From both sides

Matthew Kelly / Washburn Review

Candidate, Taylor McGown is eagerly anticipating this week’s WSGA presidential election.

Alongside her running mate, Michael Kitowski, McGown is confident that her experiences in various executive positions at Washburn have provided her with the skills necessary to fill the role of student body president.

“I’ve been extremely involved on campus, so I think that I know a lot of different people,” said McGown. “I believe that through my leadership experience in WSGA, as well as my other organizations, that I would be well suited for this position, to represent the students as a whole in all of the areas that the president has to represent the students in.”

McGown has been interested in WSGA since she first stepped foot on the Washburn campus, as she has followed the in the footsteps of her older brother.

“My brother was on student government when he attended Washburn, and he told me it was a great way to get involved, a great way to voice your opinion, and help out the students, so I thought, I can try it out and see what happens,” said McGown.

During her freshman year, McGown was a senator in WSGA, spirit committee chair for WSGA, a member of Bod Squad and the Student Recreational and Wellness Club, and was initiated into the Alpha Lambda Delta freshman honor society. Since then she has held the role of WSGA public relations director, and is currently the president of Bod Squad, and WSGA budget director. These are some of the positions she has held at Washburn.

As part of her platform, McGown has a long-term goal of extending the hours of the Mabee library to 24-hours-a-day. She also plans to change Washburn’s online course system from Angel to an alternative system called Blackboard.

“We want to bring a 24-hour access library, which would be huge at this campus. We want to change our online system from Angel to Blackboard, which again is a huge decision that the university has to make. We just want to be at the highest level that we possibly can, we want to be that university that everybody looks at as: ‘they have the best technology, they have the best facility, they have the best resources that a university could offer’.”

McGown said it could take a couple of years to make the 24-hour access library a reality due to the financial challenges, and logistical planning. However, she feels it is important that WSGA plan for the future, as well as focusing on short-term goals. Through her and her running mate’s interactions with the dean of libraries, Dr. Bearman, the three of them have agreed that extended library hours would help Washburn to compete with neighboring universities.

“Obviously as soon as we get into office, we can’t snap our fingers and have a building built, but Michael and I have met with [Bearman] and he basically has been looking for students to push this for a very long time, because a lot of area schools have 24-hour access libraries. All of our neighboring schools do. I think that’s a major concern, in that, we are behind a little bit.”

At Washburn, many of the students who hold leadership positions tend to serve in multiple leadership positions on campus. Although McGown supports students who are so highly involved, she feels that this could be the symptom of a problem with student involvement in general; that students who are uninvolved on campus may not be fully enjoying their college experience.

“It’s the same students over and over again in the same leadership positions. You see it all over campus. I was the president of Bod Squad and I’m trying for president of WSGA. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that the students who like to be involved are involve, but there are so many positions out there that the students could have a part in.”

McGown added: “Some students don’t realize they need that in their lives, to have that extracurricular activity. I would be so bored and so burnt out from school if I didn’t have Bod Squad and WSGA to actually do something fun rather than just study every night.”

McGown’s opponents, Rizki Aljupri and running-mate Nic Campbell, have a detailed platform which, among other goals, involves starting a newsletter to keep students informed about want goes on at the WSGA senate meetings. Although McGown respects their goals to enhance communication between the students and their government, she did share a few criticisms.

“That is a focus the WSGA needs to work on is to make sure that those lines of communication are open; that are minutes are always available for those students; that students know what we do inside and outside of senate. Our WSGA website already provides the minutes; already provides what we’re up to, and the events that we’re planning.”

McGown went on to stress that the students are the central focus of her campaign, and that the students should feel free to approach her or her running-mate on any issue in order to better their college experience.

“Our slogan is ‘for students, for change’. That means we are for you, and we are here to help you; here to give you the college experience that you want.”