Batting third in our Student Feature Series is Pierce Robledo, this year’s ASWSUS President.
Pierce served as Vice President of the student body in 2014-15 and has plenty of goals for this school year.
Name: Pierce Robledo
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Program: Pharmacy, Third Year
Undergrad: University of Nevada-Reno | Biochemistry
Why did you decide to become involved with student government on campus?
Last year I was Vice President and it was a great experience and I loved working with Katie (Gilsdorf) and Student Affairs. Back in my undergrad, I was involved a lot. My parents would call me ‘Potluck Pierce’ because I always knew where the free food was (laughs).
When I came to WSU Spokane I thought that would be the end of my leadership experience, but then this opportunity came along with (2014-2015 ASWSUS President) Jared Kavanaugh to be his Vice President. All the things we worked hard on last year made me think I couldn’t wait to take on this next role and leave a lasting legacy for WSU Spokane.
Personally, I wanted to build on my leadership skills and at the same time I kind of fell in love with the job and I love working with the people here. It’s definitely stressful being a student and being in this role, but to me in the end it’s all worth it.
What kinds of things do you have planned for the student body this year?
We have a lot of lofty goals. One of things we ran for last year was getting a fitness center. I don’t expect anything to be built anytime before I graduate but we just want to start the conversation and at least get something started. Students really want that and I feel like it is something that we deserve, especially being a health sciences campus.
This year we’re also bringing back a childcare initiative. A lot of our students are non-traditional, a lot of them above twenty-five, have kids, are probably married – a lot different than undergrad. So we have kind of a general idea and have asked students, ‘are you OK with funding childcare?’ A lot of them were optimistic and said they have classmates who have kids. It’s definitely tough for them and I don’t have a child myself but at the same time I can see where the struggle might be balancing being a student and being a parent.
This year we also created a new branch for ASWSU, it’s called SEB (Student Entertainment Board). It’s common on other campuses but this year it’s our first time with it. It’s basically the event planning portion of ASWSU. This branch is more focused on the fun stuff like Bingo Night. It’s definitely a challenge being so new but in the long run it will be good for the student body.
How do you reach a student body that doesn’t live on campus and features mostly graduate and professional-level students?
Our campus is definitely a little bit of a commuter campus, people come for their classes, stay a little bit and then go home. So the best thing for us to do is to not just have fliers and post them everywhere. We have a weekly email and that’s worked great. This year we’ve been working really hard to get in contact with other student clubs on campus. We see them as the most involved students and we’ve been working with their leaders together to help plan events together so one person isn’t planning events here and another there. We all kind of work together with the communication that we have. If somebody is planning something, we all share it as one.
We’re also using social media to connect with students. People use that all the time, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat. The most important thing for us is to keep them connected to what we’re doing. We’re really trying to practice our visibility here.
What do you like about this unique student body?
I love the fact that everyone is focused on the health sciences. On our campus, that’s really the icebreaker. It’s one thing you can easily talk about, like, ‘hey I took that class.’ There’s no way you can never talk to others on campus. You get so close and you think someday you might be working together.
What do you like most about WSU Spokane?
Honestly, I’d probably say the opportunities. If you’d told me that I could be the President for WSU Spokane, get involved with various leadership organizations, I’d would have said, ‘Oh that was cool for my undergrad, I’m not doing that anymore.’ That’s what I like about it, you have so many opportunities here.
Our professors here are very close to us and they always listen to our needs. Because we have such a small campus, everyone kind of gets to know each other on a personal basis. If people asked me to describe WSU Spokane, I’d say think of it as a small city where you see each other all the time and you sort of build that personal connection with them.