Students from the Associated Students of Fort Lewis College recently attended the ratification meeting of the Colorado Student Government Coalition.
Students Emily Denham, Scott Greenler and Alex Thompson went to Denver to represent FLC at the CSGC meeting.
The CSGC elected Thompson to organizing director, a role dedicated to organizing agendas and meetings, appointing the judicial board and organizing the next year’s fall assembly in order to elect new positions, Thompson said.
11 of the 12 public four-year colleges in Colorado were present, Greenler said.
The ability to organize the fall assembly gives the CGSC the continuity, which similar groups have lacked in the past, Thompson said.
Denham was appointed as a court justice.
As a court justice, Denham will enforce parliamentary procedure during meetings as well as settle constitutional disputes, Denham said.
Greenler holds the position of a director of the Board of Directors for the CSGC, he said.
He will represent the interests of FLC students on the CSGC, Greenler said.
Thompson appointed Denham as a court justice in fulfillment of his duties as organizing director, Denham said.
“I nominated Emily, but then she had to be affirmed by the group by two-thirds majority vote,” Thompson said.
Denham is one of three justices within the CSGC, she said.
There had been other organizations among student governments of four-year institutions, however they had all failed in some way, Thompson said.
“Last year, when I was president there were a lot of legislative issues that ASFLC tackled, but we really couldn’t expand past our purview as one single student government,” Thompson said. “We thought it would be advantageous to have an avenue to express the ideas of Colorado students at a statewide level.”
In the CSGC, “Fort Lewis College is very well represented,” Greenler said.
Thompson and Greenler built the coalition last year, Thompson said.
“The first meeting allowed us to solidify this coalition,” he said.
The idea of the coalition started after a conference.
“We were a part of the main players that got the CSGC started,” Greenler said.
One of the goals of the CSGC is to lobby the state of Colorado with student interests with the intent that state and federal legislature hear a more amplified voice of Colorado students, Thompson said.
The CSGC also wants to get students involved in the political system, he said.
In the short term, the CSGC wants to make recommendations to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education regarding House Bill 141319, a bill that allocates funding to higher education, Greenler said.
“The more students that know their student government is involved in this, the more they can feel that their interests are actually being represented on a state and federal level,” Denham said.
The CSGC decided to make their coalition one that does not have any financial infrastructure, unlike many other states that have groups similar to the CSGC, Thompson said.
“We want to strike a balance between providing for the future, while not getting ourselves in too deep too quickly,” Greenler said.