ASCSU discusses pass-fail options, new online platform

Ceci Taylor

graphic of podium with words "ACSCU coverage" written on it
Graphic Illustration by Katrina Clasen | The Collegian

The ninth session of the 50th senate of the Associated Students of Colorado State University began with the swearing-in of new senators and associate senators. This included three new senators sworn in. 

The senate then began the election and ratification of officers for the Student Fee Review Board. 

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Joslyn Orji, a candidate for the board, said she wants to reach out to as many student leaders as possible to effectively receive feedback for the board. Orji also talked about making the review board more inclusive for everyone and wanted to focus on what students from all backgrounds want. 

Clayton Paull, another candidate for the board, said he has previous experience serving on the SFRB and said, if elected, he wants to keep students’ best interests in mind while serving on the board. 

Candidate Nick Teegarden said he wants to make sure that everyone’s fees are equally represented. Teegarden also said he wanted to look deeper into the fees allocated to places like the Student Recreation Center, which he said students still pay the same amount of fees for even though there is a limited capacity. 

Candidate Nate Goldstein said, if ratified, he wants to consider what would be the greatest benefits for the greatest number of students.

Aaron Glick, another candidate, said that he wants to make sure he knows as much about diversity and inclusion as possible. Glick said he’s grown up in a diverse community and has interacted with a wide range of people and said he wants to bring that experience onto the board.

All of the candidates for the SFRB said they would be dedicated to listening to minorities and focusing on diversity and inclusion if elected into their roles on the board. 

During discussion and debate, Senator Miguel Ojeda encouraged the senate to realize the importance of selecting the right members. 

“I ask everybody to really consider when voting for these individuals and how we’re giving people opportunities to be leaders on campus,” Ojeda said. 

Senator Lizzy Osterhoudt motioned to remove Paull from the slate. She said she felt he isn’t qualified, based on previous answers to questions about diversity.

“I don’t really feel like he’s qualified to do this position and keep marginalized identities in mind when voting for these different fees and review boards,” Osterhoudt said. “I’m wondering if someone with a higher privilege will profit off some, like increases or decreases and not keeping (minorities) in mind, so I would just like to put that motion.”

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Senator Evan Welch said Paull should stay on the slate because he has experience working on the board, so he tends to talk more about financing rather than diversity. 

“He just sees it in a financial way,” Welch said. “That’s different, and I do think that is a good way. I do think he wants to learn more about diversity, and he does care about that too.”

Internal Affairs Committee Chair Marlis Hazleton said Paull should be removed from the slate because the senate has differing opinions on the candidate, so it would be more fair to vote for the candidate individually. 

Paull was removed from the slate to be voted on separately. 

The four candidates remaining on the slate were ratified with a vote of 27-2-0. Paull was not ratified into SFRB with a vote of 12-15-2. 

After the elections, gallery member Jesse Scaccia talked about the effort to get Me+3 on the 2021 City ballot. Scaccia said that this would be the only way to overturn U+2, as City Council is unlikely to vote on it. Scaccia said they need 5,000-6,000 signatures in the next five weeks to get the motion on the ballot. 

“It really deals with a big problem on a systemic, long-term level,” Scaccia said. “And we know that this policy is discriminatory against people of color. We know it’s discriminatory against working, poor people. And we know it’s discriminatory against students.”

After gallery input, ASCSU President Hannah Taylor presented Bill 5005. The bill would expect cabinet members to get paid for the work they do over winter break. Taylor said that cabinet members typically take off winter break and that the stipend that cabinet members are given is for the fall and spring semester.

Taylor said the extra money would be pulled out of the Office of the President’s discretionary funds, and the bill would not be asking the senate to provide funds.

“We’re specifically using our funds to make sure that we’re able to continue … projects like U+2,” Taylor said. “Typically it takes thousands and thousands of dollars to pay a ton of people, and we’re trying to hit the ground running and pay as little as possible but do something that’s really impactful for all students and low-income communities in Fort Collins.” 

The senate then discussed Resolution 5003, presented by Senator Miles Robinson. The legislation will help streamline a platform for online and remote learning. 

“That’s very important, especially in these times, considering the accessibility issues and the number of different platforms that students have to jump through in order to get their higher education,” Robinson said. 

Robinson pointed out that a lot of online platforms are not accessible for students who are hard of hearing and need captions. Robinson said the new platform will allow for live captioning, a range of cameras and live interpretations. 

The senate also discussed Resolution 5004, which would provide a pass-fail option for CSU students this semester. University Affairs Committee Chair Benton Roesler presented the bill and said that it’s important to support struggling students. 

“We wrote this in hopes that we can garner enough support and enough student and faculty voices that we can get this passed and get students the support they need so that they don’t lose their financial aid, so they don’t lose their visa status and so they don’t lose their opportunities to get an education at this University,” Roesler said.

Editor’s Note: Joslyn Orji is a columnist for The Rocky Mountain Collegian. 

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