SGA discusses technical college affiliation and enrollment; beer to be sold at FHSU football games


Updates involving the affiliation with North Central Kansas Technical College and Northwest Kansas Technical College, enrollment data and the athletics budget were discussed at the Student Government Association meeting on Thursday.

Vice President Austin Ruff gave an update on both the affiliation and the university’s enrollment. He reported that both had been discussed at a recent cabinet meeting with President Tisa Mason. The Kansas Legislature recently passed a bill that would approve the affiliation and presented it to the governor to be signed.

“(Mason) will also be meeting with Northwest Tech and NCK Tech’s presidents weekly for a roundtable,” Ruff said. 

It was reported last semester that enrollment was down approximately five percent, which is going to lead to a slight increase in tuition next year. However, according to Ruff, the university is still confident in future growth.

“Retention has actually been really good from the fall to spring, so they’re very optimistic about that,” he said. “They’re actually projecting that maybe by 2024 we could see some growth again.”

Enrollment is still expected to be down next fall, which will have an impact on the budget the next year. Additional funding could potentially come from the Legislature’s Omnibus bill when their session starts up again on April 26.

Aside from the other executive reports, senators heard from Brad Haynes, the associate athletic director and director of internal operations for FHSU Athletics. He spoke about what the athletic department does and what changes are coming in the future – specifically, the money they take from student fees. According to Haynes, the department has not asked for an increase in their student fee money in 10 years. However, they will next year.

“Some of our costs the last year and a half, and you guys all see it in the things that you do, have gone up to the point where we’re going to be looking to ask for a student fee increase,” Haynes said.

Some of the cost increases come from areas like transportation, but the roster sizes are also growing. Next year, over 500 student-athletes are expected to be on campus.

Haynes emphasized that the department tries to “operate very lean,” and the increase request will be carefully calculated.

“We’re going to put the numbers together, we’re going to continue to study this thing and put together a proposal that’s going to be acceptable and explainable to you guys in Student Government and your constituents,” he said.

Haynes also discussed the ways they try to bring in extra money. Starting next year, they will be using a third-party, local company to sell beer at football games. The decision has been in the works for a few years. 

“What we’re interested in is making a buck and providing an opportunity for folks who want to drink a beer to have a beer and watch the game,” he said. “It’s not going to be 2-for-1’s or that type of stuff.”

Haynes explained that no concession workers from the university will be serving the alcohol; it will all be left up to the local company. 

The next SGA meeting is at 7:00 p.m. on April 20 in the Eagle Communications Hall of the Robbins Center.