Student center

Student Senate to buy gender-affirming clothes | Portable

The Wayne State Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution to purchase gender-affirming clothing for the Warrior’s Wardrobe during its virtual meeting on Thursday.

The meeting was due to take place in person at the Hilberry AB Student Center Hall, but the Senate informed the South End on Thursday evening that the meeting would be moved to a virtual format. No public announcement of the change was made on the Senate’s Facebook or Instagram.

The meeting was not broadcast live and the recording was uploaded to the Senate’s Facebook page on Sunday evening. TSE was unable to report the entire meeting because the uploaded recording was incomplete.

College of Education Representative Lukis Bagdon and Senator-at-large Tony DiMeglio proposed the gender-affirming clothing resolution, which would include the $849.79 purchase of binders, gaffs and packers.

Alleviating gender dysphoria is an essential part of well-being for transgender people, Bagdon said.

“Dysphoria can cause people to become isolated, meaning they miss classes, skip important life events, etc.,” they said. “Anxiety, depression, rates of self-harm and suicide attempts increase as dysphoria overwhelms a transgender person.”

Bagdon and DiMeglio said they read reviews and spoke with transgender students to determine which brands of products to buy. They plan to start by buying a small number of items.

“We just went with one of each sizing for the tuckers, (packers) and gaffs, and then several of the binders because those are typically used by more individuals,” DiMeglio said.

Bagdon said it was important for the warrior wardrobe to provide gender-affirming clothing.

“Gender-affirming care is suicide prevention and is necessary for quality of life for transgender people,” Bagdon said.

Public relations manager Kelly Whitlock has proposed a resolution to purchase 41 popular board games for the student center’s basement game room for more than $800.

Dean of Students David Strauss said he had already met with Whitlock and gave him his approval for the project. He has also spoken with the associate director of the student center, Katie Beaulieu, and has her full support.

Several senators debated Whitlock’s proposal because his proposed list of board games had a cost of $894.64.

Secretary Nasrin Nesha proposed that the campus activities team, which currently shares its collection of board games with the Senate, move them from her office to the game room. It would be an alternative to buying new board games.

DiMeglio said he was in favor of Whitlock’s proposal because the Senate has $17,000 of excess funds remaining in its account. This does not include funding that was allocated to the Urban Gardening Initiative at the March 24 Senate meeting.

Whitlock moved to approve the Total Board Game Purchase, the Senate took a voice vote, and the motion failed.

Whitlock then offered to allocate $500 to the project, which passed unanimously.

The Office of the Registrar provided an update on upgrades to its transcript processing service.

A new system is expected to launch on Monday, university registrar Kurt Kruschinska said.

Kruschinska said the current system for producing transcripts requires all work to be done manually by a full-time WSU employee.

The new system will include fees for transcripts, starting at $2.25, Kruschinska said. It is cheaper than other local universities because WSU will not earn any revenue from fees.

Senator General Amina Khalique provided an update on the Senate Menstrual Products Pilot Program, which provides free pads and tampons in first-floor restrooms in State Hall, the Student Center and the Undergraduate Library.

Khalique said the Senate received overwhelmingly positive feedback during a November 16, 2021 survey of the campus community about the pilot program.

She worked closely with facility planning and management and was able to gather information about the initiative from them, she said.

“The larger buildings, such as UGL and the Student Center, have higher traffic and there was a higher need in those areas,” she said. “Because there was a higher need, distributors emptied out very quickly and he said they were working on better training for sitters to ensure these products are stocked more frequently.”

Khalique said she is looking to make it a permanent initiative on campus, starting by expanding to first-floor women’s restrooms in Old Main, General Lectures and the Helen L. DeRoy Auditorium in May.

“Long term, we want to expand to every library, lecture hall and main building on campus,” she said. “The goal here is to have two dispensers in each building, so one dispenser in the women’s restrooms and one dispenser in the gender-neutral restrooms in each building.”

Starting in 2023, the initiative would expand to at least one additional building each year until its goals are met, Khalique said. FPM indicated that this is feasible.

The last Student Senate meeting of the semester will take place on April 21 at 6 p.m. in room 010 of the Student Center.

Amelia Benavides-Colón is the editor of The South End. She can be reached at [email protected]