SGA meeting focuses on research, diversity

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Peter Dorhout, vice president for research, presented new research opportunities for Kansas State at the weekly Student Governing Association meeting Thursday night.

As the open period speaker, Dorhout came to promote the importance of research in all fields of study. Whether the focus is on financial decisions, Kansas heritage or medical improvement, Dorhout said all are important.

“Undergraduate research, in particular, gives you the opportunity to try something in an area where you can explore a question,” Dorhout said. “You might fail, you might actually not solve a problem you’re working on, you might actually not answer the question you’ve asked. So it’s an opportunity to explore in a safe environment where you have a chance to fail and learn from that failure, and help you grow as a professional.”

Dorhout said he also hopes K-State will be able to partner with the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, which will soon be moving to Manhattan to do chemical and agricultural research. This would be a big step in research advancement for K-State, Dorhout said.

“Research matters because it drives innovation and economic success for this region, for this state,” Dorhout said.

Jack Ayres, student body president and senior in chemical engineering, gave an overview of the impact students can have by voting for Manhattan city commissioners and supporting those who support K-State.

“[Voter registration] is incredibly important,” Ayres said. “Some members of the city commission are eager to work with K-State, and some are not so eager to work with the university.”

Ayres also announced that a task force on alcohol abuse prevention had its first meeting, and they are hoping to get in contact with Aggieville bar owners to help make Manhattan a safer community.

Cynthia Karanja, freshman in communication studies, presented a bill to create a special committee on membership to promote more diversity in the student senate.

“The purpose is to create a more diverse student senate that accurately represents the diverse population on campus,” Karanja said. “Inclusivity is vital to the success of any governing body, and it is important to critically think about new ways to represent these groups on campus.”

There was little legislative content to address, with the majority of actions being travel allocations for organizations such as the College of Agriculture and Engineers Without Borders.

A resolution to denounce anti-Semitism was not ready to be presented, but is expected to be introduced to the student senate next week.

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