SGA discuss using surplus funds for Union renovation

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The Student Governing Association’s Thursday meeting focused on funding for the K-State Student Union and encouraging the Kansas Board of Regents to adopt a policy of noting on non-academic misconduct dismissals on transcripts.

According to Bill Smriga, executive director of the Union, in light of choices made by students and the current tone of the construction business, the renovation would cost more than the funds currently allocated by several million dollars. Rather than have to cut a multitude of the projects, senators attempted to find a resolution to this problem.

Student Body President Reagan Kays, senior in agribusiness, addressed senators about the existence of bond surplus funds, which are collected based on student enrollment rising, and utilizing these dollars to help make up the difference. Senators also considered an allocation of student bond privilege fee debt reduction and emergency allocation account for the Union renovation.

It is proposed that $1.2 million be allocated to the renovation process from this account as well.

“We looked at these accounts and decided that it made no sense for students to be investing these monies and not be seeing anything out of it,” Kays said. “Rather than having all this money just sitting in Anderson Hall where it can be swept by the state, we’d rather use it to fulfill the renovations that students want in the Union.”

The bond surplus fund received an average of $382,000 each year and has not been utilized since 2010. The student bond privilege fee debt reduction and emergency allocation account currently has a balance of $2,103,951.95. Senators could allot almost $3 million to cover projects including a catering kitchen, Little Theatre renovations, Bluemont Room renovations and other projects.

While the renovations are not attractive pieces, according to Smriga they are important to the financial health of the Union.

“We hope with these funds we can give students the Union that they want and that they deserve,” Kays said.

Senators passed a resolution to recommend the Kansas Board of Regents adopt K-State’s policy to note on students’ transcripts if they were dismissed for non-academic misconduct. Sarah Haley, senior in psychology, proposed an amendment for the notation to include whether or not the misconduct involved violence. While heavily debated by senators, the amendment was declined.

Heather Reed, assistant vice president to the Office of Student Life, was on hand to help answer questions and provide guidance about K-State’s current policy and the changes being made.

Changes were made to the statues for allocations funding to eliminate prior loopholes, such as organizations that require students to be enrolled in a specific class, and travel expenses. Mason Grittman, senior in mechanical engineering, brought forth an amendment that onlys allow travel expenses to be allotted to students who were currently enrolled at K-State or were within six months of graduation with prior experience in the organization.

Statutes were also changed to the fine arts funding regulations to include benefits and to the statutes concerning the recreational complex contract.

Kiley Moody, coordinator for New Student Services, spoke to senators about the power they have as students to be involved in the political process and encourage them to speak out against the education cuts being made by state legislators.

“If storming a court can make national news, just think what storming the capitol could do,” Moody said.

Student Centered Tuition Enhancement’s budget of $432,757 to fund 12 projects including Wildcat Watch, the student writing center, Developing Scholars program along with others, was approved. The tuition enhancement fund had an excess of $321,026.77 which will be put into a reserve account for additional tuition enhancement allocations.

Lizzie Petite, senior in management, informed senators that the executive board would be collecting assessments on students’ needs related to OrgSync in the spring.

Funds worth $750 were approved for the Little Apple Pride Parade, which will take place April 11, the same day as K-State Open House. The Student Finance Association also received $1,000 to travel to New York City for the Financial Companies Tour.

Funds worth $1,000 were also given to the American Institute of Graphic Arts to travel to Dallas, Texas for the National Student Show and Conference. On the Spot Improv Club received $450 in funding to travel to Chicago for the National College Improv Tournament.

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