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Students protest to have a vote

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Students at Colorado State University Pueblo are standing up for students rights.

Thursday, the Associated Students’ Government president Davis Fresquez along with other students throughout Pueblo protested the lack of student representation on the Colorado State University system chancellor search committee.

The goal of the protest was to see student and alumni membership on the committee.

Steve Titus, of the ASG, thinks the lack of student participation is because of confidentiality issues regarding the candidates.

“The person who will fill this position will be playing a very influential role in the community and the board doesn’t want anything that can be harmful to the candidate to leak,” Titus said.

“It’s also a stake holder argument. The committee can learn more about what students want in a chancellor,” Titus said.

The chancellor position is responsible for oversight of both CSU-Pueblo and CSU-Fort Collins as well as CSU-Global campus. Currently, the president of the Fort Collins campus is fulfilling the duties the future chancellor will have.

The search committee, which is formed by the CSU System of Governors, consists of 15 members. None of the members are CSU-Pueblo students or alumni.

CSU-Fort Collins has 5 alumni members on the search committee.        

Titus said he thinks the decision is based on the fact that CSU-Pueblo is only five years old and doesn’t have as many donors as Fort Collins.

“Alumni give money to the system too. They [the system] need to put the money where their mouth is so we can have some level of equality.”

CSU-Pueblo students as well as the community of Pueblo are upset about this issue and have voiced their concern to the board chairman, Doug Jones. A recent article said that Jones has not accepted this fact and has not yet amended his recommendation of board composition.

“Search committee members were chosen for their knowledge and understanding of complex, billion dollar businesses,” said Michelle McKinney, who does public relations for the CSU System Board of Governors.

Most committee members have volunteered time. The list of members includes alumni and board members. Staff members will also be assisting as a part of their regular job duties.

The Board of Governors said they thought the school will save approximately $100,000 by using the resources they already have available instead of getting a company who will screen and hire the qualified person.

When the committee reviews the applications and selects the people they think are capable, the list will be presented to the Board of Governors.

Right now, the students’ voice will be represented on the board by Tyler Smoot and David Fresquez. Smoot is the student president at CSU-Fort Collins and Fresquez is the student president at CSU-Pueblo.

Titus said that he doesn’t think this is not enough representation.

Titus said though Jones is a very influential person in the community, he should have allowed the requested two students from each school rather than one from each school.

Titus said he  thinks the system can benefit from the students and alumni.

“The system can benefit from the ideas of the students. Without any students, there would be no system. Without a system, there wouldn’t be a chancellor. The biggest donors are people in Pueblo. The city is growing furiously and we need representation from our own city,” Titus said. 

The ASG would like Jones to consider a few things when reconsidering the make-up of the chancellor.

Titus said he wants a chancellor who has a good relationship with the local stage, a good understanding of a complicated education system and is a true leader in student rights.

ASG Protest from CSU Pueblo Today on Vimeo.