Students attempt to put aside differences
The University of Colorado Student Union is working to establish a healthy relationship with the president of CU after Bruce Benson was instated to become CU’s 22nd president on Feb. 20.
Benson was voted as CU’s next president after the Board of Regents voted 6-3 in his favor despite claims from UCSU and the Boulder Faculty Assembly that he was not academically qualified for the position.
For the most part, the UCSU staff is optimistic of their future communications with Benson, but some UCSU members expressed some concerns regarding the election process.
“One of the biggest challenges UCSU had with the process is that it produced one candidate and because there was no sense of comparison,” said Dustin Farivar, vice president of Legislative Council. “It was difficult to give Benson our full support because there wasn’t a fair student voice for the best recommendation for the regents’ approval.”
UCSU Tri-Executive Hadley Brown also had concerns regarding Benson’s appointment.
“I still firmly believe that [Benson] should not have been elected,” Brown said. “The thing that most bothers me about the decision that was made is that the faculty and students on campus opposed him . and students from Colorado Springs other student organizations wrote to the regents saying that he should not be president. I have never heard any faculty or students saying that this guy is going to be really good.”
UCSU is currently constructing a bill requesting one meeting per semester with Benson, quarterly meetings with Chancellor Bud Peterson and one meeting per semester with regent members outside of the regularly scheduled regent meetings.
“We want to make sure we are working with the whole CU community for the progression of CU,” Farivar said. “We want to be as inclusive as possible.”
Despite frustration with the selection process Brown said UCSU is now working for healthy communications between CU’s executive body and the student body.
“I still think that it’s important that we make an effort to work with him because we don’t really have a choice,” Brown said. “We should hold him accountable for things that we want him to do and for things he said that he can do.”
Blaine Pellicore, a USCU representative, anticipates a good working relationship with the new president.
“Obviously he cares about this university, otherwise he wouldn’t accept his presidency, and we care about CU, so there is no conflict of interest,” Pellicore said.
UCSU will be scheduling a meeting with President Benson soon to discuss new levels of communication.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Alison Mesinger at email@example.com.