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Senators take on mental health awareness and the census (ASUA Notebook 10/9/2019)

Dani Cropper
ASUA candidates Bennett Adamson, Sydney Hess and Kate Rosenstengel stand together after the Executive Q&A on Thursday, March 21 in the SUMC. The three students are the only candidates running for ASUA’s executive positions for the 2019-2020 school year.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona discussed mental health resolutions, clarified stipulations of Bobcats Senior Honorary funding and passed the AZCensus resolution at their Oct. 9 senate meeting. 

Mental Health Resolutions 

During senator reports, College of Public Health Senator Allie Schoenike focused on how she wants to address mental health on campus.

“I want to bring mental health one step closer to students,” she said. 

RELATED: Senators discuss the fate of the College of Letters, Arts and Science (ASUA Notebook 9/11/2019)

One platform ASUA president Sydney Hess ran on last year was mental health reform. She said she is currently working to centralize mental health on campus.

“I think that might have to happen over the course of a few years,” Hess said. “I think what senate can do, as something tangible, is awareness around mental health.”

Hess and Schoenike floated the idea of a resource fair for students. 

Multiple senators showed interest in supporting mental health initiatives. College of Medicine Senator Gomez Ambriz suggested including faculty in the conversation about mental health, and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Senator Matt Hernandez suggested including mental health days in syllabi for students.

Hess suggested potentially creating a committee within senate specifically for mental health.

Bobcats Funding Stipulations and Appropriations

The senate discussed stipulations in exchange for providing Bobcats Senior Honorary funding for homecoming activities. The Bobcats previously requested $2,500 from ASUA.

College of Humanities Senator Grace Sluga read off some of the stipulations, including ASUA logo branding, philanthropic efforts benefiting Campus Pantry or Campus Closet and including diverse organizations and student groups in their efforts.

Gage Driscoll, College of Engineering Senator, asked to add a stipulation that would require the Bobcats to reach out to their alumni network to donate ties to Campus Closet.

“I think that this should be an additional thing,” Driscoll said. “He [Marc Acuña, vice president of student and alumni engagement for the Alumni Association] made it seem like this was something they wanted to do because of their vast alumni network.”

At-large Senator Ana Mendoza asked for the Disability Resource Center to be included in the Homecoming conversations regarding Bobcats events.

“The events that are held during Homecoming, do Bobcats and other honoraries reach out to the DRC for accessibility?” Mendoza asked. “Because that could be very limiting. Not everyone can participate because not everyone is able-bodied. Making sure they check in with the DRC. If not, to create an alternative event or activity that anyone can participate.”

The Alumni Association, the group who organizes homecoming, does offer disability accommodations, though does not specify whether the DRC was consulted in planning.

At the recent appropriations board meeting, over $8,000 of funding requests were approved, leaving over $147,000 left in the appropriations budget.

AZCensus Resolution 

The AZCensus resolution was enacted unanimously in senate. Rocque Perez, at-large Senator, spearheaded the resolution. 

RELATED: Dude, where’s my major?

Perez proposed a resolution to specifically raise awareness of the 2020 census among students in an effort to raise participation rates.

In an email, Perez said, “This campaign has been initiated by ASUA Senate with the mission to plan and implement cross institutional based outreach campaigns that educate, familiarize, motivate, and remind students of the census and its importance in higher education.”

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