Mar 082011
Authors: Jim Sojourner

Cooper Anderson thinks he’s smarter than you.

As the sitting Associated Students of CSU president, Anderson thinks he knows what’s best for you. He doesn’t care what you think. He doesn’t care if you’re struggling to pay your bills.

Cooper wants to raise your fees, and if you don’t like it, he’ll tell you to “just swallow it.”

Throughout his term, Anderson’s modus operandi has been to thumb his nose at the student body, to keep his underlings choked on a tight leash and to try to quash dissent and discontent.

And now, as a prime example of the deep disdain Cooper has for you, his staff and the entire student body, he’s going to jam a permanent student fee increase for sexual assault prevention and education down your throat –– like it or not.

The proposed fee increase threatens to yank another $3 out of students’ pockets at a time when many are already staring down the barrel of yet another double-digit percentage tuition increase. Tuition at CSU has more than doubled in the past 10 years, and many students could face an increase of more than 25 percent for next year.

On top of tuition, full-time students can already expect to pay more than $600 a semester next year, and in the parlance of our time: Fees is too damn high!

But in a Collegian article published today, Anderson argues that his proposed fee is a mere pittance. But much like economists argue that it’s stupid to raise taxes during a recession, taxing students extra fees during a recession –– especially one that’s coupled with mushrooming education costs –– is arrogant and doubly stupid.

Not to mention Anderson and Babos vowed not to raise fees during their campaign. Add “liar” to the list of Cooper’s attributes.

Maybe Cooper is too out of touch to notice that many students already struggle to pay the skyrocketing cost of education in Colorado and still make ends meet. Or maybe he just doesn’t care.

According to the Collegian article, high-ranking officials in Anderson’s administration think the fee increase is a terrible idea. One official said they joined the team because Anderson promised he wouldn’t raise student fees.

It’s heartening to know that there are at least a few individuals in ASCSU who care about the well-being of students more than their own pet projects and political ambitions, but the best intentions of those officials don’t matter because Cooper doesn’t care what they think, either.

In a cabinet meeting in September, Cooper told his administration if they didn’t like something, they had the choice to quit or “just swallow it.”

Much like Cooper thinks he’s smarter than you, Cooper thinks he’s smarter than his team of advisers, and today’s front-page story makes it clear that he’s not above firing any of them for trying to protect students against his fumbling, fee-raising arrogance.

Because if Cooper does care about anything, it’s fulfilling his campaign platforms at any cost. He’s a snorting racehorse with blinders, willing to trample anybody or anything that gets in the way of his single-minded dash to the finish line.

But good leaders aren’t snorting racehorses.

Good leaders don’t stick stubbornly to old campaign platforms; they react to their circumstances and adjust their priorities and promises to meet the changing needs of their constituents.

Good leaders keep in mind the effect their actions and decisions will have on the people they lead, and they listen to their advisers.

Good student leaders put students first, and good leaders are smart enough to know they’re not smarter than everyone else.

But Cooper isn’t a good leader. He’s a self-important, dishonest strongman, wielding his power the only way he knows how: stifling his critics and ignoring the students like you who should matter most.

Not that he cares, because Cooper thinks he’s smarter than you.

Managing Editor Jim Sojourner is a senior journalism major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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