Senate makes moves for progress Thursday

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Introduction of the Academic Freedom Policy was a focus of the Student Governing Association meeting on Thursday. Sen. Stephen Kucera, senior in applied music, and English professor Elizabeth Dodd presented the newly developed policy.

The policy outlines and protects students and faculty from repercussions on social media postings related to controversial subjects.

“In December of 2013, the Kansas Board of Regents announced a very broad policy limited the electronic speech of university employees on any social media,” Dodd said.

The policy was proposed to be added as an optional part of course syllabi. The policy was passed through K-State officials in July and included on some syllabi. Senators approved that the policy be added to the provost’s webpage.

It was announced that SGA will host a voter registration drive next Monday until Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the K-State Student Union. The drive is to help mobilize the student body and help make students’ voices heard, not only on a local and state level, but also a national level. There will also be a pre-election party at Eighteen63 in Aggieville next Tuesday for students to listen to Kansas political leaders.

SGA also decided to make the first move to start the dialogue on sexual assault and partake in the #ItsOnUs campaign from the White House. Students interested in being involved in action committee should contact Abby Works, senior in chemistry.

“Over 200 universities have signed up for (#ItsOnUs) and K-State is on that list as well,” Kays said. “We want to push this conversation on our campus.”

While each executive team enters the office with their own agenda, there are often inherited agendas from past presidents that the new team will see through to completion. The K-State Mobile app is one of those inherited projects. Student Body President Reagan Kays, senior in agribusiness, announced that $75,000 has been secured from the Information Technology budget to fund the development of the app.

Writing and implementation of a more strict smoking policy is also in development. While the current policy states that there is to be no smoking within 30 feet of the entrance of a building, all present governing bodies were in support of a stricter policy. Last year, SGA collected a survey from the student body and found that the majority of students were in favor of more strict smoking rules.

Redevelopment of SGA bylaws concerning appointments to the judicial branch for the attorney general were presented for first notice. There was also first legislation on reformation of the student tribunal and student review board to ensure better operation. All three bills were sent back to the committee for re-working.

Funding was approved for 14 members of the K-State Army ROTC to travel to participate in the Army Ten-Miler and attend the Association of U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, D.C., Oct. 9-16. The Engineering Student Council will attend the National Association of Engineering Student Council Central Regional Conference in Columbia, Missouri, Oct. 2-5, and its funding was also approved.

Funding was approved for the College of Agriculture Ambassadors trip to the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, Oct. 28 to Nov. 1. The Society of Professional Journalists will host Jeffery Townsend, Hollywood producer and writer for “Rugrats,” for a variety of sessions for journalism students, faculty and a campus-wide session entitled “Five Things I Learned in Hollywood” on Oct. 1-2 and senators also approved funding for his visit.

Jim Parker, director of Lafene Health Center, spoke to senators about the mission and work of Lafene. Lafene will host a health fair on Oct. 15, as well as offer walk-in days for influenza immunizations. Students can follow Lafene on Twitter at @DoctorWillie for updates on the program. Parker said student outreach is one of Lafene’s goals for the upcoming year.

“There’s still things we’re working on, but I think we’re making some headway,” Parker said.

During the meeting, 16 of the 25 new SGA interns were sworn in by Works. Of the 103 that applied for the program, only 53 were interviewed.

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