In their Nov. 2 meeting, the Associated Student Government (ASG) continued the trend set two weeks ago and truly debated bill 17-16. Though this bill was not as contested as the bill for the animation, motion and photography club, as the semester continues, senators have become increasingly analytical of requests brought before their body.

Though ASG saw two bills during this meeting, the second of which was a $100 allocation from their operating budget to pay for an award dinner for their body at the Western Colorado Community College campus, only the first was debated at all. The second passed without questions or discussion.

The debated bill was proposed by the Society of Women Engineers, a campus club that focuses on women in engineering but does not restrict its membership to solely women or engineers. The bill, as passed along by FAC, would allocate $920 from the Student-Controlled Reserve Fund (SCRF) to be spent on various materials for community events.

In a motion unprecedented during this semester, Senator Kevin Kahuena proposed an amendment to the bill which would add the money the Fee Allocation Committee (FAC) removed on Monday. Though the amount was small, only approximately $70 for the purchase of safety glasses, the amendment marks the first time ASG has added funds back to a bill, instead of either passing it as FAC recommended or cutting it further.

“If we can fund thousands of dollars for Rowdy Wranglers, why can’t we fund a club to get safety glasses?” Kahuena said.

Senator Jeff Vela explained the reason for FAC’s cut, arguing that at only $2.79 a pair, members could certainly afford their own safety glasses. The presenters, however, said the proposed glasses would be pink and would be used for a women-specific event, encouraging more women to become involved in engineering and learn to use the shop tools.

The debate over the bill centered principally around this issue of cost, which Kahuena and Vela voiced, and the issue of if the club had done enough fundraising.

The fundraising argument is brought up often in ASG, as members want to see that the clubs have done some prior work for their event before bringing it to FAC. Senator Shelby Cerise explained that the lack of fundraising was one of the reasons FAC cut a small amount from the bill, as they felt the club could earn this money on their own.

Kahuena, who due to the community-engaged nature of the bill, became its most vocal supporter, said that ASG discusses fundraising too much without really defining it. Since the club had reached out to businesses and formed partnerships and sponsorships, Kahuena argued that these actions demonstrated the same initiative and time commitment required for a fundraiser.

When the amendment was brought to a vote, it passed easily, with only three votes against. After this vote, the amended bill was then passed immediately.

Lauren Lipski | The Criterion

ASG also saw its final senatorial position for physical, environmental and biological sciences senator filled. Jake Kernc, a freshman, approached Senate Leader Sam Gaasch for the chance to run. During his speech to the Senate, Kernc said that his reason for joining ASG was that he believed Colorado Mesa University wasn’t living up to its potential and he wanted to help ASG become the leading force of change.

Kernc also referenced the ASG report card, by Editor in Chief Alec Williams, which came out last week and gave the group a C minus. Though many senators did not seem aware that the report was issued, Kernc said the grade gave him the motivation to help the body change and become more accessible, especially through their online presence.

After Senator Richard Nguyen told the general assembly they could learn from Kernc’s example of school spirit and enthusiasm, Kernc was unanimously approved.

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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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