Watkins welcomes all


Matt Escamilla, Staff Reporter

Vice President for Equity and Community Affairs Elect Maurice Watkins has a mission to make everyone at CWU feel welcome. The sense of belonging is important for any incoming student, whether they are a transfer or a freshmen.  

“How can you make the most of your college journey if you feel as though you don’t belong?” Watkins said.

Watkins plans to bridge the gap between Equity Service Council (ESC) clubs and students at CWU.

“I’ve grown some great relationships amongst ESC organizations, its always been a dream of mine to be a liaison between students on campus and ESC organizations,” Watkins said.

Watkins has two years of experience working with ESC and is a representative member for Black Student Union. Watkins believes that ESC organizations can provide a safe haven for marginalized groups.

Myrinda Wolitarsky, who is the current VP, is confident in Watkins.

“I’m excited for Maurice, he’s going to do well and bring new ideas,” Wolitarsky said. “I experienced and grew a lot, being a part of student government brought me out of my comfort zone.”

Being a diverse institution has been a point of emphasis for CWU and Watkins will continue that tradition.

“I don’t necessarily feel we’re completely there yet,” Watkins said. “I feel there’s so much more we can do in terms of continuing to promote diversity.”

A new one-month transitional period for incoming government officers has been implemented this year. Incoming and departing officers are ecstatic with the grace period.

“It’s essential and I’m overjoyed, [it] would have helped so much,” Wolitarsky said.

She mentioned that her transitional timeline was crammed before she took office. This new transitional period will help the incoming cabinet accomplish much more.

Executive Director of Student Involvement at CWU Jeff Rosenberry echoed that statement. A later election cycle yielded a lower voter turnout and didn’t allow for the new VP elects to get early training, according to Rosenberry.

“The decision to move the election calendar up this year provided nearly a month of time that the new board can use to better understand their roles and expectations from current board members,” Rosenberry said.

He doesn’t see the transitional period being removed anytime soon because of the high value of early training.

This will be the first year we have had this kind of transition available, but certainly [we] see the value in newly elected officers getting the support they need to be their best for students,” Rosenberry said.

A multicultural center has been a point of emphasis for the entire student government. Watkins is among those who support the proposal.

“We have a diversity [and] equity center, but having a multicultural center could do so much more for this institution as a whole,” Watkins said. “It’s going to be a melting pot for diversity. Diversity goes deeper than just race, [its] ethnicity, gender [and] sexual orientation.”