ASCSU talks leadership, 2020 budget changes

Ceci Taylor

The fifth session of the 50th senate of the Associated Students of Colorado State University began with the swearing-in of new senators and associates. This included one new member to the ASCSU senate. 

When guest speakers were introduced, Pamela Norris, the director of the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement office, talked about enhancing students’ experience on campus. Norris said she has worked with ASCSU before to achieve change on campus. 

Ad

Norris also thanked the senators for attending senate meetings and serving the student body, especially during the pandemic. She said ASCSU senators are gaining strong leadership experience, and she wants to give them advice. 

“It’s our job as professional staff to teach you, encourage you and help you become the people you want to be to create change in whatever community you want to live in,” Norris said. “We want to create experiences here that will help you with your competitive advantage.”

Norris said she wants to encourage the senators to spend their days in the organization building their team and putting themselves out there to get to know other people.

“Really get to know the people on your team,” Norris said. “What are their stories?”

Norris showed the senators a picture of the front page of The Collegian in March 2016. The page shows a picture of a senator who had just reintroduced and passed the ASCSU Diversity Bill. 

“When you read these words, I want you to think if you are meeting their expectations. Because if you are, you’re meeting the expectations of all CSU students.” -Pamela Norris, SLiCE director

“This is a significant moment in ASCSU history,” Norris said. “This was a turning point. This took a lot of courage and a lot of students to fight for this bill to be passed.” 

Norris said that, while it has grown more diverse, she still wants the senators to listen to others and think about what more they can do. Norris also talked about a student demand letter that was sent to CSU last year. One of the demands asked for more visibility regarding ASCSU. 

“For them to include this in their list of demands, I think, is a gift,” Norris said. “When you read these words, I want you to think if you are meeting their expectations. Because if you are, you’re meeting the expectations of all CSU students.”

After the guest speakers concluded, Hannah Taylor, president of ASCSU, said they are currently working on U+2 and asked if any senators were interested in getting involved. 

“We really want as many engaged people as possible to work on a strategy to get this done as soon as possible,” Taylor said. 

Ad

Senator Brandon Lowry from the Pride Resource Center said he is working on changing the vocabulary that is normalized and highlighting what is offensive when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community.

Senator Diego Tovar said he is working to get the Diversity and Inclusion Conference onto the floor. He encouraged any senators to get involved with the bill.

After senate reports, Taylor went over some budget issues with the senate. 

Taylor said that the budget needs to be rearranged this year because of the mishaps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The delay of the election caused some money to be inherited from last semester, and some approved spending can’t be used anymore, such as the budget for Grill The Buffs

Taylor said the budget will be $100,000 this year instead of $50,000. 

Taylor also discussed the University travel grant money. The budget was lowered this year because CSU is not allowing out-of-state travel for University-related business. Senator Lizzy Osterhoudt expressed concern about students who live out of state and might need to get home. 

However, there are no restrictions from the University placed on personal travel.

Jess Dyrdahl, a staff member in the SLiCE office, said it is unlikely for students to get approval to travel. As of now, students need to get approval from the Pandemic Preparedness Team for University travel.

Osterhoudt said she is working on a bill that will allow Indigenous students to go home, but Dyrdahl said that if the bill is approved, it doesn’t mean those students will be reimbursed for their travel. 

After final announcements, the senate adjourned with the singing of the CSU Fight Song. 

Ceci Taylor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @cecelia_twt.