Associated Students of UW Tacoma president Armen Papyan was selected as UW homecoming king Oct. 20 during the UW homecoming football game. Papyan is the first ever UW Tacoma student to be recognized as UW king or queen. The 2018 homecoming court consisted of six students who were deemed to represent the best of Husky spirit.
Candidates of the homecoming court are chosen by a selection committee comprised of members of the UW Alumni Association and volunteers. The committee takes into account the students’ greater impacts, asking questions about their experience and participation on campus, leadership roles, participation in the community and what involvement they expect to have when they become a UW alum.
Papyan explained the process of applying to the homecoming court and how the total of 300 applicants was narrowed down.
“It’s actually an overwhelming process,” Papyan said. “You first have to send in an application. After the application, you have to send in your resume and answer a series of questions.”
Aside from being the current ASUWT president, Papyan has had a history of being involved in politics and staying active in his community. He ran for the Tukwila city council — the youngest to ever do so at the age of 19-years-old — and helped work on school levies and public speaking bonds. He also worked as the election administration chair his sophomore year at UWT and later as the director of legislative affairs in his junior year at UWT.
As ASUWT president, Papyan and the rest of the student government are focusing on issues that students find important, such as childcare, housing and parking. Their goal is to connect with more students in new and effective ways and to address their most pressing issues.
“This year [ASUWT] decided that we won’t be sending too many emails because many students don’t check their email, especially if it’s from the same person,” Papyan said. “What we will be doing instead will be focusing on our social media. We just started our Instagram page and we will be posting more on Facebook. We will also be doing a meet and greet for students to voice their concern.”
Papyan is also encouraging students to advocate for themselves to create a larger, unifying voice that moves beyond what ASUWT can accomplish alone.
“There are a few of us that are always coming to the administration,” Papyan said. “I think that more students should be speaking out. Often it’s just the few of us speaking with the same people all the time, reiterating the same thing. It would be nice for more students to speak out and get involved.”
With involvement in mind, Papyan hopes to create opportunities through his homecoming victory, much like UW Alumni Association board of trustees member Rai Nauman Mumtaz did for Papyan. Mumtaz was the first UWT student to be a part of the UW homecoming court and serves as a mentor for Papyan.
“Nauman helped open the doors for me,” Papyan said. “That’s what I want to do. I want to open more doors for students to get involved and to be recognized for all of the work that they’re doing. Hopefully more students will apply to things like homecoming court and the Husky 100 to be recognized. I know a lot of the students here at UWT are doing great work and that they’re very involved. They should be showing off.”