Brought to you by ASCSU

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Mar 282004
 
Authors: Christopher Ortiz

About this time last year, I was sitting in a committee meeting

at the state capitol. The committee was debating about a proposed

voucher bill that would completely reverse how CSU received funding

from the state.

I was a reporter for the Collegian then, sitting in a stuffy,

hot building that felt more like a middle school classroom than a

room where laws were decided on. A number of university presidents,

including then-CSU President Albert Yates, spoke before the

committee either in favor of or opposing the bill.

After about three hours of sitting in this building, waiting for

the speakers list to be exhausted, a student spoke to the

committee. This student, from CSU, voiced his concerns about the

bill. About the bill’s 140-credit cap that would make some students

ineligible for in-state tuition, about CSU losing its own authority

of raising tuition and mostly asking the committee to strongly

consider the implications the bill might have on the state’s higher

education.

This student drove to Denver, missed classes and was almost late

for a Pearl Jam concert so he could speak on behalf of CSU

students. Dave Bower cared a lot about CSU and wanted to leave

school knowing he did his best to improve student life to the best

of his ability, and that was why Bower was a great Associated

Students of CSU president.

Three years ago, CSU belonged to the Colorado Student

Association, a lobbying organization representing Colorado

universities. ASCSU decided to leave CSA because it was becoming

too costly and too disorganized, but to maintain CSU student

representation at the capitol, ASCSU last year hired a lobbyist to

help lobby against continuing budget cuts and other higher

educational disasters. Without ASCSU, students couldn’t muster up

enough efforts to have a lobbyist in Denver.

Last Monday, I wrote a column about the absence of power ASCSU

has. The point of the column wasn’t to say ASCSU was powerless and

thus worthless, it was a caution to candidates to not make promises

they can’t keep.

True, ASCSU doesn’t have power of things such as parking,

curriculum, policies or the ability to remove those eyesore pigeon

holes that plague the Clark Building and the Lory Student Center –

trust me they have tried but failed.

Last fall, I had to take physical geology to fulfill a science

requirement. Long story short, I ended up failing the class (funny

because I came to CSU initially majoring in geology and I had a

geology internship at the University of Wyoming). Some might say I

failed the class because it was at 8 a.m., if you asked me I failed

because of a girl – but that is neither here or there.

I am able to take geology again because of a magic policy called

Repeat/Delete. Thousands of students’ GPAs have been saved because

of Repeat/Delete. Two years ago, ASCSU Director of Academics John

Markham worked with administration and faculty to create this

lifesaver.

ASCSU has avenues within their grasp to make a difference on

this campus. Ramride is a great example. Ram road trips are another

example (though an overkill in the use of Ram). So is Forever

Green.

If the students elect a motivated and dedicated person, he or

she would have the potential to do a lot.

He or she may not be able to fix parking on campus but he or she

may be able to work with the administration and help influence new

programs that would benefit students. The next ASCSU president may

not be able to lower tuition but he or she will be in the position

of working with the president and the state legislature to make

sure students’ interests are being considered.

A lot of students have benefited from ASCSU efforts, whether it

be participating in a road trip to a bowl game or getting a free

T-shirt to promote Rampride or getting a safe ride home after a

night of drinking.

To ensure ASCSU keeps doing these things, its important to vote

for the person who you think is capable of doing the best job.

Chris is the opinion editor of the Collegian. Chris, Dave and

John are all brothers of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.

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