SGA puts combined $17K toward masks, COVID-19 relief for students



Members of the Student Government Association’s emergency legislative council discuss two bills aimed at supporting Wichita State’s COVID-19 response during the council’s June 3 meeting.

The Student Government Association is pitching in to support Wichita State’s COVID-19 response. 

SGA’s emergency legislative council passed a bill Wednesday that allocates $7,000 to help Student Affairs purchase $14,000 worth of cloth masks for students returning in the fall. 

SGA Treasurer Colleen Ostermann and Student Body Vice President Mackenzie Haas co-authored the legislation. 

“I think it’s really important for us to protect our students,” Haas said during the legislative council’s June 3 meeting. “That means having masks ready for students who come on campus and aren’t able to provide (their) own.”

WSU will give the masks, manufactured by GoCreate, free-of-charge to students to encourage compliance with the university’s campus-wide mask policy. People are required to wear masks when interacting with others on campus but they can take off their masks when working alone or walking alone outside. 

The university will distribute the masks at three different locations on campus: the Rhatigan Student Center, Shocker Hall, and the Shocker Support Locker in Grace Wilkie Hall. 

SGA typically doesn’t meet over the summer, but Student Body President Rija Khan formed the emergency legislative council this summer to address certain bills — especially those related to COVID-19. The 17-person council, which meets biweekly, includes one senator from each voting block, such as Fine Arts, At-Large and Underserved. 

The legislative council also passed a bill on Wednesday aimed at helping students who may be in need but didn’t qualify for a CARES Act relief grant from the university, including international students and DACA recipients.

The bill allocates $10,000 toward the WSU Foundation’s “Shockers Up” COVID-19 emergency fund

Haas said roughly 700 students didn’t qualify for a CARES Act relief grant but qualify for relief through the emergency fund. 

“We looked at how we could help and what we could do as a department,” Haas said. “I felt like it was important for us to have the conversation to give money to the foundation.”

Both bills passed unanimously and will be funded through SGA auxiliary funds.