The Student Governing Association discussed efforts by the Kansas Board of Regents to implement and gain student input on a statewide policy concerning concealed carry laws on university campuses Thursday.
The regents’ exemption to Kansas’ concealed carry law, which allows state universities to ban concealed carry weapons on campus, is set to expire in 2017. Currently, the plan is to implement a statewide policy concerning concealed carry on college campuses by the end of the academic year.
Before a decision is made, however, the board will seek student opinion on the matter by conducting surveys at all regents’ institutions across the state.
Brodie Herrman, state relations director and senior in political science, presented on the regents’ plan at the senate meeting.
“The regents have decided that by the end of this academic year, they intend to have an actual policy written as to what we’re going to do regarding guns on all of the campuses across the state of Kansas,” Herrman said. “It seems that the regents are moving to allow guns in some capacity on campus.”
President Andy Hurtig, senior in accounting, said concealed carry on campus is a subject many students are worried about.
“As we think about representing the voices of the students, we know that this is a very sensitive subject that students are concerned about, especially considering the different backgrounds that students come from,” Hurtig said.
Vice president Joe Tinker, senior in psychology, said that the surveys are important for gauging students’ opinions on the matter.
“It’s important for the SGA to advocate for students’ rights, so it’s very important that we research what students want,” Tinker said. “I think the surveys are definitely going to accomplish that, and we’ll be able to take that data to the regents and show them as the representatives of the student bodies of Kansas, that this is what the students want.”
Another topic of discussion was the intent to pass a resolution against the regents’ plans to amend legislation to allow for the usage of student fees to pay for academic or health buildings on campus without a prior referendum by the student body. An attempt last year to eliminate legislation that required student referendums on such matters failed, and new legislation this year sought to amend the existing legislation to circumvent the requirement for student referendums.
However, the amendment is expected to be removed from consideration at the Board of Regents, and the SGA subsequently declined to vote on a resolution condemning the amendment.
Next month, the senate will host SGA Celebrates Week from Nov. 2-6. The senate discussed plans for the week, which include booths in the Union and a pep rally to bolster student awareness about the purposes and impact of SGA on campus.
In other business, the senate approved an allocation of $600 to the Veteran’s Student Organization for travel to the Student Veterans of America National Conference in Florida January. The VSO — a new organization this year — currently represents approximately 1,300 students attending K-State under the GI Bill.
The senate also granted $225 to the International Buddies organization to host a Thanksgiving dinner for international students next month. The dinner will allow international students to learn about American Thanksgiving customs while also allowing international students the chance to share about their cultures.
The senate moved to approve a request from the International Tuba and Euphonium Association for $500 to host a member of the Canadian Brass to teach a master’s class in December. Approximately 100 students and faculty will attend the class to learn new techniques, improve their skills and receive feedback from the guest teacher.
During the meeting, the senate discussed requests from several campus organizations for funds. The senate reviewed a request for $4,200 from the Catholic Student Organization to host Christopher West — an international speaker — for a two hour lecture in December. The lecture will be open to all students and will center around the theme of the body, soul and spirituality.
The Architectural Engineering Institute also requested $1,000 for a trip to D.C. to attend the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. The organization will take 12 members to gain knowledge and meet experts in the architectural field.
The senate also reviewed a request for $950 from the Kansas State Army ROTC to take 10 members to Southern Indiana University Norwegian Ruck March event in Evansville, Indiana next month. The cadets in attendance will have the chance to compete against cadets from across the country.
Finally, the senate discussed allocating $1,000 to the Investment Club for a trip for 12 students to Chicago next month. The students will meet Joe Mansueto, author and founder of Morningstar, an investment company.
The senate will meet again and vote on the introduced requests next Thursday at the K-State Alumni Center.