The ASWSU Senate passed a resolution Wednesday in support of protecting higher education funding.
Resolution 41-06 passed unanimously and will carry the weight of an entire ASWSU Senate sponsorship in Olympia.
The resolution is designed to inform legislators that they cannot continue to cut funding for higher education, said Nick Ramirez, District 10 senator and chair of the External Relations Committee.
Ramirez said he and the director of legislative affairs will send this resolution to the appropriate sources. These include the senators and representatives that sit on the state of Washington Funding Committee and Higher Education Committee, he said.
“We try to send it to all the right people that need to know about it,” Ramirez said. “Make sure that our voices are being heard.”
District 10 Sen. Alex Smith expressed his agreement with the resolution after the meeting.
“For one, I think it’s a great resolution,” Smith said. “I think that anytime ASWSU really has an opportunity to really see some student legislature put in front of it regarding higher education, I think it's very beneficial for us to stand behind it 100 percent.”
With the sponsorship of the entire senate, legislators can see the resolution has the support of the entire student population represented by ASWSU, Smith said.
“It really just puts that much more ‘oomph’ behind our voice,” Smith said. “I know that’s not really a technical term, but that's kind of how I feel about it.”
He hopes this resolution will make it to the desks of senators and Congress members in Olympia, Smith said. This will be accomplished with the help of the director of legislative affairs.
“Usually if we have something that we feel supports our voice, without actually being there, we’ll hand that off and try to get that to as many legislators as is possible,” Smith said. “So that they can go ahead and read it and realize that ‘hey these decisions we’re making are really affecting a lot of these kids.’”
Smith said the resolution is not the same as writing letters to legislators or lobbying on the footsteps of the Capitol, but it is a good way the senate can make student voices heard.
“Hopefully it continues at the next senate, and the next senate,” District 1 Sen. Brenna Stroup said, “however many this has to take, all show that they really support this, that finally legislators will listen.”
When resolutions pass, the senate never knows if they will change people's minds, Stroup said. Resolutions represent something that the senate is taking a stand on, she said.
“Our last resolution was more about special session,” Senate Pro-Tempore Derrick Skaug said. “This is more long term.”