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Letter to the Editor — Paige Hungate: ‘For transparency’s sake’

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This letter is in response to the recent Sunflower publication, entitled “WSU Decides 2017,” on the two SGA tickets and the presidential candidate’s roll call votes in the senate this past session. I have taken this opportunity to explain my WHY, as it was not mentioned in the article. Being a senator is a duty that I do not take lightly. I take time to talk with my constituents, gauge their feelings, understand the different perspectives, and vote based on that. Many students felt the way I voted and wanted a vote in the senate that voiced their viewpoint. I did my job and voted based on what students expressed to me. Is that not what representative democracy is — voting based on how the majority of your constituency feels?

The WHY is so important to understand, and that is why I am here being fully transparent and opening myself up to additional questions if there are any (email: [email protected]). Regarding my ticket: many students have told me we have the most diverse ticket in history, and I stand by that fact. We have students who are on all different ends of all the issues, and I am proud of United We Stand for that reason. Diversity is not just some buzz word; it is a vital piece of who we are.

1. Recognizing Black Lives Matter – NO: This resolution did pass, and it went on to President Bardo, who was unable to address it due to its political/social movement nature. As a federally funded institution, we are unable to publicly support any political or social movement, despite the facts that are presented in the resolution alongside it. I believed its content was important to address; however, unfortunately, we were unable to due to us trying to support a social movement.

2. Using SGA funds to purchase red parking permits for President and Vice President of the Association – NO: I am very passionate about ensuring your student fees are utilized in the best manner. I was not under the understanding that this would be the best way to use them — parking passes for our executive team. I’m glad this issue was figured out in a different way for our President; however, this was not the answer.

3. Recognizing the Importance of Utilization of Diversity Trainings within the Association – NO: This resolution was not clear what the expectation was. When many senators asked questions about what time commitment it meant, there were not answers. After the vote, I sat down with Tracia to discuss this further with her. The answers I got there that our senators would be able to get credit for being a senator and participating in these things made me feel much better. If I would have had those answers and understood it, I would have most definitely voted yes.

4. Opposition to Concealed Carry on Campus – NO: This vote does not mean that I support guns on campus. The law is going to change in July, and unfortunately, many students do not know that. This resolution was not going to change anything, despite how much we wanted it to. The state was not going to change its mind, and we were just asking for “more time”. We had four years to figure out a course of action and more time was not going to help anything. The law was passed, and we need to focus on educating our students and ensuring they feel comfortable.

5. In Opposition to County Resolution on In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students – YES: I stand with DACA students and understand their importance to our campus. They are fantastic students who do not deserve to be discriminated against for their citizenship status. Glad to see that this was passed by the senate almost unanimously.

6. Support for Student Fee Increase for Campus YMCA – YES: There is no doubt that the facts were misconstrued about the YMCA, and students were not getting all the answers. I was concerned about the lack of jobs for international students, but we were promised that they would keep their jobs and would get hired by the YMCA. I was concerned about the fact that it’d be a per credit hour fee instead of a flat fee; we were told that it could be amended and would be looked into by the student fees committee. The student body was split on this, and I had more students tell me they wanted it than they didn’t want it. I voted how my constituents told me to.

7. Vote of No Confidence in Wichita State University President John Bardo – ABSTAIN: This resolution came to the floor 2 hours before the vote occurred. I did not appreciate the lies that took place and the manipulation of the rules to get something passed through that was not given careful consideration. I had no input from my constituents on this, as we had no time to ask them and interact with them about it. The concerns within the resolution were valid, but the resolution said that we had no confidence in the president of our university. I could not, in good conscience, take a vote on such a crucial matter without understanding where students were at on it.

8 Comments

8 Responses to “Letter to the Editor — Paige Hungate: ‘For transparency’s sake’”

  1. Excuses on April 4th, 2017 9:34 am

    After reading this letter, all I gather from this is Paige is making excuses for her bad track record regarding social issues. Hindsight is always 20/20, so what is this letter supposed to make me feel? Sorry for you? I want an SGA president with some foresight, someone who will make educated decisions, not someone who makes rash decisions and then retracts their statements.

    [Reply]

  2. Anonymous on April 4th, 2017 10:06 am

    “The student body was split on this (YMCA Initiative), and I had more students tell me they wanted it than they didn’t want it. I voted how my constituents told me to.”

    Hungate took a Twitter poll on this and results ended up being 59% voting No on passing the initiative to 41% Yes, with 347 total votes. Where did she find the rest of the constituents that supported the initiative to justify voting Yes?

    Poll: https://twitter.com/pehungate/status/839266959241916416

    [Reply]

  3. The Truth on April 4th, 2017 10:50 am

    Interesting. Paige’s twitter account shows a majority of individuals against the YMCA proposal in her poll that she posted. It’s nice to know how she uses her own polls when it fits her the best. Are her constituents the white, conservative, Christians on campus or has she ever considered reaching out to people of color?

    [Reply]

  4. Real WSU Student on April 4th, 2017 11:57 am

    Paige didn’t support the black lives matter resolution even though it didn’t mention at all the movement but statistics on current WSU students who are black? Her excuse is that we shouldn’t support the national/local politics but she voted in favor of the SGA Opposition to the County Resolution on In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students?

    Let is also be known that Paige met with Andy Schlapp and Zach Gearhart after the black lives matter resolution was passed to express her concerns with this resolution. It’s a perfect example of her alliance to the PET than the students.

    [Reply]

  5. Concerned Students on April 4th, 2017 12:00 pm

    Paige is very passionate about ensuring your student fees are utilized in the best manner- where was she during the first read of student fees this year? I didn’t see her during the most important meeting of the semester.

    [Reply]

  6. Real Shocker on April 4th, 2017 12:33 pm

    The facts were misconstrued on the YMCA and students were not getting all the answers. There is a word for “misconstrued facts”. That word is LIE. Students were lied to. Students were not getting all the answers. So you vote YES to sending over $125,000,000 in student fees to a community organization. Truly amazing.

    A federally funded institution cannot take a position on any political or social movement. However, Bardo can apparently take a position on guns. Nothing political about that. During the Chapel discussion he also advised people about how to view the Westboro church group. Seems to be a position on a political and social issue. Just use the excuse when convenient.

    http://www.wichita.edu/thisis/stories/story.asp?si=3040

    Why would Bardo say, “To live principled lives sometimes means clashing with those who believe otherwise. I hope we’ll all look back on this period not just as a time of conflict, but as a time of learning and growing.”?

    No diversity training needed. Great call. Must not have had time to get the details ahead of time. Convenient to know now you support diversity training when you need votes.

    How have you stood up for transgender students when Andy Schlapp made the Heskett Center staff take down the Gender Neutral Shower sign when it had been up for over a year with not a single complaint from anyone? Does your lack of answers on this mean you support what he did?

    You say you want open communication but you refused to meet with Joseph Shepard and Teri Hall together as Joseph requested and met with Teri in private to avoid discussing the facts with everyone present.

    You need to address your connection to Schlapp, Bardo, and the administration.

    [Reply]

  7. Miss Construed Facts on April 4th, 2017 1:13 pm

    In #1 Paige says, “As a federally funded institution, we are unable to publicly support any political or social movement, despite the facts that are presented in the resolution alongside it.”

    Then in #5 Paige says, “In Opposition to County Resolution on In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students – YES: I stand with DACA students and understand their importance to our campus. They are fantastic students who do not deserve to be discriminated against for their citizenship status. Glad to see that this was passed by the senate almost unanimously.”

    Nothing political or social with supporting DACA.

    Even Bardo took a position supporting DACA students even as the article notes the following, “The program itself was and continues to be debated across the aisle. Republicans oppose it, while Democrats point to data from USCIS to show the success of the program. In either case, this truly boils down to the human factor. Many of those who received the deferral were children who did not consciously break any law, and, furthermore, have lived most of their lives in this country and consider it their home. Which is why Dr. Bardo’s statement does much to quell students’ uncertainty.”

    http://thesunflower.com/14180/news/bardo-pledges-support-to-immigrants/

    So what is a political issue and what is not? This is so hard to figure out. Do you support undocumented students and not black students?

    [Reply]

  8. Shane on April 11th, 2017 3:06 pm

    What Paige really meant to say is that since she hopes to run for federal public office someday, she is unable to publicly take a position that conflicts with the University administration and the Republican Party platform. Paige is nothing but a bag of hot air and unfiltered BS. SGA will now function essentially as a rubber stamp and puppet of Bardo and Schlapp.

    [Reply]

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