On behalf of the University of Colorado Student Government, I’d like to welcome back all returning students to a new academic semester and a new calendar year on the Boulder campus.

Your student government has been working tirelessly to meet the needs of the students and have big plans for this semester.

One of our most ambitious plans this semester is to facilitate the renovation of the university’s Recreation Center.

Over the past months, we have been coordinating how to best address the desires of the students in the renovation and passing legislation to enable students to have a role in the decision-making process.

All full-fee-paying students will have the ability to vote in the spring election on a referendum to determine whether to commence the construction process.

As we approach the April voting week, more information will be provided to enable students to be well-informed on plans for the Recreation Center and how they will be impacted by the referendum’s passage.

Regardless of how you feel now about the renovation, I would like to encourage all students to take the effort to educate themselves on the topic and to vote.

An additional milestone of this semester will be determining the student-fee budget for next year, during our annual budgeting cycle. Our current budget of $36.6 million is what makes our student government unique, as it identifies us as the most financially powerful and autonomous student government in the nation.

The entire budget is decided solely by your elected student government representatives. Resources such as the University Memorial Center, Wardenburg Health Center, Recreation Center, Distinguished Speakers Board and an abundance of additional services are all paid for by student fees, and these divisions will have their budgets examined during this budgeting cycle.

The fact that your student government is so influential should instill a sense of pride in each student at this top-tier academic institution. I encourage all students to stop by our office in UMC 125, meet your representatives and provide us with input on what changes you would like to see in this year’s budget and how you believe your fees should be allocated.

Once again, I wish you all the best of luck with the spring semester and encourage each student to find a healthy balance of academics and social outlets.

If you have any questions regarding what we do in student government or how to get involved, please visit our office and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Thank you for a great fall semester and here’s hoping for an even better spring semester.

William Taylor is president of the CU Student Government.

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