On Thursday afternoon, six K-State students presented persuasive speeches to an audience in an attempt to convince students to sign petitions and spread the word on the proposals presented.
The event, put on in part by Speech II instructor Travis Smith, and held in the Town Hall Room of the Leadership Studies Building, allowed presenters to argue for changes in school policy while answering audience members’ questions.
Ryan Ackerman, senior in finance, gave a speech promoting concealed carry permits for firearms on campus. His ideas hit home with Kimberly Allen, senior in marketing.
“I liked his style of speaking,” Allen said. “I think he brought up an issue that universities don’t really like to touch upon. I don’t have a license and wouldn’t be comfortable carrying a weapon, but it would be nice if somebody like Ryan, who’s a responsible guy, to have our backs in a bad situation.”
Ackerman told the crowd that there were 75 murders on college campuses last year alone, as well as a staggering 80,000 cases of forcible sexual assault.
Yet, Ackerman said, the only non-police on campus who are carrying firearms are those perpetrating violent acts.
“K-State is a very safe campus,” Ackerman told the crowd. “But so was Virginia Tech before 2007.”
The sale of beer at university athletic events was the subject of Blair DeBord’s proposal. DeBord, senior in marketing and a baseball player himself, argued for the increases in revenue and improved overall fan experience that the selling of cereal malt beverages at K-State athletics events would provide.
“It’s not an issue of legality,” DeBord said. “According to Casey Scott, senior associate athletics director for operations and event management, it’s an issue of morality and how K-State wants to be seen as an institution.”
DeBord noted the revenue and attendance increases at the University of Nebraska, and Wichita State University since adding alcohol to the in-game menu. He also cited West Virginia’s $700,000 in additional revenue from alcohol sales at football games, and predicted a revenue increase of $57,000 from alcohol sales at K-State baseball games alone.
K-State’s growing multicultural population and lack of adequate spatial representation for the 34 multicultural organizations on campus were the focus of the speech given by Mercedes Perry, junior in human resources and American ethnic studies.
Perry showed slides of multicultural centers at the University of Kansas, the University of Nebraska and the University of Missouri before revealing the multicultural office located in the K-State Student Union.
“Does this look like K-State is keeping up?” Perry asked as the crowd chuckled.
Perry’s solution was for students to sign her petition to utilize Holtz Hall, which currently houses the Career and Employment Services offices that will be moving into the new East Stadium Welcome Center upon its opening, leaving a spot for multicultural organizations to call home.
“There are no current plans for Holtz Hall,” Perry said. “But that can change if we just support this move.”
Azsha Thompson didn’t ask for much, just that left-handed students be given adequate access to left-handed desks and tables in K-State classrooms. It was enough to get John Petterson, junior in communication studies, on board.
“It’s something that I don’t really think about too often,” said Petterson, who is right-handed. “But every once in a while I get stuck with a left-handed desk and it really bugs me. I can see where she is coming from.”
A boisterous Thompson brought much of the crowd to laughter several times throughout her speech, urging them to sign a petition that would have K-State record accurate numbers and provide quality seating for lefties in all classrooms.
Jim Woods, senior in communication studies, proposed on-campus busing for the benefit of students.
“We already have off-campus bus routes, and K-State students are the No. 1 users of ATA buses in Manhattan,” Woods said. “Why shouldn’t we have on-campus bus routes as well?”
Woods proposed a three-stop bus route that would alleviate the problems getting from one spot on campus to another and freeing up more time for seconds-starved K-State students to get things done.
He said that money is not the issue prohibiting an on-campus bus route, noting that lack of planning currently prevents students from getting a ride across campus.
The other proposition presented may have hit close to home with students in the audience as Jess Wood, senior in marketing, used a personal experience to raise awareness about the potential pitfalls associated with young and first-time renters getting scammed out of money by rental companies.
“Young renters don’t understand the importance of filling out a proper condition form before renting,” Wood said. “We’re getting swindled.”
Wood laid out his experience on a slide detailing how he and his roommates saved over $2,000 in potential losses to a property-management company. They had to get a lawyer to clear themselves of the bogus charges, but Wood urged that awareness would rid future renters of the same troubles.
His petition aimed to provide incoming students with information on how to avoid a bad situation with a future landlord.
Students that attended were invited to ask questions and sign the petitions after the speeches were completed.