Arts & Entertainment

From Trivia Night to free tampons, student government provides a wealth of services

ASUWT provides a variety of resources and services and is eager to hear suggestions from students.

Ever wonder who pays for those free tampons in the bathrooms? What about those security officers who walk around campus keeping you safe? Have fun at that club campus event at the beginning of the quarter? 

These are all free resources and programs available to students funded by the Associated Students of the University of Washington Tacoma. The members, a group of highly dedicated students, make up a small but effective group that helps run several initiatives to support students at UWT. To accomplish these initiatives, the ASUWT breaks their collective group of members into select committees which all target specific needs and wants by the student body.  

For instance, the Student Technology Fee Committee oversees accepting all the technological proposals on campus. If a school computer breaks or is stolen, the Student Technology Fee Committee will decide whether to replace the item and provide funds for it. The Campus and Event Fund Committee oversees all student led events created by registered student organizations. Their support helps fund food and drinks for campus events, as well as other expenses. 

In addition to these committees, ASUWT also has a board of directors who work on four different initiative groups: Health & Wellness, Food Equity & Affordability, Student Safety & Security and Outreach. They are operated by student-selected senators who focus on how to address student concerns and needs.  

If students raise a concern, such as a lack of mental health resources available for students, the Health & Wellness group will investigate the concern and address the needs of the student body. They propose ways in which they can combat this lack of support and create a plan that solves the issue. For example, last quarter, students raised concerns for the lack of free feminine products in campus bathrooms. The Health & Wellness initiative group heard their concern and was able to allocate enough resources so that free feminine hygiene products are regularly stocked up in campus bathrooms.  

ASUWT Health & Wellness Initiative students display some of their work on a project. | Photo by Yolanda Escribano

Yolanda Escribano is the Director of Outreach at ASUWT and helps coordinate student-led activities such as RSO events and student programs. She and others in her initiative group are dedicated to creating effective student engagement. The last event they helped put on, Winter Trivia Night, was a three-month long process in collaboration with other RSO’s.  

“It was difficult and there were definitely some bumps in the road,” said Yolanda. “Whenever you work with other clubs you need to be organized and have a plan. We’re there to have fun and create an entertaining night for students but it takes a lot of elbow grease. The ASUWT wants to help students engage with one another. How can we get people who never see each other normally to connect on this one night? Is there something we can do to break the ice and push them out of their comfort zone?” 

During the event, RSO presidents would ask a series of questions about a certain topic. For Music club, one of the questions was, “Who is the best-selling artist of all time?” Students would then have 30 seconds to consult with their group before they decide what the answer is. At the end of each round all the points of each group would be tallied up. Whichever group had the most points won a prize.  

Yolanda hopes that ASUWT can help make more events like this happen. However, the main drive to achieving these is student engagement.  

“It really has to be students who are interested in planning the event,” said Yolanda. “The ASUWT is here to help in whatever way that we can, but it really requires the students to come forward and state an idea they want to make happen. Otherwise, we’re just planning an event we don’t know if anyone has any interest in.” 

Students wanting to put on events on campus like Winter Trivia Night should contact the Campus and Event Fund Committee through the ASUWT website. They will show you what portions of the event can be covered and how you can make the most out of funds that you receive. 

Right now, the ASUWT has several initiatives that they are working on. The Health & Wellness initiative group has received several concerns regarding the use of drugs by people on campus as well as lack of mental and social health resources. They approved an initiative which gives out free NARCAN, a naloxone nasal spray that reverses the effects of opioid overdose, to students struggling with addiction. However, they are still looking for other ways to improve or implement effective resources for students with addition.  

Early in 2023, students raised concerns regarding the lack of emergency preparedness in the event of an active shooter. To address this, the Student Safety & Outreach initiative groups is working on a plan to prepare students on how to react in the event of a campus shooting, including scenarios and procedures of what to do. To stay updated on this initiative, you can visit their initiative webpage, which lists all the current and past initiatives created in 2023.