ASCSU passes anti-tobacco ban resolution, discusses regaining trust

Ravyn Cullor

Editor’s Note: Abby Vander Graff and Haley Candelario are employed by The Rocky Mountain Collegian.

The Associated Students of Colorado State University Senate passed a resolution to formally reject a state-issued tobacco ban on campus and discussed lost trust in the body over issues around legislation endorsement Wednesday night.

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Senate passes resolution rejecting University smoking ban

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Sen. Ethan Burshek speaks about his Tobacco Ban Non-Compliance resolution to the ASCSU Senate. Burshek’s resolution would put in place efforts to counter the current state issued ban on the use of tobacco products on state property. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

The resolution, which passed 15-14-11, was brought by Sen. Ethan Burshek in last week’s session, formally rejects an executive order signed by former Gov. John Hickenlooper in January which banned tobacco products on all state property, including the CSU campus.

The resolution argued that the order is discriminatory against staff, faculty and students who suffer from tobacco and nicotine addictions.

“I think that this ban is just completely discriminatory,” Sen. John Williamson said. “It doesn’t take into account people who can’t get off campus for a smoke break.”

The passing of the resolution will encourage CSU to refrain from enacting policies in support of the order. Clauses which would establish smoking zones on campus were not included in the final resolution, as Burshek said he felt they ought to be part of separate legislation.

ASCSU addresses distrust among student body following Darwin Day bill endorsements 

ASCSU President Tristan Syron and Chief Justice Madison Taylor both addressed issues concerning endorsements presented on a bill, brought Feb. 6, which would establish a University holiday celebrating Charles Darwin.

The legitimacy of some of the endorsements was called into question when it came to light that some of the names didn’t belong to current CSU students and a number were added without “explicit and informed consent” during the Feb. 6 Senate session. Those students were listed as endorsees when students in two anthropology classes taught by adjunct professor Kimberly Nichols said they did not reply to two emails asking them to opt out of being listed on the bill.

Taylor delivered an opinion by the ASCSU Supreme Court which stated that endorsements obtained without “explicit and informed consent” will be considered fraudulent from now on and will potentially open the author to internal complaints. Taylor defined explicit and informed consent as meaning that the endorsee wanted to be listed, understood what it meant to endorse and is familiar with the entire piece of legislation which they are endorsing. The Supreme Court unanimously supported the opinion.

“In light of recent Senate sessions and other publications, trust between ASCSU and our constituents has clearly been violated,” Taylor said.

“People make mistakes. But… there’s a student that’s very upset right now. The very fact that someone is saying it means it deserves to be discussed.” Tristan Syron, ASCSU President.

Syron spoke about a Collegian opinion column, written by Abby Vander Graaff, who wrote she was listed as endorsing the legislation without explicit consent and expressed distrust and feeling misrepresented by ASCSU. 

“People make mistakes,” Syron said. “But… there’s a student that’s very upset right now. The very fact that someone is saying it means it deserves to be discussed.”

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Collegian addresses concerns about Polis visit  

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Rocky Mountain Collegian Editor-in-Chief, Haley Candelario speaks to the ASCSU Senate about a recent conflict at an event with Gov. Jared Polis, which involved a reporter unaffiliated with RMSMC. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

Editor-in-Chief of The Rocky Mountain Collegian Haley Candelario spoke briefly during a public commenting period to address a misunderstanding over the affiliation of a reporter at a speech by Gov. Jared Polis Friday

Polis came to speak about his higher education plan with ASCSU.

During the event, Editor-in-Chief of alternative publication the Battering Ram Jared Lorusso asked Polis a number of questions, according to Collegian Television.

Candelario said she felt the need to clarify Lorusso’s position because it came to her attention that members of ASCSU expressed discomfort over Lorusso’s manner of questioning and believed he was a reporter of The Collegian.

Candelario told the Senate that Lorusso does not work for The Rocky Mountain Collegian or Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, who was also invited to attend Polis’ talk.

“I just wanted to clarify that in case there were any concerns that it was someone from our team,” Candelario said. “I’m really sorry that that happened to y’all because I know it was such an important event for you.”

Ravyn Cullor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @RCullor99.