ASUWT Senate Candidate Forum
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 20:04
The ASUWT Elections Administration Committee held an ASUWT Senate candidate forum on Wednesday, April 18 in Carwein Auditorium, where students could ask questions directed to the candidates in order to let the voting students know where the candidates stand on issues. While there wasn’t a significant turn out for the forum, the issues being discussed still have an effect on students who will be returning to UW Tacoma next year.
The candidates started off the forum by talking about why they’re each running for office.
Senate candidate Tyler Bjork said that if he’s elected to office, his plan of action would be to get more student input into ASUWT and to leave the office to go out to speak with the students so that way he would know what kind of input they have. He would attempt to serve some of his office hours out in high traffic areas on campus. He’d also like to see equal representation with Students and Registered Student Organization leaders at tri-campus events. Bjork said, “As we grow at UW Tacoma, we need to have equal opportunity to discuss with the other campuses what our plans are.”
“Being a senator means understanding the needs and the wants of the student body,” said Akua Asare-Konadu. As an ASUWT senator this year, Senate candidate Akua Asare-Konadu continued to work on the mission of addressing tuition hikes. She’s also collaborated with other members of ASUWT to put on events such as the statewide day of action and ran a postcard campaign. She is currently running a video campaign. Her three primary goals this year are advocating for UWT students, getting more of a student voice on the Board of Regents and in the legislative arena, constantly engaging students about political and university issues that are pertinent to student matters, and coordination of existing RSOs and revival and adoption of an RSO.
Senate candidate Justin Shrier has had a lot of leadership experience with his church. He would give students an open ear, to talk to him about whatever they would need to talk him about. He enjoys serving, and feels that this is an opportunity to serve the students of UW Tacoma. He also likes to have fun. If he becomes a senator, he hopes to put on events that will be fun and make everyone feel welcome to this campus, because he felt welcome when he came here.
Mooney said,” what we need to do going forward, everyone in this room…if all of you could help promote the ASUWT elections and how people vote, have people turn out, have people check that little box and make sure that everybody’s involved that’d be great because that’s what we’re here for, is to serve the students.” Her goal for next year is to see the senate candidate forum packed.
Bjork explained why he wanted to be involved with ASUWT further, “I found this organization to be a very strong resource for students. I’d like to expand that.”
Asare-Konadu said, “I knew nobody. I didn’t really have a network… The thing that sticks out to me is that they [Morgan Favors and Rai Nauman Mumtaz] took me around campus and walked me up to Court 17, and so during that interaction he was telling me that he was the president and that Morgan was the finance chair,” and she asked how she could be involved. Mumtaz suggested applying for a position and going to the ASUWT office every once in a while. Asare-Konadu said, “In that sense those two were instrumental in how I got involved with student government, but at the same time it’s also because I’m very interested in politics and so I saw it as a good segway to get my foot into the door. Asare-Konadu also acknowledged that as a senator she’d be representing 500 students on campus, and expressed that as a senator you need to be able to go out and talk to each of those 500 students. She said that, “At the end of the day if I can’t say that I haven’t talked to those 500 students then I haven’t done my job. My goal is to reach out to those students and figure out how I can best represent them on the senate.”