Mar 052008
 
Authors: Aaron Hedge

Student leaders from across campus addressed student government Wednesday night to express frustration with a lack of communication between student organizations that lead to detrimental effects on the organization’s ability to execute their goals, which includes increasing awareness among the student population.

The Associated Students of CSU organized the forum to address issues that senators said are causing a disjointed atmosphere in the web of student organizations at CSU — which numbers over 300.

Some of the student leaders said that ASCSU, while willing to cut checks to sponsor events and support causes affecting the organizations, doesn’t fully support the organizations’ efforts to increase awareness of special interests because the signing of the check is generally the last they hear from student government.

Marlon Blake, president of Black Definition, a group devoted to expressing the views of the black community at CSU that organized more than $40,000 worth of awareness events during Black History Month, said he was grateful for the money that ASCSU donated, but that it is critically important for student government representatives to actually show up to the event.

“I think that one thing ASCSU can do is say, ‘don’t just put our name on the poster and you’re cool.'” Blake said. “Yeah, you gave us the money, (but) there’s no real collaboration.”

ASCSU Sen. Taylor Smoot, who organized the forum, echoed Blake’s sentiment, saying that when an organization donates money to a cause, it is then their responsibility to put further effort toward the cause they are promoting.

“If you really want to support people, it’s not just about writing a check,” he said. “The administration should show up and take the front row.”

Smoot said the current system is broken and needs more communication, or it will go stagnate.

“With outreach, it’s just a good old boy’s club,” he said.

Another concern voiced during the meeting was that there seems to be no feasible forum for student organizations to network with each other.

But Student Leadership Involvement and Community Engagement officials said there are plenty of resources available through their offices that are underutilized.

Deanna Leone, the program coordinator for SLiCE, said some of the older organizations make good use of the resources available, such as grants and online forums to organize efforts.

But the newer organizations, led by students who are less familiar with the university, don’t utilize SLiCE’s office on a regular basis, she said.

“I do think that there are newer organizations that aren’t familiar with us,” she said.

Blake Gibson, president of the Associated Students of Colorado, said students need to have a common goal to work together.

“We can be like, ‘here’s what you’re doing, here’s what we’re doing,’ let’s go to lunch, instead of saying this is what we all want,” he said. “(But) one tree does not make a forest.”

News Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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