Pflugradt: Do what is right, not what is easy


Brian Hayes

President Paige Hungate answers questions form senators during the SGA meeting where student fees were set to be discussed before being tabled for further discussion.

Following the Student Fees Committee’s closed deliberations meeting, Student Body President offered a new motivation for 2018, publishing the quote “Do what is right, not what is easy,” to her Twitter the following week.

Now, under President John Bardo’s request to have the committee reconvene in public for a re-do, will Hungate and the committee do what is easy or do what is right?

Behind closed doors for the deliberations were Hungate alongside five SGA representatives; Vice President for Student Affairs Teri Hall, who is the chair of the committee, her Associated Vice President, Aaron Austin, and Werner Golding, Vice President for Finance and Administration. That’s six SGA representatives, two from student affairs, and one from administration — and it’s that group that’s in charge of deciding how over $9 million in student fees are spent.

Listed are the members of the Student Fees Committee, which decides how over $9 million in student fees will be distributed.

When the door closed, deliberations were made on The Sunflower, SGA, and Student Affairs. The result of those deliberations ended in a recommendation to cut The Sunflower’s funding to one-third of the requested amount, a $118,811 increase to Student Affairs, and a $39,600 increase to SGA — not counting the $62,500 that was previously advocated to the Collegiate Readership Program that SGA cut in January.

The easy decision would be to fulfill the requests for SGA and Student Affairs. The right decision would be to evenly distribute the budget — which, if the recommendation passes, will increase by 1 percent — to student organizations.

How can the Student Fees Committee ensure no conflicts of interest when the president, vice president, treasurer, chief of operations, and two student senators for SGA, deliberate on funding for their own organization? The same applies for funding for Student Affairs, which has the VP of the department as the chair of the committee.

In its current structure — fueled with absurd conflicts of interest — the Student Fees Committee cannot openly deliberate without challenges, frustrations, and desires to opt for the easy decisions. Please, committee, consider Hungate’s motivation when you reconvene to deliberate publicly, and challenge each other to do what is right, not what is easy.