LTTE: ASCSU works not for credit, but for impact

Guest Author

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Dissension is a natural part of creating change. With that being said, ASCSU does not deserve the large amount of negative press it has been receiving. Yes, we have made mistakes this year. We are not a perfect system, not by a long shot, and we freely and openly acknowledge this fact.

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What is important though, is to look at our mission, our purpose and the intentions of those who work to enact the legislation, programming and change that you read about. Yes, you may not agree with everything that we do. That is how it should be, because a diversity of opinions is what makes our CSU community so incredible.

There is a reason ASCSU is continually portrayed in a negative light by the media, however. It is because the majority of the ASCSU staff works to contribute to the CSU community, and they do not do it for the credit. Small steps toward progress make much less exciting media stories.

We do all our work to help students, in a variety of facets. I personally am the deputy director of health and the director of food security initiatives through the ASCSU office. In my role this year, we have created Pocket Pantries to provide students with safe places to get a snack so they can get through the day. We have published resources, including through YOU@CSU, on food security on campus. We are working to start a program to allow leftover food from catered events to go back to students. We are conducting a new and improved survey to gain an understanding of food and housing insecurity among students. We have done much in the year since my position was created, but beginning new initiatives entails a vast amount of behind the scenes work.

I write this to inform, and in hopes that people read this and take the initiative to do research before assuming ASCSU is not working for students. The recent article “Vassar: ASCSU fails to represent students” showed a lack of awareness toward the work that gets done in this office.

Every day I come to work and school to address “the stark reality of many college students going hungry.” I have worked on issues surrounding campus food insecurity for four years, and ASCSU heard me. They listened to what I had to say, and created an entire position to help address this particular need among students. ASCSU listened, and because of this, our food insecurity programs have impacted thousands of students this year. That doesn’t even take in to account the inspiring work of my colleagues.

I was not involved with ASCSU at all until this, my senior, year. Honestly, I never wanted to be, because the media coverage I saw was always focused on what was going wrong. But this year has shown me how incredibly wrong I, and the negative reputation, was. I have found an incredible community of humble, strong, dedicated people who work tirelessly to support the university they love. Yes, we disagree with each other sometimes. You generally hear about it more because we don’t try to quench the dissenting voices; instead, we welcome their opinions as a way to grow.

To those who don’t agree with the way ASCSU works, thank you for voicing your concern. I invite you to come to the office and have an open deliberation with us, at any point in time, so we can actively work towards a mutual solution. My one request is that you do this yourself: before talking badly about the organization, do your research. Understand who we are and the work we are trying to do. ASCSU works to make a positive impact, and sometimes we make a misstep. That is why we need you, the student body, to stand alongside us, to support us when we stumble, because only through mutual support can we create a resilient, strong and respectful CSU Ramily.

If you have any ideas/opinions/ thoughts or just want to have an open conversation, please contact me at ascsu_foodinsecurities@mail.colostate.edu, and I would be more than happy to talk!

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