According to the preamble of the Constitution of the Associated Students of CSU, the purpose of the organization is to represent the student body of CSU. How the student government organization attends to this service is a combination of several processes.
Jessica Chavez, the vice-president of ASCSU, said there are three different branches. These branches, much like the government of the United States, are a legislative branch, an executive cabinet and a judicial branch.
The legislative branch is the senate, which meets weekly during fall and spring semesters except for finals week and over university vacations. The senate consists of senators representing each college, including the Graduate School program. One member is elected for every 750 students in a college. Students vote for their college representatives annually to serve a term that lasts from the time they are sworn in at the end of the spring semester until the new Senate is seated.
Chavez said the senators are required to be members of an internal and an external committee. Senators also serve on their college council in order to get information on how best to represent their college. Another way they seek student input is surveys, Chavez said.
Natalie Schilling is a senator for the College of Natural Sciences.
“We are the representatives of the student body,” said Schilling, a sophomore psychology student, of her job as a senator. “We pursue student interests and to make everyone’s experience here at CSU the best it can be.”
The executive cabinet consists of the president, vice-president and a cabinet of directors, appointed by the president, Chavez said. A president and vice-president are voted into the position by the students of CSU annually and serve a term from the first weekday in June through the last weekday of May.
The president, as described in the constitution, must sign all bills that are approved by the senate. The president also serves as the school representative to the State Board of Agriculture and a liaison between the administration of CSU and the students.
The vice-president’s main job is serving as the speaker of the senate and assisting the president in the executive duties.
This year, there are eight directors of various duties that have been appointed by the president. The positions range from a director of finance, who oversees all the financial agendas for ASCSU and is the chair of the Student Funding Board, to a director of campus outreach.
Directors do not hold a vote in the senate, but serve to inform the president on their different areas.
The judicial branch is the ASCSU Supreme Court, which has a chief justice and six justices. The ASCSU constitution describes the judiciary responsibilities to include upholding and interpreting the constitution.
A new division of ASCSU is the Association for Student Activity Programming. ASAP was incorporated into ASCSU and serves to provide programs for CSU students. The organization determines its own rules of conduct, but receives their funding as an ASCSU division.
Though there are many things going on for the students, some still do not know how they are being represented or don’t care.
Nicole Madrill, a senior in biochemistry, said she doesn’t really know how ASCSU works.
“I’m just not interested in politics,” Madrill said.
-Edited by Shandra Jordan and Ben Koerselman