The Western Student Association passed two initiatives allowing them to be placed on the ballot for the elections on March 25-29.
The two initiatives voted in at the meeting on Feb. 27 were “Equality in Transportation” from Western Michigan University Aviation students and “Save Student Media,” presented by members of the media groups WIDR, Western Herald and Young Broadcasters of Tomorrow.
The Equality in Transportation initiative proposes an $8 fee to support a daily bus shuttle, allowing more aviation students to get to the airport in Battle Creek where flight lessons take place. The students supporting the initiative believe that because other academic colleges such as the College of Engineering and the College of Health and Human Services receive adequate bussing, that they should as well. The vote to place this issue on the ballot passed with 44 yes votes, 3 no votes and 5 abstaining members
The Save Student Media initiative proposes a $5 fee to allow media groups on WMU’s campus to merge together under one umbrella organization and share resources and content. The groups merging together are the Western Herald, WIDR and Young Broadcasters of Tomorrow. The vote to place this issue on the ballot passed with 32 yes votes, 2 no votes and 8 abstaining members.
Voting for each of these two fee proposals will take place March 25-29 through online voting. All WMU students can cast a vote that would determine the passage of these two fees.
In addition to voting for these issues to be placed on the ballot, Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell spoke at the meeting.
“I’m not here to give you a speech,” Hopewell said. “I am here to let you ask me questions. I may not have all the answers, but ask them.”
Students took the opportunity to ask Hopewell about things that WMU students underutilize, how to get the community more involved in WMU sporting events and teams and how the city is working to prevent pedestrian accidents near WMU’s campus.
The answer: working together is the best way to solve these issues, according to Hopewell.
Hopewell said that downtown Kalamazoo is the most underutilized place-maker for WMU students and is hoping that the WMU medical school will make the area more prominent to students. He said that community involvement in WMU sports is similar to the issues faced by the Kalamazoo Kings baseball team. He said that finding a solution for pedestrian accidents near WMU will be an issue he will continue to make not just a talking point but an action.
“It’s time to stop the damn talking and figure out what we are going to do,” Hopewell said. “I’m committed that not within this term, but if I run again, then this is one of the top priorities. It’s not a campaign thing, it’s just something that we need to step up and do.”