SGA discusses campus sustainability issues

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This week’s Student Governing Association meeting included discussions on recycling, icebreakers and a debate on the attendance of interns.

The meeting opened with a speech from Bill Spiegel who works at the campus recycling center located behind Weber Hall. Spiegel said that during the month of July, the university collected 80,000 pounds of recycling.

“The biggest challenge we face on campus is education,” Spiegel said. “People just walk by and throw whatever in the bins.”

After Spiegel spoke, the members of SGA left the Big 12 room and headed out into the K-State Student Union to participate in a few icebreakers led by the speaker of the Student Senate, Natalie Rauth, so that members of SGA could get to know each other a little better and find people with shared interests.

Upon returning to the Big 12 room, former faculty senator Tim Lindemuth took to the podium to inform the room about the upcoming vote on the .5 percent sales tax. Lindemuth said that the money was originally split between the city and the county to make improvements to Manhattan and the Riley County area.

Lindemuth went on to say that if the tax is renewed, people would on average pay about $100 in additional sales tax each year but would also receive around $24 off of property taxes.

Lindemuth said that the renewing of this sales tax would be very helpful to landlords who would save thousands in property taxes since, in the city of Manhattan, six out of 10 people lease housing.

“This is not good or bad, right or wrong,” Lindemuth said. “The landlords are going to benefit. Are they going to pass that on to you? Probably not.”

The topic in the room then returned to recycling when Kayla Mohnsen, freshman in biological systems engineering and student director of sustainability, spoke.

“I’m really passionate about sustainability,” Mohnsen said “One of my main objectives is game day recycling.”

Mohnsen went on to tell the room how the first attempt at game day recycling went poorly due to lack of volunteers, a bad location and the athletics department not fully cooperating.

“There are huge amounts of waste at every game. Please tell your friends not to laugh at us or call us names,” Mohnsen said.

Next on the list of discussion topics was the campus entertainment fund that was passed last spring and how it has been used to bring big name entertainers to campus. The first of those will be Seth Meyers on Sept. 29.

After light discussion and unanimous passing of a dozen bills, the room focused on one bill for over an hour regarding intern attendance at meetings.

The main idea in bill was that interns would not be required to attend every SGA meeting and would instead attend separate intern-only meetings with Abby Works, junior in chemistry and intern coordinator.

The argument behind having interns attend separate meetings is that it would allow the interns to bond and not get burnt out on SGA. Hannah Miller, senior in agricultural economics, spoke against this policy change.

“Interns are fresh and fun,” Miller said. “Actually going through the intern process shows interest and helps gain experience. You’re accountable to know what’s going on.”

Next to speak for the bill was Hope Faflick, sophomore in political science. Faflick said that the intern-only meetings would still be great exposure to SGA, and would give interns insight into the other branches of SGA and lead to a meaningful intern project.

Communications
Committee chair Megan Walden, junior in industrial engineering, addressed the room to negate the bill.

“Without knowledge of every week they won’t know if they are interested in SGA,” Walden said. “[Interns] will miss out on a lot if they miss every other meeting.”

After many other speeches, amendments were made and Walden gave a speech in affirmation of the bill which barely passed with the minimum number of affirmatives on a vote of 38-14-4. 

SGA will meet next Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Big 12 room of the Union.

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