SGA Sustainability Committee looks to make an impact on campus

The Student Government Association at WKU is in the midst of legislating a potential bill banning single use plastics in the food court. Prepackaged silverware that is dispersed throughout restarants is just one example of a single use product.

Jacob Latimer

The SGA Sustainability Committee is looking to have a significant impact on campus this year.

SGA’s Sustainability Committee is directly partnered with WKU’s Office of Sustainability and works to improve environmental sustainability on campus.

Matthew Wininger, a political science and agriculture major and SGA’s sustainability chair, says that he is looking forward to seeing what comes from SGA legislation this year.

“We’ve set some audacious goals this year with the understanding that expectations drive behavior,” Wininger said.

One of the main ideas that SGA’s Sustainability Committee has for the upcoming spring semester is to make re- cycling more accessible for students off campus. Wininger stated he has been in close contact with the Office of Sustainability about this idea and hopes to

make it happen in the spring semester. Along with this, the Sustainability Committee is hoping to work on implementing community gardens to get students more involved in the beautification of campus.

“Actively leading a college life isn’t an easy experience for a lot of people, so if someone comes from a rural community, if they take comfort in gardening, that would be a good way to help in that transition,” Wininger said.

The process of getting an SGA bill presented and passed is a long one, but it is a worthwhile process to the senators.

Wininger stated that one of the hardest parts of getting a bill going, especially during COVID-19, is the process of communicating through email. SGA senators go through weeks, sometimes months of preparation to get a bill ready to present to the senate.

Another idea that SGA is planning to act on in the coming months is an Adopt- a-Highway type program for campus. The Sustainability Committee hopes that this will not only improve the overall environment of WKU’s campus, but will increase students’ knowledge on the student organizations that WKU has.

For Dawson McCoun, head of the Legislative Research Committee, there is still more work to be done to solidify SGA’s role on campus.

“SGA has made some positive impact, but we cannot settle for that. We have a duty to go beyond. Nobody should pat us on the back for doing the bare minimum,” McCoun said in an email. “We have a mandate to amplify student voices, dissent fervently on what is wrong and increase our efforts to do the tough but necessary work.”

Speaker of the Senate Shelby Robertson has seen SGA make a positive impact during her time on the senate.

“Through our scholarships and organizational aid we’ve also been able to see individual students as well as organizations thrive at WKU and make a difference,” Robertson said.

SGA is open to ideas from the student body to be considered for legislation. Wininger stated that if a student sees a problem on campus that they feel SGA could help with, they shouldn’t hesitate to reach out.

“We’re always looking for input and ideas,” Wininger said. “People don’t necessarily have to be within SGA to provide us with those.”

Jacob Latimer can be reached at jacob. [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jacoblatimer_.