Student senate amends, passes bill decreasing Fine Arts privilege fee, passes resolution on inclusivity

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On Thursday, the student senate decreased the Fine Arts privilege fee allocation for the 2021-22 school year by 41 percent.

The cut will result in total savings to students of around $126,000, Madison Brown, privilege fee committee chair and senior in finance, said.

This decision will lead to major cuts carried out over the next three years to departments like McCain Auditorium, theater, dance, art and English.

Student senate debated on the pros and cons of changing the decrease to the dance allocation, eventually modifying the originally-planned 25 percent decrease to a decrease of 20 percent instead, thereby adding $900 in funding to Dance.

Josh Diazdeleon, caucus leader and junior in elementary education, said the 20 percent decrease would better allow the department to not compromise on the quality of performances and it would give the students the chance to better delve into their passions.

“We have an educational obligation to these students in dance,” Diazdeleon said. “While it might not be the biggest department on campus, I believe those students are still very important. … And, if we’re going to use that money in the best way possible, we should use it to make sure that we’re bringing up the other students in our campus as well. Even though $900 is not a lot of money, it’s a lot of money to me.”

Student senate also passed a recommendation regarding the Action Plan for a More Inclusive K-State.

The bill, which encourages Kansas State administration to take steps to promote inclusion on campus, passed unanimously.

It has 178 co-authors, Maggie Billman, speaker pro tempore and junior in pre-professional secondary education, said. Billman said student concerns were taken into heavy consideration in the creation of the resolution.

The bill is a response to “hateful actions” that occurred at the Multicultural Student Center in the end of February, but that change has needed to occur for a long time, Billman said.

“This resolution is about a pattern on campus, and about a pattern that needs to be stopped and a culture of change that needs to happen,” Billman said.

The bill aims to encourage the administration to communicate more and hold more discussions on inclusion on campus, as well as make sure the 11-step-plan moves forward, with all steps in the “launched” phase by May.

Billman particularly highlighted section 6 of the resolution, saying, “KSU SGA recognizes that University Administration has laid a framework for actionable steps and implores them to continue developing a campus culture where all students, faculty and staff feel welcomed, safe and prioritized.”

The full steps of recommendations can be found online.

In addition, student senate approved a resolution to encourage closed captioning and live transcriptions to be enabled on Zoom for all K-State classes and university-affiliated events or meetings.

Payton Lynn, senate intern and sophomore in secondary education, said the bill will help students who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, have auditory-processing difficulties or have trouble focusing on or understanding others through internet-based communications.

Student senate will reconvene at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 25, in a hybridized format. Members of SGA can meet in Room 1088 of the Business Building, while others can join via Zoom. Students interested in attending future meetings can email Bothwell at ndbothwell@ksu.edu.

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