Members of UCSU reflect on the events of the past year
University of Colorado Student Union has had a tumultuous year. From budgets to bills the student government has seen a lot.
But what has been accomplished?
And what lies ahead for the next few weeks and the summer?
One of the largest challenges that UCSU faced this semester was creating a budget that found a compromise for student fees and group funding. Finance Board, Legislative Council and members of the student community closely analyzed all cost centers to cut ineffective programming and cut down on student fees.
“I don’t think you can ever accomplish everything you want in a position like this. You have to prioritize and hope to get as far down on your list as possible,” said Joe Martinez, president of Legislative Council. “The UCSU worked very hard this year to ensure that fee increases were handled responsibly. I am very proud that we passed a budget that balances the need to keep fee increase reasonable with services that are important to students.”
Megan Canon, second vice president of Legislative Council echoed these sentiments but also felt some regret toward the situation.
“Disappointment would be my way to describe UCSU leadership in the past year. Granted I was a part of the UCSU leadership, it was sad to see how messy and ugly bureaucracy could be, especially with the budgets. I think I was frustrated most with the inability of my coworkers and I to constructively work together on controversial issues.” Canon said.
Both Canon and Martinez expressed pride in the strides UCSU made towards making CU a more environmentally friendly campus.
“We recently created an environmental fund that will allow our cost centers to use environmentally friendly technologies while paying back the investment with their future savings. We have shown that we can be environmentally and fiscally responsible.” Martinez said.
Members of the Legislative Council were not the only students hard at work. The Tri-executives spent second semester trying to fulfill their promise to make the university a better place for students.
“I believe we as a Tri-executive ticket are satisfied with the year, it was very rewarding for all of us,” Tri-executive Ashley Nakagawa said. “It’s hard to name one specific accomplishment, but we have several projects and accomplishments that we as an executive branch put together. Homecoming, state lobbying, improvement of relations with Boulder City, extended library hours and student group funding are just a few.”
With the spring elections over, last Thursday marked the end of the term for the Tri-executives and many members of the Legislative Council. Over the summer the new Tri-executives will put together their staff, meet important people and become familiar with their positions. The legislative and judicial branch will also stay in session and hold meetings during the summer.
“The best part has been to be able to really represent the students and their wishes. I think it’s very important to have a say in where your student fees are going, especially with such a large student government budget. UCSU controls over $36 million and to be a part of the allocation process was a huge learning experience.” Nakagawa said. “This process has been extremely rewarding and one of the best learning experiences of my life, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Contact Campus Press staff writer Julia Yugel at Julia.Yugel@thecampuspress.com.