ASWSU Senate discusses transportation, Cougar Health Services parking fee

Senators will not vote on increased transportation; parking at CHS remains free for now

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SCREENSHOT FROM MEETING

ASWSU President Curtis Cohen said he is working with a few other senators to advocate for a more robust student resource portal because it is currently difficult to find resources. 

ABBY DAVIS, Evergreen reporter

ASWSU Senators received news they will not vote on a five percent student transportation fee increase during a meeting Wednesday.   

Fee updates

Graduate and Professional Student Association Senators did not pass the increased transportation fee with a two-thirds vote. Because both the ASWSU and GPSA Senate are required to approve the proposal with a two-thirds vote, ASWSU Senators will not vote on the fee, said Chris Boyan, WSU Transportation Services associate director.

Boyan said they are unsure whether transportation service will decrease because the increased transit fee did not pass. One silver lining for transportation is that Pullman Transit received some COVID-19 relief funding.  

“We are not sure how the city is going to plan on spending [the money],” he said. “We’re hoping that they will use some of that to help supplement the service so we can have the same services we’ve had the previous year, pre-COVID.”

Despite students having to pay for parking at Cougar Health Services earlier in the semester, parking is now free for the rest of the semester and summer. ASWSU President Curtis Cohen said students should not be required to pay for parking at CHS next year either. 

“I’m hoping the next [ASWSU] Cabinet and the next set of Senators will continue advocating for that,” he said, “because it’s really important that we get free parking for health care on campus.”

Resource portal

Cohen said he is working with a few other senators to advocate for a more robust student resource portal because it is currently difficult to find resources. 

They are meeting with the WSU Division of Student Affairs today to discuss student needs and what types of resources should be accommodated to certain groups on campus, he said. 

Cohen said he believes there needs to be a lot of work done to give students frequent status updates with pending sexual assault cases.  

“Something I really want to talk about is just addressing how it’s still confusing to report a sexual assault or harassment case, how people don’t know that process,” he said. 

Cohen also said he is working on finding a meeting space for Cougs for Recovery, an organization dedicated to helping individuals overcome substance abuse. Some potential locations include cultural and historical houses on College Hill. 

Confirmations

ASWSU Senators unanimously confirmed Stevie Fawcett, freshman microbiology major, as ASWSU Environmental Sustainability Alliance chair. Fawcett said he is passionate about the environment and hopes to grow ESA membership.

Fawcett said he thinks WSU can improve its sustainability. One idea is to find a healthier alternative to plastic utensils used in campus dining halls. 

Working with farmers and food producers living around Pullman, Fawcett said he hopes to find ways for the university to support them by offering healthy dining hall food. 

Pollution around Greek Row is also an issue, he said. Other projects Fawcett will look into include possibly building solar panels and increasing the amount of renewable energy WSU uses.

ASWSU Senator Jelani Christopher was unanimously confirmed as ASWSU Issues and Forums chair. Christopher said he wants to increase the amount of smaller events on campus to maintain a strong engagement with students. 

Senators also unanimously confirmed Jocelyn Granados, junior pre-law political science and psychology major, as MEChA co-chair. 

Applications for the WSU student regent position are now open. Cohen said the role is important because the WSU Board of Regents makes significant university decisions. 

Students interested must be currently enrolled at WSU and have a minimum 2.0 GPA, according to the Board of Regents website.