VIDEO: WSGA hands torch to new leaders

VIDEO: WSGA hands torch to new leaders

It’s time again for the leaders of the past year to step down and for new ones to step in and begin a new chapter as leaders of the Washburn University student body.

Last Wednesday, April 20, Caley Onek and Lucas Mullin stepped down as president and vice-president of the Washburn Student Government Association and Taylor McGown and Michael Kitowski were sworn in by Meredith Kidd, Dean of Students.  

“There is no more fun group to watch get together, to prepare for a meeting then the WSGA,” said Kidd

The meeting began with Kidd awarding Mullin with a certificate for his hard work and dedication with WSGA for the last four years provided by Washburn Student Life.

Kidd continued with the swearing-in of the new president and vice-president by reading their rights and the responsibilities as leaders of the Washburn student body. After McGown and Kitowski were both sworn in, Onek and Mullin pinned them with their presidential badges, ending the Onek/Mullin administration and beginning a new chapter with the McGown/Kitowski administration.

“We are very excited to serve the student body,” said McGown. “It’s an awesome honor, big responsibility but we are excited, we are ready, we have a lot of great ideas, we are setting goals and we are establishing ways so we can accomplish our platform ideas. We have a lot to build off of but we are ready and excited.”

McGown and Kitowski both said that they never could have imagined ever being leaders of the whole Washburn student body when first coming in their freshmen year.

“I just really wanted to be involved and getting involved in WSGA just turned into this,” said Kitowski

McGown did not expect to ascend to the presidency when she ran as a freshman senator.

“I ran as a freshmen senator for WSGA and I was not really sure what I was doing at first but I decided to still try it out and it ended up turning into something great but I could not have expected being president of the whole student body,” said McGown

McGown said that the top goals are getting their three platform ideas started. These top priorities consist of Bod Nights in which throughout the year WSGA will plan events to help enhance student participation and involvement on campus, as well as a 24-hour library and a more user-friendly online learning system.

“We have already started planning some Bod nights, getting those ready for next year, as soon as students come we’re going to plan on having a Bod night within the first month or two of school,” said McGown.  “For Bod Nights, we are going to work closely with other student organizations to get them more involved so it will be a collaborative effort between everybody.”

McGown said that they are meeting with the right people to see what they can do to develop a plan for the 24-hour library.

“Of course there are always going to be struggles and problems such as where are we going to put it, what is it going to cost and all those types of things but we definitely just want to get a plan started for the library,” said McGown

McGown said that they are meeting with Randy Pembrook, Vice President of Academic Affairs, to better the online learning program.

“Along with our online learning system, we want to make it more user-friendly. Pembrook has developed a plan that will have incentives for the professors to use the program,” said McGown. “The new professors that come in are going to have to be trained on those programs. It’s going to be a learning process but we are involved in those decision making processes and it is something we plan to continue to work on.”

McGown said she believes the Washburn grade check system has been a problem for a long time.

“Caley Onek and Lucas Mullin went through a lot of obstacles with the grade checks and I think we are on the rise to finding a solution for that,” said McGown. “I believe we will get there eventually, it will just take time, effort from our whole executive staff and all of our senators.”

McGown and Kitowski both said that they are extremely excited to have new people come in and work in the offices as well as people who have been on the senate or worked on the executive staff before.

“We have a lot of fresh faces that are ready to learn, ready to jump right in and get started and everybody has been working really hard this week,” said McGown. “This was our first week as an executive staff and everybody has been jumping on goals, doing research, planning, brainstorming ideas for the task that they were assigned.  We are excited for the people that we chose to be on the executive staff.  They are all extremely qualified, extremely involved on campus in many different areas other than WSGA.”

McGown and Kitowski said their newly elected staff have a lot of work ahead of them and that Washburn University has a great year to look forward to.