Q and A: ASCSU President Sam Guinn discusses where she stands with campaign goals

Sady Swanson

The Collegian sat down with Associated Student’s of Colorado State University President Sam Guinn to discuss where she and ASCSU stand with goals set during her campaign last spring. Some of her goals included creating a food bank for CSU students who are food insecure, working with the city to create a Bike Share program, where students and Fort Collins residents could rent bikes for easy transportation around the city, and building up the ASCSU Test File, a resource for students students can go to find old tests and use them to study. Guinn and Vice President Lance Li Puma worked in ASCSU for three years before being elected on the platform to make sure students’ voices are heard.

What happened with the establishment of a Bike Share program?

We have worked really hard to meet with the city and try to do this in conjunction with not only CSU, but also with the city, to make sure that something that’s sustainable on our campus was going to be sustainable in the Fort Collins community.

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The city ended up pulling out funding for Bike Share, and so it’s on the back burner right now with the University because of the idea that it’s going to be too expensive to do it just with CSU and not have it sustainable.

The city itself, from my understanding, is that they have pushed it back to fiscal year 2016. I don’t know if that’s definite or not.

I do have faith that it’s going to happen, I just don’t think it’s going to happen quite this year or next year.

What about the covered bike parking?

That ended up being too expensive. Just with my own integrity, I didn’t think it was right to spend that amount of student fees on something that a lot of students didn’t deem as a necessity.

Where is ASCSU with the establishment of the CSU Food Bank?

After working with SLiCE and finding out what we needed to do for a food pantry, it ended up costing a lot more than what it was supposed to for a food pantry. That’s where we came up with the idea of the free and reduced meal swipes plan.

We’ve raised $22,000 for the program and we’ve given 20 students the opportunity to have 75 meals a semester. It’s completely anonymous, and they were submitted by different departments on campus as being noted as students who are food insecure and are struggling financially.

We were able to help 20 students be able to have that last little bit of security to make sure that they are doing well in their classes and having enough to eat. We were able to do something. It might not have been the same thing that I said we were going to do, but it’s still something that’s benefiting students in the way the food pantry was supposed to work.

Have you been able to move forward with the ASCSU Test File?

It’s hard to get faculty to buy into it, is the problem. Because faculty, to my understanding, deem it as a way to ‘get the answers of the test beforehand.’ I don’t know if the administrators see it that way. My own perspective, as a student, is that teachers should write new exams every semester.

We need Faculty Council to endorse it for us to go through the Committee on Teaching and Learning to push it out or go through department chairs and stuff like that. We’ve been working with them, but they’re not as receptive to wanting to get us the tests because they deem it as a form of cheating.

We had a resolution come through Senate last year, to say that Senate was in support of it. It got brought to the Committee of Teaching and Learning, but it didn’t get any steam behind it. We’re kind of in that same situation right now. We’re thinking of drafting another Resolution to Senate, having it go through the Committee of Teaching and Learning and then back up to Faculty Council.

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It didn’t work last year, so we’re at this point like ‘Do we do the same process again?’ or ‘How do we get this to work?’

The thing that we’ve proposed at the beginning of the year was to potentially have faculty either not pass exams back and/or have something down at the bottom of an exam to say that ‘This exam is not to be distributed to the ASCSU Test File.’ That never got any traction, we never heard anything back from it.

I totally understand, I know they have a lot going on right now and they’ve got a lot of other issues that they’re facing, so this isn’t very pertinent to them.

But we haven’t gained any traction for the past three years, and I know it’s a service students use. So we’re really trying to make sure something happens with it. I believe we’re pushing out a Student Voice Survey on the test file system to see how many students use it, what the benefit is for them and how they want to see it changed, and I think that will help us get some traction behind it.

Collegian City Beat Reporter Sady Swanson can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan