September 21, 2020

Student leaves CEU with a challenge

Dear editor,
  Well, it’s done, I have left CEU for good, my pals, it’s sad (for some anyway), but I have left someone else to deal with Dan Allen and his crazy ways of improving life for students remaining at CEU.

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This archived article was written by: staff

Dear editor,
  Well, it’s done, I have left CEU for good, my pals, it’s sad (for some anyway), but I have left someone else to deal with Dan Allen and his crazy ways of improving life for students remaining at CEU.
My time on leadership council and representing your voice in student life and food service is something that I will not soon forget. I remember when I first found about the policy changes with heavy furniture, no more packaged food in the cafeteria, and the raising of the meal card prices and reduction of meals. I passed out fliers in the cafeteria for two days informing those of the new and crappy changes made without any consent or knowledge of the student body. Many of you thought that I was the one who instigated those changes. I wasn’t.
I worked very hard to have the changes reversed and wrote two incredibly scathing letters to director, Dan Allen. Another battle we are still fighting is the 24/7 lock down. Dan Allen again, went ahead with the new policy without consulting anyone who represents you and did this behind our backs, then placing all blame on officer James Prettyman.
The dorm committee started a discussion about student safety by stating CEU should put signs up reminding those who do not attend CEU that they were trespassing on private property. Somewhere along the lines we went from one extreme to the other and ended with a 24/7 lockdown. I, again, fought hard against this 24/7 lockdown and was met with roadblock after roadblock by Dan Allen. I’m sorry about that.
One policy that I did start was that of the weekly room checks. Many students, mostly freshman, at the time didn’t understand the disarray the dorms were in at the end of the 2003-04 school year. It had gotten out of hand and I felt that a way to save money to the students was to have these checks to ensure that property wasn’t damaged and the students weren’t charged at the end of the year, letting us all receive a larger deposit back at the end of the school year.
Many students, after seeing the unruly living conditions, came around to the idea, and it became one of my better ideas I accomplished at the school. The parking lot lights around the campus were also another issue I was constantly dealing with. The construction played a large part with that problem, but the physical plant came through and for that I thank them.
  Several times throughout the semester I met with various food service committees. In fact, three different committees were formed and I believe that although the improvement was minimal, I did make some headway by getting the chefs to agree to recipe requests from students and the cooks were always more then eager to help, as was Lisa Sherman. Dan Allen also helped with this issue, but I feel that he could have done more for the students and food service.
 I disagree with Dan Allen on many subjects. For one, closing the cafeteria on the weekends for lunch and dinner. I believed this to be unfair to the students who pay a great deal to eat and have no other option to fall upon when the cafeteria/snack bar are closed.
I worked closely with the food service staff showing ways that students would stay on the weekends, and sure enough, after some diligent and hard work, Dan Allen reopened on Saturday for dinner and lunch and breakfast for Sunday and dinner as well. I was very proud of that and it gave me a sense of achievement. I thank those who stayed and proved to the Res. Life staff that students do eat on weekends.
Those of you who know me and had conversations with me understood the frustrations I had with Dan Allen. From the lock down to food service, Dan and I rarely saw eye to eye and at times Mr. Allen asked for my resignation during the semester, once going to President Thomas. I refused and battled on for the sake of my fellow students, and tried to stop the royal screwing we were all getting, especially those on a meal plan.
While this was going on, I was trying to start a student phone directory and have new dorm signs placed on the buildings. Too much on my platter at times, but I really did enjoy my leadership responsibility. This letter isn’t to complain, but to show how much I cared about the students and the quality of life at CEU for its students.
I believe that is much more to accomplish for the next residential life chair. Seek more student involvement on issues. Instead of complaining, a better idea would be to write a letter and give it to a member of ASCEU who can promise to spend countless hours and endless meetings trying to do what is best for you and making sure that your voice is heard. Dan Wood, ASCEU student body president and the executive board work incredibly hard on your behalf, as does the activity council making sure that there is something exciting and fun on your behalf. Go to these activities, they spend months  planning in advance for these.
The club council as well goes above and beyond trying to make life a little more fun and relaxed, join up and meet someone new. One council not many students realize that is active is the academic council, which I sat on. Members of this council attends about 20 meetings a week on your behalf trying to curb policies, create an environmnt that is easier for you, and insure things are being properly run and administered.
These are great people who represent and care for your success, needs and concerns, get to know them. They are your friends. Criticizing is good only if you have a solution. No one is perfect and sometimes make mistakes, help them correct them and move on.
I leave CEU not because of Dan Allen, but granted having that challenge out of my life will be somewhat nice. I’m sorry to ASCEU leadership for leaving halfway through the year, but it was time for me to leave.
I need to thank Susan Polster for the life lessons and the nice talks we had in her office, Bill Osborn for his leadership and ever calm demeanor, the people on ASCEU leadership who I have created lifelong friendships with, the residential life staff (Verna, Hank, Sharon, Luz, and even Dan Allen), the Ambassadors, who do more for the school than many care to admit. They are the bread and butter of the school, they helped me more this year and cussed me more then anyone, but in the end they were always the first group to step up and offer help. The Ambassadors are a great source of information and are a great group of people who sacrifice a lot for our school and put out 110 percent of effort in their cause.
 All the friends who were always ready to fight right along with me, thanks. I say goodbye to my roommates who were totally awesome and allowed me to live with them after all the changes and even stood up to those students who at times weren’t very happy with me. Good times, thanks a lot guys. Thanks to the academic advising group (Darlene) and of course my sweet heart; Vickie Kulow in purchasing; the people in Student Support Services, Brad, Scott, and Tracy. All were sources of good advice. The wonderful women in admissions, financial aid and records. Thanks for always letting me blow my steam and vent. My good friends who are too many to name and of course, my “husband” and best friend Jesse Holt who at times was a pain in my side, but always stood next to me with my decisions and defended them like a true friend. Thanks buddy.
So that is that, I’ve said goodbye and I leave CEU a better, changed person from the experience. My parting words: Go TEAM and of course my signature cheer: T-T-T-O-O-E-E-E-L-E ,   T-O-O-E-L-E, TOOELE! Oh, one last thing for someone special: BUNNY!
Lyle Ahlstrom
USU student

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