ASWSU President Riley Myklebust shared concerns about a bill before the start of the ASWSU Senate meeting Wednesday.
The bill being questioned is the ASWSU Involvement and Accessibility Act. It states that ASWSU positions will have an open and publicized application process for all students.
During the meeting, the senate passed a motion to refer the ASWSU Involvement and Accessibility Act to the senate committees.
“We chose a chief of staff and a director of legislative affairs without an application process,” Myklebust said.
He said if he had brought applicants before the senate some of his current staff members might not have been their first choice. The chief of staff position, for example, is a position where the president needs a person that is close to them and not someone selected from an extensive application process, he said. A president needs to know on a personal level that the individual will help them be the best they can be. That cannot be determined by a resume, he said.
“It sounded like he thought we wanted to confirm and pick (the applicant),” Pro-Tempore Derrick Skaug said. “What we want is the president to allow an open and publicized application process, so I think there was a little confusion there.”
The bill opens ASWSU to all students, he said. This will make ASWSU more like other associations and student governments across the country.
“The front page of their websites, most of them have right away ‘Get Involved’ (and) ‘Apply for Jobs,’” Skaug said.
There are many staff and committee positions that students can apply for, he said. The problem with ASWSU is that some positions have been filled by only inside candidates.
“Yes, insiders are good to have because they have a lot of experience, but at the end of the day if you’re not even letting the students be considered (for) positions it’s very ignorant and arrogant of us to assume that we automatically know who’s going to be the best for all positions without letting all students apply,” Skaug said.
It is completely reasonable for this bill to mandate an open post of applications for all ASWSU positions, he said. Skaug said he disagrees with Myklebust’s perspective that the president should pick executive staff positions at times without letting all students apply for them.
“The important distinction to make is it’s just stating that they have to let all students apply,” said James Cockburn, district 1 senator and Internal Affairs chair. “It doesn’t mean they have to necessarily give them special consideration or they even have to give them an interview or anything like that.”
The bill’s goal is to make all students welcome and aware that they are allowed to apply, he said.
“I think that it’s a great idea,” District 8 Senator Rossetti Celis said. “We need more students involved.”
The most important thing about the bill is that the senate wants the students to volunteer themselves and without senate recruitment, she said.
The ASWSU Involvement and Accessibility Act was passed to the committees because the bill will impact the senate and all of ASWSU’s functionality, Skaug said.
“We’re going to consider exactly how we word it,” Cockburn said. “We’re thinking about … defining open and publicized so that will be something we consider.”