Unopposed WSGA candidates encourage more Washburn students to get involved

Cassie White and Randi McAfee had originally planned on serving on WSGA during their senior year as senators. They made a last minute decision and decided to run for office together the first week of February, announcing the decision as soon as filing for candidacy opened. No other students filed.  

Adam Vlach, [email protected] is a junior English and mass media major.

Filing for WSGA candidacy closed at 5 p.m. Feb. 28, Juniors Cassie White and Randi McAfee are the sole team in the race for presidency and vice presidency.  

Both White and McAfee are long-time members of WSGA, both joined their freshman year in fall 2011. They have each served both both as senators and in executive positions. Currently, White is a senator and McAfee is the campus liaison.

White and McAfee had originally planned on serving on WSGA during their senior year as senators. They made a last minute decision and decided to run for office together the first week of February, announcing the decision as soon as filing for candidacy opened. No other students filed.  

Flyers advertising the upcoming WSGA elections went up around campus around Valentine’s Day, but still there was no competition for White and McAfee that week or the following.

As time expired, the result was uncontested running mates. Even though now White and McAfee are guaranteed presidency and vice presidency, they were disappointed in how things worked out.

“Having competition is great,” said White. 

She fears that without it, students will not be very engaged in the election this year. 

McAfee says she would have liked opposition as well. She believes it would be good for the Washburn community to have an active election season. Of course with no opposition, there will be no debates.

In addition to the flyers, emails had been sent to student organizations and certain Facebook groups posted about the opportunity to run for office. 

All that aside, White and McAfee both agreed that the lack of opposition is still primarily due to lack of awareness. This is something that White said she intends to address during her term.  

Current WSGA President Shelbie Konkel wants students to know that it is important for students from all groups on campus to pay attention to WSGA. 

“WSGA in the past has been comprised of a lot of great students, but all too often they represent the same groups of students, so there is not a diverse range of opinions represented,” said Konkel. “The simple fact of the matter is that everyone has a stake in what WSGA does, because everyone pays into the activity fee, which WSGA is responsible for allocating.”

Students around campus gave various reasons as to why they did not run for WSGA office. A lack of time was the most popular reason. Others said they had no desire to be in any position of office, they did not know how to sign up or they simply had never given the idea any thought. Though there was one common factor among all the students interviewed: none of them knew election season was here.

Without having to spend time worrying about opposition, White and McAfee are focusing on what they will do to make Washburn the best they can and how to keep a situation such as this from happening again.

White wants students to know that at Washburn, WSGA is here to serve the students, not the other way around. Incorporating student organizations with WSGA and boosting the organizations’ activity is a major point White and McAfee plan to hit.