Starting next quarter, UW Tacoma will have food trucks on campus. Food trucks have been one of the main focuses of this year’s student government, and ASUWT President Vincent Da stated that he is excited that all of the paperwork for bringing food trucks onto campus is done.
“Last spring, one of the things that people wanted was to have better expansion of the Pantry and also other additional food sources here,” Da said. “So, one way I thought about it was food trucks. If you look at other campuses like UW Bothell and UW Seattle, they both have it. And what’s one thing that brings community together? It’s food.”
Food trucks have been brought on campus in the past, but not within recent years. Da, who ran part of his presidential campaign on bringing more food options to campus, said that the final part to incorporating food trucks onto campus is getting student feedback as to what they would like to see around campus. ASUWT’s plan is to send out a survey to the student body that will be open for the next month to gather feedback and decide what preliminary trucks can be brought onto campus.
“It’s fairly straightforward,” Da said. “The only thing is, we need student voice. We want to do as much student outreach as we can narrow down the food trucks.”
Da noted that neither student government nor the administration want to bring food trucks of cuisines which can already be found on Pacific Avenue. Rather, their hope is to increase the diversity of food options for students.
In addition to bringing food trucks on campus, members of ASUWT have several other plans in the works to help improve campus life. One such program is the Husky Closet project. Headed by Milgard School of Business Senator Drew Dunston, Husky Closet looks to provide business clothing to students who might not otherwise have them or be able to afford them.
“The main thing that pushed me to pursue it was some data that Mine [Her] showed me,” Dunston said. “The data highlights how lack of accessibility to clothes directly impacts students’ ability to get jobs. The data shows that students will even avoid interviews because they cannot afford the proper attire.”
Currently, the Milgard School of Business does not have the room to store such items. However, there have been talks with other campus organizations offering their spaces in the meantime, such as the VIBE center located within the Veteran’s Resource Office in TLB 307. The program is expected to open some time next quarter, and has already received their first donation.
Another initiative is enhancing and supporting the sophomore student experience. Da stated that freshmen and seniors are often the center of a lot of support programs, but support for sophomores often drops off during the transition months.
“Our undeclared senators, Seonhwa [Pak] and Sydney [Horen], are working on the sophomore experience,” Da said. “What they plan to do is have focus groups so they can actually address what problems they specifically have. They’re working with the Pack Advisors on that because the Pack Advisors do have direct communications with first year students, transfer students and the student’s from the year before last on their communication list.”
Nursing and Healthcare Senator Tran Dang’s current project is expanding the accessibility of hand sanitizer dispensaries around high volume areas of campus.
Chancellor Mark Pagano and ASUWT will also be working together to host a town hall on Nov. 25 specifically for students to attend. The town hall will focus on the cutbacks current academic departments are facing and why certain classes — which some students need to graduate on time — suddenly became unavailable.
“One of the issues in [Chancellor Pagano] was budget transparency,” Da stated. “Students spoke about how some of their classes were being canceled and they needed that class to actually graduate on time. And the reason these classes were being rescheduled was because of budget issues, but the students weren’t notified until the day of or a week before.”