SGA discusses alternatives for on-campus classes during extreme cold temperatures at weekly meeting

BY CORIE LYNN

Like much of the Midwest, Hays spent the past week experiencing extremely cold temperatures with temperatures on last Sunday and Monday dipping below -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Through this winter weather, Fort Hays State University remained open for both online and in-person classes.

Because of this, Student Senators Will Barfield, Katelyn Modlin and Skyler Jones led a discussion on alternatives to having students attend classes in such weather during the Thursday night Student Government Association meeting.

“I had freshmen asking why they had in-person classes in -15 degree weather,” Modlin said.

Knowing that the university prefers not to cancel classes for cold weather, Barfield suggested that it consider making class completely online the next time such extreme weather occurs.

“It’s really about the safety of all involved,” Jones said.

The SGA’s executive staff stated that they would pass along their concerns and suggestions. Vice President Homman then informed the senators this weather was without precedent, making this past week a learning curve for the entire FHSU community.

This discussion took place during the open forum section of the meeting. During this time, the senators also discussed the possibility of getting a parking spot reserved for students visiting the Student Health Center as well as the process of proposing a bill in the Student Senate.

The evening, however, began with a handful of reports from executive staff members and committee chairs.

President Haley Reiter began the meeting by reporting the Student Emergency Assistance fund met and reviewed several applications.

“The fund is running drastically low, so we had to make some tough decisions,” she said.

Going forward, there are plans to make the Student Emergency Assistance fund a part of the Day of Giving so that it can continue to help students in need.

Reiter also used this time to explain that the SGA will vote on a resolution regarding the creation of a student seat on the Kansas Board of Regents.

“[The resolution] doesn’t outline a process. It just supports an idea,” she said.

Additional reports came from Treasurer David Schulte and Legislative Affairs Director Crystal Rojas.

Schulte reminded the senators that allocation applications are due the following day and that they would accept no late applications.

Rojas thanked the senators for their participation and work on Higher Education Day. This event saw the senators and other FHSU students meeting with state representatives over Zoom to advocate for funding in higher education and mental health services.

Later in the meeting the senators heard the KBOR resolution read for the first time as well as two bills and an amendment to the SGA constitution.

This amendment states that in moving funds to a line item, a student organization cannot be overfunded in that line item except for extenuating circumstances. The senators moved it to emergency business and passed it.

They passed one additional bill that provided funding to the Sigma Alpha Sorority for their online national conference.

Before concluding the meeting, the senators gave a few announcements, including a reminder from Rojas for students to apply for internships and scholarships.

Reiter also took this time that there would be discussion about the suggestions about alternatives to in-person classes during extreme weather.

The meeting then concluded. The Student Senate will reconvene Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m.

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