Athletics officials team up with SGA

Mike Stunson

Members of the WKU athletic program have turned to the Student Government Association to help “bring the spirit back to athletics,” SGA President Colton Jessie said.

Athletics Director Ross Bjork spoke to the SGA last week, and Head Football Coach Willie Taggart was featured in this week’s SGA weekly video update alongside Jessie.

Taggart said they’re doing this in an effort to help raise the fan base of WKU athletics.

“A good relationship with SGA is huge,” Taggart said. “Look at the big programs. A big reason for their success is because of the support from their students.”

Jessie said it’s crucial to start a solid foundation with Bjork and Taggart because they’re new to WKU.

“We want them to feel free to talk to us, and I feel we have a good relationship both ways with them,” Jessie said. “I feel the door is open both ways.”

Taggart said SGA can help Athletics in showing students the “new tradition of excellence” he’s hoping to bring to WKU.

“Our fan base is continuing to improve, and there is always room for improvement with the students,” Taggart said. “We want the students to feel a part of the team, like it is their team.”

Chief of Staff Charlie Harris said it’s important for athletics to do well, because that will give the campus the opportunity to showcase other areas where they might shine.

“Through a strong athletic program, people might start to notice our academics or our award-winning speech team, and that is just another way to lure people to WKU,” he said.

During August’s faculty and staff convocation, President Gary Ransdell said Athletics is one of many non-academic departments on campus that, if broken down or cut, would negatively impact academic quality.

SGA had its own tailgating area for the first home football game of the year, and they will continue to do so over the course of the season.

Jessie said it’s important for SGA to show support so others might lead by example.

“Whether it is improving tailgating or encouraging students to go to the games, we are trying to get the word out,” Jessie said.