ASWSU talks cultural competency, transportation

Student senators talked cultural training, possible resolution on hate speech



John Shaheen, director of WSU Transportation Services, discusses the use of the public transportation has increased more than expected due to the high enrollment at the university Wednesday in the CUB.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen reporter

At the ASWSU Senate meet­ing Wednesday night, student government officials discussed topics including transportation, hate speech and cultural appro­priation.

Cultural appropriation

Synthia Alcantar, arts and sci­ence senator for ASWSU, is start­ing the process to work with the Office for Equal Opportunity and Student Services to create a reso­lution on hate speech.

“I feel like at this point in time we are hitting a wall. There has been a lot of hate speech and cultural appropriation going on at this campus, but it is only now being recognized,” Alcantar said.

This problem has been going on for too long, with the perpe­trators having no consequences, she said. Together, student gov­ernment officials and OEO will be working to go over the current regulations and how to define hate speech.

Alcantar referenced the cul­tural competency training stu­dent government officials chose to make mandatory for them­selves, saying more was needed to address issues of hate speech and cultural appropriation.

“I don’t think that cultural competency is enough,” she said. “Pushing the OEO that there needs to be more done would be beneficial.”

Peer training

Jerry Martinez, co-director of diversity and inclusion, said there will be an out-of-house peer training program that brings together the United Greek Council and the Interfraternity Council to have important cul­tural discussions.

The focus of this programing is cultural microaggressions, as this has been a concern recently, Martinez said.

In addition to the peer train­ing, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee is working on a fun­draising banquet for multicul­tural students, with a budget of $3,500.

“We’re trying to shift away from the old sit-down dinner event to go to something else,” he said. “We’re excited for this new event.”

The banquet is set for Feb. 27 in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center.

Transportation Update

Officials from WSU Transportation Services are look­ing at alternatives to students driving alone.

“We are trying to be ready for the bike culture,” said John Shaheen, director of Transportation Services. “Those of you from the West side have already seen this, so when stu­dents come here, we’ll be ready.”

In response to more bike rid­ers, Share the Road signs have started to appear in the streets to keep bikers safe.

Shaheen also discussed pos­sible student fees, and said it will not be clear if students will see an increase to the student transit fee until October.

“The Department of Transportation comes to us to increase funds for the bus sys­tem because we fund what ben­efits the students,” said Hannah Martian, education senator for ASWSU.

Senate position filled

Noemi Ventura, a freshman at WSU, was confirmed as the new administrative assistant. This means that the ASWSU Senate is now complete for the school year.