Note: The following content was written by Christina Vessa as Deputy Chief of Staff/Press Secretary for the Associated Students of Colorado State University. 

Aug. 24, 2016: ASCSU’s Response to the Office of Equal Opportunity’s Investigation

The following is a response from the Associated Student of Colorado State University regarding the Office of Equal Opportunity’s investigation of sexual harassment, which found the organization responsible for creating a “hostile work environment.”

Colorado State University Community-

The current Pineda Soracá/Lensky Administration, along with all branch leadership of the Associated Students of Colorado State University, are committed to providing and ensuring an inclusive, welcoming and professional environment. We believe in a campus community that is free from violence and harassment, and one that is based on the principles of community, safety and human dignity for all.

We are fully aware of the Office of Equal Opportunity’s summary of action items regarding actions of the previous ASCSU administration and are determined to ensure that under this new administration, now more than ever, ASCSU is a welcoming and safe place to work, free of harassment.

This new administration takes creating a comfortable and safe work environment very seriously, where engagement can productively address the needs ASCSU and the community at large. All elected and appointed members of ASCSU will complete in-person training regarding diversity and inclusion, professionalism and sexual harassment education facilitated by University professionals.

The OEO investigation calls for the need to be highly attentive in creating a welcoming environment, and the 2016-17 ASCSU administration is doing everything it can to ensure safety, protection and professionalism.

To improve the organization, our institution and our society, ASCSU welcomes the opportunity to sit down and discuss questions, concerns and ideas from the community. View the full article here.

 

Oct. 13, 2016: Concerning the On-Campus Stadium

The new on-campus, multi-use stadium is well on its way to completion as an on-budget project that will create classroom and alumni spaces, while enhancing the student tailgate and programming experience.

Although this project will be completed in the coming year, there are still discussions taking place between student leaders, administrators and campus stakeholders in order to ensure safety, student-led program initiatives and opportunities for feedback.

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU) is working hard to ensure that all branches of our organization are informed on the contextual knowledge of this project and the processes in which student input can be received. Our goal is to further enhance the student experience and ensure that equitable resources are provided to all once this major project reaches completion.

We are furthering the actions that have been in place by administration to create a constructive conversation surrounding the new stadium. Student representatives have been present on various game day committees and will continue talks with key stakeholders during this complex process. Members of our student body should voice their questions and bring solutions to ASCSU. Continued transparency surrounding this project is what the campus community wants, and ASCSU is eager to talk about what this looks like.

ASCSU is urging students to come forward with not only concerns, but also fact-driven solutions and open ears surrounding the game day experience – everything from tailgating to parking to safety and access.

We are working on behalf of the student voice to inform and educate about what these game day experiences will look like and how they will impact the CSU students next year, both on and off campus.

ASCSU wants to make sure that what is best for the CSU community is implemented. Whether this means increasing conversations surrounding mobility, gathering input from students living in the residence halls, or contributing to the tailgating experience, we as campus leaders are here to advocate on behalf of students.

Our end goal is for the game day experience to be a valuable and enjoyable time for all parties. We want to remind students that ASCSU will always ensure they are heard throughout this incredibly complex process. Students should feel pride in such a large project, and excitement for what is to come. All voices are welcome at the ASCSU table where students can make a change and empower others to speak their minds. View the full article here.

 

Nov. 1, 2016: Practice Civility in the Upcoming Elections

This special time comes once every four years where we as a community are able to exercise our right to vote for a new President of the United States and several other ballot issues that will impact our lives on and off campus. With this time may come politically-charged conversations with friends, family and colleagues.

(Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

We all have a responsibility to act in a respectable manner when having partisan conversations. I ask that you listen to the viewpoints of others just as you would want others to listen to yours. With disagreement comes discourse, and it is critical that we practice dialogue in a productive manner.

Remember not only to speak, but to listen to your fellow students, professors and coworkers. Maintain respect when discussing issues that you may not see eye-to-eye on. Try not to criticize anyone personally, but to focus on issue-based conversations instead. Understanding how these issues fit into the lives of those you speak with will be helpful when finding common ground.

Our millennial generation makes up the largest voting bloc in this election. Although we have historically had a low voter turnout, participating in this year’s election will alter the outcome of races at the local, state and federal levels. I want you to know that your vote does count and that there is still time to register.

Just because the election ends on Nov. 8 doesn’t mean that the results of this election won’t directly impact us. Whether it be a policy measure, new leadership or something that changes the way you interact with your neighbor, there is a level of dignity and respect that we need to show each other no matter how intense discussion and debate gets.

I am asking that as Colorado State University students, we educate ourselves on the important issues that will affect our pocketbooks, impact our path to graduation, change the minimum wage and more. These are real things that are going to impact us all, whether or not it is what we believe in or where we live.

The Lory Student Center is hosting a voter service and polling center for all eligible residents of Larimer County. In the North Ballroom, voters may cast a ballot, register to vote, change their address and drop off completed ballots. This location is open every day until 7 p.m., closing on November 8.

For more information about general ballot issues and candidate stances, our ASCSU Officer of Governmental Affairs Josh Williams is available via e-mail at ASCSU_governmental_affairs@mail.colostate.edu or in person through appointment.

I respect the differences in opinions around this campus, and would like to promote constructive conversations centered around our community, state and country. Your votes impact public policy and the government – please choose to vote this year. View the full article here.

Sept. 22, 2015:

Daniel King, age 49, was charged with disorderly conduct for displaying a simulated weapon, a Class 2 misdemeanor, according to court record.

King is due in court Wednesday afternoon.

CSUPD confirmed the gun carried by the suspect very closely resembled a real, working weapon, but has been verified as a non-firing, replica of a gun, according to Senior Communications Coordinator Dell Rae Ciaravola.

CSUPD escort man from Morgan Library Tuesday evening. (Photo by: Abbie Parr).

A Morgan Library employee, who would like to remain anonymous, called CSUPD when he saw the suspect with the replica gun in his hands. The library employee said the suspect was holding a handgun, which turned out to be a replica. He said the suspect was not pointing the replica gun at people.

“The guy was playing with the gun in his hands while sitting in the computer lab,” the library employee said.

CSUPD was very responsive and showed up in only a few minutes, according to the library employee.

CSU freshman Rachel Schubert was in the library and saw the suspect detained by CSUPD.

“We heard these cops scream ‘put down the gun,” Schubert said. “I was freaking out a little. I thought he was going to shoot someone.”

Schubert said she saw approximately five cops, some with assault riffles, surrounding the suspect in the computer lab area.

The suspect is not a current student or employee.

Original story Sept. 22, 2015:

Colorado State University police officers responded to a report of a man with a gun in the Morgan Library at around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday, according to Senior Communications Coordinator Dell Rae Ciaravola. The suspect is in custody and there is no ongoing threat to the CSU campus, according to Ciaravola.

Preliminary information is limited, stay with the Collegian on this developing story.

To read the original article on Collegian.com, click here.

Collegian News Editor Christina Vessa can be reached online at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @ChrissyVessa.


Update Oct. 12, 2015:

The man who brought a replica gun into the Morgan Library Sept. 22 was developing a game controller for Illustrative Designs, according to a Colorado State University Police Department report.

Daniel King, 49, said he was in the Morgan Library to utilize the “fast Wi-Fi.”

“After an hour of productive work, I was arrested,” King said. “I was actually working — that part of my story never got anywhere. I was tasked with creating basically a control replacing a control for an Xbox game with a toy gun. That’s what I was doing.”

King said he works with 3-D modeling and circuit board design.

“Walking around town now, people will recognize me and they will freak out, and that is not who I am,” King said. “In my opinion, the police totally overreacted.”

Police were dispatched at 7:30 p.m. and handcuffed King after 11 minutes.

Daniel King, 49, brought a replica gun into the Morgan Library Sept. 22. (Photo Courtesy of Larimer County Sheriff's Office).

Daniel King, 49, was booked at the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office for two nights.  (Photo Courtesy of Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.)

“I did not hear gunfire or screaming,” stated a report from CSUPD Officer Vincent Maffett. “So I waited until Officer Rayroux and Officer Chiodo arrived at my location.”

CSUPD officers gave verbal commands for other subjects in the area to immediately leave and evacuate, according to the police report. Officer Cayley Chiodo gave King orders to get on the ground, and he complied and was handcuffed.

“They caused more of a hazard than I did by storming in there like that and clearing out half the library,” King said. “They were pointing guns at me. If I hadn’t been calm, if I had jumped or something, I could have been shot. They put my life in danger for no reason.”

A report by Officer James Rayroux states that King told police the weapon was not a real gun.

“Officer Chiodo and I collected the replica weapon and all of the property of King,” stated Maffett’s report. “Officer Chiodo and I escorted King out of the Morgan Library and placed him in the back of my marked patrol vehicle.”

CSUPD brought King into the Police Department for questioning at 8:29 p.m.

“King stated that he did not intend to alarm people with the replica gun,” stated Maffett’s report. “King agreed with me that working on a ‘simulated gun’ in the open, in a public library, was reckless. King stated that while he agreed it was reckless, he felt that bringing the replica gun was ‘insensitive.’”

Maffett stated in the report that “display of a ‘simulated firearm’ in a university library where open carry is not allowed was obviously offensive and breached the peace.”

King said he has no affiliation with the University.

“I was using the Wi-Fi because the library is open to the general public — it’s the best Wi-Fi in town,” King said. “I just needed to search quickly for it. I design stuff on my laptop. I have done that a lot over the years at CSU.”

King was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and transported to the Larimer County Jail. He was also given an exclusionary order preventing him from returning to the CSU campus, which was effective immediately.

King said he spent two nights in jail. CSUPD officers located King’s bicycle, which was east of the Morgan Library, in order to prevent him from later entering campus to get it.

“CSU, they impounded all my stuff except for my ID,” King said. “That was the only reason I was there two nights. I couldn’t make any phone calls. You have to have money to call out, and CSU took all my stuff. The only reason I got out is that my parents saw me on 7 News.”

King’s court date is set for Oct. 27 at 9 a.m.

“I never used it in a threatening manner whatsoever,” King said. “(The police) were really fired up. The police were all sweating and the adrenaline was flying. There was no reason for them to be fired up like that.”

Collegian News Editor Christina Vessa can be reached online at cvessa@collegian.com or on Twitter @ChrissyVessa.

It’s a small world.

This is a phrase that describes the life of Daniela Pineda Soraca, the current CSU student body president. When comparing her birthplace, Bogota, Colombia and her current home Fort Collins, Colorado, Daniela says there are more similarities than differences.

She cites the warm and welcoming personalities of community members and geographical elements like the mountains.

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Photo credit: Daniela Pineda Soracá

Daniela immigrated to Fort Collins from Bogota as a little girl, and has felt a strong connection to this community for years. Whether it be advocating on behalf of her middle school at a Fort Collins City Council meeting or exploring Colorado with her former hall mates, this is a community where Daniela has been thriving.

Read more here.

(Photo by: Christina Vessa)

Mike Lensky toured University of Colorado Boulder on Valentine’s Day, but he didn’t fall in love. When touring Colorado State University the next day, he stepped foot in the College of Business, saw the ticker tape and knew he was home. After all, Mike says he likes numbers better than words.

Let’s flash forward three years. Mike is speaking at Moby Arena in front of nearly 4,000 incoming students during convocation. Right before entering the stage, President Tony Frank was standing in front of him in a gown, surrounded by faculty members and the University’s top leaders. Mike was about to welcome the newest incoming class while trying not to throw up from the nerves. Read more here.

Impactful legislation, long nights and exciting conversations create a compelling environment in the ASCSU Senate. You never know what you are going to get. These elements are what have kept Isabel Brown and Lawrence Horowitz busy in their positions within senate leadership.

When Lawrence and Isabel joined the ASCSU Senate last year, they had no idea how much excitement was to come. Every college, including the Student Diversity and Program Services offices, has full-time seats for representation. Of the 46 full-time seats, there are 17 currently available! There is even a place for students who have double majors or those who are undeclared. Read more here.

Three days per week, Hanna Johnson wakes up at 4 a.m. in order to be rowing on Horsetooth Reservoir by 5 a.m. sharp. As a member on the CSU Crew rowing team, Hanna is an early riser, but even though she’s up before the crack of dawn most days, she still manages to make a major impact on sustainability-related efforts as the Director of Environmental Affairs with ASCSU.

When she started getting involved with climate advocacy as a freshman, she realized that it may just be the largest humanitarian disaster of our lifetime. Climate change and how it impacts poorer communities inspired her to pursue a political science degree. Read more here.

Meet ASCSU’s Director of Finance, Michael Wells. You can find him wearing glasses and a suit while studying finance and computer information systems. On the surface, you may think he’s the most boring person on Earth, but once you get to know him better, you’ll find he loves to make jokes, paint, draw, make music and even sing from time to time.

Michael’s personality outshines what some may consider his professional appearance. His demeanor is calming and warm, which are also qualities he uses to describe his first impressions of Colorado State University. Read more.

This statement was written on behalf of the Associated Students of Colorado State University by Christina Vessa.

The new on-campus, multi-use stadium is well on its way to completion as an on-budget project that will create classroom and alumni spaces, while enhancing the student tailgate and programming experience.

Although this project will be completed in the coming year, there are still discussions taking place between student leaders, administrators and campus stakeholders in order to ensure safety, student-led program initiatives and opportunities for feedback.

The Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU) is working hard to ensure that all branches of our organization are informed on the contextual knowledge of this project and the processes in which student input can be received. Our goal is to further enhance the student experience and ensure that equitable resources are provided to all once this major project reaches completion. Read more here.