Student government election results are in

Tess Wilson / Washburn Review

The freshman elections for the Washburn Student Government Association took place Thursday, Sept. 6, for the 2012-2013 school year at Washburn University.

Kathleen Longhofer, Connor England, Keegan Russell, Kolin Klozenbucher and Damian Barron will be inducted tonight at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Kansas Room by Meredith Kidd dean of students.

Freshmen inductees don’t know the process of induction before induction actually occurs.

“I am super excited for my induction tonight, said Keegan Russell freshman senator. As can be expected I am a little nervous but only because I have no idea what it will be like.”

“The process in itself is actually pretty short. Dean Kidd will speak for a few minutes, and then he will swear the new senators in,” said Shelbie Konkel chief of staff for WSGA. “I’m excited to welcome the new Senators this evening, and I look forward to working with them. We have an awesome group of freshman senators who are already very willing to contribute to WSGA.”

The WSGA was established in 1909 for the purpose of representing and acting in the interest of Washburn University students.

“Once the Oath of Office has been administered, they will take their seats among the Senate, and we’ll begin our meeting as usual, ” said Konkel.

She also said the aspirations set this year are individualized.

“Our goals for this year are pretty unique. We are working on minimizing programming within the organization, and focusing more on how the organization can help students in a more representative manner,” said Konkel. We are working on initiatives would enable students better communicate with WSGA, and for WSGA to react to students’ wants and needs.

This organization has created an academic and extracurricular environment to benefit students through programs and to work to sustain and improve them each year.

“My goal for the semester is to learn as much as I can about the organization and what my role will be as a senator,”

said Russell. “Once I’ve created a foundation I will then see what ideas and suggestions I can offer the group.”

The way WSGA works is through the balance between executive and legislative branches. “Washburn Student Government Association is composed of 34 Senators, and 8 executive staff members,” said Konkel. “The Senate is made up of four committees- Spirit, Campus Affairs, Allocations and Communications- which meet on a biweekly basis. During Full Senate meetings the Senate debates and votes on legislation- such as funding for student organizations.”

The executive branch is made up of the student government president and vice president, who are elected each spring, and the executive staff that they appoint.

As stated previously, the legislative branch is composed of 34 senators, each serving a one year term. 27 senate seats are elected in general elections each spring, with five seats set aside for freshman senators elected in the fall.

The remaining two seats are filled through an open-seat process available in the fall for transfer students.

“As freshman they have a different and fresh perspective on matters that older students don’t necessarily have,” said Konkel. “It is that perspective that makes these invaluable to our organization. All of these students have direct contact with other freshmen, which makes them more accessible to this year’s freshman class.”

“Students should be involved with WSGA because it’s the most direct student organization on campus, said Konkel. We are fully funded by student activity fees; which means every student on campus has a stake in the decisions that we make, and how our organization operates. We also act as a liaison between the University Administration and the Students, so when questions regarding things like tuition increases are posed, we represents the students on the matter.”

For more information about WSGA and all of their activities go to www.mywsga.com.