Senate supports Drive to 25, some dissent citing lack of student voice


The ASWSU Senate approved a resolution supporting the Drive to 25 initiative, though some senators voiced concerns that it neglects student input.

Despite passionate opposition from a few senators, the ASWSU Senate passed a newly drafted version of the resolution to support President Kirk Schulz’s Drive to 25 initiative.

The Senate referred the resolution to revise at its Oct. 5 meeting after multiple senators voiced concerns that the Drive to 25 did not include any student voice or a goal for the general well-being of students. The new draft, authored by All-Campus Sen. Garrett Kalt, added a clause establishing the initiative as a topic of discussion at President Student Advisory Board meetings. The draft also included wording adding student consideration to some clauses of the resolution.

The changes did not convince Arts and Science Sen. Kevin Schilling. He said town hall meetings and online platforms do not necessarily mean students’ voices are being heard. Schilling said he has tried contacting Schulz regarding the Drive to 25 but has received no feedback on his input.

Honors Delegate Savannah Rogers defended the president’s communication, saying Schulz organized an Honors College Town Hall after she pointed out there was not one scheduled. Kalt admitted university leadership occasionally lacks communication with students, but he said the resolution is a step in the right direction.

“I have faith in our university leadership,” Kalt said, “but having a student voice is always a positive thing.”

All-Campus Sen. Josue Zuniga said the resolution’s additional clause and wording does not change the fact that the Drive to 25 was originally written and began without student input.

“I don’t understand how we can be part of a discussion we were never a part of in the first place,” Zuniga said.

He said it is the duty of the Senate and the administration to build a relationship where the administration sincerely considers student interest. Senators Victor Charoonsophonsak, Alyssa Norris, Matthew Morrow and Courtney Crouch said supporting the resolution established the foundation of this relationship and set a precedent of hearing student input. However, Arts and Science Sen. Austin Brown said the resolution should include a clause mandating student involvement when creating initiatives and campaigns.

Uncertified Sen. Kacie Kubosumi noted the president’s emails trying to inform students about the Drive to 25. She said outreach through email may not be the best method, but it is an important attempt.

All-Campus Sen. Kyle Simonson said the Senate exists to represent the students and cannot always go along with administration. He said it should not take a resolution in the Senate to include students.

“We should not have to fight for involvement on this. Why would we support something like that?” Simonson said. “It’s just ridiculous.”

When brought to a vote, resolution 46-02, “Resolution in Support of a ‘Drive to 25’ Initiative with Student Voice,” passed with 12 votes in favor, six votes against.

The Senate also passed a resolution supporting collaborative efforts between ASWSU, Health and Wellness Services and WSU’s To Write Love on Her Arms chapter to sustain Mental Health Awareness Week in future semesters. Additionally, the Senate passed a resolution supporting expansion of vegetarian and vegan dining options and another resolution in honor of deceased State Senator Andy Hill.