Author Archives: Brittany Pham

Brittany Pham

About Brittany Pham

ASUW Communications Director

Beginning of the year!

Classes haven’t been in session for long at the University of Washington, but the ASUW is already busy hosting events, providing services to students, and politically lobbying on behalf of students.

Over the summer, Office of Government Relations Director Austin Wright Pettibone was able to meet with dozens of city and state legislators to remind them of the student perspective. Wright-Pettibone and the ASUW Board of Directors wrote a letter to the Seattle City Council on housing affordability, seeing media coverage and action from Mayor Ed Murray. Murray recently installed a new investigative housing task-force comprised of 28 community members, and included OGR Assistant Director Mitch Brown on the list.

During Dawg Daze we held a variety of events around campus including a pizza bake from the Student Food Cooperative, informational involvement sessions from the Office of Volunteer Opportunities, and large events such as Quad Flicks and Fall Fling from Arts & Entertainment. We saw an estimated 4,000 students at Fall Fling this year!

Looking ahead, we urge students to get involved now! We have an abundance of opportunities available to students looking to develop their skills and give back to their fellow students. Almost every Diversity Commission as well as the Student Health Consortium, Arts & Entertainment, and Rainy Dawg Radio are looking for interns or volunteers!  Coordinate models for the Everybody Every Body Fashion Show, host your own talk radio show, advocate on behalf of your unique community, or create new campus policies through the Student Senate. All opportunities are listed with applications at volunteer.asuw.org.

As employees, we spent 3 days together coordinating goals, brainstorming effective outreach strategies, and getting to know one another. We’ve got a number of events already in motion and can’t wait to see as many students as possible engaged with our programs.

As an Association, this year we will strive to engage all voices, act as an intersection for cross-campus collaboration, and stay accountable to the students.

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An Open Letter to the Seattle City Council

The ASUW Office of Government Relations and Board of Directors are taking an active part in the development of the U District Urban Design Framework and Strategic Plan. We urge the Seattle City Council to not only keep in mind student affordability, but to include us in discussions and establish a task-force to investigate different housing options. For more on Student Affordability, check out our Meet Us in The Middle Report, published May 2014. Please contact OGR Director, Austin Wright-Pettibone at asuwogr@uw.edu, with any questions.

Preserving Student Housing Affordability in the City of Seattle:

An Open Letter to City Leadership from the Associated Students of the University of Washington

Students of the University of Washington have faced new challenges with Seattle’s recent rent hikes. Rising housing costs, in addition to soaring tuition and student debt levels, have had significant negative impacts on affordability at UW[i]. Now, as the city prepares to rezone the U District, we, the Associated Students of the University of Washington, call upon the Council and Mayor Ed Murray to incorporate student voices into the city planning process and establish affordability for students as a primary concern.

Specifically, we ask that the City take three concrete steps:

  • Authorize the formation of a Student Housing Affordability Task Force to advise the Department of Planning and Development in the affordable housing needs of students.  We ask that this group be charged specifically with looking into the regulatory policy surrounding the U District Urban Design Framework, and be authorized to present their recommendations to City Council and DPD officials.
  • Install a UW student representative on the Mayor’s Housing Affordability Task Force
  • Ensure a reasonable proportion of funding is set aside in development projects to develop student-eligible affordable housing.

Without such measures in place, students will either be displaced or driven further into debt by the proposed rezoning. We believe that it is the joint responsibility of the city and our university to provide adequate and affordable housing for the 44,000 students of the University of Washington[ii].

Already, plummeting state support has made it harder for us to finance our education. With a 52% decline in public funding, tuition at UW has risen more than 75% in the past six years, placing an increased burden on ourselves and our families[iii]. Commensurately, average student debt at UW has risen 17%[iv], as have the average number of hours we must work to finance our education[v].

Therefore, it is of great concern to us when proposed plans to develop the University District threaten to further increase the cost burden for students already struggling to access the University[vi].

Some have argued UW should develop additional units of affordable housing priced for students. While we agree with this position and would like to see the University develop additional units, we must also note that neither now, nor at any time in our school’s history, have there been sufficient units to house the entire student community[vii]. The simple truth is that we are expected to live off-campus, and we must have affordable places to live.

Unfortunately, that truth is becoming rapidly unattainable. The average student earns just $763 per month working part time at 20 hours per week[viii]. That money must be allocated to food, books, housing, and tuition in the cases where financial aid does not cover costs. Yet, housing rates are increasing at a rate of more than 7% per quarter[ix], which places current pricing in the University District at or above $1,000 per month/per student[x].

Consequently, even without the rezoning measure, students are forced to use student loans in order to afford housing near our University. At a time when student debt surpasses $1 trillion dollars, we are deeply concerned about housing costs further contributing to student debt.

Unless we take action now, the affordability of our education will continue to decrease at an alarming rate, threatening our vibrant student community. We believe that by working in partnership with local community officials we can find a solution that preserves access and affordability for students, while fitting within the city’s master plan.

We look forward to partnering with the City of Seattle on this issue, and eagerly await the Council’s action on these three requests.

 

[i] Kutz, Michael; McNerny, Jeff; Badger, Hailey, et al. “Meet us in the Middle: Affordability for the Working Student.” Associated Students of the University of Washington, Seattle: May 14.

[ii] On average, public institutions of the UW’s size tend to house just 25% of students on campus. The rest are expected to live in outside housing, making City-University partnerships critical in maintaining college access.

[iii] Office of Planning & Budgeting.  “Twenty Year History of Tuition & Required Fees.” University of Washington, Seattle.

[iv] Kutz, Michael; McNerny, Jeff; Badger, Hailey, et al. “Meet us in the Middle: Affordability for the Working Student.” Associated Students of the University of Washington, Seattle: May 14.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] “Draft Environmental Impact Statement.” Department of Planning & Development, City of Seattle: April 14.

[vii] The UW’s master housing plan, authorized by the Board of Regents, projects the University will house 21% of students.

[viii] Curtis, Kyle. “ASUW Wage Summary.” Associated Students of the University of Washington, Seattle: 1 Jul 14.

[ix] Bhatt, Sanjay. “Seattle-area apartment rents climb to average $1,284 a month.” Seattle Times, Seattle: 26 Jun 14. http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2023936495_apartmentrentsurveyxml.html

[x] Housing & Food Services. “Market Survey, Private Sector Recap.” University of Washington, Seattle: Sep 2013.

Preserving Student Housing Affordability in the U District

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“Asuw Student Senate Elects New Leadership”

ASUW Student Senate elected their new leadership. Congratulations to Ada Waelder  and Sean Wilson for being elected as the new Speaker and Vice Chair! Click here to read The Daily’s coverage.

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“Second Women’s Health Week Educates Students On Sex, Stress, And Nutrition”

It’s National Women’s Health Week and ASUW’s Student Health Consortium and Women’s Action Commission are working together to educate students on the UW campus. Read The Daily’s article here.

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“Proposed International-Student Fee Stalled But Still On The Table”

“ASUW President Conor McLean and GPSS President Charles Plummer were instrumental in getting this fee tabled.”– Click here to read The Daily’s article on the proposed fees that student leaders helped table.

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“The Daily’s 2012 Asuw Election Endorsements”

Click here to read this year’s Endorsements from The Daily for the 2012 ASUW Elections.

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“On The Outside”

Read The Daily’s article on data received from 466 students about their perception on ASUW.

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“Vote For Qualifications, Not Cupcakes”

Read the opinion piece written by The Daily about how students can be educated voters in this year’s ASUW Elections.

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“Pinching Pennies”

Next of the three-day series of The Daily’s coverage on ASUW, is the budget breakdown. Click here to read The Daily’s article on ASUW’s SAF request.

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“RSO Rundown”

Want to know about some of the upcoming events on campus? Click here to read The Daily’s RSO Rundown of the week! It includes an All-Greek photo, the ASUW Elections Candidates Fair, the Spring Symposium and Music 4 Life.

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“Senate Forum Questions Candidates’ Financial Responsibility And Experience”

Read The Daily’s article on the ASUW Senate forum here. Don’t forget that voting starts on May 7th!

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“Tell Your Representa​tives- Don’t Double Student Loan Rates”

Fellow Huskies,

We need your help.  New Subsidized Stafford Loan rates will double beginning on July 1st, leading to an average $1,000 tuition increase per year for students with these loans. Take a stand and write to your Representatives today by filling out the form on this facebook event.

See below for further information about student loans, campus events, and ways to get involved.

 

Events

1. Friday, May 11th – SPRING SHOW Featuring The Dream, Kendrick Lamar, The Bar and Brothers from Another- Doors at 6pm, Show at 7pm

Get Involved

1. Don’t Let Subsidized Stafford Loan rates double!

2. ExCo Classes are still available!

3. Paid Work at 2012 Commencement Ceremony

Continue reading

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“The Scope of ASUW”

Read The Daily’s first part of a 3-day series about ASUW. This article gives a brief rundown of the Association.

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“ASUW Agenda”

Click here to read The Daily’s ASUW Agenda for this week. 

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“First Asuw Presidential Debate Calls Out Candidate Knowledge — And Talent”

ASUW elections are still underway and candidates are still trying to prove that they are the best for their respective positions. The ASUW Elections Administration Committee and The Voice hosted the first ever ASUW Presidential Debate. Click here to read The Daily’s coverage of the forum.

 

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“A Campaign Director For All Candidates”

Read The Daily’s coverage on the ASUW campaign directors for this year’s elections.

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“ASUW Elections”

 

Fellow Huskies,

 It’s that time of year; the elections for next year’s Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) Board of Directors are quickly approaching.  Last year, there was a record-breaking voter turnout of over 7000 students and this year, we’d like to see even more.  In order for you to gain a comprehensive knowledge about what each of the candidates stand for, there will be a series of forums leading up to voting week, including the first-ever Presidential Candidates Debate.  Your vote will decide who will lead the ASUW next year and how students’ voices are represented to the administration and beyond.
Upcoming Events for ASUW Elections 
Wednesday, April 25
Presidential Debate — Architecture Hall 147 5pm-7pm
Monday, April 30

Tuesday, May 1
ASUW Student Senate Forum — Gowen 301 5pm-7pm

Thursday, May 3
All Candidate’s Fair — Red Square 11am-2pm

Friday, May 4
The Daily’s Election Forum — Com 120 4pm-5:30pm
*An ASUW Voter’s Guide will be distributed in this day’s edition of the Daily.  Read about every candidate and their platform.*
Voting Days May 7, 8, 9
Vote online at vote.asuw.org
Vote in Red Square, Drumhellar Fountain, The Quad or 45th & 17th
Be sure to check out “The Voice” for comprehensive elections coverage: 
The Voice is designed to bring ASUW Elections news and commentary to students. Providing coverage and opinions on election events, platforms and more. The Voice seeks to educate students about the candidates and the positions they are running for so students can make a more informed decision when they vote, and to keep the candidates accountable in what they say and do. The material is written by a group of students with many collective years of ASUW experience.

Website: www.asuwvoices.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Voice/195552727148931

Loyally,


Conor McLean

President
Associated Students of the University of Washington
(206) 543-1780
http://www.asuw.org/
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“The Visible 1 Percent”

Did you miss the Spring Powwow? Read The Daily’s coverage on the largest student-run event, on the UW campus.

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“ASUW Agenda”

This week on the agenda incudes, “A Resolution Expressing Opposition to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission” and “A Resolution Limiting the Expansion of Online Courses.” Click here to read The Daily’s coverage.

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“Odegaard Renovation To Begin In June”

With Odegaard being renovated in June, read about ASUW’s efforts to make sure that all of student’s needs are met. Click here to check out The Daily’s article.

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