This week in ASCSU: Letter to U.S. Senate on abortion access

Associated+Students+of+Colorado+State+University+hold+a+session+awaiting+the+results+from+the+latest+ASCSU+election+April+6.

Collegian | Luke Bourland

Associated Students of Colorado State University holds a session awaiting the results of the latest ASCSU election April 6.

Sam Hutton, Staff Reporter

The Associated Students of Colorado State University convened Nov. 16 for the 14th session of the 52nd senate.

After two new senators were sworn into office by Chief Justice Marcus Zacarias, President Rob Long, Chief of Staff Haydyn Deason, Director of Health and Wellness Alex Silverhart and Director of Marketing Grace Crangle reported on the executive branch’s continued involvement on campus.

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Matters such as an upcoming ASCSU movie night at The Lyric, Transgender Day of Remembrance Nov. 20 and upcoming World AIDS Day sponsored events were discussed.

Zacarias then updated senate on the ongoing CSU presidential search and an upcoming “coffee with the court” event Dec. 9.

Senate then heard from Vice President Elijah Sandoval, who presented on the Student Fee Review Board’s funding process and clarified several questions from senate members concerning the board’s procedures and bylaws.

The ratification of deputy director of graphic design was then held.

The deputy director of graphic design is expected to facilitate the advertisement and marketing of ASCSU events and messages through social media and other outlets on campus.

Senior Sreeya Kairamkonda was nominated for the position.

“I think it would be cool to do something with de-stressing for finals and help people on the CSU campus feel more welcome,” Kairamkonda said. “I think the marketing team can really help with that.”

Kairamkonda was approved with unanimous consent. The oath of office was administered by Zacarias.

The re-ratification of eight current SFRB members and one new candidate then took place.

After the Sept. 28 senate session, it was decided the approved candidates would be further questioned in a later session after several senate members voiced their reservations concerning the original ratification and a supreme court decision was issued, which ruled senate procedure was not properly followed during the original ratification.

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Stephen Laffey, whose approval was a point of contention for some during the Sept. 28 session, was absent from the proceedings.

“I want to see a lot of good funding for areas that aren’t really represented,” the new candidate Justin Melka said.

All candidates were ultimately approved with unanimous consent. The oath of office was administered by Zacarias.

Bill 52XX, “Passing of the SFRB Bylaws” was then heard.

The bill aims to make clarifying edits to the SFRB bylaws with the intention of streamlining the process for funding requests and further detailing the job description for a board member.

The bill will be sent to the Internal Affairs Committee.

Then decided was Resolution 5204, “Improving the ASCSU Senate.”

The resolution looks to improve the culture within senate sessions by encouraging friendly debate, cooperation and discussion through additional team-building events and increased interaction outside of the senate chambers.

The legislation passed with unanimous consent.

Bill 5207, “Groome Transportation Act” was also decided.

The bill requests $7,000 from the Senate Discretionary Fund to facilitate free transportation for CSU students to and from Denver International Airport over winter break via Groome Transportation’s shuttle service.

The bill passed with unanimous consent.

Bill 5206, “Bee Bill” was then considered.

The bill seeks the allocation of $7,000 from the Senate Discretionary Fund in order to allow the CSU Apiculture Club to thoroughly remodel the CSU Horticulture Center’s planting area and bee yard. The remodeling intends to increase accessibility and eco-friendliness in the area.

The legislation passed with unanimous consent.

Bill 5210, “Signature of ASCSU” was then decided, serving as the main point of discussion for the session.

The bill requests ASCSU’s endorsement of a letter to the 118th United States Congress concerning Roe v. Wade (1973), which, until it’s overturning earlier this year, federally protected the right to seek an abortion. The letter, written by a coalition of student governments across the country, encourages the federal government to codify Roe v. Wade and ensure national abortion access.

In sharp disapproval to the endorsement of the letter was Senator Jessica Laffey, who believes ASCSU’s involvement in contentious national issues is unwarranted and the content of the legislation is contradictory.

“I would encourage everyone to vote no on this bill,” Laffey said. “This bill takes a very dramatic stance on Roe v. Wade.”

After a substantial debate period that saw the intervention of Speaker of the Senate Nick DeSalvo at multiple intervals in order to maintain civil discussion, the bill passed by way of a 24-8 vote.

ASCSU senate will resume Nov. 3o, after the fall break.

Reach Sam Hutton at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Sam_Hut14.