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Platform Progress

This page will be updated frequently as policies and the status of developing our initiatives change. 

For more information on our policy and platform progress, contact our Policy & Development Director Sneha Verma at senatedvlp@ku.edu

 

Replacement KU Card Fee Waiver for Gender Transitions and Legal Name Changes:

Student Senate will cover replacement KU card fees for LGBTQIA+ students who have changed their gender expression, or have had their legal names changed to better suit their gender identity. Please know that having a legal name change is not required for the fee waiver. If you would like a new KU Card photo to better suit your gender expression, this application also applies to you. Please email sgd@ku.edu to request the form to receive a new card free of charge. Please include your official name and student ID in the email. After rec eiving your email application, we will inform the KU Card Office to send the invoice for your replacement card to the KU Student Senate Office. You will be able to get a new card without paying any fees. Please know that other KU systems will be updated with your new photo.

 

Freshmen Internship Program:

The 2017-2018 school year was the first year for the Freshmen Internship Program. The University of Kansas Student Senate has historically struggled to increase student senate participation, in turn excluding groups on campus that try and participate in the body, specifically with members of the multicultural and underrepresented community. This program is providing a way to recruit a more diverse and motivated freshmen class that can be involved in Student Senate all four years. The program is centered around intern-only workshops designed to equip interns with the skills necessary to succeed in Senate and at KU altogether. Interns gain professional experience researching campus issues and drafting meaningful solutions, while making lasting friendships with fellow interns.

 

First-generation students or students receiving the Federal Pell Grant basketball tickets:

The University of Kansas Student Senate and Kansas Athletics, Inc. have partnered to create a program that will give a ticket to 20 eligible students for each of the 2017-2018 Men's Basketball home games. Students who are eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant or are first-generation college students are eligible to opt-into this lottery system for a game ticket. Students only need to opt-in ONCE, indicating their eligibility and the games they would like to be considered for. Students will be randomly chosen through a lottery system before each game. Students will be notified before each game if they have been chosen to receive a ticket.

 
 

In Progress: 

On-Campus Food Pantry: 

Student Senate has partnered with KU Fights Hunger and the Center for Community Outreach to move the Campus Cupboard, previously located off campus, to a more accessible location in the KU Memorial Union. This new location will provide students in need of food assistance easier access to resources. We hope that increased convenience from open parking and connecting bus routes will make foot traffic to the pantry improve. Expanded hours of operation will also allow students to visit the pantry on their own time rather than trying to work aroudn the pantry's operation schedule. The pantry will provide food resources among other products to ensure a healthy lifestyle at KU. We also hope to eventually incorporate distribution of free menstrual products on site as well. 

8/23: Construction on the Campus Cubpoard in the Union is going well and should be completed within the next week or two. The pantry is set to be operational by mid September. We are still discussing a potential name and branding change for the pantry. 

8/29: KU Fights Hunger committee met to finalize ribbon cutting and volunteering plans for the food pantry. We also discussed plans to incorporate free menstrual products into the service.

9/3-9/7: Campus Cupboard offically opens in the KU Memorial Union! Ribbon cutting will be Monday, September 24th.

 

Women In STEMM Program:

We recognize that there is currently an underrepresentation of women in STEMM fields, both across the country and here at KU. Particularly in the Engineering School, well above two-thirds of the enrolled students identify as male. We see this as a major problem for female identifying students who wish to pursue STEMM at KU while also looking to connect with other like-minded and empowered women. We hope to establish a day-long forum next spring where we bring in women from across the state of Kansas to tour our science buildings, while also hearing from female professors and lecturers in STEMM majors at KU and successful women in STEMM careers from around the state. This will motivate these women to not only attend KU but also pursue careers where women have been traditionally underrepresented.

8/23: Have reached out to several entities on campus and begun planning for the event. Currently discussing whether or not to give the green light on a Spring 2019 Pilot version or hold off until Fall 2019 for a full roll out. 

 

Textbook Share Program:

The cost of higher education continues to rise with each passing year and eventually those costs can be too much to bear. We hope that addressing the rapidly rising cost of textbooks at KU in any way we can will help mitigate some of those burdens for the students. Establishing a textbook share program where students can donate their old textbooks for future students taking the same class will allow people with a low socioeconomic status to maintain access to essential items like textbooks. Ideally, this program could have a centralized location on campus, such as a section of one of the libraries where all of these donated books could be found. A student could then check out one of these books for a specified amount of time, assuming they trade in their KU ID or driver’s license, and use the book for a certain amount of time.

8/20: First pilot of "Auto-Access" reduced textbook program launches at the University of Kansas. The program is modeled after one at the University of Missouri that has saved students hundreds of thousands of dollars in textbook costs over the past 7 years. We hope to expand this program to 10 courses offered at KU for the Spring 2019 semester so that more students are offered affordable textbook selections. 

8/29: Student Senate met with KU Bookstore to discuss Auto Access and how the service can be expanded to more courses. Planning to create a feedback survey for the HSES course that piloted this program this semester. Student Senate also negotiated with the bookstore to gain student representation on the textbook affordability oversight committee.

9/5: Meet with Kevin Smith, Dean of Libraries to discuss textbook share initiative. Looking into space options within the libraries and how this program would be staffed and managed.

 

Student-Parent Advisor:

KU has all kinds of resources for every student. However, oftentimes these resources are too decentralized and therefore not used as effectively as they could be. One example of this phenomenon is the resources KU currently offers for student parents. Although KU does have the means to help student parents navigate the difficult challenge of keeping up with classes while also raising a child, our school has had trouble making sure these resources are used effectively. Consolidating all this knowledge into one student-parent advisor will help to ensure that some of the busiest students on this campus, those raising children, don’t have to spend hours searching for essential resources.

8/11: Student Senate met with the director of the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity to discuss partnership on this platform. Currently looking into different funding opportunities for this position. 

9/13: Met with SILC leadership to discuss current part-time positions that support non-traditional student services and how those could be expanded into a full time position. Currently creating a formal position description and disseminating a survey to non-traditional students to gauge interest in this potential resource.

 

Healthy Snack Bar:

An important factor contributing to success in the classroom is a healthy lifestyle, and that starts with a diet. KU needs to be advocating for a healthy diet by increasing the number of healthy food options on our campus. At the Ambler Recreation Center in particular, healthy options after a workout are quite limited. The establishment of a snack bar in the building will not only provide convenient healthy options for students to refuel after a workout, but also create a new revenue stream for Ambler to become more independent of the student fee. If the Rec diversifies where its revenue is generated, then a cut in fee review won’t be as significant. They can also use the profit from the snack bar, after paying back the initial costs of the project, to funnel back into other improvements for the building. We hope that in the long term, this snack bar can provide an overall enhancement to the experience at the Ambler Recreation Center.

5/15: Initial outreach to Shake Smart and other vendors interested in opening a store in the Ambler Recreation Center 

5/22: Location set and concept plan drawn up 

6/01: Approval of concept by Shake Smart. Continued talks with KU Memorial Corp. and KU Dining to ensure they are on board. 

6/20: KU Memorial Corporation has begun accepting RFPs for businesses to submit that are interested in opening a store in the Ambler Recreation Center 

7/20: Shake Smart sucessfully submitted a bid for opening a store in the Ambler Recreation Center. KU Memorial Corporation expressed concerns toward expanding their business reach, over saturating the market on campus, and taking on unecessary risk at a time when they are already expanding their reach to other parts of campus. 

8/1: Progress halted on store opening as Shake Smart and KU Memorial Corporation failed to come to an agreement that suited both parties.  

8/23: Student Senate met with Director of KU Memorial Unions to reassess feasability of the project given KU Memorial Corporation's current fiscal situation.

9/8: Student Senate proposed the idea to the KU Memorial Corporation Board at their monthly meeting. KU Dining is discussing the concept and how it will fit into their big picture approach to food services on campus.

 

Watkins Pop Up Check Up:

Watkins is one of the most essential services we provide to students on our campus, but often times it can be too ineffective to live up to its full potential. We want to increase the convenience of this service, particularly for on campus residents, in the form of pop up check ups. Basically, Watkins would periodically set up temporary clinics at the residence halls - maybe once a month rotating at different dorm complexes - so that students could get quick check ups and learn a little bit more about Watkins services without having to leave their dorm. We hope that these services, though limited by legal and logistical issues, will still allow students to get more exposure to the services they are paying for. Along with this increased convenience, we want to expand the PrEP services Watkins currently offers and increase the frequency of free HIV testing for students, which would ideally be incorporated into pop up check ups.

8/23: Continuing talks with Watkins, KU Memorial Corporation, and KURH to define and finalize a concept plan soon. From there we will plan for a test release, likely in the early Spring 2019 semester. 

8/29: Noah and Sneha met with Dr. Dechairo to discuss logistics. Watkins is interested in expanding servcies to a satellite clinic in the Union or Daisy Hill. New software can now allow nurse-practicioners to practice at designated off site areas, making this program feasible.

8/29: Student Senate met with Director of KU Memorial Union to discuss the satellite clinic in the Union. Director reserved an alcove for the Spring semester as a place holder for a potential clinic.

 

Transit Improvement:

As the number of students living in residence halls has continued to rise, our bus system has failed to grow alongside it. The 43 red line, which travels from Daisy Hill across campus, is frequently overcrowded. Students are often unable to board the bus before a busy class period since they are frequently at capacity. After discussions with KU on Wheels, we learned that there is enough money in their reserves to finance the creation of a new 43 service line, which would reduce wait times and overcrowding.

8/23: Awaiting the convening of the Transit Commission for the 2018-2019 school year (should be in the next few weeks) to discuss updates made over the summer and plan of action moving forward. 

 

Parking Plan:

Many new KU students receive parking tickets early on in their first year. In our conversations with KU on Wheels, we learned that KU Parking may be willing to grant students an “amnesty week” during move-in week to allow students a period to adjust. This policy already currently exists for move-in day alone, but could be extended to the whole first week.

8/15: A working version of our "amnesty week" was piloted in finals week of the Spring semester, 2018 and we are currently reviewing the platform to ensure future implementation. 

 

Increased GTA Safety Training:

Graduate students make up nearly 25% of enrollment at KU. In addition to handling their difficult course load as students, they add a tremendous amount of value to our campus through their research, assistant teaching, mentorship efforts, and countless other crucial undergoings. Unfortunately, the training and resources that graduate students are afforded is currently insufficient. In particular, Graduate Teaching Assistants receive minimal sexual harassment and mental health training, leaving them ill-equipped to deal with personal crises or respond to emergency student needs. By working with SAPEC, CAPS, and GTAC, we hope to work to develop a holistic training to ensure that GTAs are fully equipped to deal with any situation they may encounter at KU.

 

Continue the Rock Chalk Remain Fund:

The rising cost of tuition and living expenses is undoubtedly a burden for many students at KU. Accordingly, they are especially vulnerable when emergency situations arise, to the point that unexpected expenses may cause them to be unable to remain at the university. The previous administration launched the Rock Chalk Remain fund to address this issue, but it currently lacks the necessary seed money to allow for a sustainable launch. Our administration will prioritize completing the initial round of fundraising for the Rock Chalk Remain fund and work with Student Money Management Services to create an infrastructure for reviewing student applications and disbursing funds.

Spring '18: Over $3700 was raised for the fund.

8/31: Student Senate moved to incorporate these funds into an existing financial crisis fund managed by Student Affairs. These funds will become expendable soon and go towards ensuring retention of financially marginalized students at KU.

Check back on this page for updates and more policies as they are added throughout the year!

 

 


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