WSU Council on Climate and Safety Formed, First Meeting Today

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University has formed a 31-member council on university climate and safety. The council will address issues of intolerance, racism, violence, safety and other related campus issues.

Council members include students, faculty and staff. The members were chosen from a list of some 250 individuals who were nominated by the university community. An ad-hoc nominating committee then narrowed down the choices to include 20 students, plus 10 faculty and staff members.

Milton Lang, director of recruitment and retention for the College of Education, is chair of the council. “We plan to get to work as soon as possible,” said Lang. “President Rawlins has empowered this council to develop a realistic and workable plan that addresses climate and safety issues at WSU.”

The council includes a diverse group of individuals and perspectives, said Lang. “We were careful to include persons who represent various backgrounds, ethnic groups, sexual orientations and various organizations throughout the campus community. This appears be a very dynamic group, with a lot of high-quality people who have a great deal of passion and commitment to improving the climate here at WSU.”

President Lane Rawlins appointed Lang to head the council after a fight on Greek Row left an African American student injured. Minority students on campus raised questions about safety and climate on the Pullman campus.

The council will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, Oct 10. The group will develop immediate strategies for creating an action plan. Members will also work on articulating the council’s short- and long-term goals.

Although there were a number of nominations from other WSU campuses, the council will initially focus on issues at Pullman. Similar councils may be formed at the WSU branch campuses if students and faculty deem it necessary. Lang says the council is open to suggestions from the larger WSU community and branch campuses.

The council includes: student members Carlos Adams, Anita Afzali, Ellie-Ann Baldwin, Brenda Betancourt, Wesley Bydan, Miya Cheng, Carlito DeJesus, Ben Dow, Robert Easterly, Kristin Ebey, Jen Estroff, Fiona Glade, Rahwa Habte, Rachel Hobart, Azfar Hussain, Jennifer Mata, Erika Morey, Tony Tanhueco, Jill Thomas and Andrea Weathersby.

Staff and faculty members include: Manuel Acevedo, Barbara Aston, Alice Coil, Glenn Ford, Shelli Fowler, Jeff Guillory, Licila Loera, Joseph Oliver, Leo Pangelinan, Gail Sterns and Victor Villanueva.

WSU community members with comments or suggestions for the council are encouraged to contact Lang at 509/335-3995,, or by dropping by his office in the Student Advising and Learning Center, Lighty 206H.