UWT’s student government, Associated Students of the University of Washington Tacoma (ASUWT), is in a transition year, making way for new programs and implementing fresh ideas that represent students in a better way.
Focusing on issues like parking, childcare, and housing, ASUWT hopes to unite with other student organizations to collaborate, making these systems better. One way that ASUWT hopes to implement this strategy in a practical way is through the University Y Student Center.
With the University Y opening up on January 6th, there will be an “open collaboration space” where over 50 clubs will be surrounding ASUWT, cultivating a place where ideas can be heard and exchanged.
“Having an open office like that will be a really big change, but a good change,” said Jocelyn Patterson, President of ASUWT.
According to Patterson, one major problem here on campus is that students really don’t know who ASUWT is and that this year it will be different.
“We have really bad branding and that’s something we are working to fix,” Patterson said.
Aside from better marketing, ASUWT has rewritten their by-laws, as was voted on by UWT students last year. A rough draft will be available for students to voice their opinions on.
Hoping to send out a survey and garner at least 500 student responses, ASUWT also wants to see what students care about, so they can bring it to administration and show them what needs to happen.
“Students are our voices and our bosses and whatever the will of the students, we want to implement that to the best of our ability,” Patterson said.
ASUWT is working on addressing the parking issue that is ever present at the UWT campus. According to Patterson there are 700 parking spots owned and operated by the school but over 4,600 registered students. The limited amount of free parking around campus with the amount of growth makes for an inadequate situation.
“We want to grow consciously,” Patterson said. “We don’t want to fall behind. 700 parking spots, that’s falling behind.”
Childcare is also an issue that ASUWT will be pursing this year, hoping to implement a full-time on campus childcare center for students, staff, and faculty by fall of 2015.
“If permits can go through, funding can go through, and everyone can come to terms to agree on, then it will happen,” Patterson said.
ASUWT will be kicking of the year with a Rock the Vote concert at the Swiss on October 30th. Come late October and early November there will be a temporary drop-box in the middle of Commerce Plaza for students to drop off their Washington State voter ballots.