LTTE: ASCSU needs to be careful with handling student funds


Collegian | Trin Bonner

Guest Author

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval. Some numerical figures in this Letter to the Editor have not been confirmed by The Collegian as of the date of this publication due to conflicting sources.

The Collegian published an article Jan. 25 titled “What is ASCSU really doing to help CSU students?” That alone has raised my interest and curiosity about what truly happens with student fees in the Senate. With my need for staying anonymous, I do not want to risk retaliation for this, but I want the student body to know how their fees are being spent.


Coming from my current senator position, I am disappointed in how our student funds have been handled by the Associated Students of Colorado State University, whether it comes from overspending on outside programs that already exist on Colorado State University’s campus to the Groome Transportation Act, Bill 5207.

This bill was an allocation of the executive branch contributing $7,000, the international affairs director contributing $2,000, the Office of the President contributing $4,000 and the diversity and inclusion director contributing $1,000. Plus, an additional $7,000 was allocated from the Senate Discretionary Fund. In total, the amount allocated to funding this piece of legislation was about $14,000 from ASCSU.

The abstract to this bill in its entirety states, “The purpose of this bill is to provide free transportation for students from Colorado State University (CSU) to Denver International Airport (DIA) through Groome Transportation Services. To fulfill the goals of this bill, it will be seeking to utilize $7,000 from the Senate Discretionary budget.”

To repeat, this bill helps out-of-state students get to Denver International Airport for breaks, either on a one-way trip or a round trip. It takes students back and forth from CSU’s campus, making it equitable for students wanting to get home to be with family and relieving the stress of payment. Thus, this supports students and only students, or so you would think. 

This bill not only went over budget, but it went over by $25,000, exceeding its current cap and making the total about $39,000 spent. Not only is the Senate being expected to fix the wrongs, but some of the authors of the bill refuse to accept accountability for their mistakes and expect the Senate alone to right the wrongs.

“Not only was Bill 5207 overspent, but the authors made no effort to make sure the bill was only used for CSU students. Some nonstudents used the Groome code, which contributed to the overspending.”

ASCSU President Rob Long and Deputy Director of International Affairs Akhil Penninti wrote and presented this bill before the Senate. Multiple attempts were made to contact Penniniti, but they have gone “radio silent” regarding the situation. 

Not only was Bill 5207 overspent, but the authors made no effort to make sure the bill was only used for CSU students. Some nonstudents used the Groome code, which contributed to the overspending. No one watched it, no cap was made and claims of someone “watching” the codes were untrue.

This was even added to support the bill; there were “buffers” and “talks” made to Groome Transportation that emphasized there would be no tolerance for abuse of the code for students. 

Long, as one of the authors of the bill, has refused to accept accountability for this and even went as far as responding to a public question, “Didn’t you overspend $25,000?” Rob stated, “Wasn’t me buddy, I wrote a bill for $14k, and that was it.” Long not only did not take accountability, but he also blamed his own staff so they could take the fall for him. 


In the Senate, Long is going to ask the Senate to cover the funds left over, while he only contributes $5,000 out of his $15,000 budget and other funds that have been pulled from other executive members. 

The Senate should not be required to fix this wrong without Long using the entirety of his budget to fix it. As for myself, I have halted current legislation I am writing that deals with using funds from the Senate Discretionary Fund. I want to serve the students, but with Long’s mistakes, it feels unforeseeable.  

During the campaign between Long and ASCSU Vice President Elijah Sandoval, they promised financial responsibility; however, their campaign promise speaks to hypocrisy from the mishandling of ASCSU funds. So my question to you, President Long, is will you take accountability, or will you continue to not acknowledge your mistakes? 

Anonymous ASCSU representative

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