A resolution to rejoin the Washington Student Association passed unanimously Wednesday night at the ASWSU senate meeting.
Resolution 41-08 suggests ASWSU-Pullman rejoins the Washington Student Associations (WSA) using funds from the student lobby optional fee to supplement the cost. Some of the duties of the WSA are to represent student concerns in Olympia and to train students on how to lobby effectively.
The passed resolution means that the 41st senate supports a rejoining of WSU with the WSA, but the final decision will be made by President–Elect Kyle Erdman and Vice President–Elect Derrick Skaug.
WSU left the WSA in 2010 to work on the Cougar Coalition, which is an organization created for the purpose of coordinating with WSU branch campuses in lobbying efforts. According to the resolution, the Cougar Coalition is not a viable replacement for the WSA.
Vice President–Elect Derrick Skaug explained the resolution’s weight in future decisions. He said it must be considered when deciding upon next year’s lobbying efforts.
“This has kind of been the elephant in the room whenever we’ve tried to make our legislative plans,” Skaug said. “I hope that we can find next year, with the new budget to be set by legislators, success in our lobbying efforts.”
Skaug said at this point what happened in the past is not important, but what will happen in the future is. He said rejoining the WSA will be a decision President-Elect Kyle Erdman, himself and their staff will have to weigh carefully.
“In the big picture we want to work with our branch campuses successfully,” Skaug said. “Whether or not we rejoin the WSA, making sure we still work with the branch campuses is very important.”
He said it is essential to work with the WSA to ensure that a parallel message from both WSU and the organization is presented in Olympia.
WSA Executive Director Mike Bogatay expressed amazement about the resolution. He said having WSU in the discussion of how to represent multiple campuses would be beneficial.
“As far as whether or not WSU rejoins or not, I think having a dialogue is the most important step in bridging the gap that was made by their former student leaders leaving a couple years ago,” Bogatay said.
If WSU does not join the WSA they are still able to attend the open meetings hosted by the organization. However, he said that WSU’s membership in the association will make the student voice stronger in the capitol.
Vice President Amanda Spalding said she has full faith in Erdman, Skaug and the 42nd senate’s decision if they choose to rejoin the WSA.
“I think if they do put their full emphasis into this and they’re fully into this and the WSA they’re going to have a tremendously successful year and I wish them the best of luck,” she said.