Salina — Student leaders at Kansas State University at Salina have rejected a request for $1,000 to bring a transgender speaker to campus.
The campus’ Student Governing Association voted 4-2 Tuesday night against a request to pay Ryan Sallans’ fees and expenses for a Nov. 23 speech.
Sallans, 30, of Lincoln, Neb., who used surgery and hormone therapy to become a man, gives frequent speeches on sexuality and transgender issues.
Student leaders who supported the funding said they will resubmit a request for some of the money and raise the rest privately to bring Sallans to campus.
Shae Blackwell, student body vice president, who submitted the funding quest, said those who voted against it thought the funding was “a waste of student money, that no students would attend.”
She said that despite the SGA vote, about three-fourths of the 75 students who attended the meeting supported bringing Sallans to campus.
Student Body President Brian Koester said the funding request caused “one of the biggest debates we’ve had in a little while in SGA.”
Koester said members questioned whether students would attend the speech during Thanksgiving week.
“We didn’t want the speaker to come and speak to an empty room,” Koester said. “We’ve had poor turnouts for speakers in the past.”