Reflecting On the Last Four Year of Student Government
By Zack Macomber
Every year over winter quarter, a new ASWWU cabinet is voted in. Most of the time the elected officials—president, executive vice president, spiritual vice president, and social vice president—are new to their position, but are nevertheless tasked with planning the following year. They hire on different department heads, and slowly build a team of over 100 student employees across the ASWWU departments who are also largely new to their positions.
This labor and time-intensive process happens every year! Leadership changes take place, a new budget is formed, and a new year is planned. Taking a step back and looking at the past 4 years, I can see the effects of having so many different transitions. Take the social VP position—my position—for example. My freshman year, the social VP put on massive events every other week, including Block Party which partnered with the City of College Place and took place on College Avenue.
While a Block Party sounds amazing, Social ended up using more than its allotted budget, which meant less money for the next year. As a student, you could feel the difference across campus. We still had an event every other week, but they were generally less impressive due to a lack of funds and different leadership.
It’s important to recognize that by making these transitions every year we risk losing grasp of the consistent Walla Walla culture that exists on campus.
On the other hand, by turning over the leadership every year, new ideas can be pursued, and new changes to culture can be made.
There was some worry this year that the pandemic might cause the campus to lose that unique Walla Walla culture. While the current sophomores and freshman have not been able to fully experience a normal year here at WWU, I think, just from observing how the campus has come to life this past quarter, we have nothing to worry about.
Pandemic or not, the campus culture here at Walla Walla will thrive. It may change and go through transitions, just as the leadership of ASWWU does every year, but it will always be the unique campus that it is.