ASW Senate passed a resolution supporting the creation of a women’s club soccer team at Westminster College during their monthly meeting Nov. 4.
Through this resolution, senators said they hope to create an environment with equal opportunity for everyone.
“We as ASW aim to create environments and opportunities that promote equitable treatment and empowerment of all individuals,” said Aaron Smith, co-author of the resolution. “We will strive to build an equity-minded college where everyone feels welcomed. This resolution acts as a step forward in the completion of this goal.”
While there isn’t a supported women’s team, there is a men’s club soccer team that has adequate funds and coaching. This is a recognizable disparity, Smith said.
“A negligible amount of college resources have been allocated for the creation of a women’s soccer club team that is funded at the same level as the men’s soccer club team,” Smith said.
The legislation is responding to a three-year effort by Westminster senior Katie Saad to create a women’s club soccer team that is adequately funded by the school. However, she didn’t receive support and took on the tasks of coaching, scheduling and providing equipment for the team all on her own.
“These are not mere observations I have made but rather a disparity I recognized during my first year, which has affected me and every other woman engaged in soccer culture here at Westminster personally,” Saad wrote in an article to The Forum.
According to Smith, a senior serving on ASW Senate, he is pushing for this resolution because of the student interest in the issue. Aside from 140 signatures on a signed petition, Smith said students have personally come up to him asking for help.
“Students actually come out and say, ‘Hey can you support me on this?’” Smith said. “I believe it’s part of ASW Senate that we actually support students when they go out of their way to ask for support.”
Through this resolution, Senate is calling for future actions of providing a coach who can schedule games, plan practices and arrange transportation. It also calls for a secure field, equipment, gear and advertising through the athletic department.
While the Senate approved this resolution, change will not be immediate. When a campus-wide issue is proposed, the Senate doesn’t have the power to enact the resolution into legislation.
However, when a resolution like this is passed, it shows student interest in the issue. The Senate can then use its power to advocate for the resolution to Westminster’s administration who can decide whether or not to implement it into an official policy.
The issue is something that some members of the administration are already working on, said Katherine Thomas, Title IX Coordinator at Westminster, who was at the meeting. As of right now, it’s just figuring out what the next steps are.
“This is something we need to take care of,” Thomas said. “As an institution, we need to figure this one out because it’s not okay the way it is right now.”