Three WSU students anxiously awaited inside the Pullman City Council Chambers Tuesday night as the council members deliberated about who they would select to fill the empty council seat.
After four minutes, Pullman city council chose Derrick Skaug, ASWSU vice-president elect, to fill the vacant, at-large position on the City Council.
Skaug and Nick Ramirez, both senior political science majors and members of ASWSU, as well as Julia Krauser, a graduate architecture major, all applied for the position in hopes of bringing a student voice to the Pullman City Council.
There has not been an undergraduate WSU student on the City Council since the late 1990s.
Darin Watkins, the WSU executive director of external affairs, was also a candidate along with five other community members.
Watkins emphasized communication will be key to community’s success.
“Sometimes the most simple communication can make the most difference,” he said.
Each candidate gave a three-minute speech, emphasizing their strengths and what they would bring the city of Pullman. Each councilmember also asked the candidates one questions.
“(We are looking for) somebody who wouldn’t be at odds with our current direction,” Council Member Jeff Hawbaker said.
Both Ramirez and Krauser touched upon the influx of students that are expected to come to Pullman within the next few years.
“I will continue to work with students and members of city council,” Ramirez said. “I will be the voice for people of my demographic. There are currently no students (on the city council). It would be cool if that changed.”
Ramirez focused on a plan to for the city of Pullman to handle the increased student population with better infrastructure and transportation.
“We can work (together) on it ahead of time instead of (being) reactionary,” he said.
Krauger and Ramirez also wanted to better connect students with City Council members and the overall city of Pullman.
“I want to increase communication with what students want to see,” Krauger said. “I want to facilitate communication between campus, students and city council.”
Skaug, who is also the ASWSU vice president elect, focused most of his speech on the importance and benefit of having more students live in Pullman during the summertime.
“I’m working on trying to get students here year round,” Skaug said. “That would completely change how the economy of the city functions.”