The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

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

ASWSU appoints freshman delegate

Senators heard from representatives of food pantry, Office of Academic Engagement at meeting
Merri Lecoq, Cougar Food pantry coordinator and Lilly Vo, Cougar Food pantry advisory board member, giving a presentation before the senators at their meeting

The ASWSU senators confirmed their newest freshman delegate at their meeting Wednesday.

The senators first heard from communications director Cooper Howe and deputy communications director Nicole Allison. Howe said they reached 81,000 accounts last month on social media.

“Since Monday the 4th, we’ve had over 400 external link taps. I can assume those were all for voting,” Howe said.

As for the future, they have an election results post ready to go and will be having a sexual health awareness week ready after students return from spring break, Howe said.

Merri Lecoq, Cougar Food Pantry coordinator, said she wanted to discuss the food pantry and their mission.

“Our mission is to combat food insecurity in the WSU community and in Whitman county,” Lecoq said. “We recognize well being is a lot more than physical health and mental health.”

Lecoq said there has been a pantry on campus for more than 20 years, although it used to be basically just a closet. The food pantry as it is known today has only existed since 2021.

“Students took the initiative and passed a referendum, came through ASWSU and that allowed the food pantry to open up at a centralized location on campus,” she said.

Anyone can donate food at any time, as long as it’s not opened, she said. Undergraduate students are about 65% of those who use the food pantry and graduate students are able to use it as well.

Financial education counselor Josue Zuniga said he was hoping to be able to help students who may be going over a financial disaster or financial stress.

“Financial stress impacts decision making,” Zuniga said. “The financial stress we undergo isn’t just going to impact us day to day, it’s going to impact our cognitive wellness.”

Zuniga said financial wellness can be defined by control, capacity, on-track and flexibility. Financial wellness is important in higher education because of its effect on academic performance, it prepares students for real-world financial challenges and the long-term benefits financial education has during college years.

A few of the Office of Academic Engagement initiatives meant to address the issue are Cougar Money Matters, a program they are partnering with student financial services to allow students to take free financial learning courses and Invest in Cougs.

Zuniga said April is financial capability month, meaning there will be multiple events focused on financial wellness, including a Cougar Money Matters Mobile event on April 1 and 4 where they will be driving around and discussing finances with students in an attempt to help, as well as a Financial Wellness Fair held on April 9.

Elina Guo, the first freshman candiate, was inspired to run for this position because she did not have the chance to take part in student government in high school.

“When the opportunity to become a member of ASWU came up, I just decided to apply,” Guo said.

Guo said she is a great listener, has a good attention to detail and has experience coaching tennis, which requires being in tune with students and emotions.

Audrey Elliot, the next candidate, said she is from a small town in Montana and is now an honors student.

“This position peaked my interest as soon as I heard about it,” Elliot said. “After further looking into ASWSU, I knew this was the perfect place to keep doing what I loved.”

Elliot said she hopes to help provide students with easy access to community involvement projects and wants to aid students in developing their own projects and campaigns for what is important to them.

Marian Alaniz, the final candidate, said she is seeking this office because she wants to do what she can to serve the university.

“I believe as many of you do here, that there is always more to be done when it comes to these institutions,” Alaniz said.

Alaniz said one of the biggest issues she would like to work on is campus safety, particularly as it pertains to the residence halls, as well as increasing access to mental health resources awareness.

“If elected, I would want to reach out to cougar health services to find ways to expand their availability and outreach programs,” she said.

After a brief discussion, Alaniz was elected to the position.

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About the Contributors
JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor
Josiah is a sophomore broadcast journalism and broadcast production double major. He is from Lakewood, Washington and began working for the Evergreen in Fall 2021.
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.