Leaders focus on academics, university fees

Rogers, Parchem 100 day plan lays out goals aimed at awareness

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Leaders focus on academics, university fees

ASWSU President Savannah Rogers shows the plan she made to graduate on-time with two degrees.

ASWSU President Savannah Rogers shows the plan she made to graduate on-time with two degrees.

Adam Jackson | The Daily Evergreen

ASWSU President Savannah Rogers shows the plan she made to graduate on-time with two degrees.

Adam Jackson | The Daily Evergreen

Adam Jackson | The Daily Evergreen

ASWSU President Savannah Rogers shows the plan she made to graduate on-time with two degrees.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen news editor

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ASWSU President Savannah Rogers and ASWSU Vice President Tyler Parchem announced a 100-day plan last week, outlining 10 goals for their administration to accomplish as they begin their time in office.

Goal number three calls for the creation of a fiscal health plan in regards to student fees. This, like many of the goals laid out in the plan, call for increased transparency in an effort to make students more well-informed about actions taken by the university, Rogers said.

“Everyone knows that WSU is in a financial crisis for lack of a better term,” Rogers said, “so how do we make sure there’s transparency … so really working with the university, what are they doing and laying that out.”

Rogers hopes for a breakdown of fees to be available to every student through their myWSU portal.

“I don’t want students to be like ‘yeah you know my tuition dollars are going to this,’” she said. “I want them to know what it’s going to.”

Parchem said a breakdown of fees was a common request from students during campaigning. They also plan on monitoring groups asking for one-time fees, as these tend to be large and the requesting groups don’t always make clear what benefits students receive, he said.

Another goal the pair named is the creation of four-year academic plans for every major to outline how a student can graduate on time. While a lot of colleges at WSU already have these plans, Rogers said some of them are hard to find.

“The information is there, how do we just put it on one piece of paper,” Rogers said. “Why I think this is so important is that it puts students in control of their academic success.”

This comes as an attempt to help students graduate within their first four years and hopefully increase WSU’s four-year graduation rate, Rogers said.

The plan could be ready by the spring 2019 semester, and like the fiscal health plan, Rogers wants to use myWSU as a hub for students to access this information.

The plans could also help show students who are undecided on a major how to choose classes that satisfy degree requirements for different interests while making up their mind so they don’t get behind.

Another academic area the administration wants to tackle in their first three-plus months in office comes in the form of transfer credit transparency.

Parchem said many transfer students complained about a lack of transparency and information about transfer credits during campaigning.

This is not an issue of creating new resources, he said, but instead of making them easier to find.

“There’s a lot of those mechanisms already in place, but a lot of students don’t know that,” Parchem said. “A lot of these resources are already available but they’re not being pushed out as best they can. So utilizing some of our agencies for that, I think is something that’s really important.”

The transfer from quarters at most other universities in Washington to semesters at WSU can be a problem area. This sometimes causes students to favor other schools that run on a quarter system, Rogers said.

The pair plans to combat this by making information more easily accessible through resources like advisors and the transfer center to help students make the transition to WSU as seamless as possible.

Rogers and Parchem also plan on spending time in their first 100 days on the newly-formed Cougar Health Fund, which was started by former ASWSU President Jordan Frost and Vice President Garrett Kalt.

The endowment was created to support mental health and sexual violence prevention resources for students on campus.

Parchem said the pair want to ensure the fund remains focused on student health issues by running the endowment through a committee made up of students.

Part of this includes setting up a process for groups to apply for these funds. This may be similar to how Registered Student Organizations apply for funding from ASWSU, Rogers said. They also want to look at what types of programs and resources will be created with the money.

The administration is looking at spreading awareness in order to procure more money for the endowment, Rogers said.

This could come in the form of tabling and outreach efforts during busy weekends, such as football games, Mom’s and Dad’s Weekend and during orientation sessions. The leaders may also reach out to corporations both in Pullman and statewide.