Wayne State Student Senate discussed housing concerns, emotional wellness of students and how WSU is helping students prepare for future careers at its Oct. 15 Zoom meeting.
Students have expressed concerns about their housing license agreements, Dean of Students David Strauss said. With the winter 2021 class plan being similar to this semester’s, some students want to move back home. However, housing agreements do not end until April 2021.
Students can request to cancel their license agreements with WSU under specific circumstances, but doing so does not guarantee approval, according to the agreement. Cancelations can be requested if a student graduates or is no longer enrolled, participating in a student teacher assignment more than 40 miles away from Detroit or involved with a different program that requires a person to move.
“If we're allowing students to move in halfway through the year, then why can't students opt out halfway through the year?” asked Sailor Mayes, Senate director of government affairs and Housing and Residential Life representative.
As of right now, there is no way to “get out of housing for whatever reason you want,” Strauss said.
WSU Housing announced on Oct. 15 they are now enforcing mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing.
“It's good, but I saw a problem with it because students are very busy,” Mayes said. “I actually got tested on Friday. It took me 30 minutes. I was waiting outside for 20 minutes, and then I had a 10-minute session.”
WSU is waiting on Abbott’s rapid COVID-19 test machines, which are supposed to give results within 15 minutes, said Madison Wiljanen, Senate secretary and College of Nursing representative.
Students have also expressed concerns about being able to attend class on campus while waiting for test results.
“When you're getting tested you're not supposed to come in for classes because you're waiting to see if you're positive or negative,” said Jasmine Coles, Senate treasurer and School of Medicine representative. “With this policy change, I just want to know how that affects classes.”
At a recent campus restart committee meeting, WSU president M. Roy Wilson and Interim Provost Laurie Lauzon Clabo expressed their concerns about student mental health, Strauss said. To spread awareness and support students, Oct. 30 will be Student Mental Health Day.
“It's a Friday, but we're going to focus on workshops and fun activities,” Strauss said. “We're also going to bring back the swag distribution just to get the spirit going and help people feel connected and just see people from the university. We've got some fun giveaways that we're going to be giving out to students as they come to these drive-ups.”
Strauss said WSU will announce more information on Mental Health Day and how to participate soon.
WSU Career Services also gave and update at the meeting on how the department is helping students throughout the semester.
Career Services has been reaching out to students virtually, Interim Director for Career Services Shawn Turner-Pewitt said. A virtual career fair took place on Oct. 6 and 7 and they have also held workshops on how to create a resume during the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching out to employers and using LinkedIn as a resource.
“As we know, we literally have been changed in every aspect of our lives by COVID-19, and that includes careers and that includes how the workplace will look,” Turner-Pewitt said. “Even as I’m talking, there are probably jobs that are being created that weren’t available a year ago, and there will be jobs available in 10 years that we never expected or never thought about.”
Career Services is also connecting students to resources that might be beneficial, Turner-Pewitt said.
Handshake, an online community for students and employers, is like LinkedIn and Facebook combined, she said. Students can post their resume, build their profile, connect with employers and find different opportunities within multiple schools, colleges, organizations and companies.
Announced this summer, Big Interview is a new Career Services platform with interview video lessons, a resume creator and practice interview questions, Turner-Pewitt said. Students can record themselves answering interview questions based on their level of knowledge, subject area, school and major.
More information on how Career Services is helping students can be found on their website.
The next Student Senate meeting will be held on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.
Cover photo by Guneet Ghotra, graphic designer for The South End. She can be reached at email@example.com.