Voter’s guide: A look at your SGA candidates

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Student Governing Association elections are next week, March 6 and 7. We surveyed the candidates, and here are 43 of the candidates’ unedited, word-for-word answers. We asked each candidate the following questions: What is the most important issue affecting the students you would represent, and what should be done about it? Through your role, how can SGA have a direct impact on the students you would represent? What value do you see in a diverse student body, and what will you do to represent all students?

Responses were not received from all candidates running, so candidates who did not fill out the survey are not included in this guide.

College of Agriculture

Nils Bergsten
Junior in agribusiness
Running for student senator

The most important issue that affects College of Agriculture students is the rising cost of tuition, along with room/technology renovations. Each year it gets more difficult to balance a college-wide budget, much less a campus-wide budget. It’s important that administration and our students budget and plan our tuition dollars properly and efficiently.

With my role as student senator, I want to have a direct impact in SGA from my direct contact with my fellow Ag students. I understand that many students may not see the role that student government takes on campus, and I want to take an open and outgoing personal initiative to be an active and easy contact and have an open ear for all issues or problems that may arise.

Recognizing and respecting differences among all students is something that I am happy to have seen improve just with my few years on campus. It’s also something that can and will improve. The most important aspect that I want all of us to remember is to treat all others with respect and dignity. While we have all come from different places and backgrounds, it’s important to remember that we are all a part of the Wildcat Family, and we are here to meet great people and improve our lives.

Danielle Comstock
Junior in agricultural communications and journalism, global food systems leadership
Running for president of the College of Agriculture Student Council

The biggest issue in Ag Council right now is that not enough people know about it, and, in return, we are not able to be the voice for the student groups as much as we could. This past year, we took steps to increase our impact by advertising the meetings better and doing more fundraising. I hope to continue those action steps by further increasing fundraising as well as bring back our previous activities such as Ag Fest and a fun event each semester.

I would love to see SGA and the college councils have increased interaction. Right now, our Ag senators attend the meeting and give a report. As president, I would pursue ways to form a symbiotic relationship between SGA and the council.

I believe that innovative ideas can only come from multiple unique voices at the table. Too often, we surround ourselves with people that share our common interests and values. In order to grow, we need to have our thoughts and ideas challenged by our peers. In the College of Ag Council, we have already taken steps to promote the voice of every individual at Kansas State. I hope to take this momentum and do more similar events in my term as president.

Sara Gammon
Freshman in agricultural economics, global food systems leadership
Running for student senator

If we’re to ensure that College of Agriculture students have every opportunity to thrive in their careers upon graduation, it is important that they’re able to learn in environments that facilitate growth. While recent improvements have been made, I believe it is critical to encourage renovations to infrastructure and updates to technology to promote an effective learning environment. SGA has access to funds for these projects and I would encourage they be used in the College of Agriculture.

Whether you’re involved with the Student Governing Association or not, their actions directly affect you and your college experience. As a senator for the College of Agriculture, I would have the unique opportunity to listen to student concerns and ideas and put them into action through legislation that can make a significant impact. I am excited at the opportunity to be able to be a voice for the College of Agriculture and make the changes that its students wish to see.

There is incredible value in having a diverse student body. A diversity of backgrounds, experiences and mindsets, among other qualities, provides the opportunity to craft unique ideas and solutions that can greatly improve and build upon the great features of our university. As a senator, I would make it my priority to listen to and learn from all students within the College of Agriculture in order to best represent what students of all diverse backgrounds desire.

Katheryn Gregerson
Sophomore in food science
Running for student senator

I believe the most prevalent issue in the College of Agriculture is learning to embrace diversity and implement an inclusive environment at all times. So many valuable lessons can be learned from those who come from different backgrounds than us. I think this starts by exemplifying this type of environment when diverse, prospective students visit our campus. They will then come to K-State feeling included from the beginning, creating a positive culture for generations to come.

I will be representing a broad range of students in the College of Agriculture. As a connector between these students and SGA, I can provide them with a listening ear and a helping hand. Through SGA, they can be connected with more on-campus resources they may need, such as the Cats’ Cupboard, Career Center, or tutoring services. These students will also be able to create positive change through voicing their opinions when it comes to prevalent and pressing issues within the College of Ag.

With a diverse student body, K-State gains perspectives from students from different backgrounds and receives valuable insights that we may have never thought of before. As a senator, I want to ensure every student’s voice is heard through my decisions. To achieve this, I want to engage in face-to-face, raw conversations with those who I know have different opinions from myself. With these diverse views, I can understand issues from a broader point of view and make more encompassing decisions.

Reid Huffman
Sophomore in animal science and industry
Running for College of Agriculture Student Council, student senator

One of the most important issues affecting students from the College of Agriculture and all the other colleges is affordability. Every year colleges are increasing fees and tuition. I am from out-of-state so affordability impacts me tremendously. We should strive to create a more affordable environment for all the students who attend Kansas State University and for the future students to come.

Through my role, SGA would have a direct impact on the affordability for the College of Agriculture students. Also, They would be able to see all the resources and opportunities available to them across campus.

The value I see in a diverse student body is all the different perspectives and ideas that can be brought to the table. We all come from different places and backgrounds bringing different interpretations of problems on campus. I will be involved in different organization and situations to hear the opinions of the diverse student body to represent them the best of my abilities.

John Kennedy
Freshman in agriculture education
Running for College of Agriculture Student Council

The most important issue facing the students within the College of Agriculture is the disconnect between students and Student Governing Association. Often, we forget that we are able to make change within our great university. As your College of Agriculture Secretary, I would encourage you to share your ideas and opinions with SGA so that together we can continue to adapt and cultivate an environment of learning and family here at Kansas State.

What makes the College of Agriculture unique is that we have a personal and caring atmosphere among our students. I desire to continue that. Through my role on College of Agriculture Council, I plan to build strong relationships with the students I interact with. I want to gather ideas and feedback from those who matter most–the students. Students would be impacted through me as they will feel welcomed in the College of Agriculture and their voices will be heard.

There is tremendous value in having a diverse student body! Diversity complements our academics. We are able to learn material from many different points of view, and form our opinions based off of them. But with less diverse points of view, how can we make educated opinions? Therefore, I plan to work closely with my fellow members of the College of Agriculture Council to develop new ways to encourage and showcase diversity within our college.

Sarah Niederee
Junior in agricultural economics
Running for student senator

I think that the most important current issue affecting students is the proper use of university funds. As current Chair of the Privilege Fee Committee, I believe in being conservative in using students funds. I think there are many deserving entities on campus that deserve funding, but with the current budget crisis for higher education and the recent enrollment decline, funds need to be used in the right way. It is humbling knowing that students have the power to make these decisions.

Through Student Governing Association I am able to make a direct impact to students through making recommendations to university administration and making decisions on funding for privilege fee entities. Through my three years of experience on Student Senate and current position as the Privilege Fee Chair, I will put ‘Ag First’. The impacts that students make on this university are amazing, because most universities do not value the importance of the student voice.

I think that a diverse student body is of utmost importance to our university. Without a diverse student body new ideas and creative solutions wouldn’t be made. As a Senator for the College of Agriculture, I will ensure that the votes and decisions that I make are representing those students that I am voted into office by. As a student originally in a different college at this university I think that I bring a unique perspective to Student Governing Association.

Lacy Pitts
Junior in agriculture economics
Running for student body vice president, student senator

A problem many college students face year after year is being able to afford their college education. Whether it is paying tuition, paying for textbooks; and being able to afford simple necessities like food or a roof over their head, spending money is an issue we all face at some point. It is on us as campus leaders to ensure that administration is being transparent with student dollars and ensure that their money is being spent in the most effective way possible.

We are elected by students, and it is our duty as campus leaders to directly serve those who elected us by both listening and representing them. Student Governance serves as the voice of students everywhere, from Anderson Hall, to Topeka, to Washington, DC and it is our responsibility to ensure we are serving students with conviction and holding administration and elected officials accountable. In addition, we are responsible for spending student dollars on things which grow KSU for the better.

Diversity serves as an incredible opportunity for the student body- it is imperative that we encounter differences as students, and most importantly, to embrace our differences and use them as a chance for growth and improvement. It is my duty as a leader and member of the student body to ensure that our conversations of diversity remain strong, and most importantly, remain focused on ensuring that all students feel as though the belong in the K-State family.

Thomas Smith
Freshman in agricultural economics
Running for student senator

One of the most important issues affecting students in the College of Agriculture is fees, and how they are distributed. I believe that we should look into this and make sure that they maximizing the benefits for students. As well as making sure that administration is transparent with our fees and the students know where their money is going.

As an Agricultural senator I will be able to listen to what my fellow Ag students have to say and use that in my decision making in senate. I will also be able to take what happens in senate and inform my constituents about business that concerns them.

Having a diverse student body is a tremendous benefit to the university and ourselves. Students with different backgrounds allow us to learn from each other, and improve our educational experience. We all have different perspectives that we are able to share and help give back to K-State, and enhance the experience of future K-Staters. This being said I plan to keep an open ear and mind to my fellow students, and maintain their needs as a priority when playing a part in campus decisions.

Joshua Stucky
Sophomore in agribusiness
Running for College of Agriculture Student Council

One of the most important issues affecting the students within the College of Ag is lack of involvement and voices not getting heard. I would do my part in helping students get involved and listening to their ideas.

As a member of the Ag Council, we directly represent the students in the College of Agriculture so everything that we do impacts the students.

Having a diverse student body is incredibly important to me because without a diverse group of students, we lose a lot of culture and ideas that are very important and helpful.

Jake Wessel
Sophomore in agribusiness
Running for student senator

A big issue right now is student involvement in student government. A lot students don’t know what SGA does or is doing and I would like to work to change that.

I would be a voice for students in the College of Agriculture and represent their interests in student senate.

A diverse student body is important to get different points of view exposed to each other so that we can all work together to accomplish things. I will be open to any and all students who want to reach out to me with their questions or concerns on how I can best represent them and their interests.

Karl Wilhelm
Junior in agricultural economics
Running for student senator

I believe the most important issue affecting the students that I would represent is lack of communication between senators and their constituents. I believe many students in the College of Agriculture may not know what issues SGA is facing and I believe as a senator it is our responsibility to ensure they do. I will combat this with my fellow senators by sending emails to our administration in the college with updates that compile a monthly update to our students.

SGA can have a direct impact on students by keeping them informed of issues the university is facing. The information that we can share with them will inform them of how their money is being allocated as well as inform them of opportunities across campus. This can assist in allowing them to become more involved and have a better understanding of how the university allocates money.

I believe a diverse student body contributes many assets to any university. This diversity allows for new ideas to be formed and open discussion about issues facing our campus. I will assist in representing all students in the College of Agriculture by holding open hours where I would be open for discussion with any student. Furthermore, if a group or organization in my college would like to know more about what’s going on in SGA I would be more than happy to speak to them.

College of Architecture, Planning, and Design

Ayana Belk
Freshman in architecture
Running for student senator

I feel the students in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Design are affected by a lack of food on campus after eight pm. A solution to this would be more vending machines in Seaton hall and/or extended hours for food providers in the student union.

As a senator I would have a vote on bills that affect architecture students and I would have a direct line to students in positions of power which I would use for my fellow students’ benefit.

A diverse student body means multiple point of views on issues that affect all of us. In attempt to represent all students I would make connections in different groups like MSOs and the many colleges on campus then see things from their side and take it all into considerstion when participating in SGA.

College of Arts and Sciences

Nathan Bothwell
Freshman in political science
Running for student senator

Communication about the services and resources that K-State and SGA provides to students needs to be improved. Did you know that if your student group is traveling, you can apply through SGA to receive up to $1000 for travel expenses? Most students don’t. I want to ensure that the work SGA does is being publicized so all students can be aware of the major impact we have across campus. We can do this by making our decisions available to all students through social media and email.

SGA funds so many organizations across campus- the Collegian, Lafene Health Center, and the Rec. But that funding comes from fees students pay every year. We can make a direct impact on students by funding the programs that students want! We as SGA can listen to the Student Body, and look at the objects that students have said they wanted, like a Multicultural Student Center. Funding these items that the student body wants can improve daily life for students.

Diversity means new ideas. K-State has a student body with people of all kinds and that’s beautiful. Coming from different backgrounds means we all have different ways to approach a topic or idea. As a senator, I want to listen to students and support all initiatives to be inclusive across campus. I came to college at K-State because I saw how supportive the students and faculty are at this university. I want to continue to be involved with projects that support all members of this family.

Sahiba Grover
Sophomore in medical biochemistry, biology
Running for student senator

I believe the two most important issues affecting students on campus are mental health and diversity. Mental health is something that many students deal with at least once in their time here and I think we could do a better job of conveying to students the amount of resources and support K-State has. With the current political climate I think it is incredibly important to promote diversity and understanding by showing our fellow minority students genuine support.

Through my potential role as a senator, SGA would have a direct impact on where money for the university would go, like the privilege fee for example. SGA can have a wide impact whether it be urging administration to take a certain action, creating a program for students, taking action against injustices happening on campus, and collaborating with different organizations on campus.

A diverse student body provides an incredibly rich college experience because you are able to experience so many different cultures as people come from completely different walks of life. I think it is so important to empower everyone no matter who they are or where they come from because everyone contributes to the K-State family. By representing all students I want to empower everyone to take a stance, make a difference, and have your voices heard.

Nathan King
Sophomore in journalism, mass communications
Running for student senator

The most important issue affecting K-State students is the lack of state funds for higher education. College is more expensive than ever. Rising tuition and low enrollment are major problems SGA should try to alleviate for our students. In my role as a SGA Senator, I will encourage more needs based scholarships to reduce this burden on current and prospective students. I am always open to hear innovative ideas on how SGA can manage this huge issue.

The reason I became an SGA intern was because I wanted to learn more about SGA. I’ve talked to so many of my friends and classmates and none of them know what role SGA serves on campus. In order for SGA to have a direct impact on students, SGA must meet students where they are at. As a student senator, I would take time to meet with students outside of senate chambers. In order for SGA to thrive,we must bridge the divide between students and SGA.

K-State has a population of 22,795 students. Every Wildcat is unique and special in their own way. Having a diverse student body allows us to be more culturally competent and understanding. For some, it is easy to just come to senate and vote with only their personal interests in mind. Whether you are a part of a Greek organization or a member of a small club on campus, your voice matters. I will work at creating a consensus opinion that represents all of K-State student’s interests.

Michael Leverett
Junior in social sciences
Running for student body vice president, student senator

Mental wellness is an issue that impacts a lot of our students here at K-State. I think we should work more with counseling services to see ways we can alleviate the stress from their 6-8 professional staff.

Through this role i can continue to be a voice for ALL students. This will directly impact the students i represent because in order to adequately represent them i will need to hear them and understand their needs as students on campus.

I believe that having a diverse student body is so important and what i will do to represent all student is to continue to make sure that ALL students voices are being heard. I will also advocate for representation that represent our entire student body in multiple capacity’s

Bailey Portery
Senior in medical biochemistry
Running for student senator

Some students are disconnected to the decisions and changes that the University makes that has implications to current and future students. For example, the University is creating a new budget model that incentivizes departments based on enrollment and growth, yet what effect does this have on smaller departments or de-centralized academic colleges like in the College of Arts & Sciences? While the future may be unknown, students should be better aware and informed of decisions that affect them.

Students are the main stakeholder that influence many of the University’s actions and it is critical that our voice is heard as decisions are being made that will affect future K-Staters. Through SGA, the student voice is represented and I hope to facilitate the conversation between students and the University through my role.

A diverse student body provides unique perspectives that are imperative as we move forward to continue to create an inclusive environment for K-State students that will allow everyone to feel safe and valued. Engaging with others that have different views and experiences than you is one of the first steps in leveraging student diversity. While I may not be able physically identify with every student, I will appreciate our unique differences and the benefits that they can bring.

Hayley Spellman
Junior in political science, communication studies
Running for student senator

One of the most pressing issues is the disconnect between SGA and the students. Many now perceive SGA as an elite group, full of people who don’t really represent all of their values, needs, and wants in a college education. Until September, I had no prior involvement in SGA. However, I began to attend Senate meetings weekly as an at-large member, where I discovered just how extreme this disconnect really was. I wish to increase the participation and connection between students and SGA.

As a senator, I want to make sure the students of the College of Arts and Sciences know that their voices are valued. Though the last year has been quite rough, students deserve to feel safe and welcome on this campus– regardless of race, religion, background, etc. Especially now, their voices matter, and I wish to continue to grow and build an even stronger K-State community. Students deserve to be heard, and I wish to be their voice and represent them when it matters most.

Though K-State is primarily dominated by white students, we should value students of all backgrounds. Considering the racist and hateful speech that has preoccupied campus this last year, it’s most important that we protect our minority students. Having a diverse student body brings other cultures, opinions, and beliefs to our community. It helps us grow, and it continues to make us a stronger university. As a senator, I want to make sure their voices are brought to the table and loudly heard.

Faith Tuttle
Sophomore in political science, international studies
Running for student senator

I believe the most important issue affecting students is the affordability of college. As the cost of attending K-State has increased significantly over the past few years, K-State should recognize this increased burden students are bearing, and not implement fee increases at this time. As a SGA senator this past year, I have been a strong opponent of fee increases and plan to continue keeping college affordability in mind when making decisions.

SGA can have a direct impact on the student body by being a resource that anyone on campus can feel like they can turn to for help. I believe that SGA can make a larger effort to reach out and be available to students, while also being more transparent about the services provided for students. My goal is for SGA to be a connection for students, so if they ever want something changed on campus, they will have an avenue to talk to someone and make that happen.

I firmly believe having a diverse student body and a diverse array of opinions in SGA to reflect that is extremely important. Diversity of thought is important so that all students’ voices is being heard and represented in Senate. In order to best represent all students, I will make it my goal to actively reach out to the student body so that I can receive a consensus opinion that is representative of all students’ interests.

College of Business Administration

Avery Bolar
Sophomore in finance
Running for student senator

The biggest issue that’s impacting both the College of Business students I represent and myself is textbook affordability. Through my involvement with Student Centered Tuition Enhancement Committee this past year, we funded the Textbook Affordability Program which will provide textbooks that students can use for free at the library. I’d encourage professors to start moving away from online platforms like McGraw-Hill Connect that require students to spend $100+ for many business classes.

College of Business Senators are asked to sit on the Dean’s Advisory Council. Firstly, I think this provides the most direct opportunity to express student concerns to the Dean. It also gives me the opportunity to hear about issues going on with different student organizations or departments that I might not have known before. Lastly, it allows me to be more transparent about things going on within SGA and give updates to the representatives of the student organizations.

A diverse student body is essential to the development of our students. Meeting people who are different than me has helped me become more open minded and mature. I think it’s incredibly important that all students feel valued here at K-State, regardless of their religion, race, sexual orientation, or whatever makes them a unique part of our Family. My email can be found on the College of Business website and I’d encourage all students to hold me accountable and talk to me about their concerns.

Madison Brown
Freshman in finance
Running for student senator

I believe the most important issue is rising tuition prices and a lack of transparency around student fees. What should be done about this is more transparency and engagement with the student body about the Privilege Fee and the resources that it funds. There should also be more communication and available information from each college as to what fees they charge and where that money goes. Students should be able to easily understand the fees they are paying and what it funds.

The decisions and actions of SGA affect every student, and I would have a direct impact on students by voting as a representative and not an individual. This impacts them by making sure the actions and decisions made by SGA embody what the Student Body wants.

There is so much value in a diverse student body. A diverse student body allows everyone to see other viewpoints grow in their own thoughts and opinions. What I will do to represent all students is vote not as an individual, but as a representative. I will also work on engaging more members and creating a more welcoming SGA environment, so that SGA can truly represent everyone in our student body.

Alec Hildreth
Junior in marketing
Running for Union Governing Board, student senator

I believe there is a disconnect between the student body in general and Student Government. When issues arise, students are not even voicing their opinions because they feel like they aren’t being heard. Frequent communication between students and their elected representatives is the key to making sure leaders are truly the voice of the people. We must encourage students to use their voice with the payoff being that their representatives listen and act on it.

As a Student Senator for the College of Business Administration, I would be responsible for voicing the opinions of around 2,600 students. When topics such as course fee increases are brought to debate, I am prepared to speak on behalf of the students I represent. This starts with open dialogue between students and myself, and that is something I look forward to doing. Speaking in classes, tabling, and sharing my email address are a few ways I would like to enable conversation.

A diverse student body is infinitely important to the continued success of K-State. Different backgrounds give students different viewpoints, and different viewpoints are key to thoughtful discussion. This is what drives Kansas State forward. I recognize that every individual voice is equally important and would be lucky to be able serve them.

Sai Marre
Sophomore in business finance
Running for student senator

One of the biggest issues that current business students are facing is the lack of knowledge regarding additional fees required for the college of business. These include the career development fee and the faculty surcharge fee. We all know that in order to run the college, fees must be in place to help facilitate it, but where exactly is that money going? In order to ease concerns and improve transparency, I believe that there should be a more complete analysis of how those fees are utilized.

Through the position of student senator, in the College of Business, I would seek to implement a fix to one of the biggest issues as stated previously. Having a comprehensive review available of the fees associated with being in the CBA, and where that money is going will definitely have a direct impact on students. I also hope to reach out to students and clubs personally to learn about issues that they are currently facing. Then I would seek to help implement a fix to solve those issues.

Having a diverse student body is one of the most beneficial assets a college can have in my opinion. Diversity means having hundreds of different viewpoints on topics and issues, and therefore hundreds of opportunities to learn. Having access to all these viewpoints can help shape the person you are and create new ideas for you to stand by. I will serve to represent all students by being actively involved in all areas of the CBA, including major specific clubs and multicultural organizations.

Victoria Orth
Sophomore in accounting
Running for student senator

I believe a huge problem the college of business and many other colleges at Kansas State are facing currently is affordable book access. Many of my courses this semester require multiple textbooks or access codes that are required to pass the course. If every class requires these extra expenses, then the total cost adds up quickly. It is important for us to look into other options to help students cut down on the ever-rising cost of higher education.

SGA has the ability to make a huge impact on campus, but many students have no idea what SGA does or even what it is. Engaging with my fellow students in the College of Business and letting them know their voice and opinions matter, can help students feel more connected to SGA and Kansas State University. Hearing insights from students will help for me to better represent my college, and in turn, help students feel like they are also directly helping this University improve and more forward.

Kansas State is made up of students who come from entirely different backgrounds and experiences. Each student has something different to offer this University. I believe it is our job as SGA members to provide ways in which all students can contribute their different skill and passions to this University. This way, Kansas State can grow together as one united, diverse family.

Sarah Pelton
Freshman in marketing
Running for student senator

Every semester, to take classes in within the College of Business Administration, students must pay a $100 Professional Advantage fee along with a $65 fee per credit hour. Currently in SGA, we have no way of monitoring if the fee money is in fact being used for its intended purpose. If elected, I plan to speak with the current Dean of the College of Business Administration to discuss where the money is spent, and how I can work to lessen that fee for business students.

An issue that I’ve heard both students and faculty talk about this year is the lack of parking spaces on campus. Several of my close friends have received parking tickets because there were no more available spots in the area where their parking permit was valid. If elected, I would attend to Privilege Fee Committee meetings and work to allocate the resources necessary to create more spaces for students to park, as well as communicate the need to K-State’s administration.

A diverse student body is crucial to the academic, cultural, and social development and improvement of any academic institution. I realize and accept my responsibility to advocate for, communicate with, and speak with all students, and will represent the diverse K-State family efficiently and effectively. I plan to attend meetings of many student and multicultural organizations to increase my knowledge of the student body and advocate for their needs.

College of Education

Shelby Carpenter
Junior in elementary education
Running for student senator

One of the most important issues facing the students in the College of Education is funding. I firmly believe that through proper networking and research the senators for the College of Education can aim to provide adequate monetary solutions for our students, placing outstanding and up-to-date resources in the hands of future teachers.

I would like to work with SGA to continue funding Wildcat Link–a networking connection for students and alumni from their respective colleges–to implement funding for a College of Education program. The EdCat community spans far outside of Kansas, and I believe it would be vital to bridge those connections.

As a future teacher, we often discuss the value of diversity in education. As a senator, I would strive to not only represent my fellow students and their diversities, but celebrate them for their individual cultures and achievements. I would be honored to represent such a phenomenal group of students.

Paige Garrity
Junior in secondary education, history
Running for student senator

The most important issue is our decline in enrollment. I would try and look at areas where we, as a college, could request funding so that we could maybe send current students to help recruit perspective students to change that issue.

I think SGA can have a more direct impact on the students I represent by contacting with us more. The senators should make it a priority to go out and talk to our students to understand what they want change in. Most students don’t know what SGA does and I’d like to change that.

Caitlin Morgan
Senior in secondary education, English literature
Running for student senator

Equal representation of those not involved in Greek Life, particularly in SGA. I’m an advocate for diversity, and think everyone’s opinions on matters should be heard.

SGA Senators have say in passing of important things that directly impact every student at K-State. Through representing my college and other students’ opinions, I’d vote with their opinions and wishes in mind.

Equal representation and unique, wonderful personalities, views, thoughts, and opinions.

Tel Wittmer
Freshman in secondary education
Running for student senator

What the COE needs, is a senator in SGA with the highest level of commitment, accountability and effort. The biggest issue facing our students is not something internal in our college. The largest issue we face is ensuring that we are represented by people who will fully carry out the duties of representing the COE and who will work tirelessly for the students in our college. If elected, I will give every ounce of commitment and effort available to really advance the interests of our students.

As an SGA Intern this year, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about the role Student Government plays in the lives of K-State and it’s students. What I have learned through my experience, is that SGA plays an enormous part in decisions being made regarding student’s everyday lives. Small decisions such as the allocation of funds, have potentially massive impacts for our students. As a senator I will work to ensure that every student’s voice is being heard regarding decisions being made.

As an SGA Intern this year, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about the role Student Government plays in the lives of K-State and it’s students. What I have learned through my experience, is that SGA plays an enormous part in decisions being made regarding student’s everyday lives. Small decisions such as the allocation of funds, have potentially massive impacts for our students. As a senator I will work to ensure that every student’s voice is being heard regarding decisions being made.

College of Engineering

Mariana Cruz
Freshman in civil engineering
Running for student senator

The College of Engineering is currently facing an increase in fees that impact the cost of tuition of every Engineering student. It is important that there be transparency and communication between administration and students as these issues move forward. The voice of students in this matter is very important considering we are the ones who will bear the financial burden. An affordable education is a core value of Kansas State University and one that we should all work together to make possible.

SGA has a responsibility to bring the voice of the student body to the KSU administration. Through my role, I would do my best to keep students informed and be advocate for the College of Engineering in SGA matters.

Encouraging diversity among our student body should be one of KSU’s to priorities as this will enhance the academic experience of all students. Diversity within our campus will not only prepare students for future working environments but encourage the spread of ideas. In order to represent the wide variety of students that make up the College of Engineering, I will strive to communicate with as many different organizations and students as possible about their concerns.

Swapnil Gupta
Junior in computer engineering
Running for student senator

I believe the lack of adequate parking spaces on the K-State campus is one of the biggest challenges to students. Many students live too far too easily walk to campus, and with the recent inclement weather it becomes even more of a challenge. I believe the parking pass cost needs to be lowered or the number of spots for students needs to be increased. There has been many times were the parking garage is full for students but there are unused spots.

The students at K-State don’t have much say on the policy on campus. SGA is the voice for students and I believe that I will best represent the wishes of the College of Engineering student body. Through talking to my classmates, I have determined some of the biggest issues facing our school and through SGA we can solve those problems.

A diverse student body allows for a community whose experiences and viewpoints are much different than yours. Students are exposed to and challenged by these views. This allows students to learn and grow from these views. Growing up as an immigrant, diversity is one of the most important aspects of my identity and it is integral to K-State. I love to learn about other cultures, regions and races. I have had the opportunity to gain friends from around the world and I will push for more diversity.

Ethan Hammond
Junior in mechanical engineering
Running for student senator

Tuition fees are the largest issue facing Engineering students today. Through communication with the College of Engineering Administration, we need to discus the necessity of fees and how they benefit students.

Being an active advocate for students in the College of Engineering is my greatest opportunity for impact. I can accomplish this by representing them in Student Senate and on the Privilege Fee Committee. I can help students get the most for their college experience by ensuring their money is put to good use.

I value the range of opinions and priorities that diversity brings our University. Diresity brings with it a capacity to handle a wide breadth of challenges. Through my involvement, I have formed relationships with students of many different majors and backgrounds. These relationships, along with the opinions of many others, will guide my decisions in SGA.

Ali Karamali
Freshman in chemical engineering
Running for student senator

Affordability in education has crippled the educational opportunities of a multitude of students on campus. Students have struggled to be able to pay their tuitions due to lack of needs based scholarships and that is something I want to work to correct. This would be accomplished through working with all of SGA to create philanthropic events and raise money, along with working with K-State proud and sending our furture Student Body President to meet with legislators.

The whole goal of SGA is to benefit the students, whether this be through various funding and allocations through committees we have to enacting legislation in the student bodys best interest. Our mission has always been to immediately improve the lives of students on campus and the specific outlets we accomplish this through varies term to term such as affordability, accesibility, diversity, and whatever else the student body tells us where they want change enacted.

A diverse student body is necessary for us as a campus and community to advance In all aspects. Each student must feel comfort and ease when going about their daily lives on and off campus. I strive to create this environment of inclusion by following in the strides taken by the leaders of our campus before me. We must take events such as KSUnite and bring about that environment and acceptance on a day to day basis through continued work with multicultural organizations and our administrators.

Jordan Kiehl
Junior in industrial engineering
Running for student body president, student senator

On a large and diverse campus, there are many issues that affect students and their experience. One of which being the cost of attendance, especially with increasing tuition and decreasing student enrollment. Lacy and I hope to not only advocate on the state level, but also look for ways to decrease the use of expensive online textbooks, expand our out-of-state tuition programs, and re-evaluate our scholarship process. We would also like to continue the push for more needs-based scholarships.

Lacy and I want students to expect more from their college experience and find the value of their degree that we talk about so much at K-State. Just as we have developed our platforms through conversations with students, we want to continue making their concerns and ideas our top priority and hope to maintain that in every way possible.We want to find ways to bring others to the table and leverage the student voice to its full potential.

As a K-State community, there’s tremendous value in a diverse student body. As a student leader, it is my job to make sure that value is shared and recognized. Part of that comes from acknowledging where there is room for improvement when it comes to inclusion on our campus, not when it is convenient for us, but constantly. Lacy and I are committed to being a voice for all students through campus office hours and hope to continue the work that has been started through campus and SGA initiatives.

Jordan Martin
Senior in computer science, mathematics
Running for student senator

The most important issue for College of Engineering students is the rising cost of tuition. In order to stop this, I plan to apply to serve on the Tuition and Fees Strategy Committee to try to find a common-sense approach to better divide funds from Central Administration on a population and program-cost basis. I also plan to apply to be Privilege Fee Chair. In this position, I want to inform students of where their Privilege Fee money is going, and how they can get involved to help cut costs.

The easiest answer to this is in your tuition bill. SGA makes recommendations about all tuition and fees and allocates millions of dollars annually through the Privilege Fee. Through SGA, I have fought and succeeded in keeping the cost of attendance down for students by preventing a surcharge hike and keeping the Privilege Fee constant last year. Now, as I review Lafene and Counseling Services, I plan to moderately increase the Privilege Fee, but also help students avoid illnesses of all sorts.

K-State’s diversity of ideas, cultures, ethnicities and experiences is what makes us great. I have a proven record of seeking and responding to input from students of all cultures. I think that KSUnite was a great start, but as my conversations have shown me, we have a long way to go before K-State is truly culturally competent. I think that this competency starts at the top with SGA, and should continue down to students through events like Cats for Inclusion and diversity town halls.

Mathew Orzechowski
Junior in industrial engineering, political science
Running for student senator

There are, roughly, two categories of issues affecting Engineering students: “the broad,” and “immediate.” The former includes things like rising tuition and resource limitations; but it is this second category, that most impacts our daily lives, and it is here that we sometimes forget to take notice. That said, I admit I do not know everything “immediate” affecting my peers; but I hope to, and feel it is in this category that I will have the capacity to help.

[No answer provided for the second question]

Diversity of idea and experience is absolutely critical for any institution to succeed. Each of us brings everywhere with us the things that have shaped our lives; it is in effectively fusing ours with others’ that we can form a robust community of shared experience. The best, and possibly only, way to achieve this is through communication and interaction.

Jansen Penny
Sophomore in mechanical engineering
Running for student senator

Tuition and fees are the biggest issue facing K-State Engineering students today. I feel it is important that the administration in the College of Engineering hear students’ input regarding rising tuition and fees and that we, as student leaders, exercise our shared governance.

An impact I can have on students is being an equitable advocate for everyone in the College of Engineering. This can be done through their representation in Student Senate and on the Tuition and Fees Strategies committee. Also, SGA allocates thousands of dollars to student groups that can be heavily utilized by engineering clubs.

A diverse student body brings value to everyone at K-State. From faculty, staff, and students, a diverse student body allows for more learning opportunities, deeper cross-cultural understanding, and a more impactful education at Kansas State. I will remain aware and proactive about the makeup of the students and what issues they are facing within the college.

Don Riffel
Sophomore in computer science
Running for student senator

The biggest issue affecting the College of Engineering is the disjunction between the goal of quality education, the aspirations of K-State 2025, and the status of the budget. Engineering is the second largest college by enrollment at K-State and shows constant growth, so the demands of a growing student population need to be met. With less funding the challenges of keeping the quality of education given are immense. Keeping the focus on the students is a critical step in mending the issue.

SGA has the responsibility of carrying the voice of the student body to the University itself. With the unique shared governance model we have, many recommendations given by SGA are carried out by the University. My role as a senator would have a direct impact in that I would be able to promote legislation that is favorable to the students of the College of Engineering. I would also have the opportunity to explain the unique position that the college holds to others in SGA.

The value I see in a diverse student body is like a diverse diet. It is healthy and drives the whole to perform well. Seeing that the experience of K-State is not just about the academics but the involvement, culture, and life skills gained, a diverse student body is fundamental. It also ensures a broad range of skillsets that keep the university well-rounded and competitive. I will represent all students by keeping to this idea of a diverse student body being vital to the “health” of K-State.

Carson Tjelmeland
Freshman in chemical engineering
Running for student senator

The most important issue facing engineering students today is the lack of transparency and the current administration’s approach to significant fee increases. I believe that every student is entitled to appropriate and unbiased fee information, and that any tuition increases should have a visible impact on education here at Kansas State. It’s important to stay true to our university’s land grant roots which are intrinsically tied to equal opportunities for higher education.

I currently serve as an SGA intern and therefore have already had the opportunity to represent my college and its constituents within student government. Throughout the last eight months I have worked alongside SGA committees to review funding proposals for both student groups and entities such as the Collegian Media Group and KSDB. I plan to take the information learned through these experiences and apply it during my term in office in order to benefit engineering students.

A diverse student body has been on the forefront of many people’s minds on campus. As an engineer and member of SGA I was able to work diligently on KSUnite. From this experience I came to truly realize how important a diverse student body is. If elected I will work towards increased diversity and inclusion within the college of engineering in addition to campus as a whole; by assisting with more events such as KSUnite and the Engineering Town Hall Forum.

Graduate School

Marcus Kidd
Graduate student in student affairs in higher education
Running for Union Governing Board, student senator

An important issue facing the students that I represent is in regard to graduate student assistantships. As of now, the assistantship structure is not clearly defined and may put some of our students at a disadvantage. I think that if an opportunity could be had to discuss the budget models as it relates to the assistantships that are offered, more efficient solutions could be formulated.

Through my role as a senator, SGA can have a better pipeline of communication to graduate students to inform them of what’s going in the legislative branch.

I think there is a lot of value in a diverse student body. A diverse student body helps us think outside the box and consider new perspectives. I think it’s important for a student body to do this as the world of higher education continues to change.

Mohana Yoganandan
Graduate student in grain science and industry
Running for student senator, College Council

As a graduate student, I would like to represent the problems faced by international students in their Graduate life. Some of the issues would include high tuition fees, unequal opportunities in various research forums like competing for a few travel awards to attend seminars which require only national citizens to apply and most importantly, unequal acceptance towards various scholarships which are mostly favourable to US and Canadian citizens.

Through my role, I would interact with the SGA governing bodies and representatives of various Graduate organizations to help an international student overcome his problem, which could be the problem of various international students too. Besides this, I would also like to voice problems faced by other international undergrads, who face a lot of situations in college life than a grad student.

Unity is the value that I see in a diverse student body. I would like to involve representatives from different ethnic and international groups to participate in SGA where they would be given a chance to speak out their views and problems from their own community making it more valuable. This would also help different communities to look at different perspectives of an issue from different parts of the world.

College of Veterinary Medicine

Marie Armstrong
Graduate student in masters of public health
Running for student senator

I am representing the minority population at K-State, I will not only serve as a mentor but also as an advocate to make sure their voices are being heard. The most important issue affecting the under represented students in the College of Veterinary Medicine(Vet. Med.) is their ability to access and navigate supportive resources that will prepare them for future endeavors after graduation.

Through my role as a SGA graduate Senator, I will construct open forums and focus groups to listen to student concerns. In addition,I will also keep the my peers up to date on policies and activities that will be presented to me during our SGA meetings as their advocate. Collaborating with other programs within the university I will create avenues for them to network and gain perspectives in various fields to set them apart from competitors.

Having a diverse student body is highly valuable to me. Unity will always be a work in progress here at K-State. I am willing to take on the challenge to support the student body with security by providing them with resources and programs that will help them learn from one another.Ultimately, I am here to support, advocate, and uplift all students within the College of Vet Med as well as the University.

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Rachel Hogan
Hey, hi, hello! I’m Rachel Hogan, the copy chief for The Collegian. I’m a senior in journalism from Olathe, Kansas. When I’m not at work in the newsroom, I like to spend my time cuddling with my dog, working as a barista and laughing with my friends.