Monthly Archives: April 2014

Physics and Astronomy Reading Room Re-purposed to Data Sciences Studio

As of June 13, 2014, the Physics and Astronomy Reading Room will be replaced with a new Data Science Studio funded by a $37.8 million grant. You can see the University’s statement about the initiative here, as well as a quick video a I made about it in my latest ’60 seconds at the President’s Desk’:

This change has been met with some significant opposition by students that used the space for studying and its various texts and stacks. These discussions, and responses by administrators, are well summarized in this change.org petition: https://www.change.org/petitions/save-uw-physics-astronomy-library

My intent with this post is to propose a path forward for better student input in decisions like these.

In my view, the standard for student input includes opportunity for ASUW Student Senate, GPSS Senators, and the direct students affected to weigh in during early stages of decisions. On the other hand, we can’t critique the University for inefficiency in administration, as some often do with higher education in general, at the same time that we force them to ask for approval from hundreds of students before every decision that is made. So what’s the balance?

There needs to be an institutionalized and persistent place for administrators to go quickly to students for input on decisions that affect them. ASUW and GPSS exist because we maximize student influence in decisions like this – in the end, we are that persistent mechanism (and we are effective, by the way – last year we prevented program fees for Engineering and Business majors and played a role in the resident undergraduate tuition freeze). But there’s an even better avenue for direct input in decisions relevant to particular academic departments.

We recently created Student Dean’s Advisory Councils in just about every College – we call them College Councils. These allow for direct input to the Dean on decisions.

Because they are new, we are still finding all of the places that they can have influence: new course fees, building proposals, College budgets, academic advising, the list goes on. What I believe will be an effective solution is to engage College Councils with space considerations as well. There are usually 10-14 students from various departments on these councils, as well as an ASUW and GPSS representative. The latter representatives report to ASUW and GPSS leadership with agenda items that are being discussed.

Therefore, if these College Councils are consulted, we can identify concerns early, and students can take charge in informing students that need to know, as opposed to conceding that responsibility to administrators. I believe this will be an effective solution going forward, and in the next meeting between Council Chairs, ASUW, GPSS, and the Provost’s Advisory Committee for Students, I will bring this up as an agenda item.

The replacement of the Physics and Astronomy Reading Room was a sudden announcement to those that cared most about it. It should not be this way; as students, we are now paying upwards of 70% of our cost of education, and our opinion on these issues matters. Many if not all administrators realize this (all the good ones do, anyway), but they are often void of easy channels for communication. That’s why we need to present tangible and practical solutions for communication, and I believe College Councils can serve as a means to that end.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Wrap Up of Winter and on to Spring!

Spring Quarter started off with a very exciting moment that has been 8 years in the making! For the first time ever the Husky Pride Fund awarded two $1,250 scholarships to students attending Exploration Seminars. I was thrilled that we were able to support these students and this project has been huge part of my role this year. I have to send out a huge thank you to the Husky Pride Fund Committee that has worked hard over the past two quarters to make these scholarships a reality. We received 176 applicants for the two spots and had the very difficult task of selecting two finalists.

This number of applicants demonstrated how much students need support to go on Exploration Seminars and have experiences beyond the classroom. I am now working with the Committee to fundraise for the remainder of the year and establish a concrete plan for next year. We will be at Spring Show and Commencement encouraging students to give back to other students. Every dollar counts! I am also working with the Office of Annual Giving and Student Life to consider how ASUW can engage in larger University wide fundraising efforts. I’m very excited about the potential of these partnerships and will update you as more details emerge!

ASUW just wrapped up a donation drive for ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, where we collected various hygiene items. We also worked with ROOTS during Winter Quarter to help them prepare thousands of newsletters for mailing. They are a fantastic organization and we look forward to working with them more in the future. Coming up this quarter our Day of Service will be on May 10th. We are teaming up with the Carlson Center to participate in the U District Community Cleanup. Last year there were over 140 volunteers and we hope to have even more this year! There will be a lot more information about this event coming up, but please contact me if you would like more info.

We’re also gearing up for Spring Show! Coke is a sponsor the event and will also be distributing product day of the show. Keep your eyes peeled for when the line-up is announced. This rain will be gone by May 17th and we can all kick back and enjoy an awesome show on the HUB Lawn.

-Burgess

 

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International Student Fee and Advisory Committee

This quarter, there has been a major shift in ASUW’s opinion regarding the International Student Fee. While support for this $45 a quarter fee passed our Student Senate this year, after the fee was levied there were many international students who didn’t hear about the fee in time to weigh in on the discussion. After an impressive effort from students and RSO’s, the ASUW changed its opinion just before spring break to instead support the removal of the fee, funding the services from other operating funds.

This process made me realize that ASUW, and the University, needs a better way to conduct a dialogue with international students, separate from current governance structures. To that end, I worked with a few administrators to create the International Student Advisory Committee, which will be composed of 13 international students advising four administrators. Applications are currently open at http://tinyurl.com/ASUWISAC . Feel free to contact me at asuwbdua@uw.edu with any questions!  Applications close Monday April 21st.

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Looking Forward & Sustaining the Past

I’m aware that it has been a while since my last update. For that, I sincerely apologize. It is coming to that time where many of ASUW and the general student body are eager to wrap up the school year. Although this is true, there is much work to be done to solidify what has been accomplished this school year. I can post here about all of the roles my position has contributed on campus BUT what I would really enjoy most is sharing with my constituents and the greater student body all of the accomplishments I and my entities have made on campus. Currently, I will be working on several projects such as development with the Legacy Groups @ ECC and OMA/D, as well as the collaborations of the Joint Commission Committees within Programming and advocacy. Before I leave this school year, I am establishing the that the next Director of Diversity Efforts and the next Commission Directors have a clear understanding of the history of the climate of diversity on campus and all that the students of underrepresented communities have accomplished during their time here, because that is our story!!!

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Spring Forward

Happy sunny (hopefully) Spring Quarter!

I hope you all are well and ready for the transition from snow to the sun! I know I am. Winter Quarter wrapped up wonderfully with many innovative, creative, and fun events from SHC’s Everybody Every Body Fashion Show, to an extremely successful RDR/A&E local music showcase, to A&E’s first ever Geek Week. I am so pleased with the creativity of these three entities I liaison to and all their hard work to create events that appeal to a wide range of audiences. Last quarter, my program “You-nique” went off without a hitch, with the help of all the ASUW entities and commissions participating. The goal of the program was to really celebrate yourself, who you are, and what makes you unique.

What’s going on THIS quarter:

Arts & Entertainment: On April 17th at 7pm in Parnassus Cafe in the basement of the Art Building, there will be a local jazz music showcase. The artists performing are Industrial Revelation and Chemical Clocks. A&E is working with Film Club and the Collective to have a video with applied commentary, which will be quite the laugh. They also want to put on a student film festival and are involved with the Hip Hop RSO summit. Lastly, one of our biggest event’s, Spring Show, will be on the HUB lawn on May 17th, so get excited for that!

Rainy Dawg Radio: So far, RDR has put on a successful local grunge/rock n roll music showcase in Parnassus Cafe on April 3rd. This quarter they are working on creating a new logo and redesigning their website. They also want to have more in-studios. Topping off this quarter with their annual Birthday Fest event on May 15th in Sylvan Grove. This program will showcase local and national talent as well as interactive activities for all students and public to enjoy!

Student Health Consortium: For Spring Quarter programming, SHC is partnering with AED, a pre-med RSO, in hosting a pre-med conference, more details to come. Also, they are putting on a Mental Health Week program running from May 12-16 that will showcase 4-5 events revolved around student health.

Currently that’s all I have for you UW, but will keep this updated with events and details to come!

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, ideas for events at asuwbdpg@uw.edu.

All the best,

Kelli Feeley

Director of Programming

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Welcome to Spring Quarter!

Welcome Huskies!

I hope you all had a fantastic Spring Break and were able to catch up on some sleep. Last quarter went by so fast! Here is a summary of what happened last quarter in my position:

1. Husky Night Walk wish Husky Neighborhood Interns: We had a great turn out at our annual Husky Night Walk! We had about 50 students come out and survey the area North of 45th. We have been able to fix 8 light poles so far.

2. Student Safety Survey: We had 784 students fill out the 2014 ASUW Student Safety Survey. We had a lot of great responses and I am currently working with the SPD and UWPD to address these concerns.

3. Presidential Caucus: I met with UGC, NPHC, IFC, Panhellenic and RCSA fairly frequently through out the quarter. We are currently planning for the living forum for ASUW elections and a collaborative event for Spring Quarter!

I accomplished a great deal during Winter Quarter but there is still a great deal planned for Spring Quarter! To continue the relations with RSO’s we made during Fall Quarter at the Husky Leadership Retreat, I am planning a RSO Mixer! The Mixer will take place April 9 from 5:00-7:00 in HUB 332. RSO leaders will be able to meet one another and learn about the various events that are happening during Spring Quarter. Every RSO will have an opportunity to talk about their groups and their events coming up. Remember to bring fliers for your events & food will be provided!

In addition to continuing relations with RSO’s, I am going to be working more heavily with the Seattle Police Department concerning University Way. According to the Safety Survey we conducted, many students had concerns with University Way so we want to combine efforts and make it a safer place for everyone!

Please let me know if you have any questions!

GO PURPLE, BE GOLD!

Shivani Changela

ASUW Director of Community Relations

asuwbdcr@uw.edu

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Looking Back and Looking Forward

Though Winter Quarter normally crawls by, this year I am not sure where it went!  Though things got a little crazy with all of the entity review groups and task forces, everything ended with the passing of a budget that I am incredibly happy with.  Here is a breakdown of last quarter as well as my upcoming projects.

Winter Quarter

I could not be more excited about everything that the entities that I work with have accomplished so far this year.  The Experimental College’s earnings have put them at a net zero status for the first time in years!  Off-Campus Housing Affairs put together a very successful housing fair with some pretty cool give-aways.  The Office of Volunteer Opportunities hosted the first annual Volunteer Banquet to recognize all of the hard work that our 500+ volunteers have put in this year.  The UW Leaders program is now up and in full swing with 17 mentors and 47 leaders, who attended a great retreat. The Bike Shop has continued to be very profitable and put together an excellent budget request to continue its success in to the future.

Outcomes of Review Groups and Task Forces

Off-Campus Housing Affairs Task Force – The decision of this task force was to dissolve OCHA.  Starting next year OCHA as an entity will no longer exist.  Instead we will be working with the Student Activities Office and First Year Programs to continue the production and distribution of the Husky Housing Handbook, identified as a valuable service.

Arts & Entertainment Review Group – Starting next year A&E will be restructured to eliminate the Assistant Director position and re-organize the duties of the Films and Concerts Coordinator.  The office will now have a Director, Outreach Coordinator and 2 Program Coordinators.

Office of Volunteer Opportunities Review Group – Beginning in the fall, the Ambassadors Program Coordinator, who only works fall quarter, will be eliminated and in its place there will be an OVO Assistant Director, who will work all 3 quarters.  Tasks will be better divided between the positions to increase the productivity of the office and allow for a greater focus on volunteer retention.

Experimental College Review Group – This group investigated the feasibility of eliminating or reducing the number of hours that employees working in the summer, based on a recommendation from a consulting group.  The Review Group decided that it was not practical to shut down ExCo in the summer, but did put forward the recommendation to reduce the number of hours that the Director works in the summer.  The recommendation was ultimately voted unfavorably by the Personnel Committee.

Annual Report

This quarter I am working with our Communications Director to put together the ASUW’s best annual report yet!  We want to find a happy medium between easy-to-read, fun, and informational.  The Annual Report is a way for us to share with students, alumni, and administrators what we have accomplished this year for our constituents.

Transition Documents

In the past there have been inconsistent levels of transitioning between outgoing and incoming board members.  This year we are working to help standardize the quality of information that is passed down to ensure that the document can, not only help their immediate successor, but successors down the line as well.  This isn’t a particularly glamorous project, but I am excited to better the historical knowledge of the Association and help future ASUW generations.

Well that is what I have for now.  I will try to update again soon!  I apologize for any spelling errors, my keyboard is a little finicky and I am running late! Also don’t forget that our job applications are now open!

 

Until next time,

Ada Waelder 
Vice President
 

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