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Friday, April 3, 2020

KVIK, daycare, Angela Davis: your May 10 weekly news briefing

AS responds to KVIK criticism

The Associated Students posted a press release about the planned dissolution of KVIK, a student film production program run through the AS, on their Facebook page Monday, May 8.

The release was reposted the next day, with a correction, after the AS assessment coordinator objected in the comments. The release originally stated the Assessment Office came up with the KVIK recommendation, instead of the AS Communications Office.

Several days earlier, the AS Facebook page received 47 one-star reviews from KVIK alumni critical of the move, lowering its rating to 1.6 out of five stars. The press release acknowledged the AS heard concerns and questions from students, faculty and alumni over the plan in past weeks, but said inaccurate information has been spread about the change.

According to the press release, there has been a large dip in KVIK participation over the last two years. It emphasized that an AS club is being formed for student filmmakers, and a checkout system will be created to allow video production clubs to access KVIKs current equipment.

Current AS Vice President for Activities Alex LaVallee, who will be vice president of business and operations next year, has committed to serve as a bridge between students and video production-involved faculty and staff on campus, according to the release.

The AS reiterates that student volunteers would not be used to make AS promotional videos. However, the budget for the two paid KVIK positions would be reallocated to the AS Communications Office for that purpose.

The Facebook post with the release was greeted with more comments critical of the move.

AS day care center update

In “Not as easy as 123,” a story about the waitlist for the AS Childcare center on campus, junior Alexis Edgar recounted her struggles getting a spot for her child at the center. After being initially declined in winter quarter 2017, she believed her child was given a spot for fall quarter 2017.

However, she has since received an email informing her that there was no room for her child in the fall. The email said there only 75 spots available and over 120 families on the waitlist. Some of the families have been on the list since 2014, according to the email.

The center, housed in the Fairhaven Complex, has had the same amount of space available since 1971, despite enrollment growing by around 10,000 students.

Meeting Updates

The Whatcom Three trial date has been pushed back to Thursday, May 18 at the Whatcom County Courthouse from 1 to 4 p.m. The Whatcom Three are facing charges for blocking a highway in protest of President Trump’s campaign rally in May 2016.

The City Council Town Hall on housing affordability has been postponed until a larger venue can be secured.

In The Western Front

Advocates for immigrant and worker rights marched 17 miles for the Dignity March Sunday, May 7. The march was organized by Community to Community Development and Familias Unidas por la Justicia. On the same day, Western’s Blue Group hosted Working Towards Our Rights, an event showcasing Blue Group members’ experiences, with community organizer Maru Mora as the featured speaker.

Only 16.2 percent of students voted in the recent AS election. This is slightly higher than last year’s turnout of 15.5 percent.

The Viking Union is running out of available space for events and clubs this quarter. Coordinator of student activities Casey Hayden said this may be the busiest quarter for activities in the last six or seven years.

Western was visited by…

Angela Davis, renowned academic and political activist. Davis spoke to an audience of at least 1,000 on Friday, May 5. Students at the event discussed revitalizing ethnic studies programs.

AND state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who spoke about challenging President Trump’s travel ban in an event entitled, “See you in court, Mr. President!” Ferguson visited on May 2 in Miller Hall, and spoke to a crowd that spilled into an overflow room.

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