ASWC’s most recent Senate session, held on January 28th, marked a shakeup for the body as some new voting members made their debut appearances. Ryan Garrett and Jayden Dirk joined the Executive Council, becoming the new Sustainability Director and Oversight Chair, respectively, while junior Brahm Coler took over for outgoing senator Bryn Louise.
Coler, a BBMB major, has a significant amount of experience in the extracurricular department. He currently serves as the co-president of Feminists Advocating Change and Empowerment (FACE); additionally, he works as a sexual assault prevention intern, working with Barbara Maxwell. With ASWC, Coler saw an opportunity to parlay some of that experience into real campus changes.
“I think there was this great potential to be able to make a difference in small ways, to change very realistic things on campus,” Coler said.
Coler is beginning his Senate tenure with a project on addressing campus lighting issues, meeting with representatives of Whitman Security and the Physical Plant to discuss locations where lighting could be installed, improved or be made more efficient. He also hopes to tackle the issue of campus bike theft, potentially by replacing the current bike racks with more secure alternatives, as well as issues related to on-campus activism related to sexual assault and harassment.
“[T]o me, [it] kind of feels like there’s these big waves of activism for a month or so at a time, and then people kind of get used to things again… and the energy kind of dies,” Coler said. “[I want to know] how we can get a more active, constant, consistent atmosphere of passion and awareness about these issues.”
Through the previous semester, Coler kept in contact with his predecessor Louise on ASWC issues, and hopes to keep continuity with their initiatives, such as a gender-neutral residence hall. Additionally, Coler has begun meeting with the junior Senate delegation, and is excited for the projects being developed.
“It seems like people are there to genuinely help make Whitman a better place, and it’s a good group of people,” Coler said. “I’ll be curious to see what we’re able to accomplish in the next semester.”
Coler may only be on Senate for one semester this school year, but that won’t stop him – and other Senators – from doing their best to turn small goals into big outcomes.