Six K-State students seeking policy changes spoke to their peers Thursday in the Leadership Studies Building to gain support for their proposed solutions.
Travis Smith, communications studies instructor, said this class project started in the 1980s with Phil Anderson, a former KSU speech communications professor.
Smith said he had the opportunity to do this project himself 14 years ago.
“You don’t just learn about campus,” he said. “You learn about how bureaucracy works.”
Smith said a new concept he focused on this year is “interviewing the wolf,” which is talking with the person who governs the issue.
“If you want to make a change, you have to talk to the person over that entity,” he said.
Smith said the students had a choice of starting a petition or writing a letter to the editor in the K-State Collegian for their assignment.
Beer at Bramlage, Bill Snyder
Jedd Russell said the football game experience is affected by drunken fans who sneak in alcohol.
Russell said changing K-State’s policy to allow for beer sales at Bill Snyder Family Stadium and Bramlage Coliseum and eliminating the ability to leave at halftime would cut down on the drinking issues.
Russell used statistics from West Virginia University’s move in 2011 to sell beer at its football stadium as an example of the potential positive effects.
He told the audience that police activity decreased by 64.5 percent while a boost in food sales occurred along with the additional beer revenue of $520,000 that first season.
He estimated K-State could gain $433,500 in additional revenue from beer at Bill Snyder Family Stadium by taking the West Virginia’s revenue per fan average on the stadium’s 50,000 capacity.
Alex Robinson said K-State should be prepared with first-aid kits in every room in case a shooting happened.
He said somebody could bleed to death within three minutes, requiring quick action.
Robinson said there aren’t many kits on campus.
“When there is a first-aid kit in a room or in a building, it’s somewhere that is inaccessible for students,” he said.
The kits would include clotting powder, pressure bandage and tourniquet.
He estimated K-State would need 2,500 kits at a cost of $112,500 as well as a online course for students at a cost of $100,000.
Robinson said he was told by KSU Police Chief Ronnie Grice that a lack of money and no violent attacks at K-State are the main reasons for not having first-aid kits.
Robinson said a $10 public health and safety fee for the university’s 24,000 students would provide enough money for the kits with $27,500 leftover.
Johanna Kelly said she struggled with depression for most of her freshman year at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, but counseling services helped her.
Kelly transferred to K-State and hoped to go to the university’s counseling services to help her.
“To my surprise, I was turned away and told that they did not have the resources to help someone with my needs,” she said.
Kelly said she was sent to Pawnee Mental Health, but stopped after three sessions because she couldn’t afford the $120-per-session pricetag since to insurance didn’t cover the costs.
She said there is a need for long-term mental health services for students “suffering from a lifetime of mental illness.”
Kelly advocated for encouraging state lawmakers to not cut higher education funding and raising awareness about mental health issues.
Parker Wilhelm said K-State has numerous dining options for students based on religious practices, allergies and lifestyles.
Something K-State doesn’t have, he said, is the option for a busy student to enter the dining hall at 2 p.m. for a meal.
Wilhelm said Mary Molt, associate director of KSU housing and dining, told him that the dining schedule is this way because it’s an old holdover.
He said this doesn’t work for the modern student, and advocated for keeping the doors open from breakfast through dinner.
“I’m not concerned with what you eat when you’re busy,” he said. “I’m concerned that you can eat.”
Campus smoke ban
Devon Cooke said banning smoking on campus would stop a health hazard for students who don’t smoke.
He cited an annual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that said 42,000 people died from second-hand smoking last year.
“There are no risk-free level of exposures to second-hand smoke,” he said, citing a surgeon general’s report.
Cooke said the current policy of not smoking within 30 feet of a building is hard to enforce because of the ambiguous nature of who enforces the policy.
He said a campus ban would come with a minimum fine of $250 for smoking on campus, which would be an effective deterrent for smokers.
Fixing KSU/MCC dual degree
Joe Simon is taking communications studies at KSU and biblical studies and leadership at Manhattan Christian College as a part of the dual degree program.
Simon said his first advising session at K-State ended with confusion for everybody involved.
“I had introduced the idea of the dual degree concept to my adviser,” he said. “I don’t think this should happen.”
Simon said K-State is also missing an online presence for this option on the university website.
He said MCC and K-State should “stop acting like a junior-high relationship” and communicate better.
Simon suggested hiring an adviser who specifically handles dual degree students.
He said a new K-State education college adviser is taking on 250 students, while there are only an average of 100 to 125 dual degree students each year.