SGA focuses on helping homeless students


Wesleyan’s Student Government Association passed A House Not a Home Bill on Thursday.

SGA Treasurer Lyndsey Bessinger and SGA Education Representative Lizeth Menchaca  presented A House Not a Home bill, which will allow SGA to provide care packages for students in need.

“The care packages will include items like bed sheets, a comforter, pillow, laundry detergent, deodorant, soap, toothpaste and a toothbrush,” Menchaca said.

According to the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children, over 58,000 college student applicants identified themselves as homeless in the academic year of 2012 – 2013.

“In years past, Texas Wesleyan students have been in need of housing and basic necessities,” Menchaca said.

Wesleyan had three students in need on campus last year that were helped by Student Life, Dean of Students, Dennis Hall said.

“If one student is homeless, we should help them. It’s the idea of student life that if we can help them we should and we will continue to in every way,” Hall said.

 This is a powerful message for peers and SGA. The awareness of homeless students is important because these types of things typically happen through referral, Hall said.

In addition to a poster campaign, similar to the street campaign that was done last year, Wesleyan had START, a behavioral intervention team that’s through student life, Hall said.

According to the Wesleyan website “the Student Advocacy and Response Team (StART) provides a proactive, supportive and coordinated approach to situations that might disrupt the safety, security or wellbeing of the Texas Wesleyan University community. StART facilitates timely and personal responses that focus on holistic solutions and success for all community members.”

 “We are raising awareness to staff and faculty right now about helping students who are in crisis, on the edge of crisis, who are disturbed, or who are concerned in various ways,” Hall said.

 Although there isn’t quite evidence to support this yet, programs like START are going to increase the awareness that Student Life is here to help.

 “We are here to help students. That’s not only me, that’s the team in Student Life,” Hall said.

Student life is trying to raise awareness in different ways. The role of SGA of this campus is another way to raise awareness about this kind of issue, Hall said.

 “The interpersonal relationships you have with people is a powerful voice, so don’t under estimate that as an ability to start awareness,” Hall said.

For the Buildings and Grounds Committee, SGA Vice President Zahraa Saheb announced that the interfaith room is completed.

“The interfaith room is completed and it’s on the third floor of the library,” Saheb said.