By a narrow margin, the Associated Student Government (ASG) passed a bill to allocate $2,300 for the purchase of 30 gym passes for Montrose campus students to use at the Montrose Recreation Center. Since the Hamilton Recreation Center, for which all enrolled students pay fees, is over 60 miles away, Montrose students are unlikely to use it as their primary gym.

Montrose Campus Senator Nayeli Zavala presented the bill to ASG. The bill, previously seen in the Fee Allocation Committee (FAC) last semester, failed to move on to ASG. When FAC saw the bill on Monday, it passed 4-3.

Senators were concerned with the practical issues surrounding the gym passes, such as who will receive the passes and what will happen if students do not use them regularly. According to Zavala, in past years, the passes have been first-come, first-serve, but can be revoked if a student does not use them at least eight times a month.

Director of Student Life Shane O’Neill stepped into the meeting to further clarify Zavala’s answers, stating that he can monitor what students are currently enrolled and how often they use their passes.

Senator Jeff Vela was opposed to the bill and called it a “Band-Aid fix solution,” arguing that ASG needs to find other solution to the problem, other than a limited number of passes.

“The problem with passing the bill tonight is the administration expects us to pass it,” Vela said, arguing that if the administration sees them reject the bill in favor of a long-term solution, they may begin to work on this solution.

Vela also encouraged senators to be more fiscally conservative and remember that the funds from the student-controlled reserve fund (SCRF) will not be replenished next year.

Vela’s concern mirrors a subject President Ben Linzey discussed in his president’s report. Following a meeting with Vice President of Student Services John Marshall and Director of Student Life Shane O’Neill, Linzey cautioned senators to be “leery of how much they’re spending” so that they do not set a precedent of excessive allocations.

Linzey also mentioned some long-term fixes for the Montrose campus problem, which could include a separate allocation of student fees or including items such as this in ASG’s operating budget. The second option would allow this money to be allocated during the biennial process. Linzey said he would recommend the first option of adding the cost into student fees for the coming year.

Senate Leader Sam Gaasch presented a compromise, arguing that ASG should pass the bill with minor cuts for this semester and continue to work on the long-term solution for next year. Senator Jay Shearrow recommended passing the bill as written.

Senator Elise Leonard proposed an amendment to change the cost per pass to $20.00 instead of $26.00, which would force students to add $6.00 of their own money to purchase a pass. The amendment failed.

Lauren Lipski | The Criterion

When the bill came to a vote, it passed 11-10.

ASG saw only one club bill during their meeting, which was for the Mesa Catholic Alternative Spring Break and would allocate only $1054.76 of a total $9594.61 trip cost to send 9 students to the Appalachian Mountains.

Senator Richard Nguyen called this an “impressive” bill and cited the large club contribution and the mission at the core of the trip as reasons to support the bill. After a roll call vote, the bill passed unanimously with one abstention by bill sponsor Senator Jeff Vela.

During her report, Gaasch said that many candidates have approached her for the position of Minority Senator left by Shelby Cerise’s resignation last week. Gaasch and others will narrow down the candidates before any senators vote upon them.

ASG’s other three bills were in regard to proposed changes to their constitution and can be read about in another article.

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Lauren Lipski
Lauren Lipski is a senior at Colorado Mesa University serving as The Criterion's managing editor for the 2017/2018 school year. She is also majoring in English literature, English writing and Hispanic studies. She also served as the managing editor of Pinyon, CMU's poetry magazine. Upon graduation in May 2018, she plans to pursue graduate studies in writing and publishing.

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