Pierce Pioneer

The Drop – Episode 5 – Denise Yochum Memorial

Daniel So brings the listener to Denise Yochum's memorial.

Host: Daniel So

Presidents & Pastries pulls in a crowd

Student Government and the President of Fort Steilacoom tell them about opportunities and situations with students


Ismael Rodriguez / Staff Photo

Cameron Cox explains how student leaderships positions now could help them find employment in the future.

Many would pass on the Performance lounge on Nov. 19 and see students gathered in a semi-circle. This was the Presidents & event that was attended by many students, student government and even the President of Fort Steilacoom, Denise Yochum, was seen sitting in the room talking to the students.

During this event the Student Leaders as well as Yochum told students how being in a leadership position could affect their job possibilities as well as other things that will change their education.

Still, many sat in silence as Yochum spoke about herself. She openly said she was a first generation college graduate; on top of that education was an escape. There was even a point where Yochum was in the news for her speaking against a zoning ordinance that would ban farm animals at the time.

College policy was shared showing that student’s education was the focus. Yochum said that the Fort Steilacoom Campus was seeking to offer the best education no matter the situation of the student.

The ASPCFS Vice President, Antione Wooten, and the ASPCFS President, Nataley Guajardo, told why they did the event. Wooten said “Another reason that we are really here today is to really pick your guys brains and see what are some of the goals that you guys want to see. What do you notice around you?”

Students asked questions to the director of Student Life, Cameron Cox, and the other staff in attendance. He told them the requirements for Student Government and Wooten told how they are looking for an additional member of the Technical Committee. This position would be ensuring Technology is replaced.

It was explained the clubs and resources that students could tap into. Clubs like the Running club, Gamers Enjoying Each others Company or Geec among other resources like American Honors. They even encouraged students to join or make a club.

The Legislative Senator, Robert Lasker, was also in attendance. He addressed the Mcleary decision and how it could affect the college. He addressed how class sizes would be reduced and the possible increase in tuition. Along with these he also brought up the possibility of food stamps or EBT being usable on campus.

Criminal Law student, Malcolm Clark said “I thought it went great. It explained of stuff we didn’t know about the school and it brought a variety of things to think about.”

Yochum thought the event went well saying, “We had a lot of students here and I think they are going to be future leaders.”

Economic equality for women in Washington State

Rep. Denny Heck and panel of influential women discuss pay inequalities between men and women in WA. state.


Denise Yochum, Trena Payton, Maggie Humphreys, Danny Heck, Michelle Johnson, Natalie Jolly, and Khurshida Begum (from left to right)

“There is no coordination of ‘Why is it important for me? How does it relate to me as a woman, as a mother, as a caregiver, as a wife? Why would those STEM programs even matter in the real world?’” said Khurshida Begum about raising awareness about STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education ) in Washington State.

Raising awareness of education, inequalities, and other social issues was the main topic on hand for the committee of women and State Representative Denny Heck.

Congregating in the Performance Lounge at Peirce College, Rep. Heck and a panel of women, who included Peirce College Chancellor Michele Johnson and Fort Steilacoom Campus’ President, Denise Yochum.

Other women on the panel were Khurshida Begum, human rights advocate, Trena Payton, president of ABN Technologies, Maggie Humphreys, advocate for young women, and Dr. Natalie Jolly, professor of women’s studies at UWT, to discuss several serious topics about equality for women in the workplace along with college.

“There is a 90% wage differential at full professorship at a major research university. Women make 90% of what men make. It’s not even about the equity there, when you look at how many full professors there are at the research institution; 3 times as many men as women, which is interesting. At the instructor level there are 3 women for every 2 men,” said Yochum.

This points out that there is less of an opportunity for women to move into these higher level positions than there is for men.

When it comes to salary discussion, the panel got a question from the audience about how to know if the pay is different if the companies do not allow its employees to talk about it. Rep. Heck stated he was introducing a bill to wipe that away and make pay transparent.

“It is key to look at the policy at the core reality that over 80% of the women in the US will become mothers. That is really defines the economic issues which we are talking about. For policies like Family and Medical leave act, expanding that to a paid leave is key. It addresses that fact that women will become a caregiver at one time in their life,”  said Humphreys on the need to change policies for women in the workforce.

At the end of the entire meeting, the panel was applauded for their conversations and thoughts throughout the night. Members stayed after to answer individual questions for those who did not get to ask during the meeting. Rep. Heck is continuing his quest for equality in the work environment, and in life in general.

About the Writer
Photo of Dominic Wilkerson
Dominic Wilkerson, Managing Editor

Dominic Wilkerson is the Managing Editor of The Pioneer. Please contact me at [email protected] or 253-964-6604. The Pioneer office is located in...

Leave a Comment