Izzy Dobbel and Adam Davies stress justice, mental health in ASG run


Source: Jason Kwon

SESP junior Izzy Dobbel and her running mate Adam Davies, also a SESP junior. The two are currently running uncontested for ASG President and Executive Vice President.

Atul Jalan, Reporter

Izzy Dobbel’s experience sitting on Associated Student Government’s funding reform committee was an illuminating one.

At the time, ASG-funded groups by dividing them into A- and B-status organizations based on various factors, including size and history on campus. Groups included in the former category, Dobbel explained, received approximately $38,000 on average, leaving only about $300 per group in the latter. That made a mark on the SESP junior.

Dobbel said the inequality she witnessed within ASG’s funding process was one of the reasons she decided to run for ASG president. For the campaign, Dobbel tapped SESP junior Adam Davies as her running mate. Davies said they have a history of campus activism focused on fighting the additional hardships faced by marginalized students at Northwestern.

“The big thing that I’ve learned from that is how much institutional support there can be for marginalized groups and how hard it is to access that,” they said.

Their history of pushing for policies to further financial and gender equality on campus has led them to form a campaign that is focused on increasing “justice” for marginalized students and prioritizing mental health for students on campus. The campaign stresses three areas of policy: academics, community and health.

Dobbel said that as president, she plans to introduce policies to ensure NU’s pass/fail policy extends to classes that count for distribution credits. She also plans to require that professors make textbook costs available before students sign up for a course.

“Disclosing the costs of textbooks before you register for a class — it’s actually a law. It’s the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008,” Dobbel said. “It should be as transparent as possible. People should know exactly what the bang to their wallet is going to be every single quarter because there are times that I take a class with a professor who literally wants me to rent a book for $300.”

In addition to textbook affordability, Dobbel said she will push the University to provide Cat Cash to students on food stamps, another step to reduce barriers faced by low-income students. However, Dobbel and Davies said they have yet to decide the specific conversion ratio the University should use to determine the amount of Cat Cash that will be given to each student depending on their food stamp allocation.

On the community level, Davies said that they and Dobbel will advocate for the creation of more spaces for different groups, especially racial minorities and low-income students, who often find themselves marginalized on campus.

As part of their push for health, Dobbel and Davies have proposed at least two policies. They are urging NU to add three more Counseling and Psychological Services personnel — a policy that ASG has pushed for previously — to help shorten response times for student counseling requests.

Dobbel and Davies said they will also advocate for the creation of “mental health sick days,” through which students will be able to miss classes and receive excused absences, no questions asked. The number of sick days a student receives per course in a quarter will be equal to the number of times the class meets per week.

“We want to recognize mental health problems as significant as physical health issues, as mental health is a real, legitimate problem facing our generation,” said Weinberg junior Henry Molnar, Dobbel’s and Davies’ campaign manager. “We need to start recognizing the fact that Northwestern is a really stressful place.”

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Twitter: @jalan_atul

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