ASEWU President Dante Tyler settles into new role


Courtesy of EWU website

EWU senior and ASEWU President Dante Tyler speaks at an ASEWU event.

By Jeremy Burnham, Managing Editor

With the first two weeks of school finished, many students are settling into their new classes. One such student is senior Dante Tyler. However, new classes aren’t the only thing Tyler is adjusting to. He is also entering his final year as a thrower on the EWU track and field team and is starting a new job as ASEWU president.

Tyler almost didn’t attend EWU, but a phone call changed his mind.

“I was about to go to the University of Washington,” Tyler said. “I was really close to going there… But then I got a call from [EWU track and field throwing coach] Marcia Mecklenburg and she asked me to be on the track and field team here.”

After discussing his options with his father, he decided to come to EWU.

“It all aligned on that day,” Tyler said. “I remember getting on campus and thinking we have such a great community. It seemed way friendlier [than UW].”

Tyler was elected ASEWU president in May. Unlike his predecessor Gaige Basich, and his opponent Kennedy Bailey, Tyler was not involved in Greek Life at EWU before running for office, nor did he have any prior ASEWU experience.

“Dante may find the job challenging due to his lack of ASEWU experience,” Basich told The Easterner in May. “But he has a lot of energy, he got out the vote and he knows what he’s getting into.”

While Tyler has no student-government experience at college, he spent three and a half years on Richland High School’s ASB, including a year as its president. He also spent his junior year working for EWU Residence Life as its first multicultural coach.

“It’s a new position created last year,” Tyler said of the multicultural coach job. “It was the same basic concept [as a residence hall academic coach] except I was in all seven residence halls […] I focused on creating programs that weren’t going to shame anybody about privilege, but would talk to people about privilege. I think one of the best programs I did was ‘Privilege Pie.’ People would fill out how much privilege they had based on different categories like race or economics. Some people were surprised to see ability. They never thought of how mental or physical ability could be a privilege or dis-privilege that they have.”

Tyler said he loved his work for residence life, but decided to leave after a year to run for president.

“I promised myself in my freshman year that I was going to run for ASEWU president,” Tyler said. “It’s something I love, I love student government. “

Tyler’s platform promoted unity and team spirit. He plans on starting an internet TV broadcast for the student government to communicate with the student body, and he’s looking for other ways for ASEWU to be more visible and accessible to students.

“I would say the biggest struggle is that everyone knew who the ASB was in high school, but here at college, there are so many people that not everybody knows who we are, and that needs to change,” Tyler said. “I think it’s important that students to know who I am. They need to know that they can come up to me and talk to me and say ‘ I really don’t like what’s going on,’ or ‘I really do like what student government is doing. ’”

Tyler says he plans to pursue a career in politics after graduation.

“I want to be one of the people who advocates for the people who don’t get lucky like I did,” Tyler said. “I was lucky enough to have mentors who pushed me and to have the education that I have, and even the financial aid that I receive. Some people don’t have the chance to get to where I am, so I really want to help advocate for those people.”

Tyler is scheduled to graduate in June with a double major in political science and communications.