Writing Legislation

Writing legislation is a critical duty of the ASCSU Senate. Likewise writing good legislation is even more important. A common misconception is that writing legislation starts by putting pen to paper when in fact the process begins far before you start the first word. Follow the below process to write good legislation.

Brainstorming

All legislation should be written for a purpose, these can be as varied as congratulating and encouraging others through resolutions or writing bills to rearrange the entire form of government. As such the first step is IDENTIFYING three key elements.

(1) Cause

(2) Approach

(3) Intended consequences

Carefully consider these three elements as they will direct the rest of the legislative process to success or failure. Don’t under-utilize other resources, ask constituents, co-workers and mentors what they think.

Feasibility

Before using your valuable time and especially when student fees are at hand, evaluate closely the Feasibility of what you are proposing. Is the scale of effort and money proportionate to its impact. Is there even need from the general population? Address at least the following…

(1) Need, do students care about this?

(2) Resources are available, do they even exist if needed?

(3) Redundancy, no one else is already?

(4) Proportionality, do benefits outweigh costs?

Collaboration

Stakeholder Committees

Identify community members, campus partners, and topic area experts that will be affected by your potential legislation and reach out or hold a meeting to identify their concerns/suggestions and incorporate their feedback.

Peer Groups and Constituents

Meet with fellow students and ASCSU members to get critical feedback, modify legislation and determine their support or opposition and the reasons behind these decisions.

Planning

If your legislation involves an event or major change you should incorporate feedback from the collaboration step to establish a timeline, draft initial plans, reserve rooms or allocate funding if needed and create contingencies.

Side Note: Planning is an art, not a science, and certainly one that can’t be developed in a few days. Talk to your advisers and peers about different planning strategies to develop your skills. These will serve useful at ASCSU and in your professional careers.

Going to Senate

Warning

Before you submit your legislation ensure that you have talked to plenty of people and considered many different perspectives. Do not bring legislation to the floor that still needs basic edits, and hasn’t been thoroughly considered, surprise legislation is rude and badly written legislation a waste of our time.

Submission

Send a word copy of your legislation with the proper number of endorsements to the below emails no later than 4:00 P.M. Friday MDT the week prior to your intended legislative session presentation.

Implementation

At Senate

Legislation will be given a reading at Senate each legislative session 6:30 P.M. MDT in the LSC Senate Chambers. Once submitted to the Senate legislation will be moved according to typical procedures and senate bylaws.

It Passed, What Next?

Once passed the legislation will be forwarded to the President for signature in the case of bills, after which it takes affect. Resolutions are immediate non-binding statements by the Senate. After it is passed you should execute the plans made in the planning phase, whether that is following up with affected parties or executing an event.

Evaluation

Purpose

After you complete this process you should review how the end product and its effects missed, met or exceeded your original intent. This can be done by following up with involved parties, issuing surveys, or self reflection.

A Note on Student Fees

If student fees were at any time spent, you should pay special attention to this part of the process. Find metrics that measure the effects of the expenditure, this varies for every project. By demonstrating the metrics of success in an unbiased way you can learn from successes or failures while also maintaining transparency and trust with our fee-paying students.

Files and Resources

Click here to download the 46th Senate ASCSU legislation template.

To submit legislation to appear before Senate, please email it to all three of the following, by no later than 4:00 P.M. the Friday before the week in which you would like the legislation to come up in legislative session.

  • ascsu_speaker_pro_tempore@mail.colostate.edu
  • ascsu_parliamentarian@mail.colostate.edu
  • ascsu_vice_president@mail.colostate.edu

Please contact the Speaker Pro Tempore for general questions regarding legislation.