ASCSU 49th Senate holds first meeting, votes on new positions

Charlotte Lang

ASCSU senate chambers
The 49th Senate of the Associated Students of Colorado State University meets for its first time May 8. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

During the second session on Wednesday night, the Associated Students of Colorado State University focused on transitioning into the new Senate.

This followed a previous session that night which included goodbye speeches and welcoming of new officers.

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The second session served as the first meeting for the new Senate. Members were ratified and elected into new positions throughout the night.

The session held elections for positions such as the Speaker Pro Tempore, Parliamentarian, Recruitment and Retention Officer, as well as the chairs for the committees.

The executive cabinet members, as presented by President Ben Amundson, were also ratified by a unanimous vote by the Senate.

Speaker Pro Tempore, Parliamentarian, and Recruitment and Retention Officer elections

Alissa Threat was voted as Speaker Pro Tempore. She said one of her goals is to improve constituent relationships through tools such as an open house or suggestion box on ASCSU’s website.

“I think that whoever gets elected into the recruitment and retention position should work together with this position to see how we can get students more involved,” Threat said.

In the vote for Parliamentarian, Sienna Sasselli won in a vote against Senator Jacob Sappwood.

Sasselli served as parliamentarian during the past year. She said her experiences, goals as a freshman and passion for ASCSU give her an edge over her opponent.

“I didn’t have the time that I wanted or needed to fulfill the dreams of the parliamentarian before me,” Sasselli said. “My goals for this next year are to enforce the constitution and to educate the writers of legislation.”

Senator Jaquikeyah Fields advocated for Sasselli and said that she’s been adamant about her job description. She also said that Sasselli has the potential to bridge the hostility in the Senate chambers.

Raven Pinto, senator for the Native American Cultural Center, won the vote for recruitment and retention officer.

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“It is my current understanding that the purpose of the officer position is to recruit, train and hold accountable all the senators within the Senate,” Pinto said. “It is my current perception, respectfully, that these action pieces could be taken further and could be sustained for longer.”

Everyone here had the ability to work and fix the culture.” – ASCSU Senator Josh Johnson

This position has been given the opportunity to foster connection, inclusion and accountability between the Senate and other non-members of ASCSU, Pinto said. This position is also at the forefront of addressing internal disconnections within Senate.

Senator Josh Johnson praised Pinto for her past work in seeking solutions to ASCSU’s internal culture.

“Everyone here had the ability to work and fix the culture,” Johnson said in a statement urging others to vote for Pinto. “How do we fix the culture soon and how do we fix the divide between inside and outside? One of us chose to stand up and take that lead — Raven Pinto.”

Committee Chair Elections

Votes were also held for the chairs of the External Affairs, Internal Affairs, University Issues and Budgetary Affairs committees.

Senator Claire Smith ran unopposed for the chair of Internal Affairs position. Smith served as chair for the last Senate year and said she hopes to continue to do so.

“We’ve been talking a lot tonight about how ASCSU has made a lot of progress but that there’s still room to grow,” Smith said. “I think that starts with what the fundamental laws around the organization say and how they treat the people inside.”

Smith said she wants to be a welcome resource to the Senate and that she hopes they see her that way.

Senator Flores also ran unopposed for the chair for the External Affair Committee.

The nominee for the University Issues Committee, Senator Austin Fearn, also ran unopposed for his position.

Senator Alejandro Benitez and Senator Connor Cheadle both ran for the chair of Budgetary Affairs Committee. Benitez, previously the vice chair for the committee, won.

Benitez said that, as chair, he wants to make sure the Senate knows how much money there is and that they have the most information possible.

Senator Ethan Burshek spoke in favor of Benitez.

“He is an exceptionally organized man and, in addition to his mathematical talents, his ability to run a meeting and organize people is impeccable,” Burshek said. “I really appreciate his humility and his vision for the Budgetary Affairs Committee.”

Charlotte Lang can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @chartrickwrites.