Inside ASCSU: The man behind the money

January 24, 2017 Uncategorized

The following article was published in The Collegian and written by Deputy Chief of Staff, Christina Vessa.

Meet ASCSU’s Director of Finance, Michael Wells. You can find him wearing glasses and a suit while studying finance and computer information systems. On the surface, you may think he’s the most boring person on Earth, but once you get to know him better, you’ll find he loves to make jokes, paint, draw, make music and even sing from time to time.

Michael’s personality outshines what some may consider his professional appearance. His demeanor is calming and warm, which are also qualities he uses to describe his first impressions of Colorado State University.

Since his dad is the biggest University of Colorado at Boulder fan ever, CSU was never on his radar for college. He didn’t even apply to CSU until his mother made the suggestion.

“Obviously, I love my mom, so I applied to CSU just to make her happy,” he said.

Even though Michael has an extensive family history at CSU – two of them were department chairs in the College of Business – Stanford was his first choice for higher education, but something about CSU had his heart.

Beginning as a freshman in “Gruesome Newsom,” he says the sense of community was unparalleled.

“I hit the residence hall jackpot,” he said. “I don’t want to be biased toward Newsom, but I think it may be the best hall on campus.”

His fondest memory from the dorms is about a yellow bicycle that he had had since he was 10-years-old and five-feet-tall.

“I loved that bike and took it with me to college, but now being 5-foot-11 inches, it looked kind of weird on me,” Michael said. He would ride around on campus and people would chuckle at him.

One kid was finally honest with him, saying, “Man, you’re always riding around on this bike in a suit, and it is just really funny to see your pant legs come almost up to your head because it is so small.”

Michael eventually threw the bike off a balcony and watched it get destroyed after being run over by his roommate’s Jeep. This bitter end turned out to be sweet, however, because the little yellow bicycle is part of the tables in the Campus Recreation Center.

During his first year of college, Michael joined many organizations, including the Dean’s Student Leadership Council, Collegiate DECA and even a brief stint with a yoga club.

Michael did student government in high school and worked with the current ASCSU Graphic Designer, Laura Morrison Pibel. They now work together in the ASCSU Executive Cabinet.

Through DSLC, the current Student Body Vice President Mike Lensky was a new recruit who ended up being Michael’s mentee. Mike was always talking about how great ASCSU was, so Michael’s interested started to pique.

In the spring, Michael presented to the Board for Student Organization Funding, asking them to fund the 2016 Business Day.

It is very hard to get Michael embarrassed – if you asked him to speak in front of thousands at Moby Arena, he would go up there and wouldn’t shake an inch. But when he presented to BSOF last year, he was shaking like a dog.

“It was the most terrifying experience,” Michael said.

In his current position as Director of Finance, Michael chairs BSOF, a position that allows him to see the smiling faces of many student groups as they get funded.

Although his first few days in office this summer were a bit hectic, the hardest part of his term so far has been having to turn student groups away from funding through BSOF.

“My nature is to be an accommodating person and I love to help where I can, but this job does require you to follow certain rules and guidelines,” Michael said. “At the time, it is difficult to see that certain student groups couldn’t get their events off the ground.”

Going into his senior year in 2017, Michael hopes to make the biggest impact possible and to leave a lasting imprint so he can make a difference to students – this may or may not be through ASCSU.

Music is one of Michael’s passions. He considers himself a creative individual, which many people don’t realize about him.

Michael was a successful bowler at 15-years-old and played violin professionally in the Pueblo Symphony at 16-years-old. He still records music every month and practices screenwriting and videography.

“Dreamland Michael” would like to see himself pursuing a career in music by recording an album and taking off. “Realistic Michael” is hoping to get a nice job out of college and would love to work on Wall Street.

As cliché as it sounds, he just wants to be happy while exercising his creative freedom.

“I think I’m mediocre at a lot of different things,” Michael said. “I try to create something from nothing. Aside from that, I’m pretty plain Jane boring.”