Some on Legislative Council concerned about precedent bill would set
UCSU may be extending a degree of official support to the Student Worker Alliance on campus if the resolution that was introduced Thursday night gets passed.
The SWA is a referendum-funded student group on campus that pairs students with workers on campuses in order to teach them skills such as learning English.
Tri-executive Hadley Brown vigorously defended the resolution which, if passed, would state that the SWA is officially supported by the UCSU Legislative Council.
“This is one avenue for SWA to get more recognition,” Brown said. “Legislative Council should support this, it’s really great work.”
The primary criticism of the resolution was that it would set a precedent that UCSU issue opinions regarding all student groups on campus. Rep. Chance Heath spoke at length on this issue, at one point quoting fellow Representative-at-large Christina Prairie-Chicken, a supporter of the resolution, as saying that UCSU isn’t in the practice of applauding the dozens of organizations that do great work in the Sept. 23, 2007, issue of the Colorado Daily.
“For my sorority, I would never write a resolution saying the university needs to recognize everything that we’re doing,” Prairie-Chicken said in the article.
Heath went on to say that the Legislative Council could not support a resolution in support of the SWA when it had stricken down a resolution that would have given a similar level of support to CU’s Interfraternity Council. Heath said that he is mostly concerned that UCSU is consistent in its decision making process.
“When we represent the students, we should be consistent,” Heath said. “When you represent student, you need to fairly represent all of them and not change your judgment from group to group.”
Tri-executive Charles Gilford was also in favor of the resolution and said that Legislative Council members needed to take the context as well as the purpose of a resolution into account when deciding whether to support it or not.
“The Council . makes decisions educated in the present situation,” Gilford said. “The Legislative Council issues opinions on appropriate issues.”
The resolution was eventually passed on to a second reading at the next Legislative Council meeting on Feb. 7 by a vote of 12 to 3.
In addition to debating the resolution, Legislative Council members also discussed the recent announcement by the Board of Regents that oil-magnate Bruce Benson was named as the sole finalist for the position of President of the university when current President Hank Brown retires. Benson was chair of Colorado Republican Party from 1987-1981.
Brown, Gilford and Legislative Council vice president Dustin Farivar were all concerned that CU students had been left out of the decision making process.
“There could be a greater opportunity for the larger community on campus to interact with him,” Farivar said. He also said that the speed of the selection process had left students out of the equation.
Brown and Gilford both said that they would be issuing statements to the Board of Regents relaying their concerns over the choice of Benson. Gilford, in particular, was concerned that Benson would prove to be too polarizing and political and would not look out for student’s interests.
“There are many roles that the president has, but the root and heart of it is to serve the students,” Gilford said.
Brown said that the Regents announced that there will be a forum for students to talk with Benson on Monday, but that the specific time and place had not yet been determined.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Rob Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org