ASCSU hears new legislation on student funding, access, equity

Members+of+the+senate+for+the+Associated+Students+of+Colorado+State+University+hold+the+first+senate+meeting+of+the+fall+semester+Sept.+1.+%28Cat+Blouch+%7C+The+Collegian%29

Collegian | Cat Blouch

Members of the senate for the Associated Students of Colorado State University hold the first senate meeting of the fall semester Sept. 1. (Cat Blouch | The Collegian)

Piper Russell, Reporter

The Associated Students of Colorado State University met for their 13th session of the semester on Dec. 1. ASCSU discussed the open position of speaker pro tempore and heard two pieces of legislation.

The job of speaker pro tempore is currently open, and ASCSU Senate leadership elected to wait until spring semester to elect a new speaker pro tempore. According to Parliamentarian Jackson Hunter and Budgetary Affairs Committee Chair Lizzy Osterhoudt, they decided this in order to provide ample time for news of the open position to be distributed.

“Within ASCSU, historically there has not been a lot of outreach to marginalized identities and populations specifically within (Student Diversity Programs and Services),” Osterhoudt said. “There have been countless years where we have elections that are paid, and they’re really influential here on campus, but students aren’t told about it; there’s not a lot of outreach that’s been done for those positions.”

Osterhoudt also spoke about how Speaker Kyle Hill is reaching out to the Student Diversity Programs and Services offices, meeting with directors and sending emails to let them know about the position.

“We just want to ensure that all students across this campus are being equitably reached out to and informed of this position,” Osterhoudt said. “Especially since it’s a student-fee paying job. So we just need time to ensure we’re having thorough communication with everyone here on campus.”

ASCSU also heard a new piece of legislation, Bill 5106 “Fixing Formatting Errors.” This bill seeks to change the formatting of the ASCSU Constitution, which will make it easier to read, more aesthetically pleasing and ensure the constitution meets accessibility guidelines.

“BSOF is a really great way for people to get involved in ASCSU in a low-commitment way, so I also love that this increases opportunity” – Emily Baller, chief financial officer

According to the bill, it is difficult to see which subsections go with which section in the current constitution and which paragraphs go with which section. Also, some parts are left-aligned and other parts are justified, and the font and font size don’t meet Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility.

“The bill literally just fixes all of those issues,” said Emery Jenkins, author of the bill. “It makes the sections, subsections and paragraphs easier to delineate and see which parts of the constitution go with what. The font size has been increased, I believe to size 14, for the normal text and 16 for all of the headings, so people can actually read them, and that is ADA compliant.”

The bill will be sent to the Internal Affairs Committee.

Lastly, ASCSU ratified the Board for Student Organization Funding’s bylaws. The BSOF board is made up of five senators, four at-large members and an executive member. The board unanimously voted on the new bylaws.

According to Emily Baller, chief financial officer, changes to the bylaws give board members more time to allocate funding. Also, BSOF will now be comprised of a larger spread of ASCSU members, including the director of finance, two members drawn from the cabinet, senators, senate officers and “at-large” members who don’t hold other positions in ASCSU.

“BSOF is a really great way for people to get involved in ASCSU in a low-commitment way, so I also love that this increases opportunity,” Baller said.

Baller also said the BSOF board created new liaison positions that reflect the needs of the board. These new positions include the social media liaison, RamLink liaison, tabling liaison, engagement for registered student organizations, communications and professional development.

According to Baller, the BSOF board also made a change that will give the board discretion on whether they can fund certain events.

“In the past, if promotional materials have been created, BSOF cannot fund this event,” Baller said. “We changed this to giving the board discretion on whether or not they can fund.”

“A lot of these changes were made in an attempt to modernize the board, to make us work more efficiently,” Baller said.

The BSOF bylaws were passed.

Reach Piper Russell at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PiperRussell10.