Starting the conversation on the presidential search

In an email released to all students and staff, the Washington State University Presidential Search Advisory Committee announced it is doing a comprehensive outreach covering many large cities across the state over the course of this week.

The outreach is considered to help determine which factors individuals feel are important for considering our next WSU president, and “ways to measure the president’s success,” according to the email.

Generally, it seems many students have glossed over this issue, not realizing the significance.

It is crucial that students participate in this discussion—your voice needs to be heard, especially if you are a student participating in an underrepresented group on campus. Whether that be the WSU Muslim Student Association, National Society of Black Engineers, Chicana/o Latina/o Student Center, Ku-Ah-Mah, any of the women’s organizations or even the Greek system, this presidency could affect your program.

While many of the groups focus on minority issues, it doesn’t mean other people shouldn’t attend any of the three community forums on Wednesday, Oct. 21 on the Pullman campus.

A good president could make it or break it for these highly specialized and diverse groups across the many WSU campuses.

Many of the special interest groups on campus should send at least one member to speak for their group to ask questions or to give feedback on the new president’s desired traits and agendas.

Clearly, issues surrounding social justice, treatment of minority students, on-campus sexual assault, suicides, trans-student rights and insurance, graduate students and international student recruitment are hopefully going to be some of the bigger subjects mentioned.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a president that was comparable to the late Elson S. Floyd – may he rest in peace.

WSU needs someone who is going to stand for social justice, make waves for sexual assault policy reform, pave the way for more transgender students to come here and feel included; someone who will work diligently for women’s issues, both for female students and women faculty to ensure they are receiving equal pay for equal work.

WSU also needs a leader who is not afraid to push our school to a higher academic standard by employing the best teachers possible, funding additional research and helping undergraduates get research positions by possibly hiring additional faculty for the larger departments.

For example, WSU broke away from the agricultural roots that made the university what it is. We need to go back to that. If our school can’t supply fresh fruits and vegetables to its student body (all of them) then what kind of agriculture school are we?

It would also be nice if this school could figure out a solution to the parking problem—not only the spaces shortage, but also the issue of sharing the lot with RV’s during football season.

It’s ridiculous and unacceptable. Having additional park and ride lots could solve this issue, and this could be brought up at the forum.

Our school needs a strong president who can balance budgets; seek outside funding for additional special interest scholarships; spend money responsibly; recruit amazing, dedicated educators and staff; and make smart, environmentally sustainable choices.

The time for using resources foolishly is over and with a new medical school on the horizon, budgets—including athletics—need to be even more conservative for the moment.

If you want to give your input, go to presidentialsearch.wsu.edu to look at the calendar for forums or share your thoughts and comments online—it’s up to us to make this school the best in the Northwest.

Jorden Wilson is a senior psychology major from Seattle. She can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected] The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of the Office of Student Media.