New WSGA administration discuss goals for upcoming academic year


Christina Noland

Tevin Asamoah, WSGA vice president (left), and Antonio Martinez, WSGA president (right) talk about their goals for their upcoming term. Their main objectives were to make campus more inclusive and more engaging to students.

Antonio Martinez and Tevin Asamoah officially took positions as the president and vice president of Washburn Student Government Association April 19, 2023. They plan to improve safe rides, propose Washburn prioritizes free-to-low cost textbooks and advocate for the needs and interests of all students.

The primary function of WSGA on campus is to champion the requirements and interests of every student and facilitate their participation and engagement in campus activities.

Both Martinez and Asamoah have called for an increase in funding for the Ride Smart program, which assists students without access to transportation by providing reimbursement for Lyft rides. They propose to raise the program’s budget from $20,000-$24,000 to better serve the needs of students.

“Our priorities include wanting to increase the amount of dollars towards Lyft rides,” Martinez said. “So we have a program that if you sign up, you can get four Lyft rides a month, up to $8. Currently, we want to raise it a little bit. We know that $8 isn’t paying for the whole trip for most students.”

Martinez also wants to create a more inclusive community that brings in those outside of Washburn to campus, such as vendors in the Topeka area. This includes hopes of bringing a dental clinic that’s free to students to campus for one day every semester.

“Trying to connect the overall community from the outside but also the inside is a huge pull for me and Tevin,” Martinez said. “We want more of a community aspect because a lot of people will say, you know, you go to Lawrence because of KU and you go to Emporia because of Emporia State. So we want to make Topeka known for Washburn in kind of that same fashion.”

Martinez elaborated that they are planning to create leadership development programs that would bring in young student leaders from other organizations on campus. The main target of this initiative is to bring in a more diverse point of view from the community.

“My priorities are going to be maintaining order as well as working on our outreach on campus in the community,” Asamoah said. “We know nothing is perfect but we plan to do our best to make Washburn and WSGA better and more accommodating to as many people as possible. We want to create an atmosphere that brings in the peak as well as having vendors come to campus.”

According to Martinez and Asamoah, the concerns of students are important to them as it is part of their duty to improve student experiences on campus once issues are discovered. Asamoah emphasizes that the most important thing for them as the new president and vice president is to engage students and expand the university by extending the community and getting a more diverse student body that they hope will increase retention and recruitment.

“We’re hoping to also get engagement from student orgs coming in and using our office,” Martinez said. “We’re planning to put a computer where student orgs can color print in our office in here so they don’t have to go anywhere else or don’t have to make extra stops to try to get color printing on campus.”

The previous WSGA administration hosted monthly meetings they called President’s Roundtables. These meetings would allow representatives from each student organization to meet each other and discuss positive or negative experiences that a student organization might be having. Martinez wants to keep that type of communication going as well and continue receiving feedback from other organizations.

“The previous administration, they had like a feedback thing,” Martinez said. “We’re hoping to keep that up and kind of change it a little to fit our style a little better and hope to have a feedback loop so that students can give us feedback on what they see as concerns on campus and then so we can then maybe address them and bring them up to administration.”

Martinez and Asamoah have stated their main goal is transparency and accountability. They plan to keep their actions as WSGA president and vice president as transparent as possible while also emphasizing that they are no better than any other student on campus. At the end of the day, both Martinez and Asamoah want campus to know that they intend to interact with students as students.

WSGA is open to new ideas from the student body. Please contact [email protected] to provide feedback to the new administration.

Edited by Cee Spiller, Christina Noland, Tiana Smith and Glorianna Noland