Student Senate debates on Diversity Programming Committee representation

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At Thursday’s meeting of the Student Governing Association’s Student Senate, K-State’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing Jeff Morris spoke to the body about an upcoming campus dialogue on global food systems. According to a video Morris played, due to skyrocketing global populations, the world will need to produce as much food from now until 2050 as has been produced in history.

“If you look at Kansas, we’re a giant food machine,” Morris said. “Food, energy and water are three of the most important things we’ll have to manage in the coming years.”

Morris said this is an opportunity for K-State to move toward its goal of becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025.

“It’s not about food production as much as it’s about distribution,” Morris said. “If we figure out how to feed people, provide energy and manage our water, that can be our legacy.”

Union renovation
After Morris, representatives from Workshop Architects in Milwaukee, Wis., the firm handling plans for the upcoming K-State Student Union renovation, presented an update on the project. Jan van den Kieboom of Workshop Architects said renovating the entire Union would be a $40 million undertaking. There are $25 million in funds available for the project.

“This is requiring us to set clear priorities on what we want to get done with the funds approved last year,” van den Kieboom said.

Highlights of the plan include an expanded, two-story student involvement space, a series of “destination-quality” restaurants scattered around the Union instead of a food court, and graphics and signs intended to create a unique K-State feel.

“I’ll also consider it a personal failure if we don’t get rid of those weird hand-washer things in the bathrooms,” van den Kieboom said.

Diversity debate
During the legislation period, a bill dealing with amendments to SGA’s bylaws was the subject of extensive debate. Senator Joey Wenberg, senior in mass communications, proposed an amendment to Bill 71, which addressed representation on the Diversity Programming Committee, that changed the wording to include two student senators instead of two students at large appointed by SGA’s executive committee.

The committee allocates about $175,000 in student privilege fees to diversity initiatives, and according to Wenberg, senators should have oversight on privilege fee usage.

Several senators debated on Wenberg’s side, while others argued that students at large would be more familiar with diversity initiatives. Eventually, Senator Ellen Collingwood, junior in mass communications, proposed an amendment as a compromise to Wenberg’s, adding one senator and one student at large to the committee.

Summary of legislation

Passed:

  • Bill 13/14/71 Amendment to the Student Governing Association By-Laws
  • Bill 13/14/81 Allocation to On the Spot Improv: Allocates $500 for an On the Spot team to travel to the National College Improv Tournament in Chicago this weekend.
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