VIDEO: WSGA looks to ‘Can Emporia’

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The student government associations at Washburn and Emporia State are having a friendly competition. “Can Emporia” is going on right now through Feb. 21. Washburn students and faculty can bring canned donations to the Washburn Student Government Association office. They are also accepting cash and check donations. All contributions go to help local food banks in the community through Project Topeka.

The winning school, with the most donations, will be announced at the Washburn vs. Emporia State basketball game at Emporia State University on Feb. 22.

As an incentive for students to collect and donate canned goods, both student govenment presidents, Ashley Vogts, Emporia State, and Taylor McGown, Washburn, have agreed that the winning school will have the opportunity to pie the losing school’s student president.

“There is a lot of trash talking on Facebook that goes on,” said McGown.

 McGown also said that if a pie in the face to the losing school’s president is not enough incentive, WSGA has included a few more prizes for students. If 10 cans are donated, the student automatically gets a t-shirt. McGown said that often the t-shirts try to poke fun at the other school to add to the competition aspect.

Prizes for bringing in less than 10 cans include Sonic and Chipotle coupons. If students bring in 25 cans or more, they have the opportunity to be entered into a drawing for two $200 visa gift cards and one $300 visa gift card.

Last year, WSGA raised over 6,300 canned donations and $6,000 through monetary donations. Since each dollar counts for three cans, last year, the program’s final can count was around 26,000 cans. This year, their goal is to raise more than last year’s figures.

While the competition is called “Can Emporia,” WSGA is also welcoming other non-perishable food items such as cereals and jarred foods.

There will be a WSGA table accepting donations at all Washburn basketball games, as well. McGown said she hoped this would encourage community members to donate. All donations must be submitted by 5 p.m. Feb. 21, in order to count for the competition.

Curently, WSGA has seen most monetary donations at sporting events.

“It seems like most people come to sporting events not realizing that we’re collecting,” said Eric Benedict, WSGA chief-of-staff. “So, we see most people donate money at our table once they realize we are collecting,”

Cari Howarter, a sophomore art and psychology double major, and Lexi Lemons, a freshmen art major, are both planning on donating to “Can Emporia.” Both believe it is a good way for Washburn to give back to the community. Lemons said that a university has a great opportunity for gathering more cans than most food drives because of the large student body.

Howarter and Lemons believe that Washburn will win in the end.

“Emporia is going down,” said Howarter.