The Associated Student Government saw an unprecedented number of bills during their Nov. 29 general assembly meeting, which again spanned over three hours.

While three of the bills were old business related to bylaw changes, three others allocated money to clubs and the final one purchased lapel pins for senators to wear. Six of the seven passed easy, while one bylaw change bill must be seen a third time before being voted upon.

The Fee Allocation Committee saw the three club-related bills on Monday, all of which passed, though the first two received some cuts.

The first of these bills, which would allocate $5959.60 to send 14 students from the Colorado Mesa University Forensic Science Club to a conference in February, passed with minimal discussion and no opposition, after a presentation which highlighted CMU’s excellence in this particular discipline.

Similarly, the second of these bills, which would allocate $1923 to send nine students from the Hospitality Management Club to a conference in February, was passed unanimously with no questions and only one comment from Senator Richard Nguyen. Nguyen urged senators to vote in favor of the bill as it provided another learning opportunity for CMU students.

Only the third of these club allocation bills was contentious, a bill which would allocate $3229.50 to the Engineering Club for the purchase of a trailer to transport their formula-style racecar the club builds annually to a competition in Michigan. CMU President Tim Foster pledged he would match whatever amount ASG allocated to the club.

While most senators were in favor of the bill, Senator Amber DuBois opposed a large amount of money, as she argued the club should be searching for more sponsors. DuBois was also opposed to how much of the car itself was not re-used by the club, but rather sold on eBay as they developed or purchased better parts.

Senator Jeff Vela encouraged senators, especially DuBois, to remember that these students represent a club, not an organization, so the school does not automatically allot them budgetary money for the creation of their approximately $20,000 car. The bill passed with a significant majority vote.

The fourth new bill that day purchased gold lapel pins with the ASG logo for senators to wear. The bill would purchase 100 pins, enough to outfit senators for at least the next three years, according to ASG President Ben Linzey. After some logistical questions regarding the size and style of the pins, the bill was passed unanimously and will use $230 from the ASG operating budget.

The remaining three bills, all bylaw changes to the ASG Constitution, were moved through quickly. The first and second of these, discussed and read and two previous meetings, were set to be voted upon at this third meeting, per rules in the ASG Constitution that state bills containing bylaw changes must be seen at three meetings before a vote.

One of these bylaw changes made the student trustee the tie-breaking vote on conference committees, to avoid the conflict of interest faced by Senate Leader Sam Gaasch three weeks ago. Senators Kevin Kahuena and Vela argued that the student trustee was the only truly non-biased, but student elected person to sit upon ASG, and therefore was the best choice. The bill passed with a majority vote.

The second of these bylaw changes added a few additional categories to the spring MavAwards. In previous meetings, the idea of whether or not the sports award should designate both an NCAA and club winner was debated. During this meeting, Senator Vela and Director of External Affairs Chrystina Meador both agreed the vagueness of the description would allow for Senate bodies in the future to add club sports if necessary. For the time being, club sports will fall under general sports in regard to MavAwards. The bill passed with a majority vote.

The third bylaw change and the seventh and final bill of the night were sponsored by Senator Shelby Cerise. Senators seemed conscious of the length of the meeting and decided to discuss the bill the following week when it is scheduled to be voted upon.

The rest of the meeting was spent in Senate discussion, where the senators discussed the grievance filed by Editor in Chief of The Criterion, Alec Williams, along with other editors, in response to Senator Nguyen’s grievance filed against them in relation to the story “Sodexo: Employee admitted to lewd messages and quit.” In-depth coverage of this conflict and portion of the meeting can be found here.

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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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