My name is Christina Xiao and I am a senior studying Informatics with a minor in Geography. I’m from Seattle, Washington and went to Garfield High School (Go Bulldogs!). The President’s job has a lot of different moving parts and responsibilities but they can be mainly broken down into three areas: 1) serve as the CEO of the Association (ASUW) 2) oversee all local, state, and national student lobbying efforts 3) Facilitate on campus collaboration between students, faculty, and administration. Within these broad categories, each President pursues goals they feel align with the needs of student body for the year.
Over the summer we laid the groundwork for our legislative efforts in the state legislature for the 2015 session. The University of Washington gets a proportion of its funding from the Washington State Legislature since it is a public University. Over the past few years we have seen an unfortunate decline in the amount of state funding provided–leading to increases in tuition. Over the summer we met with several local legislators promoting three main themes: in addition to lower income students, middle class students are also greatly struggling to afford a college education; levels of student debt are too high; and student affordability should be centered around a student’s ability to work their way through school. Currently, a student would have to work 54 hours a week at Washington State minimum wage to afford the full cost of attendance here at the UW. This year is set to be especially challenging and funding for higher education in general could be highly constricted.
We need your help more than ever! This is an issue that impacts all of us and there are several ways to contribute. You can volunteer your time with the ASUW Office of Government Relations who will be leading the community and student outreach effort. You can attend ASUW events around legislative advocacy; we will be inviting legislators to campus at various times throughout the year to hear from you. Student stories are our most powerful tool in legislative advocacy so please share your story with us, with your local legislators, and with the community members around you. If you have additional questions or want to know more, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!