The Associated Students of Portland State had their committee meeting on November, 12th, 2015. The meeting was attended by: President Dana Ghazi, Vice President David Martinez, Multicultural Affairs Director Kaitlyn Verret, University Affairs Director Trevor Jacobson, Sustainability Affairs Director Alfredo Gonzales, International Affairs Director Yousef Khalfan, Chief of Staff Marcus Sis, Equal Rights Advocacy Director Alina Goncharova, and Student Life Director Crystal Granger.
Multiple topics were covered, including PSU’s plan on divesting from private prisons, and the university’s movement towards intentionally designed endowments.
Gonacharova went over highlights from a Women and Science event that she attended on Wednesday November 11th. The event focused on promoting women within the science and STEM fields, and connecting undergraduate students with graduate students, as a type of mentorship.
This was Khalfan’s first ASPSU meeting as International Affairs Director. Khalfan is originally from Kuwait and moved to Portland in 2013. He holds a strong interest in human rights activism, one reason for him joining ASPSU.
“Divestment is one of the most peaceful and smart strategies to undertake in the sake of oppression,” Khalfan said .
During his time serving as International Affairs Director, he’d like to see the university divest from practices like fossil fuels, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, and from the occupation, also known as the Israeli and Palestinian conflict.
Khalfan wants to bring ideas to ASPSU, and help build a “pipeline” where “the ideas of activists can be reality, at least within their local campuses.”