If I were ASCSU president

Apr 072010
Authors: Wade McManus

The ballots are closed, and the tally is being counted. ASCSU elections are finally over. As the student body sighs in relief, and the candidates’ stomachs tie in knots, I can’t help but think about what I would change if I were president of ASCSU.

If I were president, I would make it my priority to improve the university and the lasting mark that it leaves on the Fort Collins community. If I were president, I would make it a priority to make our mass marketing scheme true. I would build on the spirit of the “Green University.”

The first item on my agenda would be to remove all soda, bottled water and vending machines from campus — that’s right, all of them. The benefits are simple and two-fold. First, it would dramatically reduce the eco-footprint that we the students are responsible for while attending CSU.

Plastic bottles and wrappers have a cumulative effect on our surrounding area. Hundreds, if not thousands, of bottles and wrappers are bought every day on campus.

Some of these make it into the recycling bin, but many more do not. Some end up in the trash, so it can fester in a trash dump with the rest of our mass waste for a couple of lifetimes, and others will end up in our streets, streams and rivers.

Bottled beverages take large amounts of water, often straight from the tap. They drain our water supply and inflate the price. Some literally sell public water back to us in a bottle, at hugely inflated prices of course.

It also takes large amounts of energy to produce and transport bottled drinks and junk food around the globe. We can do better for CSU, Fort Collins and the planet. Drink from the tap.

The second benefit is reducing the amount of junk food consumed on our campus. Face it — our country is fat and only growing larger. Nationally, around one in four people are clinically obese.

Fort Collins is the exception; the Gallop Poll recently recognized Fort Collins as the skinniest city in the country. This makes the perfect breeding ground to spread this concept to other schools and universities. The message we would send to others is straightforward.

Do you want your children and students to be healthy and fit like those at CSU? Quit eating and drinking the junk synthetic foods and preservatives you get from vending machines.

This leads to my second agenda point. I would reserve the entire LSC cafeteria for local restaurants. CSU can help keep money in Fort Collins, where it can filter through our community.

Carl’s Junior, Taco Bell and Panda Express? Gone, gone, all of it gone.

Instead, lets bring Avogadro’s sandwiches, La Luz’s burritos, and Hot Wok’s sesame chicken. Overall, I would wager, the ingredients are better and the food healthier.

My third agenda point resonates from my personal frustration that I imagine I share with many other CSU students. I propose banning the construction of new buildings on campus.

Before we break any more ground, and spend millions on new buildings, let’s spend millions to renew the ones we have.

I would propose a policy that deemed every building built before, say 1985, to be retrofitted and repaired before constructing any new buildings. Lets fix up the old to meet environmental and conservation standards. Simple improvements could save us energy, water, and in the end, a whole lot of money. Not to mention that we’d avoid more expensive and unsightly messes in our faces during a higher education budget crises.

My platform aims to improve the physical make-up of the university as well as its legitimacy as the “Green University.” And thinking local improves the city and the college experience. Can you hear it? McManus in 2011.

Wade McManus is a senior political science major. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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