The Associated Students of Colorado, ASC, conducted its first meeting this weekend in Denver, using the opportunity to discuss controversial issues such as the lack of funding for higher education.
The ASC was founded in 2007 to bring together students from all colleges and universities across Colorado to work together toward issues affecting higher education.
CSU is just one of the universities that attended the conference but was also one of the most prominent with nine students in attendance, most of them from the Associated Students of CSU.
The conference covered two days, the first of which was spent with guest speakers Kim Poast and Rico Munn from Colorado’s Department of Higher Education.
Munn and Poast discussed the future of higher education in Colorado, one that looks dismal at best. There is only $555 million allotted for the state to spend on higher education next year.
When it comes to tax payer dollars for higher education Colorado is ranked 49th in the state, and only three cents of every tax dollar goes toward funding for higher education, Poast said.
Gov. Bill Ritter commissioned the Higher Education Strategic Planning Committee to look for solutions to the funding problem, and ASC has elected one student to sit on the committee. Josh Diller, policy director of ASC, was elected to sit on the committee that will start meeting at the end of the month.
ASCSU members were excited about having an ASC member on the board and hope that good will come from the committee.
“We support trying to find new mechanisms to fund higher education,” said Matt Strauch, director of Legislative Affairs ASCSU.
Along with supporting finding new ways to fund higher education, ASC also voted to oppose Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101, three perspective laws that would destroy public higher education.
The amendments would reduce property taxes and make it next to impossible for the government to obtain a loan, while the proposition would reduce vehicle taxes to $10 a vehicle.
ASCSU members Justin Safady and Keegan Schultz presented the proposition of opposing the referendums and urged the ASC to take a stance.
“If we’re gonna come out strong we need to take a stance on something that would drastically affect higher education,” Safady said.
ASCSU declared its opposition over a week ago at one of their Senate meetings and are trying to reach out to students and educate them on the repercussions the referendums would have if they pass in the November election.
ASC will continue to meet over the course of the year and look for initiatives in higher education.
ASCSU Beat Reporter Jordyn Dahl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.