The Capitol comes to Campus

Mar 012007
Authors: Jenna Lynn Ellis

Local lawmakers will rally students Saturday to listen to concerns and questions geared toward higher education issues.

All five Larimer County legislators will hold a bipartisan town meeting on campus tomorrow from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Room 228 of the Lory Student Center.

“We’re specifically doing this meeting on campus to make it easier for students to participate. It’s an opportunity to hear the bills we’re working on,” said Rep. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins. “This is an effort to make both Democratic and Republican lawmakers available. We are doing it to try to connect to the students and I know students care. It’s my hope they will come because we need to know what students care about and what they want us to be working on.”

Sens. Steve Johnson and Bob Bacon and Reps. Kefalas, Kevin Lundberg and Randy Fischer will come to campus to hear concerns and viewpoints from students and answer questions on current issues.

“I am eager to hear from CSU students. This forum will be a good opportunity for students to share their views of how the legislature can address their concerns,” Bacon said. “I expect the session to have a discussion of the prospects for higher education funding both for operating budgets and for capital construction on college campuses.”

Johnson said this is an opportunity for students to have their voices heard or to make statements of what they would like to see done by state government.

“I am pleased to be meeting along with my Democratic colleagues as we all believe it is our job not to be partisan, but to solve problems for Coloradans in a commonsense and straightforward manner,” Johnson said.

The legislators met with representatives from the Associated Students of CSU last month, but Kefalas said they are eager to hear from a broad section of students.

“It would be good to have a mix of students and community members and we are looking forward to having this discussion and being appraised of concerns of the community,” he said.

“Fischer, who is on the house education committee, makes higher education a very high priority in his committee, and from my perspective it’s equally important to do what we can to give access to all students in the best quality that it can be,” Kefalas said. “Our goal in this particular meeting is to have bipartisan representation so that students, no matter their political persuasion, can hear from Larimer.”

Kefalas also said that he and Fischer would attend a forum on higher education Friday afternoon and would be prepared to share information from that forum at the campus meeting. The forum will be held at the University of Denver and will have a variety of speakers on higher education.

“The timing is such that we can share this information with you,” Kefalas said.

Staff Writer Jenna Lynn Ellis can be reached at

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