WSGA asks campus ‘wipe out’ poverty with toilet paper drive

Tricia Friesen

Toilet paper: an important necessity of everyday life. If it weren’t for the founding fathers of Quilted Northern, Charmin or Angel Soft, who knows what we would be using? Therefore, the Washburn Student Government Association has taken initiative to help others who can’t help themselves to a decent roll.

WSGA hosted a toilet paper drive, “Wiping out Poverty One Square at a Time” from Monday, Feb. 12, to Friday, Feb. 23. A booth was set up each day in front of the Corner Store to promote the drive. All the toilet paper was donated to the Topeka Rescue Mission, a charitable corporation that goes through 400 rolls per week.

“When we found out that they [Topeka Rescue Mission] go through 400 rolls per week, we were shocked,” said Chelsea Chaney, public relations director for WSGA.

According to, the Topeka Rescue Mission is committed to assisting the homeless by providing emergency shelter, food, clothing, meals, programs and services to families in need. In 2006, the mission served more than 200,000 meals and gave clothing to almost 5,000 people. Molly Shea, WSGA vice president, said the mission houses over 170 people a night.

Both Chaney and Shea thought a toilet paper drive was something out of the ordinary and a little bit edgy.

“We thought that a toilet paper drive would be different and fun,” said Shea.

To promote the drive, WSGA sold “I love WU” buttons for one four-roll package of toilet paper or $1. They ordered 100 limited edition “I Wiped Out Poverty” T-shirts and sold them for one 24-roll package of toilet paper or $10.

To get students interested and excited about the drive, the WSGA spray painted a toilet gold and placed a royal blue seat cover on the lid. A toilet paper fashion show and toilet paper games were some of the events hosted by WSGA. By the end of the drive, WSGA hopes to collect 4,800 rolls which will stock the mission with a three-month supply of toilet paper.

“We hope to alleviate some of their costs,” said Chaney. “If everyone pitches in a little bit, it will help out the overall cause.”

The amount of toilet paper collected will be announced on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Washburn men’s basketball game.