WSGA strikes bill

New Sign, New Cost Washburn Student Government Association’s old sign stands shut down and unused. WSGA just passed a bill allowing the purchase of a new sign for $19,000.

The Washburn Student Government Association voted against a recent amendment to their constitution that would have created a permanent position in student government for students with disabilities.

WSGA was unanimous in their decision during their weekly Wednesday meeting on Feb. 29.

“The senate body really felt that the bill was a hindrance more than a help,” said Michael Kitowski, vice president of WSGA. “They were concerned about the precedent it would set and how it would impact future students who wanted to be a part of the WSGA but couldn’t due to the need to keep a position reserved for students with disabilities.”

The bill was proposed by Shawn Bryant, a self-identified student with a disability, who was once involved with WSGA.  Bryant is a community advocate for people with disabilities and will be graduating in May with a degree in political science.

“There were several reasons for the amendment, but most importantly I saw a need to create a pure level of representation for people with disabilities on campus,” said Bryant.

While his amendment did not pass, Bryant was not discouraged.

“I’m very happy with the discussion that the bill started,” said Bryant. “While I understand the concerns of the senate, I do believe we came to the conclusion that there was a lack of representation and communication to students with disabilities.”

 WSGA does have a clear non-discrimination clause.

“I think going forward we can learn from this,” said Kitowski. “His message definitely spread awareness about what a student with disabilities would do to help WSGA.”