SGA considers, decides against postponing student vote on Union proposal

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During its next-to-last meeting of the year, the Student Governing Association focused on voting and introducing the remaining legislation for the year.

The bill that took up the majority of the Student Senate’s time was one involving the Student Union bond issue. The senators were voting on whether or not students should vote on the proposed increase to the student privilege fee. The referendum is scheduled to take place April 10-11. Some senators argued that students did not have enough time or information on both sides of the argument to make an informed decision, while others felt that SGA had to go through with the student vote because it had already been announced.

“I’m concerned that campaigns are too focused on an emotional aspect of ‘leaving a legacy’ instead of actually giving information about why the Union needs renovations,” said Nathan Lauden, student senator and junior in food science and industry.

Lauden was in favor of the campuswide vote; however, he saw problems with the way the campaign was being handled. For example, he said after SGA decided not to take a stance on the referendum, the group posted a link on social media to a page encouraging students to “Vote Yes.”

Senate speaker Emilee Taylor, senior in sociology, responded by saying that SGA has no formal opinion on the matters of the Union, so she sees no reason why the group cannot share links to campaigns against Union renovations as well.

“We want students to be informed,” said Colin Reynolds, senior in communications studies, about the Union renovations. “There is an obvious disparity between those for and those against.”

Reynolds said the Vote Yes campaign had more time to prepare before the vote than the students opposed to Union renovations, who did not find out about the vote until the launch of the Vote Yes campaign.

Lauden also disliked the idea that SGA would go through with the April 10-11 vote just to save face and avoid canceling a referendum that had already been announced to the student body.

“The minority of the student body votes in elections; we need to represent the majority,” said Mackenzie Mong, sophomore in political science. “We need to make this decision for [our] constituents, not to save face and the SGA reputation.”

The bill passed, and the vote will be held on April 10-11 as planned. To vote, log in with your K-State eID to sgaelections.ksu.edu next Wednesday or Thursday.

Other bills from the last meeting that were voted upon included changes to the smoking policy; a CrossFit competition to promote physical health; HALO’s co-ed soccer tournament; the Take Back the Night event held by Gamma Rho Lambda; an event to raise awareness of the global water crisis sponsored by ZELOS; and changes to the election statutes. All bills except the CrossFit competition passed; senators did not agree that the event would benefit the entire campus.

New legislation introduced included changes to the tuition strategies committee so that each college on campus has a representative. SGA also reviewed proposals to allocate funds to the Brazilian Association to hold Portuguese classes for students; to the Dance Marathon philanthropy; to the Chinese Student Union to hold the Mid-Autumn Festival; to International Buddies to hold a game night; to the Poize hip-hop dance team to hold a spring dance and a Dancing with the Black Student Union Stars event. Student Senate also introduced bills to allocate funds to Freedom Alliance to obtain the rights to show a documentary on campus to raise student awareness of human trafficking; to Creative Arts Therapy Students to travel to a drama therapy convention; to Delta Sigma Theta and Sigma Lambda Beta to send members to their respective national conferences; and to students with Fulbright Scholarships to travel to Kansas City for training sessions. The bills will all be debated and voted on at the next meeting.

SGA will meet for the final time this year next Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Big 12 room of the Union.

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