David Bower, the president of Associated Students of CSU, said his highest priority is to see every student get involved in a student organization or campus activity.
“I’d just love to see a more active campus. There’s so many who want to, but are afraid to or don’t know what to do. I wish I could step out there and talk to every student-explain how much they have to gain from being involved in campus,” Bower said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to figure it out but I’d like to know.”
A few of Bower’s campaign issues from last year focused on improving student advising, communication between student organizations and increasing school spirit.
Bower discussed his progress on the above.
“We’ve made a huge strive in trying to find the best advising devices for students,” Bower said.
ASCSU has met with Kevin Oltjenbruns, academic vice provost, to discuss implementing an advisor evaluation form. Bower believes this would be beneficial to both students and advisors to see if the advising helps, and reward faculty who are doing a good job. He plans to make advising a requirement for all professors.
Tracey Tollefson, senior and natural resources recreation and tourism major, said, “I would like there to be more advisors so they’re able to give the students more individual attention. They see so many students that they don’t remember who you are.”
ASCSU has also already made their own award for advisors who have done an excellent job called the Surmac Award.
Another key issue from Bower’s platform was to get resident assistants involved with the registration process. However, the residence life staff took a different approach, called the Early Warning. Westfall, Durward, Edwards, Ellis and part of Ingersoll are the first to join the new program. RAs receive a copy of student’s grades with their permission and give advice on what classes to take for next semester. Bower strongly opposed this idea.
“My hope was that resident assistants had a chance to learn more about campus resources,” Bower said. “This is a very bad idea to put an additional burden on RAs.”
China Hutchins, freshman and open-option seeking technical journalism major, feels that this new innovation is better than meeting with advisors because her RA is in closer vicinity and she has a stronger interaction.
“You can make better contact,” Hutchins said.
In addition to better advising and increased RA participation in registering for courses, Bower was extremely pleased with the homecoming results to raise school spirit. Based on the previous four years of homecomings he’s experienced, Bower said this year’s was by far the best homecoming CSU has ever had.
“We had campus wide T-shirts and a carnival in the plaza,” Bower said. “We were just lucky enough the County Commissioners lifted the fire ban two days before the game.”
Dale Porter, a junior history major disagreed with some of Bower’s emphasis.
“They charge us for things we don’t use,” Porter said. “I don’t think it’s fair. Instead of building a larger bureaucracy, we need to thin it out-help students with student issues, not entertainment issues.”
However, Chelsea Schwab, freshman and biology major, thinks ASCSU does a pretty good job of trying to get a wide variety of interest for students on campus.
That is just what Bower continues to do. ASCSU has recently secured an advocacy office liaison position to find out what the advocacy offices’ and multicultural student organizations’ concerns are. The purpose is to share ideas and see how they can help each other.
“I would like to see more funding and opportunities for all of our minority organizations,” said Loree Smith, a junior English major. “I don’t know of many changes he’s made. People say a lot of things but unless they stand out, I don’t see them. I would like him to go to the minority organizations to show his support.”
Bower is confident he has fulfilled some of his campaign promises.
“I think we’ve done a good job in pushing our goals,” Bower said. “I’d like to think that they will see the work we’ve been doing. I can’t begin to describe how many people working in this office give me pride.”
Edited by Shandra Jordan and Colleen Buhrer
Summary: Although the ASCSU president has accomplished some of his goals, his greatest challenge getting students to get more involved in campus activities and student organizations.