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Friday, January 23, 2015

Wednesdays with the ASFLC: 21 January 2015

Story by Catherine Wheeler and Luke Perkins Photo by Catherine Wheeler

Wednesdays with the ASFLC: 21 January 2015

The Associated Students of Fort Lewis College met on Wednesday. Several new members joined senate, while returning members were reappointed to the table. Senate discussed multiple issues involving The ASFLC’s approach to Colorado House Bill 12-1124, and its effect on higher education throughout the state.

 

Colorado House Bill 14-1124

 

The ASFLC proposed Resolution 15-002 in support of Colorado House Bill 14-1124. According to the bill, state funded institutions of higher education will grant in-state classification to a student “who is a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe with historical ties to Colorado.”

 

This is not applicable to Fort Lewis College, which will still retain its tuition waiver for Native American students.

 

The Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs will be the body determining which Native American tribes will qualify for such benefits.

 

The ASFLC debated this issue thoroughly, determining both the pros and cons as the bill relates to FLC and higher education as a whole.

 

“I feel this undermines our interests at Fort Lewis College,” Chase Gaumond, a senator of The ASFLC, said.

 

The bill’s passing could detract from more Native American students attending FLC, Gaumond said.

 

Other senators voiced that the bill’s focus is to improve the ability for out-of-state Native Americans to receive an education.

 

“I think any opportunity for an education is important,” Kate Suazo, a senator of The ASFLC, said.

 

The bill gives Native American students the ability to pursue an education, which they can bring back to their reservation, T.J. Trump, a senator of The ASFLC, said.

 

The ASFLC passed the resolution 17 to 1.

 

Ideas for Innovation

 

The ASFLC is sponsoring Ideas for Innovation, an event which provides students with the ability to submit their ideas to their student government, said Haydn Collard, organizer of the event and a senator with the ASFLC.

 

“This is an opportunity for students to submit practical ideas and make a change at Fort Lewis,” Collard said.

 

The most successful examples to come from Ideas for Innovation are the frolf course and requiring a gender neutral bathroom policy in every building on campus, he said.

 

Students may attend Ideas for Innovation on Monday, Jan. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. and present a one minute pitch about their idea.  The event will be held in the Vallecito room, located in the Student Union.

 

New Additions to the Table

 

Senate passed Resolution 15-001, which added new members to the table as well as reinstated others. Senators returning to the table were Melba Njenga, Mercedes Romero, and T.J. Trump.

 

The new senators added to the table included two freshmen, Evan Wick and Jordyn Abrams, and a sophomore, Shea Wales.  All three bring different goals of what they hope to accomplish while serving as members of The ASFLC.

 

A revitalization of school spirit that, Abrams said she sees as lacking at FLC is something she would like to advocate for as senator .

 

“I am very passionate about the environment,” Wales said. She hopes to use this opportunity to support legislature that would benefit it.

 

The financial viability of The ASFLC’s endeavors is what primarily concerns Wick. He aims to maximize the opportunities that ASFLC has financially and ensure that students get the most benefit out of what they are paying for.

 

The Independent | Fort Lewis College | 1000 Rim Drive | Durango, CO 81301 | 970-247-7405 |  independent@fortlewis.edu