Sunday, October 14, 2007

Graduate Course for Undergrads

WSU’s Theatre Department offers acting and directing students a new class.

This semester is only the second time that the level three acting/directing class has been offered. The class was first presented two years ago as a trial course. This time around, the professors can take what they learned from the previous trial and make it a beneficial learning experience for students.

"I'm so glad they offered it again because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for undergrads," says Emily Ligman, junior theatre arts major.

The main component in this course is mask work, which is only offered in graduate-level courses. WSU, however, is the only theatre department in the United States that brings this technique to undergraduates.

With plans to continue offering the unique course every other year, professors Terry Converse and Stan Brown are encouraging undergrads to take serious advantage of the graduate-level mask work.

"Using masks takes the directors and actors out of reality," says course professor Terry Converse. "Performance relies more on fantasy."

The final class project is putting together a full lenth production of Mary Zimmer's The Arabian Nights.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Women's Transit: Not Just a Taxi Service

Volunteers of Washington State University’s Women’s Transit believe they are doing more than just giving rides; they are helping to stop sexual assault one woman at a time.

“It’s not like any other type of volunteer work,” Gottardi said. “You get to see the results right away.”

Student assistant Katemarie Gottardi, who is in her seventh semester volunteering for Women’s Transit, said she loves the work that she does for the program.

“When you get someone home OK, that’s one less person in danger of being sexually assaulted,” Gottardi said.

Women’s Transit, now in its 30th year at WSU, is a program that gives rides to women who would otherwise be walking alone at night. According to Coordinator Mary P. Anderson, the program started in 1977 using the volunteer’s own vehicles to transport women. Now the program has three vehicles and utilizes about 150 volunteers per semester. She said the volunteers are great, but it can be hard to fill some of the weekend late night shifts.

“Some (of the volunteers) like to work the late night shift,” Anderson said. “It has the most interesting passengers.”

Anderson stressed that Women’s Transit is not a taxi service; it is a sexual assault prevention program and is for women only. Although it is possible for men to be sexually assaulted, it is more likely for women. She said that statistically, only one in 33 men surveyed were sexually assaulted, while one in five women were sexually assaulted.

The program isn’t just for students, either. Any woman in Pullman who needs a ride after dark is welcome to take advantage of the program, and Anderson said there are plenty of regulars who do. The program is open to students, staff and faculty and community members.

The program operates within Pullman, seven days a week and provides door-to-door service. Hours of operation are 6 p.m. to midnight on weekdays and 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends.

For more information or to obtain a ride, contact Women’s Transit at (509) 335-6830 or visit their Web site at

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Exercise in a Snap

Snap Fitness is the latest health addition to the community. But what sets it apart from Pullman’s primary workout solution, the WSU Student Rec Center?

Snap’s biggest advantage is that it’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – it’s NEVER closed. This is especially convenient for those with busy lifestyles and who enjoy a late-night exercise.

Mia Swartwood, WSU senior movement studies major, jumped at the opportunity to get a membership with Snap. “I can go workout whenever I feel like it and it’s never too crowded; I don’t have to wait in line to use a machine.”

Unlike the Rec Center, there’s always open equipment and waiting in line to use a specific machine is not an occurrence at Snap Fitness. “Even though I automatically have to pay for the Rec Center in my tuition, I would still rather use Snap Fitness because the Rec is so overly crowded,” says Swartwood.

Snap’s location is another feature that attracts members. Located on Grand Street, people can quickly get there from any direction of Pullman. Plus, parking is free and no campus permits are required.

Not only do these features attract students, but Pullman residents as well. While it is true that anyone can purchase access to the Rec Center, not everyone wants to exercise with students. Phyllis Gooden-Young, WSU professor, enjoys the company of people her own age while working out. “I find that people here [at Snap Fitness] are more encouraging about being healthy, rather than just trying to looking good, which is why a lot of students use gyms,” says Gooden-Young.

More information about Pullman Snap Fitness can be found at:

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Dance Classes

Do you want to learn how to dance and boogie better than your friends?

Festival Dance Academy has been around for more than 30 years, but there are an abundance of new classes being offered this year. Among them are classes in tap, swing, ballroom, celtic, cheerleading, and various classes for teens and adults.

Festival teaches dance to all ages in Pullman and Moscow, as well as Lewiston and Genesee. Classes are taught at Gladish Community & Cultural Center in Pullman, and the Physical Education Building at the University of Idaho.

Because of these new classes, Festival can reach out to a greater audience of dancers and educate them on many more levels than before.

"Our number one goal is to provide dance education in a quality, caring and creative environment," says Cindy Barnhart, Executive Director of Festival. "Our wonderful faculty will make you want to dance for the rest of your life."

For schedules and new classes, visit

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Welcome to the Palouse

It can be hard to find classes, so here's a good WSU Campus Map. This map can be enlarged and is easy to see. However, it doesn't list what the buildings abbreviations are. That list is here.

Click here for the City of Pullman Web site. I personally don't think it's very good, but it can be slightly helpful. The site houses information about the city's Parks and Recreation, links to a databases listing city codes and laws, facts and figures, city council members and a calendar of events, among other things. You can find more information about the City of Pullman at the Chamber of Commerce Web site.

Since it's not too far away, and some people say there's more to do there, here is the official City of Moscow Web site and the city's Chamber of Commerce Web site.