I am writing to you anonymously because I have a concern which must be addressed. That concern is with the so-called “SAB” Student Activities Board. What students are these activities truly for?
Open Mic Night was on May 26 where only 50 students attended. The majority of the students who performed and attended were members of SAB. The other students attending tended to be from one of two other registered student organizations (RSOs): Asian Pacific Islander Student Union and Filipino American Student Association. Those RSOs have a close affiliation with SAB as they share members. The Open Mic event was held at 7:30 p.m. I feel this was a factor in excluding students. There was a lack of consideration for the commuter population at our school. SAB did not consider the students who live in Seattle and other cities besides Tacoma and how this time slot isn’t feasible for them.
Take a second and imagine if Open Mic was during the day…no doubt more students would have attended and there could have been a variety of performers that would have depicted the diversity of our campus. I understand that creating social events for a unique commuter community can be difficult at times, but that does not seem to be SAB’s focus; creating diverse social events does not seem to be on their agenda.
There are many examples that illustrate SAB’s lack of diversity when creating events. As usual, the number of people who attend SAB events is limited. In the SAB constitution there is a mention of diversity and being able to represent all students. It states, “Further attention should be paid to student demographics when planning events (ex: age, discipline, commuter, gender, ethnicity, religion, ability, and so on” (Section iii). This quote is amazing to read, but it is not seen in practice.
Also, let’s not forget their lack of consideration for other organizations and students’ needs. For example, Exam Cram was on May 27 and SAB decided to have their movie night at the exact same time. This negatively impacted attendance at Exam Cram which is an academically beneficial event for all students.
In order for SAB to really represent the diverse student body at the University of Washington Tacoma, they should have a diverse board that has more than one cultural background. One popular perception of SAB among the UW Tacoma student body is that they are a “clique” and that means to me that they only care about members of their organization and/or anyone that is closely affiliated with it. By submitting this letter I hope SAB starts to genuinely care about the student body at UW Tacoma, rather than creating events that only entertain SAB and its crew.