"What is ASCSU?" This is a question we hear all too often in the Associated Students of Colorado State University. A better question: "Who is ASCSU?" The answer: you! All students at CSU taking at least six credits per semester are members of ASCSU, and we are here to serve you.
How are we doing this? In more ways than we have room to tell you about here … Ever taken a RamRide? That's ASCSU. Used Repeat/Delete? ASCSU made it possible. Heard about the new student section in Moby? That's us. Taken the bus? ASCSU.
The most important work of ASCSU is representing the students of CSU. This is primarily done in the ASCSU Senate, with 34 members elected by students in each college. From pursuing an English-speaking standard for all graduate teaching assistants to conveying the student body's opinion to the CSU Alcohol Task Force, the senate is an influential voice speaking for you.
Working for you on a larger scope is ASCSU President Katie Clausen. She works relentlessly to advance the best interests of all students. She has been our voice at the state Capitol all year, speaking at the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and at the state legislature on issues such as the current higher education financial crisis. Clausen and the ASCSU Cabinet are also working with the Fort Collins City Council to reform the "Three-Unrelated" ordinance, which is unfairly discriminating against students, and is placing undue inconvenience and financial burden on many students who choose to live in Fort Collins.
ASCSU also oversees all student fees on campus. Undergraduate students taking at least six credits pay about $425 per semester in student fees. Every spring, fee-funded departments such as the Student Recreation Center, Hartshorn Health Service and the Lory Student Center report to the Student Fee Review Board, which is comprised only of students. This group reviews the budgets of each fee area, and it must approve any fee increase that an area might request. In all, the Student Fee Review Board controls almost $10 million of your money.
The most visible event on campus each spring semester is the ASCSU election. Beginning immediately after Spring Break and running for two and a half weeks, our elections give you the opportunity to select the students from each of your colleges that you want representing you in the ASCSU Senate. At this time you will also have the opportunity to select the next ASCSU president and vice president – the two people who will represent you to the CSU administration and Board of Governors of the CSU System. This year our elections will be held April 4-6.
However, this is all just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what ASCSU does for you. We're going to use this space intermittently this semester to keep you informed of what we're working on, and what issues we think you should be aware of. If you'd like to know more, we invite you to visit our Web site at www.ASCSU.ColoState.edu.
Also, please stop by our office, located in the south end of the Lory Student Center, and let us know what issues are affecting you. Everyone in ASCSU is eager to do whatever we can to help you succeed at CSU – we are here only because you are here. Lastly, if you are interested in being a part of YOUR student government, get in touch with a senator from your college today!
Thanks for reading – see you in about two weeks!
Jason Huitt, Associated Students of CSU director of information technology, is a fifth-year senior majoring in computer information systems. He can be reached at IT@ASCSU.ColoState.edu. Guest columns from ASCSU members will run intermittently throughout the semester.