3 fraternities in 4 years: just a blip in the radar?

In 2015, 133 fraternities and sororities were suspended or closed nationally. But at small liberal arts school Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU), it was just the beginning of a four-year span that could change Greek life at the school forever.

In 2015, Sigma Chi was closed. In 2016, Phi Kappa Psi was suspended. Most recently, in 2018, Phi Delta Theta was suspended. That brings the total number of fraternities on campus to five.

Fraternities have left Ohio Wesleyan before, but not at this rate. The last time OWU Greek life saw events like this was 1983, when Beta Theta Pi was expelled, and Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon put on probation for 10 years. The result of that news? A demonstration by nearly 300 students that included four arrests, broken windows and extensive damage to the Beta house.

But is this stretch just a “bump in the road” for fraternities at OWU, or a trend that may continue?

While the reasoning for these decisions is different for each fraternity, the present statistic remains clear: three fraternities have been closed or suspended in the past four years.

Immediate reactions to this statistic have been mixed around Fraternity Hill and around campus. Some instinctively resort to blame, others understanding, but a sense of sadness is the one emotion that wraps around the hill. This includes senior and President of Sigma Phi Epsilon Austen Kimbro:

“It is extremely sad and concerning that three fraternities have been kicked off of campus over my four years here…and that is a very terrifying thing to try and conceptualize,” Kimbro said.

Three former Phi Kappa Psi members, who were granted anonymity, think this statistic is absurd, considering some of the “justifications” used in closing/suspending these fraternities:

“I think it’s completely outrageous, that something like that’s happened in such a short period of time, especially when some of them were unjustified,” one former member said. “Like Sigma Chi, when they got kicked off had no reason other than speculation. There have been circumstances with the other two fraternities, but I just think they should’ve been looked at from a different perspective.”

The relationship between the administration and fraternities has been sensitive considering these instances. The feeling that President Rock Jones and the rest of the administration don’t believe in Greek life has been circulating students, even though Jones has publicly stated the support of Greek life by the university.

“It is important for everyone to know that Ohio Wesleyan values the Greek community and the individuals who contribute to it,” Jones said in an email sent after the Phi Delta Theta announcement.

Some students, however, don’t believe it or haven’t seen enough to prove otherwise. Junior and Phi Gamma Delta President Eli Rajotte thinks the desire to believe it is there, but still needing evidence.

“I feel like I’m at the point where I’ll believe it when I see it,” Rajotte said.

Rajotte’s fraternity brother AJ Outcalt, a senior, thinks there is that belief and support from the administration.

“Without them or [Director of Clubs and Fraternity & Sorority Life Dana Behum] it would be in a lot worse situation,” Outcalt said.

Fraternities also feel that the university doesn’t focus enough on punishing the individual, rather than the organization. Senior and Delta Tau Delta member John Bonus thinks this is something the school could take a different approach with, although he understands the wholeness aspect of a Greek organization.

“I understand it’s a mutually selective program: we give bids out, those guys choose to accept those bids, and we all have the same values and go through the same processes, so in a way I understand the organization is whole and accepts some responsibility,” Bonus said. “But when only a few members get in trouble for something, it seems pretty unfair to punish the entire organization, especially when they’re building something so positive.”

“The sad part is that, the organizations that have been kicked off had some very good men, who do the right things, but it is unfortunate that some of their brothers made poor choices which ultimately led to the removal of the fraternities,” Kimbro said.

These instances have led fraternities to feel targeted, as if they’re “walking on eggshells.” The bigger picture is the increased presence of University Public Safety on Fraternity Hill that leads to students being upset, says Delta Tau Delta member Andrew Woods.

“It’s more of Public Safety taking the role of ‘almost police officers’ and investigating and actively searching out things, shining flashlights at our house during weekends just to try to see if people are inside, doing random walk throughs of our house and letting themselves in without telling anybody and doing ‘spot inspections’ whenever they feel like,” Woods said. “So those are all things that contribute to fraternity members being very targeted and worried that they’re going to get evicted from their house any day.”

But this article brings you back the question, again with mixed answers is this stretch just a “bump in the road” for fraternities at OWU, or a trend that may continue?

“Although three Greek life organizations have been kicked off, I do believe that this is just a bump in the road.” Kimbro said. “It is very clear that the way Greek life is operating is changing, and to survive we must adapt. After the suspensions are up, I fully believe that Greek life will expand and flourish again.”

“I hope it is just a bump in the road but honestly it’s hard to not look at it and see a trend,” Bonus said. “Obviously, we have some great people in the administration looking out for us but I also think there are many who see Greek life as a liability.”

“I absolutely think it’s a bump in the road.” Rajotte said. “It’s really common, prior to getting kicked off, that it’s a group of people that hold their name, their Greek organization’s name, but aren’t fully inline with the values they instill, and that can draw more downsides toward you. I really truly hope with the most recent suspension that that’s the end of it.”

Seminar and exhibit gives students space to discuss inner struggles

By Jesse Sailer, Sports Editor

The What’s Your Big Lie? (WYBL) pop-up exhibit and seminar allowed students to share their inner struggles with their peers and start open conversation about mental health.

The point of the exhibit and program was to bring to light the fact that everyone is living a lie whether it be big or small, in their work life or personal life and that although sometimes we can’t admit it, it’s okay to be living with that lie.

The pop-up exhibit was featured in the atrium of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center (HWCC) throughout the entire day and consisted of a collection of answers to thought provoking questions about mental health. The responses were then projected on the walls, floors and ceiling in the atrium for all to see.

Jordan Axani, the creator of WYBL, led the seminar by telling us how he came to realize the lie he had been living with. After years of being bullied in elementary school, dealing with family issues as well as handling his mental stress, he admitted that, “For 20 years, I hated myself immensely and I was afraid to admit it to anyone, especially myself.”

Junior and Panhellenic President Mackenzie Brunke said, “Axani was enthusiastic about a hard to discuss topic and took it with grace.”

Axani turned to social media as a cathartic release. He started to write and post what he was going through on Instagram. The more he shared, the more people contacted him with their stories and what they were going through. He realized then that he wasn’t alone in his battle.

This WYBL program was developed in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and a team of mental health experts in 2016, and has been praised as life-changing by numerous audiences.

“I have the incredible privilege to work with students, employees and everyday people on helping them kill their inner imposter and embrace who they really are,” Axani said.

WYBL has been presented to over 150,000 students, teachers, parents, entrepreneurs and professionals across North America with hundreds of institutions using WYBL as a way to build a “culture of openness, empathy and belonging.” (https://www.shiftcollab.com/programs/wybl/)

“It was a great approach to reducing the stigma that follows issues like mental health, you were able to feel safe talking about it with your peers,” junior Tessa Coleman said.

Once Axani was through with his story he invited the audience to participate in

Using phones and an anonymous platform, students submitted their ‘big lies’ and other insecurities secretly. Their responses are filtered almost immediately and are then projected at the front of the room.

Just moments after the first confessions showed up on the screen, there was both a moment of relief and recognition on everyone’s faces. Nobody was alone in what they were feeling. Axani, as well as students from the audience, offered words of affirmation and hope to those that bravely sent in their submissions.

Axani took the seminar a step further and asked if students would like to stand up and share their stories without the cover of anonymity that their phone provided. It took a few seconds and a room full of wandering eyes before the first hand bravely went up.

House of Black Culture construction approved

By Alameina White, Transcript Reporter

On Friday, Feb. 9, the Ohio Wesleyan Board of Trustees approved a $1.25 million budget for the construction of the new House of Black Culture.

Last year, Dwayne Todd, vice president for student engagement and success, announced that the House of Black Culture was no longer suitable for students to live in due to its unstable foundation and maintenance issues. The plan was to move its residents to the former Honors House at 123 Oak Hill Ave., but after numerous objections from students, the decision was to raise money to build a new House of Black Culture.

According to Todd, the fundraising for construction began in late spring 2017 when the Haddock Family Foundation provided a lead gift. Additional funding came from fundraising efforts  and the sale of existing OWU properties.

“As with this property, we’ve been fortunate to have had generous donors step forward to make these recent housing projects happen,” Todd said. “This particular project is so important because the House of Black Culture holds a very special place in the history of our university and in the current life of campus.”

For over a year now, students, faculty and alumni have been raising money for the house’s construction and their efforts have paid off.

“We’ve had to try a lot harder than other SLUs to get money for our house,” said Ornella Bisamaza, House of Black Culture resident. “I like that they put forth the effort; minorities should be an important factor on campus.”

Raising the money for the house’s construction was an important goal for the Board of Trustees due to its role on campus.

“The House of Black Culture is an important space on campus, both for the students who live in the house and for the larger number of students who visit the house and participate in programs hosted by the house. It is important to secure funding to replace the building and continue the vital presence of the House of Black Culture,” said President Rock Jones. 

According to Todd, the new home will feature a large front porch, large common rooms including a kitchen and a dinette, as well as a residential area to house 12 students.

“I truly cannot wait until the doors open on the new house and we see students turning it into their new home,” Todd said. “This will become an even better gathering space for students and I’m excited to see it used to bring students together.”

The house will be rebuilt in the same location, 65 Oak Hill Ave., which was one of the students’ primary requests.

“Our biggest request was for the house to not be moved. They fought for that land and that house, so we have to keep it,” said Bisamaza.

The location of the house is considered to be in the heart of campus, allowing better accessibility to students in other residential halls.

“It looks across to The Cave in Stuyvesant Hall which also is an important gathering place for multi-cultural student organizations and, in particular, organizations related to black culture,” Jones said.

According to Bisamaza, they also plan to keep some of the same aspects of the old house, such as the doors, to preserve the house’s memories.

The House of Black Culture has been an important landmark on campus and the new house will not change its meaning. However, its residents hope the new house will be more inviting to students and more people will want to live there.

“The House of Black Culture will continue to be an important place on campus, providing important programming space as well as a gathering place. It is important to our campus in many ways,” Jones said.

Although the Board of Trustees is still working to secure the funds, they hope to start construction this May and have the house ready for students by Jan. 2019. Once funds have been secured and designs finalized, a formal announcement will be made for the house’s construction in the coming weeks.

“This has been an engaging and exciting process and we have worked together to identify the needs for the House of Black Culture, the right location for a new house, and the resources necessary to fulfill this vision,” Jones said. 

Career Services advances community engagement

By Reilly Wright, Managing Editor

Ohio Wesleyan University’s Office of Career Services, once part of the Division of Student Affairs, shifted to the Division of University Advancement on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.

The Division of University Advancement primarily handles engaging OWU alumni, families and friends through significant networking, volunteer involvement and financial support. This move means Career Services will be more closely intertwined with alumni, allowing OWU students to have greater access to alumni and any opportunities they offer.

“The shift occurred to provide greater access, career-related programming and experiential opportunities for students,” Director of Career Services Leslie Melton said.

Colleen Garland, the Vice President for University Advancement, says alumni are one of the greatest assets Ohio Wesleyan students have for internships, career mentoring and eventual job placement.

“Housing Career Services within Advancement strengthens opportunities for students by connecting them with successful alumni willing and eager to assist with student career development,” Garland said.

By restructuring this department association toward alumni relations, Ohio Wesleyan is joining a common trend that other institutions like Amherst College (MA) and Colgate University (NY) have done.

“It is increasingly common for Career Services to align with Alumni Relations and University Advancement at institutions like Ohio Wesleyan,” said President Rock Jones. “This allows for greater partnerships with alumni in providing externships and internships, in mentoring students in preparation for work after college and even in leading to employment opportunities.”

Originally, Career Services was part of Student Affairs, which handles supporting students in engagement, resources, opportunities and involvement. Student Affairs currently holds a variety of departments including Counseling Services, Student Conduct, Residential Life and Public Safety.

The Office of Career Services provides individual counseling for students regarding career plans and development, job searches, and networking. The department is comprised of four employees and multiple OWU student interns on the second floor of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.

“We are still working to determine [changes] however, in the meantime, neither students nor staff will notice any major changes until the office has fully integrated into the [new] division and determined opportunities for advancement,” Melton said.


New campus bookstore struggling to satisfy community needs

By Alameina White, Transcript Reporter

The Ohio Wesleyan bookstore has faced a few challenges since becoming independently owned back in Sept. of 2017 but is working to improve things for next semester.

Earlier in the semester, instructors/professors started having issues with the bookstore not processing their orders and students weren’t able to get their books. This caused frustration as some instructors/professors had to delay their syllabuses.

According to Melanie Kalb, Director of Purchasing, when some instructors/professors had submitted their book adoptions (orders), the bookstore was still being sourced by Follett. Some professors/instructors had then submitted their adoptions to Follett causing some of them to be misplaced.

The transition to an independently owned bookstore hasn’t been smooth but Lisa Tackett, an employee of the bookstore, has been working hard to improve the process.

“We’re working to expand our supplier base, Lisa’s adding new suppliers and new wholesalers every day as we grow,” said Kalb.

Since becoming independently owned Tackett, who oversees the book adoptions, has set up accounts with numerous publishers from scratch.

“Some are quick, some are one phone call and you order at the same time and there are some that’ve taken four weeks just to set up an account to place an order,” said Tackett.

In the process of trying to find new publishers to source the books, Tackett has also had to work with international publishers that can take up to six months to process an order. Instructors/Professors had also adopted books that were out-of-print or print-on-demand. Orders for books that are print-on-demand can sometimes be held until a certain number of copies are requested and take anywhere from a month to six months, according to Tackett.

The process of submitting book adoptions was also new for professors.

“They normally turned them in to me in the past and now they go in and enter it themselves,” said Tackett.

Given the issues and changes at hand, the bookstore employees found different ways to get students their books.

“We’ve gone as far as to order books on Amazon and resell them in the bookstore,” said Tackett. “We want to make sure students can get the books they need.”

Tackett and Kalb encourage students to visit the bookstore’s website, https://owucampusstore.secureweblogin.com, where they can order their books from the bookstore or from six other vendors. This also allows students to compare the bookstore’s prices to those of other vendors.

“One of our main goals is textbook affordability and trying to get the best price for the students in comparison with all the other websites out there,” said Kalb.

Kalb believes that next semester will go a lot smoother and many of these issues will be worked out by then.

“That’s not going to happen next semester, we’ll have owned the bookstore for a longer period of time so those textbooks that may be older or print-on-demand can be available here for students,” said Kalb.




New entrepreneurial center to give students taste of “real world”

By Maddie Matos, A&E Editor

The city of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan University have collaborated on a new project, that benefits both the campus and community.

Inside the center will host both businesses and educational resources. It is designed for students to gain access to the corporate world and prepare them for jobs.

“The entrepreneurial center will enhance and transcend a traditional liberal arts education and be a model for creating an interdisciplinary culture that brings together students, work centers, and community to improve local economic, cultural and social enterprises,” Woltemade Center Administrative Director, Megan Ellis said.

The center was announced to students in an email sent on January 22 from President Rock Jones. The email outlined the idea for having the center and what it will do for campus.

The center was approved by the Delaware City Council on January 22. The council will invest $250,000 in the next five years. OWU is also talking with Delaware County staff members as well to see if they are interested in the project.

The idea for the center came from a group of faculty, who wanted to further enhance the connection between campus and OWU. People involved in the project include Ellis, Sean Hughs, Economic Development for the City, Bob Lamb, Economic Development for the County and Assistant Professor of Economics Dan Charna.

The committee was inspired by other campuses connecting with their cities but have made the center their own.

“There are other innovation labs and entrepreneurial spaces on other campus and we did a lot of homework to learn best practices and examples we could learn from,” Ellis said. “This is unique in that we’re the first partnership including a small liberal arts institution and the surrounding city and county.”

The center will be at 70 S. Sandusky Street, where the current Stewart Annex is. The location allows easy access for both students and business to collaborate, a goal for this center.

“The center will add important educational opportunity for students at OWU, and it will add important economic benefit for Delaware as new companies are formed and ultimate as new jobs are brought to our community,” Jones said.

What businesses will be housed in the center are undetermined but will provide opportunity for OWU students to connect with the community of Delaware.


Flu-like symptoms spreading throughout campus

By Reilly WrightManaging Editor

Influenza and influenza-like illnesses are storming campus this semester with several cases now confirmed, the Ohio Wesleyan University Student Health Center reported.

Marsha Tilden, director of student health services, says the OWU Student Health Center staff has seen 30 students with influenza or an influenza-like illness as of Monday morning.

“The majority of students that we are seeing for illness have influenza,” Tilden said. “We have seen a few students with a stomach flu and upper respiratory infections.”

Symptoms for flu-like illnesses include body aches, fever, coughing and sore throat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports symptoms for the common cold are more gradual and moderate compared to the flu’s abrupt onset that can last up to two weeks.

“[I feel] like a gross, sniffly, drippy-nosed child,” said Larisa Keating, a junior whose flu-like symptoms began Sunday.

According to the CDC, current nationwide hospitalization rates for the flu are some of the highest in years with numbers still rising.

“The worst semester that I can recall was during the [2009] H1N1 outbreak,” Tilden said. “This semester ranks high with the number of students we have seen.”

Known as a complex and difficult illness to predict, multiple influenza viruses are currently widespread including influenza B and influenza A H1N1 and H3N2. This season, influenza A H3N2 is fiercely dominating.

The Delaware General Health District notes 96 percent of flu-related patients in Delaware county have influenza A while influenza B and unknown types compose the following 4 percent. This H3N2 strain typically leads to higher flu activity because it more severely affects the elderly and the young while naturally mutating, causing flu vaccines to be less effective.

Although researchers in Canada had reported this season’s flu vaccine to be around 10 to 20 percent effective against the widespread H3N2 strain, there is no confirmed vaccine effectiveness report for the U.S.. Despite this, CDC officials continue to recommend the vaccine for anyone over 6 months old to combat other flu viruses and reduce symptom severity.

The Ohio Department of Health reports over 8,600 influenza-related hospitalizations statewide since Oct. 1, 2017 with 97 of those coming from parts of Delaware County according to the Delaware General Health District.

Tilden says the OWU Student Health Center has received no word of student hospitalizations or deaths this flu season.

On average, flu seasons last between 11 to 20 weeks, beginning as early as October and peaking between December and March. This leaves several predicted weeks ahead with increased flu activity.

“No classroom seems to ever have kleenex so if you’re going to class, stock up,” Keating said. “Avoid other sick people because you probably have the immune system of a child at this moment and become a couch potato for the next few days.”

Students with flu symptoms are recommended to contact the Student Health Center at (740) 368-3160 or visit their office in Stuyvesant Hall between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. By appointment, flu vaccinations are still offered for both students and employees. The Delaware General Health District at 3 W. Winter St., also offers vaccinations and health tips.

To avoid getting the virus, the Student Health Center recommends getting the flu shot, thoroughly washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and sanitize commonly used surfaces. If you feel ill, they recommend simply staying home until you are fever free for 24 hours without using medication.

The CDC recommends taking antiviral drugs as soon as possible for those becoming severely ill or highly vulnerable to its symptoms.



Financial deficit imminent for 2018-19 academic year

By Reilly Wright, Photo Editor 

Current financial projections for the 2018-19 Ohio Wesleyan school year predict a deficit of $3 million that will cause expenses to be decreased or revenue to be increased.

From 2016-17 and 2017-18, OWU’s Board of Trustees approved endowment draws of more than $3 million to balance the projected budgets, but they expect the estimated $6.5 million total drawn to be paid back.

The fiscal 2018-19 does not anticipate an endowment draw. Thus, the current budget for the coming year currently forecasts a deficit of approximately $3 million. Lauri Strimkovsky, the vice president for finance and administration and treasurer, leads the budget projection and said balanced budget comes to either increasing the revenue or reducing expenses.

“Vice President Strimkovsky is leading us in a review of various options available to increase revenue and reduce expenses in order to achieve a balanced budget,” President Rock Jones said. “This will be an ongoing process over the coming weeks and months.”

Strimkovsky’s assessments show an expected focus on expenses including outsourced services and high-spending areas, including investigating health care for potential savings. Compensation-related elements such as salary and benefits will be examined while non-compensation expenditures such as major contracts and spending patterns will be reviewed.

Strimkovsky said this process of expenditure evaluations will involve large investigations as well as collaboration across OWU in coming months. While income items will be reviewed, such as accuracy in financial aid projections and growth in summer school enrollment, so will outcome items with housekeeping, Anthem Blue Cross and food services.

“This will not be a painless process as budgets at the individual department level will have to be reduced,” Strimkovsky said.

Strimkovsky said this budget process is in the beginning stages and a projected deficit so early is not unusual, but this large of a gap should be addressed now.

“Good stewardship and a commitment to financial sustainability dictate that we have a balanced budget; no institution can sustain deficit budgets over the long term,” Strimkovsky said.

The largest area for compensation is health insurance with an Insurance Committee currently looking into various plans that still provide good service with lower costs. The OWU health plan is self-funded up to $110,000 with no effort to develop a profit with the process.

Strimkovsky said Ohio Wesleyan’s budget is often observed by other institutions, banks and the U.S. Department of Education as a measure for financial health. Donors, students and parents use a balanced budget to determine their decisions in contributing to OWU.

 “Our goal will be to implement reductions, while maintaining the high quality education and student life that is expected by our students and their families,” Strimkovsky said. “Again, this won’t be easy, but I am certain that, through collaboration, we can develop a realistic balanced budget.”

Vice president of enrollment leaves OWU

By Gopika Nair, Editor-in-Chief 

Susan Dileno, vice president of enrollment, has left Ohio Wesleyan to “pursue other opportunities,” according to an email by President Rock Jones.

In an email sent to OWU faculty and staff on Nov. 30, Jones announced the transition in Enrollment. Dileno joined OWU more than three years ago and has initiated several new efforts in Enrollment, according to Jones’ email.

The Offices of Admission and Financial Aid staff are continuing to work toward yielding a strong class in the fall of 2018, Jones said in an interview.

Applications for admission have increased more than 9 percent in the past year and international student applications have increased by more than 47 percent.

“The energy and commitment among the admission staff is very high, and I am confident that the transition in enrollment leadership will not detract from this year’s admission results,” Jones said.

The percentage increases evident across recent applications can be attributed to the efforts of the admissions staff, support of faculty and staff across campus, and the new majors and programs that have been implemented at OWU as part of 2,020 by 2020 initiative, Jones said.

“The goal for the fall of 2018 is to enroll 543 new students, including 475 first-year domestic students, 35 international students and 29 transfer students,” Jones said.

The search for Dileno’s replacement will begin immediately. Until a permanent replacement is appointment, Dwayne Todd, vice president for student engagement and success, will oversee enrollment.

“During his tenure at Columbus College of Art and Design, Dwayne filled a similar interim role for nine months, and his interim leadership in enrollment was referenced prominently and with deep appreciation by references during the search that led to his appointment as VP for Student Engagement and Success,” Jones said in his email.

Todd said most of the work in “encouraging applications” was completed during this semester and that he will shift his attention to making admission decisions and persuading prospective students to commit to OWU.

“My focus during this interim period of leadership is on supporting the Enrollment team, providing some fresh eyes on our yield efforts, establishing stronger connections between efforts to both recruit and retain students, and of course, meeting our goals for our incoming class,” Todd said.

Jones added that he anticipates a new vice president for enrollment will be appointed by late spring or early summer in 2018.

A search on Glassdoor, a website that announces job openings, revealed that an opening for a new vice president for enrollment has not been posted when last checked on Dec. 5.

Following Jones’ announcement about Dileno’s departure from OWU, several faculty members requested a special meeting in December to discuss the state of Admissions, said Tom Wolber, associate professor of modern foreign languages.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday at noon, Jones said.

Anderson, chair of the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid and Lauri Strimkovksy, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer did not respond to requests for interviews.

Note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

WCSA 2018-19 leaders elected

By Spencer Pauley, Copy Editor 

After a close election race, Ohio Wesleyan will have its first black female student body president: Cara Harris.

Harris and vice president-elect Peyton Hardesty said they are ready to start the next semester with more emphasis on student involvement.

“We really want to allow students to vote on the weekly specials for Ham-Will,” Harris said.

The reason for this being that dining service is a primary concern for students at OWU. By allowing students to have more say on the food they’re being offered, it may help improve the student satisfaction with dining services.

Harris and Hardesty said they want to see more sustainability with efforts to make OWU more environmentally-friendly. Harris said she thinks one good way to do that is by taking a few days per week to only use green containers at Ham-Will.

“I think only 10 percent of the containers that we have purchased through WCSA are in rotation, and those are really low numbers,” Harris said. “So I think that if people are forced to use them, then they could see how easy it is to turn them in and get their points back.”

The exact number of days in which the green containers would be the only option are possibly two to three a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Besides Ham-Will dining changes being considered, Hardesty said they want to see less trash being created through the cafe options.

According to Hardesty, the average college student gets two to four coffee drinks a day, and most of the time, they’re throwing the material away afterward. One problem that is getting in the way of allowing students to use reusable coffee mugs is the Chartwells staff itself.

“I’ve had multiple encounters with Chartwells employees where they’re saying that it’s a health concern for using our own mugs because it might be dirty,” Hardesty said.

So the solution Hardesty said they are considering is either better communication with dining services next semester to allow students to use reusable mugs or encourage the university to invest in reusable coffee cups, similar to the green containers in Ham-Will.

Harris and Hardesty are preparing to change how WCSA meetings are run as well. Instead of having one legislative day per month, Harris is proposing having two legislative days a month and another two days for reports and brainstorming for the whole senate.

“I feel like you don’t get to know everybody in full senate, you only get to know your committee members because you are the ones meeting weekly and biweekly,” Harris said.

Additionally, Hardesty said they believe that new members of WCSA might not understand the language used in the meetings so the messages are not received by everyone.

To fix this problem, Hardesty wants to dedicate time to educate members on the language being used.

“I feel that if we can incorporate learning how to do something internally like learn how to draft a bill for 10 minutes, then now there’s no more excuses for offering ideas,” Harris said.

By allowing time dedicated to learning how to effectively be a part of WCSA, Harris and Hardesty said they hope to see more members bring their ideas to meetings for discussions. With Harris and Hardesty winning the election, expect to see more student involvement to be considered.

Note: The print and digital version of this article used incorrect pronouns for Peyton Hardesty. This version of the article has been updated to correct the mistake.