UVUSA meeting covers new policies, philanthropic work

The UVUSA weekly meeting on Oct. 21 addressed new policies, philanthropic work, and "Lauren's Promise." Photo by Matthew Drachman.

The Utah Valley University Student Association (UVUSA) met Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. in the student council chamber to discuss weekly tasks and upcoming events and projects that effect students.

The student council is tasked with putting together events throughout the year and host weekly council meetings to discuss what they are planning and to propose resolutions and constitutional changes.

The meeting conducted on Oct. 21 consisted of many housekeeping issues; announcing Wolverine of the Week, and mentioning several upcoming events and initiatives.

Wolverine of the week

Introduced by Keaton Bennett, assistant to the vice president of engagement, this week’s “Wolverine of the Week” is Emmanuel Omaria. A junior studying political science, and a treasurer and ICC representative of the Black Student Union on campus, Omaria has distinguished himself among his peers as a man of kindness.

“This dude is selfless and likes helping students a lot,” Omaria’s recommendation read. “Emmanuel is an outstanding friend, coworker and leader! He is always kind and smiling whenever I see him.”

While also working on the African Diaspora Initiative on campus, Omaria has shown a strong work ethic that contributed to his nomination.

“It was a great pleasure being recognized and awarded the wolverine of the week,” Omaria said.

Talk with Tuminez

UVU president Astrid Tuminez will be hosting a forum on Nov. 3 at 11:30 a.m. to update on administrative affairs and answer student and staff questions on happenings at UVU.

If students wish to have their questions answered, they must submit them through this form by Oct. 29 at noon to have them addressed in the forum. It should be noted that there may not be adequate time for every question. 

Cookies for Clothing

UVUSA is hosting a clothing donation drive to prepare individuals in need for the upcoming winter season. Students are encouraged to come by the Fulton Library to donate clothing items from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 28.

The drive is focused on winter clothes such as coats, gloves, and hats: however, all items are welcome. Ideally, items wanted will be new to lightly used, with all undergarments being new.

A Hand Up, a student-run club on campus is helping staff the event. In a correspondence that was sent out to club members last week, it asked for members to help spread the word about the event. Furthermore, it also called for volunteers to help at the event, and to pack goodie bags on Oct. 27.

In return for donations, students will receive a “cookie goodie bag,” according to UVUSA. To help with the event, volunteer through this sign-up sheet.

Student Body Election Packett Update

New election packets are being drafted up for next year’s student body elections. The new packet includes minor changes to policies concerning the candidacy and for addressing grievances against other candidates.

“This packet is working on an actual form to file grievances against other candidates for misconduct,” said Daniel Clothier, head parliamentarian. “There will also be ways for candidates to file appeals for those grievances [levied against them].”

The tentative packet also removes the requirement of having a $50 down-payment on a campaign. When finalized, the packet will be brought to the council for a vote of approval before going into effect.

Homework Committee Initiative

Still in its early stages, Ethan Morse, vice president of academics, and Emily Thompson, senator for the college of health and public service, are chairing a committee on investigating the overlap of homework and holiday breaks. They want to know how homework assignments over academic holidays impact students.

“Homework assigned over breaks isn’t fair [to students],” Morse remarked.

The committee has begun to do research on the subject, and is creating a survey for students to investigate how homework being assigned over these breaks affects mental health and workloads.

“Out of 463 people who have taken the survey so far, 61% said that they had homework over fall break, and 93% said that there shouldn’t be homework due over fall break,” said Morse.

If both support and evidence is found, Morse says that he will bring a resolution to the council discouraging professors from assigning homework to students over these academic breaks. However, a resolution such as this isn’t expected to be proposed until spring, according to Morse.

Lauren McCluskey Promise

Student body president Karen Magaña-Aguado brought up the three-year anniversary of the death of Lauren McCluskey during the council meeting. She encouraged council members to take on “Laurens Promise.”

Lauren McCluskey was a 21-year-old student attending the University of Utah when she started dating an individual that turned out to be abusive. She was later shot and killed by that individual outside of her dorm in 2018.

Her death has been shrouded in controversy with the way that U of U handled the situation. An independent report found, “there were signs that she may have been in a coercive relationship. Housing did not conduct a meeting of its own to evaluate risk or whether the matter should be referred to BIT [Behavior Intervention Team].”

After her death, the Lauren McCluskey Foundation was created to promote campus safety, amateur athletics and animal welfare, the latter two being passions McCluskey had.

“Lauren’s Promise” is a commitment to listen to and believe individuals who feel they are being threatened. Magaña-Aguado stressed the importance of this principle, especially for UVU.

“She reached out to campus police explaining that she felt unsafe, but there was little that was done by the university. That is why ‘Lauren’s Promise’ exists now,” Magaña-Aguado stated in a correspondence to The Review. “Professors from all over the country have chosen to include Lauren’s Promise in their syllabi, which is why we worked to create a resolution to encourage professors at Utah universities to join in solidarity.”

All of this and more is being planned by UVUSA. Information about upcoming events can be accessed through the events calendar. Regular updates are also posted on the UVUSA website and Instagram.

The next council meeting will be held Oct. 28 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in SL 114, and is open to the public.

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