SGA’s Patel to lobby in Congress this month

Taylor Harrison

One Student Government Association senator is going to Washington, D.C., to lobby for a cause she supports — the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA).

Poorvie Patel, an SGA senator, will be in Washington, D.C., on April 21-25 along with the University of Kentucky SGA president, Micah Fielden, to lobby for the act.

SGA passed a resolution in support of CHIA at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Patel said that currently, as the tax code exists, when donors give to not-for-profit housing, they don’t receive a tax exemption. Not-for-profit housing includes student housing entities such as Greek organizations and the Baptist Campus Ministry, but not residence halls.

“This is hindering a lot of donors from donating money, like, large sums of money, to not-for-profit housing because they’re not getting anything back for it,” Patel said.

CHIA would make it tax deductible for people or organizations to donate to not-for-profit housing.

Patel said that many not-for-profit housing entities are currently lacking necessary items like fire alarms, smoke detectors and sprinklers, which can lead to unsafe housing. These places do not have enough funding to get these things on their own.  

“If this bill is passed…it’s going to amend the tax code so when these donors donate to not-for-profit housing, they can get a tax exemption back,” Patel said.

On WKU’s campus, there are only a few not-for-profit houses that have sprinkler systems, Patel said.

While in Washington, D.C., Patel said that she and Fielden will talk to representatives and senators about this issue.

Three bills were also passed at Tuesday night’s meeting — two of these were Organizational Aid bills, the last of the year.

The first aid bill allocated funding for the Nonprofit Student Association, Iota Phi Theta fraternity, the WKU Advertising Federation and the WKU Financial Planning Association.

Two of the organizations — the Nonprofit Student Association and Iota Phi Theta — will receive $500 each. The WKU Advertising Federation and the WKU Financial Planning Association will each receive $200.

The second aid bill will allocate $1,500 total to WKU Pre-Veterinarian Club, Black Student Alliance, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, The Kentucky Association of Nursing Students and Volunteerism in Progress. Each organization will receive $300.

It was also announced that this Friday, which is National Happiness Day, the Pursuit of Happiness event is from 1-5 p.m. between Downing University Center and Minton Hall.

The event to celebrate National Happiness Day will have a DJ, a cotton candy machine and a corn hole tournament.

The Campus Clean-up on April 17 will now include free event t-shirts for the volunteers — SGA passed a bill at Tuesday night’s meeting that will allocate $437.70 for the t-shirts.

SGA is continuing work on the off-campus housing website and the Hall of Distinguished Seniors applications are due on April 13.

The SGA spring banquet is tentatively set for May 1.