SAUNDERS: Dating vs. job-hunting

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: Reed Saunders

Lot of stuff hanging on our brains here at the big ol’ university. How could there not be, right? College is the recess before the class of the real world begins.

As the days of our recess wind down, it seems nothing hangs on the mind more than two things: Getting a date and finding a job.

Half the junk e-mails clogging our inboxes are dating offers from singles services. Half the commercials on the TV are for finding a steady source of income, be it monster.com or all those ITT-Tech ads on Channel 20.

Yeah, they’re both important and equally stressful at most times. But which is the worse dilemma: dates or jobs?

I’m so glad I asked.

Availability: Don’t be mistaken, there are plenty of both jobs and girls/boys out there for all of us. The quality of those jobs and/or potential spit-swapping partners, however, is another matter.

You can work at the burger joint just as easily as you can hook up with the bar-fly decked out in turquoise. It’s really all about finding something you enjoy beyond a grease fire or surprise case of warts.

Edge: Push.

Competition: Lot of serious people looking for jobs. I’m talking the kids who actually read all their books, passed the beer-bong in favor of the protractor, and basically looked at college as a job so they’d have all the edges come interview and resume time.

You know those kids.

Much like the Terminator and Rocky Balboa, these people are not human. They are strong pieces of personality-devoid iron that will do nothing but block your way to a decent job.

Dating, on the other hand, is more of this Earth. When was the last time you found someone attractive who took the “mating dance” seriously? No one who studies the latest edition of Cosmopolitan the night before is going home with anything breathing the night after.

Lot of laid back folks involved here who really don’t know what they’re doing (e.g. Guys who wear hats out to bars. Might as well wear a shirt saying, “I’m masturbating tonight.”). Hence, if you learn quickly, show confidence and don’t leech on to the first girl who talks to you, you’re gold.

Edge: Dating.

Benefits: Jobs give you money, a.k.a. gold, a.k.a. the lifeblood, a.k.a. what you need most for survival. While I follow the Beatles’ mantra of “All you need is love,” love ain’t gonna grow for crap if you don’t take it out to a nice dinner or buy it flowers now and then. Every great relationship has to start with a first date, and every first date usually ends with a check.

Edge: Jobs, but it’s close.

Timing: While the end of college is when you’re supposed to be looking for jobs, it’s desperation time where dating is concerned. Realizing their time is very limited in the prime mating pool of their life, many people turn up the heat only to find the thermostat really isn’t interested in anything serious. Whatever the hell that means.

Edge: Jobs.

Resources: Recent advances have provided new avenues for our endless searches for income and shared orgasms. That darn Internet has brought job sites (hotjobs.com,

Monster.com, nochanceevenwithsexualfavors.com) and an online cesspool of dating chat rooms, message boards and friendly porn ladies.

Live and direct, the job world gives us career fairs and seminars. Not only do we usually get the runaround (“Nice to meet you, your resume looks great… but we’re not hiring”), it’s also discouraging. I had a panel of columnists laugh in my face earlier this year.

Enter the bar or party scene, where there ain’t a jerkoff in sight! OK, there are a few of those around. But your chances are much better, fun is more likely, and you won’t have to present a resume until well after morning waffles.

Edge: Dating.

Pretty close when you measure it out. In the end, the search for a job or a nice person to date is a lot like searching for a parking spot at the Super Wal-Mart in the late afternoon. Sure, you can settle for the spot two miles away, but usually it’s worth a little bit of work and patience to get a better one.

Bet I’m gonna get a lot of dates with that one.

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RODRIGUEZ: It’s time to say no

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: Rod Rodriguez

On Wednesday, on the public streets of Fort Collins not more than a few blocks away from my house, a military truck was parked and loading up a group of individuals and shipping them off to Iraq.

Just a week ago, a good friend and co-worker of mine informed me he is being deployed in the coming weeks to the Persian Gulf for “Bush vs. Saddam Part II.” Looking on the schedule this week, he is not scheduled. Instead of a work schedule, I see the words “Leave of Absence.”

I know several other people in the military, all who are either being sent overseas or who have “disappeared” in the past month. I knew people who fought in the Gulf War, but never has war affected me this much or hit so close to home.

For some months now, I thought I was alone in the idea that war was not a good thing. I sat inside my own personal closet, something I’ve done too many times in my life, and complained to anyone who would listen.

Last night, I heard something startling: 66 percent of Americans believe that war with Iraq without UN approval is wrong. The Pope thinks that this war is wrong. Most nations in the world, including NATO nations (and a lot more than the same three we keep hearing about) think this war is wrong. I think this war is wrong.

Not that I am an authority on war, mind you. I just want to know, when will the violence stop? When will we wake up and realize what a violent society we live in? I’m not talking about the world, I’m talking about society.

We live in a country that thrives on violence. Just looking at our country’s history in the last 40 years, we have been behind almost every major rebellion and coup in the world. We have supplied weapons to more countries than I can count on two hands and in some of those cases, we had to give weapons to other countries to fight back.

Enough is enough. Enough is enough. Enough is enough.

As a friend I am saying no. As a citizen I am saying no. As a constituent I am saying no. We need to let the White House, our congressional representatives (one of which is supporting the institution of the draft – thanks, Marilyn Musgrave), and the world know that enough is enough. The violence stops here.

I have heard a lot of people snickering at the peace protestors out on the plaza as of late. I don’t know how everyone else feels about this, but I want to thank them for being the only ones standing up for what an overwhelming majority of Americans feel is right.

Unfortunately, my afternoons are not free. I am working hard towards graduation. But I sometimes have a free Saturday and I will join the protests at Mulberry and College.

I will write my congressional representatives. I will call. I will e-mail. Will it do any good? Probably not, but at least I am doing something and maybe tying up their phone line for a few minutes.

We are going to war. It doesn’t matter whether we like it or not. We are going to war. The President has said it and even stated he would go against the UN if need be. Do you think he will stop there? Do you think he will listen to a poll by the American people?

It’s time to take action. It’s time to step up. It’s time to say enough is enough. Before one more friend is sent to the front line, we need to say no.

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Fort Collins prepared for attack

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: Patrick Crossland

In the case of a terrorist attack, the public’s best weapon is common sense.

That is what Mayor Ray Martinez is encouraging the public to use if Fort Collins were to be the target of a terrorist attack.

“Keen awareness is more important than anything else,” he said. “Use a common sense approach.”

Paying attention to news alerts, having bags prepared for an overnight stay and having accessible potable water are easy ways to be prepared for the unpredictable.

“Prepare just like you would for a natural disaster,” Martinez said. “It’s really a self check.”

Early in February congress allotted 3.5 billion dollars intended to provide equipment and training to local police and fire departments, according to the New York Times. That money has sat on capital hill since fall and according to Martinez, that package has since been cut in half. Regardless, Martinez remains confident about preparations made in case of an emergency.

Preparation for a terrorist attack has been done with reason and common sense, Martinez said.

Fort Collins is equipped with a hazardous materials team, two command post sites, a mobile command post unit, and an emergency management team.

The mobile command post unit takes the shape of a large Winnebago, outfitted with systems capable of connecting multiple agencies via radio, interrupting T.V. connections and calling everyone in the town simultaneously.

All emergency responders know how to deal with a chemical attack as well as other forms of terrorism Martinez said.

“We have a lot of things in place,” he said. “All emergency personnel will have emergency respirators.”

Financially, Fort Collins is prepared with mutual aid support and is capable of aiding other jurisdictions financially in the case of an attack.

The likelihood of an attack on Fort Collins is slim, Martinez said. He stressed we are more likely to have a natural disaster than a terrorist attack.

“We are prepared to deal with all levels of emergency,” he said.

Though the exact measures remain veiled for reasons of security, the Fort Collins police are, “taking the appropriate measures to ensure public safety,” in the case of a terrorist attack, said Rita Davis, spokesperson for the Fort Collins Police Services.

Since the terrorist attacks on the East Coast on Sept. 11, 2001, the Larimer County Sheriffs Office has had certain measures in place, such as the patrolling of damns to ensure security, said Eloise Campanella, press information officer for the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

Despite the recent lowering of the government threat level to an “elevated” risk of terrorist attack, some CSU students aren’t worried.

“It’s too small a target, it’s unimportant,” said Joel Malander, a Mechanical engineering final year graduate. “Nobody in their right mind would attack something unimportant.”

Malander isn’t rushing out to buy a gas mask.

“A lot of it is based on fear, in a bigger city it might be important, but not in Fort Collins,” he said.

Like Malander, Sarah Bean, a junior social work major, said she is not worried about an attack on Fort Collins.

“We’re not a major city in the U.S.,” she said.

When asked if she felt prepared for a possible attack, she said, “Spiritually and emotionally I feel prepared, but there is no way I can prepare physically.” “

“I’m not going to build a bomb shelter,” Bean said.

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Medicaid cuts may run deep:Co elderly may feel impact with new Medicaid requirement

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: Bryce Chapman

A suffering Colorado economy may mean 25 percent of the state’s elderly who qualify for Medicaid will no longer be eligible for essential medical assistance.

“The recent shortfall in the Colorado state budget is forcing Medicaid to become much more strict in their admissions process, eliminating those participants who do not have what the state strictly defines as a serious medical need,” said Ruth Coberly, division manager for the Senior and Disabled Programs at the Department of Human Services in Larimer County.

Medicaid is a jointly funded, federal-state health insurance program for certain low-income and needy people.

“Yes of course we need to make cuts,” Coberly said. “But we are concerned that this application process is bordering on inhumane.”

The proposed tool, known as the Uniform Long Term Care Assessment instrument, forces the applicant to demonstrate serious medical need by being evaluated in six daily performances including eating, dressing, toileting, mobilizing, transferring and bathing.

Under this plan, people who need medical assistance for things like remembering how to perform daily functions will not qualify for the program, Coberly explained.

In order for applicants to qualify for Medicaid using the ULTC-100 they must score at least two in severity in a range from zero to three in at least two of the six areas of assessment by a designated caseworker.

“This will eliminate those patients that might need medical care but do not meet the criteria for what the medical board defines as serious medical care,” said Roger Doherty, staff member at Colorado Gerontological Society.

In preliminary studies of the new criteria for admission, which was passed by the Colorado Medical Board on first reading Friday, about 25 percent of people who currently qualify for Medicaid will be dismissed from the program, Coberly said.

The final vote is expected to come in March.

Under Colorado’s current Medicaid program participants are able to take advantage of home care based services. Many participants opt for this service because it allows them to receive medical care while still living in their home, instead of moving into a nursing facility.

“Because these people are still able to function at home they will be the most likely group to be cut by the new application process,” Coberly said.

But supporters of the new process claim Medicaid was never meant for in-home care.

“Medicaid must not be paid for room and board except in nursing facilities,” said Julie Reiskin, supporter of the measure and member of the Medical Board.

But this leaves people like Coberly wondering why the government would eliminate those participants who are the cheapest to care for.

“Comparing the in-home care to nursing facilities, which run about $3600 a month, it is a lot cheaper,” Coberly said. “In-home care is saving the taxpayers between $200 and $300 a week; it just doesn’t make sense to cut it.”

In addition to being able to live at home, under the home care based services participants are allowed to attend the adult day care services.

The Fort Collins Elderhaus, a non-profit adult day care center, cares for people, mainly elderly, allowing them the comfort of a home away from home and a needed break for caretakers.

A majority of these terminally ill people may be in jeopardy of not only losing valuable friendships and needed comfort provided by the Elderhaus, but are at risk of losing vital and necessary medical care.

So with the cuts likely to run deep in this area, according to Coberly, such non-profit entities may be in danger financially.

“About 65 percent of the Elderhaus’ visitors are on Medicaid,” said Joann Johnsen, executive director of the Elderhaus. “The rest of our funds come from private donations and tuition.”

In the last year, the Elderhaus has already found itself struggling financially in the lack-luster economy.

“We got cut along with other agencies from the city because of the soft economy,” Johnsen said. “It has made it really hard.”

Not only will this new application process eliminate potential participants but it will also eliminate those who have been in the program for years, Doherty said.

“No one is grandfathered in,” Coberly said.

Because each Medicaid patient is evaluated yearly, the new application process will begin to weed people out of the program as early as April, when the new process begins, Doherty said.

Some of the people who will be dismissed from the program will be able to pick up insurance through Medicare, a federally-funded insurance plan for the elderly, but long-term medical care and prescription drug costs are not covered, Coberly said.

With a financially struggling state, options appear scarce for those who will no longer qualify for the program. “No one has really come to the forefront,” Doherty said. “What is about to happen in Colorado is very scary and dangerous.”

But Reiskin and other supporters of the measure said the new Medicaid procedure should not be held responsible.

“If (Medicaid patients who may no longer qualify) are evicted that is something the assisted-living industry needs to answer,” she said.

Still, many advocates for the elderly are left wondering how the estimated 25 percent of Medicaid patients who will no longer qualify for the program will afford medical care without long-term medical assistance.

“I hope Colorado doesn’t do this,” Coberly said.

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Peace Corps day celebrates 59 CSU graduates in the program

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: Jana Gurkin

Today is Peace Corps Day, which marks the 42nd anniversary of the Peace Corps, and, on a local level, today will honor the 220 Coloradoans that are currently overseas.

The Peace Corps will be holding an open house today in honor of Peace Corps Day. The open house will be in the Office of International Programs in Laurel Hall from 3 to 5 p.m. Over 150 former Peace Corps members will share their experiences.

Fifty-nine graduates from CSU make up a significant portion of that 220.

Colorado State ranks 11th on the Peace Corps’ list of large colleges that have graduates serving in the Peace Corps, according to Kristi Orr, public affairs specialist for the Peace Corps Denver Regional Office.

This year’s spot is up from last year, when CSU ranked 12, with 48 alumni volunteering in the Peace Corps. Also on the list are The University of Wisconsin in Madison with 123 graduates serving, ranked first in the nation, and, ranked sixth, the University of Colorado in Boulder, according to Orr.

“Students in the Fort Collins community seem to be very internationally aware. It’s a combination of people wanting to do something in the world, to make a difference, and to promote cultural understanding,” said Jeff Brooks, the CSU Campus Representative for Peace Corps.

He added that the international awareness in the community is largely due to the people in the community who make an effort to increase cultural awareness, which then “naturally makes a spark in students to do something.”

Antonio Francesco, the regional recruiter for the Denver Peace Corps Office, said he feels that there are really three basic reasons why CSU has such a high number serving in the Peace Corps. The first of these is that the international community in Fort Collins and on the CSU campus is very abundant and supportive.

The second reason is that students are involved in the community and are service-oriented. The numbers are also due to the relationship between the Peace Corps and CSU. Francesco said there is a “strong historical tie between the Peace Corps and CSU,” and without this tie, the numbers likely would not have been quite as high.

The Peace Corps offers a readjustment fee after the volunteers return from their two years, to help them return to their lives in the U.S. The allowance of $6,075 is for the person to spend however they like, and can go towards things like rent on an apartment or home, new clothes, or whatever is needed after their two years abroad “to get back into the community,” said Brooks.

The Peace Corps also offers a master’s program, where graduate students can earn their master’s degree with a combination of grad school and volunteering. The program, entitled the Masters International Program, takes a total of three years to complete, and the student has to go through one year of graduate school and then two years in the Peace Corps. After they return, all the student has to do is write their dissertation and they’ve earned their Masters degree, Francesco said.

Francesco said there was a great increase in numbers joining the Peace Corps all over the U.S. after Sept. 11, 2001. He attributes it to a sudden sense of awareness about what goes on in the rest of the world. “People’s sensitivity and awareness of international needs is higher after a crisis.”

Jennifer Pokorny is a graduate of CSU who will be leaving for the Eastern Caribbean at the beginning of April. She said joining the Peace Corps seemed like the best idea for now because she wasn’t really ready for a job, and wasn’t ready for grad school either, but wanted to go on a “solo adventure.”

After going on a cruise with her family, Pokorny saw parts of the Caribbean and was shocked at the people she met along the way and how different their lives were.

“I feel like I’ve been living in a bubble in America,” she said.

She also said she saw “a lot of poverty we (Americans) don’t have any idea about.” As for her decision to spend the next two years in the Eastern Caribbean, she feels like the time will pass quickly, and, for now, it’s exactly what she wants to do.

“I can’t really imagine trying to do anything else right now,” Pokorny said.

Students interested in finding out more about the programs available in the Peace Corps are invited to attend the Open House or contact the CSU Peace Corps Office in the Office of International Programs, room 102E Laurel Hall.

Pull box:

To join the Peace Corps, the two basic requirements are that the person be at least 18 years old, and be a U.S. citizen. However, many of the programs in the Peace Corps require a four-year degree of some type to be involved with them. Volunteers can choose from various programs, such as Environmental, Educational, Community Service, Business, Informational Technology and others to focus on while serving their two years overseas.

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ASCSU: Special session discusses GPA of presidential candidates

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: Colleen Buhrer

The Associate Students of CSU Senate voted on a bill that clarifies in the constitution what a bill and resolution means on Wednesday night. The bill clarifies the president and senate’s position on bills and resolutions.

Senate passed the bill but it is expected that ASCSU President David Bower will not sign it.

Bower wants members of senate to discuss the resolution more fully and in a more productive manner than what has been done so far, he said.

ASCSU also held a special session on Wednesday night to vote on an amendment that would raise the GPA for a prospective ASCSU president or vice president from 2.0 to 2.25. The amendment was passed.

Previously the election rules required the GPA of 2.25, but the constitution did not. With the passing of this amendment, the constitution will also hold this requirement.

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Kappa Alpha Theta to host a bike sale to benefit St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

The Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at CSU will host a bike sale to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

The sale will take place this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kappa Alpha Theta house, located at 638 S. Sherwood.

Tiffaney Benson, junior animal science student, is a member of the Kool KATs, a six-member team participating in St. Jude’s Up ’til Dawn fundraising program.

“It’s kind of a unique way to get money,” Benson said. “Every bit of it benefits Up ’til Dawn.”

Members of the Kool KATs sent out nearly 300 letters asking people to donate their old bikes. They also cleared out the bike storage room at the Kappa Alpha Theta house. Many bikes have accumulated there over the years, bike sale chairperson Beckie Bean said.

“There’s tons of bikes in there,” Bean said. “They just look like they could use some use.”

Bean, freshman apparel and merchandising major, is donating three bikes herself.

“We don’t have very many (fundraisers), but they are usually very large,” Bean said. “I’m hoping we can donate a lot of money to Up ’til Dawn.”

CSU Up ’til Dawn could not be reached for comment.

Heidi Mitzelfeld, a sophomore natural resources, recreation and tourism student, is in charge of philanthropy for Kappa Alpha Theta. She is looking forward to the bike sale and Kappa Alpha Theta’s other philanthropies.

“We want to make sure we’re being a positive image of college students,” Mitzelfeld said. “We’re excited about it.”

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Fort Collins reserve unit mobilized

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: Shandra Jordan

The opening dance piece of a CSU play will be performed with a hole in the middle for the final three performances this weekend.

One of the three lead dancers, Simon Lile, a second bachelor’s degree candidate majoring in dance, was mobilized with the Bravo Company 244, Fort Collins’ Army Reserve unit.

The dance, “Dead Saints” is the prologue to an original play “The Vision of the Pilgrims of San Isidro” by Eric Prince, a professor of theater at CSU and a resident playwright.

“There’s a huge irony (that Simon was mobilized by the army) because the dance has a very strong anti-war and anti-violence theme,” Prince said.

The 244th Engineering Battalion received mobilization orders to move the unit to Fort Carson on Monday, said Capt. Sara Lynd, the company commander. They have until Thursday to get their equipment and members to Fort Carson.

Right now, they are in the process of moving equipment, Lynd said. People will go last.

“Our unit has a lot of heavy equipment so some people are going back and forth,” she said.

Lile has been in the reserves for five and one-half years and his contract will be up in five months, Prince said.

Lile was unavailable for comment.

The United States Army has over 200,000 people in its reserve units who serve as little as one weekend a month and two weeks a year, unless their unit is mobilized, according to www.goarmyreserve.com.

“(Lile’s role) is too important a role to replace,” Prince said. “I don’t want to replace Simon but I do want the dance to continue.”

Prince decided to precede the dance with an announcement explaining the situation to the audience for the performances Thursday, tonight and Saturday.

“It’ll be quite special tonight and tomorrow,” Prince said. “I’m sure the cast will feel his absence and the dance will have a personal meaning. It brings home to the audience that war isn’t just a far away subject in the news headlines. Here at CSU we’ve got our own students being called away.”

The show will go on, but there will be an absence felt by the audience and cast, Prince said.

“(Lile’s) a great guy, a very nice polite young man and we wish him well,” Prince said.

Outbox (if room)

“”The Vision of the Pilgrims of San Isidro” will be performed at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday on the Johnsons Hall Main Stage.

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Fraternity reaches out to Hispanic youth

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: Amy Bergstrom

Dozens of eighth and ninth grade Hispanic males will gather at CSU this Saturday to take part in the first annual Los Manos youth leadership conference.

The conference, organized by the Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity, will bring CSU and Sigma Lambda Beta alumni to campus to speak about their experiences since leaving CSU.

“The purpose is to empower the participants,” said Rich Salas, assistant director of El Centro Student Services and faculty advisor for Sigma Lambda Beta. “We want to expose them to career opportunities, build self esteem and provide positive role models.”

Sigma Lambda Beta alumni who will be speaking include Nathan Cadena, a financial aid advisor at Front Range Community College in Denver, and Frank Sanchez, vice president for student affairs at Adams State College.

“The facilitators will show how being in the fraternity has impacted their lives,” said Arthur Garcia, a member of Sigma Lambda Beta and a junior majoring in business.

Also presenting at the conference will be Jesus Negrete, a nationally known scholar and musicologist. Negrete will use songs and slides to teach about history and issues that young people are going through, Salas said.

Sigma Lambda Beta has been planning this conference as a way to reach out to youth, especially Hispanic youth, in the Fort Collins area.

“We will eventually open it up to all kids from all backgrounds, but we thought it was important to first set the standard for kids from our background,” Salas said. “We want to plant a seed of letting them know that they can do anything.”

The conference is free to the 60 to 70 participants, who are mostly from Fort Collins, but will also come from Denver, Greeley and Commerce City.

The organizers intend to make the conference an annual event occurring in March, in honor of the late Cesar Chavez, who was born in March.

“We’ve always wanted to do this, and it’s just going to grow from here in reaching all Latino students,” Garcia said.

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CSU helps water the city by considering leasing water rights

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Feb 272003
 
Authors: By Christopher J. Ortiz

CSU is considering leasing some of its water rights to help relieve some of the hardship the drought has caused the state.

“Plans are to lease some of CSU’s water rights for the upcoming season to municipals,” said Gerard Bomotti, vice president for administration. Those municipals include the Fort Collins and its school districts.

CSU is currently working on plans to reduce its own water usage.

“We are looking at ways to save water and making it available (to other sources) is a priority,” Bomotti said.

In return the school should see a rebate for saving money and even possibly cash for those water rights.

CSU is considering leasing between 20 and 25 percent of its water rights for next year.

Obviously, during a drought, water rights can turn into very valuable commodities. Depending on how the deal finalizes, CSU may see a hefty return.

“We are studying; we have water rights for 100’s of acre feet and debating that those rights might be more valuable to for the city to use,” said Brain Chase, director of facilities management. Chase said it was a balance issue with the amount of water CSU can conserve without making the landscape on campus more deprived of water.

Chase said that trees, shrubs and the intramural fields on campus would have adequate water during the drought season.

Bomotti predicts the school will receive anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 for leasing its water rights.

He said most of the money will probably go to CSU’s general account to help with the school’s pyramid of needs during budget cuts.

CSU also owns wells out on the South Campus and the Foothills Campus that it has not used in decades, but Bomotti said the school is considering drilling and reusing them. This means CSU may receive $10,000 more per well CSU if it decides to lease those water rights.

“My issue of the drought is first and foremost,” Bomotti said. “The main motivation in CSU doing this is to be good citizens.”

Bomotti added that he would like to see CSU work so it is following the same watering restrictions as citizens.

Chase agreed, saying that money is not a motivation in the university on this issue.

“It’s more of, ‘how do we help each other in tough time?'” he said. “We are all on the same team.”

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