ASCSU has Serious Issues

Mar 312004
Authors: Joe Marshall

After a careful review of all four tickets vying for Associated

Students of CSU president and vice president, I, Joseph B. Marshall

IV, have chosen to endorse myself. April fools!

While this election year I lacked any desire to run, that

doesn’t mean I haven’t theorized about how I would campaign. Last

year my own ASCSU candidacy brought to the forefront of the

election a real demand for a school-sponsored designated driver

program. This year I have both a worthy programming idea and a way

to make ASCSU an infinitely more effective and efficient


Since I am not campaigning for office but truly believe in the

merit and potential of these ideas, I would like to present them to

you, the candidates and the student body. These goals are very

reachable, and both would make ASCSU an organization all CSU

students, not just the few directly involved, could take pride


My first goal would be to utilize what little political

influence ASCSU actually possesses and turn it into a bona-fide

political movement. A state senator in California recently brought

a bill to the floor of the California State Senate calling for the

granting of voting rights to California teenagers in state

elections. All 14- and 15-year-olds would be given a quarter of a

vote, while 16- and 17-year-olds would receive a half of a


If there is one group of people CSU has enough of, it is former

high school students. My plan is to use the resources and name of

ASCSU to mobilize every high school student government in Colorado

in support of this proposal, with the goal of making it law in next

year’s state legislative session.

If apathy among voters in the America is a plague sickening our

society, this idea could be the cure. This change in voting laws

would be a fundamental alteration of the way we teach our nation’s

youth about the importance and power of voting. By passing this

idea into law, we could empower not only our little brothers and

sisters, but also our children.

My second goal is quite simply a plan to totally restructure

ASCSU by dissolving the current senate and replacing it with a

legislature composed of representatives appointed from the many

student organizations on campus.

Our student government’s legislative arm is currently made up of

senators elected from each college at CSU. These senators are

proportionally elected by the number of students enrolled in each

college, meaning the liberal arts college has more senators than

the engineering college. The only problem I have with this

structure is its total impracticality.

Who at CSU even knows their college’s senators? How effectively

can any current senator truly represent the wishes of his or her

constituency? The respective answers to these respective questions

are nobody and no way.

My proposal is simple: Instead of representing the colleges,

senators should represent student organizations. The largest

student groups, such as the Inter-Fraternity and Panhellenic

councils, would have two votes in the new legislative body. Smaller

student groups that annually have more than 25 contributing members

would all be eligible for a voting seat on the legislature.

The various student organizations on our campus are affected

much more greatly by the policy initiatives of ASCSU than any

individual student, and the ASCSU Senate should reflect this

reality. Student groups can and do utilize ASCSU as a vehicle with

which they can receive funding and marketing assistance, and these

services are arguably the most important activities ASCSU is

involved in.

By making CSU’s student organizations an active and integral

part of student government, the organizations will benefit from

greater access to and involvement with student government, and

ASCSU will benefit by having more worthwhile and worthy duties to

apply its resources and passion toward.

I have taken the time to review all the platforms presented by

the current presidential and vice presidential candidates, and all

the platforms are filled with viable, mostly realizable, and

astoundingly vanilla ideas about how ASCSU can benefit students

next year.

Students bash ASCSU in large part because they have no reason

not to. Students only care about RamRide’s continued existence, not

how it can be improved. People don’t really care about increasing

communication between ASCSU and the administration.

People do want to rally behind a cause. People do want to help

and promote their club or organizations’ agendas. People love new


If these two tasks are the only two tasks accomplished by next

year’s student government, it will be far and away the most

successful ASCSU administration any current student has ever or

will ever see at CSU. Good luck, candidates.


Joe is a senior majoring in history and does not have sour

grapes about losing last year.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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