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This week in ASCSU: Accessibility Caucus, senate bylaws

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Graphic Illustration by Katrina Clasen | The Collegian

The Associated Students of Colorado State University convened Sept. 20 for the fifth session of the 53rd senate.

To begin the session, Director of Finance Ashton Duffield, Director of Health & Wellness Jorja Whyte, Deputy Director of Finance Tangia Zheng, Chief of Staff Braxton Dietz and President Nick DeSalvo provided updates on matters including student organization recruitment, food insecurity initiatives, travel funding for student organizations, the recent Grill the Buffs event and student representation in future Fort Collins City Council initiatives.

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Judicial reports followed, with Associate Justice Morgan Wright informing senate on recent supreme court trainings and upcoming programs.

Moving into confidence business, Bill #5306, “Extending Accessibility Caucus,” was decided.

The legislation seeks to extend the working period of the caucus, which was recently formed during the 52nd senate in order to repair broken door buttons and address related accessibility concerns across the CSU campus.

Committee members cited scheduling constraints and staff shortages as roadblocks to the core initiatives of the caucus, believing additional time is needed to adequately address accessibility concerns raised by affected students.

“I feel like this caucus is really important, and allowing it to continue its work further is vital,” Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Affairs Committee Chair Enock Monanti said.

Following a largely supportive period of discussion, the legislation was approved with unanimous consent.

Senate then moved to approve the updated version of the 53rd senate bylaws, which makes clarifying edits to senate job descriptions and legislative processes.

After confusion surrounding the process of approving the proposed edits was clarified and new concerns were voiced, the updated bylaws were approved by way of a majority decision.

The session continued with the ratification of the deputy director of environmental affairs.

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The position is responsible for working with CSU officials, student organizations and ASCSU members to coordinate campus sustainability initiatives and ensure sustainability is a top priority in future ASCSU projects.

Sophomore Sofia Hiller was nominated for the position.

“As the deputy of environmental affairs, I would make sure that our sustainability initiatives are within regard of all people and aren’t one-sided,” Hiller said.

The candidate was approved with unanimous consent.

Senate then moved to ratify the deputy director of international affairs, who is responsible for voicing the concerns of international CSU students and reflecting international perspectives in future ASCSU legislation and initiatives.

Former Senator Joseph Godshall was nominated for the position.

“I know what it’s like to be an international student, and I know the challenges (they face),” Godshall said.

After a brief period of discussion, the candidate was approved with unanimous consent.

The legislative body also moved to ratify the members of the Legislative Strategic Advisory Board, which works within the executive branch to reflect CSU student voices in Colorado legislative decisions that affect the student body.

Comprised of several members of the executive branch and senate, as well as students outside of ASCSU, the board intends to amplify student voices further with the proposed employment of a private lobbyist that will advocate for students in the Colorado Capitol.

The candidates were approved with unanimous consent.

To conclude the session, senate also ratified their candidate for CSU’s Student Representatives for Faculty Council Policy Review Committee, which also works to advocate for students at a local and state policy level.

Associate Senator Madeleine Kamberg was nominated for the position and approved with unanimous consent.

ASCSU senate will reconvene Sept. 27.

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

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