PULLMAN, Washington – The lights at Martin Stadium are bright on a Tuesday evening in late October. And it’s nowhere near warm. Gusts of wind whiz through these empty stands as the rain drips from the sky onto the lawn. It’s about 40 degrees and it’s sinking as students in T-shirts and shorts tuck flag ribbons around their waists. It’s a night for intramural football, dammit. The brave onlookers down in the field hop up and down to keep warm. Then they sway, their hands rightly deep in their jacket pockets, while the false assault bombs are scattered across the field.
Down the street straight north on Stadium Way, less than 150 meters from the statue of the 3 meter tall Bronze Cougar, a digital marquee flashes. There’s news for the Washington State student body and the Pullman community about the cancellation of handicrafts fairs this fall, the upcoming basketball season, and various other events due to be held at the Beasley Coliseum. They are hard to see from a distance, but a message that keeps fluttering in capital letters cannot be overlooked.
Every night as students shuffle down the east side of this cozy campus, either home or to a study room or bus stop, when they pass by the Colosseum they will see this important bulletin. That statement put the spotlight on this quaint university town in southeast Washington, tucked tightly between miles of farming communities. Most see it as an ongoing plea. Some say they feel the dismay.
It’s a mix of left and right, blue and red, but Pullman just wants to be called purple and gray again. It will take some time to get back there as it has to close first.