New student organization funding bill proposed at weekly SGA meeting

BY CORIE LYNN

During their weekly meeting Thursday night, the Fort Hays State University Student Government Association introduced legislation allowing student organizations to request changes to previously allocated funding.

The legislation proposed by SGA was due to many organizational trips and events having been canceled for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Typically, rollover funding from student organizations would be put back into the allocations fund for redistribution. The proposed bill would allow these organizations more flexibility to use rollover.

“Now with this new legislation that we’re introducing,” said SGA Treasurer David Schulte, “it’s essentially the same thing [as a line item change] except we’re moving money from last year’s account over to this year’s account so that organizations can use money from last year if they had an event or a trip get canceled.”

The rest of the evening was spent giving reports and updates from the week.

President Haley Reiter informed the Student Senate she attended her first Kansas Board of Regents meeting, during which they discussed mental health funding and student insurance so students would have better access to resources.

“The Kelly Center services, while it is a student fee that pays for that, a lot of other institutions have a student fee and the students pay to go on top of that. So providing those services for free made me super proud to be from Fort Hays,” she said.

During his report, Vice President Bryson Homman reminded the students to continue pushing the Student Emergency Assistance Fund.

This fund was established to provide students in need with funding, allowing them to continue their education. The SGA helps determine who receives assistance, but, according to Homman, they have received a low number of applications this fall semester.

The only other executive report came from Legislative Affairs Director Crystal Rojas, who informed the Student Senate that intent-to-run forms for Freshman/KAMS SGA elections were extended until Sunday, that she worked on upcoming election candidate forums and that she attended an LAD meeting to discuss what her counterparts at other institutions were working on.

Additional reports came from three committee members.

The Legislative and Political Action Committee announced that Voter Registration Week would be the following week and the Student Relation & Involvement Committee discussed what they could do in terms of virtual events.

The final report, coming from a member of the FHSU General Education Committee, was that the committee discussed but did not approve the rubrics for multiple sociology courses.

Before reading the new funding legislation for the first time, the SGA moved into their Open Forum, during which Sen. Will Barfield stated a town hall is in the works, with the potential date being the following Thursday.

The purpose of the town hall is to hear from students about campus questions and concerns directly from students.

Because of concerns about the short notice of the event, the date is not confirmed, but he is certain questions will be submitted beforehand through a Google form.

In addition to this discussion, Sen. Chris Crawford proposed the question of having mask stations on campus similar to the hand sanitizer stations in each building.

Dr. Teresa Clounch, SGA advisor, said every office on campus has a supply of masks to which students have access.

“We thought about having masks out in the open,” she said. “When we were doing that early on, we realized that individuals were taking all of the masks and not taking one for single use.”

Before concluding the Open Forum, Clounch also informed the students that FHSU staff had no further updates or solutions to the new phase of COVID-19 testing for students.

Following announcements, including that of an online COVID-19 education course through Johns Hopkins and the Freshman/KAMS SGA election intent-to-run deadline extended, the evening’s meeting adjourned.

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