A glimpse into Wednesday’s student senate


Wichita State’s Student Government Association covered many topics during Wednesday’s meeting.  Here is a brief glimpse into these bills and what exactly they mean.

ICT Cross Campus Coalition

The ICT cross-campus coalition — a coalition composed of 9 total representatives from Wichita State University, Friends University, and Newman University — was passed on after being introduced at the previous week’s meeting.

The purpose of the coalition is to establish communication between post-secondary institutions in order to better advocate on behalf of students to representatives in local and statewide offices. In terms of funding, each university will allocate equal amounts. 

With a 29 to 5 vote, the bill will now move on to the president for consideration.  

“As you all know, when we go and talk to representatives it is a lot more effective when we have a broader constituency base to be working on, I think we are also more effective when we’re advocating on a broader constituency group across different campuses,” Senator Ella Perkins, author of the act, said.

Removal of Senator Hours 

Currently, SGA senators are required to record one senator hour a week. This bill will repeal that current requirement.  Speaker Jacob Tubach, the author of the bill, said that senator hours do not help to keep senators accountable and only creates more paperwork. 

With a vote of 36 in favor to 0, the bill will now move onto the president for consideration.  

Tubach said that in the 62nd session, they started to go through by-laws and see what was still working and what wasn’t working.  They found that the senator hours did actually affect how much work was being done.  

When asked if there was any discussion about new ways to hold senators accountable, Tubach said that they are looking into becoming more active with college caucuses.

“Most students don’t know what they are. A lot of Senators are going to complete the hour regardless of their requirement or not going to complete the hour regardless of the requirement … It wasn’t impacting the workload Senators decided to take upon themselves,” Tubach said.

Access Now Opt-Out Model

An association resolution was introduced on Sept. 22 concerning the Access Now opt-out model.  This resolution would recommend the university to give professors the option to opt-in or out of Access Now codes to make textbooks affordable and accessible for students.  

The resolution was tabled for a vote next week in order to give time to senators to talk to their constituents.

Andrea Stipp, director of the Shocker Store, spoke during the public forum and answered multiple questions from senators about the details of Access Now.  

The cost of the Access Now program is 60% less than print textbooks, and data has also shown an increase in passing and A grades, a decrease in withdrawals after the add/drop date,  and a 20% average of savings per course. 

“It’s the most affordable option for students for course materials in the market … Everyone has the right materials, on the first day of class,” Stipp said.

For this program, publishers have to make sure that their products are accessible to ensure that students with disabilities can also access the materials.  Study tools are also available to help students learn the material.

Students will have a course material charge applied to their account if they opt-in to the program.  There will be a deadline for when students will be able to decide to opt-out.

Concerns were raised about students who wanted print textbooks, which will still be an option if students decide to opt-out.  Students will also be able to use money from their student account to pay for course materials, an option they did not have previously.