ASCSU approves position appointments, passes legislation

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

Sam Hutton, Staff Reporter

The Associated Students of Colorado State University met Sept. 21 for their sixth meeting of the 52nd senate. Eight new senators and associate senators were sworn into office effective immediately, three position appointments were approved and two pieces of legislation were heard and decided.

During executive reports, Chief of Staff Haydyn Deason, Chief of State Jasen Wahler, Vice President Elijah Sandoval, Director of Graduate Affairs Derek Newburger and President Rob Long individually addressed the senate. Some topics of discussion included Latinx Heritage Month, Student Fee Review Board meetings, a push to increase graduate student representation and Utah State University student government’s upcoming visit to the CSU campus Oct. 14-15.

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Moving into confidence business, the election of parliamentarian was held. Senator Vaishnavi Sonarikar, a third-semester graduate student, accepted the nomination for the position.

Sonarikar described herself as “sincere and dedicated,” and after a short debate period, the nomination was approved with unanimous consent and the oath of office was administered.

Caucus chair elections were then held, with Associate Senator Adalyn Schumer accepting the nomination for Women’s Caucus chair.

“I would love to reach out and have a safe and welcoming place for women and people that identify as women,” Schumer said. “I think it’s extremely important to have all people represented and to feel like (they) are being represented.”

After a brief discourse during which concerns about Schumer’s qualifications arose, a vote was put through a secret ballot.

The candidate’s nomination for Women’s Caucus chair was approved by way of a 21-10 vote with eight abstentions.

The second caucus chair election was for the Diversity and Inclusion Caucus. Senator Adrian Salazar accepted the nomination for the position.

“It’s important to educate and create a progressive environment for students,” Salazar said.

After a short debate, Salazar was approved with unanimous consent for the position of Diversity and Inclusion Caucus chair.

Both candidates were sworn in by Chief Justice Marcus Zacarias.

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The senate later reviewed the proposed edits to Bill 5201, “The 52nd Senate Job Descriptions,” which ranged from requiring senators to be a member of at least one ASCSU internal committee to a loss of pay if the speaker of the senate fails to meet their job requirements.

Most controversial, however, was the proposed elimination of the requirement for senators to cooperate with members of the executive branch on pieces of legislation.

Strongly opposing this proposal was Kyle Hill, who believes cooperation with the executive branch is a fundamental aspect of the senate.

“Collaboration is something I endorse and admire completely,” Hill said. “ASCSU should be one whole body with one purpose: serving the student body.”

Senator Rithik Correa argued against Hill, citing concerns that too much cooperation between branches nullifies the checks and balances system of government.

Senator Justin Melka also opposed Hill’s argument, noting that necessary cooperation between branches is already a priority for most senators, so including it in the bill is not needed.

Speaker of the Senate Nick DeSalvo approved the changes within the bill and the legislation was approved by way of a 32-1 vote with two abstentions.

Resolution 5202, “Dedication to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” was also proposed. Concerning ASCSU’s reaffirmation of the organization’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, the resolution was described as redundant during the debate period, citing the main principles of ASCSU.

In defense of the resolution, Senator Treasure Morgan said, “With this resolution, we’re actively participating and (dedicating ourselves) to putting those words into action.”

Resolution 5202 ultimately passed with a vote of 33-0 with two abstentions.

Reach Sam Hutton at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @csucollegian.