Katie Pach/Daily Senior Staffer
Associated Student Government passed resolutions in support of textbook affordability and departmental status for Asian American Studies and Latina and Latino Studies in their Wednesday Senate meeting.
The Resolution Concerning the Departmental Status of Asian American Studies and Latino and Latina Studies Program was submitted by the Latinx Asian American Collective, which created a petition earlier this quarter to encourage the University to grant the two programs departmental status.
About 30 members of the Latinx Asian American Collective sat in during the Senate meeting to hear the introduction and questioning of their resolution. Some, including Weinberg junior Jessica Wang, spoke to the senators. Wang said departmental status for these studies will improve curriculum options.
“(AASP is) very susceptible to unstable changing curriculums,” Wang said. “And so being able to grant our programs departmental status, this will allow us to hire more faculty full-time, tenure track, so students are guaranteed to continue to have the comprehensive education in ethnic studies that they need.”
The Collective, a joint effort of the Asian Pacific American Coalition and MEChA de Northwestern, said in the resolution that this new status would increase their funding, hiring power, resources, office space and any other necessities for the fields.
ASG also passed a resolution concerning textbook affordability. District 7 Senator Emerson Carlson said this resolution recommends that the University look at options like expanding course reserves, increasing funding for Books for Cats and putting book prices for courses on CAESAR to help low-income and first generation students.
“We’re trying to call on Northwestern to recognize the rising prices of textbooks, and the rising prices of supplements to these textbooks such as the online resources,” the Weinberg freshman said. “We wish for Northwestern to recognize the possibility of an online group of textbooks that could be accessible by students, that the University could bargain with textbook publishers.”
ASG also announced the full distribution of an excess $20,000 that they had from a budgetary misallocation.
In a Jan. 24 Senate meeting, ASG said they would give $10,000 to Student Enrichment Services to supplement their Student Activities Scholarship Fund.
ASG President Nehaarika Mulukutla said this meeting that $7,000 will go toward Universal Design for Learning Training to help faculty teach more accessible courses for students who may have disabilities. She said $2,000 will go to the Center for Awareness, Response and Education to create brochures that will give information for survivors of sexual assault. An ASG statement said the final $1,000 will go toward the Improve NU Implementation Fund.
During the meeting, new business for a referendum on cigarette smoking was introduced and then withdrawn so more specific details could be added to the document.
Sky Patterson, the vice president of academics, announced that a guide for creating trans-inclusive spaces will be distributed next week to Provost Jonathan Holloway, department chairs and other faculty members.
Also, it was the final Senate for Parliamentarian Justine Kim, who will officially step down next week for personal reasons. She will nominate a new parliamentarian for the Senate to approve next Wednesday.
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