Although few people realize it, big changes are happening in the halls of power at Colorado State University. Based on the outcome of this week’s Associated Students of Colorado State University meeting it has become evident that our student government will no longer be constrained to issues directly involving CSU students; the end of non-partisan politics has come.
Issues such as impending tuition hikes and the parking crisis were temporarily put aside so that ASCSU could voice its opinion on the Iraqi occupation. It is important to remember that although ASCSU represents the students, these same students also have representation at the local, state and national level. For example the Fort Collins City Council does an excellent job representing the residents of Fort Collins in terms of utilities, repairing roads, public transport etc. It does not offer advice on U.S. foreign relations with North Korea. For these reason candidates for election in city council do not have to voice opinions on North Korea, nor for any other issue in the realm of another representative body.
Until recently candidates for ASCSU had this same privilege.
On Wednesday, March 21 ASCSU passed Resolution #3619 opposing the escalation of troops in Iraq. For me this signaled the beginning of a new era for ASCSU. Although they had passed resolutions concerning the Vietnam War and Referendum I this resolution established a precedent for future legislation.
That said I believe that if our student voice desires to tackle these issues, so be it. However, as constituents we have a right to know how our representatives will vote on these very important issues. Therefore, before I choose my representative for ASCSU Senate and president I will need to know how they would vote, just as I do for candidates in state and national elections. What is his/her stance on stem cell research? Abortion? Gay marriage? Who will they endorse for U.S. president in 2008? If candidates find it easier to be endorsed by a political party this may simplify the process.
I don’t mean to attack ASCSU, but only to show them the path down which they are heading. I applaud their efforts to facilitate discussion and awareness, but there are much better forums such as political groups, sponsored debates or student organizations to do so. At the end of the day these groups discuss important political issues and they don’t end in a vote purported to represent the will of the students of CSU.