SGA passes bill addressing growing fentanyl concerns in Colorado 

SGA passed a bill to reduce the harmful impact of fentanyl use during their senate meeting on March 16. They also heard from Stephen Cucchiara, director of student engagement. 

Fentanyl harm reduction bill   

The bill allocates $1,995.03 toward fentanyl test strips (FTS) that detect traces of fentanyl and other drugs. The bill also includes the creation of a fentanyl awareness campaign that will educate students about the drug.  

According to an article from Colorado Public Radio, fentanyl caused more than 1,200 deaths throughout Colorado in 2021. Senator-at-large Amanda Ford, who authored the bill, wants to keep students safe by reducing their chances of experiencing a fentanyl overdose. 

“The really dangerous part about fentanyl is that it’s a sneaky killer. A lot of students don’t realize that it’s laced in things. So, most people don’t overdose from straight fentanyl, it’s usually laced in something, and you don’t know it,” Ford said. 

Senator-at-large Aiyanna Quinones thinks the bill is something UCCS has needed for a long time since many college students partake in substance use. 

“We can’t stop them from doing that, so allowing them to go about it in the safest way is going to be beneficial,” Quinones said. 

The fentanyl strips will be available for free at the MOSAIC and Wellness centers in the near future.  

Student Life’s Director of Student Engagement Stephen Cucchiara 

Cucchiara highlighted some of the successes Student Life and SGA have had this year and noted that campus is finally returning to a pre-pandemic state. Cucchiara expressed his gratitude towards the senate, telling them he is proud to be a part of this year’s student government.  

“This is the first time in my almost 11 years [at UCCS] that I can stand here and say that student government is doing what it’s supposed to be doing,” Cucchiara said.  

Cucchiara also mentioned several statistics related to SGA’s club funding during his speech. 

He said that SGA has given over $100,000 in club funding throughout the academic year so far, which has translated to 306 registered club events halfway into the semester while last spring had 356 in total.  

There is also a total of 195 student clubs and organizations this year compared to last year’s 147, which Cucchiara noted is at the pre-pandemic level. “We’re on par for engaging [with] a significant amount of students,” Cucchiara said.  

Last spring, Student Life held 67 events, and there have been 40 events so far this semester. Student Life expects this number of events to be about 80 by the end of the semester. 

This semester also saw over 567 students participating in the club fair, which is over a 50% increase from spring of 2022.  

“Keep doing the work you’re doing because we’re experiencing club and student activity back in 2018, back in 2019 — those levels,” Cucchiara said.  

In other news: 

  • Election commissioner Kamillah Ameen explained that the SGA election results will be delayed due to the election infraction hearing. Ameen hopes the results will go public by Friday. 
  • SGA passed the Stop the Hate Bill through a unanimous vote. The bill allocates $4,040 to sponsor an event on April 5 at Berger Hall where CU Regent Wanda James will be a keynote speaker. This event will provide a safe space for students to speak about their experiences with discrimination and allyship at UCCS in groups led by licensed counselors. 
  • SGA heard from Colorado Springs mayoral candidate Wayne Williams. Willliams spoke about his time working on city council and as secretary of state. He said that one of his biggest accomplishments on city council was leading a water conservation policy that helped maintain current water use while providing a 28% buffer for dire times. 

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