ASCSU Retreat

Jan 252006
Authors: Vimal Patel

Fresh off a one-day weekend retreat at a Milliken golf and country club, CSU's student government is gearing up for a new legislative session.

Our focus was "thinking about legislation that would impact the general student," said Jon Muller, Associated Students of CSU vice president.

One idea discussed at the retreat was revisiting the university's plus/minus grading system.

Currently, professors get to decide if they want to use a plus/minus grading system, which can help or harm a student's grade point average.

So two students with identical percentages in any given course could have different GPAs depending on whether their professors use a plus/minus grading system.

"There's a possibility for inconsistency university-wide," Muller said.

Muller said ASCSU will discuss this issue further into the semester.

Also, RamRide, the ASCSU-sponsored program that gives students a safe-ride ride home, will soon become more efficient by computerizing the system, said Kevin McBeth, director of RamRide operations.

The program currently keeps paper records, which are space consuming.

"By the end of the night, we have a huge folder that we have to store," he said.

When the first phase of RamRide's upgrade is complete, students will be able to sign up for rides online, he added, and the mountains of paperwork will eventually subside.

RamRide is available to all CSU students for any circumstance during the program's operating hours – Thursdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Every semester, ASCSU goes on a trip to focus on improving the group's structure and brainstorm ideas.

"Accountability was the main focus of this retreat," said Courtney Healey, ASCSU president. "(We want to) make sure all the decisions with student fees pass the smell test."

Healey said ASCSU members must be responsible with the nearly $1.1 million in student fees entrusted to them.

To drive the point home about how those in power must be aware not to abuse it, Healey played a favorite game of hers, "StarPower," a simulation game that exposes how easily power corrupts.

Team members are grouped together by game pieces, and eventually the competition gets fierce. The lesson of the game is that it's a universal tendency for people to bend the rules to gain power, even at the expense of those under them, Healey said.

Those with power, she added, must always be conscious of this tendency so that it can be squelched.

After the game ended ASCSU members were forced to confront the question, "When you were focused on getting to the top, were you looking out for the people at the bottom?"

The once-a-semester ASCSU outing was held at The Mad Russian Golf and Country Club in Milliken. The cost was about $1,000, Healey said.

"Everybody seemed to have a good time," she said.

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