College Hill: Part 3

Kate McCown

“With the support of students, this project will be an influential and positive development for College Hill, Washburn University students [and] the overall Topeka community.”

As President of the Washburn Student Government Association, I have vigorously supported the redevelopment of College Hill. Building upon efforts made by the past four WSGA administrations, Vice President Rachel Will and I have made the neighborhood improvement plan a priority during our term in office. Several key elements have motivated WSGA to remain committed to the plan for so many years. First, development of the College Hill neighborhood will result in an increase of conveniently located living accommodations, businesses, restaurants and other services valuable to Washburn students and employees. This development will help foster the college town atmosphere that Washburn students and future Ichabods crave. In addition to an increase in off-campus housing and businesses, improvement of this neighborhood will result in a safer environment surrounding the Washburn campus. As Washburn looks toward the future, with the potential for future growth and continued successes, a secure surrounding and attractive community atmosphere is crucial. Finally, the project will provide an environment in which Washburn students and Topeka residents can interact, further strengthening the development of community involvement and civic pride.

While the contributions WSGA has made have not been, nor will be, financial, we have made every effort as an organization to sponsor clean up days, encourage student involvement in planning stages and compile student opinions as to what they would like to see added to the neighborhood. When surveyed, Washburn students overwhelmingly stated that they wanted more housing and businesses close to campus. The College Hill development plan would provide both of these amenities in addition to all of the benefits that come with urban redevelopment. With the support of Washburn students, I believe that this project will be an influential and positive development for residents of College Hill, Washburn University and its students, as well as the overall Topeka community.

The possibility of change often comes with fear regarding how that change may ultimately turn out. In the case of College Hill, however, the potential benefits of change within the neighborhood clearly outweigh the cost of inaction. The redevelopment of College Hill is a change that will greatly benefit the residents of College Hill, the Topeka community and the students of Washburn University. I, along with Vice President Will, the entire WSGA senate and countless Washburn students stand behind the redevelopment plan of College Hill because we are committed to the improvement of Washburn University and the community of Topeka. As the only municipally financed university in the country, it is with ease that the connections between Washburn and the community can be drawn; a connection which demands our unwavering support to community redevelopment within College Hill.

Kate McCown

WSGA President