At its second meeting of the 2014-2015 school year on October 19th, the ASWC Senate ratified Racquetball Club, approved three finance requests, and passed a potentially pivotal piece of legislation.
First-years Ethan Gladhill and Zach Collins played racquetball at the national level in high school and hope to spread their passion for the game at Whitman with the now ASWC-recognized Racquetball Club.
ASWC also approved three students’ request for funding to attend this year’s Facing Race Conference in Texas, where they will learn how to better format workshops for Whitman’s annual race-issue event, the Power Privilege Symposium.
Through combined OLEF and ASWC funding, five students will attend the annual Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) Conference in Portland November 12th-14th.
Over summer, KWCW discovered an eight-year backlog of unfiled paperwork that could have compromised the station’s ability to broadcast, had it been discovered by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigation rather than self-reported. KWCW General Manager and ASWC Advisor and Director of Student Activities Leann Adams worked with a lawyer, Henry Cole, to negotiate an agreement with the FCC. At this senate meeting, ASWC allocated additional funds to KWCW to help pay both the lawyer fees and an FCC fine.
The Senate approved Resolution SRF 14.1 by a vote of acclamation, meaning that a senator’s motion for a unanimous vote was passed prior to the actual vote. This gesture allows ASWC to express especially strong support for a piece of legislation.
Resolution SRF 14.1, written by sophomore senator Arthur Shemitz, urges the college to make standardized test scores an optional component of the admissions process to move toward “equal educational access [for] people of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds”. According to a 2014 study published in Research for Higher Education, using standardized test scores in the admissions process favors men; furthermore, a 2002 report by the Whitman College Office of Institutional Research noted “small, but significant correlations between SAT score, race, and gender” that privilege certain groups.
Amidst the climate of tension concerning the lack of economic diversity at Whitman, ASWC hopes that this resolution will provide a way for the Board of Trustees to begin to effectively address this issue.