Why are you seeking this position?
I’ve always had a passion for public service and because of that I’ve developed the experience that I believe will help make the changes that students want to see at Western and on campus.
By serving various university and Associated Students committees, I’ve built relationships with faculty and have gotten an in-depth understanding of how both the AS and the university make their decisions and I think this will be helpful in acting as liaison in making the changes that require AS and faculty approval.
What do you think is the role of the VP for Academic Affairs?
The main role for the Vice President of Academic Affairs is to be a liaison between the Associated Students and the administration and faculty of the university, but I see it as more than just that because this position recruits for more committees than any other positions on the board.
I see it more as not just a liaison, but a position that has to reach out to every student individually so that their opinions can be heard and considered at the AS and university level because there’s a lot of committees that require students to actually be involved, but they aren’t full of students who are going to the committee meetings.
What is one issue affecting students that you would like to focus on or work on next year?
The main issue I want to work on is increasing academic advising at Western. Currently the ratio of general advisors to students is 700 to one, which is twice the national average and is not effective at all.
I’ve heard lots of stories of students who set an appointment to get advising before they plan their schedule out and they have to wait three weeks before they can actually get a spot or they’re a senior and they still haven’t declared a major, which is not only ineffective but it means that students can’t graduate on time and at the lowest expense which affects everyone because people should be able to go on to their professional careers as soon as possible.
I believe to fix this we need to go not just to the administration, but to the state so that the administration can increase academic advising while not taking away from other vital student services.
My name is Patrick Eckroth and I am running to serve you as next year’s AS VP for Academic Affairs. This position requires someone who is experienced with the issues and the processes and structure of the AS and the university.
In my time at Western, I have served on several of the committees that make up the Academic Affairs job description; including the Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Student Technology Fee Committee. With this direct experience, I hope to provide a smooth transition for this position so I can immediately begin working to make beneficial changes for the students of Western.
I plan to utilize this experience and my experience with the Washington Student Association, Western Votes, the Legislative Affairs Council, and the Representation and Engagement Programs to work on increasing academic advising, reforming Western’s General Education, and ensuring that student input is heard and actually considered.