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
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
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
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.