Racism controversy dominates SGA meeting

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The Student Governing Association focused on the racism controversy, which dominated the Kansas State campus Thursday, at their meeting.

Shakyra Everett, SGA director of multicultural student affairs and senior in agricultural communications and journalism, spoke about her personal stance on the issue.

Everett said she felt a lot of pain and anger today, which was felt by not only her but by other multicultural students.

“There is a lot of ignorance on campus, and we cannot move forward with the goals of diversity,” Everett said. “We are already diverse. We need to be more inclusive now.”

Everett also read the response to the situation from the Black Student Union.

Both Jessica Van Ranken, student body president and senior in political science, and Trenton Kennedy, student body vice president and junior in entrepreneurship, spoke about the racism controversy.

“We were all incredibly disappointed that it was an issue that needed to be responded to, but I feel very strongly that the Climate Response Team worked diligently to respond to it,” Van Ranken said. “That racist behavior must be met with consequences.”

The Climate Response Team is comprised of representation from the offices of Diversity, Student Life and Institutional Equity, according to Van Ranken.

Kennedy addressed the issue of white privilege, which Everett touched on during her time in front of the Senate.

“I think for a long time I was intimidated by the fact that I was too privileged,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy said white privilege should be used as a source of good and be leveraged to improve the lives of others because the challenges facing multicultural students are large compared to students who do not have the understanding of being multicultural.

Van Ranken also addressed the controversy surrounding Brigham Young University’s bid to join the Big 12 Conference.

After the Iowa State Student Government passed a resolution saying they would not like BYU to join the Big 12 Conference, Van Ranken said it will be up to the Student Senate body to decide whether or not to vote on a resolution.

Van Ranken said a resolution is currently in the works about the topic, as BYU’s policies are not as inclusive as the Big 12’s policies are.

K-State Athletics Director John Currie spoke during the open period and thanked the student senators for their continued drive to better the university. He referenced the U.S. News and World Report, with K-State advancing to No. 64 in public university rankings.

Currie also mentioned the opening of the improvement on Bill Snyder Family Stadium, which was funded completely from private donations.

“As many as 700 students are working through intercollegiate athletics, with about $1 million on student wages,” Currie said.

Those wages are paid to both graduate and undergraduate student workers, according to Currie.

Andrew McKittrick, technology director for SGA and senior in computer engineering, introduced the new K-State mobile app, “K-State Mobile,” which was launched during the summer. The app highlights a parking garage capacity feature, interactive and searchable map, links to resources like the IT help desk and showcases the K-State directory.

The app is available on both iPhone and Android.

Student Senate interns were approved unanimously and sworn into the office of intern.

New student senators were also approved unanimously.

Mackinzie Alamo, junior in elementary education, and Dalton Maples, junior in secondary education, were selected to serve as senators for the College of Education.

Kevin Bultongez, graduate student in mechanical engineering, and Andrew Walker, graduate student in public administration, were selected to fill two vacant positions for the Graduate School.

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