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ASCSU aims to increase transparency by updating records website

The Associated Students of Colorado State University, otherwise known as ASCSU, are located on the bottom floor of the Lory Student Center. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

The Associate Students of Colorado State University is currently working towards enhancing their transparency with students, according to Michael Wells, the student body president.

At a recent Board of Governors meeting, Wells discussed the importance of transparency.

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“Transparency is something that is important to me and I know it’s important to the students,” Wells said in an interview with the Collegian. “It’s a difficult thing that we know we can do better on, but we are continuing to go down that path, and I think we are making good strides to be more transparent for the students.”

Wells said he values transparency because it abides by basic ethical principles, and he thinks that without transparency, it is impossible to be held accountable.

Tony Qui, a forest sciences major, said he supports ASCSU’s decision to improve their transparency.

“I think it’s interesting for students because it provides more information, and clear information, that a student can take,” Qui said.

One of the ways in which Wells said he plans to increase ASCSU transparency is by reaching out to students in a variety of ways.

“(We’re) multiplying the different avenues of what would be able to hit students, and finding those avenues to tell students about (things) they actually care about,” Wells said. 

(We’re) multiplying the different avenues of what would be able to hit students, and finding those avenues to tell students about (things) they actually care about.” Michael Wells, Student Body President

Wells said, as of late, ASCSU published an article in the Collegian to reach out to students. In addition, they have looked into email blasts but are hoping to find a better medium for communication.

Wells said the main focus for now is making sure the online records are up to date.

Zachary Vaishampayan, the ASCSU parliamentarian, works to maintain the billbook as well as the public records.

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“I handle most of the records requests,” Vaishampayan said. “A large part of that is just trying to make sure documents are available ahead of time. Other than that, part of my job is just trying to maintain official documents.”

Vaishampayan said it is important to maintain and update documents both online and available through public records request. But, he said he thinks that the most important aspect of his job is translating information in a way that the general public can understand it.

“It’s one thing to put it on the records site,” Vaishampyan said. “But, making sure the students actually understand things is really the most important part.”

It’s one thing to put it on the records site… but making sure the students actually understand things is really the most important part.” Zachary Vaishampayan, ASCSU Parliamentarian

According to Vaishampayan, the information on the ASCSU records website is up to date, give or take two weeks. If the information is not available online or students have a special request, it can either be found online or through a records request, but all of the records are held in the Morgan Library.

“What’s great about these websites (is that) there is a certain structure that allows students from year to year to be able to jump in,” Wells said.

Wells said he hopes to reach a point in which all of the information shared between ASCSU is available to students. He said he thinks the first step in setting a precedent for transparency is by updating the website.

“It helps me to say, ‘I can do better to be transparent and the organization can do better to be transparent,’” Wells said. “And, with that transparency, we can get a lot more feedback, openness and accountability.”

Collegian reporter Audrey Weiss can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Audkward.

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