Senate votes on ballot measure language, hears from CU regent candidate

     During a Feb. 10 SGA senate meeting, senate discussed the language of a ballot measure that students will vote on in March. The measure would remove of financial caps from eight specific student fees, enabling them to rise with inflation.  

     The majority of the senate approved of the language. However, senators discussed an amendment of the language to specify that fees would not decrease in the event of deflation. Students can find the latest on student fees here. 

     Senators also spoke with CU regent candidate Scott Mangino about his goals and Director of Partnerships and Governmental Affairs Jennifer Furda about UCCS’ involvement with the city. 

     Mangino first outlined his main goal as creating a newer, more inclusive “normal” for CU students in the wake of the pandemic, saying, “We cannot return to normal as we move past COVID.”  

     Citing his background in college administration, Mangino discussed how the CU system underappreciates its adjunct faculty or its student employees.  

     He talked about the difficulty of doing his job when people approach it saying, “If you were in it for the students, you wouldn’t care about the money.” He said that, as regent, he hopes to see people as the “greatest asset” in administration. 

     Mangino also touched on declining enrollment and how many students cannot attend college because of the cost and time it takes to get a degree.  

     “We kind of have to acknowledge that most Americans, most Coloradans, can’t just take two to four years off,” he said. “We need to redefine who can be a mountain lion, a lynx or a buff.”  

     Following his initial statement, several senators asked him questions about specific areas of policy within the CU system, what he learned from being an administrator and what he would do to address subjects such as diversity and wages. 

     Speaker pro tempore AJ Bailey asked about specific steps Mangino would take to support campus employees, to which Mangino responded that raising UCCS’ minimum wage to $15 to match the other campuses is “the bare minimum” of what the regents need to do.  

     When asked by Senator of Education Flora Jathanna about what he had learned from his work in administration, he said that his focus has become “elevating those voices that haven’t been heard.”  

     Mangino said increasing campus diversity would involve hiring more people of color and implementing new vocabulary and literature to support minority faculty and students on campus.  

     “Students won’t choose to go somewhere if they don’t see people that look like them,” he said. 

     Furda, the other speaker at the meeting, came to discuss her role on campus and the work she does to connect UCCS with the greater Colorado Springs area, particularly the military community, as well as a new Olympic City art project on campus.  

     She described her role as “helping to create a two-way highway between UCCS and the community — and the community and UCCS.” 

     As part of her work to tie UCCS to the greater area, she proposed a new campus sculpture called “Olympians/Paralympians Among Us” that would sit on top of the plaza next to University Center, with the goal of being visible from Austin Bluffs.  

     She illustrated a tall metal structure in the Olympic colors that would sit next to a plaque naming the Olympians and Paralympians who went to UCCS.  

     Furda said the Olympic Training Center is “something that just makes Colorado Springs stand out among all [communities].” She said that during conversation with Executive Director of Athletics Nathan Gibson, she realized that having ties to the training center helps recruit athletes to UCCS.