When candidates run for student body president and vice president, they submit a set of goals that they pitch to the student body. For Reagan Kays, senior in agribusiness, and Cody Kennedy, senior in education, they had a list of three major goals that they set out to accomplish during their yearlong term.
Kays and Kennedy’s platform: “Your Education, Your Passion, Your Life” focused one three separate goals. “Your Education” was based on helping bring more effective and accessible tutoring to students. “Your Passion” centered around creating a more cohesive way for organizations across campus to do business. Finally, “Your Life” was the implementation of a medical amnesty policy across both campus and Kansas.
A newly developed tutoring website, which provides information to students about tutoring as well as the tutoring form, is in the purpose of “Your Education” in its infancy. Built in-house by the K-State Information Technology Department, Kays and Kennedy said they hope to see it further develop throughout the year, and perhaps even add an online homework help chat box – similar to the “Ask A Librarian” feature offered by Hale Library staff.
“We know it’s doable from the technology stand point,” Kays said. “I think some of our cabinet suggested that we take the tutors that are already doing tutoring and just add this to it to see if it’s practical to start with, and then step it up to a bigger deal. But that’s what student senate tuition enhancement funds are for: to try out a program, see if it works and then explode it.”
The implementation of “Your Passion” was the first of the duo’s platform efforts seen across K-State. When students log in to their online databases, like K-State Online and Outlook, they now will also see a link to OrgSync. With over 400 campus organizations now registered with OrgSync, the online meeting place for clubs and organizations has already begun to take off.
“We want to make sure that these groups are actively using OrgSync, not just registered,” said Joey Wenberg, senior in mass communications and executive initiatives director. “We want them to be able to use it for their listservs and forms and documents and everything like that.”
While learning the new system is a process for students, Kays and Kennedy have arranged with OrgSync professionals to help train students so that they can get the most out of the program during OrgSync Week, Oct. 14-16. Student Organization Outreach co-directors Lizzi Petite, senior in management, and Sarah Truman, senior in biology, are in the process of forming OrgSync Advocates, a group of students who are well-versed in the program to help lead tutorials and teach students how to effectively use OrgSync.
One beauty of the implementation and developments for OrgSync is that funding was already in place from the privilege fee allocation, according to Wenberg. The executive cabinet has worked to ensure that new developments will be achieved at little to no cost to students.
“We’re working on making how-to videos so if you can’t make it to a training session during the week, you’d be able to access these videos online somewhere,” Kennedy said.
“Your Life,” the most challenging part of Kays and Kennedy’s platform’s to put in to action, has also seen great progress. With the likes of the Riley County Police Department and President Kirk Schulz on board with the plan, Kays said he anticipates seeing the implementation of a medical amnesty policy by the end of the year. The policy would protect underage students who consumed alcohol from legal prosecution if they are seeking medical help – whether it be for themselves or for a fellow underage student.
“At some point this semester, hopefully in the next few weeks, we’ll put forward a resolution to the senate to make sure all the senators in SGA are on board,” Wenberg said. “We need to get it in the campus ‘Student Handbook,’ which is every policy that K-State has on everything.”
As for the next step in the in the policy, Kays and Kennedy are currently working with executive members from the other five regent schools to institute the policy statewide. While Kennedy said it will lead to a lot of lobbying in Topeka, they believe it is what’s best for the students of Kansas.
“It will be coming from all six regent institutions, which will be really helpful because that’ll gain more traction and have a little bit more weight in the state house,” Kennedy said.