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Fate of KTRU money in hands of committee

By Hallie Jordan     1/27/11 6:00pm

Fulfilling a request from President David Leebron, a 10-member student-administrator committee will represent student opinion concerning how $6 million of the KTRU sale proceeds will be spent. The committee is composed of four members of the Student Association - President Selim Sheikh, Lovett College sophomore Jennifer Dayrit, Duncan College junior Kevin Bush and Brown College senior Kevin Schell - three members of the Graduate Student Association and three administrators - Associate Dean of Undergraduates Matt Taylor, Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Paula Sanders and Director of Student Activities Kate Abad.

"Leebron proposed a committee to help bring students into the conversation and open dialogue with them," Sheikh, a Martel College senior, said. "The SA and GSA decided the best way to do this was through a joint committee."

Starting soon, the SA and GSA will hold meetings to communicate with the student body and ask for input on where students think the money should be spent. A survey will also be sent out as well as possible forums at college cabinet meetings.

"Certainly we are going to be transparent," Graduate Student Association Internal Vice President Anna Dodson Saikin said. "We will take a poll of the student body to try to find out the needs of the campus and allocate money to serve the needs of most people."

Saikin stressed the importance of the projects helping all students, not just particular groups.

"We don't want to divide the money by demographics," Saikin said. "We are hoping the survey will show some consensus."

Saikin said she hopes the survey will have a place for student ideas as well as a ranking section.

Taylor mentioned the idea of using at least some of the money to create an endowment for future student needs.

"My role is just to help the committee understand what sort of projects are practical from an administrative point of view and help them think beyond next semester," Leebron said.

The committee convened for the first time at the end of last semester and will continue to meet for the next six weeks until March, when final decisions will be made, Taylor said.

Leebron mandated the two-month time period for discussion.

Of the $9.5 million Rice expects to earn from the sale, around $6 million will go to projects students recommend. The other $3.5 million expected proceeds will go toward construction work and KTRU.

"We are looking forward to to hearing results from students and want ideas," Saikin said.

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