Chris Johnson, Staff Writer

image courtesy of pcma.org
image courtesy of pcma.org

The Student Senate recently convened a full session on April 8. Meeting in the West Campus cafeteria conference room, the approximately 30 Senate Executives, Senators, and club representatives that make up the full Student Senate cast their votes across several major agenda items. These items involved Student Life and technology fee raises, Senate constitutional changes, and elections.

With enrollment down and thus less revenue to work with next year, the college has been forced to either raise its fees, eliminate or scale down existing programs currently paid for by the Technology Fee. Campus computers, IT personnel, and various services, such as printing and Lynda.com training are all paid for by this fee. The college’s Student Technology Fee committee presented the Senate with an array of different funding schemes representing Century’s possible responses to the coming budget constraints. These plans ranged from no increase to a 1 dollar per-credit increase.

The Senate chose to endorse the Student Technology Fee Committee’s recommendation of a 50 cent per-credit fee raise for the coming year. This compromise-minded option will maintain a number of older services and provide funding for Century Fab Lab updates, but will eliminate the college’s Turnitin.com and EBSCO eBook Collection subscriptions. Student printing will be reduced by 20% (750 pages to 600) to help pay for next year’s technology expenditures. As the Senate and the Student Technology Fee Committee have concurred on next year’s fee, the proposal has gone to Century President Ron Anderson’s desk where it awaits approval.

The Senate also reviewed next year’s proposed Student Life budget, which was approved as presented at $5.47 per credit. A further motion split the Student Life fee into two separate fees: Student Life and Athletics. This change was aimed at introducing transparency, and had no effect on spending. It is not expected to significantly alter the budgeting process for the clubs, activities, and athletic teams that make up Student Life, which remains a student overseen budgetary process.

In its discourse, the assembly cited decreased enrollment (and thus scarcer funds) and a confidence in the services and enrichment opportunities new and old provided to students as reasons for supporting the proposed fee increases in both Technology and Student Life.

The fees for next year are set at $9.50 for the tech fee (pending final approval), $4.30 for the Student Life fee’s non-athletic component (clubs and activities), and $1.17 for Athletics. Under the old, now phased out system of fee tracking this would be a Student Life fee of $5.47. (Last year’s was $4.95).

image courtesy of archives.kansan.com
image courtesy of archives.kansan.com

A major change to the Student Senate’s constitution saw clubs and their delegates reorganized into a separate committee dedicated to club functions and interests, which will be the Student Organization Committee (SOC). After this change, the Student Senate’s meetings will consist only of Senators and Executive members, and club concerns will be addressed as needed by the SOC, on which the Senate Vice President will serve as chairman. This was done to limit the need for clubs to sit through Student Senate discussions that didn’t pertain to them, and to create a dedicated space for club collaboration and networking, while still having input in matters affecting the student body. Senate meetings will remain open to all students.

A further change added a new position to the Senate Executive Board. The new Director of Public Relations is charged with overseeing the planning and coordination of the Senate’s outreach and club oversight functions.

Elections also took place, with 14 different candidates vying for executive positions.

The newly elected (and re-elected):

President: John L. Williams, previously Senate Director of Information Technology.

Vice President: Silvia Landaverde, re-elected.

Director of Information Technology: Jesse Rodriguez.

Director of Legislation: Nalima Mwassa, previously Senator.

Director of Public Relations: Keely Gregory.

Treasurer: Maria Amador, re-elected.

Director of Events: Christian Matschke.