Wayne State Student Senate discussed COVID-19 procedure compliance, voter registration and difficulties with online courses at its Oct. 1 meeting held on Zoom.
Students are required to wear masks on campus any where outside of a students’ private room, Dean of Students David Strauss said. This, however, has been an issue, as students linger in the Student Center and other buildings without proper protections due to food and beverage consumption.
Staff have been asked to enforce the new safety requirements.
While students have responded accordingly, some still refuse to cooperate, Strauss said. A conduct report was submitted Thursday, claiming that a student swore at a librarian after being told he had to reserve a computer before coming in. The student was asked to exit the library until they completed their daily screener.
To prevent future incidents of this manner, Senate devised many efforts to strengthen the Warrior Safe is Warrior Strong Ambassadors. According to the organization's website, the group of students are responsible for promoting the proper use of personal protective equipment. The group may add enforcement to their responsibilities and distribute prizes to people adhering to procedures.
Senate also discussed voter registration for the upcoming Nov. 3 election.
According to the group’s July 16 resolution, they will use Motivote, “a voter engagement platform,” to encourage students to register and vote.
“It's a tool where students can sign up and then they can complete small actions, like learning about an absentee ballot or ordering an absentee ballot and then they get points for that,” said Senate president Riya Chhabra. “They can use those points to enter into raffles for prizes that are offered.”
Motivote is set to launch Tuesday, Oct. 6, Chhabra said.
Senate also touched on the struggles students are facing as they continue their transition from in-person courses to predominantly online classes.
From schedule conflicts to limited internet access, students have been experiencing a multitude of issues due to the pandemic, Strauss said. Many professors increased their workloads in the absence of face-to-face interaction.
“The reports are alarming,” he said. “Not only the digital divide, which is tragic, but also students getting just volumes and volumes of work in asynchronous classes —more than they would if the class was in person."
Some students who have asynchronous classes are being told they have to attend meetings at a set time, which is not the purpose of these types of classes, Strauss said. He wants students to have a “successful learning experience” and is afraid some may drop classes, being stuck with paying for them.
“Let me know what hiccups you're experiencing, what hiccups your peers are experiencing,” Strauss said.
The next Student Senate meeting will be held on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m.
Alanna Williams is a correspondent for The South End. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Cover photo by Guneet Ghotra, graphic designer for The South End. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.