Nelson MWC Co-Player of the Week, volleyball moves up again

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Sep 292008
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

For the third week in a row, the Rams volleyball team has had a player polish their Mountain West Conference Player of the week laurel.

With an impressive .625 hitting percentage, nine blocks and two assists in the team’s 3-2 win over Wyoming last week (their only game of the week), redshirt junior Tessa Nelson is the Ram’s most recent addition to the prestigious list.

Last week, senior Mekana Barnes was named to the list, and two weeks ago it was redshirt freshman Katelyn Steffan. This week’s player of the week honors mark Nelson’s first of her career. Nelson shares the award with New Mexico setter Jade Michaelsen.

Also announced Monday, the CSU volleyball squad has moved up in the national American Volleyball Coaches Association poll once again, from No. 13 to No. 12.

The Rams (11-1, 3-0) are off to their best start since the 2004 season, when the team peaked at No. 9 in the polls. The team travels to Colorado Springs this Thursday to take on the Air Force Falcons, before hosting the No. 25 Arizona Wildcats at Moby Arena on Saturday. Both matches are set for a 7 p.m. start.

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Rams in fifth after day one in Broomfield

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Sep 292008
Authors: Justin Warren

The women’s golf team completed their first two rounds in Broomfield yesterday, finishing fifth among the 19 teams competing in the Heather Farr/CU Memorial Invitational.

“It was an overall great day for us,” said head coach Angie Hopkins. “Kasey (Claussen) is playing outstanding, Stefanie (Ferguson) bounced back from an 11 over par first round to finish an even par in the second, and Natalie (Stone) is playing very well.”

The current leader of the tournament is Notre Dame, who is an astonishing five under-par and shooting 571 as a team through the first two rounds on the par 72 course.

“Notre Dame will be hard to pass for the lead because we are 13 strokes back,” coach Hopkins said. “But we will give it our all tomorrow.”

Under Notre Dame sits Colorado, CSU-Long Beach and Texas Tech. The Rams sit in the fifth position, eight above par and shooting 584 as a team.

“I think we can finish in the top five in the final round tomorrow,” coach Hopkins said. “Our goal is to come out tomorrow and play like we did today.”

The Rams are teeing off this morning at 8:30 and concluding play sometime this afternoon.

“The girls are having fun playing so close to home and competing against some of their friends from CU,” coach Hopkins said.

Women’s golf beat writer Justin Warren can be reached at

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Keep your anti-abortion fetus billboards to yourself

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Sep 292008
Authors: Brian Lancaster

Do you ever wake up and immediately know that it is going to be a bad day? I usually don’t, but on Monday, I did.

I slept through my first class, trying to avoid the certainly doom-laden activities that fate had in store for me, but eventually, I dragged myself out of bed. I had to get to my afternoon French class.

I had almost forgotten the ominous feeling by the time I arrived on campus. It was nice, really. I just wandered across the West Lawn with my iPod on full blast, as usual. The day didn’t seem to be turning out terrible at all. I slept in, and it was a beautiful day — what could possibly go wrong?

Then I saw it.

Just ahead was one of the many warnings of graphic images that had been scattered near the plaza. It took me all of but a few moments to recall where I’d seen those signs before and why. But when I remembered, it was an awful feeling.

I continued walking toward the plaza. What else could I do? Cruel fate had planned for me to see these gigantic walls full of pictures of aborted fetuses. Who was I to fight it?

I don’t know who thought of this whole concept, but I want to meet whoever it was and punch them.

First of all, the idea of making someone so nauseated that they are forced to agree with your personal views simply has to be against the Geneva Conventions. It seems like a very dirty trick in order to get someone to agree or cooperate. There’s a word for it, and it’s on the tip of my tongue.

Oh yes, the word is torture. Though I guess these people aren’t forcing anyone to look at the pictures. They’re just making everything so huge that it’s nearly impossible to not look. So I’ll give them some credit and rank them lower than most war-time militaries on my scum-o-meter.

I don’t really know why, but I have this strange disdain for people who try to convince me to agree with them by shoving unwanted pictures into my eyes.

Honestly, I’m willing to bet that those pictures would make even the strongest medical professionals a little woozy, so why would it be OK to print those pictures onto billboards?

I’d like to say now that I’m not ranting about people trying to convince me to change my views about abortion. What I absolutely hate about these people is their methods; those methods should be banned on college campuses across America.

I’m not even sure how effective these billboards could possibly be. I am fairly sure that a vast majority of the people who saw them instantly became severely uncomfortable. Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself.

The worst part about having to see these billboards is that I’m a guy.

I know that line of reasoning doesn’t necessarily mean anything to you right now, but think of it this way:

Would it be morally correct for me to make someone else’s decisions for them? What if that decision could potentially change someone’s life?

The answer should be no. For me, the answer is no. I would never think to make decisions for someone, especially of a serious nature. So, how would it be different if I were restricting another person’s options?

It is with this line of reasoning that allows me to say, with great pride and fervor, that I am pro-choice, because I’ll never have to make that decision, even if I do happen to get a woman pregnant. That decision should always fall on the one who will be carrying the child.

However, I think I’ve made myself clear: I am definitely anti-huge-billboards-of-aborted-fetuses.

Brian Lancaster is a senior English major. His column usually appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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Panic over stock drop short-sighted

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Sep 292008
Authors: Ian Bezek

There has been a surge of illogical fear and widespread panic regarding Monday’s stock market decline. Despite the apocalyptic noise emanating from certain newspapers and TV stations, the market’s decline is not a catastrophe.

Yes, a fall of 777 Dow points is not good, of course, but let’s take a closer look at what happened before declaring that the world is ending. Last week, the stock market was falling sharply as banks were failing and economic indicators suggested that a recession had begun.

The government announced that it was going to do something, anything, to try to prop things up. The result: a bill giving Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson dictatorial powers to spend a $700 billion blank check. The market, getting its fix of government assistance, catapulted higher.

However, once Congress looked at the bill, it wisely voted it down; while cosmetic changes were made to the bill, you can’t put lipstick on a pig – this bailout was still a travesty.

The market was already dropping sharply this morning before the bailout was voted on, trying to scare the Congress into voting for the bill. As soon as the bailout was defeated, the Wall Street elites threw a temper tantrum and starting selling stocks furiously.

We, the taxpayers, won a clear victory Monday. Instead of giving away $700 billion of our tax dollars to the rich, we kept them for ourselves. Who suffered? The rich who have been sucking the financial system dry with their manipulations for years.

The media, sadly, is filled with people who feel sympathy for fat cats who won’t be able to buy a bigger yacht for next summer’s sailing season. The media is trying to make this look like a defeat for everyday Americans, even though the vast majority of stock is owned by the extremely rich.

I don’t hate rich people, but it is deeply immoral that they feel entitled to steal our tax dollars to prop up the value of their stocks. The wealthy Americans who made bad investing decisions have no right to foist the tab on us; we live in a capitalist society, if you invest in a dud, you lose.

The people who pushed this bailout want to have a nation where they get to keep profits but socialize their losses onto us.

The proponents have thrown out a red herring that this bailout would actually have saved the economy. This is so ludicrous as to hardly be worth refuting; the rich hoped you would be gullible enough to gladly give them your tax money without a fight.

The bailout would have covered less than five percent of the nation’s debt, and it wouldn’t have saved any of the struggling banks. The banks that are struggling made lousy loans and were terribly run businesses; capitalism kills the weak.

We have plenty of banks in America, while losing Washington Mutual and Wachovia is scary, in the long run, it is irrelevant.

Stocks will go up and stocks will go down, giving Wall Street’s elite a trillion dollars every time stocks drop is a good recipe for bankrupting the government.

One of the biggest shills for this bailout, Warren Buffet, suffered greatly yesterday. His company, Berkshire and Hathaway, made a misguided bet on our currency to plummet and on American stocks to rise. Instead, stocks fell and the dollar gained value; his lobbying had fallen on deaf ears.

He tried to intimidate Congress — threatening them by saying Congress would cause an “economic pearl harbor,” should they fail to act. Time to grow up, Warren, the sun still rose this morning, the banks are still open and our ATM’s still work. America doesn’t need to launch a war on her taxpayers just because your foolish bets cost you dearly.

Ian Bezek is a junior economics major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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Our View – Academics should come before admin

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Sep 292008

It’s official — more money is being spent at CSU on administration than is being spent on all the academic colleges combined.

Currently, the budgets of the president and the provost top out at about $130.1 million — a 62 percent increase since Penley’s arrival in 2003. And that’s just the budget summary for the president and VPs.

During the same time period, CSU has seen only a 32 percent increase in funds for the academic colleges and the Library, hitting $143.5 million this year.

All the while state funds have increased slowly while students have seen painful tuition and fee increases to the tune of 52 and 73 percent respectively, which begs the question: What exactly are we paying for?

According to Tony Frank, provost and senior executive vice president, the flow of tuition and state money into administration benefits students by providing services like electronic registration through RamWeb, financial aid for poor students and more police (like Fort Collins could possibly hold any more police officers).

Now, while many of these programs are essential, instruction should take precedence. But sadly, this has not been the case.

Following 2001, the university saw a substantial dip in the number of tenure and tenure-track faculty and, conversely, an increase in the number of adjunct faculty and graduate students leading classrooms, until Penley’s announcement this year in his “State of the University” address of the addition 90 new tenure-track faculty positions.

This is a step in the right direction, but it’s clear that more resources need to be devoted to improving our academic colleges. Penley and Co. ought to consider this before inflating their budgets any further.

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Sep 292008

I think Glover 130 needs to be renamed to Swamp Ass Central …130.

In response to the “Are you thinking green?” poster in the entry of the LSC … were you thinking green when you put it up with 12 florescent lights behind it?

So usually I’ll get really frustrated with my classes and joke to my fellow science nerds that I’m going to switch my major to Speech Comm. So I wonder, what do Speech Comm majors do when they get frustrated with their classes?

Future CSU student tour dialogue: “Here we have the Oval, here, LSC, oh! and here, 20′ tall posters of dead fetuses! SEE YOU THIS FALL!!!”

To the girl that was standing in the MIDDLE of Jim’s Wings parking lot yesterday, how do you not hear my huge diesel truck? Next time you yell at me to watch where I’m going, realize who the idiot was here

To the guy who wrote “feminists suck” on the sidewalk: Don’t build yourself up, arrogant men suck just as much.

We get it, the plasma TVs at Bagel Place are unnecessary. And they can make more than one pizza bagel at a time, but that doesn’t make them any less annoying to make!

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Construction delayed by Ritter’s temporary freeze on state money

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Sep 292008
Authors: Madeline Novey

The renovation of the Clark building C-wing is delayed after Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter temporarily froze state-funded capital construction at Colorado higher education campuses Thursday.

University officials said the freeze, a precautionary decision made by the governor in response to the current economic crisis, affected only the Clark renovation construction project.

Other campus construction projects, supported largely by the sale of university bonds, the student facilities fee and private donations, will not be affected.

“We are probably the least impacted of any school in the state as far as projects,” said Brian Chase, director of Facilities Management. “We are very lucky.”

Chase said that only $2 million of the $6 million in state contributions to the project are frozen. The remaining $4 million in state-funded money invested in the project cannot be withdrawn by the state.

The total cost of the renovations is $8 million. When a student facilities fee of $2 million was allotted to the project, the state added to the contribution and gave CSU $6 million.

The heating and ventilation, air conditioning and electrical systems in the C-wing were to be upgraded using the state money, Chase said.

“We are continuing with the design and starting with the rest of the construction this summer,” Chase said. “As far as the changes that students will see, renovations to the classrooms and such will continue as planned.”

CSU spokesperson Brad Bohlander said that the state “significantly dropped their funding to higher education across the board” six years ago, and university officials were not surprised by the decision.

“It’s certainly understandable, looking at the world’s economic situation at this time,” Bohlander said.

Concerning the university’s response to future cuts in state funding, Bohlander said, “We are always keeping an eye on the financial situation and are prepared to act accordingly.”

“All the projects that [students] see on the campus will move forward as planned,” Bohlander said. He said that the change will not cause great upset, because students and the administration have taken “responsibility of [the] university.”

“The students of CSU, in particular, deserve recognition for their extraordinary leadership in funding student-focused building projects through the fee they approved several years ago,” said CSU President Larry Penley in an e-mail sent to students Friday.

On a video recording of his speech from, Ritter said he “thought the Colorado economy was just fine” until he heard presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama address the growing national economic crisis on Wednesday.

“We believe we must be prudent, and we must be thoughtful in our planning,” Ritter said. “We must take steps now to ensure we have options should state revenues begin to dramatically decline.”

Financial experts at CSU said they agreed with Ritter’s justifications.

“Forward-looking action was probably the best decision that the governor’s office could have made,” said Vickie Bajtelsmit, department chair and professor of finance in the Finance and Real Estate department in the College of Business. “They’re pretty good at estimating the current economic state, and making cuts ahead of time is a better way of anticipating a budget shortfall.”

In light of the situation, Chase said that the construction projects on campus, despite the growing national economic crisis, will help to foster positive development of the local economy.

“The good part is, we’re creating a lot of jobs here in Fort Collins because of the construction projects,” Chase said. “It’s a real boost to the economy of Fort Collins.”

Staff writer Madeline Novey can be reached at

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CSU steps closer to wind farm development

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Sep 292008
Authors: Johnny Hart

Larimer County approved regulations last week that will allow CSU to begin the application process to build a wind farm north of Fort Collins to keep up with the university’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2020.

The farm, dubbed the Green Power Project, will eventually reside on university-owned Maxwell Ranch, a 9,000-acre lot located on the Colorado-Wyoming border.

University utilization of the site could afford undergraduate and graduate students research opportunities in biology, engineering and social science, said Bill Farland, senior vice president for research at CSU.

“We will use this for wind research along with energy production,” Farland said.

Farland also said the university and other consumers would be able to negotiate “power purchase agreements” through their energy company to receive wind power.

CSU acquired the farm in the 1970s after the Maxwell family donated it to the university, but previous to this year, the site was only used for research.

In March, the university announced its intentions to turn the ranch into a wind-powered energy system.

Before the university’s plans could get underway, Wind Holding, the corporation CSU contracted to operate the wind farm, needed to “determine the amount and velocity of wind on the property as well as biological impacts,” according to the project’s Web site.

Last week, the Larimer County Planning Commission unanimously recommended that new regulations for the proceeding of large energy projects be implemented, meaning that proposed energy projects will now have set guidelines to help proponents put plans into action.

If the recommendations are approved, CSU will be able to apply for permits to meet zoning and regulation requirements that will allow them to begin work on the goal of redeveloping the farm.

“We are very active in sustainable practices. This will be part of our sustainability package,” Farland said.

CSU will lease the wind farm from Wind Holding and could be an investor in the construction phase.

Jon Little, marketing and community relations manager for Platte River Power Authority, said wind farms have two advantages: reduced emissions and endless supply.

The drawback for PRPA is that, because they need back up energy sources, it’s more expensive for the company to operate wind turbines.

“At the present time, it’s more expensive,” Little said. “It’s cheaper to erect a wind farm, but (you) can’t compare it with a ‘firm source’ (a backup power plant) because the wind doesn’t blow all the time.”

Eric Sutherland, a Fort Collins resident who is critical of green initiatives such as Maxwell Ranch, said CSU is not being transparent with their plan, questioning, “Who (is CSU) going to sell the power to?”

“It’s not easy being green,” Sutherland said. “It’s f***ing hard.”

Sutherland said renewable energy subsidies are set to expire at the end of this year, and he questions whether CSU will be truly committed if they indeed do.

“The long and short of it is that (renewable energy programs) are heavily subsidized, and those subsidies are set to expire,” Sutherland said.

Farland said many developers are wary because tax incentives are renegotiated yearly, but CSU will remain committed.

“I think there is a strong sense that the tax incentive will be renewed for at least the next year,” Farland said.

Senior Reporter Johnny Hart can be reached at

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Amid overhaul, key CSU auditors departed

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Sep 292008
Authors: Aaron Hedge, J. David McSwane

As CSU President Larry Penley launched an overhaul of administration — drastically boosting high-level administrative budgets and salaries — four top-level financial overseers departed the university because of disputes with the president’s financial philosophy, sources said.

On the same day — April 30, 2007 — two auditors and an Athletics business manager left the school, accepted large monetary incentives totaling almost a quarter of a million dollars and signed confidentiality agreements requiring them to keep quiet about any arguments they may have had with CSU.

Another auditor left earlier that spring and did not sign a confidentiality agreement.

Several sources say the men were “forced out” of their positions over disagreements with the Penley administration, which included:

An audit report that showed university departments incorrectly approved liquor purchases that “appeared to be excessive” as official university functions.

A sharp increase of administrative budgets, while the academic colleges and library saw a much slower growth.

A substantial influx of highly paid top-level administrators.

Penley’s focus on bringing in research dollars, namely for the branded “Superclusters” concepts, which reports show swallow money that could be used for the financially starving academic colleges.

Brad Bohlander, CSU’s chief spokesperson, said the men never voiced any grievances and that the men left the university on good terms.

Rich Tusa, the former chief auditor for the CSU System; Keith Ickes, the former vice president for Administrative Services; and Phil Goldstein, the former business manager for the Athletic Department all signed agreements.

Tusa’s compensation for signing the agreement was nearly $115,000, Goldstein received more than $70,000 and Ickes was paid $50,000, according to copies of the separation contracts obtained by the Collegian.

The confidentiality agreements are not a result of any previous employment contracts, which are only drafted for high profile positions like the president, the athletic directors and coaches.

The contracts required the departing employees to not “disparage CSU” or “disclose the nature of any disagreements with CSU.”

The fourth man, Edwin Ruotsinoja, the former controller of the CSU system, was the only man who did not sign an agreement.

Bohlander said such agreements are standard university procedure for personnel who hold sensitive information about the university, adding that any change in executive leadership leads to substantial changes in personnel.

But Ruotsinoja, the former controller of the CSU system, said he and the other men were “forced out” under pressure from the administration, which, he said, was unhappy with the financial oversight they provided.

Half a dozen sources, most of whom worked closely with the auditors, corroborated Ruotsinoja’s story but spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid potential backlash from the university.

Bohlander, however, said it was “purely coincidental” that all three men left on the same day and that their departures were all for different reasons.

None of the men were under pressure to leave the university, he said, adding that he couldn’t discuss the nature of the departures because state law that forbids university officials from discussing personnel matters.

The departures occurred as CSU began fighting to enter the national spotlight by bringing in loads of research grants and marketing for Penley’s “green university” campaign.

During this same time, the budgets of the president and vice presidents have increased by 62 percent since 2003, and the academic colleges and the library have seen much less financial support, a 32 percent increase since 2003, according to annual university budget reports.



Tusa, the former chief auditor for the CSU system, in June 2005 performed an audit that reported purchases for liquor by university departments that “in many instances the use appeared to be excessive.”

The audit also reported a number of financial transactions by departments that “were not adequately documented . were not considered prudent or reasonable.”

Of the test sample, which included 207 transactions out of more than 15,000, Tusa determined 178 of them prudent, but only after extensive interviews with official function representatives, who are charged with approving or denying the expenditures, according to the audit report.

The 29 that were declared inappropriate included $864 on furniture for a faculty lounge, which didn’t qualify as an official function, and $745 on alcohol — which was determined as an excessive amount — for a sponsored banquet that served 30 people.

The audit made several recommendations to the president’s office to better track official functions spending and curb the “excessive” spending on liquor. The university, in the audit, agreed with the recommendations.

Tusa, who signed a confidentiality agreement, said he left on good terms with administration.

But Ruotsinoja said Tusa departed under arguments with the president about the spending shifts to fund Penley’s research initiatives and expenditures of university funds on parties for alumni and donors, which the university classifies as “official functions.”

Ruotsinoja said that during Penley’s tenure at CSU, the administration regularly isolated upper-level management employees from their duties. He left CSU in favor of a position as the controller of the University of Wisconsin.

“(Penley) was dissatisfied with all the financial people,” Ruotsinoja said. “We were being left in the dark. . It wasn’t really the type of institution I wanted to work for.”

A contentious


When the Collegian contacted Ickes and Goldstein for comment, they declined. And Ickes said, “I have separated myself from the university, and I don’t want to talk about it.”

Ruotsinoja said Ickes was fired “out of the blue” without explanation. In mid to late August 2006, Ruotsinoja said he received a call from Ickes, who told him that CSU Provost Tony Frank had walked into his office that day and ordered him to pack his things and leave the office.

“Tony Frank walked into his office and said, ‘We want you out of here by the end of the day,'” Ruotsinoja said. “I was just in my office, and Keith called and said he wasn’t going to be working there anymore.”

Frank, effectively the second-highest official under Penley, deferred comment to Bohlander, who vehemently denied the claim that Ickes was fired.

Bohlander said Ruotsinoja’s allegations are “completely inaccurate,” and that the men left on good terms with the president’s office.

“Sometimes things just don’t work out,” he said.

As the vice president for Administrative Services, Ickes was charged with oversight of financial and administrative operations.

Before he was promoted to a vice presidential position in 2005, he had served as a financial administrator for CSU for nearly 19 years.

And Ruotsinoja, who had reported to Ickes as the CSU System controller for eight years, said Ickes was apprehensive about the university’s focus on bringing research funding because a number of university reports show that heavy reliance on research grants can strain academia.

Ruotsinoja said Ickes was especially skeptical of CSU’s “Superclusters” project, which is a technology transfer program that injects university research into the marketplace in hopes of bringing patent royalties to CSU.

A previous Collegian investigation found that technology transfers like Superclusters, over the last decade have kicked back to the university a total of $9.4 million — a figure dwarfed by hundreds of millions of tuition and state dollars that are invested in research and marketing for the concepts. The increased focus on research was included as a part of a five-year comprehensive plan by the president, called stretch goals, in 2007.

“Keith was kind of flummoxed by the question of ‘how are we going to use those as an asset?'” Ruotsinoja said. “Penley got (approval) from the (CSU System Board of Governors) to go ahead and aggressively move toward these stretch goals. . Keith and I were of the same mind that these goals would hurt CSU.”

Accounts from former employees who worked closely with Ickes and Tusa say the four men who left showed perfect competence in each of their jobs.

“I was very surprised when I heard that they were terminated,” said Gerry Bomotti, the former vice president for Administrative Services. “(They are) four people who are top notch in the area of competence.”

Bomotti had been at CSU for 11 years, 10 of them under Penley’s predecessor Al Yates, but left a year after Penley took the president’s office. He had worked closely with Ickes, Tusa and Ruotsinoja. Ickes replaced Bomotti when he left to take a position at the University of Nevada in 2005.

Don Hamstra, a former chair of the CSU Board of Governors, echoed Bomotti’s statements, saying that he held each of the men “in the highest regard.”

Most of the records referenced in this story are public record and can be found at

News Managing Editor Aaron Hedge and Enterprise Editor J. David McSwane can be reached at

Community members meet to discuss 18 ballot initiatives

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Sep 292008
Authors: Trevor Simonton

Democratic State Representatives John Kefalas and Randy Fischer joined a room packed with about 60 people at the Coloradoan’s Community Room Monday night to listen to and inform Fort Collins residents on one of the longest ballots in Colorado history.

The audience was made up of amendment campaign leaders, union leaders, business representatives, local voters and a handful of students there to discuss the 18 ballot initiatives with Kefalas and Fischer, who acted as moderators.

It was important that the representatives meet with Fort Collins locals to inform them of the ballot issues, because, Kefalas said, students will have a huge impact in determining the outcome of those issues this November.

“Students are a force to be reckoned with,” Kefalas. “These ballot measures are going to impact Colorado, and students will have a big impact on that.”

Kefalas said that he hopes students pay special attention to Amendment 58, because if passed, it will increase access to higher education in Colorado.

Most of the audience stayed for the full two hours of dialogue.

“I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never been to anything like this before. I was just curious,” said Julie Aseltine, a junior at CSU studying environmental communications. Aseltine said she got an automated phone call from Kefalas that told her about the meeting.

Lara Adamson, Aseltine’s roommate and a campus feminist alliance member, agreed.

“It was incredible,” she said. “I didn’t know the ballot was so long.”

On the issues important to her, she said, “Definitely vote no on 48. It’s so ridiculous. It’s possibly the worst thing that could happen to women.”

Senior Reporter Trevor Simonton can be reached at

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