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ASG productive again following member losses

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File photo
From January 8-10, an estimated five to six members of ASG, according to Michael Weiner, acting president of ASG, were suspended to begin the semester for their involvement in alleged underage drinking activities during the 2014 Student Leadership Experience an the Denver Tech Center Marriott. File photo

During the first two weeks of the semester, the Associated Students’ Government progress came to a stand-still because of member losses which ultimately required replacement of 14 positions.

From January 8-10, an estimated five to six members of ASG, according to Michael Weiner, acting president of ASG, were suspended to begin the semester for their involvement in alleged underage drinking activities during the 2014 Student Leadership Experience an the Denver Tech Center Marriott.

Following a judicial investigation of the incident, one director and two senators of ASG were ultimately relieved of their positions, while the remaining members were suspended temporarily.

In addition to the three members relieved from their positions, 11 other members of ASG did not return for the spring semester for various reasons ranging from grades to graduation to other undisclosed reasons.

“They were still operational; there were members in the student government, and they were still working on projects, but there were certain student government members that couldn’t go to their committee meetings and act as a member of ASG for that period of time,” Weiner said.

Ultimately, due to the member losses and suspensions, quorum and the senate were suspended for the first two weeks of the semester.

“Some of the members who had been really stepping up prior to the whole thing at the beginning of the semester were not able to really work on the projects that they had going on, and then some of those people subsequently left and those projects were dead in the water and we had to recover them and get them assigned to new people,” Weiner said.

Once the suspensions were lifted, ASG began to replace members. It confirmed three new members by the third week of classes, and eventually hired four more. Together, the seven new members have been more productive than the previous 14, according to Weiner.

Although the loss of staff may have slowed ASG down at the beginning of the semester, some of the progress it has made since may not have occurred without it.

“I feel like it was a wake up call for the organization,” Weiner said “The fact of the matter is that a ton of people left student government for various issues, different things that happened, and the people that are still here are stepping up their game and they really want to see ASG thrive.”

With a current staff of eight senators, four directors, five justices and one president, Weiner and ASG have been working to improve the university.

One such improvement this semester is a mandatory dean’s advisory council for each college in the university. The advisory councils consist of the dean and any appointed members they would like to see, such as faculty advisors or administrative assistants, and a number of students who have been either recruited by the student government or recommended by the dean or other council members.

The council discusses classes, professors and general changes in the buildings that fall under each category, according to Weiner. The purpose is to allow for productive input to be given to help guide the overall direction of the academics and extracurricular activities based in each college.

In addition to the dean’s advisory council, Weiner and ASG, through the Athletic Fee subcommittee of the Student Fee Governing Board, have begun negotiations with Band Director Alan Mills to begin a pep band that will play at all home basketball games.

Weiner said that the band is absolutely necessary to increase the morale and the environment at the games.

“The band just brings a whole new level to the basketball games,” Weiner said.

Another change the ASG is working on, through Director of Student Affairs Freddy Correamanrique and the Student Affairs Committee, is the possibility of bringing a bar to the Occhiato University Center Underground.

Correamanrique has spoken with various offices around campus about the potential bar, including the Judicial Affairs Office, Alcohol and Other Drugs as well as the director of Auxiliary Services.

“A lot of people are behind the idea. I think it would generate excitement here, we just need to take proper precautions,” Weiner said. “This is in the very early planning stages, but it’s something students should be excited about.”

Kara Mason and Shelby Aebischer contributed to this report.