WSU Vancouver rejoins Washington Student Association

This fall, the ASWSUV executive staff followed the lead of WSU student government and rejoined the Washington Student Association.

Student leaders on both campuses decided it was more effective to join lobbying forces with 10 other Washington state public institutions of higher learning, including all campuses of University of Washington, Central, Eastern and Western Washington Universities.

“The decision came from a desire to expand our legislative efforts,” said Daniel Nguyen, president of ASWSUV and a senior majoring in biology and psychology.

WSU Vancouver pays a minimal fee of less than $2 per student for membership in WSA. This fee is paid from the Services and Activities account.

The Washington Student Lobby, precursor to WSA, formed during the recession of the 1980s and reorganized as WSA in 2007. The 2012 Legislative Session will mark the organization’s 30th anniversary. As a collective lobbying effort, WSA represents more than 100,000 students studying at the associate, baccalaureate, graduate and professional levels.

Both Pullman and Vancouver campuses were members of WSA in the past, but dropped membership to form the Cougar Coalition, WSU’s own legislative lobbying effort. Under that arrangement, Nguyen said the WSU Vancouver director of legislative affairs was expected to live in Olympia for at least a semester to conduct lobbying efforts. During that time, the student was unable to attend classes on campus and incurred additional personal expense for housing. These factors limited the number of students willing to hold the position.

Nguyen said relying on the expertise of WSA not only increases the effectiveness of WSU Vancouver’s lobbying efforts, but allows the director of legislative affairs to focus on increasing the political awareness of students in Vancouver.

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