Candidates Kylie Waddill and Donavyn Velez-Fucal explain how their experiences inspired their ASWSU campaign, HOPE.
Hope, community, authenticity and inclusion are values an ASWSU presidential and vice-presidential candidate team plans to build their campaign on.
Kylie Waddill, senior majoring in human development, is running for ASWSU president. Alongside her, Donavyn Velez-Fucal, junior double majoring in business and sports management, is running for ASWSU vice-president.
Waddill is a first-generation college student from Tacoma, Wash. When she came to WSU, she was excited to connect with the Cougar community.
However, it was difficult due to her struggle with depression and anxiety. She said she feels more connected now and wants to leave a better legacy for other students.
Living in a diverse community in Tacoma influenced how she wants to make an impact as ASWSU president. Waddill said she wants to highlight people’s differences and use that to maximize their strengths.
“I think focusing on those reciprocal relationships that community offers can really bring a lot more to the student experience,” Waddill said.
Since fall 2018, Waddill has served as the public relations chair for ASWSU Give which is a community service committee. She said her work with the committee motivated her to lead with her values: authenticity, inclusiveness and connecting people.
“I am pretty loud and proud, but I still struggle,” Waddill said. “[Students] need someone who can represent them authentically and acknowledge all the struggles that we do face day-to-day as students.”
She also serves in the social media committee for the College Hill Association. It is a non-profit that works to preserve the College Hill neighborhood.
Velez-Fucal is a Filipino-American, second-generation Coug. He was born in Pullman and is from Lacey, WA. He said he is running with Waddill to help unite the communities here in WSU by using the resources available on campus.
He said he hopes to uplift everyone with his “selfless and energetic” spirit and help promote positive changes and growth for students, which is one of the reasons he became involved with student government.
Since last spring, Velez-Fucal has been the ASWSU senator for the Carson College of Business. He has been involved with the Carson College Library, which is currently under development.
With this initiative, a library would be developed at the Carson Center in Todd Hall, he said. Students can check out the College of Business’ UCORE textbooks for free and use it within the vicinity. It aims to help those who cannot afford to buy or rent textbooks.
“The skills that we’ve learned from this position, working in teams, representing people that usually don’t have a say or are underrepresented,” he said. “Just representing people overall has been a great time.”
Waddill said she and Velez-Fucal are a strong team because their different attributes harmonize with one another. These attributes include Velez Fucal’s multicultural background and Waddill’s residential Greek experience.
Their campaign is called H.O.P.E, which stands for: healthy mind and body, opportunities, people-oriented and environment.
For healthy mind and body, Waddill said they plan to start a certificate program that will acknowledge students’ efforts for taking care of their health. They also want to develop an Alive program, which will focus on self-care and how it affects a student’s education.
Under opportunities, they want to create a system where student involvement is better tracked, she said. They also plan to find new engaging ways to get students more involved on campus and create ways for students’ involvement to become better highlighted on resumes.
Miscommunication between the different ASWSU branches has been an issue, Velez-Fucal said. Waddill said an important aspect of this is ensuring communication across all ASWSU committees and other organizations on campus so groups can support one another.
Velez-Fucal said they want their campaign to be people-oriented. To do this, they plan to support a Surplus Food Notification, which has already begun. Students receive notifications about excess food during events. This helps reduce food waste and helps students get free food.
“If we’re going to round it back up to healthy body, healthy mind, people need food in their body and energy to process the information we’re learning in college every day,” Velez-Fucal said.
They are also looking at developing a tenant association which will help students live off campus by helping them understand contracts. Waddill said there is a local landlord association that strategically works to take advantage of students who rent.
She said they plan to work with the Environmental Sustainability Alliance to establish sustainability projects. They also want to develop more service opportunities on campus relating to the environment and educate people about recycling.
“A lot of times we think of community service as us going into the community, but I think that we’re one here, too,” Waddill said.
They can be followed @HOPEforASWSU on Facebook and Instagram.
ASWSU will hold a multicultural debate March 5 and a general election debate March 7. General election voting will open March 10-11.