“Students Come First” at SGA

A previous version of this article misspelled SGA Vice President Brianna Kitchings’s name. The Sunflower regrets the error.

“Students Come First” is at the core of the Student Government Association’s  attitude at Wichita State.

As the student governing body, SGA represents the voice of the students and is the medium between students and administration.

“I think in the past freshman didn’t know that we offer kind of a liaison for students and the rest of the university,” said SGA Vice President Bri Kitchings. “We are here for them. We represent them. We are in this office because we know how to go about solving issues they may have.”

SGA also provides funding for individuals and student organizations, and allocate student fees to wherever needed.

For this fiscal year, SGA allocated $50,000 of student fees for funding student and student organization projects. That’s $20,000 for individuals and $30,000 for student organizations.

In total, SGA handles around $11 million of student fees that fund the Rhatigan Student Center, the Heskett Center and various student organizations on campus. Matt Conklin is SGA Treasurer, and said it’s important for students to voice their opinion about how SGA uses Student Fees.

“It’s important for students to pay attention [to SGA], because student fees are increasing. Students need to be aware of where that money is going and whether or not they approve or disapprove,” Conklin said.

Students can participate in SGA by running for SGA senator positions, talking with SGA members, attending SGA meetings and by simply “coming by the office,” SGA President Darren Beckham said.

SGA meets from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays during the fall semester. The meetings and are open to all students.

“If you are an enrolled student, you are a member of SGA. It is in our constitution that is signed by the President of the University – you are a member of SGA if you are at Wichita State,” Beckham said.

Kitchings and Beckham both advocate an open door policy for students who are looking to express concerns about the university and receive funding from SGA.

“Anyone is welcome to stop by,” Kitchings said. “It’s really easy to get ahold us.”

SGA provides a wide array of services for students, and is the main source of funding, diplomacy and representation for students.

“Feel free to access us,” Beckham said. “We want to be available, we want to be accessible and we want to be proactive in how we can engage student’s interests and represent their cause.”