Video by: CTV Staff
Candidates for the Associated Students of Colorado State University presidential elections discussed transparency of ASCSU, student body participation, diversity and sexual assault prevention at a debate hosted by the Collegian and CTV Wednesday evening.
Voting period for ASCSU elections begins April 6 at 8 a.m. and will close April 8 at 4 p.m. Voting will take place online at RAMWeb, at the Lory Student Center and at the Morgan Library.
Photos by Christina Vessa.
Transparency of ASCSU
Taylor Albaugh and Jason Sydoriak said ASCSU should be used to gather public opinion and ease tensions between the students and the administration. Both candidates said they will advocate for students while empowering them to make their voices heard.
Sydoriak said he is trying to create a citizen review board for the CSU Police Department.
Lauren Wester and Filipp Dedogryuk said ASCSU can advocate for student concerns to the University, the City of Fort Collins and the state of Colorado.
“ASCSU is not a governing body, but we advocate, empower and influence people to make the best decisions for students,” Wester said.
Wester said she would like to continue to use the department of outreach to maintain good relationships with students and encourage involvement.
Kwon Yearby and Clayton King said ASCSU is here to serve and protect the student body, while being representatives for student funds. Yearby said, if elected, he would present a state of the association speech to tell students what the issues are, and what is being done by ASCSU to solve them.
Student body participation
Wester said one of her main initiatives is to run on transparency while informing the student body about how ASCSU functions.
“Filipp and I want to empower the students with knowledge and information,” Wester said. “We want to continue to encourage ASCSU members to continue to advocate and figure out student concerns. We can do student surveys, but what really matters is the personal connection.”
Wester said she would create a dropbox in the ASCSU office that students can leave comments in and help ASCSU address their concerns.
Sydoriak said the CSU Center for Public Deliberation needs to be used more often by ASCSU in order to turn grievances into solutions. He said creating transparency and accountability of senate by adding microphones and videocameras may make students more willing to participate.
Yearby said he will continue to poll his own classrooms, student groups and organizations in order to encourage student body participation and feedback. King and Yearby said they plan to give student organizations voting power in senate.
Wester and Dedogryuk said they want to make sure that every student is heard, no matter what faiths, beliefs or religious views they hold.
Yearby cited his previous legislation to create diversity seats in senate. He said he wants students to feel empowered to speak for themselves by increasing diversity representatives from places besides culture centers, and giving those positions voting power.
“I am seeking to represent people who have been historically put down in society and on campus,” Yearby said. “I want to work to support those people more, as well as bring in everyone who feels diverse.”
Albaugh and Sydoriak said they support Yearby’s efforts on the diversity bill. They said they will create opportunities for students to practice religious freedom in the main buildings of campus.
“We do need to understand diversity (is) more than just skin color,” Sydoriak said.
Sexual assault and violence
Albaugh said that lighting dark construction zones at night would create a safer environment for students. She and Sydoriak plan to work with the Women and Gender Advocacy Center and the City of Fort Collins to end the stigma associated with survivors of sexual violence by starting the conversation with students and approaching the administration from there.
Dedogryuk and Wester said they want to focus on making sure that students know resources are provided for them at CSU. They plan to work with the administration to promote more programming, counseling and resolution sources that are here to accept all students.
Yearby and King said they will work to establish sexual assault courses as a part of the All University Core Curriculum.
“The only thing that can solve this issue is education,” Yearby said.
Collegian Assistant News Editor Christina Vessa can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @chrissyvessa.