Welcome back to school! As you’re getting settled in and considering how to spend your time this year, I’d like to take this opportunity to make sure you’re aware of the ways you can have your voice heard in student government. ASUW and the UW itself can be confusing to navigate when trying to mobilize on issues you care about – it is my goal to reduce these barriers to student advocacy and make it as simple as possible to have your valuable opinions recognized.
At a time when college students are pulled in a million different directions between class, work, RSOs, friends, research, family and more, we know that not everyone has time to invest in regular involvement with ASUW – and that’s OK. This does not make your opinions or ideas any less valid or important to us and it is imperative to any democratic advocacy organization to have open channels of communication with its constituents – that’s you! ASUW Board of Directors meetings, as well as Senate meetings, are open public forums which means that anyone is welcome to join and voice their opinions.
So maybe you don’t have time to commit to being a Senator and voting at meetings every Tuesday. But hopefully you can find the time to join the conversation when a big issue you feel passionate about comes up. Or perhaps you’ll feel compelled to swing by our office in the HUB when a cool idea for a new campus event strikes. Even just a quick email is an easy but effective way to address a concern of yours.
Too often it is the case that students didn’t chime in on relevant campus issues because they didn’t feel empowered to do so, didn’t have access to the right conversations or nobody asked for their opinion. Consider this your formal invitation to join the conversation, whether it be for a few hours or for a few years. We don’t just want to hear from you, we need to!
Your ASUW Board of Directors meets Thursdays at 4:30 PM in HUB 303. Meeting agendas and documents can be found at bit.ly/asuwboard
The ASUW Student Senate meets Tuesdays from 5-7 in Gowen 301. Legislation can be found at senate.asuw.org
I look forward to working with you!
I am so excited to be your ASUW Director of Policy & Procedures for this year! It’s only the third week of Autumn Quarter but the entire Board has already been working hard (even extending a few weeks back into the summer) to make sure we are hitting the ground running on a lot of our goals and projects.
Here is a bit of an overview of what I’ve done so far:
- Over the summer, I did my first in-depth reading of the ASUW Bylaws and Constitution, and used that to prepare a guide for what the Board should be aware of starting from our first official meeting.
- A number of policies were passed by the Board over the course of this summer, and I played a role in helping to review each of them – including the ASUW Financial Policy, Communications Policy, Employee Evaluation Policy, and Volunteer Policy.
- Created a detailed timeline that outlines important dates for those in my position, and also for the rest of the Board of Directors, to be aware of and reference throughout the year.
- And last but definitely not least, I’ve been planning and preparing for this year’s Judicial Committee and brand new Elections Policies & Procedures Advisory Committee. I am really excited to start meeting and working with these two committees at the end of this month – if you think you may be interested, you can learn more and apply at these links:
– Evelina Vaisvilaite
I have been working on slowly but surely getting the Bylaws up-to-date to match the current operation of the ASUW. This typically involves reading through the Bylaws, finding specific clauses that are frequently ignored, or are unknown, and bringing them to the Board to decide how we want to proceed. Sometimes, it is decided that now that we are aware that we are violating a bylaw, we will change our behavior so we will be in compliance with it. Other times, we look at the bylaw, and realize that it is no longer reasonable.
One recent example of such a case, was the Board discussion involving Board members frequently proxying for each other, and how this in fact was violating our bylaw, stating that only the President could have proxies. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that we would like to see this updated to reflect how the Board really operates, and as Director of Policy and Procedures, as well as the one that initiated this conversation, I was charged with drafting a Board Bill to change our bylaws.
All Board Bills regarding bylaws are numbered 1.##, and it is generally expected that your Board Bill will give at least two reasons explaining the rationale for the change. In the case of the proxy bylaw, the primary arguments were that not being able to have a proxy places deprives the Board of the opportunity to have the full ability to express its opinion at meetings, and that an inability to meet quorum can place an undue burden on committee chairs. So far, we have had six bylaws changes, including the proxy bill (1.05), and you can find all the Board Bills at records.asuw.org
Until next time,
It’s been so exciting these past few weeks, watching all the new ASUW employees start their jobs, and beginning planning for the year with my fellow Board members. Due to of all this transitioning and new energy, it is also an excellent opportunity for me to make sure everyone is on the page, and that we start this year out stronger than ever.
This week, I worked with Desiree (Vice President), and Riley (Finance and Budget Director) to rework the Quarterly Reports that all the entity directors are responsible for completing at the end of each quarter. We all agreed that it is important that Quarterly Reports be a resource for future directors to know what was done with their entity in past years, as well as a way to get a better understanding of how our entities are doing, and how they are working to meet their goals and the overall vision of the Association. We also added an entirely new feature to these reports- a self-reported budget sheet so entities can have more ownership of their own budgets, and the Finance and Budget Committee can get a better sense of how and where budgets are being spent.
I also worked with the Tech department to update our records page (records.asuw.org) so we can continue to be a transparent association. You can now find all Board Minutes, Reports, and Bills under the 1213 (2012-2013) folders on this page.
My final project for the week was facilitating the creation of the all-new board.asuw.org! This project has intrigued me since I got elected, and I am looking forward to being a more transparent and accessible Board so you can understand what we are up to and be assured that we are always working for YOU, even if it is occasionally behind the scenes.
I hope this provides a better insight into who we are, what we are doing, and how we are serving you!
Looking forward to future updates,
We have been hard at work in the Office of Communications to ensure we are building an office that will serve the ASUW and the students to its fullest capacity. We are still doing things like moving in and waiting for equipment to come in the mail, but we have already been working on a lot of great projects for different events. We assisted in making the all campus e-mail and our multi-media coordinator Jeff has been doing a great job attending different events like Fall Fling and the comedy show and capturing great photos. If you haven’t had a chance to see them yet check them out on our Facebook page and tag your friends if you see them in there. We have also created a new way for entities to submit requests for work to get done to make our work flow much more productive!
Some projects we are looking forward too include a fun one regarding social media that we will need your help with, (more details to come…) working on a directory for our different social media pages as well branding our new entities like OVO that don’t have logos yet!
If you ever have any questions don’t hesitate to stop in and say hey, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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