After the student body vice president made a Facebook post that used the term “illegal aliens” and received backlash from Emporia State students, Michael Webb, Associated Student Government President and senior management major, said he plans to open his time and schedule for students to meet with him.
The post, which endorsed Kris Kobach for governor, said that Kobach would “put Kansans first, not illegal aliens.”
It was initially a public post, made on the personal Facebook account of Michaela Todd, ASG vice president and senior communication major.
Todd later deleted the post and apologized in a statement to The Bulletin.
As of tonight, Webb said that Todd remains in her position and has no plans to step down.
“At this point, the only thing that I can do as student body president and in my position...is to be there for the students, listen to them, support and represent them as I was elected to do,” Webb said.
In addition to opening up his time and schedule, Webb said he plans to continue to support students and find ways that the student body can work together to move forward.
When asked whether Todd’s statement fell in line with Goal Five of the University Strategic Plan, which is to develop and maintain a campus climate that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion, Webb said that the plan is broad and can be interpreted differently by everyone.
“I will say that our strategic plan overall is broad and it has been created to be broad to support the university and individuals, but focusing on how together we can move our university forward,” Webb said. “I think when we talk about our plan...we all have to be open to adapting.”
Part of the platform that Webb and Todd ran on during their election campaign last year focused on creating school spirit and opportunities for students in the community, as well as creating roundtable discussions.
As the campus changes and the focus of the university shifts, Webb said that they will continue to adapt their platform to meet the needs of the students.
Webb, when asked if Todd’s post aligned with those needs and their platform, said that it was a gray area, especially where personal and professional lives meet.
“Our oath that we say, says that we forsake all personal ambition for the sake of the student body,” Webb said. “When we talk about our personal lives and our professional lives, where exactly those meet is a gray area.”
Going forward, Webb said that Todd and he need to remain open with each other and with the student body.
“I’d just like to make it known that I’m here for all students,” Webb said. “I was elected to serve and represent all students at Emporia State...I hope that any student who has a concern will reach out or even if it’s not a concern...I’m always here to listen.”