Legislative and executive positions are open in the upcoming Student Government Association elections, Hattie Polson, SGA Deputy Attorney General, said.
“In the upcoming election, we have Senate seats open. Depending on what college you are in dictates exactly how many seats there are,” Polson, junior in agricultural economics and global food systems, said. “For example, I am in the College of Agriculture, and I believe we had six seats last year. That could change depending on enrollment, and then in addition to the Senate, we also have the student body president and vice president open.”
Natalie Nusz, SGA Elections Commissioner, said the 60 total student senators are divided into different committees and meet on different nights throughout the week.
“They’ll work on different bills, and then the committee of senators themselves will vote in the committee on those bills and if they want to move them forward,” Nusz, junior in philosophy, pre-law and political science, said. “And then those bills will move to the Senate floor on Thursday nights.”
Polson said senators attend the Senate meetings at 7 p.m. every Thursday night.
“You have voting rights to vote on behalf of your college, whether that be on a bill or a resolution,” Polson said. “You also have rights to speak, meaning that you can speak in affirmative or negation of a bill or resolution, and you get to write those bills and resolutions should you want to. Lots of opportunities to kind of really use your voice as a student and really represent the students of your college.”
Nusz said one of the senate committees is the Student Services Fee Committee.
“What they do is they have a large amount of money that they allocate to different organizations on campus,” Nusz said. “They decide how much money will be given to these organizations.”
Parker Vulgamore, student body president, served on the Student Services Fee Committee as a senator from the College of Agriculture and said he was excited about this responsibility when he joined student government.
“Every student at K-State, generally speaking, you just pay your tuition, and you just pay your student services fee and you may have other individual smaller colleges fees. … But every student pays … $479 each semester and that goes into a budget. That’s about 14.5 million dollars that the student governing association is in charge of allocating,” Vulgamore said. “So this is a budget that is paid for by students and it’s dispersed — allocated by students for students. So we fund the rec, the union, Lafene, all of those services, counseling services, a whole bunch of those.”
Vulgamore said representation and advocacy are the primary roles of the student body president and vice president along with their cabinet.
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“I have a cabinet of students that I get to select that serve on all these different advisory committees. So everything from recreational services … to athletics,” Vulgemore said. “We get to negotiate the contract for student tickets and the student parking. … We get to serve on advisory councils for sustainability initiatives on campus, and those are committees that are made up of faculty, administration.”
Polson said the student body president and vice president are the representatives of K-State students.
“K-State is really special and significant, our SGA is, in that we have lots of conversations with faculty and administration and we have really wonderful relationships,” Polson said. “So we get to do a lot of really cool things that don’t happen at all universities.”
Jeff Ebeck, senior in finance and SGA student body vice president, said when he came to college, he originally thought SGA was similar to the Student Council from his high school.
“I was vice president, ironically, of my student body at Wellsville and I think I was like, ‘oh, it’s gonna be the same thing like, once a month meetings,’” Ebeck said. “No, like it is so important that these positions are known because we advocate on so many levels, whether that be financially, mental well-being — anything that the student services fee touches, we have some sort of say in it.”
Editor’s note: The original online edition did not include the graphic from the print edition of upcoming SGA election dates as seen below.