Meet the Bargaining Committee!

The nomination period for the most recent vacancy election ended at 11:59pm on Monday, Decmeber 11th, 2023. At that point, 13 educational student employees (ESE) had accepted their nominations! Since there were fewer accepted nominations than vacant bargaining committee spots (14), each of the 13 nominees were automatically appointed.

Please join us in welcoming them to the team!!!

Joshua Kinney, English

Joshua Kinney, English

Faculty Assistant - Management Department

The union’s decisions this year will ripple for decades to come (we hope). I’d be honored to contribute my efforts to the enrichment (in every sense of the word) of current and future students.

Max Swenson, Woodring

Max Swenson, Woodring

Graduate Teaching Assistant - SMATE Department

Unionization and collective bargaining are important for resisting the dehumanizing practices of corporate policies/strategies. I’ll be a teacher one day, and it would be good to have more experience before joining that particular union.

Lydia Henderson, Experimental Psychology

Lydia Henderson, Experimental Psychology

Graduate Teaching Assistant - Psychology Department

I want to join the Bargaining Committee to hold WWU accountable for how they disregard student workers. Western believes that we are just students- and has used this narrative to deprive working students of essential rights. We deserve a workplace that promotes our health, safety, and livelihood. I would be honored to help change this narrative for ourselves and everyone after us. 

Theo Hytopoulos, Computer Science

Theo Hytopoulos, Computer Science

Teaching Assistant - Computer Science Department

I have worked as a tutor, grader and TA in the Computer Science department. I want to increase equity and accessibility for student workers through our union.

 Ally Wehrle, English & Creative Writing

Ally Wehrle, English & Creative Writing

Graduate Teaching Assistant - English & Graduate Departments

I believe strongly in the power of collective bargaining and how important it is to represent the interests and needs of student workers at Western. This year, I’ve dedicated a lot of time to the union as part of the organizing and communications committees and want to continue that work as a member of the bargaining committee. This is such an important moment for student workers on campus, and we need to build a strong contract that will uplift, give power to, and support present and future educational student employees.

Bryan Stout, Psychology

Bryan Stout, Psychology

Tutor - Library Tutoring Center

I believe that the most impactful change happens through empathy, clear communication, and a willingness to see issues from all possible perspectives. As a tutor, undeclared psychology major, and self-proclaimed “dude-who-really-enjoys-Logic,” I think that I have a lot of useful skills that would strengthen the BC. I also want to pursue any opportunity that would give me more experience in crafting arguments and effective communication

Evan Coit, Biology

Evan Coit, Biology

Graduate Teaching Assistant - Biology Department

WAWU presents Western with a unique opportunity to reestablish the value of higher education by lessening the financial burdens that currently limit or altogether prohibit the accumulation of wealth in disadvantaged populations. Contributing to this goal means so much more than making it easier to pay my own bills; if I have the opportunity to make education more accessible to those who already work above and beyond to allow this university to function, I’d be grateful. I strongly believe that Western Washington University is nonviable without the labor of ESEs and that power alone should merit the compliance of administration. Contributing to the manifestation of that power, and helping direct it towards positive change, is an incredible opportunity.

Erin Grimes, Mathematics

Erin Grimes, Mathematics

Graduate Teaching Assistant - Mathematics Department

I am a graduate student for the Mathematics department at Western. I have worked as a high school mathematics teacher and software engineer. During my undergraduate program at WWU, I worked as a mathematics research assistant and tutor. During those three years, I also lived in the back of a truck because I couldn’t afford the basic necessities for food, housing, and healthcare with the wages I was receiving for my labor.
I recognize the wide-ranging impacts of the inexorable trends toward corporatization of our educational institutions. I care urgently about the material conditions of the working class and am ready and willing to fight for our rights as student workers.
I believe it’s time to bring democracy into the workplace. It’s going to take all of us in solidarity. I recognize that the value of the institution comes from our labor – Western works because we do! I am a strong advocate for workers’ rights and will use my dedicated and passionate work on the ground to bring the voice of the people to the bargaining table.
Ben Workman Smith, Musicology

Ben Workman Smith, Musicology

Graduate Teaching Assistant - Music Department

I want to join the BC for several reasons.
1) I represent a notoriously hard-to-reach body of student workers on campus in music. I can make sure their voices are made known and their turnout increases
2) I am skilled in asking questions that see through bull shit lawyerisms and invite them to move away in a way that moves both parties forward.
3) I want to make sure this bargaining set has the best impact possible, even if I am not around to see the benefits.
Jude Ziliak, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Jude Ziliak, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Peer Advisor - Academic Advising & Student Achievement Center

I am an Electrical & Computer Engineering major and work as a Peer Advisor in the AASAC. I hope to join the WAWU Bargaining Committee and donate some of my time to furthering negotiations with Western admin. I hope to represent the interests of all student workers and in particular, student employees within the Engineering and Design Department. I have been organizing for WAWU in small ways during the past year, but hope to be helping more consistently as a member of your Bargaining Committee. Thank you!

Annie (Mickey) Jolliff, Biology

Annie (Mickey) Jolliff, Biology

Graduate Teaching Assistant - Biology Department

Jaime Blais, Marine & Estuarine Science

Jaime Blais, Marine & Estuarine Science

Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant - Biology Department

When I attended the first bargaining session this fall to be on the notetaking team, I was so inspired by the bargaining committee members’ knowledge, work ethic, and courage.  It was then that I realized just how much power we have to make substantial improvements to student employees’ quality of life at Western.  I will do my absolute best to represent you and your needs, while holding the administration accountable.

Erin Magarro, History

Erin Magarro, History

Tutor - Library Tutoring Center

Hi! I’m Erin Magarro (they/she)—a history buff, baker, lover of pop culture—and most importantly a proud member of WAWU. Since joining the effort in September 2022, me and my coworkers have successfully organized the majority of the Tutoring Center to sign in support of WAWU’s formation. Working consistently as a member of the OC (organizing committee) has brought me in community with student workers who love this campus enough to critique and improve it. Their spirit has steadily treated my nihilism and empowered me to seek membership on the bargaining committee (BC). As part of the BC I look forward to winning us wages that reflect rise in inflation, hourly guarantees, and an ameliorated Title IX processes. There is no excuse for the Title IX office to lose reports of harassment and leave the most vulnerable members of our community without a voice. My experience as a non-binary person of color in our community is a crucial perspective to have on a bargaining committee where issues of anti-racism, prevention of harassment, and discrimination will be addressed. A strong union is a community of support, and as a member of the bargaining committee I will continue to fight to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our WWU community.

Here are our incumbent bargaining committee members! 

Valerie Campbell, East Asian Studies

Valerie Campbell, East Asian Studies

Peer Advisor - Financial Aid

Hello! I’m Valerie Campbell, a senior undergraduate student here at WWU, and I am running for a Peer Advisor position on the bargaining committee. I joined WAWU in February and have rapidly organized my home department (Financial Aid) as well as find connections in other departments across campus. I am working behind the scenes to help run WAWU’s social media accounts and assist wherever I am needed. If elected as a member of the Bargaining Committee I wish to represent Work Study student employees and the unique struggles that we face. I envision a bargaining process where every voice is heard, and I believe we can negotiate a contract that does not compromise on justice, transparency, and equality. Western could not operate without us and it’s about time they recognized this and compensated us fairly!

Mason Nicholas, Data Science

Mason Nicholas, Data Science

Computer Assistant - Student Technology Center

Mara Sullivan, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies, Psychology

Mara Sullivan, Women Gender & Sexuality Studies, Psychology

Library Assistant - Haggard Hall & Wilson Library

I have no prior experience organizing or supporting union effort but am so proud to be a part of WAWU. I am hoping that WAWU is able to make WWU a better place not only for academic workers, but for students overall. During my time on the bargaining committee, I want to focus my efforts on disability advocation, a livable wage and benefits. My goal is to keep an open line of communication with the University to talk about problems that academic workers and students are facing.
If you ever see me at the library always feel welcome to come say hi! My passions are Stardew Valley (as well as other video games), reading, makeup, diamond painting and other crafts. I identify as a Sapphic leaning Bisexual and Demisexual, and use She/They pronouns.

Gabe Wong, Energy Science & Technology

Gabe Wong, Energy Science & Technology

Peer Advisor - AS Student Senate

Hi, I’m Gabe. I became involved in WAWU this January, but I had been hearing about WAWU since last spring. I got involved when I found out that WAWU is about uniting lots of kinds student workers. When I realized this, I was enchanted by the prospect of real shared governance at Western, a first step towards forcing Western to address the needs of its student workers.
Over the past two months talking to you, my peers, I know you want change. I hope that I can inspire and organize us to raise our expectations and to reach them by making clear and strong demands.
I’m seeking a position on the bargaining committee because I want to look Western’s administrators in the eyes, make demands, and know that they have to listen not because of who I am, but because of the collective power of student workers — because we keep Western running.
In my year and a half at Western, I have been strongly involved in Shred the Contract, and last spring I was elected as a Student Senator. These experiences have showed me that administrators don’t respond to strong arguments and rhetoric, the language they speak is power.
Together we have power, together Western must listen to us. I hope you choose me to channel our power.

Lexy Aydelotte, History

Lexy Aydelotte, History

Graduate Teaching Assistant - History Department

Having been with WAWU from the very beginning, I’ve dedicated myself to the cause for almost two years. In this time, I’ve seen the challenges and hurdles student workers encounter, and it’s fueled my commitment to drive change. At WAWU, we know that real progress starts with all of us getting involved. It’s not about trying to win hearts and minds in a boardroom, but about showing our strength through unity and determination. When Western Admin sees all of us, student workers, standing strong and united, they’ll have to listen. They said they wouldn’t bargain unless we passed a law, so we did. We can do this. Together, we’ll push for a fairer, safer and more inclusive university for everyone. I firmly believe that true leadership isn’t about commanding attention, eloquence, or always having the right answers. It’s about empowering each other and building a platform for our collective voice. If elected to the bargaining committee, I won’t just be an advocate; I’ll be an organizer, and a conduit between the issues that matter most and our fight for improvement, both at the bargaining table and in every facet of our workplace. Regardless of whether I’m elected or not, I’ll be treating solidarity like a verb, and working to make Western a more just, equitable, and livable place. It’s time for a new era of student activism, where every student worker has a say and a stake in our collective future. Join me in this movement for a materially just university. Together, we’ll make sure our voices are not just heard, but acted upon.

David Cummins, Chemistry

David Cummins, Chemistry

Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant - Chemistry Department

As a computational biochemist we invite collaboration between laboratories for the better good of drug discovery. Here at WAWU, we openly collaborate with every student worker to hear and address needs that have not been answered as time progresses forward. Our work here is for the future student workers, and that is a propellant on it’s own.