Student government agenda a ‘work in progress’

Brenden Williams

Blake Porter, president of the Washburn Student Government Association, was elected on a lengthy agenda with topics ranging from redesigning the Union to sexual assault on campus.

Porter and Malcom Mikkelson, his vice president, took office last spring with a few weeks left in the school year. In their campaign, they spoke of change in many areas of campus; some they said would happen before school released for the summer.

“We’ve got a lot of irons in the fire,” Porter said. Not many of Porter’s objectives have been completed this early in the year, but many are works in progress.

Porter implemented an open forum where students would be able to approach WSGA about any problems or ideas that occur across campus.

They had one meeting before finals week last year with students who had ideas for the coming school year where Porter said the first open forum of the school year should be mid-September.

Porter also had a firm stance on sexual assault, which some students may remember to be a controversy on campus in previous years.

“Most people will tell you that there’s never really an end goal with sexual assault,” Porter said, “A lot of the crimes do go unreported.”

“A lot of the talk is it being around a culture change and that’s not something you can really fix overnight,” Porter said. “We’re going to look at everything.”

Porter’s ideas range from the “It’s on us” initiative proposed and enacted by the White House, to a pledge drive asking students to pledge to avoid being a part of the sexual assault culture.

Porter also enacted a sexual assault victims program, which could be a resource to any afflicted by the crime where they could go for a stress-free environment.

So far this year, Porter has started a “Sexual Assault Task Force” to help students prevent crime and to help as best they can after an incident, but the group is still a work in progress.

In addition, the administration has addressed the renovation of the lower level of the union. Sketches were shown and many ideas were brought up dealing with the now-barren level. Many students meet there to socialize or hold club meetings already, but the administrations’s main focus is to improve upon it.

“We’re really just trying to make it student friendly. We may put a big ‘W’ somewhere or an Ichabod,” Porter said.

Porter feels as though school pride should be a part of the new lower level and wants to make it more comfortable for those who use the space regularly.

Porter’s office is in the lower level of the Union and has an open/closed sign in the window for students when they stop there.