Hello CSU students. My name is Eric Berlinberg, and I am the deputy chief of staff for the Associated Students of CSU.
I want to extend a hello and welcome the freshmen and transfer students this year. The Associated Students of Colorado State University, your student government on campus, plays an integral role in each studentâ€™s day-to-day life at CSU.
Often, however, I feel as though the average student does not know the extent that your student government goes to voice your individual opinion in a wide variety of student issues on campus. In addition to representation, ASCSUâ€™s reach extends from spots on countless university committees, the annual student fee package proposal to the CSU System Board of Governors, programming, services and events.
Last academic year, I served as ASCSUâ€™s director of RamRide and, to my astonishment, a large amount of students had no idea that ASCSU provides RamRide to the student body. RamRide, founded in 2003, was an idea brought by forth by a newly elected ASCSU president and vice president.
The program is one to be praised, as a small number of dedicated individuals spend countless hours handling the administrative duties that go along with running a nearly $100,000 budget program. With over 1,200 student volunteers each semester, RamRide transported over 23,000 people last academic year alone.
RamRide, the second largest safe ride program in the nation, affects a large number of students in their week-to-week life here at CSU, and I think it is important to recognize that ASCSU provides this service to you and how it came about.
RamRide was an idea that a student had for a program that could fill a need on campus, serving a mass amount of students, catering to their needs as individuals.
That is what ASCSU does. We strive to get as many individuals as possible to the table, hear their ideas and opinions and provide the necessary resources to do whatever we can to implement them.
This year, under the direction of ASCSU President Cooper Anderson and Vice President Jennifer Babos, the Executive Cabinet of ASCSU has a lot of new ideas in the works. You will see some changes from ASCSU, both in service and representation, as well as in transparency and communication.
RamRide is increasing car numbers, making your wait time lower.
The diversity and outreach department has a lot of new ideas in how to include all the voices from the student diversity and studies offices across campus, attending their office meetings regularly and sharing ASCSU news with them.
The community affairs department has big plans for the Fort Collins City Council and plans to represent studentsâ€™ voice in city politics.
There is a new department, Rams Against Interpersonal Violence, RAIV, dedicated to providing a connecting resource on campus for victims of interpersonal violence.
I personally am arranging to stand on the Plaza multiple times throughout the semester, asking students if there is anything ASCSU can do that we arenâ€™t doing right now. I want to get those voices that would not normally be heard through College Councils, the Senate or the Cabinet to see if they have any new ideas like a RamRide or RAIV-style idea. Without ASCSU going out and seeking these voices, we wonâ€™t get these ideas to the table, ultimately missing out on opportunities that could directly benefit a large portion of the student population.
So, CSU, keep an eye out for what we are up to this year. ASCSU has a lot of big things planned, and we hope to gain your respect as your governing body through better representation, new programs and more readily available services.
I canâ€™t express enough how excited I am for the big things to come, and hopefully we can prove ourselves to you this year. If you have any suggestions/comments for us, donâ€™t be afraid to stop by our office in the Lory Student Center and let us know. We exist to represent all of you.
Eric Berlinberg is the deputy chief of staff for ASCSU. His column appears periodically in the Collegian on Tuesdays. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.