Student Senate hopes to allocate $50,000 toward an emergency fund to help students who are financially affected by coronavirus.
Senate’s decision to begin the fundraiser came three days after the University of Kansas decided to delay the resumption of in-person classes after spring break to protect members of the community from the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“There will be students with a severe financial impact due to this pandemic, and we want to create some sort of support network that mitigates that impact as much as possible,” Senate Chief of Staff Zach Thomason said. “We believe that everyone, in spite of this, should be able to continue their college experience.”
Senate’s plan is in the beginning stages and has not yet been approved or vetted. In an emergency Skype meeting Saturday afternoon, members of Senate’s Executive Committee discussed different places the money could come from, including endowment, unspent block allocations and line item funding, leftover funds from student organizations, unspent travel funding, and leftover money from the executive staff's salaries.
In the meeting, the committee also voted to suspend the next full Student Senate meeting and push legislation to the March 25 meeting, which Senate is planning to host online.
In addition to the changes, all Senate-funded travel will be halted. The committee is also waiting for feedback from the Student Senate Elections Commission before making any changes or revisions to the 2020 elections.
Executive members also discussed other concerns and ideas, including the question of whether or not the University will offer tuition refund for the semester, KU Housing’s limitations for on-campus living, on-campus student salaries and dining refunds.
The committee plans to have another meeting later this week.