2014-15 ASCSU Presidential Election: Get to know Guinn and Li Puma

CSU is the only school to which Associated Students of CSU presidential and vice presidential candidates Samantha Guinn and Lance Li Puma applied.

“This kid right here, he’s my best friend,” Guinn said. “One thing that really sets us apart as well is that we are both extremely passionate individuals. It is not just about ASCSU, but it is about everything.”

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The Guinn-Li Puma ticket is one of four campaigns running for student government’s highest office this year –– two positions paid close to $20,000 salaries in student fees and lauded for its direct access to CSU President Tony Frank, his cabinet and the powerful Board of Governors which must approve tuition and fee increases. Their platforms include expanding the test files, a CSU food bank and 12 other initiatives.

About the candidates:

Guinn grew up in Las Vegas, Nev. and moved to Idaho after her parents divorced when she was twelve. She has a younger sister who she considers her best friend. Before college, she attended Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins and was involved in Future Farmers of America, swimming, basketball, soccer and snowboarding.

Before starting college, Guinn, who is now a senior in academic credits, wanted to be a livestock veterinarian. The microbiology major now is looking into being a surgeon working with large exotic animals.

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Li Puma and Guinn

“CSU has really helped shape me into who I am. It has showed me that there are all different walks of life in every person that you meet,” Guinn said. “When I look back at my life right now, these will be the best years of my life.”

One of Guinn’s unofficial goals, she said, is to be the kind of person to brighten someone’s day. As the current ASCSU deputy chief of staff, she loves smiling and talking to people around campus.

“I have definitely been that person who feels like no one is there for me. I’m sure we have all felt it,” Guinn said. “I think you have the opportunity to leave whatever you want behind.”

Guinn and Li Puma met their freshman year and have been close friends since.

“I actually lived in the same hall as Sam (Guinn). Through her work at ASCSU and how she talked about it sparked my interest. That’s how I became a senator my sophomore year,” Li Puma said.

The two candidates expressed that their close friendship contributes to how they work together.

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“I know they are really intelligent and enthusiastic. I know that they are really good at getting up morales and they are so good at keeping up with what they need to know,” junior history major Lindy Lockerd said. “I think that they are the best for the job.”

Li Puma grew up in Breckenridge wanting to be a professional skier. Before college, he was nationally ranked and went to the Junior Olympics three times.

“I was basically nonexistent in high school,” said Li Puma, who attended Summit High School in Frisco. “I was really the quiet kid who would just go skiing.”

When he blew out his knee at age 17, Li Puma completely changed his career path. According to Li Puma, the injury was the best thing that could have happened to him. His recovery and rehabilitation process helped him to realize that he wanted to become a surgeon. His experience as a student government senator, he said, has helped him prepare for this future.

“(ASCSU) has really given me the ability to help people. I’m really glad it did because it shows that I am going to be a good doctor,” Li Puma said.

Li Puma’s enjoyment of the outdoors has not changed since moving to Fort Collins. When he’s not studying, the biomedical sciences major spends his time playing soccer, skiing, working with horses and exploring the outdoors.

“I grew up skiing, I grew up playing sports, I did some Boy Scouts, so that was a lot of fun. When you live in the mountains, you ski, you bike and you camp all the time,” Li Puma said.

At CSU, Li Puma is a College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences student who reports having held himself to a high academic standard. Like Guinn, he is a senior in academic credits.

“One thing I have really enjoyed is academics here,” Li Puma said. “I want to make sure I not only get ‘A’s’ in school but also get an ‘A’ in life.”

Guinn and Li Puma expressed that they enjoy many aspects of CSU and want to ensure that the entire body receives the same experience.

“I’m in ASCSU because I really care about the students. I love the experiences I’ve had at ASCSU,” Li Puma said. “It’s just so much fun being here. It’s a great campus, its a great school, its a great student body and there is so much to enjoy here. I really want to make sure that continues.”

Collegian Reporter Stephanie Mason can be reached at news@collegian.com.