Elections for the 2018–2019 Associated Students of the University of Washington Tacoma Executive Board and Senate were held between April 30 and May 4. Of the 3,021 current ASUWT members, 454 people voted — a 15.03 percent voter turnout. This is an increase from last year’s 13.85 percent where 396 of the 2,860 registered ASUWT members voted.
The 2018–2019 ASUWT president-elect is Armen Papyan, who is the current ASUWT Director of Legislative Affairs. Papyan received 257 votes compared to his opponent Connor Myers’ 192 votes, for a total difference of 65 votes.
“It is my honor to represent the diverse student body of over 5,000 students while seeing and being part of the growing change at UW Tacoma,” Papyan said. “I’m honored and thankful to all the voters and the support that we have gotten through this campaign.”
This year’s election had two groups of students running together on separate tickets. The first ticket, Collectively Empowered, was led by Papyan. Running under the Collectively Empowered ticket as well were Christie Peralta, April Lai, Araik Papyan, Diana Algomeda, Shooq Alhathelool, Julia Kilcup, Matthew Park and Hanan Gumale.
The second ticket, Husky Voices, was led by Myers — who is currently a senator for the Interdisciplinary School of Arts and Sciences — running for ASUWT president. Running alongside him on the Husky Voices ticket was Naga Palepu and Malik Webster.
In order to be on either the ASUWT Executive Board — which is comprised of the president and the Board of Directors — or the Senate, students must meet certain requirements. They must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA and be in good standing with the University. However, the functions of the Executive Board and the Senate are very different.
The Executive Board’s job, as indicated in the ASUWT Constitution, is to represent the interests and opinions of the student population above all other entities, including the university administration and state and federal government officials. They are also responsible for working with the university and other educational institutions to further the interests of the UWT campus and students.
The Senate represents the academic units of UWT. These include interdisciplinary arts and sciences, nursing and healthcare leadership, social work, information technology, urban studies, education and business, as well as undeclared students. The number of senators from an academic unit is based on the number of students in that area. This means that there are two senators representing both IAS and undeclared students; all other departments only have one senator.
The Senate’s main job is to check the Executive Board. They can compel the Executive Board to take action concerning student matters, and receive and request reports that concern student matters from the Executive Board. The Senate also has the power to create official opinions on behalf of the student body of UWT.
Not every position on the Senate in this year’s election had someone running. Thus, the senator positions for information technology, urban studies, education and the two seats for undeclared students will be determined by write-in candidates. As of now, all votes have been counted for. The ASUWT election administration chair, Shaun Jones Jr., is currently in the process of confirming the nominations with the write-in candidates.
The closest race in the election was for the position of business senator. Julia Kilcup won with 50 votes compared to Katrina Miyamoto’s 39 votes, a difference of 11 votes.
The new Senate and Executive Board will take their positions starting on June 11 — the day of Commencement — and will serve until Commencement 2019. Papyan and the rest of the election winners plan to start working as soon as possible.
“We have heard a number of personal stories and barriers that students face on a daily basis,” said Papyan. “We want to expand our efforts to represent all students. Although our term has not started we have already began planning for next year and scheduling meetings. We want to continue to hear from students and work with the students to build solutions.
2018 – 2019 ASUWT representatives
President: Armen Papyan
University Affairs: Christie Peralta
Student Technology: Shooq Alhathelool
Internal Affairs: Diana Algomeda
Outreach: Matthew Park
Finance: April Lai
Legislative Affairs: Naga Palepu
Business: Julia Kilcup
Healthcare Leadership: Angeline Jimenez
Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences: Maria
Crisostomo & Hanan Gumale
Social Work: Karen Martinez