Campus is more than a 9-5 stint

Most students will not read this editorial. And most will not vote this week for Student Government positions.

There are many things to love about Wichita State. Instead of classes full of wide-eyed, inexperienced freshmen, we fill our seats with students who have had plenty of life experiences to bring to the table. Many students have families, full-time jobs or both. Many are the first in their families to attend college. WSU should be proud to have students who are so determined to get an education they’re willing to put their life on hold.

But there are a few things missing.

By and large, students are here for one thing: a degree. Only so much can fit in an average-sized backpack. A family, full-time job and classes pretty much pack it full, and an important piece of college life often gets left out in the cold: student involvement.

For most students, WSU is nothing more than a place to go during the day. They don’t realize what they’re missing. Each day I walk past stacks of papers that go untouched, and people miss out on campus life and news.

Most students don’t realize that SGA determines how to spend nearly $12 million in the same building they chow down on Chick-fil-A sandwiches.

Each year, SGA elections are held, and most students don’t notice. SGA is in charge of allocating student fees and representing the student voice in many campus issues.

            They decide how students are represented at the Kansas Board of Regents and in campus construction. They decide what new services to fund, like an interfaith prayer center or a campus visit from Bill Hader.

And yet last year, out of 14,500 students, only about 900 cast votes for the SGA president and vice president. That means less than 10 percent of students care enough about campus issues to take three minutes to log into MyWSU and push a button.

Things are changing at WSU. Shocker Hall is going to make the campus feel secluded as its own community. President John Bardo is pushing to create a more traditional campus with a more traditional college experience. Maybe one day, Homecoming week will pass and people will actually realize it.

Years from now, if plans for development are successful, 17th Street might have coffee shops, more bars and boutiques like a true college town. People might come to campus and want to build a phase of their lives here.

But if that’s the campus they want, students have to start caring about what goes on here. They have to start feeling like an active member of campus, not as someone simply passing through.

Great things are happening here. Let’s not be on the sidelines.