the new ASG staff, but expects to “spend more than last year.” However, this hasn’t stopped staff from coming up with suggestions.

Andres Munt, Clubs and Programs Representative, was integral in proposing a celebration of Oktoberfest here at the College. The event, which is expected to cost in the region of $1,700, has already been approved and will cater for all students that attend.

Jean-Claude Kameni, Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Representative, has also been busy contemplating ways to spend the ASG budget. One suggestion Kameni shared with The Jibsheet, was to bring more TV screens and monitors to the College, to broadcast music videos.

Kameni has also been working to bring practical solutions to the College’s problems. One major development that Kameni is currently working on is to bring a financial institution to campus.

He said that this would mean that ATM’s would be easily accessible to students, and they would not be charged to withdraw cash. Kameni is currently in negotiations with BECU and U.S. Bank.

Carolyn Dewitt, Environmental and Social Responsibility Representative, is hoping to see some of her ideas come to fruition using the Student Environmental Sustainability Fee (SESF). This fee, which students pay into, has not been utilized as yet. The previous Environmental Representative, who resigned shortly into their term, did not use the fee, which now contains two quarters worth of funds.

Dewitt has numerous uses for the surplus, including new lighting, solar panels and a less wasteful cafeteria for the College.

Dewitt said that she hopes to install a new lighting system in the Student Programs building, with the hope of extending it throughout the College. This lighting system will sense how much natural light is in a room, and how much artificial light is necessary for people to work. This, Dewitt hopes, will cut down on electricity costs.

The Environmental Representative hopes that an alternative source of energy— solar panels— will cut the College’s expenses, and that the savings will be given back to students. She was unsure of the cost of solar panels, though.

“We need to think about what benefits students first, and then meshing with being a greener school.” Said Dewitt.

She also highlighted that the cafeteria wastes a lot food, and that composting would be the best way to counteract this. According to Dewitt, the cafeteria does not currently compost at all, something that does not set a good example to the students and employees that work there.

Starting this fall, Dewitt will have to present her ideas to the SESF Committee, a panel that Root put together to govern how environmental fees are used.

While the ideas the new ASG has put together are ambitious and potentially expensive, Root is certain that no frivolous spending will take place as long as committees are put in place to govern funds. In fact, Vice President of Finance Chapman Chung has to be consulted even when an office purchase costs more than $10.

Light rail hits minor problems

The Seattle light rail transit, which carries passengers from Westlake in Seattle to International Blvd. in Tukwila, has been operational for over a week now, but it has not been a completely smooth ride.

For four decades, the project was a subject of controversy to the Washington State Dept. of Transportation. This was, in part, due to the mixed reaction the idea received from the general public.

“We often talk about Seattle’s inability to act – we spend a long time talking, we can’t agree on the best course of action, an infrastructure project in one part of the city often elicits a “what does it do for me?” attitude,” said Ben Schiendelman, a Seattleite, in a blog about the new transportation.

Nevertheless, after six years of development, the light rail service became functional on July 18, 2009.

On the light rail’s opening day, Sound Transit reported that trains carried 45,000 riders- many clapping or taking photos. Trains were running every 7 ½ minutes. An extra two-car train was used at the end of the day though, as Seattle struggled to deal with the 65,000 fans that flocked to Qwest Field to watch The Seattle Sounders F.C. take on Chelsea F.C.

All went to plan during the rail’s debut appearances, and passengers and staff were relieved.

Ric Ilgenfritz, Sound Transit’s planning and policy director, told the Seattle Times that it was a “Goldilocks day,” and that his two worst nightmares- too little or too many people showing up- were not realized.

The longest ride between stations is no more than 35 minutes, but no matter how fast a journey may be, the designers and planners at sound transit went out of their way to make the ride as smooth and picturesque as possible.

The Beacon Hill Stop lays sixteen stories underground and passengers take one of four elevators to the train platform where they can pass the time admiring artwork. When the train departs, thin slits of light stretch out at high speed to appear as over sized playing cards at Beacon Hill Tunnel, and the eastward view out of the Tukwila stop will, on clear days, reveal a view of Mt. Rainier.

In the six years it has taken for this project to finalize, there have been setbacks. A large portion of the south end runs parallel to Martin Luther King Blvd. at street level. During train trials there were three incidents involving trains and traffic, and two cars were hit. Also, the display boards at the individual stations don’t say when the next train will be coming, a feature provided at train stops just about everywhere.

On July 23, the light rail faced its biggest setback, making what had been a somewhat smooth ride, a little uncomfortable for some passengers. After an electrical failure in The Pioneer Square station, some travelers on last Thursday’s transit service were forced to wait 90 minutes before power returned to the downtown control system.

While no passengers were injured, the electrical failure, which occurred between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m, did inconvenience many commuters.

Jehron Thogersen, a traveler during the failure, told KING5 that while he realized that the light rail is still ironing out some wrinkles, “Well it kind of spoiled my day.”

Despite the minor setbacks, the light rail system has been praised by users, especially in relation to the planning that has proceeded the rail’s opening week.

“They’ve really thought about it this time. I mean, it’s not like the monorail- they really want this to be used as a serious form of transportation, and have left room to expand.” Said Joe Lithgan, a Seattleite and recent passenger on the light rail.

The planning behind the light rail accounts for the future, too. The train stations are all twice as long as the number of cars in anticipation of increased demand, leaving the option to add more train cars if needed.

The light rail is destined to alleviate traffic, especially thanks to the international district stop which will be used mainly by people travelling to and from sporting events at Safeco Field and Qwest Stadium.

This is welcomed after so many county officials staked their reputations on the project back in 2001, including Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On the nights when the Sounders play, the whole line is full of Sounders fans, clearly helping the city’s traffic situation and the environment. The congestion that was typically seen on I-90 or I-5 on a game night will now be less of a problem.

It is fair to predict that the average Joe will use the light rail too, or at least the average dude. Last Tuesday, Jeff “The Dude” Dowd, used the transportation after a crowd of fans accompanied him to Tukwila for a game of bowling.

Dowd, who was the inspiration for the Coen brother’s Jeff “The Dude” in “The Big Lebowski,” was in Seattle for a celebration of the film. Dowd, who was once a University of Washington student, told The Seattle Times that bowling offered him the chance to try out the area’s new mass-transit system, something he is a strong supporter of.

The light rail project is all part of what Sound Transit is calling “Sound Transit 2”. Starting with increased express bus routes in early 2009, continuing with the opening of the light rail system, Sound Transit 2 is scheduled to have all its projects completed in 2023.

ASG encounter problems during hiring process

After a controversial ASG election period last quarter, the newly-assigned members of Bellevue College’s student government have had some time to settle into their respective positions. However, while these members have worked eagerly to begin living up to their promises, there are two positions in the ASG still open. During an emergency meeting that was held last week, members of last year’s and this year’s ASG came to blows over who they were to hire as the new Assistant Director and Director of Legislative Affairs.

Both positions were not included in the election process last quarter and were intended to be filled through a hiring process.

Amanda Alva, last year’s ASG President, arranged for a screening committee to be part of this hiring process. However, once the committee had assembled and put forward recommendations, the suggestions were deemed biased. One of the recommendation names was Marcus Sweetser, last year’s Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs, who was recommended for the Director of Legislative Affairs position.

A second committee was assembled in accordance with the allegations that the first was non-partisan.

The second committee, once again, put forward recommendations for the open positions and, once again, Marcus Sweetser emerged as a suggestion. At this point, Alva held the emergency meeting on June 30, at which concerns were voiced about Sweetser’s non-transparency.

It was reported that Alva in particular was not satisfied with the behavior of Sweetser during his time as Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs last year. The former President specifically commented on Sweetser’s non-transparency in relation to filling in time cards.

During the emergency meeting, it was said that Joseph Root, this year’s ASG President, was eager to table the concerns put forward by Alva to be dealt with later by the current ASG. Burke Colquhoun was in agreement with this approach.

After a vote to table the matter ended with last year’s Board of Directors deadlocked, Alva gave the final say to vote down the option of tabling the issue.

The emergency meeting swiftly moved to its primary objective: whether or not to uphold the recommendations of the second screening committee. Again, the vote was tied, and it was down to Alva to sway the vote. She voted against upholding the screening committee, negating their recommendations.

An appeal is currently pending to question Alva and the old Board of Director’s decision, which is being dealt with by the Judicial Board.

Root said that the transition that has taken place between the old and new ASG has been tough since they have had to deal with filling the new Assistant Director and Director of Legislative Affairs positions. However, this year’s president said that while the situation is a setback, he has been “talking to the Judicial Board about [reaching a conclusion] judicially, but timely.”

Despite this minor setback, all new members of the ASG are doing their best to keep the promises they made during their campaign period.

Carolyn Dewitt has many plans to make campus a greener place. “Jean-Claude and I are trying to get light sensors [to see] how much light is in the room,” she said when talking about her dedication to cutting the unnecessary use of energy. Dewitt is also investigating what the Student Environmental Sustainability Fund is being used for, and whether the money can go towards more urgent green initiatives on campus. The Student Environmental Sustainability Fund gets its revenue from students, who pay $1.00 per class credit for up to 10 credits.

Another initiative that the ASG have is to bring a bank to the College campus. “I’m planning on bringing a financial institution on campus. We are more focused on BECU because they are willing to create a micro-lending program,” said Jean-Claude Kameni, Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Representative.

While there are still two positions in this year’s ASG to be filled, Root is confident that everything will be resolved soon, giving him time to work on his own initiatives.

“The biggest thing we want to improve on right away is to make the ASG more visible all throughout campus,” he said, “what I’d like to see is an ASG that you know.”

Staff rewarded for excellence

Faculty and staff at Bellevue College have received $1,000 each for their contribution to the institution and its students. In conjunction with the Margin of Excellence Awards, six employees were nominated by students, faculty and staff to be honored for outstanding work.

While the recipients all displayed similar work ethic and dedication to the College, each showed special care and attention to distinct aspects of college life.

The Bellevue College Foundation, which is directed by a board of 27 community volunteers, conferred the awards.

Richele Buoy, Advising Information Specialist at the College, received the Margin of Excellence Award for her work in the Educational Planning Advising Center.

Despite only being a college employee for two years, Buoy has earned a reputation as a dedicated and caring employee. On a daily basis Buoy assists up to 300 students, offering advice and answering questions. Buoy also manages over 19 advisors’ and counselors’ schedules.

“Since advising is one of the first departments with which new students interact, her pleasant demeanor and helpful attitude become the welcoming face of the entire college,” the award citation read.

However, when a first generation student comes to Buoy with a question regarding learning aid, Ron Holland would be an appropriate contact.

Holland, a program specialist in the College’s TRiO program, has developed strategies to enhance the way specific students receive academic and personal support. These include those with disabilities, limited income or first generation students.

Holland developed an English-as-a-Second-Language assistance program after he learned that TRiO students were struggling with studies due to limited English proficiency. He was described in the award citation as, “a dedicated advocate working tirelessly to ensure the success of Bellevue College’s students.”

Two teachers that also demonstrated a dedication to the student body were Louis Watanabe and Mary Thorp, who both received Margin of Excellence Awards.

Thorp, a nursing instructor with the College, has taught behavioral health, gerontological, and medical and surgical nursing. Her experience has helped teach, motivate and give confidence to students at the College.

The award citation said that, “Thorp expects greatness from her students and always gives her time and extra support to any student in need. Nursing students have consistently chosen Thorp to be their faculty speaker at the program’s culminating ceremony- underlining how much of an inspiration she is to them.”

Watanabe, a business instructor with the College, joined Bellevue College 7 years ago after pursuing a successful entrepreneurial career in computer software development. Since joining BC, the Seattle-based instructor has become extremely active in college life, ensuring the success of on-campus events including the American Film Festival and Living Treasures banquet.

Many of the events at the College rely on the revenue provided by international students, as well as their attendance. Weihong Geiger, a Chinese language instructor at the college, has received an award for her outstanding leadership, especially in building upon the College’s international relations.

Geiger, who has worked at the College for four years, was integral in negotiating agreements with two sister colleges in Shanghai and Beijing.

The College said that Geiger “has the ability to encourage her students to become involved and extend themselves. She strives to make sure that each student feels they are the center of the class, no matter where they are sitting.”

One recipient of the Margin of Excellence Award was Carol Ryckman, whose tireless work behind the scenes earned her the honor.

Ryckman, who is Administrative Services Manager, started her career at the College seven years ago as an office assistant. Through hard work Ryckman was promoted to the position she holds now, which entails assisting students, supervising staff, overseeing budgets and building course schedules.

“Since advising is one of the first departments with which new students interact, [Richele Buoy’s] pleasant demeanor and helpful attitude become the welcoming face of the entire college.”

Ryckman was described as “a champion multi-tasker who handles administrators, faculty, staff and students with aplomb, wit and a smile,” in the award citation.

As individuals they represented specific beliefs, but as a group they represented the commitment Bellevue College has to every student, staff and faculty member.

Faculty and staff at Bellevue College have received $1,000 each for their contribution to the institution and its students. In conjunction with the Margin of Excellence Awards, six employees were nominated by students, faculty and staff to be honored for outstanding work.
While the recipients all displayed similar work ethic and dedication to the College, each showed special care and attention to distinct aspects of college life.
The Bellevue College Foundation, which is directed by a board of 27 community volunteers, conferred the awards.
Richele Buoy, Advising Information Specialist at the College, received the Margin of Excellence Award for her work in the Educational Planning Advising Center.
Despite only being a college employee for two years, Buoy has earned a reputation as a dedicated and caring employee. On a daily basis Buoy assists up to 300 students, offering advice and answering questions. Buoy also manages over 19 advisors’ and counselors’ schedules.
“Since advising is one of the first departments with which new students interact, her pleasant demeanor and helpful attitude become the welcoming face of the entire college,” the award citation read.
However, when a first generation student comes to Buoy with a question regarding learning aid, Ron Holland would be an appropriate contact.
Holland, a program specialist in the College’s TRiO program, has developed strategies to enhance the way specific students receive academic and personal support. These include those with disabilities, limited income or first generation students.
Holland developed an English-as-a-Second-Language assistance program after he learned that TRiO students were struggling with studies due to limited English proficiency.  He was described in the award citation as, “a dedicated advocate working tirelessly to ensure the success of Bellevue College’s students.”
Two teachers that also demonstrated a dedication to the student body were Louis Watanabe and Mary Thorp, who both received Margin of Excellence Awards.
Thorp, a nursing instructor with the College, has taught behavioral health, gerontological, and medical and surgical nursing. Her experience has helped teach, motivate and give confidence to students at the College.
The award citation said that, “Thorp expects greatness from her students and always gives her time and extra support to any student in need. Nursing students have consistently chosen Thorp to be their faculty speaker at the program’s culminating ceremony- underlining how much of an inspiration she is to them.”
Watanabe, a business instructor with the College, joined Bellevue College 7 years ago after pursuing a successful entrepreneurial career in computer software development. Since joining BC, the Seattle-based instructor has become extremely active in college life, ensuring the success of on-campus events including the American Film Festival and Living Treasures banquet.
Many of the events at the College rely on the revenue provided by international students, as well as their attendance. Weihong Geiger, a Chinese language instructor at the college, has received an award for her outstanding leadership, especially in building upon the College’s international relations.
Geiger, who has worked at the College for four years, was integral in negotiating agreements with two sister colleges in Shanghai and Beijing.
The College said that Geiger “has the ability to encourage her students to become involved and extend themselves. She strives to make sure that each student feels they are the center of the class, no matter where they are sitting.”
One recipient of the Margin of Excellence Award was Carol Ryckman, whose tireless work behind the scenes earned her the honor.
Ryckman, who is Administrative Services Manager, started her career at the College seven years ago as an office assistant. Through hard work Ryckman was promoted to the position she holds now, which entails assisting students, supervising staff, overseeing budgets and building course schedules.
Ryckman was described as “a champion multi-tasker who handles administrators, faculty, staff and students with aplomb, wit and a smile,” in the award citation.
As individuals they represented specific beliefs, but as a group they represented the commitment Bellevue College has to every student, staff and faculty member.

Financial aid reform

The Department of Education and Internal Revenue Service will embark on a joint venture to populate the Free Application for Federal Student Aid with tax data. The news, which was announced on June 23 by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, will radically change the way prospective students apply for federal aid and how schools become involved in the verification process.

“This plan is a huge win for students, and we are delighted that the Department is moving quickly to simplify the FAFSA, which has been a barrier to college access for so long,” said Dr. Philip Day, President and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Admin. “We are very excited about the IRS partnership, which would streamline the process for students even more, and, we hope, remove the federal requirement that our schools collect tax returns to verify applicant data.”

The partnership, which is part of President Obama’s initiative to simplify the FAFSA, has received approval from IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman.

During a White House press briefing, Shulman said his agency was glad to partner with the Department of Education, and that the current FAFSA is “an endurance test,” that collects unnecessary data.

The department plans to make the FAFSA more efficient process through simplification.

During this summer, enhanced skip-logic will be used on the new web-based FAFSA. This will reduce user navigation by more than half because specific answers to questions will eliminate the need for others. Secretary Duncan said that there will be a 20% reduction in the number of questions asked and a 50% reduction in the number of web pages it takes to complete the application.

Starting in January 2010, the IRS will work in conjunction with the Education Department to allow students to easily retrieve relevant tax information when applying for aid.  Students applying for spring semester will be part of a pilot project to examine whether tax information should be made available to all students filing their FAFSA.

Another goal that the IRS and Education Department plan to achieve during their venture involves the elimination of unnecessary financial questions from the FAFSA. The aid calculation formula that is used in the current application uses financial questions that cannot be answered by IRS records. If the introduction of legislation is successful, a total of 26 financial questions, that have little impact on aid awards and can be difficult to complete, will be removed from the application.

The Education Department has published a fact sheet documenting the specifics of their mission, entitled simply, Making College More Affordable By Simplifying The Student Financial Aid Application.

Secretary Duncan gave special thanks to the IRS and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for making the issue a priority, and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for taking a special interest in the project.

“Simplifying the FAFSA is another significant action in our quest to keep a college degree within the reach of every person who aspires to higher education,” Duncan said.

Sex, faith, and unwanted body parts

A girl who hates her right hand, a guy who dies each time he has sex, and a middle-aged man resurrecting his high-school rock band.

Sound familiar? Well, for the twelve students who took the Advanced Screenwriting class at Bellevue College, these were all characters they would get to know very well over the course’s duration.

However, it wasn’t until last Wednesday that these students saw their characters brought to life.

Bellevue College’s Stop Gap Theatre became a home for these characters as professional and student actors portrayed various characters from the screenplays, which were read in front of an audience.

The screenplays were from a variety of genres including comedy, action and psychological thriller.

Laurel Minter, who teaches the Advanced Screenwriting class, orchestrated the event and was eager to be involved, playing characters and narrating.

The reading of Michael Petrucci’s screenplay portrayed two friends about to embark on a road trip.

While one is older, more mature and money-conscious, the other is young, carefree and irresponsible.

Of course, mayhem ensues, and after having their car towed, the unlikely couple is cornered into buying an old, banged-up motorcycle complete with sidecar.

Actors reveled in their characters and the audience descended into fits of laughter as slapstick comedy and quick, witty punch lines were delivered with perfect timing.

Robert Bartlett’s comedy was also well received during the reading.

Entitled “Duderotomy,” Bartlett’s script tells the story of Cal, a middle-aged, married man who reunites his high-school band in an attempt to recapture his youth.

The reading captured the awkward nature of Cal, the complexity of his marriage and the bitter rivalry between his band and “Bob and the Bobadours”, fronted by an ex-boyfriend of Cal’s wife.

Other humorous readings included Nicholas Mirabelli’s story about a man who is too honest to get a date, and Corey Bishop’s “Would be Killers,” the story of two broke friends who contemplate becoming hit men when times are tough.

Mirabelli’s moral tale used slapstick and outrageous characters to get laughs, while Bishop’s story used situational comedy to lighten the tone of his comedic thriller.

Many of the Advanced Screenwriting students set their stories against a modern, relatable backdrop.

However, Taylor Jacobs and Stephen Hanefield set theirs in foreign environments.

Jacobs, whose screenplay is entitled “New Jerusalem,” portrays a utopian setting, free from violence and weapons.

Borrowing heavily from Western themes, the town sees bloodshed once again as a male and female gang are pitted against one another.

While Jacob’s story is set in a sort of parallel dimension, Hanefield’s story is set in the future.

“Soldier Side,” a screen adaptation of the System of A Down song of the same name, follows Sergeant Aaron Helms as he and his fellow soldiers fight against aliens attempting to destroy the human race.

Intense action and dialogue made for a compelling reading, and actors seemed to lose themselves in their complex, psychologically distraught characters.

The psychology of characters was something that Minter emphasized was paramount to a story’s plot.

This was evident in all of the readings, each character being driven by their own fears and passions.

It was the characters in Annelise Rolander and Colin Takasawa’s readings that proved most psychologically complex, though.

Rolander chose to write about Body Identity Integrity Disorder, a psychological condition that causes individuals to want to amputate one of their limbs.

The story portrays the struggle of Dana; a girl who desperately wants her right hand to be amputated.

After her twin sister is killed in a tragic car accident, Dana’s disorder becomes more prevalent and she longs to rid her body of the hand.

In one scene the character wraps her hand in bandages and socks, making a makeshift stump that she admires in a mirror.

Takasawa, writer of “The Worm at the Core,” chose a neurotic protagonist to convey the futility of death.

The story follows Brendan Brecht, an obituary editor, who finds himself talking to a grieving widow for the first time in his career.

Unable to comfort the woman or even resolve her issues with the obituary, Brecht quits his job and becomes obsessed with death, the unknowable manifesting itself as his ill father.

Coleton Seidl’s reading also used death as a theme, along with sex.

The protagonist of Seidl’s story dies during the early scenes of the screenplay after climaxing. What is even more unusual is that the character also dies in subsequent scenes, always after having sex.

This abstract plot depicts the journey of an artist as he struggles to find inspiration to paint, love and even exist.

While some readings were abstract, others were direct.

David Over and Antonio Perez both wrote screenplays that depicted defined characters with clear issues they needed to overcome.

Over’s “Mystify” depicts Abe, the son of a dead, famous magician.

Abe rejects magic as part of his life and has a phobia of water; both of which are a product of his father’s death during a water-related magic trick.

A love interest makes Abe face his fears, and the adolescent accepts his destiny as one of the great magicians of all time.

Perez’s “Learning to Live” portrays a young, wealthy womanizer overcome his drug problem after falling in love and studying abroad.

During the reading, the character was introduced snorting cocaine, abusing prostitutes and shouting obscenities at the police.

The audience seemed to warm to the character, knowing that underneath there was an intelligent and charming man. Perez’s story depicts a tale of maturity through explicit imagery.

After seeing their stories read by such talented actors from the College and the Seattle film industry, writers in the Advanced Screenwriting class have chance to reflect on their character portrayals, choice of dialogue and overall plot.

After the group gets their final pages in to Minter next week, the writers will get together for a well-earned barbecue where they all plan to bring items related to their screenplays.

New officers not hurt by allegations against former manager

On May 18, an Elections Committee held a meeting to discuss complaints made against the former campaign manager of Students Foremost. The meeting investigated whether third-party activity had contributed to the success of any members of the ASG election group, and if this activity should render elected members as invalidly elected.

It was alleged that during the 2009 campaigning process, the former campaign manager intimidated ASG election candidates that were running against Students Foremost, as well as potential voters.

On May 19, the Elections Committee issued a statement saying that, while the incidents they discussed “were of an alarming nature,” there was “insufficient evidence to link candidates in the ASG elections to the actions addressed in this complaint.”

The statement also recommended that the ASG by-laws be revamped, something that could alter the way candidates run during future election campaigns.

During the recent ASG election, a few groups and individuals were represented by a campaign manager or third party, an approach that was new to this year’s election. The current by-laws do not stipulate that a candidate or group is responsible for the actions of an unofficial affiliate representing them.

One candidate alleged that they became so intimidated by the former campaign manager of Students Foremost, that they were unable to concentrate on their own campaign, spending much of their time searching for refuge. Now thar the appeal process is over, no action will be taken against members of Students Foremost in relation to their former campaign manager.

“These are growing pains,” said Faisal Jaswal, Assistant Dean of Student Programs, who considers the recent complaints an inevitable part of student politics. Jaswal said that, while all concerns were heard and documented, the situation offers a tremendous opportunity: to put stronger by-laws together for a future generation.

Tom Pritchard, Vice President of Student Services, said, “I support Faisal’s notion that this is a learning experience.”

Pritchard also acknowledged that a new by-law may have to be written, and that it would not be impossible to craft a rule that would implicate candidates or groups in the behavior of unofficial affiliates.

Jaswal and Pritchard are confident that new by-laws will be an improvement on the current system, especially with the guidance of Dr. Denise Vaughan, a member of the Elections Committee.

Vaughan, who is a political science instructor at the college, does not have power over any change of election by-law, but can offer advice and help to the ASG when they write them.

Vaughan said, “I certainly hope that students will take the opportunity to revise the by-laws.  They are always an ongoing project. This is the learning opportunity that students have.
“The difficulty in writing any law comes in the balance between preventing specific circumstances and writing law general enough to address the needs of the community.”

While by-laws need to be written for future student elections, Jaswal said he has taken the recent complaints seriously, assessing the accusations in the context of the college, rather than the election. Jaswal’s authority, he said, only extends so far, and he has taken the information to a higher administration and an investigation is in progress now.

However, allegations are no longer being approached in relation to the 2009 ASG election.

The final statement that was issued by the Elections Committee described that the alleged acts were, “several disturbing incidents.”

However, because the committee only has jurisdiction over members of Bellevue College, those who had their campaigns sabotaged can only try to forge some lesson from the situation.

Vaughan said, “Writing and rewriting by-laws is a genuine learning experience and a real opportunity for students to see the implications of real world situations.”

If this experience has simply been, as Jaswal said, “growing pains,” it is the Elections Committee’s paternal obligation to ensure that these problems don’t reoccur.

“I plan to make sure that as the new ASG board takes shape, these deficiencies are corrected,” said Jaswal.

Living in a Dark Globe

In 1993, two 10-year-old boys abducted and murdered a toddler in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

According to the BBC, the toddler was a victim of “brutal and heinous violence”. This horrific crime would incite anger in most, but for Andy Bray, it was an inspiration to write his first novel, Dark Globe.

As a close friend of Andy Bray, I remember his dedication to writing Dark Globe. He would rarely venture outside of his house, consumed by his work.

He later said, “I wanted to keep my work a secret. Writing it took me to a dark, complex world, hence the title.”

It was also revealed that the anti-hero, Joey Carlton, a school teacher, was based on the killers of James Bulger. I received a copy of Dark Globe shortly after it was published, in September 2005.

The reader is introduced to Joey Carlton, a funny, relatable character. However, as the narrative progresses, the reader is confronted by the true Joey, a man who is sexually perverse, psychologically unstable and guilty of infanticide.

As an angry, vigilante mob pursue the teacher, readers will question where their loyalty lies: pedophile murderer, or justice?

The most disturbing aspect of Bray’s work is that while the answer to this question seems simple, obvious; the reader is left with new-found, conflicting opinions about the ethics of their world. In this sense, the novel possesses the same moral inclination as Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.

While the narrative is written in a coherent and stable manner, the tone and backdrop of Dark Globe are erratic. The descriptions of settings by the narrator echo the paranoid delusions of Thompson, while the tone they are delivered in is reminiscent of Dostoyevsky’s cynicism.

What is truly compelling about this erratic but concise narrative is that Joey’s psychological portrayal seems more a work of non-fiction than fiction.

Dark Globe is an honest portrayal of the unhinged human psyche and Joey, presented as a conscious character, must face his subconscious, which manifests itself as the angry mob that pursues him.

Bray’s work offers a new perspective on murder trials such as the Bulger case. Readers who felt uncomfortable with Capote’s In Cold Blood or Ellis’ American Psycho will not enjoy this novel.

Bray challenges and disturbs his readers, delivering profound messages about the most fundamental moral ideology. Dark Globe is available from Amazon.com and other leading booksellers.

Candidates, affiliates accused of breaking election by-laws

On Monday, May 4, a written formal complaint was handed to Tom Pritchard, Vice President of Student Services, accusing some members and affiliates of the candidate team Students Foremost of breaking campaign rules during the 2009 ASG elections. The document [signers names withheld to protect witnesses] claims that on May 1, some, but not all, members of the group used laptops and food incentives to solicit votes, in turn, violating election by-law 1.6.4.1.2.

This by-law stipulates that, “A candidate shall not attempt to coerce or petition a student who is actively submitting a ballot.”

During orientation, all candidates involved in the election were reportedly given a complete copy of the by-laws that constitute an ethical guide to campaigning. One of the accused [name withheld pending investigation] said that they were not given examples of how they could use products during their campaign. Amanda Alva, current ASG President, believes that the copy of the by-laws act as a clear enough manual to use as a reference.

Two of the three accused members of the party [names withheld pending investigation] said they believe that any alleged violation of by-laws on their part result from misunderstandings, saying that a front desk assistant in the student program’s office confirmed when asked that the use of laptops for voting was a legal approach to a campaign.

Alva, who “saw three students who were running for various positions with brownies and a laptop,” said that it is “the front desk’s responsibility to not answer questions they don’t clearly know the answer to, [and to] direct them to their source.”

Interpretation of by-laws aside, it is the responsibility of the Interim Judicial Board to monitor the progress of the campaigning and election process. This board is made up of three members: Burke Colquhoun, Vicki Ma and Dominick Lee.

Colquhoun said that the board has been “watching the campaigns as closely as [they] can,” and that the large number of people running for ASG positions can make observing campaigns hard.

The observation of campaigns has become even harder since candidate teams have formed and individuals and groups have been utilizing non-candidate campaign management, a formation new to this year’s ASG election.

The use of campaign management is something that has called to question the ethical structure of Students Foremost’s campaign, even prior to the recent allegations.

There are currently no by-laws that state a campaign manager promoting an individual or group is officially associated with them. Therefore, campaign managers can violate by-laws and their actions will not be regarded as an official action of the group or individual they represent, only of themselves as unofficial affiliates.

Andres A. Munt, independently running for Clubs and Programs Representative, said that the person formerly referred referred to as the campaign manager of Students Foremost [name withheld pending investigation] was, “going up to people with a laptop and getting them to vote,” an act that may be regarded as unethical, but could potentially have no repercussions on the group.

The person formerly referred to as the group’s campaign manager also allegedly, “gave people food to vote and had laptops in the cafeteria,” said a student [name withheld to protect witness].

This is something that Munt said bastardizes the whole election.

Members of the accused party have told reporters that it has been other candidates and groups that have taken unethical actions.

One member accused other candidates outside their group running of using laptops.

Matt Nolan, referred to as campaign manager for independent Joshua Scott for Emerging Tech and Entrepreneurial Representative, said that a laptop would be “definitely an aid to a campaign.”

David Poulton, a student at BC, added that he had seen numerous candidates, unsure of their group affiliation, using laptops to solicit votes.

The former campaign manager of Students Foremost accused Alva of allegedly influencing votes, saying that she wore a badge promoting the group Voice of Change within the vicinity of a voting booth.

“I’ve never seen such backstabbing and corruption,” said the former campaign manager.

The construction of Students Foremost as a group has also been allegedly construed as unethical by witnesses, specifically for their recruiting process.

An anonymous student [name withheld to protect witness] said that he was approached by the former campaign manager of Students Foremost and asked about his race and sexual orientation, in an attempt to recruit the student.

A member of the party, however, said that the former campaign manager of Students Foremost “was trying to recruit a diverse group of people … because this may help in gathering ideas under different cultural backgrounds.”

While members of the accused party have acknowledged the use of a laptop, others were allegedly unaware.

One member of the group [name withheld pending investigation] had no recollection or knowledge that a laptop was used and said “that’s a very big no-no … I know the rules,” while another member said that they “asked a teammate if [they] could use a laptop to get people to vote and [they] said yes.” The latter went on to ask reporters, “Would it be possible to publish [this article] after the election?”

ASG election candidates, members of the accused party, and the Interim Judicial Board are reportedly unclear about what constitutes the violation of by-law 1.6.4.1.2.

Colquhoun said that the issue is “definitely in the realm of a grey area,” specifically in relation to the role of a campaign manager.

The grey area is something that Tom Pritchard, VP of Student Services, wants to avoid.

He said “there’s the spirit of the by-laws and the black and white of the by-laws,” and that there are “always ways to skew reality.”

If the allegations against the accused candidates and affiliates are determined to be valid, it will be up to the Associated Students of Bellevue College Judicial Board and the Elections Review Committee to decide whether the by-laws have been violated.

If the accusations do go to these higher bodies, the situation will be taken far more seriously than one accused candidate who said, “We are not running for president or anything.”

Alva tries to put the extremity of the situation into perspective.

“Not only do we manage student resources that potentially amount to millions of dollars,” she said.

“But we also advocate with legislatures that take us very seriously.”

Apple Cup may come to Qwest Field

The University of Washington and Washington State University are currently discussing the possibility of hosting the annual Apple Cup at Qwest Field, home of the Seahawks. The move could be part of a multi-year deal spanning as long as six years, the plan being that the game would be played on Thanksgiving weekend. While no decisions have been made and both schools are still contemplating the idea, the news has caused controversy in students and sports enthusiasts alike.

WSU have always played an exhibition game at Qwest Field early in their season. The contract that allows the school to play this game expires at the end of 2009, ending the school’s affiliation with Qwest Field’s parent company First & Goal. Jim Sterk, athletic director at WSU said, “We have annual discussions with First & Goal on ways to continue our relationship and enhance our presence statewide. As part of those discussions, I look at all avenues, with my overriding goal being the betterment of Cougar athletics and its student-athletes.”

Many members of WSU were upset that Sterk would even contemplate such a move, accusing both the AD and the school of being motivated by money. Harry Pharmer, a WSU alumni said, “This is a big ploy by both schools to get more money from the taxpayers to upgrade facilities.”

Following budget cuts, both schools are eager to find ways to increase their income, and it seems that moving the big game to Qwest Field would do just that.

The stadium holds 67,000 people and would guarantee each school $2 million each. This sum is substantially more than the $800,000 each the teams received when the game was played at Husky Stadium and the $240,000 they received when they played at Pullman.

Another problem that has hit the schools has been the prospect of sponsorship for the cup game. Boeing has sponsored the event since 2007 and it seems unlikely that major companies will have sufficient revenue to support the event.

Mike Lude, former athletic director at WSU, insists that while the prospect of economic gain through a relocation might seem attractive, negotiating with third parties is a “bad idea.” Lude also said that if he were still athletic director, the move would only happen over his dead body.

Some Husky fans support the proposal of a move though. One avid Husky, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “It would be funny to see the Cougars have to come over here each year. Really funny.”

Rivalries aside, some Huskies support the move on the basis that it would rule out the demolition of Husky Stadium.

Qwest Field would no longer be a neutral arena if the Huskies played their home games at the venue. If the team was contracted to play the Apple Cup at Qwest Field, that would rule out the possibility of UW playing their football at the venue, ultimately making the renovation of Husky Stadium inevitable.

Even if Qwest Field does not become a regular host to the Huskies, WSU fans are adamant that the venue is still not a neutral location for the cup. Former WSU coach Jim Walden said that the Cougar’s win in the last Apple Cup, last November, wouldn’t have happened anywhere but Pullman. The cup has been played at home sites since 1980.

Joe Puckett, a former Husky, supports the idea of a move. “Both schools are impacted by a down economy, so if they can boost that economy by playing here, I think it’s a great idea,” he said.

Conversely, UW student Chris Paschall was opposed to the possibility of relocation for the cup, saying, “It’s all about going from one school to another, visiting your friends.”

While this move presents instant economic gratification, the resounding verdict seems to be that something far more important will be lost if discussions are acted upon: tradition. In a Spokane Spokesman-Review poll, an astounding 87 percent of respondents were opposed to the move.

Rick Neuheisel, former Washington coach, proposed Qwest as a venue for the cup during his time with the school. Perhaps in the near future his proposition will become reality.

Katie Curses: Guest Curser

After finally getting around to watching “Synecdoche, New York” recently, it dawned on me what a fool Lindy West, writer for The Stranger, had made of herself when reviewing it. I accept that art is objective and that West, being a writer and critic, perhaps has more experience and knowledge than me, but the fact that her review resembled a 14-year-old girl’s blog leads me to believe otherwise.

Charlie Kauffman, the writer and director of “Synecdoche, New York”, also wrote the screenplays for “Being John Malkovich”, “Adaptation” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” All fantastic films, but in his directorial debut Kauffman executes an extremely ambitious piece of cinema.

Caden Cotard, played by Phillip Seymour-Hoffman, is a paranoid, neurotic theater director who attempts to turn his life into a theatrical production.

As the set is built and actors are hired, it becomes evident that this production will inevitably be a failure. Cotard’s script, a chronology of his own life, can only end when he does. As events occur from day to day they are added to his seemingly endless script. Worse yet, as the years fall away, thousands of actors are employed to authenticate a set that is identical to New York City. Ultimately the production takes on a life of its own, a simulacrum of New York City and its inhabitants.

Real life becomes art, art becomes real life and Cotard is no closer to understanding himself; Cotard’s production is still a perception of his own life. The irony is that Kauffman, a man portraying a man portraying a man, succeeds in presenting Cotard’s life.

Paranoid and seemingly forever on the precipice of death, Cotard does what any artist would do: attempt to turn his life into art. We all see our lives in one way or another as a grand storyline, some epic narrative. And, failing to live a life that imitates art or even imitates the grand narrative he had planned for himself, Cotard has one final attempt at creating something timeless that transcends life and death.

This is a theme that resonates within us all. We all strive for perfection and no matter how modest we may be, we all long to become the character we perceive ourselves to be. Whether a football player, writer or model, something inside all of us is still certain we are destined for greatness.

While it is depressing that our lives will more than likely fail to live up to our expectations, Kauffman recognizes this and, no doubt with a wry smile, accepts that he too has had the same anti-climactic epiphany. In “Adaptation” Kauffman suffers from anxiety issues, masturbates while fantasizing about waitresses and is often depressed by the futility of life– and he’s a successful screenplay writer and director!

And back to West. One thing West had to say about Kauffman was that “Dude has PAH-ROB-A-LEMS.” Yes, no doubt Charlie Kauffman, like many of us, has problems, but wasn’t that the point of “Synechdoche New York?” Don’t dismiss a film because it is brutally honest. Just because you write like a pubescent girl, doesn’t mean you have to watch films with the same spoilt glare.

This film is tremendously funny and, while it is easy to get bogged down by Cotard’s anxiety and depression, certain scenes lift you out of a hypnotic daze. At one point Cotard remarks that he finally knows how to make his production a success: “have six billion people throughout the world all play their own characters, telling their own stories.”

“Synechdoche, New York” descends into a hall of mirrors where it is easier to see our true selves. Or, to put it in Lindy West’s words, “GAAHHHHHH.” I’m assuming the reflection she saw mustn’t have been very nice.

Tennis team on top form

Bellevue College’s tennis team won their 50th consecutive competitive match, 11 April, against Shoreline Community College. For most teams in the NWAACC league a win would be welcomed, but for our Bulldogs it was business as usual. A total of nine matches were played during the college’s clash with Shoreline—six being singles, three being doubles—and the Bulldogs won them all convincingly.

During the past four years the college has become NWAACC Tennis Champion, which is testament to the coaching and recruiting that occurs behind the scenes.

The driving force behind the college’s tennis success is the work of Jason Chapman who, as Head Tennis Coach, recruits and trains prospective tennis players. Chapman has the luxury of spotting talent at Robinswood Tennis Center where he is the Head Professional. Working directly with young players during his time coaching, it is easy to see how Chapman has recruited such a large and talented team.

In his eleventh year at the college Chapman has built a team that feels invincible. Lauren Heino, Team Captain, said, “[Chapman’s] really improved my skills.” Heino is also confident that her ladies would cruise to another NWAACC Championship win this year. “We have a really good team unity,” Heino said, expressing the confidence and support the team gives one another.

Chapman emphasizes that the confidence his team exudes is not a product of arrogance though, but a result of the talent his ladies have. “The best competition is in practice,” he said, bemused by the lack of competition his team faces on the road and at home against Northwest community colleges.

That’s why the Bulldogs organize tournaments and exhibition matches against adult players and four-year colleges; while the glory of winning is gratifying, teams need to experience bitter losses and face comparable opponents to grow. Chapman said his team’s situation has, at times, been “disappointing.”

Nevertheless, the team experiments with different strategic plays, improving the players’ intellectual game. During their 9 – 0 win over Shoreline, Chapman had instructed Stephanie Tom, Kelsey Mickels, Hannah Jordt and Stella Dwifaradewi to use hand signals whilst playing doubles. The win still seemed effortless for the Bulldogs.

While Chapman’s ability as a coach is undeniable, the college’s domination of Northwest community college tennis questions the nature of the sport. Chapman said “it is hard to get strong players in community college tennis.” Is tennis unpopular? There are enough open courts available that are scattered throughout urban areas. Does tennis become attractive at an older age? The amount of teams that four-year colleges have certainly suggests this. Or is it a class issue? Perhaps prospective players need the encouragement and tutelage of a coach like Chapman, which comes at a cost.

All of this, of course, does not discount the talent and hard work the Bulldogs have shown. Heino pointed out that other community colleges do have great players that choose not to play because the sport is “time consuming.” It’s nice to know that our ladies are willing to put in the effort to become as good as they can be, even when winning becomes almost effortless.

Bulldogs in full swing

Bellevue College’s men’s and women’s Golf teams showcased their talent at the Bellevue Invitational which took place on April 5 and 6.

The event, which was held at Redmond Ridge and Glendale Country, saw Bellevue College’s women finish in 3rd position, while the men finished 2nd after a nail-biting, sudden death playoff against SW Oregon.

The women’s team, consisting of Stephanie Schoof, Kelly Stearns and Brittany Zefkeles, impressed the coaching staff at Bellevue College with a spectacular performance at the competition.

Despite Zefkeles sustained shoulder injury, the team managed to end the competition with 31 shots less than Walla Walla Community College.

Athletic Director Bill O’Connor, who attended the competition, said that the women’s team was “stronger than last year’s,” a great sign of the potential the team has.

While the women put on a commendable display, the college’s men’s team provided the excitement for the event, battling with SW Oregon for the top spot long after the competition was expected to end.

After leading the competition on Day 1, the Bulldogs ended Day 2 of the event tied with SW Oregon. This meant that the teams went to sudden death, where the top two players from each college play against one another on one last hole. But even after another hole, the two colleges were still evenly matched and the third and fourth best players from each college went head to head on the same hole. Again, the teams were still tied; the crowd left thinking that the winner of this competition would never be decided.

So, a different hole was played and, again, the top four players from each college were set against one another. This time, the drama reached a climax, SW Oregon winning the competition by a 1 shot margin.

While this was a disappointment to the men’s team, the result showed that the Bulldogs have the potential to become one of the best teams in the Northwest.

O’Connor said, “SW Oregon has a pretty good team, and they are one of the favorites to win the NWAACC Championship,” which shows that the Bulldogs can play at an extremely high level.

Although the men’s golf has proven to be strong, the team does not have an outright pecking order. For all competitions, the college must assign a hierarchy of players, the first being the most talented, the last being the least.

As yet, the men’s team looks strong throughout, “the question being, who will come out to be our number one and two players,” said O’Connor.

This has not been a problem for head coach Kirk Johansson in the past, last year’s team consisting of two outstanding golfers: Richard Lee and Geoff Williams. In fact, Lee set the standard of golf at the college when he transferred to the University of Washington, becoming the first ever junior to be accepted into the university’s golf program.

Johanson, who up until now has been a unisex golf coach at the college, will have more time to form a hierarchy for his men’s team, as the Athletics department has recently welcomed a new women’s assistant coach into their golf program. Darcy Muzzi, a golf coach at Woodinville High School, will focus on the women’s team and help recruit new players.

While Kirk will concentrate more on the men and Darcy on the women, “they will cross,” said O’Connor, emphasizing the knowledge and skills two coaches can bring to the teams.

The Bellevue Invitational showcased the Bulldogs’ talent, the potential they have, and the excitement the sport can bring. After watching the event, O’Connor felt confident that both the men and women’s teams have the ability to finish in the top five of the NWAACC Championship.

Hopefully, with a little bit of luck on their side, these two teams can reach their full potential and go for the number one spot.

Johanson wasn’t available to comment on his team’s recent success, he’s currently watching “The Masters” golf tournament in Georgia. Hopefully he’s picking up tips for his teams, and not just enjoying the scenery and talent that’s on display.

BCC’s first ‘Queer Film Festival’

A collection of provocative films will be shown at Bellevue Community College in less than two weeks.

Beginning April 15th, the Gay Straight Alliance Club will be screening an array of films at its first ‘Queer Film Festival’. The films screened will depict the lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people experiencing love, family, friendship, and life amidst the oppression, isolation, and discrimination imposed on them by society.

Over the past few weeks, the GSA has personified the sense of unity that has permeated gay communities throughout the world; all 35 members played a part in orchestrating the event.

“Everyone [in the GSA] is interested and involved,” said Laurel Cooper, president of the GSA and director of the LGBTQ and Allies Resource Center.

The screenings, which will be followed by a discussion, are intended to incite reaction in their viewers.

“What we want to do is [to] keep it open to questions and views. People will be giving varying opinions,” said Corey Netter, member of the GSA.

There is no doubt that the films, all of which contain controversial material, will spark a mixed reaction, certainly in the context of BCC itself, according to Netter.

“Equality U”, which will be screened during the festival, portrays the struggle of gay Christian teenagers at Christian colleges, and addresses the implications of religion upon sexuality and the friction it causes within the realms of an educatory institution.

The GSA Film Festival will also screen “Brother to Brother,” the story of a homosexual, black male who is discriminated against because of his sexual orientation and ethnicity. This screening highlights the prevailing existence of racial and sexual orientation discrimination, which remain engrained in some areas of American and other societies.

The festival will screen two movies depicting the murders of individuals because of their sexual orientation or identity, screened on a fitting and meaningful day, April 17, the 2009 Day of Silence.

The Laramie project documents the story of Matthew Shepherd, a young gay man brutally killed by bigoted peers in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming. The film reenacts the journey of a team of filmmaker activists who visited Laramie putting together Shepherd’s story by interviewing residents of his town.

The Day of Silence is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s annual date of action to protest against the harassment and bullying of members of the lesbian, bisexual and transgender student body.

The festival will, however, primarily have a positive theme throughout, celebrating the strength and united attitude that the gay community has adopted in the face of adversity.

Cooper said the club stumbled upon an accidental theme for their festival after scouring a plethora of films for their interesting and thought-provoking lineup. The majority of films deal with the notion of coming of age and summoning the strength and courage to come out. Parts of the lineup deal directly with this theme in documentary form, exploring the trials and tribulations of accepting one’s sexuality.

Screenings will occur at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. on the 15th, 16th and 17thof April and, while the lineup for the festival is still being finalized, many films have been confirmed for the event including the award-winning “My Summer of Love”.

“My Summer of Love,” a British-made film about two  adolescent girls discovering sexuality, encapsulates both the positive and negative aspects of being part of the LGBTQ community.

The GSA film festival intends to promote awareness regarding the mistreatment of LGBTQ students and to celebrate the diversity they bring to the college. For more information on the event, contact the GSA through Student Programs in C212.

Bulldogs eager to succeed in playoffs

Stephen King.
The Men’s and Women’s basketball teams at Bellevue Community College have reached the playoff stage of the NWAACC Championship. The Men’s team, coached by Jeremy Eggers, currently has an impressive 23 — 5 record this season, making them North Division Champions. Brent Hermanson, head Women’s coach, has seen his team reach the playoffs through finishing fourth in their division, their season’s record currently being 16 — 11. Both basketball teams hope to perform to their maximum potential in the NWAACC Championship, which takes place in Kennewick next Thursday.
The lady Bulldogs, who have lost their last two games, are looking to end their recent bad form and are hoping to win their first playoff game against formidable opponents Umpqua Community College. This will be quite a challenge for the Bulldogs, UCC boasting an impressive 26 – 2 record so far this season. O’Connor seemed confident that the lady Bulldogs have a team that has matured throughout this season, 11 of their 12 players being freshman. Making the NWAACC Championship playoffs was a “very important accomplishment” said Bill O’Connor, and perhaps this milestone is enough to give the lady Bulldogs the confidence they need to play to their full potential. Nevertheless, the Athletic Director at BCC looked at the women’s first game in realistic terms, “when you play the number one team in the conference, it’s going to be tough” he added.
The BCC men’s basketball team, who had a slow start to their season, losing two of their first five games, subsequently went on a nine game winning streak. This succession set the tone for their season. Through consistent effort and thoughtful tactics, Eggers has watched his team become the top seeded college in the North Division. “The guys applied themselves” said Eggers who has encouraged his team to defend first, rebound second and share the ball third.
The BCC Men’s Basketball team goes into the NWAACC Championship a little more confident than the ladies.
This is, in part, is because they take on Lynn Benton Community College, who hold a poor record of 12 — 14 this season. However, the team has not suffered injuries or been drastically altered, “the same five players have started all 28 games so far this season” said Eggers. This sense of familiarity builds a rapport between players, and this could be the key to the team’s success.
O’Connor, who thinks the men’s team has exceeded this year, considers their success to be a product of what he calls a “good balance.” This balance refers to the mix of sophomores and freshman, which provides a team with experienced mature temperaments, as well as youthful tenacity and enthusiasm. The BCC men’s basketball team is comprised of seven freshman and six sophomores, the sophomores being the “nucleus of the team,” said O’Connor. This is something that the women’s team lacks, Kaneshia Brooks being the only sophomore.
This means that Hermanson will be having a busy recruiting year, looking to add depth to his team for next year’s season. Eggers hopes to recruit the same talent of players he has had the past five years, which has brought BCC to win the men’s basketball North division four times.
After a successful season for BCC basketball, both the men’s and women’s teams are looking for playoff glory. While Hermanson’s team must overcome the intimidating challenge of UCC, Eggers’ team looks to continue their winning formula of defense first, rebound second and share the ball third.

Boxing is no match for staged and brutal violence

By Brandon Owen, Student Reporter.
Professional wrestling organizations such as the World Wrestling Federation (WWE) are non-competitive, prearranged, athletic performing art, which basically puts mixed martial-arts (MMA) fighting and pro wrestling in two separate boats. These boats, however, happen to look very similar to each other.
Pro wrestling is essentially a theatrical soap opera that has a cult following. Rather than pitting athletes against each other in relation to prior sporting achievements, rivalries and storylines are created to enhance the action on stage and add dramatic effects. Wrestling isn’t meant to deceive the audience, but to create a spectacle for the audience to enjoy, beyond just the fighting. Roland Barthes was one of the first theorists to propose the notion that wrestling deserves to be analyzed beyond its “cheap entertainment” purposes.
Unfortunately for pro wrestling, MMA leagues, such as PRIDE and UFC, have become much more popular recently. Fans that aren’t interested in story lines and prefer actual sport have shifted rapidly towards MMA fighting. Real blood, real injuries, real fighting and real personas have finally begun to outweigh the “show” of wrestling.
Evidence of this shift has come from the pay-per-view sales, with UFC breaking records, and participants landing advertising deals, such as Rashad Evans doing the “I’m a PC” campaign for Microsoft, Chuck Liddell getting cameos in “Entourage.”
The only reason WWE has not been completely eclipsed by UFC is from their merchandising. Historically, pro wrestling has had better video games, better action figures and better toys. WWE has also produced multiple movies starring their top wrestlers, such as “The Condemned” and “The Marine.” Pro Wrestling has even received boosts from outside the WWE, with the acclaimed film, “The Wrestler” starring Mickey Rourke.
Pro wrestling and MMA are competing for popularity. However, the two sports offer a more dramatic display than boxing. Their rivalry has made boxing seem less brutal and less sensational. The athletic prowess of Ali vs. Frazier is no longer prominent in the sport, and the big talking characters like Tyson have turned into wannabe celebrities like Floyd Mayweather In fact, Mayweather appeared on WWE in an attempt to make boxing appeal to a younger audience, proving what an attention-seeking character he is. Boxing matches are much rarer to see on television, since WWE is on the CW nightly and UFC seems to be on Spike TV 24 hours a day. These two sports cater to an audience who enjoy brutal violence, as well as those who appreciate drama and storylines. Boxing, at one time, provided both of these aspects, but not to such extremes.
Boxing has faded dramatically over the years. In fact, most people cannot seem to name more than one or two boxers that are currently fighting at a professional level. All the good ones are retired. The same can’t be said for UFC and WWE, however, because they are both still flourishing by adversely complementing each other: one for show and one for sport.

Outrage for wrong reasons: Husky Stadium

By Stephen King.
Having only moved to Seattle recently, I was amazed to stumble upon an ongoing issue regarding the University of Washington’s bid to renovate the Husky Stadium. UW originally planned to ask the Legislature for $150 million, which would be diverted from taxes. Like anything involving a substantial portion of taxpayer’s money, this sparked outrage. Unfortunately, this outrage was for all the wrong reasons.
Many opposed UW’s proposal because they attend a rival university or college, or are part of an alumni. It seems no coincidence that Washington State University graduate Mike Bernard, a Bellevue tax consultant, led the opposition against the stadium proposal. In fact, even during the Apple Cup game, the stadium became a talking point that instigated in-depth political arguments. Perhaps both teams had so little ammunition to use against one another that they were forced to resort to architectural issues.
Another reason that people opposed the idea so fervently was because they believed that there are more important projects than sporting refurbishments. This is true, but honestly, if “more important” was a concept people truly understood, spending would be cut heavily. There are always more important projects to be working on: third-world debt is pretty high on the list. However, this does not mean that renovating Husky Stadium would not contribute to the community. Last year, the stadium itself was used for 50 non-athletic events involving more than 700,000 people, including multiple charity-based events.
What’s more is that the stadium generates revenue for Seattle, King County and Washington State. It has been estimated that the UW athletic program supports over 2,500 jobs, creates $83 million annually in labor income, and generates $211 million in annual sales. On top of this, $12.5 million of Husky Athletics are accrued in tax revenue, $8.2 million to the state.
From an unbiased standpoint, the facts seem somewhat straightforward: Husky Stadium is beginning to resemble ancient ruins at the age of 88, health and safety issues need resolving, handicapped access needs to become available and, importantly, fans need to feel comfortable.
$150 million is a substantial amount of money, especially in comparison to what sits in my cobweb-infested wallet. In comparison to the many projects that occur in cities like Seattle though, this investment is not a ridiculous figure to propose. Washington State Convention and Trade Center is currently planning a $766 million expansion and, at the moment, is being funded almost entirely by hotel tax in the city. Seattle also wants state authorization to renovate Key Arena in an attempt to lure an NBA team toward the city which, over the past year, has dropped its head lower and lower with each sporting failure.
Money is the reason that sporting teams stay in a city and why colleges and universities flourish. Sport generates a large amount of money because of its popularity and, like it or not, sport has become a competitive business, even at the college level. And, like a business, it needs investments. Businesses need to attend to health and safety issues, make their premises handicap accessible and put their clients and customers in a comfortable atmosphere.
So, feel free to argue your case against the renovation of Husky Stadium, but ask yourself: are you doing it for the right reasons. Don’t dismiss an idea based on sporting rivalry or personal interest, Think objectively.

Myths influence our diet, health and exercise

By Stephen King
Don’t listen to people when they give you advice regarding staying fit and healthy. What people say can often be wrong. Parents, friends and even health/fitness advisors get their facts wrong due to common misconceptions. In this week’s “King’s Column,” some of those misconceptions will be revealed as statements of fiction.

Liquids

The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board made a statement encouraging people to consume eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy. However, we gain much of our needed fluid intake from other sources. For example, fruit, vegetables, even tea and coffee provide the hydration all of us need to stay healthy. Coffee and tea may be diuretic, but they still hydrate us. In fact, coffee is actually very good for us, despite skeptics stating otherwise. According to experts at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, Coffee contains helpful phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. These antioxidants increase insulin sensitivity and lower the risk of diabetes. A study of over 125,000 people found that women who drank coffee cut the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30 percent.
If you are looking for an indication of how hydrated you are, urine is not a good indication. It is a common misconception that the color of urine is a representation of how hydrated a person is. Rachel Vreeman, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis says, “If you’re thirsty, you should drink,” although don’t drink too much, as this can lead to an electrolyte imbalance which causes sickness.

Food

One thing is for sure: fruit and vegetables are crucial to a healthy diet. What isn’t true is that fresh fruit and vegetables are always better for you than frozen ones. Frozen fruit and vegetables are harvested when they are most nutritious, directly after which they are frozen to sustain these qualities. Conversely, fresh fruit and vegetables are often transported long distances to sit in grocery stores. Through being exposed to different temperatures, air quality and humidity, some nutrients of fruit and vegetables can be lost.
Many people consider eggs to have a negative impact on cholesterol, and in turn, the heart. However, recent studies have negated this concept, proving that saturated and trans fats are the main culprit in increasing the risk of heart disease. An egg has 1.6 grams of saturated fat, compared with 3 grams in a glass of milk, and containing 213 milligrams of cholesterol, an egg is under the American Heart Association’s recommended daily amount. However, don’t go too mad and end up with egg all over your face- remember to watch your cholesterol intake for the rest of the day if you have one for breakfast.
While we’re on the subject of food, remember the saying “Feed a cold, starve a fever?” Well, you guessed it… another misconception. Denise Snyder, a nutrition scientist and clinical trials manager at the Duke University School of Nursing, said, “I think it was always pretty much dismissed as folklore…as a nutritionist, I certainly wouldn’t tell people to starve themselves.” Colds and fevers are caused by viruses that last, on average, 7 — 10 days, and no ancient remedy is going to change that.

Working Out

I have heard numerous people state that it is important to eat before working out. In fact, it is best if we eat something after working out. I remember eating a curry before playing soccer, only to throw up all over a spectator. Not nice. Our bodies struggle to exercise and digest simultaneously because of the amount blood needed to complete each task. When overwhelmed, the body will do whatever it takes to tell you it’s being overworked, in my case, vomiting. We also don’t burn as much body fat when we are digest and exercise simultaneously because the body does not use any stored fat to fuel a workout (it already has an abundance of fuel from the food you eat). So, my advice is to eat a good two hours before exercising and 30 minutes after. After a workout, the body has lost nutrients and the stomach creates an environment optimal for nutritional absorption. In turn, the food we consume after working out will be less likely to turn into fat.

The future’s bright for Bulldog baseball

By Patrick Farricker.
As winter slowly draws to a close, we prepare once again for the upcoming baseball season at Bellevue Community College. BCC’s baseball program, which has seen 38 of its players enter into the Major League Baseball draft, is one of the most reputable in the Northwest. Under Coach Mark Yoshino, now entering his eleventh year as head coach, the Bulldogs captured the NWAACC Championship in 2007. Not only were Bellevue distinguished as the number one team in the NWAACC Coaches’ Poll at the time, but the Bulldogs also ranked 18th in the entire nation. It would come somewhat of a disappointment however, that the Bulldog’s 2008 season would end just two games shy of the playoffs. As Coach Yoshino later said, “We lost some key players early on that would have most likely given the ’08 team a whole different outlook.” So although the 2008 season came to be something of a vexation, it has in fact greatly motivated the upcoming 2009 team. Ryan Shelton, outfielder and team captain for the Bulldogs, said, “Although disappointing, the ’08 season has helped fuel our team this year which has shown big improvements in their effort at practices and in the weight room. If we stay healthy and play together, we have a great chance to be successful.” While the prospects regarding the upcoming season seem quite promising, injuries could potentially jeopardize Bellevue’s performance as it did last year. Putting injuries aside, the Bellevue team faces an even greater struggle, league placement. BCC is currently assigned to a very formidable league. “Our league is extremely difficult,” Yoshino said. “Out of the top eight in the Northwest, four are from our region or league alone, meaning half of the best teams in the entire Northwest are from our division.” While this does potentially limit BCC’s chances of reaching the playoffs, some players welcome the heightened level of difficulty all in the collective spirit of competition. In spite of the many obstacles the team face, BCC’s 2009 baseball squad has an abundance of talent and experience throughout their squad of 29 players. Twenty of them are “veterans”, or sophomores, most of which are transfer students. Among these are Dan Johansen (Columbia Basin College), catcher Brodie McCormack (Washington State), shortstop Bryan Barnes (transfer from Gonzaga) and Ryan Burnett (Midland College, TX). Together, they help make the team more experienced and acclimated, traits that are essential to a playoff-hopeful team. Despite its drawbacks and shortcomings, the 2009 baseball team has exuded both overwhelming resilience and determination. Each team member shows that they are capable of overcoming obstacles through working together as a team. Recent inspiration was provided by Tommy Lasorda, who gave a motivational speech to the team and to coach Mark Yoshino. At noon, February 28th, their season will begin playing Lower Columbia, as they fight their way to the top in hopes of reaching their ultimate goal: the NWAACC Championship.

BCC Women’s basketball team start weak, but deliver the goods

By Katie Drahos.
They say defense wins games, and at last Wednesday’s North Seattle women’s basketball game, it could not be truer for the Bellevue Community College Bulldogs. With a final score of 59-54, BCC was able to clench a win against the North Seattle Storm. The first half started rough. It took BCC seven minutes to score their first basket, while the Storm dominated the court and racked up eight in the same time span. Countless travels and missed opportunities by the Bulldogs got the Storm off to their early lead. With about six minutes left in the first half, BCC really put the pressure on and held the Storm at 12 while tying it up. At the five-minute mark, freshman forward Amy Rochowiak hit a three point basket to put the Bulldogs in the lead. This would be the only three point shot that the Bulldogs would manage to make out of 13 attempts in the first half. The lead was short lived when BCC fouled and sent the Storm to the line, where they tied it up. The rest of the half was back and forth on both ends. At the end of the first half, the score was 17-21 to the Storm. When asked about how he felt about the team’s progress in the first half, BCC Assistant Coach Dan Toblin said, “We are playing good defense, we just need to make the shots. Once the shots start dropping this will be a different game.” Toblin’s prediction was correct, and BCC came into the second half ready to play. Starting with a bang, Cassie Landdeck nailed a three-pointer to put the Bulldogs only down by one point. That set the pace for the rest of the game, with the bulldogs scoring 42 points in the second period compared to only 17 in the first. With 15 minutes left in the game, BCC had 15 substitutions, in an attempt to keep the Storm on their toes. BCC’s defense once again was stellar, forcing the Storms point guard to have 11 of the team’s 23 turnovers, which gave the Bulldogs many opportunities to score. “They played good defense in the first half … [and] in the second half, they played good offense,” said head Coach Brent Hermanson when asked about how he felt the ladies played throughout the game. “When we can hold a team to under 60 points in our league we have done a good job.”