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K-State Today

April 8, 2016

A letter from the outgoing SGA leadership

Submitted by Joe Tinker

To our wonderful campus community,

Last night, we swore in your new Student Body President Jessica Van Ranken and Vice President Trenton Kennedy. We'd like to take a few moments and share some thoughts from our term in office.

Reflecting on this past year, we can't help but smile when thinking about what an incredible journey it has been. With the help of the SGA body, we were able to collaborate with Athletics to eliminate their student privilege fee subsidy, which shows a mutual respect between the students of this university and our athletic department. In the unfortunate age of an ever rising cost of attendance, we worked to reduce the cost of textbooks by expanding the Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative and we are very thankful for President Schulz's support and fundraising for this program. With the help of our State Relations Director Brodie Herrman, we were able to pass Lifeline 911, a statewide law that grants limited legal immunity to intoxicated minors that are seeking emergency medical assistance, a project first started by former Student Body President Reagan Kays and former Vice President Cody Kennedy. We were lucky to have served our university during an era of unprecedented facilities enhancements, as we proudly broke ground on many of our K-State 2025 projects including the K-State Student Union, Seaton Hall and Phase IIIB of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, while likewise seeing the completion of the Berney Family Welcome Center, Engineering Hall, Vanier Family Football Complex and many others.

To the K-State faculty, staff, administrators and all who help this university operate: thank you for what you selflessly do for the students of K-State. We have had the tremendous privilege of meeting many of you who work behind the scenes to ensure the success of K-State long into the future. Oftentimes, these jobs are difficult and thankless, but without them we wouldn't be the exceptional university that we are today. We send a heartfelt "thank-you" for your support of students and our higher education endeavors.

We won't sugar coat it — President Van Ranken and Vice President Kennedy have a challenging year ahead of them. On the heels of a substantial callback from the state, coupled with a tuition cap and many other pressing campus issues, the new SGA administration will be involved in very complex decision-making from the start. The national landscape of higher education is quickly evolving and we need competent student leaders who are willing to ask the difficult questions to advance our institution. We believe Jessica and Trenton to be the dynamic leaders that our university needs as student advocates. We are excited to watch them represent the needs of our campus while always keeping student interests at heart and we wish them all the best for their year ahead.

Serving in these positions of leadership has been the absolute pleasure of our lives. While our yearlong term is only a small portion of the rich tradition of Kansas State University, it was a transformational experience that we will hold dear to our hearts for a very long time. Thank you for the opportunity to serve this university — it will always be A Spot We Love Full Well!

Forever Purple,
Andy Hurtig and Joe Tinker

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