CU President Bruce Benson opened the semester with a letter to all students, faculty and community members regarding our reputation as a university. As various efforts to establish this reputation are being set in stone by the administration, the CU Student Government and GLBTQ Resource Center have been doing their part on a campus level.
Coming off of fall elections that were representative of increasing diversity in voting trends, student government officials, with power over funding and legislation affecting the entire student body, are making historic changes.
The spring semester began with major legislative decisions impacting groups of people marginalized by mainstream college crowds. The Jan. 16 legislative council meeting saw the extension of the bill 70LCB01, which details CUSG funding of the GLBTQ Resource Center, with the new bill 80LCB805.
Since the relationship between the two was initiated in 2008 through 70LCB01, the amount of funding that CUSG gives the center has grown. What started as providing the center with an assistant director position led to a 2011 decision by the CUSG financial board to expand funding beyond that. In 2012, CUSG allowed the group to request even more funding from the Small Cost Center Capital Fund because other university cost centers were not prohibited from doing so. Since the GLBTQ Resource Center contributed to the funding of the Small Cost Center Capital Fund, they were granted allowances to use the fund to pay for programs associated with outreach and awareness.
Despite the rapid growth of the group, funding and support had remained stagnant because of the ambiguity of 70LCB01. 80LCB05 clarified funding for the center and put funding on par with other major cost centers.
What is more important, however, is the redefinition of the relationship between CUSG and the GLBTQRC.
The Resource Center is important for the education and empowerment of the community, and the group felt that not enough effort had been made by CUSG in the past to raise awareness. The decision made this week at the legislative council meeting will bring more funding to a group of people who represent an oppressed minority, and enable the GLBTQ Resource Center to increase their visibility.
At a time when CU is focusing on the “success” of the football program or the continued conflict with the status of the Interfraternity council, other students are quietly making an impact on the lives of those who have been shamed for their differences. These are the groups that truly deserve more attention and funding.
As CUSG steps up on its commitment to make voices heard throughout campus and focusing on our reputation from the inside, not outside, we can hope our awareness as a community increases. Amidst all this talk about image, CUSG and the GLBTQ Resource Center have taken steps in forging a new path for their relationship and giving CU a good name, one student at a time.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Ryan Hite at Ryan.firstname.lastname@example.org.