Every Wednesday evening, the Associated Students of CSU meet in
the Senate Chambers to debate current issues surrounding higher
While the general student body may be aware of ASCSU’s
involvement in current issues such as Academic Bill of Rights or
technology fees, their actual influence over the issues remains
mystery to some.
Much like the federal government’s system of checks and
balances, ASCSU has their power divided into different
The different factions are the executive brand, the legislative
branch (ASCSU’s senate) and the Student Fee Review Board.
The executive cabinet is the sitting President Jesse Lauchner
and Vice President Katie Clausen, who serve as a public voice for
The executive cabinet is also made of different departments
appointed by the president and vice president.
The senate is composed of representatives from nine colleges who
are elected by the student body to represent the issues within each
According to the ASCSU Web site, senators are responsible for
“researching, drafting and voting on legislation concerning student
The third body of ASCSU government is the Student Fee Review
Board. Its responsibility is to allocate the $418.20 per student
fee to different areas of campus.
ASCSU holds power in two entities: the students’ voices and
ASCSU is the representative body that speaks on behalf of every
student at CSU as well as the governing board that has unmitigated
control of student fees.
Where the ability to allocate the nearly $1.2 million collected
from students fees per year, ASCSU serves as a primary source of
influence on campus life.
Nearly $900,000 of this money is controlled by the Executive
The three bodies that receive money from this fund are
Transfort, Association for Student Activity Program (ASAP) and
The funds from the student fees can only be delegated to these
organizations by the signature of the current ASCSU president,
giving her/him ultimate power over that money.
Joan Ringel, spokeswomen for the Colorado Commission on Higher
Education, said state laws exist, which prohibit institutions of
higher education from raising student fees without the vote of
ASCSU facilitates the approvals and disapprovals in this
“We have direct control over certain student fee areas,” said
Thomas Glenn, director of finance for ASCSU. “For example we have
direct control over contracting Transfort, whereas our
(legislative) influence is just a representation in the
Though ASCSU’s formal power stops at its control of student
fees, it is still active in areas beyond its direct realm of
The second source of power is ASCSU’s representation and voice
in committees across the city as well as the state.
One example of this informal power is President Jesse Lauchner
holding a non-voting seat on the Board of Governors of the Colorado
State University System.
Mari Strombom, director of Campus Activities as well as the
primary faculty staff advisor for ASCSU, said what ASCSU passes in
the form of bills and resolutions voices student opinion and is
taken very seriously by CSU administrators.
“Student fees are integral to (CSU),” Strombom said. “But the
voice for the students (ASCSU) provides is equally important, and
it carries even to high levels like the Board of Governors.”
ASCSU considers voicing its opinions important because the
student body at CSU comprises a significant portion of the Fort
Glenn said the ASCSU representative in the Fort Collins City
Council is actively striving to persuade city council to abandon a
city ordinance making it illegal for three unrelated people to
occupy one residence.
Glenn believes the representative has made considerable progress
on this task.
Another example of ASCSU flexing their legislative muscle is
that a portion of the student fees collected is set aside to pay a
lobbyist in the General Assembly in Denver to act as a surrogate
voice for CSU students.