Aug 262008
 
Authors: Madeline Novey

CSU’s student government is not like the student council you knew in high school — the one that decorated the gym for school dances and set up crazy shenanigans to make a simple pep-rally, an “epic” school spirited riot.

The Associated Students of CSU is responsible for making decisions that immediately affect the students of CSU and strengthen the campus community.

From student fee allocations to department advocacy and voter registration, ASCSU is accountable to the CSU student body.

Registering 10,000

ASCSU members and volunteers are out in full force on campus, clipboards and pens in hand, asking that all too familiar question, “Are you registered to vote?”

With the election nearly on our doorstep, the CSU Voter Coalition, a collection of student and administrative organizations, aims to register 10,000 students by the national deadline on Oct. 6.

Since June 1, ASCSU has registered 1,206 students, the main push coming from registration of freshman students attending Preview according to Katie Freudenthal, director of community affairs for ASCSU.

Five volunteers, including Freudenthal, worked the campus event the first week of August.

“We didn’t register as many people as we would have liked, but we got more practice and a lot of potential for more help,” Freudenthal said. “We set out a sheet to have people sign if they were interested in helping and now have a volunteer database with about 450 names.”

The Voter Coalition, created by members of ASCSU last spring, is made up of several student and administrative organizations that include:

Black Student Alliance

CSU Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council representing CSU Greeks

the Residence Hall Association

the University Advocacy Office

Courtney Sullivan, assistant director of communications for ASCSU and co-chair of the Voter Coalition, said that ASCSU will help member organizations incorporate voter registration into already-planned events.

The first official meeting of the coalition is scheduled for next Tuesday.

“Registering 10,000 students is not a goal that ASCSU can meet on its own,” Freudenthal said. “I hope that we can all come together and work for one cause.”

Topping the cake of democratic participation is the registration competition between the University of Colorado at Boulder and CSU at the Rocky Mountain Showdown Sunday at Invesco Field.

In addition, Voter Blitz, an event in which participating organizations “swarm” campus, will take place the week before the October deadline.

“Data shows that more people register in the last week before that Oct. 6 deadline, because it’s their last chance,” Freudenthal said.

Getting Involved

ASCSU encourages CSU students to get involved on campus by applying for positions in student government organizations.

Quinn Girrens, vice president of ASCSU, said the importance of getting involved in the CSU community was heavily stressed this summer at orientation and Ram Welcome.

Applications for the cabinet, senate, supreme court and the Student Fee Review Board are available at the ASCSU office.

“Involvement in student organizations is really about giving the university a chance to hear the voice of the students,” Girrens said. “By joining, your work benefits not only the current generation, but future students as well.”

More on the Agenda

As the campaign promised, Taylor Smoot, president of ASCSU, and Girrens obtained approval from the Student Fee Review Board to use $4,000 in student fees for the installation of bike racks outside the northwest corner of the Microbiology building.

Smoot said the bike racks were a necessity because of increased traffic through the lounge.

ASCSU projects also include:

A guarantee of $500 for up to 15 student organizations for constructing a float for the Homecoming parade

Work to build communication and transparency between the city and CSU

Improved communication with all university departments

“We think of everyone here as a Ram family,” Smoot said. “We are really excited, as this is one of the largest, most diverse groups to come through, and it is a privilege to serve them and the community of CSU.”

Staff Writer Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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