October 15, 2021 | NEWS | By Iona Ellsworth
The Colorado College Student Government Association (CCSGA) is back in full swing supporting the Colorado College student community and improving CC’s on and off-campus environments.
CCSGA President Deksyos Damtew ’22 discussed the variety of responsibilities that the organization tackles each year.
“We have five committees: internal affairs, outreach, student life, inclusion and finance. Each of these committees is tasked with different parts of what CCSGA does,” Damtew said.
In past years, CCSGA has engaged with political initiatives that affect the CC community directly, such as expanding open education resources to make textbooks more affordable and accessible.
“We’re trying to find ways to support that structure from our own internal funds and finding new ways to try to revitalize it this year,” Damtew said. “We’re not politically affiliated, but we can still pass resolutions and movements to support activism.”
One of CCSGA’s primary focuses for the 2021-22 school year is to revise CC’s constitution and bylaws in accordance with the school’s anti-racist initiative.
“We’re still in the early stages,” Damtew said. “We’re hopeful to draw in faculty and internal support services like the Butler Center as well as researching other institutions. But perhaps most important is that we’re going to try to get feedback from students.”
Another big part of CCSGA’s mission is to help students organize on-campus gatherings and events.
“We have a group called Special Events Fund. If you want a band to come on campus, or if you have an art show you need to find funding for, you can apply to CCSGA to get that funding,” Damtew said. CCSGA is also in charge of larger events like Llamapalooza, CC’s annual music festival.
An important aspect of CCSGA is community outreach and political activism.
“We do a lot of work around voter registration,” Damtew said. “We also have connections with the Collaborative for Community Engagement (CCE) and other community partners and politicians in the local area.”
CCSGA relies on input from the student body to guide yearly changes. “This year, students are bringing back townhalls and feedback sessions,” Damtew said. “We also have office hours with our wonderful Parliamentarian, Jane Abbott.”
CCSGA also conducts student surveys on a wealth of issues. One of the most recent surveys CCSGA conducted was focused on students’ mental health.
“The purpose of the survey was to see if students support taking days off toward the end of the block,” Damtew said. “We used the survey in a faculty meeting to discuss the fact that over 90 percent of students were in support of taking campus-wide pauses at the end of the block.”
Although blockly mental health days were not ultimately implemented, Damtew said that the discussion was still effective, and multiple professors changed their syllabi and general classroom practices in response to it.
CCSGA hopes to continue to keep mental health at the forefront of their agenda in the upcoming school year.
“It’s a structural problem that existed in the pandemic,” Damtew said, in reference to academic burnout. “But it is specific to the Block Plan as well and it’s important to extend this conversation moving forward.”
CCSGA encourages students to be active with the organization by voicing their concerns.
“We don’t have the answer to everything,” Damtew said. “We’re here to listen to the needs of students and see if we can find innovative solutions to the problems that we see in front of us. Our door is always open, and there is never a concern that is too small.”
For students who are interested in getting directly involved with CCSGA, elections will be held at the end of the semester. The CCSGA office is located at room 205 of the Worner Campus Center.