After a month-long campaign that saw three parties vying for student votes, the team of Blake Porter and Malcolm Mikkelsen have been elected the new leaders of Washburn Student Government Association.
Porter, a junior finance/economics major from Belleville, Kan. who served as WSGA Budget Director, will assume the role of WSGA president on April 22 with Mikkelsen as his vice-president.
Running on a platform that would see WSGA become an open forum for students’ ideas and concerns, the new administration looks to give Ichabods a voice on campus matters.
“We obviously have our own policies that we’d like to enact, but we weren’t elected to just do what we want,” Porter said. “A big part of what we want to do is address students’ concerns. That might seem like a vague platform, but a lot of students we talked to really enjoyed hearing that.”
To help get students engaged, Porter would like to open the doors to the WSGA office and offer free food to students who want to come in and share their ideas.
“We want to bring them in here and make it a non-intimidating environment where they can speak,” Porter said.
Along with increased student involvement, the pair would also like to see Ichabod pride taken to the next level. Mikkelsen, a freshman psychology and economics major from Topeka, feels the best way to achieve that is working from the inside out.
“I’d like to see a redesign of the Union,” Mikkelsen said. “We really want to make sure we get the Washburn pride that we ran out campaign on started here. This is the central hub of campus, so we want to make sure it starts here and build on it across the rest of campus.”
Although their campaign will kick off with only a few weeks left in the semester, the pair plans to start addressing a few issues right away.
“Our big thing is to have an open forum in the WSGA office before the semester ends,” Porter said. “That way, we can have something to build on and put some ideas in place as we get ready for the fall. There are a few issues; sexual assault, we’re going to try to address that before summer, as well as smoking on campus.”
As he readies himself for his new role, Porter has this to say to Washburn students.
“If you see me on campus, do not be afraid to come up and talk to me. I would love to hear your ideas. If you just want to talk about Washburn, I’d love that as well. I know we’re elected now, but that’s no reason for us to stop listening to what everyone has to say.”
Looking Presidential: Blake Porter [right] and Malcolm Mikkelsen [left] pose next to the Ichabod statue behind the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center. The duo will serve as the next WSGA president and vice-president after claiming victory in the campus election earlier this month.