This week in ASCSU: Mayor Jeni Arndt, Lavender Cabinet funding


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

Sam Hutton, Staff Reporter

The Associated Students of Colorado State University convened March 8 for the 22nd session of the 52nd senate.

The session began with a thorough presentation from Fort Collins Mayor Jeni Arndt, who took questions from senate and addressed pressing city issues, including the importance of student engagement at Fort Collins City Council, the controversial U+2 residency policy, affordable housing initiatives and city-wide diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.


Arndt referenced the most recent Fort Collins City Council meeting, stressing the importance of young voter participation.

“We need your voice at City Hall,” Arndt said. “It was so energizing to have an array of people come and not just have the same people tell us the same things.”

During gallery input, ASCSU President Rob Long and Speaker of the Senate Nick DeSalvo made statements vehemently denouncing some senators from Student Diversity Programs and Services offices, claiming their power is consistently used in order to intimidate and pressure other senate members to vote in accordance of their personal agendas.

DeSalvo also addressed the division within senate that, he claims, is propagated by these senators, referring to a private Discord server in which SDPS senators allegedly labeled senators outside of SDPS offices as “enemies of diversity, equity and inclusion” and encouraged noncooperation.

“The leaders of this ‘cult of personality’ leveraged intimidation and bully tactics in order to advance their personal hunger for power and to retain the narrative that other members of this chamber are the enemy,” DeSalvo said. “Accountability is coming.”

During executive reports, Director of Marketing Grace Crangle, Director of Governmental Affairs Evan Welch and Chief of Staff Haydyn Deason updated senate on matters such as the work of the City Council Action Committee, an upcoming U+2 tie-dye event, ongoing tuition increase protests and the recent success of the ASCSU Day at the Capitol event.

Chief Justice Marcus Zacarias and Deputy Chief Justice Kelley Dungan also updated senate on judicial matters, including the Rams Know Their Rights program, additional conflict resolution resources and future Ram Welcome programming.

After his remarks during gallery input, several senators voiced concern surrounding DeSalvo’s impartiality as speaker, motioning to allow Speaker Pro Tempore Kimberly Carracedo-Perez to serve as speaker for the remainder of the meeting. Although the motion failed, DeSalvo elected to relinquish his status as chair voluntarily, granting speaker privilege to Carracedo-Perez.

Bill 5214, “Funding the Lavender Cabinet,” was then decided.


The bill requests additional funding totaling $20,000 from the Senate Discretionary Fund for the Pride Resource Center to continue stocking the Lavender Cabinet, which provides transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students with gender-affirming garments as well as educational resources and support.

“I’m someone who used the Lavender Cabinet before, and it quite literally saved my life,” Internal Affairs Chair Nora Aslan said. “There’s no other way around it: This service provided to our students at no cost saves people’s lives.”

The bill passed with unanimous consent.

Senate also discussed Bill 5213, “Additions to Bill 5122.”

The bill seeks additional funding for the pilot program outlined in Bill 5122, “The Legacy Act: Establishing a CSU Coordinator for Immigrant Services and Programs,” which would create an “Immigrant Services and Programs” paid position within the Academic Advancement Center.

“I cannot imagine a more noble project,” University Affairs Chair Sammy Trout said.

The bill passed with unanimous consent.

Senate then considered Bill 5212, “Addressing Anti-Semitism Act.”

The bill addresses recent antisemitic rhetoric on the CSU campus, reaffirms ASCSU’s commitment to discouraging acts of antisemitism and provides opportunities for senate members to undergo trainings led by the Jewish Inclusion Advisory Council.

The legislation passed with unanimous consent.

Lex 5206, “Constitution Caucus Constitutional Amendments,” was also decided.

The lex reflects recent constitutional amendments intended to clarify certain ASCSU procedures, senate membership requirements and the approval process for future pieces of legislation.

The lex passed by way of a majority vote.

Bill 52XX, “Career Attire Fund,” was then discussed to conclude the session.

The bill requests $20,000 in funding from the Senate Discretionary Fund in order to provide professional attire to be used during job interviews, career fairs, internships and fieldwork by students experiencing attire inequities.

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

ASCSU Senate will resume March 22 after spring break.

Reach Sam Hutton at or on Twitter @Sam_Hut14.