Earlier this year, Associated Students of Washington State University Vancouver Director of Legislative Affairs Justus Phelps said at his confirmation hearing that he wanted to bring a town hall to campus. On Nov. 2, that plan is set to become a reality.
ASWSUV will host three state legislators at a town hall from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Dengerink Administration Building, room 110.
Sen. Ann Rivers and Rep. Brandon Vick—both from the 18th Legislative District—as well as Rep. Sharon Wylie from the 49th Legislative District, will answer questions at the event. Sen. Lynda Wilson from the 17th Legislative District may attend, but is unconfirmed.
Phelps and ASWSUV President Jose Scott will sit on a pre-selected panel that will ask questions for the first 45 minutes of the event. Phelps said he is also looking to invite a professor from the Public Affairs program to participate in the panel.
In addition, visiting legislators will also receive a private tour of campus lead by student ambassadors before the event. Although not a confirmed attendee, Phelps said he would especially like Sen. Lynda
Wilson who chairs the Senate Higher Education Committee to observe the campus.
The event will conclude with a Q&A open to the community. Questions will be submitted both in person and through Twitter. According to a
press release from the WSU Vancouver Office of Marketing and Communications, participants will be able to use the hashtag #WSUVAskLeg.
Hosting a town hall will be a first for ASWSUV, “This isn’t something that was in my job description,” Phelps said. His belief in the importance of discourse and his observation about the current political climate motivated him to plan the event. “I want to bring everyone together and discuss what is happening,” he explained. The event is also a precursor to his work later this year. Phelps will be in Olympia lobbying on behalf of students when the state legislature convenes in January. In his words, “the year is just starting.”