Majority of ASCSU’s approved legislation funded student organizations, campus events

Carson Lipe

The Associated Students of Colorado State University focuses on passing bills and resolutions that will improve the quality of education and services for students on CSU’s campus.

ASCSU senators raise their placards to vote during their senate session Feb. 28, 2018. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

During the 2017-2018 academic year, bills from the Board for Student Organization Funding and the ASCSU Senate passed, which allocated over $100,000 to student organizations, ASCSU marketing campaigns and campus events and projects, such as funding bill to host the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency and funding a bill to install more water bottle stations on campus.

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“It is our job as representatives of the student body, to speak on behalf of the students regardless of our jurisdiction,” said Yuval Rosenthal, a junior studying political science and the Speaker Pro tempore of the Senate.

One bill, passed in November 2017, allocated $2,500 to the ASCSU Marketing Department in order to promote awareness about YOU @ CSU to students across campus.

YOU @ CSU offers resources to promote academic achievement, general health and community engagement.

“It’s a pretty incredible resource in terms of mental wellness, familiarity with different resources at CSU and practically anything that you would need at CSU,” Rosenthal said.

After the bill passed, the marketing campaign started and various tools, such as tables, flyers and even a small alert on RamWeb, were implemented to promote awareness.

The senate also passed a bill in October 2017 to provide $10,000 from the Senate General Discretionary Fund towards a City of Fort Collins occupancy study.

The goal of the study is to determine the impact of the “U + 2” ordinance, which prevents more than three unrelated people from living together, on housing affordability and neighborhood quality.

“I think that (study) will be coming out within the next year,” Williams said. “That will help determine the City’s stance on ‘U + 2’ and give us a little more information.”

Since this particular bill has a long period of development and because ASCSU contributed money to the study, there are four members of ASCSU’s Senate who are attached to a City working group in order to voice student concerns.

Members of the group work with the City to ensure that all considerations are accounted for during the study.

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“The working group was created by the City to include all the stakeholders involved in the Occupancy Study throughout the process,” said Hanna Johnson, the director of community affairs for ASCSU and a senior majoring in political science. “Members of this working group include City staff, (the) CSU administration, the Board of Realtors and ASCSU. We are kept in the loop about the status of the study through occasional meetings and email.”

Another piece of legislation that ACSCU passed this semester works to address the opioid crisis.

The opioid epidemic, although not as pronounced at CSU, may still have a lasting effect on some students and their family, so ASCSU passed a resolution that will work to reduce the reach of opioids on campus.

“While the numbers aren’t as bad at CSU, it’s a serious issue nationwide,” said Josh Williams, an ASCSU senator and a senior studying political science. “(Many members of ASCSU got together) to talk about a vision going forward. We are all in agreement that there are several tangible steps we can take.”

For the opioid resolution, the efforts are mainly being focused on proactive prevention methods.

“ASCSU has been working with faculty, staff and administration to create an educational program about how to prevent an overdose,” Williams said.

For students or their friends whose addiction is past the point of benefit from proactive prevention, Williams said there are other ideas on the table.

“(For overdose situations, we are) potentially working with the (CSU health network) pharmacy to purchase units of NARCAN that ACSCU can subsidize, so that we can give it to students at a lower cost, or for free,” Williams said. “If (the student) has a friend in need or know that they themselves might need it, then they can use it.”

NARCAN is a nasal-spray that can be used to treat known or suspected opioid overdose victims, according to the manufacturer’s website.

Williams thinks that providing NARCAN to CSU students has the potential to impact people across the nation.

“What we’re trying to do is harness CSU’s spirit as an innovator and create a standard that can be emulated nationwide,” Williams said.

All information on the bills and resolutions are available on ASCSU’s website, or in the ASCSU office.

Collegian reporter Carson Lipe can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @carsonlipe.