In its effort to give CSU student presidents voting rights on the CSU System Board of Governors, student government leaders began the process of writing letters to state lawmakers, hoping to gain the support necessary to pass it in state House.
The bill, which was drafted by student government last semester, was introduced into state House last Monday and assigned to the House Education Committee.
It has not yet received a date for its hearing.
“I wrote 16 (letters) just while I was sitting back there,” said Taylor Smoot, student government president, in reference to his desk at the back of senate chambers.
At last Wednesday’s ASCSU senate meeting, Smoot urged members of the student government to influence Colorado lawmakers to pass the bill by writing as many letters to representatives as they could.
“It’s a great bill, and I strongly urge you to get everyone you know to write some. It doesn’t take very long,” he said to the Associated Students of CSU senate.
Currently, both student government presidents Smoot of ASCSU at CSU-Fort Collins and David Fresquez, the Associated Students’ Government president of Pueblo sit on the BOG but act as non-voting members.
The bill was drafted by ASCSU members in October and has since undergone several amendments by ASCSU and the BOG.
BOG spokesperson Michelle McKinney said the board wouldn’t make any comment about the bill except to say that its members are monitoring it at this point in the process.
Bill sponsor State Rep. Randy Fischer, D-Fort Collins, said in an interview with the Collegian that the latest date the bill can be heard by the House is Feb. 19. It will then have to go through a process involving seven hearings that must be completed by May 10.
Director of Legislative Affairs for ASCSU Seth Walter said that the soonest the bill could come into effect at CSU would be on July 1, when the next ASCSU president becomes a board member upon election.
“Now is a crucial time for students to have their voice heard on the Board of Governors,” Walter said, referring to the present, marked by current university-wide budget cuts and the hiring of a new president and chancellor at CSU.
“Those are things that are really going to have a big impact on the students. It’s a very necessary time for us to be at the table and have a vote so that we can influence whose going to be running our university over the next 10 years or so.”
ASCSU Beat Reporter Shelley Woll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.