CUSG is aiming to maintain a strong connection with students in light of the recent inauguration of new representatives and the passing of 4/20 legislation.
Last Thursday’s CUSG legislative meeting saw the exit of multiple council members and the inauguration of the newly-elected representatives from the winning ticket of the fall election, Pulse.
The new representatives-at-large are Bryan Albaugh, Emma Harsin-Drager, Brittni Hernandez, Isra Chaker and Martha Obermiller. They took their seats among the other CUSG representatives, senators and executives immediately after being sworn in by legislative council president, Marc Herzberger.
It was Herzberger’s last night in his position as legislative council president, having held it since May. He was one of several who wrapped up their time in CUSG on Thursday.
“I’ve enjoyed being a part of this council and I’m sad to leave,” Herzberger said. “Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time next semester to continue to contribute, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this student government.”
As president, Herzberger, a senior, led every legislative council meeting and oversaw the passing of new bills, the ratification of university organization board members and the financial support of student groups and clubs.
“We’re a diverse mix of people, and one of the most rewarding parts of this job has been working with people that I would never had interacted with otherwise,” Herzberger said.
With the inauguration of the Pulse candidates, legislative council has diversified even further; two opposing parties are now being represented. A few of the outgoing council members ran as candidates on the Value ticket to maintain their positions.
The new representatives, whose elections were held Oct. 24 – 28, 2011, plan to start implementing their plans as soon as possible.
“We’d really like to work on construction bills,” Martha Obermiller, a junior ethnic studies and international affairs major, said. “It’s an important thing to tackle because they’re directly related to student fees. We’re hoping to look at capital construction bonds and restructure them, allowing students to pay less.”
The other major element of Pulse’s platform is improved campus safety. This and the lowering of student fees are initiatives that Obermiller said are priorities for every member of CUSG.
“In terms of just wanting to do what’s best for this university, we’re all on the same page,” Obermiller said.
Herzberger said that he feels confident in CUSG’s ability to act as the voice of students on campus, especially in the aftermath of the passing of 4/20 legislation.
“The 4/20 resolution is such a great example of how we interact with this campus and respond to the needs of the students,” Herzberger said. “That’s what we’re here for.”
After two record-breaking elections in a row and a large turnout during the 4/20 open forum that preceded the decision to pass the legislation, CUSG hopes to maintain a strong connection with students.
“Our job is to represent students, so for them to know what’s going on is really important,” Obermiller said. “We all get way too many emails, so I think we need to look at different ways of increasing student involvement and communicating.”
Despite the two opposing parties that now make up the legislative council, Obermiller said that she is optimistic about CUSG’s collective ability to make decisions.
“I’d like to say that we can put differences and feelings aside and work for the betterment of this school,” Obermiller said. “In the end, we all want to do good. There’s a lot of passion within this group, and we’re ready to work hard.”
Allison Metzger, a 20-year-old sophomore anthropology major, said that CUSG’s promises to students should be the first priority regardless of internal differences.
“I think that our student body should create an environment on campus that embraces everyone,” Metzger said. “If Value and Pulse uphold their platforms and what they pledged to students, they should be able to work together towards these goals as a combined effort.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Annie Melton at Anne.email@example.com.