ASCSU approves bill to honor deceased students, funding for AISES Pow Wow

Stuart Smith

The Associated Students of Colorado State University Senate unanimously approved a bill that would send University flags to the families of deceased students, along with a bill allocating $15,000 for the annual American Indian Science and Engineering Society Pow Wow. Senators also discussed funding for the Fort Collins Book Fest held next month.

Ben Amundson finishes the meeting with closing remarks. (Anna Baize | Collegian)

Senate unanimously approves of Flag Bill

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Speaker of the Senate Ben Amundson introduced a bill to the floor last week that would allocate $1,000 to buy CSU flags from the bookstore to send to families of students who pass away while attending CSU Fort Collins and CSU Online.

The bill went to a vote with little discussion and was approved 37-0-0.

“It shows that our Senate’s heading in the right direction, caring about students,” Amundson said after the bill passed. “We want to honor students and give them back the money they’ve paid in student fees.”

ASCSU has historically sent CSU flags to families in these situations, along with a letter from the current ASCSU President, but it never had a clear source of funding

With Amundson’s bill, the money will now be transferred from the Senate Discretionary Fund to ASCSU’s Supplies Fund.

The flags have not been sent to families of students at CSU-Pueblo in the past, so Amundson did not include them in the bill.

“We have not gotten an answer on why CSU-Pueblo is not part of this,” Amundson said. He believes it is most likely because they have their own student government.

$15,000 for annual AISES Pow Wow approved unanimously

ASCSU Director of Finance Lynsie Roper brought a bill to the Senate to approve a $15,000 request by AISES for their 36th annual Pow Wow. The Senate approved the bill with a vote of 39-0-0.

The Pow Wow is a collaborative effort between AISES, RamEvents, the Native American Cultural Center and the Office of the President. According to the bill, the Pow Wow is scheduled to take place Nov. 3.

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“It’s really been almost an escape for our Native American students here on campus,” NACC member and senior biomedical engineering major Mathew Beardtsaid. “It’s a big culture shock for a lot of us students coming here who might live on reservations, it’s just a way for us to come out and be really comfortable with who we are here on campus.”

NACC Senator Milena Castaneda voiced her support for the pow wow as well.

“This is a great historical situation for us because it is a ‘home away from home’ celebration,” Castaneda said. “We don’t get this here in Fort Collins.”

The funding had already been approved by the Board for Student Organization Funding, but because of the large amount of money involved, it required Senate approval as well.

Bill to help fund Fort Collins Book Festival discussed 

Director of University Affairs Kanayo Okolo presented a bill to the Senate that would give $2,000 from the Senate Discretionary Fund to help fund the Fort Collins Book Fair organized by Poudre River Public Library.

Okolo has already committed $4,000 from the executive branch, so Senate approval would bring the total to $6,000.

Guests of the Book Fest, scheduled for Oct. 19 and 20, will include authors such as Andy Weir, who wrote “The Martian,” and former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr. The festival is hosted at a varity of venues throughout Old Town, according to their website.

According to the bill, the Book Fest shares a CSU value in promoting music, books and poetry. Okolo said it would also provide a chance for students to connect.

“I saw this as an opportunity for people to network,” Okolo said. “At the end of the day, we’re all here for an education but we’re also here to network and make those relationships with people that are here on campus and are not here on campus.”

This bill will be voted on during the Senate’s session next Wednesday.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article misspelled Kanayo Okolo’s name as “Kanaya.” This article has been updated to reflect this correction. 

Assistant News Editor Stuart Smith can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @stuartsmithnews