Philippi, Billinger reflect on term

Jennifer Loucks

Each spring, Washburn Student Government Association holds elections, and then two new students take the reins of leadership on campus. A practical first step might be for the new president and vice president, as well as the voters, to reflect back on the successes, obstacles and improvements of the previous administration.

President Whitney Philippi and vice president Amy Billinger feel positive about their time in office. Ultimately, they believe they were able to successfully get through many of the issues and problems that arose along the way to accomplish their goals.

As in any political position, the job does not come with a guarantee of smooth sailing. During the Philippi/Billinger administration, there were numerous internal controversies they had to cope with.

For example, Philippi said there were staff issues with the outdoor stage.

“These problems distracted from our main purpose, and the amount of time we lost is unfortunate,” said Philippi. “However, once we got past these road blocks, we have come a long way towards our original goals.”

After that was settled, the organization ran efficiently and made great strides in other areas.

In this semester alone, WSGA has already ordered new printers for the library, which was one of their campaign goals.

“Among our other projects, we have started the WTE Committee and Food Services Committee, which are already making headway,” said Billinger.

Philippi said her administration has works in progress as well. For instance, it has passed a bill to fund an event at College Hill along with Alcohol Awareness and Safety Weeks.

“The goals we set for this administration were very idealistic, and we are content with that fact,” said Philippi. “Our campaign goals were never easily quantifiable. We brought a different perspective to the Senate that was academically and more broadly focused.”

“We are still working to complete our campaign goals, but we understand that the ideas we had may take more time than anyone thought,” said Billinger. “For instance, the Food Services and WTE Committees are initiatives we encourage the Senate to keep because these are ideas that take time to improve, but are very beneficial for students. The Senate is not only here for short term gain, they are in it for the long run, for the good of Washburn’s future.”

Even with elections taking place within such a short period of time, WSGA has no intention of slowing down. They fully aim to work until the last minutes of their term.

However, Billinger said there would be no rush at the midnight hour for WSGA. The committees and programs that the administration is focused on now are long-term.

“My goal, as president, is to get the Senate to sign on for a Heartland Visioning Strategy that they will carry on for the next five, 10, or 20 years,” said Philippi.

From administration to administration, both leaders and senators have stressed the need for carrying on traditions. Along with new officers come new ideas and new views, but the blue and white baton will not be dropped by the next runners.