Senators have marathon second-to-last meeting

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The Student Governing Association considered a multitude of bylaw and statute changes in the second-to-last meeting of the term.

Senators debated combining the Student Affairs committee and the Communications Committee into the Student Engagement Committee. This change would remove the Speaker Pro Tem from chairing – whereas Speaker Pro Tem Kurt Lockwood, senior in agricultural economics, currently chairs the Student Affairs Committee – and have a chair appointed in the same manner as the other standing committees. Due to the lower amount of spaces on committees, the speaker will be given the option to exempt senators from serving on a committee.

Senators made a statute change to how funding is used for the College Allocations Committee and University Allocations Committee. Previously, each committee was only able to allocate 60 percent of its funds for students to travel to an event. The change made it so that as a whole, the two committees still may not spent more than 60 percent of the budget on travel requests total, but an individual committee may as long as the total stays under 60 percent. The change will allow the committees to pull from the same account.

“We’re trying to make better use of our funds and make it easier for students to access those funds,” Mason Grittman, senior in mechanical engineering, said.

A resolution to support the Collegiate Housing Infrastructure Act which would allow tax-exempt charitable and education organizations to give grants to non-university owned not-for-profit housing entities that provide more affordable housing to students, such as greek housing.

Senators also considered the results of the SGA general elections. The results will only become official after approval from the current senate.

Statute changes were also considered for the Student-Centered Tuition Enhancements Committee. Changes would lower the amount of funding for the committee to a minimum of $750,000 instead of $1 million and re-evaluated which organizations were priority-funding groups.

Also considered was an increase in funding for Lafene Health Center on a three-year cycle. Senators debated the creation of the Green Action Fund Committee, which would serve to allocate funding to large-scale student-centered sustainability-enhancing projects. Changes were also considered to the statutes for the process for requesting funds and to better utilize the event coordinator.

Changes were considered for the by-laws of the Tuition and Fees Strategies Committee to clarify that recommendations can only be made for the following year.

“I don’t feel comfortable putting those kind of limitations on future generations of K-Staters,” Reagan Kays, senior in agribusiness and student body president, said.

SGA Interns Jonathon and Andrew Peuchen, sophomores in mechanical engineering, presented one of the intern projects, which was a new handbook for new senators detailing important information, such as tips on legislation and dress code.

“A lot has changed in OSAS in the last 20 years and we also included a page about OrgSync to keep it up to date,” Andrew Peuchen said.

Statutes were changes to keep organizations from requiring students to be a part of a major-specific class from requesting funds and eliminate ambiguity from the Fine Arts Funding Regulations. Changes were also made to prevent campaigning for SGA office more than three weeks ahead of time, excluding social media.

Additional funds were allocated from the Fine Arts Student Groups Reserve Account to fulfill the $4,300 that are currently being requested by student organizations. The reserve account currently exceeds $48,000.

The College of Agriculture Student Council received $1,060 to bring Trent Loos, an advocate for agriculture, to campus as the final event of Ag Fest Week. In-A-Chord received $1,000 to travel to the National A Cappella Convention in Memphis, Tennessee. McCain Auditorium Student Ambassadors were given $250 to attend Art Adventures in Kansas City, Missouri.

Commendations were given to Greg Davis, associate professor of landscape design, was named the Professional Landscape Network Academic Excellence Foundation Educator of the Year and Jason Ellis, associate professor of agricultural communications, was named to Vance Publishing Corporation’s 40 Under 40 in Agriculture Awards.

On The Spot performed for senators to thank them for their support throughout the past year. Student Affairs Director Becky Brady, junior in elementary education, had Laura Tietjan, instructor in education, speak to senators about balancing their lives.

In minor allocations, funding was approved for the College of Agriculture Student Council, $210; Microbiology Club, $380; B.O.S.S A Cappela Club, $300; Feminists Igniting Resistance and Empowerment, $100; Kansas State International Tuba and Euphonium Association, $200; Student Alumni Board, $500; Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, $450; and the Freedom Alliance, $300.

Funding was considered for the Agricultural Communications and Education Graduate Student Organization, $900; Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Club, $1000; Block and Bridle, $900; Family and Consumer Sciences Interest Group, $300; Meat Science Association, $970; Swing and Salsa Club, $2,310; and Alpha Omega Epsilon, $500.

Allocations to various competition teams, totaling $45,000 was also considered, following a considered request for $30,000 of special funding from the Contingencies Reserve account, which has a balance exceeding $150,000 to help fund academic competition teams.

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