Dear Western Washington University: Your Campus Alert System Is Alarmingly Inconsistent

Dear Western Washington University: Your Campus Alert System Is Alarmingly Inconsistent

The feeling of having to carry your pepper spray around campus is insane.

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Western Washington University uses an alert system called "Western Alerts" to inform students about threatening or harmful acts happening on and near campus. Western sends these alerts via email and text to all students, faculty, and staff members.

These acts range from sexual assault to wind advisory reports. For me and other students I have spoken with, find that the main issue with the alerts this academic year has been the inconsistency. On March 19, 2018, a "Western Alert" was sent out stating, "Police just became aware that authorities are investigating a threat made this morning on social media to 'shoot up' a school. The threat was apparently directed toward a high school in Michigan that has 'Western' in its name."

Even though this alert is prevalent, to a certain extent, in the WWU community, the Western alert system could be used more efficiently and effectively. For example, this past week was the move-out week for students living on campus. There were many students who stored their belongings in their vehicles which lead to a higher rate of vehicle break-ins. My vehicle was one out of many that were broken into last week. To ensure higher standards of safety on campus there could have been a Western alert notifying students that there were vehicle break-ins on campus. An alert could have prevented future break-ins or merely made students think twice about leaving their belongings in their vehicle in plain sight.

Emily Porter, a student at WWU, said:

"The Western alert system is far too relaxed for issues which should be voiced. Such as sexual assault, or general unsafe environment on the Western campus, specifically in the dorms. There have been cases in which the Western alert system should have notified students but failed to do so. It's their job to inform students about dangerous predators surrounding Bellingham and Western yet they only tell us about lewd conduct. However, they fail to notify us about a student on campus in her dorm who was raped."

In addition to inconsistency, students have issues with the lack of updates about the alerts. Once an alert is sent out there is nearly never an update on the issue. This leaves students scared, afraid, and paranoid. Haley Tuckner, a student at WWU, stated:

"The alerts are great, it's nice to know what is happening on campus, but we never know what is done about them if anything is done at all. I think my overall thing is that it's great to send out an alert but the university should let us know what they're doing to make us safer or feel safer."

Western can improve this inconsistency by giving updates on issues and providing more Western alerts that influence students.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Porter

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Studying the LSAT and Working Full Time

How to make room for advancing your future while maintaining the present.

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Working full time and studying for the LSAT proves a delicate tightrope that many people grapple to tread. If you find yourself in such a situation, then some good news is on the horizon as many have juggled the requirements of both aspects seamlessly in the past. Today we take a look at what these individuals did and how you too can effectively balance the scales without leaning too much to one side or the other.


Starting early

Having a full-time job leaves little morsels of time to work with and often the best approach entails beginning early so that the collective total makes up constructive study hours in the long run. As a general rule of thumb for the working class, start a minimum of 4 but preferably 6 months to the date of the test. Science dictates that there are half a dozen intellectual and quality hours per day and with a demanding job breathing down your neck, you can only set aside about a third of that for productive LSAT test prep. With 3 months being the measure of ideal study time for a full-time student, you'll need double that period to be sufficiently up to par.


Maximizing your mornings

Studying in the evenings after a grueling and intellectually draining day at work is as good as reading blank textbooks. It's highly unlikely you'll be able to grasp complex concepts at this time, so start your mornings early so that you can devote this extra time when you are at your mental pinnacle to unraveling especially challenging topics. Evening study times should only be for refresher LSAT prep or going through light subject matters requiring little intellectual initiative. For those who hit their stride at night, take some time to unwind and complete your chores before getting down to business well before bedtime.

Taking some time off

All work and no play does indeed make Jack a dull boy and going back and forth between work and study is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. So take some time off of work every now and then, preferably during weekdays- you can ask for a day off every fortnight or so- as weekends are a prime study period free of work obligations. Such breaks reduce fatigue, better study performance and increase the capacity for information retention.

Prioritizing study

Given the scarce oasis of free time in your busy schedule, you cannot afford to miss even a single session and this commitment is important in spreading out the burden so that it is not overwhelming as you approach the finish line. Be sure to have a clear schedule in place and even set reminders/alarms to help enforce your timetable. If it's unavoidable to miss a single session, set aside a makeup as soon as possible.


Last but not least, have a strong finish. Once you are approaching the home run i.e. about 2 or 3 weeks to the test, take this time off to shift your focus solely to the test. The last month can make or break your LSAT test prep and it'll be hard to concentrate on working whilst focusing completely on the test.

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