WSGA preps for semester

Kendra Ward

Although the fall semester just started, the Washburn Student Government Association has been working hard over the summer to organize events to begin the year.

“We have been here countless hours working,” said Amy Billinger, WSGA vice president.

Most of Billinger’s summer was taken up with editing the student planners. She included the iSave discount on the back of planner to make it more convenient to students instead of giving out a card with all the discounts.

Whitney Philippi, WSGA president, has been working with the Heartland Visioning Project as a Washburn representative. Heartland Visioning is an organization that involves people all over Shawnee County working to improve Topeka.

“I’ve really been working with making connections with the city, which is great, because we’re trying to get them more involved with Can Emporia,” said Philippi.

The executive staff has been working on ideas for the last month for Can Emporia, as well as homecoming, which fall on the same week.

“Those are just programs that it’s known WSGA is going to do,” said Billinger. “As soon as those fade out toward the middle of this semester, we can work on more of those things that we talked about during elections.”

WSGA has been working with the Risk Management and Safety Department to work on a Emergency Notification System for students. They have also been meeting with Robin Bowen, vice president of academic affairs, to work on making Washburn’s general education program better and get students more involved.

As per their campaign promise to help better Mabee Library, changes have already occurred. The gray walls have been repainted, a scanner has been made available to students, and different study environments have been provided, including a media center. A TV to watch the news will be installed soon.

“Commuter students sometimes don’t have a place to go if they have 50 minutes between classes,” said Billinger. “They need somewhere to go between classes to kill time, and hopefully the media center will help with that.”

Philippi and Billinger have been concentrating on how to make the WTE mentoring easier and more exciting for students and professors.

“We really want each student to become connected to one of the professors. We think that’s the most transforming part of the university,” said Billinger. “To be taken under the wing of someone who knows so much more than you is a growing experience.”

Charity Hockman, special events director, has been working on this year’s lecture series, Transformation through Education. The first speaker, Greg Mortenson, will be coming to Washburn on November 20. He is the author of “Three Cups of Tea.” The other two lectures will occur spring semester.

In September, different committees in WSGA will break down and talk about different plans that they hope to accomplish this year.

“Until we have a retreat for what each committee is wanting to do, we don’t really have [specific] things planned,” said Hockman.