Update from the Local Relations Director
Posted by Matt Brill on 3/12/2014
I hope you are enjoying this recent warm weather! Hopefully we don’t have a mid-March snow this year…
My name is Matt Brill, and I am the Local Relations Director for Student Government, and my main responsibility is to be the liaison between the student body and the local government.
In the Fall semester, I along with Government Relations Chair Megan Walden coordinated the proposal and eventual acceptance of the City University Fund for 2015. The CUF is a fund that takes all of the tax dollars from the 66506 area code (campus) and puts the money towards projects that directly affect not only the Student Body, but the Manhattan Community as well. Some past projects include intersection improvements around campus, lighting improvements and some Union renovations.
This year, we passed a total of seven projects in committee that were then approved by Student Senate. Some of the projects include continued improvements to 17>th/Anderson & Bluemont/Manhattan intersections, McCain Auditorium improvements that will bring in new lighting as well as renovated restrooms, and funding to start paving the Northern lot of City Park near Aggieville. We were very pleased that these passed the Student Senate and are on their way to being very important projects for Students and Local Residents alike.
A project I have been working on more recently is the idea of a so called, ‘Bill of Rights’ for Tenants/Landlords alike. This document will condense complicated law documents into a simple sheet that contains basic rental knowledge. The hope is that this document will get into the hands of Tenants and educate them about their Rights and Responsibilities when renting in Manhattan. I, as well as Eli Schooley, have been meeting with local government officials as well as leaders in the Landlord Association to design this document.
My hope is that we will roll this document out before the term ends this Spring.
Thank you for reading, and hopefully there will be more updates to come on this project!
Local Relations Director
Student Affairs: The Corporate Initiative
posted by Steph Hughes on 3/12/2013
It’s been an incredible year for Student Affairs and this being my first blog post, I had to take a couple days to decide what I wanted to say. I could talk about the events we’ve planned or the initiatives we started or the ideas we’ve discussed, but I think I’ll start with something more basic.
What is Student Affairs?
When I first applied for this position I wasn’t entirely sure, so what else could I do? I googled it. According to Wikipedia (which I still think is a credible source…) “Student Affairs is the department or division of services and support for students at institutions of higher education to enhance student growth and development.” Hmmm. So my job as the K-State Director of Student Affairs is to help students learn and grow.
Throughout this year, Eli, Jake, Abby (President, Vice President, and Chief of Staff respectively) and I have worked hard to try to reach out to the student body. This came in the form of planning social events with other organizations, creating a presentation about what SGA is and how students can get involved for us to share at club meetings around campus, and attempting to enact change where students want it such as with smoking on campus. These have all been effective ideas and plans about which I could go into more detail, but instead I’m going to choose my favorite thing that I have done this year and share it with you all.
I have had the privilege of setting up what is known as the Student Body President Advisory Board. This is an advisory board that is composed of leaders of organizations throughout campus. We by no means reached out to leaders in every area of campus, but we wanted to get a broader array of opinions on topics where we want student feedback. This advisory board only meets once a semester but it is vital for SGA to decide what actions are necessary and how best to help students. Throughout last semesters meeting we discussed issues such as the Union Renovation, Smoking, and Tenant and Landlord topics. I look forward to this semesters meeting, which will happen the week after spring break, and hearing more advice and perspective on upcoming topics.
The whole point of Student Affairs is to hear from students. Which is more difficult than one would think. Being in SGA, I’m in a perfect position to talk to students, inform them, and show them my perspective. But how do I get students to talk to me, inform me, and show me their perspective? I think this is why SBP Advisory Board has been my favorite task of this year, because students were brought in to give SGA advice. SGA isn’t just another organization. It is the means by which all other organizations are represented and spoken for. My passion is for students to understand and utilize SGA to accomplish what they want accomplished. This being true, if you have any questions, concerns, or projects that you want SGA to work on, email the student affairs account at firstname.lastname@example.org
As much as I want each and every one of you to reach out to SGA and be honest about what you think, I know that this is unrealistic. Why should you care? What can SGA really do for you? Well I think in order to understand that, I first need to understand the students themselves. I want to get to know each and every one of you, and show you that I care.
In the next few weeks, my term will come to a close, but I will not be done working in Student Affairs. Next fall I will be exploring. I will be attending clubs that I’ve never heard of before. I’ll be getting to know new students. And in the process I hope I can point people in the right direction so they can learn and grow. After all, this is what Student Affairs is right? I think that this definition of Student Affairs isn’t limited to a single position, a single committee, or even just SGA. Student Affairs is synonymous with K-State.
So K-Staters, let’s push ourselves and each other to learn and grow. Only as a full student body can we make Student Affairs a corporate initiative.
Student Affairs Director
Student Centered Tuition Enhancements Provides Opportunity for Campus Growth
posted by Jake Unruh on 12/14/2013
Hey there K-Staters!
I hope that your semester is winding down nicely and you’re all geared up for finals week. Remember that deep breaths and plenty of sleep are always important! This past week, Student Governing Association received an all-time high in Student Centered Tuition Enhancement proposals at 27. You may be asking yourself, “what exactly does Student Centered Tuition Enhancement do?” Well, luckily, I have answers for you!
Student Centered Tuition Enhancements was created in 2007 in order for student tuition money to go to start-up funding for projects that have a direct, positive impact to students. Some notable past projects include Powercat Financial Counseling, the LGBT Resource Center, and the Student Design center to name a few. As you can tell, there is a wide variety of projects that can benefit students through this fund. This year, we received proposals from all across the board. They range from WiFi improvements, to professional mentorship, to tree improvements! Clearly, there are a large variety of needs that our student body currently has, and this fund helps fix some of those problems. However, there is not enough funding for every project to get all of the money they request. Therefore, a ten member committee, made up of both student senators and at-large reps, examines the proposals very carefully and makes a recommendation to Student Senate and, ultimately, President Schulz.
Meetings will be throughout the first half of the second semester and should wrap up sometime in early March. It will undoubtedly be an exciting process that will bring positive change to our campus, and is yet another way that the student voice is heard here at K-State.
Have a great Winter Break and we’ll see you in January.
Beat the Wolverines,
Being Purple but Acting Green
posted by Kaley Oldani on 11/10/2013
Hello my K-State Wildcat family!
I hope you are enjoying the fall colors, I sure am! This is your Student Director of Sustainability here to give you an update on the progress of sustainability here on campus. K-State has implemented the “one-stop-drop” recycling bins all around campus to make it easier on students to separate their recyclables and prevent them from going to the landfill. “One-stop-drop” recycling receptacles are blue bins that are placed all around campus so that you can toss all your plastic, aluminum, tin, paper, and cardboard waste into just one bin! This has allowed recycling efforts to increase by 5% since a year ago and K-State is currently recycling at a diversion rate of around 25% based on a comparison of September 2012 and 2013. I know we can do better!! Based on a waste characterization study conducted on three academic halls in 2011, likely 70% of waste generated in those halls could have been diverted from the landfill. Landfilling waste costs the university (part of YOUR tuition dollars) $48/ton, whereas recycling and composting generate revenue from those materials and help preserve the quality of our land, air, and water resources.
Composting has been introduced to Radina’s in the Leadership Studies building as a pilot study. This pilot study was started in January 2013 based on a grant proposal I helped write with a few other students to the EPA titled “From Garbage to Gourmet: sustainable waste prevention and mushroom cultivation from spent coffee grounds”. We were awarded the grant money of $12,900 in August 2013 for the phase one pilot study. This April, I will be going to Washington D.C. with my interdisciplinary team to present my findings to the EPA and if the pilot study is considered a success, our project would be eligible for phase two, which could be $100,000 to implement composting campus wide! Unfortunately, the project is stuggling because the customers of Radina’s and other users of the facility have yet to effectively sort their waste properly and the composting receptacles are often contaminated with chip bags and to-go cups that are not compostable. It would be an extreme disappointment and a total shame if K-State misses out on this opportunity for potentially $100,000 from the EPA. We need every Wildcat on campus to remember, sustainability is a way of life, it is a personal choice in each individual, K-State is only as sustainable as the students and faculty are. Waste costs us to dispose. Compost is a deposit; it can come back to us as money. But that deposit thrown in a waste container costs us twice normally, and with a grant at stake it could cost us three times. Real money is at stake. Let’s win this challenge. Let’s win this next funding award. Let’s show that we know what is waste and what is compostable.
Be purple, but think and act green!
Student Centered Tuition Enhancements: Creating New Student Value
posted by Jake Unruh 10/5/13
It’s kind of hard to believe fall is upon us already! October marks the beginning of cooler temps, crewneck sweatshirts, and lots of pomping for homecoming for many people. While the same can be said of many people in Student Governing Association, October also is when we start ramping up the business, not only on Thursday nights but also in committees and around campus. Student Technology Committee will be having its first meeting this Friday, October 4th, and the Educational Opportunity Fund will be having its first meeting the following Monday, which means things are about to get both exciting and busy for me. However, just around the corner is probably my favorite committee I get to serve on (and need help with!).
Student Centered Tuition Enhancements (called SCTE for short) is funding that is allocated out of undergraduate tuition from administration each year. We use it for two purposes; first, to fund programs that enhance the student experience. Secondly, we use it as seed money for the creation and implementation of new programs here on campus. Some of the really unique initiatives that have some from this group include the TV program Wildcat Watch, the KSU Veterans Center, and more recently the Union Graphics office.
The idea of SCTE is that a project will stay on SCTE funding for roughly four years. After that, it is usually picked up by a department, the university, or could possibly turn into a Student Privilege Fee item. Once items roll off, the money that is no longer being used will hopefully go to something else that deserves funding! Thus, we create more great programs for K-Staters to use, and programs that aren’t needed on campus are retooled and refitted to better serve the needs of the community.
If you want to serve on the committee, we’ll be meeting throughout January and February. Email me at email@example.com if you want to be a part of it!
Wifi Error Reporting
posted by Theo Stavropoulos on 9/10/13
One way K-State Student Governing Association has been working to enhance mobility across campus is to address the issue of WiFi “deadzones” across campus. Over the summer, we worked with members of the Information Technology Services (ITS) Office of Mediated Education to publish a link for reporting WiFi Errors. After raising the issue, we learned that K-State ITS has the resources to address these problems, but they simply need to know where these weak spots in the network are located. So we’re asking students to report these errors wherever they encounter them on campus.
If you’re in a room with a weak or over-crowded hot spot: take note of that location, visit the left panel on K-State Online (KSOL), and click on the “WiFi Error Reporting Form” to fill out a service ticket (see photo below). If we all do our part to respectfully inform the IT Community of these problem areas, we will be on our way to better connectivity on KSU Wireless.
Tackling Technologyposted by Jake Unruh on 8/12/13
Welcome back to Manhattan! I hope you had safe travels back to campus and are excited for what is surely going to be a crazy, but fun, year. There are a lot of Student Government initiatives that are going to be going into effect soon that will hopefully make your time here at K-State even better than it already is!
When Eli and I were elected, we said that we wanted to tackle many issues that face K-State students today. One thing the student body wanted to see was updates to K-States technology, both in classrooms and for personal usage. Thanks to our amazingly talented IT support team, we have already been able to tackle some of these issues.
We all know how important it is to be able to check Facebook and Twitter during class, and that’s why Eli and I want to make sure that the WiFi in every classroom is operating as well as it can be. This is where we need YOUR help! Starting in September, when you log onto K-State Online, there will be a link on the left-hand side of your homepage that will say “Report a WiFi Problem”. By clicking that link and filling out information about where the WiFi was a little sketchy, you will be letting our IT staff know how to fix a problem that they want to tackle! This is only going to work with student help, however, so don’t be bashful about reporting WiFi issues.
Secondly, we want to make sure that you don’t have to lug your charger around campus with you all day. With Kwikboost Mobile Charging Stations, you will be able to use chargers that are scattered throughout campus, including high traffic buildings like the Union, Hale Library, and the School of Leadership Studies. There are plans to have at least one charging station in every college department this year. Once again, we hope this makes your life a little bit easier and your time here at K-State a little bit smoother.
I can’t wait to see everyone at tailgates and football games soon! Make sure you support all of our athletic teams (we live in Titletown, in case you haven’t heard) and make time to relax and hang out with friends. While we all are here to learn, you’ll find most of your personal growth comes from engaging yourself outside of the classroom.
Always feel free to stop by the Office of Student Activities and Services and say hello to Eli and myself! We’ll look forward to seeing you.