When it comes to making changes at the Puyallup campus, a lot of planning goes into what happens.
Student life leaders currently are discussing what potential changes to make this year, and all tuition-paying students have already invested money to fund improvements.
ASPCP President Ethan Christensen helps to shed some light on the planning process.
Christensen’s roles include overseeing the student government and providing a communication channel between student government and the college.
The overarching goal of student government is to improve student spaces. In the past year, improvements have been made in the College Center, including new colors in the dining commons, a new vendor supplying breakfast and lunch items and an upgrade to the layout of the student bookstore.
A student fund is pooled from a fee rolled into the cost of tuition. This omits the challenge of acquiring funding for improvement projects. It’s already accessible, and it’s up to the student body to decide how to use it.
“The biggest challenge in student government is deciding how to spend the money,” Christensen said. “Here is where student input is key. Many students aren’t aware that there’s a $100 plus fee included in their tuition. It’s their money, and we’re here just for them, so that’s always the biggest challenge.”
Once a plan for improvement is chosen, figuring out whether the money is coming from student funds or college funds is the next step. Multiple funds address different issues.
Lauren Gray, student advocacy senator, is looking into fixing the bump at the college’s main entrance.
Determining whether or not something is a safety factor can direct it to other funding, such as federal grant money. There’s also a larger contingency fund for more involved projects that may require construction.
In order to access the larger pool, after passing a plan through student council, it must then be passed through the board of trustees. In order to get onto the board’s agenda, there needs to be overwhelming support from the college president and administration.
Student government will conduct surveys to get feedback on what students would like to see happen. What should be improved depends on the feedback. Whether it’s louder lounge space or more quiet study, nothing has been decided.
Some thoughts buzzing about the student life office are installing new, quieter, eco-friendly hand dryers in the college center restrooms.
Another idea is making the campus more bike-commuter friendly by installing bike shelters and lockers to check-in wet clothes.
A couple more ideas included a $2 quarterly flat-fee to access the health education center instead of the $15 fee, or building a soundproof glass panel to create a new, more enclosed dining area surrounded by flat screens.
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