President Riley Myklebust and Vice President Amanda Spalding reflected on their favorite memories and campaign goals Sunday in an interview with The Daily Evergreen.
The two campaigned last spring for a “2-4-6” legislative plan, midterm grades for undergraduate students, improved relations with the city of Pullman, as well as organization support.
The “2-4-6” acronym stood for two Coug Days at the Capital, 400 letters to legislators and 600 phone calls to legislators.
“The main goal of 2-4-6 was to have a stronger presence in Olympia and we felt like we did that,” Myklebust said.
Myklebust’s administration achieved two Coug Days at the Capital and 400 letters to legislators, but they did not make 600 phone calls to Olympia. This was due to the Director of Legislative Affairs'use of social media in place of phone calls to connect with representatives in Olympia, Myklebust said.
“Which I think it was all right,” Myklebust said. “It was just a change of approach.”
Earlier in April, the WSU Faculty Senate passed midterm grades for all undergraduate students. Spalding said it could not have been achieved without her staff.
“It’s so exciting though because it’s going to help the students,” Spalding said, “and I think that the best part is that it’s really nice and gratifying to leave this office knowing that we were actually able to make a permanent change that will impact beyond just our year.”
Spalding said they received a large amount of midterm grade feedback from students during their campaign, which made it a top priority during their time in office.
ASWSU put on events like the 30 Days of Pullman, Camp Out Beasley and First Down Fridays throughout the year to connect students with the city of Pullman, Myklebust said. His administration also encouraged all sorority and fraternity presidents to ride with the police officers patrolling College Hill.
“I feel that all of those created a strong foundation for Kyle (Erdman) and Derrick (Skaug) to build off of and continue some of those same programs, which I definitely think they’re going to and continue to integrate WSU and Pullman to make this a better community,” Myklebust said.
The goal of improved community relations centered on building support with alumni and the people of Pullman, he said. Also, Pullman offers businesses and parks that can increase a student’s experience at WSU, he said.
Organization support for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) was accomplished with the simplification of a calendar of events and finance options. The simplified calendar of events came in the form of CougSync, a website that allows for RSOs and clubs to post events and interact with social media.
“Originally they were going to approve funding for CougSync until this next year, but we lobbied our own WSU administration and just said ‘this is an important step’ and the Graduate Professional Student Association and many of the RSOs have really taken off with it,” Myklebust said.
The old RSO portal system was outdated and not user friendly, Myklebust said. The new system puts everything in one place and is easy to use, he said.
The simplification of finances was a process that created one form for RSOs to use when they needed additional funding from ASWSU.
“So before maybe they submitted a funding request to executive staff and the senate and maybe if there wasn’t great communication you both could have funded the same thing at the same level,” Myklebust said.
The new system allows for groups to maintain a consistent level of funding from ASWSU, he said.
Organization support was important because it made it easier for students to be involved and opened up ASWSU, Spalding said.
Their greatest accomplishment has been midterm grades, Myklebust said.
“You don’t create things to live beyond you just for the sake of them living beyond you,” he said. “Hopefully this is truly something that will benefit students and I don’t think in two or three years people are going to say ‘oh Riley and Amanda did that,’ that doesn’t matter, it just matters that it’s now part of a system that will help student’s succeed.”