ASCSU Senate approves 2018-2019 budget, ratifies new Executive, Legislative and Judicial leaders

Natalia Sperry

In their final session, the Forty-Seventh Senate of the Associated Students of Colorado State University approved the 2018-2019 budget and unanimously ratified a new chief justice. Likewise, President-elect Tristan Syron, Vice President-elect Sullivan and Speaker of the Senate Ben Amundson were sworn into their positions.

As the Senate wrapped up their final session, Speaker of the Senate Isabel Brown said this year’s Senate passed a total of 25 resolutions, 2 joint-resolutions, 1 lex and 34 bills. 

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2018-2019 budget approved 

Members of the ASCSU Senate receive voting ballots on May 2 to vote on the new Chief Justice Madison Taylor. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

In a vote of 26-0-1, Senate approved the 2018-2019 budget presented by Syron and Vice president-elect Kevin Sullivan. The final Controller Book calls for a total budget of $1.69 million, about $1 million of which comes from the Senate ASCSU General Fund. 

Syron said the administration intended to shape the budget in a way that aligns with their campaign platforms such as improving parking, U+2 and improved engagement through an ASCSU ambassador program. 

In Senate budgetary affairs committee, amendments to create a Deputy Director of Academic position, adjust the Speaker of the Senate’s pay to be equal to that of the Vice President and budgetary adjustments to reflect those changes and recent bills were proposed and accepted by the President and Vice President. 

Senator Josh Williams said the speaker of the senate’s pay will be raised to $11,500 to reflect the same amount as the Vice president. However, Williams said the speaker does not need to accept this full amount. 

President-elect, Vice President-elect and Speaker of the Senate-elect sworn in 

ASCSU Vice President Kevin Sullivan, Speaker of the Senate Ben Amundson and President Tristan Syron are sworn into office by ASCSU Chief Justice Madison Taylor during the May 2 ASCSU Senate Session. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

President-elect Syron, Vice President-elect Sullivan and Speaker of the Senate-elect Amundson were all sworn in to begin their roles for the Forty-Eighth Senate. Although Syron said his position does not formally begin until June, the elected members were sworn in in order to assure that the Forty-Eighth Senate can begin in a session immediately following the end of the Forty-Seventh. 

President Syron said he felt, given their extensive work on the Rocky Mountain Student Media resolution, his administration has already been working.

“We feel really prepared,” Syron said. “We hit the ground running, and we’re really excited to keep going.”

In an interview with The Collegian, Amundson said although he is excited to be moving forward into this position, he knows there is a lot of work ahead.

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“I think there’s a lot of work to be done,” Amundson said. “This is really just the start of something that I’ve been blessed with, and something I hope to do good with.”

New Chief Justice Madison Taylor unanimously confirmed 

Associate Justice Madison Taylor was unanimously confirmed as Chief Justice for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year. 

ASCSU 2017-18 Chief Justice Brittany Anderson swears in the new 2018-19 Chief Justice Madison Taylor during the May 2 ASCSU Senate session. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

Former Elections Manager Tyler Siri said Taylor was the most qualified person for the position. 

“I’ve only been on the court for the year, but I think I’ve put in the effort and done as much to learn as possible,” Taylor said to the Senate. 

Taylor said one of her goals as Chief Justice is to bring back the “Rams Know their Rights” program, a project from several years ago that aimed at informing students of their legal rights in order to supplement Student Legal Services more effectively.

Likewise, Taylor said she would like to supplement this program with a “Rams Know their Renting Rights” initiative specifically aimed at informing students of their legal housing rights.

These new programs are intended to work with student leadership and off-campus life to better inform the students of their legal rights, Taylor said

In an interview with the Collegian, Taylor said she wants to work actively with Student Legal Services to improve upon and expand these programs. In particular, Taylor said the initiative will aim to address questionable legal situations surrounding housing that students sometimes run into and direct students to the appropriate resources.

“Obviously you don’t want to give legal advice on a sheet of paper and leave it at that, that doesn’t end up working very well for anybody,” Taylor said. “These will be things to look out for that they can bring to Student Legal Services.”

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