Jan 192012
 
Authors: Sarah Fenton

Early next week the Associated Students of CSU will release a comprehensive accountability report outlining the first six months of the Eric Berlinberg and Rachel Roberson administration.

“This is the beginning of what I think is a significant change in how we share information, in how we communicate with the general student body,” Berlinberg said.

According to him, this is the first time a report like this will be issued in the history of ASCSU.
“When it started, I was trying to figure out how do I compile all the awesome accomplishments of cabinet members that work so tirelessly to serve the students on campus into one comprehensive document,” Berlinberg said.

While the report is extensive including information about the ASCSU organization, staff members, finances, student fees and major initiatives from last semester, it came about almost by accident.
“I started listing them (initiatives) out and I realized it was taking a while. I figured, wow this is a really cool document,” Berlinberg said. “I thought why do we have to limit it to initiatives, let’s include other stuff. “

The report itself describes the larger ASCSU initiatives that are either complete or in progress, all of which add up to more than 60. Included in the 60 initiatives outlined in the document are the 44 of Berlinberg and Roberson’s campaign promises.

According to Berlinberg, he has completed about three-quarters of them in the last six months.
“The beauty of it is that there is still five months left, leaving plenty of time to achieve much, much more,” Berlinberg said. “I am confident that students will be impressed with the progress of their student representatives during the first half of the year.”

Although Berlinberg and Director of Governmental Affairs Chase Eckerdt both feel that the last six months have been successful, they confirm that the ASCSU Executive Office will be working to improve communication in two different areas. The first area of improvement, according to Berlinberg, is external communication between ASCSU and the student body.

“It is good for students to see what their representatives are working on,” he said.
The second area of communication improvement is between members and committees of ASCSU including each of the three branches: legislative, executive and judicial.

Berlinberg believes that the increased communication throughout ASCSU and the student body will become an important aspect of the remaining five months he will be in office.

Along with this expectation, Berlinberg made it clear that ASCSU will not slow down during those upcoming five months despite the recent resignations that occurred over break.

“We are by no means done,” Berlinberg said. “I will guarantee, right now that our administration will not become a lame duck like previous years have. We get 12 months for a reason and we are going to use all 12.”

As for right now ASCSU will be characterized with what Berlinberg describes as “the voice of the students” approach. According to him the stronger tie between the executive office and senate will enhance this strategy not only on campus but also at the state capital.

“The big thing for us looking forward is how do we influence higher education policy at the state level and what bills are going to affect CSU,” Eckerdt said.

In addition to this, Roberson sees her role this semester as being heavily invested in budgetary issues and how those issues impact students.

“I know student fees are a really big portion of my position and so that communication piece with the student body is going to be huge,” Roberson said.

Berlinberg anticipates this new level of communication to continue beyond his presidency. His hope is that the Accountability Report will be used as a template by future administrations.

The Accountability Report will be accessible to all community members at that time.

ASCSU Beat Reporter Sarah Fenton can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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