New ASWU position to help represent underrepresented

Rachel Ayres | Staff Writer

At the last Associated Students of Whitworth University meeting of the 2017-2018 school year, the new position of global engagement representative was voted into the ASWU constitution.

“The purpose of this role is to represent underrepresented groups and international students,” said ASWU president, senior Tersa Almaw.

Last year, a group of students made it their goal to ensure everyone’s voice was heard.

“There were several students, mostly international students who saw that there is a great need for this position. They mobilized and brought their concerns to ASWU demanding that their voices should be heard,” said Executive Vice President Andrews Boateng.

“It an issue that we wanted to resolve, because we have senators and [cultural diversity advocates,] but they can’t be spread too thin to reach every student. Students wanted their voice to be heard in the assembly.” said Almaw.

The position of global engagement representative is the solution to this issue.

Whitworth University is committed to diversity. According to the university’s website,“Whitworth recognizes that a diverse community is central to our mission as a liberal arts university committed to educating critical thinkers, discerning moral agents, and responsible democratic citizens.”

Whitworth’s stance on diversity is also supported by ASWU’s mission statement: “We the Associated Students of Whitworth University, in order to meet students needs, aspire to empower our diverse community by fostering personal relationships, translating open dialogue into holistic programming, and pursuing an inclusive campus environment.” By creating and fulfilling the role of  the global engagement representative, ASWU hopes to further its mission.

“At the end of the day, if your voice is being heard and another person’s is not being heard, what does that say about you if you are not going to advocate for that person that's not being heard?” said Almaw.

While this position is already in the ASWU constitution, it still must be ratified by the student body. Details about the position itself will be discussed at the ASWU meeting on September 26th. Then, the position will be filled by a student body vote on at a later date.

“An ideal person to fit this role is any student that is well knowledgeable about issues affecting international students here on campus and most importantly, this person needs to have the best interest of international students at heart,” said Boateng.