Schulz speaks to SGA about gun policy

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K-State President Kirk Schulz addressed university gun policy concerns at the Student Governing Association meeting Thursday evening.

Schulz’s appearance at the meeting came a week after SGA senators passed a resolution calling for a representative of the university to brief SGA and answer questions concerning the plans for a university gun policy. The resolution also called for a public announcement of policy.

Andy Hurtig, student body president and senior in accounting, told senators that he will neither sign nor veto the legislation. Instead, he will use procedure to let it pass.

“I think the legislation that you all debated and talked about was really … (asking what) the senior administration doing as we get two years left on what kind of issues are we going to deal with- physical, security, walking into buildings, metal detectors, are we budgeting for this, what’s those answers going to be,” Schulz said. “And a couple things. First, we don’t know what all those answers are going to be right now.”

Schulz said the Kansas Board of Regents is working on policy that will apply to the six public universities in the regents system. Those universities are K-State, the University of Kansas, Wichita State University, Pittsburg State University, Emporia State University, and Fort Hays State University. Schulz added that Hurtig will be involved with the Board of Regents talks as the student body president.

“Some of the things that the resolution was asking to be addressed were still a little preliminary in terms of time,” Schulz said.

Schulz suggested the formation of a group “to look at what types of things we are going to need to be doing on our campus to prepare ourselves for two years from now,” when the four-year exemption on the gun laws passed a year ago for K-State expires. The group would potentially include Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, Cindy Bontrager, vice president for administration and finance, and members of the K-State administration and SGA.

The Kansas law, HB 2052, was passed in 2013.

“I appreciate the fact that you all want to know, that you want to be involved and you want to make sure that we have a safe campus,” Schulz told the senators. “And I want us to continue to work closely together.”

Schulz also alluded to the Thursday shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College before mentioning the Sept. 4 K-State lockdown.

“We had a Friday morning where we did have an active shooter did come on the campus, got lost in some construction site and we weren’t sure where the individual was or if they had left campus and so we did the first campus lockdown that we have done in my time here,” Schulz said.

Schulz was also asked about the recent reports of the first decrease in undergraduate enrollment in nine years. He said that a task force announcement will be in Friday’s K-State Today. The task force will identify goals for the demographics of the future student body.

In other action, the privilege fee committee has proposed legislation decreasing funding to K-State Athletics from $500,000-$200,000 over three years, according to the SGA agenda.

“These numbers have been approved by athletics,” the agenda read. “Questions arose on how reducing funding would affect the student voice. The majority of the student body isn’t concerned.”

The agenda also stated that Hurtig told the committee that losing 600 student seats to the Bill Snyder Family Stadium northeast corner expansion is a important issue that needs more attention.

“He will look into working a deal to transferring at least 600 north end zone seats from public GA to student GA,” the agenda read.

SGA also passed a resolution requesting that Manhattan city commissioners consider renewing the mandatory rental inspection program.

According to the resolution, “the city commission passed a rental inspection program in 2010 requiring all rental units be subject to inspection every three to five years, depending on their condition at the time of inspection,” but “the rental inspection ordinance was rescinded within a few months upon election of a new city commission.”

An update was given on a phone app that is under construction. The app will include links to dining hall menus, K-State news, severe weather and other emergency updates, a campus map, ATA shuttle and Safe Ride trackers, available stalls in the parking garage, integration with KSIS, a link to Canvas and other features. A “soft launch” is expected for Spring 2016 and a “full launch” for Fall 2016.

Representatives from K-State Salina’s SGA provided an update on their work, including the proposed name change to K-State Polytechnic Campus.

Allocations were approved for five student groups. Engineers Without Borders will receive $500, the American Criminal Justice Association $290, the Institute of Management Accountants $300, Phi Beta Sigma $500 and the Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth $1,925.

SGA also approved changes to bylaws for quorum in standing committees as well as amendments to the Engineering Student Council Constitution.

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Jason Tidd
Jason Tidd graduated from Kansas State University's Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2017. He was the spring 2017 editor-in-chief, fall 2016 news editor and spring 2016 assistant news editor. While at K-State, Jason played baritone in the Pride of Wildcat Land marching band.