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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Topics from across campus discussed at first AS meeting of the quarter

The first spring quarter meeting of the Associated Students Board of Directors highlighted potential projects from across campus.

AS president Annika Wolters called the meeting Wednesday, April 8, to order before a proposal by the Queer Resource Center (QRC) to obtain a larger location was discussed and presented at the meeting.

QRC assistant resource coordinator Chelsea Lohr said with its current space, the center is not able to accommodate students’ requests for confidentiality and a safe place to socialize.

Lohr also said while the change will not be immediate, the center is hoping to make clear its desire to grow and provide a more adequate space for peer counseling and advising in the future.

“Maybe in five to 10 years when funds are available, it will be on the record that the center would like more space,” Lohr said.

The QRC is also requesting students working in its office to receive specialized training for them to be able to give proper guidance to students seeking help.

Also proposed during the public comment period was potential changes to the style of AS election debates. Questions asked of the candidates will be altered to reflect more real-life situations they may face while in office.

A woman came forward asking current board members to fill out questionnaires to help contribute to the construction of those questions.

The next order of business regarded the EverFi sexual violence online training Western students recently took.

Sue Guenter-Schlesinger, vice provost for opportunity and employment diversity, brought this topic to the meeting. She said President Bruce Shepard requested that the AS Board officially give their approval for making this program a requirement for all new students, freshman and transfers.

This program had over 10,000 students participate and it is the hope of the school they will have 100 percent of the student body take it as it becomes mandatory, Guenter-Schlesinger said. The board will vote on their approval of the program as a requirement at their next meeting.

The meeting also included a presentation by Rich Van Den Hul, vice president of business and financial affairs, regarding Western’s comprehensive parking plan.

Plans to pave gravel parking lots and potentially remove a section of road in front of Wade King Student Recreation Center are highlighted in the comprehensive plan.

Also noted at the meeting was the potential addition of a new staff position at The Outback Farm for next winter.

Outback coordinator Lillian Morgan, and assistant coordinator Kamea Black discussed how this position will help utilize the property under watch of the coordinators. The farm has been unable to keep up with its workload and believes this position will help, they said.

Outback coordinators also requested an additional four hours of paid work time in their week. This will be voted on at the next meeting.

A vote to use money from the AS vehicle replacement fund was also passed in order to purchase two new vehicles. One vehicle will be a nine-passenger SUV specifically for the AS Outdoor Center. A total of $63,245 in funding was approved.

As the meeting came to a close, the president shared sentiments on this being the last quarter of the current board being together.

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