ASWSU hears from Crimson Group over budget

The senators heard from members of the Crimson Group cabinet, as well as President Martinez and Secretary Bannister

JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor

ASWSU heard from members of the Crimson Group’s cabinet, who stated they had confusion related to the budget for next year.

The Crimson Group is a student group on campus meant to support and advocate for undocumented students and allies at WSU. They expressed frustration for not hearing back about an approval for their meetings, having presented their budget proposal four different times and not hearing any response on it. 

The four representatives said they requested a budget of $23,000 for next year, but in the budget they were only allocated $13,000 which is less than they believe they will need for next year. This will result in changing of plans for what they hoped to do next year.

In addition, they said they would have liked an explanation for the cut in budget, but the cut of $10,000 was not discussed with them. They now must restructure their next cohort and change plans to account for this major budget cut.

In response to this, the senators acknowledged that they are unable to respond to public testimony. Two senators also mentioned they did not see any emails from members of the Crimson Group when searching for proof of communication. 

ASWSU President Jacob Martinez spoke next, saying this will be his last Senate meeting. Martinez said he is currently working on a smooth transition of power for President-elect Luke Deschenes.

“Thank you all for a great year, I think you all have done a ton of great work,” Martinez said.

Collin Bannister, director of legislative affairs, spoke and said a lot of good bills and resolutions were passed, with influence from ASWSU.

One bill that was passed was Senate Bill 5079, which will help tuition information release dates be set sooner and House Bill 1522, which will close loopholes in sexual assault laws. The bills mentioned are Washington state legislature bills that ASWSU’s department of legislative affairs have been lobbying in support of.

Bannister said that a few bills he believes will pass soon are House Bill 1002, which will raise hazing to a class c felony and will help prevent hazing at universities,and House Bill 1559, the basic needs act which will establish campus resource navigators at a select few universities, and is meant to help fight hunger on campus.

“We’ve done a lot of really good stuff just for students in general, students who really need it,” Bannister said. “We did have a few things that didn’t go through this year … I think this is one of the more successful years we’ve had as a student government when it comes to lobbying.”

Bannister said he hopes in the future there will be more mental health funding from the state, as well as the possibility of a parking ticket cap written into state law.

“I, unfortunately, don’t think we can get any more funding for transportation services,” Bannister said. “But I would like to see a parking ticket cap because that’s not their main source of revenue.”

The next piece of legislation considered was Resolution 52-16, which calls for the yearly maintenance of accessibility push buttons. The senators voted to pass this resolution.