The 5,500 students who make up the CSU Global campus were granted two spots on the CSU System Board of Governors, increasing the 13-member group to 15.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the changes into law by passing off on House Bill 12-1220 on April 12.
â€œItâ€™s something that weâ€™ve wanted, and our president has really spent a lot of time lobbying at the Capitol for,â€ said Lauren Anuskewicz, the spokesperson for CSUâ€™s global campus. â€œ â€¦Since our students are older and nontraditional students, it really gives them a chance to have a voice in the CSU System and the global campus.â€
The institution is the first completely online public university. It was established in 2008 and gained independent accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission in 2011.
On average, its students are 36 years old, married and have a job, according to Anuskewicz.
â€œI thought it was an important bill to add credibility to CSU Global, which is a very important part of the CSU System, and to kind of break it off into its very own campus,â€ said Colo. State Rep. John Becker [Râ€“63], a CSU alumnus who sponsored the legislation.
His only critique of the bill is that the two spots it adds to the Board of Governors includes a non-voting student position. In the future, heâ€™d like to see one with more power.
And heâ€™s not alone. Chase Eckerdt, Associated Students of CSU director of Governmental Affairs, explained that student government administrations have tried to push lawmakers to support legislation granting a Board of Governors student with voting power.
The efforts have so far been unsuccessful and also draining.
â€œIt takes a lot of political capital to try and enact that piece of legislation,â€ he said.
But non-voting students still serve a role in the group. Eckerdt explained that they bring an understanding of their fellow studentsâ€™ wants and needs to the table that might otherwise be absent when important decisions are made.
â€œItâ€™s what ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg and CSUâ€“Pueblo student body president Isaiah McGregory do as non-voting members of the Board of Governors. And now, CSU Global can send a student representative, too.
â€œThatâ€™s an insight that we canâ€™t provide as students on the Fort Collins campus,â€ Eckerdt said.
But the institution didnâ€™t suffer during the four years it has been without such representation, said its president, Becky Takeda-Tinker. The Board of Governors has been considerate of CSU Global throughout its decision-making.
Nonetheless, the recent legislation is still important, she said.
â€œAs you grow, and as things evolve, and as leadership changes, itâ€™s really important to have certain structures in place so that there isnâ€™t an issue in the future,â€ she said.
â€œCSU Global is very proud and very honored to be part of the system, and we appreciate the cooperation we have within it.â€
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.