Executive board members of the Associated Students of the University of Washington Tacoma — UW Tacoma’s student government — have laid out their plans and goals for the 2019–2020 school year. Among these goals include an expansion of food options on the UWT campus, increase of resources for students and more ways to create and retain student interactivity on campus.
ASUWT President Vincent Da — who leads the executive board — discussed some of his biggest goals for the year. One of Da’s current initiatives include bringing food trucks onto campus as an additional option for students to buy food. The hope is that these food trucks will provide more food choices for students to purchase and to diversify the types of food which can be found around campus.
“As ASUWT President, you can influence a lot of positive change on campus than the jobs you are currently holding,” said Da, who previously worked for the Center for Equity and Inclusion’s Student Pantry, as a Pack Advisor and as the senator for undeclared students. “I was passionate about working on food insecurity and accessibility while in the Pantry, and that was my main platform for campaigning.”
Some of Da’s other current initiatives include creating a bimonthly meeting of Registered Student Organizations to help promote campus interactivity, a plan to increase safety around campus crosswalks and more follow-up and support for students who are sophomores. Additionally, Da is continuing cooperation with Koz Apartments and the Tacoma Housing Authority to combat housing insecurity, something which former ASUWT president, Armen Papyan, helped to facilitate.
Other members of the board also have plans they wish to see completed by the end of the year. One goal for Laurel Hicks, ASUWT’s director of university affairs, wants to see is an increase in graduate student participation, especially within student government.
“I will also seek to increase graduate student representation in student government and, ultimately, their voice in university conversations,” Hicks said.
Another plan which Hicks discussed was the need to implement “multiple levels of bathroom equality” around UWT. She stated that this would entail the implementation of sanitary napkin wall disposals, an increase of free sanitation products in all restrooms, the addition of running water for lactation rooms and add changing tables in men’s restrooms.
“Part of the appeal of ASUWT is to work with the campus to make it a place where people will want to spend time outside of class and expand their voices just like I did for mine,” said Hicks.
For Director of Outreach Margarita Daisy Gonzalez, increasing student involvement with campus activities is one of her biggest goals. Gonzalez is responsible for promoting student government, organizing event materials and relaying students’ voices back to the board.
“This quarter ASUWT is doing Project Husky, which is an event that will be focused on getting students to register to vote in Washington State.”-Margarita Daisy Gonzalez
“One of my responsibilities is to voice student concerns to the team and this is done by Town Halls,” Gonzalez said. “This quarter ASUWT is doing Project Husky, which is an event that will be focused on getting students to register to vote in Washington state. This will also serve as an opportunity for students to meet the ASUWT board and senate representatives; we will be there to talk to them as well as hear them out with concerns [that] they may have about UWT.”
Gonzalez also talked about how both ASUWT and UWT could improve on communicating with the student body.
“Communication is a key factor that we need to address,” Gonzalez said. “Finding ways to better reach our broad population of students. Social media is a great platform, but not everyone uses it or has access to it. I will work on ways to get information across to more students. This is something I will be working on planning with the multimedia specialist, which is soon to be hired.”
ASUWT meets on a weekly basis on Fridays from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in TPS 110. The Executive Board meets for the first half of the time, with the senate meeting during the other half. These meetings are open to the public. They highly encourage students to attend and voice their opinions and concerns on how UWT, and the surrounding campus, can be improved.
These goals outlined by the Executive Board reflect a common theme of continuing to increase interactivity on campus, as well as define what it means to be a UWT Husky.
“What it means to be a Tacoma Husky is being able to connect with students, faculty and staff on a more personal level, while being integrated in downtown tacoma, where there are many opportunities to explore your interests,” Da said.
Gonzalez reiterated Da’s thoughts and expanded further on the subject.
“Being a Husky means a community of eager learners,” Gonzalez said. “Although we may all be different we share a common goal and purpose that brings us together: we all came to learn and graduate. Being a Husky means that we are not alone in our efforts; Huskies work in packs and help each other on their journeys and keep strong ties to their packs.”