ASCSU members discuss new interim VP, progress, goals

Christina Vessa

ASCSU Director of Community Affairs Edward Kendall. (Photo Credit: Christina Vessa).
ASCSU Director of Community Affairs Edward Kendall. (Photo Credit: Christina Vessa).

Construction. The on-campus stadium. Veteran’s issues. Sexual assault. The Social Host Ordinance. These are just a few topics where the student voice should be represented, according to members of ASCSU.

This summer, various departments have been working to start a conversation with members of the Colorado State University community. As changes take place on campus and in the city, ASCSU has been adjusting too.

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Director of Finance Phoenix Duggar was appointed interim vice president Monday after Vice President Taylor Albaugh’s unexpected resignation.

Director of University Affairs Brandon Majmudar said Duggar will be successful in his new role because of his experience.

“He has been doing an excellent job making sure that everything is set up for the semester,” Majmudar said. “He is going to be able to transfer over to that role because all summer, he has been working really closely with Taylor to make sure that everything is set up for the Student Fee Review Board.”

Director of Community Affairs Edward Kendall said student government is about making sure students are successful, including the people working at ASCSU. He said it is a common misconception that the students will not be able to vote on the new vice president.

“What you do is elect your senators by going to the college councils,” Kendall said. “They represent your voice at the Senate. By that ratification, it is the student voice saying, ‘Hey, we want this person. We think they are going to do a good job,’ or, ‘Hey, lets look a little bit more at this.’”

Kendall said it may be hard for students to see the democratic process within ASCSU.

ASCSU Director of University Affairs Brandon Majmudar. (Photo Credit: Christina Vessa).
ASCSU Director of University Affairs Brandon Majmudar. (Photo Credit: Christina Vessa).

President Jason Sydoriak said those who have been working during the summer are making progress. Sydoriak has been working to advance services and programming for veterans, as well as creating a sexual assault task force.

“I will be creating a task force here soon, not because the University has been doing a poor job, but because it should be a student-led initiative,” Sydoriak said. “The Women and Gender Advocacy Center cannot do it all by themselves, and they are more than happy to have our help. I will be doing calls with Washington, D.C., in regards to that soon.”

Many of these topics may relate to students on a city level as well. Kendall has been meeting with city leaders and stakeholders in the community.

“Students are really busy with their lives,” Kendall said. “They have papers to do, tests to take. We are the people behind the scenes that make sure those voices don’t just get overruled by a couple of people sitting in the city council chambers.”

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Kendall said his department has been working on issues including the Social Host Ordinance.

“(The Social Host Ordinance) was going to go through during the summer,” Kendall said. “There was not going to be a lot of student voice. It was one of those things that you push through when the students can’t make much of a racket. Fortunately for us, we heard about it, so we were kind of able to represent the student voice and say, ‘Hey, lets slow down and talk about this for a little bit.’”

Representing the student voice on a campus level is the job of Majmudar. He said he is planning on joining the Stadium Advisory Committee to talk about issues such as parking and construction. Majmudar said the committee will make sure that students are aware of the different parts of the stadium, as well as stadium funding.

Majmudar said many issues around campus can relate to one another.

“Your large construction projects are impeding on your parking areas,” Majmudar said. “(We are) making sure that we have areas for students to park (and) passes stay affordable. As far as construction, (we are) making sure it is well lit (and) making sure that it safe for students to be around.”

Majmudar said it is important to make these areas safe in the city as well.

Kendall said he has already met with Mayor Wade Troxell, and he is planning on meeting with the rest of the city council members in the future.

“We try to sit down with them and talk about the representation they have with the students,” Kendall said. “How we can help them accomplish their policy goals and how they can help the student cause?”

Majmudar said there are plans for a community roundtable in hopes of starting a discussion with students and campus organizations.

“(Summer and fall are) going to be investigating better practices for ASCSU,” Sydoriak said. “The goal that I wanted was to completely reform the culture, to make it more professional. That is going to include institutional means and cultural means from the ground up.”

Collegian Reporter Christina Vessa can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @ChrissyVessa.