‘The truth is I’ve tried my hardest every day’

Patrick addresses Senate following last week’s accusations 



ASWSU President Brian Patrick addresses accusations made against him at an ASWSU Senate meeting, Compton Union Building, March 9

MOLLY WILK, Evergreen reporter

ASWSU President Brian Patrick addressed the Senate during public testimony about the accusations made by All-Campus senator Nikolai Sublett last Wednesday. 

Patrick said he took this position because he wanted to advocate for students, and it hurt to see others feel that was not what he had done. 

After taking some time off, Patrick said he met with Sublett to clear up some of the concerns and met with others who were mentioned during Sublett’s announcement.

“I took this position … cause I thought I would do a good job advocating for students,” he said. “Every day I wake up early, I try my best and as much as I can.” 

Patrick said he understands some of the things that were said and is happy to discuss the decisions he has made at senate meetings. 

While every decision he has made may not have been the right one, they were all done with the right intentions, he said. 

“This position is really tough,” he said. “They don’t tell you how to advocate for 17,000 undergraduate students at WSU. Until you’re in the position of president and vice president, you don’t really know what your job entails.”

Patrick addressed allegations of occupational fraud and homophobic comments made by ASWSU executive staff members. Regarding favoritism, Patrick said Instagram giveaways are computer generated, and he is working with advisers to address the issue.

Uncertified senator Geobanny Pineda Cuevas said despite being absent from the meeting last week, he is disappointed by the executive team and feels the lack of action taken regarding the homophobic comments made is a slap in the face. 

If more action is not taken, Pineda Cuevas said he will do something about it because he understands what it is like to be a minority on a predominantly white campus. 

Once more information is compiled, Patrick said he will work with advisers to further address the issues with either resignation or other action.

Sublett said he understands why many people are upset that he addressed his concerns very publicly but emphasized that nothing he said was personal.

Sublett and Patrick had a very productive meeting, and Sublett said he is looking forward to working with Patrick to address these issues. 

Budget Council chair Gabby Rodriguez-Garcilazo presented what took place at the budget council last month.

Budget council’s goal is to discuss issues and concerns with their constituents and reach out to as many students as possible, Garcilazo said. 

The presentation included a breakdown of where the budget was distributed and a wrap-up of events that were organized within recent months. Garcilazo said many groups increased their attendance and groups such as GSA retired to campus. 

Executive Assistant Lauren Moffat presented the executive budget council report. The presentation covered the three auxiliaries under ASWSU, which are Cougar Choice Housing, Student Legal Services and KZUU. 

University Affairs Director Ben Sherry spoke to the Senate about what he has been working on recently. Last semester, the ASWSU Academic Affairs director was able to host Cocoa and Cramming and is working on hosting Lemonade and Learning, he said.

Sherry said he is working on organizing a movie night at Martin Stadium when the weather improves. The event is meant to be a tradition students look forward to in the spring.

A large part of Sherry’s job has been getting ready to transition whoever steps into his role after him, he said. 

Jessica Sheets, ASWSU director of diversity, inclusion, and veteran affairs, updated the Senate about her upcoming plans. The annual multicultural banquet, originally scheduled for the spring semester, has been postponed to the fall, Sheets said. 

Sheets said she is working with Community Affairs Director Fatimah Albaqshi to organize tabling for multicultural groups at the upcoming food trucks event, she said.

Sheets said she recently created a feedback form for students to submit feedback either anonymously or non anonymously. The form is located on Presence and allows students to set up meetings with the officer their feedback is meant for. 

The Senate voted on the possible transit fee increase previously presented. The Senate moved to approve the increase. The decision will not be official until after the GPSA vote. 

The Senate approved the election ballot.