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Addressing student concerns: Taylor-Schindler’s plans for ASCSU

After months of delay and 2 1/2 weeks of campaigning, Hannah Taylor and Noah Schindler were elected president and vice president of the Associated Students of Colorado State University Sept. 16.

Taylor and Schindler sat down with CTV Channel 11’s Alexandria Cullen Oct. 1 to discuss their new positions and their priorities in the first weeks of their administration. 

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“We really do want to stress the importance of addressing those student concerns right now because we know that they’re there,” Taylor said. “And we want to make sure that we are affecting students positively during this experience and impacting it to try to make it better.” 

Taylor said their top priority that will continue throughout their administration is to create a COVID-19 relief fund and provide students with more access to thermometers, masks and hand sanitizer. 

“I think the most important out of those three things as far as accessibility goes … is definitely thermometers,” Taylor said. “Because thermometers are more expensive for students, and if a student does not have a thermometer, then they’re not accurately filling out their symptom checker, or they’re not doing it.”

Schindler added that as long as the symptom checker is a requirement for students to complete before going to campus, ensuring that students can properly record their symptoms will be their main focus. 

To create a COVID-19 relief fund, Taylor and Schindler plan to work with different departments in ASCSU and across the University to find funds left over from last year that were not used and could instead be redistributed to students through the Office of Financial Aid. 

“So without students actually being active in the voice, we can’t correctly represent them, so any outreach that we can do is extremely important.” -Noah Schindler, ASCSU vice president

Taylor said she spoke with the former student body president at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who worked to create a relief fund for students at their university.

Examples of the funds that could be used are ones that were reserved for traveling or events that were not able to happen due to the pandemic, Taylor said. 

“We think that the students (who) paid their student fees last year, they should be still impacted now,” Taylor said. “They shouldn’t just be sitting in a reserve fund for years and years and years. And we really want to work, not only with our own budget, but also in other departments at CSU to see what money is left over from what was not spent last semester.”

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Those funds, both Taylor and Schindler explained, would be given to the Office of Financial Aid to distribute to students who submit applications, similar to the scholarship process on campus.

Schindler said it would not be up to their administration to distribute the funds because they do not have experience doing that. Additionally, Taylor said it would be a conflict of interest for students to decide which other students receive the funding. 

Transparency across all of ASCSU is another focus for the Taylor-Schindler administration, along with general education about ASCSU as a whole. 

Taylor said she plans to have monthly fireside chats or press releases posted on social media to discuss the money that has been spent and the projects each department has worked on. 

“We really want to work, not only with our own budget, but also in other departments at CSU to see what money is left over from what was not spent last semester.”-Hannah Tayolr, ASCSU president

They also plan to create a Canvas page for ASCSU that will show up on every student’s Canvas, alerting them to how ASCSU works and what it does each week. Schindler said they want to do this on Canvas because students access it every single day, unlike RAMweb.

“Unlike most colleges here in the U.S., we have an extreme amount of responsibility and power as students that is just unprecedented in most places,” Schindler said. “And the importance there is huge, so without students actually being active in the voice, we can’t correctly represent them, so any outreach that we can do is extremely important.”

To hear the Taylor-Schindler administration’s plan for creating an inclusive environment within ASCSU, working with the City of Fort Collins on issues important to students, like housing, and increasing the affordability of parking options on campus, watch the exclusive interview on CTV’s YouTube page.

Serena Bettis can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @serenaroseb. 

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About the Contributor
Serena Bettis
Serena Bettis, Editor in Chief
Serena Bettis is your 2022-23 editor in chief and is in her final year studying journalism and political science. In her three years at The Collegian, Bettis has also been a news reporter, copy editor, news editor and content managing editor, and she occasionally takes photos, too. When Bettis was 5, her family moved from Iowa to a tiny town northwest of Fort Collins called Livermore, Colorado, before eventually moving to Fort Collins proper. When she was 8 years old, her dad enrolled at Colorado State University as a nontraditional student veteran, where he found his life's passion in photojournalism. Although Bettis' own passion for journalism did not stem directly from her dad, his time at CSU and with The Collegian gave her the motivation to bite down on her fear of talking to strangers and find The Collegian newsroom on the second day of classes in 2019. She's never looked back since. Considering that aforementioned fear, Bettis is constantly surprised to be where she is today. However, thanks to the supportive learning environment at The Collegian and inspiring peers, Bettis has not stopped chasing her teenage dream of being a professional journalist. Between working with her section editors, coordinating news stories between Rocky Mountain Student Media departments and coaching new reporters, Bettis gets to live that dream every day. When she's not in the newsroom or almost falling asleep in class, you can find Bettis working in the Durrell Marketplace and Café or outside gazing at the beauty that is our campus (and running inside when bees are nearby). This year, Bettis' goals for The Collegian include continuing its trajectory as a unique alt-weekly newspaper, documenting the institutional memory of the paper to benefit students in years to come and fostering a sense of community and growth both inside the newsroom and through The Collegian's published work. Bettis would like to encourage anyone with story ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to reach out to her at editor@collegian.com.

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