Q&A with ASCSU Elections Manager Lexi Evans

What are ASCSU elections?
ASCSU Elections are the most hectic, exciting 13 days in all of the school year. That is what I will always stand by. It gives all students and opportunity to have ideas and have their voices heard because just hearing from these eight candidates from students who want to have interactive discussions with those candidates on what they want to do. I think it opens up a dialogue far greater than any student org could have on any other day. To have people on the plaza for 13 days really opens up an opportunity for students to talk to students. We may not always agree, but that’s when the debates come in handy and really facilitates a discussion among all student bodies, not just those in the elected offices.

What are the roles of those elected?
They will immediately be in charge of creating a budget for ASCSU which is roughly 2.2 million dollars. That is a big part of their job. They are the voice of the students so you need to make sure that you’re allocating your funds across the board so it works best for the students.
The president of ASCSU is the one student voice in the board of governors which is an amazing opportunity to have CSU’s voice. We lobby at the capitol so they do a lot of that as well.

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The Vice President is head of SFRB which is Student Fee Review Board. So, on top of creating this two million dollar budget for ASCSU, he also helps facilitate and allocate all student fee money. So your money really, with the student representation that you vote for, is really hand picked as to where it best serves the students. The Vice President is also the speaker. So every wednesday he is the one or she is the one who will moderate the senate sessions following orders, making sure that the legislative process goes well. It is far expanding across executive and legislative because they do have the power in the senate to moderate what they are doing.

What is the daily life of the ASCSU president?
Hectic. There are a lot of meetings. I don’t think I have ever seen Nigel (Daniels, current ASCSU president) not in a suit. Ever. Throughout the whole year there’s a lot of meetings with President Frank, Provost Miranda, and a lot of times with Amy Parsons because she is our VP of student operations. So there are a lot of meetings with higher-ups to try and facilitate that student voice that is so important that got them into the positions in the first place. This year we have been working a lot with transfort — Max. Getting everyone their shuttles for free because they are students. So it is a lot of negotiating and presenting on the behalf of students for meetings that normally students would never be allowed to sit in on.

— and the vice president?
His day-to-day is probably similar. SFRB takes up a lot of time especially towards the end of the year when everybody’s hearings come in. Those get very lengthy so I wouldn’t necessarily be able to speak to his every day. I personally think that the vice president’s role is more of a nocturnal role. It is a lot of meetings that is at night time, not necessarily during the day. It’s much more student to student focused whereas the president is focused on student to higher-ups and faculty.

How does that compare to their President and Vice Presidents overall expectations in office?
I think that especially for the vice president, because you have such set standards, that they don’t tend to stray very far. You know you are supposed to run SFRB, so you run SFRB and it’s pretty set in stone. The things that Nigel has done, especially in terms of transport and our student fee with USA today have gone above and beyond what you think you could casually expect someone to do. The role is what you make it and it just depends on how passionate you get about being that voice in as many pockets of campus as you can.

How does this election affect the overall student body?
This election season impacts the student body because it provides so many more voices than we had in the last two years. Our last two elections had two candidates a piece. It’s always been very pocketed. This year is different because they have that entire campaign that is not involved with ASCSU. I think this (election) is especially important to the student body because this one truly I think is going to have such an expansive reach and there are going to be so many new ideas. This is the year to make a change because there are so many people who haven’t been in the student government and going to have new ideas. There is someone for everyone. I think it is up to the students to kind of do their own research and look it up for themselves personally but I think that will be the election season that if you want your voice heard it is the time to speak up and act now.

Why are these positions needed in the university?
I think that we are very blessed with having a president like Dr. Frank who values the student opinion and to have these roles that are elected by the students of the students really gives the greatest chance in the world to be heard and really have the credibility as a student body. We are not just going through the motions. We have a chance to be involved. So, to be the president and vice president and have the most opportunity and responsibility given to you out of respect as being the student to give the voice I think is really important.

Why should people care?
I think we are a very special university where we as students are given a voice. not every university has the opportunity and I think that with things like being able to plan the budget and be in charge of the Student Fee Review board, we should care because these are those 13 days where we can have a very direct impact on the next year of their lives. These are the students who will be helping figure out where their student fee money goes. These are your thirteen days to make sure that something you don’t want to happen doesn’t happen. You find the person you want to vote for, whose ideals align with yours, and actively pursue your own happiness at this university. That is what these thirteen years is about.

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