ASWSU funds community bench

Senate passed bill requiring members to meet with advisor before filing case with Judicial Board



Senator Oluwanifemi Shola-Dare said these lamps will help support students experiencing SAD because light therapy can help treat it.

JAKOB THORINGTON, Former Evergreen reporter

The former location of Theta Xi will see a community bench added to its green space by the end of May.

“This used to be the place of Theta Xi fraternity where my dad went back in like the ‘80s,” Kathryn Fitzgerald, Bees and Trees project planner, said. “Now we have the potential to just continue expanding the benefits of [this place],” she said.

The ASWSU Senate approved funding for a community bench at Ruby Street Park during its meeting on Wednesday. The project will cost $5,500.

Fitzgerald showed the senate concept illustrations of the bench, which is built like a circle around a tree in the center of the park.

She said the park is the only green space in the College Hill area. Green spaces increase physical activity levels, neighborhood values and community connection.

Finance Committee Chair Dawson Dalfrey said the senate had an estimated $36,000-37,000 left in its budget after it funded the bench.

The senate also passed a bill and two resolutions.

Bill 49-37, authored by Senator Kaye Gill, amends the bylaws to require ASWSU members to meet with a student involvement adviser before filing a case to the Judicial Board.

“The point of this … was so you could understand all your options and all the outcomes to those options,” Gill said. “It’s not supposed to restrict anyone from bringing [a case] to the judicial board.”

Senator Hannah Martian said bylaws only affect ASWSU members. Any other members of the student body may file a case without meeting with an adviser. Although students not associated with ASWSU who file cases usually involve the election board rather than the Judicial Board, she said.

The two resolutions were authored by Senator Oluwanifemi Shola-Dare. 

Her first resolution calls for WSU faculty members to include food security resources in their syllabi.

According to the resolution, the resources are: the Access and Opportunity Food Pantry, the Women*s Center Food Pantry, the Cougs Feeding Cougs program, dining centers and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Shola-Dare said the inclusion of these resources in syllabi can reduce the stigma of food insecurity for students.

“If the instructor mentions [these resources] … that reduces the stigma and that makes a student even more comfortable in approaching the instructor,” she said.

Her second resolution calls for WSU to increase staffing and funding to support the Office of International Programs. It also encourages mid-semester check-ins to incoming freshmen and transfer international students beginning in fall 2020. This will be extended to all international students after the 2020-2021 school year.

“Data shows that international students are less likely to seek help whenever they do need help,” Shola-Dare said. “This will help increase opportunities for advisors to check in with students.”

She said international students are less likely to seek help because of cultural differences most of the time.

The resolution cites a 2013 study from Yale University which found about 45 percent of the Chinese international students at Yale reported symptoms of general depression. According to the study, 14.7 percent of the general population reported similar symptoms.

Shola-Dare said the director of the Office of International Programs and the director of the International Center support this resolution and are willing to implement it.