BOULDER, Colo. –
With a slate of uncontested candidates on the ballot for next week’s election, the University of Colorado Student Union is shifting its focus toward garnering student support for three constitutional amendments.
The first amendment UCSU will offer up to student voters concerns the usage of student fees to fund capital construction and Division One athletics programs on campus.
“The students need to have a voice in how student fees are spent,” said CU Regent Tom Lucero, “particularly in regard to projects of great magnitude and cost.”
The amendment was created in response to a $400 annual hike in student fees approved by CU student leaders in the spring of 2004 to aid in the construction of four academic buildings, including the ATLAS hub and the visual arts complex.
The amendment would require the approval of a majority of students voting in an election before student fees would be raised or allocated for this purpose in the future.
“We don’t want to see another capital construction project placed on the shoulders of students,” said Blaine Pellicore, president of UCSU’s Legislative Council. “The purpose of student fees is for student services, not for academic or athletic buildings.”
The second amendment is a procedural change that would require adding a phase to the process of recalling or removing UCSU representatives from office.
“We want to put another stage in there that says before anyone can get a recall petition going, they have to go to the appellate branch first,” Pellicore said.
Appointed by the student government’s tri-executives each year, the appellate branch is made up of seven students who hold offices in addition to their appellate duties. In the case of a recall process, they collectively would decide whether a given move to recall an elected representative was grounded in legitimacy.
The amendment comes on the heels of a recall attempt in late October, when a portion of the Greek community pushed for the removal of Tri-Executives Dustin Farivar, Ryan Biehle and Victoria Garcia for what it felt was a delayed response to the Oct. 3 firebombing of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at 1146 12th St.
The final amendment would reduce the percentage of the student body that needs to participate in a successfulreferendum vote from 25 percent to 10 percent.
“Considering that the voting percentage is 11 percent, it would be incredibly difficult to get 25 percent of the student body to vote on anything,” Pellicore said. “Quite simply, that has never happened.”