Outdoor stage funds stalled

Travis Perry

The cornerstone of the Bowhay/Keller administration has hit a jarring and potentially fatal roadblock.

With funding problems up in the air since the middle of the summer, the future of the outdoor stage is uncertain. Currently, there is $36,000 in funding available for the project, $21,000 from the Washburn Student Government Association and $15,000 from the Memorial Union. Unfortunately, this leaves the project $25,000 short of its sticker price. A forum on the state of the stage was held at an Oct. 28 WSGA meeting, during which president Whitney Philippi addressed funding concerns.

“We thought that a capital improvement request had been put in by the previous administration,” said Philippi. “We don’t know what happened to that.”

Philippi, who as a senator voted against the original outdoor stage, had originally proposed to the senate that if funding was not available, she would take action with budget director Kevin Nincehelser to reclaim funds and deposit them into the WSGA reserves account. Many senators were displeased with this action, saying they felt as if Philippi was trying to bypass the senate in this decision.”I will fight for my students, I will stand up for what they believe in, please don’t take away my voice,” said Kristen Hearrell, senator.

Ultimately, though, it was decided a plan of action should be formed to tackle the issue of funding. Plans were made to contact the Washburn Endowment Association, Washburn Alumni, and as a last resort, to submit a capital improvement request. Once the request is submitted, a decision will not be made until the end of the spring semester. Should funding not be available through any means, WSGA eventually came to the consensus that the decision should be put back before the senate.

“We’ll make a decision that involves the whole senate, because I don’t want this to just be on my hands,” said Philippi. “We don’t have an agenda, we’re just listening to all student opinions.”