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Student Government a Resource for all Students

By Lorraine Nelson


Student government leaders from left to right, back row, Jennifer Tu, chief of staff; Johanna Pantig, president; Brandy Seignemartin, vice president of Legislative Affairs. Front row, Arliegh Cayanan, vice president; Jacob Stutzer, Yakima Relations director.

Johanna Pantig was vice president last year of the Associated Students of Washington State University Health Sciences (ASWSUHS) and ran successfully for president this year because she wanted to continue working on identifying more spaces good for studying.

Pantig is from Silverdale, Wash., an unincorporated area of about 20,000 in Kitsap County. She attained a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from WSU in Pullman and is now in her third year of the four-year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) program in Spokane.

“The campus has great long-term programs to meet the needs of the students,” Pantig said. “So, I am focusing on what the students’ needs are now.”

Pantig recently walked around campus with the chancellor and the space planner looking at different spaces and she also was appointed to the campus board that discusses space allocation issues.

The leadership training she received last year for student government representatives taught her how to better communicate with others and to recognize that people communicate differently. She also learned how to deal with conflicts and to identify and use her strengths.

Through her experience last year Pantig discovered she has a real interest in listening to the concerns of other students and “bridging the gap” between the student body and the administration.

Among her goals this year are to have someone from the ASWSUHS executive team meet at least once per semester with each of the more than 30 registered student organizations to ask about their concerns.

“We’re here to listen,” Pantig said. “Our hope is that we will be a resource for them and if we aren’t, that we can find out who will be.”

Another need on campus is for more interprofessional learning, which is a work in progress, she said.

Last year the ASWSUHS added a Ph.D. student senator position and it was filled then and again this year. Pantig hopes to focus on involving Ph.D. students in more of the social activities.

The other four officers on the ASWSUHS executive board are:

Arliegh Cayanan, vice president, from Honolulu, Hawaii. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is in his second year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. He wanted to be the vice president in order to be more involved on campus and help build a culture of “aloha” and family community so that everyone enjoys their time on campus.

Brandy Seignemartin, vice president of Legislative Affairs, is from St. George, Utah, and is in her third year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. She has lived in the Spokane/Pullman area for 12 of the past 14 years. She is a nontraditional student and completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of New Mexico and at WSU in Pullman.

Jennifer Tu, chief of staff, is from Orange County, Calif., and is in her second year of the Doctor of Pharmacy program. She attended Golden West College at Huntington Beach, and Irvine Valley College at Irvine, Calif., and got a B.A. in psychology with a minor in human resources at California State University at Long Beach.

Jacob Stutzer, director of Yakima relations, is from Klamath Falls, Ore., and is in his third year of the pharmacy program. He has a B.S. degree in biohealth sciences from Oregon State University.