The Sunflower

Want to see the entire student fees committee binder? Here it is.

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The room SGA meets in every week was full to the brim with people on Wednesday, February 28 due to announcements about student fees hearing.

The room SGA meets in every week was full to the brim with people on Wednesday, February 28 due to announcements about student fees hearing.

Selena Favela

Selena Favela

The room SGA meets in every week was full to the brim with people on Wednesday, February 28 due to announcements about student fees hearing.

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The Student Fees Committee met behind closed doors last Friday to deliberate how to allocate student fees, and it’s reconvening in public next week to reconsidering requests made by campus organizations — after a proposed cut to The Sunflower “raised First Amendment questions.”

After the closed meeting, the committee suggested drastic cuts for some programs, including The Sunflower’s operating funding by 50 percent.

Funding for other programs would have increased with the proposed budget, like Student Affairs, which was recommended an increase of $118,811.

Vice President for Student Affairs Teri Hall is the chair of the Student Fees Committee.

An hour before the student senate meeting Wednesday, where the student fees recommendation would have undergone a first reading, Wichita State President John Bardo emailed a statement to Hall, calling for the Student Fee Committee to reconvene and hold its deliberations in public, “so that the campus and the community know we are committed to the First Amendment and the freedom of speech required in a first-class university.”

The Student Fees Committee — a group of students from student government and university administrators — met Friday behind closed doors, barring reporters from The Sunflower and the Wichita Eagle from entry to the student fee deliberations, claiming WSU’s general counsel advised that student government is not a state agency and student fees are not state funds.

Claiming the committee is not subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act, university administrators and student government members discussed how to allocate $9,642,314 in mandatory fees students pay in addition to tuition each year.

Monday, The Sunflower wrote about how members of the Student Fees Committee might be retaliating for its investigative reporting. That evening, the committee released its recommendations, cutting The Sunflower’s operating funds in half and its request by nearly two-thirds, from $158,000 to $55,000.

See requested amounts and justifications for requests presented to the Student Fees Committee, obtained through the Kansas Open Records Act, here: Student Fee and EOF Request Binder.

See the Student Fee Committee’s first recommendations here: FY19-Recommended-Student-Fees-Budget.

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About the Writer
Chance Swaim, Editor in Chief
Chance Swaim is the Editor in Chief of The Sunflower. Swaim is a graduate student in the English Department working on his Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Wichita State University. Swaim is from Wichita, Kansas. After graduation, Swaim plans to continue his journalism career and write novels, stories, and poems.
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