What is the definition of the Coug family?

WSU Parents Chat Café is a Facebook group where parents of WSU students come together in support of each other. We handle the noncampus types of questions that WSU staff might not have the personal know-how or time to answer. We handle questions around ordering cupcakes, pizza delivery, local medical services, flight and travel information, winter tires and clothing, and many others. I tell new members, those questions that wake you in the middle of the night? We have also had them and we have the answers. There really isn’t any question you can come up with,that we can’t answer.

Check us out: facebook.com/groups/351823571670041.

Sherridan and Jeff Poffenroth with WSU Sophomore Bret Poffenroth and Ryan Poffenroth
Sherridan and Jeff Poffenroth with WSU Sophomore Bret Poffenroth and Ryan Poffenroth ’17 (Family Facebook photo from WSU Parents’ Chat Café)

Some of the great things about this group: If you need something delivered to your Coug, chances are there is another member making a trip to Pullman. If your Coug is sick, there is probably a parent in Pullman right now that will help out. If your Coug is stranded, broke down, or in accidents, we created a list of 200-plus volunteers all over the world that are willing to help our Cougs.

Don’t get me wrong, this group is not only a question and answer group. We have fun too. Many parents meet for care package creations. They gather to watch televised sporting events. They meet for drinks, dinner, and breakfast to talk about our Cougs. We tell funny and sometimes embarrassing stories of our Cougs. We share our Cougs’ successes, stresses, and failures. Some talented parents make WSU types of items and sell them through our page. We ask for parents to post a short biography about themselves, their family, and Coug, so that we can get to know each other and care more about each other.

We have also cried or grieved together when one of our Cougs has been hurt or killed. We send cards to families dealing with loss, and started a drive for a memorial bench with paving stones to honor additional fallen Cougs.

WSU is truly an amazing community. Jim Walden was 100 percent correct when he said, “I can’t define it, I can’t tell someone who isn’t a Cougar what it’s like. There’s something that happens at Washington State; you quietly and subtly become infected…Washington State is a passion. Being a Cougar is a passion.”