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Color in the numbers
BY santos herrera
Central Washington University hit re-cord numbers with the newest wave of freshmen. A total of 1,440 students make this not only the biggest class, but the most diverse in history.
The freshman class is more diverse than ever, Linda Schactler, director of public affairs, said. Its 30 percent stu-dents of color.
Schactler also said that CWU gradu-ates a larger proportion of students who are Hispanic than any college in the state. Centrals enrollment numbers on all cam-puses top 10,700 this fall. John Swiney, associate vice president for enrollment management, attributes the numbers to how much Central has to offer, with on-line courses being one of the major draws.
The number of students that enroll in online courses has grown by 20 percent every year, Swiney said. And one out of every four students is from the Ellensburg campus.
Swiney also said Centrals online courses are becoming more competitive with other institutions, as well as more beneficial to students. For example, if a student has two classes with time conflicts, he or she can attend one class and take the other online. So students dont miss out on classes they want to take.
Central has also become more com-petitive with its recruitment practices. Swiney mentioned that one of President
Jim Gaudinos first plans in office was to make Central more diverse.
Therefore, the Inclusiveness Initia-tive survey took off. The survey allowed Gaudino and his team to see what was im-portant in the eyes of students.
According to the results, about 80 percent of participants enjoyed being at CWU, as well as felt welcomed. Another 90 percent of participants agreed that interacting with diverse individuals is a good thing. Thus, the question became: How can we more effectively reach out to students and let them know about all that Central has to offer?
The answer came in the form of Cen-trals Prospect, Outreach and Retention Technology. CPORT works by connecting to students specifically. When a student takes the SAT or fills out an information request form, the information he or she writes down, such as age and ethnicity, is entered in the program.
Once in the program, students will be-gin to receive emails and postcards from various groups on campus which may in-terest them and make them feel more wel-come at Central.
Right now, this technology is being used only for diversity, Diane Fishel-Hall, enrollment communication specialist, said. However, the ultimate goal is to use this technology for everyone and anything. If a student likes horses, the rodeo club will talk to them. If a student likes gaming, the gaming club will talk to them.
Fishel-Hall said the beauty of this tech-nology is that its completely student-to-student interactions, not involving faculty or staff. Central students are the driving force reaching out to the people they once were.
BY Peter ocain
After serving seven years as the sher-iff of King County, Sue Rahr has joined Centrals Law and Justice Advisory Board.
Were very happy to have Ms. Rahr on board, said Charles Reasons, CWUs law and justice departments graduate
program director. I look forward to working with her.
In 2005, Rahr made history by becoming the first woman to be elected King County sheriff in the departments 155-year history. On March 31, 2012, Rahr retired after 32 years of
service with the King County Sheriff s Of-fice. The very next day, she was appointed director of the Washington State Crimi-nal Justice Training Commission. Reasons believes having someone like Rahr on the board could help attract more women to the law and justice program.
Shes a trendsetter herself, Reasons said. She went through policing when there werent a lot of women in law en-forcement.
Rahr recognizes shes a pioneer for women in law enforcement, but she doesnt believe there is anything stopping them from achieving their goals.
I want to convey [the] message to other women. If you get into law enforce-ment, you can make it what you want to make it. There are no barriers, Rahr said.
Sue Armstrong, a senior lecturer with the law and justice department, believes
the addition of Rahr to the advisory board will yield positive results.
It can only be a good thing, Arm-strong said. She has actual law enforce-ment experience and political experience as well.
Reasons said he met with Rahr this past summer in hopes of developing a connection between the law and justice department and the WSCJT.
For Rahr, this presented an opportu-nity for a mutually beneficial relationship. Were looking to develop partnerships with the big universities to see what op-portunities might be there, Rahr said.
Rahr admitted that she doesnt know too much about CWUs law and justice program, but shes confident the WSCJT can assist the instructors.
The first thing I need to do is learn more about Central, Rahr said. Once I see whats being taught, I can see what can be worked on.
Rahr believes her experience running a large police force, which included over 1,000 employees and a $150 million bud-get, is the biggest asset she brings to the law and justice advisory board.
I have a lot of experience dealing with the very best police officers, Rahr said.
Rahr said her experience dealing with difficult scenarios will help as well.
I think Ill be a little more aware where we need to focus our training on, Rahr said.
The advisory board meets twice a year and is comprised of 19 members. Rea-sons said the purpose of the meetings is to connect with the community and to keep up with trends within the law and justice community.
It also allows for Law and Justice pro-gram directors to find out about intern-ships and job opportunities.
sUe rahrLaw and Justice Advisory Board Member
Freshmen class most diverse, biggest ever
Former sheriff joins L & J board
e Observer Sept. 27 - Oct. 3, 2012NEWSEditor// Santos Herrera
BY JAYNA SMITH
Assistant News Editor
Virginia Letson, 55, who goes by Gini, expected to celebrate her 10-year wedding anniversary with her husband in the safety of her home. The call to evacuate that came at about 5 p.m. on Aug. 13 would change her entire life. Her husband, Terry Letson, 58, had lived in their home for 27 years, and in less than a day would never see it again. The Letsons packed up some belongings, but later found that they could not have brought enough.
Its funny the things that you pack, because you think youre coming back, Gini Letson said.
The family was staying at the Qual-ity Inn in Ellensburg when they received a dreadful phone call around 2 a.m. the following morning that their home had burned down. They burst into tears and embraced each other. With no homeown-ers insurance, the couple is left with land but no home.
Letson spoke of the small things like a measuring cup or a pair of socks that you might think you have and then realize you dont any more.
She took time off from work, but is now back at Central working as a custodian in the newly rebuilt Barto Hall. She attri-butes her ability to remain happy despite what happened to those around her, along with the re ghters who risked their lives.
Coming to work and being around the students is really healing, because you want that normalcy, Letson said.
Some Central students were shocked to hear about the re and desperately want-ed to do something. Many gathered at the Holiday Inn Express to collect donations.
It was heart wrenching to know that there was nothing I could do to help them, said Alexis Thomas, senior public relations major.
Thomas was one of many people in the community who wanted to help out. She and some friends volunteered at the cloth-ing drive for a few hours, where she said 30 to 40 people showed up to donate what
they could.Maybe you
cant save their house, but you can do something, Thomas said.
The community and families have banded together to make the heal-ing process easier. Coworkers, friends, family and even
concerned community members were all very instrumental in helping victims cope with the loss.
Central Student Cyndi Monroe was working when the re broke out but still did what she could to help support the re ghters and those affected by the re. Monroe said her rst reaction wasnt fear but sadness for those who lost their homes.
When I heard about it I brought a case of water to the re station, Monroe said.
Despite Letson and her familys situa-tion, she tries to remain positive. She has not lost her love for life nor her kindness to others.
At rst you want to be angry, but then you cant imagine how those responsible feel, Letson said.
Eyes damp with tears, Letson spoke of people she didnt even know who were so willing to help out, and how much it means to her.
I just cant thank everybody enough, Letson said. I mean, we are on the way to recovery.
BY JAYNA SMITH
Assistant News Editor
Mother Nature literally struck Central Washington on Sept. 8 in the wake of the Taylor Bridge re.
The Central Washington community had barely begun to heal before many lives were shook again when lightning sparked hundreds of res.
We have 4,000 lightning strikes and over 300 res, and we are still nding new res, Sharon Kyhl, re informa-tion of cer, said.
More res are being discovered because of inver-sion, or sleepers which occur when heat created by lightning strikes lies dormant, and later ignites, according to Christine Pyle, Ya-kima information of cer.
The manpower needed to ght all the res is so extensive that there are three teams. The Wenatchee complex res have burned over 42,000 acres and currently have nearly 2,000 personnel working on them. The Table Mountain res are the second largest, with 1063 personnel.
Our resources have been spread pret-ty thin, Pyle said.
With the Wenatchee res and the Table Mountain res moving closer to each oth-er, representatives said the two res may eventually connect. On the positive end of the spectrum, the Yakima Complex is almost completely contained.
The main priority in combating the res is to secure public safety. Protecting livestock and property comes second, and unoccupied land comes last, Pyle said.
Evacuation zones are based on three levels. Level one is to alert people of the possibility of having to evacuate, level two gets residents prepared to leave, and level three means residents are evacuated.
Safety is the number one factor, Kit-titas County Fire Chief John Sinclair said.
The smoky air caused Centrals football team to move practices to North Bend and to hold its rst home game in Bothell Soccer moved its home game with Simon Fraser to Burnaby, B.C.
The Kittitas County Public
Health Department advises people to limit their outdoor activity, avoid overexertion and try to keep doors and windows closed.
Anyone experiencing dizziness, head-aches, dif culty breathing, coughing, ex-cessive phlegm or nausea should contact their healthcare provider.
Fire ghters are working to keep the res contained but they know they wont be able to extinguish all of them. Those res will only be put out by what is called a season ending, where the weather changes - most likely snow - will put out the rest of the res, according to Sinclair.
Just know that everybody is working as hard as they can to solve this, Sinclair said.
Rising from the ashesBarto Hall custodians house burns down in Taylor Bridge Fire