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Weekly News Briefing: Student union forms, Dungeons & Dragons and student teachers

(Lewis Figun Westbrook)

The Weekly Briefing gives a small look into the stories The Forum has covered in the past week. This week, we covered a new student union formed from the protest group previously known as Westmini Students Speak Out, a professor who combines his love for D&D and academia and why student teachers are inspired despite the lower-paying career.

Protest group forms student union

The student organization Westmini Students Speak Out announced their “tuition-protest specific coalition” has moved to a “broadly defined student union,” according to the group on Instagram Jan. 16. Now called the Westminster Student Union, they seek institutional change, community care and mutual aid. 

ASW is also defined as a student union. However, Westminster College Student Union notes it is unaffiliated with the institution. 

From The Hill: The vaping epidemic

It was another busy week on Capitol Hill, with committees hearing more bills and passing some on to the House and Senate floors. One topic of interest in this legislative session is in response to the vaping epidemic that hit national headlines during the second half of 2019. 

As of Jan. 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a total of 2,711 people hospitalized because of vaping or e-cigarette usage. Additionally, 60 deaths have been confirmed in 27 states and the District of Columbia. 

The outbreak seemed to peak in September 2019, but new cases and deaths are still being reported in connection to e-cigarette usage. It’s turned a lot of lawmaker’s heads, leading to about six different bills being drafted to curb what they deem an epidemic.

Student teachers inspired by work, despite low pay

Despite Utah being one of the lowest states for teacher salaries and spending per student, some students from Westminster College’s School of Education say they are more focused on their ability to teach and inspire than the amount of money they’ll earn after graduation.

Engaged learning from Westminster does come with a price tag. Some students said they worry about taking out student loans because they will be paying them off with a lower-compensation career.

Other students are unconcerned about the financial aspect. They say their goals are to empower and to feel empowered by the positive impacts that they are making on their students.

Professor combines love for academia and fantasy games

The student is the character. The consultant is the dungeon master. The piece of writing is the campaign. Together they make Dungeons and Dragons—or a trip to the Writing Center.

Christopher LeCluyse, the director of the Westminster Writing Center, said students develop academic personas, particularly in their writing. When students get a consultation at a writing center, the consultant serves as a Dungeon Master and helps guide the character through a project.  

The Forum sat down with LeCluyse to get to know the director of the Writing Center, figure out what game studies are and understand how the two connect.


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The Forum is Westminster University's only student-run news organization since 1946. The content published does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Westminster or its administration.

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