Karl Wilhelm, junior in agricultural economics, lounges in Waters Hall, wearing a red crewneck that reads: “Leaving a legacy together.”
Wilhelm, along with Marley Wareham, sophomore in music education, are one of four candidate pairs running for student body president and vice president.
Wareham, candidate for vice president, has had no involvement in the Student Governing Association. Wilhelm, candidate for president, served as a student senator in the past but has not been involved in the last year.
“SGA has a lot of power,” Wilhelm said. “There’s a lot that it can do, and I know the students’ voices need to be heard a lot better. I believe that’s the main reason I want to get back [and] involved.”
Wilhelm and Wareham’s campaign focuses on one goal: sustainability.
“What legacy are we going to be able to leave for future generations that come to this college?” Wilhelm said. “That sustainable aspect — we’re preparing for the future because we want to leave things here so people can have the ability to act upon what we did when we were here.”
In pursuit of sustainability, Wilhelm and Wareham have zeroed in on Cats’ Cupboard, need-based scholarships, the Green Action Fund and community needs.
The running partners said they hope to bring fresh produce and toiletries to Cats’ Cupboard’s shelves and destroy the negative stigma that surrounds food pantries.
An additional goal is to increase need-based scholarships by five percent. Wilhelm said the biggest obstacles in the path of promoting need-based scholarships lie in funding and support from donors.
“From a lot of students I’ve spoken with, they say the hardest part about staying on campus is their financials,” Wilhelm said. “The best impact would be [that] we can retain those students. We can increase the family feeling on campus.”
Wilhelm said he also wants to push K-State in a “greener” direction by promoting awareness of the Green Action Fund to develop long-term sustainability strategies.
“This is a long-term goal,” Wilhelm said. “Within the next year, two years, I’m not going to say it’s something feasible. It’s going to be coming up with the actions, steps and plans to get funding.”
Wilhelm and Wareham’s final platform focus is on the sense of community felt between students, the university and the community. This includes continuing the momentum started by KSUnite and re-evaluating the K-State 8 requirements to provide students with more valuable experiences.