Student government starts the new year working on 4 major campus issues

For the start of the new 2018–19 school year, the Associated Students of the University of Washington Tacoma have four major issues they plan to address. ASUWT, whose offices are located in the University Y building, are taking on two important and highly demanded issues: parking and crosswalks across campus. There is also a plan to tackle potential changes to on-campus child care and resources as well as increasing awareness of Student Health Services. ASUWT is also promising to have a better presence on social media along with more transparency with the rest of the student body.

Out of the many proposals ASUWT receives, one recurring suggestion is to change transportation infrastructure around campus. This includes possible alterations to street parking, creating additional crosswalks and changes in university parking zones — such as increased time limits. ASUWT President Armen Papyan explained further on what ASUWT would like to achieve in regards to transportation infrastructure.

“Our number one complaint that we get from the student body is the parking issue,” Papyan said. “So, we are trying to work around going beyond building infrastructure by changing the time schedules to make sure that it works for the class schedules and making sure that students have better access to it..”

ASUWT and UW Tacoma’s Finance and Administration have already met with the city of Tacoma in regards to having additional crosswalks built across major roadways around campus. Once the crosswalks have been finalized, ASUWT plans to press forward with the desired changes to street and campus parking.

Another goal ASUWT hopes to achieve is to make it easier for student parents to raise their children while also succeeding in getting their degree. They plan to do this by further expanding upon child care options on and around campus. Currently, there is only one on-campus child care program. The program is provided through the University Y and is open Monday through Friday 5–8 p.m and Saturday 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Parents who utilize this Child Watch program must stay inside the University Y for the duration they want their children cared for.

Parents must also pay out-of-pocket for the University Y Child Watch program. The price is $8 for one day, but two monthly plans are offered, with one costing $35 and the other $50. In order to help make this option more affordable for student parents, a pilot program was recently created to offer financial assistance. Students looking to receive aid must apply to the grant in order to qualify, and availability of aid is first come, first served.

The University does offer an off-campus day care through a partnership with the Children’s Museum of Tacoma’s program, The Muse. Currently, the program is at maximum capacity and has a waiting list. However, students — as well as faculty and staff — have priority enrollment. The program offers two classes: one for children ages 1 to 3 and the other for children ages 3 to 5.Both of these classes take place Monday through Friday throughout the entire regular school year.

ASUWT is also currently reviewing data on its partnership with CHI Franciscan Health and UW Student Health Services to see what improvements can be made for the betterment of student health. Under the current partnership, students have access to proper medical care for little-to-no cost for services such as physical exams, in-house lab work, taking vitals, vaccines and flu shots.

Some services, like screening for depression or physicals, can only be rendered at St Joseph’s Franciscan Prompt Care, located 8 blocks west of the University Y. Besides St. Joseph, students have access to five Franciscan Prompt Care clinics located in Bonney Lake, Burien, Gig Harbor, Lakewood and Puyallup. You must have your Husky ID card at the time of accessing these resources — Student Healthcare Services recommends you also bring one other form of identification such as your driver’s license or state ID.

Finally, ASUWT is reaffirming its commitment to serving the student body by focusing more of its resources on student outreach. This includes being more active on social media platforms, keeping the new ASUWT website up-to-date with information and sending out reminders for upcoming school events. They plan to share ways for students to get involved on campus and release weekly senate and executive board meeting minutes — which detail what was discussed and decided on during the meeting — in locations that are easier for students to access.

“We want to make sure we are transparent with students,” Papyan said. “We want them to know we are active on social media like Instagram and Facebook — that we are getting our words across to students and that we are hearing from students, and that we have more involvement with students. We want students to get more involved, and for them to come to our office and speak with our members, our senators, with any issues they want addressed.”

Senators for ASUWT are working hand-in-hand with the executive board on the same goals. Julia Kilcup, senator for the Milgard School of Business, added that ASUWT is also looking into more on-campus food options for students and faculty. Additionally, she explained what she believes will be the hardest challenge ASUWT will face and why she is excited for this year’s ASUWT.

“We are looking into food trucks for more on-campus eating options,” Kilcup said. “We have food options on Pacific Avenue, but we want to see more options in play for students, and the executive board is definitely looking into that. Besides the food trucks, we have all of these goals we want to accomplish. Being patient will be the hardest part. It’s a process to get all of this done, but I am excited because this team is dedicated to each other and to their fellow students.”