Senators fire up for funding

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President Reagan Kays, senior in agribusiness, presented an amendment to senators concerning building funds. The Board of Regents had moved toward legislation that would allow universities to up student tuition and fees to help pay for building and facility additions and renovations without the express consent of the students. Kays, along with Vice President Cody Kennedy, senior in education, and Asher Gilliland, junior in finance, presented a counter-amendment requiring approval from the student body or its representatives before increasing tuition and fees for buildings and facilities. Senate passed the amendment unanimously.

Heavily debated at the Nov. 11 Student Governing Association meeting was funding for counseling services. The privilege fee committee recommended that the senate fully fund the request from counseling services; at a 3 percent compound increase. This increase would add $1.05 the first year to students’ privilege fee, but would add approximately $25,000 to counseling services’ budget. The fee will increase to no more than $4 over the next three years. These additional funds would allow them to retain staff to serve the mental health of K-State students.

Uncommonly, debate was brought forward about whether or not Privilege Fee committee should consider funding more than the requested amount. Eleanor Dickens, senior in anthropology, spoke on the importance of maintaining the mental health of K-State students.

“Counseling services has drastically changed the lives of a lot of students here at K-State,” Dickens said. “I think that on a college campus, if we’re going to fund anything, we really need to fund this.”

Senators ultimately decided to approve the 3 percent increase in funding, rather than refer the bill back to the committee for further discussion.

Club funding was also under debate. Studio 101, a club for fifth-year architecture students, had requested funding to take 14 students to San Francisco to visit the site of their masters’ thesis project. However, due to the general expectation that participants be enrolled in a certain class, senators opted not to fund the trip.

“I don’t like the precedent that it sets,” Ryan Aeschliman, masters student in industrial engineering, said speaking against the bill, “I firmly believe that our main objective with these funds is to support the academic development of our students at Kansas State University through their more extracurricular activities.”

Funding was approved for the Investment Club to take 22 students to Chicago, Illinois. While College Allocations committee originally had decided to only fund $500 of the $1,000 requested, senators chose to amend the bill and fund the entire $1,000.

The Collegian Media Group requested an increase in funding by 2 percent. Privilege Fee committee chose to continue funding at the current rate.

Kennedy presented final wording on Lifeline 911, the medical amnesty policy that was a vital part of Kays and Kennedy’s election campaign in the spring. The policy, which protects students drinking underaged from campus repercussions when seeking medical attention, was passed by the senate.

Workshop Architects presented at the beginning of the meeting about their potential plans for the new K-State Student Union. They will be on campus again Dec. 4-5 and will host an open forum Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. Representatives stressed their desire to ensure that students’ voices were heard and that the new union design encompasses what K-State stands for. They also have a Pinterest board entitled “K-State” where students can give feedback on potential furniture pieces and other aspects that could be a part of the renovation.

Next week, students will be able to download LiveSafe, an app that serves to share information about sexual assault, mental health and violence on college campuses to law enforcement and fellow students, for free in an effort to make K-State a safer campus. This is in partnership with the “It’s On Us” campaign that K-State opted to take part in earlier this year.

Minor changes were made to the elections commissioner position description language so that it explicitly states in the bylaws that the election commissioner may be a member of the legislative, judicial or executive branch but may not be seeking election for the coming year. The recently appointed elections commissioner is Sarah Haley, senior in psychology.

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