Associate Students of Colorado State University met briefly Wednesday night, but discussed larger issues about immigration lawyers, food insecurity and the upcoming student body election season.
Student Legal Services to see fund increase for immigration lawyers
Student Legal Services is one of 19 fee areas which constitutes $55 million worth of student fees, which are separate from tuition. Mike Lensky, vice president of ASCSU and chair of the Student Fee Review Board, presented preliminary budgets for two fee areas for next school year.
The budget for Student Legal Services will increase by 4 cents per student per semester, amounting to $28,000.
“One big thing they are focusing on for next year is that they are talking about immigration lawyers,” Lensky said.
There are currently no fully-fledged immigration lawyers within Student Legal Services, Lensky said. He said students are in need of help with immigration, especially after the passage of the presidential executive order that restricted international travel.
Currently, just under $8 per student per semester goes towards the budget. Largely, the budget goes to salaries and benefits for the lawyers, totaling around $368,000. The lawyers are, essentially, employed by students – they provide free legal counsel to students.
No anticipated increase in funds for Resources for Disabled Students
The Committee for Disabled Students was the other fee area whose budget Lensky presented. Currently, the budget totals about $26,000 per year. Students pay about $4 throughout a four year college career. The Committee’s budget will see no increase for the coming school year.
Next week, the ASCSU senate body will vote on the budget for these two fee areas. Lensky will present another set of fee area budgets to the senate body.
Edward Kendall, speaker pro tempore, emphasized that the senate is talking about $55 to $57 million of student fees.
Food insecurity within the student body
ASCSU passed a bill to support the expansion of the Swipe Out Hunger Program, a program that targets food insecurity within the student body.
Bill 4614, written by Kendall and Senator Lawrence Horowitz, passed by a vote of 27-1-0. The program underneath ASCSU will maintain a budget just shy of $5,000. Two senators from ASCSU will work on the program, in addition to two hired assistants. Swipe Out Hunger would become a year-long program.
ASCSU President Daniela Pineda Soracá spoke to the senate about a different initiative to partner with SLiCE, which will also target food insecurity within the student body.
Nick Bohn, director of outreach, is leading a pilot project. The project will feature a truck, from the Larimer County Food Bank, which will be on campus one day in March, April and May in order to support students that experience food insecurity.
“We want to bring (events that help with food insecurity) back home for students,” Pineda Soracá said.
Environmental ambassador ratified, election season approaching
Kailey Carlson was ratified during Wednesday night’s meeting as an ambassador for environmental affairs within ASCSU.
ASCSU election season is fast approaching. Next week, there will be three information meetings held for anyone interested in joining ASCSU next year or potentially running for a position in student government in the future. Pineda Soracá encouraged anyone with the slightest interest to attend.
Pineda Soracá is also organizing a dinner, at the end of March, for all student organization presidents to meet and greet this year’s presidential candidates. On Friday, the official election season schedule will be released.
ASCSU will be on the plaza on Friday handing out free cookies prior to 2 p.m. in celebration of CSU’s Founders Day.
Collegian reporter Rachel Telljohn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @racheltelljohn.