Philippi/Billinger clinch student vote

Passing the torch Winning presidential/vice presidential team Whitney Philippi (far left) and Amy Billinger (far right) celebrate with current president and vice president Vince Bowhay (middle left) and Lacey Keller (middle right) following their close 40-vote win against opposing team Patrick Muenks and Billie Jean Bergmann.

Victoria Garcia

The experience of becoming the 2008-09 WSGA President and Vice President has been a humbling one for Whitney Philippi and Amy Billinger. It was a difference of only 40 votes that resulted in the duo’s win of 393 votes on the evening of Friday, March 7.

“I know I was up against some very qualified opponents that would have done an amazing job in office,” said Philippi.

Despite the loss, opposing candidates Patrick Muenks and Billie Jean Bergmann, who ended up with 353 votes, maintain a positive outlook about their future involvement within the student population at Washburn.

“Billie Jean and I will be starting to work with the athletic department to bring back Bod Squad, formerly one of the largest student organizations on campus with close to 500 members at one time,” said Muenks. “We are thankful to those who supported us and want to congratulate Whitney and Amy along with the senators. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

Philippi, a double major in history and English, and Billinger, a history major with a minor in military studies, decided to team up two months ago when Philippi was in search of a running mate for the WSGA elections.

“Amy has an outsider’s perspective and sees various aspects of campus that I might not catch at first glance,” said Philippi. “I’ve known her for years and she was [and] will be a great choice as a partner.”

Next week Philippi and Billinger plan to put out executive staff applications that will be due shortly after spring break. The remaining weeks in March will serve as a time of preparation before they take office in April. In addition to forming a special topic committee, Philippi hopes to start the election term off by examining the budget.

“We are hoping to take a good look at the budget to see what we can do so that we are on top of things for the upcoming semester,” said Philippi.

With one of the largest issues in the Philippi/Billinger campaign centering on the future improvements throughout Mabee Library, Philippi is eager to put words into action.

“We are going to start it and we hope that it’s a project that continues even after we are out of office,” said Philippi. “We care about Washburn as a whole and we are driven by the fact that there are many things that we can improve upon to make this a better, more prestigious campus.”