Judging by their meeting, it was an eventful week the Associated Students Board. The weekly meeting saw proposals for more gender inclusive housing, two different budgets, continued membership in a statewide student association and a letter of support from the AS to Western’s RAs.
DOC Kayaking Event
- The Disability Outreach Center is planning a kayaking outing specifically for students with disabilities.
- The event is “targeted,” meaning it is aimed at a specific group, requiring board approval.
- Volunteers will help, with training from the recreational therapy majors.
- It will be at the Lakewood Watersports Facility on May 13.
Insufficient Mental Health Training and Resources for Students and Resident Directors
- The form is for when university residencies refers a student to the Counseling Center for a “health and safety assessment.” is not always properly explained.
- Not all resident directors properly explain the form, given lack of standardization for explanation.
- Resident advisors lack sufficient training to deal with crises.
- Students who have multiple crises could be made to leave university residencies. This is not sufficiently explained in the form.
- The health and safety assessment may discourage students from using mental health resources.
- The form can be found here http://media.as.wwu.edu/up/2017/04/referral_to_counseling_for_mandated_assessment_2014-002_4lRoklf.pdf
Viking Union Budget
- The Associated Students Board agreed to a $2 quarterly increase in student fees in order to compensate for new maintenance costs and a higher minimum wage.
- Students pay a “non-academic fee” for the loan that Western took to build the Viking Union and helps with upkeep.
- The VU is small for how big Western is, AS Vice President for Diversity Aleyda Cervantes, said. Some sections may require renovation to improve student access.
- Proposition passed with four votes in favor and one abstention.
- The full budget is at http://media.as.wwu.edu/up/2017/04/viking-union-fs-council-fy17-budget-presentation-recovered_xdchxZm.pdf
Housing and Dining Fee Increase
- Residency services plan to find a consultant to assess accessibility in housing.
- The completion date for consultation and assessment is August 2017, Director of University Residencies Leonard Jones said.
- University Residencies is increasing the number of gender inclusive housing options for Fall 2017. Options will be available in Higginson Hall and Ridgeway Highland.
- The plan did not include specific numbers for new gender inclusive spaces in the Higginson and Highland, AS Vice President for Student Life Wayne Rocque said.
- The exact number of available spaces is variable because demand is unknown, Kurt Willis, associate director of business and information systems for university residencies, said.
- Another issue is, if students move out of a gender inclusive residency mid-year, there might not be another gender-neutral space for them mid-year.
- The plan also includes a proposed increase in housing and dining fees.
- The proposal failed to pass the board with three abstentions and two votes opposed.
- The document outlining the proposed changes can be found at http://media.as.wwu.edu/up/2017/04/as-board-quetions-re-hd-rate-proposal_ada-gn-etc_4-10-17.pdf
Washington Student Association Memorandum
- Washington Student Association is a student-run organization that “represents, serves, and protects the collective interest of students,” according to the memorandum.
- AS Vice President for Government Affairs Bryce Hammer brought the memorandum to the Board, a reaffirmation of Western’s commitment to WSA and the dues schools pay for membership.
- The current due is $1.05 per full-time student, with a cap of $15,000, Hammer said. The amount may change and Western may hit the cap.
- The memorandum passed unanimously.
- The full document can be found at http://media.as.wwu.edu/up/2017/04/draftwsamembershipmou2017-2018.pdf
AS Commits to Support RAs
- The AS, Rocque and Hammer in particular, have been working with RAs on campus.
- Hammer and Rocque presented a letter supporting the RAs and the demands they gave to the university.
- Residence Hall Association representatives were present.
- The board wanted to make their support of the students and RAs clear.
- The resolution to approve the letter passed unanimously.
- The letter of support can be read at http://media.as.wwu.edu/up/2017/04/reslife-resolution-draft.pdf