Possible WSU medical marijuana program

Tyler Markwart, head of non-profit organization Allele Seeds Research, suggests program.

Jeff Cote

Senior philosophy major Tyler Markwart suggested to President Elson S. Floyd and Provost Warwick M. Bayly that WSU grow medical marijuana at the Dec. 8 budget forum.

In response to the suggestion, Floyd said it would be better to arrange a meeting for those involved with the idea at a later time. According to Markwart, he and Floyd have not yet had a meeting.

“Medical marijuana right now has such an amazing profit turnover that Washington state has the opportunity to make about $4 million a year on one quarter acre of land,” he said.

The university could access millions of dollars of research grant money for marijuana if a legal program was set up to research and produce marijuana on campus, he said.

“If you took a football-sized field and grew that outdoors for crop in one season, you would be able to bring in over $10 million into the university in less than seven months,” Markwart said.

This plan could help the university make money, help terminally ill people and keep current students and professors at WSU, he said.

“Anything that Washington State University would propose to sell, or offer as a service that would generate a fee, has to be approved by the legislature,” Bayly said at the budget forum.

Markwart is the head of the Pullman-based non-profit organization Allele Seeds Research (ASR). Markwart said ASR helps eligible patients in Washington state access medical marijuana.

“We provide patients who are terminally ill with free medication,” Markwart said. “Most terminally ill patients have to deal with high costs of chemotherapy, hospital bills and stuff like that. They usually don’t have a lot of money for side medications.” Recreationally, Markwart said cannabis is a safer substance than tobacco and alcohol.

“Clearly, you can see that from the hospital records over the years,” he said. “There’s not one single report of an overdose leading to death from marijuana consumption.” However, Markwart also said he believes the abuse of any substance is not good.

“It’s not whether one is better than the other, it’s a matter of regulation and saying ‘Look, you can consume these things if that’s your choice, but you have to consume them responsibly,’” he said.

Dennis Garcia, senior associate medical director for WSU Health & Wellness Services, said medical marijuana can be an effective method to decrease nausea for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

“For some, (medical marijuana) does help, such as in the instance of nausea for cancer and helping control the pressure involved with glaucoma,” he said. “As for pain control, it is not usually the best choice, as there are other alternatives that do a better job. In all cases, medical marijuana should be a last resort after all conventional methods have been tried.” However, Markwart said he uses medical marijuana for pain control. He has an intestinal condition that causes immense pain and sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. He said he has used other medicines before, but marijuana works best to control the pain.

“(Medical marijuana) reduces the amount of spasms and reduces the pain, but it doesn’t cure what I have,” he said. “It allows me to operate on a day-to-day basis and go through my day. It allows me to go to class and still operate and function, get good grades and run my own business at the same time.” Garcia said, as a college health professional, there has been no need to consider medical marijuana in WSU’s patient population.

“Most people who seek marijuana as a treatment are usually quite ill or desperate and generally are not university students, nor in any position to be a university student,” he said. “So, from the Health & Wellness perspective, we are quite distant from the current ongoing debate and have very little interest, since it does not usually involve our patients.” Floyd and Bayly were unavailable for comment as of press time.

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Textbook discount is offered at The Bookie

The Bookie offers book rentals at cheap rates as an alternative for buying and selling textbooks.

Stephanie Schendel

The five bookstores of The Bookie, along with online orders, generate about $16 million in sales annually, and about 55 percent of that total revenue comes from textbook sales. The Bookie is owned by the non-profit organization WSU Student Book Corporation (SBC) and is managed by Barnes and Noble, senior SBC board member Barry Johnston said. All profit from sales are given back to the students in the form of a dividend, he said. “One of the biggest dividends the corporation creates is the discount on the (textbooks) it sells,” Johnston said. The Bookie General Manager Leslie Martin said the discount is already included on the price tag listed on the shelves.

Johnston gave the example of a textbook that costs $100 to buy from the publisher. He explained that the $100 book has a 25 percent markup that covers the costs of salaries, wages, benefits, shipping and other operating expenses of The Bookie. That 25 percent markup changes the price of the book from $100 to $125. That amount is considered to be the break-even for the corporation to pay necessary costs, he said.

From there, the discount from the dividend cuts the price by ten percent, so the price on the shelf reads $112.50, Johnston said.

The student discount on textbooks was a decision made by the board of the SBC, and in 2006 it was increased from 8 percent, he said.

“The cheapest way (to buy textbooks) is buy used and sell used,” Johnston said. “But you can’t always do that because it depends on what (textbooks) the faculty member determines for their course and curriculum.” He said he understands students often look to other places, such as Amazon.com, to try and find better prices on textbooks.

Patrick Heneghen, student chair of the SBC board, said students should consider other factors when buying textbooks in places other than The Bookie, such as convenience, return policy and the price of shipping, as well as making sure the book matches class materials.

Heneghen said it was one of the board’s decisions last year to introduce the concept of textbook rentals to The Bookie.

Johnston explained that renting textbooks costs students half the price of a new textbook.

The idea of renting textbooks started at The Bookie last fall and will continue to grow more popular, Martin said. She said right now they offer about 700 textbooks for rental out of about 4,000 titles.

“Rentals are driven by the publishers,” Martin said. “The majority of it is completely out of our control. Either the publisher decides what they are going to allow to be printed, to be rented or to be e-booked, and then it is up to the professor whether it is going to be used again.” When rental books come in, they are considered used books and The Bookie tries to rent all new books. The price is the same, and they are able to sell more used books than new ones, Martin said.

“If you look at the breakdown, it is actually cheaper to buy the book used and sell it back (at the end of the semester),” Johnston said. “But what is difficult in that regard is that if the book is not going to be used that second semester then you can’t sell it back, that is when the rentals are a really nice option that we provide for students.”

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Art gets playful twist

Logan Westom/Daily Evergreen

Numerous pieces of Finch’s fresh, minimalist art were displayed in the exhibit.

By Amanda Guay

WSU’s Museum of Art showcased Northwest artist Claudia Fitch in a reception and lecture from the artist on her exhibit, “Claudia Fitch: Works 1987-2010.”

Christopher Bruce, director of the museum, opened the lecture and introduced Fitch with a description of her work.

“If (Fitch’s work) was a wine, it would have a minimalist structure, a pop effervescence and a playful note,” he said. “That’s the closest I can get to really putting a context around it.” Assistant Curator of the Museum of Art Zach Mazur said he agreed with Bruce’s idea of Fitch’s exhibit as a complex body of work.

“I think a lot of Fitch’s work isn’t surface,” he said. “You have to come in and decide for yourself. It’s about what you’re willing to bring to the table when you walk into the space.” Claudia Fitch thanked the art community of WSU as well as those who enjoyed her work during her lecture.

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Reality police show features WSU

WSU Police do not think “Campus PD” is a realistic portrayal of campus policing.

By Jeffrey Alan Coté

The new season of the G4 police reality show “Campus PD” premiered Wednesday night. Much like Fox’s “Cops,” “Campus PD” rides along in squad cars and films altercations involving police officers. However, G4’s show focuses on police departments in college towns. According to the show’s website, the third season of the show features seven U.S. universities, one being WSU. According to a G4 media contact, “Campus PD” rode along with the Pullman Police Department last fall. No filming was done on the WSU campus, only in the town itself. Set to Jacques Offenbach’s classical piece “Orpheus in the Underworld,” the trailer for the third season comically chimes how the show features “tazing, hazing and busts that are amazing,” along with “crying, lying and coeds close to dying.” WSU Police Lt. Steven Hansen said he does not think “Campus PD” is realistic.

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Multicultural sorority recruits members

Derek Harrison/Daily Evergreen

Alpha Nu recruitment events included speed dating, cookie decorating and presentations.

By Kaitlin Gillespie

As a part of its mission to “embrace diversity and promote cultural unity,” multicultural sorority Alpha Nu (AN) hosted recruitment events Tuesday through Thursday this week.

According to its RSO website, AN was founded in 2008 to fill the need for a sorority that welcomed women of all nationalities.

President of AN and senior comparative ethnic studies major Leida Meza said, as the first multicultural sorority, the group strives to embrace diversity and promote multiculturalism on campus. “We want to empower women from different backgrounds to achieve their goals and aspirations in terms of education,” she said. “We don’t put a mold or anything on what a person is.” The first night of recruitment featured a game night, the second involved cookie decorating and the third was a speed dating event, where participants introduced themselves more personally to the group. Each night ended with a presentation on Alpha Nu and its missions.

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Council approves drastic changes

Three of four projects heard by city council were approved for continuation Tuesday night.

By Kyle Kinard

The Pullman City Council approved the continuation of three projects Tuesday night that could change the face of Pullman and the way its residents live.

Following the consent agenda, the council heard four presentations from four organizations looking to make a change in Pullman. The first presentation was given by the SouthEast Washington Economic Development Association. The second was given by Mike Yates, a member of the Pullman Arts Commission regarding their Davis Way beautification project. The project aims to spruce up portions Davis Way and make the main entrance to Pullman more vibrant and welcoming, Yates said.

The project has been in planning phases for nearly two years, he said, and the Arts Commission is ready to see more physical progress.

“What we wanted to do was come up with a plan that basically gives us (the ability to) move forward,” he said. The beautification plan mainly concerns a piece of property along NW Davis Way that locals will know as the former location of a Daily Grind stand. “The plan (for the former Daily Grind location) is basically going to be in three phases,” Yates said. “One: get it cleaned up, get it graded out, make it look good. Two would be to go in and define the space with fencing and landscaping.” Phase three, Yates said, would be for further planning on lot, including the possibility of a welcome sign and a gazebo.

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Campaign shows low DUI rate in Palouse

Pullman Police issue a average of about 10 DUI’s per month, with more in August and September.

By Justin Runquist

Police officers arrested thousands of people in the statewide “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed” campaign this winter, but only a handful of those arrests came from the Palouse.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission funded the campaign, which ran from Nov. 25 to Jan.2. During that span, extra patrols scoured hot spots for impaired drivers at prime times of the night. In total, officers took 3,577 drivers into custody on suspicion of DUI. Karen Wigen, the Target Zero manager of the Spokane County Traffic Safety Task Force, said Whitman County accounted for eight of those in that period. However, from the beginning of January 2010 to the end of October, Whitman County had 266 DUI arrests, Wigen said.

Whitman County deputies shared the duty of patrolling State Route 270, Highway 195 and Pullman streets with officers from the WSU Police Department and the Washington State Patrol. The Pullman Police Department opted out of the campaign this time, despite participating in August 2010.

With few people left in town after the exodus of students for the holidays, adding special patrols for DUIs seemed like overkill, Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said.

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WSU dean releases Middle Eastern media book

The College of Communication dean aims to eliminate stereotypes of Arab journalists.

By Anna Marum

Lawrence Pintak, founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, aims to dissolve stereotypes of Arab journalists and help Americans and policy makers better understand Middle Eastern media with his newest book, “The New Arab Journalist: Mission and Identity in a Time of Turmoil.”

The book, which comes out in February, centers on the transformation that has overtaken media outlets in the Middle East. Pintak said there has been a revolution in Arab media since the success and growth of the Qatar-based international news network Al Jazeera, which covered the Iraq War. Arab journalists are now in the forefront of social and political issues in the Middle East, Pintak said.

This is a sharp contrast to the region’s media in the 1980s. Pintak said Arab reporters used to be embarrassed by their profession because the news organizations were controlled by governments, politicians and militias. Now there is a sense of excitement in Arab newsrooms, he said.

“Today many of those same guys … are now running news organizations and pushing the envelope,” he said. “They’re creating change.”

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Contest winner renames SIS ‘zzusis’

ASWSU chose the new name replacing Student Information Systems and gave away an iPad.

By Kaylee Ray

Greeks gods and an argument at The Coug provided the inspiration for the new name for the Student Information System (SIS). The winning entry was selected on Jan. 4.

ASWSU sponsored the naming contest to enable student participation in the development of the new system, said graduate assistant Kate Esselbach, who works on the SIS project.

“We wanted to ensure a lot of student involvement,” she said. “ASWSU helped with that.” Biochemistry major Jeff Mahoney submitted zzusis Sept. 28, before the contest deadline was extended.

In addition to having his submission selected as the name for WSU’s information systems, Mahoney received an iPad for his entry. Mahoney said he came up with the name after a debate with a friend about which Greek god was the best while at The Coug.

“While I maintain Eros probably would be the best, being the god of love and all, my roommate thought Zeus would be,” he said. “In the heat of the argument (my roommate) yelled out ‘No, you’re wrong, Zeus is.’ If you can imagine what someone would sound like after a long day at The Coug, it sounded more like ‘Zoosys.'”

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Local chefs carve ice sculptures

Derek Harrison/Daily Evergreen

The Dining Services Ice Festival challenges local ice sculptors and entertains WSU students.

By Kari Bray

The sound of chainsaws and the sight of tumbling ice chunks caught the attention of passersby Tuesday afternoon in front of the Compton Union Building (CUB).

The second annual WSU Dining Services Ice Festival challenged local ice sculptors, including WSU chefs, to transform blocks of ice into creative artwork.

“You have to be somewhat of an artist to do ice sculptures,” said Northside Executive Chef Mel Dacanay, who has been sculpting ice for about 25 years. “You have to be fast because the ice will melt. You basically have a two-hour window.”

Before the end of those two hours, three blocks of ice had been sculpted, through a mix of power tools and chiseling, into the letters “WSU,” a Pittsurgh Steelers-themed football and a gracefully perched bird.

Students were offered free hot cocoa and Seattle’s Best Coffee, along with gifts such as coffee mugs, bags and shirts, while they watched the action.

Junior accounting major Anna Hansen said she was impressed by the use of power tools on the ice blocks.

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