UWT is rapidly growing; the university plans for 7000 students by 2017. Currently, there are eight senators total for 4500 students, with one senator per 500 students. ASUWT says they do not have enough senators on campus to tend to all students, especially with the rapid growth, but that will all change come next academic school year.
ASUWT is changing their constitution because it is not in compliance with and does not agree with some of the law. PR senator Marae Slyter spoke with me about the changes. One plan is for all departments to have a senator. Currently IAS has the most senators, but soon all departments will, and they will also have a say in choosing their senators as well. “Last year we had to have at least 15 percent vote yes to the proposed constitution and we got 18 percent.” Senator Slyter said in an email. They almost didn’t reach the goal, but the night before the polls, Slyter messaged students on campus about the constitution, educating them and pushing them to vote. She also did over 20 plus class wraps, along with President Jocelyn Patterson, Vice President Tyler Bjork, and Marketing Officer for PR Committee Brian Willard. “With this campus, we need to create an intimate environment, and class wraps are the best way to reach people, and create relationships.” When they woke up the next morning, they had surpassed their goal by 3 percent. “For this campus, do things that take time instead of flyers and advertisements. You have to work hard. If you really want something and are passionate about it, you can make it work,” Slyter said.
This year, each committee has at least one student volunteer on board. Senator Slyter has six volunteers working for her, but they are way more than just volunteers to her. She gives all her volunteers titles, so they can put that on their resumes for future job searches. Slyter is a double major in Law & Policy and Ethics Gender and Labor studies, and also minors in Human Rights. She is very aware of how people should be treated, so she treats them with the utmost respect. “If you treat people like volunteers, they’ll act like volunteers. If you give them entitlement and respect, they’ll return it. I trust people I work with. It’s all about trust,” Slyter said. She gives her committee tasks and duties, and works with them to help build up their skills so they can also get into ASUWT.
ASUWT is also getting a new senator, due to a recent resignation of another. Brian Willard will co-chair with Slyter as PR senators, and will work as equals. Slyter is very excited about working with Willard, saying, “he is extremely great to work with and we have already established a great relationship.
Slyter is hopeful to see how far UWT will go. The new constitution will improve the quality of student engagements, and overall campus structure. She is also very excited for the new Student Y Center to open, because it is the result of many former and current students’ hard work. She emphasized, “You know, you gotta leave a legacy. You have to leave your mark.”