Senate passes social media, smoking resolutions

In an otherwise uneventful meeting of the Student Governing Association’s Student Senate, resolutions were passed expressing the body’s opposition to a recent social media policy enacted by the Kansas Board of Regents and recommending stricter smoking policies on campus. Both pieces of legislation passed handily.

The smoking resolution, which was drafted after a plebiscite vote conducted last spring, indicated that a vast majority of the student body supports further restrictions that would limit smoking to designated areas on campus.

“It would be my hope that potentially a year from now, or by the fall of 2015, we’d be able to have these designated smoking sections in place,” Eli Schooley, student body president, said. “We don’t want it to be something that’s done too hastily. We want it to be researched, thought out, and put in strategic locations to accommodate our students who do smoke.”

The implementation of any policy changes will be led by Steve Galitzer, director of environmental health and public safety for K-State. Schooley said Galitzer has agreed to research locations on campus to designate as smoking areas provided the resolution passed.

The resolution on the Board of Regents’ social media policy is identical to legislation that has or is scheduled to go before faculty, student, and classified senates at the six regents universities. It announces the body’s “continuing opposition” to the policy, and requests its suspension. Several senators spoke on behalf of the legislation, including one who read the First Amendment to the Constitution aloud, before it was passed unanimously.

Reagan Kays, senior in agribusiness, and Cody Kennedy, junior in mathematics and education, became the first platform to announce their candidacy for student body president and vice president Monday. As of yet, the two are running unopposed, but Kays said he doesn’t expect that to last. The deadline to file for Student Governing Association elections for the next term is Feb. 14.

“There’s always been someone coming out, so I think eventually there will be [competition],” Kays said. “I’m confident someone will come out.”

Kays said their early announcement has helped give them a head start, and gives credit to their campaign team.

“It’s important to get quality people in there helping us, and a diverse group of people from across campus,” he said. “We value the people that are behind us. We have a great team of wonderful people and I’m glad they decided to support us.”

One of Kays’ and Kennedy’s main focuses, if elected, will be to advocate for a medical amnesty law. This would protect minors from legal liability in the event they had to seek medical attention, for themselves or others, as a result of illegal activity.

“We believe in making the K-State community safe and ensuring everyone stays safe,” he said. “It encourages students to call and make sure both of you are healthy and don’t pay the ultimate sacrifice for a one-time mistake.”

Summary of final action on legislation

Passed:

  • Res 13/14/64: Resolution Regarding the Kansas Board of Regents Improper Use of Social Media Policy
  • Res 13/14/65: Correction to FY 2015 Educational Opportunity Fund Allocations
  • Res 13/14/66: Resolution Supporting Changes to the Campus Smoking Policy
  • Bill 13/14/49: FY 2014 Allocation to Active Minds
  • Bill 13/14/50: FY 2014 Allocation to the K-State Gerontology Club