Kansas House representative visits SGA

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Kansas Rep. Sydney Carlin, D-Manhattan, spoke to senators at the Kansas State Student Governing Association meeting Thursday about the importance of voting.

“I just want to be sure that you know that we are there in Topeka to listen to you,” Carlin said.

She said the state’s budget problems have affected students and urged students to vote.

“You all are paying a big price for some decisions that have been made by the current administration and the 97 members of the House that are in the other party,” Carlin said. “And I don’t want to make this political, but it has been lopsided, it has been a terribly lopsided government that I have been working in for the last six years.”

She said 14 Republican members of the Legislature lost their seats in the August primary.

“Because of their stance against education in general, and because all they thought was necessary was to go to Topeka and cut taxes,” Carlin said. “And there’s a lot more to government than that.”

Trent McGee, senator and graduate student in counseling and student development, asked how students can affect the decisions in Topeka that affect higher education.

Carlin said students should run for public office “as soon as you can.”

“The more young people who run for office, the more young people who get involved,” Carlin said. “I’ve been in politics 20 years. It’s time for someone else to do this job, but they’re not going to get it from me until they have the right ideas.”

She also said there usually is a low voter turnout by the student-aged population.

“I hope that this election that you will all vote and I hope that you know something about your own representative and senator,” Carlin said. “And if you don’t, you can call me … You can call me about anything — ever.”

Carlin said earning her degree from K-State changed her.

“Getting the degree, getting more rounded and having the opportunity to study more things and hear from more and very intelligent people changed me,” Carlin said. “And I was a mature woman with grandkids. So I know that you are in the right place doing the right things.”

Philanthropy

Greg Willems, president and CEO of the KSU Foundation, updated the senators on the $1 billion “Innovation and Inspiration” fundraising campaign. He said over $906 million has been raised so far.

The KSU Foundation, which is a nonprofit that benefits the university, has its priorities set by the university, Willems said.

McGee asked Willems whether the lack of funding for a potential Multicultural Student Center is because it is not a university priority or if it is because donors are difficult to find.

Willems said he has discussed donor funding for a Multicultural Student Center with Interim President Gen. Richard Myers and April Mason, provost and senior vice president, as well as other groups.

“What I saw is a dream, an aspiration, a big vision,” Willems said. “The planning, there’s still some details that are missing.”

He said the details are needed because potential donors ask detailed questions before deciding whether or not to donate.

“I think there’s a loose understanding (of the details),” Willems said. “But we have got to get that memorialized in a way that we can speak intelligently with donors, articulate the impact of what this facility is going to have on the overall climate of inclusiveness and appreciation and respect on campus, how it’s going to better prepare students to be what I’ll call 21st century culture-diversity-inclusive-savvy.”

K-State is the only Big 12 university without a Multicultural Student Center.

Other Action

A vote on a bill that would expand the representation on the Diversity Programming Committee was put off until next week. If the bill is passed, a student representing disability diversity will be added to the committee. The student would be appointed by the director of the Student Access Center.

A resolution was introduced that recommends uses for the City/University Special Projects Fund for calendar year 2018. Included among the 10 recommended projects are various sidewalk, crosswalk, lighting and bicycle path improvements.

Estimates say $721,000 will be available. The City/University projects are funded through sales tax revenue generated on the K-State campus and are intended to benefit both the city and the university.

Molly Klein, junior in communication sciences and disorders, was sworn in as a student senator for the College of Human Ecology to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Brice Valdez, sophomore in open option.

Three student groups were allocated a total of $4,900.

The Creative Arts Therapy Students received $500, the Society Of Women Engineers $1,000 and the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Among Youth $3,400.

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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.