ASCSM reapproves fee, responds to actions on campus and off

Prior review of opinions printed in the school newspaper, a response to a comparison of Mines to 1930’s Germany made by a city council member, and a clarification on fee hikes were all part of the exciting discussions at last Thursday’s ASCSM Meeting in Ballrooms A & B.

The Associated Students of the Colorado School of Mines (ASCSM) began their third meeting of the semester with a presentation by Derek Morgan, Director of Student Activities and Associate Dean of Students. Morgan addressed a resolution brought forward that evening regarding student fees. “At the last ASCSM meeting in April… ASCSM approved a schedule for charges and fees,” Morgan said. The Academic Construction Building fee was raised by $100, which was part of the original resolution, and the Health Services Fee was raised by $10. “I, in my ignorance, said this was for a bond payment. This was a bad on my part, and I apologize. It’s a new bond payment,” said Morgan.

The increase would help to pay for a new bond to construct a Wellness Center, meant to replace the current Student Health Center. Debra Roberge, Director of the Student Health Center, said of the new building, “Going forward, our concept is that we’re going to broaden [our care]. We’re going to bring counseling into our building. This will allow us to coordinate your care instead of fragmenting it.” The fee was originally charged to students this semester, but after the issues with the bond were realized, it was refunded. The resolution, which was approved with one vote against, will take effect this spring.

ASCSM also discussed sending a letter to the Golden City Council Ward 4 representative, William Fisher. The letter would echo the sentiment expressed in another letter, which was written by Zach Aman, Graduate Student Association (GSA) President, and approved by the Graduate Student Association. Both letters are in response to a comment made by Fisher during the September 9, 2010, city council meeting where Fisher said, “[This action] reminds in [sic] the late 1930s there was a country that would go and take little bits of other countries.” A few moments later the comment was concluded with, “I think we all know what happened.” The action referred to by Fisher was Mines’ attempt to convert 16th Street into a pedestrian corridor.

Aman’s letter requests a letter of apology from Fisher “addressed to the students, staff, and faculty of Colorado School of Mines.” The letter also invites Fisher to GSA events to “share how we, as Golden residents, are contributing to a global scientific community.” The letter from ASCSM was approved unanimously with a note to talk to the Faculty Senate about sending a similar message.

The final piece of new business before the ASCSM Senate was voting on the approval of a letter to the editor in response to last week’s editorial entitled “What’s the difference?” Approved in a 15-7-3 vote, the letter, available in this week’s issue of “The Oredigger,” attempts to address many of the issues raised in the original editorial.

During discussion on the issue, Nicole Kostelecky, a Junior Class representative, raised the idea of having “The Oredigger” seek counsel from ASCSM before printing other such articles. Kostelecky’s sentiments were seconded by Student Body Vice President Lisa Truong. Zach Aman, GSA President and former Editor-in-Chief for “The Oredigger” responded, “Talking about having [Ryan Browne, “The Oredigger” Editor-in-Chief] interface with the council… is actually unconstitutional as it is.” Ann Lott, Treasurer of ASCSM, responded, “Fact checking is a common practice at every newspaper. Every newspaper. You don’t have to ask us about every article. You just have to ask us what is correct.”

Minor notes at the meeting included a 15-minute discussion on a new logo for ASCSM shirts and what color these shirts would be. It was also noted that three separate committees discussed the issue of shirt colors.

Tuesday’s ASCSM Executive Committee meeting revealed how ASCSM intends to pay for the shirts. ASCSM appears to have had a larger than expected rollover balance from last year, in addition to the $32,150 in funding provided by budget committee. “We normally don’t have a rollover” said Lott. She continued, “…so we can afford this.” It was not stated why ASCSM had a rollover balance nor was it mentioned at the regular meeting on Thursday.

George Funkey, Director of Services Consolidation and Integration, Policy, and Planning, briefly presented at the meeting, announcing that October is National Cyber-Security Awareness month. He presented some of the reasons for the month’s focus, discussed some of the events that would be happening, and asked the assembled Senate to help by promoting the event.

Discussion of the Student Honor Code was postponed until the next meeting due to the Board of Trustees Representative being absent.

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