ASCSU ratifies new liaison, hears new legislation

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(Graphic Illustration by Christine Moore-Bonbright | The Collegian)

Piper Russell, News Reporter

The Associated Students of Colorado State University met Feb. 16 for their 18th session. ASCSU ratified a new business and community liaison, heard a presentation from Attica Voting and heard eight new pieces of legislation. The meeting began with the passing of the gavel from former Speaker of the Senate Kyle Hill to Jackson Hunter, parliamentarian, who will be filling the speaker role for the remainder of the tenure following Hill’s resignation announcement Monday.

Derek Larkins and Maddie Mihevc from Attica Voting presented their work on security for elections, including the use of technology to enhance capabilities of handling elections. Larkins spoke about Attica Voting, an online voting system that uses distributed ledger technology they’ve developed and plan to use for ASCSU’s elections.

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“The main point of security that is added with our technology is the increase in transparency,” Larkins said, “(It’s) being able to store these votes openly and to the public while still maintaining confidentiality required for conducting a serious election.”

Later, Karthik Palusa was unanimously ratified as the new business and community liaison and sworn in.

“He is a visionary, entrepreneur and a student who is focused, ambitious and goal oriented,” said Carter Reiter, chief of staff.

Palusa is a senior studying business administration with a minor in computer science. Palusa has received a number of awards, including second in Colorado State University’s 2019 OtterBox Ethics competition, and is the founder of DashStrap, a productivity and workplace management app, according to Palusa’s LinkedIn.

“I think that we are lucky enough that we live in an area where there’s so many small businesses,” Palusa said. “And I think having the opportunity to connect students with those small businesses and develop new relationships is just really exciting for me to see.”

After the ratification, ASCSU moved on to legislation. They began with Bill 5107, “Elections Code Amendment Act,” which amends the ASCSU Election Code for the 2022 general election. The author of the bill, Emery Jenkins, elections manager, went over the edits made to the elections code. The bill will be sent to the Internal Affairs Committee.

ASCSU then heard Bill 5108, “Legislative Cabinet Retroactive Audit,” which aims to run an audit to ensure the 51st Senate Legislative Cabinet is completing job duties and has earned its payment of student fees. The bill will be sent to the Internal Affairs Committee and Budgetary Affairs Committee.

“I would like to create some more transparency,” said Ariadne Athey, chair of the Internal Affairs Committee and senator for the Student Disability Center.

ASCSU also heard Bill 5110, “Funding for the Expansion of the All-Gender Restroom Pilot Program.” This bill seeks $6,000 of funding for more permanent QR code wayfinding signs for all-gender restrooms on campus. The bill will be sent to the University Affairs Committee and Budgetary Affairs Committee.

ASCSU heard Bill 5111, “Extending the Sunset Clause for Bill 5022 (The Good Neighbor Program Bill),” which aims to extend the amount of years in which funds, allocated by Bill 5022 for the Good Neighbor Program that supports student renters, can be spent.

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Bill 5022 was passed in April 2021 and invested $125,000 in the Good Neighbor Program, which created the property management liaison position filled by Stevie Jorgensen. Jorgensen was hired Jan. 1, six months after the originally planned hire date, so Bill 5111 seeks to amend Bill 5022 so that the $125,000 will be spent over three years instead of two.

The bill will be sent to the Budgetary Affairs Committee.

Later, ASCSU heard Bill 5112, “Continuing Support for Rams Against Hunger Food Pantries,” which seeks to allocate $30,000, paid out over three years from the ASCSU Senate Discretionary account to maintain the Rams Against Hunger Pocket Pantries.

“We are hoping that in collaboration with Michael Buttram, the coordinator for Rams Against Hunger and basic needs coordinator at CSU, that we can get more nutritious and easy to eat, quick foods for students,” said Benton Roesler, director of housing security.

The bill will be sent to the University Affairs Committee and Budgetary Affairs Committee.

ASCSU passed Resolution 5101, “51st Senate Bylaws.”

ASCSU also passed Bill 5106, “Fixing Formatting Errors,” which changes the formatting of the ASCSU Constitution to make it easier to read and understand.

Reach Piper Russell at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PiperRussell10.