Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tuition, participation called top issues

     This year’s race for ASWSU-Online president pits incumbent Larry Lawrence against newcomer Joseph Nutting.
For bios of the two candidates, please go to the website. Voting is held online and runs from March 4-12.

     Lawrence was previously a senator, then vice president. He’s been president of the online student body for 14 months. The biggest challenges facing ASWSU-Online are tuition increases and budget cuts, he said.
     “The more tuition increases, the fewer students we have, and the fewer programs become available,” he said during an online chat session with students on Tuesday. “Coug Day at the Capitol was yesterday and leaders from the branch campuses met individually with legislators to express their concerns. We have representation in Olympia that is fighting for WSU students.”
     Nutting said his top priority will be promoting awareness of ASWSU-Online and increasing participation.      “Getting anyone involved ever is an uphill battle. Look at political elections,” he said in a Wednesday chat session with students. More...“WSU Online has been extremely rewarding, but I think there’s some work that can be done.”
     Nutting hasn’t attended any ASWSU-Online events or committee meetings, and said that he hadn’t been aware of the student government until recently. To increase the visibility of ASWSU-Online, Nutting suggested revising the website, adding different topics to the one-credit in-person academic seminars, and emphasizing financial issues.
     “Students have to realize that by being involved they may be protecting future generations from paying an extreme amount for their education.”
     Nutting also suggested making the ASWSU-Online scholarship application easier to fill out and offering more giveaways on the Facebook page.
     Lawrence said he’s seeking re-election because he’s enjoyed interacting with students, staff, fellow student government leaders, leaders from the other campuses, and being able to make a difference. “I was surprised by the amount of work that the position entails,” he said. “But I wouldn't trade it for anything.”
     Nutting said he gets great satisfaction out of motivating others.
     “All through high school, I was active in student government,” he said. “I was extremely excited when I found out there was an ASWSU-Online team. I hope I can lead this team and over the next school year make some positive change.”

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