by Cara Gardner

WSU Is Full -- PULLMAN, Wash. -- If you haven't sent in your application to WSU for this fall, forget about it; the university announced last week that it is no longer admitting any more first-time freshmen for the fall '04 semester. The freshman class is smaller than last year because the university wants to match enrollment numbers with the funding it gets per student from the state. Instead of getting more money for each additional student, the funding has been capped.

"In Washington, the legislature sets a budgeted number of students for us, and that's the number of students they will fund," says Janet Danley, with enrollment services at WSU.

"For state resident students, the state legislature only funds about 54 percent," Danley explains. "If we accept more students than the state is subsidizing us for, we end up losing money because the students don't pay for the full cost of their education."

WSU received about 9,500 applications this year for enrollment, but was only able to enroll 2,950.

In the 2004 strategic master plan for public colleges in Washington state, it was recommended that the state fund universities based on the number of graduates, not the number of students enrolled. Critics say all that will do is make it easier to graduate from college.

"This is being put out to public for comment and consideration. There's a long way to go before we're there," notes Danley, adding that it would be a year to 18 months before portions of that plan would begin working.

"It would create some unanticipated consequences, including lowering graduation requirements," says Danley. "Whether that's something we want to do as a community of learners, I hope not."

WSU-Spokane will hold a public meeting regarding state funding issues on Wednesday, June 2, from 1-4 pm at the Riverpoint's Phase 1 classroom building. Call: 358-7500

Caution to Campers -- SPOKANE -- Most campers know that leaving garbage or other waste in the wilderness attracts animals and isn't good for the environment. For that reason, responsible hikers and campers might take it upon themselves to dispose of other people's wastes. But the Department of Ecology has issued a warning to citizens cautioning them about the possibilities of coming across the remnants of a meth lab.

"Anything that's been used in a meth lab has been found in parks or wilderness," says Ted Hamlin, hazardous materials specialist with Ecology. "Meth cooks are throwing backpacks or garbage bags of their leftovers, so if a kid's out there and sees a backpack and says, 'Oh cool! A backpack,' he might run into flammable liquids, needles, acids."

Ecology warns people to watch out for propane tanks, starter-fluid spray cans, shredded lithium batteries, Red Devil Lye, cold-medicine packages, plastic tubing, glass jars, funnels, coffee filters, hypodermic needles and containers of acetone, hydrogen peroxide, rock salt, hydrochloric acid, strong ammonia smells, toluene and Coleman Fuel. If you encounter any equipment that looks like it was used in the manufacturing of meth, leave the area and call the local police or sheriff's department.

Moose Mania -- COUER D'ALENE -- Moose sightings are rare, but beginning Monday, May 31, there will be 25 of the large beasts stationed in the Lake City -- life-sized artistic Fiberglas renditions of them, that is. The moose that will appear throughout Coeur d'Alene are the result of the No Moose Left Behind project, which is a fundraising effort for the EXCEL Foundation, a nonprofit that supports educational innovations in the Coeur d'Alene school district.

No Moose Left Behind is fashioned after efforts in other cities across the U.S. in which local artists team up to creatively decorate life-size Fiberglas statues of a particular animal. A committee picked a juried art selection out of more than 60 local artists to decorate the approximately seven-foot-long by six-foot-tall creations. Seattle showcased pigs several years back; the animals could be seen throughout the city on street corners, in front of buildings and inside malls. Businesses and private donors can purchase the statues after the moose have been displayed as public art for three months; they'll be in Coeur d'Alene until Labor Day, after which an auction will be held to sell 25 of the large moose and about 40 smaller-scale moose, all to benefit EXCEL. Two of the moose (one life-sized and one smaller version) can be won through raffles that will be held July 1 and July 25.

Publication date: 05/27/04

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