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ASI Senate focuses on mental health and wellness at Wednesday’s meeting

Associated Students Inc. discussed different ways to wellness resources on campus with a strong focus on mental health advocacy at Wednesday’s Senate meeting.

“When the school year rolls around, busier folks tend to prioritize their schoolwork as opposed to their own health,” ASI Vice President Leen Almahdi said. “We just wanted to make sure that we remind folks that we have these resources like the rec center and Beach Balance.”

Almahdi noted the importance of both mind and body wellness and drew focus to mental health during the meeting. The school has Counseling and Psychological Services that aids students with personal challenges.

“We want to look into trying to get the resources from CAPS to be used for more students,” Sen. Citlalli Ortiz said. “I know that sometimes when students try to reach out to CAPS and get in line to receive counseling, the [wait] time is really long. They’re waiting for a month before they can even get an appointment so we’re trying to expand our resources and make alternatives to CAPS.”

The meeting opened with a speech from Didactic Program in Dietetics Director Rachel Blaine, who brought the meeting focus toward a focus on a healthy way of living. 

“Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming,” Blaine said.

The meeting included a presentation from Chris Huebner, interim assistant director for the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Huebner emphasized the SRWC’s goal of bringing together disabled and non-disabled people together for a barrier-free environment. 

The SRWC’s inclusive recreational programs include accessible equipment and building features.

The presentation showcased numerous fitness opportunities available to students, including intramurals, special events and rock climbing that he said had more climbing route per square foot than any other California State University. 

Last week, ASI motioned to talk to 100 different classes in 100 days to increase senate transparency. This week, ASI passed the motion and will begin speaking to classes on Sept. 12.

“A continual issue we have is folks not knowing what ASI does, who we are, why we do what we do or what we even do,” Almahdi said. “This is so people know what we’re doing and that we can advocate on their behalf; we’re not just a club. We do policy and we can help you if there’s an issue with the facilities, we can do that,” Almahdi said.

The next ASI Senate meeting will be held Sept. 18 at 3:30 p.m. in USU 234.

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