Opinion: CSU should promote transparency

From the Rocky Mountain Collegian (Fort Collins):  In our increasingly digitally-connected world, more information than ever before is at the fingertips of the average consumer. Moreover, freedom of information has become even more important for citizens and journalists alike to stay up-to-date on governmental proceedings and hold public officials accountable for their actions.

In Colorado, the maintenance of transparency of public institutions is aided by the Colorado Open Records Act, which mandates access to most records of information and business communications of local and state entities. However, the effectiveness of this legislation is dependent on the cooperation of both citizens and public institutions, and Colorado State University’s policy on CORA requests leaves much to be desired. CSU’s administration needs to do more to offer transparency to students and taxpayers.

With the rapid digitization of society, businesses and governments alike have had to adapt to changing technology and evolving communications. Just last week, I wrote about how the federal government has over-adjusted in its surveillance of citizens’ online activity. One big issue with CSU’s transparency policies is that they do not take this technological shift as a society into account. According to the Colorado State University System’s website, the institution only accepts CORA requests that are sent via mail or fax, and that e-mailed requests are automatically rejected unless deemed acceptable “at the sole prerogative” of the custodian of the data requested.

Visit the Rocky Mountain Collegian for more.

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