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On the heels of student body president David Wilson’s State of the Association Address, students are sharing their opinions on the effectiveness of the Weber State University Student Association. WSUSA encompasses all students enrolled at WSU, and facilitates approximately 120 student leadership positions, including all student senators, vice presidents and committee heads.
WSUSA, which houses executive, legislative and judicial branches of student government, has stated that its goal is to provide for the general welfare of WSU students through principles of self-governance and shared governance. With slogans such as “WSYou” and “we’re here to serve them,” the student association reminds all of its leaders and WSU students of the reason it exists. However, many students seem to be having a hard time hearing.
Out of 15 students interviewed in the Shepherd Union Building on Thursday afternoon, only two had heard of WSUSA. Four had been to a WSUSA-affiliated event, and none of the students interviewed knew who their student senators were. Eight of the 15 students referenced the student senate–sponsored WSUSA Today signs found in stalls throughout the union building.
When asked whether or not they felt they individually had a voice on campus, 13 of the 15 stated they felt they would be heard or would know how to proceed if they wished to voice concerns.
WSUSA currently has 28 events on the official Student Involvement & Leadership calendar for February. With about 120 leadership positions, WSUSA utilizes a small percentage of the student body to serve the more than 26,000 students enrolled at WSU.
Voting for the 2013 WSUSA elected positions was up, with about 6 percent of the population voting, according to Davis campus student senator Tyler Hall. With student leader elections only a few months away, the WSU Student Senate is in the process of passing a resolution that includes implementing larger forms of WSUSA marketing for the elections.
India Nielsen, arts and humanities student senator, said she feels it’s a good issue to talk about. “There are a lot of things we’ve done in the past and are currently doing in terms of marketing efforts,” she said, using last year’s WSUSA texting program as an example. “. . . One of my first things to assert my independence . . . was to get involved in WSUSA. It was the best experience that I could have ever had.” She said she does think the organization benefits the student body as a whole.
Ryan Larsen, assistant marketing director for WSUSA, said he believes most students just don’t know what’s being done for them. “I don’t think that most people know . . . one reason is we don’t do a good enough job in putting ourselves out there. Weber has an unfortunate stigma of impartiality.”
Courtney Woodfield, programming vice president for WSUSA, said student leaders want to reach students without being annoying. “We’re always here,” she said. “We’re always open.”