Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

April 15, 2022

Candidates’ Responses to the ASUW 2022 Elections Forum Questions

PRESIDENT

As the representative of the UW Seattle student body, how are you going to remain conscious and knowledgeable of different student issues?
  • Timothy Billing: The most important role of the President is being accessible and transparent to students. I will create an environment where students feel comfortable coming into ASUW to share their concerns. I’ve noticed that online forums are useful for gauging informal student opinion on various topics that could help guide future initiatives in senate. I also plan on implementing ASUW tabling throughout the year in order to share the resources and opportunities ASUW offers, as well as hear from students directly.
  • JT Lucero declined to respond.
  • Naomi Snow declined to respond.
How do you plan on simultaneously welcoming a new class of students while also acknowledging the collective trauma of COVID-19?
  • Timothy Billing: COVID has affected every student one way or another. A lot of students have lost a sense of community during the pandemic and are eager to start building one. It is as important as ever to conduct outreach and show the many resources, events, and leadership opportunities ASUW has to offer. COVID has also demonstrated the unacceptable operations of DRS, the lack of policies to protect students in the classroom, and the disrespect toward student workers. New and former students will face these challenges but no one will have to face them alone. ASUW will work to create community while uplifting student voices to the highest level to show that we will come out of this pandemic united for change.
  • JT Lucero declined to respond.
  • Naomi Snow declined to respond.

VICE PRESIDENT

Which communities do you think require budgeting and volunteers right now?
  • Paytan Murray: At this present moment, I think that the Muslim Student Association uniquely should be granted extra attention in the height of Ramadan with volunteers to pass out Iftar and Suhur meals to those who do not have immediate access. More broadly, due to conflated websites and the difficult-to-read bylaws, many student groups are unaware of the great host of monetary support that ASUW is at liberty to provide. There should be conversations with every student leader in all of the diversity-oriented groups about this to ensure that such funds are legitimately accessible, along with increased transparency to see where these funds are being allocated, a conversation that I hope to have with the future Finance Director if elected to do so.
  • Lillian Williamson: In ASUW, the communities in need of the most support are our diversity commissions, which, despite being the backbone of our organization, are incredibly overworked and underfunded. As the Chief Internal Officer for ASUW and the former Director of the Queer Student Commission, I’m dedicated to ensuring that all diversity commissions have adequate support, including through budgetary and personnel means. Sufficient support for the diversity commissions will ensure that ASUW is able to serve as a resource for marginalized communities, RSOs affiliated with the ECC and SAB, and new RSOs representing the voices of underrepresented communities.
How do you plan to make ASUW resources available and accessible to diverse student communities?
  • Paytan Murray: Outreach to identity-centered organizations early on in the academic year, along with ensuring consistent follow-up needs to happen to make ASUW resources more available. As a working student that is currently unaffiliated with ASUW, I feel that I am uniquely positioned to see a great number of the accessibility issues associated with the organization and work to close those gaps for all students. If given the opportunity, I promise to not only steadfastly advocate for what you hope to see from ASUW myself, but also provide accessible forums and conversation spaces with the Board of Directors so that your goals, hopes, questions, and issues come directly from your own elected officials as well.
  • Lillian Williamson: As the Vice President, it’s my job to ensure that ASUW is operating in a transparent and accessible way. At the beginning of the year, I plan on meeting with all ASUW entities to discuss goals and how they can collaborate with their constituents and the broader UW community to act as a resource and provide tangible and monetary assistance. The ASUW bureaucracy is challenging, and it will be my job to help ensure that entities aren’t hindered by it so that they can operate smoothly and reach out to all students.

DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY AFFAIRS

As ASUW’s main liaison to the University’s administration, how do you plan to ensure that the administration continues to make diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority?
  • Adrien Chen: My name is Adrien Chen, and I’m running to be your next Director of University Affairs. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have always been a priority for me. As the current Director of the Office of International Student Advocacy, I proudly serve as the voice of international students, one of the most marginalized student bodies on campus. I’ve worked with many campus partners, such as CIRCLE, UniteUW, student organizations, and other ASUW entities to bring inclusive programming to the international student body. Through my daily work with international students, I became aware of the problems that they face here at the university.
    As the Director of University Affairs, I will have two top priorities that promote equity and inclusion for all students. First, I will ensure hybrid learning remains an option for all students. Covid remains a very real threat, and many students I’ve talked to showed concern for showing up in class. I will honor their concerns by requiring all instructors to provide remote learning materials such as notes and recordings.
    I will also work to make the major admission system more transparent and equitable, by having the departments of competitive majors publish stats of admitted students and give individual feedback to those who are rejected. This will set clear expectations for students, and give them more information when deciding if they want to devote time and resources to apply for these majors.
  • Nathan Mitchell: In order to communicate the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to administration, I promise to work with students, RSOs, ASUW diversity commissions, and on-campus entities to make clear to the administration that this is a priority for students. In order to tie in institutional knowledge, I intend to work with the Director of Diversity Efforts to connect with on-campus entities like the Q Center, the D Center, and OMA&D to ensure I am always advocating for the needs of the communities they support.
    To ensure that ASUW advocates for the wide range of student experiences, I intend to make working groups that gather around common issues. These working groups would create a space for students to discuss issues and frame them in a policy perspective. The working groups would bring in students from RSOs, campus living communities and ASUW diversity commissions. These groups will communicate their proposals to the student senate and work in collaboration to address these issues. Through this, we will be able to assemble a wide range of policy proposals to bring to the administration and faculty senate in order to stress the importance of issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion at UW.

DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING

How do you plan to make your events accessible to those without secure internet connection or transportation?
  • Kisa Batool: Through my role, I plan on working alongside the Office of Inclusive Designs to ensure the events continue to be accessible for all students. In addition, I will work with different entities on campus to work on having all ASUW events be recorded so they are accessible to those without a secure internet connection or transportation. I will work with different RSOs and the Student Technology Fee towards increasing awareness regarding the availability of the Student Tech Loan. Through the STL, the students can borrow laptops and routers through which they’ll be able to access the events either live or recorded.
What are tangible ways you want to make ASUW programming accessible to the disabled student community?
  • Kisa Batool: I want to work towards ensuring that all large ASUW events have cart-captioning, image descriptions for advertising, and ASL interpretation which will promote accessibility to all students. In addition to all events being recorded, I will make sure all events are held in accessible rooms. I will work towards encouraging RSOs and other entities present on campus to reach out to the OID in efforts to increase accessibility.

DIRECTOR OF DIVERSITY EFFORTS

What is your current involvement with the OMA&D/Kelly ECC and other underrepresented student entities?
  • Daniel Tadrous: My current involvement with OMA&D is through the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) and I am also involved with the Middle Eastern Student Commission working to advocate for the Middle Eastern/North Africa (MENA) identification category.
For the communities that you are not a part of and that you do not personally identify with, how will you make sure you serve their needs as Director of Diversity Efforts?
  • Daniel Tadrous: As Director of Diversity Efforts, I will work closely with every community in order to amplify their voice as well as give their voice enough momentum to achieve their goals and have their needs met. My top priority will be to help minority communities amplify their voice to build a more inclusive UW community. I will be sure to connect with commission directors on a regular basis to ensure that I hear their concerns and work with them to address said concerns.

DIRECTOR OF CAMPUS PARTNERSHIPS

One of your job descriptions includes work with the Public Relations Committee to promote activities of the ASUW and advertise open positions and recruit volunteers. Please describe your strategy for reaching out to diverse communities such as RSOs affiliated with the ECC and making sure their constituents are aware of advertised positions and volunteer opportunities within ASUW.
  • Kennedy Patterson: As the Director of Campus Partnerships, I am dedicated to increasing accessibility and inclusivity in all committees I am responsible for appointing members to. In regards to ASUW job/volunteer campaigns, I will be in communication with the Director of Diversity Efforts, director of communications, and the office of outreach and involvement to ensure that ASUW job advertisements reach diverse communities such as RSOs affiliated with the ECC, along with their constituents. Although the public relations committee is no longer part of my job description, I will continue to conduct outreach and encourage involvement within ASUW of all communities, especially communities who have been historically marginalized.

DIRECTOR OF INTERNAL POLICY

In what ways do you believe ASUW, its Constitution and Bylaws, Records, Wiki, and both judicial and lobbying efforts can more accurately reflect the diversity of the Student Body?
  • Brent Seto: For the past two years I have worked on the ASUW Judicial Committee where I have ensured the validity of ASUW elections and approved foundational reforms to many institutions. My experiences have given me a deep understanding of our governing documents and a knowledge of what areas within ASUW need reformation. As the next Director of Internal Policy my top priority is to revise ASUW governing documents to promote inclusivity. I intend to do so by including the voices of students with diverse perspectives such as transfer students, student parents, and students from marginalized backgrounds, some of whom can be reached through organizations such OMA&D, among many others. I intend to both actively engage in outreach and provide assistance to make ASUW documents accessible to all students. I will explain any technical jargon, provide definitions for committees, and actively engage in the revision process by facilitating discussions. These changes will promote collaboration and allow all students on campus to have a voice in their government. Working alone, I cannot hope to reflect the vast diversity of the student body, but by working together with campus-wide organizations, I am confident that the ASUW can become more equitable, accessible, and diverse.

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS

How do you plan on fostering a sense of community on campus assuming that the UW will adopt a hybrid model next year?
  • Ben Roscoe: The Office of Inclusive Design has done a wonderful job ensuring that on-campus events are accessible to a wide range of audiences.
    Being the main liaison between ASUW and living communities, I find it my responsibility to make sure that students in these communities have access to resources and opportunities inside and across communities.
    I trust OID and our RSOs to be inclusive in a hybrid environment and I hope that clear communication between leaders in each community allows for fuller participation and community building for students on-campus and remote.
With the future of DACA unclear, how do you plan on supporting vulnerable student communities (undocumented students, refugees, etc.) on campus next year? What will you do if you encounter other student communities that are biased against these student communities?
  • Ben Roscoe: Promoting access to information across communities and from ASUW is so crucial. Using my platform as Director of Community Relations I would promote services like Student Legal Services (SLS) to help ensure undocumented and international students are able to worry about academics and campus involvement rather than legal battles.
    Being the liaison to different living communities, if any of my entities were discovered tk be systematically biased against vulnerable student populations I would, without hesitancy, work with the Director of University Affairs in order to stand up and advocate for those communities.