For the first time in over five years, Washburn University took home the prize in Can Emporia, a WSGA canned food drive against Emporia State University.
Alexis Simmons, Washburn student body president, says that the win against Emporia was only one of the successful programs that WSGA completed in Fall 2017.
“We are so lucky that we have a Campus and Community Affairs Director, Erasmo Nunez, who switched things up, and we won so that was exciting,” Simmons said.
Between the two schools, Washburn and Emporia were able to collect over 80,000 cans, making this project a success. Simmons believes that another one of her campaign promises that she fulfilled was the increased involvement in homecoming.
“Homecoming was a big [campaign promise],” said Simmons. “It was something that everyone came together to make their own and personal.”
Simmons credits WSGA Vice-President Scott Weinkauf in revamping homecoming, involving more students, and increasing participation throughout the week. However, success also came with overcoming challenges for WSGA, and Simmons said that new members and a mix of personalities created a unique test for WSGA senators this year.
Yet, Simmons believes that “the new backgrounds and so many views represented,” ultimately became a strength of WSGA, leading to a group of senators who were able to better serve the Washburn students.
Next semester Simmons says that WSGA has more events planned, such as bringing activist Megan Phelps, a member of the #MeToo campaign, to campus Feb. 6, as well as the Washburn tradition, The Big Event.
One of the most anticipated events for WSGA is an event in which around 70-student government representatives from across the state will be hosted at Washburn in the KBI building.
Students will meet guests from the state and learn how to lobby for a variety of interests, such as conceal and carry on campus, higher education funding and sexual assault prevention. However, out of all that WSGA has completed in Fall 2017 and plans to continue in Spring 2018, Simmons said that her favorite part of being a part of WSGA was getting to meet the other D-2 college presidents.
“[I am] excited to take the new president to the Board of Regents meeting and introduce them to this excellent resource,” she said.
Simmons believes that ultimately WSGA had a successful semester especially with records, such as Can Emporia, being broken.
WSGA has positions open and Simmons would encourage students to contact Chief of Staff Sarah Arriaga and get involved in Washburn University and WSGA.