WSGA attends Higher Education Day

Open at last: It’s doors closed due to the pandemic, the Capitol building is now open again. Take some time to visit this historic location in Topeka.

Lisa Herdman

Students in Washburn Student Government Association, along with students from nearby schools, lobbied for medical amnesty and level funding for higher education from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 3 outside of the State Capitol Building for Higher Education Day.

Mikayla Douglas, public relations director for WSGA, said that around 10 to 15 students attended from each school that participated, including students from Emporia State University and Wichita State University. Six schools participated, and 10 students from Washburn University attended.

One of the main issues lobbied was SB 133, or Lifeline 911. SB 133 gives minors immunity from criminal prosecution if under the influence of alcohol and are seeking medical attention. The bill could prevent injuries to minors that don’t want to be caught by police but need to get medical attention. This bill has passed through the House and is on its way to the Senate.

WSGA sets aside one day a year during a legislative session to lobby for change, mainly for higher education. Other students from student government associations will come to participate together. On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the students lobbied for level funding.

“We are not asking for more funding,” said Blake Porter, President of WSGA, “just asking for no more cuts to be made.”

The members of WSGA set up a meeting with legislators, appointing a student to attend each meeting to talk about the issues.

Porter said he had sent a letter after finding out SB 133 was on the floor at the House. Letters can encourage a senator to vote positively on an issue.

“I would encourage activism by students,” Porter said. “It never hurts to send your legislator or representative senator a letter bringing things to their attention.”