Self-described as the most qualified presidential candidate for the Associated Students of Colorado State University and the vice presidential candidate with a fresh perspective, Edward Kendall and Kyrie Merline have built their campaign on a triple bottom line of sustainability.
According to Kendall and his running mate Merline the triple bottom line of sustainability encompasses environmental, social and economic sustainability.
“When we say sustainability, it’s not just about trees,” Kendall said. “CSU is a very environmentally-friendly campus, but to tell you the truth, environmentally-friendly campus is like being the best surfer in Minnesota: there’s always something that’s more to be improved on.”
Merline plans to expand the reach and impact of ASCSU by bringing in more students from different majors, the student diversity offices and from other organizations on campus.
“ASCSU has amazing programs in itself, but why not pair it with the Multicultural Greek Council … or the Black/African American Cultural Center (or) do the drag show?” Merline said. “There’s so much going on besides ASCSU and so many people doing amazing things, so we should make those things known and make them bigger and help them grow. We shouldn’t be ASCSU or nothing.”
Kendall and Merline hope to continue advocating for sustainability and more inclusion within ASCSU, whether or not they win the presidency.
“The cool part about CSU is if it’s a good idea I should be working on it now, even though I’m running for election,” Kendall said. “If I don’t get elected, this idea should still continue. It should actually occur because it’s going to be good for students.”
Presidential Candidate: Edward Kendall
Kendall, a junior majoring in microbiology with a minor in political science, believes he is the most qualified candidate for the presidency.
The current Speaker Pro Tempore started out in ASCSU’s Elections Committee during his freshman year, became an associate senator for his college and then held a position as the Director of Community Affairs before taking his current position.
Kendall wants to improve environmental sustainability by advocating for Sunday bus service.
“A lot of people that don’t have their own personal cars or want to be able to utilize that kind of shared resource, (but they) don’t have it right now,” Kendall said. “None of the Transfort buses run on Sunday except for a few exceptions far and few between. I’m happy to say that we’ll probably have Sunday bus service regardless of whether or not I get elected. It’s just my belief that I’d be the best person to make sure it happens.”
Kendall also hopes to plant fruit trees to grow food as an academic opportunity for horticulture students and to provide food for students affected by food insecurity.
“If (students) need it, they should grab food and they should be on their way,” Kendall said. “When they’re studying for that exam, I don’t want them to think about how much their stomach hurts.”
Kendall also plans to build an on-campus food bank by utilizing the ASCSU offices as a space for students to get food.
“We have a lot of space in there and we don’t use it all,” Kendall said. “If elected, one of the things I want to be able to pursue is looking at if we can re-purpose that room that our student government uses, use our space that we really do need more efficiently and take that extra space and start looking into whether or not we can have an on-campus food bank.”
Vice Presidential Candidate: Kyrie Merline
Merline, a junior majoring in journalism and with a double minor in business and ethnic studies, said she will bring a fresh perspective to the ASCSU office since she has had no prior involvement.
Merline has worked in the SLiCE office for two years as the marketing coordinator, which she said allows her to think outside of what ASCSU does.
“While it’s great to be in ASCSU, I think Eddie and I do make a dynamic duo because he does get the blinders on where he only sees ASCSU,” Merline said. “I see a broader community. It’s one of those things that when you’re doing it and coming into ASCSU, you need that outside perspective.”
Merline hopes to increase student involvement by sending out applications for positions within ASCSU to students typically underrepresented in student government.
“We’re going to go to those (people) that have no idea what ASCSU is and be like, ‘do you believe that there should be a bigger, broader community? Why not apply for Director of Outreach?’” Merline said. “We want to enforce on students that they can do anything they want to do and we want to be there to do and see those goals come through.”
Merline believes not having any prior experience in ASCSU helps her understand the impact ASCSU can have on campus.
“I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think that I would bring anything new to ASCSU or that I had the same platform as every other candidate,” Merline said. “It’s important that while I have not been directly in ASCSU, (it) impacts every student and every student should feel that they are ASCSU. We’re here to have the student body tell us what they want.”
Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.