As the number of students attending UW Tacoma grows every year, the roles of student leaders are becoming increasingly important. For the 2017-2018 school year a total of two candidates — Arwa Dubad and Johnny Chen — have ran for office. During the campaign period, both Associated Students of UW Tacoma presidential candidates have been actively engaged with the student body, sharing their values and the goals that they wish to accomplish.
Chen has been with UW Tacoma for three years. While attending UW Tacoma, he has worked as a writer for The Tacoma Ledger, served as a member of the Elections Administrative Committee and has been ASUWT Director of University Affairs this academic year. He is majoring in law and policy and hopes to work in public office after college.
Chen believes that the student government does not exist for the sake of authority and that it exists in order to serve the interest of the student body — that student government should not just make a promise, but ask students for advice and ideas in order to fulfill that promise.
Chen promises to be a president who listens to the student body, making it so that their voices are heard, which future plans such as organizing a joint effort to better campus parking comprised of the student body, the student government, the staff members and the faculty members.
“Our staff members and faculty members are a valuable asset to our community,” said Chen. “It is my hope that by teaming together, we will be able to better UW Tacoma.”
Another issue Chen hopes to address while president is the YMCA membership costs by allowing students who don’t use the service to opt out.
“It’s senseless how those who don’t use the gym at all must pay as much as those who do use the gym regularly,” said Chen.
As for Chen’s opponent Dubad, she has been incredibly active on campus— helping to plan and coordinate events through the Student Activities Board. Dubad is the current president of the Somali Students Association, an active member of the Black Student Union and the Muslim Student Association. She also sits on two committees: The Race & Equity Initiative Steering Committee and Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion Search Committee.
Dubad promises to work internally with the student government in order to empower the senate. She believes the senate plays a crucial role within ASUWT for they are the direct link between the student government and the students themselves. According to Dubad, many ASUWT senators felt as though they did not have a say this year. By empowering the ASUWT senate, she hopes to also empower the students.
Dubad also want to address the fact that many students are unaware of all the amazing resources that are available to them.
“I was unaware of many of the resources that were available to the students until I worked with SAB,” said Dubad. “It is my goal to make the campus more inclusive by raising awareness about these resources.”
Since students pay for these services, she believes it is important they know what they have access to.
Another concern that Dubad will address is the representation of students in committee meetings by working towards a campus that empowers students while making all campus spaces safe for every student — no matter their age, gender, race or sexual orientation. As the election season comes to an end, current ASUWT President Berkan Koroglu wishes luck to all the candidates running for office.
“Student leaders play a vital role on campus…It is my hope that those who get elected, stay strong and always remember why they chose to run for office — to serve the students,” said Koroglu.