As their campaign slogan, “enhancing our community’s future,” suggests, junior business administration majors Josh Silva and Michael Wells want to promote student success if elected as the president and vice president of the Associated Students of Colorado State University.
Silva and his running mate Wells hope to promote more inclusiveness between students and members of ASCSU.
“Every fee-paying student is a member of ASCSU by extension,” Silva said. “We care about students’ well being as a whole, so our platform really encompasses that through different initiatives like communication (and) communicating what ASCSU is. We really want to stress (that) we are here for you and work on meeting people where they are, not just promoting ourselves and waiting for people to come to us.”
Wells describes the Silva-Wells campaign as “the millennial campaign” since their platforms encompass communication and technology.
“The goal of our platforms are essentially three-headed,” Wells said. “Communication … is strictly open to bringing different parts of campus together. It’s not just communicating about ASCSU. It’s communicating by making sure that there’s (a) connection between different parts of campus that are off in other sections of the campus that don’t have high foot traffic (such as the University Center for the Arts).”
Silva and Wells hope to improve apps students use, such as modifying the RamRide app to operate like Uber or Lyft. They also hope to expand digital accessibility to students by offering services for class registration, textbook reservations or providing course feedback on a mobile device.
Both Silva and Wells are in their first year at ASCSU in the executive branch, though they both have been involved with ASCSU in the past.
Presidential Candidate: Josh Silva
Silva is completing his first term as the controller in the Department of Finance, but said his involvement in ASCSU started as early as his freshman year.
Silva wanted to join the student government as a freshman, but said his initial experience upon entering the ASCSU office was discouraging.
“I walked into the office kind of a shy freshman and came into a culture that felt sort of hostile towards outsiders and towards newcomers,” Silva said. “I remember walking in … and feeling sort of alienated.”
Silva said through his campaign he hopes to continue to improve the environment in ASCSU to be more welcoming.
“We don’t want anyone to ever feel alienated again,” Silva said. “We want (students) to know, understand and really internalize that we’re here for them. This is your student government. These are your student fee dollars. This is your campaign.”
Silva said his role in the Department of Finance has brought perspective to his responsibility within ASCSU since he sits on the Board for Student Organization Funding, which allocates student fees to groups on campus for events.
“It’s really brought home a sense of perspective to us of the importance of being responsible of student fee dollars and being good stewards to the students,” Silva said. “We’ve seen the other groups and their needs and their funding. We’ve seen all the student fee dollars go in.”
Silva wants students to know that he and Wells are no different than other students at CSU.
“The Silva-Wells campaign sounds really fancy, but it’s Michael and Josh. We’re just like you,” Silva said. “When we do this for the students, I mean, I know what it’s like to have to take out a student loan to continue going to school and having to choose between putting off paying for textbooks or rent. When it’s for the students, we really mean that. We’re just like everybody else.”
Vice Presidential Candidate: Michael Wells
Wells is the current director of finance, chair of the Board for Student Organization Funding and sits on the college council for the College of Business. Wells said his position in BSOF set him up to problem solve.
“There’s a lot of special requirements on what we can or can’t pay for,” Wells said. “I think it gives us a really good perspective of how to problem solve and how to figure out ways that we can make events more successful, understanding what we can and can’t pay for (and) abiding by university guidelines.”
Wells wants to push for a greater sense of community for students.
“I wanted to do this to push for students and student community,” Wells said. “Based off our platform of communication, you could say that’s a really broad brushstroke of what it actually is but, being business students, we understand the effectiveness of corporate culture and company culture and the culture we have on campus goes miles for students and for the community.”
Wells said he wants to make sure members of ASCSU are also held accountable for student fees.
“I hope to see (that) ASCSU is fully held accountable for being stewards of the student fees,” Wells said. “I really hope that we can make sure that student fee money is allocated and spent the way that students actually want it to be spent.”
Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.