WU looking to top ESU in third food drive

Lauren Eckert

Canned goods line the walls of the Washburn Student Government Association office as students eagerly anticipate canning Emporia again this year during Washburn’s annual Can Emporia drive.

Started by the Shald-Shea administration during the 2006-2007 school year, the Can Emporia drive encourages students to turn in canned food items to help feed people in need in the Topeka community. The drive is a competition between rivals Washburn and Emporia State University.

Stats currently stand 1-1, with Emporia collecting 13,000 cans while Washburn only collected 8,000 during the first year of competition. Last year, Washburn took a commanding lead collecting 26,000 cans in comparison to Emporia’s 13,000.

Whitney Philippi, Washburn Student Government Association president, has encouraged all students to participate in the drive. She says WSGA has been working hard to promote the event by holding a press conference, storming the dorms for donations, posting flyers and contacting businesses for donations. Erica Koepsel, public relations director for WSGA, has even started a Facebook group to draw the interest of students.

“It’s really important because of its dual nature,” said Philippi. “It’s not only something to help raise school spirit, but it also gives back to the Topeka community.”

But bragging rights aren’t the only incentives. Students turning in 20 cans receive a free Washburn thermos. Thirty-five cans will garner them a free thermos and T-shirt. As a final incentive, a donation of 50 or more cans gets the student a thermos, T-shirt and puts him or her in the running for the opportunity to sit on the spirit couch at the homecoming football game on Oct. 11.

The campaign for canned goods is still in high gear as WSGA plans to continue promotion for the drive by advertising Coldstone Day on Sept. 24, where Coldstone Creamery will match the 10 percent student discount already available to Washburn students by donating an additional 10 percent to the Can Emporia drive. WSGA also plans big promotion at the upcoming Family Day event to be held Sept. 27. Finally, the Washburn University Bookstore is giving out coupons for discounts on Washburn apparel for students who bring in their canned goods.

All of the canned goods collected, as well as all monetary donations for the drive, will be given to Let’s Help Inc., which gives to people in need throughout the Topeka community.

The food drive runs through Oct. 10, and all students are encouraged to continue turning in their canned items in hopes of beating Emporia for the second year in a row.

“I’m really excited about connecting to the community and beating Emporia again,” Philippi said. Philippi also wants to remind all Washburn students to be on the look-out for more free giveaways throughout the final weeks of competition.