Newly elected Kansas University student body president John Shoemaker says he'll try to increase media coverage of student government to reduce apathy.
``That's one thing about the Topeka paper, whenever the Legislature's in session there's always at least one story about what's going on, on the front page,'' he said.
``I can't remember the last time there was a front-page story on the UDK (University Daily Kansan) on a Thursday morning about student government,'' which holds its meetings Wednesday nights.
``We've got to do a lot more fighting to get the issues out in front of the faces of students, that's how to fight apathy.''
Shoemaker, a 22-year-old Topeka senior majoring in political science, will succeed Brad Garlinghouse, also of Topeka, as student body president Saturday.
IN ADDITION to increased communication with local news media, Shoemaker cites three priorities he will follow as student body president:
-- To be a ``constant lobbying force'' at the Legislature in seeking increased funding for KU.
-- Finding alternative revenue sources for Saferide, a student senate-sponsored taxi service that offers students free rides home from bars and other locations. The senate this semester passed a bill increasing the student activity fee by $2 to pay for expanding costs of Saferide, which Shoemaker opposed as a senator.
-- Meeting child-care needs on campus.
``I think the administration is willing to work with us (on child care) if they have the commitment of funding,'' he said.
This semester the student senate also passed a bill that would charge students additional fees beginning in 1994 for child-care services.
Shoemaker said he supported that measure, but that it would not address funding for child-care facilities that may become available this year. KU officials have discussed the possibility of using extra space in residence halls for child care.
``WE'RE STILL faced with what happens if a facility becomes available and we cannot guarantee funding (for students),'' he said.
Shoemaker, born in Birmingham, Ala., attended schools there and in Kansas City, Topeka and Lawrence.
He played tennis for Washburn University in Topeka, which he attended his first semester out of high school. He transferred to KU in the spring of 1990.
Shoemaker describes himself politically as middle of the road.
``Fiscally, I'm probably conservative,'' he said. ``Socially, I'm very liberal. I feel I can separate the two.''
For example, Shoemaker says, ``I would probably have no trouble vetoing a bill that asks us for more funding of a multicultural center. That doesn't mean I don't support the center, it just means I want to maintain the integrity of the budget.''
Shoemaker plans to graduate next spring. He said he hopes to eventually do diplomatic work in a foreign consulate office.