Student government debates merits of refillable water bottle station proposal

Natalia Sperry

With flu season on the rise and spring elections looming in the months ahead, the Associated Students of Colorado State University Senate convened on Jan. 31 to discuss legislation pertaining to student health and internal affairs. 

Senate discusses water bottle bill to improve sustainability, student health 

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ASCSU discussed a bill that would add water bottle refill stations to older campus buildings currently lacking such technology. 

Kevin Sullivan (left) and Tristan Syron (right), speak to the ASCSU Senate and answer questions about the Water Bottle Bill on Jan. 31, 2018. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

The bill would allocate $22,000 dollars from the Senate Discretionary Fund to finance a retrofitting of existing water fountains in Clark, Engineering, Johnson Hall, the Visual Arts Building and the University Center for the Arts,  in sequential order as budgetary restrictions allow. 

Senator Kevin Sullivan and Tristan Syron, Chair of University Facility Fee Advisory Board, presented the bill to senate following the failure of a previous bill with the same intent. The initial bill, authored by Syron, was vetoed by former ASCSU President Daniela Pineda Soracá, despite passing by one vote in the senate. 

Syron said they wanted to bring the bill forward again because there is currently no legislation that would use the Senate Discretionary Fund for other purposes. Any remaining funds would be reintroduced to Senate, at which time they could decide whether to return the funds to the Senate General Discretionary Account or to use the leftover money to fund additional water fountains. 

“CSU prides itself on its sustainability efforts. We were the first school to ever receive a STARS platinum rating,” Sullivan said. “We should continue to further these efforts. We have one of the most bike-friendly campuses in the nation, simply because we value taking these proactive steps towards being a better campus.” 

These refill stations are now University standard for all new buildings because Administration wants to prevent health hazards, according to Syron. 

“What this bill aims to do is not to fix the future,” Syron said. “What we’re trying to do is go back into the past, because unfortunately Liberal Arts in Clark doesn’t have the funding. These new buildings go up for different majors, it’s just going back and saying that there were people left behind, there were buildings left in the dark after this happened, so let’s bring those up to 2017.”

However, Syron said this project would actually reduce the cost of any future renovation of these buildings, were any renovation plans for Clark to come forward in the next five years, as the retrofitted refill stations could be reused. 

“If there’s a possibility of putting someone’s health in harm’s way, we will not do it, we will wait for break,” Syron said. “Your health, I can guarantee you from a Facilities’ standpoint, will always be everyone’s number one goal.”

ASCSU Elections Code update passes unanimously 

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ASCSU unanimously passed a bill 25-0-0 that would update the ASCSU Elections Code.

According to Elections Manager Tyler Siri, this bill aims at clarification of the existing elections code both by fixing typos and by more clearly defining the role of the Election Committee in order to facilitate fair and successful elections for years to come. 

Other updates established in the bill included an increase in the monetary penalties to minor violations towards the Elections Code, reducing the individual campaign’s spending limit by $50 instead of $10. Major penalties would now reduce a campaign’s spending limit by $100 instead of $35.

Senator Jennifer Murray asked whether these codes would limit the ability of Senator campaigns.

“I guess my understanding is that we’re also trying to make the Senate elections more competitive,” Murray said. “The limit’s only $200, so you could easily kick them out with one major violation if funds are actually being spent.”

Siri said he is not worried about these updates eliminating any senatorial campaigns, given the way that Senators have run their campaigns historically. 

This Elections Code bill will be followed by another similar piece of legislation focused on creating similar clarifications in ASCSU’s existing Code, according to Siri.  

“I think Tyler is doing a great job as Elections Manager and I’m excited to see what he does next with the Elections Committee,” said student body Vice President Cole Wise.

Collegian reporter Natalia Sperry can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @natalia_sperry