Roughly 24 hours after his successor was elected, Student Body President Eli Schooley took the floor of the Student Senate for his weekly director’s report. According to Schooley, senior in political science, the committee will hear fee proposals from several campus entities at their meeting Friday morning.
The Colleges of Agriculture, Architecture and Business Administration will all propose enacting or raising fees per credit hour. K-State Libraries will request a $10 flat rate fee for all students. Of the proposals, the College of Business Administration, which will request a $100 increase on their existing student fee of $20 per credit hour, is the most dramatic.
“Tomorrow is the first step, when we discuss [the proposals],” Schooley said after the meeting Thursday evening. “We received a letter from the students that serve on the business Student Advisory Council and they voiced their disagreement with the $100 an hour fee and instead say they would support a $10 an hour fee.”
According to Schooley, allocations of student fees vary by college, but the College of Business Administration plans to use the proposed increase to enhance current faculty salaries and hire around 10 new PHD-level faculty.
Ultimately, the decision on any tuition or fee change rests in the hands of the Board of Regents. The Tuition Strategies Committee, consisting of student representatives and non-voting faculty and administrative advisors, works on recommendations to forward to President Kirk Schulz, who proposes rates to the Board of Regents to approve or deny.
“At K-State, we have a unique situation where pretty much every year since the Tuition Strategies Committee started, the president has used these recommendations for his own recommendations,” Schooley said.
Growing population mandates transportation planning
Eric Conner, senior in regional and community planning, and intern for the Flint Hills Metropolitan Planning Organization, addressed senators on the federally-mandated organization, which was founded in 2013 when Manhattan’s population reached 50,000. Flint Hills MPO is charged with developing a long-term transportation plan to accommodate growth in the region.
“Right now, we’re in the very, very early stages and we need lots of public input to get [the plan] done and get on the same page,” Conner said. “It may not seem like a big deal now, but it can turn into one down the road.”
Flint Hills MPO hopes to have the plan completed within 18 months; if it’s not done in two years, they’ll start to lose federal funding. Although most of the infrastructure funds will come from the state and local level, Conner said they hope to avoid losing the federal dollars.
AgFest on the horizon
After Conner spoke, Lexi Wingerson, senior in horticulture and member of Agriculture Student Council, spoke to promote AgFest, an annual event held by the College of Agriculture. This year’s events will take place during the same week as National Agriculture Day on March 25. The motto is “Nine by 2050… Challenge accepted,” a reference to projections that the world’s population will hit 9 billion by 2050.
“We’ll have to increase food production by 70 percent, which is a very huge challenge,” Wingerson said. “And it’s not a challenge that just agriculturalists face- we all eat. This year, we want to make AgFest a campus-wide event.”
One way the college plans to do this is to hold a “penny war” coin drive to decide which of four nominees will lock lips with a pig at their Kiss the Pig event. The candidates are president-elect Reagan Kays, Schooley, Provost April Mason, and agricultural economics professor Barry Flinchbaugh. Students can vote by dropping coins in specific jugs across campus during the week of AgFest.
Summary of Legislation
- Bill 13/14/78 FY 2014 Allocation to Economics Club: 48-0-0
- Bill 13/14/79 FY 2014 Allocation to Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences: 48-0-0
- Bill 13/14/80 FY 2014 Allocation to National Intramural Recreational Sports Association: 48-0-0
- Bill 13/14/82 FY 2014 Allocation to Sexual Health Awareness Peer Educators: 48-0-0
- Bill 13/14/84 FY 2014 Allocation to LGBT and Allies