SGA discusses practicing advocacy, passes emergency business bill


The Fort Hays Student Government Association kept busy during its Thursday meeting with discussions about advocacy, hunger initiatives and an emergency business bill.

The bill, which aims to change student fee reviews from the end of February to the beginning of December, moved to emergency business and was originated by Legislative Affairs Director Ella Burrows. The bill passed unanimously, so the Legislative and Political Action Committee will now start reviewing student fees earlier. A vote was needed because the change to the date also changes the SGA bylaws.

“We’re trying to move the date up so we have a lot of time to go through the fee requests really thoroughly and do a really excellent job so we can best accommodate the needs of our students,” Burrows said.

Aside from the formal business, advocacy was a big focus for this week’s meeting. According to SGA President Ryan Stanley, an Advocacy Day event will be held on campus on November 11.

“We will have a short presentation on food insecurity in Ellis County followed by a seminar about how you can advocate to your legislators and what that looks like,” he said.

Stanley also mentioned the 2022 Ag Summit on November 14, hosted by Rep. Ken Rahjes from the House Ag Committee. The Summit will provide information about agriculture in western Kansas, and is taking place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Robbins Center. FHSU Governmental Relations Officer Jennie Rose was present as one of the meeting’s guest speakers to talk about this event.

“We have invited every senator and current legislator,” she said. “However, I will tell you from my 27 years as a lobbyist, it always takes at least three tries to get the attention of a legislator. The person they’re most likely to listen to is their own constituent, and that would be you.”

According to Rose, this is a way for the senators to practice their advocacy and make connections with the current state legislators.

Other announcements:

  • Free Legal Counseling is no longer available, but a new format to better serve students is being worked on
  • The campus Food Pantry is moving from Forsyth Library to the Memorial Union
  • The University was given an $80,000 federal grant to combat student hunger; Stanley will sit on a committee that will determine how to use the money

The next SGA meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on November 10 in the Black and Gold Room.

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