This week in ASCSU: Community engagement, DEI Affairs Committee

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Graphic Illustration by Katrina Clasen | The Collegian

Sam Hutton, Staff Reporter

The Associated Students of Colorado State University held the 15th and final session of the fall semester Dec. 7.

After six new senators were sworn into office by a member of the judicial branch, Associate Vice President for Marketing Nancy Deller presented to senate on current marketing efforts and received input from senate members on potential future plans.

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Executive reports followed, with Chief of Staff Haydyn Deason, President Rob Long, Vice President Elijah Sandoval, Director of Governmental Affairs Evan Welch and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Charlie Williamson presenting to senate on matters such as ongoing Student Fee Review Board expenditures, upcoming Board of Governors meetings with CSU presidential finalist Amy Parsons, the current Groome Transportation Project and the newly formed ASCSU action committee with Fort Collins City Council.

Chief Justice Marcus Zacarias then represented the judicial branch in updating the senate on the upcoming Coffee With the Court event and a karaoke night with students housed off campus in the Best Western University Inn.

Speaker of the Senate Nick DeSalvo then briefly addressed the legislative body, urging members to work to bridge the divide between senators and create a healthier environment ahead of the spring semester.

“At the end of the day, our goal should be to serve the students in whatever capacity that is,” DeSalvo said. “Ending this semester and going into the next, I urge you to work together — please.”

Meron Siyoum was then nominated for the open position of director of campus community.

The director of campus community is expected to facilitate community building events within ASCSU and campus organizations, help with marketing efforts and reflect the sentiment of the student body to the executive branch.

“CSU, in general, has a lot going on, so just being able to put a spotlight on that through media and event planning and those kinds of things are some of the ideas that I have for next semester,” Siyoum said.

Siyoum was approved with unanimous consent. The oath of office was administered by a member of the judicial branch.

The election for Budgetary Affairs Committee chair was then held.

The Budgetary Affairs Committee chair is required to oversee the review of legislation that requests senate funding and manage the Senate Discretionary Fund’s annual balance.

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Mia Ritter, Theo Reese, Alonzo Cordero and Dane Dinnsen were nominated for the position.

After a debate period during which the candidates’ qualifications and capabilities were considered, Ritter was ultimately elected.

“I intend to ensure that I’m always representing all identities by continuing to be an active listener,” Ritter said.

Bill 5209, “Changing D+I Caucus to DEI Affairs Committee” was then discussed.

The legislation aims to elevate the existing Diversity and Inclusion Caucus to committee status for the purpose of furthering CSU’s principles of diversity, equity and inclusion to be more thoroughly represented in future ASCSU legislation.

The bill originally failed by way of a 23-14 vote during the Nov. 30 session, but after edits were made concerning the amendment to the ASCSU bylaws that the original document requested, it was proposed again.

Continuing to object to the legislation was Senator Rithik Correa, who, during the discussion and debate process, declared that the senate failed to reach quorum, meaning that because less than two-thirds of the legislative body was present while the bill was being discussed, any decision on the legislation was null and void.

Senate elected to continue debating the bill regardless and ultimately approved it by way of a 28-1 vote but will have to vote to ratify the decision in the next session.

Resolution 5205, “Passing of the SFRB Bylaws,” was also heard to conclude the session.

The resolution makes clarifying edits to the Student Fee Review Board’s bylaws intended to promote additional transparency in the allocation of student funds and smooth the funding process.

The resolution passed with unanimous consent but, like Bill 5209, will need to be ratified in a later session.

The 52nd senate will reconvene Jan. 18 after the winter break.

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