The Kansas State Student Governing Association unanimously approved a resolution recommending the K-State Foundation encourage donors to contribute to a needs-based scholarship program at the university.
Passed at the last senate meeting of the 2016-17 term, the resolution also encourages college and university deans to submit proposals to the foundation for the creation of such a program.
The resolution cites comparable universities that have needs-based scholarship programs, and that at K-State, students who file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and with household incomes under $60,000 only received 17.91 percent of the $29,351,838 in scholarships awarded by the university each year.
“I stayed up late with several students here at K-State who are trying their best to do well in academics and are doing their best to try to stay here at K-State,” said Stephen Kucera, senior in accounting and music and speaker pro tempore. “We try to figure out ways to finance their education. It’s taking away time and focus from them actually focusing on their classes.”
“With enrollment dropping by about 4 percent over the last two years and with the cost of attendance here at K-State continuing to increase, I think the creation of a need-based scholarship program is needed to try to help more people have accessibility to the education we have here,” Kucera continued.
Kucera said such a program should complement, and not replace, existing scholarships.
“Not taking away from the importance of merit-based scholarships — I’m thankful for that personally — but we need to include this as an option and as a way we can keep students at K-State,” Kucera said.
The senate passed a resolution seeking a change to Career Center offer guidelines. The resolution states that as more organizations look to internships, co-ops and practicums as sources for full-time employees, students are not given enough time to consider and accept or reject those offers.
The senate voted to recognize and give senate floor speaking rights, but not voting rights, to the president of any student organization. The organization presidents will also be able to designate other organization members to have those speaking rights.
Senators also failed an amendment to senate statutes requiring student organizations seeking funds from the Diversity Programming Committee to send a representative to present on the proposal in front of the committee.
The senate created a privilege fee allocation for Wildcat Watch, a free campus video production service, for $30,000 for the following three fiscal years. Wildcat Watch has been funded through the Student Centered Tuition Enhancement Committee for the past 12 years. The move allows the program to have a more permanent funding source.
In a related bill, Wildcat Watch was granted a $100,000 allocation for fiscal year 2018 for one-time equipment bills. Equipment will be funded at $15,000 in fiscal years 2019 and 2020.
Senators were presented with a survey from the Union Governing Board seeking senate input on a new name for the K-State Student Union’s Little Theatre. The senate, which will relocate to the theater once renovations are completed, funded the renovations, but Union Governing Board regulations prohibit the senate from directly naming the room.