Nearing the year’s end, ASEWU assesses goals

By Lorna Hartman, Staff Writer

By Lorna Hartman, Staff Reporter and Deanna Hammack for The Easterner

ASEWU, led by then-President Kaleb Hoffer, worked during the summer of 2012 to develop five primary goals for this school year, according to the ASEWU website.

What advancements have been achieved, and what challenges have been met, in carrying out these goals for 2012-2013?

Rebecca Harrell, the former vice president of ASEWU who replaced Hoffer as president partway into the school year, said that ASEWU leaders used a team approach to set goals.

“The list of goals on the ASEWU site was developed by the ASEWU work group in spring 2012 at our ASEWU spring retreat for the incoming ASEWU team,” said Harrell. “We believed that all [five] of our goals were very important to student success.”

According to an Easterner article early this school year, Hoffer and Harrell outlined five broad areas in which ASEWU set goals for the year: exposure, facilities, students, the Riverpoint campus and student representation.

“We have faced roadblocks in attempting to accomplish our goals but have worked together to overcome these roadblocks,” Harrell said.

Ideas for exposure included a table on the campus mall on the first day of school, a free smartphone app to provide students with a calendar of EWU’s events, increased use of social media overall and an EWU student-to-student textbook market site.

Plans for facilities included continued support for the Learning Commons project and longer open hours at the library. ASEWU has followed through on these plans, according to Harrell.

ASEWU’s primary student-related goal for 2012-13 was to support a diverse student body in being more inclusive by having more open forums and being more accessible to students, according to Hoffer in the earlier Easterner article.

ASEWU’s goals for the Riverpoint campus were comprised of making a recreational facility available for Riverpoint students through contracting with a Spokane gym, providing child care and having more events at Riverpoint for EWU students.

“We have been able to work very hard to outreach to our Riverpoint students this year,” said Harrell. “This is largely due to the great relationship our graduate affairs position has made with ASWSU-Spokane. We have also been able to get students to become more engaged on our campus and we have seen this through increased numbers of voter turnout in our Primary Election as well as increased numbers of students coming to sign up for our ASEWU committees.”

In the student representation area, Harrell and ASEWU members continued to fight higher education budget cuts to EWU at the state level by traveling to Olympia to lobby on students’ behalf.

Former Gov. Chris Gregoire, as she prepared to leave office, had proposed freezing the higher education budget, neither cutting it nor increasing it, and making no provision for rising costs. The actual budget adopted by current Gov. Jay Inslee instead assumes maintenance funding, which means that rising costs are covered but that there is no increase in higher education funding.

Harrell said, “What I am most proud of is the number of engaged students we had come out to vote in the primary election. We had the largest recorded amount in ASEWU history and I couldn’t be more proud to represent a student body with so many engaged students. I can’t wait to see the numbers we will see for the general election on May 7.”

To next year’s incoming ASEWU officers, Harrell said, “Remember that 12,000 students are counting on you to make decisions that are best for them. Being elected into these ASEWU positions means that you are the voice of the students and all decisions you make should reflect what is best for them.”

She recommended ASEWU involvement to everyone. “I would love to see our campus continue to be engaged and getting involved in any way possible,” Harrell said.