Student-Centered Tuition Enhancement converts student ideas into reality

(Photo Illustration by Hannah Greer | Collegian Media Group)

Students looking to make a difference on campus can submit their ideas to the Student-Centered Tuition Enhancement fund. The goal is to help launch projects and programs that positively affect Kansas State. According to the Student Governing Association webpage, the money comes directly from students’ tuition dollars to fund student, faculty and staff ideas.

Tram Pham, junior in accounting and finance, said SCTE funds help new programs get started at K-State.

“Any new ideas that need money to start up are funded by SCTE so they can be launched on campus,” Pham said. “This is student money, so the ideas should be programs that will help us. Also, it does not need to be academic. It can be personal because students have a lot going on with school and work, which can get stressful, so implementing new ideas is always helpful.”

Pham, who is the SGA treasurer, said students should not be afraid to voice their opinions and create proposals.

“Students have different and new ideas compared to the staff,” Pham said. “So reach out if you have something you are passionate about that you want at K-State — it is possible to launch your ideas.”

Pham said the committee needs to clear the ideas before funding can begin.

Blake Phillips, junior in operations and supply chain management and management information systems, was on the committee his freshman year.

“After everyone applies, we go down the list and ensure that applications meet the qualifications,” Phillips said. “From there, we just knock the list down until we have a solidified list, then we make decisions on how much funding they should receive.”

Phillips said the committee never looks for anything specific. Instead, the goal is essentially to help students in any way.

“We read through proposals and look at student impact or the value it would bring to the K-State community,” Phillips said. “That is overall what we look for.”

According to the webpage, the SCTE committee looks for new funding projects that will benefit K-State long-term. However, the committee approves a variety of ideas, Pham said.

One recently approved project provides laptop rentals at Hale Library.

“There is a laptop checkout area now for students to use that do not have a computer,” Pham said. “This helps them still be involved and get their work done.” 

Other examples of programs SCTE funds include Cats’ Cupboard, peer academic coaching and the Writing Center, Pham said.

One use of SCTE funds providing a long-term impact is the sexual and relationship specialist position in the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education. After the committee approved the proposal in 2019, the office created the role. Jessica Henault, a full-time staff member, has since occupied that position.

“Before me, there was no prevention specialist,” Henault said. “After SCTE provided funding, the position was created, and I applied for it.”

The position’s original proposal described a specialist in prevention education for everyone at K-State. Henault said her job still fits that description.

“I provide prevention education on topics of consent, healthy relationships and I work with campus partners on a plan to help reduce and eliminate sexual violence from campus,” Henault said.

SCTE is extremely helpful in terms of getting new programs started to help students, Henault said.

“The SCTE funds really helped us get off our feet for launching prevention education,” Henault said. “It shows that it is making a difference and that these dollars are not only very important but are being used well.”

New programs will be implemented for next school year if they are approved, Pham said. The SCTE application for new program proposals for fiscal year 2023 is available until Dec. 3.