Washburn Student Goverment reassembles for spring semester


Adelia Lawrenz

Friends Old and New: WSGA Members eagerly greet each other after a long absence of WSGA meetings over winter break. WSGA’s first meeting of the Spring Semester occured on Jan 26, 2022, at 6:30pm in the Kansas Room.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022, Washburn Student Government Association welcomed back all members at the first weekly meeting of the Spring Semester. Though the bulk of the meeting was approving funding requests, there were also new senators appointed to committees and an intriguing dialogue opened up about whether or not WSGA should be responsible for the majority of the homecoming planning.

The position of Speaker, left by Jayce Wessel, newly appointed Director of Special Events, is taken by Senator Trey LaRue.The empty spot on the Nominations Committee is now filled by Senator Dante Jordan, and the opening on the Internal Finance Committee is now occupied by Senator Bella Wood.

There were five funding requests in total, two from orchestral related groups; SB 21-22 #079 from the Washburn University Cello Association asking $2,300 from WSGA for I Heart Cello Day, and SB 21-22 #081 from Washburn Symphony Orchestra in which they asked for $1,500 to fund a trip to attend a live performance of the Kansas City Symphony, both of which aim to enrich students’ musical experiences. Additionally, Leadership Institute requested $366.35 for Scholarship Interview Day through SB 21-22 #080, the Sociology and Anthropology Club requested $179 to aid their plan for attending the traveling Auschwitz exhibit that is currently being displayed at Union Station in Kansas City, and Campus and Community Affairs within WSGA has requested $750 to cover flu-shots and make access to them free to students. All five motions were passed.

During Public Forum I, President Abby Trautman posed the question; Should WSGA be responsible for the majority of planning for Homecoming in future semesters? This question was brought up for varying reasons, first, it is incredibly difficult to begin planning Homecoming before the election for the next academic year during the Spring Semester, which is when decisions need to be made on items such as logos and decoration orders, and it puts an amount of stress on the Special Events Director that is perhaps unreasonable to ask of one person. There was no clear outcome at the end of the discussion, but many points were brought to attention.

“As much as the Student Life Office does its best to represent students and students’ wants, students are also really good innovators when it comes to the creativity of a homecoming.” said Parliamentarian Zac Surritt. “Who’s to say we would have had a ball pit or a sandbox if the student government hadn’t been in charge?”

WSGA members largely agreed that they still wanted some part in it, though it was also acknowledged that it is difficult for WSGA members to attend homecoming events if they are the main volunteers for events. A proposal for a happy medium that many members seemed to like was leaving the logo design, marketing, and parade organization to Student Life and leave WSGA responsible for giveaways, events, budgeting and similar tasks. Ariel Smith, the previous Director of Special Events, and the one who was the authority in planning the past homecoming spoke up, explaining that she saw both sides, and that she, as someone who loves the kind of work that is required of planning an event of this scale, was happy to be in charge, but it was also immensely draining to her mental health.

“I love event planning. I was the event planner for Genesis Health Clubs, I have experience. With that said though, planning a week of events is totally different. And you come into your position when the new administration comes in, in April.” said Smith, “And immediately… you have all these people you’re meeting and they’re asking for decisions to be made. And you just got there.”

To end on a lighter note, the role call question for this meeting was simply, “Do you like pickles?” And with a majority of answers being ‘yes,’ the meeting was adjourned.

Edited By :- Simran Shrestha, Katrina Johnson