SGA pushes for Multicultural Student Center, requests emergency funds

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The Student Governing Association introduced a resolution recommending the construction of a multicultural student center and a proposed funding request to grant the Privilege Fee Committee access to the fee debt reduction and emergency allocation account during Thursday’s senate meeting.

Ryan Kelly, student senator and junior in civil engineering, said the introduction of the recommendation for a multicultural student center further establishes the “timeline of the conversations” regarding the center’s potential creation.

The resolution made references to a $1 million donation from 2014 in support of a multicultural student center and a statement from university president Richard Myers acknowledging students’ desire for such a facility.

Mary Abounabhan, SGA multicultural affairs director and senior in management, said the center would “focus on leadership” and would be a place where student leaders from all backgrounds can congregate.

“It shouldn’t segregate, it should educate,” Abounabhan said.

Additionally, the Privilege Fee Committee presented a bill that requested funds from the privilege fee debt reduction and emergency allocation account “to cover the budget shortfalls due to the enrollment decline.”

Sarah Niederee, committee chair and senior in agricultural economics, said that while recommendations made by the committee were adapted around a 3 percent enrollment decline, enrollment at K-State actually dropped by a larger amount in the last academic year. However, the exact numbers for the drop in enrollment will not be available until after the semester ends.

“We’re requesting money from reserves to cover that,” Niederee said. “This account is specifically for reasons like this. In years past, we haven’t had enough of an enrollment decline that we’ve had to pull from reserves, but this specific year, because it’s been so detrimental is why.”

Niederee said the estimated amount of money would cover the current fiscal year of 2018, not supplement the allocative ability of fiscal year 2019. The privilege fee budget allocation for fiscal year 2018 is over $16 million.

“Next year, the privilege fee will increase just because of this enrollment decline, even if we didn’t increase any entities,” Niederee said.

The student senate will reconvene March 14 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Wildcat Chamber. For more information about SGA committees or to access meeting agendas, go to the SGA OrgSync page.

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