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ASWSU Senate moves to protect student interns, discusses voting, mental health

Following allegations of sexual misconduct by Jason Gesser, Senate moved to enact protective policies for unpaid interns

Head+football+coach+Mike+Leach+answers+ASWSU+senators%27+questions+regarding+handling+mental+health+among+players+Wednesday+in+the+CUB.
Head football coach Mike Leach answers ASWSU senators' questions regarding handling mental health among players Wednesday in the CUB.

Head football coach Mike Leach answers ASWSU senators' questions regarding handling mental health among players Wednesday in the CUB.

ZACH RUBIO | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

ZACH RUBIO | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Head football coach Mike Leach answers ASWSU senators' questions regarding handling mental health among players Wednesday in the CUB.

MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen reporter

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At the ASWSU Senate meeting Wednesday, senators and guest speakers discussed mental health, voter registration and passed a new resolution to protect unpaid student interns.

Mike Leach and student mental health

Football Head Coach Mike Leach spoke on behalf of WSU Athletics at his presentation to ASWSU and discussed the need for improving the indoor training facility.

“The facility was supposed to be temporary, but it’s been duct-taped together for the past 20 years,” he said. “It would benefit any sport.”

He also talked about student athletes having record-high GPAs and graduation rates.

Leach responded to a question by one senator concerning what athletics is doing to address mental health issues in student athletes. There is an on-staff psychiatrist, mental health counselor, staff training and mental health screenings required by all athletes, he said.

“Entire organizations are pushing more about this big issue and are looking to change the conversation around mental health,” ASWSU Vice President Tyler Parchem said.

ASWSU is teaming up with mental health professionals to further promote awareness, but they do not expect to solve all the problems within one year, he said.

Athletics and ASWSU have not historically had a great relationship, Parchem said.

“The ASWSU and athletic department relationship has mostly been just financial, but I would like to see it develop,” ASWSU Pro Tempore Lindsay Schilperoort said.

Resolutions

In reaction to Jason Gesser’s resignation after allegations of sexual misconduct, the Senate passed a resolution to support the rights and safety of unpaid student interns.

“There’s no real sense that you are empowered to do anything when it’s against a celebrity on campus,” said Hannah Martian, ASWSU senator and author of the resolution.

The resolution condemns all acts of discriminatory harassment to student interns, encourages all WSU departments to distribute Executive Policy 15 to employees and review EP 15 with interns, she said.

EP 15 is WSU’s policy prohibiting discrimination based on certain protected classes such as race or gender.

The resolution also will educate interns on how to turn in a complaint to the Office for Equal Opportunity.

Record-breaking voter registration

Quinton Berkompas, deputy director of Legislative Affairs, told the Senate that 2,142 WSU students registered to vote on paper, which is more students than ever before.

To further promote voter turnout, Director of Legislative Affairs Gavin Pielow spoke to fraternities and sororities about registration.

“We want to create an environment for students to vote and constantly remind them to do so,” Berkompas said.

New confirmations

Nathan Salyer and Amanda Scanlon were confirmed to the Judicial Board on Wednesday night, and Kaitlin Saythong and Keira Tolbert were confirmed to hold seats on the Election Board.

“Two candidates came back after not being confirmed last week,” All-Campus Senator James Myers said. “It’s great to see students having the chance to grow at WSU.”

About the Writer
MADYSEN MCLAIN, Evergreen reporter

Madysen  is a freshman journalism and media production major from Hunters, Washington.

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ASWSU Senate moves to protect student interns, discusses voting, mental health