Previous Speaker of the Senate hopes to change voting culture in America


Devon Sipes/ The Sunflower

Jacob Tubach, former Speaker of the Student Senate observes campus life on April 29, 2022.

From graduating from high school with 21 people in his class to becoming Speaker of the Student Senate, Jacob Tubach, double majoring in psychology and criminal justice with a minor in honors in law and public policy, took advantage of all the opportunities WSU handed to him.

Tubach will be graduating this spring, after double majoring in psychology and criminal justice with a honors track in law and public policy.

After being heavily involved in extracurriculars in high school, Tubach planned on taking a step back his freshman year as the freshman representative of the Honors Council.  Then he got bored not being busy all the time.

“The first year is kind of overwhelming as a senator because there is so much to learn and so much going on,” Tubach said.  “There were always people that I met … We just had a great time, we hit it off, so it was the people who brought me back every year for sure.”

In the 62nd session, Tubach was an honors senator and on the Safety and Student Services committee.  In the 63rd session, he was an honors senator again when almost all of the meetings were on Zoom.  After conversations with previous speaker Olivia Babin and Advisor Gabriel Fonseca, they convinced him to run for Speaker of the Senate and honors senator for the 64th session.

Although it was overwhelming at first, being able to make lifelong friendships in the honors college who recognized that he was looking for something more challenging in terms of leadership helped.  

“SGA itself is a pretty tight knit group, so being able to kind of lean on my cabinet as well and other people around me helps a lot,” Tubach said.

Although there are decisions that Tubach would change if he could go back or push for harder, he is proud of the things they were able to accomplish such as the ethics bill and the cross-campus coalition that Ella Perkins was able to complete successfully.

“Hopefully I’ve set up those conversations to happen, but it’s difficult within the short time that we have to complete every goal,” Tubach said.  “Ultimately, at the end of the day, I was working with the information I had and I’m still happy with the results and I know I did everything I could to complete the goals that I set out to complete.”

Gabe Fonseca, SGA adviser, said that Tubach was able to break the shell of what an honors senator can do, and inspire other senators to take on the mindset that they don’t just represent the population they were elected to serve and that they also have other work to do.

“I think he really embraced what it meant to lead a body … that’s kind of hard to maintain and manage but I think he was able to do it flawlessly,” Fonseca said. 
“Really all encompassing, understand the role of not forgetting to do the work of leaving behind a good functioning senate to be able to be successful some years down the road.”

Tubach said that double majoring was challenging academically, but he was able to get a more psychological perspective of criminal justice.  Tubach will be going to Washburn law in the fall.  

“I’ve always been politically active, I think coming from a small town, I was not necessarily surrounded by like minded people in my politics … I had to be prepared to make good arguments, essentially and stay plugged into things,” Tubach said.

Tubach said that he wants to be a part of changing the culture of apathy towards politics in America.  He said that the voting percentage on campus is indicative of voting percentages of college students in America.

“I am also tempted by, kind of apathy at some points,” Tubach said.  “My vote doesn’t matter. I don’t really care. Like what does it matter? But it does, and it’s important to keep that energy. Keep that momentum.”

Tubach hopes to see a student fees bill concerning a $100,000 endowment that makes sure that every student employee funded through student fees has a minimum pay of $10 an hour get approved by KBOR.

“That would be the thing I would be most proud of,” Tubach said.  “But I hope that I can be remembered through those people I as somebody who is trying to get student worker pay increase and get those student workers rights that they deserve.”