Big plans, bigger future for Eastern

ASEWU goals set standard for student success from PUB to pride


Contributed by Perkins+Will

The Pence Union Building rendering, portraying the west side entrance facing Pearce residence hall, will be modeled around students and visitor ease of access.

The ASEWU members spent their summer training session brainstorming ideas for the new school year and building bonds with members from the Office of Community Engagement, Eagle Entertainment and Eagle Sound Production.

The goal of this training was working together as student leaders and collaborating on how they, as a team, can help the university.

As a result of the training they came up with three objectives for the year, one for each quarter: remodeling the PUB, extending library hours and inspiring school pride.

Executive Vice President Brendan Hargrave said that instead of pushing multiple ideas all at once, they are going to focus on one project as a group and pursue their individual goals.

For fall quarter, ASEWU will focus on the PUB remodel.

According to the PUB redesign steering committee, the Pence Union Building was built in 1970 with an addition made in 1995.

The committee believes that the PUB has an outdated style in architecture and a complex floor plan.

Included in the new design for the PUB are bigger windows, a larger student lounge and improved dining services. The estimated cost is $30 million and would be paid for by student fees.

If passed, the building is projected to be complete within two years.

In the spring quarter elections, the students voted 546 to 536 in favor of not redesigning the PUB.

Until February, when this year’s vote will take place, the ASEWU plans to educate the students about the project.

They will explain where the money for the project comes from, how it will affect students, what the new features will be and why students should care.

“It’s going to cost us if you want a new building as far as space, accessibility, new computers and new food vending goes,” said ASEWU President Dahir “D.J.” Jigre. “Whatever the case may be, that you need right now, that the PUB does not have, it is already incorporated into the new PUB remodel.”

To get the word out, the ASEWU is partnering with other student leaders from the various organizations at EWU. They will be all over campus, attending various events and handing out fliers, trying to get students involved.

They want students to be the spokespeople.Time line

“If it’s going to be a student building, if it’s going to be a student project, then it should be done through students’ voices,” said Jigre.

Members of the ASEWU will also be working towards their own goals.

In the past, the executive vice president’s role has been focused around the council meetings, but not this year. Hargrave is going to concentrate on helping the other ASEWU members accomplish their goals.

“I want to be someone people can come to for help,” said Hargrave.

Abbey Madison, head of ASEWU student activities, also wants to be someone people can rely on. She said students can always come and talk to her and that she appreciates the feedback.

She is on board for establishing more school pride.

“Too often I hear students say ‘It’s just Eastern,’ as if we are some subpar runner-up,” said Abbey Madison, head of ASEWU student activities. “We may not be a gigantic university, but that’s what makes it such an amazing experience. It’s a big enough campus to offer hundreds of ways to be involved, but small enough to personally know your professors and find your niche easily.”

Madison’s personal goal is to help new and returning students get further involved in the university, going beyond academics.

This year she plans to advocate for clubs and organizations on campus, making sure they have the opportunity to be known and successful.

Jigre and Jorge Garcia, ASEWU diversity outreach representative, share a personal ambition for the year: they are challenging everyone to wear their Eagle gear on a certain day every week.

No official day has been chosen, but they have considered Wednesday because of the shared letter with EWU.

“I feel like as a student body, our students don’t embrace that we’re here,” said Garcia. “For some people it might not have been their first choice, but they’re still paying for tuition.”

The challenge is to show more school pride than Garcia, who boasts that he has a lot of Eastern gear.

“Be prideful,” said Jigre. “Be the person that says ‘You know what? I go to Eastern.’ Wear what you are. You shouldn’t be afraid to be representing your university and taking pride in saying ‘This is the institution that I belong to, and this is where my future success is at.’”