Shiftspace Gallery to receive funding after Student Supreme Court decision


Lena Alhallaq/ The Sunflower

Wichita State’s ShiftSpace Gallery hosts an opening reception for “From Lima to Wichita” on July 2nd.

Shiftspace Gallery will receive their funding after the Student Supreme Court ruled that cutting it was too harsh of a punishment for violating the elections code. 

Shiftspace’s student fees funding was initially cut 65.8% in student fees deliberations. When discussing it in senate meetings, Senator John Kirk did not support the gallery. The group went to Facebook on April 1, three days before SGA elections voting, to share their frustration. 

The Shiftspace Facebook post read: 

“This is the support we are getting from our fine arts senator, John Kirk. He’s up for re-election. Let’s show him how ignoring and neglecting a significant portion of his constituency affects his poll numbers.”

The elections commission found the post in violation with an elections policy that prohibits faculty and staff from utilizing university resources to campaign for a candidate. As a response, SGA Treasurer Zachary James removed all of the gallery’s student fees funding.

Shiftspace appealed two items to the student supreme court.

“The first is whether we actually broke the rule,” Pulaski said in the public hearing. “The rule states that no faculty or staff member can utilize university resources to support specific candidates … By the wording of the rule, we clearly didn’t do this. We suggested that people vote and we suggested that one of the senators was not representing his constituency fully.

“The second thing that we would like to have you all decide is based on our concern, we don’t believe we’re in violation, and our funding should be restored.”

While the supreme court found the gallery in violation of the code, they voted to restore their funding. 

When asked about his application of the rules and if he typically went through a process before removing funding for a group, James said this was the first time that this had been done.

“This is the process,” James said. “The idea that we allow every community member a chance to appeal any decision made — that’s the process that is available, and it’s being utilized right now.”