This week in ASCSU: Vote of confidence, financial visibility

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

Sam Hutton, Staff Reporter

The Associated Students of Colorado State University convened March 22 for the 23rd session of the 52nd senate.

After a new senator was sworn into office, Deputy Director of Basic Needs Kylee Weiss presented to senate on the ongoing efforts to combat food insecurity on the CSU campus, detailing the benefits of CSU food security programs, including Ram Food Recovery, SNAP Benefits and the Rams Against Hunger Food Pantry.

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Executive reports followed, where Chief of Staff Haydyn Deason, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Charlie Williamson, Director of Marketing Grace Crangle, Director of Housing Security Jorge Garcia and Director of Governmental Affairs Evan Welch updated senate on matters concerning a recent Narcan training, upcoming Student Diversity Programs and Services campus events, marketing efforts during the election process and the upcoming U+2 Action Committee at Fort Collins City Hall April 4.

During judicial reports, Chief Justice Marcus Zacarias and Deputy Chief Justice Kelley Dungan informed senate on upcoming events led by the judicial branch such as cannabis educational events, the Rams Know Their Rights program and upcoming election processes.

The ratification of deputy director of state law and policy then took place.

Junior Alicia Barron was nominated for the position.

The deputy director of state law and policy is responsible for assisting the executive branch in representing CSU students in local and state lobbying efforts.

“I want to be able to welcome students from different backgrounds and be open to listening to new ideas and perspectives,” Barron said.

Barron was approved with unanimous consent.

The vote of confidence for speaker of the senate candidates then took place, where senate considered the approval of first-year students Ava Ayala and Hayden Taylor ahead of the upcoming ASCSU elections.

The process for the vote of confidence has come under scrutiny after confusion and procedural errors forced a revote for previous speaker candidates during the 51st senate, prompting the recent passing of legislation aimed at smoothening the process. 

Both candidates presented to and took questions from the legislative body surrounding their qualifications, knowledge of parliamentary procedure and ability to manage tensions during senate sessions impartially.

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“I confidently believe I can run senate efficiently,” Ayala said.

“I’m somebody who can unify this body in a way that it needs,” Taylor said.

During the discussion and debate process, several senators voiced their support for both candidates, including University Affairs Committee Chair Sammy Trout, who said he believed both candidates will serve as excellent speakers if elected.

“Throughout my time here, I’ve seen a lot of incredibly talented and passionate advocates, and these two are clearly some of the brightest we have in this senate,” Trout said.

The candidates earned the vote of confidence with unanimous consent.

Bill 5217 “Financial Visibility Act” was then considered.

The bill seeks to increase financial transparency within ASCSU by mandating financial records be made more accessible on the ASCSU website in the hope of educating the student body on recent senate spending and improving the senate funding process. 

The bill passed with unanimous consent.

Resolution 5208 “Sustainable Investment Future” was also discussed.

The legislation aims to gain ASCSU support of increased fossil fuel divestment efforts on campus in an effort to significantly reduce the university’s carbon emissions and help CSU reach its net-zero sustainability target.

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

ASCSU Senate will resume March 29.

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