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Thursday, May 13, 2021

In case you missed it – April 13 AS board meeting

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

 

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