With transportation problems and potential tuition increases as the hot issues, three candidates are competing to represent Western's student body next year.
Junior's Rachel Zommick and Tyler Demarre, and senior Jayson Dudas are the three candidates for Associated Students president.
Zommick spent the past year serving as the AS vice president for legislative and community affairs. She also is the president of the Washington Student Lobby, which represents Western in front of the Washington State Legislature in Olympia.
Zommick said her experience and her contacts in Olympia will ensure that Western has its voice heard on the matter of rising college tuition in Washington.
"I have met lots of people working for the Washington Student Lobby," Zommick said. "It's very important that the AS president stays connected to the state Legislature."
Demarre recently transferred to Western from Whatcom Community College. His experience includes student council and Associated Student Body in high school, and captaining several sports teams.
Demure said that even though he does not have much experience, his approachable personality will help him involve students in student government.
"I'm an outsider," Demarre said. "I'm a social person, and I think I can help get students involved in the AS process."
Dudas's experience includes leadership classes in high school and membership in Phi Alpha Theta, an honorary history society on campus.
Dudas said he plans to work toward securing funding for more textbook scholarships and increasing the textbook reserves on campus.
"I am a problem solver," Dudas said. "Affording textbooks is a problem for a lot of students."
On the subject of transportation, Dudas said he wants to make parking more affordable for students.
"There are still open spots on campus," Dudas said. "Parking fees should be lowered to a more reasonable rate."
One of Zommick's goals is to involve students in working with the Whatcom Transportation Authority to make sure public transportation is serving student needs.
"We need to make sure there are enough night and weekend bus routes," Zommick said. "It is important that students are able to voice their opinions (about transportation on campus)."
The need for student participation in AS activities is an issue all three candidates feel is important.
"The opportunities (for student involvement) are out there, but students just aren't aware of them," Zommick said. "I want to change the whole mentality of the organization and make it more inclusive to students."
Demarre said he is a candidate who will work toward feasible goals, instead of giving people empty promises.
"People always promise students everything, even things they have no control over," Demarre said. "Tuition is an example -- there's not a lot (the AS) can do about tuition prices ... I want to work towards reasonable goals, like getting more parking around north campus."