Lawrence-Hockman: Candidates for 2009-10 WSGA president and vice president

Travis Perry

The campaign promises of Will Lawrence and Charity Hockman can be summed up in a single word: focused.

As they have burned the campaign trail over the last few weeks, stumping their platforms and informing students, Lawrence said in their drive to be elected the next president and vice president of the Washburn Student Government Association, they’ve fought hard to keep their goals minimal and grandiose.

“I’m not the type of person to run on something that can’t happen,” said Lawrence, a junior political science major, who added that for their campaign, they’ve chosen to focus on two big goals rather than several small ones. “There have been some concerns that our issues are broad, but we want them to be broad.”

The two big targets the Lawrence/Hockman team have taken point on include the establishment of a four-year tuition projection program, and the creation of on campus childcare, the latter of which has been a desire of Hockman’s for quite a while now.

On Campus Child Care

“I was very surprised when I came to school two years ago that Washburn didn’t have any child care,” said Hockman, a junior public administration major and mother of three. While a portion of the student activity fee, $30,000 to be exact, is given to University Child Development, 1621 S.W. College Ave., Hockman would like to see a facility established on campus with greater resources and the ability to accept a larger number of children. Currently, according to assistant director Cathy Gaddis, UCD is already at capacity with 40 children, 90 percent of whom are children of Washburn students.

“We feel very confident that we would be able to work with other departments and schools on campus, along with the Washburn Endowment Association to raise the funds,” said Hockman.

Tuition Projection

In terms of their tuition plan, Lawrence said the basic idea is to project the cost four years out to give students an idea of what their upcoming costs may be. After speaking with administrators such as Jerry Farley, university president, Tom Ellis, vice president of enrollment and Denise Ottinger, vice president of student life, Lawrence is confident the program is a definite possibility.

“This gives us a chance to create a conversation with students graduating high school,” said Lawrence. “We’re going to make some noise in Kansas.”

Currently, the University of Kansas is the only other institution in the state with a similar program, but unlike KU, any potential plan at Washburn would not be a tuition lock for freshman for four years, said Lawrence. He added that a plan such as a tuition lock would only hurt Washburn.

WSGA Accountability

Another platform issue the Lawrence/Hockman campaign has been stumping recently is increased accountability within WSGA. This should come as no surprise because both were adamantly opposed to actions and perceived actions undertaken by the current administration last semester. Most notable was the incorrect use of authority when Whitney Philippi, WSGA president, terminated Hockman early from her former position as special events director. This came shortly after Hockman had turned in her notice of resignation by the end of the semester.

Ultimately, Lawrence said he would like to setup more internal checks and balances within WSGA to prevent any potential abuses of power or conflicts of interest, but admitted they won’t be able to fix everything.

“I think that, to some extent, there’s always going to be some problems,” said Lawrence.

In the end, the two are hoping that their unique ticket, Lawrence as a traditional student and Hockman as a non-traditional student, when combined with their issues will resonate with the wide variety of students at Washburn.

Know the Facts:Will LawrenceHometown: Burlington, Kan.Major: Political Science

Charity HockmanHometown: Topeka, Kan.Major: PublicAdministration

The IssuesCreate 4-year tuition projection programBuild and establish on-campus child care for Washburn studentsBring greater accountability to WSGA