Two bills, two resolutions bound for second reading
Following last week’s conclusion to the budget season, UCSU is now focusing on social concerns that are affecting students.
On Thursday, Legislative Council approved four items for second hearing, including a bill that would create a task force responsible for addressing issues of disabilities access on campus.
According to the bill, the Disabilities Access Task Force would report to Legislative Council and increase its involvement with the university regarding problems with disabilities access.
“It would basically work with administrative entities . to make sure the university is thinking about disabilities access in all of the capital building projects that will be coming up,” said Tri-executive Hadley Brown, a senior English major and co-author of the bill.
Specific concerns addressed by the bill include physical access into buildings, as well as the poor conditions of paths that run between them. Brown said that allowing these problems to go unaddressed would constitute a form of discrimination against students with disabilities.
Both Brown and Legislative Council Vice President Dustin Farivar, a junior political science major, said the university has not been doing enough to correct the situation.
“Previously, CU as a whole hasn’t been addressing access issues to the level that would be considered equitable,” Farivar said.
The task force would be composed of two members of Legislative Council, the UCSU Diversity Director and up to four students at large. Among its duties would be to make sure campus infrastructure is compliant with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We want to make sure we’re creating a welcoming and safe environment for all of our students that we will be impacting,” Farivar said. “It’s important to be a voice for those who can’t be part of the conversation all the time, and should be.”
Legislative Council will also hear a second reading for one other bill, and two proposed resolutions. The second bill, authored by Legislative Council President and senior architecture major Boyce Postma, would eliminate the ability of the UMC to charge student groups for using tables on its terraces.
In the past, the charge has been $5 per table.
“The bill would basically dissolve this practice and force the UMC to incur these costs,” Postma said.
After the presentation of the two bills, Legislative Council began looking at the proposed resolutions. The first, authored by both Brown and junior political science major Dan Omasta, would encourage Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson to sign the American College and University President’s Civic Engagement Commitment, helping to institutionalize voting registration and structures.
Omasta, who is also the CU chapter chair of CoPIRG, said that this resolution would support make it easier for students to register to vote. He said it would also grant leniency in situations where civic involvement conflicted with students’ academic responsibilities.
“This gets rid of a lot of red tape and bureaucracy,” Omasta said. “Students shouldn’t have to choose between academics and their civic duty.”
The final resolution considered by the council, authored by UCSU Sustainability Director and senior environmental studies major Amy Harris, would support the establishment of a revolving fund used for environmental efficiency projects on campus.
This fund would be built by taking a portion of the revenue from the increased Colorado severance tax, which is a tax on oil and gas extraction. Revenue from this increase is approximately $200 million, and $25 to $50 million of which would go into the fund.
Harris said that in a revolving fund, the savings created by the efficiency projects would get paid directly back into the fund itself. She said that this way, the fund never dies.
“Really, it saves a lot of money,” Harris said. “There is a long, long list of projects you can come up with to fund energy efficiency projects in buildings.”
Legislative Council will not meet next week over spring break. It will have the second readings of these items when students return the following week.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer George Plaven at George.Plaven@colorado.edu.