New portal designed to increase student voices on important university groups
Department: Division of Student Affairs
Getting involved on campus has become a lot easier for students thanks to a new portal developed by the Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU), the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) and the Division of Student Affairs. Students looking to participate in many of WSU’s most important working groups and advisory boards can now view options and express their interest in serving via a new web portal on the Student Affairs website called “Your Input Matters”.
ASWSU President Savannah Rogers said students have always had a desire to get involved in campus groups and university faculty, staff, and administrators have been open to student input. Yet, some committees and advisory boards on campus do not include students. In her words, there is a disconnect that needed to be addressed.
“This portal provides transparency for students and empowers them to take charge of what they want to do at this institution,” Rogers said. “It empowers them to make positive and impactful change in areas that are important to them.”
The portal currently provides a list of about 20 prominent working groups, committees and advisory boards. Examples include the Campus Cultural & Resource Centers working group, the University Recreation Advisory Board, ASWSU, and the Student Health Advisory Committee. The link provides information about each group and allows students to express interest in those that match their passions. An email is sent directly to committee administrators who then can quickly respond to students.
GPSA President Amir Gilmore said one of his responsibilities is to help find students to fill vacant positions on committees and boards.
“This portal makes my life a lot easier and is a big help in showing graduate and professional students the important work these groups are doing at WSU,” Gilmore said.
Paul Choi joined the Compton Union Building (CUB) Advisory Board last year as a senior. He found the experience so beneficial he plans to continue his involvement this year as a graduate student.
“As an aspiring CEO, being on the Board has provided me with amazing opportunities to interact with upper-level administrators, as well as make important presentations and decisions that impact WSU students,” he said.
WSU Spokane Pharmacy student Shannon Kozlovich is a member of the Gender Inclusive & Trans* Support working group. She believes students should have a presence on all campus committees and the portal is a vital step to streamlining the process so more student voices can be heard.
“Students can take stronger stances on some issues,” she said. “Even if faculty and staff agree with you, often they can’t voice it in the same way as a student can.”
The idea for the portal came about during the summer when Rogers and ASWSU Vice President Tyler Parchem met with Mary Jo Gonzales, vice president for Student Affairs. They discussed ways to better connect students who spend little time on campus outside of their classes with the university.
“No matter what their interests are, the portal is an amazing way to harness peoples’ passions and make WSU a better place for everyone,” Rogers said. “It empowers a new generation of Cougs.”
Students are encouraged to view a complete list of committees, working groups, and boards, as well as submit an interest submission form, at the Your Input Matters portal.