Molly Ayre-Svingen/AS Elections Coordinator
Can you believe that it is already time to think about Associated Students Board of Directors Spring Elections 2007? I can almost hear you say, “But Molly – it’s still February. There were snowflakes falling on Friday. Isn’t it a bit early for this?” My response to this is, first and foremost, that I may need to rethink my caffeine intake if I think that I can hear rebuttals when I am clearly the only one in the room. Secondly, the Elections 2007 timeline is already on the move, and it waits for no one. Not even for me.
“What is there to vote on this spring?”
You raise a good point, reader. Elections are typically the time when students vote on initiatives and/or referendums, depending on whether or not there happen to be any that year. One thing that you can count on every year at Western, in addition to the generous rainfall, is the opportunity to elect the peers of your choice to represent you and your interests as a student to the Associated Students Board of Directors.
“Are my representatives at the Associated Students Board of Directors really that important? I mean, can they really affect my daily life?”
Not only can they affect your life as a student, but they do affect your life as a student everyday. These seven elected student representatives make choices all the time about how to spend the annual budget. Did you know that there is about $2.6 million dollars in that budget this year?
“That’s a lot of money. Where is that money from, and what is it for?”
I really don’t know all of the ins and outs of that, but I do know that a significant portion comes from you, esteemed reader, and it comes every time that you pay your quarterly bill to Western, in the form of “Service and Activity fees.” It shall come to no surprise to you, then, that this money is for you. It goes towards all sorts of Associated Students resources and programming available and going on all of the time, with you, Western student, as the named beneficiary. For this reason, it follows that you should take an interest in seeing that qualified, able students are elected for these positions.
Speaking of which – might you be a qualified, able student (or know of one) that is up to the job? Well, you should think about running for office, or get that friend with great ideas on how to improve the school to run for office. If this intrigues you, then by all means, check out http://gov.as.wwu.edu/as-elections/, which has loads of information that will get you well on your way this campaign season. After taking a look there, feel free to contact
me with any questions that you may have.
“Hmm…paid jobs, where I can have a say in how to improve the lives of students? Not bad. What are the different positions, and what do they do?”
Granted, overseeing the budget is only one of many things that these folks do. Even if I had all of the space in the AS Review for the rest of the year, I’m sure there still wouldn’t be enough room to completely explain these positions. So, I will proceed to offer you some bite-sized tidbits seized from their job descriptions.
The AS President is the spokesperson of the Board of Directors, and by association, the student body. He or she is present at all sorts of meetings with the big decision makers at Western, and he or she is there to impart the student perspective and advocate students’ best interests.
The majority of the financial management is done by the AS VP for Business & Operations, who also supervises the student employees of the Associated Students.
The AS VP for Academic Affairs is the liaison between students and the Academic Affairs division of Western, serving on and chairing several committees that make decisions about how many GURs students are required to take, for example.
The AS VP for Activities is a liaison between the Associated Students Board of Directors, Associated Students clubs, campus recreation programs and department-related activities.
Campus safety, health and wellness, parking and transportation, housing and dining are in the domain of the AS VP for Campus & Community Affairs.
The AS VP for Diversity focuses on the empowerment, retention and full inclusion of all populations on campus that are underrepresented or of a marginalized nature in society.
Lastly, the AS VP for Legislative Affairs, increases student awareness and involvement in legislative issues and to provide opportunities for students to get involved in the political process.
The bottom line? You, the student, are a vital part of the Associated Students of Western Washington University, and your vote counts. This spring, take some time to think about who you would like to vote for – or think about running for office!
Questions? E-mail or call Molly Ayre-Svingen, the Elections Coordinator, at AS.Elections.Coordinator@wwu.edu or 650-7349.