Mar 042004
 
Authors: Taylour Nelson

Since its inception in 1917, the Associated Students of CSU has

been a central voice for students, carrying student opinions and

concerns to the administration at CSU and the legislature in

Denver.

Through the years, many legislative bills have passed and CSU

voices have been heard in the senate chambers.

This year ASCSU started the volunteer-based RamRide program and

facilitated the San Francisco Ram Road Trip.

“We also worked hard at getting rid of first year seminars,”

said Jesse Lauchner, ASCSU president. “We told Dr. Penley it was an

issue for students and (the class was) not needed.”

In December, the first year seminars were officially eliminated

from the core curriculum.

Resolutions, or a way ASCSU makes suggestions to the university,

were passed this year, including the standardization of the

plus/minus grading system and the requirement of bike helmets on

campus.

Although ASCSU has no real authority on the bills and

resolutions it passes, certain issues that affect the student body

create an opportunity for ASCSU to take charge.

Denver Police

In 1999, the Denver Police Department tear-gassed CSU fans at

the Rocky Mountain Showdown football game. ASCSU reacted by

demanding a formal apology from the Denver Police Department and a

review of their policy and procedures.

In the days following the incident, the student government set

up phones and phone numbers in the Lory Student Center Plaza for

students to call and complain to the Denver Police Department. The

huge number of callers jammed the phone lines that week.

KCSU

Before it was the student-run radio station it is today, KCSU

was a professional public broadcast. In 1994, ASCSU passed a

resolution that supported a student-run station, citing surveys

showing students were interested in a student-managed station. This

caught the attention of the vice president for student affairs, who

helped place the station in students’ hands.

A voice on the board of governors

With the authority to speak on behalf of the student body, the

ASCSU president sits on the board of governors at CSU, but has no

vote. When issues that affect students are discussed, the ASCSU

president is the person the board will turn to for input.

Dave McKelfresh, former ASCSU president in the 1973-74, was the

first president to sit on the board, which was called the State

Board of Agriculture at the time.

“They passed a legislative bill putting a student on the State

Board of Agriculture the summer before my term,” McKelfresh said.

“I was there to represent student perceptions and provide a student

voice. Before that, there was no student or faculty

representation.” McKelfresh, now the director of staff training and

support at housing and food services, said tuition, fees and

parking on campus were the main issues ASCSU dealt with when he was

president.

‘It’s 30 years later and we’re still dealing with these issues

as major concerns on campus,” Mckelfresh said.

Legislative voice for students

During the 2002-2003 school year ASCSU President Dave Bower and

Vice President Jessica Chavez created a coalition to lobby on

behalf of students in the Colorado state legislature.

“We gathered information from various departments and students

on campus that the legislature would have an effect on, and we took

that down to the capitol” Bower said.

“We wanted to be very respectful, organized and educated,” he

said.

Bower said the students who want to voice their concerns about

CSU, have an organization to turn to for support.

“ASCSU is the spokesperson for that voice.”

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