Dine with Decision Makers to take place next week

Mike Stunson

More than 50 students will be able to converse with state lawmakers and members of WKU’s Board of Regents, among others, at the Student Government Association’s Dine with Decision Makers event on Tuesday evening.

In what SGA Executive Vice President Kendrick Bryan called the group’s “key event of the fall semester,” 14 decision-makers from across the state will be on hand to share a dinner with these students.

“It is a great opportunity for students to meet lawmakers,” Bryan said. “With this event, students will hopefully realize they can communicate with legislators more often and not just during a campaign.”

The deadline to RSVP for the event was last week.

Dan Rudloff, magistrate-elect for Warren County’s 2nd District, said both the decision-makers and students can benefit from the dinner.

“Students will get the chance to connect with officials, but we can also connect with them,” Rudloff said. “It will get us in touch with future decision-makers.”

Only six decision-makers attended the dinner last year, Bryan said.

“More legislators and decision-makers heard about it this year, and they all seem to be pretty excited,” Bryan said.

Confirmed guests include Secretary of State Trey Grayson, State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach and Sen. Mike Reynolds, D-Bowling Green.

Jim Meyer, chair of the Board of Regents, said this event is one of the many things that makes WKU authentic.

“It shows students that we have great interest in their opinions, and it gives them a feeling that others care,” Meyer said.

Rudloff said he is not sure what kind of questions the students will have for him, but he is excited to hear them.

“I hope to get acquainted with them and listen to their concerns,” Rudloff said. “It’s great for them to get connected with local leadership in an informal setting where they can pick our brains.”

Meyer said students sometimes influence the board’s decisions, so it’s informative to hear their opinions.

“Any time a board member can get dialogue back from students, it really helps,” Meyer said. “It helps to know where they stand on issues.”

The event is currently in its second year, and Bryan said he thinks it will keep growing.

“We are willing to make it bigger and better each year, because we feel the students appreciate the time with decision-makers,” he said.

To prepare for the dinner, Bryan said SGA sent reminder e-mails to the decision makers, and the office staff has been in charge of decorations and setting up parking for the attendees.

Dine with Decision Makers will take place on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Cupola Room of Downing University Center. Following the meal, SGA encourages the students and decision-makers to continue to converse during the Lady Toppers basketball game that night.