Senators introduce resolution calling on administrators to create Latinx, Asian American studies departments


Allie Goulding/Daily Senior Staffer

Senators Bassel Shanab and Emerson Carlson introduce a textbook affordability resolution at Wednesday’s Senate meeting. The resolution said the University should consider more affordable options for class materials.

Alexis White, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government senators introduced new resolutions to address textbook affordability and the creation of Latinx and Asian American studies departments during their Wednesday meeting.

Senator Bassel Shanab, one of the sponsors of the textbook affordability resolution, said the University should make textbook options more affordable considering the increasing number of students at Northwestern on financial aid. The resolution said this could include creating more online options and putting estimated book costs on syllabi or Caesar.

“Some students right now are struggling to afford classes they signed up for despite the fact that this is a university with many resources at its helm,” the Weinberg freshman said.

Senators Seri Lee and Evelyn Molina introduced a resolution to call on the University to create an Asian American Studies Department and a Latinx Studies Department. The resolution said departmental status would make Northwestern a flagship university in these studies and help provide “adequate funding, hiring power, office space, resources or personnel to staff ever-growing fields.”

The Latinx Asian American Collective, which is a joint effort from the Asian Pacific American Coalition and MEChA de Northwestern, recently exceeded its goal of 1,000 signatures on a petition for this cause. ASG released a statement in support of the coalition in January.

Also during the meeting, senators voted to approve funding for three “Wild Ideas,” an ASG-sponsored initiative open to all undergraduate students to help fund students’ creative ideas.

Chief of Staff Lars Benson introduced the Wild Ideas, which were all approved, to the Senate. Persona, a production that will combine digital and live storytelling, received $700. Get Fresh — a Refresh Dance Crew initiative to create concept videos for events and shows and host a master class during the Chinese Students Association’s Celebrasia event — received $1,044.

The other approved idea was Yikes, which proposed hosting music-themed nights to highlight lesser-known local artists. It received $2,220 for speakers, lights, a projector and other equipment. Its application said this idea was wild because Yikes is “transforming the live music space at Northwestern” by showcasing music “not represented in the mainstream media.”

Wild Ideas started the year with $25,000 to distribute to organizations, equally distributing it per quarter to ensure programming is balanced, Benson said.

Out of the total funding for the year, the committee has so far dispersed $12,600 in grants, including the newly approved ideas, Benson said.

Senators also unanimously elected Communication sophomore Kimani Isaac and SESP sophomore Isabel Dobbel to the A-status and B-status selection committee as senate representatives.

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