Members to throw judgment,” he said, “…when that is something we ask our senators to do every meeting. We ask them to go out and talk to constituents, we ask them to be actively involved and passionate about the things that we’re discussing.”
The senators who also belong to the gun-rights club fulfilled their responsibilities to SGA, Edwards says.
“A handful of people gathered student opinion votes one by one, more than we have done in a year or two,” he said.
Sydney Ward, SGA vice president, says that the issue of potentially undue influence on a student poll by participating senators will be discussed within SGA and may be clarified in the future through policies changes.
“We learned with the Collegiate Readership Program debate that those who are more passionate will garner more votes,” she said. “This is kind of another lesson toward that. We definitely need to look at our survey guidelines.”
The vote on the resolution came after the longest and most active SGA floor debate of the year.
Tensions ran high. Stremel stormed out of the meeting room when, apparently, he became upset that one senator was not recognized to speak. Stremel did not vote on the resolution after he left the room.
Ward’s gavel saw heavy use throughout the meeting as she worked continuously to maintain order.
In the aftermath of open forum discussion, one senator inquired as to why the resolution did not fail on the grounds that it did not get two-thirds of the vote. The Collegio reported last week that two-thirds support would be required for the resolution to pass. Ward clarified the discrepancy, saying that Ismert was inaccurate in announcing the two-thirds requirement at SGA’s last meeting. Only a simple majority is needed, Ward says.
“They would take everything she offered. Students found her style captivating.”
President Steve Scott, who wasn’t able to attend the service, also offered a few words on Shaw’s legacy at the university.
“Just think of the number of lives she’s touched,” Scott said. “Few people, regardless of their career paths, will have the impact of Judith Shaw. Her length of service will likely never be surpassed, and I’m glad that record is held by such a special person.”
At one point, Woestman asked former students and Shaw’s associates to stand, and most in the hall stood.
Shaw’s son Michael recalled wanting his mother nearby due to the uncertainty of her health. However, he said that she was adamant about coming back to PSU.
“I wanted to get across to you that she was looking forward to seeing all of you again,” Michael said. “I tried to talk her out of it and she told me, ‘I love you no matter what happens, but this is my choice and Pittsburg is my home.’”
PSU Trumpet Ensemble before and during the ceremony. They, along with the choir, provided those present with a preview of what’s to come.
“This building means a lot to us, and we’ve been looking forward to it for a long time,” said Koenek, sophomore in digital media. “We have been really looking forward to being a part of the beginning of something that’s going to be such a huge part of the university in the future.”
Ismert says it was a historic day for PSU because it proves that students have shown overwhelming support for the project, which was 35 years in the making. Last spring, 12.7 percent of students voted in the fee increase survey. Of that that number, 65 percent of voters were in favor of the fee increase.
The most poignant portion of the program came when Tim Emert, chair of the Kansas Board of Regents, went off-script. He praised PSU as a whole.
“I truly believe that the university and its community are unique in Kansas,” Emert said. “No other institution garners the support that PSU does and that makes it the gem of the education system in this state.”
The building plans include a 1,100-seat hall with a balcony, a smaller 250-seat theater with seats that can be rearranged to accommodate a thrust stage, which means that it can jut out into the audience.
Taylor Patterson, who is involved with the current production of “Modern West,” says she thinks the building will help put PSU on the map.
“We’ll be able to put on bigger shows with bigger casts, which also increases audience reach,” Patterson said. “The broader kinds of shows we have, the broader and bigger audience, which means we can in turn get bigger artists.”
Stewart echoed those thoughts. He said that the forthcoming Center for the Arts has the potential to put PSU on the map in ways that it hasn’t been since Carnie Hall was demolished.
“You need a place this nice to attract national shows that might not come here, and once we establish this venue, more people will want to make stops,” Stewart said. “I don’t know what SAC (Student Activities Council) might plan, but touring groups going from Kansas City to places like Little Rock, Ark., or Oklahoma City, Okla., could add us to their stops because we have the venue and are on the way.”
Stewart says the building will also include an orchestra shell in the large hall for acoustic performances, a scenery building shop, catering kitchen, costume shop, green and dressing rooms, a gift shop and a two-story entrance area with a balcony.
There will also be an art gallery and space for an artist-in-residence, storage for the band, and a large rehearsal space.
“It’s long past due we got a space that accommodates the music and theater departments,” Patterson said. “I’m super stoked and grateful to be able to be here to perform and see shows in the new place.”