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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Student banned from Coug Day attends ASWSU meeting

WSU senior Denver Micklai was banned from attending Coug Day after confronting Gov. Jay Inslee
Denver Micklai attended Wednesday’s ASWSU meeting after being banned from Coug Lobbying Day

Denver Micklai, WSU senior who was banned by the ASWSU executive staff from attending Coug Lobbying Day at the capitol following an incident at one of last year’s Coug lobbying meetings, spoke to ASWSU senators at this week’s meeting.

Coug Day is an event held annually in Olympia, attended by members of ASWSU from various campuses in efforts to meet with legislative officials and lobby in the interest of WSU students.

According to a previous article published by the Evergreen, Micklai, who is a political science pre-law major, had a confrontation with Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee last year following an event at Bryan Hall, where Micklai approached Inslee as he was walking to his vehicle and questioned his decisions regarding vaccination mandates.

Micklai said that he believes that he reserves the right to question political leaders and was wrongfully banned from attending Coug Day.

“When it comes to our ability to voice our opinions and question our leaders, we should not be punished,” Micklai said. “This is the basis of our First Amendment. We should not be silencing voices and punishing people for exercising their First Amendment [rights].”

Mickali said that he did not come to preach, but came to bring the issue to the attention of the senators, as he believes it is very important to the future of WSU. He said that the political state of ASWSU is decrepit and severely lacking, citing the lack of student interest in ASWSU proceedings.

“Somebody who’s willing to ask questions of our leaders, somebody who’s willing to talk to you and bring public comment in a room full of nobody else who is bringing public comment should be valued for their diversity,” Micklai said, looking around the room, “Valued for their honesty. And if they wish to bring questions to those in power, they should be respected and not punished.

Micklai said his second reason for presenting to the senators is that the ASWSU judicial board has ruled in his favor, that he was wrongfully banned from attending the event and that there is no rule in the bylaws that states that the legislative team can dictate who is allowed to attend Coug Day and who is not.

“So this is not me preaching,” he said. “This is me bringing something to your attention that actually needs to be addressed.”

The judicial board has recommended for the senators to amend the bylaws to reflect this decision, Micklai said.

“I would encourage you not to codify what happened to me into the laws,” he said. “I would encourage you to codify the fact that people, such as myself, should not be sanctioned unless under formal sanction by the university. This is important to protect the free speech of everybody here on campus.”

If the senators choose not to make this amendment to the bylaws, it would be extremely detrimental to the free speech of most students on campus, Micklai said.

“I’ve worked very hard to get here, I’ve handed out hundreds of flyers,” he said. “I’ve been out there talking to everybody I could, because this matters to me. This isn’t a power grab, there’s no ulterior motive, I graduate here in May. This is for my legacy here knowing that I have contributed to the safety and security of civil rights here on campus.”

Senators also unanimously approved Bills 53-29, 53-30 and 53-31, which all proposed technical or grammatical changes to the descriptions of various ASWSU councils, committees and departments in the bylaws.

ASWSU meets at 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday in CUB 204.

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About the Contributors
MUSFIRAH KHAN, Evergreen reporter
Musfirah Khan is a junior from Seattle, Washington studying multimedia journalism. She started working for the Evergreen in spring 2023.
MADDY RICE, Evergreen photographer
Maddy Rice is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Originally from White Center, Washington, she is a sophomore majoring in Business Managment, with a minor in Sports Managment. Maddy began working for the Daily Evergreen in the Fall of 2023.