SGA hosts workshop for student leaders to ‘bridge gap’ between senate and students


Leaders from student organizations took part in a workshop Saturday to bridge the gap between the student body and the Student Governing Association.

Nick Nordstrom, chair of the Student Engagement Committee and junior in biology, said the workshop was designed to address “discrepancies” present between SGA and the general student population.

Nordstrom said the program is about “bridging the gap” and moving forward to work as a student community.

Leaders of departmental and independent student organizations were invited to attend and work to develop strategies for how SGA can better serve the student body.

“Getting involved in student organizations really is one of the best things you can do at a university,” said Kelli Farris, executive director of the Center for Student Involvement. “It also helps connect you to the university, and that’s not just for the student leaders, but also for the average student member. You’re helping to create an environment, a place and a home for every one of our students around this campus.”

After brief presentations about SGA’s basic functions and a few tips on how to be an impactful student leader, participants wandered between tables to ask SGA representatives how they can better utilize the opportunities the senate provides to student organizations.

Several attendees asked questions to clarify the differences between independent student organizations, or ISOs, and department sponsored organizations, or DSOs.

Under the newly implemented Student Organization Policy, ISOs became completely separate from the university. Jordan Kiehl, SGA chief of staff and senior in industrial engineering, said the change was made to remove liability from specific organization advisers and allow student organizations outside of individual departments to flourish independently.

Jordan Kocher, CSI liaison, said the transition to full independence has not been entirely smooth, as many student leaders are having trouble getting in contact with people who are supposed to be advising the transition for ISOs. One of the biggest issues is receiving approved allocations of funds in a timely manner.

Some DSOs experience financial miscommunications as well. Student organizations such as the Public Relations Student Society of America are struggling to get funds transferred out of private bank accounts and into a fund with the KSU Foundation, as stipulated by the Student Organization Policy.

While Kocher was unable to answer these questions and others posed by student leaders, she said she will be sure to answer the questions as soon as possible.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.