Student senate continues fight for spring well-being days, discusses changes to Code of Conduct

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Thursday evening, in its final meeting of the semester, the student senate passed a resolution reaffirming its will to add two well-being days next semester and took final action on officer pay cuts and the Student Code of Conduct review.

The senate renewed its resolution to advocate for two spring “well-being days” to be added to the upcoming academic calendar, after the faculty senate rejected the first proposal earlier this month.

The new resolution proposes two distinct three-day weekends following Friday, Feb. 26, and Friday, April 16. This proposal was drafted in conjunction with leadership from both the faculty senate and university support staff senate.

“It’s very similar to our original proposal … The biggest difference is that we moved these days specifically to Friday, because it will have less course disruption,” Nathan Bothwell, speaker of the student senate and senior in political science and communication studies, said. “The other big new thing is its university holidays, not student holidays, so it should hopefully give a break to our faculty members as well.”

Left unaltered, the spring semester will consist of 16 continuous weeks of academic instruction. The faculty senate will evaluate the proposal at their next meeting on Dec. 8.

“To be honest, I don’t know the faculty senate will still end up approving this, the margins are going to be slim if we get them to pass it,” Bothwell said. “I have already heard that some votes have flipped, or people who abstained would now vote in favor of the proposal. How many, I don’t know, but we will see.”

Additionally, student senate passed a bill containing marginal changes to the student Code of Conduct. While the code is scheduled to be reviewed every five years, the bill acknowledged there was an “influx of student support during the summer of 2020 for a review of all 15 student behavioral policies.”

The review committee gathered feedback from across campus, consisting of outreach to students and student organizations, an open forum and a survey, but Ashton Hess, attorney general and senior in geography and history, said most of the feedback didn’t apply to the code itself.

“Some of the stuff we got back just was kind of outside the jurisdiction of the code of conduct, which is, as of now, on-campus or university-sponsored events,” Hess said.

“You won’t see many significant changes just because there’s not much — within the Code of Conduct — there’s not much wiggle room for us. And a lot of the other work being done and a lot of the student suggestions, it’s outside the code,” Hess said.

Hess said that they are looking at making changes to the presentation of the code in the future, which is available on the K-State website, such as adding more information about the process surrounding filing a complaint.

“It just gives a lot more information and offers more clarity to students, and that’s something we really are looking at … trying to see what we can do with our website to make sure that students are getting the information we need,” Hess said. “I think the biggest thing to remember is that the code is just a piece in a pretty big puzzle of work efforts going on in the university.”

The most debated issue of the night concerned a bill reducing SGA officer compensation for the upcoming spring 2012 semester, at the recommendation of a special committee to evaluate compensation created in late October. While the committee evaluated cuts that some officers voluntarily proposed, they also reduced compensation for positions on the basis of reduced time and work commitments.

The student senate ultimately special ordered the bill, which cut their overall officer compensation 14.5 percent, a total of $3235.94, with some positions being cut up to 50 percent and others seeing no change.

Student senate will next meet after winter break on Feb. 4.

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My name is Rebecca Vrbas. I’m the culture editor at the Collegian and a junior in journalism and mass communications. My hobbies include obsessing over an ever-expanding pool of musicals and cats (not the musical). I love writing because of the infinite intricacy of language, as well as its power to cultivate a sense of community through sharing experiences.