SGA introduces amendment to Legislative Advocate Program

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The Student Governing Association began the process of changing legislation to better reflect both the duties of the state relations director and the purpose of the Legislative Advocates Program at its most recent meeting.

The LAP is designed “to represent the interests of the student body of Kansas State University before the Kansas Legislature” through contact with state legislators.

James Krotz, state relations director and graduate student in counseling and student development, said the amendments will officially establish the current functions of the LAP. Furthermore, Krotz said, the bill would add a formal definition of the director’s responsibilities.

If the legislation is approved, Krotz and future state relations directors will be required to represent K-State to all governing bodies and serve as the chair of the LAP.

Jack Ayres, student body president and senior in chemical engineering, presented an update on student-related legislation coming up in the Kansas state legislature.

Ayres said one of the proposed bills sitting in the legislature would allow for “local control for concealed carry.” This means universities would be able to design their own policies on allowing students to carry concealed weapons, as opposed to the current state-wide mandate that all universities must allow concealed carry.

A second piece of legislation, one that Ayres said would likely appear in the next legislative session, is a bill regarding affirmative consent in cases of alleged sexual assault. This bill advocates for a “statewide yes-means-yes law” which would clearly define any sexual encounter without a definitive yes, even in the absense of a “no,” as sexual assault.

Ayres also gave updates on the Big 12-affiliated schools’ law suit against state legislature for “inadequate funding.” The lawsuit, Ayres said, formally asks lawmakers for an additional $600 million.

The student senate will reconvene on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Wildcat Chamber.

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I'm Kaylie McLaughlin, the assistant news editor this semester. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnees, KS. My background focuses mostly on broadcasting and digital media, but I've always loved writing. I'm a sophomore in journalism and mass communications with a minor in French and a secondary focus in International and Area Studies. In my free time, I like drinking coffee and reading news magazines.