Student president: Western offers a 'thriving community'
Newly elected Associated Students President Ethan Glemaker says
volunteering to assist other new students helped him get over
his apprehension about starting college. Photo by Maddy Mixter |
University Communications intern
By Geri Massengale
WWU University Communications Intern
While students are privileged to attend Western, Western is privileged to have them, says Ethan Glemaker, president of the Associated Students.
“They were selected out of a pool of several thousand applicants,” he says. “These students are contributing to our community and eventually to the broader global community.”
Glemaker understands the anxiety new students may face the first few weeks of fall quarter because he has been through it. Growing up in Elk, a small town in northern Spokane County, he says many of his peers did not have goals to pursue higher education. He questioned if he should be at college when he first started at Western.
But volunteering through the HELP program to assist other students moving in to the residence halls allowed him to meet new people, he says, and the energy was infectious.
He wants new students to know they are not alone in their apprehension and he encourages them to reach out to their peers. Glemaker, who is studying English Literature and a Fairhaven concentration tentatively titled “Diversity and the Cultural Creation of Identity in the Classroom,” believes attending Western provides students with a thriving community.
“I’ve always seen Bellingham and Western as a package deal,” he says. “I really encourage students to take full advantage of the fact that we live in this beautiful community of Bellingham that has so much to offer.”
Glemaker refers to the recreational and entertainment activities available to students such as exploring Teddy Bear Cove or seeing a music show at an all-ages venue, the Old Foundry. He also suggests checking out the Associated Students which is bursting with extracurricular activities and resources students may find essential to their academic growth.
The Associated Students is comprised of a board of directors, student-run clubs, services and resource offices, as well as program offices. The board of directors provides the voice of the student body through several initiatives in Olympia, the Bellingham community and the campus. The Resource and Outreach Programs, which is one of a variety of departments within the AS, host events covering topics concerning veterans, identity, social issues and more. Concerts, film-showings and special guest appearances are put on by AS Productions every quarter. The Representation and Engagement Programs department strives to get students civically engaged, and the Environmental and Sustainability Programs department works to educate Western students and the surrounding community about environmental issues and how to do our part to prevent them in the future. And finally, an array of clubs is ready to welcome any new students interested in their cause. The AS also provides many job opportunities for students within their programs and service offices.
For returning students, Glemaker challenges them to try something new this academic year. “It will benefit you in the long run when you have a diverse set of experiences that you can apply to wherever you’ll be working after graduation,” he says.
Glemaker says one of this year’s goal for the AS board of directors is to increase the board’s visibility in hopes of building a stronger relationship with the student body.