ASWSU 101: The Members Of The ASWSU Senate

ASWSU 101: The Members Of The ASWSU Senate

A weekly civics lesson for the students of Washington State University.
“We, the undergraduate students of Washington State University, in order to initiate and coordinate student activities in accordance with the purposes and objectives listed in our articles of incorporation; to represent student interests, needs, and welfare within the University community at large on issues affecting student life; and to supplement and complement formal education on the University campus, do affirm and establish this constitution.” – The Preamble to the ASWSU Constitution

In light of last week’s Senate special election, this first installment of ASWSU 101 will cover the members of the legislative body of our WSU student government.

Why do Senators matter?

ASWSU Senators make up the policy-making branch of the ASWSU. Not only do they make decisions that affect all of the governing body of ASWSU, but all of Washington State University. Senate approves funding requests, approves appointments, makes policy changes, and pass resolutions on behalf of ASWSU.

TLDR — They have a lot of money and power. We should care who they are and what they do.

How many Senators are there?

Per the ASWSU Constitution, there are 20 Senators:

  • 6 At-Large Senators
  • 4 Uncertified Senators
  • 4 Senators from The College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • 2 Senators from The College of Business
  • 1 Senator from The Engineering and Architecture
  • 1 Senator from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
  • 1 Senator from The College of Education
  • 1 Senator from The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS)

Every four years, the Senate reassess the distribution of Senate seats according to the number of students in each degree-granting college.

How does someone become an ASWSU Senator?

Each Spring, there is a general ASWSU election held the week before WSU’s spring break. Senators must fill out a declaration of candidacy form and attend a candidate meeting before their name is placed on next year’s ballot. This year, declaration of candidacy forms became available on Jan 25 and the candidate meeting will be at 5 p.m. on Feb 8.

What are the job requirements of a Senator?

Senators must:

  • Be full-time students
  • Attend Senate Meetings
  • Attend committee meetings
  • Hold three office hours a week
  • Maintain a 2.3 semester and cumulative GPA
  • Belong to the community that they represent.

How are Senators compensated?

Each senator is paid minimum wage for six hours of work weekly; two hours for the Senate meeting, one hour for the committee meeting and three office hours. Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs are paid seven hours weekly because they also must attend Rules committee. The Senate Pro Tempore is paid 12 hours a week to attend Rules committee, additional meetings, and additional office hours.

Who are the delegates to the Senate?

There are five delegates to the ASWSU.

  • 1 Honors Delegate that is elected during the spring ballot. The Honors College does not have a senator because it is not a degree-granting college which is a requirement outlined in the constitution.
  • 1 Transfer Delegate that is appointed in the fall by the Senate.
  • 3 Freshman Delegates that are appointed in the fall by the Senate.

Freshman and Transfer Delegates represent students that are unable to run during the spring election. Delegates are unpaid and are not voting members of the Senate. However, they are unable to hold other positions within ASWSU.

How does the Senate function?

That's next week's topic for ASWSU 101: The Senate.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

Popular Right Now

Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.


"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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Let's Talk More About Lori Laughlin Facing Up To 20 Years In Prison When Brock Turner Got 6 Months

And he was released three months early for 'good behavior'... after sexually assaulting an unconscious girl behind a dumpster.


To start, Lori Laughlin messed up royally, and I don't condone her actions.

If you live under a rock and are unaware of what happened to the "Full House" star, here's the tea:

Lori Laughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli — and like 50 other celebrity parents — were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, and paid a $1 million bail on conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and honest services fraud. You don't need to know what these mean except that she paid $500,000 to get her two daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade Giannulli.

I know you're wondering why they did it — tbh I am too — however, these parents paid the University of Southern California to give admission to her daughters in through the rowing team on campus, despite neither one of them actually playing the sport ever in their life.

Yeah, Aunt Becky messed up and should face punishment, but why is she facing up 20 years when men like Brock Turner are sentenced only six months for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford?

I hate to bring up the gender card, but I'm pulling it: Why is Lori Laughlin — a woman who with bad judgement who used money to give an upper-hand to her entitled daughters — face more prison time than a man who willingly raped a woman who wasn't in a right state of mine (or any at all!) behind a dumpster of all places.

The answer? Because the system is a mess.

Yeah, Aunt Becky paid for her daughters to get into a school, giving disadvantages to students actually deserving and wanting to attend a college. Her act was immoral, and ultimately selfish, but it doesn't even compare to what Brock Turner did, and it doesn't even effect others as much his rape survivor.

The most that will happen to the Giannulli girls is an expulsion and a temporary poor reputation, however, Emily Doe (the alias of the survivor) will feel the consequences of the attack forever.

There should have been a switch:

Lori Laughlin and the Target guy should have had to pay other students tuition/student debt while facing prison time, while Brock Turner should have had to face over 20 years with more consequences.

But, that'll never happen because our system sucks and society is rigged. I guess our society would prefer a rapist walking around more so a woman who made a poor choice by paying for her daughters to go to a college.

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