A Daily Evergreen Q&A: Crouch and Geiger

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Q. What will be your top priority coming into office?

A. The day we step into office we will begin to revolutionize the way that ASWSU interacts with students by putting a top priority in listening to the student voice and matching our agenda to that of the current student wants and needs. Transparency within ASWSU is our highest priority. We want all students, regardless of involvement, to be able to see what our focus is and have no doubts on where their money is being spent. By providing new avenues for students to give direct feedback, we hope to continuously be improving our policies. We want to put a top priority on the student voice, gauging opinion through online polls rather than by solely listening to the loudest student groups. Our pillars of Voice and Transparency will be first. By harnessing technology we hope to create more connectivity between student groups, with the end goal of a greater sense of community and enhanced student engagement.

Q. How will you directly improve retention rates?

A. A main cause in loss of student retention is due to financial need. Instead of creating a few small scholarships for ASWSU to give out, we want to help people gain access to the thousands of scholarships already available. We will do this through through scholarship application workshops, scholarship fairs, and overall promotion of current academic aid. We want to work to make Student Support Services more visible including McNair, LSAMP, CAMP, and Smart Start Center. Integrating all of these efforts at the beginning of the year instead of the middle. We want to connect students to existing resources rather than reinventing the wheel. One example is through providing a mid-term grade email that is sent to students if they received a failing mid-term grade. This email would be optional when registering for classes and the information provided would be regarding where the on-campus tutoring is for that class. We also want to facilitate conversations with faculty who teach freshman classes to better understand weaknesses.

Q. What will you do to ease tensions on campus in light of recent events?

A. In addition to the current efforts being made on social media, we will promote face to face interaction between all student groups. Once all students are given the opportunity to connect, we want to take action to unite all of our constituents behind a common goal. Washington State University is home to a diverse group of students with different backgrounds. If different student groups remain separated, then our diversity is underutilized. Our goal is to encourage collaboration of diverse student groups in order to put a large focus on supporting and funding of these type of events.

Q. How will you encourage student engagement?

A. Engagement is one of our pillars and our platform focuses on getting more students informed, involved, and engaged. We plan on creating more channels for students to easily provide their input and learn how to get involved with any student organization. At events such as Alive!, CONEXION, and Student Involvement fair we will inform new students of ways to voice their opinions and resources at their disposal. We want to start the #DearWSU campaign early. Students should not have to venture further than the ASWSU website to get the most basic contact information about all 400+ registered student organizations. We want to also aid our executive staff and other student organizations in becoming more visible in efforts similar to what we recently did with our pictures and video of our ‘what our pillars mean to you’ campaign. We no longer want student groups to have to hand out fliers or table for hours in order to get people involved. The technology is there and we plan to utilize it.

Q. How do you plan on making sure your constituents are properly represented?

A. We value face to face interaction, but we know that if we strive only for that in the short 7-8 months of the school year we will spend more meeting and greeting the 19,756 enrolled students and less time getting down to business. We are going to completely revamp ASWSU’s social media presence and expand #DearWSU to every avenue possible. We want to deliver information and receive feedback from anyone anywhere anytime. We will expand communication with Multicultural Student Services and other student groups who have been underrepresented on ASWSU by working with leadership to establish open and honest communication through one on one meetings and a large and transparent social media presence.

Q. What would you do to improve communication among student groups/unions?

A. We will work with the Student Involvement office to reorganize the Registered Student Organization calendar of events and create an open list of contact information. We want to generate easier and more effective ways of communication through devices that students use everyday such as Facebook and Twitter. Students should be able to type calender.aswsu.edu into their browser bar and find a list of events and locations within seconds. As said before, ASWSU will also be putting more effort into supporting the collaboration of other student groups rather than focusing on putting on our own events.

Q. How will you measure your progress?

A. We want our daily actions to be transparent. In addition to our vision to expand social media and #DearWSU, we want to host at least a monthly non-formal meeting with leaders of any student group to encourage open and honest criticism of ASWSU. We want these meetings to focus on improving weaknesses and identify areas that are being looked over. We want to integrate administration and faculty senate into these meetings and encourage the student body to keep administration accountable. The notes from these meetings will then be pushed onto our media platforms to receive even more student feedback. Overall, we want our actions to be influenced by the student voice. As long as we are doing this and accepting feedback from students, we will be ensuring we have met our goals. The easiest way to measure if we have done our job is through the increased engagement we will create with students through our increased efforts in ASWSU’s communication. To us, our success will be a daily event because every time a student gives us input, we can do our best job to represent them.