The Associated Students of CSU Senate met Wednesday night to discuss two new bill changes and to introduce new additions to the staff.
The meeting began with swearing in of new members. Immediately following, Representative Jason Huitt, an ASCSU alum who represents the University Technology Fee Advisory Board, presented his plans for the year. He disclosed his goal of installing a tower on Durward Hall to provide CSU wireless Internet access within a four-mile radius.
"Look for that around the end of this semester," he said.
Another Senate process was the ratification of a new student advocate, Nathan Stephens. Stephens is a senior liberal arts major who began working with a program that serves youth with drug problems several weeks ago and was ratified as a representative at last night's meeting.
The only comment made on Stephens before voting was from Liberal Arts Senator Stacy Smith.
"He's a very responsible individual," she said in his favor. Stephens was later unanimously voted into the Senate.
One point of discussion during the meeting was brought up by Liberal Arts Senator Daniel Palmer, who expressed his concern over the local community's perception of CSU students, especially after negative publicity of alcohol related events.
"There's been a lot of discussion in the community about how students aren't perceived well," Palmer said. One of the plans was to invite the local newspaper The Coloradoan "to put a spot on what students do in the community."
Another proposition was to "have a 'good neighbor day,' where students can go and talk to their neighbors." Palmer added, "we're looking for other ideas on how students can be better appreciated in the community."
After the initiation of new members and executive and senate reports, the Senate debated alterations to two existing bills.
The first bill introduces the "Green 'n Gold Student Sprit Code." Only semantics were changed to this bill, including a minor change in the title.
The second created more controversy. Natural Science Senator Erik Healey directed the changes to the bill, which dictated several ASCSU Constitution alterations.
Most of the changes fixed minor grammatical errors, and did not alter the meaning of the articles.
Healey, did, however, propose two major changes within the bill. First, he argued for alterations to Article VI Section 602, which says that a member of the Judiciary can only be impeached without the consent of the President with a petition including signatures from at least ten percent of the student body or from three senators.
Healey's concern was that, with the growing population at CSU, students were not getting the ten percent representation that they are guaranteed. He argued that either the number of Senators should be raised or the percentage should be recalculated to reflect the student body.
"My intention was strictly numerical in that I wanted to be consistent across the board, and I think that was the intent – to make it consistent," Healey said. "Each senator represents about 750 people – we're falling short of that ten percent."
Most of the criticism came from Senators who didn't see the bill as worth altering.
Taylor Dunn, Liberal Arts Senator, stated, "I'd like to see it stay the same. I'm not concerned about three senators being taken over by someone outside of the senate."
Mark Settle, Liberal Arts Senator, followed similar reasoning.
"If there are three senators who feel so strongly that a member of the judiciary is not doing their duty, then a discussion needs to take place," Settle said. "I trust members of the senate and I would like to see accountability maintain a top priority."
The second amendment to face a major change centered around the appointment of an Elections Manager. The alteration stipulates that the position can only be held by "an impartial, unbiased, non-returning member of ASCSU."
"I just don't see a sophomore or a junior holding this position in an impartial and unbiased manner," Healey said, adding, "I would love discussion and debate on this, seeing as it is our constitution."
Again, not everyone agreed.
Mike Watson, Natural Sciences Senator, responded, "as my grandpap used to say, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' The way I look at it, no good can come of this."
Several other senators expressed concern over whether this would limit the selection of candidates for the post of Election Manager.
The senate meeting concluded with a singing of "happy birthday" to Settle followed by a recitation of the Ram Fight Song.