SGA introduces changes for privilege fees, health and wellness commission to be developed

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The Veteran Student Organization addressed the Senate, amendments were made concerning leadership roles, including the role of the treasurer, and commendations and congratulations were passed unanimously at the Student Governing Association meeting on Thursday.

Furthermore, a new privilege fee revenue formula was introduced and legislation that would create a health and wellness master planning commission was also introduced.

The VSO, a child organization of the Veteran Students of America, focuses on veteran advocacy on campus and in the community, Richard Pearson, junior in marketing and public relations officer for the VSO, said.

According Pearson to the veteran student population is the second largest demographic on campus, behind the international student community.

Pearson said creating a community on campus for veterans is important and spoke of encouraging the veteran population to utilize their benefits for post-secondary education. He stressed that veterans want to be a part of the campus community and feel involved and comfortable.

During the meeting, a change in the privilege fee formula was also introduced to the Senate, which states that both undergraduate and graduate students would be required to pay the full privilege fee when enrolled in six credit hours on the Manhattan campus. If taking less than six credit hours, “for each credit hour taken on the Manhattan campus the student will be charged a compounding 10 percent of the total privilege fee,” according to the Senate agenda.

“We wanted to draw attention to the revaluation to the privilege fee revenue formula, which has not been touched for 20 years,” Garrett Kays, SGA senator and senior in agricultural economics, said. “This is also to help fee agencies out.”

Proposed changes to the payment of student privilege fees express that “no student shall be exempt from paying the student privilege fee unless he or she is outside of a 30-mile radius from the Manhattan campus,” according to the agenda.

SGA President Andy Hurtig, senior in accounting, introduced legislation that would create a health and wellness master planning commission and study to aid in the ongoing discussion stemming from K-State Athletics, an expansion of recreational services to include a new health center and potentially counseling center and new pool facilities.

SGA would be responsible for funding at least one-fourth of the $150,000 projected for the study. The additional funds will be generated from the Office of the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Recreational Services and Lafene Health Center.

Four amendments were introduced regarding the position and role of treasurer.

The amendment concerning the role of treasurer states, “The treasurer would be able to focus exclusively on all transfers of funds through SGA and be able to provide the body with periodic updates on how entities on campus are utilizing said funds.”

The treasurer would sit outside of the legislative process and would also sit on the president’s executive committee as a non-voting member.

“The treasurer would be elected by the student body and not by SGA,” Kevin Klein, treasurer, chair of the University Allocations Committee and senior in mechanical engineering, said. “They would also exist outside the three branches.”

If the legislation passes, the position of treasurer would be implemented following the 2017 fiscal year.

Additional amendments were introduced concerning the filling of vacancies, academic competition team requests, college caucuses and elections, speaker pro tempore responsibilities, presidential ticket campaign contributions, declaration of student body president candidates and election of the student body vice president.

An allocation was made dispersing an additional $40,000 to academic competition teams, allowing a total of $85,000 to be allocated to academic competition teams for the 2017 fiscal year.

Commendations were given to athletes for their achievements at the 2016 NCAA Indoor Championship for track and field. These athletes included Christoff Bryan, sophomore in social sciences; Akela Jones, senior in sociology; Kimberly Williamson, graduate student in sociology; and Dani Winters, senior in communication studies.

SGA also commended and congratulated K-State Proud for exceeding $1 million in campaign donations for the 2015-2016 school year.

Additional commendations and congratulations were given to the recipients of the Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award: Nathaniel Birkhead, assistant professor of political science; Huston Gibson, assistant professor in landscape architecture and regional and community planning; Chad Jackson, director of the K-State Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship; and Kevin Wanklyn, instructor of mechanical and nuclear engineering.

Sarah Stevenson, junior in mechanical engineering, received the final commendation of the evening for being the 2016 recipient of the Presidential Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Student in Research. Stevenson focused her research on micro-pocket fission detectors.

SGA allocated funds to student organizations.

The Engineering Student Council was allocated $400 to fund group travel to the Engineering Student Council National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, held in April.

The Pre-Physician Assistant club will receive $400 for 30-40 students to visit the University of Nebraska Medical Center, which will allow club members an option to visit a graduate school in April.

The Society of Human Resource Management will receive $400 for four students to travel to Omaha, Nebraska, to attend the Central Region Society of Human Resource Management Case Competition and Career Summit.

The American Nuclear Society was allocated $1,000 to send 19 students to the 2016 American Nuclear Society Student Conference, where student members will present their research.

The Institute of Management Accountants will receive $710 so members can attend the Institute of Management Accountants Regional Student Leadership Conference in Springfield, Missouri, in April.

The College of Agriculture Student Council will receive $3,500 to host Kelly Barnes as an Ag Fest Motivational speaker on April 1. Barnes will lecture in Forum Hall and the lecture will be open to the K-State community.

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