ASWSU Senate confirms director positions

Four new committee members expressed hopes for new position



Co-director of Diversity and Inclusion Mariela Frias speaks at her confirmation at an ASWSU meeting Wednesday, Aug. 22 in the CUB.

YASMEEN WAFAI, Evergreen assistant editor

The ASWSU Senate confirmed several directors and co-directors for the semester at the first general meeting of the 2018-19 school year yesterday evening.

The director of community affairs, co-director of diversity and inclusion, co-deputy director of communication and director of health and safety positions were all filled unanimously.

All candidates ran unopposed and were introduced by ASWSU President Savannah Rogers before making the case for the positions.

The first student to speak to the Senate was Keegan Otter. Otter was confirmed as director of community affairs.

“I’m all about community,” he said.

Otter said he plans to reach out to organizations and wants to connect people to resources.

Mariela Frias was chosen for co-director of diversity and inclusion. Frias identified herself as a first-generation Afro-Latina from Alaska who will focus on inclusion, diversity and equity.

“It takes one person to inspire others,” Frias said.

She and fellow diversity director Jerry Martinez will work with all communities, Frias said. She wants to represent marginalized and historically-oppressed groups.

“We are tired of waiting for change,” she said, “so let’s do it.”

Emma Epperly was voted to be a co-deputy director of communication along with Brandon Crawford. Epperly said she wants to utilize social media in a consistent way so students not only know what ASWSU is, but what it does.

Epperly said her ideas include information meetings and interactive opportunities such as Instagram question-and-answer sessions to get students connected with, and talking to, ASWSU.

The final position was director of health and safety. Catherine Dunn spoke to the Senate about her experience working with Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse and her passion for mental health awareness.

Dunn said she wants to use the resources they already have and fill in any gaps within the department. Some of Dunn’s ideas include a mental health promotion week and a Zumba class at the UREC to highlight exercise as a way to de-stress.

Other items on the meeting agenda included the Senate budget report and Senate committee announcements.

Vice President Tyler Parchem said there is a lot to look forward to this year and he is excited to work with the Senate, specifically on pieces regarding marginalized students and underrepresented communities.

“I know that’s very near and dear to a lot of people,” he said. “It’s been historically overlooked and we’re ready to finally make progress on something that we shouldn’t have to put a ‘finally’ in front of.”