Guest column: USG West President Howard W. Waldie IV discusses future for students at West campus
To all of the members in ASASU, I say thank you. I would like to give a huge shoutout of thanks to the members of USG at the West location. We have had an outstanding year, and I am proud to say that I have served alongside each of our members. While being president this year did have its challenges, I wouldn’t change a single thing. The struggles and the successes have allowed us to accomplish many things for our Sun Devil community, and I look forward to serving as president for another year.
This year USG West positively impacted various areas of our university. We formed unprecedented partnerships between multiple student groups, faculty, staff and departments across ASU. Part of these partnerships included the creation of a new, innovating tradition: A semesterly meeting between all of the deans at ASU West, including all of the academic college deans, the dean of students, the USG adviser, and the USG president to set and collaborate upon priorities for the West community each semester. These partnerships continued past these meetings and included the sponsorship of cultural and artistic events that raised awareness in our community, through our support of ASU West events.
Locally, USG West aided in, or supported, the continuation of traditions led by some of our outstanding organizations including Devilpalooza by the Programming and Activities Board, TEDx Live by the Barrett Board of Advocacy & Development, DevCon by Cos Club and the Second Annual Honoring Our Fallen Candlelight Vigil during Veteran’s Week by the Student Veterans Organization. By having representation from and for every college at West for the first time since its creation, USG West was able to support these events because of the efforts of our community as a whole.
Lastly, USG West witnessed new beginnings with its funding of numerous water filtration systems at West, supported by the Sustainability Initiatives Revolving Fund, and its adoption of the Green Event Program through the Office of University Sustainability Practices. In addition, Sun Devils now get to experience ASU Lacrosse at West while supporting ASU Women’s Volleyball in Tempe, which has been made possible through the partnership between the Sun Devil Fitness Center, and various organizations including the Residence Hall Association, the Programming and Activities Board and the Student Veterans Organization.
ASASU has been beyond successful this year. We created weekend shuttles, secured over $10 million in tuition reinvestment for the student body through the unanimous approval by the Arizona Board of Regents of the $75 a semester athletics fee, which also grants admission into all sporting events for ASU students, and the end of the $1 Equipment Rental Fee in the Sun Devil Fitness Center that was costing the Sun Devils more than $20,000 a semester. And ASASU is not done yet, despite it being the end of the year, as we move forward to approve the first, University-wide Veteran’s Advocacy and Affairs Committee. Such legislation approved by ASASU is the result of hard work and dedication from various members across our university, including the West campus.
To sum up our year in one sentence: We have created an innovative partnership that has become the voice of the students. It is because of this movement that we serve ASU and why so many student leaders, faculty and staff are a part of this Sun Devil Family. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and we look forward to working on those improvements now and in future years to come as we continue to receive and utilize student input and initiatives. Always in service, GO DEVILS!
Reach the USGW president at Howard.Waldie@asu.edu
Editor’s note: The opinion presented in this column is the author’s and does not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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