Whatcom Magazine

Town & Gown: Planetarium shows on tap in June

In Whatcom County, good town-gown relations can benefit the community and its colleges and institutions alike. Here is some recent activity:

Planetarium shows

The Spanel Planetarium in Haggard Hall on Western’s campus will hold public shows June 3 and 17. The shows feature a live astronomer star talk with question-and-answer time, plus the feature-length, full-dome movie “Stars of the Pharaohs,” about the connection ancient Egyptians felt with the stars and other astronomical phenomena. Shows begin 6 p.m., with no admission after the show starts. Tickets are $10 at Western’s box office. Tickets are not sold at the door.

New coalition leader

Carmen Rasmussen is the new coordinator of the Campus Community Coalition, founded by Western Washington University and the city of Bellingham to address issues of mutual concern, such as student alcohol misuse. Other community partners participate, too.

As coordinator, Rasmussen serves as a bridge to the larger community, provides leadership to the coalition, and oversees coalition projects, including the Hospitality Resource Alliance, the Bellingham Advice on Tap campaign, workshops on rental rights and responsibilities, and efforts in local neighborhoods. She has a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and extensive experience serving community organizations. Most recently, she was a legal advocate for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services in Bellingham.

Free counseling help

There’s still time for community members to avail themselves of free individual counseling by graduate students in Western’s Psychology Department under faculty supervision. Sessions are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays through June 5 at Western’s Counseling Training Clinic. Counselors are trained to deal with such issues as depression, anxiety, relationships, vocational choices, grieving, parent-child conflicts, and childhood issues. Call 360-650-3184 to leave a confidential message with a contact phone number.

Western wins service honor

Western won a national 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction award, which recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Western is the only public institution on the West Coast to win the Honor Roll with Distinction every year since 2010.