At the Associated Students of UW Tacoma town hall meeting on April 19, ASUWT President Berkan Koroglu announced that becoming a nonprofit student government is one of ASUWT’s biggest goals. The suggestion was first voiced by the previous ASUWT board of directors during the process of leaving the administration in June 2016. Since then, the current administration has been looking into making this change.
There is currently a research committee lead by some of ASUWT’s senators looking into possible ways to ensure a smooth transition in the process of becoming nonprofit.
Johnny Chen, ASUWT Director of University Affairs, says becoming nonprofit would be beneficial for the student government. “The ASUWT can have more freedom to ask for financial support from those who want to support the UW Tacoma,” said Chen.
Chen described that the effort would help decrease the financial gain of the student government itself and gain attention for the university by reason of a nonprofit working to aid the needs of university students.
“This money would be used to help afford various programs that can work for the student body,” said Chen.
Although this action was voiced to benefit the students, there was also some conflict and disadvantages that were pointed out by Koroglu. He stated that “currently there is not a support structure in place at ASUWT,” which makes the institution a little unstable. Without a strong foundation, activities such as fundraising for ASUWT can be tricky.
Koroglu also feared that stepping into the process too early would hurt the student government if mistakes occurred. Koroglu thinks if one of ASUWT’s members makes a mistake, it would be hard to recover.
“If we become nonprofit now I think there [could be potential] errors,” said Koroglu.
After explaining his concern, Koroglu said, “we would first like to see a support system here at ASUWT before we try to become nonprofit.”
The rest of the board agreed and has decided to wait for next year’s ASUWT members to take the first step. It will be up to next year’s ASUWT board of directors to take action and begin the process of becoming nonprofit or dismiss the idea altogether.