The Associated Students of CSU approved to pay for a pow-wow and other Native American Month events in November by passing a bill that allocated of $19,142.40 from the Student Funding Board to the CSU American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
Pow-wows are meetings of Native Americans to celebrate centuries of culture and spirituality.
Initially, members of the ASCSU Senate opposed the bill because of its high price, and some were concerned that the event expense was too high in comparison to the number of pow-wow attendants in past years.
However, after lengthy debate and consideration, the bill passed 15-2.
The money was allocated by the Student Funding Board, a financial board of ASCSU responsible for the allocation of $175,000 to student organizations for events they want to provide on campus.
Officials in AISES said that the goal of the all-day event is to promote diversity and awareness of the Native American population at CSU and educate people on the Native American culture.
AISES collaborated with Native American Student Services and the Native American Student Association to plan the pow-wow and a variety of events included under the umbrella of Native American Month.
The pow-wow, which will be held in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom on Nov. 1, will feature Young Bird, a Grammy-nominated drummer group from Oklahoma. Other drummers from Minnesota, Arizona and Colorado will perform.
The event will kickoff with a traditional Native American Gourd Dance that originated with the Kiowa tribe.
Last year, about 400 students, Fort Collins and Denver community members attended the event, compared with the 1,000 person-attendance that AISES estimated to attend this November.
AISES officials said that the event will bring people from Native American reservations in Wyoming, South Dakota and New Mexico. They also said that they were excited to bring the CSU, Fort Collins, Denver and reservation communities together.
“It’s actually a way for native people to come together,” said Aaron Benally, adviser of AISES.
“With that in mind, we want to bring CSU students, faculty and staff to come together to hear the music and see the culture.”
Other Native American Month events will include:
The Native American Month Kickoff on Oct. 31 in the LSC Plaza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A Native American artist exhibit in the LSC Art Lounge on Nov. 7.
A showing of the movie “Apocalypto,” which is about the decline of the Mayan kingdom, in the LSC Theater on Nov. 12.
Native American speakers will talk about the spread of AIDS on Native American reservations as a part of the speech series Women at Noon on Nov. 19.
“The pow-wow is a celebration that helps to remind people at CSU of the Native American presence on campus,” said Deidra Newbrough, treasurer of the AISES. “It’s a way to build new friendships, renew old friendships and not let the [Native American] culture die out.”
ASCSU voter education series
As part of ASCSU’s voter education campaign, Colorado Rep. John Kefalas, D-Larimer County, and his opponent Bob McCluskey spoke to ASCSU members and students about their political platforms and gave potential solutions to improve Colorado’s economic, academic and social health.
Kefalas, a CSU alumnus, and McCluskey said that they want to address issues that concern students with whom they “feel a strong connection to.”
Kefalas was the house sponsor on legislation, signed by the Gov. Bill Ritter in April, to reduce the cost of college textbooks.
Blake Gibson, president of the Associated Students of Colorado, wrote the textbook transparency bill.
After he talked to students on higher education campuses this week, Kefalas said the foremost issue in their minds is the rising cost of a college education.
“I think that students need a greater voice in what happens with increases in tuition and fees,” Kefalas said.
“We have to identify problems to identify solutions, and we all have to be part of the solution,” he said.
McCluskey said that he will work to improve health care, increase job creation in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado, and increase state funding to higher education campuses.
He said that he wants to motivate research on alternative fuels at places like CSU in order to lessen the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels.
Every week, various Colorado candidates are scheduled to speak at 6:30 p.m. during ASCSU Senate meetings on Wednesday nights.
Students are welcome to sit in the gallery in Senate chambers located in the LSC.
Senior Reporter Madeline Novey can be reached at email@example.com