EWU Science Building Bill Awaits Approval
April 13, 2017
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The plan to add a new science building to EWU’s Cheney campus is beginning to come together, as EWU’s proposed bill for funding has passed through the Washington State Senate.
In February, a group of 26 students from EWU traveled to Olympia, Washington with members of the ASEWU for an event called Lobby Day. During this event, students were able to meet with senators and representatives who lobbied for improvements for EWU students.
Haley Risley, ASEWU legislative affairs representative, said even though the proposed funding bill for a new science center has passed through the Senate, it is only a third of the way done. The bill will now be presented to the House of Representatives. If passed, the bill will have to be signed by the governor before it is enacted.
“It’s such a great feeling,” said Risley. “We still have a long way to go, but clearing the first step shows how much the students want this. We have been working on this goal for quite a while.”
The need for a new science center became apparent when an increasing amount of students couldn’t complete basic science courses due to there not being enough classrooms, Risley said.
“EWU has been working on this project for nearly a decade now,” said Risley. “We had STEM students, as well as non-STEM students, who needed to take lab classes but couldn’t due to the limited classrooms and times they were offered.”
The students were the driving force behind getting this proposed funding bill passed the first step. Risley said that prior to Lobby Day, students were asked what improvements they would like to see at EWU.
“We worked on educating the students on the process of the legislature,” said Risley. “Meeting with the representatives was a huge help; students were able to ask their own questions and voice their opinions in person.”
Students wrote testimonies and documented their own personal experiences about why they felt a new science center was needed. These personal stories were shared with the Senate and representatives during Lobby Day.
“The passing of the bill through the Senate tells a lot about the universities character,” said Risley. “It shows unity and what it means to be an EWU Eagle. No student should be left behind; it was nice to feel the support from every student in the school. Non-science students and science students coming together for a common goal shows what can happen when we work together.”
The bill is currently being reviewed by the House of Representatives, and Risley said that she is hopeful that by the end of April she will know more about the bill’s status.