Some see it as an abuse of power, others simply surprised
As news of the Interfraternity Council’s latest efforts spread through campus, CU students are becoming aware of the Fair and Equal Access bill and the implications that the bill would have on the CU community.
“I think the younger students definitely need to be aware of a big issue like this,” said Kristen Smith, a senior psychology and integrative physiology major.
Many students like Smith ponder the impact this concern will have on future UCSU election participation.
“I think it is a big problem because many students, including myself, don’t pay attention to student elections and who is being voted in,” Smith said. “The UCSU system they designed is a good idea, but I think it would work better if every student voted in the elections because everyone needs to be represented. An issue like this may be what it takes to get more students involved in elections.”
Junior Andrew Coate, student general manager at KVCU Radio 1190, which is located in the UMC basement, would be directly affected by the passing of this bill. As a university cost center, the largely student-run station would be affected significantly if the bill were passed, something that has grabbed the attention of the students at the station, Coate said.
“We were definitely surprised to hear about the bill,” Coate said. “There are enough struggles with putting budgets together without the possibility of cutting the funding to the all the cost centers.”
The KVCU budget is one of Coate’s main responsibilities, so he often deals with UCSU directly.
“I am not against the fraternities. I just think (the bill) is irresponsible and a little bit of an abuse of privilege if members of our student union would do something that would in fact harm the student body as a whole and benefit a small individual group,” Coate said.
The UCSU Legislative Council decided to table the bill at their last meeting.
Smith said she plans to attend the upcoming meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m., which is open to the public, and feels that many students who have an opinion either way would be willing to do the same.
“I hope this wakes people up to the power that the UCSU student government has,” Smith said. “If a big percentage of the people who are representing us as students are in the Greek system, then I do not think it is a fair representation if they use that power as a way to benefit themselves rather than a majority of the students. It is as if they are finding loopholes to get what they want.”
Paul Brangers, a senior integrative physiology major believes the university should have a right to break the autonomy agreement if the situation calls for such action.
“If UCSU members cannot separate their opinions based on the organizations they are a part of, then why should the university itself have to separate itself from certain typical university actions?” Brangers said. “The idea is that the students govern the student bodies, and non-university-affiliated groups should not be able to have an opinion on student life. The (IFC) has chosen to be separated from the university as a group.”
Many CU students agree that the aftermath of this issue could potentially transform the current UCSU election standards, and while participation has been limited in the past, winds of change may soon blow throughout the campus.
“I feel that students are generally self-involved, and when you make an issue that impacts them personally, they are finally going to get involved. That is what it will take,” said Smith.
The Campus Press contacted multiple fraternity members, all of whom either declined to comment or were not available for comment.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Corey Jones at email@example.com.