The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
The Impact of Technological Innovations on Sports Betting in Colorado: A Primer
The Impact of Technological Innovations on Sports Betting in Colorado: A Primer
April 18, 2024

In the sports betting domain, Colorado stands as a unique arena where technological advancements have significantly reshaped the landscape. As...

CSU students visit Colorado Capitol, engage with government officials

Braxton+Dietz%2C+chief+of+staff+of+the+Associated+Students+of+Colorado+State+University%2C+gives+directions+for+the+proceedings+at+the+Day+at+the+Capitol+event+Feb.+8.+Around+50+students+from+Colorado+State+University+attended+to+tour+the+state+capitol+and+observe+legislation.+
Collegian | Allie Seibel
Braxton Dietz, chief of staff of the Associated Students of Colorado State University, gives directions for the proceedings at the Day at the Capitol event Feb. 8. Around 50 students from Colorado State University attended to tour the state capitol and observe legislation.
Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Members of the Associated Students of Colorado State University stop for a picture the front of the Colorado State Senate chambers Feb. 8. The participants in the Day at the Capitol event observed a senate session of the Colorado General Assembly.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Gov. Jared Polis speaks to members of the Associated Students of Colorado State University attending a Day at the Capitol event Feb. 8. Polis spoke about the importance of advocating for issues like HB24-1018, a bill that would eliminate taxes on college textbooks.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Members of the Associated Students of Colorado State University stand on the stairs in the foyer of the Colorado State Capitol building Feb. 8. The participants in the Day at the Capitol event listened to House of Representatives and Senate meetings and attended committee meetings.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Braxton Dietz, chief of staff of the Associated Students of Colorado State University, gives directions for the proceedings at the Day at the Capitol event Feb. 8. Around 50 students from Colorado State University attended to tour the state capitol and observe legislation.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Sen. Janet Buckner and Sen. Rhonda Fields speak to Day at the Capitol participants in the Colorado State Capitol Senate chambers Feb. 8. Fields and Buckner spoke about the importance of student participation in legislation.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • A security guard takes a group photo of members of the Associated Students of Colorado State University at the front of the Colorado State Capitol Senate chambers Feb. 8. The Senate chambers, which are within the State Capitol Building, are home to all senate proceedings of the Colorado General Assembly.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Hunter Leyendecker, deputy director of graphic design for the Associated Students of Colorado State University, and Jakye Nunley, deputy director of health for ASCSU, speak with Sen. Lisa Cutter Feb. 8. Senators like Cutter engaged with students at the Day at the Capitol event.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Hunter Leyendecker, Jakey Nunley and other Associated Students of Colorado State University students meet Sen. Lisa Cutter in the Colorado State Senate Chambers Feb. 8. Cutter spoke with students about their interests at ASCSU’s Day at the Capitol.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • A senator raises his pen to indicate attendance at the Senate session of the Colorado General Assembly Feb. 8.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Student participants from the Associated Students of Colorado State University, including Sofia Hiller, Jakye Nunley, Tangia Zheng and Joseph Godshall, say the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the Colorado State Senate session Feb. 8. The students attended a senate session to observe the legislative process.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Participants in the Associated Students of Colorado State University’s Day at the Capitol event listen to legislative speakers at the Colorado State Capitol Feb. 8. The event focused on legislative policy applied to college students.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Rep. Lindsey Daugherty speaks to Associated Students of Colorado State University students in the foyer of the Colorado State Capitol building Feb. 8. Daugherty and other representatives spoke with students at the Day at the Capitol event.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

The Colorado Capitol saw Rams in the building as students visited Denver to advocate for their bill, meet with politicians and make change for Colorado college students.

Associated Students of Colorado State University members were not the only students in attendance at the Feb. 8 Day at the Capitol event, as any student interested in joining the organization for the day was welcome to sign up. The event aimed to encourage more student engagement with politics, emphasizing the university’s thematic Year of Democracy. 

Ad

The Day at the Capitol helps students understand the significance of student advocacy and political engagement. As higher education and housing become increasingly unaffordable, events like these are meant to show students that they can make a difference.

“The goal is connections. The connections hopefully go toward change. For example, we just walked out of the Senate, and we just talked to a senator.” –Derek Newberger, ASCSU co-director of graduate affairs

“Historically, Day at the Capitol has just been an opportunity for students to connect with a population that they would not typically come across on their day-to-day college experience, this being the politicians that set the laws and legislature of Colorado,” ASCSU Vice President Alex Silverhart said.

Extra emphasis was put on student engagement this year due to ASCSU’s work on a bill that could make university textbook sales tax-exempt.

“This year, we’ve kind of had a different focus of bringing specific bills and ideas that we have as students that will not only benefit our campus but also our community in Fort Collins, one of those being the textbook tax bill and then the other one being the housing occupancy limit, which has been a consistent problem within Fort Collins,” Silverhart said.

Students had the opportunity to speak to many politicians in the Capitol, including senators, representatives, lobbyists and even the governor. Meeting those politicians to create conversations and connections was an important aspect of the day to the students in attendance.

“The goal is connections,” ASCSU Co-Director of Graduate Affairs Derek Newberger said. “The connections hopefully go toward change. For example, we just walked out of the Senate, and we just talked to a senator, and Michael (Stella) and the chief of staff, Braxton (Dietz), just made a connection, and they’re going to work on a higher education bill.”

Students were given the opportunity to sit on the floors of both the Senate and House of Representatives during hearings to start off their visit. 

Upon adjournment of the house session, students gathered at the rotunda staircase to meet with Gov. Jared Polis. Students shook hands, conversed and took a photo with Polis. ASCSU and Polis spoke about issues such as the Fort Collins occupancy limit and ASCSU’s efforts to remove taxes on textbooks.

“The more we can exempt from the sales tax the better, that’s great,” Polis said. “(We can) save people money.”

Ad

After meeting with Polis, students attended a meeting with the House Finance Committee. Members of ASCSU were given the opportunity to testify on HB24-1018 — the bill that would remove taxes on textbooks — which ASCSU has been working on with the help of Rep. Andrew Boesenecker. 

After the hearing, students took a tour of the Capitol, including a trip to the dome of the building, which overlooks the Rocky Mountains and the city of Denver.

The final part of the day saw the students returning to the rotunda staircase, where they got to meet with representatives who answered their questions. Rep. Tim Hernandez and Rep. Steven Woodrow shared their advice to students both at the event and those who did not attend. Topics brought up included occupancy limits such as U+2 and the cost of living. 

“I’m totally in favor of getting rid of occupancy limits,” Woodrow said, calling it an arbitrary thing. “It’s unfair, it’s discriminatory and it makes everything more expensive for everybody. I think that people, adults, should be able to live together so long as health and safety is taken into consideration.”

Hernandez is the first member of Generation Z to hold state office in Colorado, making him one of the representatives closest in age to students at CSU.

“I’m the person in the state legislature that most recently paid for undergraduate college textbooks,” Hernandez said. “I’m the person in the state legislature that was most recently a college student.”

The event was a success for ASCSU in their goal to engage students with government and represented a huge win for them as their bill made it past the Colorado House of Representatives Finance Committee and will now move on to the next steps in becoming a law.

ASCSU Deputy Director of Health Jakye Nunley said the biggest part of the day was being intentional with the work they did at the Capitol and completing the work that people deemed necessary.

“I think that it’s very imperative that we’re doing this work simply because students have to be passionate about the work of students,” Nunley said.

Reach Tyler Weatherwax at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @twwax7272.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Tyler Weatherwax
Tyler Weatherwax, News Editor
Tyler Weatherwax is a second-year attending Colorado State University. He has lived in the state of Colorado for his entire life and grew up just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. He is currently majoring in journalism and media communication and is a news editor for The Collegian and assistant news director for KCSU. Weatherwax hopes to share some of the world with people through his reporting and experiences. His goal as a journalist is to bring information to others in the hopes that it inspires and educates them in their lives. He also tries to push himself into the unknown to cause some discomfort in his life and reporting. Weatherwax has been a DJ for 90.5 FM KCSU as well as 88.3 FM KFFR. Some things Weatherwax enjoys doing are playing bass guitar, reading, collecting records, going outside and spending time with his friends and family. Weatherwax hopes to become a journalist after he graduates and to see more of the world.
Allie Seibel
Allie Seibel, Editor in Chief
Allie Seibel is the editor in chief of The Rocky Mountain Collegian, a role she loves more and more with each day. Previously the news editor and news director of The Collegian, Seibel has a background in news, but she’s excited to branch out and experience every facet of content this and following years. Seibel is a sophomore journalism and media communications major minoring in business administration and legal studies. She is a student in the Honors Program and is also an honors ambassador and honors peer mentor. She also is a satellite imagery writer for the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. Seibel is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and loves how The Collegian has gotten her acquainted with Fort Collins and CSU. When she’s not writing, reporting or in class, you can always find her with a book, cross-stitching, planning where to travel to next, trying out a new recipe or listening to Taylor Swift. Seibel is incredibly proud of The Collegian’s past and understands the task of safeguarding its future. She’s committed to The Collegian’s brand as an alt-weekly newspaper and will continue to advance its status as a strong online publication while preserving the integrity and tradition of the print paper. Seibel is excited to begin a multi-year relationship with readers at the helm of the paper and cannot wait to see how the paper continues to grow. Through initiatives like the new science desk and letting each individual desk shine, Seibel is committed to furthering The Collegian and Rocky Mountain Student Media over the next few years.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *