Current SGA body signs off for the last time as term ends


Student Governing Association’s 2019-2020 governing term ended Thursday night, but it looked a little different than usual.

Like everything else this semester, student senate was forced to find a way to continue meeting to complete its legislative docket as a pandemic necessitated the closure of campus and social distancing protocols. Zoom was the answer.

Committee meetings, regular body meetings and the annual SGA banquet have all been carried out virtually.

And it hasn’t quite gone off without a hitch. During the first week, a several minute-long pause halted the progression due to a snafu with the polling feature in Zoom the body was using to cast votes. Last week, leadership instituted a thirty minute delay after the original Zoom meeting was interrupted by a “zoombomber” who played pornographic content and a racial slur.

Student body president and senior in industrial engineering Jansen Penny touched on the uncertainty caused by COVID-19 in the lives of students. A lot of decisions are still up in the air when it comes to student support and shared governance, Penny said.

“I want to ensure all of you that we will make sure student voices are in on those conversations and some of those decisions that will affect students,” Penny said.

During the meeting, student senate passed a continuance in the Privilege Fee allocation to KSDB-FM radio operation and reserve accounts and an on-campus allocation to Cats For Life for a guest speaker.

Regular proceedings lasted about 30 minutes, but as is tradition, the final meeting was capped off with speeches from the graduating seniors across all three SGA branches.

“This isn’t what we planned, this isn’t what we imagined,” Nathan King, student senator and senior in mass communications, said during his senior speech. “Quarantine is hard and we are doing the best with what we’ve got.”

It was a sentiment that several other seniors repeated.

Following the final adjournment for the term, some student senators engaged in an enthusiastic singing of Alma Mater.

The new term of SGA will begin next week on Zoom at 7 p.m. Student body president-elect and junior in secondary education Tel Wittmer and Vice president-elect and junior in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology Lane Lundeen will be sworn into their positions. Additionally, the process for selecting legislative body leadership will begin.

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.