Pizza and Politics
Posted by Stephen Kucera on 11/22/2013
On Thursday night, November 14, the K-State Office of Governmental Relations, K-State Student Governing Association, and Alumni Center helped sponsor the second annual Pizza and Politics event. The three panelists were State Senator Marci Francisco, Board of Regent Robba Moran, and Governor Sam Brownback’s Chief of Staff Landon Fulmer.
The first question asked the panelists what they believed were the state Kansas’s biggest strengths and opportunities. Some themes that were echoed throughout the discussion were the people of Kansas, the resources of the state, and the Midwestern work ethic of the people.
The second question asked the panelists how Kansas is supposed to continue growing with the current decreases in higher education funding All three emphatically stated that cutting funds to programs that can influence student’s education is not the way to create growth and will in the long-term negatively affect job creation in the state. As Kansas becomes an even more attractive place to do business, Kansas needs to have skilled, qualified workers to fill the new job positions when they become available.
The third question asked the panelists what they believed to be the current Kansas state legislature’s opinion on higher education. Regent Moran said that legislators look at the makeup of their constituents and support policies that would appeal to the larger number of their constituents. Very few legislators have a university of significant size lying in their district. Chief of Staff Fulmer stated that Governor Brownback’s position on higher education funding is in contrast to that of many in his own party. Governor Brownback and his team are working toward the goal of restoring full funding to Kansas universities.
Additional topics touched on by the panel included personal leadership philosophies (Chief of Staff Fulmer – coalition and gaining consensus; Regent Moran – competence, collaboration, and honesty; Senator Francisco – inclusion) and how the panelists’ university education helped them become the successes they are today.
To conclude the meeting, Student Government representatives Kaitlyn Long and Jake Unruh announced two future events that Student Government will be participating in to help build relationships with state legislators that are necessary to influence policy discussion. Kansas Higher Education Day and Cats in the Capitol will be held in Topeka on February 11 and 12. More details to come!
The message constantly stressed was the need for students, faculty, alumni, and others associated with K-State to learn about governmental relations, build relationships with those in state government, and become involved in the discussion about state funding of public higher education. Significant progress can be made only when people rise to action and let the representatives know there are university students and alumni in their voting constituency.
Thank you to the panel participants for taking the time to talk to K-State!
Stay informed, stay involved, because knowledge is power!
Student Senator, College of Arts & Sciences
Follow on Twitter @StephenKucera
Happy October K-State!
Posted by Joey Platt on 10/02/13
The month of costumes, candy, and jack-o-lanterns is among us and SGA is welcoming another month of exciting senate meetings. This week’s past senate meeting was nonetheless with it’s overriding theme of allocations. From Blue Key Senior Honorary to the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students, student groups were the main topic of the discussion as we reviewed the events they are requesting funds to attend. While most of the Bills were in Introduction of Legislation, one of the larger allocations of the term received final action.
Last Spring, in accordance with the SGA Statues, Senate passed Bill 12/13/65 which allocated $45,000 to the K-State Academic Competition Teams. In addition to that Bill, Bill 12/13/80 was passed that allocated an additional $14,000 to the Academic Competition Teams. However, the original bill was signed before these additional funds could be added to the account, so the $14,000 was recently reviewed and dispersed by the University Allocations Committee. From the Mock Trial Club to Powercat Motorsports, the 15 teams reviewed develop the reputation of K-State in earning high honors and real-world experience. SGA is thankful that we are able to allocate funds to student organizations that are improving not only themselves, but the university as a whole.
K-State students are our main focus and we value the chances we get to enhance your experiences in the student organizations you’re involved in.
Until next time,
Posted by Joey Platt on 9/25/13
Can you believe we are already one month in to the Fall Semester? Homecoming is just around the corner, classes are picking up, and the Fall weather is beginning to set in. It seems just about everything on campus is in full swing, and SGA is no exception. This past Thursday, the senators gathered in the Big XII Room for the weekly meeting to discuss some “buzz worthy” topics. From an informative presentation given by Steve Starret on behalf of the University Honor Council, to the approval of the new senate interns, the meeting proved to be informative and commemorative. However, the consideration of Resolution 13/14/42 (Allocation of Student Bond Surplus Account) seem to stand out as the biggest decision of the night.
Resolutions similar to this one are considered each term to determine how the University’s Bond Surplus Account should be utilized. As the Resolution states, “The bond surplus funds exist to provide opportunity for the completion of major, one-time projects.” That being said, SGA passed Resolution 12/13/85 in the Spring Semester that authorized $200,000.00 of the Bond Surplus Account be put towards to “the design and construction costs for a controlled-access, student-only parking surface at the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex.” Fortunately, the total the cost of the project comes to $171,500.00. Along with this allocation is an additional fee to Parking Services which would allow privilege fee paying students to use the parking lot for free. This cost is to not total more than $28,500.00. The consideration of this resolution consisted of President Schooley addressing the changes and one amendment which added Director of Housing and Dining Services Derek Jackson to list of people to review a copy of the resolution. Once the amendment passed, the resolution was held for bulk roll call and passed by a vote of 47-0-2.
With the passing of this resolution comes exciting plans for the future of the Recreation Complex and its availability to students. SGA is proud and excited to be representing the student body in setting these plans, and those alike, into motion. With a year of more “buzz worthy” issues ahead of us, SGA plans on keeping your interests at the forefront of discussion in each of our weekly meetings.
The Legislative Branch is composed of elected student senators and committee members. In Student Senate, students determine how students’ money is allocated and establish policies for the K-State student body. Senate also votes on resolutions, the second type of legislation. Resolutions are non-binding legislations, such as supporting a city ordinance or commending the K-State football team.
Speaker of the Student Senate
The Speaker of the Student Senate serves as the chief executive of the legislative branch of SGA. The Speaker presides over the Student Senate and is responsible for chairing the SGA Executive Committee, and supervising the officers of the Student Senate. The speaker is nominated and elected by Student Senate and serves a one-year term.
Speaker pro tempore of the Student Senate
The Speaker pro tempore of the Student Senate assumes the duties of the Speaker of the Student Senate upon the Speaker’s absence. The Speaker pro tempore also coordinates In-Touch and serves as the Chair of the Communications standing committee. Like the Speaker of Student Senate, the speaker pro tempore is also nominated and elected by Student Senate and serves a one-year term.
Officers of the Student Senate
The officers of the Student Senate include the Student Senate Secretary, the Student Senate Parliamentarian, and the Chairs of the Standing Committees.
Student Senate Standing Committees
There are seven standing committees in Student Senate that specifically address areas of concern for the student body. Each student senator and intern serves on a standing committee. In committees, a bulk of the bills and resolutions are created among groups of SGA officials.
The Allocations Standing Committee, is responsible for making recommendations regarding the activity fee, including monies for campus wide organizations, academic competition teams, and institutional services. In addition, the committee advertises guidelines on the allocations of fees to student organizations.
College Council Allocations
The College Council Allocations Committee, is responsible for allocating a portion of the Student Activity Fee for the use of college council groups. The committee works in conjunction with representatives from college councils across campus to address funding issues at the college level.
The Communications Standing Committee works to promote Student Government to the students, faculty, administration, and staff of Kansas State University and the Manhattan community. The committee shall also engage members of the K-State community in order to educate and collect feedback on campus issues.
The Governmental Relations Committee promotes views on matters of student concerns within state, federal, and local governments. The committee also develops recommendations for City University Fund monies for projects that mutually benefit the City of Manhattan and Kansas State University.
The Privilege Fee Standing Committee oversees the $15 million Privilege Fee Budget. The committee is responsible for the review of line-item fees and addressing issues of long-term financial planning. The committee makes recommendations on the continuance, discontinuance, or alteration of a line item fee. All recommendations may be overturned by the administration, but traditionally decisions have been upheld, giving the K-State SGA a degree of authority not possessed by most university student governments.
The Senate Operations Standing Committee, is responsible for overseeing SGA elections, appointment, Student Senate legislation, and impeachment/expulsion of SGA members.
Student Affairs is responsible for engaging students in the student government process by educating them on the Student Governing Association’s mission, processes and achievements. This committee is also charged with collecting feedback from student groups on the work of SGA as well as campus and community issues.
There are sixty elected members of Student Senate. Each college or school is represented by at least one Student Senator. Student Senators are duly elected for a term of one year from the main campus student body.
College of Agriculture
College of Architecture
College of Arts and Sciences
College of Business Administration
College of Education
College of Engineering
College of Human Ecology