The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Budget cuts take over ‘business as usual’ in Student Senate

Jon Watts speaks to the Student Senate over budget cuts. Photo by Rachel Ostdiek / Antelope Staff

UNK Student Senate swore in freshman senators, approved a new campus organization and discussed the ongoing campus budget cuts at their weekly meeting on Oct. 10.

Jon Watts, vice chancellor for business and finance, was a guest speaker at the meeting, discussing the budget proposal process.

“I invited our guest speaker, Jon Watts, to continue a dialogue about the budget process and where we are at,” said Temo Molina, UNK student body president. “Especially for students, this is another public time to address concerns.”

Watts began by stressing how difficult the process is, and that fighting for a balanced budget comes with a long history of challenges at UNK. He noted that the strong feedback he has received from students and alumni is well-received.

“It’s difficult work to consider reducing opportunities for students,” Watts said. “I know you probably won’t believe this, but it’s actually heartwarming for me to see the passion that we have from graduates who are doing great things and giving their feedback.”

Watts said he is working closely with the campus budget advisory committee, which differs from the Faculty Advisory Committee. The campus budget advisory committee met weekly to consider potential reductions before submitting their final recommendations.

One student in attendance brought up the concern of losing their degree program and asked Watts what would happen. Watts emphasized that UNK wants to honor students currently in these majors.

“We made a commitment to you as a student, and so we will find a pathway,” Watts said. “Senior vice chancellor, Julie Shaffer, is committed to making sure that students can continue to progress in their major.”

Next on the agenda, the senators reviewed a constitution proposal for a new organization on campus.

“Upsilon Eta Upsilon is a new campus organization, but already has a complete executive team,” said Emily Hall, senator for the College of Business and Technology. “Their goal is to promote academic excellence for black students and create a celebrated safe space.” 

Their constitution was approved, formally recognizing Upsilon Eta Upsilon as a campus organization.

Finally, the new freshman senators, Paige Oltmans and Hernan Vargas, were sworn into their positions. 

Oltmans took a unique approach in her campaign strategy, which proved to be successful.

“I went into residence halls, knocked on doors and personally asked people for my vote,” Oltmans said. “I wanted that personal connection on campus and for someone to actually know me instead of a flyer.”

Oltmans and Vargas shared their missions for what they wanted to individually accomplish in the Student Senate before getting sworn in.

“I want to represent all voices, especially those that are minorities on campus or minorities in the Senate itself,” Oltmans said. “I want to make sure all opinions are validated.”

As Watts also mentioned, these student senators are great voices in our community. Student Senate will continue to meet weekly at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Antelope Room.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Rachel Ostdiek
Rachel Ostdiek, Executive Editor
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *