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Senate Meeting 10/16

AJ Handley
Jessica Oyler, Vice President for Student Access & Success, addresses WSU Senate. (AJ Handley/The Signpost)

On Oct. 16, Weber State University’s student senate heard several controversial issues at their weekly meeting.

The meeting hosted an open issues forum where students could voice their opinions about current campus issues or events.

In response to the vandalism at the Dee Events Center on Oct. 10, when a stop sign was found vandalized with racial slurs, Black Cultural Center members and students supporting them raised concerns about how the university handles incidents involving hate speech and the use of racial slurs or iconography on campus.

The group alleged that the recent act of vandalism involving the stop sign at the Dee Events Center parking lot was “swept under the rug.”

WSU included a notification in their announcement email about the vandalism labeled “critical information” two days after the sign was discovered and removed.

The group alleged that the state media had covered previous swastika vandalism incidents that occurred on WSU campuses, but neglected to do the same for the more recent vandalism of the stop sign.

Jessica Oyler, vice president for Student Access and Success, confirmed that an announcement was sent out for the stop sign incident in the same way as the swastika incident, and the media reporting on the swastika story might have been the reason more students were aware of the incident.

Oyler also announced the new Campus Response Team, previously announced as the Campus Climate Response Team. A new website is in development that will include information about a new system students can use to report incidents of vandalism and hate speech.

“We are expecting that sooner rather than later,” Oyler said.

Brexton Olesky-Lee, the coordinating chair for Young Democratic Socialists of America at Weber State, addressed the senate about a campaign the club has been working on to cancel late fees on tuition payments.

“We haven’t seen any significant change to any policy and ask you guys to use your lines of communication to reach out to decision-makers on that and see if there has been progress made or, if not, why,” Olesky-Lee said.

Following the open issues forum, Native American Senator Aaron Egli introduced a bill that would change the words in the Weber State University Student Association Constitution.

The bill aims to change how the student senate nominates candidates to fill vacancies in the senate. The Constitution currently states that “The Executive Vice President, in coordination with the WSUSA Student Body President, shall nominate candidates to fill vacancies in the Senate to be ratified by the Senate.”

Egli’s proposal would amend that to say “The Executive Vice President, in coordination with the WSUSA Student Body President, shall nominate candidates to fill vacancies in the Senate after consulting with the organization/club, to be ratified by the Senate.”

Co-sponsor to the bill and Pacific Islander Senator Marj Maharaj explained the motivation behind the change.

“We had a senator appointed to us,They didn’t try to get to know us. Outside the club, they wouldn’t even talk to us or say hi,” Maharaj said.

The bill was met with some criticism by senators. No vote was taken during the meeting.

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