This week in ASCSU: Indian Child Welfare Act, tuition increase opposition


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

Sam Hutton, Staff Reporter

The Associated Students of Colorado State University convened Feb. 1 for the 17th meeting of the 52nd senate.

The session began with a thorough presentation from Larimer County Commissioner John Kefalas, who addressed pressing Fort Collins City Council matters such as community mental health programs, evolving criminal justice strategies, developing plans for a new Larimer County garbage transfer facility and ongoing affordable housing initiatives in the middle of the controversial U+2 residency policy.


“We need diversity of housing options,” Kefalas said. “That is something we’re working on to make sure there are enough units so people with housing vouchers and disabilities can access housing.”

Kefalas also encouraged ASCSU senate members and the rest of the Colorado State University student body to become more involved in Larimer County politics, stressing the important role CSU students play in making change in the Fort Collins community.

Bill 5211, “ASCSU Signature on the Indian Child Welfare Act” was then heard after being moved to the top of the agenda.

The bill seeks an official ASCSU signature declaring the legislative body’s support for the ICWA, which, in November 2022, was brought before the United States Supreme Court for reevaluation concerning its constitutionality.

The act, first passed in 1978, has worked to ensure the safety and security of Native American children on Indigenous reservations by limiting the federal government’s ability to place Indigenous children in federal institutions.

“Here we have a chance to do legitimate action that could directly benefit the student body and our constituents,” Senator Nora Aslan said. “I think we would be negligent if we didn’t fully consider this bill because it is that important to hundreds of people across campus.”

The bill passed with unanimous consent.

Senate then heard from Chief of Staff Haydyn Deason, Chief of State Jasen Wahler, Director of Traditions and Programs Reed Vega and Director of Governmental Affairs Evan Welch on matters such as the success of the recent ASCSU Blood Drive event, ongoing Rocky Mountain Student Media contract negotiations, the design contest for the 2023 For-Ever-Green T-shirt distributed among incoming first-year students and upcoming mental health tabling on The Plaza.

Chief Justice Marcus Zacarias and Deputy Chief Justice Kelley Dungan also provided updates on matters including the continuance of the Rams Know Their Rights program, another “Coffee with the Court” event Feb. 17 and an upcoming cannabis educational event in March.


Resolution 5206, “ASCSU Stance on the Colorado Board of Governors Proposed Tuition Increase” was then heard.

The legislation seeks an official ASCSU response to the student tuition increase proposed by the Board of Governors, which would see a 3% increase in annual tuition for in-state students and 4% for out-of-state students.

Petitions have already begun to circulate around campus and across social media denouncing the proposed tuition increase, but Speaker of the Senate and co-author of the resolution Nick DeSalvo said an official ASCSU stance would carry more weight and have a greater impact in affecting the Board of Governors’ decision.

“Students are not (the administration’s) piggy bank,” DeSalvo said. “When the economy is bad and money is low, you have to do what families and businesses have to do, and that means you tighten the belt, cut the fat and find money elsewhere in the budget.”

The resolution will be sent to the University and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Affairs Committees.

Bill 5212, “Addressing Anti-Semitism Act” was then discussed.

The bill aims to address recent examples of antisemitism on the CSU campus, reaffirm ASCSU’s commitment to denouncing antisemitic rhetoric and continue working to strengthen the Jewish community on campus through educational events led by the Advisory Council on Jewish Inclusion.

The bill will be sent to the Internal, University and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion affairs committees.

Lex 5205, “Collaboration and Diversity Amendment” was also considered.

The lex aims to garner increased cooperation and participation between senate members by mandating additional requirements for discussion and debate of legislation, ideally decreasing the level of polarization that has been prevalent in senate in recent months.

The lex will be sent to the Internal and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion affairs committees.

To end the session, Lex 5206, “Constitution Caucus Constitutional Amendments” was decided.

The legislation aims to update the ASCSU constitution to reflect recent procedural changes to the Constitution Caucus as previously voted on and decided.

The lex will be sent to the Internal, University, Budgetary and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion affairs committees.

ASCSU Senate will resume Feb. 8.

Reach Sam Hutton at or on Twitter @Sam_Hut14.