On Monday, the Privilege Fee Committee met in the Student Governing Association conference room to hear the special request to co-author Diversity Programming Committee legislation.
The proposed legislation would ultimately re-assign the DPC to reside within the Office of Diversity. Tendai Munyanyi, chair of the DPC and senior in management, said these changes would be a way to prevent difficulties that occurred in the fiscal year of 2018 within the committee from happening in future fiscal years.
Since the PFC resides over the allocations that go to the DPC through the Student Activity Fee, Sarah Niederee, PFC chair and senior in agricultural economics, said it would be “beneficial” for the committee to co-author the legislation with Munyanyi.
“DPC has always had a lot of issues that were never addressed, and I wanted to take this opportunity this year that we were going to address those issues and find the best possible solutions to make DPC more effective,” Munyanyi said.
Budget bust: SGA's diversity programming budget depleted
Adrian Rodriguez, associate vice president for student life of diversity and multicultural student affairs, said the office would strive to match the current $175,000 allocation made from the Student Activity Fee through potential funds raised. Additionally, Rodriguez said the DPC and the Office of Diversity would work together to “eliminate barriers” that prevent student organizations from accessing DPC funds.
As the bylaws currently stand, all student organizations that are registered with the Center for Student Involvement as a Dependent or Independent Student Organization can access funding through DPC for events aimed at increasing cultural competency on the Kansas State campus.
“We want to support our students in making great decisions about diversity programming; what we want to do is lend our expertise,” Rodriguez said.
Heather Reed, assistant vice president for student life, said she supports the idea to place the DPC under the Office of Diversity because it places the needs of the students “first and foremost” as a “focal point” of the decision making process.
“I think that all of us want to have the very best events that we can have and the very best experiences for students in that intercultural development, and if this is the way to do it with SGA being involved, but with it being a larger more unified focus, then I think it gives us the opportunity to even use the money better,” Reed said.
Jacob McIntire, senior in kinesiology and student senator, said he is in favor of co-authoring the legislation as a committee because it unifies several aspects of the university such as the Office of Student Life and SGA.
“I think that it is a rare opportunity in which legislation comes through privilege fee that could lead to more funding for student organizations in which the privilege fee will not have to change,” McIntire said. “I think that it would be a waste of an opportunity to not support legislation that increases funding for diversity programming for students.”
Victor Valdez-Herrera, junior in economics and student senator, said he would vote against co-sponsoring the bill as a committee because it was “out of scope of the committee” in terms of its defined role.
Ultimately, after debate, the PFC decided to allow individual committee members to co-author legislation over having the committee name placed with other authors of the legislation.