School is politics and politics is school. To carry out and represent the students of Western at the school, local, statewide and federal level the nonpartisan Associated Students Representation and Engagements Program (REP) is on the case.
“We coordinate training and placement for AS and university committees, coordinate the AS elections, organize the largest voter registration drive of any public university in Washington, lobby local and state governments about student issues, and more,” said REP Associate Director Graham Marmion in an email.
The REP is divided into several student positions and hosts events that aim to get students civically engaged. Examples of this include student forums, voter registration campaigns and all of the voting events that occur on campus like the AS Board election. The REP was also the mastermind behind the recent County Council Q&A event on Oct. 21.
In January, students will be invited to participate in the AS hosted lobby trip to Olympia where participants can go to the state legislature and campaign for the good of the university.
In a more local light, the REP works with the AS government, and in particular AS Vice President for Government Affairs Kaylee Galloway to help shape the agenda and flow of Associated Students decision making. Discussion bodies like the Student Senate and the various committees set up by the REP serve as the primary role for this activity and help inform the AS Board of Directors of the different sentiments shared by the diverse student body.
But since the REP is just a function of a larger more democratic structure, how would one enter the realm of student politics if they felt they had something meaningful to add?
“Anyone who is interested in working with the REP should join up with our partner organization, Western Votes! This is a nonpartisan organization that works to promote civic engagement amongst students and is our chapter of the Washington Student Association,” said Marmion.
Additionally, students can collaborate with the REP on programs by voting in AS elections or filling out a form provided by the organization’s website.