ASCSU votes to remove Black senator in blackface from session

Charlotte Lang

The Associated Students of Colorado State University discussed a new bill, as well as responded to an instance of costuming considered offensive by other senators. 

During the Wednesday night meeting, a few senators were seen wearing costumes, including outfits such as pickles or anime characters.

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Senator Koby Peters showed up with Canadian flags, a wig and black paint on his face. In a statement to the Collegian, Peters said the costume was intended to incite anger over the re-election of Canadian Primenister Justin Trudeau, who recently faced public criticism over a recently uncovered photo of him in blackface.

Senator Alejandro Benitez motioned for Peters to be removed from the Senate chambers at the beginning of the meeting. The vote for Peters to leave was passed with a 29-1-2 count.

“Since they just stifled my speech, didn’t even allow me to answer why I was there and what I was doing, I was quite disappointed, and I felt oppressed,” Peters said.

Peters asked on what grounds Benitez was making this motion. Benitez said it had to do with representation.

“You’re not representing the College of Engineering correctly,” Benitez said. 

Following the vote, Peters was removed from the Senate chambers.

Bill 4912: RamRide car toppers

Bill 4912, authored and presented by Senator Connor Cheadle, would fund $7,500 to RamRide in order for the organization to purchase approximately 20 new car toppers to replace the old ones.

Cheadle said the current car toppers are over 10 years old, as they were purchased two years into RamRide’s operations.

“If you’ve ever done RamRide, they don’t work,” Cheadle said. He said that there are about only two currently operating toppers.

The hope is for the newer car toppers to last decades longer than the current ones. It was also stated that they would aim for the new toppers to look better.

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Cheadle said he noticed the problems with the current car toppers and decided it would be an important thing to fix.

“It (is) just a good thing we should give as students because it helps students,” Cheadle said.

Senator Savanah Overturf said new car toppers would also be a good step toward greater accessibility on campus.

“I do want to bring up the point as the senator for the disability office that it’s really helpful to make sure we are accessible, and that does include lights,” Overturf said. “We talk about cars being seen, and that can be an accessibility issue if lights are going out.”

Flashing lights and humming sounds can also provide other sensory issues for students, Overturf said.

“There are a lot of issues that come in when it comes to understanding accessibility, and if we don’t push to have these changed, then we are not an accessible campus,” Overturf said. “We are offering something that is not accessible.”

Other senators also said that students may find Uber and Lyft too expensive or risky.

“(Students) need to know what the car looks like, especially with situations in Uber and Lyft and people encountering problems in identifying cars,” Senator Jaquikeyah Fields said.

Senator Marlis Hazleton also said that, as someone who lives on campus, RamRide is great for students who don’t drive cars.

Senator Josh Johnson asked if Cheadle can further look into whether this is funding that can come from the Student Fee Review Board. Cheadle agreed to explore this option.

The bill was sent to both the Budgetary and External Affairs committees.

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