Current All Campus Sen. Tyler Parchem’s run for ASWSU’s second-highest post was far more successful than his first bid for office in student government.
The political science sophomore ran for the uncertified senator position last year, but the Senate voted against appointing him to the vacant seat. Parchem later ran for All Campus and won. He has since served as finance committee chair and will be vice president of the undergraduate student body in the 2018-19 academic year.
Parchem took over as finance committee chair in October of last year after the acting chair stepped down.
“It shifted my role in the Senate,” he said.
Parchem authored a bill that passed through the Senate solidifying deadlines for students and groups to apply for ASWSU-provided funds. He said the change would make the committee’s work more predictable and give requesters ample time to prepare for an approval or denial of funds.
Parchem also authored a bill requiring the finance committee to provide electronic funding request forms.
“Electronic is the new day and age,” he said. “It’s where we’re heading. Plus, it just makes it a lot easier for us to access.”
Parchem was one of the senators who proposed merging all athletics fees into one, which would have required all students to buy a sports pass. He said he wanted the change because it would have made the fees more transparent.
Despite the proposal failing, Parchem said, it sparked an important conversation around student fees.
“A lot of students did their research and a lot of students reached out to us,” he said. “It was really eye-opening.”
Parchem, alongside President-elect Savannah Rogers and Arts and Sciences Sen. Omar Zaragoza, authored a resolution disavowing hate, racism and white supremacy at WSU.
He said the resolution was important but did not go far enough. Parchem said he wants ASWSU to spend more time with student activists and administrators to outline policies that could combat discrimination on campus.
Following tense demonstrations last year, he said, “some things were really discouraging for students regarding their safety on campus. That’s something students shouldn’t have to worry about.”
The students and administrators could work together through oversight committees to identify systemic racism, he said, but the idea has yet to gain considerable traction.
Parchem also echoed ideas from other student leaders to include cultural competency training in new student orientation, similar to Green Dot and Booze, Sex and Reality Checks. He also supported the idea of scheduling updated trainings for students to go through each year rather than just once.
Parchem said safety would be a priority of his and Rogers’ administration so students can feel comfortable being themselves on campus.
“A lot of students feel afraid to express their views and they feel [WSU] is a hostile environment,” he said. “That’s the kind of climate we’re facing as a nation, and I think this campus is a microcosm of that.”