History, politics, people of Oly WA

Category: Evergreen State College (Page 1 of 2)

Halfway there to a soccer specific stadium down here, maybe a new one at Evergreen?

The soccer field next to the big big hill (Field 1) at the Regional Athletic Center in Lacey is about as close as we get to a soccer specific stadium in Thurston County. It has lights and seating for a large crowd (on a grassy hill). But, it lacks a locker room and any area for media coverage.

But, now in new drawings of what Evergreen’s CRC might look like after a major expansion of Evergreen State College’s recreational facilities, we have the makings of a proto soccer specific stadium.

The field would be synthetic, so we’d have a year round, all weather surface.

Like the RAC, this field would also have a berm, at least allowing for larger crowds. This certainly isn’t a typical stadium, which would include at least bleacher seating and possibly be covered. But, heck, it isn’t nothing.

Also, since the field is directly next door to the CRC proper, semi-pro and high level amateur teams would have access to locker rooms.

The only thing this field would lack that the RAC would have would be lights.

Also, I assume (and this is where I’m headed) if we wanted an EPLWA, PDL or NPSL team, that some sort of gate would be needed. Because, hard to run a team (even a high level amateur team) if you can’t charge admission, right? Am I wrong?

So, in the end, the drawings sure look nice. But, before we get anywhere, the funding of the CRC renovations (and there are a lot more in addition to the new field) have to be funded. The money will be coming from the students at Evergreen, so we’ll see if they end up voting in the changes.

So far a Vote No group has already formed. Voting goes through early March.

We can’t move Evergreen closer to Olympia, but we can bring Olympia (or a walkable community) to Evergreen

This is working out to be a part two to the post I put up last week about how we could’ve had a different history, college and town if Evergreen had been built closer to town.

Barring Dr. Emmett Brown, how can we try to solve the separation issue that impacts both Evergreen (as a mostly car based campus) and Olympia (a college town without a college in town).

I think the solution would be to cut down some trees! How very non-Evergreen, but they had to cut down trees in the first place, so why not just cut some more.

On the east side of campus, there is a large Douglas Fir woods. This property is totally owned by the college, is bound on the north by a fairly new residential development, on the south by Evergreen Parkway and on the west, by the non-teaching portion of campus (residential and recreation areas).

Another feature is the lack of wetlands in this portion of the campus:

I can easily imagine a dense residential and commercial development along Driftwood and Olverhulse, hugging the corner between the residential developments and campus. This would encourage more living close to campus and, of course, build a college-town sort of community nearby.
And, since I’m just spit-balling here, I am imagining the same sort of mixed density, apartment above commercial development that was sketched out early on in my own neighborhood.
Evergreen’s own Master Plan admits that too many students commute to campus, and the vast majority of those drive. The same plan mentions vaguely a small “local retail” development as part of a minor addition to campus (Project K). That wouldn’t be a bad start, but the idea in the plan is really tiny compared to what sort of real estate is actually available out there.

Where would’ve been a better place to put Evergreen?

@jeff_james is always on my back about Olympia. It isn’t a college town, he says. It doesn’t have the normal trappings of the Midwest college towns that he was used to. Somehow it always comes down to college bars, but I think that’s just what I remember.

Ken also points this out, that the relationship between Evergreen and Olympia is different:

Nicandri said there’s a lack of things for students to do on the
college campus, and its physical isolation causes even more problems.  
“There’s no place for a student to buy an aspirin or visit a laundromat
or buy other needed items without leaving the campus,” he said.

While touting the great academic component of the college, Nicandri
said its time to re-look at the campus and perhaps allow some commercial
activities.   This has to be coupled with renovating the existing dorms
and constructing additional housing facilities.

“Perhaps its time to talk about requiring students to live on campus,” he said.

Evergreen and Olympia are inseparable, but the reality of their actual physical distance (and irony that people need to be able to drive to campus) has some real impacts. If you are a student with a job or even a family life, its easier to live off campus than on. The cultural mix between the campus community and town is stilted.

Sure, people can point to things we have here (OFS, general art community) that we can credit to the college and its alumni. But, you’d have to admit that these institutions would be stronger and more diverse if the campus was closer (or actually in) town.

Which begs the question, how would the founders of the school, in 1968, found a place closer to Olympia? It isn’t like Evergreen is the University of Washington. The UW was founded in the 1800s, and the city and the school literally grew together over time. Now, the school is firmly integrated into the city’s geography, but it took decades for that to happen.

What choices did the school founders have in the 1960s to get closer. Turns out, they had at least one great choice, not far from the current campus.

The site where the Olympia Auto Mall, the South Puget Sound Community College and Mottman Industrial Park was nearly empty in the late 1960s (image from Earth Explorer):


Not only was the site empty (seemingly available) it was also connected to a portion of Olympia that was already developed, granted it was a sleepy residential neighborhood at the time. But, in the decade soon after the founding of Evergreen, the westside of Olympia exploded with commercial and residential growth.

Other parts of town I looked at included the general Southeast (less open space, more houses) and Northeast (same). But, I’m curious about other parts of town. Would it have been possible to do Evergreen NYU style? Build a handful of reasonable office buildings downtown? Maybe the emptying of downtown happened 10 years too late for that to work out, but it would’ve been interesting.

Anyway, food for thought.

Why living in a college town is awesome (because we get Olympia Winter Nights)

I’m not saying this is most awesome thing in the world, but its pretty darn awesome and this is the sort of thing we get because we live in a town with a pretty darn good college.

Olympia Winter Nights, a concert series put on last year at Evergreen that I really hope will be coming back:

Olympia Winter Nights is a live concert series created and produced by the 2010/2011 media interns of The Evergreen State College. …Olympia Winter Nights will be an intimate listening and viewing experience for those attending the in-studio performances. Additionally, the concerts will be viewable by the entire world via a live stream on the internet!

Inspiration for this concert series comes from the long running PBS broadcast “Austin City Limits”, the 1990’s MTV broadcasts of “MTV unplugged” and the recent in-studio broadcasts of KEXP radio “Live on KEXP”. The artists to perform in this concert series will be drawn largely from the rich community of local talent. In true Evergreen State College tradition, Olympia Winter Nights will be complemented with experimental lighting techniques and infused with imaginative, real time MAX/MSP/JITTER light projections. A truly Olympian concert experience!

I especially like the opening, it really reminds me of Olympia and our winter season. Makes me think of home.

Also, in the tradition of things I like, Olympia Winter Nights posted up a free Season 1 compilation album. And, damn, you have to love that theme music.

Its like audio oyster light.

If we call the basketball rivalry, the Capital Cup, what should we call a local soccer competition?

Since Brandon Rosage is now doing a sports podcast locally, made me think about how I’ve been meaning to write more about local sports.

There is at least an exhibition competition between Evergreen State and Saint Martins, but there is no similar series between the local Olympia-area soccer teams. So, for the time being, I’m going to start keeping a ranking of the local college soccer teams.

The basic ranking will the point-per-game for league games between the men and women teams of both Evergreen and Saint Martins and the mens team at South Puget Sound (no womens teams). I know this is a bit late, since the college soccer schedule ended months ago, but I’m going to keep closer track next year, on a week to week basis.

Here’s this year winner of the cup to be named later, the Saint Martins women, who earned just better than a tie per league game, with the Evergreen Men coming in second.

Games Pts PPG
SMW 14 21 1.5
EM 14 14 1
SMM 10 6 0.6
EW 9 0 0
SPSCC 13 0 0

So, what should we name it?

And, if you were wondering, this is my first post about what I want to call “real sport,” which in this case isn’t the MLS Sounders, but local college soccer teams that we all should pay closer attention to. And, maybe this ranking is a way of putting a better focus on the local college scene.

Just realized I tried something like this on Olyblog a few years ago and I called the cup the “Tolmie Cup,” after a Brit who hung around here a hundred years or so ago. Maybe that’s still a good idea, but I’m willing to take suggestions.

What the hell is wrong with Nikki McClure’s “Speedy the Geoduck?”

Evergreen is looking for a new Geoduck logo. Nothing wrong with that, but what’s wrong with the great logo they’ve already used? And, from what I remember, its designed by Evergreen Grad and all around great Olympian Nikki McClure.

I remember talking to then athletic director Dave Weber when they (the athletic department) rolled out the new geoduck, which must have been maybe 10 years ago or so. He said it was drawn by McClure and that it would be a logo for the sports teams. I assume since then, its use has faded away, since its almost impossible to find online, especially on the Evergreen website.

Great logo though, they should really consider resurrecting it.

Well duh update: I couldn’t remember where I’d seen the logo recently, and it turns out it was on an Evergreen website, at the bookstore. They’re already using on hats!

What should Evergreen do with its athletic program?

Thanks to @downwithpants for the conversation to kick this off.

Dave Weber’s seat was barely cold before his successor, Sarah Works is also heading out the door.

Weber left after eight years, because when push came to shove, the vision above him wasn’t the same as his vision for the program:

“It came to a point where my boss’ vision wasn’t mine,” Weber said.
There is a push toward recreation sports, intramural sports and outdoor recreation at Evergreen. Yet there are no regrets, just differences of opinion.

“We had good support in the sense that most faculty and staff want the teams to do well,” Weber said. “But when it came to stepping to the forefront and truly advocating for a more prominent role for our department, most of that does come from within the athletics and rec staff.”

Weber’s resignation and Works appointment and eventual resignation seems to indicate a flux in terms of what athletics at Evergreen are supposed to be. I remember growing up, when there were no varsity sports at Evergreen. My uncle played for the Geoducks soccer team, but at that point was a glorified club team playing locally.

Bounce that against the Quincy Wilder led Geoducks, packing the gym seemingly every night. If Evergreen wasn’t a good place for competitive intercollegiate athletics, why did it seem that that team (plus any other successful Geoduck team) was popular at the school?

The tin-pot band (anyone remember that?) made up of male 19 year old students came to the basketball games back then because the team was good and fun to watch.

Even though (we know the old tale of why the Geoduck was chosen) Evergreen was founded as a school that would never embrace big time college athletics, playing in the NAIA seems to be a way to a nice middle territory between Seattle University-esque small college striving and just not trying at all.

Weber did a great job for years towing this middle ground between “Undefeated since 1967” attitude and trading in being a college for being a sports franchise. I don’t think the Geoducks will ever sell out the way some schools have, but there is something to be said for putting some effort into it.

Another note: There is another model out there, just not one that many have used. The BYU Mens soccer team is essentially a club team and does not participate at the collegiate level. But, they’ve found a way to still participate at a higher level:

Paralleling their efforts to increase the level of competition , Brigham Young University Soccer left the Collegiate Club division of soccer, and purchased a Premier Development League franchise, where they began play in May of 2003. Part of the United Soccer Leagues, this league provides the year round competition necessary to develop individual and team skills that in hand will better prepare them for success in their international travels. We are the only University sponsored soccer program to ever purchase a franchise and that competes at a level considered higher than NCAA soccer in the pyramid of U.S. soccer development.

Is there some future in that model for Evergreen? Creating a side non-profit organization that receives grants from the school to offer athletic opportunities for students. But, can be separate from the school and be able to raise its own funds as well. And, by looking for opportunities to compete at a high level in non-college venues (PDL, WCCL or IBL), it could still play at a high level.

And, just another thing: Don’t you think an institution with its own blog farm could put up a simple RSS feed for its athletic department?

Evergreen students arrested in Olympia port protests

Just curious, so from this list in the Olympian, I came up with this list from google:

Shyam Khanna

Evan A. Rohar
Gabrielle K. Sloane
James Steele
Luke E. Noble
Amanda N. Askea
Amory Ballantine
Holly A. Carter
Kimberly Chaplin
Jaime M. Crawford
Michelle Fleming
Daisy J. Montague
Emily A. Pieper
Katherine M. Waldeck
Shizuno M. Wynkoop

So, of the 57 people arrested (one person was nabbed twice), just over a quarter are Evergreen students. In terms of what this tells you, it depends on how you see Evergreen. Some folks are already assuming that the protests are a phenomena brought on by Evergreen, that if that school weren’t here, there would have been no protests.

That’s hard to say, given the protests in Tacoma and Aberdeen to similar shipments. While both of those communities have satellite Evergreen campuses, I doubt that’s what really got people riled up.

For me, this dispells the myth that this was a bunch of Evergreen students making trouble. The protests would have happened on their own, without Evergreen (like in Tacoma and Aberdeen). But, you can hardly expect college students attending what everyone knows is a very liberal school from standing on the sidelines for this one.

So, while even one person from the peace community saying (via email):

And, although for many of us tomorrow is a holiday from work, that is not the case for Evergreen students, who have to go to school. Evergreen students have been the primary presence at the port.

…we can know that it’s not exactly true. Sure, a lot of students came down, but a lot more non-students were there.

Remembering Evergreen haters

That last post reminded me of folks that really really don’t like Evergreen, like Hans Zeiger:

Legislators in Washington should offer two choices to Evergreen. Choice A: clean up your act and remain a state institution. Choice B: continue to exalt porn, piercing, and perversion—but lose the state funding status. If you ask me, I would prefer to see Evergreen privatized.

Some variation of the Evergreen story is going on at too many college and university campuses around the country. In a number of cases, taxpayers have been covering their tab without any compelling reason to do so for years. It’s time for citizens to demand a major revolution in higher education funding that does away with the use of taxpayer money for moral relativism in its most disgusting forms.

Of course Evergreen’s constant presence on best colleges lists and Zeiger’s alma mater’s lack of presence has more to do with the liberal media than anything else.

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