Klipsun is a Chinuk Wawa word meaning sunset.
KLIPSUN magazine is an independent student publication at Western Washington University located in Bellingham, Washington. While Klipsun has existed in one form or another since 1920, it morphed into a magazine in the late 1960's. The oldest issue in this collection is from 1967. We are currently scanning issues from Western Libraries' Special Collections and will add them as completed.
The current version of Klipsun Magazine recently became a digital-first publication with new stories released each quarter. Each magazine focuses on features, multimedia, and issues affecting the Pacific Northwest.
Klipsun Magazine, 2022, Volume 52 Issue 03 - Spring
When I was given the news that I would be the future editor-in-chief for Klipsun, I knew immediately the theme I wanted for the spring edition.
1. a strong and barely controllable emotion.
2. an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.
Passion lies within all of us, waiting like a starving beast ready to pounce. Unexpected, unbidden and sometimes unwanted. It stirs, waiting to open its jaws and howl. It guides us. Passion rules us all, and we obey.
If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. We would be truly dead.
I chose Passion as the theme for this quarter for a plethora of reasons. It means something different for everyone yet carries over similar traits with each interpretation. People relate it to a fire, the heart, a need, a want, a desire. Passion is a spark that you find in a person or in the arts. It is a guide or a friend and sometimes our master, pulling the strings like a puppeteer.
Whatever it means to you, let it be something impactful and strong. This quarter we were lucky to have a collection of great writers to tell stories from different walks of life and capture the essence of what I was looking for.
Stories of love lost or found, a dedication to the arts, overcoming the odds to follow your heart and finding meaning in the connections we make.
As you read this issue, I hope you find yourself inspired by the beauty found in others and how powerful the resolve of the human spirit truly is.
Reading these stories was an experience for me, and I hope it is for you as well.
With warm regards,
Klipsun Magazine, 2022, Volume 52 Issue 2 - Winter
When I was blessed with the opportunity to be Editor-in-Chief of Klipsun Magazine the little voice in my head whispered with glee, “Now’s your chance to inspire what others need to hear!” Living in a broken world means we are all broken people…but is that such a bad thing? We’re all a little fractured, that’s how the light gets in.
Joy: (noun) An attitude of gladness not based on circumstance; deep-rooted, inspired happiness.
This concept of joy will always receive varying responses. Some smirk at it, not fully understanding the power to be found within. Others hold onto joy with both hands and refuse to let go. I’d like to think I’m one of the latter. Everyday I work hard to wake up and choose joy. You are 100% capable of doing that too.
Choosing joy is not easy. Sometimes it is a mindset you have to fight for. But I’ll let you in on a little secret; if you want to be joyful, first you must be grateful. An attitude of gratitude allows us to deeply process what is in front of us and then respond with grace.
I want to make it perfectly clear that joy is NOT a fluffy, blissfully ignorant attitude. Joy takes your pain, sadness, heartache or anxiety and says, “Yes and…” Joy is a choice to look through the darkness surrounding you and to strive for the light that is always there, even if it is small.
One of the greatest inspirations I have found for joy is reflected through the lyrics of X-Ambassadors’ song “Joyful”
No one left, no one except my demons and I
No one to forgive me, I’m running out of time
And it’s up to me to try and meet my fate with a smile
And it might sound silly, but I still will try
To be joyful, joyful Joyful and happy, sunny and bright
To be joyful, joyful Joyful and happy, just being alive
As you journey through our edition of Klipsun my hope is that you are inspired to find light in a dark place just as our amazing writers have done. Keep searching for raw goodness and the glimpses of hope because they will always be there; you just have to look for them.
WITH WARM REGARDS,
Klipsun Magazine, 2021, Volume 52 Issue 1 - Fall
For the reader
These past years have been characterized by uncertainty. If it’s taught me anything, it’s this: We can never really know what’s coming next.
I was hired as a designer for this edition of Klipsun. I didn’t choose the theme or work with reporters to shape their stories. Now I’m Editor-in-Chief.
Sometimes we (knowingly but ungracefully) stumble into new things, as I did. Other times, we take a confident step forward only for the ground shift under us. Through the uncertainty, all we can do is look at where we are and ask ourselves what we’re going to do next. Now What?
Many are still processing past events, like a mother’s Alzheimers during isolation. Others have refocused on personal interests, like the meaning of tattoos for the queer community. Still others are looking toward that uncertain future, where life after the end of a friendship awaits. Now what are you going to do?
Klipsun Magazine, 2021, Volume 51 Issue 4 - Summer
I’ve always felt a sense of liveliness in the summer months. The days grow longer, steeped in endless sunshine and freedom. But as we approach our second pandemic summer, it seems as if we’re experiencing quite the opposite effect. There’s nothing more universal than the hardships, stagnation and emptiness we’ve endured throughout some of the bleakest years in human history.
Perhaps you’re like me — constantly coping, doing your best to adapt when the terrain turns rough, feeling as if hope is scarce in supply these days. Global pandemics, countless losses and brutal injustices can take their toll on all of us. And yet, the thing with hope is that it is persistent. It has the potential to exist even in the face of adversity.
Month after month, I witnessed my staff and writers embrace unprecedented change. Interviews were conducted at a distance or through computer screens, faces were concealed by masks. We sifted through heartache to deliver catharsis and found what made us feel limitless.
Among these pages are stories filled with vulnerability, healing and introspection. You’ll find narratives that illuminate those who are making a difference in communities and artwork to inspire you in between. We have sought to capture a profound moment in time; capsules of memory illustrating raw truths and strength that transcends our limitations.
As we navigate this uncertainty, my hope for you, reader, is to find the silver linings — courage, resilience, joy — enough to make your soul feel alive within this ever-changing world.
Klipsun Magazine, 2021, Volume 51 Issue 3 - Spring
I lost empathy when I was young and have since spent my time searching for it. Empathy is a capacity that is messy and unnatural; it is a pain in the ass for us selfish folks. My search for it began in high school. Later, in a college literature class, I rediscovered my infatuation for empathy when I read Leslie Jamison’s “The Empathy Exams.”
“This was the double blade of how I felt about any thing that hurt: I wanted someone else to feel it with me, and also I wanted it entirely for myself.”
Considering you and I have hurt, that we do hurt and that we will hurt in our lifetimes begs the question: do we hurt less when others hurt with us?
I chose this theme hoping to answer this. I’m not sure if we did. Isolated in my room, I met my staff through a laptop screen and encouraged them to be empathetic journalists who ask empathetic questions and seek out empathetic stories about empathetic characters. And, of course, the lack thereof.
We challenged whether or not this capacity is inherently human. We considered if everyone deserves it, how we can earn it and how we claim it for ourselves. We clarified the difference between it and its deceptive neighbor, sympathy.
Besides interviewing people pre-pandemic style, reading this quarter’s stories is the closest I have come to finding empathy again. Hurting with my writers, with my editors and with the characters you will discover gave me a glimpse at something I lost a long, long time ago.
Read with someone else. Then read it again — entirely for yourself.
Klipsun Magazine, 2020, Volume 51 Issue 01 - Fall
Dearest readers, This is the section that my predecessors have carved out to write something profound about Klipsun’s theme and the stories you will find with- in. Yet, as I write this, I realize there isn’t anything inherently profound to say about pride. Pride is something most people understand from a young age. Life is filled with proud moments. Pride in education and sports, pride in family and pets, even pride in our ability to meet milestones like talking and walking. As I list all these moments, I wonder why it was so hard for me to feel pride growing up. I was only 13 when I real- ized that for many queer peo- ple, pride is a hard-fought bat- tle. Sadly, most of us are never given the tools to fight it. Being forced in the clos- et by societal norms and fear of retribution caused us to hide any outward no- tions of our pride and sulk in the shame of something that was unchangeable. When other layers of identity are added onto this, that battle for pride becomes even tougher. I learned to fight my battle, and now here I am writing this letter in my own magazine edition, themed after the very thing that has taken me so long to obtain. Here is the mandatory call to action: take a second to set this down and think about what you are proud of. (I’ll give you extra space to think about it, too.) Do you have it? Now think of what it took for you to get there. Imagine what life would be like if it brought you shame instead. As you finish this let- ter you will move on to our magazine and discover the stories of pride found with- in our communities. Our writers have worked hard to tell these stories and I hope they bring you even the slightest amount of joy. Once you finish this magazine—you are gonna finish it, right???—I recom- mend you go out and do things with as much pride as you possibly can. Or else, what’s the fucking point? With Pride, Colton Rasanen Editor-in-Chief
Klipsun Magazine, 2020, Volume 50 Issue 03 - Spring
For the Reader, The lake is silent on a cool spring morning. As a thick mist rises from the water’s glassy surface, there is a harsh rumble, and a white speedboat rushes through. All that remains, when the buzz fades to an empty echo, is a white-capped trail, rippling, rippling, gone. While the wake of one boat disappears as quickly as it comes into existence, add one, two or 50 more to the mix and, well... just imagine the insurmountable waves. It is not difficult to picture this familiar wake. But to recognize this metaphor on a greater human scale is another story. As members of Generation Z, we are quite literally capsized in the middle of this body of water, shouting, as well as we can, to be heard. The results of human disregard for nature and humanity alike have thrust us into a social and environmental crisis with no tangible solution. But still, we try. Because the consequence of silence is ruin. As Greta Thunberg, one of the foremost members of our generation has said, “This is not the time and place for dreams. This is the time to wake up.” These pages are filled with many hard truths and necessary lessons, alongside stories of metamorphosis, peace and unbridled joy. For within this dichotomy, we may hope to find the answers we so desperately seek. These are the words we have to offer you, generations of the past, present and future. Take them as you will. Truly, Zoe Deal
Klipsun Magazine, 2020, Volume 50, Issue 02 - Winter
Dear Reader, When we think of the archetype superhero, we often conjure up an image of some perfect, impenetrable being. As humans, the realities we face are seldom that simple. As I reflected on my experiences in journalism thus far, I kept coming back to what I felt made stories both important and compelling – the people at the heart of it all. No matter the topic, there is something inherently captivating about the human experience in that it always drives a component of the article. Otherwise, what would compel us to care? And so, I chose the theme “Superhuman”, a perfect balance between the two worlds. It reminds me of how powerful our voices are, and of the incredible things people are doing to make our world a better place. Comparatively, it also reminds me that humans are flawed and rarely have a perfect story to tell. In these pages, you will find a collection of articles and narratives that represent what it truly means to be superhuman: keeping resilient in the face of opposition and transcending our own limitations. We are all capable of making an impact and effecting change – you don’t have to be a hero to do that! Best, Ray Garcia
Klipsun Magazine, 2019, Volume 50, Issue 01 - Fall
Dear reader, Klipsun Magazine has hit the stands for fifty volumes now—it transformed from student yearbook to a storytelling publication during a time of war, civil unrest, uncertainty and an ever-present sense of indignation. Our writers pursued ledes with that feeling at heart. In this issue you’ll read stories about the long fight to renew the college of ethnic studies, one student’s year-long struggle with homelessness, why one man put a dent in his savings to run for city council, how one person has persevered since her sexual assault and more. I would like to personally thank the Klipsun staff, writers, and advisor for their contribution and dedication to this special issue of Klipsun. We all feel indignant about something, but it’s our course of action that counts. That’s why we report. We write. We must—it is our proud duty. Respectfully, Questen Inghram Editor-in-chief
Klipsun Magazine, 2019, Volume 49, Issue 04 - Summer
Dear Reader, I invite you to savor these pages and indulge on the flavors of life within these stories. I invite you to have a large appetite, to bite off more than you can chew, but to finish anyway. I invite you to always leave room for vulnerability, resilience and change, but with joy as the main course. Maybe you’re like me, finally graduating after a victory lap, stumbling on the pressure cooker of, “what’s next”. “Next” is taking risks. Welcoming failure. Knowing when to ask for help. Never settling. Having the courage to try new things. And not ever waiting on luck. To sustain not only your hunger, but your heart – make it count. Earn your seat at the table. On the good days, tip your servers and read the news. Within these pages I hope you taste a piece of yourself, and that it leaves your belly rumbling for more. Stay hungry, Angela, Editor-in-chief
Klipsun Magazine, 2019, Volume 49, Issue 03 - Spring
Being ourselves takes courage. Courage to be honest and courage to be vulnerable. I chose authenticity as the theme for this issue of Klipsun because I wanted genuine and honest stories. What I received were stories about fighting for identity, what we can learn about ourselves through the lens of cross-cultural psychology, confronting the past to better understand who we are now and more. When we muster up the courage to tell honest, authentic stories like these, it can remind us we’re not alone. Sometimes that’s all we can ask for. When we’re honest with who we are with each other, we can find what it truly means to be ourselves.
Klipsun Magazine, 2019, Volume 49, Issue 02 - Winter
As winter extends its icy hold, I often think about life and the journey that lies ahead. There’s something about the frosty mornings and endless grey light that lends itself to self-reflection. If you, like me, find yourself diving into an internal dialogue, you may discover you have an idea of where you want to go, but are caught without a roadmap. Along this path of life, there will be times of uncertainty. Of narrow alleyways you have to pass through in order to get where you’re wanting to go – of passage. But it’s the choices we make during these moments that hold potential to transform us into the person we want to be. This quarter, Klipsun writers have sought to capture this idea through various interpretations. They’ve crafted narratives about the passage of time, the passage to safety or of passage in its literal form - transportation. Allow these compelling stories to move you, the photography inspire you, but most of all, I hope this magazine makes you feel like you have a place in this cosmic universe. Be brave enough to cross through your passage.
Klipsun Magazine, 2018, Volume 49, Issue 01 - Fall
Our roots define who we are. Of course, that definition is loose. Some think of it as our core values, our history or our home. Others interpret it as an unseen network that grounds us and helps us grow. Undeniably, roots shape the stories we must tell. I invite you to explore your definition of roots as you dig into the pages of this magazine. In this collection of stories, you’ll find a struggle for preservation, unlikely friendships, and reflections on our innermost convictions. Each story expresses the countless ways to define roots. We all face trials and tribulations, but like a tree that weathered a storm, we grow stronger and our roots grow deeper.
Klipsun Magazine, 2018, Volume 48, Issue 04 - Summer
Change is inevitable. Through actions ranging from small to large, change comes upon each of our lives every day. But while change is inevitable, positive change is not. This magazine is dedicated to the changemakers, those who take the time and effort to make positive changes in the lives of others. A changemaker comes in a variety of forms. A childhood that inspired a lifetime of kindness. A high school student who has dedicated their time to activism. A tribe who advocates for safer living conditions of orca whales. All are changemakers. I encourage you to challenge yourself to recognize those who have acted as changemakers in your life. Who has changed your life for the better? Will you live as a changemaker?
Klipsun Magazine, 2018, Volume 48, Issue 03 - Spring
Rose H. Carr
Who are you? What qualities of your past have shaped you? What is your essence? Can you recognize the choices you are making now and what they will lead to?
By definition, essence is “the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something that determines its character.”
I like to think we make decisions based on what we know will happen indefinitely. When in reality, we are all trying to choose the best choice when life presents itself to us.
The accumulation of gut reactions, late-night turning and days of pensive thinking we’ve made along the timeline of our lives is what has put us where we are today.
Embrace and grow from past experiences to become the best version of yourself; they’re attributed to who you have become.
Klipsun Magazine, 2018, Volume 48, Issue 02 - Winter
When I was a child, my father asked me, “How do you eat and elephant?”
“One piece at a time”, I replied.
This quarter, Klipsun delved into the curiosities that compel us all forward in our journey. Within these pages you will find stories about gritty 80-year-old ultra-runners, personal growth and the familial connections that bind us all together.
Success of any kind is attained through small, nearly unperceivable steps. We don’t always go forward. Sometimes we must step backwards, sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we explore unexpected roads. That is the nature of any pursuit. It takes courage to give yourself a moment of rest.
I invite you to pause and find that bold stillness.
One piece at a time.
Klipsun Magazine, 2017, Volume 48, Issue 01 - Fall
If there is one constant we can all expect in life, it is that there will always be change.
These changes, may they be destructive, dividing, didactic or opportune, are what define our future moving forward.
As we go through the motions, we rarely notice the quiet transformation, the metamorphosis of unassuming things from language to our environment and relationships to conversation.
That is the nature of evolution.
Klipsun Magazine, 2017, Volume 47, Issue 03 - Spring
I’d imagine you picked up this magazine for one of two reasons. The first of these is that you have a connection to Klipsun. Maybe you know one of our writers, designers, photographers or editors. Maybe you’ve been in town long enough to recognize the magazine as a mainstay on Bellingham newsstands.
But the other reason you picked it up, and I’d guess the more likely one, is the striking nature of the cover. We are living in a country divided. If there is one thing Americans can agree on following our tumultuous election cycle, it is that. The lines split down virtually every socioeconomic, cultural and religious distinction. We’ve assembled our music, news, movies and even facts into our own tailored universes. We are slowly losing any semblance of a shared language.
This is not the way for our country and this not the way for journalists.
In the “Divided” issue, Klipsun contributors sought to push against the current national grain. They spoke to Trump and Clinton supporters alike, they examined both the science and spirituality behind chiropractic, they teased out the consonant and conflicting identities of a black female mountain biker.
Dig into the following pages. May they serve as an example that our current division is not destiny.
Klipsun Magazine, 2017, Volume 47, Issue 02 - Winter
Life is full of the unexpected. We like to think we have it all figured out, predicting and organizing the static nature of our daily lives. Yet, in a mere moment, life can knock the wind out of you and it is suddenly changed forever.
It’s hard to cope with change, especially when it is an undesirable outcome. We are constantly fighting with reality, using our denial as a protective shield. We try to face change head on, but there is rarely an instance in which we can prepare ourselves for life-altering experiences.
In this issue you will find stories of grief and loss, the relationship between old and new and discovering brightness in the midst of our weary journey. Each story in this collection encapsulates what it means to look toward the future.
In the face of life’s seemingly infinite adversities, there is one constant: life goes on. There is no turning back, what’s done is done. We all must decide which path we want to take, but all any of us can really do is move forward.
Klipsun Magazine, 2016 - Fall
Picture, if you will, a child with matted hair and a sunken lower jaw. Clutched in that child’s hands is a notebook, tattered and filled with sweeping drawings of dragons and the scrawlings of a dreamer.
If you asked that child to write about the real world, a scoff would have followed. “Why would I write about that? It’s boring! ”
As a 10-year-old, I was convinced of this mentality. I had tried writing about myself and I had tried writing about others. Nothing ever stuck. It’s hard to write about others without taking the time to walk in their shoes, and I lacked the wisdom to recognize that.
The day our campus shut down due to racial threats will forever be emblazoned in our minds. While it was neither the first time nor the last time our campus will feel divided, this moment will always stand out. Everything in the months that followed seemed to always be tied back to that day. For every pointed finger, for every whisper, it always seemed to stem from November 24,2015. Unity is a tricky thing. It’s not about just running within our own circles, never to disturb the status quo.
Unity is about stepping across the lines and reaching out. As journalists, we can do just that. We have the opportunity to step across dividing fines and reach out to those whom we’ve never spoken to before. It is our obligation, after all, to give a voice to the voiceless.
On a campus fraught with divisions and scars from recent trauma, we cannot afford to stand opposite of one another and wag our fingers. Instead, we must come together and learn the stories of those we appear to have nothing in common with.
It was my goal, as editor-in-chief, to encourage my writers to step out into the world and walk hand in hand with those they had never spoken to before. It is my hope that you, dear reader, will be able to walk in those same shoes.
'You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." To Kill a Mockingbird
Klipsun Magazine, 2016, Volume 46, Issue 04 - Summer
Every day we have the ability to influence others and our surroundings. We share our stories in hopes that we can inspire change and create a conversation. Our stories can be tragic, happy or anywhere in between. But everyone has a story to tell.
As time passes by we realize how the little points in our lives can lead to bigger experiences. We listen to others while they motivate us to express our voices.
In life we may not always know exactly where we are headed but eventually we will find our path. As when the tides on a beach rise and fall the waves crash against the shore with a variation of intensity. These are the moments of our lives.
And with everything there is impact.
Klipsun Magazine, 2016, Volume 46, Issue 03 - Spring
The flowering cherry tree has long symbolized the cyclical nature of life and death. Its blossoms arrive in the spring, delivering their beauty for only a short time. There is a transcendent quality to them, a sense of magic. The Japanese tradition of Hanami has celebrated these trees for more than a millennium and invites people to leave their home or workplace to admire the blossoms and watch them fall. This act is one of honor and regard for the ephemerality of life. It is a practice calling for recognition that as all things begin, thus they too shall end. The trees and the tradition they foster represent the fleetingness of life – nature’s one true promise.
Klipsun Magazine, 2016 - Winter
There exists a value intrinsic to the decisions and actions that we make. A force to promote change and move us forward, into the future.
Decisions lead to acts lead to events and events shape our views of the world. Our frame of reference expands and we are within the human experience.
Please, take a moment and a deep breath. May you be delivered, now and always, to a sense of purpose.
Klipsun Magazine, 2015, Volume 46, Issue 01 - Fall
If you’ve stood ankle-deep in the ocean, you may know the magic. I remember peering down toward my ankles as waves broke and rolled onto the shore. When the water would retreat, the backwards drag created a distinct floating illusion, as if the ebbing tide was pulling me out to sea along with it.
Or perhaps you’ve seen your share of Bellingham Bay sun sets. When the sky shifts and the sun sinks with it, if the right elements align, the diffused light creates a giant scoop of rainbow sherbet melting over the horizon.
The simplest sets of motion can produce grand moments. Flux is defined as “the action or process of flowing or flowing out,” or “continuous change.”
At Klipsun Magazine, we are constantly in a state of forward motion. With each new quarter and each new issue, one generation of writers and staff flows out as another flows in. The faces you see and stories you read while flipping through the spring edition are shed in time for fall and winter, but their significance is preserved in every past page.
Amid the inherent and perpetual change on Western’s campus and in the Bellingham community, Klipsun aims to keep evolving to fit our readers’ needs and interests.
Our previous issue. Timeless, marked a shift from a bi-quarterly to a quarterly and online-first publication. With Flux, we embrace the restorative nature of change.
We encourage you to observe each gradient in the next sunset, to find your equivalent moment of magic, or allow us to tell you a story and transport you to another person’s world for a moment. Step into an ancient bead shop or medieval village, follow a henna crown artist from a writer’s personal perspective, or learn how people in juvenile detention reflect and connect with paper and pencil.
Klipsun Magazine, 2015, Volume 45, Issue 05 - Spring
I flip through the yellow pages of a navy blue hardcover book titled Klipsun; with each page turn, a musty smell fills my nose. My eyes land on a black and white photo of a tall, dark-haired man in a blazer and I read his name — Dingeman Bajema — my great grandfather. Here, I knew I had found something timeless.
From a yearbook that displayed the life of my great grandfather in 1924, to a features magazine that depicts the lives of people in 2015, Klipsun has maintained a storytelling tradition that captures life in the way it is at that moment in time.
In an effort to improve your reading experience, Klipsun has received an extensive makeover. The previously 20 page biquarterly magazine will now be printed once each quarter and will feature 40 pages of the faces and stories of our time. Stand-alone photos are used in this edition to capture life as it was in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
This edition of Klipsun is a time capsule, gathering the stories of today. By turning this page, you can delve into the life of a traveling vintage shop owner, experience past life regression therapy, witness the art of drag, celebrate merging cultures and be at different phases in the circle of life.
The human experience is ever-changing. Through Timeless, we’re aiming to celebrate the past while aligning Klipsun with the modern world.