WSU students from across Washington will head to Olympia on Saturday to attend the year's second Coug Day at the Capitol.
From the Pullman campus, 35 students will attend the event this weekend in addition to 25 students from the WSU branch campuses to represent WSU in its entirety.
This Coug Day will be a combination of education and lobbying efforts, ASWSU Vice President Amanda Spalding said. Education and lobbying have been combined because there will be a larger group in Olympia, she said. This will allow students who did not attend the first Coug Day to understand the legislative process, she said.
“So you’ll see a mix of both this weekend, which will be extremely powerful because we’ll have a lot more bodies over there and even more interest,” Spalding said. “Hopefully once again those students bring that interest back to Pullman and kind of snowball and get more students involved.”
ASWSU President Riley Myklebust said the goal of having two Coug Days was to get the biggest amount of students to Olympia, meeting their representatives and having their voices heard.
“The representatives on the other side of the state are human,” Myklebust said, “and they are more than willing to listen to us.”
An important aspect is the students representing Pullman are a diverse group, he said. This will help in spreading information learned at Coug Day to a wider range of students on the campus.
“This one we’re going to focus really fully on education for the first half of the trip,” said Tristan Hanon, the director of legislative affairs. “And then use what we’re actually teaching there to go out and lobby on Monday.”
Everything that the students will be talking with legislators about will be dealing with higher education in some aspect, Hanon said. Several bills in Olympia will be outlined during the trip and brought to the attention of the students attending Coug Day.
“It feels good, it feels like we’re going to really make an impact with this second one,” Hanon said, “and especially because we’re at a really big turning point in the session because the next revenue forecast just came out and they’re going to really start pressing on the supplemental budget from both the house and senate.”
Hanon said students will have a lot to discuss this weekend and they will have a lot of influence on the issues in Olympia.
Kyle Erdman, the director of Student Life expressed his opinion about the second Coug Day.
“It’s definitely going to be an opportunity for students to just voice their passion for WSU,” Erdman said, “and how bad they want to continue to see other Cougs continue with the four years here, or five years, or six years however long it is.”