The Kansas State Student Governing Association unanimously passed a resolution Thursday that recommends the Association of Residence Halls allow student government candidates to campaign and distribute materials in the university’s residence halls.
The resolution, which will be sent to the Association of Residence Halls, seeks to “make the residence halls more accessible and open to candidates” in hopes that it “would increase voter turnout and civic engagement in public and university elections.”
“The bill allows students who might not be reached as much to be better informed about the people they’re voting for as well as give SGA candidates the chance to promote ourselves to a wide group of people that we encounter on a day-to-day basis,” said Hannah Markel, freshman in psychology and journalism and mass communications and an SGA intern. “For a lot of interns especially, that’s our primary place to do that. Everything we do, we do at the residence halls.”
Less than 2 percent of votes separate Ayres, Mindrup in SGA presidential primary elections.’
Currently, residence hall policies prohibit students from campaigning in person or with distributed material within the halls, policies which the resolution states are “unnecessary (and) obsolete.”
“It’s a very old policy that hasn’t been updated,” Markel said. “Originally, they were probably in place to keep things under control. The bill would still keep some restrictions on how much and where students can campaign so we’re not being obtrusive to other students that may not want to be spoken to. We just think that the original policy went too far and was too restrictive.”
Markel said leadership at the Association of Residence Halls has expressed support for a change in residence hall policy.
In other action
The senate introduced legislation that will rearrange some of the roles and responsibilities of senate officers to better reflect the actual duties they carry out.
The senate heard from representatives of the Collegian Media Group, including Jason Tidd, senior in journalism and editor-in-chief of the Collegian; Kaitie Marolf, senior in journalism and co-editor-in-chief of the Royal Purple; and Emily Lenk, junior in pre-journalism and mass communications and editor-in-chief of Manhappenin’ Magazine. The group presented on their respective publications, which are partially funded by a $395,364 allocation of student privilege fees.