GPSA hears updates on WSU PD sergeant’s misconduct allegations

Senators approved new budget increasing senator scholarships

Scholarships+for+GPSA+senators+will+increase+by+%24100+per+semester.+

OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN ILLUSTRATION

Scholarships for GPSA senators will increase by $100 per semester.

SHANA HUANG, Evergreen reporter

Gary Jenkins, the interim police chief of the WSU Police Department, presented information on the retirement of several former commanders following misconduct allegations and the department’s plans moving forward during the Graduate and Professional Student Association meeting Monday night. 

A Title IX hearing is set to take place next week to evaluate the discrimination allegations brought upon WSU PD Sgt. Matt Kuhrt, Jenkins said.

In March, the current police department staff went to WSU’s upper management to voice their concerns as they felt the investigation and discipline carried out by the previous command staff were not appropriate to the severity of Kuhrt’s sexual misconduct allegations, Jenkins said. 

“As a result of that, Washington State University Compliance and Civil Rights department conducted their own investigation of not only the sergeant’s misconduct, but also the handling of that misconduct by the current leadership of the police department,” he said.

Now, WSU PD is working toward a state accreditation to ensure a culture of accountability and professionalism going forward, Jenkins said. 

“We have to repair relationships in the Washington State University community from the damage that’s been done, and so we want to work to develop enhanced relationships not only that we had, but also initiate some relationships that we didn’t have in the community before,” he said. “GPSA, I think, is one of those relationships that we want to initiate and develop.”

Another way WSU PD plans to improve its relationship with the WSU community is through social media, Jenkins said.

“Our social media has been very dormant, and so we just recently began working on a plan to improve that drastically. We now have an active Facebook page which is WSU PD Pullman and Twitter, which is WSU Police, Instagram WSU Police and TikTok WSU Police,” he said.

During the GPSA meeting, Marwa Aly, GPSA executive vice president and budget chair, also discussed reallocating money to scholarships for senators. 

“We did approve the budget in our last meeting, but this time, we’re reallocating the money so the scholarship of the senators can be as expected: [an] increase of $100 per semester,” Aly said.

Some of the finances for the internal affairs, budget and finance, travel grants and programming were cut and reallocated, so scholarships would be $400 per semester for each senator, Aly said.

Samantha Edgerton, GPSA president and executive board chair, said money for salaries and scholarships should never be touched, which is why a new budget was being presented to the Senate.

The Senate passed the motion to approve the new budget with a majority vote. 

A motion to open the spring application for RSO affiliate funds was made and approved during the meeting. 

“The budget committee would like to open the spring application for the RSO affiliate fund, [which] was around $13,000, and the application will be open in Oct. 11,” Aly said.

Eight applications for senator positions were also approved during the meeting, leaving only 13 senator positions currently open.

The form for dissertation grants was also completed and will be posted on the GPSA’s website this week, along with an updated rubric for the Dissertation Grant and Research Exposition.

Grant awards for the Summer 4 period, the application window for August, were announced on Sept. 16, and grant applications for the Fall 1 period close on Sunday.

For blind review, applicants are asked to redact their names. Applicants are also encouraged to contact [email protected] for any questions about the process.