SGA passes resolutions to improve campus safety

Student Government Association Senator, Andrea Ambam speaks to attendees following the passing of the resolution to support reparations, during the final SGA meeting in Downing Student Union on Tuesday. Ambam was one of the two authors of 6-17-S.

Jamie Williams

The Student Government Association passed four resolutions including one to support diversity, hate crime and sexual assault training for the WKU Police Department during its last meeting of the semester Tuesday night.

The resolution was written by Francisco Serrano and Senator Brian Anderson after an increase of racially-motivated crimes at WKU. The resolution, which was passed unanimously, supports training for all staff and officers at WKUPD.

“This [resolution] is basically to make WKU a safer environment for everyone here,” Serrano said. “That goes for students, faculty and everyone that makes up this university.”

Serrano clarified the resolution was not made to attack the police department  but in acknowledgement there is always room for improvement.

According to the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Act (SAFE) Act of 2016, WKUPD is already required to have five officers trained to deal with sexual assault cases. According to the resolution, all officers and staff should be trained since other staff, such as dispatchers, interact with victims.

Serenda Lobue, a representative from Hope Harbor, said the organization has offered to provide sexual assault response and prevention training to officers free of charge. Lobue said while Hope Harbor already has a positive relationship with WKUPD, the organization is willing to provide more training to follow up on students’ concerns.

Another resolution was also unanimously approved regarding campus safety which supports listing events booked through the Campus and Community Events Department on WKU’s website. This would include events taking place outdoors, such as in Centennial Mall.

The resolution was written after several demonstrations took place in the Mall featuring graphic images and mentions of various genocide events. Authors of the bill said by listing these outdoor events on WKU’s online calendar, those who choose to avoid the events can do so.

“In the interest of prospective students, students on campus, and just representing our values as a university, I think it’s best if these events would be listed on the website,” Senator Andi Dahmer said.

The resolution would only suggest these events be listed on WKU’s website, not that they be censored or disallowed in any way.

The senate also passed a resolution in support of expanding vegetarian and vegan food options on campus. Author of the bill Senator Cassidy Townsend said while WKU has made improvements to its vegetarian and vegan options, locations that offer those options are often not centrally-located on campus, such as Freshens, or have fewer operating hours, such as Burrito Bowl, which is closed on weekends.

The resolution suggested beans could be allowed as a protein option at Freshens and Burrito Bowl and black bean burgers be added to Subway’s menu.

“It’s a good step on the way toward making food on campus accessible for all people,” Senator Dillon McCormick said.

Finally, the SGA passed a resolution to consolidate the Academic Affairs and Student Affairs committees into a single committee.

Current senator Ryan Richardson was also approved as the next Speaker of the Senate.

Since the senate voted to cancel its two remaining meetings of the semester, senate meetings will resume in the Fall.

Reporter Jamie Williams can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].