UW General Assembly Press Release

Here is the press release for the General Assembly starting Tuesday January 10th at 5:00PM in the Kane Hall Lobby. It will also be permanently linked in the media section

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JANUARY 3, 2011

Contact Information: An assembly of University of Washington community members, uwgenassembly@gmail.com

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON COMMUNITY MEMBERS PLAN TO HOST A GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO ACT AS AN ALTERNATIVE, INCLUSIVE SPACE FOR THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY TO ENGAGE IN DEMOCRATIC DISCUSSION AND GOVERNANCE

University of Washington Campus, Seattle –

On January 10th at 5:00PM, a General Assembly open to all members of the University of Washington community will be held in the lobby of Kane Hall. The General Assembly will act as a forum where the entire campus community can regularly voice their concerns about campus issues, outside of meetings facilitated by the administration.

Recently, a group of University of Washington community members gathered to discuss the need for an alternative voice for the campus community. Many present at the meeting conveyed a sense of disillusionment with the current bureaucratic channels available within the University, citing, among other things, the disparate representation within the ASUW Senate. A biochemistry student noted, “I don’t see any direct conflict with ASUW, and there are certainly a lot of people within ASUW who are pushing for pretty admirable causes, but I believe that the process by which the ASUW operates can be both exclusive, and alienating to the majority of students.” The meeting culminated in the decision to host a General Assembly open to all members of the UW community.

There is currently no forum on campus where students, faculty, staff and alumni are all welcome to express concerns and engage in collective discussion on University matters. Citing the need for conversation among normally isolated communities on campus, one student said, “The problems our university is facing are collective problems, that everyone can and should have a voice in. This GA is a chance for all voices to be heard as everyone feels the pain from budget cuts and austerity. We all realize changes need to be made–TAs see mounding work, students see shrinking classes, custodial staff see severe cuts, faculty are feeling the pressure of larger classes- -but we each are engaged with our own little pieces.” The group hopes to have students, faculty and staff represented at the assembly.

All present at the meeting expressed a dedication to ensuring that General Assembly is not used to promote the political agenda of those organizing it. A nursing student present at the meeting said, “General Assembly is not about promoting a certain political agenda. It is about promoting the general principles of participatory democracy and collective decision-making.” University of Washington General Assembly is not a Registered Student Organization nor is it affiliated with any Registered Student Organization.

To learn more about the University of Washington General Assembly, visit the website http://www.uwgenassembly.org, or e-mail uwgenassembly@gmail.com.

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