Anda di halaman 1dari 1

A6 • NEWS • NOVEMBER 19, 2009 • THE METROPOLITAN • This just in: Minus 40 degrees Celsius is exactly the same

as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lobby braves storm to face budget crisis

Student advocacy Michelle Kenney of Fort Lewis The ASC posts a person at the “The cliff,” was the unofficial The ASC agreed it needed to get

group issues call College, located in Durango, Colo.

— more than 300 miles away from
capital throughout Colorado’s yearly
January to May legislative session to
subject of the ASC’s meeting.
The cliff, or the 2010 to 2011
working to inform students of the
cuts coming and get them politically
to political action Denver — said their two full cars had give students a voice. state budget when federal stimulus active enough to pressure there state
left at 6 a.m. to get to the meeting at This year, they agreed, they need money runs out, is now a year and a representative to save education from
noon. She said they were luckily be- — more than ever — the masses of half away. falling off the cliff.
By Andrew Flohr-Spence yond the passes before the snow re- students to get involved. State funding, if held at the cur- The spring marches on the Colo-
ally piled up. The blizzard that covered Colo- rent level, would leave Colorado rado capitol turned out several hun-
Colorado’s student lobby is warn- The ASC had planned the meet- rado was poorly timed for their plans, higher education with less than half dred (liberally estimated).
ing students to waste no time in or- ing weeks ahead. The goal was to but the meeting couldn’t wait, they of the funding it had before the eco-
ganizing political action against the elect a task force to spearhead politi- also agreed. nomic crisis. Continued on A7
state’s planned budget cuts to higher cal action pressuring Colorado’s poli-
education. ticians to return funding, or at least
The Associated Students of make the cuts fair, to higher educa-
Colorado, a board of elected student tion.
representatives from Colorado insti-
“When you’re
tutions of higher education, is the
students’ one political presence in trying to explain the
the Colorado legislature. connection between
And blizzards, or at least the Nov.
14 snowstorm, did not stop repre-
higher education and
sentatives from 11 of the state’s 27 the broader economic
state-funded schools from meeting
stability of the state …
together to brainstorm a plan.
Some representatives braved up that’s not something
to a seven-hour commute in blowing people have an instant
snow over mountain passes, backed-
up traffic on I-25 and Highway 36.
connection to.”
Others simply had to endure a some- -Student Government
what longer-than-usual bus ride Assembly President
down Colfax to Auraria. But not all Andrew Bateman
of the 17 schools who sent an RSVP
decided to face the storm. The idea, first put into practice
“We waited an hour up at Eisen- by the ASC in March 2007, is to
hower [tunnel] because of the snow,” “play” politics the same way other
said Ryan Hendershot from Mesa large interests, such as big oil or state
State College in Grand Junction, employees, do, but for students’ inter- UCD representative Josh Diller (center) listens to Colorado Workers for Innovative New Solutions
more than five hours away. ests.
(WINS) Field Director Matt Aber-Towns’s speech Nov. 14, at the Tivoli, during a meeting for the As-
sociated Students of Colorado. Photo by Jamie Cotten•

Metro board approves building bonds

New construction The bond was voted on by the enrollment to cover the debt. ing strategies and the institution’s treasurer’s director of initiatives,
student body in the Student Govern- Although the bond fee will ap- comparatively lower tuition help said.
financed for 30 ment Assembly’s spring general elec- ply to all students, enrollment num- to sustain new growth before the The bond is also under the state’s
years by trustee vote tion. bers used to estimate revenues the downturn. Intercept Program, which allows
3 percent of the student popula- bond fee will generate overtime, were Due to limited space availability, Colorado’s treasury to use its good
tion participated in the election and based on lower enrollment numbers Metro wants to maintain the cur- credit to help public institutions get
By Rita Wold the bond fee was approved by 53 per- of on-campus students in 2008. rent enrollment level and only allow cheaper interest rates by promising
cent of those voters. “We were extremely conserva- growth through student retention, to pay if Metro fails to.
Student enrollment will decide This fall, students made the first tive when we made the estimate,” until the new building is completed. Under the program, a default
the fate of Metro’s ability to pay off payment, $63 for a full time student. Lutes explained. “I can’t fathom en- would mean the state treasury, af-
“I can’t fathom
$60 million in bonds for the con- The bond fee is scheduled to increase rollment dropping enough that we ter paying investors, would reduce
struction of the Student Success to $145.20 in 2011 and stop at won’t be able to make our debt pay- enrollment dropping a portion of Metro’s state funding,
Building. $237 in 2012, unless students vote ment.” enough that we won’t known as the fee-for-service, which
The Board of Trustees approved otherwise. Lutes said the college expects the amounted to more than $70 million
the bond resolution at the Nov. 4 “So you’re not asking only this bond fee to generate $5.5 million a
be able to make our last year.
meeting, concluding that future ben- year students to pay for a student year to cover the debt service. debt payment.” The program “has been a tre-
efits outweigh the risks. center, but rather your asking all the “Historically, over the last sev- -Natalie Lutes, vice presi- mendous cash saver for higher insti-
Fred Marienthal of Kutak Rock students for the next 30 years who eral years we have seen an increase tutions,” Wickersham said.
dent of administration
LLP, presented the bond packet to the will enjoy the benefit,” Mary Wick- in students of about 1 percent over The building is now in the de-
board, detailing the boundaries of ersham, the state treasury’s director the previous year,” Judi Bonacquisti,
and finance sign phase, while a contractor is still
the bond. of initiatives, said. “It makes equity a Metro’s associate vice president for “There would be less buildings being sought. Construction is an-
The restrictions on the bond in- cross time period for capital financ- enrollment services, said. “This year on campuses if bonding was not ticipated to begin in a year, about a
clude: Issuing no more than $60 mil- ing.” we jumped up more than six percent used,” John Karakoulakis,
director of three-year process, with payments
lion in bonds; paying the total cost In the resolution, pledges to in- and a majority of that came from our legislative affairs at the Colorado de- made overtime.
by 2039; an interest rate no higher vestors include 10 percent of tuition continuing students coming back.” partment of higher education, said. $52 million of the bond will pay
than 5.5 percent as well as compen- revenues and all revenues from the While economic downturns are The interest on the bond will be for the design and construction of
sating the bank issuing the bond student bond fee, operating funds for credited for encouraging new flocks offset by a 45 percent federal sub- the building and the rest to financing
no more than 1 percent of the total research grants and mandatory fees of college applicants and prolonging sidy with the Recovery Zone Facility expenses.
bond issued. — in the event Metro fails to keep graduations, Bonacquisti said effects Bonds, under the American Recov- An interest rate will be an-
The final boundary shifted fur- any of the 15 promises listed in the of economic changes weren’t always ery and Reinvestment Act. nounced later in the week of Nov. 15
ther dealings of the bond from the full contract that would put the bond in predictable. “The idea was to move municipal and debt payment will be made twice
board to Adele Phelan, the board’s default. “Where we are now is nowhere issuers into the taxable market be- a year.
chair, Metro President Stephen Jor- The legal implications of the close to where we were five years cause there were many more buyers “We need it,” Lutes said. “There’s
dan or Natalie Lutes, vice president bond highlight the risks of the invest- ago,” she said. that would open up the markets for no question that we need it.”
of administration and finance. ment, which is dependent on student Bonacquisti added that market- them,” Mary Wickersham, the state